Monday, June 30, 2014

Be Thou My Vision

My favorite hymn is Be Thou My Vision. It is a traditional hymn from Ireland. The English version was set to music by Eleanor Hull in 1912, and the tune to the hymn is from an Irish folk song called Slane.

I love the traditional version of the hymn, but I also like the more contemporary version by Jadon Lavik on his album called "Roots Run Deeper." Jadon Lavik's other album of hymns, "Roots Run Deep" is also a favorite of mine.

I want God to be my vision, my wisdom and the one I turn my thoughts to day and night, no matter what comes my way in life.

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light

Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I, Thy true son
Thou with me dwelling and I with Thee one

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance now and always
Thou and Thou only first in my heart
High King of heaven my treasure Thou art

High King of heaven my victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Case of the Disappearing Spoons

I made a Honey-Do list for Don which he plowed through this week. The last item on the list was a request to get the measuring spoon that fell behind the pull out cabinet in the kitchen island. It was jamming the cabinet and it wouldn't close all the way.

Don tried to remove the cabinet, but it was not meant to come out. So he used a coat hanger to fish into the small space below the cabinet, hoping to pull the spoon to safety.

After 45 minutes of fishing, Don had pulled out 18 spoons, one kitchen timer, an electronic meat thermometer that I had lost years ago, and some crumpled up napkins. There was one more spoon in there that eluded him. I had to practically beg him to give up.

He wondered how I could not know there were 19 spoons down there instead of one. In my defense, these spoons and other items disappeared slowly over 15 years. Once in awhile I would hear a clinking sound when I closed the cabinet. It never bothered me until the final spoon broke the camel's back so to speak.

The top of the cabinet is poorly designed in my opinion. There is a drop off at the back where things can easily slide into oblivion.  Don said he didn't think this part of the cabinet was intended for use. I now agree with that statement, and I promised not to store anything in there ever again.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ball Game Treats

Katherine surprised Don tonight after dinner with his belated Father's Day gift.

Since Don loves watching the Indians play baseball, she created some baseball and bat treats for him.

The baseballs are extra large marshmallows coated in white chocolate and decorated with red "stitching."

The bats are stick pretzels coated in two colors and different thicknesses of chocolate.

I'd say her gift was a hit.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


When we were teenagers, my brother Patrick cut off the tips of a couple of his fingers using an electric saw. I'll never forget the horror of it. Ever since, I've been afraid of anyone using an electric saw.

Don and Peter have been using an electric saw as they renovate their newest house. Today they were doing some plumbing work, and Peter was cutting some PVC pipe with the electric saw. Something got jammed, and a piece of pipe flew off and hit Peter's left thumb.

The impact of the hit took off his thumb nail and cut the nail bed beneath. It also fractured a bone inside his thumb. There was a lot of blood and a lot of pain.

Don took Peter to the nearest Urgent Care where he was fixed up. They had to give him four shots in his thumb to numb it, put several stitches in, insert a stent to make sure the nail grew back correctly and then they wrapped his thumb up until it looked like half a banana. Before they let him go home, they gave him a tetanus shot for good measure.

I'm glad I wasn't there to witness the accident because I might have freaked out, and I'm so very thankful that something worse didn't happen. Peter will be fine with no permanent damage, and I am sure he and Don will be much more careful with the saw in the future.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Has it Come to This?

What does it say about our society when the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District needs to post signs in public restrooms warning people not to Tweet while they are going to the bathroom. Can we really not put our phones away that long?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Project Get Healthy: Month Eleven

It has been just over a year since I set out to get healthy. If you've read all my posts in this series, you know it has been a struggle. I don't feel any healthier now than I did last June.

It is time to look at my goal another way. I need to ask the question "WHY?"

Why do I want to get healthy? WHY is the key to motivation behind any goal.

And motivation is what I need.

1. To minimize my risk of getting sick...really sick. I don't want to have diabetes, heart disease or cancer. Being overweight can increase the risk of all these things.

2. I dream of feeling lighter than air. Maybe not quite that light, but close to it.

3. Eating nutritiously will give me that healthy glow instead of looking like I just dragged myself out of bed.

4. I will be more energetic and I might be able to keep up with Don.

These are all good answers to the question: why do you want to get healthy? I'm going to print them out and review them every morning so I don't forget WHY I want to do this.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Strawberry Chicken Salad

This is a simple summer salad to throw together in a few minutes. It's great for taking to a potluck or just to have for lunch or dinner.

