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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sadie update January

Our trip to Buffalo yesterday was uneventful and quick. The vet examined Sadie and was pleased that she has improved with the steroids but wants to wean her off them and try a new medicine for the Lupus. We discussed her front paws and how the ligaments are not supporting them and he is doubtful that surgery can help them but will consult with a surgeon about that. She is walking a few steps long enough to go to the bathroom outside and she feels good enough to scoot around a little in the house.

I began my physical therapy for my hips yesterday. It involves sitting in a chair while electrical stimulatio does its magic for fifteen minutes. Then for another fifteen minutes I have a medicine patch with more electricity which burns a little but gets the meds deep in the hips. My bursitis is not as bad as last year but I wanted to catch it early before that happened. I want to be able to walk in the spring.

Our weather this week is very cold and will be in the twenties all week. We have been lucky so far that the winter has not been horrible. We have snow on the ground but the roads are clear. It's always a good day when I don't have to put on boots.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ice Skating

Do you remember ice skating as a child? If you lived in the north this may be a fond memory for you. It is for me. Getting a pair of ice skates from your dad was a very exciting thing. We had a cement patio out in the back of our house and he bought a plastic liner and plastic sides to make our own little skating rink. It really wasn't very big but to us it was the world. When I was a kid we spent all our time out of doors, even in the winter. We dressed for the cold and wouldn't come back in until the snow filled out boots and snow was down our necks. We would make snow forts and throw snowballs and see who could make the tallest snowman. It's funny now that I rarely see a snowman in a front yard. I never see the kids out sledding. Our town has an indoor ice skating rink so I'm sure the kids go there. I wonder if they even buy snow pants anymore. Things sure have changed since I was a kid.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lafayette….we are here

The 52 moment prompt for this week is Door. I chose a photo of my garage door. I love to travel, go places and see new things but it is always gratifying to come home and drive up my own driveway. I push the garage door opener and ease my car inside safe and sound. My father had a saying that he always uttered when arriving again back home “Lafayette, we are here”.

I didn’t  know what that saying means but my dad always said it when we arrived home. Linda has this saying on the door of her house. So I was curious and goggled it. Here is what I found. 

Lafayette was the French commander who came to the aid of the revolutionary forces during the War of Succession, called the War of Independence, from Great Britain. Washington and Congress promised him that they would return the assistance when it was needed. There was no US involvement during the French Revolution so when US troops finally arrived in France during WWI, this was their calling card. It was uttered by General Pershing's Aide.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Our Planet


Ok, I am going to get political on you so if you are a Trump fan maybe you should skip this post. I care about our planet. I’m worried about global warming and how I will leave this planet to my grandchildren to live in when I’m gone. I believe that we are not good caretakers and our mistakes will have irreparable damage to our future citizens. Already we have more than one crisis….the weather changes, polluted water and oceans, bad land management, destruction of the rain forest. I am scared for the future. United States has not been a leader in environmental protection. We have an Environmental Protection Agency and they have tried to do all they can to insure that our resources will be there for years to come.
  But the news the other night had me losing sleep…

The EPA has been roiled by turmoil during its first week under Trump, as members of the transition team issued what it has described as a temporary freeze on all contract approvals and grant awards. Trump's representatives also instituted a media blackout, clamping down on media releases, social media posts and other external communications issued by career staff.

AP reported Wednesday that Trump's political appointees have been scrutinizing reports and data published on the agency's websites for potential removal, especially details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth's climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame.

When the president calls global warming a Chinese hoax and cuts the budget of the EPA and reduces its workforce it sends a clear message that he isn’t interested in environmental issues. The “gag” order scares me and makes me wonder about suppression of our information.

   No matter who you supported in the election you can’t justify turning a blind eye to the problems of the world. I don’t know how or if I can help but if there is a march for the environment I need to give my support.



