Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Morning Routine with Dogs

When I get ready for work in the morning, it involves time in the bathroom. Becke hangs out by the tub and manages to get in 20 winks (or 40, or 60, depending on how long I'm in there). August also comes into the bathroom because he simply can't be trusted yet to stay in bed with daddy.  He can bring in a toy to play with and the bathroom door is open a bit in case he needs to go out and I'm in the shower, he can then go get daddy to let him out.

Well that's the plan anyhow.

But you know small puppies, they are like kids and will need to go out while I'm in the shower with shampoo in my hair and will not go get daddy so I have to run down the hall in my full glory with shampoo in my hair to let him out... I know this from experience...

Anyhow, I was getting ready the other day and after curling my hair I noticed a toy or two, or three, or seven!

I'm impressed that I didn't step on them or trip over them because I can't see them without my glasses.

Over the weekend I took all of his toys and moved them down stairs and placed them into the toy box there. Over the next hour, he brought them all back up...one toy at a time.

Then he became exhausted and needed an hour nap. That gave me two hours of peace.

I might just take all the toys back down stairs again so that I can take a  bubble bath.

I love our dogs, just wanted you to know.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Review: The last of January

Today, the 30th of January is the 12th Birthday of our baby, Integrity Star Beck, Becke, Beck the Wonder Dog, Becke Boo Boo, Baby Boo.  We use many names for her and she wags for them all.  We were blessed to get her when she was 4 years old after she had a very small litter. The breeders decided that it was not fair to her to breed her again and wanted a better life for her. Becke ended up having a    c-section because there were so few puppies. We were looking for an adult dog - we were meant to find each other and she was perfect for our home. So she moved in and began her life with us. She has taught us to stay close to love ones in your life. She has taught us to laugh, take a nap in the middle of the day, trust someone, try again, rest when tired, go again, have fun, and always kiss the ones you love good night.  She is the wonder dog that is perfect for us.

Saturday, while August was helping with a project, and it was so nice outside, I took Becke for a nice walk. She is a pleasure to walk with. She doesn't pull, doesn't chase the squirrels, or stop moving refusing to go forward. She enjoys walking and stops every so often just to smell the grass (or snow). It was in the high 30's and so we were out there for a while.

We stopped to take a few pictures and to enjoy the fact that I can drop her leash and she will not go anyplace.  She is a love.

Hubby's brother turns 60 in a few days so his wife gave him a surprise Birthday Party. It was fun to get together and make fun of the sweet old guy. Great surprise, he never knew the party was for him!!!

Sunday we didn't have the grand girls so we took the time to make her a special supper - tilapia and crab with brown rice for dinner! Birthdays are fun around here. We watched a few movies on TV and relaxed.  Breakfast on Monday is an egg mixed in her oatmeal with more fish for dinner.  

For January, it's been pretty warm, not a lot of snow and some days the temps got up to the mid 40's. The problem is that some days it's in the 40's and then we get a few days of Artic cold and I get a "Raynaud's Spasm". A Raynaud's Spasm is when you get so cold, that you hurt. My hands and feet will tingle and no matter how many layers I put on, I cannot get warm. Sunday morning my knees started to ache while we were in church and it hurt to stand up or walk. I should have moved away from where I was sitting in ladies class, but I didn't. My hands began to tingle and by afternoon I was wearing woolen socks, jeans, turtle neck, fleece vest, flannel bathrobe under an electric blanket with Becke laying on my feet. The house temperature was 72 degrees!  My hands tingled and it hurt to stand on my feet because they were so cold.  It took me hours to warm up and I missed our small group because even though the host family will have a fire going in their fireplace, it will not be enough to keep me warm. Having this  disease is not fun and it's not easy to live with. Thankfully, I don't get many spasms but when I do, they control my day and keep me praying. I am reminded how weak I am and that I can do nothing on my own, even maintain my own body temperature.
How about you? What did you do? Welcome February!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yes, I'm THAT Scottish!!!

