Monthly Archives: September 2013

Week In Review~September 30

I am still alive!  Although I’m getting to this a little late in the day for you East Coasters, I’m joining in on Week In Review hostessed by the ever-perky, ever-obsessive Megan from Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Check things out there when you’re finished here!

Week In Review Button Final

As it was last time, this will be a little disjointed but better than not joining in.

Our time in New Mexico is starting to feel very short. Two weeks from yesterday we will be leaving.  I can’t believe we’ve been here two weeks already.  It’s been wonderful and every day reinforces my need and desire to be here permanently.  That will be my immediate project when we get back to New Jersey.

Just a few quick tidbits from the past week.  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that we don’t have a lot of “real furniture” here.  That means we sleep on a blow up bed (actually one of the Most comfortable beds ever!) and we have lawn furniture for the living room.  That also is very nice and I plan to stick with that as our furniture here for the foreseeable future.  We won’t likely be bringing the living room furniture from NJ except for a few tables and my two Morris chairs.  This furniture works just fine.

However, our dining room was a big naked spot in the house.  Not so anymore.  We went to the Antique Mall in downtown Silver City last week.  It’s really a big second-hand store, but it has lots of wonderful treasures.  I walked in and saw this set almost immediately.  I asked if they would negotiate on the price and the man I was talking to happened to be the owner of the set in question.  I negotiated (Ralph both liked the set and was proud of my negotiating skills.) I even got him to deliver it!

Dining Room set


I think it’s wonderful and so does Ralph.  I’m so excited.  I paid a little more than I might have liked, but I think it’s worth it.  We don’t have a dining room in NJ so I would have to find something anyway.  This is just what I was looking for!

We had our first overnight guest here at the house.  Our friend Leigh, who is the lady who sold us our land out in the hills was in town.  She had to take a long ride down to Las Cruces and was a little anxious about driving over the bad roads out to her house in the dark.  We met her, took her to dinner, then she came back to spend the night.  She had her guitar with her and well…


A little serenade never hurts!  It was great fun to have her here and have the opportunity to show her the house.

We’re really just spending our time getting things done around the house.  We needed roof repairs and lucky us, our neighbor is a professional roofer.  He fixed what was necessary in under an hour, including fixing the garage roof.  What luck for us!

We get to wake up to this every morning…

Kneeling Nun


The Kneeling Nun mountain.  Interestingly, from our land out in the hills, we see the Kneeling Nun from the opposite side.  Pretty cool!!

That’s it for me this week.  I’m feeling very blessed to be spending time in such a beautiful place.  Be sure to check out the other Week In Reviewers over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  We all love to hear your comments.

Happy Monday!


Snapshot Saturday~September 28

Another Snapshot Saturday!  I love being part of this group of great people who share their photos and their lives with us.  Thanks to Melinda at West Metro Mommy for being our lovely hostess!

Art is everywhere in Silver City.  There are more art galleries than there are restaurants, it seems.  There is even a Children’s Art Project.  One of their projects was making tiles.  These tiles line steps in several areas of Old Town Silver City.  I have my favorite.

Silver City Tile



Be sure to check out what the other photo offerings are at West Metro Mommy.  You’ll love what you find there!

Happy Snapshot Saturday!

Too Much Fun

We are having too much fun here in New Mexico for me to concentrate on posting.  That sounds terrible and believe me, there’s not a thought in my head about not blogging for real.  It’s just that right now, I don’t feel like devoting the time to it very often.  Once we’re living here permanently, I don’t think I’ll have the problem but on this trip, we’re doing so much around the house and trying to spend time with our friends (when we’re not avoiding them to keep from spreading our colds) and I’m just having trouble settling down to post.

So, that confession out of the way, I’ll move on.  I’ll keep all of the important updates for Monday’s Week In Review.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday I’ll be attending sessions of the Southwest Festival of the Written Word which is being held right here in Silver City.  It’s the first year for it and I’m very excited.  It’s all free and there are many different talks and panels by published authors.  There is a workshop on Memoir Writing that does charge a fee but it was filled by the time I heard about it.  I was very disappointed but I know I’ll enjoy the other sessions anyway.  Just thinking about going has inspired me to write some poetry.  I need a nudge now and then!  I’m sure I’ll have a lot to share after all of that!

As I’ve said, the sunrises and sunsets have not been quite what we’re used to during our visits here.  I have one that I like.

Sunset over Bear Mountain


I love the glow of color over the mountain. The skies here are incredible.

That’s all for me today.  I hope to be posting a little more regularly but the beauty here is distracting.  I Love being distracted!

