Tag Archives: Blogging A to Z

U is for Unusual and WIAW

This will be the final post for this year’s Blogging A to Z Challenge where I get to combine with What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by Jenn at Peas & Crayons. Please be sure to visit both sites to look around and leave some comments.  We all love comments!

U is for Unusual.

Those of you who read BCDC prior to the A to Z challenge will understand that many times I would be talking about food when I use the word unusual. Yes, I come up with unusual…ok…Strange foods.  Today’s collection is pretty odd.

But my life in general has always seemed unusual to me…bordering on Odd.  I’ve kind of hopped around job wise.  I did stay with being a travel agent for 24 years but during that time I worked at 4 different travel agencies.  I realized after a while that I never really liked the job and wasn’t really suited for it. I loved learning about the places where I was sending people, studying up on what there was to see and do in places filled with history.  But I could never really relate to the trips to the beach where all you did was turn red in the sun and drink.   A lot of people never wanted to hear about the history they just wanted the beach-y stuff.

None of this or any of my other jobs had anything to do with what I studied in college.  I was a speech and theatre major.  Actually the only job that ever really made use of that training was when I was a Weight Watchers leader.  Standing in front of the meetings, I felt I was doing what I was meant to do.

I suppose it’s unusual for someone to pursue jobs other than what they were trained for.  So many times jobs just fell into my lap.  That’s how I became a travel agent.  It’s too long a story for this post…perhaps I’ll tell it sometime.  It was unusual.

This topic doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for me, so I think it’s time to get to the Food!!

What I Ate Wednesday

There always seems to be an omelette!  I had breakfast on Saturday with two of my WW buddies and another new friend.



This was a different diner than usual, but the omelette was good just the same.  Egg whites with mushrooms, sliced tomatoes on the side and sprinkled with black pepper and Parmesan cheese.  It looks a little anemic, but that’s because we were sitting right next to the big windows and there was a Lot of light.  Still tasty!

We went out to lunch on Sunday with Ralph’s family to celebrate his birthday.  We started at our usual restaurant and we realized that none of us had remembered to make a reservation for the 15 of us. There would be over an hour wait!

Our niece, Marie, who is wonderful in all respects whips out her phone, while juggling her 1-year-old, calls a diner about a mile away and is told they could seat us immediately.  We gather up cakes, flowers and balloons and all head to our cars for the short trip.

We get there and they are ready for us.  It’s an unusual diner for us, not one we go to often, but trust me, we’ll definitely use them again after the great first impression and the great service we received.

I must say that my dinner fit into the theme of unusual, at least for me.

It started with a salad, nothing unusual there…



Good size for a side salad and I was very happy that I could get plain balsamic vinegar for my dressing.

Here comes the unusual part, odd combo…



Eggplant parmesan, baked sweet potato and pickled beets.  Each was delicious.  This was a Huge portion of eggplant so I didn’t finish it all, tasty though.  The sweet potato was cooked to perfection and with just pepper added it was delicious.  The pickled beets were obviously freshly made there. You can always tell by the spices when they are made right there at the diner. Pickled beets always remind me of my Grandmother.  She would have been pleased with them.

Last but not least…



Birthday cake!  This was delicious.  Ralph’s sister, Maddie always gets these and they are so good.  How did I end up with such a Huge piece?!

Of course, this would not be a WIAW at BCDC if it didn’t include a salad in my Big Purple Bowl!



Basic Salad with Morningstar Farms tomato basil pizza burgers all cut up and  romano cheese sprinkled around for good measure and of course my current favorite, plain old balsamic vinegar.  Very delicious and very filling!

That’s it for me for today. Please be sure to check out Blogging A to Z and Peas & Crayons.  You’re sure to find something interesting at one or both!!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Now what’s so unusual about that?!

S is for Sure

I was getting excited.  I thought I was getting close to the big finish with the Blogging A to Z Challenge. I’m at the letter S.  Now I wasn’t excited to be close to the finish line because I’m not enjoying the challenge this year.  Just because.  We all have those just because days.  We’re moody or grumpy or just too funky to get out of bed.  I was excited, when I realized I still have more than a week to go.  Will I get there?  You bet I will.  Even though as I type this portion of my post, there is no title in my “enter title here” spot and I’m not sure what my S word will be just yet.  Give me a moment.

I just found it…Sure.  I could have fun and see how many times and how many ways I could use the word Sure.

