Thinking Out Loud #7

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone! I’m linking up with Thinking Out Loud again which has become my Thursday routine.  TOL is sponsored by Amanda at Running With Spoons.  If you have time today, stop over there to see what everyone else has on their minds.  If not, just book mark it and go back tomorrow instead of spending all of your money on-line!

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I feel I’ve been grumbling a lot in my Thinking Out Loud posts, but today there’s none of that.  This post is about thanks and gratitude.

I have so many things this year for which I am thankful that I’m not sure where to start, so I may jump around a bit as things come to me.

~I am so very Thankful for the amazing gift and opportunity I was given this year.  This time last year, I was not feeling very well.  The cold and damp of the impending winter were starting make me feel the beginnings of the degenerative joint disease that got worse and worse through the winter and spring.  As the winter progressed, so did my pain and discomfort.  Finally in March, I could barely walk.  I was so very lucky that I was able to find Dr. Richard Rothman at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia.  He changed my life by giving me two new titanium hips (yes I AM bionic!)  and I will always be grateful.  Besides, he told me I looked like I was in my 20’s…of course he was wearing glasses!

~I am so grateful to my best friend, Gail.  Not only did she come back to New Jersey from her vacation in Maine to spend two weeks with me while I got on the road to recovery, but she opened her home to me for almost three months while she went back to Maine.  Her house was more conducive to my recovery than mine was.  She let me stay there and only laughed when I referred to myself as her “squatter.”  She couldn’t be better.  I’m so lucky to have her as my friend.

~I am so grateful to my sister, Ele.  She visited me almost every day while I was there.  She supported me and encouraged me and always made me feel I could get up and get back to normal.  She was an especially welcome visitor when Ralph went West to his Army reunion and then on to New Mexico.  She was great, but then she always is!! I’m so lucky to have the best sister in the world.

~Finally I want to say how lucky I am to have Ralph.  He was admittedly a nervous wreck before during and after the surgery.  He tried not to show it, but it’s hard for Ralph not to show his emotions.  That’s one of the best things about him.  He fed me (too much at times!) kept me company, worried about me, cared for me and encouraged me.  He is wonderful and I’m so grateful that he came into my life.

Ralph and Fran Thanksgiving 1993

 

I wanted to share this picture of Ralph and Me.  We don’t look Too Happy, do we?!?  This was taken on Thanksgiving 1993.  I don’t know this because I was smart enough to write it on the back of the photo.  For some reason our family Never got that concept.  We have tons of photos with nothing written on the back and we have NO idea who the people are.  Most of the people who could identify the photos are gone.  So Ele and I are left making up stories about who they are.

I know when this was taken because we also have a video that my niece, Mary took on Thanksgiving 1993.  In that video, you can see this photo being taken.  It is the coolest thing to have something like that.  It’s almost a little creepy, almost like it’s the paparazzi!  It’s fairly long and Mary narrates the entire video.  We lost her in 2007 so it’s wonderful to hear her voice and experience her sense of humor again.  It is a  gift and I’m thankful for that.

~My thankfulness is boundless today.  I can’t show enough gratitude to these people who have made my life so full this year.  So have just come into my life recently, others have always been there.  There are many others, but this is long already.  I’ve always been lucky.  I don’t know if I’ve always been grateful or thankful enough.  I am now.

Be sure to stop over at Running With Spoons to read the other Thinking Out Loud posts.  I bet you’ll find a lot of thanks and gratitude there, today.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

WIAW~I Think I’m Eating Out Too Much

Wednesday already and it’s time for another addition of What I Ate Wednesday.  It’s always fun at Jenn’s party over at Peas and Crayons.  Be sure to catch up on what’s going on with everyone over there when you’re finished here.

What I Ate Wednesday: FALL into Good Habits

I have the feeling that a lot of people will be posting Thanksgiving prep photos.  Or maybe that will come next week.  Regardless, you’ll get none of them from me today.  As the title indicates, I’ve been eating out too much.