Happy Thursday!!

Week in Review~September 23

I’m back, with a probably shortened version of Week In Review, but nevertheless, I’m Here! Be sure to check out the link up at Clean Eats, Fast Feets to watch Meghan do it the Real Way!!

I’ll back  up a bit to say that last weekend, Ralph and I were in Nashville for his Army reunion.  It’s always a wonderful event and we spend as much time as possible with all of our friends since we only see them once a year.  I’m very remiss in that I didn’t get any great candid group shots as I usually do.  You’ll have to take my word for it that we were blessed with the presence of many of our friends and there were some late hours in order to not part ways.  We had a great time.

I had a bit of a reunion or a first meeting I suppose with a blog friend.  Can’t remember when first read  Allie’s blog, Forgotten Beast, but it think we were friends from the start.  When I found out last year that we were going to be in Nashville, I let her know right away.  A year of planning (well, truly about a week of planning) and we got the chance to meet.  Ralph and I met her for lunch at a great vegan restaurant called The Wild Cow.  We then went for gelato at Jenis next door.

Allie and Me


The scene of the crime! We had the best time talking and getting to know each other better.  So glad we had the chance.

After Nashville, we had a very smooth 2 day ride to New Mexico.  Everything fell into place on the road, great motel over night and a great restaurant that made me happy by serving breakfast anytime.  It was one of the best ever, but duh…I forgot a photo.  Maybe we’ll stop there on the way back to NJ.

Since getting here, we’ve been spending time doing things around the house ( a lot happens in a year’s absence) but we’ve made some good connections and we can get things done.

We’ve been seeing our NM friends and just relaxing overall.  We only get 2 channels here so there isn’t a lot of TV watching going on.  Ralph and I are both doing a lot of reading.  I like it.

We got our first chance to visit the Silver City Farmer’s Market.  We got there rather late in the day but I was still able to get some things.

Farmer's Market Veggies


The veggie on the upper left is actually a cucumber…never saw one like that before.  Can’t wait to try it.  The lower left is an heirloom tomato but sadly I can’t remember the name.  I’ll write things down next week.

Also found some locally grown honeydew…



These are sweet beauties but I sustained an injury during the cutting process which is one of the reasons this will be a short post.  Tough to type with a big bandage on your finger.  But I can work around it.

Much more has been going on, and I’m sure I’ll be able to give a fuller accounting of myself next week.  I’ll just suffice it to say that we’re happy to be here and having a great time.

Be sure to check out the other linkers over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets to see their Weeks In Review.  It’s always lots of fun!

Happy Monday!

Zoned in Another Time Zone

Good morning, or is it night-time?  My body is off track time wise.  My computer is telling me that it’s 8 am.  Of course, my computer is on New Jersey time.  The clock on the wall says 6 am.  I’ve been awake since 4 am according to my watch which is on New Mexico time, but that makes it 6 am to my body.  Ok, so I should be over this by now, but it doesn’t really bother me.  My sleeping was off track before we left and I don’t care what time it is or that my body Thinks it is…I’m in New Mexico!!

We’re doing a lot of settling in and getting things where we want them to be, but sadly it will have to be packed up again when we leave in October, but I’ll deal with that then.  We’re making arrangements for some repairs we need to have done.  We’ll also be looking for some furniture…thrift stores, here we come!

Oh, yes…and we’re looking at the sky.  I have so many beautiful sky photos already and we haven’t even been here a week.  That’s why I’m going to be linking this post to Snapshot Saturday hostessed by Melinda at West Metro Mommy.  I’ve missed it a few weeks now and I’m not happy about that.  Be sure to check the blogs linking up.  I love the photos that I find there!

Usually, I’m photographing the sunrises and sunsets when I’m here.  Because of the odd weather they’re having in NM this year, so far the sunrise/sunset hasn’t been up to the usual standards.  But the clouds…

Clouds No. 3


Clouds No.1


Clouds No,2


They’re all pretty amazing.  Ralph and I look like a couple of tourists…our phones or our cameras always clicking away.  On our trips here, we’ve often asked ourselves if we will become jaded once we live here.  Will we stop seeing the beauty of the land and the skies?  I don’t really think we will.  I think it will be a lifetime photo-op!!

Happy Friday and Happy Snapshot Saturday!!


It seems like I’ve been talking and ok, whining about this trip for a long time. It has been great so far.  Ralph’s Army reunion in Nashville was wonderful.  We got to see a lot of old friends and make some new ones.  I’m dealing with a space issue on photos at the moment and when I get it worked out, I’ll show some photos from the reunion.  I had a great deal of luck getting food I could eat and all in all it was a great experience.

