Monthly Archives: November 2013

Saturday Snapshot~November 30

I have been missing in action for most of this week. Life has been very busy but very productive.  I’m tired out from all of this, but happy nonetheless.

I couldn’t miss out on Snapshot Saturday though.  When you’re finished here, be sure to stop by at West Metro Mommy Reads to catch all of the other great photography that you’ll find there.


I haven’t been taking many photos lately but I did have the chance to capture this sunset.  It was the most unique combination of colors.



I wasn’t sure it would translate into a photo but I think it turned out pretty well.

This post is really on the fly today but I didn’t want to miss the chance to join in.  Be sure to check out the other great photographers at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Happy Saturday!!

Week In Review~November 25

Week In Review is such fun for me, even though I don’t think I’ve written one post in the same format but I don’t care! Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets who dreamed up this weekly “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” game, has enough format for all of us.  She’s orderly and focused and list-driven and I want to be her when I grow up. However, I’m armed with hot coffee and I’m ready to get started!

This past week tended to be frustrating for me. I felt like I was waiting for a street car all week.  That’s a really OLD reference, but that’s what you get.  I’ll get to that in a minute.

Monday and Tuesday there seemed to be a lot of spinning of my wheels.  I got a few things accomplished.  I was able to get through the final bin of clothes in the bedroom that I needed to purge.  I got about another bag three-quarters full to send off to the thrift store. Did a bit of move around in the basement and I can’t believe it, but I’m still catching up on laundry from when the dryer was broken.

We had a lovely lunch on Wednesday with our friends Leo and Helen.  Ralph and Leo made their First Communions together when they were five years old.  Yes, they’ve been friends that long.  We had a great time.  We picked a good time to meet, 1:30.  It was after the lunch rush and there was really only one other table in the dining room that had customers so we didn’t feel so bad sitting there for 3 hours!! It was terrific and we hope to do it again soon.

Now to the hurry up and wait part.  Since Last Sunday, Ralph has been saying he was going down to his house to work on things.  We’ve got both houses to clean out and get ready for sale.  I’ve done all the work I can down there, because there wasn’t a lot of my stuff there.  I cleared out the majority, much of it going in the trash.  The only thing left of mine is furniture all ear marked for either sale or transport to New Mexico when the time comes.

He finally left This Saturday while I was at Weight Watchers.  By the way I gained a half pound, but I’m not worrying about it.  I’m feeling so comfortable at this weight, all I really need to do is track and do all the things I always do.  I was more conscious of getting exercise in this week which I was happy about.

I got home from Weight Watchers and dove in.  In the comments from my post on Thursday, Megan gave me kudos for showing my pile of empty boxes on the porch.  I appreciate that.  It’s bigger now because I stormed the living room, ok, it has become more like a storage area, like Sherman’s March to the Sea.  Ok, again with an old reference, but hey, when you live with a Civil War buff, that’s what you get.

I wish I were brave enough to post before and after pictures.  I’m not.  I’m going to take a picture to show my best friend, Gail so that she can appreciate what I’ve accomplished.  I should have taken a before picture but forgot.  I was able to fill four kitchen trash can sized bags with recycling.  Those actually went over to Gail’s house so that Ralph wouldn’t see it all.  A little subterfuge is a good thing sometimes.  I have another section that needs to be sorted, but hey, I’m getting there.  I now have a bigger supply of boxes to pack things into.

Sadly, while vacuuming the floor I ended up breaking a lamp.  The cord I had the vacuum plugged into pulled the lamp off the bookcase.  I think Ralph can fix it.  I had bought the lamp for him. I hope he can fix it because it was one that we wanted to take to NM with us.

I found some things that Ralph was looking for which always soothes the pain when I go through things he says not to.  I even made room so that we can put up the Christmas tree.  That made me especially happy.

On the food front, I made steel-cut oats in the crock pot overnight.  They are my reward for finishing my post.  A bit jumbled? Yes, but that’s my life these days.  But things are looking up and I can feel the warm sun of New Mexico beckoning me onward.  Although most of the weekend, the temperatures in NM and NJ were pretty much the same, I know that it wouldn’t be damp out there and the sun would just make it warmer.

