Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Darling Flower

Is this not a darling flower?  Look at the little pointed petals!!  It's one of the last petunias in the garden and I never noticed it all summer long.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Family Moment Monday-- Exploding Colors

Motherhood for Dummies sponsors Family Moment Monday.  Check out her site for lots of other ideas for family projects, activities, lessons learned, etc.  

I haven't done this in years.  It's a really fun project for preschoolers.  They love it.

First, pour some whole milk into a pan pan and let it sit until it's room temperature.

Then, put some food coloring in three sections of the pie plate.  I used blue, red, and yellow.  
(When I do it again I think I'll use even more food coloring.)

Then drip just a few drops of dish detergent down the side of the pan.  I was told that Dawn works best.

Almost immediately the colors start to move. Somehow, the detergent changes the chemistry of the milk and everything starts moving.  The colors start to swirl.  The kids love it.

Much discussion follows as the kids exclaim about what's happening.  You can SHOW them how colors blend and make other colors.  They love it.  It all happens pretty fast.

Oh.  And I would recommend that you put the pan on the floor because as the kids try to get close they are very apt to bump the pan and then it doesn't work as well.  Also, looking straight down gives you the best view.

(I used half and half and I really think the blending works a little better with just whole milk.  This was a little TOO thick.)

Have fun!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

My daughter has won the Daisy Award for Outstanding Nursing

(Warning:  maternal bragging.....)

My daughter has won the Daisy Award for Outstanding Nursing!

I am so proud of her!!!!!!

She was nominated by one of her patients and then chosen for the award by the hospital administration.

Sorry. I just had to write about this. She's only been a nurse for a few months. She said she actually feels bad because only one other nurse on her floor has ever won the award and many of her coworkers have been nurses longer than she's been alive. My maternal response? "You must be one GOOD nurse." Woohooo. You go, Anne!!!!

McCain grandstanding? Come on!

Why would John McCain ask for a postponement of the debate for political reasons.  He has way too much to lose to do that.

This first debate is on his strongest topic.  If the debate does not go on or if it goes on without him, he loses one of his best chances to demonstrate his leadership in a very important area.

McCain knows he's being paid by the people of Arizona to be their senator.  He has an obligation. This is not just an important bill.  It's a crisis of enormous magnitude.  McCain has a record of being able to work out compromises with people on both sides of the aisle.  He knows he has a responsibility to his country.  If McCain's return to Washington demonstrates anything it's that he's a committed public servant.  Obama prepares for a debate that could put him in the White House while McCain works behind the scenes to use his skills as a statesman to get this country out of a crisis.

Obama seems to forget that he's a sitting U.S. Senator.  

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Where is the leadership in the Obama-Biden ticket?

I must make a couple comments about recent political events.

Biden actually said that when the stock market crashed in 1929 President Roosevelt got on TV and explained to the American people what was going on.

Hmmmm.  Except that Hoover was the president in 1929 and there were no TVs.

If Palin had made this gaff the media would be crucifying her.  Because of the ridiculously transparent liberal bias of the media, there has hardly been any mention of this outrageous display of Biden's ignorance.  What is almost more alarming is Biden's apparent willingness to speak without being sure of his facts.

Secondly, in Obama's response to McCain's suggestion that the debate be postponed Obama said (and I paraphrase) that he'd be happy to go to Washington if anyone thinks he could be of any help.

Say what?  If anyone thinks he could be of any help?  Does HE think he could be of any help? Apparently not.  What kind of leadership is this?  He'll go if anyone thinks he could be of help. This response is (as the kids would say) LAME!  Apparently, Obama has no ideas to contribute or hasn't the initiative to put them forward.  

But are these words being shown in video clips on news shows?  No.  If you didn't see it live you probably won't see it.  Liberal bias.  It's pathetic.

So, that's my rant for today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weigh-In Wednesday

Here are the numbers!!!!

This week:  Down 1/2 pound

Overall:  Down 9 pounds

I now have pants that really don't fit anymore.  I mean they're too big to really wear, even with a belt.  


Now you may be wondering why I have the photo posted below on Weight Loss Wednesday.  It's posted because this scone is probably the reason I have only lost 1/2 pound this week AND because it's delicious.  My daughter made these.

Chocolate Chip-Peppermint Scones
(from the Pink Princess Cookbook)

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add chocolate chips and toss to coat with flour mixture.

Pour 1 cup whipping cream into the mixture, stirring just until ingredients are moistened.  Turn mixture out onto lightly floured surface.  Knead gently until soft dough forms (about 2 minutes).  Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick.  Cut out into shapes.

