Monthly Archives: July 2013

Week In Review~July 29

It’s time again for Week In Review hostessed by the lovely Meghan from Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Be sure to check out the other reviewers when you finish here.  It’s fun to see what everyone has been up to.

Week In Review Button Final

Unlike most weeks lately, I did not write this post on Sunday and consequently, I’m scurrying to get it finished this morning.   This may be short and sweet…we’ll see!


Ralph and I had the pleasure of spending most of Monday visiting with his sister Maddie, her husband George and his niece Marie and two sons, Jesse and Trevor.  Maddie and Ralph are Marie’s Godparents so there’s a very close bond there.  We had a wonderful time.  Just being a round a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 1/2 year old can wear you out.  They want to play and since they like us so much, they always want us to do something.  Lots of activity.  They’re wonderful and we had a great day.


There was more sorting and tossing going on.  I got some more boxes of donations ready for the thrift shop.  They’re getting used to seeing me there now!


We went down to Ralph’s house to do some more work.  He was also meeting his grandson Patrick to go to lunch to talk Army stuff.  Patrick reports for basic training in a few weeks and they wanted some time to get together to talk things over.  I worked on packing up things that needed to go to the thrift shop.  I got them all into the truck.  When Ralph and Patrick got back, we had a chance to talk for a while.  This was my last chance to see Patrick before he leaves.  He’ll be leaving while I’m away.  We’re very proud of him.  I won’t say it wasn’t a little sad.


More work around here with sorting.  I made contact with a lady at a local antique store and made plans to bring some things to her to see if she was interested.  She suggested that we bring the things to her shop on Friday for her to take a look.


I realized that some of the things I wanted to take to the antique shop were still at Ralph’s house.  I honestly had thought the lady would say to send her photos first.  So we made a quick trip down there first to pick up the other bin filled with things.

I was surprised to see the things she wanted and what she didn’t want.  I was all wrong about what she would take.  The great thing is since we know her fairly well ( she’s bought things from us before) she gave us suggestions on which other shops in the area might be interested in the things she didn’t take.  I’ll be working on that when I get back from Maine.  I’ll be going through the things packed at my sister Ele’s house then too.  It’s like Christmas opening these boxes and finding what’s in them.  So I’m hoping for more success with getting rid of these things.


Saturday found me at Weight Watchers, no surprise there! I finally had a gain, but it was only a quarter pound.  I’m not really worried, I’m 15 pounds under my goal at the moment.  I won’t let myself get out of hand!

The rest of the day was a little relaxing and a few projects around the house.


Only thing on the agenda was going to a spiritual gathering with Ele.  We always enjoy going to these.  There are a lot of very giving, peaceful people there.  It’s so nice to be with them.

While I was out Ralph worked on sorting through things.  His progress is not as quick or as noticeable as mine but he’s working on it and that’s all I can ask.  He’ll have lots of time to work on things while I’m away.

When I came home, I really vegged out.  One of the cable stations was running a Perry Mason marathon.  I always get sucked into them.  It was very enjoyable.  I napped and watched the rest of the day away.  What a Slug!!

So as of Tuesday, I will be in Maine for two weeks.  I’m really looking forward to it.  I’m not sure what my internet access will be like up there.  Gail tells me it can be spotty at times.  I’m not sure how frequently I’ll be posting.  I can keep up with my smarter-than-me phone on both Twitter (@BCDCFran) and on Instagram (fabstiles)  You can follow me there if you’d  like to see what’s happening.  I will post when I’m able to.  I’m really looking forward to this trip.  Haven’t seen Gail since April!

Everybody enjoy your next two weeks.  I’ll be in touch when I can!

Oh, My Gosh!! I still have to Pack!!

Happy Monday!

Progress Sitting Down

I’ve been sharing my whirlwind life lately…so much excitement.  How exciting can it be when you’re working on something that requires you to wash you hands every five minutes?  There’s a certain level of excitement involved but it can get dusty and dirty.

I decided that yesterday needed to be a sit down job day and only required about two hand washings.