Now, you’re all sworn to secrecy about what I’ve said here today.  No one reads this anyway (tee hee).  Be sure to check out the other reviewers over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.

Happy Monday! Get out of my way I have work to do!!!

Saturday Snapshot~November 23

I’m always happy to join in for Snapshot Saturday, hostessed by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.  Such a great group of bloggers gather there every week.  They all seem to have quite a knack with photography as well.  Be sure to check them out when you’re finished here.



Most of the trees in our area have lost their leaves.  In fact, the young man who takes care of our yard work needs did a Homeric job of raking all of them in our yard.  I don’t know how he does it, he’s in college and works another job, but he never forgets us.  Great kid.  I should go take a photo of all the leaves in the gutter. I may do that.

But instead of showing you the piles of leaves, I’m going to share a beautiful sky from this past week.  In the yard next to us, there are three huge maple trees.  I’ve shown them before in their Autumn glory.  One day earlier this week, there was an amazing sky and although the trees now have just a few leaves left, the view was intense and beautiful.

Fall Sky


The sky was incredibly blue with a base of white clouds topped by splashes of grey clouds.  It looked like a painting.  I was happy that this seemed to translate well into my photo.

Autumn is beautiful from start to finish.  My favorite season.  I love it every time.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers over at West Metro Mommy Reads.  I know you’ll like what you find.

Happy Snapshot Saturday!

Fifty Years

I wasn’t going to post today but then I remembered~November 22.

Fifty years ago today, November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  We all know that.  I thought I’d share a few memories from that day and that weekend.

I was in seventh grade.  I even remember what I was wearing that day-a blue and white seersucker suit.  Sounds a little summery for November now that I think about it, but that was my outfit that day.

I remember there being an announcement that we were being sent home early. I don’t actually remember if they told us why.  I should have checked with Gail to see what she remembers.  But as I said, I wasn’t planning to write this.

We went home and then I were glued to the TV for the rest of the day.  Being the news junkie that I have always been, I was especially glued.  I was very upset when I remembered that the next day, Saturday we would be going to New York City.  My father was an avid stamp collector and we were going for a stamp convention.  But I wanted to be in front of the TV.

We did go to NYC and the day started with terrible rain storms and by the time we got to the convention center, we were all soaked.  I remember that my Mother’s velvet had gotten ruined.  She wasn’t happy.  Of course, the main topic of conversation in the convention center was the assassination.  I remember being shocked that there were so many people there in spite of what had happened.  I thought they would all be like me, longing to be in front of the television.

Eventually, my Dad had enough of the convention and the heat and damp of so many people drenched from the rain.  Amazingly, by the time we headed out into the city, the rain had stopped and I think I remember that the sun had begun to shine.

We walked and walked.  I’m sure we stopped and ate something.  I remember that by now my Mom was laughing and making fun of her terribly misshapen hat.  I think my sister and I took turns trying it on and making funny faces.  I probably spilled my milk.

As we walked through the city, there were many shocked and saddened faces.  We eventually found ourselves in Washington Square walking through the arch and looking for a park bench where we could take a rest.

This is where something really interesting happened.  In truth, I’m not sure if it happened or if it’s something I made up in my imagination.  While we were looking for a bench, we came upon a black man sitting on a bench.  We were settling ourselves on the bench when he apologized because he had been drinking and was still somewhat hung over.  He introduced himself and  told us he was a singer performing in the city and that when he heard the news about the President, all he could do to comfort himself was to drink.  We talked with him for quite a while.  I am not sure to this day and when I’ve discussed this with my sister, Ele, she’s not sure either but she doesn’t think I’m wrong.  I think the man was Richie Havens.

We finished off the day in New York, made our way back to our bus and then home.  The rest of the weekend found me glued to the TV and radio watching and listening.  I remember that when the newscasters ran out of things to say they broadcast musicians playing classical music.  That would never happen today.  They would never stop talking if it happened today.