I am Scottish on my father's side. I love being Scottish. Many years ago we were Stationed in England (where our daughter was born) and we had a Scottish neighbor.  At the time you rented TV from the government and the color TV rent was more than the rent for a Black and White TV.  We had a B&W and the Scottish family across the street had the color.  He would go out in the rain and wash the car and when they went on vacation, we got to have the TV at our home because as he would say "If we are going to have to pay the rent for the TV then somebody needed to be watching the thing." We were very happy to be the "Somebody".  I loved that family.  My family clan is Logan and the above picture is of my tartan (family colors). I don't think about being Scottish much until something I'm working on is not going right or when I want to buy something that I don't want to pay full price for.  This week I had a "Scottish moment" as they are called when something goes wrong but I  refuse to give up. I'm Scottish, and therefor ,I do count my pennies (OK I can be cheap - I use the same tea bag for 3 cups of tea and a few other things that drive my hubby nuts but if I can't drive him nuts, who can?)
Where was I???? Oh Yeah
Here is what happened.
I went to make some low carb muffins the other day and the the batter tasted great (you all eat the batter, right?) I use my little toaster oven and make 6 at a time since it is still more cost effective than heating up the big oven for 1 pan of 12 muffins. Well while they were baking, I lost track of time and they came out like this. WARNING this is not pretty.

 All 6 were burnt on the top and I was about to toss them all when I thought "NO WAY" - the Scottish woman in me will not allow this.
I filled the muffin tin again but filled it less than 1/2 full and put them in the toaster oven. Then I cut off the black tops of these poor sad muffins and toss them away.

I melted some butter and added them to the bottoms. When the new "Tops" came out of the toaster oven I added the tops to the bottoms and we had 6 butter muffins.  Yes, still low carb and they were good. We ate them all in one day.

I ate one before I took the picture, just in case they were terrible, but they were really good.

My Grand mother, Maude, would have been so proud of me and I must say I was happy to not have to toss them out.  I just walked around the house saying out loud, "Yes, I am THAT Scottish".  Sometimes I crack myself up......

Hubby surprised me with a new toy yesterday. A iPhone 4S and I am having fun with Suri you can bet.
I did ask him how much it cost and because he knows how Scottish I am he said "I got a $50.00 discount". He knows me well -  I love this man!!!

Have a great Weekend everyone.  Lord willing we will all be here Monday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge: FOOTBALL

Once again Joyce did a great job of coming up with the questions, we come up with the answers.  Join us won't you?

1. The NFL playoffs were held this past weekend and this year's Superbowl lineup will feature The New York Giants versus The New England Patriots. How do you define 'patriot'?

Patriot is one who loves and defends his or her country.  So the men and woman of the armed forces are patriots.  The family that stays behind are Patriots too because their sacrifice is great as well. I thank them all for defending the freedoms that I have.

2. What's something in your life right now that feels like a 'giant'?
What I want to say, I cannot say because some of the people who read this blog who I know will take it wrong so I will keep that to myself.  I don't want to cause problems where there are none.  There is no problem that I can have that God cannot deal with. I just have to leave it with him.

3. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think back to being 18?
I thought that I was so grown up and ready to take on the world and knew EVERYTHING. After all, I was getting married, having a baby, was moving to a new state away from all the negative influences of my family here and making such grown up decisions.  Now I look at those pictures and wonder what WAS I THINKING!!!

4. Coconut-mashed potatoes-vanilla ice cream-mayonnaise...which white food would be the hardest to give up?
I would have to say Vanilla ice cream. There is a low carb vanilla that is very good and that would be hard to give up since I love dessert.

5. Describe an incident or a day you remember as the coldest you've ever experienced?
A few years back we got hit with a power outage that lasted over a week. We would drive around town to charge our cell phones and used up all the wood we had for our fireplace. We didn't have a generator at the time so we could not run the pellet stove.  We blocked off all the rooms we could and would eat out at least once a day to get a hot meal but keeping the fish tank warm as well as us was terrible.  When it got dark (like 4:30) we lit candles and bundled up trying to stay warm. Becke, the Wonder dog, would lay on top of me to help me stay warm.  A friend of ours shared his wood from his fireplace with us to burn so we could cook and heat water for the fish tank in the fireplace.  It was a long week and when it was over, we went out and got the generator and learned how to connect it.  We lost all of our food and promised ourselves we would not let that happen again.  Hubby got a taste of how cold I feel all the time since I have Raynaulds's and he was not happy about that.  He has always been sympathetic about my condition but getting a taste of it himself, he is now even more sympathetic.

