Thursday, January 31, 2013

Relaxed Riley

Riley is vacationing at Katherine's place in Indiana. She loves having him visit while we go away. Yesterday morning, Katherine sent me this picture showing me what she woke up to. I'm glad Riley isn't stressed out from being away from home.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Abominable Snowman

Once in awhile someone says something that really strikes my funny bone. It makes me laugh hysterically, and every time I think about it after that, I laugh some more.

Last night, Don told me I looked like the Abominable Snowman. He had a point. That's why it was so funny to me. I have this long white down coat I wear when we are in Colorado (because it is usually freezing at night). I also have these white boots to go with it. Then when I put my hood up, I'm pretty much white from head to toe.

All I need now is a star to hold above my head and I'll be all set.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Paul Wylie

Raise your hand if you know who Paul Wylie is. If you don't know, I'll tell you. Paul Wylie was a silver medalist in figure skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.

Back in the early '90s I was a huge figure skating fan. Figure skating was about the only thing I would watch on TV. Paul Wiley was one of my favorite skaters in the men's competition. Kristi Yamaguchi was my favorite female skater.

Imagine my excitement when we found out Paul Wylie was going to be at the Beaver Creek ice rink yesterday. He was in town to celebrate his dad's 80th birthday. Paul hung out at the ice rink from 4:00-6:00 to help little future skaters. He also came off the ice once in awhile to meet people like me who were standing around watching. I shook his hand and got my picture taken with him!

Paul Wylie out on the ice.

This is him chatting with people off the ice.

And of course, the picture of me with him!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Beaver Creek Condo 2

Here are more photos of the condo.

This is the master bedroom.

Master bathroom

Additional bedroom downstairs

Loft - can be used as bedroom

Picture of family room taken from loft

Upstairs bedroom

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Beaver Creek Condo

Here are some photos of the main living area of our condo in Beaver Creek. I love the renovations we did this year (hardwood floors, stained trim and painted kitchen). I'll have more photos tomorrow showing the upstairs and bedrooms.

This is what it looks like when you first walk through the door. The entryway has a stone floor and the living room is hardwood. The windows in the back of the room look out toward the mountain.

This is the other half of the living room. The dining table is there as well as a bookshelf and the bar stools.

This is the kitchen. It is small but functional.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Birthday Dinner

I know this isn't the greatest picture, but it was the best we could do. Katherine and Daniel were on the other side of the table. We went to Jeykll's Kitchen in Chagrin Falls. Food was excellent (except for my fat asparagus). I like skinny asparagus. We split a piece of Red Velvet Cake for dessert.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rotator Cuff Surgery

My right shoulder will be undergoing surgery in twelve days. The MRI showed a tear, among other things in medical terms I cannot decipher.

I am so not looking forward to this. The worst part will be keeping my shoulder immobile for five weeks. Imagine the things I won't be able to do.

But I am thankful that my loving husband is home to be my nurse and assistant. I know he won't let me down. He also won't let me have any pity parties. I guess that's a good thing.

Blogging might be a challenge for awhile, but I'll do my best. Don't count on any video blogs from me. I won't be able to do my hair.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blueberry-Yogurt Muffins

I don't remember where I got this recipe, but I've been making these muffins for about 20 years.

It is a healthy version of blueberry muffin, and they taste very good, especially right out of the oven.

Blueberry-Yogurt Muffins

2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. orange juice
2 T. vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
8 ounces vanilla yogurt
1 egg
1 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Combine orange juice, vegetable oil, vanilla, yogurt and egg in a second bowl.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until batter is moist.

Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups sprayed with PAM. Sprinkle with sugar before baking.

Bake 8 minutes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Les Miserables

My favorite Broadway musical is now a full-length movie starring Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.

Don and I have seen the musical twice and have tickets to see it again on February 8 in Cleveland.

It is a gut-wrenching show on stage, but in the movie theater, it draws even more emotion. I cried when Fantine (Anne Hathaway) sang I Dreamed a Dream while in anguish about the way her life turned out.

