Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

We have had some very nice spring-like weather the last few days.  I should add except for the wind yesterday.  I would have thought a storm was raging outside if I didn't know better.  It was a good day for cooking, reading and napping.

~I'm not sure why the wall looks lavender in this photo!~
Last week, I was busy cleaning the house and getting ready for the men who were coming to set up our new TV/Phone/Internet service.  I knew they would be all over the house as well as the
basement, and that called for extra cleaning such as moving the heavy entertainment center and computer desk to get to all the dust bunnies hiding behind them.  

The basement had been mostly cleaned, but it still needed some touch up cleaning before they arrived.  When the telephone guy came, he had to check all the phone wires in the house upstairs and down.  

Oh cwap!  That meant that he also had to go into the back part of the basement that is a storage area.  I'd completely overlooked the fact that the phone wires were in there, too!  So, I'm busy apologizing for the boxes he had to maneuver around to get to the wiring that he needed to see.  He very nicely assured me that he'd seen much, much worse.  Whew!  That made me feel a tad bit better.  Anyway, they came, they fixed, and all is well. 

Some of my plants needed replacing so I got that job done last week, too.  I still have a couple of tall stacks of magazines to either throw away or go through and cut out what I want to keep.  That is one job that I can do a little at a time.  

I adore salads.  I also adore the meatloaf and mashed potatoes I fixed for Sunday dinner.  Plus another batch of blueberry muffins that are
super yummy.  I posted the link to the recipe a couple of blog posts ago.  


My dear aunt's salad dressing is a favorite of ours and I keep a jar of it made up in the fridge to put on tossed salad.   Above is the recipe that she wrote down and gave to me many years ago.  You can see by the stains on the card how old and well used this recipe is!

Last week was a busy one and I didn't do a very good job at keeping up with everyone in blog land.  When I did peek at my blog list on my sidebar one day, I was shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Tina, EG Camera Girl, and her husband due to a car wreck.  She will be missed.

We get an extra day this month as today is Leap Day.  I don't know about you, but I could use some extra days and hours.  They are moving by too fast.  I know that I talk about that a lot, but it's true.  Everyone seems to be talking about it.  Back to Leap Day...anyone out there have a birthday today?  Do you do anything special for this once-every-4-years day?  

The patio was cleaned up last week, too.  I'm ready for spring and getting my flower pots on the patio planted and I long to just see some green after a long, brown winter.  We worked some at The Project over the weekend and I noticed some tulips and jonquils coming up in the yard there.  The bluebirds have begun nesting, too.  I love seeing these sweet signs of spring!
Enjoy your extra day this month!
xo Cheryl  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Few Birds and A Few Words

My first robin of this year landed in my backyard along with about 10 of his friends the other day.  I was so excited to see him that I broke out into song.  Now that isn't something you'd want to hear, but I was a happy gal.  To me, the first robins say spring is on the way!

Excuse the quality of the bird shots today as I was 
shooting through a dirty window.  

Saturday is garage cleaning day.  I had to postpone the cable/internet/phone change over because I just couldn't get into gear the last few days to get everything done before they invaded my house.  The basement and most of the upstairs is clean except for the computer room.  The wiring for the upstairs TV comes in through the garage and I doubt if the technician could even find the wire should he need to change it.  I don't know how the garage gets so messy so quickly.  For that matter, I don't know how my computer room gets so messy, either.  At least I can't blame that one on my hubby!  The stuff is all mine.  Paperwork and stacks of books and magazines, luggage, you name is kind of a catch-all. 

I have to admit that I've been spending way too much time reading the news instead of working.  The election news is both fascinating and annoying.  Are you getting as tired of all the whining, fighting, and barking as I am?  But I can't help it, I have to see what they say next.  I tend to take with a grain of salt what the pundits say or write.  It's plain to see that many of them have their favorites and don't even make an attempt to be impartial.  

One thing I have to wonder, and I hope I don't offend anyone by saying this, is this group of people the best we can do?  I'm talking about both sides of the aisle here.  And just think...we have many
more months to go to listen to all this.  Sigh.

My new glasses have been ordered and should be in this coming week.  I found out that my right eye is worsened because of the beginnings of a cataract.  He said that it will be a long while before it will cause problems enough to have to be removed.  That was good to hear.  I didn't even ask about contacts.  I'm very nearsighted and have progressive lens and since it had been awhile since my last pair, I nearly fainted when they told me how much they were going to cost, but I figured it was worth it considering how long it had been since I had a new pair.  I also ordered new prescription sunglasses.