Last Thursday, Ralph and I went out to lunch at a diner we don’t go to very often.  There were not a lot of vegetarian choices.  For example the Greek Salad comes with chicken mixed in to the salad! I know I could ask for it to be left out, but that doesn’t bode well for the veggie at the table.

The did have a great side salad.

Salad at Phily Diner

 

Rarely do they come this big.

I noticed they had a veggie burger on the menu and asked for it made as what they called a fajita burger.

Fajita burger

 

It had sautéed onions and peppers and cheese on it.  The veggie burger was sort of destroyed in the process, but it still tasted good.  If I had known that the side salad was so big, I would have just asked for that with the veggie burger on top.  That will be my choice the next time we go there.

We also had lunch at a local pizzeria that we don’t go to very often.  We were there last week and I discovered something on their lunch specials menu.

You start with soup…I picked their vegetable which they assured me was purely vegetables.

Veggie Soup at Pat's

 

It is very light, garlicy and delicious.

It comes with a grilled cheese sandwich on Texas toast. It’s supposed to come with french fries, but they’re happy to substitute a side salad.  I got mine with balsamic vinaigrette.

Grilled Cheese at Pat's

This was really good.  It’s not greasy the way some grilled cheese sandwiches are.  Fairly high in Points for me, but very good.

Included in this week’s food was of course a crock pot full of my Weight Watchers veggie soup. But no pictures.   I also think I’ve finally found how to make perfect black beans in the crock pot.  I don’t think I’ve been cooking them long enough.  I need to try it again to see if I’m right then I’ll post about it.

That’s WIAW for me for this week.  Be sure to check out all of the fun over at Peas and Crayons.  You’ll find lots of great food and fun ideas there.

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

Saturday Snapshot~November 22

Time is flying the way it always seems to do just before Thanksgiving.  Here we are at Saturday again which means I get to join in with Saturday Snapshot hostessed by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.  This is where we share photos taken by ourselves, family or friends, but not something you just found on the internet.  Think about joining in.  I know a lot of great photographers out there who should be part of this!

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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on here but we own two houses…one of the stumbling blocks to us getting to New Mexico. Oh, right, New Mexico…we own Three!  One of them is about a half hour south of the one where we live.  We usually drive down about once a week to check on things.  I was looking forward to the ride this week because I knew the Fall colors would be beautiful.  I was also looking forward to it because I know there is a Red Maple tree in the yard and I was wondering what it would look like.  I had the feeling it might be too late to catch the beauty of the tree.  Fortunately, I was wrong!

Red maple at Ralph's

I took a number of photos because I wanted to get as many angles as possible.  The tree had lost many of its leaves but there were enough left for some great photos.  I picked this one because I love the contrast of the red leaves, the late afternoon shadows on the trunk and the contrast of the blue sky.  As it happens so often, I don’t think this translates as well as it did in the actual photo.  But I like it anyway.

Red maple leaves on ground at Ralph's

Red maple leaves on a bed of ivy.  I love this one.  When I saw it in person, it looked like a field of poinsettia.  I love this because of the contrast between the red and green.  It almost looks like it should be used as a Christmas decoration!

Red maples have always been one of my favorite trees and I was so pleased that I got to catch the beauty of this one before it was gone for this year.

Be sure stop by at West Metro Mommy Reads to take a look at all of the other wonderful photos being shared there.

Happy Saturday!!

Strange But Good~That’s A Weird Breakfast!

It’s been a few weeks since I joined in on Strange But Good hostessed by Laura at Sprint 2 The Table so I thought I’d join the party!  There are always so many crazy good food ideas there.  Be sure to check it out.