6. You're hosting a brunch...what's your favorite dish to prepare and serve?
I like simple so cheese and crackers, veggies and dip or a fruit salad.

7. How do you combat negative thinking?
Count my blessings, and pray. Those negative attacks are not from God. The way to attack back is from God.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

A few days ago I was reading one of the blogs that I really like and she had pictures of flower buds from her yard.  Yes, she is the south but really, spring time all ready showing its buds!  Well, I'm ready for Spring and this winter has not been that bad at all.  We have had maybe a grand total of 10 inches of snow this winter and it has melted between snowing again.  Now in October we got creamed by snow but that was still Fall so I'm talking Winter snow.  In fact yesterday it was in the low 50's and sunny and I've yet to dig out the big winter long coat so I am so very happy but still, I am looking forwarded to Spring.... How about you?
Can you guess who we are rooting for in the Superbowl?
Click on the button and join the fun or answer the questions here. Thank you Joyce

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Review: Love the Relaxing Ones!


After a week of recovering from the stomach bug and working hard but not feeling great, (why is it taking longer and longer to get well from these bugs the older I get?) it was wonderful to have such a slow relaxing weekend. I love the hum of quiet days, don't you?

Saturday, we got about 2 inches of snow, just enough to make the roads slippery but still looked very pretty.  I never left the house until the afternoon then went to a few stores. One of the stores was the fabric store to look at their fabrics on sale.  I was able to get a few and made August a few harness/winter coat combos.  He sure is one styling dude!!! In honor of the New England Patriots going to the Super Bowl I just had to make him a  outfit.  Go Pats!!

Cleaning the house and sewing took up the rest of Saturday.  Sunday began with a great worship service, then playing with the grand girls and then small group singing. All in all it was a quiet weekend, nothing special and yet filled with blessing. Blessed to have the pellet stove keeping me warm. Blessed to have a hubby to drive me around and share my day with. Blessed to have 2 grand children so close. Blessed to have 2 grand children to look after for a bit while their parents work. Blessed to have a wonderful church where Jesus is preached and worshiped. Blessed to have a small group where we share our lives and our love of God.  So many blessing....How about you, what were your blessings this weekend?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter is Here - Keep your Pet Warm

We all love seeing small dogs in winter coats. Our little August is getting bigger and at the moment his butt is higher than his shoulders so when he runs he face plants a lot. That includes outside in the snow.  I can do some sewing for him and so I made him several coats. All of the ones I made are reversible so for the work of one coat, I have two.  Coats are easy to make and there are lots of free patterns on the web. You web people are so wonderful and share so much.  I am grateful for all the free patterns I have found. 

Because August is so little, I can use the extra material to make him a matching harness.  I have his tags on a little tag holder that quickly comes off one harness and onto the next.  

But larger dogs can benefit from winter coats as well. Older dogs can have a harder time maintaining body temperature as well, as well as dogs with compromised immune systems for any number of reasons.
Becke, the Wonder Dog will be 12 years old on January 30th. It's 12 degrees up here in NH and yes, she has a coat. Several in fact.

 This one was made from a bath robe material

And it is reversible as well.
My friend Anu has a great newsletter that deals with caring for your dog without breaking the bank and she wrote a great article this month on more tips for keeping your dog warm and why that's important. You can find the article here at More Bark for your Buck.  If you have a pet, this newsletter is a great way to see how others cut the cost of owning a pet without cutting the joy. Join her mailing list, and every month you will get great advice on caring for your pet. Yes, she gave me a kind shout out in her article, but even without that, it's a great article and timely with winter still bearing down on many of us.  Have a great weekend everyone. Stay warm.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Seeing all the Blessings- Sometimes it's not Easy

On Monday I wrote you all telling you that I was sick and would be back soon. You all were so kind and wonderful to me. Some offered advice about tea with honey and crackers and others told me that they had suffered the same bug and so understood how I felt. I can not tell you all how much that meant. Most of you I have come to know through my little blog here and you are such a blessing to me. Some I know face to face and all of you made me feel better. I am grateful for each and every one of you.  You are all such a blessing to me. I am blessed by you all and know it.