Yesterday I called the book I was reading interesting. Today I finished it and was blubbering like a baby. I haven't read a book as good as this in such a long, long time. I don't want to spoil it for you but here is a brief summary.

In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell." But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

It's an easy book to read. I read it in two days because I couldn't put it down. It would make the most marvelous movie. I HIGHLY recommend it! It would be great for a book club. Run right out and get this one!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Yep, it’s snow

It is pretty. The snow is coming down once more. We are not complaining here in Bradford since it has been a rather mild winter for us. The forecast looks like snow for the next seven days. IMG_2545

But I don’t have to go anywhere this weekend so I am looking forward to cuddling and reading. My current book is a Man called Ove. Interesting.


Sadie update: Since the high dose of steroids Sadie is feeling so much better. She has a spark in her eyes again. Her paws have shrunk back to normal size and she is even attempting a few steps when she is put outside. She loves her water therapy in the bathtub to help her muscles retain their tone. We go back to Buffalo on Monday.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I laughed so hard my sides hurt

I wasn’t friends with these girls in high school. But we became reacquainted when I served on our class reunion committee every five years. As we were planning our 55th reunion this year one of the girls asked, “Do you like to play games” and suggested a game day. We have been meeting each month now at each other’s homes to play cards, marbles, and Michigan Rummy.

We have had so much fun! All we do is talk and laugh. And eat too. This time it was my turn to host and I made a cheese board. IMG_2542My daughter in law gave me this beautiful cheese board for Christmas. I also served crackers.
IMG_2540I don’t get a chance to use my pretty dishes much anymore so it delighted me to get them out of the cupboard.
IMG_2538This is what it looked like out my window this morning. Such beautiful snow. What a great afternoon we had!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Are you getting organized?

There are two types of people in this world…those that are completely organized all the time…and the rest of us poor fools! I think I’ve been saying “I’m going to get organized” for forty years. It’s not that I’m so bad…(at least I don’t think so). I can find things…(most of the time). My main area stay clean and clutter free (most of the time). But I’ve never gotten my house to the state where all the rooms (including the basement and attic) are pristine. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it will never happen and I don’t mind at all. (ok, I do mind sometime when something disappears and I can’t find it for days). I will keep striving and organizing every January till I die (and what is left will be someone else’s to deal with).




   I have read a lot of clutter clean up books throughout the years so I do have a few tips:

1. Gretchen Rubin says “if it takes less than a minute, do it”. This has really helped me. I used to take something in the bedroom and lay it on the bed. It belonged in the bedroom and I got it that far. But I didn’t exactly put it away then so I had to deal with it later. Now if it only takes a minute I just do it then.

2. Have a place for things. Keys should be hung by the door. Books should go in the bookbag or on the shelf. I keep scissors in each room so that I can find them easily.

3. Don’t buy duplicates or things you really don’t need. No one thinks they do that but when I cleaned my kitchen out I had so many paring knives it wasn’t funny. cleaning2

4. When you get out of the shower take a minute to towel dry the shower walls and wipe out the tub. Then you don’t need to do so much scrubbing.

5. Do deep cleaning only when you feel like it. You need energy for that and you have to be in the right mood. Light a candle, turn on loud fast music and go to town.

6. Try to keep the daily clutter to a minimum. Corral things in baskets or trays till you have a chance to put them away where they belong.

7. I have a small basket near the kitchen where I put all those stray things that I come across all day and carry it into the bedroom and bath when I go that way at the end of the day.


Do you have any hints, ideas, or solutions that work well for you?



Me cleaning >>>>>Fantasy


Me cleaning…….reality.

I have a small confession. Santa brought me the best cleaning gift ever…a Rhomba. It’s a round miracle that cleans your floors with a push of a button. It’s a fascinating tool and makes my life so much easier. Don was skeptical but when he saw how much hair and dust that it collected he was won over. When it runs out of juice it goes back to its dock and recharges itself. I LOVE it!




