Friday, November 23, 2012

Time For A New Blog Address

Since I'm not going to part with any more money (on a stupidly ridiculous monthly rate), I decided to start a new blog on another website.

It's rough but I'll try to learn how to maneuver and have something readable soon. So, to follow the continuation of this family's crazy world, zip on over to:
I posted a photo on the first entry, then I saw it was the wrong photo... In the process of deleting that one to enter the correct photo, nothing worked to get any photo posted. I will work on that, just not tonight. My patience runs short after an hour...
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Keep the smiles going.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

We had a wonderful time as a family today.  The twelve of us met at Brian and Wendy's house this morning and within a short time - after warming up the food, we had the most delicious lunch.  Yumm.  All that work ahead of time paid off and the smells were just as good as the eating.  I tried to eat healthy and when I got home a bit ago, I entered my food in the food log and lo and behold I did so well, there were enough calories left for the day to allow me to have a small dinner.  YIPPPEEEE.  Now, I'm full and satisfied.  Yep, and drinking another glass of water.  There's a Coke chilling in the fridge...maybe tomorrow.

I took a bunch of pictures, so as soon as I get my storage increased, I'll add a few to show just how much fun we had. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Tanned Tom

Ol' Tom hit the rack this morning about 10 and was ready about 1pm.  Sure made the house smell wonderful.  I made a batch of dressing hopefully just as good as my grandmother used to make.  Lots of work, but ever so delicious.  Thanks grandma for being such a great cook and a precious woman of God. 

I still have the kitchen to finish cleaning up.  Cooking from scratch sure creates lots of dirty dishes.  Ahhh, but I have a dishwasher and they are heavenly to own - I never want to take mine for granted.  I took some pictures of raw Tom and Tom tanned.  But I haven't stopped to complete the process to increase my photo stash to be able to add more pictures to my blog since I was notified this week that my album is full.  It will be a couple of days before I take the time to correct that.  By then, the turkey will be a memory and there will only be a few dressing crumbs.   

We'll be heading out about 10 tomorrow with mom to head down the road to Brian's house for our family Thanksgiving feast.  It will be a great day and I'm looking forward to it.  There will be five little ones who will probably not be still for more than 30 seconds so it will be a challenge to get pictures, but I'll give it my best shot.  No pun intended.

I'm still feeling confident with the healthy eating pattern I am trying.  Must be working because I've lost 10 pounds.  I know they won't continue to drop this quickly over the next few months, but I'm still hoping to work hard at shedding some matronly inches. Those two sets of free weights are still hiding somewhere --- yeah, I SORTA looked for them.  KINDA.  OK, not very hard.  But I'm thinking it's about time to dust them off and work on some strengthening.  I did walk two sessions on the treadmill.  And it wasn't all that difficult to do it.  Flipped on the TV, turned up the volume, and flipped the speed dial to Get Movin' Fat Lady.  No, it doesn't say that, but it is thinking it all the same. 

I hope you all have a memorable Thanksgiving, one full of family and friends with memories to last a whole year through. 

Happy Thanksgiving  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Not All Good

The news at the doc's office wasn't good, but we'll have to deal with what is presented to us.  Sweetz has a stage 6 (out of 10) prostate cancer.  There are several other biopsied samples with evidence of precancerous changes.  OK, so that means a trip to a oncology team at NCBH for eval and presentation of our best options.  Many people have had worse things to happen so we'll work with this and deal with life head on.  Sounds good - can I really DO it?  Time will tell. 

First is to get a good night's sleep and then tomorrow to bake Ol' Tom.  He's clean as a whistle chilling in the fridge.  So in the morning I'll give him a shower and prepare an herb rub and tuck an apple in his tummy. 

Oops, out of space for photos...ok, will have to fix that situation tomorrow.  Too late for me tonight.  My brain has quit and my body is ready for the horizontal position. 

More tomorrow when I'm all fresh and refreshed...well, it sounds good...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bag It Up!

We did a bit of running around this morning.  First stop was to see our medical insurance guy.  Wanted to check out a few changes so we decided on that and then sat and talked to him until his next client arrived.  We were warned that the premiums would increase - nothing like being forewarned that we would be $queezed in the next year.