What I couldn't figure out was why I would get a shooting pain that would travel around my chest when I moved.  I do believe now that it was connected to a separate incident that happened last Thursday morning.  I didn't make the connection until I was laying around counting my blessing.

We got just a few inches of snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning. It was very pretty to look at and coated our little corner of the planet in winter white.
Just a little
Making our yard very beautiful
Fresh, white, soft
However a few inches of snow that are driven on gets packed down, then freezes.  I hit that on my way to work Thursday morning and this happened.

I hit black ice less than 100 yards from work. I simply could not stop and in what felt like slow motion, hit a car just sitting there in a parking lot. No one was hurt, all the people were fine, the car is in need of a new bumper but the alignment is fine and no other damage is spotted.  The new part is ordered and I will have the use of a rental car once we drop off our "Bonnie Lass" at the auto body shop. Does anyone else name their cars? The insurance company was even glad to know that both dogs were fine since one is in his great crate and the other one wears a seat belt.  Anyway, I think that while I was trying so hard not to hit the car in the parking lot, I was straining all my muscles trying to turn the wheel and control the car.  That is what hurt so much and that is why I had that shooting pain all around my chest.  Thursday the fender bender and Saturday the bug.

I am blessed that we have such good car insurance to pay for the damage, I'm blessed no one was hurt, I'm blessed so few were on the road that morning. I'm blessed that the stomach bug didn't last long, I'm blessed that my Husband took such good care of me while I moaned and complained that I needed a new body since this one was giving in to the stomach bug.  I'm blessed that both dogs behaved and didn't give Hubby any trouble because they were stuck in the house with a woman who complained all the time about being sick (I'm not a great sick person). I knew that Becke the wonder dog would be fine, but August is 4 months old and needs to play and run and jump and bark and be a puppy. I'm blessed that you all were so kind to me and are so supportive.

So many blessing....do you count yours?  What would you say is your greatest blessing today?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Awards and Chinese Food!

Thank you Joyce for this weeks questions, my head is mush still from the bug that attached me this past weekend and this gives me one more to give my brain cells rest.

1. A new Miss America was crowned on Saturday night-did you watch? If you were a contestant what would your talent be?
No I did not watch but my talent would be sewing small dog clothes or singing. I'm told I have a nice voice.

2. Do you have houseplants? Real or fake?
No I do not. This house faces South East so it's not good for plants. RATS. We don't get a lot of sun here, lots of trees and all you know.

3. When you were in school did you speak up or were you more of the hide your face, avoid eye contact, and pray the teacher didn't call on you type of student?
If I could become totally invisible that would have been wonderful! I was painfully shy and studded, I didn't want anyone to call on me to answer anything.

4. Next Monday marks the Chinese New Year...what do you order when someone suggests Chinese food?
I like Crab Rangoon and Egg Roll.

5. How would you define a miracle? What would it take for you to consider something a miracle?
A miracle is something that you can not explain. I think babies are miracle. Oh sure I understand the Biology that makes that little helpless bundle of joy, but it's always a miracle to me to see what was created from the gene pool given. I think life is a gift and there are many miracles that are given to us. The car that runs out of gas just before it hits me?  A miracle to me.

6. What's your favorite Disney song? If you're stuck you'll find a list here.
This one. I've danced with my dog Becke the wonder dog to this song and it always makes me cry.