Sure has been a difficult week both in the world and in my own little circle.  Sad almost became my S word, but although I am sad in many ways at the moment, that’s not really how I like to conduct business here at BCDC.  I surely have spoken of sad things in the past and I fear I will speak of them again in the future. But I don’t really want to go in that direction at the moment.  In truth, I am so down in the dumps that I need to bring myself out and I only share those things when necessary.

Share could have been a good word as well.  I share a lot with all of you, perhaps more than is necessary sometimes (at least according to my roomie…)  I personally feel that I share just enough.  I think for the whole blog thing to work, we need to share about our lives.  In truth, during this A to Z, I’ve sort of suspended my usual chatter about my usual topics, only sharing things that are necessary.  I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of the Challenge.  So I’ll be sharing more as of May 1.  Hopefully, by then there will be something exciting to share!

I need to give you a list of sure things.  Ok…give me a minute…

1. I sure am tired right now.  Sleep is not my friend (again) at the moment.  As it has in the past, it will turn around…just have to get through it.

2. I sure am happy that it looks like it will be a sunny day.  Hey, I have to find my joy where I can.  The dreary rainyness over the last week has not helped my mood.

3. I sure am lucky to have the best husband, the best sister and the best friends possible.  So there, I said it.  We all make each other crazy from time to time, but we’ve got each other and that’s a sure thing.

4.  I sure wish I was Harry Potter at the moment.  I could use that magic wand.  Please don’t think that I’d be selfish and use it just for myself.  I would wear that baby out using it for other people.  I know many people right now who could use a little magic and  I would love to share it with them.  I’d only need a couple of waves of the wand for myself.  Three would do I think.  Everyone else could have the others.

5.  I’m sure I can have fun making something from nothing. This sure wasn’t much of a topic to start, but I guess I turned it around.  If I turned this around, I’m pretty sure I can turn the rest of it around.  Sadly, not All of the rest of it, but I sure can try to work hard and improve the things I can improve.

I wanted to end this on a happy note.  My best friend, Gail sent me a picture of Grumpy Cat dressed as Queen to commemorate my Queen of Nothing post. Well I truly am the Queen of Nothing because try though I might, I can’t get the darned thing to copy.  I found another picture on-line and will use it.  Keep in mind that Gail’s is funnier.

But I’m Sure doing the best I can.

Happy Monday!


R is for Ralph and Snapshot Saturday~April 20

In the Blogging A to Z Challenge there are letters that are easy to write about. On Snapshot Saturday hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books it’s easy sometimes to come up with the photos I want to use.  I’m combining the two today and I will be brief.

For those of you that were reading BCDC last year, R for Ralph might seem like a rerun.  Well, I suppose it is.  But, Ralph is first in line in all things for me.

That’s why he IS the snapshot today.  The photo is one of my favorites.  Ralph standing on the deck of our home in New Mexico, with the sunset behind him.  Possibly one of the best photos I’ve ever taken.


We’ll get there soon.

Happy Snapshot Saturday, “R”!

Q is for Queen of Nothing

I’m so glad I’m participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I’m especially happy because I find myself going back over my posts from last year’s challenge and some of them are pretty interesting.  I just re-read last year’s post for the letter Q.  Sometimes I’m much more clever than I remember.  Last year my issue was that I accidentally skipped Q in deference to R.  I wanted to get to R for Ralph and I rushed ahead.  But that confusion lead to what I think was a pretty clever post.

I’m not making that mistake this year…well at least not with Q and R.  I still have eleven posts to go…who Knows what sort of trouble I can get myself into!

Today, Q is for Queen.  I am the Queen of Nothing. In my mind to be Queen of something, you have to be really good at it.  I’ve pondered and thought and wondered and I can’t find anything that I’m really good at, thereby clinching royal standing.

I am CERTAINLY not the Queen of housekeeping.  I’ll leave that comment right there and move on.

I am not the Queen of making money.  I’ve scraped along most of my life.  Now I’m not playing poor here.  I’ve supported myself nicely through some tough times and together Ralph and I are doing Ok.  We’ll be doing much better when we sell these two houses in NJ and finally get to New Mexico.

I am not the Queen of organization and initiative.  If I was, I’d be overseeing my Queendom in New Mexico right now.  But that will come in its time.

I am truly and certainly NOT the Queen of math.  Two plus two…I’ve got that down, but beyond that…I’m lost.  I love a t-shirt that I saw that said, “English Major…You Do The Math!”  Very appropriate for me.

Of what could I consider myself Queen?  I’m often joking called the Grammar Queen, but more often Grammar Nazi.  Am I always right? No, but I can usually tell when something sounds wrong even if I’m not sure what it should be.

