Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Update late Thursday night (or early Friday morning)
Note the newest addition to my sidebar. You can't miss it, it's bright pink. Just tonight, I fixed my long standing picture problem, unfroze youtube, and managed to affix the button to the sidebar. That should qualify me for either the rockin girl or the geek award. Is there a geek award?
For invisible pictures (if you see the little square). Right click. Then either click on "view picture" or if there is something checked that keeps you from viewing pictures, uncheck it. It gets there on its own somehow. Thanks to my local card playing friends who pointed me in the right direction. You know who you are.
My youtube turned out to be a glitch in Adobe flash. I reinstalled it. Instructions are in the youtube help section or by googling Adobe flash. I'm so glad I didn't start looking for zebras instead of horses. It turned out to be simple and I didn't have to spend money.
Don't ask me how to add to the sidebar. I can never remember from the last time. Eventually I stumble on it somehow.
Hey, I almost forgot. July 1 will be our 18th wedding anniversary. I'll try to get back and write something wonderful about Ray. There are many wonderful things about Ray, not least of which is putting up with me and the gang all these years.
Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.
Back to the rockin' girl award.
Thanks to my friend Emma for the nomination and the kind words. I'd blush copying them here. If you'd like to know what she said, it's on her blog. There's a catch of course; I have to nominate five other women who in turn nominate five more, etc. The problem isn't finding five rocking bloggers, it's limiting my selections to five.
I'll try to remember who's already been nominated if I can. Not that they don't deserve multiple nominations but I'd like to spread the joy. I think I'll stay with the grannies. We're all Rockin' Girls at heart.
Friday's Child in Manila, Philippines
Granny Fiddler in Alberta, Canada
Granny P in Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Merle in Victoria, Australia
Cuppa (Brown Betty Brew) of Ontario, Canada (Anvilcloud's wife for any who haven't had the pleasure of meeting her and seeing her beautiful photographs. I believe she's the newest granny on the list)
These five women each bring their own unique perspective and talent to their writing. At first glance, one would think they have little in common but they share a joy in life and love of family that shines through. Most of you know Merle but you may not know the others. They're wonderful.
(If you haven't seen it, there's another recent post below this one.)
I spent the afternoon playing cards with Tim and his friends. My partner and I actually won. We'd lost the last two weeks straight. Tim treated us all to KFC and had enough left over for me to bring home for dinner. No cooking tonight. They've invited all of us to a barbecue/pool (the water variety) party on the 4th (Independence Day here in case anyone doesn't know). Ray will probably beg off. The heat might be too much and he enjoys having the house to himself once in a while. It should be fun. I asked what I should bring and they said "just yourselves". So we will. Usually we drive to the next town north to see their fireworks but this year I think we'll just settle for our fairgrounds. We can see them from the house or very close to it.
Ray ended up in the emergency room yesterday. They kept him for a few hours and sent him back home. He saw his own doctor today, has a couple of new prescriptions, including one for valium. I'm hoping it will help keep his stress level down. It gets a little crazy around here, especially in the summer. Not just our kids, but the neighbors in and out all day long. Not much I can do about that unfortunately except try to keep the noise level down in the house.
The congestive heart failure diagnosis makes sense. It fits most of his symptoms. They're talking angina as well. It gets a little goofy though. They told him the congestive heart failure could be alleviated by cutting back on fluids. So he did. Last night, they told him it was angina which was due to dehydration. Now what??
My adoptive mom will turn 95 on July 25. I had a long phone conversation with my brother the other day. She'd been living more or less independently with my brother checking in on her every day (they're both in Albany, NY). He told me she'd been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. She's recovering from that but it appears she'll no longer be able to live by herself but will go into a nursing home. This is one of those times I wish I could be in two places at once. I can't.
Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. She's a remarkable lady and up until lately was still doing fairly well, considering her age.
Elcie backed out of her dance performance tomorrow. She'd been reluctant to go to the program and kept coming up with mysterious ailments that disappeared once her bus left without her. Finally, she admitted she was uncomfortable with the whole thing but didn't want us to be disappointed or angry. Disappointed, yes. Angry, no. I hoped it would be something she'd enjoy. I'd already talked to her teacher. Neither of us wanted to have her back out and leave them stranded but they had enough kids to fill in.
Rochelle is out of summer school too. The bus kept leaving earlier and earlier. After she missed it 3 days running, we said enough. I don't mind a bus leaving late but early should never happen.
Other than that, not much is new. It's still hot (maybe not by Phoenix standards but we're in the mid 90's and climbing) and we'll hit the 100's by weekend.