I remember watching Oswald being shot on live television.  I remember the lines of thousands of people filing silently through the Capital rotunda all throughout the night.  Then the funeral; Tall Charles De Gaulle walking next to tiny Haile Selassie both regal in their uniforms with all their medals.  I remember the children and the brave Mrs. Kennedy all in black with the huge veil covering her face.  Better than the pink suit.  I will never forget the pink suit.

After all these years, I remain fascinated with the assassination and all of its details.  So many sides to the story, so many theories.  I’m sure if you were alive when it happened, you all have your individual memories. I know we’ll hear them on TV and on the internet today.  There are still some people alive who were actually there.  I like to hear their memories.

This is my memory.

How Can It Be Thursday?

I do feel as if I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon a bit in recent weeks.  I just realized that I’ve missed two What I Ate Wednesdays in a row.  Not good. I realized that yesterday and dutifully took a picture of my lunch when we went out.  Of course, I’m saving it for next week!

I’ve had my head in a box, or a bag or under a rock for quite a while now.  For a couple of reasons, my progress has slowed, but I am NOT giving up.  I had been going full force for several weeks and I suppose I needed this break.  I’ve done some smaller projects and to his credit, Ralph has gotten some things done which I appreciate.

I was proud of myself that on Monday the recycling went out with my big Yard Sale signs that I’ve had for quite a few years.



You may remember them from this summer’s yard sale.  I’ve decided…No more yard sales for me.  I did a lot of work for very little return and I figured if there will be no more sales, I don’t need them anymore.  Even they were hard to part with because Ralph had made them for me, but what did I need them for now?  I was surprised what was behind them when I moved them…a Lot of stuff I can get rid of!  Love it!

I’ve decided that when the time comes that we’re ready to leave the house, I’m going to use a friend’s suggestion.  An ad on Craigslist that says For Sale…Contents of House.  Whatever is left that I don’t want, will be for sale.  If it doesn’t go, I make a call to the thrift store where I’ve been donating everything.  They even pick up!  I love it.

Just to give you an idea of how things are going…this is what my poor porch looks like after all of my foraging.



I haven’t been neat about it, I just need to get them out of my way.  The boxes in the back corner are all packed. In fact they are some of the boxes I went through last week to weed out books.  Those are ready to Go when we go. These in the front will be re-packed with things to go with us.

Funny thing is, I was feeling I was heading for a slump but now that I talk about it, I’m feeling much better.  Every day…If I just keep working at it every day…I’ll get there.

Happy Thursday!

Week In Review~November 18

It seems like I just wrote a Week In Review post but here it is time to write another.  I had been writing them on Sunday which allowed me to be all ready for Monday, but I’ve been slipping.  Here I am scrambling Monday morning to do it.  I guess that helps me to land on my feet and get the new week started off right.  Be sure to check out the other WIR gang over at Meghan’s Clean Eats, Fast Feets.

My Week In Review posts are starting to be a bit boring lately.  They seem to sound the same every week.  I go through boxes, I sort the boxes, I take things to the thrift store and the library.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I got through 10 boxes.  Where exactly were all of these boxes?  Around.  I’m feeling like I’m accomplishing so much and I’m feeling really good about all of this.  Do I have more to do? Oh, Yes…but I’ve put a dent in it.

I’m feeling so good about letting go of all of these things that I don’t need and won’t likely ever use again.  It is amazing the things you accumulate.  I’m hoping to not let this happen again.  Stream line and simplify is my plan.

Had to take my car to the mechanic again.  Steering fluid reservoir had a crack and therefore a leak. He took care of it and it’s working well again.

Wednesday we went out to lunch to celebrate my best friend Gail’s birthday.  It was lots of fun.  Didn’t let the buffet scare me.  It helped that Gail, Alice, Margot and I are all on Weight Watchers.  There was strength in numbers.  We all did pretty well until it came to the ice cream.  Oh, well, a little splurge is good for the soul.

Friday I FINALLY got my dryer fixed.  It really is the little things in life that make you feel good.  I spent Friday and most of Saturday doing laundry.  I felt like a queen.