I feel that I’m a competent writer, but I’m certainly not the Queen.

I like to think that I’m the Queen of Thrifting, but I think my friend, Margot really holds that crown. Or possibly my blog friend, Marie at Feeding Five.  Now that girl knows how to thrift!

I am not Queen of the kitchen.  As it stands at the moment, I barely have a kitchen, due to circumstances, but I’m becoming a better cook all the time.  Perhaps by the time I’m 90 I’ll have it all under control.

But I suppose there is one spot where I am Queen.  I don’t say this to pat myself on the back.  I feel that I am the Queen of Ralph’s heart.  He makes me feel that and know that every day.  I know how lucky I am to have him and he makes me feel that his thoughts on this topic are the same.  We’re a match.  We just have to make our way to our kingdom.

Ralph andFran on Deck in Silver


It’s waiting for us. We just have to get there.  Then I get to shop for my Crown!

Happy Friday from your Queen!

P is for Peace or Piece or Peas

The Blogging A to Z Challenge comes with a built-in challenge.  Some days, I’m not looking for a challenge, but it seems that life in general poses those for us each day.

Today’s challenge is the letter P.

I seek peace and tranquility.  I live in chaos and confusion.  Some of it is my physical surroundings, some of it is in my mind.  

I have over the past year or so, found meditation.  I am not currently meditating.  For me, meditating is something I have to make part of my routine.  Before going to Florida in February, I had meditated for 106 days without a break.  I was pretty proud of myself for that.  While there, it wasn’t practical for me to do it.  No time when I was totally alone.  Since coming back to New Jersey, I have gotten out of the habit.  I hate when that happens.

I find myself longing for that serenity that I feel when I meditate that carries me through the day.  I think that daylight savings time might be part of the problem.  It used to be dark when I got up.  I sat down arranged things, lit my candle and I was surrounded by shadows except for my candle.  Now it’s getting on to dawn when I get up, the birds are doing their birdy things outside and I find it hard to concentrate.

I need to find a way to do my meditation in spite of these distractions.  I need to feel that peace in the early morning.  Nothing is really stopping me but Me.  I commit now that I will do it tomorrow morning and keep it up.  There are no obstacles except myself.  

If you’ve never meditated, you should try it.  It may not bring you the peace you seek, but it will help to calm you and give you a good start to the day.  Anybody out there with me?  Let me know if you meditate. If you don’t, think about starting.  I’ll report on my progress and you report on yours.  



Buddha-We Can Never Obtain Peace...


Wishing you a peaceful Thursday!

O is for Older..and WIAW!

We have come to the letter O today in the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  As happens with all of the Wednesdays in the month of April, it also coincides with What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons.  But let’s talk O first and then we’ll get to the food.

Monday we celebrated Ralph’s birthday.  I won’t reveal which birthday milestone it was for him, that would be for him to share, but it is an important one.  Each of his birthdays is important to me because I love him.  We found each other later in life and I want to spend as many birthdays with him as possible.

Ralph often talks about the fact that he doesn’t like getting older.  I think most of us spend a good chunk of our lives not worrying about getting older and then it hits us and we spend another good chunk of our lives worrying about getting older.

At one point in my life I worried.  Probably at a younger age than many people.  As time goes on I worry less and less. I think the worrying has subsided because I’m feeling so good.  I’m in good health thanks to the many changes I’ve made in my routines over the years and I think I’ve got a handle on most things involved in the aging process.  I’m not young anymore, but I only feel that sometimes.  On the rainy days when everything hurts, I get annoyed that I’m getting older.  But then if I can get up and moving, things hurt less and I think less about my age.

I know that I’m so lucky in many ways and truthfully, one of the ways in which I’m lucky is that I get up every day with the opportunity to grow older.  I want to keep working on that plan.

And now to the Food!!

What I Ate Wednesday

Food this week was all over the place again.



A homemade salad with spicy black bean burgers on top and balsamic vinegar.



A grilled bean burrito at Taco Bell.  Grilling it doesn’t add any Points to it and give it a bit of a different flavor. Yummy.



An egg white omelette with mushrooms topped with grated cheese and sliced tomatoes on the side.  Always a winner.

Now on to the Birthday celebration!







Blackberry tea at Ruby Tuesday’s.  Our favorite!  Cheers!



Ok, I know I shouldn’t have but I did.  I ate one of the little cheese-y biscuits that they have there.  The Birthday Boy saved me and ate the rest.