Strawberry Chicken Salad

1 bag pre-washed lettuce (I used Italian blend)
1 cup rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Mix all ingredients together. Goes well with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

World Cup

The highlight of every summer during Daniel's grade school years was the week he spent at Ambassadors Soccer Camp.

On the first day of camp, everyone found out which team they were on for the week. You could be on the Brazil team or the UK team or the Spain team or the team from Africa. And the coach of your team could very well be from one of those countries.

Each team practiced for four days to be the best team. On the last day of camp, parents and families were invited to watch the World Cup tournament.

There were disappointing years and years when his team almost made it, and I am pretty sure his team one the World Cup one year.

You can bet Daniel has been glued to the TV this week watching the real World Cup.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!




Saturday, June 14, 2014

Banana Seat Bike

Peter and I took a long bike ride this afternoon. It was so nice, just the two of us, riding side by side, talking about important things of life.

Then Peter asked me if I could ride my bike no handed. I said not now, but I could do it when I was a kid on my banana seat bike.

Peter had never heard of a banana seat bike! I tried to describe it to him. It was smaller, it didn't have any gears, and the seat was shaped like a banana. Hard to picture. My bike was pink, and I got it in 1970 when I was 11 years old.

In the above photo, I am posing on my new banana seat bike on the sidewalk in front of my house. The only thing missing from my banana seat bike, which I added later, were streamers coming from the handlebar grips.

This is a closer look at the banana seat design (not my bike seat, but would have loved the flower power)

Some banana seat bikes had sissy bars on the back, but my bike didn't have one because I wasn't a sissy.

I went everywhere on that bike. I can't tell you how many miles I put on it. It didn't have an odometer like my current bike, but it was my primary mode of transportation for many years. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

I was looking through some of my cookbooks today for a recipe to try when I came across one called All-Day Mac and Cheese from The Crockin' Girls Slow Cookin' Companion.

After 5 hours in the slow cooker, a tasty macaroni and cheese dish was ready to be eaten. I was surprised the noodles did not dry out after being in the crock pot that long. This was very good and very easy.

All-Day Mac and Cheese

8 ounces (1/2 box) elbow macaroni
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain macaroni and pour into crock pot coated with cooking spray. In a medium size bowl, mix evaporated milk, milk, eggs, salt and pepper together. Stir in 3 cups of cheese. Pour mixture over macaroni and stir. Top with remaining cup of cheese.

Cook on LOW for 5 or 6 hours. Do not remove crock pot lid during cooking time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Eat Your Vegetables

I wasn't one of those moms who forced her children to stay at the table until they ate all their vegetables.

I had very bad memories of falling asleep in the kitchen with my head in my green beans or holding my nose to choke down a half cup of peas.

My tactic was one of encouragement.

Daniel was very good at eating his vegetables. He was kind of like Riley. He would eat pretty much anything you put in front of him, only he didn't inhale it.

Peter would gobble up vegetables he liked, but he avoided the others at all cost.

Katherine was the most stubborn eater of the three. She did not like one vegetable, and hardly any fruits.

I tried making a game out of eating fruits and vegetables. I made a "Five a Day" chart for each of the kids. For each fruit or vegetable serving they ate during the day, they put a star on their chart. Katherine wanted to know if one kernel of corn was a serving.

When she was in college, she found out as part of an experiment in one of her classes that she was what you call a "super taster." A super taster is someone who has more taste buds per square inch on their tongue than other people. This makes them taste foods more intensely than the average person. She claims this is why she was so averse to vegetables when she was young.

On New Year's Eve, 1999, our family created a time capsule. Each of us wrote down some predictions for the future. I don't remember any of them except one that Katherine made. She said something like, "I predict I will like vegetables."

We haven't opened our time capsule yet, but Katherine has made great strides in her vegetable eating endeavors. Josh has had something to do with it. Josh will eat kale salad. The day Katherine eats kale salad, I will likely roll over in my grave.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Surprised by a Coyote

It was a dark and stormy looking day in Lawton yesterday, so Daniel decided it would be a good day to drive over to the windmill farm to take pictures.

