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Thursday, April 30, 2015

How to cook a perfect steak


There's nothing like a tender juicy steak at a great restaurant when it comes sizzling to your table. I've often wondered why my steak at home never tasted that good...and now I know. Check out this video where Gordon Ramsey shows us how it's done.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I'm back

Hello again faithful readers. I am back after two fantastic weeks in warmer weather and sunshine. I went to Tennessee to visit my son and family and that was just what I needed. I had to get away from this constant cod weather and snow or I was going to go crazy. I coudn't have taken one more snowfall. Actually it did snow while I was away and I was grateful that I wasn't in Bradford when it happened.

I was down wouth where it was so green and lush that it took my breath away. And warm. Did I mention warm? So warm. No coats, boots, sweaters. It was a great visit. We didn't do anything special I just enjoyed being with the kids and did you know that little girls are so sweet? I love my grandson too but there is something special about a little girl.

Then the next week I went to my sister's house and my youngest sister came down. We are very close and have a ball every time we are together. On Friday we meandered around her local small town going to small stores but on Saturday we went over to Roanoke, Virginia to the home tour. There is nothing I like better than going into someone's home and these were spectacuar. Not only did we tour the homes but it was garden week in Virginia an the gardens were also open. It really made me want to come home and start planting. Everything was neat as a pin outdoors and inside all the flower arrangements were made by the master gardeners of the garden club. When I say wow! I mean it. I didn't even recognize some of the flowers and materials that they used because they were so unusual.


We also went to Black Dog Salvage that day. Besides salvaged materials like gates they had booths. I could have spent a long time in there. I did buy two things...a small birdbath and a yard decoration. I will have pictures later....after I get dressed and spend some time outdoors today.



Those two weeks were a shot in the arm for my energy and attitude. Now this week the weather is going to warm up and I have a long list of to do's. I will pace myself of course and get Sadie out for walks. Today I have to go to the vet and pick up some thyroid meds for her. We had her tested. When we took her to the vet because of her legs being weak (he did check for Lyme disease and it wasn't thath..a slipped disk) he thought she was overweight...ok, it was our fault..too much people food and treats. So for the past few weeks she has been on a diet and has lost some weight. And maybe taking thyroid meds will help her too. I take them so why not her?

Anyway, I have been a little longwinded today ...just catching up. I missed you all and am glad to be back online. Enjoy this beautiful day.


Monday, April 27, 2015

In Spain

No, not me....my grandson Dan and Gretchen are traveling in Spain. Next they go to Demark and Sweden. I visited Denmark many hears ago with my girlfriend who was born there and never imagined that my grandson would go there someday.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Looking at the lake


This is the view of Smith Mountain Lake about an hour west of Roanoke, Virginia and the view I see as I'm waking up this morning. I am visiting with my sister Diane and it is always fun to get together. Linda will be here by noon and we as always will be having a ball shopping, eating, and laughing.

Her lake house is beautiful.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Let the fun begin


Diane and I at the
Lake house. Tomorrow comes sister three! Yippee!


Let's talk about the weather


I really like my hometown but in Bradford Spring takes a very long time to get there. This is a picture out my son Ryan's back door. This week has been such wonderful warm weather..no coats. And it is so green that it feels like summer. No wonder he likes it here near Knoxville. Oh, and by the way...it was snowing near Bradford and thirty five degrees.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Quick pic

Just to mention how much fun I'm having. Sara and Sean checking out a garage sale.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blogging break


I have been blogging since 2006 and have never taken a break. But with the warm weather I feel I just need to take some time to relax and just enjoy myself. Also get a few things done. I may still post a few pictures now and then but hopefully my life will be filled with family fun.

I know I will still be visiting blogs but may not comment for a while. I am not burned out....just want to take a breather.


Be back soon!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Too busy to blog

Forgive me, but this day of 76 degrees was just too nice. I spent a lot of time outdoors. I weeded my herb garden. Reset the stones around the weeping cherry tree. And dug out those pesky deep rooted weeds with runners. Don worked on the back wall that needed reset.

In between when I was resting I watched the first season episodes of Orphan Black from BBC on Amazon Prime.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

The sun, the sun

Sorry if I got a little excited there but it is seventy degrees!!!

I worked outdoors with the leaf blower and blew those stubborn oak leaves away from the courtyard. Then Sadie and I went for a sunny walk.

What a great day to enjoy being outdoors.


Танец, ломающий мозги

Танец, ломающий мозги

This video had me laughing out loud.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dan runs his first 5k

My grandson Dan who lives in Pittsburgh ran his first race today.

His fiancé Gretchen has been a runner since she was nine years old and regularly competes in races and finally got dan to try one.

Gretchen went on to do a 15k.

I love this picture of the two of them. Gretchen, I hope you don't mind me stealing a few of your sister's pictures from Facebook.


