31 May 2010

Memorial Day

Jack and I went shopping yesterday. I took my camera because I knew the flags would be hanging outside the VA Domiciliary. They always look so nice. Jack parked the car and I tromped around taking snapshots.
This is such a nice visible reminder for everyone who passes by to take a moment and think of the reason for all the flags.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am strongly against the ongoing wars we are fighting, but I still respect the right for those who believe differently and I feel the loss of all of our fallen soldiers throughout the wars we have been involved in.

29 May 2010

Spanish Lavender

Our Spanish lavender is in full bloom. Bees are loving it and so are we. What an incredibly lovely day here today. The sun popped out just in time for Memorial Day Weekend campers and bar-b-cuers. It would certainly be nice if it were to start warming up around here. We are experiencing an average of 15° F colder than normal for the month of May yet we are still way below our normal rainfall. Strange. But the lavender bloomed and that makes me smile.
And best of all, Kari signed a contract for next school year! She is one of only 5 who were rehired in her school district. It is a wonder anyone will be left to teach the children.

28 May 2010

Rogue Volcano

We look out our window and see this little hill that sits in front of some company that frequently puts out steam into the air. From our viewpoint, it looks like a little volcano erupting.

23 May 2010

Guest Room Done!

Our guest room was so full of furniture, it was hard for company to find space to put their luggage. I finally sold the antique set and put a newer dresser in. Jack made a bookshelf to hold the rest of my "Bobbsey Twins" books and voila! Room for guests to move around. The only thing missing is the company!
I could really use a tip on what to do to cover the box springs on my bed. I don't want a ruffle hanging down or it will cover the wood on the side of the bed...which Jack made, by the way. I have a sheet covering it right now and I just don't like the way it looks. I guess I could make a larger quilt that hangs down further?? Michelle (soggibottom) is going to tell me I need a much larger teddy bear for my bed.
I managed to hang all my artwork on the walls too. I can see it's time to get out my watercolors for some new art.
before. before...


22 May 2010

Smart Mom

My mom is so smart! She let me know that the ring around the sun was a sundog. After reading about sundogs, I do believe she is correct. I've never known what they are and this one was pretty incredible... much like my mom!!!

21 May 2010

That's a Switch!

I managed to somehow throw my back and my knee out on the same day and was in so much pain, I could hardly move so I came home from work. Guess who had to go upstairs and fetch my needed items that evening? Today, it seems to be just my knee and that's an old injuury so I am rather used to that one.
At least we weren't down and out at the same time! Jack is much better. He even drove himself into Medford yesterday. He took a friend along just in case he couldn't manage the drive. He said he was knotted up when he first got out of the truck, but the more he walked, the more it all worked itself out. So it would appear that he is on the mend. He even found a way to put his shoes and socks on by himself. He cannot bend over very far and sitting for very long hurts but every day seems to bring an added surprise to his mending.

20 May 2010


This was the wildest thing; a rainbow around the sun. It formed a perfect circle and changed in intensity. At one point, the area inside the circle looked almost black as if some eclipse were in progress. Another time, it looked like a lovely rainbow of various colors. Then the whole thing just blew away. It was a ring of clouds, I guess; as they separated, the circle just disappeared.
We couldn't find a camera that would capture the entire thing so these were the best photos we could manage.

15 May 2010


28 socks on the line and I put every single one of them on Jack's feet for him during the past two weeks!
I finally had enough whites to wash a full load, thus the two week span between washing. On the other hand, there is no shortage of dark clothes around here. Those get washed every week!
It's a beautiful day here today. 74° and a light breeze. Mmmmm, my kinda day.

12 May 2010


No, he's not dead.....

just look at that smile! It's Jack's new inversion table. He hangs upside down and it takes the pressure off of his discs. He feels better after hanging around!
It's down in the "rec" room that we NEVER use. I told him to start making friends with all the spiders down there or else I'll scoot them outdoors!
Tomorrow he sees a back specialist.
Good news is he is feeling better - not pain free, but much better!