Saturday at Weight Watchers brought me good news.  I lost 1.5 (in spite of the ice cream!) I was pretty happy and hope to keep that going.  I took 6 pairs of pants over to Gail.  They’re all pants that don’t fit me anymore and that she’ll be able to fit into soon.  I’m really excited for all the She and Alice have accomplished.  Gail almost 75 pounds and Alice 120 pounds.  Wow!

Sunday I went out for coffee with my sister, Ele which was very nice.  Making plans for Thanksgiving. We’ll be a small group this year so things will be more relaxed.  I like that idea.

That’s last week and it’s time to get this week started.  I’ve got a couple of different game plans for the coming week.  Which plan I go with will depend on a few things. We’ll see how it goes. This was not my best or most detailed Week In Review, but hey…I showed up for the party! Be sure to see what the other Reviewers have to say over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.

Happy Monday!

Snapshot Saturday~November 16

I’ve been enjoying the Fall a great deal.  The colors have been so spectacular, but I haven’t been capturing a lot in photos. But it’s Snapshot Saturday so I’m sharing something that I thought was unique.  Snapshot Saturday is hostessed by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.  Be sure to check out the other great photography you’ll find there.



Friday morning as the sun rose, the sky was streaked with pink.  That pink worked it’s magic on the trees outside my kitchen window and especially the leaves that had fallen beneath those trees.  It was an amazing combination of colors.  Unfortunately, it didn’t translate as well as I would have liked in my photo.  I think it’s still beautiful.

Trees and leaves

It’s not as vibrant as it looked to me in person.  Maybe my eyes were playing tricks and it looked different to me.  Perhaps it’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I think in this case, it might have been.

Don’t forget to check out the other photographers at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Happy Snapshot Saturday!

Strange But Good~Lentils and Sweet Potato

I haven’t had the chance to participate in Strange But Good lately and I’ve missed it! Sponsored by Laura at Sprint 2 The Table, Strange But Good is great fun and I feel I fit right in with the other strange eaters you’ll find there.  It’s nice to know I’m among friends!

Sprint 2 the Table

I am a great fan of quick and easy.  When I can’t have quick, I’ll take easy. Part of this is quick, both parts easy.  In spite of the crock pot time, I think this still qualifies for Couldn’t Be Quicker.

We had come home from an appointment and I had lots of projects to work on.  I started by making a crock pot of lentils.

Lentils in crock pot

I chop an onion, any size will do.  I add probably 2-3 teaspoons of chopped garlic from a jar.  I then add one cup of rinsed lentils.  I cover with water to about 2 inches above the lentils.  This is my small crock pot which is great for smaller portions.  I’ve been getting into doing that because of my fridge issues which doesn’t allow me to freeze if I make a big batch.  Not sure how long it took.  I was busy and just checked back periodically.  I’d say it was about 3 hours on high.  I did need to add a little water at one point.

Lentils finished


The finished product.  They smelled So good while they were cooking.  Smelled like I was really working hard, but…Not…This makes a lot of lentils.  I have plenty left for another meal or two.

I then scrubbed up a big sweet potato.  I microwaved it for 8 minutes which seems to be perfect if it’s a nice big tater.

Lentils and Sweet Potato


Not the prettiest picture ever but boy was it good.  After the photo, I actually cut the sweet potato into bite size pieces and added more lentils, about three-quarters of a cup total.  Topped of course with pecorino Romano cheese…my favorite.

I had been thinking about this for a while and I was really glad when it turned out being as tasty as I thought.  It was extremely filling too.   Also pretty cheap.  I don’t remember what the sweet potatoes cost.  I need to pay better attention. But the lentils cost $1.38 for the bag.  I cooked half the bag and only ate about a third of what I cooked.  That’s about 23 cents worth of lentils.  I think for the New Year (Yikes! Am I actually talking about plans for the New Year?! Oh, NO!!) I’m going to try to figure the cost of my meals.  Just because I need a project, right?!

Be sure to check out everything over at Sprint 2 The Table.  These Strange people work hard at being Strange and you’ll like what you find there.

Happy Friday!

