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Saturday Snapshot~October 25

Here we are, it’s Saturday again and it’s time for Saturday Snapshot.  Hostessed each week by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads, Saturday Snapshot is a fun place to get together with other people who enjoy taking photos and sharing them.

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I love being a part of this link-up but I had the hardest time this week trying to decide on a photo to use.  I jumped into the way back machine to solve my problem.  Well, not That way back but a bit.

In March, I had the pleasure of spending several weeks in Clearwater, Fla. with my best friends, Gail and Alice.  We always have the best time but we’re always looking for new and different things to do.

Gail found that there was a Buddhist Temple in Tampa.  We took a road trip.  I posted pictures before of the Temple itself.  On Sundays, there is also a market where they sell food (which is Excellent) and flowers.  They have an amazing collection of orchids.  I took lots of photos and can’t believe I never shared them.  Hard to choose which photo to share but here’s my choice.

Temple Orchids

 

A photo doesn’t really do them justice.  The colors were so intense and so varied.  This brings back memories of a beautiful warm day and a new adventure.  It was great fun.

Don’t forget to stop over at West Metro Mommy Reads to see what everyone else is sharing this week.

Happy Saturday!

Thinking Out Loud #2

I had so much fun last week participating in Thinking Out Loud with Amanda at Running With Spoons that I decided I’d give it another try.

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I want to thank everyone for you kind comments and for taking me into the group with such warmth.  It’s amazing after having taken this long hiatus from blogging that old friends and new friends have just come right back now that I’m here again.  I am very grateful for that.

When I started typing this, I really had no theme in mind.  I suppose in the coming weeks it might be a good idea to start out with a CLUE what I might be writing about.  So since I mentioned being grateful, perhaps gratitude might be a good topic.  I’ve had so much to be grateful for lately.

~I am grateful for the true and absolute gift that I received in the form of my hip surgery.  I promised not to talk Too much about it and I won’t but a few things have to be said.  I’m sure I was suffering from this nonsense of degenerative joint disease for a long time. Basically, arthritis, but they like to give things fancy new names these days.  The problem is that is was there in various joints but not so much that it had any serious adverse affect on my daily life.  I was “fine” throughout the summer and fall of 2013.  Lots of walking and going about my regular routines.  Then the winter of 2013/2014 came around-cold and damp and unbearable.  Suddenly it hit me.  I couldn’t sit for long, sitting down and standing up were extremely painful, I stood most of the time because that was the least uncomfortable position.  Walking any distance was difficult at best. The surgery is a gift.

~It was a bumpy journey getting to the right place for the surgery.  I went to one doctor who had been recommended.  He put me on medication because “we always try this first and we let the patient tell us when they’re ready for surgery.”  I took the pills for a month without any relief.  I went back in a month and said, I’m ready for the surgery and was told “we don’t do hip replacement surgery anymore.”  What?!?  I asked for a recommendation for someone who did it.  I got the name and called for an appointment.  This was June-I couldn’t be seen until the end of August.  I took the appointment but I didn’t think I could wait that long. We had a friend who had recently had emergency foot surgery at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. I called for an appointment and I was scheduled for three days later.  The amazing thing is that the appointment was with Dr. Rothman, head of the organization!  I was amazed.

~I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Rothman, the Rothman Institute and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where my surgery was performed.  There is an entire Rothman floor there and it was wonderful.  From my first appointment with Dr. Rothman, through scheduling, pre-admission testing and medical clearances there was never a single glitch.  They even had excellent vegan/vegetarian food choices! The care I received was incredible and the results have been mind-boggling.  At my first appointment with Dr. Rothman he showed me my x-rays.  I can’t believe that the other doctor could have looked at those same x-rays and not known that I immediately needed surgery.

I suppose it was all meant to be this way.  That first situation didn’t work out because I was meant to find Dr. Rothman and his staff and I was meant to have these amazing results.  I am so grateful for what they did for me.  If any of you are in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area and need orthopedic medical care, please don’t hesitate to contact the Rothman Institute.  They can work miracles.

~I am so grateful to my best friend, Gail.  She spends the summer in Maine, but came back to New Jersey to open her home to me for my recuperation.  She’s a nurse which is good because I was full of questions about what was going on.  Her home was more conducive to recovery-all on one floor, lots of room for maneuvering my walker and a shower that you just step into instead of a tub.  It was also fun to just spend time together in spite of the fact that I was trying to recover. Without question, she is the best.