Another stop was to get a few things we needed, one of which was some of those big drawstring bags to put large gifts in.  The check-out clerk teased us that we were planning to put a new bike in each one for the grandchildren!  Told her they didn't want a bike but preferred an iPhone or iPad or gaming system. I believe we'll let the families get those things themselves. You think Santa could fit our new flat screen TV in one of them!!!!  :) 

I'm excited to report that I've lost 8 pounds as of this morning!!!  Talk about smiling!!  :)  :)  Sure want to be able to keep this up. Beginning today I'm SERIOUSLY considering spending some time on the treadmill.  Well, does that mean I have to turn it on???? 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Family Ties

Son #1 and family met us at church this morning.  It was good to see them and the three grandchildren are adorable. We went out to eat afterwards and sat around the table talking after we finished eating. 

My sister-in-law's birthday is the 25th so I made her a card tonight and hope to get it in the mail tomorrow.  I'm tired and thinking seriously of turning in.  My bed is calling my name.   

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Bird in Hand

Ol' Tom is chilling in the fridge.  Aint said nary a word since I brought him home, so his new digs must be just to his liking.  I'm thinking that he will be thawed thoroughly by Mon (Tues at the latest) and I'll get him in the oven early in the day.  Mom has an appointment for followup with the doc about her UTI one day next week but forgot which day.  I'd like to take her and give her as much freedom from thinking and driving and walking, etc.  She still isn't feeling very well, really hate to see that too.  Still praying that she gets to feeling better, don't like to see her so low physically.  Then Tuesday is my better half's return appointment to the doc to find out the test results from his multiple prostate biopsies.  Seems someone needs to stay well to take care of the other two.   

I got a nice Thanksgiving card with a note from my sister-in-law.  She still doesn't email, message, read blogs, or "do" Face Book, and I still don't write letters anymore so we are at an impasse.  Just think what she could learn and keep up with if she'd get on her home computer and join the world in Cyberville.  I keep hoping...  Her birthday is the 25th...I need to send a card.  Surely I can add a typed note inside.  Yep, I can do that! That's a win-win I'd say.

This evening I received a message from Seldom C. Son #1 who is in town staying at his MIL's house.  He wrote that they would attend church with us tomorrow.  Could have blown me over with a feather.  Blessings come in all different sizes and shapes and I'll take the crumbs I am given. 

I took mom shopping today to work on some more of her Christmas chores.  She had a list for today's errands so off we went.  Knowing that she is not feeling up to par, I decided I would drive and let her rest.  We got all the gifts that she needed from today's list and she said she had plenty of wrapping supplies at home.  We somehow were able to fit in lunch at a great diner and then afterward we conveniently squeezed in a treat at Wendy's.  Since I'm on my LifeSmart program, I had most of a Jr. burger and a Coke which nearly finished up my allowable calories for the day.  I noticed tonight that my WebMD healthy eating program is politely reminding me that I have not exercised.  I've been very  polite at ignoring it... But since my weight loss is on a plateau - and I don't relish staying on this plateau very long - definite plans are forming to hightail it downstairs next week to the hubby's man cave and dust off the treadmill. Yes, well wonders never cease!  I also have a few hand weights need to find them and get with the program. Have weight - will exercise.  Need to make myself a sign!  Now, just how many colories do I need to burn to be a good LifeSmarty?  I know, I know, read the website - yep, it has surely mentioned it each time I get on that site.  Now, if I could figure out how to balance this laptop on the front of the treadmill so I could browse the WWW as I walk the miles.  Then I need longer arms to reach the keys.  Maybe it would be safer if I just watch a bit of TV!       

Friday, November 16, 2012

Attempting to Be Prepared

Sweetz and I decided today was a good day to buy the Thanksgiving turkey.  And he's a beauty - well, I think it's a he - aren't edible turkeys usually a Tom?  Can't ask him because the cat has his tongue.  He's thawing in the fridge - and I hope to have him baked at least by Wednesday and sliced well ahead of the big meal on Thursday.  We are going to Brian's for the family gathering.  Brett and his family are meeting us there so we'll have 12 eaters this year.  I decided I'd get the biggest turkey I could find so everyone will have enough. And I hope to take lots of pictures.  Noooo, not of the turkey...of the family.  We haven't been together in several years so this will be a day to remember. 

We ate lunch with Cecil and June today and it was nice to catch up with their news.  They took a similar trip to the midwest a few years ago so asked us a zillion questions about our recent trip.  They saw most of the same places we did. 