Our road trip to Nashville was good, although we did hit four severe thunderstorms between Cincinnati and Nashville.  The kind where you can’t see beyond the hood of the car.  Scary. I always want to pull over but Ralph always forges on.  We came through it safely though.

Our trip to New Mexico was smooth, an overnight in Oklahoma and then straight on to Silver City.  We arrived at about 10:30 pm on Monday which was wonderful.  We’re used to getting in at about 4 am so this was a treat.  Actually had the chance to pick up a few things we’d need for morning and then settle in for a good night’s sleep.

After one full day here, I’m still trying to get my brain wrapped around the fact that I’m here and I will be here for a month.  I’m pretty excited, but still catching up on things.  I got some cleaning done yesterday and more to do today.  I always have to sweep up all of the “enchantment” that filters into the house while we’re gone, not to mention all of the dead spiders! We had a little issue with the hot water heater, it didn’t want to cooperate, probably because it hadn’t been lit for a while.  We called for repair yesterday, but Ralph was told they wouldn’t get here until today.  He went out later and tried it and it worked! So I’m desperately in need of a shower as I type this.  That’s next on my agenda.

Ralph picked up a cold on the way here and was kind enough to share it with me. He seems to be coming out of it and I’m feeling better too.  I made some of the magic elixir that helped us last winter-lemon, fresh ginger and honey mixed together and allowed to sit for a while.  Then put it in tea.  I brewed a pot for us last night and it really does the trick. I feel much better this morning.

I wanted to share a photo from the drive in that is one of the things that always amazes us about New Mexico.

New Mexico Sky


These beautiful clouds and skies are unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Walmart sky


They even make Walmart look better!  Spent a good long while there yesterday afternoon and stocked us up with everything we need for a while.  People are so friendly here.  I had a nice long chat with my check out lady about produce.  She’s from California and says that the produce is the only thing she misses…it’s so much less expensive there.  I told her that the produce is probably the only thing I’ll miss about New Jersey when we finally move here.  But I’ll take more expensive produce to live here.

I’ve got beans cooking in the crock pot, so I’m feeling quite at home.  Better get the day started and oh, yes…Can’t wait for that shower!

Happy Friday!!

Week In Review~September 9

It’s time for the Week In Review and I’m freaking out.  My mind is more on the coming week than the past week, but I can adjust.  I have at least a week’s worth of things to do and I only have two days to do it in…I can do this.  If I keep telling myself this it will happen, right?!

Week in Review is hostessed by the lovely Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Be sure to check out the other linkers when you’re finished here!

Week In Review Button Final

Where to begin…I’ll start with the most important thing.


I mentioned on Friday that Ralph had a heart catheterization on Tuesday.  I think we were both more anxious about the whole thing than we wanted to let each other know.  When he was in the recovery area and the doctor came in, reviewed the procedure with us and said that everything was Ok, we looked at each other and confessed.  We were both frightened and worried.  I kissed him on the forehead, he promptly fell asleep for an hour and a half and I sat down to read.  Everything was as it should be.  I really can’t say enough good things about his team of doctors and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, NJ.  He was there for his first procedure in 1997 and things have changed but only for the better.  Everything was great back then, but things have only improved.  They work like a well oiled machine there.  A very good experience.


Ok, so I’m behind in spite of all my lists and planning.  Well, I’m not that far behind but Ralph is.  He has a good reason but he insists on packing for himself and doesn’t like me to help.  Then of course there’s the issue of things that are lost that must be found.  Prior to every trip there’s something important that’s lost and can’t be found.  I should start a week prior and be sure that I know where these things are.  It’s always the same things.  I’m working hard to be patient.  I should be able to finish up most of what I need to do today (Sunday) and be ready to help Ralph as best I can.  We pick up the car Monday morning and then I can start packing.  I wish I could be packing a mini-van, but I’ll be packing a mid-size.  Our car is always chock full of stuff on one of these trips.  At least we never have to worry about picking up hitch-hikers!


Ralph’s semi-monthly family lunch was on Wednesday. Of course he couldn’t go so I went in his place.  It was very nice as always but everyone missed him.  Ralph’s sister Maddie just wanted to see him before we left on our trip so that she could see that he was alright.  We met Maddie, her husband George and Aunt Marie for dinner at a local diner on Saturday night.

Metro Diner with family

Maddie, Ralph, Aunt Marie and Me.