One of the things rediscovered in my basement was a bunch of old coins.  Lots of pennies and lots of half dollars, quarters and a few silver dollars.  At one point, most of the pennies were sorted. put in little bags and labeled with the dates on them.  This will actually be helpful for my sister, Ele because she wants to look through them to fill her penny collection books.

The others were sort of a jumble and I had to go through them.


I’ve gotten most of them sorted in little zip lock bags.  After completing my job, I actually realized that I have all of the quarters that were left over from my yard sale change, which might have some of the desirable dates in them.  I’ll have to check that over the weekend.  I’m doing this because my friend Gail gave me a brochure from a place in Florida that buys coins, gold and silver.  I’m going to make contact with them and see if they’re interested.  I’ve also got some silver that might interest them.  Just have to dig it out.

As I sorted, I tried to check the brochure to see what might be valuable.  I won’t make a fortune, but I should make something from it and since Gail offered to take it all with her to Florida in January, it won’t cost me anything to get it there.  We’ll see how that works.  It’ll be a late Christmas gift!

Since it was going to be a long process, I decided I’d amuse myself as I worked on it.

This was a good way to occupy my mind while sorting and identifying…



A gift from Ralph for Valentine’s day.  The first two seasons of NYPD Blue…one of my favorite shows.  I’m a third of the way through Season 1.  That didn’t all happen during my sorting session, but I did watch four episodes.  A relatively boring job was made less so by something enjoyable to watch.

As I did last week, I think I’ll link this up with Snapshot Saturday hostessed by Melinda at West Metro Mommy.  Not great photography, but certainly a snapshot of my life right now.

Progress is good whether standing up or sitting down.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself!

Happy Friday!  Happy Snapshot Saturday!

WIAW~July 24~Losing Steam

Yes, Yes…I’m losing a bit of my steam in this sorting/tossing/packing ritual.  I’ve come a long way with a long way still to go.  I suppose I need a pause.  I do want to get a lot more accomplished before leaving for Maine next week, so I’d better put the kettle on to get some more steam!  It’ll be back.

But today is Wednesday and of course it’s time for What I Ate Wednesday hostessed by the lovely Jenn at Peas & Crayons. Be sure to check out what everyone will be posting there today.  Lots of fun food adventures.  Probably a lot more exciting than what we’re finding here.  But hey…I’ve been busy, but I’m not letting it keep me from participating.

Peas and Crayons

Saturday I felt like something different.  I’m not saying it was the healthiest thing, but this is what I wanted…


Eggplant parmesan sandwich.  this was delicious and since I’d already weighed in for the week at Weight Watchers, I decided to splurge!


I spent a lovely few hours with my sister Ele at Dunkin’ Donuts catching up.  Mine was an iced coffee with the mint chocolate chip syrup.  Yummy!   We had fun!

Sunday, Ralph and I headed out for lunch.  Sure seems like I never cook anymore…well that’s sort of true!


Started with a side salad and balsamic vinaigrette.


Then one of my favorites, a veggie cheese steak.  I almost forgot the photo.  I had already eaten my cole slaw and cut my sandwich when I remembered.  This was delicious as always, though a bit messy!

Ok, it was the weekend and I splurged again with ice cream.


Coffee on the bottom, chocolate on top.  I was really stuffed after this.  The sketch book of course is Ralph’s.  He rarely goes anywhere without something to draw on.

Finally, I actually cooked!  Well, about as close as I come to cooking these days.


A can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, canned white northern beans and couscous.  All topped with Romano cheese.  It was very tasty and kept me satisfied for the rest of the night.  I’ve been suffering from night-time snacking, but this kept me in line.

That’s about it for me for What I Ate Wednesday this week.  I’ve got lots of projects lined up.  I think talking about it has brought my steam back a bit.  I’m hoping to get back on track and pushing for the finish line.  If I only knew when the finish line was…I’d feel a lot better.  Regardless, I’ll get there!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

Week In Review~July 22

I couldn’t type the date for this week’s Week In Review without mentioning that it is my Grandmother’s Birthday.  Living in what was her house, I think of her and my Grandpop all the time.  But today…Happy Birthday, Gram!

