Monday, September 30, 2013

Wonderful Weekend

This past weekend was full of fun, friends, and food.  My 45th class reunion was scheduled for this weekend.  I wasn't attending the formal reunion, but did go to the informal get together on Friday evening.  It was held at the 1810 Tavern, a place I didn't know existed.  It was on the second floor and the steps were seriously steep, so I chose to sit on the outside patio.  The evening was warm with a slight breeze.  There were lights strung around the patio, and an small oil lamp on each table.  Since we were meeting one of my best friends from high school, we chose a table for 4 and ordered dinner.  We chose one of the night's specials - a skirt steak with roasted asparagus.  We thought we were getting butternut squash risotto, but what was on our plate resembled corn bread.  It was delicious and topped with a horseradish sauce.  It was delicious, and we will probably eat here again.  For dessert Rod chose the pumpkin cheesecake and I selected the apple strudel (can't resist German food).  My friend Nancy and her husband Bob joined us and we spend much of the evening together.  There was very little reminiscing - it was mostly catching up.  It was only the second time we had seen each other in 45 years, but at the end of the evening it was almost like we had never been separated.  Some other friends from high school also joined us for a few minutes of catching up.  It was so great to see them after so many years.

Saturday morning, we had Jake and Izzy since Kristin and George both had to work.  Pappy cooked everyone "dippy" eggs and bacon for breakfast.  Then we went outside to enjoy the beautiful day, and Rod and I sat and laughed at the kids playing their special games.  He grilled hot dogs for lunch, and the kids presented me with some buttercups they found in the yard.  Izzy's had nice long stems, while Jake's had no stems at all.  It was a wonderful morning.

Saturday night we attended the Beaver County Invitational Band Festival.  It was held at Geneva College, here in Beaver Falls. Rod and I used the handicapped entrance, where there were special spaces for wheelchairs and scooters with seating alongside for the companion.  I had an excellent spot on the 50 yard line.  Bands from all over Beaver County, and the band from Geneva College performed.  It was a wonderful, musical evening for a $5.00 ticket.  A portion of the ticket sales, as well as part of the food sales went to benefit the bands.  We had a bowl of haluski (cabbage and noodles) that was great, and cost only $3.00.  Granddaughter Kristina participated with the Riverside High School Marching Band, although she's only in 7th grade.  It was sad to see that so many of our local bands are incorporating grades 7-12 into their high school bands because of low membership.  What has happened to the music education in our area that so few students choose to participate in band?  Is is more interest in video games, is it that it is so difficult for working parents to provide transportation to evening and after school practices, or is it just a lack of interest?  Whatever the reason, it is just sad to see a band with only 23 members.

Sunday, we invited Mary and her family for dinner.  With Mary's working, Krissy's band and Bubby's therapy, we don't see very much of them and we had a wonderful evening.  Rod and I decided to do a boneless pork loin roast on the rotisserie and we basted it with Pam's homemade pear butter.  It created a nice, sweet crust while the meat inside was moist and full of flavor.  The side dishes were quick and easy, green beans with bacon, baked beans, and cheese topped pierogis.  We discussed our sad, sloppy Steelers and watched the highlights from some other games.  After they left, Rod and I ended our evening by watching Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan (I love me some Pierce Brosnan).

All in all, it was a great weekend with beautiful weather, family, good food and old friends.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Could Last Week's Weigh-In Have Been a Fluke?

Today was weigh in day.  I was very apprehensive because last week showed such a large loss.  Could it have been a fluke?? I stuck to the program just the way I have been, but when I stepped on the scale and looked down, it showed that I had gained 2.8 pounds from last week.  I was so disappointed, could last week have been a fluke??  I don't really know.  But time marches on, and so do I.  I'm not giving up.  I'm determined that this excess weight will go away!

Last night we made Weight Watchers Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli.  It was delicious, and the rest of the family must have thought so too, since Rod had 3 helpings!  One serving, however was 7 points, and I had a hard time finishing my serving.  Right now those points aren't a big deal, but as I lose weight I will lose points and then it could be a problem.  But in my Scarlet O'Hara mode, I won't think about that today.

