Saturday, August 31, 2013

Re-think Everything

This morning while the hot water was boiling for my Awake tea, I got the urge to clean out the kitchen junk drawer. I frequently go on organizing binges throughout the year, and I've been on one lately.

First, I emptied out everything onto the counter and sorted like items together.

Then I asked myself "why?" Why do we have three unused cell phones in the junk drawer?

And why do we have 30 pens and pencils? Do we really need that many?

Then I put back only the items we really use. Except I still overdid it on the pens.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Aunt Mary's Apartment

All the while Aunt Mary lived in her apartment in Cuyahoga Falls, no one was allowed to set foot beyond the kitchen except her landlord and her friend, Darlene.

The second story apartment, which was originally above a small general store, was her home for 51 years. I wish I had gotten to see it, as it was, before Darlene cleaned up and organized things.

Today, Carolyn and I got to go beyond the kitchen. We saw the entire apartment. Each room connected with the next: kitchen, living room and bedroom.

It smelled like Aunt Mary: a mixture of moth balls and years of dust.

She had saved every piece of correspondence that came to her P. O. Box. She lived very simply and frugally.

We sifted through many old items, choosing a few to take with us to pass on to future generations. I wanted some of her milk glass mugs and a couple of vases. I took her sewing box, which contained old thread, needles, pins and buttons, as well as a box of beautiful print scarves.

Those are the things that will remind me of Great Aunt Mary.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another Visit to the Dollar Store

I stopped at the Dollar Store today mainly because I needed some wrapping paper. But as usual, I walk around to see what's new there. I spent $16.00 today, and I'm very excited about my purchases.

I bought two rolls of quality wrapping paper. One in a baby print and the other in a birthday print. I bought two squirt bottles of Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Seems like I'm always running out of that stuff.

For the guest room, I picked up two very nice Yardley of London soaps. One was an English Lavender scent and the other one was Oatmeal and Almond. Yum.

Carolyn and I will need to write thank you notes for Aunt Mary's memorial donations, so I picked up three packs of note cards that I thought fit Aunt Mary just right.

Then for the trip to Italy, I bought three items: new nail clippers, a foldable pair of reading glasses, and the most exciting item of the shopping trip...five Magic Towels!

I had just mentioned to Don the other day that I wanted to bring along washcloths for the trip. It always irritates me that European hotels do not have washcloths in their bathrooms, and I have to have washcloths. Then I was asking him is he remembered those cute little washcloths I sometimes bought for the kids when they were little. They were vacuum-packed into a tiny square, and then when you put them into water, they expanded to full size. He didn't remember them. But guess what! The Dollar Store had them.

I bought five (one for each of the hotels we will be staying in). I will just leave the wet rag behind each time we move. Here are the designs I purchased: Marvel Heroes, Scooby Doo, Toy Story, Spider Man and Batman. The washcloths are currently 2 inches square. They will expand to 12 inches when wet. How exciting! I'm sure the hotel maids will get a kick out of them too.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ezekiel 4:9 Bread

I've discovered a delicious, healthy food item. Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Bread. For years I've seen it mentioned in lists of healthy foods to eat, but I had never tried it until about a month ago.

There are so many wonderful things about this bread, I don't know where to start. First, it is made from six whole grains and legumes (wheat, barley, millet, lentils, soybeans and spelt). The combination of these things makes the bread a complete protein comparable to eggs or milk.

The ingredients are fresh and organic. It is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Because it contains no flour, it is a low glycemic food. This is good for those of us who need to watch our blood glucose. Best of all, it tastes great!

This bread is found in the frozen section of Heinen's,Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Trader Joe's, etc. It is on the pricey side, but I think it is well worth the investment.

For a real treat, try the Cinnamon Raisin version.

"Take also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils and millet, and spelt and put them in one vessel..." Ezekiel 4:9

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, Carolyn!

Today is Carolyn's birthday. I won't tell you how old she is, but she is the youngest of us four siblings.
She'll always be the baby in the family.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scooby Doo Where Are You?