~I am grateful to my sister, Ele.  She came to visit me nearly every day during my recovery and especially after Gail went back to Maine.  Even after I was up and around and doing well, she was there.  She kept close watch on me while Ralph was away, in case I needed anything.  As sisters go…I got the best!

~I am so grateful to my wonderful Ralph.  He was a wreck leading up to the surgery, he was a wreck during the surgery and now 13 weeks after surgery, he is still a wreck worrying about everything I do.  He’s even more of a worrier now that we’re back at our house.  But I try to show him that I am careful and I am getting stronger every day so that I can do things.  Eventually, he’ll see that I’m good as new and able to get back to my routines.  He says he’s aged through this process.  Well, I’ve aged too but I survived and so will he.  He is the most wonderful man in the world though and I am grateful every day for him.

This has been a lot of Thinking Out Loud and I hope I didn’t stray too far off track.  I am so very grateful for this entire experience.  I often refer to it as a miracle because that is what I feel it has been.  I’m walking and doing things I almost never thought I’d do again.  Each day gets better.  It really is a gift.

That’s it for me for Thinking Out Loud, don’t you think it’s enough?!?!?  Be sure to check out everyone’s thoughts over at Running With Spoons.  Lots of interesting things there.

Me and Ortho

Be Grateful.

 

WIAW~A Tale of Two Birthday Cakes (and Two Crock Pots!)

Good Morning and Welcome to my second What I Ate Wednesday post in a row! I’m quite excited to be back and joining in with all of the fun people who gather at Jenn’s party over at Peas and Crayons. I’m going to dive right in and tell my story as I go.

What I Ate Wednesday: FALL into Good Habits

I’m finally back at my own house. After recuperating at my friend Gail’s house for several months ( I started referring to myself as her “squatter” which she found amusing) I am home and it is a bit of adjustment in some ways.  Different bed, different kitchen, different arrangement…I have to stop and think where my spices are, where my utensils are, where my crock pots are!  No, don’t worry, I never forget where my crock pots are!!

Monday afternoon, I suddenly realized that I needed to make beans.  Normally I soak them over night and put them in to cook in the morning.  But I really wanted them on Tuesday so I tried an experiment.  At about 1 in the afternoon, I put them in to soak. My intention was to put them in the c/p at about 11pm.  I fell asleep so they ended up going in at 1 am.  As I write this, it looks like they’re doing fine, but need some more cooking.  But now I know if I forget to soak overnight, I can do it this way.

Two crock pots

 

But I think you all know by now, in my house-where there’s one crock pot, there’s probably another.  This one filled with my version of the Weight Watchers veggie soup.

Veggie soup in crock pot

 

I’ve missed having this while I was away.  There’s actually no reason why I couldn’t have made it at Gail’s house, but as I said…different routine.  Funny thing is that it took me longer than usual to make it.  I think my  chopping skills are a little rusty.  I’ll fix that!

One of the things I always put in my veggie soup…and my stir-fries, and my morning omelette is Mrs. Dash.  I love it because it’s no salt and has so many flavors in one bottle.  The mix is always right.  I’m used to the small containers, but Gail found this huge bottle for me, probably on Amazon.

Mrs Dash

 

I’m so excited because I use it so much.  This should last me a week or two!

Dunkin Donuts breakfast

 

Ralph had to have fasting bloodwork on Monday so I fast along with him.  But I tantalized him with Dunkin Donuts after.  And I had coupons which saved us almost $6.00!!  I had iced pumpkin coffee and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese.  It was a splurge, but delicious!

I promised you two Birthday cakes, so here goes.  My birthday was early in October but because Ralph was away, we didn’t celebrate with my sister, Ele as we usually do.  This Sunday we took care of it.

My bday cake

 

There’s a story with this cake, isn’t there always a story in our family?!  The candle on top is a gift from our friend, Jim from Washington.  He brought it for I think Ele’s birthday and we use it all the time now.  The cake itself is very specific and Ele always makes it for me.  It is a boxed devil’s food cake with lemon confectioner’s sugar icing.  It’s what Grandmom always used to make for us and it’s tradition.

The next cake is a little fancier!

Maddie's bday cake

 

October 13 was my wonderful sister-in-law Maddie’s birthday.  Saturday we had a little surprise party for her.  The cake was beautiful and we had a wonderful time.  As I’m typing this, I’m realizing that I never took a photo of my lunch that day…it was pasta…it was Delicious!

