Monthly Archives: December 2012

What Am I Reading~2012/2013

I’m involving myself with so many blog theme (or meme) days that I’m not sure I can keep myself straight!  Oh, of course I can, so here we go with one that is close to my heart.


Sheila at Book Journey hosts this each week.  I’ve been reading it for quite a while and I’m not quite sure why I haven’t joined in until now.  But here I go and I like the idea very much.

Those of you who have been reading BCDC for a while know that I love books and I love to read.  I’m going to tell you about what I’m reading at the moment and my reading plan for 2013.

At the moment…

The Clothes On Their Backs

Found this at Goodwill…where else?!  😉  It has really pulled me in but sadly I haven’t had much time to read it since I started.  I have my work cut out for me because I want to have it finished today so that I can start fresh on Tuesday-New Year’s Day with my new plan for 2013.  I’m enjoying this book and I’m excited that this book when finished will bring me to 84 books read in 2013.  I know all of this because of being part of Goodreads which I enjoy.  If you’d like to see what my books for 2012 have been click here.  When I started the year, I had no idea I could reach that number, but it’s been a great year for reading and I’m excited to have accomplished this.

So on to my challenge for myself for reading in 2013.  My plan is to get around to reading some of “those” books that everyone should read-classics, other people’s favorites, that sort of thing.

I’m starting the year with…

Pride and Prejudice

The copy I have is actually part of a set that I had given to my Mom some years ago, four Jane Austen novels.  I’m going to try to get to all of them throughout the year, IF this plan works.  Not sure I’ll be able to stick with it, but we’ll see.

Just for fun, I’ve decided that my second book will be…

Death Comes to Pemberley

Found this at a library book sale and then realized that it was based on the characters in Pride and Prejudice.  This book is the reason I decided to challenge myself to the classics.  I thought that this book would probably make So much more sense to me if I had read P & P.  The list began.

I have other classics on the list…Anna Karenina…Dune (is that considered a classic?) and as I was just informed by my friend, Debbie, I really Must read Les Miserables.  That will take a real commitment so I think I’ll save that for a little later.

In truth, I have such a huge stack of books I won’t need to buy any new ones to keep me busy for the year.  Of course, I hope to be purchasing my Nook soon so that will be a whole new world.  I hear that I can get a lot of classics on there for free so that will be a plus too.

So there you have a rather cursory plan for my reading or 2013.   My reading plan always seems to be in a state of flux so we’ll see what happens.

Be sure to visit Book Journey if you have time to see what everyone is reading and I’ll bet you’ll find some other reading plans for the year, probably a lot more organized than mine! 😉  Regardless of whether I’m orderly or not, you can feel safe in knowing that I will keep Reading!

Happy New Year’s Eve!  Be Safe and Enjoy!

Famous Faces and Facing Up

To start, Ralph and I had the chance to spend most of Friday with his wonderful Sister, Maddie and her terrific husband, George.  We always say when we go to the family lunches that we just don’t have the time to spend with them.  We corrected that on Friday.  We got to their house at about 1pm and didn’t leave until almost 8pm.  It was great!  They took us out to lunch and then back to their house for coffee and dessert.



I think this is a great photo!  We had such a good time and hope to do it again soon.

Because of that lunch out…eating a little more than I would ordinarily on a Friday, when I got to Weight Watchers Saturday morning, I had gained a half pound.  It didn’t bother me very much because of Friday’s lunch out and because I’m just feeling very strong at the moment when it comes to Weight Watchers.  It’s a great feeling.

Another great feeling is having a special guest come to visit at our WW meeting…



Surprise!  It’s Santa!  Our leader Marylou and our member John who is one of Santa’s Helpers.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

John is pretty amazing.  Since joining WW he has lost 83 pounds and had to have a new suit made that gives him the bowl full of jelly he no longer has on his own! He such a nice man.



He told us the story of his “special” key.  It only works on Christmas Eve and allows Santa to get into any house that doesn’t have a chimney or a fireplace. This Santa’s Helper takes his job very seriously.  He wasn’t able to come to last weeks meeting because…hey, he was a little busy!  We were all happy to see him yesterday!

There were several good deals on Saturday…one of them was this…


I wanted a nice big mug to use that was for winter but not Christmas.  Found these at Big Lots at 50% off…cost me $1.50 each!  I love cardinals, they always remind me of my Mom.