Sunday, January 22, 2017

51 years ago today


Don and I have been married fifty one years. Even when I type it I can't believe it has been that long. We were high school sweethearts, stayed together while he served in the navy four years and I went to college and then married in 1966. It's amazing to me that through thick and thin we remained lovers and friends and love each other now just as much or more than we did then at the beginning. He is. A great man very devoted, and loving. He didn't have a good male role model growing up but was a great father to our two boys.

This is one of my favorite wedding photos..me kissing my dad goodbye as I go off with another man.


Friday, January 20, 2017



Red is not a color that I use in my decor very often. So it is a change to have it out at Christmastime. This arrangement has berries and florals from Jan Williams florist in Fredericksburg. We are so unhappy that Jan is closing up her shop after all these years. We stop there every time I’m in town and buy a little something each time. I bought the artichoke urn this time from her.


Another spot of red is in the amaryllis that I have in the long box sitting on the table in front of the sunroom window.

And one last dash of red…the windowpane checked placemats that I am using as a table runner.

IMG_6904I am enjoying this pop of color on these dreary days. We don’t have snow but we also don’t have sun and it is rainy. Do you use red in your house?

Today was busy. I went to Dr. Kinkartz about the bursitis in my hip. First I needed xrays since it has been a year since I was there with the same thing last year. My hips and lower back were xrayed and as I suspected there was bursitis in both hips. Now I will go to therapy and if it works as well as last time I will be out of pain quickly.

  Afterwards I just stayed up at the hospital and waited for our Literary Club luncheon. The speaker today talked about Advanced Directives. She was very knowledgeable and a great story teller and emphasized the need to have your will known to save your family grief when emergencies or end of life happens. My next doctor appoint will be soon and I am going to get one in place. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What is on your wall?

The photo prompt for today is “a wall”. To me a wall just calls out to be filled with something. I am NOT a minimalist! (understatement of the year). So I love to have something pretty to look at on a wall. My favorite wall of all in my home is this one.


When we bought this house in 1973 this little room was used as a small tv room. It is brick because it used to be part of the outside of the house. Eventually someone closed in this small room with a sliding glass door. We used it at first to house our player piano then later our small hot tub. It was ideal for that because it had a cement floor with indoor outdoor carpeting. Then in 2006 we added our sunroom on to the back of the house. Then having a hot tub in a center room seemed strange. Add to that we didn’t use that hot tub all that much. So we sold it and turned this room into our office. I found beautiful furniture from Sauder (although putting it together was a pain for Don). The white dresser I painted with the leaves was already there and fit in well with the office furniture. I love that small piece because it has a double file drawer in the bottom. IMG_6894

This has given me a place for all my supplies and books. I am in this room a lot. I love that the brick gives it extra charm. 

It’s just a Thursday in January

I find myself with a day. You would think that being retired I would have a lot of time on my hands. Not so, says she. As my sister always reminds me I have the same twenty four hours as everyone else. But I try to cram a lot of living in those hours. I’ve always been someone who likes to keep busy and learn so I can fill up time easily. That’s not to say that I don’t know how to relax. But when I do sit down I can think of things I want to do besides sit and watch tv. But today I have no appointments, no commitments, no place I need to be. I can choose to just sit at the computer, read or watch a video. But instead I think I will tackle the “dreaded” basement. Do you have a place in your house that never, despite your best efforts, seems to be in the state that you want it to be? That’s the basement for me. It is a catchall. In my promise to myself to get rid of my stuff I go down there periodically and eliminate some things and throw them away. Each time when a bag leaves I celebrate. I ask myself “is this thing usable in my life now?” I don’t entertain or have crowds of people as I did when I was younger so how many serving pieces do I need? Do I need all those fancy baking pans?  And what in the world are you keeping that for? Time to lighten up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sadie Update