Place scones 1 inch apart on two foil-lined baking sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Brush each scone with the remaining 2 tablespoons whipping cream and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.

Bake 15 to 2 minutes or until very lightly browned.  Serve warm and dusted with powdered sugar if desired.

WARNING:  If you're trying to lose weight having these in the house could be dangerous.  I'm proud I only had two in two days.   But it was actually dangerous for me to even take the above picture.  I so wanted to break off a little piece (just a little piece!) and stick it in my mouth.  BUT I DID NOT!!

I'm convinced that keeping weight off  has to allow for a treat once in a while.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things....

Deb from UKOK's Place has invited us to share our favorite things.  Sooo.......here are a few of my favorite things.....

If my descriptions are not in line with the right photos, I apologize.  My laptop doesn't seem to do this well.  I post pictures and it puts them in odd places and overlaps them, etc.  I don't get it.  Hope this is readable.

Here is the grandfather clock that belonged to my father's parents.  I love the chime and very much associate it with my grandparents' house.

The picture below is captioned:

"He Shall Hear My Voice"

 "Evening, and morning, and noon,
will I pray and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice."  
Psalm 55

  The picture to the right is captioned:

"And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,
And the wind ceased, and there was great calm."  Mark 4:39            

These flowers on my front walk reseeded themselves from last year.  Love 'em.

The Steinway piano below.  Love it and all the music that comes from it.

The statue of Mary to the right is above my sink.  It so reminds me of my mother and  neighborhood May Crownings when I was a child.
The furniture pictured above belonged to my mother.  

This swing is on my front porch.  I love to sit in it.  I often sit in it when I'm talking on the phone.

So, care to play?  What are your favorite things?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Family Moment Monday-- Label memorabilia!

Motherhood for Dummies hosts Family Moment Monday.  Be sure to check it out for other great ideas for family activities, crafts, lessons learned, or anything you can do/learn/enjoy as a family.

OK.  I can hear my regular readers already saying, "OK.  OK.  We get the idea."  

My message:   Label stuff!!!!

But I just have to give one more example of why it's important.  The above collection was one of the last finds we made in my parents' house.  It was way back in an upper cabinet and was almost left to be torn down with the house.

Imagine the awe my daughter and I experienced as we pulled out the handwritten note from my mother.  I don't know if you can see it.  It reads:

Helen's baby shoe
     "        blanket holders for baby carriage
           "        World War II  Air Raid Warden badge and whistle
    "        garters (wedding)
    "        Dad's World War I hat

She had told us about being an Air Raid warden with her father and how they had to make sure that everyone's lights were out during the drills.  If they saw a house with lights on she had to blow her whistle and her father would go up to the house and tell them they had to turn all the lights out.  This was when military maneuvers were based on visual sighting and there was concern that we could be attacked by the Germans from the Atlantic.  She lived in New Jersey.  Her teeth marks are visible on the whistle.

One of the garters has a tiny pocket and in the pocket was an old penny from the 50s, when she was married.

If these items had not been labeled I'm not sure I could have figured it out.  I certainly would not have know whose items they were.

Because we know, these are very precious objects of family history.  All of my children looked at them and handled them with great respect.

Having these items and knowing whose they were and what they meant enriches our family history.  It makes all of our family,  but especially our children, come to a deeper understanding of who we are and who were those who came before us.  

So take the time for future generations.  If you are saving something of sentimental value just write a little note with it.  Your descendants will be grateful.

May my dear mother rest in peace.  I have a feeling she's smiling right now.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Deb from Ukok's Place has challenged bloggers to take a picture of themselves right now with no touching up, no hair brushing, no smile, no nothing.  (An exercise in humility.)

So here it is, Deb.  Sorry to scare anybody.  Now you know how touched up my profile picture really is.  Anyone dare to take up the challenge?

Here are the rules:

1.  Take a picture of yourself right now.

2. Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair.....just take a pic.

3. Post the pic with no editing.

4. Post these instructions with your picture.

(And let's remember God loves each of us unconditionally.)

Who do you turn to in a time of crisis?

The current economic crisis could help the democrats.  People could blame it on the current administration although all the experts say this problem has been brewing through a number of presidencies.

It could also help the republicans.  Why?  Because in times of serious crisis there is a tendency among people to want to 

stay with the grown-ups!!!

