Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Pam!

Today is my sister-in-law (Pam)'s birthday.
It's a big birthday, but I won't say which one.
 "Aunt" Pam has always been so good to my kids. 

She's funny and fun (those are two different things) And as Kendall said, she also has "fun" hair!

Pam looks way, way younger than she really is. I hate to even stand next to her.
She's been one of my most faithful blog readers.

We all love you Pam!!
Happy Birthday :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Alex & Nicholas

The weekend Don and I returned from our honeymoon we decided to go "look at" a Siberian Husky puppy. By 5:00 that evening, we owned two of them. Yes, we were crazy. Looking back, I wonder what we were thinking. We didn't even have a bowl, a leash or dog food.

Nicholas (the one on the left) was the runt of his litter Don picked him. Alex was a bit chunkier and had one blue eye and one brown eye. I picked him. They had the same father but two different mothers. So they were half-brothers.

Before long, they were wrestling to determine who was in charge. Even though Alex was larger, Nicholas seemed to be the boss. He was a little more aggressive.

Most of the time, they were inseparable. Here they are after a bath. Both are worn out and cuddled up to keep each other warm.

They loved hopping up on high places like on  our picnic table in the backyard.

And on the wood pile where they would hunt for chipmunks and mice.

When they would see our neighbor, Ray, they would jump up on the fence and wait. He always seemed to have a cookie in his pocket.

They did everything together. They even yawned together.

As I was looking through these photos, it occurred to me that almost always, Alex is on the left and Nicholas is on the right. I wonder if they planned it that way.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Feeling Crafty

From mondocherry
I have been surfing more than usual this week since I've been sitting on my backside trying to get my backside to feel better. I came across several craft projects I'd like to put on my crafting to do list.

1. Homemade Beeswax Candles from A Beautiful Mess.

2. I'd like to use up some of my scrapbook paper by making these Lovely Envelopes from Mondocherry.

3. Love this Dry Erase Wall Calendar by Cottage Hill.

4. DIY Sweet Votives from Fellow Fellow.

5. A Sticky Note To Do Chart from U Create.

6. Embroidered Dish Towel from Craftaphile.

7. Pretty Bathroom Jars from eighteen25.

8. Cloth Napkins from Nicole's Classes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Stuff I Like

It's time for another edition of "Stuff I Like".

I like this dress from Pomegranate Moon that my friend Celeste wore on the cruise. It's a one-size-fits anyone from size 2-16. It's an A-Line dress, so it flatters every figure. It comes in 14 colors. It can be dressed up or dressed down. It can be worn alone or with leggings. It's made out of this marvelous fabric. It looks great with a scarf. It will fit you when you lose weight, and it will fit you when you gain weight! Celeste is in the front.

The thirty-one Vary You Wristlet. Thirty-one is the name of the company that sells these products. I have one in black. It has three pockets which hold everything I need: driver's license, credit cards, cash, phone, and checkbook. I keep it inside my larger purse and just take the writstlet in to the store.

Justin's Maple Almond Butter is comparable to peanut butter in nutritional value, but almonds are better for you than peanuts. I like to spread this on a piece of whole grain bread or slice up an apple or banana and dip them in. Yummy!

Pur Minerals make-up is wonderful. I first bought it at Ulta for an outrageous price. Then I noticed that Kohl's sells it. So I wait for a 30% off coupon to stock up.

Monday, February 17, 2014 name is Riley

Photo credit: Liz Husk

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Pain in the Butt

Three weeks ago, I pulled a muscle in my gluteus maximus (or more specifically, my piriformis) while doing a dead lift with a 45 pound bar. Instead of walking up to the rack to put the bar back, I reached out with it.

It took about a week or so, but I thought I was back to normal. So I proceeded to exercise as usual.

But last Thursday, I did what the football players call a "two-a-day". I worked out with the trainer in the morning and then went to Jazzercise in the evening.

On Friday, my leg muscles were wound up tight. I walked around like a penguin all day, and then I went to bed.

While sleeping, I rolled over from my side to my back, and I got what felt like a charley horse from my rear end to my ankle. Ouch!

Thanks to WebMD and other internet sources, I've self-diagnosed my predicament as Piriformis Syndrome. I believe a very tight piriformis muscle is irritating my sciatic nerve.

I have come to one conclusion: exercise is harmful to the body! It's safer to be a couch potato.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Used to be a Downhill Skier

Peter took this picture of me when he was about five years old. He did a nice job. He used the rule of thirds before he knew what the rule of thirds was. In fact, he might still not know what it is.

This was me when I was a downhill skier. You can tell the photo is old because I am wearing a silly one piece ski suit. Those went out of style in the 90's. I just got rid of that suit last year since I hadn't worn it in who knows how long.

Don got rid of my skis this year. I guess I finally convinced him I was never going back up the mountain.

So why do I not ski any longer? To answer that question, just watch the winter Olympics. It's scary. I'd much rather be on flat ground, by a fire, reading a good book.

But I'm glad Peter took this picture. It reminds me of a time when I was sort of brave -- when I was willing to risk life and limb to spend time with my husband.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

No Show Dog

Last night I watched the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Thanks to Peter sending me a text message, I knew it was on.

The group of dogs I was interested in was the Herding group because that's where Riley would be if he qualified. The Herding group contains dog breeds such as Border Collie, German Shepherd, Puli, Australian Shepherd, Collie, Shetland Sheepdog and Corgi.