Yesterday was a "cutting" day.  I cut 28 scarves.  Today is a "sewing day".  Off to sew! Have a great day.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Best Friends Reunited

We have two cats - Mr. Andre and Mr. Willie (he only has one eye, and got his name from One Eyed Willie in Goonies)  They are the best of friends.  Two weeks ago, Mr. Willie developed a bad ear infection and couldn't walk (he has a muffed ear).  So Dr. Kristin took him to work and treated him.  But afterwards, he stayed at Pat and Pam's house since they were administering his medications.  Yesterday, Dr. Kristin operated on the muffed ear to try and open it so that it could be cleaned easier.  And although she wasn't pleased with the results, it looks a lot better.  Mr. Andre has missed his buddy so badly. The first week, he just walked around the house looking for Mr. Willie and crying.  He just moped around, and rarely left the back porch.

Today, Mr. Willie returned home, and Mr. Andre was so happy to see him that he gave him kisses.  It's good to see best friends reunited!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Items Added

New Items have been added to my etsy store.  Click the button on the sideboard for a quick trip.

Last night for dinner, I made a turkey meatloaf and a skinny scalloped potato gratin, both recipes were from SkinnyTaste.  This is one of the sites that I have bookmarked and visit every day.  Her recipes are all Weight Watchers friendly, and she has even calculated the points for you.  I haven't made anything from her site that I haven't liked.  My family doesn't care for marjoram, so I substituted Mrs.Dash original for the marjoram in the meatloaf recipe. I don't care for nutmeg, so I just eliminated it from the potatoes recipe.  Since the recipes had different baking temperatures, I started the potatoes at 425 degrees.  Then about 25 minutes later, I put the meatloaf in at 375 degrees.  Both items were done at the same time, and the family all gave the meal a "thumbs up".  Today, I have chicken in the crockpot with some taco seasoning and chicken broth for some shredded chicken soft tacos for dinner tonight.  We got some beautiful, large, sweet onions at Costco last weekend.  They're calling for rain this weekend, so I foresee  a pot of french onion soup in my future.  I make mine with chicken broth rather than with beef broth, and prefer it this way.

Back to the sewing machine.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Weigh In Day

Today is my weigh in day - the day I get weighed and track my weight on the WW app.  I was very apprehensive about stepping on that scale this morning.  I did so well with my weight loss last week, and was afraid that this week's loss would disappoint.  I followed my Points Plus tracking very seriously, tried new recipes, and enjoyed my new way of eating.  But it wasn't just the eating.  I forced myself to move more -not too difficult for most people, but for me it was major.  And was it worth it???  Oh, Yea!!!

That makes a total of 12.5 pounds since I started Weight Watchers.  I realize that losing this many pounds in a week is not usual, and am not expecting this type of loss each week.  But for now, I'll rejoice in it and use it for incentive.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

End of Week Update

It doesn't seem like I accomplished much this week.  I was so excited about my weight loss last week, so  I searched for more Weight Watchers recipes to try.  My family is being very supportive, and Rod is even eating pretty much what I do. Since fall is in the air here in Pennsylvania, I'm planning on roasting a turkey breast this weekend, and I have a craving for pumpkin pie.  But pumpkin pie is 11 points - and that's a lot.  I found a Weight Watchers recipe that uses phyllo dough instead of pie crust, and it's only 4 points. So I will be having pumpkin pie this weekend.  I offered to make Rod one with pie crust, and he kindly said no.  He will eat the WW pie.  Then to use some of the apples we got from CSA and a few pears from Pam and Pat's tree, I found a recipe for fruit turnovers (also WW) and it also uses phyllo.  So two WW friendly desserts, and I'm a happy camper.

I bought a new book for my Kindle, The Shift by Tory Johnson.  Tory is a contributor on Good Morning, America and has recently lost a great deal of weight.  The book was great, and I couldn't put it down.  I finished it the same day I bought it.  In the book she writes that you have to "shift" your focus if you are truly serious about weight loss.  For her, there was no surgery or special diet plans - just a change in her eating habits.  She offered a lot of tips, and I've taken a few to heart.  She wrote in the book that you don't give an alcoholic a drink to celebrate being sober, so why would you eat a special treat to celebrate weight loss.  That made a lot of  sense to me, and to celebrate my loss I bought an immersion blender.  It was one of 1/2 off deals on GMA this morning. I am going to try my hand at crock pot refried beans (without the frying) and the blender will be great for them and for soups.  And it's something I've always wanted. (well maybe not always.)