For me as usual, it’s the Garden Bar.  I was a little disappointed with it this time.  First of all, the plates are Much smaller than they used to be.  I like a big salad plate so that I have room to move things around.  I know I can go back as often as I want, but I like to arrange my salad to my satisfaction and that’s not always easy on a smaller plate.  The second issue is that the selection is not as good as it used to be.  That was sad to me.  I could always count on their salad bar to give me lots of choices.  It’s still much better than some other salad bars, but I was disappointed.



Ok, transgression number two.  We did get dessert.  Ralph had a red velvet cupcake and I had a carrot cake cupcake.  I have to say that mine was just delicious and truly worth the Points.  My only saving grace is that this was on Monday and I have until Saturday’s weigh in to work all of this stuff off.  It was a special day and it was a wonderful celebration.

After lunch we took a walk through the Mall where the restaurant is.  I forced Ralph to try something on for me.



I think he looks adorable.  With or without the hat. He says that as he gets older, women seem to be more attracted to him.  He calls it the Sean Connery  Effect.  Maybe he’s right, but I think he’s pretty cute on his own!

Be sure to check out some of the other blogs both at Blogging A to Z and At What I Ate Wednesday.  You’ll find some new favorites and be sure to leave some comments.

Happy Birthday, Ralph!  Happy WIAW!!


N is for New

Now we have come to the letter N. Now we come to New.  The next step in my journey through the alphabet with you.  Very odd that I seem to be rhyming today…give me a moment and I’ll get over it. Today’s star in the Blogging A to Z  Challenge is the letter N.

So often on BCDC, I talk about old things, antique things, found objects and treasures bought at thrift stores and yard sales.  My life is full of those sorts of things.  Once in a while, something new actually comes into my life.

Ralph had paid a visit to Radio Shack last week and in talking with a young man there, found out he was due for an upgrade on his phone.  He wanted me to come along because he wanted me to talk with the young man because he thought I would understand better what he was talking about.

Last Friday we did that.  As it turns out I was due for an upgrade as well.  I knew that, but I was dragging my feet, not sure what I wanted to do.  I don’t like that we spend so much on cell phones and service and I was considering going to a buy as you go plan.  But as it turns out the deal was better than we thought.

For two new smart phones (which unfortunately don’t come with smart people who know how to use them!!) it is only $10 more per phone per month from what we were already paying.  Of course, that doesn’t factor in the cost of the phones, taxes, yada, yada, yada.

In my mind however, it is a great step in the right direction because this is encouraging Ralph to get into some technology that in the long run will help him.  He is so cute with his new iPhone. Especially now that he realizes that his niece, Marie also has an iPhone and they can do FaceTime together.  They’re so cute!  He can even send a text!

But back to Me!!  I’ve thought a few times that maybe I should have gone with an iPhone as well, but instead I went with a Samsung Galaxy S III.



As it stands, I’m still not sure what all it can do.  I’m still not sure when it’s ringing because I’m not used to the ringtones yet.  But I can send a text, and answer the phone.  Now I have to do some set up things that will allow me to download apps and I need to do that for Ralph as well.  Overall, I’m very excited.



It has a wonderful purple and pink protective case…Ralph’s case has an American Flag…he’s excited.  I’m especially excited because I love the windmill background I was able to get.  It makes me think we’re on a cross-country trip.  It even changes from day to night.

You all just need to be patient with me on this.  If you call, give me time to get it out of my pocket (it is pretty big!) and to figure out how to answer you.  But, hey…it’s New!!!

Happy Tuesday!

M is for Motivation

Oh, boy can I use some of this!!  I can’t actually believe that we have reached the letter M in the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I actually just had to reference the list I made to be sure I hadn’t missed any.  Thank goodness that did not happen!

Since I got home from Florida and then had to get well from bronchitis, I’ve been trying to motivate myself.  As I have mentioned many times, Ralph and I have a home in New Mexico and we’re trying to get out of New Jersey and get out there.  It takes a lot of work, a lot of doing but the doing doesn’t get done without some motivation.

I’ve long heard the idea that if you work on something for 15 minutes a day, you’ll accomplish a lot.  Well, this project is certainly going to take more than 15 minutes a day.  I’m trying to give it as long each day as possible.  I’ve been accomplishing about 1 and 1/2 hours each day.  Not Saturday, I gave myself the day off. I’m quite proud of myself in that respect.  I’m doing what I need to do.  It doesn’t seem like  a lot when I look at my various projects each day, but I keep telling myself, each step I take is a step in the right direction.