I cried when Eponine (Samantha Barks) sang On My Own, and I cried again when Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) sang Bring Him Home.

I wish I had brought along a box of Kleenex. I had to use my sleeve.

I never go to the theater to see the same movie twice. I did it one time in my life. It was the movie E.T. in 1982. I actually saw it three times.

This movie deserves a second viewing on the big screen. I want to see it one more time. And I guess I had better hurry!

Monday, January 21, 2013


After our Monday morning walk, Becky invited me in for tea. We were discussing getting in shape, and she told me about her newest method of exercise: The Player Piano.

She inherited a player piano many years ago, along with a couple hundred music rolls, and they the focal point in her front room. She decided to go through the music rolls one by one to determine if they were in good condition and in working order. She described for me the effort it takes to play this piano. It doesn't just play by itself as I had always thought. She guaranteed me it was a workout.

I didn't believe her, so she took me into the Living Room and demonstrated. She took off her socks, popped in a music roll, and started pumping up the bellows by moving her feet a mile a minute. Once she got the rhythm going, the song began to play. I was instantly transported to the era of Ragtime music. I watched as Becky burned 500 calories.

Of course I wanted to try. I took off my socks, got rid of my fleece layer, selected the music roll titled "The Sting" and got to peddling. My thighs began burning before the end of the first stanza. What a huffing, puffing way to get your music.

I think Becky needs to make an infomercial for this new piece of exercise equipment. It is guaranteed to shape your legs in no time!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

I've been reading this 600 page book off and on for over two months. It is very interesting, but there are many names, dates, and places to keep track of, so I can only read so much in one sitting. Plus, I put it down for several weeks during Christmas.

The author, Eric Metaxas, will be speaking at our church on February 27, so I am determined to finish before then. I only have 100 pages to go, so my goal is to complete it in the next couple of days.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor in Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler. He was strongly opposed to Hitler's euthanasia program and persecution of the Jews. Eventually, he became part of a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. He was arrested in April of 1943, at the age of 37,  and awaited trial in Tegel military prison for eighteen months.

Before his trial, documents were discovered connecting him to the conspiracy, and he was eventually moved to Flossenburg concentration camp, where he was executed by hanging on April 9, 1945, just 23 days before Germany's surrender.

 Even while in prison, Bonhoeffer continued to write and work in ministry outreach. Sympathetic guards smuggled his letters and papers out of prison and into the hands of one of Dietrich's good friends. These were later published as Letters and Papers from Prison. Bonhoeffer's most famous book is The Cost of Discipleship, first published in 1937.

"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Friday, January 18, 2013

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

You may recall that three months ago, while in Spain, I ran into a large glass wall while hurriedly walking to breakfast. I hit my head and my right shoulder on the glass, and apparently the shock of it all caused me to pull my right shoulder back very quickly, causing injury.

After an X-Ray, a steroid shot, and two months of physical therapy, my shoulder is still not better. So I had to return to an orthopedic surgeon to see what was up. He recommended an MRI, which I endured this morning.

I don't consider myself claustrophobic, but the thought of being stuck in a tunnel for 30 minutes made me a little nervous. I recruited a couple of friends to pray on my behalf, and I dutifully showed up at 7:00 a.m.

My technician, Ellen, was very matter of fact. She didn't spend much time trying to make sure I was OK with the procedure. She just ordered me around. Once flat on my back with my right shoulder tightly fitted into the scanning cup, she told me to close my eyes. She put headphones on my ears and let me select my favorite music from Pandora. Then she pushed a button, and I went bye-bye into the tunnel.

In order to get the best image, my right shoulder had to be centered in the machine, which meant my left side was squished against the other side of the tunnel. Lying flat on my back makes my shoulder ache, so I was in pain for the whole procedure.

Rational thinking would tell me, "everything's alright... I can get out by squeezing this little button Ellen gave me"...but immediately, my heart started racing. She told me not to breathe heavily because it would make my shoulder move. What was I to do?

I prayed, "Lord, please calm me down!" After that, I became very warm. It was not a good time for a hot flash. "Lord, please don't let me have a hot flash!"