7. I should have _____________ yesterday.
Yesterday I was still recovering from being sick all weekend so there was nothing I should have done but to work on getting well and that is what I did.  So nothing comes to mind.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
61 DAYS till Spring!  Can't wait.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stomach Bug

If you haven't been bitten by the stomach bug yet, you are blessed! It has bitten several coworkers and also our granddaughters. It hit our daughter and her husband then it bit Hubby and finally it bit me!  It bit me hard!! I have spent the weekend either on the couch under the electric blanket (the pellet stove is cooking the house as well) or in bed under the quilt and comforter.  Hubby has been taking care of me and he does a really good job so I should be up soon - I even managed to keep a small bowl soup down! 
So I will be back soon, as soon as I crawl out from under one of the covers.  
Now to spray the keyboard, and everything else, with Lysol!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Welcome to Friday the 13th

Are you Superstitious about Friday the 13th?  When you hear the phrase "Friday the 13th" do you think of this?

Where everything goes wrong...Or do you think of this?

 Nothing special, just another day (and maybe even a pay day)
Well today is just like any other day for me except for one thing. Today I am teaching this to our staff.
If you have a pet (cat or dog), do you know what to do if your pet is hurt?  Do you know what you need for emergencies?  If not, please think about contacting your local American Red Cross and sign up for a class. Your pet is counting on you to know what to do if something bad happens to them on Friday the 13th (and all the other days as well)

Have a great weekend everyone.  Lord willing, I'll see you all Monday.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The First Signs of Spring!!!

What are the first signs of Spring for you? Is it plants popping up, breaking through the ground, longer days, the heat from the sun streaming into your home, the ability to open windows during the day or is it hanging laundry outside?  Here is the first sign of Spring for me.
My fist catalog of the new year...look closer

"Spring 2012"

Be still my heart!  So there may be snow on the ground, but there is Spring on my coffee table!! And I am smiling.  So what is your first sign of spring?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge:More than you ever wanted to know

Join the fun, answer here or on Joyce's blog (just click on the button above).  It's all good!!! Have fun!

1. Lake Superior University has once again published a list of words/phrases they think should be banished from the Queen's English in 2012-
amazing, baby bump, shared sacrifice, occupy, blowback, man cave, the new normal, pet parent, win the future, trickeration, ginormous, and thank you in advance.
Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Go here to read more about how the words are chosen.

Personally I would like to see the word Occupy be banned. These people stopped shops from making a living, interrupted traffic and generally were a pest of entitled people looking for a hand out. They deserve to just disappear.  (But I'm not angry about it all all) 

2. Are you easily embarrassed?
Yes and I turn red fast as well.

3. What is your go-to snack?
Cheddar cheese - it's low carb and we have lots of it here at the house. Second is bacon. Cheddar cheese wrapped in bacon? - sounds yummy.

4. Have you ever been to Washington D.C.? If not do you have any desire to go? What site/attraction would you most want to see in that city? If you have been, what's your favorite site/attraction?
I have not been to Washington D.C. but I would like to see all the sights there. I think the Lincoln Memorial is high on my list as is Congress.

5. sit ups-planks-lunges-squats...which do you hate the least?
Sit ups! I can do 300 sit ups in one sitting. Now before you all say "WOW THAT'S AMAZING!" I do not do them fast. They are a slow but steady. I started doing them last year when I was on the 400 mile challenge that ended up turning into 2400 miles.  I like the stretch that I get doing sit ups so that is the one I hate the least (and actually enjoy) 

6. What's a small act of kindness you were shown that you've never forgotten?
I had one of those days, you know when everything had gone wrong. Late for work, didn't get the project done on time, felt sick, cranky customers, copy machine not making copies, had to go to the grocery store after work.  While there, the little old lady who was bagging my groceries touched my arm, looked me in the eye and said "I want you to have a great rest of your day." She smiled at me as well and it occurred to me that hers was the first smile I had seen all day. My day did get better too. She made me stop for a second and accept her kindness. 

7. Have you ever been a blood donor?
Yes, I had given blood often and then for some reason stopped - well I know the reason. My blood comes out so slow that after 20 minutes they have to stop and I've still not filled the bag!  Oh well. I stopped giving.  I went back years later to discover that my records were tampered with and they had me down as a man!!  YUP I kid you not. The woman asked if I was giving blood as a woman this time and I looked at her like she had 4 heads. She explained that my records state that the last time I gave blood, I was a man!! Well getting the records changed is apparently too much work for the Red Cross because they refuse to fix it so I am not giving blood anymore.  Go figure!!! Joyce, aren't you glad you asked that question?