We took Sadie up to the Orchard Park Medical Center for an appointment on Tuesday. As you know Sadie is not doing well. After her surgery she has never been able to put weight on her leg. But also she stopped using her better leg in the back which has an ACL tear and dislocated kneecap. Because she put so much weight onto her front legs her wrists bowed out and were swollen. She had a blood and urine analysis and Dr. Brummer called me last night with the results. Her urine was fine but the lupus test indicated that it is much worse than the last time she was tested. We were going back up for a joint tap on Thursday but he decided to put her on a high dose of steroids and we will see him in a couple of weeks. I am hoping that this will make her feel better. It is so hard to see her not walking at all. She sits wherever we put her and doesn’t move until we pick her up again. She does love her water therapy which we are doing every other day to keep her muscles from atrophying. It is so hard to see her like this when she used to be so active. Hopefully this treatment will help.


Monday, January 16, 2017


The photo prompt for today is “childhood”. When you think of your childhood is there a particular moment that is frozen in time for you? My memories of my childhood are like pages flipped through a book. I do not have a wonderful photographic memory as some seem to have where they recall events in amazing detail. My memory is more like snatches. At five having a birthday party at my grandmother’s house and playing The Sky is Falling with all my friends there. My elementary years participating in programs at school. Being a tomboy and always loving to be outside with the gang. Flying like the wind on a horse racing my cousin.  Having a sweet sixteen party. Maybe all that accounts for me being an extrovert. If it wasn’t for photographs I wouldn’t remember my young years at all. They were happy and I was loved. All my memories are good ones. Who was that girl who spent the summer dressed in nothing but a bathing suit sitting in a tree playing Jane of the jungle? IMG_6886

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Technology is the photo prompt for today. Can you imagine your life now without a computer? Those of us who grew up with paper and pencil and an old manual typewriter know how far things have come. It is a new age and some of the people my age didn’t change along with it. I was lucky to be in the education field where I had access to training and using a computer every day.  But still I had to do a lot of work to keep up.

  The computer..and ipad..are my lifelines. They have opened up a whole new world for me. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t check my email or look at some things on Facebook. But it goes beyond that. I always check my favorite bloggers to see what they are up to. For someone that likes constant intellectual stimulation the web is my playground.

   The greatest things about the web in my eyes is the access to information. Now anyone in the world with a computer has the ability to learn. Education is at your fingertips if you will only take advantage of it. There are online courses in just about every subject. And if you want to know how to do something just find a YouTube video. There have been many times when I just “googled” it.


But that leaves me wondering. Since information is at your fingertips (and it probably will be actually at our fingers as nano technology reduces the size of the chips) will there be a need to “know” information?  Will there be memorization anymore? Will we phase out learning and testing to see if the information is retained? Or will we depend on our devices? And if we do what will happen to civilization if the devices no longer work? Will we be thrown back into the Dark Ages? How will this information age play out?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

52 Moments

The prompt for this week's 52 Moments is ...me. There was a time when I would have been too embarrassed to put my picture out there for everyone to see. Why is it that we are our own worst critics? We can always find a flaw in our appearance. Then I took an online photo class in self portraits and realized that it is not vain to look at your own image. And at this stage of my life I have accepted what I look like and am satisfied. I chose this photo because I think it shows the more playful side of me. I love scarves and jewelry, zydeco music, thinking movies and traveling.


Friday, January 13, 2017

What makes you smile


There it is….the sun! It seems in the winter we don’t see it as often as I would like. We have bodies of water near us that pick up moisture and form clouds which block out any sun that might be there. Even though it’s cold when the sun shines it makes me smile. Today was one of those days. Yesterday it rained all day, we had flooding around our town and we lost electricity for three hours. The melting snow caused the creeks to rise and become swift ribbons of brown. But today the sun was out. That’s something to smile about.
IMG_6877Last night I finished my lighthouse painting at art class. This is from a photograph I took this summer of a lighthouse in Celeron, NY on Chautauqua Lake. I am giving it to my sister Diane.