I have a lot of Goal Setting and Wrapping Up to do in the next few days.  I really need to sit myself down and do some serious thinking.  I have seen one thing on several blogs and on Facebook that I would like to do for the New Year.



Jar of Gratitude


I really like this idea and will start it on New Year’s Day, maybe even New Year’s Eve.



Here’s my jar!  I think it’s too big to be  a quart, it might be a half-gallon, I’m not sure.  But it’s one of the old Ball Mason jars I’ve collected over the years.  I love them and I thought it would be appropriate.  Since it’s so large, it will leave lots of room for gratitude.  😉  I like the idea a lot.

I’m off to have a hopefully productive day.  Lots to do.  The sun is shining brightly and I sure hope it warms up!

Happy Sunday! Use the day well!!

Snapshot Saturday~December 29

It was a windy, damp and cold day.  Exactly the kind of day I’m hoping to escape when we move to New Mexico.  I was with my best friends Gail and Alice.  They’re leaving today to spend several months in Florida.  I’ve been invited but because of the anticipated (I can’t Wait!!) move to New Mexico this year, I can’t spare the money or the time.  If I accomplish a lot maybe I’ll fly down and drive back with them when the come back in April.

Before leaving however, they both wanted to visit the graves of their Moms.  I completely understand that and I went along in order to have a little more time with them before they leave.

As we were sitting in New St. Mary’s Cemetery  waiting for Alice to come back to the car, I suddenly looked up at the sky.   The entire sky around us looked much like this.  I’m sharing several snapshots because I think they’re worth it.







I love photographing the sky, so if you join in on Snapshot Saturday regularly, you’ll probably be seeing skies from me!

Be sure to check out the other bloggers playing along for Snapshot Saturday by going to At Home With Books. I’m so glad that Alyce over at AHWB has created Snapshot Saturday.  It’s great fun.  You’ll find some great photography and be sure to leave a comment or two.

As always (I fear that I Always say “As Always!”) I’ll be heading to my Weight Watchers meeting early this morning.  I have high hopes for a good result.  As I write this, Ralph and I will be heading to lunch at his sister, Maddie and her husband George’s house.  Maddie is a great supporter of BCDC and I love her for it.  I’m going to do my best to stay on track because I am going for the Gold tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Happy Snapshot Saturday!!  Find beauty in everything you see!

Christmas Dinner~Strange But Good

This is my second week of participating in Strange But Good-hosted by Laura at Sprint 2 the Table.  I think it’s a fabulous idea and I wish I’d thought of it! MOST of my food is Strange But Good if you ask some of my friends.  I thought it might be fun to talk about Christmas dinner, so here goes!

Sprint 2 the Table

Several years ago, as our numbers at the Christmas dinner table started to dwindle, we decided to give up on the idea of a big fancy Christmas dinner.  We used to do the whole turkey thing like at Thanksgiving, but with fewer people to eat it, it just didn’t seem practical anymore.  Although of course, I have been known to buy a turkey and cook it Just For Ralph…He never thinks there’s too much turkey!   😉

We decided instead to recreate the dinner scene from The Christmas Story…dinner at a Chinese restaurant!  We think this was our 5th year and it was fun as always.


We went to our usual restaurant, Sakana Oriental.  It’s nearby which is great. I started out with Hot and Sour Soup.  I love this restaurant because they have vegetarian Hot and Sour.



It doesn’t really look that appetizing now that I look at it, but it Is delicious!  Clears your sinuses too if you need it!

For dinner, I used to always have the Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce and I loved it.  Last year, I decided I needed to add some protein to the mix. I requested tofu be added to it.



Again, it doesn’t look great, but it is Delicious!!  Brown rice on the side.  This is just my favorite dish.  We always say we should go her more often than just Christmas, but we rarely do.

I’m not sure if this is a staple on other Chinese restaurant menus.  This is the only one where I’ve ever seen it.  It is just so good.  If you ever see it offered, give it a try!

So that is Strange But Good for this week.  Even though I just ate, looking at these photos…I’m getting hungry!   I really do love it.  I should try to replicate it myself!!

Just so you all know, I’m feeling strong with my efforts to get back on track with my Weight Watchers efforts.  Feeling successful and in control!

Happy Friday!  Go eat something Strange But Good!