Feelin' Good

Okay, I'm feeling good about myself and I need to share it with y'all. I've lost 6 pounds! It feels so good to finally be losing instead of battling to stay in status quo mode.
I have to see my doctor next month and I've been scared into eating differently. I'll let you know if it works or not. The side benefit for me is the losing weight. Get healthy and if it causes me to lose weight, so much the better!
Okay, that's it. I don't even have a photo to post today. Well, of course I have a photo to post but not today. Have a super day, everyone!

09 May 2010

TGIMT (Thank Goodness it's Monday Tomorrow!)

Yay! The weekend is almost over and behind me. Jack is working his way into his 4th week of a bad back. I may be working my way into my 1st week of a bad back just from all the bending I'm having to do. He drops something....I get to pick it up. Shoes on; shoes off, etc.
Then today he gets the bright idea that I have to weed wack our property. The dang weed wacker hadn't been started since last summer. I dragged it out into the sunshine to "let it warm up first". Then filled it with gasoline. Then primed the pump or whatever it's called until I pulled that ole pull cord and the engine just purred. (All of this under Jack's direct supervision, of course.)
Well, it purred until it stopped about 5 minutes later. Every 5 minutes, it decided to just stop. I lost count on just how many times I had to pull that cord. I even managed to get caught up in the field fencing and not with just the cord, but the bottom (thickest) wire got jammed inside the head of the weed wacker. Poor Jack had to come and cut me free. Fortunately, no damage was done other than to the fencing. I learned how to change the cords, how to pull the sparkplug and clean it, etc. Finally, I called it a day. Was the job finished? Nope.
While looking over what I'd done, I announced to Jack, "Well, it certainly looks like a quilter just weed wacked the place because it is definitely a patchwork job!"
I heard from both of our girls and then we connected with both of our moms (even though I do NOT celebrate MD.) So I decided to relax in an oil bath....Mmmm, lavender salts and hot oily water. I got into some baggy clothes and figured I could relax all afternoon organizing my recipes.
Next thing I knew, Jack was on the phone. He found an inversion table for his back on Craig's List. Do you think it might have been nearby? Nope, but not as far away as it could've been. So - change my clothes, pack him in the truck and away we went. Luckily the woman helped me load it into the truck.
We'll be setting it up tomorrow for him to use. We understand that they are very good for you if you have back problems. I may be the first one to try it out after this weekend!
Oh, by the by, for those of you who do celebrate MD, I hope it was very special for each of you.

07 May 2010

Healthy Wheat Bread Recipe

This recipe was in the Oct/Nov 1997 issue of Taste of Home magazine. It is the bread I posted a photo of and has a nice light, and slightly sweet taste to it with all whole grains.

* (the recipe calls for all-purpose flour but I use half pastry flour and half whole wheat flour throughout the recipe)

3-4 C all-purpose flour* divided
2 tsp. salt (I used about 3/4 tsp. salt since I'm cutting down on salt)
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1 C water
1/2 C honey
2 TBL. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 C low fat cottage cheese
4 egg whites
1-1/2 C whole wheat flour*
1/2 C wheat germ
1/2 C old fashioned oats

In large bowl: combine 2 C all-purpose flour*, salt and yeast.
In sauce pan: heat water, honey and oil to 120 - 130 degrees, stir in cottage cheese. Add to flour mixture with egg whites; blend at low speed until moistened. Beat for 3 minutes on medium. (I never use my mixer with bread so I just stirred..)
Add whole wheat flour*, wheat germ, oats and enough of remaining all-purpose flour* to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elasticy about 6-8 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled. (about 1 hour...mine took longer)
Punch dough down. Shape into two loaves. Place in two bread loaf pans coated with non-stick cooking spray. (I use olive oil)
Cover and let rise until doubled - about 1 hour.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cover with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. (Ooops...I forgot to do this!)
Remove from pans, cool on wire rack.

