Friday, October 31, 2008

October Links

This list of links are to all of my own blog posts for the month of October.

The Tree

Tom and I went to look at a house a few weeks back and we found this tree in the back yard. The tree has grown around the fence, moved the fence and has totally been disfigured by the fence, but yet it is still growing strong.

I loved the marks on the tree.

I must have stared at that tree for 5 minutes.

It was becoming a metaphor of my life - Growing up strong and then encountering some problems. At some point trying to push it all aside, but unable to do so, so finally just accepting the situation(s) and worked my life around it. Some of the scars are showing, but they create a beautiful pattern on my life.

All this from a tree.

I asked my husband what he thought when he saw the tree - He said it was really cool. No deep metaphors for him. However, he had already moved us into that house, built a second floor and had a boat house on that lot before we left the place. The house has a lot of character inside the house, but it needs a lot of work and about half of the money will have to go to repairing the sea wall on this river front home. I decided someone else needed to love the house and live with the tree.

I'm just really glad I was given the chance to see the tree and think about life in a new way.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


On my list of 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days, #34 is no new purchases of Sharpies for a year. I also included pens into this goal as well. I'm a writing utensil gal. The pen isle in an office supply store makes my heart beat faster, but the Sharpies...oh the Sharpies. The click top pens are my absolute favorite - no cap to lose and it only takes one hand. Grab, click and write.

I wrote on my list that I couldn't buy any Sharpies for a year, but as I recall I purchased a pack just a few days before I wrote that list. It was probably that purchase that made me realize that I had a problem that needed to be addressed. (I write addresses with Sharpies! hahaha)

Now one thing I've noticed the past 9 months is that I do indeed use my Sharpies and I've actually worn them out! I've used up almost every single of them that I've had in the house. The favorite colors ran out first of course, so I haven't had a purple Sharpie in a really long time. Black is gone and so is dark blue. The light blue one just gave up all ink last week as I was addressing envelopes for the Birthday Giveaway gifts. I think I'm down to brown and silver in the regular Sharpies and I may have a few in the ultra thin (non clicker) variety. I think I'm going to make it with just enough ink until my January 21st, 2009 date.

My Christmas Card envelopes will have to be written with something else though - no way the Sharpies would make it. I'd run out of ink half way through.

I really like to send out Christmas cards, but I'll leave that for another day.

I haven't updated my 101 Things list in awhile I see. I'll start talking about that list a little more in the next few weeks. If you'd like to see my list, click here. My updates are all labeled 101 Things To Do.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Booo Hooo

I've Been Booed!

Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville tagged me last night and then this morning J over at Musings from Left Field also booed me. Guess I'd better get Booing!

Now, this is how the Blogging Boo will work. Go to as many friends as you want and tell them they've been "Boo-ed". Have them link back to your blog to pick up their Halloween Treat (picture) and tell them to "Boo" their friends. Then, put the picture in your side bar so everyone knows that you've already been "Boo-ed" and to send the pic to someone else. So, are you scared yet!!?? BOO!!

Ok one more time......

1. Take picture, put on sidebar
2. Tell people they have been booed
3. Link back to who booed you

Happy Halloween!!!

and thanks for all the boos


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Actually, I call him Daddy when I say hello to him on the phone. I don't ever realize it until I'm at the very end of it and think how funny it is that I call my father, daddy.

This is the exchange.

ring ring


Well Hello Bud!

Hi Daddy!

How are you? fine and you fine. Did you watch the MSU game, see the nascar race, hear about...fill in the blank. talk talk talk

Then conversation ends with my Dad saying "Adios!"

From the end of the Daddy part it becomes an adult conversation lol My Dad calls me Bud. I've been Bud for as long as I can remember. My sisters are Sprouts. "Have you heard from the sprout recently?" is how he would use it in a sentence lol

If my calculations are correct, my Dad turned 65 today.

Happy Birthday Dad - it was great talking with you today.

Kristin (Bud)

Springfield kitchen

The flip house we are renovating near downtown Jacksonville, is getting it's final touches. My husband told me that we'd be done in a week (about two weeks ago) but I'm fairly certain we've got another two weeks to go.

This is the tile that is going up in the kitchen. I thought it was a little blah - brown and beige - but I allowed my husband to go pick it out, so I'm not going to complain. It actually looks pretty good in there. It will look even better once it's grouted.

The countertop is beech butcherblock, just like the one we used in the Jupiter house. We had a big chunk of the butcherblock left over from the other job, so when I went to IKEA a few weeks ago I picked up one more piece and the countertop was complete. It is so inexpensive. The piece I picked up was $130 or so. That's just an incredible price for such a great looking countertop.

I'm in charge of the painting in the house. Yesterday the man we have hired to help and I caulked crown molding, chair rails, nail holes, around the windows and everywhere else that needed it. I also painted two doors. I have about 6 more doors to go and since it is pretty chilly in Jacksonville today, it will probably take a bit longer for the paint to dry today. Ahhh, the joys of painting.

So I'm off for the day. Painting and caulking and listening to the boys yammer on and on. Maybe I'll bring my Monster Ballads CD.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Green Onions

Green Onions.

I love Green onions. I don't however enjoy cleaning them and getting them ready to chop up. So what I do is I clean and cut up a lot of them all at once. That way I can just toss green onions into my salads, in my scrambled eggs, into anything I want really without having to spend any extra time after the initial cleaning and chopping.

Here are my beautiful Green Onions. I've cut off the root ends and have peeled off the top layer and cut the tops a bit. I like the green part of the green onions, so I leave a lot of it for me to chop up.