Sprint 2 the Table

I started out the week making a crock pot full of one of my favorite things…Lentils.  Everything was going smoothly.  After that I started on a pot of my Weight Watchers Veggie Soup.  In the midst of making the soup, I suddenly realized that I’d made a mistake with the lentils.  Usually, I put in a cup of dried lentils into my small crock pot with onion, garlic and seasoning.  As I was throwing scraps into the trash can I noticed the bag from the lentils…I had put in the Entire Bag!!

I ended up having to move the lentils from one crock pot to another, which in the end was almost too small.  I also ended up with a huge amount of cooked lentils.  I use a cup of them each time I eat the soup which is not usually a problem but I was left with double my usual stash.  I had to think of other ways to use them

Often on BCDC I talk about foods that are not attractive but tasty.  This dish certainly fits into that description.

Lentils in measuring cup

 

To my usual mixture of egg substitute and egg whites, I added a quarter cup of my cooked lentils.  I also added in some Mrs. Dash and crushed red pepper flakes.   Not pretty in the measuring cup.

Lentils in egg beaters

 

Not pretty when mixed in with the egg substitute.

Lentil omelette

 

Not really all that pretty as a finished omelette.  I added some shredded 2% cheese inside and on top.   Not photogenic, true.  But really, really good!  Almost more importantly, it was also extremely filling.  When I have a regular omelette, I start to feel hungry in a couple of hours.  This kept me satisfied almost until lunch time.  I eat pretty early so this was an accomplishment.  It also gave me a nice protein boost of 4.5 extra grams over the regular omelette.  I’m pretty excited that I tried this and I’ve tried it again since I first figured it out.  Sounds weird I know, but give it a try!

Be sure to check out all of the wonderful strangeness over at Sprint 2 The Table today.

Happy Friday!

Thinking Out Loud #6

I can’t believe that I’m writing Thinking Out Loud #6!!  Thinking Out Loud, hostessed by Amanda at Running With Spoons gives us all a chance to speak our minds and get things off our chests.  I like it because I just like to babble on about things.  Check out what the other bloggers are thinking about when you’re finished here.

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It seems like I just wrote my last Thinking Out Loud post.  Time is flying and I’m starting to get those old pre-Holiday nerves.  I have to keep my craziness under control.  I think I can do it this year.  It has gotten the better of me in previous years, but now that I’m feeling so much better, I’m feeling more positive about so many things.

~I am feeling so good and I’ve been doing my best to be active.  I had been going to the gym with my best friends Gail and Alice and using their guest passes.  No longer!

Riverwinds card

 

I am an Official Member!!  I’m so excited. I’ve been enjoying it.  I’ve set up a routine for myself, based on things my physical therapist told me before I finished my sessions with her.  I walk the track for one mile.  Seven times around the track is a mile.  I usually do four laps, then work on the machines then the other three laps.  It’s not so boring that way.  I do five minutes on the stationary bike.  I plan on increasing that as I work at all of this and get stronger.  For now, the five minutes feels good.  Then I do a series of upper body and lower body machines.  I have to say that I am Amazed at what I’m able to do while I’m there.  I’m feeling very good about the whole thing.

They gym also offers classes which you usually have to pay for, but they were offering a special that I could get free classes for the rest of the year.  Then I’ll have to pay, but the good thing is that I get to try out the classes and know what I actually want to pay for after January.  I think it’s a really good deal.  I’m hoping to take the tai chi class.  I have to miss it this week because of a doctor’s appointment, but next week, I’ll be there at 8:30 ready to go!

~There are So many things that are So much better now that I have had the surgery and I’m well on my way to recovery.  Just regular day-to-day activities are better.  Sitting down and standing up from a chair, getting in and out of the car,  grocery shopping…Going To The Gym!!  There is something that is really making me happy about this whole thing.

Last year in the Summer and Fall, I was talking about all of the progress I was making with sorting out things that I wanted to be rid of.  Things that I did not need for our move to New Mexico.  I was accomplishing a Lot!  Then late Fall and Winter came along and I felt as if I’d aged 20 years.  That’s all changed now and I’m back to work.