A mystery needs to be solved at Katherine's house!

Here are the clues:

Katherine's roommate, Hope, made some Monster Cookies on Friday morning.
She put them on two plates and covered them with Cling Wrap.
She left them on the kitchen counter, several feet from the sink.
Hope then went to work.
Katherine was on her way back to Indiana from Ohio at the time of the crime.

Hope returned home to find a hole in the middle of one of the Cling Wrapped plates.
She also saw a hole in the screened window above the kitchen sink.
In addition, there was a trail of cookie crumbs from the plate to the kitchen window, along with a large chunk of cookie dropped below the hole.

At first, Hope thought Katherine had returned home early and had a sweets craving. She immediately saw the error in her thinking. Why would Katherine not unwrap the plate and take a cookie? And why would she put a hole in the screen?

Then she thought someone broke in and stole a cookie, but an arm could not reach from the window to the counter. A human body could not fit through the hole.

Who stole the cookie? Was it a bird? A mouse? A chipmunk? It had to be small enough to fit through that hole. And it had to be able to get up on the screen without help. There is nothing below the window on the outside. That's one sneaky critter.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Don says I've become and old lady. I don't do anything fun anymore. I'm afraid of roller coasters, rafting trips, skiing, jet skiing, para-sailing and clipping my feet into bicycle pedals.

I used to be fun. I went tubing once, hot air ballooning twice, and I used to ski down mountains. I've gone rafting, sailing, snorkeling and swimming with stingrays.

Maybe he's right. I'm turning into a scaredy cat old lady. What am I afraid of? Breaking some bones? Drowning? Flying over my handlebars?

I need to loosen up and have some fun.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Search Box

Katherine had a great idea. She said she would love it if my blog had a search feature. Whenever she is looking for a recipe she knows is on the blog, she gets frustrated trying to look through all the posts.

It took me a couple of days to get the search box to work. Apparently Blogger's gadget has a bug. After researching the problem on Google, I found a brilliant M.I.T. student who posted free HTML code to get around it.

So now everyone can search the blog for whatever they want. Yippee!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Aunt Mary

Mary Catherine Monsour 
June 29, 1923 - August 14, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Where You Go I Will Follow

When we bike, I always follow Don. I try to get up close to his bike so I can draft behind him and not have to fight the wind.

Then I come to my senses and back off because I don't want to crash into him if a chipmunk or bunny runs out and he suddenly has to brake.

I also bike behind him because I'd rather be looking at his back side than the other way around.

Getting to my point here..I really liked Don's bike jersey today.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I'm so proud of my niece, Lindsay. She recorded her first EP (a recording that contains more than one song, but less than a full album).

Her EP came in the mail today. It has four songs on it. Rainbows is the first one. You can hear it on Sound Cloud.

She performs regularly in a few small New York City clubs.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Project Get Healthy: Month Two

Ten days into this month, I changed my focus from trying to lose weight to changing one bad habit at a time. I am proud to say that I have not had a Diet Coke in 23 days. This is a huge accomplishment for me.

Since Diet Coke does not contain any calories, giving it up did not help me lose any weight. I stayed the same.

I feel healthier, though. Giving up Diet Coke has helped curb my craving for sweets, saved me some money, and made me less jittery when driving by Steak-N-Shake. I had hoped it would make me sleep better, but that didn't happen.

Next month, my goal will be to keep up the no Diet Coke policy and in addition, eat only fruits and vegetables between meals and no food after dinner.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School

Peter is back at school. This year he will be a Resident Assistant (RA) for 16 students. He will be the responsible one. The one who has to enforce the rules. He can no longer break the rules. I like this.

It always amazes me how two people can live in such a small space. Peter's arm span can practically reach from one side of the room to the other. His roommate, Zack will be arriving tonight. Looks like he's set for a great second year.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Too Many Books

I've got books in all my crannies and all my nooks. I guess there's nothing wrong with that, says Dr. Seuss.