Week In Review is hostessed by the lovely, the energetic, the veggie obsessed Meghan from Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  She is an amazing woman and a generally all around fun girl! Be sure to check out the other lovelies posting to WIR when you finish here!

Week In Review Button Final

There was a lot of work going on around here this week.  I’m pretty proud of what I accomplished.


Lots of work in the basement in preparation for Recycling Day on Tuesday.


Lots of recycling to set out.  This was what went out at my house.


My bin was almost too heavy for me to move by myself.  I did manage it of course along with about a two foo high pile of cardboard that wouldn’t fit in.  I also put out my friend’s bin, which she graciously allowed me to fill.  Her’s was filled to the brim with useless boxes which necessitated my extra pile.

After this I went to a dentist’s appointment for a cleaning.  Found out I have to go back today to have something fixed.  Not happy about that, but oh well.


Wednesday was my annual OB/GYN appointment.  Always a joy!  I survived and when I got home, I headed right back to my happy little dungeon, er…basement to keep working.


More basement time.  You’d think I’d be finished by now, but no…there’s LOTS more to keep me busy down there!


The long-awaited Trash day!  I didn’t share my recycling or trash accomplishments last week and I wish I had.  You’d be able to see exactly what I’m accomplishing here.  Trash…just for you!


Yup, all mine.  Doesn’t look like that much in this photo, but they were chock full and quite heavy.

Late morning we headed down to Ralph’s house to check the mail and in my mind I was going to sort, toss and pack.  There are a lot of things stored there from when we had to clear out and sell my ex-husband’s house.  It was a hard process and some things I couldn’t bring myself to part with at the time.  I’m over that now and I got to work.

There were about 8 bins/boxes I wanted to go through.  I had an idea what was in them, but I hadn’t really looked since 2009, so I was a little hazy on some things.  As has been my recent frame of mind, I headed into it being as unsentimental as possible.

Some things were just trash…old toaster, old printer, old VCR tapes of TV shows.  They went out to visit Mr. Trash Can.  Some things needed a little more thought.


The box on the right along with another that I forgot to put in the photo are going straight to the thrift store.  The one on the right has things that I think are a bit more valuable.  Those I need to photograph individually.  I know a lady in a nearby town who owns an antique shop.  I think she might be interested in some of them, so I’ll see how that works out.  That may not be accomplished until after my trip to Maine, but if I can work things out this week, it may happen before.  Either way, they are no longer going to be my responsibility.


One box…not even full is all that I’m keeping.  What I’m keeping is mostly things that are actually useful.  The process was tinged with sadness as this whole thing is, but I’m proud of myself.  The antique furniture that’s there will be going with us.  But there isn’t that much.

There’s one thing there that I have a really hard time parting with.  It came from the house where my ex-husband had lived with his parents in Lakewood, NJ.  It was a wonderful old house.  This hung over the door there.


When He and his Dad moved out of that house, I insisted that it needed to come.  I don’t really know why.  It’s not that big a piece and for some reason I just can’t toss it.  So for now, it is among my souvenirs and it will probably make the trip with us to NM.  I think it would look appropriate hanging on the wall there.  We’ll see what happens.

I left the house drenched (there is no air conditioning there) but very happy for my efforts.


As always, I was at Weight Watchers bright and early.  Not sure what to expect with all of my hap hazard eating during the week and all of the humidity.  I got a quarter pound loss for my efforts! I’m not really trying to lose but I guess this added activity is a plus.


Here I sit on Sunday morning.  My only specific plan for the day is to get together with my sister Ele when she’s finished with church.  I’m been working so hard on all of this stuff that she and I have not had the chance to get together.  We’re going for coffee…somewhere…not sure where just yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

The coming week promises to be just as busy as this one.  I’ll be gearing up for my trip to Maine.  There will not only be sorting and packing but there will be actual packing for my trip.  I’m trying an experiment where I take as little as possible, allowing me to take the smallest suitcase possible.  We’ll see how that works!

Don’t forget to check out the other WIR-ers over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets!

Happy Monday!