Maddie and Ralph

Maddie and Ralph.  I love this picture.  They’re so close.  It’s wonderful.


The next week is going to be crazy.  We hope to leave on Tuesday and arrive in Nashville on Wednesday. This will very likely be my last post for the rest of the week.  I don’t like doing that but, I think it only makes sense.  I will still be posting on Instagram (as fabstiles) and Twitter (as BCDCFran) I think I can actually do posts from my smarter than me phone.  I’m going to try that, but if you see something “odd” posted here, you’ll know it’s me struggling with the phone.

That’s Week In Review for me.  The next Monday we’ll be on the road again on the way to New Mexico.  I’m not excited about that at all!!!!! But again, I’ll try to post something along the way.  Stick with me, Cookies! I’ll be back to you soon!

Happy Monday!

Strange But Good~September 6

I didn’t get to play along with Strange But Good last week and I missed it.  Laura at Sprint 2 The Table is the Queen of Strange…in a good way of course and I love to be part of the Strangeness. So here goes!

Sprint 2 the Table


Much strangeness is going on around here in general.  I’ve been scurrying around trying to get ready for our big trip coming up next week (YIKES!!!) and feeling behind.  Then after Ralph’s doctor visit last week he was scheduled for heart catheterization on Tuesday.  He had it before 17 years ago and had stent placement at that time also.  Things have really changed.  The procedure is so much quicker and recovery is easier now as well.  The good news is that the tests that had concerned the doctor seemed to be false positives.  He did not need another stent and all is well.  We’re so grateful for that and grateful for his incredible team of cardiologists.  He’s resting for a few days.  I breathed a really big sigh of relief when it was all over and we had the doctor’s report.

Plumbing issues started on Monday but thank goodness we were able to get them taken care of on Wednesday.  Frustrating and annoying.  That’s all I can say.  But packing needs to get started and that’s going to be my focus today.  Laundry to do (two-step process because of the broken dryer…), suitcases to find, and on and on. It will get done!

But I think we’re supposed to be here for Strange But Good!  A few weeks ago my Weight Watcher leader, Mary Lou talked about a bean dip she’d heard about from another member.  Black Bean Dip from Wegmans.  Alice and I went on an adventure to find it which is another tale altogether!



A quarter cup of it counts as 0 Points!  Sounds good to me!  It’s very tasty and I can think of lots of ways to use it.  But considering fridge issues and trying to get rid of things before the trip, I didn’t have much left to work with.  I did have liquid egg substitute and liquid egg whites.  Mixed a half cup of each together which counts for 3 Points on WW. Cooked them up like an omelette and when it was cooked, put a piece of American cheese on top to melt.


Sprinkled a bit of Romano cheese on top and called it dinner.  The bean dip is only a little spicy and very flavorful. This was a great combination and very filling too.  In fact, I’ve had it several times since then.  It probably qualifies for Couldn’t Be Quicker because it doesn’t take more than about 10 minutes to put together.

That’s it for me for Strange But Good today.  I’ve got to get to those lists plus a lot of things that aren’t On the lists!! Be sure to check out the other Strange people over at Sprint 2 The Table.

Happy Friday!!

WIAW~Back to NJ Life

I’m back from Maine and finished talking about what I ate there.  Well, in truth there were so many good things that I still keep talking about them, just not here!  It is of course time for What I Ate Wednesday hostessed by the lovely Jenn at Peas & Crayons.  I’m actually wondering what’s up with her…there should be a baby on the way and I’m just wondering….

I’m forging ahead as though there will be a WIAW, because after all…there’s Always a WIAW!

Peas and Crayons

I’m still a bit confused since coming home from Maine.  I have food photos but almost No clue what day they’re from so I’m just going to share.  I was attempting to get back on track with cooking and eating but of course, life gets in the way and that doesn’t always happen.



Nothing gets me back on track better than a salad in my Big Purple Bowl…this one with veggie burgers and balsamic vinegar.  Homemade iced tea on the side.



A trip to the diner?  That sounds like home.  My favorite choice there is an egg white omelette with spinach and mushroom with sliced tomatoes on the side.  This is the time of year to ask for the tomatoes.  So good!



Pinto beans in the crock pot…one of my faves!  So many things to do with them.



However they always seem to end up in a salad in the BPB!!  Happy me when I eat this!



A veggie burger at the diner with provolone cheese.  So good, since I hadn’t had one in a while.



A visit to the China House?  Ok, by me!  Veggie delite is Mine! A little Instagram on the side.