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Snow! We are due to get up to 10 inches of snow by Thursday.  We have had none since October so we are due but I have so enjoyed all the warm and sunshine.  I know it's winter, but I really don't like snow.  

Well, now it's your turn, answer these questions let us all know about you.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekend Review: 1st for 2012

How was your first week on 2012?  It's been interesting up here.  We live in New Hampshire and so we get to vote in the Primary tomorrow, Tuesday. I like that we have the primary early because we have more to pick from. By time some states get to vote, they are down to just 2 people left in the running.  We have several.  The down side to that is that they are all CALLING US TO VOTE FOR THEM. The phone rings all day long asking to be part of a political survey or asking us to vote for them. Some of the calls have real people calling and others are machines.  We are tired of the calls and so we have stopped answering the phone.  Sorry for those of you who were really tyring to get in touch with us, call our cell.
We also have political adds all day on the TV or on the radio.  I will be glad when it's over.  I do feel that it is important to vote and I will be at the polls early on Tuesday. I will be turning in to see how the vote is going and will watch the returns.  It is interesting to watch the process. Still, I will be glad when it's over and everyone leaves our little state.

We have also had some wonderful weather! It was in the 40's this weekend!  A January Thaw for sure but the problem is we have a January Thaw in the middle of a nasty winter and so far this winter has been wonderful. I wear a sweat shirt and light jacket, and the jacket it open. No hat, no gloves, no boots!  It has been wonderful!! Every week on the news however is a story of some animal that has fallen into through thin ice and shows citizens and fire men working hard to save the animals. Some were dogs that fell through the ice and some were deer and moose that have fallen into thin ice.  They keep telling everyone not to put up the ice houses and not to venture out on the ice. I love it but others not much. It makes for interesting face book conversations.  How is the weather you way?

New coat for August this week.

With matching Harness

Sunday started with a meaningful worship service followed by playing with the grand girls which is always fun and it helps to wear out August.  And ended with a fun evening at small group where we continue to study the book of Hebrews.  Got to sew another harness and coat for August. He does wear the coat to work in the morning but I carry it home at night.

How about you, what did you do and how is the weather out your way?  When do you get to vote?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge: The First for 2012

Well  brand new year means a fresh start of Hodgepodge questions.  Are you ready to answer these? Well here they are for this week.

1. What are three words you would use to describe your 2011?
Joy - Fun - Fulfillment. Hubby retired in 2011 and I waited 30 years for that to happen.

2. Do you like shrimp? What's your favorite way to have it prepared?
Oh Yes I like shrimp, I love it in a stir fry with lots of green veggies.

3. Is your house de-Christmased? If so when did you tackle that job? If not, when will the decorations come down?
Yes, everything came down the day after New Years and I'm glad to have my house back. We have a small house and although I love to see the decorations, it makes our house even smaller.

4. Do you like to watch scary movies?
No! I don't like to be scared at all.

5. ice skating~sledding~skiing~snowboarding~of the four listed which wintertime activity do you most enjoy?
Drinking hot cocoa or tea in front of a fire place with my feet up watching a movie or looking out the window watching  others ice skate, sled, ski and snowboard.  I'm not a winter girl at all.

6. Did you have a childhood hideout? Describe it.
I grew up across the street from a ball park. Behind the park was woods and in the woods was my hideout. It wasn't a building or anything, it was the entire woods. I loved being out there. Sitting on a fallen log, telling stories or playing there. It was wonderful!

7. What's a place or space that motivates you?
If your talking about getting motivated to clean, then it's a dirty room and company coming. If your talking about getting motivated to pray, then it's a quiet chair or sitting on our bed.  If your talking about getting motivated to craft, then it's a cold day when I don't have to go anyplace.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
It really got cold here! And I mean like 3 degrees (including wind chill). Well, it has hit us here in the North East! The poor little dog cannot bring himself  to staying outside to get everything out of him so we are having a bit of an issue with house training.  It's going to be along few weeks if this keeps up.

Now it's your turn, join in and answer the questions.