No Complaints

I woke up realizing that I had not scheduled a post for today.  I’ve been doing that so often that sometimes I forget that I’m supposed to be posting.  I haven’t been doing much cooking lately so there’s no Strange But Good to post about.

When I realized I had not written a post, the post that started to formulate in my brain was full of complaints.  It’s too hot (it’s only 76 degrees in Silver City…why are we in New Jersey?)  We’ve had too much rain.  Everything is damp from the humidity.  My poor air conditioner can’t compensate for these temperatures much longer.  I hate when I complain like that, and didn’t really want to, but it’s all been aggravating me so what the heck.

Then something came to me.  If you’ve been reading BCDC lately, you know I’m going through a purge.  Sorting and packing and cleaning out in an effort to sell this house and get to New Mexico.  I’ve been talking about the things I’ve found and the things I’ve chosen to give up as well as the trash I’ve been putting out.  Today is trash day and I’ve done very well, I might add.

But I thought I’d talk about a cool thing that I found in the basement.  I don’t know where it came from.  Was it mine or was it something left in the basement by Gram and Pop?  I think it’s something they left.

I should have taken a before picture, but I didn’t really expect the after to work out so well.  The before would have shown a completely dirty and grimy milk glass ( I think) bottle with a dreadfully corroded top.

The after…


A day’s soaking took care of the bottle.  I took a tooth-brush to it and got the dirt out of all the crevices.  The top was another story.  I was pretty sure it was unsalvagable.  I soaked it and it looked the same.  I used Soft Scrub and a tooth-brush and that barely touched the corrosion.  Then I thought…I have jewelry cleaner!  I let it soak for probably not even 2 minutes and it came up shiny and bright.  I was so excited!

I’m not sure what it was intended to be.  I actually think it’s a barber shop bottle that probably was used for talc or something like that.

I’m not sure what I’m going to use it for.  I was thinking of maybe putting cinnamon in it to keep on the table.  Regardless, I’ve decided it’s staying because it’s pretty and can actually be useful.  I’m just amazed that it worked out so well.

My projects continue and I’ll be updating more throughout the week.  I’m pretty excited at the moment.  I could complain, but why bother!

I decided this works as a Snapshot Saturday post even though it wasn’t originally intended that way.  Please check out the other photographers on West Metro Mommy.  Besides, I hate to miss out on Snapshot Saturday!

Happy Friday!/Happy Snapshot Saturday!

WIAW~Still Boxed In

I can’t believe that it’s already time for another What I Ate Wednesday!  This week has flown by and as you can see from my recent posts I’m in a bit of a whirlwind here.  The days have passed but I’ve been very productive so I’m happy with that.  I remain boxed in…meaning I’m still working among the boxes and general stuff around here.  The good news is, there are many fewer boxes than there were.  I would have accomplished more if I hadn’t had to clean up water from my leaking air conditioner, but more on that another time.

We’re here to talk about Food!  Thanks to Jenn at Peas & Crayons for as always being our gracious hostess for the Foodie Madness that is WIAW!  Be sure to visit there when you’re finished here.  There’s always something good to eat over there!

Peas and Crayons

Starting with breakfast…in fact this edition of WIAW is pretty breakfast-centric.  At least I’ve been eating breakfast, which I was ignoring for a while.


My recent and current favorite…bran flakes, Fiber One and soy milk.  This is delicious and keeps me satisfied for a long time.  Good thing in a breakfast!


A big salad in my Big Purple Bowl.  Black beans and couscous added to bulk it up.  I need to get back to making grains to add to my salads.  I always enjoy them that way.


Ok…so I didn’t really need to eat this.  French toast and scrambled eggs.  This was delicious and really too much for me to eat.  I did enjoy it and made the concession of having sugar-free syrup with it.  I don’t do this very often.

Another breakfast…


A little more appropriate.  I love ordering oatmeal out.  It just tastes better.  This was actually eaten because my stomach was kind of upset.  You see, I succumbed to pizza on Saturday night and suffered for it on Sunday morning.  Maybe the french toast was part of it too.  I should know better…I’ve been eating so healthy lately that things like pizza just don’t sit well.  I’ve learned my lesson!