We devoured the blueberry muffins and it's time to make something else.  I've got some bananas that are turning dark and I should make banana bread, but I've got a couple of new recipes that I've jotted down to try.  One is called Cream Scones and the other is Cinnamon Apple Muffins.  Maybe I'll make both!  Do you use sugar or a sugar substitute in your baked goods?

It's after midnight as I write this so I better wrap it up and hit the Publish button.  Morning will be here soon enough and we need to get the garage cleaned out for starters.  I also want to trim back some Knockout roses, too.  We are supposed to have temps near 70 today so it will be a good day to work outside.  BG also wants to get back to work on the electric wiring at The Project.  We need to get that finished.  So much to do, so little time.  And energy.  We'll get it all done eventually.  

Enjoy your weekend! 
 xo Cheryl

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dreaming of Spring

Oh, February...slow down, you're moving along too fast!  Or if you're ready for spring and watching the flowers coming up and the redbuds blooming, then it may not be moving along fast enough!
Our weekend was spent cleaning in the basement.  The men coming this week to change our telephone/internet/cable plan need access to our televisions and computer.  I didn't think the cleaning would be a 2 day job, but I am thorough when I clean, so in spite of it looking quite a bit rugged down there while it awaits a water lines, sheetrock and then the painting before carpet is is now somewhat presentable.  

The hubby and I didn't do much for Valentine's Day except grab a bite to eat.  We both were hungry for loaded nachos.  They were very yummy!  I added some sour cream on top of mine
but BG prefers to add extra salsa.

I didn't get the dessert made over the weekend that I had planned because I was so busy downstairs.  But I did bake some blueberry muffins this morning.  This recipe came from Estelle's and oh my goodness...are they ever tasty!  If you like blueberry muffins, you will want to try this recipe!

Do you ever get a craving for something special to eat?  I've been on an orange eating kick lately.  Maybe it's my body telling me I need the extra Vitamin C.  Sometimes you can buy a bag of oranges and they aren't so good, but the ones I've gotten lately are very good.

I have an appointment in a couple of days to get some new glasses.  Can't wait.  I'm not sure that I want contacts after all.  After getting a glimpse of my aging face this morning without my glasses on, I've decided that maybe they (the glasses) help camouflage the bags under my eyes a wee bit.  Well, that's what I tell myself, okay?  lol!  I can't wait to see what kind of glasses are available now.  It's been quite a few years since I've had a new pair.

We had a little bit of snow on the ground when we woke up yesterday.  Today I woke up to frost and fog.  Then I saw some snow flakes falling again.  And later when I took out some bird seed to the feeders I felt some sprinkles.  Crazy weather!  It's supposed to warm up through the week with temps around the mid-60's Friday.  That will put me in the mood for spring!

We've not had a bad winter so far, so I can't really complain.  BG and I were watching one of the outside feral cats running across our pond yesterday morning.  BG remarked on the fact that the pond doesn't freeze solid enough to hold a person's weight as often as it used to.   We are afraid when the temps warm up later this week and the ice begins to melt, the kitties might fall through. 

I remember winters when I was a youngster and it seemed like the ponds on the farm almost always had ice thick enough for me to ice skate on.  My dad always tested the ice before he would let us on it, of course.  Almost every morning during the winter months, he had to chop holes in the ice for the livestock to drink from and he could tell by the thickness of the ice if it was safe.  And he also would walk out and jump on the ice a few times to see if it would crack.

How's the winter been in your area so far?  Stay warm and stay well!  I'm going to get back to work on that paperwork that needs to be filed or shredded.  And dream of spring!

xo Cheryl

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thursday's Bits 'n Bobs

Snow arrived here yesterday.  Just an inch or so.  It's winter weather for sure with cold temps and much wind the last few days. I've been feeling sorry for the animals and birds that are trying to survive the harsh weather.

I've been trying to get back to the purging/decluttering.  We had another water pipe leak downstairs and while I was cleaning up the water which had fallen onto a computer desk...which has been just a catch-all lately...I was taking a really good look around and decided that a lot of stuff needs to go.  Too much has been accumulated for too long. 