We met mom at Wal-Mart today so we could help her pick out some of her Christmas gifts.  She wasn't feeling great but it still was nice to see her out and about.  At one point she began to feel lightheaded and weak so went to the front of the store and ate a sub and Coke at Subway.  She perked up a bit after that.  Not much, but some.

I took pictures the other day of my painted angels project.  I bought these wooden ornaments at JoAnn's last Christmas and never got them done.  But here they are since one of my readers wanted to see pictures.

Each of the angels differs with a variation in dress and hair color.  Never saw an angel so decided to give them a bit of color rather than the traditional white.   

I also painted a few alpha blocks to kinda/sorta match the ones I have.  Thought if I had extra letters I could spell out appropriate words throughout the year.  I now have the letters for "THANKS".  Hopefully soon I can finish the remaining two letters for "GIVE".   Yes, yes, it's on my to-do list...somewhere between bake the turkey and wrap the Christmas gifts. Here's a shot of a blank block, one with the border painted, one of the original ones I'm using as a pattern.  

Ummm, Ms. Sweetz, you didn't take a picture of the completed letters...Duh... 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Dozen Different Places

Sweetz had his biopsy this morning.  He was in the back a bit over  an hour so I signed on to wifi and proceeded to surf and email and play games in the waiting room.  After all, that's the purpose of the "waiting" room, right?  The rain stopped and the skies cleared.  For most of that hour I was the only one in the waiting room.  The only irritant was that big screen TV hanging on the wall near me trying to inform everyone of the healthy lifestyle - from diabetes, to weight management, to caffeine consumption, to GERD.  Needless to say, I tried my best to tune all those snippets out.  Then it was the phones that rang, patients who came in to schedule this and that, drop off x-rays, ask for appointments, etc.  Anything to put some sort of interruption in my path.  That's ok, I managed since I'm getting better at putting things like that into some compartment that I can turn off and on while I concentrated on the little screen in front of me. 

Then the time was up and I could hear Sweetz making a return appointment for next Tuesday.  That's when he goes back to see the doc to see what these 12 (yes, TWELVE) biopsy snippets show on the report.  I'm praying for a clean report.  God may have another idea.  In the meantime, we'll take one step at a time and pray alot.

Our son, Brett, called today after I texted him about his dad.  So, it was nice to chat with him a few minutes.  He will be deployed to Afghanistan December 5, so that's not much time to catch up on all the news.  He and the family will be coming up this way from Georgia for a week beginning this Friday.  It will be good to see him and the family again - it's been awhile. 

The house was dusted yesterday and the regular knick-knacks replaced with some Thanksgiving decor.  A turkey here, a couple of pilgrims there, a pumpkin over there - all to make the house a bit seem ready for the upcoming holiday.  Next, I need to check out the turkeys at the grocery store - at least the frozen kind in the bins. The others can be seen all year!  

The scales have been good to me.  Well, I'm sure that is related to the fact that I'm eating healthier food and drinking more water.  Some days I actually have to make myself eat the 1200 calories I am allowed.  Then other days, like today, I could eat the filling in the cushions.  But I've lost seven pounds and that makes me smile.  And my knee is much better.  The sun is out - I can smile. 

The Holiday Squeeze Begins

This morning I went with mom to a doc appointment.  She has yet to regain her strength from the bad urinary tract infection.  She's taken all but the last day of her antibiotics so hopefully she will begin to feel better. Of course, with me driving she can sit and relax more and I'm glad to be able to do it. 

After her appointment, we ate at a local Japanese restaurant, sure was good.  Interesting that there was only one other customer in this small restaurant while we were there, but they seemed to have some take out orders.  Hope they don't bite the dust in this Obama economy.  There was only one waitress, one cook, and one manager/checkout guy.  Seems they could get by with only two people to save money and they may have to resort to even fewer employees soon.  Shoot, one person could have done all the work!

Mom and I moved around town some getting some loose ends tightened and ended up at Dollar Tree.  I picked up a few things - that's a neat place for seemingly getting something for a few buck$.  Most items are probably made in China so I try to avoid that place so as not to hurt American businesses. 

After I arrived home, I've spent the rest of my hours working on some craft projects.  They are usually fun during the holidays and this year is no exception.  With my generous lunch portion, I really wasn't hungry so it was nice I didn't have to cook supper.  Nothing is complete yet, but have a head start. 