Last but not least, back to a Big Purple Bowl salad again.


This time with home cooked pinto beans cooked in the crock pot.  Just love making beans this way.  So yummy.  I’ve even figured out how to reduce the amount of what I cook so I don’t run the risk of them going bad.  I hate to waste food…especially beans!  Also making an appearance here is a treasure found in the cupboard.  Clearing out is a good thing.  I found this great cup with a straw that I used to use when I was working.  Works great for my iced tea.  Less chance I’ll  knock it over and spill it…I’m a bit clumsy!

This post seems rather short this week, but in truth, I’ve got work to do.  As much as I love WIAW, I’ve got to get back to my projects.  I’m feeling so good about all that I’m accomplishing.  I’m going away in two weeks so I need to get as much done as possible.  Then when I’m away, it’s Ralph’s turn to work on projects!

Be sure to visit Peas & Crayons and check out the other bloggers linking up there.  There is quite a crew and remember we all love your comments, so leave a few!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

Week In Review~July 15

My Sunday morning tradition has become writing my Week In Review post.  It gives me a chance to review the week.  It also gives me a chance to realize what I really have accomplished throughout the week.  Be sure to check the other reviewers at Clean Eats, Fast Feets when you’re finished here.

Week In Review Button Final

I think it’s fairly obvious to anyone who’s been reading BCDC what this Week In Review will be talking about.

Sorting, packing and Boxes, Boxes, BOXES!!  Oh…tossing, trash and donations, too.

I’ve been working feverishly in my basement and in my upstairs catchall room to get  things sorted out, cleared out and out for good.  Good grief!  I’m using a lot of commas today.  It’s ok, I’m almost half way through July and I haven’t used my comma allotment yet.  Just kidding!

I talked earlier in the week about my progress in the basement and I’m continuing.  It turns out that along one wall there were loads of boxes that were empty.  A lot of them had gotten crumpled under other things.  Also a lot of them were really large boxes that were made for packing but were just too large.  If you pack them with the kind of things I need to pack, they get just Too heavy and are impossible to move.  I really have no idea where they came from, because I don’t think I used them for a previous move.  They got broken down and it’s amazing the room it created.

Under these boxes, I found all sorts of things that I didn’t remember I had.  I haven’t done this yet, but I’m going to go under the theory if I haven’t needed it or used it for a year, I don’t need it.  There may need to be some negotiations about some of these things, but I’ll do my best.

I was excited on Friday when the trash was picked up.  Both of my trash cans were full, plus I had other bags that wouldn’t fit. Now I can make More Trash!

I’m going to be additionally excited on Tuesday when the recycling is picked up.  My big blue bin is Filled and now my neighbor’s is almost filled as well!  I am a trash making machine!!

I’m feeling really good about all of this.  As I re-read this, it sounds like a fairly boring Week In Review.  I supposed I should have taken photos to prove what I’ve accomplished, but I’ve been concentrating on actually doing it.  I’ll try to take some photos this week to share my accomplishments.

I took Saturday as a rest day and didn’t work on anything.  Oh, I forgot, my Weight Watchers meeting found me losing three-quarters of a pound.  Another surprise.  I guess all of this activity is a positive thing in more ways than one.

Another Sunday when I’m not sure what I’ll be doing.  I’m thinking I should get down into the basement to get a jump on the new week and get some things accomplished.  We’ll see. Maybe I’ll just rest up.  You never know!

Be sure to visit Clean Eats, Fast Feets to check out the other bloggers who are joining in over there.

Happy Monday!

Snapshot Saturday~July 13

Snapshot Saturday is fun because it gives me a chance to share photos that don’ fit into other categories.  When you’re finished here, be sure to visit West Metro Mommy to see the fun photos being shared by the other linkers.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a photo of the St. Anthony statue in my back yard. I mentioned the fact that my sister, Ele and I used to joke about dressing up St. Anthony for various holidays.  We’ve never actually done that.

However, there is a place where an unlikely subject Does get dressed up for holidays and the passing seasons.