Truths, Transgressions and Treasures

In the time that I’ve been writing Broken Cookies Don’t Count I may have seemed like a bit of a humbug about Christmas.  At least that’s what I see when I re-read previous posts related to Christmas.  There are various reasons why that is, but I’m still not prepared to discuss it here.  Suffice it to say, I find the reasons valid.  However, I do my best to buck up and enjoy the season.

It finally happened this year.  I had the Spirit and it’s been wonderful!  There are various reasons for it.  The Truths…


My Best Friends… Gail and Alice…


My sister, Ele and my nephew, Little Michael…notice the orb by Ele’s left ear…hmmm…that’s all I’m going to say…


Ele’s beautiful little tree and our “fireplace!”


The sleeping Santa that has to be about 65 years old at least.  Ele and I both remember it from childhood.  She currently has custody.  He is just adorable.

And my own sleeping Santa…


Ralph…my best Christmas gift Ever!!  I’ll get to more gifts in a minute, but first…

The Transgressions… If you remember back in November I did a post titled “Every Day Is Not a Party…”  It talked about planning ahead and not allowing Holiday eating get the better of me.  I talked about marking my calendar so that I could clearly see the days when I would expect to indulge and that on the other days…well, it was just Wednesday…not the Day after Christmas and it didn’t come with a license to over eat.  I’m working hard on that.

First thing Wednesday morning, I headed to the produce market and here is my haul…


As we speak, I can barely close the fridge door due to all of the goodies.  Part of this became this…


Weight Watchers veggie soup.  It will get me through the next few days in proper WW style!  Hoping for a favorable outcome on Saturday!  It’s all in the attitude with which you approach things.  I like my WW attitude lately!

Now to the Treasures…

I’m not sure which of these made Ralph happier…


The old phone I found for him to replace the one he had but then “disappeared.”  I was so excited to find this back in October down in Mullica Hill.  I snuck it into the car right under his nose.  I love that he can be oblivious sometimes! 😉



His “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!”  I got this at Aldi of all places.  I brought it home and set it up on the kitchen counter for him, with the note that says “Merry Christmas” on it.  He was sleeping because he had been up all night doing art work.  When I got home, he had drawn a little Charlie Brown on the note (of course!) but I’m not sure you can see that in the photo.  He grabbed me and gave me the biggest hug.  It made him really happy.  I think it helped us both to get some of the Spirit we were missing.

My Treasures were…


This wonderful little Buddha to help me with my meditations.  This is from Ele and although I forgot to ask her this, I think this was the gift she had said made her the happiest when the package arrived.

And finally…The Big Deal…


Yes, my Cookies…I now have a real camera!!  I will be able to take wonderful pictures like my friend, Kristen.  She’ll be serving as my camera coach to help me figure things out.  Now if I could just work up the courage to open the box!   😉

It’s been a terrific Christmas for us here.  It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say  that, but I’m so happy that I can share it with all of you.

Now I have to get to work on my 2012 wrap ups and my 2013 Goals.  A blogger’s work is never done!   🙂

Happy Thursday!!  Make a List!

WIAW~I’m Recovering As You Read This…

Recovering?! No, nothing scary, just from the marathon that is always Christmas Eve for us.

Of course, though, Holiday or not, there’s always room for What I Ate Wednesday.  It is the wonderful foodie get together started and hosted each week by Jenn at Peas & Crayons.  Be sure to visit Jenn and all the fun kids over there when you are finished here and be sure to leave some comments!

What I Ate Wednesday Healthy Holiday Recipes

I reported yesterday on breakfast with the Girls (and Ray!) which was the first installment of the marathon.

Second installment was lunch with…


Ralph, grandson Alex, son Bill, Heather-the boys’ Mom and Patrick!  We ended up back at the same diner.  I was working to be on my best behavior.


Not as good as I was hoping.  I ordered a spinach and feta omelette…I received a mushroom and cheese omelette.  The potatoes were cold and kind of greasy (one reason why I rarely order them anymore) and the toast was more like stale bread than toast.  I ate part of one piece but gave up on it.  It was just so much fun to be with everyone, that I didn’t really think about the food.  People are what really matter at Christmas.

Next and final stop for the night was Ele’s for Christmas Eve or as my niece Carrie likes to call it…Christmas Chaos.  Our ranks are smaller, but we still had a great, though less chaotic Christmas Eve.


Me, Ele and Michael.  Unfortunately, he could only stay a very short while because his Dad was sick, but we’ll get to see him later in the week for a few days.  Much fun will occur at that time!