I keep trying to do more library borrowing, and I do a lot. Ask Don, who gets frustrated when the library calls every other day to tell me there is a book I've reserved that's ready to pick up.

I'm trying to only buy books I can't get at the library, and when I buy them, I'm trying to get them through Amazon Kindle. But more than once in awhile, I just have the hard copy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

End of Summer

It's not really the end of summer, but if you are going back to college, it sure feels like it. Peter leaves Wednesday for his sophomore year at Grove City and Kendall leaves Thursday for her freshman year at Ohio State.

Peter, being the romantic guy that he is, took Kendall out on an old-fashioned dinner date. He even wore a tie and he didn't tell her where they were going.

Now that the secret is out, they went to Burntwood Tavern. They looked so nice all dressed up, I had to take a couple of pictures.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Dolomite Valleys

It was a nice afternoon to go biking, so that's what Don and I did. We loaded up the car and headed south to one of our trails. We rode 14 miles on a section of the Bike & Hike that has a number of hills.

We have a trip planned to Italy in September in which we will be riding from Venice to Verona. Lest you think we are Lance and Lorna Armstrong, know that the dotted lines on the map are the parts where we get in a bus and ride. The solid lines are the biking sections.

This trip is classified as EASY, but we all know that what one person thinks is EASY doesn't necessarily mean what another person thinks it is EASY.  At least it isn't EASY-MODERATE like last year.

We will be cycling in the Dolomite valleys. This means we can enjoy mountain views without having to bike the mountains. Yeah!

The description of the trips says, "Cycling along easy bike paths amidst soaring alpine peaks, you just might think you're dreaming." I hope so.

Our friends, Greg and Merry, have signed on to travel with us. The more the merrier (especially with Merry).

We have five weeks left to gear up. Hitting the pavement hard now. No slacking off.

Friday, August 9, 2013

David Jay Richards

Don's brother, Dave, passed away this week. He bravely battled cancer during the past year. We will miss his smile, his warm personality and his leadership in the family.

Dave was the first born son, and he took the lead in caring for his parents as they grew older. He was particularly devoted to his mom, calling her every night on his way home from work to check on her.

He was the oldest of four boys, and his brothers looked up to him and loved him very much.

Dave was a loving father to his daughter, Holly. He adored his grandchildren Carly and Ryan, and we are all sad he was not able to meet Holly's infant son,Will, who was born in June.

Dave was a very successful lawyer who was well loved in the community. One of his partners said that, "Dave was an integral member of our firm; a steady hand that we counted on for wisdom and competence for many, many years."

Dave was a loving and faithful husband to Pam. He was kind and caring and fun to be around. He loved eating the dinners that Pam prepared for him each night, and in recent years enjoyed cooking for her each Sunday. They especially enjoyed bike riding together, taking many vacations biking through back roads and villages around the world.

We will all miss Dave very, very much.

Monday, August 5, 2013

This Morning at the Park

Riley and I walk with Becky and Jake almost every Monday morning at a park in Hudson. Today Riley and I got there a little early, so I let him tiptoe through the Astilbe.

This is what the lake looks like at 7:30 a.m.

When we are almost finished with our walk, there is a large open field where we let the boys off their leashes. Jake is usually in the lead and Riley herds him. They love this part. They come back with their tongues hanging sideways out of their mouths.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Peter's Quilt

Peter's quilt is finished! I have it pulled to one side so you can see the whole thing. We love the way it came out!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Golf Boys

Peter and some friends went to the Bridgestone Invitational Tournament at Firestone Country Club today. They didn't wear their usual country club attire. They dressed as the Golf Boys.

If you don't know who the Golf Boys are, watch this YouTube video: Golf Boys: Oh Oh Oh.

On the eve of the 2011 U. S. Open, Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson released this boy band spoof to raise money for charities. They have since made a second video called Golf Boys: 2.Oh.

If you were watching the tournament today on CBS, you might have seen them on the sidelines. They got Rickie Fowler's attention. He wanted to have his picture taken with them and he sent it out on his Twitter account.