Sometimes I chop green onions into little rounds but normally I cut each piece lengthwise first. This makes it so that I don't have little wheels rolling all over the place. When I cut little rounds I swear that half of them roll off the cutting board onto the floor.

I line up the green onions and chop chop chop. I chopped up the rest too, but stopped to take a picture.

Have you ever had such a step by step of chopping a green onion before? SO glad you stopped by!

Then I gather it all up and put it into a plastic container and toss into the fridge. If I don't use them all up before hand, these will last a week in the fridge.

I precut a lot of my foods to make it easier in making salads mostly, but just to make putting together something quickly and not dirtying up a bunch of dishes. I shred cheese, chop broccoli, brown ground beef, brown ground turkey breast, red peppers (my husband likes those,) and many other food items.

This is what prompted the green onion chopping session - I decided to use the last two summer squash that were in the fridge, some of that fabulous spinach, the already browned ground beef, eggs and some green onions. It was delicious! My husband came home as I was making this, so he even got a little bit. I only put in two eggs so it was a little skimpy for two, but still, it was real good.

This picture was taken before the eggs were added.

Have I made you hungry?

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I woke up this morning and took my Blood Glucose test (BG) and it came up an 84. For those of you who do not wonder about your BG levels every second of every day as I have for the past month, that is a number worth celebrating. I have to take a certain amount of insulin each night and increase that number each night until I have a BG level of 100 or less in the morning. Today was that morning.

The Heavens open up - Ahhhhhhhh

So tonight I will take the same units of insulin that I did last night and we'll see if it is a good number for me. Yesterday morning my BG level was 111 so I knew we were getting close.

I ate my breakfast as usual and then a few hours later I needed a snack. I didn't want to eat lunch yet, but I needed something to stick with me for a few hours because my husband and I are going to look at a house. So it kind of interrupts my meal schedule.

I open the fridge and see extra lean ground beef with todays date on it. Check. I see an onion already diced up in the fridge. Check. I see one pound of organic baby spinach. (What am I going to do with all this?) Check. Cheddar cheese already grated. Check. Eggs. Check.

I browned the ground beef with a lot of the chopped onion. I took two big handfuls of the spinach and roughly chopped them on the cutting board, heated up my non stick pan and tossed the spinach in there with a tiny bit of water to let it sizzle away. I then cracked two eggs into a bowl, tossed out one yolk and mixed it up.

Stir Spinach, chop the beef up in the pan. Stir beef. Remove spinach from heat because I started it too soon. Stir beef, stir beef, stir beef - done. Drain all of the liquid from the beef. Turn heat back on under spinach, add in eggs, stir quickly. Make sure the eggs are just barely done, nothing runny and add in a pinch of grated cheddar cheese, two tablespoons of beef mixture and eat. Man it was so good! Had I known it was going to be so good I would have taken some pictures of it.

It was real pretty though - Green spinach, Yellow eggs, Brown hamburger and a touch of Orange from the cheese.

I titled this post Spinach because I decided while I was eating that I needed to know the carb content in spinach since fresh spinach doesn't normally come with a nutrition label.

Here are some interesting facts about Spinach (Taken from the Spinach Words website.)

Spinach - 1 cup (7.5 oz)

These facts below are all based on one cup (7.5 oz)

Calories: 49

Protein: 6.0 gram - Around 49% of the caloric value of spinach comes from the plant proteins. This makes spinach the richest known source of protein of all plant foods. One cup of spinach provides 12% of recommended daily requirements of protein. (I had no idea!)

Fats: 1.1 gram

Carbohydrates: 7.3 grams - Which includes

Fiber: 5.1 gram - Despite its reputation, spinach is not a high fiber vegetable. The high protein level ensures that the fiber content is only moderate in comparison to most vegetables. This means that bowel irritations, flatulence, and so forth are rare or minor with spinach as compared to most other fruits, vegetables, grains or legumes. The complex carbohydrates in fiber are indigestible and therefore contribute no calories to your diet. Nonetheless, fiber still serves valuable health functions in the human body.

There are two types of fiber found in spinach:

Insoluble Fiber - This is approx. 80% of spinach's fiber content. Insoluble fiber provides bulk without calories, giving a full feeling in the stomach - very beneficial for weight management. Being indigestible, it passes through your digestive tracts, cleaning toxins in the process and exercising the bowel muscles for ongoing regularity, cancer prevention and general digestive health.

Soluble Fiber - This is approx. 20% of spinach's fiber content. Soluble fiber helps to lower elevated cholesterol levels and may be helpful in aiding the regulation of blood sugar levels.
Beta Carotene - The human body converts Beta Carotene into Vitamin A in the intestines and liver. Spinach is one of the richest sources of beta carotene. (Only carrots and parsley contain more.)

Iron - Spinach is one of the best plant sources of this essential trace mineral.

A few tidbits of trivia - also from the Spinach Word website.

Spinach has an undeserved reputation for being high in iron. In 1870, Dr. E von Wolf measured the iron content of spinach, but placed the decimal point in the wrong position. This overstated the iron content of spinach ten-fold. The mistake was not discovered until 67 years later, by German chemists. The myth of the high iron content of spinach is still being wrongfully yet widely circulated today.

Spinach is best eaten fresh. It loses nutritional properties with each passing day. Although refrigeration slows the deterioration, half of the major nutrients are lost by the eighth day after harvest. (For long term storage, freeze while fresh.) When fresh, it has crisp leaves. As they deteriorate, the leaves turn limp.