More untranslatable words






When I visited Denmark with my friend Yrsa many years ago we stayed with her family. It was there I first discovered that other cultures have words that have no English translation. In Denmark that word was hygge. It means that cozy feeling that you get when you are happy around your family or friends.

The Danish meaning of hygge

Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are the happiest people in the world?

Here is another definition I found.

I don't speak a lick of Danish, but recently learned a great word that describes a very particular feeling. Hygge (pronounced "hYOOguh"?) often translates to "cozy" — though it connotes much more. From what I gather, it means something like "fireplace warmth with candles and family and friends and food, tucked under blankets on a snowy day, cup-of- coffee conversation, scarf-snuggle, squiggly, warm baby love." Or something like that.

The Danish word hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary; whether it’s making coffee a verb by lingering over a cup to a cosy evening in with friends to lighting a candle with every meal.

Some refer to Hygge as the Art of Creating Intimacy (with yourself, friends and home). Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of Hygge.

Technology and modern day busy-ness has removed so many of us from ourselves, our homes and ordinary tasks, making them feel as though these things are hard to do, have no importance or are too time-consuming. It’s stopped us from being authentic and conscious. Hygge is about celebrating reality and present.

Then last week I found the word flanuer which means strolling around just looking and enjoying what you see.

Now today another Spanish word. Sobremesa

Sobremesa, literally "over the table", has no precise English translation, perhaps because there is no cultural equivalent. Sobremesa is the leisurely time after we have finished eating, but before we get up from the table. Time spent in conversation, digesting, relaxing, enjoying. Certainly not rushing. Not reserved for weekends -though it can be longest on Sundays- even weekday and business meals have sobremesa. For Spaniards, how we eat is as important as what we eat.

Why do you think we have no word for this? Do people jump up from the table after quickly eating in front of the television and go on their solitary way with their devices? Do we not know how to linger? In Europe when I visited a meal could last for an hour or more while we sat talking.

It seems that in America we rush too much and are not taking time to just relax and enjoy what is in front of us. Other cultures do that better than we do.


Then doing a little research I found a few more untranslatable words and cultural concepts that we don't have.

Wabi-sabi is the Japanese idea of embracing the imperfect, of celebrating the worn, the cracked, the patinaed, both as a decorative concept and a spiritual one — it's an acceptance of the toll that life takes on us all. As I wrote about it earlier this year, "If we can learn to love the things that already exist, for all their chips and cracks, their patinas, their crooked lines or tactile evidence of being made by someone's hands instead of a machine, from being made from natural materials that vary rather than perfect plastic, we wouldn't need to make new stuff, reducing our consumption (and its concurrent energy use and inevitable waste), cutting our budgets, and saving some great stories for future generations." We might also be less stressed, and more attentive to the details, which are the keys to mindfulness.



Friluftsliv translates directly from Norwegian as "free air life," which doesn't quite do it justice. Coined relatively recently, in 1859, it is the concept that being outside is good for human beings' mind and spirit. "It is a term in Norway that is used often to describe a way of life that is spent exploring and appreciating nature," Anna Stoltenberg, culture coordinator for Sons of Norway, a U.S.-based Norwegian heritage group, told MNN. Other than that, it's not a strict definition: it can include sleeping outside, hiking, taking photographs or meditating, playing or dancing outside, for adults or kids. It doesn't require any special equipment, includes all four seasons, and needn't cost much money. Practicing friluftsliv could be as simple as making a commitment to walking in a natural area five days a week, or doing a day-long hike once a month.

I want to put all these practices into my life more. So carpe dime Enjoy, really enjoy this day.


Friday, April 10, 2015

The Maple Tree Inn

Tapping maple trees and making maple syrup is a common practice in our neck of the woods. In fact, for years my husband tapped the maple trees in the woods behind our house and cooked the syrup in a homemade cooker in our backyard. There was nothing better than the taste of freshly made syrup on our pancakes. It is a hard process since it takes forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Don's health has caused him to not be able to do the work it takes anymore.

So when my friend Lynda asked if the coffee girls would be interested in going to the Maple Tree Inn for pancakes and real maple syrup we were happy. The Inn is near Angelica NY which is about an hour east of Bradford.

The Inn was about fifteen minutes from the highway and in the middle of the woods. They are only open two months when the sap runs. In fact, there wasn't even a sign in front of the building. We knew we were there when we saw all the cars. It looked like so many people we thought that we would have a long wait but when we got on the inside we realized that it was very large indoors.


The Maple Inn is famous for its buckwheat all you can eat pancakes and we all enjoyed breakfast. Afterwards we went to the small village of Angelica which is know for its antique stores.

We had fun browsing through these stores which are a lot bigger than they look like from the front. I bought a new hat and some doll dresses for Sara.

The houses were very old and had great architecture and I thought this fence made out of old shutter was untique.

We had a great road trip even though it rained...and poured most of the day.