I was cheering for the Shetland Sheepdog to win best in group, but the Cardigan Welsh Corgi won.

Riley would get kicked out of the show. He would be disqualified for many reasons, the first being his ears. The standard description of a Shetland Sheepdog's ears is, "small and flexible, placed high, carried three-fourths erect, with tips breaking forward."

Riley's ears are not flexible and they are not small and his tips do not break forward.

If the Kennel Club had a new category for cutest and sweetest Shetland Sheepdog, Riley would win for sure.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I Am Malala

At 16 years of age, Malala Yousafzai was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Although she did not win the 2013 prize, she is still a champion for peace.

On October 9, 2012, she was shot in the head at point blank by the Taliban in her home town of Swat, Pakistan. She was 15 years old. Miraculously, she survived by being flown to Birmingham Hospital in the United Kingdom.

Even though there are still threats on her life, she continues to charge ahead with her cause. She would like all children to have access to free education and equal rights for women.

In her book, I Am Malala: The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban, she describes what it was like growing up in Swat Valley, particularly during the years 2009-2012 when Taliban extremists were taking over that part of Pakistan.

Malala's father believes in equality for women, and he started a school in Swat Valley which openly taught girls. When the Taliban began to attack schools and shut down education, Malala and her father spoke out. That is how she became a target.

If you want to see how much poise and strength this young girl has, watch the CNN interview which took place a year after the shooting. Malala would like to some day be the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Let's Go Fly a Plane

During December, Daniel got to check off an item from his bucket list. Lilli gave him a flying lesson for a Christmas gift. She didn't actually teach him herself, she just gave him the gift certificate.

A real pilot at the Akron-Canton airport gave Daniel the flying lesson. I'm not sure how long it took to teach him, but he was up in the plane the same day.

And Lilli was brave enough to be his first passenger.

The pilot went too.

Keep your eyes on the road (I mean the sky), not on Lilli!

Just to prove he got off the ground, look out that window. The trees look really small. 

I'm glad he's wearing his seat belt.

Daniel is a smart boy. He didn't tell me he was flying a plane until he actually landed it. He knows how his mother worries.

I'm so glad he got that out of his system.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Project Get Healthy: Month Seven

I thought the party was over in January, but I forgot about the cruise. I tried to control myself, but I still ate way more than I needed to eat, and I gained 3 pounds! Not good.

So now the party is really over.

I've never watched the Biggest Loser show, so I didn't know who Bob Harper was when I read his book. The title attracted me.

He goes over 20 rules that make you skinny. And at my age, skinny is a relative term. He also has a few good recipes in the back.

Out of the 20 rules, I like five of them. They make sense, and I am going to try to incorporate them.

1.  Drink a large glass of water before each meal. And more water throughout the day. Water is good for you.

2. Eat 30-50 grams of fiber a day. Fiber keeps you full and keeps your digestive system moving, and it also keeps your blood sugar regulated.

3.  Eat apples and berries every single day. Apples and berries have many benefits over other fruits. Among other things, they are low in calories and high in fiber which helps keep you full.

4.  Eat a real breakfast. It's best to eat more calories in the morning and less calories as the day goes on. Good breakfast foods are Oatmeal, Eggs and Greek Yogurt (all served with berries).

5.  Go to bed hungry. No eating after dinner. More than anything else, this helps you burn fat like crazy.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

More Cruise Pictures

Celeste sent me her pictures, and there were some good ones, so I am sharing them here.

This is a good shot of what our cabins looked like. We had plenty of space to store clothes and other things. Our cabins were mini-suites with balconies. They were great.

Celeste and Gretchen were brave enough to take the catamaran out into the ocean and snorkel. Afterward, they were taken to this beach where they said the water was bluer than blue. The picture probably doesn't even do it justice.

This is an after dinner shot on our last night.

This photo sums up the tone for the week. I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. Nancy made me carry her midnight snack so no one would know it was hers. That's all I can tell you. I won't divulge the real reason why we were laughing so hard.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Guys Weekend

While I was away on the cruise, Don was out west skiing with his Accenture buddies. I know they had fun, but they couldn't have had as much fun as us. Beaver Creek logged 37 inches of snow while they were there, and the sun didn't shine. I'm sure it was much colder there than in the Bahamas too.

Sun, beach, lounging around, all the food you care to eat  or snow, clouds, cold and exercise. Hmmm.... I'll let you decide.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ruby Princess

I'm back from cruisin' with the girls! The week was filled with laughter, sunshine and good times. We ate too much and exercised too little. But that's what cruises are for. We will never forget this trip. I love these sweet friends. 

As soon as we boarded the Ruby Princess, we walked to one of the pools and had our picture taken with our friend Karen (I'm holding her in my left hand). Karen came with us laminated and taped to a paint stick. The sky is not orange. The person who took this photo with Nancy's camera put their finger in front of the lens. 

Our first stop was at an island called Princess Cays in the Bahama Islands. The ship had to dock out a bit from shore, so we took tender boats to the beach.

Nancy took this photo from one of the top decks. This is the back of the ship. That's why you can see the wake. The smallest pool was back here. 

From this angle, you can see how big the ship really was. It is docked at our second stop which was 
Grand Turk, British West Indies.

This is us heading back to the ship after a fun day on Grand Turk. Another ship, the Crown Princess, is on the other side of the dock.

This is us standing on the grand staircase in the middle of the ship on formal dinner night.

In 1962, John Glenn splashed down near Grand Turk island, so we had to get our picture taken with him.