"Florentine" is a common part of names of recipes where spinach is a significant ingredient. Florence in Italy was the home town of Catherine de Medici, a lover of spinach, who married the King of France in the 16th century.

In the 1930's U.S. spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption - a welcome boost to an industry during the depression era.

The spinach growing town of Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue of Popeye in 1937.

Now what else am I going to do with this pound of spinach? (one pound minus what I've eaten lol) I've had a few salads and now an egg dish. Guess I'm going to need to start looking up recipes. I bought so much spinach because I was tired of my lettuce going bad so quickly. I eat salads all the time but geez, my lettuce isn't lasting three days sometimes.

Hope you've had a great weekend!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Secret Scrolls

Another edition of the Secret Scrolls. These are some pages from "The Secret" page-a-day calendar of 2008. It is one of my favorite page-a-days ever. I've been looking for one for 2009, but haven't found one yet.


In the morning, when one foot touches the ground I say, "Thank," and "you" as my second foot touches the ground. On my way to the bathroom, I say "Thank You." I say and feel "Thank you" as I'm showering and getting ready. By the time I am ready for the day, I have said Thank you hundreds of times. I am powerfully creating my day all that it will contain. I am setting my frequency for the day and intentionally declaring the way I want my day to go. There is no more powerful way to begin your day. You are the creator of your life, and so begin by intentionally creating your day! - James Ray

You are creating your life from within, and everything you experience on the outside is of your own creation. You may have created some things unconsciously, but still you created them. When you can take responsibility for all that is around you, not blaming yourself or anyone else, but understanding that somehow or another you created it, then and only then can you set yourself free. You will know that if you created it, you have the power to change it and create what you want.

Create you day in advance by thinking the way you want it to go, and you will create your life intentionally.

"Focusing on perfect health" is something we can all do within ourselves, despite what may be happening on the outside.

To create the life of your dreams, the time has come for you to love You. Focus on Your joy. Do all the things that make You feel good. Love You, inside and out. Everything will change in your life when you change the inside of You to love. Allow the Universe to give you every good thing you deserve, by being a magnet to them all. To be a magnet for every single thing you deserve, you must be a magnet of love.

Nothing is impossible for the Universe to manifest. If you are feeling that what you want is too "big" for the Universe, take a walk outside, look around you, and think about our planet: the oceans, the plains, the forests, the jungles, the animals, the trees and every piece of vegetation on our planet. Look up into the sky and think about our solar system, our Milky Way, and all the millions of galaxies that contain billions of stars that go on forever. The infinite intelligence of the Universe created it all. Then think again about what you are "big" do you think it is now?

All of these quotes resonate with me for one reason or another. I'm certainly going to start thinking about perfect health, being a newly diagnosed diabetic. I it is all too easy to get caught up in the disease and spend all of my time thinking about I have quite a bit lately.

I also really like the last quote - How big is big? Perspective is everything.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Kindle

I watched the Oprah show today. Normally I just let it record on the DVR and I watch it in the middle of the night when my husband isn't around. Today however, I had complete control of the TV Viewing Area and I watched Oprah from beginning to end. Well, I talked with my mother on the phone for most of the second half, but I was looking at the TV sometimes when it was muted.

Oprah started off the show talking about a new favorite of hers - The Kindle. This is an electronic book reader from Oprah said that she was sure she was going to hate it because she loves the touch and feel of books, she loves to have the texture of the pages in her hands and she doesn't particularly care for reading books from a computer.

She changed her mind when she got the Kindle. The pages on the Kindle book are an ink on an ivory background and the background is not back lit - all of that makes it easier on your eyes. You can enlarge the print, too. So when you're tired, but just can't put the book down, just adjust the print size!

I was actually looking at this little device the other day, so it was really nice that just a day or so later I got a whole presentation on it. I don't usually buy books from the NYTimes best seller list, so I'm not sure that all the types of books that I like to read are available yet on Kindle. I also don't read newspapers and that is a big feature for the Kindle that I would never use.

The cost of the Kindle is around $350. If you decide you want to buy before Nov 1st (I think that's the date) you can get $50 off if you put oprahwinfrey in the promo code section.

Oh, another thing -- Amazon holds all of your books in reserve after you purchase them. If you have deleted your copy of War & Peace from your Kindle and decide you'd like to read it again, you can have it downloaded again for no cost. The Kindle will hold a few hundred books, magazines and newspapers, but a little memory card will increase that to about 400 or more. Amazing.

I don't think I will be getting the Kindle anytime soon - even though the $50's off is quite a draw. I just don't think that the books I'm dying to get are available. I'll be checking it out more and more though because not taking a pile of books with me on vacations or on airplanes is a HUGE draw. 10.5 oz vs several pounds.

I hope you check out the Kindle. It is a real interesting product.

Fish in parchment paper

Tilapia. Yum.

Tilapia is a very mild fish that we see a lot of here in Florida. I was never much of a buyer of fish, so I have no idea if this is a popular fish in other parts of the world or not. I do know that Tilapia is on the menu at most of the seafood places in Florida. I love Tilapia, it is quite tasty and I've never found a bone in any filet that I've ever had and that's always good!

My husband is the cooker of fish in our household and this is one of his favorite ways to prepare it.

Here are the two tilapia filets already sitting on parchment paper squares (that will be big enough to fold around the fish) with a little olive oil drizzled on the paper. Tom has sliced up this pieces of garlic and layed them out on top of the fish.

I have already cut up celery, carrots and green onions into 2-3" pieces.