Sweetz is doing well following his procedure yesterday.  He followed the postop instructions perfectly and knew to the minute when he would be permitted to resume fairly normal activities.  He was piddling in the garden before I left today.  I reminded him not to overdo and he said he would be careful but was only doing light cleanup. We had a light frost here last night so he wanted to do a bit of garden tidying to get it ready for winter.  He picked the rest of the tomatoes - all green or barely pink.  Many will ripen in the house.  Guess I could make some fried green tomatoes with the green ones...but alas that is NOT ALLOWED on my self-proclaimed LifeRite program.  Sure they are, but just in moderation with other calorie-saving dishes to keep things in check.  The other challenge would be to know HOW to make them - never fixed these before but this could be the year to learn something new.  Anyway...there's always the internet to search for a recipe! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Looks Like Rain

The weatherman predicted cloudy weather today with precipitation to begin about 2am.  Right.  Well, the day started sunny, went downhill to cloudy within an hour and has been lightly sprinkling throughout the day.  Guess the predicted front moved through faster than Mr. Weatherman predicted.  Whatever, we need every drop.  I was reading some of my favorite FT RV traveler blogs last night and enjoying the attached photos.  Wagonteamster just completed four days of travel through Mojave Desert in southern California.  Wow, those pictures show not one tree.  At least in the northern midwest where we traveled just a few weeks ago, there was an occasional tree.  Well, maybe there was a tree there in the Mojave Desert too, but it wasn't evident in the photos.  It was perfectly clear that it was a stark, barren land except near the aqueduct. 

I visited with mom this morning and it was quickly evident she looked as though she was feeling just a bit better.  As the clock hands stretched toward noon, we decided we'd head out for some lunch. We ended up at a BBQ diner and sat in the drive-through because mom didn't feel up to going in today.  Yummy yummy yummy BBQ.  On the way home, I stopped in Walgreens and bought some fish oil caplets in hopes they help to loosen some of my joints. They are HUGE!!!  Getting old isn't for wimps!  

OK, I'm off to dust and exchange the dust collectors that are now sitting around - with a few Thanksgiving decorations.  If I wait much longer, we will be into the Christmas season.  And if I wait even longer, I won't have to put anything out!!  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm off to do the holiday decoration dance.  Maybe after the decorations are sitting about, no one will notice my windows are dirty.  Yep, there's a method to my madness...and my friends there know me.    

Sunday, November 11, 2012


We had such a beautiful day today, lovely to see such gorgeous fall foliage.  Even though the color is on the back side, it's still pretty.  Won't be long before there are just a few oak leaves left dangling in the wind, some of which won't drop till spring, but most trees will have naked branches outstretched to the skies.  And they will be daily reminders that we are looking forward to another spring with new beginnings.

Our church services were good, both morning and night.  The pastor had the sermon this morning, but tonight we had a visiting minister, a young guy who already had a great knowledge of the Bible.

We met our friends P/W for lunch, the first time in a month.  W is progressing steadily 6 weeks post bypass surgery but we were thrilled to see him out and about today.  He begins cardiac rehab tomorrow, 3 times a week for 13 weeks.  He'll be a new man soon. 

Sweetz has his biopsy Tuesday.  We stopped at W/M for a few essentials he needed and we'll be looking forward hopefully to a clean result.  Definitely something to pray about.

I wrapped the grandkids' gifts today and they look festive.  Seems odd to see Christmas wrapping paper two weeks before Thanksgiving though.  Nearly time to be studying the ads to see where to buy a couple of turkeys at a good price - seems I am the designated turkey baker again this year.  One family member is borderline diabetic so I could use that opportunity to prepare some  healthier food choices.  That would gel nicely with my quest for losing weight and healthier lifestyle.  I'm trying to come up with a cute name for this new healthy lifestyle that includes getting my weight back into a safer range.  Any ideas readers?  Today I thought of LifeRite. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012


We've had a couple of beautiful days here, such gorgeous weather to be enjoying the outdoors and God's beauty.  Nothing much prettier than an autumn scene.

Yesterday, the Sweetz Guy and I went to the big city to do a bit of Christmas shopping.  The top of the list held the names of the grandchildren.  There will be five in and out during Thanksgiving week so we thought we'd attack that list in earnest first.  So, off we went to conquer that job.  And conquer we did.  One day soon I need to wrap and label each gift and then we'll be able to cross that item off the to-do list.