The stacks of magazines?  This is just part of my collection.  They need to go, I've accumulated way too many.  It's always been hard for me to throw one away.  And why, I ask myself, would I want to spend so much of my time going through each one and clip out recipes and photos of interesting things I might (or most likely will never) try out some day?

I talked about age in my last post.  I think I need to remember my age and forget clipping ideas that I will never get around to.  You know that you can find about anything you want online these days.  Recipes and decor ideas are plentiful.  Many of the best ideas are on blogs.

About aging...from the comments on the last post, I think the main point we all agree on is to keep active.  Stormy and I have been napping sitting in the recliner too much lately.  I need to tell myself that when I'm going up and down the stairs to do laundry that I'm getting my excercise and that's a good thing!  The doctor's office called and told me that my A1C numbers were good.  Yay!  I celebrated by buying a box of donuts at WalMart.  I know...I'm bad.   But as soon as I hit the Publish button, I'm going to be going up and down the stairs doing laundry.  Exercise, exercise!
BG rode with me to the nearest town that has a WalMart yesterday after he came home from work so I could get some things we were almost out of and he kept the car running and warm while I shopped.  We buy a lot of cat food, 30 pound bags at a time.  There are several feral cats that come to our house for food and we do try to tame some of them when we can and find them homes.  

The kitty in the photo above showed up here recently.  I don't know where he came from, but we figured he must have heard through the grapevine about the free Pond Hollow meals that are served daily on the patio.                

While I was in WalMart, I saw many Valentine's Day goodies in the grocery section...the decorated cookies, cakes, and many beautiful flower bouquets.  I usually tell BG not to bother with I outta my mind, or what?  Really, I'd rather go out for a nice dinner.  Sometimes he'll ignore me and get them anyway.  Would you be disappointed if you didn't get flowers on Valentine's Day?  I'll probably make one of the three above desserts for my sweetheart.  After we get back home from dinner, we can have dessert while we watch a movie.  That is a good evening in my book!     

If I don't get back here before Sunday, have a Happy Valentine's Day!  Love to all...

xo Cheryl    

Friday, February 5, 2016

Age...It's All Relative, Right?

~Missouri River, photo courtsey of my daughter~
If you want to see old friends and acquaintances, and if you live in a small town like I do, one place to find them is in the doctor's waiting room. 

I had the chance to see a few folks that I'd not seen in a while when I went for my six month checkup yesterday.  The wait is a bit long as my doctor is slow.   So slow in fact that I often feel like I might need to go home and shave my legs again before I get to see her. 

One sweet lady, who is in her nineties, stopped by my chair on her way out.  She is still living alone and driving.  I asked her what her secret was and she said "good genes" which of course is true, but she also goes to the doctor regularly and takes good care of herself.  I wondered to myself...I do that a lot, do you?...if she still eats a banana a day, but didn't ask.

Okay, before you think I've lost it...I remember visiting with her where she worked many years ago and she was eating a banana.  She said that she ate one every day for a snack and I've never forgotten that for some strange reason.  I doubt if bananas are the key to good health, but I do believe eating the right foods surely is one factor.

I knew another dear woman who lived a good, long life and she thought the onions she adored and ate every day might be the key to her longevity.  

My 70th birthday is coming up next month, so staying as healthy as I can for as long as I can is of paramount importance to me.  Yikes.  I can't believe I just said that.  70!!  How did that number come up so quickly?? 

I certainly don't feel like I'm about 70.  Well, unless I have to get down on the floor for something and I have a hard time getting back up.  And forget those items on the lowest shelf at WalMart.  My knees hurt too much to squat to see the print.

I've been fortunate these last several years to hear many say that I don't look my age.  I didn't appreciate the youthful looks back when I was 30 or so and was still being treated like a youngster.   And I remember several years ago having to show my ID to a hotel clerk because they snorted when I asked for the senior citizen discount.

I took something by my daughter's business the other day and she introduced me to a couple of the teachers.  After I left, somehow it was brought up to them that I would be 70 soon.  What??  they said.  No way could I be that old, because I looked like I was in my 50's.  They just didn't believe it.  Well, 50's is certainly a stretch, they are young, but I appreciated hearing it!

My doctor did say yesterday that 70 was now the new 50, but I believe I detected a little smirk on her face when she said that.  lol!  

Aging is a state of mind, they say.  And I quite agree with that.  It's important to have a good attitude about things and doing those things you enjoy.   As the song goes, I plan to live, live, live until I die.  Even if living well means nothing more some days than relaxing in the recliner with a good book.