Then Tom put the cut up pieces on top of the fish, as well as adding in some dill and lemon juice. I wanted to put fresh lemon slices on the fish, but I totally forgot to buy lemons at the store. So a squirt of lemon juice was the substitution. Make sure you only have about a tablespoon of liquid per pouch because you want to steam the fish, not boil.

Doesn't it look pretty?

Then comes the folding of the parchment. Fold the parchment in half and starting at one corner, fold the two pieces in 1"sections all across the side of the fish. You can even staple the folded sides, if you'd like - although we never have. Make sure that you leave some air in the "bags", so don't fold too tightly. When you get to the end you should have a 2-3" tail of parchment, just tuck that under the fish. Alton Brown has a really great segment on how to cook fish in parchment paper - the show is called "The Pouch Principle." I found a transcript for that particular show on the Good Eats fan page - Here.

Transfer the pouches to a baking sheet. Then tuck the ends of the parchment under the fish. I forgot to do that before I took the picture.

Put the whole shebang into a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes for about 6 oz of tilapia. If you are unsure, as I certainly would be, cook for 12 minutes and then take out a pouch and see if the fish is flakey. If not, return to the oven for another minute or so.

The parchment will get toasty brown on the outside. Don't worry, this is normal and perfectly safe.

You can serve the fish pouches right on a plate, with the tops torn from the center out to make an impressive display. If you are serving this to guests, keep the pouches intact and allow your guest to open them. Just remind everyone that there is trapped steam inside, so don't get your face too close! You can also put the contents of the pouch on a plate with rice. This is how we eat them.

This last time we made the Fish in Parchment paper I couldn't remember how long to cook the fish. So what did I do? Googled it of course. One of the resources I found was this site - Gapers Block in an article titled Fish in Parchment Paper by Cinnamon Cooper. To read it, click here. She has obviously cooked fish this way many more times than I have and she has a few different recipes.

My husband loves bread - so I also serve the fish with a nice slice of Italian bread from the Fresh Market. I like to heat up the bread in a pan with a little butter or olive oil. In order to get the most surface area, I slice the bread in an exaggerated slant. This gives each slice of bread and interesting shape and more surface area to butter and brown. The bread looks kind of funny sitting there like that, though lol

I hope you try some fish in parchment paper in the near future. It is really quick and easy and real tasty. Depending on what you eat this with, it can be extremely low calorie and low fat, as well.

Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Google Reader

Have you ever used a reader to keep track of your blogs? Do you know what that is? I didn't either until fairly recently and even then I didn't use it much. I actually didn't realize how fun a reader was going to be!

I started off with Bloglines and I really do like several of their features. Not to mention that I really dislike change and I was used to the way Bloglines worked...but

a little while ago some of the blogs that I subscribed to weren't getting updated quickly. Days even. A few of them went a few weeks. I also had some trouble getting the link to work immediately.

Immediately means - 10 seconds is a LOOOOONG wait.

Sometimes I had to click TWICE! goodness

Well, all of this to say that I tried a new reader last week.

Google Reader
to be exact. I subscribed to about a dozen blogs to see how I'd like the new reader service. I love my gmail email account and I'm quite fond of the Google search, so why not try out the Google Reader.

All of the blogs that subscribed to were updated daily and within a few hours of a new post. There was literally no delay, when I clicked on the link the blog came up. I didn't have to wait 10 seconds or even 5 seconds. The one thing I am not loving is that I have to actually click a button to mark the blog as read. In Bloglines, as soon as I opened the blog in the reader, it was marked as read unless you wanted to save it. In Google Reader I haven't found an easy way to save a post I want to refer to - but I'm sure I will get the hang of it.

I have decided to use Google Reader as my primary reader. I like the way it looks, I like the way it is displayed on my screen and I didn't have any trouble at all subscribing to a blog.

If you are looking for a reader, if you are looking for a place to get all of your news feeds in one place, if you are looking to start reading more blogs than just mine, then head on over to Google Reader and take the tour. There is a a demo on how to use Google Reader at the link I gave you.

Check it out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun in the garden

I just got a few pictures from my sister, so of course I had to immediately show them off!

Alison is my sister - Zora is the 4yr. old and Stella is the baby.


WFMW - Holiday Control Journal

This week Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer is talking about Halloween Costumes and a few hundred other people will also be giving their tips that work for them. Go ahead and leave a comment here first, then head on over to Rocks in my Dryer.

I found out about FlyLady about a year after she started helping that first person. There were just a few thousand of us loyal followers at that time all trying to keep our homes and hearts happy and healthy and clean. Most of what FlyLady and her Flycrew teach and talk about is just fabulous...however, what works for me and anyone who doesn't even follow the FlyLady system can use the Holiday Control Journal with ease. It is a free PDF file that you can download by just going to her site - here.

On the same page where you can download the free control journal are recipes for cookies, appetizers, holiday meals and gift ideas (clutter free gift ideas) for Men, Women, Grandparent, Kids and other important folks in your lives. Just scroll down the page to see all of the goodies.

All of this information is to help you through the Holiday season without losing your mind. The thing is though - you are supposed to start now.

Why now?

Well, because the whole idea around the Holiday Cruising is that you are to be finished by December 1st, so you can Cruise through the Holidays. Can you imagine not buying gifts frantically the week before Christmas or Hanukkah - or baking cookies at 5 am to give as gifts to your neighbors the morning of the cookie exchange?

The Holiday Control Journal can be used for Thanksgiving as well - just print out an extra page of the Holiday Meal page and the Shopping list page. It can keep you on track and stress free. I have used this journal several years in a row and it was just amazing how well it kept me focused. Everything I needed was in one place. All of my lists, my recipes, everything...altogether.

