Monday, August 31, 2015

Four Universal Colors

I know that all colors do not look good on me. For instance, I cannot wear ivory, beige, mustard or gold. Those colors drain the life out of me.

My favorite colors to wear are black, white, charcoal grey, hot pink and royal blue. These colors make me happy.

But I didn't realize that there are four colors that look good on everyone. I was scrolling through Folio's Facebook page (my favorite little boutique) the other day and I came across a link to a Real Simple article about this subject.

The four colors that are supposed to look good on everyone are True Red, Mellow Rose, Indian Teal and Eggplant. The only one I am not sure about is Mellow Rose. I'm going to have to give that one a try.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Run the Race

Have you ever run a race against your will?

Back when I worked for Arthur Andersen & Co. I agreed to participate in a charity event with other members of the firm. Someone signed me up for the hula hoop run. I was paired with a young man who was just out of college and in tip-top shape. He was also very competitive. He didn't care that my groin muscles would be damaged for life. He was going to win.

This is the fastest I have ever run. Granted, I was being pulled along against my will. I was literally running for my life. I was hoping the hula hoop would snap. It looks like my right hand was trying to pull my race companion down.

Who thought this was a good idea? And who took the picture? And did we win? I can't answer any of those questions. All I know is that I lived to tell the story.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Guys' Weekend

What do a bunch of 24-year old guys do when they get together for a weekend of fun and relaxation?
First of all, they ride Four-Wheelers.

Then when they get back, they take off their muddy clothes and throw them in the wash. And maybe take a shower.

Then they get their shotguns out and shoot things like targets and clay pigeons. Because it's not hunting season yet.

 Mostly, they just hang out and shoot more guns.

Oh, then they play something called urban golf, which is golf without a golf course.

I'm glad they didn't do these things at my house.

Daniel's friend, Brian, grew up hunting on his family's 600 acres of land in Pennsylvania. One time he showed up at our house with a freshly killed deer in his car. But recently, his parents built a retirement home on the land. They were gracious enough to let Brian and his buddies take over for the weekend. I'd say they were very gracious indeed.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

World's Biggest Bowl

 Yesterday was Carolyn's birthday. I took her out to lunch and gave her the gift I purchased months ago. I overheard her tell someone she really wanted a big bowl like the one Sito used to have so she could make lots of tabbouleh.

I secretly purchased a big bowl on Amazon. But I failed to check the dimensions. This bowl is 23 inches in diameter. I had a heart attack when I saw the size of the box. It was too big to send back, so I had to go with it.

It gave Carolyn a big laugh. She has five kids, so maybe she will end up with 25 grandchildren so she will need to make two tons of tabbouleh. Until then, she can use it as a swimming pool.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Status Quo

I didn't lose any weight this week. The good news is that I didn't gain any either. It sort of summed up my week. It was pretty flat.

I have decided that this topic is probably boring everyone, so I will not be checking in weekly for Weigh in Wednesday any longer. I may check in once a month or so. Weeks come too fast.

The accountability has been great, but the action has been too slow.

I'm not giving up. I'm not giving in. I am just not going to write about it regularly.

So far I've lost 6.4 pounds.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Man

I married him for his muscles.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Estate Sales

I love walking through a great estate sale. I hardly ever buy anything, but once in awhile something jumps out at me that I can't resist.

A few weeks ago, Peter and I stopped at a sale in Bainbridge on a Sunday after church. Everything was half off. We each purchased one thing.

 My treasure was a beautiful milk glass bowl because I love milk glass. It was originally $8 and I got it for $4. Such a bargain.

Peter's treasure was a set of 12 dinner plates with a very cool retro design. Perfect for the bachelor pad. I think he paid $6 for the set.

To find estate sales in your area, you can enter your zip code at the Estate Sale website. I get notices every weekend telling me what sales are coming up. What I really love about it is they also send photos of what they are selling so you can see if it is your style.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Back to School Time

Another summer has come and gone. Peter and Kendall sure enjoyed every minute of it (while they weren't working).

But, alas, it is time to head back to school today. Peter to Grove City for a fall semester of student teaching in the Shenango High School math department. Kendall to Ohio State for a semester of nursing clinicals in the OB ward and Children's Hospital.