That’s my contribution to What I Ate Wednesday today.  I’m glad to be back and I suppose it’s just like riding a bike, just get on and type!  Be sure to check out all of the delicious food that you’ll find at Peas and Crayons. It’s always a party over there!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

Saturday Snapshot~October 18

It has been Quite Some Time since I’ve participated in Saturday Snapshot.  Lots of things have been going on in my life.  The most time-consuming one and the reason I haven’t been seen or heard from is explained in this post.  Surgery and recuperation with ongoing physical therapy have kept me busy.

But I’m back and I can’t believe that this is my third post for the week, so I guess I’m getting back on track with this whole blogging thing.

That being said, I’m linking up today for Saturday Snapshot with all the fun and talented people who meet up at West Metro Mommy Reads.

SaturdaySnapshot

During my recuperation, I was lucky to have the opportunity to stay at my best friend’s house which is all on one floor. It was easier to get around and it has a step-in shower.   It has been a wonderful gift to be able to recover here.  That comfort and convenience has been invaluable in my recovery.

When I started to be up and around again, I took a walk outside to the front yard.  This is what I found.

Front yard daisies

I was so happy to see the bee hard at work on the daisy.  When I was growing up, daisies were always my favorite flower.  My only attempt at art is drawing a single daisy, so they hold a special place in my heart.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of the great photos.  My first time back and I realize how much I’ve missed being part of Saturday Snapshot. Be sure to make your way over to West Metro Mommy Reads to see what everyone is sharing.

Happy Saturday!

Thinking Out Loud~Numero Uno

I’ve been intending for quite some time to join in on Thinking Out Loud hostessed by Amanda at Running With Spoons.  I’m finally getting to it.

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The point is to just share some random thoughts about life in general.  At least that’s my understanding.  I like it!

~Why is it that I haven’t blogged since August and now I do two posts in two days?  I have no excuse.  I’ve been busy healing from my bilateral hip surgery and I’ve been focusing on that and I promise not to talk too much about it!

~Thinking out loud has to be quiet, because I have a headache that is sticking with me in spite of two pots of coffee.  I’ve decided that I’m not taking anything for headaches.  Prior to my surgery, I took so many over the counter things for pain, I’m trying not to take anything.  I’ve had nothing since the surgery in spite of a couple of nasty headaches.  I’ve been working around them.  I will survive.

~More randomness-I’m annoyed with myself that in spite of having a Lot of time on my hands during my recovery, I haven’t done nearly enough reading.  I did read two books, early entries in the Lisa Scottoline series of Rosato and Associates.  I liked them enough but got stuck in the middle of the third and haven’t read anything since.  I am chagrined (hangs head in shame.)

~Has anyone else noticed the way newswoman, weather  women and traffic women dress on TV?  They all look as if they’re going to a cocktail party…even at 5 AM. I can’t quite figure it out.  Not to mention the almost identical hair styles on all of them.  Long hair is nice, but by the time you get to a certain age, you really should be looking for another choice.  I’ve reached that certain age and I no longer have long hair even though I used to love mine.  This headache is making me cranky I think.

~I’m amazed daily at either how incredibly clever or incredibly stupid TV commercials are.  I love humor and I love a clever idea, but I am stumped as to how some of these get past the ad executives let along the censors.  This is beginning to sound as if I have spent too much time recently watching TV, which I have.

~Speaking of TV, I am overjoyed at the number of networks that are now broadcasting Law & Order in all of its incarnations.  It has helped me through my recovery especially during the time that I was alone because Ralph was on a road trip that I had to miss in the interest of completing my physical therapy. Also considering the fact that I don’t think I would have been able to ride for the long periods of time it takes to go from New Jersey to Texas to New Mexico.  L & O got me through it and I’m eternally grateful to Dick Wolf, creator of the great series.

~Speaking of which, Why am I still in New Jersey and not in New Mexico.  I don’t have a good answer for that, but I’m working on that.  Trust me, there will be more about that on a future Thinking Out Loud.

I think I rather like this Thinking Out Loud idea.  I hope that Amanda and the other people who link up on Thursdays don’t think I’m too weird.  Hopefully, they’ll be weird along with me.

Happy Thursday!!