So run over to and get your hands on the Holiday Control Journal. Print it, read it, fill it out and start Cruising!

FlyLady Holiday Control Journal

Have a fabulous week!

I just had to add this. I just found some really nice printable cards, gift tags, calendar, etc on ETSY. IT goes right along with getting things done now to CRUISE in December. I must do a whole post on it in the morning, but I didn't want the WFMW crowd to miss this. Click Here

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Best Man Fail

I got this from one of my favorite blogs. Fail Blog

Some of the items on Fail Blog are NOT PG. Well, most of them probably aren't PG.

Do yourself a favor though and watch this Best Man Fail.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The learning never ends

Have you ever had one of those months?

You know the ones...the months where you think you have some free time and all of a sudden something totally off the wall comes in and fills that space?

I've had one of those months.

The day before I went on my trip to Nebraska I went to the doctor. I haven't been to a doctor in years (insert many types of lectures here) so I met Dr. for the first time that day. He and I had a really nice chat. He told me to lose weight and then asked me to please give blood. Lots of it. He also scheduled me for a mammogram. Which I blogged about already and it went real well.

OK - so I get back from my roadtrip with my mother and sister and baby Stella and there is a post-it on the fridge.

Call the Dr ASAP


Next day. I call. I ask for the lab results and am told that I must see the doctor in person...can I come in today. (Is it really that urgent?)

The Dr. walks in and he says "you have out of control diabetes and we're going to get you started on insulin today."



Seriously, it was just like that.

Then he pops out of the room and comes back with a large handle bag -- large like the Large Big Brown Bag from Bloomingdales - yea that size.

Although mine was one advertising VIAGRA! of all things.

I was given a lot of booklets, two glucose meters (one for home and one for my purse,) and these very interesting insulin pens. He explained how to give myself an injection and then said OK, do it.

So I did it.

Then he gave me a ton of verbal instructions and sent me home. See you in a week he said.

I asked him what I was supposed to do about my diet and he said that he knew I would be looking it all up on the internet anyway, so I could just research it there. What he gave me was the basic food pyramid and a diet of 1800 calories.

This is where the learning was really beginning.

I fumbled and fuddled around the first week pretty much eating what was in the fridge and taking my Blood Sugar levels to see what happened with that meal. When I went to my first Drs appt after being an official diabetic for a week the Dr. told me I was doing real well. He told me he was proud of me. He was pleasantly surprised that I had tested my blood sugar as instructed and had given myself insulin as instructed.

(this is where I have to say -- Why wouldn't someone follow instructions on such a serious disease? I can understand denial but when I was told "out of control diabetes" I listened. And then Googled everything I could, just like he said I would lol)

He upped my long lasting insulin in the evenings and told me to come back in two weeks.

The next two weeks I had a lot of trouble sleeping. My feet were absolutely killing me. They hurt, itched, ached, shot pains up my legs and pretty much made for horrible sleep. Then last week the horrible pain stopped. I can sleep now. I've had some weird issues with my feet for a few years now - as I've read, it is probably a diabetic issue. I think they are actually getting better though. I'm going to talk with the Dr. more about my feet at the next appt. I've got a list going into each appointment.

The other night I was having some problems so I asked a friend to just talk to me. She suggested a support group. You could have knocked me upside the head. I go to the Liver Transplant support group and encourage others going through the process to get involved in it - why it never occurred to me to join a support group is beyond me. I haven't found a physical group here in my town yet but I did find an online community last night,

The things that group were talking about just blew my mind. Not all carbs are created equal. Sugar is OK in some things. Some foods are just poison to a diabetics system. Goodness.

I ordered a few books today. I'll talk about those when they arrive.

This is going to be a whole new chapter.

The learning never ends.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Apple Sauce

One of my favorite foods is homemade, fresh made applesauce. My mother used to make us applesauce every so often and it was always such a treat. I can almost see the apples cooking in the microwave. Yep, the microwave. I swear the microwave is the best apple cooker. The apples pictured are Rome apples.

I like to peel my apples with a veggie peeler (this one is an OXO brand - my favorite) and I start at the top and cut and twirl all the way to the bottom. Then I cut the apple in half and then cut along side the core on the three sides. I do this with each half. Then I roughly chop the pieces and put into my microwave safe dish.

If you are confused about which apples are better for baking - here's a little list.

Excellent Baking Apples: Cameo, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Jonathan, Rome

Good Baking Apples: Braeburn, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, HoneyCrisp, Newton Pippin, Pink Lady

Some people like to mix tart apples and sweet apples. It's a matter of preference. I generally just use Rome Apples.

This is my favorite microwave dish. In the olden days when microwaves were newly invented there were microwave dishes that were nearly indestructible and we used them for all microwaving. I found one at a garage sale once and snapped it up in a second. I think I paid a dollar. It is the best microwaving dish ever. Then a few years ago I decided we needed to have another one because sometimes we needed to microwave two items. So I searched on eBay and found another one. I paid an outrageous sum for it. I see several on eBay today - at not so outrageous sums. This one is an Anchor Hocking Microwave dish - but I think it searches better if you leave off the word dish. Also on eBay in that same search is the bacon tray we used to have. Fun.

OK, so here's where I admit to you all - 99.9% of the time if something is put into the microwave, it first goes into this dish. I don't use my plates or bowls or plastic ware or anything but this microwave dish or a Pyrex measuring cup if I'm heating up a liquid.