Now we’re into January

Isn’t January the craziest month? After the hubbub of the time between Thanksgiving and New Years you find yourself in January. Things slow down…somewhat. The weather this morning was minus one. That means that travel isn’t the best idea and staying in has more appeal. And staying in means that you have more time to devote to things you want to do. I bounce between wanting to sit cuddled up in a blanket and read to jumping into a cleaning/organizing project. I hope that I can find time to do both.

birds 3

Reading: I stopped at the library and got a few random new books. I’m looking for something really good so if you have a recommendation be sure to let me know.  I just finished Dark Matter which was a sci fi book about all the universes that could be created if you made a different decision.


Writing: Still keeping up with my blog and thinking about getting busy and finish putting my blog into book form.


Watching: My new Thursday night shows are beginning to come back on tv. And football playoffs.


Needing:  To get back diligently on my Weight Watchers program. Just gained a little over the holidays and this would be the perfect time to get it off. Spring will eventually be here and it would be nice to be lighter.


Creating: New spaces. I got rid of a tv in the entertainment center and this left a nice hole which I can use to store items.


Learning: I just joined a group on Facebook called 52 Moments where each week you take a picture from their prompt.

Planning: Trying to find a nice European trip. Our favorite Fredericksburg florist is planning a summer trip to London for a flower show, garden viewing and castle visiting.


Loving: Getting my house back in order after the Christmas chaos.


Dreaming about: going out this summer and painting en plein air.


Wearing: It’s all about the sweaters now and warm slippers.


Coveting: a new winter coat…but I want to wait till next year and a smaller size (hopefully).


Working for me right now: Tracking my points on the WW app.

Thursday, January 12, 2017



What a miserable wet day it is. I took this photo this morning of the duck pond where the water filled the pond, spilled over and was almost covering the road. If it does there will not be a way for people to get to town at all. The creeks were muddy and overflowing their banks at nine this morning. I can’t imagine how they are now since it has rained almost all day. I have to go out for my art lesson at three so I hope that I can get back home again. I do have an alternate route if the road becomes blocked because I live east of the duck pond.

  I had an enjoyable visit today with my friend Bonnie. We laughed and talked and I helped her start a blog. Being a teacher I love to pass on information and she was delighted to begin a blog and record her thoughts and pictures.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mellow yellow

Today’s prompt is “something yellow”. When I went to Walmart today I quickly used my iphone to take a picture of banana…how trite! I can do better than that. Yellow is not a color I use in my home very much but I did find these square plates. I remember being so excited about the bright colors and patterns on them. IMG_6858

Now they just sit in a china closet unused. I think I’ll get them out and use them tonight for dinner. Those colors would brighten up this white icy day. On top of those are two of the four yellow Fiesta plates that I collected. I didn’t collect them because they are rare but just because I liked the yellow color. IMG_6859At one time my kitchen was blue with white ducks on the wallpaper border. Do you remember that trend? I loved that cheery blue and white kitchen. I still have some blue dishes. The silver edged dishes that you see were a wedding gift from my Aunt. I used to bring them out for formal occasions but they haven’t seen the light of day for some time now.
IMG_6862When I looked around for something else yellow I took a photo of this rooster lamp that I got from the Valerie Parr Hill collection on QVC. I am not a big online shopper but my sister had this one and I liked it so much I got one too. It sits in the corner of my kitchen between the corner windows and is on a timer so lights up the kitchen at night.

What do you have in your home that is yellow?

On a personal note I cancelled my teeth cleaning in Warren this morning. We had icy roads overnight and even though some were clear I was afraid to drive by the dam with its shady roads. I’ve become much more cautious in my “old” age. I don’t take the chances that I once did. There will always be another time for what I need done.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sadie update


She knew something was up the minute Don got up first and way ahead of his schedule. We had to be on the road to Buffalo by seven for a nine o’clock appointment. Warily she eyed us as we got ready for the morning. She knew something was happening but because there were no suitcases involved and we didn’t pack her bag she wasn’t sure that she was included in the plans. She was happy when we took her bed and put it in the backseat of our car and plopped her in it.