On to the Food!


Ele makes the Best gingerbread!  No, I didn’t eat the missing piece, although I did eat one later…I was slicing and plating. Yum…


Cheese and cracker plate being filled.  I was proud, I controlled myself with these!


Veggies and veggie chips and dips.  Of course, I did Not eat the veggie chips although Ralph has a new favorite.  They’re from Aldi and apparently very tasty.  I’m getting close to 2 years with no chips.  I can’t believe it, but I think (most of the time 😉  ) it was a good idea.


Cookies, home-made Cracker Jacks and nuts…my toes also I notice now!  I tried the Cracker Jacks which were yummy, but got sucked in by the nuts.  I could have been worse.

As I go back through my photos, I did actually eat before Monday!  Several store-bought salads…


Mixed cheese from Picasso’s.


Wawa salad to which I added cottage cheese.  Both were tasty and leading into the marathon, I was being mindful by making these choices.


One slice of pizza after eating a salad.  I felt pretty much under control.

Funny, how being in and out of control can feel different depending on your overall frame of mind.  I’ve been so mindful and so in control lately, that Monday felt a little out of control.  But my mind is back in order.

I’ll be sharing on Thursday our (new) traditional Christmas dinner.  It’s fun and as I write this, I’m thinking about it and looking forward to it.

That’s WIAW for me for this week.  I will be back on track and I have a plan for that recovery I mentioned earlier.

I hope that each of you had a wonderful Christmas Day.  Be sure to check out  the other fun blogs at Peas & Crayons.  We always love it when you visit!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!  Recovery Day!!

One Down…Two to Go

For us, Christmas Eve is always an eating marathon.  I’m trying to think positive and eat responsibly.  I hope I can accomplish that!  We’ve already received 2 food gifts…Help me, Rhonda!!

We started with breakfast out with Gail, Alice and Gail’s brother Ray.  I should have gotten a picture of all of us, but I’m woefully under enthused for photos today for some reason.  I hope as the day continues, I will improve.

I was good for breakfast and will share.  We were at our favorite, the Gateway Diner and will be there for lunch again, later.  Well, we know what we like!



A big bowl of oatmeal with raisins. They were golden raisins which I don’t think I’ve ever had.  Cinnamon sugar instead of cinnamon, but it was all very tasty!



We took our traditional Christmas photo.  I should find a bunch of the old ones and do an entire post of them.  They’re fun and we’ve been doing this for a Very Long time!!

We’ll be heading out around 2:30 to meet up with Ralph’s son Bill and his grandsons Alex and Patrick and their mom, Heather.  It should be fun, it always is.

I caught some pretty photos Christmas Eve morning.





A beautiful Morning and a beautiful day so far.  I’ll catch you up on the rest of the day when I see you on the other side!

Merry Christmas to All!!  Eat Responsibly!

Down To The Wire

Have I said that my head is spinning?  If I have then I’m repeating myself.  If I haven’t said it then…”My Head Is Spinning!”  Not really in a bad way either.

I really do have everything under control.  I have 2 gifts left to wrap and they won’t take long.

I was really proud of myself on Sunday. I was up early and had my plan.  I had three stores to visit and I called each one to find out what time they opened.  I left my house at 8 am exactly and I was home by about 9:45.  I didn’t quite believe it myself.  I got everything I needed in spite of the fact that I left my list on the bed side table.  I was frustrated by that, but it didn’t get me down.

Our major function today was to get together with Heather, Brian and Colette who would ordinarily be coming to Ele’s house on Christmas Eve, but won’t be able to this year.

We don’t get to see them as often as we’d like so we were really glad we could get together with them.

As is with most babies, I take a ton of pictures.  As it is usually with my camera, the little devils are too quick for me to get decent pictures.  I did get a few good ones of Colette.



Princess Colette with Grummy Ele and Dad Brian.



Brian and the Princess!



Kept trying to get a smile…this was as close as I got.



Wish I could remember what Uncle Ralph was laughing at…Love this picture!



She really seemed to like what we got her…it was a talking Teapot and tea cups.  She laughed when it talked but of course, I didn’t catch it. 😦



Mom Heather with the Princess in her pretty pink owl hat!

And yes, I got to get my photo taken with the Princess…


This is the first photo I’ve seen of my new haircut…I Like it!!