Thanks to all for the comments. I notice my guest book is growing. Have a good weekend and take care everyone.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I've been keeping house (more or less) for some time now and had never heard of some of these.
I'll be back later today with updates. Ray has been out of the hospital for a few days. They did decide on congestive heart failure (unless they change their minds once again). It's quite treatable and we're always taking most of the precautions they suggest.
Household TipsGot Love Bugs?
Use wet Downey Sheets to remove from car! Other brands work but not as well. Takes a hard spray of water to remove 'paste formed by bugs and sheets...but really works well!!!
1. Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove , set
heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No
soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really
2. Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal , mash till they are all
broken up. Add remainder of ingredients , reseal , keep mashing it up
mixing thoroughly , cut the tip of the baggy , squeeze mixture into egg.
Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.
3. Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store , whip it with
your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to
frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar
and calories per serving.
4. Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits , pancakes , or muffins that were refrigerated , place
them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will
keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
5. Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet
newspapers put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with
mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening
plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.
6 Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass
you can't see easily.
7. No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.
8. Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with
cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the
squirrels won't come near it.
9. Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an
empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be
bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
10. Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a
clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when
wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- ta da! -- static
11. Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot
water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your
ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right
12. Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the
glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works
better than a cloth!
13. Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include
something inside , just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an
hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than
shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way
to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it
in your hair...
15. Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies , take a small glass fill it 1/2" with
Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid , mix well. You
will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!
16. Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it , take it
"home", can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so,
especially if it rains , but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!
17. INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS
The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things
around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and
he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean.
(I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He
told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to
the sink, ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh
material - I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like.
WELL...the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through
it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh
that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film , but
it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft
and static free - that nice fragrance too, you know how they can feel
waxy when you take them out of the box, well this stuff builds up on
your clothes and on your lint screen This is also what causes dryer
units to catch fire & potentially burn your house down with it! He
said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (& to
keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out & wash it with
hot soapy water & an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six
months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long!
How about that!?! Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know
dryer sheets would do that. So , I thought I'd share!
Note: I went to my dryer & tested my screen by running water on it. The
water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the
mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water & a nylon brush & I had
it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it the water ran right Thru
the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what
he was talking about
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I just now added this to my sidebar but may delete it. It's a little cramped over there.
Why PG you wonder? When all I ever talk about is cooking, laundry, and kids?
They're offended by the word "death".
If you're curious about whether your blog is suitable viewing, click on the banner. And then ignore what they say.
Thanks to the "other Ann" at Lather, Rinse, Repeat for this.
Another post filled with trivia follows.
Speaking of girls, they've settled down and are enjoying the summer. Swimming, bike riding, playing with the neighborhood kids, sleepovers. Elcie has one more week of summer school (did I mention she'll have a "dance" performance the last day?) and Rochelle should be out the 2nd week in July.
Other than that, not much is new. I had lunch with Tim on Wednesday and then took Rebecca with us to his friends' house. They have a pool, she had a ball while we played cards (within sight of the pool of course). She made her first jump off the diving board. Then she never stopped. On about her 6th jump, one of the guys hollered "geronimo". For the rest of the afternoon, all we heard was "geronimo" over and over at the top of her lungs (and Rebecca has some very healthy lungs).
I wonder why they say that when they jump out of planes? Excuse me while I google.
I'm back with one answer for anyone who really wants to know.
Nick and I share a few readers so Puss-in-Boots, Susie, & Merle can skip this part.
From Sometimes Saintly Nick
AMAZINGLY SIMPLE HOME REMEDIES (the comments in parentheses are mine)
1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto, the blockage will be almost instantly removed.
2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.
3. You can avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat just by using the sink.
4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use an egg timer. (Once upon a time, this was accepted medical practice. Maybe it still is for some things.)
5. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button...
6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you will be afraid to cough.
7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget all about the toothache. (Dropping a bowling ball on your foot works equally well)
8. Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are:
In life, you only need two tools - WD-40 and Duct Tape.If it doesn't
move but should, use the WD-40. If it should not move and does, use the duct tape.
9. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
10. Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom. (This is what I always say to the girls)
So far, my weekend is quiet. I'll watch the Giants lose their 9th in a row (to the damyankees) this afternoon. Only bright spot - Barry (love him or hate him) Bonds hit #749. Seven to go.
Update: We won in extra innings - Giants 6, Yankees 5. Could this be the start of something big? No - not too likely.
Have a good weekend, thanks for all the comments and for signing the guest book, and take care everyone.