We go to our family doctor every few months for Ralph’s regular check up.  It’s always fun to go because we love our doctors and the ladies who work in the office.

There’s also another character that we like to see…



He does have a name but at the moment I cannot remember what it is.  He is appropriately dressed for each season and holiday.  Love his flowered swim pants!  Next time we see him he’ll probably dressed for Halloween. I’ll try to remember to take a shot!

Happy Snapshot Saturday!

Busted~Strange But Good

Ok, so he noticed.  Then he gave me the look and got huffy.  Then we got in the car and drove to his house (which we had already planned to do) to work on getting things ready to “move” there while we clean out this house before we move to New Mexico. (That’s a whole other story!)  He was huffy all the way there (at least a 30 minute ride.)

Are you following any of this?  I’m not sure I am. If not you’ll have to read my last few posts to catch up. So while we were there, I worked really hard and cleaned the kitchen to make it presentable.  Funny thing is…he didn’t mind me Moving anything there OR throwing out anything.  Well, actually…I don’t think he knew I threw things out…but that’s beside the point!  Shhh…

He was impressed with what I did with the kitchen and the fact that I made it look so homey.  He wasn’t huffy anymore.  I may have to kill myself.

But before I do that, I want to link up with Strange But Good hostessed by the lovely Laura at Sprint 2 The Table.  I missed it last week and I was sad.

Sprint 2 the Table


This was not all that strange, but plenty good.  Simple is probably a better term, but hey…I want to fit in.

Our niece, Marie had given me some zucchini and yellow squash fresh from her garden.   Being bare bones about food around here lately, again I went with what I had.  No onions, but I did have Garlic In A Jar.  I know purists are cringing, but I’m sorry.  I sautéed up the garlic and zucchini/squash added some black pepper and dried basil.  While they were cooking, I made some couscous spiced up with faux Mrs. Dash from Aldi.


Zucchini/squash over couscous topped with Romano cheese.  Yum, yum…simple but tasty just the way I like a dinner to be.  It was also ready in about 10 minutes.  Even better!

So today is Trash Day.  Need to get out all of the trash I’ve been making this week.  Hopefully, Ralph won’t wake up until it’s been picked up.  Then I have to retrieve my neighbor’s recycling bin because mine is now Overflowing!  What fun it is around here!

Happy Friday!

Do You Think He’ll Notice?

It took two days before he noticed, but Ralph has realized that I’ve now started to tackle his “stuff” in a place other than the basement.  I needed a little daylight so I started upstairs in the catchall room.

It usually helps when I find things that he’s been looking for. I didn’t find that many things other than Huge piles of artwork he had forgotten about.  I did clear a substantial path through and found out that my assumption was correct.  There wasn’t that much stuff.  There were a lot of boxes with a little stuff in each.  When they’re haphazardly placed, you can’t tell that and it looks like a huge project.  It’s not as monumental as the complaining that goes on around here would suggest.

I spent much of the time un-crinkling hundreds (I’m not kidding here) of drawings of Ralph’s.  I had to come up with a way to get them straightened out and in a system where they can eventually be sorted.  I’m not doing the sorting, just the preserving at the moment.  I’ve found several flat boxes (among all of the half full boxes…) where I can simply put the drawings in flat and that helps to keep them safe.  It really frustrates me that I treat his artwork gently and he doesn’t.

All that being said, I’ve accomplished a lot in the last few days.  I have a huge pile of empty boxes now and a lot of recycling to go out.  Why Did we have catalogs from 2006?!?!  I’m contemplating borrowing my friend’s recycling bin.  She lives a few houses down the street and is away at the moment.  I know that since the recycling doesn’t get picked up until Tuesday, my bin will prove insufficient.  It almost is already!!

I’m looking forward to trash day tomorrow.  I know that sounds Very strange but I am.  I have two full trash bins plus there are things in the basement too large for a bin and they need to go out too.

I’m feeling very good about this purge and I’m planning on continuing.  I hope to have a huge chunk of it completed before I go away at the end of July.  I’m feeling pretty good about the whole thing.  As long as Ralph doesn’t notice!!

Happy Thursday!