Minutes later, I was imagining I was sunbathing by the pool. The bright light above me in the tunnel made me think the sun was shining down on me, and the warmth made me think I was getting some rays. I did not open my eyes the whole time because it would ruin my daydream.

Once in awhile, that little word "panic" crossed my mind. Back to my happy place in the sun I went. I'm sure Ellen deals with at least one panic attack a day, and I didn't want start her day off on a bad note.

Each image took about three minutes during which the machine made loud, banging noises. There were seven of these, and I counted them. The loud noises didn't bother me because I couldn't think while they were going on.

After a little over 20 minutes, Ellen let me out. She rushed me to my dressing room as fast as she rushed me in before. She must have had an important meeting to get to. I said good-bye, nice knowing you. And I kicked my heels up on my way out the door.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How to Eat an Elephant

I read somewhere that in order to tackle a large project, it needs to be broken down into tiny steps. Otherwise, the project may seem too overwhelming to even begin.

Don is very good at this, and he has tried to help me figure it out. His brain works in ways my brain does not, so I have been left to my own devices most of the time.That is why my To Do List still has items entered in the year 2006.

My new approach is to take a big project and break it down into 21 steps. For instance, here is my list for redecorating the living room (in no particular order). Seems simple enough.

1. Sit in the living room with a pad of paper and make notes concerning what I like and don't like about the way it is right now.
2. Write down how we will use the room in the future.
3. Decide on a color scheme.
4. Decide what kind of furniture would work in the room.
5. Look through all my decorating books and magazines, getting ideas I like.
6. Decide on a decorating budget.
7. What kind of lighting does the room need?
8. What will the focal point in the room be?
9. Decide what furniture to keep and what furniture to get rid of.
10. Decide on window treatments.
11. Decide on wall color.
12. Shop for large pieces of furniture.
13. Shop for accessories.
14. Remove all furnishings from room and clean top to bottom.
15. Buy paint.
16. Schedule a painter/paint walls.
17. Hang window treatments.
18. Place accessories in room.
19. Remove all furnishings and clean room from top to bottom.
20. Arrange new and old furniture.
21. Sit down, relax, and enjoy the room.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sibling Love

"Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring -- quite often the hard way." - Pamela Dugdale

Monday, January 14, 2013

What Did You Eat Today?

I hate counting calories. I refuse to do it. But I do believe in paying attention to what goes into my mouth.

Starting today, and for however long it takes to get me to eat less, I am going to record on a piece of paper every morsel that enters my body.

To top it off, I am going to hand my eating log to a friend every Monday. No cheating allowed.

You wouldn't believe what this does to me. Where I would once (yesterday, in fact) have willy-nilly chomped on whatever floated my boat, I have to stop and think: do I want to write this down? do I want my friend to know I ate this?

It stopped me more than once today. Unfortunately, it didn't stop me a couple of other times. I'm hoping to improve.

Food awareness is eye opening. I challenge you to try it for just one day.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kids' Artwork

As far as I'm concerned, my children are never too old to stop having their artwork hung around the house.

Peter made this Batik butterfly his senior year in high school. He was required to take two Fine Arts classes, so he took choir his freshman year. He would have taken choir again his senior year, but he couldn't talk any of his friends into joining him. So, he took 3-D art instead. I love this pretty butterfly, so I hung it with some 3M Command Strips above a door near my desk.

Daniel gave me a black and white photo of Riley for Christmas. He took this picture when he was home one weekend, printed it in the photo lab at school, and surprised me for Christmas. I love it! I still need to figure out where it will hang.

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Blog Links

To challenge myself this year, I am going to try to take at least one photo a day. So far, I have succeeded. To help me out, I found some photo prompts from last year's Photo A Day Challenge on a website. I'm not going to stick to this schedule, but if I get stuck, it will help me think of today when I took a picture of where I sleep.

I've created a link on Life with Riley to my Photo A Day blog.

I also added two other links. One is a Children's Book blog I started while I was the librarian at Valley Christian Academy. I haven't updated it in several years, but I hope to add to it again on a regular basis.