I spent Sunday afternoon at my sister Ele’s house going through things I have stored there.  I filled one box of things to go to the thrift store and three bags of books to go to the town library.

On Monday, I got to work here at home.  I was proud of myself for being unsentimental about books and I’m happy for what you see in this photo.

Bags of books

 

Four bags of books to go to the town library.  They’re still sitting in my bedroom, but they’re ready to go.  I’m glad to be contributing to the town library and I’m Very Glad that they will soon be Out Of My House!

I’ve got so much to do regarding this clean out, but if I work on it a little a day, I know I can get it done.  It’s crazy how you can pile things up, even when you try to stay on top of it.  Believe me, when we get to New Mexico…this will NOT happen again.

That’s Thinking Out Loud for me for this week.  Makes me feel good to post an overall positive post.  I like that! Be sure to stop over at Running With Spoons to see what they all have to say.

Happy Thursday!

WIAW~The “Did I Use This Already?” Edition

Ok, I’m Ready! It’s What I Ate Wednesday again! That’s where the fun food bloggers gather to share what they’ve eaten all week long or on a particular day.  I never remember to photograph my food for an entire day.  Maybe I should try that for next week. Besides, I sometimes can’t remember if I’ve used a photo already.  Regardless, it’s hostessed by Jenn over at Peas and Crayons.  Check out what everyone else is sharing when you finish here.

What I Ate Wednesday: FALL into Good Habits

I don’t have a lot to share, but I do have a few tasty treats.

Last Thursday was a birthday celebration for one of Ralph’s sisters, Kathy.  We went to the usual restaurant and I get a little bored with their choices but I do have one favorite that I seem to get regularly.  But first I thought I’d shake it up with my salad choice.

Casesar Salad

 

I chose the Caesar salad this time and I was very pleased.  The dressing was tasty and they added lots of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  It was delicious!

My entrée was one that I’ve gotten several times before, but I like it.  It’s called Penne Mediterranean.

Adelphia pasta

 

It has spinach, onions, tomatoes, feta cheese and pine nuts in a light garlic sauce.  It is very good and it seems to be my go-t0 choice at this restaurant since we’re there so often.  At least I’ve found something I like!

Last but not least is another salad. There’s a pizzeria/restaurant that we’ve been going to a lot lately.  They have an excellent Greek Salad.

Greek Salad

 

This is one of the best Greek Salads I’ve found in our area.  Lots of olives and feta with garbanzo beans added in.  They don’t mind that I ask for the dressing on the side and it’s a nice light balsamic vinaigrette.  I just love it.  I did have some of their wonderful bread which I showed last week.  That always gets me!

That’s What I Ate Wednesday for me this week.  Be sure to check out what’s going on at Peas and Crayons.  You’ll be glad that you did!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

Saturday Snapshot~November 15

I love being a part of Saturday Snapshot hostessed by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads!  You can join us. Just post a photo (or photos) that you have taken. It can be by a family member or friend, not just something you grabbed off of the internet.  Join in…the more the merrier!

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Our Autumn has been a little strange here in New Jersey.  Initially we had very little color in the trees. Ralph and I were saying that it was starting to feel disappointing.  But as the weeks have gone on, we’ve started to realize that it’s a good thing.  We had a little color in some areas, then a little in other areas.  Now we’ve got trees in all stages of color which is actually a wonderful thing.  You see the trees which got their color early are now a little dreary but are brightened by colors coming from the trees taking on color now.

As we pulled into the parking lot at the gym Thursday morning (yes…I go to the gym now!!) I was delighted to see this series of trees.

Riverwind trees

It’s hard to see but there are three trees here.  I thought they were so beautiful and the epitome of Autumn.  I hope that where ever you are, you’re having a beautiful Autumn!

Be sure to take a few minutes to visit Saturday Snapshot over at West Metro Mommy Reads to check out what everyone is sharing.

Happy Saturday!