P. S. The instructions aren't clear but you don't have to post a picture on the guest book if you prefer not to. Use your avatar, any image, or just leave it blank.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
From Junie Rose
Doesn't this sound yummy? All those spices!! And pumpkin and frosting too!!
I 3/4 cups flour (reg.) sifted
1 tsp.baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp.ground cloves
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
3/4 cup chopped nuts (chopped finer than they usually are in package)
9x5 greased and floured pan
Combine flour, soda, salt and spices.
Cream butter well - gradually add sugar - Blend in eggs - beat well.
add dry ingredients, alternately with pumpkin, beginning and ending
with dry ingredients.
Stir in chocolate morsels and 1/2 cup nuts.
Turn into pan and top with remaining nuts.
Bake 65 to 75 minutes. (or until tooth pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean)
Let cool about 10 minutes. Run knife around all edges and turn out
onto rack to finish cooling!
I usually put a powdered sugar icing on top - in strips going both ways.
(as seen in photo!)
I do this while cake is still warm.
Recipe for this icing can be found on box of sugar.
(or mix well, powdered sugar (sm, amount) with a couple
spoons of cream or canned milk and few drops vanilla- mix until smooth and thick
enough to pour from a big spoon-onto your cake) :)
***Note About Pumpkin:
One can pumpkin -net wt. 15 oz.- is just enough for 2 Harvest Loaves-
so I usually make 2 cakes and don't have that half can of pumpkin left!***
Would those of you who signed in previously mind signing in once again? Sorry about the aggravation.
I think you know who you are but here's a list.
I think that's everyone on the old list except Peter and he's already on the new one.
Thanks and a huge thank you to Peter. It would have taken me hours and I probably still would have messed it up.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The sentiment is lovely and I adore the happy pictures.
I decided to share it with all of you. I know at least some of you are dads.
Happy Father's Day to all.
Sorry I haven't updated more. Our days run together and not much exciting is happening.
After a shaky start, Elcie is enjoying her "school" which seems to be primarily a dance class for wheelchair kids. They'll be giving a performance on the 29th and I'll be there. I've already written about their trip to the Mall. This past week they all trooped out to Merced (junior) College and ate lunch there. It will give Elcie something to think about after graduation from high school four years from now. The University is out of reach financially but the Junior College might be manageable.
Rochelle's doing fine with her summer school too but then she always does.
And Ray continues to do well, in spite of our high 90's weather. It's not even summer yet!!
As for me, I'm okay but still can't seem to summon up much energy. I do the necessary but not a lot else. I do think I'll get out of the house for a little while this afternoon. We're out of juice (horrors) and I may pick up a few other things and then stop by and see Tim at Barnes & Noble.
I was wrong about Melissa's (dil) due date. Now they're saying mid to late November and it will be another boy. Tim's birthday is the 22nd and he's telling Melissa she must hold off until then so he and latest nephew will share a birthday. You can imagine Melissa's reply. She doesn't mince words. Love that gal!!
Rebecca is still unhappy about missing out on summer school but she makes up for it by hanging out with me. She's always been more comfortable in the company of either adults or younger children. Not so much with her peers but perhaps that will change eventually. Or not.
My Giants are playing the Red Sox this weekend in Boston at Fenway Park the oldest park in major league baseball. It will be fun to watch even though we continue our downward spiral. The old parks are disappearing and I miss them. It's the Giant's first time to play at Fenway as far as I know. We're in different leagues so don't see much of each other through the season. Interleague play is a relatively new concept and hated by most diehard fans.
Fenway was built in 1912. Not everyone knows that Babe Ruth started out with Boston as a pitcher before they committed one of the dumbest mistakes in baseball by selling him to the New York Yankees. He pitched at Fenway.
Wrigley Field in Chicago, home to the Cubs and famous for its ivy covered fence, was built in 1914. They may be the only old parks left.
I sure digress don't I.
Anyhow, thanks to all for the comments. I see I just received a comment to the Guest Book post. (Hi Diane). Have a good weekend and take care everyone.
Update: The guestbook seems to be working and Diane's picture is there. It showed my picture half a dozen times but I'm hoping that will change as more people sign up.
Update 2: Click on "Add a Photo: on the banner. It will let you sign in and leave a message with or without the photo. I tried doing it on "sign my guest book" and it kept creating a new one for me - not what I'd hoped for. If any of you have an easier way to do it, let me know.
At least I think that's right. You add a picture the same as you do with Blogger image. Use browse to find the picture. It will upload (download?) automatically.