We're going to miss them! And they're going to miss each other!!

But it won't be long until they're back together again.

Photos by Rachel Criswell

Friday, August 21, 2015

Our 6th Street House

The transformation of the house Don and Peter worked on this summer was amazing. It went from looking like something out of the 1940's to a modern apartment any young person would want to live in. They did all the work themselves (with my help painting).

So I just have to post some before and after pictures here. Unfortunately, we don't have exact before and after photos.

Foyer staircase - before
Green carpet and wallpaper on top of wallpaper.

Foyer staircase - after
Out with the green carpet, in with wood floor.

Kitchen - before
The cabinets were made of metal.

Kitchen - after

Kitchen - after
We kept the hundred-year old built in cabinets.

Bathroom - before
The two old ladies who lived in the house loved Mickey Mouse! The red carpet had to go.

Bathroom - after

Bedroom 2 - before

Bedroom 2 - after
The closet was originally a narrow space just inside the door.

Bedroom 1 - before
This was attached to the living room - originally a dining room. 

Bedroom 1 - after
The wall that the closet is on is a new wall that sectioned this room off from the living room.

Living Room - before

Living Room - after

I don't have a before picture of this room. It was a tiny bedroom. It's now the dining area.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hungary and Slovakia

We're going to Hungary and Slovakia too.

Our 5th VBT bike trip is coming up, and we are off to Bratislava, Hedervar, Esztergom, Szenterdre and Budapest. The only city I've heard of is Budapest, so this should be interesting.

As you can see, we will be traveling along the Danube River starting not too far from Vienna. Our first bike trip to the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria had us biking upstream from here on the same Danube River. Isn't there just one Danube River?

Traveling with us this year are our friends, Greg and Merry, who went with us to Italy two years ago. Should be so much fun!

Don't worry...I will take my computer and blog about the entire experience each day...even when I am so exhausted I just want to plop in bed and sleep. I won't let my readers down. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

By the Skin of My Teeth

I'm glad my scale is digital. It records tenths of a pound. That's the only way I lost weight this week.

So far on this weight loss journey, I have not followed any particular plan. I know, it shows. I've only lost six pounds in ten weeks. Not very swift progress.

I would like to lose four more pounds before the Hungarian bike trip which leaves in three weeks. This means I will need a plan.

I absolutely despise tracking what I eat, so I am not going to do that. Rather, I plan to have one smoothie and at least one salad each day. Also, I will not eat anything after 7:00 p.m. Those are my two "rules" for the next three weeks. I'm also going to step up my bike riding in preparation for the trip. That should help a little.

This week, I lost 0.2 pounds. Total pounds lost: 6.4

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My Gardening Days

I tried to have a garden once. It was the first year Don and I were married. The only reason I tried to have a garden was because the house we lived in already had an area sectioned off with railroad ties.

I didn't know the first thing about gardening. You can tell, because I planted corn! Who plants corn in a garden patch this small? Only those who know nothing about gardening.

I didn't like to weed either.

The only other thing I remember planting was zucchini. The zucchini grew to gigantic proportions because I didn't harvest them when they were ready.

Don thought he was funny one day when he picked a giant zucchini from my garden patch and put it under my pillow. Imagine my surprise when I found it.

It was a clue that my gardening days were over as fast as they had begun.

My gardening days: June 1986- September 1986.

I should have hung out with Sito a little more.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Meals to Go

I'm a member of the meals ministry at my church, so at least once a month I make a meal and deliver it to someone. All meals do not transport easily, so I've created a list of seven meals that are easy to make and go from my house to their house without trouble.

Here are six trusted dishes to go:

Chicken and Stuffing

Oven Fajitas

Baked Spaghetti

Slow-Cooked Pork Tenderloin

Sun-Dried Tomato and Chicken Pasta

Chicken with Rice and Peas

Tonight I made a new meal to go. It came from The Pinning Mama website.