So that was Sunday.  True confession insists that I mention that Ele put out a wonderful collection of cheese and crackers.  Characteristically, I did some damage with it.  However, I was very good the rest of the day.

As always happens on Christmas Eve for us, it is very much like an eating marathon.  Breakfast out, then early dinner out, then back to Ele’s for present opening.  That cheese will be there again, calling to me, but I think I’ll change my name…Call me Carmen Miranda.  Don’t tell the Cheese…

Happy Christmas Eve!!

Where Do I Begin?

Saturday seemed like one of those days that went on forever!  Some usual things, some frustrating things and several special guest appearances.  Let’s just dive in!

Weight Watchers as usual first thing in the morning with a tiny gain that could have been because I ate dinner late on Friday.  I’m not going to worry, just not do that again!  I feel that in so many ways, I’m being mindful of my eating and as a result feeling strong and confident.  That doesn’t happen all the time…I’m holding on to it!

Breakfast with Gail and Alice after the meeting, then quickly home to make sure that Ralph was up and moving because we had a date at my sister, Ele’s house to see some friends coming for a quick visit.  Our friend Ginny along with her mom-in-law Stephanie were coming to visit and they were bringing a visitor from a very cold place, very far away…No Not Santa!

Ginny was bringing along her daughter, Jeanne and grandson, 2-year-old, Teddy!  I was so excited because I’ve never met Jeanne or Teddy.  They live in Norway (cold place, far away…see?!)  They’re visiting for Christmas and here they are…



Jeanne is beautiful and Teddy couldn’t be cuter.  He was a bit sleepy at first but warmed up to everyone quickly.



Clearly a  fun little guy.  We had a great time.



All bundled to go home looking like…well, a little Norwegian boy!  It was a fun visit.

Spent most of the rest of the afternoon wrapping and kicking myself.  The wrapping went well, the kicking comes from the fact that something I ordered didn’t come in.  I still have to go out this morning for two things, but I did find the thing that didn’t come is available at a store nearby.  That has to be on today’s list also.  I’ll be out Very early.  In fact I’m about to try to find out how early these stores open so I can get in and get out.  One of my only talents when it comes to shopping.

But as I wrapped, I realized that I was hearing sirens.  At first I was worrying that someone would be dealing with a fire this time of year and then I realized… It was that visitor from a very cold place, very far away…No, not Teddy!  It was Santa Claus.

Each year, our town fire department brings Santa around all lit up on a beautiful sleigh with music playing and candy canes given out!  The anticipation is terrible, because you can hear him but you can’t see him.  Then you don’t see him and you think he’s not coming down your street, then you SEE him and he turns down another street!  Makes me crazy every year!

But then…






He’s getting closer…



He’s HERE!!  This is such a fun tradition and I wait for it every year.  Ralph and I run out like crazy little (Big) kids and wave and shout to Santa.  I just love it!

So, I’d better get my act together to head into the maelstrom (still love that word!)  If I’m out early, I’m hopefully back early.  We have another special guest coming to visit today.  You’ll find out tomorrow!!

Happy Sunday!  Happy Day before Christmas Eve!  Yikes!!!

Snapshot Saturday~December 22

So here it is again, already.  It’s Snapshot Saturday!  I’m getting involved with so many link-ups that I may start having trouble keeping them straight, but I think I’ll be able to sort them without any trouble!

Snapshot Saturday is of course hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books.  I must say that I’ve been enjoying checking all of the participating blogs and seeing their beautiful photos.  A fun way to see great photos and get to know some new blogs and bloggers.  So on to my offering for today!



I can’t remember if it was Sunday or Monday morning.  It was very foggy but a determined sun was trying to break through.  I just love the look of the sky that day.  Those of you who have read BCDC for a while will recognize my old friend Gnarly Tree front and center.  I thought this was a very good choice for today.

When you finish here, try to visit some of the other participating blogs over at At Home With Books.  They’ll appreciate it!

In the area of regular goings on…I’m getting there.  By that, I mean I’m waiting for one more Christmas gift to arrive in the mail and I have two more easy ones to get. I’m pretty happy with that!  I have about half of my wrapping done also.  I feel I’m actually getting there!

As always, Saturday will mean my weekly visit to Weight Watchers.  I’m feeling happy with my week so far and I should have a good weigh in.    I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed regardless! 😉

Happy Snapshot Saturday!!  Hey…we all survived!!