Ok, so back to the apples. I microwave the apples in my Anchor Hocking Microwave dish with the lid on for about 3 minutes. I use my potato masher to smash the apples. If they are a little tough to mash, put them back into the microwave for another 30 seconds or so. Mash again. Mash lightly if you want really chunky apples or mash & smash for smoother sauce. I like a fairly chunky sauce. I usually package the apple sauce into a glass container with a lid and pop it into the fridge to eat later. If I am making this for dinner - I serve it piping hot.

I do not add any sugar or sweetener to my apples sauce.


PS. I've got a few of those microwave dishes on my watch list on eBay. So let me know if you're going to bid on them and I won't bid against ya. LOL

Thanks again for such a lovely birthday week. It was one of the best ever. I'm mailing out all of the gifts to the lucky winners tomorrow afternoon. So depending on where you live from Florida, expect to find a gift in the mail this week!!


Friday, October 17, 2008

Yipppeeee it's a Big Giveaway

Welcome - Welcome

Come in.

Let me get your coat.

You know the girls...Barbie, Skipper, Malibu Barbie

I'm so glad you could come today. It's going to be a lot of fun.

I've got a lot to get through...

So why don't you have a seat and let me show you what's in store for today.

First off I have to tell you that Pioneer Woman has some of the best (butter, cream, eggs, pioneer food) recipes in all the land. I had Thanksgiving at my house last year and made the turkey according to her directions (I brined it!) and I had the best turkey ever. So, go quickly to her website after the party and find a divine recipe to make this week.

I hear that her sheet cake is just the cats meow. I haven't made it, but for my birthday, let's pretend!


So we've got the cake!

I see that there are party hats already made at the Barbie gathering. Would you like to make a party hat of your own?? Be sure and grab a set of "safety scissors" as the gal in the video suggests. lol

Cake - Check

Party Hat - Check


Just like Santa, I'll bring them all out of the bag.





OK, first up.

I have another Puzzle Ice cube tray and another set of three votive holders.

I have a set of 6 beautiful magnets that I have made just for the occasion. There will not be a picture available. You will just need to trust me - you'll love them. I've been making them for years and have never had a dissatisfied customer lol

The next gift comes from the ETSY shop of ilee I have one of almost everything on her Etsy site. I think in the next few weeks she'll have more items for the holiday season, but last year I bought several items as gifts. Her calendars sold out real quick last year, so this year I bought several. One of those calendars will be in this gift package!!

and last but certainly not least.

My favorite author these past few years...Victoria Moran has a book "Younger by the Day." I have so many pages book marked that it looks like a text book! I would love for you to get that book, but it's up to you because the last gift is a $20 Amazon gift certificate! You can purchase any book you'd like - but be sure to check out Victoria's books while you are looking for your perfect gift.

This quote was mentioned on the Oprah show the other day. I loved it. It immediately made me think of all of the bloggers and readers and people who comment on all of these blogs. In this age of computers, you don't have to physically be in the same space to leave an impression.

We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace.
-Peggy Tabor Millin

I hope that you will continue to come back and visit me and comment. I have really enjoyed my birthday week and it has turned out to be one of my most memorable birthdays! I'm so happy to have met so many new folks this week. I also think that all of the new people to my site won all of the prizes, too!!

la la laaaaaa

Do you have your singing voice ready?


Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Kristin
Happy Birthday to you.

Thanks everyone for coming by this week!! Be sure to leave a comment today. Any kind of comment at all to be entered into the Birthday Giveaway Extravaganza! The entry deadline is 9pm Pacific time on Saturday, October 18th.

I can't wait to see who wins!!

Have a fabulous weekend!!


UPDATE!! We have a winner!! picked number 10 as the winner - and since I didn't count myself (who commented twice) or the second post from my Aunt Marg, the 10th post was written by my internet friend Tru. I told her to come over and post a message. Good thing she did, huh?

Thanks to everyone for participating. I've had a BLAST!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Birthday Giveaway day five

I just want to remind all of you that tomorrow (Saturday) is the big day. The Extravaganza in my first blogging giveaway week. So don't forget to come back tomorrow. I've got a party all ready to go.

BUT today - today is Friday. A really nice Friday in my opinion. I can already feel the good vibes.

I am not much of a shopper. I can spend a day at our local outdoor mall, but I rarely buy anything. I like to look. I like to think about what a house that owned that item would look like lol Usually it doesn't work in my house...

However, the things I find at Target always seem to be just right. I have this down throw that I bought a few years ago. It is one of THE BEST gifts I have ever purchased for myself. It is such a great blanket that I take it with me on vacations. I talked my friend into buying one just a few weeks after I got mine. When she came to visit me a few months ago she told me that hers has been washed so much that it no longer has any feathers lol Mine mostly sits on the back of the couch - so I don't wash it as often I guess. Or maybe it's the kid thing. I don't have any of those little people. Just a cat. and a husband. and me.

Do you have an item that you have purchased that makes you feel wonderful? Something you wish didn't wear out because it was just one of a kind? Maybe you have an outfit that everyone notices and compliments you? Let me know in the comment section what purchase you've made that was one of your favorites.

The gift for today is a $25 Target Gift card!!!!!

...Insert photo of Target gift Card here....
Oh, I don't have one lol
Imagine... a bulls eye.

The Target card will be on it's way to the winner via email, so please leave your email in the comment section if you remember. Otherwise I'll just have to track you down. The contest ends at 9pm Pacific Time on Friday October 17th.

Have a fabulous, wonderful, incredible Friday!!! and don't forget to come back tomorrow for the daddy of them all giveaways - or something like that!