06 May 2010

There Ought to be a Label for Fingernails

So how many grams of dietary fiber do you think there are in fingernails? What about protein? Why? Because I'm so hungry I'm ready to start biting my fingernails off, that's why!
No, I'm not trying to get slim for the sake of beauty; however, I am trying to slim down for the sake of my health.
I had my annual blood work done and got some scary results: cholesterol is about through the roof and remember folks, I don't eat meat! A1c was high...this is the measurement they use to see if you are diabetic. 6.5 means you are diabetic. I am 6.4 and two years ago I was 6.2.
With these reports in hand and phone messages from two different doctors saying, "CALL US NOW!".... I figure I better straighten up and fly right.
I hit the board (keyboard, that is..) and surfed the net to make myself "knowledgeable" about diabetes. Oh boy. Two hours later, I was afraid to eat anything.
Proteins are needed but cholesterol runs rampant in protein rich foods. Guess I'll be increasing my intake of tofu really soon.
On the good side, both ailments can "possibly" be "fixed" by losing weight. Both docs want to see me soon but I sweet-talked them into June, AFTER school gets out. I can just hear one of my docs "scolding" voice rolling around inside my head. I'm more afraid of him than I am over the idea that I may be diabetic. OMg!!
So here it is - I went cold turkey on this one - I gave up eating chocolate. (Well, at least until I get this all in order, right?) I realize I won't be able to have fun with my chocolate binges any longer because that is called "sugar loading" and it is not good for anyone. Maybe one nibble here and there on my 85% cocoa bars. I'll have something to look forward to, that's for sure.
Then there are my carbs. I'm in love with carbs. Potatoes - rice - chips - popcorn - pasta - pizza ... you get the picture. I can't eat these like I used to. I'm measuring them out and counting them.
I had made pasta for us and we were feasting on the leftovers when I realized I have to measure 1/3 of a cup of pasta and that's it. (Did you EVER see how much 1/3 C of cooked pasta is? Not much.) I laughed when I saw my "serving" and Jack's plate FULL of lucious pasta. (sigh).
(Get ahold of yourself, Sandee, Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Spouse's Pasta.) I'm sure there is a law written for that somewhere. Dang it!
Benefit No. 1 is that I lost two pounds right off the bat. I'd already lost two last week so I'm down four. If I can keep this trend, I may be able to button my britches by those June appointments!
(By the way, for those of you who asked....that bread recipe will follow soon...I did find it!)

Wonderful Bread Recipe

I found this great whole wheat bread recipe. It made two loaves. I love making my own bread; mainly because I know what has gone into it....pure goodness.
Now, if only I can remember what I did with that recipe!

03 May 2010

You Load 16 Pounds and What do You Get?

(No, you don't get a smaller version of Tennessee Ernie Ford singing "16 Tons" - but you can get that at You Tube. Just type in "16 Tons" and he will sing it to you.)
I grew up on Tennessee's music and this particular song rolls around in my head frequently. I don't particularly like music so go figure why that song has stuck for over 50 years in my head. Any hoo, here is my version of it:
Yup! It's 16 pounds of recipes going to the recycle bin. I saved and saved "Taste of Home" and "Vegetarian Times" magazines until I had to shove them behind other recipe books. I
figured it would give Jack a good project to sort through them while his back is hurting. I put them on a high counter top along with the scissors but he didn't go along with my plan. So I've been clipping and sorting.
I'll have another week of sorting some more and filing those which I have saved. But to get rid of 16 pounds of unneeded recipes feels good. 'just one more corner cleaned out! And when I'm finished with the entire house and all my stashes, it will be time to start all over again. Just like painting the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge; the job never ends.

02 May 2010

Wood House

This is where I should be today; visiting the Wood House. It is a historical homestead about 10 miles from us. They are having an open house this weekend and I've always wanted to walk through it. Maybe I will take a break from my cleaning-mode and go "touristing."
'tis a popular site for artists to sit and paint.