Week In Review~November 11

First of all, I’d like to wish all of our wonderful veterans a Happy Veteran’s Day. Remember all that they’ve done for us.  I have the honor of being married to a Veteran.  Ralph is the best.

So here we are back at Monday, Week In Review. Sponsored by Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Let’s see what we can come up with.

I’m not sure where to go with this week’s review.  I already told of the most important accomplishments this week in my post on Thursday, The Art of Letting Go.  In a way, that post was an accomplishment.  I was very happy with that.  I appreciated all of the supportive comments I received.

I have been working hard. The ten bags donated were added to with the three more bags I made on Friday.  Granted they are smaller bags but they are designated to get out of here accompanied by two more bags of books.

I did have an emotional moment on Friday.  While working on my porch, my little haven where I now sit typing away, I found something I had forgotten about.  It was a large zip lock bag.  The kind I’m coming to love because I can sort things into them and still see what’s there.  This particular bag had been weeded down, sorted and weeded down again from a large plastic storage bin.  This was the last of what was left.  I had tucked it behind some of the boxes that I now had to go through.  I unzipped it.  I went through it.  I savored the memories. I took them into my heart…and I placed it all in a trash bag.  I had to stop for a while after that.  At that point Ralph told me my best friend had called while I was outside putting things in my car.  I called her and I was able to confess to her what I had done.  It made me feel a little better.

I’ve been doing that all along.  When I donate or toss out something that I feel guilty about, I talk to her.  I get it out of my system and then I move on.  She’s pretty handy to have around.  She helps me see things clearly.  I appreciate that.

I’d say that I spent three full days working hard at this new talent I’ve developed-this art of letting go.  As I’ve said, it’s still not easy sometimes.  But I’m feeling better about it.

Now on to some mechanical issues.  I decided on Tuesday that I needed to try to do something about my non-functioning dryer.  It is covered under my contract with the electric company, but I was certain it was dead.  My only thought had been to just remove it from the contract to save the money.  Then I decide, what the heck…it won’t cost me anything to have them look at it and if it’s dead, it’ll still be dead after he looks at it.  The repair man got here and I lead him to the dungeon and then left him alone.

About ten minutes later, he comes up the steps and knocks on the door.  I’m sure he’s going to tell me no luck.  Before he can talk I say, “I know…it’s old.”  He says, “Yeah it’s old which is why I don’t have the fuse I need to fix it.  I’ll order it, it’ll be delivered by UPS and then we’ll call and set up another appointment.” I thank him and turn around to Ralph. “It’s NOT DEAD!”  Ralph says, “Yes, I heard, Dear.”  I was so excited.  So although I think after today, I’m officially out of clean underwear, I know it will be working soon.  Can’t tell you how excited I am.  Hopefully, I’ll only have to dry a few more loads of laundry over at Gail’s house.  Yes…best friends are good to have.

I didn’t accomplish that much over the weekend.  Saturday found me at Weight Watchers, as always and I stayed the same.  After my gain while we were away, I think my body had found its level.  Some people were telling me I’d lost too much so I guess this is where my body wants to be.  I’m still working to get back on track.  I’m feeling very out of control at night and I need to get back the control I had before the trip.

This is scattered but that’s truly the type of week I’ve had.  I feel good about it and good about the week to come.  Hopefully a new car issue that showed its face on Friday will be simple when I take it to the mechanic today.  We’ll see and we’ll work with it.

Be sure to check out all of the other Reviewers over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.

Happy Monday!


Snapshot Saturday~November 9

I love Snapshot Saturday for so many reasons. One reason is that it got me up and going to take some pictures of the Fall leaves.  I have been very remiss in doing that.  They’re almost gone, but knowing that I needed something for Snapshot Saturday got me moving.  Be sure to check out the other great photos over at West Metro Mommy Reads our lovely hostess Melinda’s Blog.


I have truly been enjoying all of the Autumn beauty, but not capturing it except in my memory.  Here are two that I did take the time to capture today.

two trees


tree with white bush


All in my neighbor’s side yard.  So beautiful.  I think I’ll go out and take some more!

Happy Snapshot Saturday!!