UPDATE! Trina is todays winner!!! She will be receiving a Target Gift Card!! She came over today because Leigh (Tales from Bloggeritaville) wished a bunch of us October folks a happy birthday on her blog. Good thing Trina followed the yellow brick road over here! Thanks for stopping by!

Are you well traveled?

This is a map of the United States with Alaska and Hawaii crammed on the bottom. This map shows all of the states that I have visited with one exception...I've been to the Airport in Minneapolis, MN but since I never went outside I didn't count it. I really need to go to these northern states in the summer because I'm not a winter gal, even though I did grow up in Michigan.

visited 40 states (80%)
Create your own visited map of The United States.

So how many states have you visited in your lifetime?

I'm kind of surprised that I have missed Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. However, I can see my driving trips just by looking at the map. I drove from Albuquerque to Michigan once. I drove to California and back - taking a northern route out there and the southern route back to Michigan. I have driven about every possible route from Michigan to Florida. I went on a road trip with my friend Ingrid once. We met in Seattle, WA and drove to Santa Cruz, CA. My grandparents lived in Alabama for many years and another set of grandparents lived in Nebraska. My uncle lived in the DC area at one time, my sister lived in Philly and in Portland, ME & I have a friend in New Hampshire. Trips were made to see all of these folks at one time or another.

My overseas map is pretty lame. I've been to Sweden, Norway and Denmark. That's it. (Well, the airport in Amsterdam, but that doesn't count in my book.) Next summer I hope to add the Isle of Mann, Ireland, Scotland and England to that list.

My friend J over at Musings from Left Field posted this on her blog, so I totally stole it LOL Thanks J!! I had a great time thinking about my trips and treaures.

Have fun with this!

Mammogram results

I talked about researching what was going to happen at my mammogram here
and the next day I talked about my experience at the imaging center here

Today in the mail, I got the results of my Mammogram.

The form said that there were Benign Findings (BI-RADS 2) - there was no evidence of cancer.

I saw two dots when I looked at the X-ray at the office last week. I mentioned that they didn't look at all scary and I guess I was right! So I'm assuming that those little spots were the benign findings.

Please remember though that not all cancers are found through mammography. A breast finding of concern should never be ignored. If you notice any new changes in your breast(s) you should bring to your health care provider's attention immediately.

I will continue to have yearly mammograms, especially now that I know that it is an easy and pain free procedure.

Have a fabulous day!

Birthday Giveaway day four

What a great week!! My mother has been sending me an animated greeting card each morning from the Jacquie Lawson website. Yesterdays card was this one - go ahead, take a look!

My blogger friends have been leaving nice comments (but of course!) and well wishes. My husband has been doing real well, even though there's an election going on and he's pretty high strung about it. We aren't going to place an offer on a house we were thinking about flipping so that actually eases my mind a bit and I really got a great nights sleep last night.

So, in honor of all the good that has happened to me - and I know that part of it is because it's my birthday week, but part of it is because I'm sharing it with you all - I'm giving away this pair of beautiful chunk candles.

side note: I took probably a dozen pictures of these candles and this was the best shot. The candles will NOT be blurry when they get to you!

These candles were purchased in Asheville, NC when my husband and I spent a long weekend at the Grove Park Inn (FABULOUS place) - at least I'm pretty sure that's when I got them. I bought them with the full intention of giving them as a Christmas gift to someone. Instead they were wrapped gently, placed in a box and never seen from again!

I think these beautiful candles need a home, other than mine, since I obviously didn't take care of them properly. These candles are certain to be unscented, since I am allergic to most things that have a scent.

I unearthed them today and squeeled with glee that I had another FABULOUS gift to give during my celebration week.

I always see these ads where people light candles and place candles around the tub. Then in the tub is a mixture of water and bubbles and some lovely woman is gently caressing her leg. Tell me - Have you ever had a bath with even one candle burning in the bathtub area? Do you ever use bubble bath for yourself or use those bath bomb things I see for sale? What about those pretty salts? do you use those? I have always wanted to know.

OK, so enough babbling - Please leave a comment to be registered in the drawing for the pair of beautiful blue candles. I will draw names an hour earlier at 9pm Pacific time on Thursday October 16th.

Thanks so much and have a fabullous day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Raise the Price

We got the call from the appraiser today about the potential flip house on the river. Here are the links to the flip I'm talking about here and here and those retro bathrooms here.

The appraiser came back and said that house was worth $450-460K if the owners fixed the roof that caved in, the dock and the screened in porch. We of course would fix all of those things so naturally we would expect to be able to pay less than the $450-460K because we were taking it as is. From what I understand, a mortgage company will not accept a mortgage on a house that has pieces and parts falling down, so that's why the house needs to have these parts fixed.

The listing agent said that the sellers have raised the asking price to $499K. This is before repairs. Just since they were notified of the appraisal. We could offer less but the listing agent said that the sellers won't accept less than the $450 now.

The likelihood of us getting this house - not gonna happen.

Can you imagine, in this economy, with house prices falling like rocks, these people who get a serious buyer and have just paid an appraiser to come out and look at the place (which by the way, this place has been on the market for a year now) and the sellers decide to raise the price because they have someone seriously looking.

I'm disgusted.

and just a bit bummed, too.

OK, so that's my story.

Have a fabulous day. I'm sure I'll have another place to fall in love with by the end of next week lol


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WFMW - Birthday Week

This weeks Works for Me Wednesday is all about Birthdays! This Saturday is my birthday and I'm having a blogging Birthday Giveaway celebration all week. I started on Monday and will continue through Saturday.