Sweetzy wanted to check out a few more places so after a nice lunch at Golden Corral, we headed back out to the stores.  It was a Friday and there were hordes of people shopping.  When we were chased out of the last store at their 5:30 closing time, the roads were jam-packed with workerbees heading home for a sweet weekend. 

Today, I went down to mom's and did a bit of cleaning in her house.  That included some straightening, organizing, mopping, storing, etc. but she really seemed to appreciate the help.  She still isn't feeling great so I was happy to help.  We treated ourselves to lunch out including a wonderful time of mother/daughter chatting. 



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Some Winter Prep

Life goes on - things don't always work out perfectly, but we have to rise above disappointments and bad times to make the most of what we are given.  Such is the new mantra of the household.  There will be new plans, new goals, and new methods.  And with that will be lots of soul-searching and awareness.  Each day that we are given breath, we will put one foot in front of the other and continue.  But soon it will be difficult to not say, "I told you so!" 

Sweetz is still having high PSA readings, so he has been scheduled for a prostate biopsy next week.  He seems to be ok with that and I'm trying to be optimistic. 

My right knee is still giving me problems, think it is swollen also, and I favor it alot.  Motrin and Aleve are my BFF these days.  Might have to end up seeing an orthopaedist to check it out to make sure there are no serious problems below the skin.  Sigh. 

The stock market suffered a nose-dive yesterday so it will be interesting to see what happens with that situation.  With banks and credit unions paying minuscule interest on accounts, Americans will need to figure out other places to invest.  This "fiscal cliff" that the financial experts are finally talking about now that the election is over is serious and must be dealt with head on. 

Would be nice to have a financial expert sitting next to me advising the best steps to take but that won't happen here so we'll have to rely on self education.  Gotta have a boat load of money to warrant any special attention.  Europe is facing serious problems and with the global economy, we are all interlocked.  The world is changing and we will need to keep our eyes open and our brains sharp.  But I want to yell...HELP!!!  The Bible states, "Our help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth".  Sounds like a promise I can lean on! 

Mom is doing a little better and I can find some relief in that situation.  Talked to Brian a long time last night after we texted back and forth all day yesterday.  In addition to some other issues, we were trying to settle some plans for the holidays.  Sounds like we will be going to their house for Thanksgiving and I'm to roast the turkey.  Since we are expecting 12 people, that probably will mean two turkeys.  Whatever.  We'll deal with it. 

We are planning to head out in a bit to do some Christmas shopping.  Not sure what to get everyone, but maybe things will magically appear before us to settle that situation.  One must just do the best we can unless people give you a wish list and I actually don't like them since there's no surprise factor in that.  But the recipient is most likely pleased that they get something they really like.  My feeling is that we can buy what we need ourselves, getting exactly what we want.  Gifts are the extra - the surprise - the kind thoughts wrapped in pretty paper.   

Our military son, Brett, will be coming in for Thanksgiving week so we'll get to see him and the family before he ships out for another stint in Afghanistan. 

I've continued on the healthy eating program - today is the one week mark and I can see some loss on the bathroom scales!  Much more to lose, so I'm trying to reprogram my brain to only desire healthy things.  Right.  And that isn't easy after so many years of letting myself go.  But there comes a time as we age that weight becomes a health issue.  Sure don't want diabetes or heart problems when a healthy weight is attainable.  

After preparing the interior of the camper yesterday, we readied it for the winter and now it is dressed in its winter coat.  Maybe I should  hang a Thanksgiving wreath on the front!  In other winter prep steps, I found a small parsley plant and a near-frost battled basil plant so repotted them to see if I can keep them indoors over the winter for occasional snipping.  If they don't make it, I won't cry.  But it's nice to have some summer in the winter.  Sure feel for the NE that's suffering yet again with a winter surprise of snow  amidst the lack of power for many.   Just goes to remind us that we need to keep emergency supplies around in case of a crisis.  Sure would miss my internet though... 

I'm heading out with mom in a few minutes so she can do a bit of grocery shopping.  I certainly don't think she is able to do that alone right now in her weakened condition.  This is something I can do to assist her and still allow her the most independence.  Ya'll be sweet now and have a great day. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Polls are About to Close

We will learn the outcome of the election in just a bit.  These nights are always exciting to me, but TONIGHT'S is the most ever.  I think our country's future depends on how this one goes.