Bacon Ranch Chicken Bake

4 chicken breasts (my chicken was too thick - I would suggest ones on the thinner side)
8 T. Ranch dressing
8 slices bacon
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Place chicken breasts in baking dish. Spread 2 T. Ranch dressing on top of each chicken breast. Layer two slices bacon over each breast. Bake in preheated oven (400 degrees) on top rack for 35 minutes. Top with cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve over brown rice or green vegetables.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

She Reads Truth

Yesterday, I found a great website for women who want to read a portion of the Bible each day throughout the year. She Reads Truth  is an APP, an online community, and a service that sends a small Bible reading plan to your inbox each day.

Each reading plan has a theme or pertains to a book of the Bible and lasts between 12 and 24 days. Optional journals can be purchased (see photo above for the journal for 1 & 2 Peter).

All of the past reading plans are available on their website, so you can go back when you have time and read through them if you want.

I've signed up to begin tomorrow with the book of Daniel which corresponds to what the sermons have been focusing on at our church each Sunday. Looking forward to it!

Thursday, August 13, 2015


I have two pet peeves (so far) in life. I wrote about the splash of an automatically flushing toilet in 2010. Here, I am going to complain about people who do not respond to invitations.

If you get an invitation in the mail or in your email or any other way, please respond! Don't be rude. The host was nice enough to want you to come to his party, so have the decency to let him know if you are able to go.

I've noticed a trend in the rude direction in the past several years. Not that I send out that many invitations, but I talk to people.

When you get an invitation, don't throw it in a pile on your desk to be discovered four weeks later. Don't set it aside to see if something better comes up and respond at the last minute. Respond immediately. Look at your calendar and decide if you can or cannot make it.

If you can't go, or you simply don't want to go, let the hostess know right away. It's what you would want if you were throwing a party.

I'm stepping down from my soap box now. Just had to get that out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On a Roll

I'm on a roll now. I lost weight two weeks in a row. Hooray!

Here are some things I came across recently that help with healthy living:

24 Diagrams that make eating healthy super easy.

Blueberry Pie Smoothie recipe. I love anything with blueberries.

Peanut Butter Brownie Balls to curb your appetite.

10 Foods to give you more energy.

This week, I lost 2.1 pounds. Total pounds lost: 6.2

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


I spent the past two days in Columbus with my friend Crystal. Each August, for six years now, we have made a trek to visit our friend Linda. Each time we go, we leave home around 8 a.m., meet Linda at a restaurant, have a long lunch to catch up, then Crystal and I shop until about 5 p.m.

The past two years we have just gone back to our hotel room, opened a bottle of wine, ate cheese and crackers, and talked until we fell asleep. This morning, we got up, had a leisurely breakfast in the hotel and then drove to Easton to shop some more! We were home by 4 p.m.

One of my purchases today at Barnes & Noble was a cookbook called The Looneyspoons Collection by Janet & Greta Podleski. I had never heard of these two sisters, but as soon as I opened the cookbook, I knew I had to buy it. The subtitle of the book is "Good Food, Good Health, Good Fun!"

Apparently, this collection of recipes comes from three of their other cookbooks: Looneyspoons, Crazy Plates, and Eat, Shrink and be Merry! plus some new recipes.

What I love about this cookbook is that it is fun to read. Every page has extra tips and tidbits plus funny cartoons. The illustrations just make you want to get in the kitchen and cook.

I'm glad I have my own copy, but if you want to check it out, the Cuyahoga County Public Library has it.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Lebanese Food Fair

Last night we went to the annual Lebanese Food Fair at Our Lady of the Cedars Church.

If you like Lebanese food, this is the place to be. Members of the church make authentic Lebanese food and sell it as a church fundraiser. They rolled 6,000 grape leaves for the event along with making countless trays of Kibbee, stacks of Fatayer, and bowls of Tabbouleh.

Katherine was fortunate to be in town, and this was Peter and Kendall's first time to come.

Heidi enjoyed the Vegetarian green beans in tomato sauce.
Daniel's favorite was the Meat Fatayer.

Liz and Katherine had a chance to catch up.

Stuffed Grape Leaves


And the highlight, of course, was the dessert selection: Baklawa, Ka'ak, Sambousik (my favorite), and Coconut Macaroons among others.

Uncle Danny was in his usual spot selling drinks. I also got to see my mom's cousins Barbara and John.