I have worked on the new purses, and will have 6 of the 12 finished by end of day.  The new fabric for the infinity scarves arrived on Wednesday, so hopefully I can get them started this weekend.  And I may try my hand at some fabric lunch bags.  Mary thinks they would make great teacher gifts, along with the infinity scarves.

I've had a really great time with Jake this week, and I am so grateful to be a stay-at-home Grammy.  Izzy comes here after school, and so I get to see her most days.  And, we have 90 days until Disney.  Hope you have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Today is Tuesday, and my weigh in day.   And . . . .   drum roll please . . . .  this week I lost 4.5 pounds.  I have followed Weight Watchers religiously this past week, and no cheating.  And my numbers show it.  I feel so proud of myself, I can't remember the last time I stuck to an eating plan without a cheat.  I have tracked everything that has gone into my mouth, and have said "no" to sugary sweets when the grand kids have offered them.  And now, as I write this, I feel almost giddy.  It's the incentive I needed to continue following the program with NO CHEATING!!   Go Me!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

It's All About Incentives

Fall seems to be in the air here in Pennsylvania.  Fall is my favorite time of year, and the cooler temperatures have given me the incentive to begin making some needed changes in my life.

After much discussion with family and prayers for the right answer, I decided to forego the GI Diet and join Weight Watchers.  I have lost weight with Weight Watchers in the past, but lately have found it difficult not to cheat.  I guess I just needed the right incentives.  To some, it doesn't seem like a big deal.  But for me it's a major victory.  I have nearly completed my first week on the program, and I have not cheated. With the help of my family, I have measured my food and calculated my points.  Last night, we even cooked my dinner in separate dishes so that I was "on program".  Although it's not easy, I am forcing myself to move more and my legs can verify that.  Think I just might reward myself . . . with a new hairdo, not food!

This past week I had some sales in my Etsy store, and they gave me the incentive I needed to make some new items for the store.  The last two days were spent cutting fabric and interfacing.  Today I will do the ironing, and tomorrow start sewing 12 new wristlets, some in darker fabrics for fall.  And next week, I should be adding some new items (good for the working girl).  Once these new items are finished, I need to get back to work on Christmas gifts - after all it's only 109 days away (and I lose 7 of those days vacationing at Walt Disney World).

Look for your own incentives to do what's needed in your life, and have a great weekend!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Nerve of Some People

I have to admit that some times I am amazed at the nerve of some people.  Last week, a cousin passed away.  She was close in age to my father, and always seemed like more of an aunt that a cousin.  But her children were close to my age, and I love them dearly - they are all wonderful people, and they were very close to their mother.  I know the pain they are feeling, and wish there was something I could do to ease that pain.  My family went to the funeral home yesterday to pay our respects.  Mary was the last to leave, and before she left, one of my other cousins (with whom I haven't had a lot of contact over the last 10 years) started to question Mary as to why my mother's death hit me so hard - she didn't think we were really that close. She thought I was always closer to my dad.   Mary was livid, but held her tongue.  This cousin, let's call her Bold for the purpose of this post, was right.  I was always closer to my dad.  But when my dad and sister passed away within two years of each other, only my mom and I were left.  I barely know her.  But we needed each other to survive the shock of losing our family members in such a short amount of time.  We cried together, we laughed together, and I'm sure we annoyed each other at times.  But as I got to know my mother, she became a hero of mine.  Nothing, even having cancer diagnoses 9 times, beat her down.  She had a determination and strength that I can only hope to have inherited.  And how, Bold could question my love for my mom is just so unfathomable to me.  Since she hasn't bothered with me in the last 10 years, she couldn't possibly know how I felt about my mother.  For Pete's sake, my mom lived with us for over 4 years.  She moved to a personal care facility only when it wasn't safe for her to stay here.  She was no longer able to get around with her walker, and my house isn't built for a wheelchair - too many small hallways. She was falling a lot, and really needed to be where people could pick her up when needed. I loved her dearly and miss her everyday.   Some of my relatives have questioned why I no longer attend the family reunion.  Let me just say that Bold, and others like her, aren't my idea of a fun family event, and I avoid them like the plague!  So, I just want to say this.  Bold, if you are reading this post, concentrate on your relationship with your mom, and stop worrying about me.