I keep motivating myself with the thought that if I work hard and try to keep Ralph motivated, then we can get this done.  I keep saying, “I want to be in New Mexico by…such and such a time.”  Well, that’s not really motivational because then I just get discouraged when we’re not there by that time.  I’ve spoken that statement enough times, now.  I’m not giving myself a deadline now.  My plan is to just work as hard as I can and see how it goes.

I’m sure that our yard sale in June will be a motivating factor.  When I get rid of all of those things, I’ll see space and that in itself will be motivational.  Everything is going to sell (how’s That for a positive attitude?!) What doesn’t sell is going to a local thrift store.  As I said before, I’m working on being as unsentimental as I can, here…it’s the only way it will work.

If any of you have any sure-fire tricks for how to motivate yourself with cleaning out and moving on…please share them because Boy oh Boy do I need them.

I’m feeling Motivated already!

Happy “M”onday!!  Happy Birthday, Ralph!!

L is for Light and Snapshot Saturday~April 13

I have seen the Light!  The Light I’ve seen is the fact that I am forging ahead with the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Today is the letter L and my topic is Light. I’m also linking up with Snapshot Saturday started by Alyce at At Home With Books.  Be sure to visit both sites and check out what other bloggers are sharing.

As I write this, the light is just coming up through the windows on my side porch which serves as my office.  I can look through the door to my living room to see the light also coming through my leaded glass window.  I had shared a sunrise through that window in this post from January.  I love the morning light and I love to share it in photos.

However, I thought I’d share a few more photos from The Tampa Theatre to go along with the ones I shared last week.  My slow camera ( I swear I’m going to start using my new one Very Soon!)  sometimes makes it hard to get photos in low-level lighting.  In spite of that I did get some good ones.  Here are some of the lower light ones that I thought were pretty interesting.




Initially, I wasn’t that happy with these particular photos because I thought the Light wasn’t right.  As I review them with a more artistic eye, I realize that the Light was just right.

Look for the light in your day.

Happy Snapshot Saturday!

K is for Kin or Kindred

One of my new (from this years’ Blogging A to Z Challenge)  blog friends, Dana at Waiter, Drink Please! mentioned that we are now one third of the way through the challenge.  One third is good.  Perhaps soon I’ll finally feel the direction I felt last year.  Perhaps I’ll have to wait until Next year to feel it!   Regardless, I’m diving in again, this time with the letter K.

Today the word is kin or kindred.  Dictionary.com defines kin as “a person’s relatives collectively; kinfolk.”  Interestingly, kindred is defined the same way when used as a noun.  But when used as an adjective it is defined as “having the same belief, attitude or feeling.”   I never realized the words would have the same definition. But you didn’t come here for a vocabulary lesson.  Neither did I.  I just realize as I get older that looking up words might give me a clearer picture of what people are saying and in truth, a clearer picture of what I’m saying.

Last year in the A to Z, I talked a lot about family members.  That might be one of the reasons I’m having trouble this year.  I used up all of the good topics last year.  That’s not true of course, but I did a lot of family posts.  I enjoyed doing them and they were well received.

I’ve always thought of kin as the family that we are given; our parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  I was blessed with wonderful, caring parents who left us too soon.  I was blessed with grandparents who I was blessed to have in my life much longer than some other people.  I will always be grateful for that.  My sister, Ele is always my biggest supporter.  She takes me as I am and loves me anyway.  I am so lucky to have her.

As life has progressed, so has technology and thanks to things like Facebook, I’ve been able to get back in touch with cousins both near and far.  It’s an amazing thing and I’m so grateful to now have them back in my life.

I’ve always thought of “kindred” as the people who you choose to have in your life.  Friends.  People you’ve gone to school with, people you’ve worked with.  Some people you find by accident, running into them in a store or a Weight Watchers meeting or even on-line.

I have friends that I’ve known my entire life and I do mean my entire life.  They are my age and we’ve lived through the same things together.  We’ve supported each other through easy times and through difficult times.  We know each other well.

I have friends that are young enough to be my children or in some cases even my grandchildren.  They are no less friends just because of the age difference. Friends come in all ages, all colors, all shapes and sizes.  I feel that I have developed real friendships with on-line friends as well.  Just because I’ve never seen them in person, doesn’t mean I can’t feel that connection.  I believe there is something in that person that clicks with something inside this person and it all works.

I believe in being open to new friends.  Some people are more cautious with making new friendships, they are wary of getting involved with new people.  I figure that I can never tell where that new friendship might lead.  I could learn something new, discover some wonderful opportunity.  If all I get out of it is a new friend, then that would be just fine with me.

Kin or Kindred?  Whichever you are, Thank you for being a part of my life.

Happy Friday!