  There was a prediction of bad weather but we encountered fairly dry roads all the way to Orchard Park. After weighing her in (she had lost weight, which was the goal) Dr. Brummer did an exam and talked to us. He was very concerned that she had gone downhill since he had last seen her in March of last year. Another vet there had seen her since. He was concerned about her front wrists which have turned out significantly since her surgery and carrying so much weight on them. He feels she is not walking because of this problem. He is thinking that later we should draw fluid from those joints to assess and possible her having surgery later on on the wrists.  He drew blood and took a urine sample and will call us later to let us know the results so we can form a plan of action. He suspects the Lupus as the culprit of her problems and wants to get that under control.  He is thinking about putting her back on steroids which I am in favor of because it will make her feel better. I don’t feel we have solved any problems and I still have questions but we will wait for the test results.

   The photo prompt for today is animal and in the above picture I can feel the frustration that she has laying day after day just looking out the window.

Monday, January 09, 2017

It’s not as easy as it sounds

One of my not stated goals (not a resolution, not a plan, just a goal) is to improve my photography this year. Everything I read from other photographers says that you can’t become better by just looking at photos, reading about how they are done, or browsing. You actually have to take your camera out and practice. I’m not good at that. It stays in the bag most of the time because I find myself busy with other things. But I need to make it a priority if I want to improve. 

  So I am doing a prompt a day to force myself to get out the camera and record. Today is the second day and I didn’t look at the prompt ahead of time. It was “breakfast” which I had already eaten. Sigh. So instead I took this picture with my iphone when I was at coffee with the girls. IMG_2521

It’s not a very good picture. But it is a picture. I am drinking green tea on a very cold morning. I find it refreshing. We go out every morning but I eat my breakfast at home. We sit, we talk, we share. I like getting up and meeting the girls for it gives me a reason to start my day by getting dressed and getting active. Tomorrow’s prompt is an “animal” so that should be easier. We are taking Sadie up to the vet at Orchard Park in Buffalo for an evaluation. Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that Sadie has had her surgery but still won’t walk. We need to find out what is going on and if it can be fixed.

52 Moments Home


The 52 Moments prompt for this week is HOME. This picture seems to tell how I feel about home this winter….a cozy blanket, a good book, and my ipad. Home means that I can take time for myself to relax and enjoy my pursuits.

The daily prompt today is sky. It’s hard to get a picture of the sky when the clouds completely cover its color. It is a snowy day and the gray sky reflects it.

So I added some sky in Photoshop to make the picture more interesting.

sky added

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Preserving memories


After my parents retired to northern Georgia the first thing we did when we visited them was to get out the old photo albums and look through the pictures. Some in black and white reminded me that there was a time when there was no colored film. There were old pictures that my father took when he was young and dating and we got a glimpse of a handsome younger man in his prime. Pictures stuck in a black paged photo album with pasted corners.

When the newest, latest, hottest camera was the Poloroid Don and I delighted in taking "instant pictures". No longer did we have to take film out of a camera and take it to the store, wait for a week and then pick it up again. Now we pulled a strip from the camera, waved it in the air to dry and watched and a black and white picture magically appeared.

Then the movie camera hit the shelves and we carried that large camera on our shoulders as we recorded our children and our lives on a big VHS tape. It was a step up from the old8mm camera and projector. Even now on rare occasions we get out those old films and that rickety projector and watch those old films.

I became even more interested in photography when I started to blog. I knew the blog would be a record of my life and I wanted pictures to go along with my thoughts. I upgraded to a better Fuji camera and the idea of using a chip and transferring the photos to the computer became an obsession. I continued to read about photography and take a few online classes and felt the need to have a real big girls camera. I got a DSLR and really put intention in my photos. I still have a lot to learn about photography but enjoy the journey.