Okay, enough talking about my olden self, but it is kind of a nice segue into a question I want to ask.  I know there are many 50 and 60 somethings out there in blog land who also don't look their ages and are in good health.  I know who you are...yes, I do!  Tell me, what do you do to maintain that good health?  And do you have a particular beauty regimen you follow?  Please share your tips with the rest of us. 

Have a wonderful and healthy weekend!
xo Cheryl

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January Wrap Up

Where did January go?  It doesn't seem like nearly two weeks have passed since I last posted.  My dad used to tell me that the older you get, the faster time flies by.  He was right.  I wish I could say that I've gotten a lot done, but that isn't the case.  Part of the time, I've dealt with a virus.  And napped.  I didn't feel much like reading due to some vertigo issues so I turned on the seldom used TV a few times.

One day I was looking for something to watch on Netflix and found a movie that turned out to be very good.  It was about a dog named Hachi and starred Richard Gere.  The movie is based on a true story and the original Hachi lived in Japan.  Hachi is an Akita, a very beautiful dog who, by the end of the movie, had me wishing I had a dog again.  I won't tell you what happens, but I will warn you that you'll need Kleenex if you watch it.  But don't let that stop you, I could watch this movie again just to see the beautiful, smart and loving Hachi.  Richard Gere wasn't hard to look at, either.  

We've had some unseasonably warm weather the past several days.  It rained last night, so Phil didn't get to see his shadow this morning.  I won't complain if we have an early spring.  The barren landscape is not all that appealing to me, but I will say we have been treated to  some really beautiful sunsets this winter.  

BG and I haven't been too far from home lately.  We did motor down the interstate one weekend to meet our son for BBQ at a new place.  I won't be ordering the sampler platter again, though.  It was way more than I could eat although it was very good!  It was a nice day trip and trying out new places to eat is always fun.  

BG and I...well, mainly BG...need to get back to work on the rental house aka The Project.  I'm sure our friends and neighbors think we're never going to get it finished.  But we will!  It's just a matter of getting started again and keeping at it.  We tend to take too long of a break.  Much like when I step away from blogging a few days and before I know it, a couple of weeks have gone by.   

Our landline phone was out for several days.  It was so nice not having those phone calls that bug us even though we've got our names on the no-call list.  You know, the "hello!  you've won a free cruise to the Bahamas" type calls.  I have been dealing with my cell phone company, too.  It's so frustrating when they tell you the manager will be calling you by the end of the day and then you never hear another word from them. 

It's not unusual to look out just before sunset and see 4 or 5 deer in our Back 6 or in our back yard.  They are looking for a full bird feeder so they can have a little snack.  We also put out cat food for several feral cats that hang around and you might see a raccoon or possum eating as well.  BG was saying that we might as well forget about trying to have a vegetable garden, as we can't keep the critters away  from it.  He shoots at them with a BB gun, but that doesn't seem to scare them away for long.

Our son came in Saturday evening and spent the night with us.  We enjoyed a late supper and then Brett suggested we watch the first episode of The Blacklist as we'd never watched it.  He and Lindsey had caught up with all the previous episodes on Netflix and really liked it and thought we would, too.  BG quickly fell asleep on the couch, but Brett and I ended up watching 4 episodes.  I'm hooked!  Now I will have to stop saying I hardly ever turn on the TV.  Do you watch this show starring James Spader?  Tell me how you like it, but don't give anything away!  I have got many episodes yet to go to catch up. 

Sunday we all played a few card games after dinner.  That photo above is one I snapped of Kim yakking on her phone and we're saying hurry up, we have a game to finish.  We had fun especially since the girls beat the men 2 games to 1.  Ha!  The phone interruption was one of her teachers calling to say that she was still battling a strep throat and wouldn't be able to work the next day.  There is a lot of sickness going around.  Kim is now battling a bad cold herself and was going in to work late today.

There are many different viruses going around and while they are not fun to deal with, you know that they will pass and you'll eventually feel good again.  Unfortunately, there are many friends in blogdom who are dealing with much more serious issues than a virus.  A sweet friend, Gert, just recently lost her husband.  Another blogger, Diana, is watching her husband battle cancer.  Please pray for these dear blogging friends and many others who have needs as well.

The sun is coming out!  Yay!  I'm off now to go visiting...via the computer.  :) 

xo Cheryl