WIAW~Who Knows Where or When

Hello!  Yes, I am still alive, still recovering from my bilateral hip replacement but pretty much doing fabulously!  I still have probably two weeks of physical therapy left and (being the Good Patient that I am!) doing my exercises daily and using my cane for another week.  I’m trying hard to get out and get some walking in every day because my physical therapist tells me that’s important.  The days that I am able to get extra walking in, I do feel better.  Eventually, I will write a post All About the Adventure that was my surgery.  In the meantime, I move along trying to feel like my old self.

Part of that is getting back to blogging.  I have missed it So Much!!  I need to get a schedule set up for myself again and stick with it.  What better way of getting back on schedule than joining in for What I Ate Wednesday hostessed by the lovely Jenn at Peas and Crayons?  So here goes!

What I Ate Wednesday: FALL into Good Habits

My food offerings are somewhat random as you can probably tell from my title.  Just a few tasty things, some of which I’ve saved for a few weeks, always intending to do a post!

Pumpkin pancakes

 

Ralph and I went out to breakfast on Tuesday morning.  Right before going into the diner, I swore to myself that I would make a good choice, allowing myself to get back on track with my food.  So of course, I ordered pumpkin pancakes!  I did ask for the sugar-free syrup…Do I get points for that?!?

Pepper and egg sandwich

 

One of my all time favorites…pepper and egg sandwich with American cheese from our local pizzeria.  I love this and it never fails to satisfy.  Also, it always reminds me of my Mom.  Good enough for me!

Ralph and I went to a wonderful wedding for the son of close family friends.  I was very happy when along with the usual meat and fish choices, the invitation offered a stuffed mushroom.  Having no idea what that might be, I made that choice.  Was I ever pleasantly surprised.

Stuffed mushroom

 

The base was rice, then the Portobello,  It was then stuffed with what I think was a tasty puree of white beans and wonderful herbs and spices.  Topped with yellow squash although several people have said it looks like potato chips.  No chips but it was Delicious and very filling.  I loved it!

Of course, it wouldn’t be BCDC without at least one salad.

Birthday Greek salad

 

We have recently started going to a local Italian restaurant that we hadn’t gone to before.  This is their Greek salad.  I love the combination of the greens, olives, tomatoes and feta.  It’s a much more delicate Greek salad than some of the ones I get around here.  It is just delicious.  This restaurant has other good choices too, but I think this might be my favorite.

Just typing up this post is getting me back into the feel of blogging.  It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, I just haven’t had the enthusiasm for it.  I feel that coming back.  Maybe it’s the Fall.  I always want to start something in the Fall.  In this case, I’m re-starting something.  The whole idea makes me happy!

Be sure to stop over at Peas and Crayons to check out all of the other wonderful food and ideas that everyone is sharing.  I know I will!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

WIAW-A Vegetarian Goes To The Hospital

I am so excited to be back and joining in for What I Ate Wednesday for the first time in a LONG time.  Hope I can remember how this works! Be sure to check out all of the food fun cooked up by Jenn at Peas And Crayons.  Hope I can remember how to link-up!

Peas and Crayons

I suppose it should have been the least of my worries, but I was very concerned about what I would get to eat when I was in the hospital.  As a vegetarian, that was a valid concern.  I envisioned eggs for three meals a day.  That actually would have been fine with me.  I know that the grilled cheese sandwich they gave me for dinner the day of surgery was like a gourmet meal…I was so hungry.  That set the tone for me and when I saw the list of things available for me to choose from, I was impressed and excited.

There were many choices and I enjoyed them but sadly, due to my body’s dislike for pain medication, the first two days were kind of a blur.  I did eventually remember that this would make a good WIAW post and took two pictures.

Vegan meatloaf

 

This was vegan meatloaf with carrots and sautéed veggies.  It was really very tasty.  I would have enjoyed it more if I had remembered to request some ketchup, but it was good.

Breakfasts were usually a cheese omelette and yogurt which was good every time.

Sweet potato shepherd's pie

 

A little blurry, but as I’ve said, I was a little blurry for the first few days. This was Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie.  It was a vegan meatloaf base with sweet potatoes on top.  Served with couscous and sautéed veggies.  I loved it!

There were many other choices which sounded good, but I went with the ones that sounded a little more out of the ordinary.  I guess that I should mention that the hospital was Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.  It was a wonderful place and they took exceptional care of me.  As I said, not the least of which was offering me things that I could eat!

That’s it for me.  I’ll be short for my first WIAW back in action.  Be sure to check out all the fun over at Jenn’s blog, Peas and Crayons.  I’m so happy to be back!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!