My apologies to the Obama supporters.  McCain has the wisdom of age and experience demonstrated by his quick response and articulation of ideas of how to deal with the crisis.  Obama was silent.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Love Your Blog Award!!!!

Mandy from Discursively Happy gave me this award! (My computer is not allowing me to post the picture of the award.  I don't know what's wrong.)  It's an "I Love Your Blog Award." Mandy is a new blogging friend and I am so honored. Be sure to visit Mandy's blog too.

Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others!   I'm so sorry I don't have the picture of the award.  Anyone have any ideas at to why I can't post it?  The questions are as follows:

1. Where is your cell phone? charging
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? gracious
5. Your father? generous
6. Your favorite thing? love
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your dream/goal? holiness
9. The room you're in? kitchen
10. Your hobby? blogging
11. Your fear? fear
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? home
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? tidy
15. One of your wish-list items? orderliness
16. Where you grew up? Michigan
17. The last thing you did? drove
18. What are you wearing? capris
19. Your TV? flat
20. Your pet? dog
21. Your computer? Mac
22. Your mood? content
23. Missing someone? Mike, Jr.
24. Your car? Lincoln
25. Something you're not wearing? earrings
26. Favorite store? Talbots
27. Your summer? pleasant
28.Love someone? Yup
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? yesterday

My apologies to those who have already done this. I have been out of touch in the blogosphere for several weeks now. Here are my 7:

Suzanne at Suzanne's Sisterly Sharings

Kellan at On the Upside

Deb at Ukok's Place

Journey of Truth at A Book a Day

Motherhood for Dummies

Lyndsie at The Miles Family

Alexa at Frankinasenseandmirth

These are blogs I do love.  I'm so sorry I've been unable to post the award!!!  You can find it on Mandy's blog if you want to post it

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday-- All right!

Yea!!! Here are the numbers.....

This week: Down 1.5 pounds!!!!!!

Overall: Down 8.5 pounds!!!!!

I'm excited. I am now 1.5 pounds away from being able to return to Weight Watchers' meetings and not have to pay (because I'm a lifetime member.) When you're a lifetime member (meaning you made your goal and maintained it for 6 weeks) you don't have to pay to attend meetings as long as you are not more than two pounds over goal. So I am now 3.5 pounds heavier than my former Weight Watchers goal. But that goal was the highest weight considered acceptable for my height so I do want to get to 5-10 pounds lower than that.

I think I'm on my way!! What am I doing? I'm eating less food, avoiding high fat foods, and holding myself accountable by committing to "confessing" on this blog every Wednesday the results of my week's efforts. The encouraging comments you leave are a huge motivation for me. Thank you for indulging me in this accountability.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The house is empty....but the heart is very full.

Dear friend Ann K. came to the house today to help me finish it up.  She made us smoothies at the only outlet that fit her plug.

We had them with our lunch in the family room. 

There are a lot of memories in this room.  It's a big airy room.  This is where we would celebrate Christmas or any event really.  This is the room we hung out as a family in the most often.

Last meal in the house...

This view is taken from the back door.  

Other views of the house.....

And for the last time I locked the door and left my family home.   Within a few weeks it will no longer exist.  And by Spring there will be an entirely different house with the number "1500."

It was a day of many tears.  A chapter of my life has ended.  Thank you all so much for your prayers and kind words of support.

Friday, September 12, 2008

You know I've been busy....

You know I've been busy when I'm not posting or reading my friends' blogs.  Above photo is of my daughter helping me empty my father's house.  From that upper closet she actually found my mother's baby shoe--  and we had thought it was empty!!!!

We're almost finished.... I think.  I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

This Week:  Down 1/2 pound

Overall:  Down 7 pounds

Well, I'm back to where I was two weeks ago.    But I know how I'm eating and I know I'm heading downward.  I have not been able to blog much in the last week so I decided to answer your kind comments from last week's Weight Loss Wednesday today.

Journey of Truth said...

Well, I think you are making good progress, still. Keep up the good attitude!

I will lose a wee few calories today because at noon, I have a drill-and-fill appointment at the dentist. I cannot eat for hours after such appointments.

Bless you!

Do you think Alexa should do a template for my blog? I'm really ga-ga over her designs!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thank you, JOT.  Glad you're dental appt. went well.  And if anyone has not seen JOT's new template by Alexa, head over there.  It is awesome.  I love it.  I love it.  Alexa rocks

Blogger Mimi said...

Eating less food is really the key. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mimi, I'm sighing with you.  Why can't we have our cake and not wear it too?

