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!

Thinking Out Loud #5

Thinking Out Loud has become an important part of my week.  I feel I’ve really found some like-minded “Thinkers” here. Created by Amanda at Running With Spoons, Thinking Out Loud gives us all a chance to get some things off our chests.  Check out what other bloggers have on their minds (or off their chests!) when you’re finished here.

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I do wonder how it is that I have SO many things going on in my head throughout a given week, but when I sit down to write my Thinking Out Loud post, it all goes out of my head and I find myself sitting here going “uuhhhh” and “uummm.”  Oh, well, as always, I still seem to be able to come up with something.  Here goes.

~The news in the background just told me that Prince has just taken his first Selfie…should that be capitalized?!?  Don’t know but anyway, he took it with an actual camera instead of a cell phone.  He’s banned the use of cell phones around him.  Quite a quirky character.  Back to Selfies…I’m not good at them.  I keep practicing but mercifully, no one sees them except me…Occasionally I’ll show one to Ralph.  I keep practicing, though.  One thing I don’t get about selfies, is why do people insist on posting selfies either making a duck face or with their tongues sticking out.  Is that supposed to be alluring or enticing?  I don’t get it.  I’ll keep trying and I may post one but feel safe in the fact that there will be no tongues or duck faces.

~It’s been a good week in general.  I’ve been getting to the gym several days and I plan to join this week.  I’m pretty excited about the whole thing.  Feeling so good is almost scary.  I go for my last physical therapy session today (it’s actually Wednesday as I write this.)  I’m glad and a little sad at the same time.  I’ve truly enjoyed the physical therapy process.  My therapist, Donna is wonderful and she seems to get my strange sense of humor.  I’ll miss her.  I will continue to be a good patient, doing my exercises at home and of course going to the gym will be a big help according to Donna.  Thanks, Donna!

~I’m excited to say that I’m getting back on track with my sorting and packing projects.  I was able to sort out 3 bags worth of Stuff that doesn’t need to be here anymore and take them to the thrift store.  There is truth in the idea that if you work for just 15 minutes, you can accomplish a lot.  I did that several times in the past week and I’m happy to say I feel I’ve accomplished things.  I was feeling a little down about how much time I lost during my recuperation, but I decided that it was something I couldn’t take a chance with.  I had to be totally up and around before I started getting into things again.  I really feel like I’m on my way again.  Now if I could only get Ralph on board with this clear out idea.  We’d be a lot closer to moving to New Mexico if he would.  But I’m not going to yammer about that right now.

~I’m trying to wrap my mind about the fact of the impending Holidays.  Driving home from a coffee date with a friend on Monday night I saw a house all sparkly with Christmas lights.  I was not happy to see that.  I’m trying to make peace with the Holidays this year.  I’ve had several very bad years regarding that and I’m planning on more Spirit and more Cheer.  We’ll see how it goes.

~I’m happy to say that I’m getting back to reading.  I finished off Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere earlier in the week.  I’ve moved on to this…

The Lacuna

 

It took me a bit to get into The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, but now I’m enjoying it.  I try to read a little several times a day.  It really is a calming thing for me.  I’m glad that I’m getting back to one of my favorite pastimes.

~Heard some sad news this morning…Carol Ann Susi who was the voice of Mrs. Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory has died.  Even though you never got to see her on the show, she played an important part.  That’s a shame.

~I don’t want to end this on a sad note.  Last week Ralph and I had the chance to have breakfast with two of his granddaughters. Chelsea who is the older of the two, decided we need to take a selfie (back to selfies again!)

Chelsea Selfie

 

We had a great time.

That’s it for Thinking Out Loud this week.  Be sure to check out the other bloggers linking up at Running With Spoons.  It’s always fun!

Happy Thursday!

WIAW~So How Was YOUR Week?

How do we always seem to get back around to Wednesday so Quickly?!  Well, here it is again and that means it’s time to gather where all the bloggers are friendly and all the food delicious…Peas and Crayons…the crazy domain of Jenn the gracious hostess and creator of What I Ate Wednesday!  Be sure to check out all of the fun over there when you’re finished here!

What I Ate Wednesday: FALL into Good Habits

This was a fun week but not one I’d necessarily confess to my friends at Weight Watchers.  Regardless, it was an interesting mix of things.

Pumpkin pie yogurt

 

I give you a Tower of pumpkin pie yogurt.  Aldi had these two weeks ago and I bought 2 because it sounded good.  You can never be sure with these specialty flavors…sometimes they’re good, sometimes not so good.  This is delicious and the next time I was there, I had my fingers crossed that there would still be some left.  Yes!!  I’ve been going through these pretty fast.  It’s very tasty!

Ihop cupt

 

Another pumpkin shot.  Ok, I realize that it looks like an empty IHOP coffee cup.  It is.  But where there’s IHOP…there’s pancakes…and for me this time of year it had to be pumpkin pancakes.  I did ask for them with no whipped cream and I used the sugar-free syrup.  They were also delicious! I’m so glad there’s Not an IHOP closer.  That would be dangerous.

One afternoon last week, Ralph and I decided to go to one of our favorite nearby Italian restaurants.  Usually, we only get salads or sandwiches. But this was late afternoon and almost dinner time so we decided to have a real dinner.  We were both Very pleased.  I started off with a salad.

Ciconte's salad

 

This was huge for a dinner salad and it was delicious.  I got it with the balsamic vinaigrette.  So good and really very filling.

Part of the “filling” aspect was this…

Ciconte's bread and oil

 

This is their bread with the seasoned oil.  This bread is So delicious, I could go in for just that.  Always crispy on the outside and soft and fresh and warm on the inside.  Yum.

Finally we get to dinner itself.  I’m usually pretty much a pasta girl but their special that night was Gnocchi Siciliano.  This was basically gnocchi, which I’ve never had before, with eggplant, tomatoes, a creamy sauce and CHEESE!  It was amazing.

Ciconte's gnocchi

 

I only finished about a third of it.  I took it home and had it for dinner the next night.  This was so good and so over the top as far as trying to figure out the Weight Watchers Points that I think I wrote down 15 Points for it the first night and 20 Points the next night.  At least I’m honest when I write down my Points…Good or Bad…I write them down.

That’s my WIAW post for this week.  If you want (need!) more just stop by Peas and Crayons…You’ll find what you’re looking for!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!