The other blog is called Only One Thing. This is where I will be putting my notes from personal Bible study. I hope to update this every day.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe was in the back of my current HGTV magazine. The Crockin' Girls were featured, and this was one of their favorite crock pot meals. It was simple to make, and we all loved it.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1  14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Ro*tel)
1  8 ounce can tomato sauce
1  10.75 ounce can cheddar cheese soup
2 c. chopped carrots
8 ounces frozen corn
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin

Garnishes: Shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend, Tortilla chips

Place all ingredients (except garnishes) in Slow Cooker. Set to low for 6-8 hours.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


We have lived in our current house for 21 years. Most of the rooms have been updated at some point, but the living room hasn't been touched. It looks very 1992. A winter project will be to transform the room into something more 2013.

I've been perusing decorating books and magazines for ideas. Here are some of my favorites:

Young House Love by Sherry and John Petersik has great ideas. Even though our house is not young and we are not young, we still love our house and each other. 

Do It Yourself magazine has many DIY projects, but just as many decorating ideas. Just my style.

HGTV magazine is another one of my favorites. Thousands of ideas in each issue. 

Decorate by Holly Becker & Joanna Copestick is more of a traditional decorating book. Each chapter covers a topic related to decorating: Space, Style, Room by Room, Details.

Inspired You by Marian Parsons is a book Katherine gave me for Christmas. The author writes a blog called "Miss Mustard Seed." The subtitle of the book is "Letting God Breathe New Life into Your Heart and Home."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Quick Marinara Sauce

This recipe is adapted from one found in Giada De Laurentiis' cookbook, Everyday Italian. I made it on New Year's Eve just before Don got sick. He didn't get sick from eating it, I assure you.

Quick Marinara Sauce

2  28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes in puree
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 t. dried oregano
2 t. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Saute until very tender, about 12 minutes, being careful not to burn. Stir in tomatoes, basil, oregano and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Decrease heat to medium and continue simmering until the sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Gotta Have S'mores

On our last evening at Beaver Creek, we heard about a S'mores fest to take place at 4:00 at the big fire pit outside the Hyatt. Peter wasn't going to let that escape him, even though we were going to dinner at 5:00.

So he rounded me up to go with him. They had all the fixings placed in bins ready for everyone to make their own S'mores. Peter had three. I guess there's nothing wrong with dessert before dinner.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Git Yer Beard On

Guess who this is....Peter! He's wearing the newest ski fashion item, the BeardSKI. It was a gift from Daniel. Doesn't it look warm? He got many compliments on his beard out on the mountain.

My three children ready to hit the slopes.

Deciding where to go first.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Daniel's Photos

These are my favorite six photos Daniel took yesterday:

One of the fire warmers around the village.

Another one of the many bronze sculptures in the village. This one is in front of the Hyatt Hotel. Reflection in the window is a combination of a Christmas tree inside the hotel and the mountain in the background.

A nice shot of the mountain.

Little girl waiting in line at the chair lift.

Mother helping her little one get his skis on.

Cookie time!

Around Town Photography

I was missing in action yesterday because, you guessed it, I got hit with the bug. I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and by noon I was in bed. I didn't get up until 8:00 this morning. So much for the flu shot.

Fortunately, all was not lost yesterday. Even with a sick stomach, Daniel and I had a lesson with a local photographer. We met him in the lobby at 7:00 a.m., and we walked all around Beaver Creek for three hours taking pictures. At the end, we sat down and he critiqued our photos. It was a lot of fun despite my looming sickness.

Here are my six favorites from the session:

Loved this guy's beard. You can see me taking the picture in his goggles. He wanted $2 for taking his picture!

I finally captured one of the cookie bakers. They come out at random times during the day to hand out cookies to the skiers.

I just liked the way this girl looked sitting on the bench with the mountain in the background.

I captured Daniel taking a photo of one of the ice sculptures.

A bronze sculpture of Thomas Jefferson.

My favorite. Look at those big round eyes!