Blogger Motherhood for Dummies said...

oh I had a set back these last two weeks also. Don't worry about it, it happens :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thanks, M of D.  And I hope you're back on track now too.

Blogger Suzanne said...

You are doing well ... just keep going...one ounce at a time. Little exercise? What do you do exercise wise even if you do not think it much? Peace be with you. :) Suzanne

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thanks, Suzanne.  Well, I get to Curves these days about once a week thought I'm always trying for two.  About the same for walking the dog.  I really don't like to exercise.  I like curling up in a corner somewhere and reading a book or blogging with my laptop.

Blogger Lyndsie said...

That's what I noticed when I stopped breastfeeding my little ones this last time.
I think you're doing awesome! One-half pound can come and go in a day. You really are doing great! Keep it up! Since I'll be adding more pound for the next while.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thank you, Lyndsie!  You guys really encourage me.

Blogger Mandy said...

6 pounds that is great! When I was trying to lose baby weight I would stop eating at night and the pounds just started to come off. Now I just try and remember that and not eat past a certain time and it helps me. Of course the older I get I notice I have to do more than just stop eating at night!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mandy, I like that idea.  Nighttime is when I am most apt to start looking for ice cream or popcorn.  I think that would help a lot.

Blogger Kitchen Madonna said...

Not to worry. Not to worry. Onward and upward.

Have you heard of Suzanne Fowler? She's great! She recommends eating no more that what a regular sized mug holds and eating more times a day if you need it. When I do that, I do well (she says as she has her 4th piece of bacon...)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

KM, I have not heard of her but I like this idea.  If I eat smaller quantities and just eat more often I'll let my body have the time to start to feel full. (Instead of stuffing myself fast and not realizing till 2o minutes later that I way overate.)

But the old me is wondering the following (with tongue in cheek.):

If it's a sandwich can I imagine it stuffed into a regular sized mug-- like stuffed beyond recognition?  How 'bout with cookies?  Crumbled into the mug?

Could I poke a tiny hole into a bag of chips, deflate it and smash the chips in?  And then eat a different bag, of course.

Of course, I'm kidding!!! I know about how much food would sort of fit into a mug.  And I think this is a great idea.  I'm going to try it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Things have changed....

They used to run around Grandpa's backyard.  Now they stand on the railing of the deck and talk on cell phones... (teehee)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Family Moment Monday--Don't be afraid you'll break the china!!

Whoops!  I forgot to say that Family Moment Monday is hosted by Motherhood for Dummies.  Please visit her blog for other great family ideas!

The other night my youngest daughters (middle school) and I wanted to have a cozy evening.  I suggested, "Let's make some tea and watch the convention in my bed."  While they weren't as enthusiastic about watching the Republican convention as I was, they were mildly interested.  My 13 year old said, "Let's use Grandma's teacups!"

Now most of you know that I have been steadily emptying my father's house.  My mother had a teacup collection and I now have about a dozen of her lovely teacups.  The girls just love them.

I thought about wobbly teacups on fragile saucers moving with each shift of the bed.  I thought they might break.  I thought that mugs seemed much more practical and safe.

But I could almost hear my mother saying, "I don't care if the teacups break!"

I said, "Yeah, Let's do it!"  We each picked out our favorite tea and our favorite teacup and headed upstairs.

There is no use in having things just for the sake of having them.  Well, that may be true of very  fragile collectibles  My mother's teacups might even be in that category.  But how much more meaningful is it for my girls to actually hold them, use them, and enjoy them, all the while enjoying memories of Grandma.

I have no doubt that my mom was smiling as we sipped that tea in bed from the teacups she had chosen and cherished.  We had a lovely time.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

What's in that box from the attic?!!?!!

The packing up of everything in my parents' house has not been without its light moments. In this video you will see Lisa, a close family friend who came up from Chicago to help, my crazy brother, and.....whatever is in the box :-)

Friday, September 05, 2008

What a job! Yikes!

This is my family home.

My brother and sister and I have our picture taken by the front door together for the last time.

It's sold!!!!  This is a good thing.

This is the house next door.....

This house next door was built after a house similar to ours was torn down.  Still, while it's sad and seems like a waste, it is good that it has sold.  

Grandkids enjoy Grandpa's backyard for one of the last times.

And this is the project facing me.  We need to empty the house completely  in the next two weeks.  I can't tell you how many hours I have already spent.  It's an enormous job.  But it will happen.

To everything there is a season.....A time to build up and a time to tear down.