Friday, June 08, 2007
My online friends, Cooper and Emily are activists.They're extremely involved in Moms Rising and now they're asking for help with "BlogHers" Act.
I received this email a couple of days ago and I'm copying it for any of you women who may not be aware of BlogHer or what they're trying to do this year.
With BlogHer.org (an amazing association of women bloggers with 11,000+ members), we just kicked off an exciting project and want to make sure you know all about it!
It's called BlogHers Act and it's a year-long campaign to harness the power of women online to do two things:
1. Make a difference on a global issue.
2. Identify the top four issues that women online want the U.S. Presidential candidates to address in order to win their votes in the '08 election.
Go to our blog, Been There and to BlogHer.org to learn more about the project, and to tell us what you'd like to see BlogHer.org's 11,000 bloggers and their extended communities get behind for the next year, and what topics the Presidential candidates should address in order to get your vote in '08.
Please jump right in and tell this community what matters most to you. We really look forward to hearing from you and hope you'll forward this to your friends!
Best regards and many thanks,
Cooper and Emily
P.S. Margaret Mead said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Just imagine what great things are possible through this project. We hope you weigh in.I joined BlogHer (finally) after I received the email although it isn't necessary to do so or even to have a blog to make suggestions.
And, as Cooper & Emily requested, I'm forwarding their letter to my friends in the most efficienet way I know.
The deadline is June 15.
School is out for the summer and Elcie's special classes have already started. This morning her entire class made a trip to the local mall. It will be partly fun and partly educational. Many of the kids have never done their own shopping and part of their assignment was to bring a small list of household needs from home and try to purchase them. Since the only store in the Mall that would qualify is a Long's Drugs, I sent Elcie after AA batteries and Pamprin. Don't know if they'll allow her to purchase the Pamprin but no big deal. I wanted something small that she could carry. She doesn't need the shopping education but it should be fun nevertheless.
They'll eat at the Food Court, courtesy of the school district, but they get to pick their poison. For Elcie, that probably means chicken nuggets from McDonald's but she may fool me and order Chinese.
She should be home shortly.
Rebecca has spent the last couple of days with friends. She checks in once or twice each day and gone again. Rochelle has been spending some time with her mom. Last night they all went to Farmer's Market.
Did I mention my granddaughter Samantha (Jim's oldest) is now a high school graduate? I missed it; there weren't enough tickets. I did loan them my camera so eventually I should have pictures. His leave was cancelled but he managed to get here for a couple of days.
I finally did my grocery shopping for the month this morning. I picked up a blister on the bottom of my foot from walking and standing so long at Elcie's graduation and it's just now healing enough to put weight on it. Needless to say, I haven't accomplished much walking with one foot flat on the ground and the other tiptoe.
(Darn it. I just remembered I paid for ice at check-out and never put it in the cart. Usually they do it for me. I'm not going to make a special trip back but I may take the receipt next time. The small corner store sells ice.)
It's sore but I got through three stores and now groceries are put away, the clean laundry can wait (it isn't going anywhere), and I'm sitting doing one of my favorite things. Dinner will be simple; whatever I can throw together. Or perhaps Rebecca will surface long enough to cook. She's getting quite skillful and not nearly as messy.
Ray seems to be doing okay once again. He had two more tests this week (outpatient but still a major pain). We're waiting for results.
We've had great weather; much cooler than anticipated and the air quality is okay.
My online friend, Ann lives in Florida with one husband, assorted kids, and pets. She's a busy lady and a very good writer. I recommend her highly.
She wrote a post the other day about her son's high school prom and graduation and included the commencement address below. Not all the advice will apply to everyone but much of it will. (I have never lived in New York City and have no plans to do so. On the other hand, I've spent many years in Northern California).
Funny thing about being born and raised in the state of New York. Almost everyone assumes I'm from the city. No, there's an entire state called New York as well. I grew up, as many of you know, in the Mohawk Valley of James Fenimore Cooper fame. My two oldest kids were born in Buffalo.
Ann said :
"Anyway, I'm going to print the commencement address that according to urban legend was given by Kurt Vonnegut at a commencement at MIT. The truth is it was written by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune. Either way it's a great speech filled with great advice (which as usual, is wasted on the young)."
And now the commencement address:
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '07:
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.
Thanks to all for the comments. Eventually I'll catch up on both reading blogs and responding to all of you, I promise. I've been reading a lot of your posts from the "feeder" so I'm around; just silent.
Have a great weekend (half weekend for all of you "down under") and take care everyone.