Salad with lentil rice salad

Yummy lunch at my sister Ele’s on Labor Day.  My salad plus her lentil rice salad.  Plus a dressing I hadn’t tried before…sun dried tomato.  So Good!

Pumpkin ice cream


Couldn’t end the holiday or the summer without some ice cream.  This is my new favorite and it’s sad that I know the shop will be closing soon.  Several reasons to be sad but this is Pumpkin Ice Cream!!! This is So good.  This is the second time I’ve had it and I need to go again before they close…for one…last…cup…

So that’s What I Ate Wednesday for me this week.  This is truly a crazed week with getting ready for our trip (See Monday’s Week In Review) so I’d better get on to all those lists! Be sure to visit Peas & Crayons to see what all the other fun bloggers are serving up and leave some comments.

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

Week In Review~September 2

Happy September!! For me…It’s Officially Fall!!  I apologize if some of you are not ready to let Summer go but…to me, It’s FALL!!  Do I sound excited?  I am!!

Time for Week In Review.  When I went over to Clean Eats, Fast Feets to grab the link, I realized that Meghan had announced that it wouldn’t be until Tuesday.  Well, due to the week ahead…I’m writing it for Monday and I’ll link up on Tuesday.  I realize that some people probably want to have Labor Day off, but since I’m writing this on Sunday…doesn’t matter.  I’ll link up whenever I need to.  I just want to be invited to the party!

Week In Review Button Final

It’s been a Busy Week!


Monday I had a dentist appointment.  I had a cavity in one of my wisdom teeth!  Now, come on guys…I’ve made it this long in my life with all of my wisdom teeth in tact and now I get a cavity in one?!?!  Due to the nature of where the tooth is…We all know where are wisdom teeth are right?  Way in the back, there is of lot of “Open Wide!”  My dentist is wonderful, don’t really feel a thing, still hate the drilling sound.  But having my jaw open that wide for that long left me with quite an ache in my jaw for a couple of days.  It’s better now so I’ll stop complaining.

Tuesday had us at Ralph’s routine cardiologist appointment.  We love his doctor and don’t mind when we have to visit. Things are under control there.

For a couple of reasons, I took my car to the mechanic to see if he could work on the air conditioning.  End of August and you do this?  Well, yes.  Thought it would be Ok with a little freon.  No such luck…needed a new compressor, but the good news was that it cost less than he originally quoted me.  I’ve only recently started using this mechanic and he is a jewel!


I feel like a slug because I haven’t gotten much accomplished in the way of projects.  I do have a few donation boxes I need to get over to thrift shop in the coming week, just so I know they are no longer mine to worry about!  I had hoped to hear from one of the antique shops regarding the photos I’d sent of things for sale but not yet.  I’m going to shelf that in the back of my mind and try not to think about it right now.  I need to focus on getting ready for The Trip!


Yes, there are lists.  Lists don’t seem to work as well as I’d like them to in regular life, but when it comes to getting ready for one of our cross country jaunts, they are an amazing help.  I have five separate lists…so far.

Travel lists No. 1


There may be more.  So far I have General, Personal Things, Household Items, Food to Bring With Us and Food To Buy once we’re there.  Yes I have a shopping list for when we get there. I’ve been stocking up on non perishable things in order to spread out the cost and have some of the shopping out of the way.

Travel lists No. 2


I did this because I know when I get there, I’m going to be drive-lagged…that’s like jet lagged only after a long car trip.  As I plan things in my head, I know what I’ll need to buy.  If I wait until I get there, I’ll be too foggy to think of what I need to buy.  I hate to make repeated trips to get supplies when one trip will do it until we need to replenish.  I didn’t do this for the last trip and I found myself scurrying around to get what I needed.  I like this idea and I think this will make the Queen of Lists (Meghan@Clean Eats, Fast Feets) Very happy!


Saturday at Weight Watchers, the inevitable happened.  I had a gain.  My eating had been a bit disjointed during the past week so I wasn’t too surprised.  I’m still 15 pounds under goal so I’m not worrying.  I’ll get back on track.  Unrelated to the weight gain, I just feel better when I’m eating according to my routine.

Saturday was also a tradition in our family…The Rock A Hula party. We all dress up in our Hawaiian shirts and celebrate Elvis and Cheryl, our beloved friend who was a huge Elvis fan.  Along with Carrie, the hostess, we figured out that we’ve been doing the party for 8 years.  Pretty cool!

There is a LOT to do around here in the next week or so. I’d better end my review and get myself in gear doing what needs doing!

Be sure to check out Week In Review on Clean Eats, Fast Feets tomorrow.

Happy Monday!