He was minding his own business, taking nice pictures when he saw something out of the corner of his eye. He turned to the left, and there it was: a Coyote.

It wasn't on the ground ready to attack him. It wasn't even alive. It was hanging from the barbed-wire fence. It looked like the poor thing tried to jump the fence and didn't make it. I decided to spare you from the more gruesome photos Daniel took. In Lawton, they don't call it a Kahy-oh-tee or even a Kahy-oat, they call it a K-eye-oat. From the looks of this one, they grow them big in Oklahoma. May he rest in peace.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

My First Selfie

Sel-fie [sel-fee]
noun Informal.
a photograph that one takes of oneself with a digital camera or a front-facing smartphone,  tablet or webcam, especially for posting on a social-networking or photo-sharing website. (

Last night, we were in Chagrin Falls, at the falls, and it occurred to me that I had never taken a selfie. Since I didn't know how to take a selfie, I asked Josh to show me. He said it was actually a good sign that I didn't know how to take a selfie, but he showed me nonetheless.

I pushed a few buttons and held my phone high in the air. It was easy to take a selfie.

The photo does not flatter my nose, but you can see the falls in the background and I am smiling. Ha, ha! This picture makes me laugh. 

Don't worry. I do not plan to make this a habit. It is just good for the brain to learn new skills.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bridal Shower

Thanks so much to Aunt Carolyn and Aunt Pam for hosting a lovely bridal shower for Katherine today! The food was fabulous, the games were fun, and Josh and Katherine went home with some wonderful gifts to stock their new home together.

As a part of the decorations, we had on display my mother's wedding gown (left) worn in 1956 and my wedding gown (right) worn in 1986.

Josh's mom (Monica) and his sister (Priscilla) traveled from Florida to be with us for the  weekend.

Stephanie and Elizabeth.

 Rachel, Elizabeth, Katherine and Laura

Josh made an appearance toward the end of the shower to give Katherine a hand opening the remaining gifts.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Chia Gel

If you want an easy way to add more nutrients to your diet, sprinkle some Chia seeds on your food. They are tasteless, but they provide many health benefits.

Some reasons to eat Chia seeds:

1. They slow down digestion, helping your body prevent blood sugar spikes.
2. They are high in fiber.
3. They are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids.
4. They are a good source of protein.
5. They can make you feel full longer.

To allow your body to better absorb the seeds, make a gel from them and keep it in the refrigerator for a week or two. Each day, scoop out one tablespoon of the gel and add it to your yogurt, smoothie, or other food.

To make Chia gel, mix 1/3 cup Chia seeds with 1 3/4 cups water in a mason jar. Stir the mixture and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Chia gel does not have an appetizing appearance. I think it sort of looks like a dark tapioca pudding. But when mixed in with yogurt or a smoothie, you cannot taste it at all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Congratulations, Kendall!

Congratulations to Kendall for being accepted into the Ohio State University College of Nursing!

After she completed her freshman year, Kendall had to apply to the College of Nursing. She's been waiting anxiously to find out if she got accepted. Of course, we knew she could do it! Kendall will make an excellent medical professional. She is very bright, kind, loving and compassionate.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bag Balm

Riley is limping once again. This time it is because his rear large paw pads have slits in them. The vet thinks it is from dry, cracked paw pad skin. This may be why he has limped in the past. I think he is prone to cracked pads. Numerous sources recommended I rub some Bag Balm on his paws to soften them.

It wasn't difficult to find this salve. It was on the bottom shelf at CVS near the other intensive hand creams you would buy for yourself. This balm, however, is specifically formulated for animals. If they lick it, it won't make them sick.

Riley doesn't lick it. He doesn't like the smell. I don't like it either. It has the texture of Vaseline, but it smells nasty. Riley now runs away from me when he sees me reach for the can.

Why is it called Bag Balm? This product was originally created to soften cow udders. That's why there is a picture of a green cow on the lid. The can and the product have remain unchanged since 1899. With a long history like that, I think I can trust this product.

The reason it is sold at CVS is because it works on humans too. If you use it, you will have soft skin, but no one will want to be within two feet of you.