Thinking Out Loud #8

This time last week most of us were getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I can’t believe that a week has really slipped by me since then.  It doesn’t feel like a week.  Maybe because there were three additional days of eating Thanksgiving leftovers! There are still some in the fridge, but they’re all turkey related so those are for Ralph.  But here I am again, ready to be part of Thinking Out Loud hostessed by Amanda at Running With Spoons. I’m not really sure what’s on my mind, but that never stops me, does it?!?

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~This has not been my favorite week.  There’s been a lot of rain, which never makes me happy.  I’m much sunnier when the weather is sunnier. It’s one of the reasons why I need to NOT be in New Jersey, but that’s a topic for another day. The next couple of days are expected to be dry, if not sunny.  I can deal with that.  Just no rain please.  I try hard to work around it, but the weather can have very negative effects on me.  I suppose I should be grateful…my life is so much better than last year this time.  Ok…I’ll stop complaining.

~Some household issues have been a huge pain.  They are ongoing and unresolved as I write this.  Everything is falling apart.  Gotta love living in a Very old house.  Things will work out eventually but for now they’re making me very cranky.

~I’m trying to get some Christmas spirit, but every time I take a step forward I seem to go back by one.  Little things like buying a present for someone and then finding out the person already has it.  Ugh!!  Have to put my thinking cap back on.  I’m just not good at this anymore.  I’ll get there though.  I keep trying and I guess that’s what matters.

~One thing that Is making me happy and feel good right now is exercise.  I mentioned a few weeks ago that I joined the gym.  I’m loving the whole process.  I go with my two best  friends most days but I will even go when they can’t go or if our schedules conflict.  I’ve been there three times this week and I think we’ll be going today.  I even thought about going on Thanksgiving morning but changed my mind. The surprising thing is…I thought about it!!  I also found out about something called #mileaday from my friend Kristen at ok,enjoy. She got it from another blogger.  The idea is that starting on Thanksgiving and throughout the Holidays, try to log one mile a day.  As she says in her post, it’s not a lot but it’s a start.  I think for so many of us we have No Idea how much activity we get or don’t get.  This is a start and for those of us who tend to over indulge during the Holidays and then say they need to start doing something after January 1, you’ll already be started.

Sneakers and Pedometer

 

I don’t use any of those fancy fitness trackers…well not at the moment anyway. I am thinking about one.  For now I just use my plain old pedometer and it works well.  It tracks my steps both regular and aerobic and gives me the mileage.  I’ve tracked a mile everyday even on my non-gym days so that makes me happy.  Some days I’ve had to resort to marching in place while watching TV but that’s ok, I still get it in.  I think that anything that makes you aware of what you’re doing or not doing is a good thing.  Besides, it’s fun and I have to keep thinking to find fun ways to post it on Instagram.  I can’t just always show my sneakers!

There you have Thinking Out Loud this week.  I started out a little cranky and grumbley but I turned it around. Be sure to check out Running With Spoons to see what everyone has on their minds.

Happy Thursday!

 

WIAW~Surviving Thanksgiving

Can’t believe it’s Wednesday already and time for What I Ate Wednesday, the fun and drool worthy link up hostessed by Jenn at Peas and Crayons.  But it is and here I am again going on and on about what I ate.  I love to see what everyone has been eating, especially after a Holiday.  Here’s my contribution!

What I Ate Wednesday: FALL into Good Habits

Of course it was Thanksgiving.  So many people dread this Holiday, it seems.  Probably because more than any other Holiday, it revolves around food.  Other members at my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday were so worried about how to approach it.  That’s actually always seems to be the topic at WW on the week before Thanksgiving: How To Cope With Thanksgiving.

Believe me, I’ve been through many Thanksgivings where I was over the top, over indulged and over stuffed.  I know it’s an issue for a lot of people.  I felt in control and on track this year and I was proud of myself.

I started with a regular breakfast of an egg substitute omelette which always keeps me full for a while.  Dinner was planned for 1 pm so I knew I’d be Ok until then.

My sister Ele and I always work on the dinner together and we had a really good time.  One of my jobs is making the succotash.  It’s not something that everyone likes, but almost everyone in our group likes it.  Personally, I LOVE it!

Succotash

I joked that this was mine and I didn’t know what anyone else would be eating. I probably could have eaten the entire thing if given the opportunity but I didn’t!

There were pies, yes, but I was restrained with them.

Thanksgiving Pies

 

I had a piece of the apple, home-made by our friend, Jim and just a tiny sliver of the coconut custard.  Both were yummy.  There was also a pumpkin but I passed on that…had to pass on Something!

The main attraction…

Thanksgiving Dinner

 

Dinner:  mashed potatoes with vegetarian gravy, green beans, Ele’s home-made cole slaw (From Grandmom’s recipe) and of course, Succotash!!  At the top is a piece of the cranberry orange jello mold I make every year.  Also a favorite.  It was all delicious and I have to confess that I did have seconds on mashed potatoes, second time around topped with Succotash!  I’m starting to think I should title this post “WIAW~Succotash!”

It was a great day and we had a lot of fun as we always do.  That’s my Thanksgiving, now let’s go see what everyone else had on their favorites list.  Be sure to check out Peas and Crayons to see what’s going on!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

Saturday Snapshot~November 29

I suppose I should be talking Turkey…er…Thanksgiving for this Saturday Snapshot post, but I’m going in another direction.  Saturday Snapshot is the link-up hostessed by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. It the spot where you can share photos taken by you or a family member.  Not anything you just found on the Internet.  Share a part of your life.

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I’ve been a little disappointed lately.  There really have been no beautiful sunrises or sunsets to document and share.  It’s been all gray and uninteresting.  Last Sunday morning, however, I was rewarded for my patience.

This is a sunrise.  Ralph and I were talking this week how it is hard sometimes to tell the difference between a sunrise and sunset in a photo.  My way is that I can recognize what else is in the photos.  In this case, I recognize the houses.  When we’re in New Mexico, it’s a little harder…mountains, mountains everywhere.

Pale sunrise

 

This was actually the reflected sunrise off to the right of the actual sunrise.  I love the soft, pale colors in this one.  The two trees frame it nicely.

Brighter Sunrise

 

This is the sunrise itself.  I’m very lucky that I have an open field outside my kitchen window.   It allows me a clear view to photograph the beauty.  I take so many of these photos.  I wonder if my neighbors have any idea that their houses have been immortalized so many times!

I’ll keep my eye on the sunrises and sunsets to see if there are any worth sharing.  Hopefully, there will be some soon.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Be grateful for all that you have.  Check out my post from yesterday to read about some of the things for which I am grateful.

Don’t forget to check out the other Saturday Snapshots at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Happy Saturday!

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!