This has been a lot of fun. I spent a few hours in IKEA the other day and found a few gifts to give to the winners. I took pictures of all of the gifts and then each night I've written up a blog post and ask those who wish to comment a question to answer.

I have had a lot of fun so far - this is only day three for my Birthday week giveaway. The most fun has been and will be when the gifts arrive to the winners homes.

This works for me - Celebrating my birthday by giving to others.

The blogging community has been such a source of joy, laughter, tears and information that I really enjoy being able to give back just a little.

Please leave a comment here before you head over to Rocks in My Dryer for even more tips this week.

Todays Birthday Giveaway is this pack of colorful napkins! They made me smile when I saw them in the store, so I immediately put them in my basket! I hope that they make you smile if you are the winner. Comments will be accepted for the drawing until 10 pm Pacific time on Wednesday Oct 15th.

Do you use napkins in your home? are you papertowel folks? Is your family more of the shirtsleeve type?

My husband and I usually use one of the small "select-a-size" papertowels as our napkin. I usually take our fun IKEA napkins to our community pot luck dinners. It just adds a bit of fun to the tables. (I also bring something to eat as well lol)

Have a fantastic day and don't forget to come back each day this week and join the giveaway!

UPDATE: We have a winner!! ilovemy5kids will be sporting some fun napkins in her kitchen and on her lap.

Thanks everyone for your comments. I like that so many of you are using cloth napkins and Leigh even admitted that her son uses his shirt sleeve lol I knew there had to be one!

Birthday Giveaway day two

I purchased a book several months ago and I don't even remember buying it, to be honest. Last night I wanted to take a bath and when I take a bath I must have something to read. If I had a Janet Evanovitch book (not the Plumb series) but one of her earlier books that she is republishing, then I would have grabbed that. I wanted something fun and light hearted. One that would keep my attention long enough to make running all that bath water worth while.

So I go to my book closet and there, sitting on top of some fabric scraps is the book that I purchased. It was a Sarah Ban Breathnach (pronounced Bon Bronnock) book titled Moving On. It's about homekeeping. It's about loving your home. It's about making your home a place you want to be a part of and can't wait to get to. (recall that I said this book was sitting on fabric scraps...yep, I need to read this book) I didn't know any of this when I grabbed the book and went for a dip in the tub. I was sure it was going to be something that required too much brain power. I was happily proved wrong. I only got through 18 pages, but my attention was held the entire time.

Earlier this evening, I crawled into bed and started to read another section of this fascinating book. I love to read books that make my brain dance with fireworks of creative thought. I love to be inspired. I usually keep a notepad and pen nearby when I read these types of books so that I can pass along some tidbit of inspiration to someone else.

Today's tidbit comes to us from Marcelene Cox who wrote this in 1947 -
"Happiness is not something you get, but something you do."

I'm hoping for both of those things to come true in this Birthday Celebration Giveaway. I will be more than happy to send out these adorable glass votive holders and I hope that the winner will be happy to receive them!

This Giveaway starts as soon as it's posted and goes until 10pm Pacific time on Tuesday October 14th. The winner will be randomly selected from all entries received before the deadline and posted right here. The prize winner will receive three of these little votives - 2 of one design and 1 of the other. Decorators always say that you should put things out in multiples of three - so three votive holders it is!

In the comment section please let us in on something you do that makes you happy.

I have a goofy thing that I do that makes me laugh everytime. If someone I don't know is walking near me into a store that has an automatic sliding door, I will rush up to the door and as it opens I say - "Let me get that door for you." It's a real cheap thrill but fun nonetheless.

Have a fabulous day!


UPDATE! Comment #1 was once again the winner! is who picked the number and Jennifer was the lucky winner! Congrats Jennifer! Be sure to email me with your address so I can send off these great votive holders. Kirby3131[at]

I "LOVE" this blog

I have a new blog that I've added to my daily rounds.

The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks

Here is just one of the examples from that site.

I'm sure I've used quotation marks improperly, but some of these examples just crack me up.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthday Giveaway day one

I was searching for a fun graphic to put with my Very First Blogging Giveaway and this one made me laugh!

Welcome Welcome one and all to my birthday week. My birthday is on Saturday, October 18th and I will be 42 years old. I've been testing out that age for about the last 6 months. In fact, I was a little shocked when I realized I wasn't turning 43! I'd been saying I was 42 for so long that I had forgotten that I was just testing it out.

This week, however, is all about you!

I have never done a giveaway. I've thought about it, but never done one.

So here we go!

I was thinking about food. Birthday food. Sometimes birthday food is a nice meal in a restaurant or it can also be a favorite meal, a potluck, a surprise party or a cake.

Please post in the comment section what you would like to have as your favorite birthday meal.

My favorite meal is a restaurant meal from Maggiano's Italian Restaurant. It is the Mushroom Ravioli in an Alfredo sauce with a nice side of broccoli. Yum!!!

One of my favorite things is ICE. In honor of my love of ice. The gift for today is this fabulous Puzzle Ice Tray. I will randomly select one of the comments at 10pm Monday October 13th and post the result here on this post.

Good Luck and I can't wait to see all of the birthday meals!

Have a great day and tell all of your friends to come over and join in the fun!


UPDATE: I forgot to say what TIME ZONE the 10pm deadline was... I'll make it Pacific Time.

So, I'll randomly select a name from the comments at 10 pm Pacific time tonight. So far all of the birthday meals sound real good. I was so hungry when I started reading all the great food I went into the kitchen and made a salad. hahahaha

Thanks for all the bday wishes!

Terri (Comment #1) You are the winner of Today's contest!