Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Happy Half Birthday

I'm celebrating my half birthday today. Today I am 58 1/2 years old.

Did you know that Giant Eagle sells half birthday cakes?

If you want to surprise someone with a special day, the perfect way to do it is have a half birthday party. They will never guess it is coming.

You can serve half a birthday cake, fill glasses half full, make a platter full of half sandwiches or half hot dogs on half buns.

The party could start at half past the hour.

For party favors, send home several half cookies in a zip-lock bag.

I'm not really having a party today, but I thought I'd serve cake to Don for dessert.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Cleveland Triathlon

Early this morning (6:15), Don and I dropped Katherine and Josh off at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame so they could get ready for the triathlon.

It was a beautiful morning.

The race began in the harbor behind the Rock Hall. A number of kayaks were stationed to guide the swimmers in the right direction and make sure no one drowned.

Katherine & Josh did the "Sprint" level of triathlon. Can you find them on the dock?

They jumped in one by one and were spaced out by about a body length. This is Josh entering the water with Katherine right behind him.

The Sprint level includes a half-mile swim,

a 16 mile bike ride,

and a 5K (3.1 mile) run.

You can bet they were excited to step over that finish line! I was excited for them! It was quite an accomplishment, and a goal they had worked toward for at least 6 months.

They finished in 2 hours 17 minutes.

Peter and Kendall made it down to see the finish!

Heading home to take a nap.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Life

I don't think I've said too much about my dietary changes in the past year. Last September, I embarked on a new way of eating. I totally cut out foods containing gluten and dairy.

Why would I do such a drastic thing?

For as long as I can remember, I had stomach aches and irritable bowel issues on occasion. I never knew what caused them, and they didn't happen frequently enough for me to do anything about it.

Then, sometime in the middle of 2015, I noticed that the episodes were becoming more frequent. By the beginning of 2016, I was getting sick about twice a week. It was interfering with my life, so I had to take action.

My doctor put me on antacids, which made things worse. Then I went to see a random doctor because I couldn't get in to see my regular doctor. He said quite simply, "I think it is something you are eating." I should have thought of that myself, but I didn't.

For two weeks, I went on the Low-FODMAP diet which pretty much eliminates all food except air. And I also started taking a probiotic.

I began to feel better right away. After two weeks, I was allowed to add back one food at a time to see what was causing an issue. I knew dairy was an issue for sure. I really didn't eat that much of it before, but I decided not to eat it at all. The other thing I was suspicious of was wheat. Whenever I would have a sandwich or pizza or pasta I would not feel well. So I did not add that back.

I added everything back except those two things, and I have not had one stomach ache or IBS episode in almost a year. This means I cannot eat conventional bread, pizza, pasta, or desserts. But I really haven't had much of a desire for them at all.

I've been getting along just fine eating fruits, veggies, meat, fish, eggs, rice, potatoes, dark chocolate, nuts, gluten-free oats, and beans among other things. I've also discovered that I'm sort of following what is known as a Paleo diet. Some Paleo followers don't eat dairy and some do. Some don't eat beans and some do. Some don't eat any grains at all. But the Paleo cookbooks have many recipes that work for me, so I checked a stack of them out of the library. I am compiling a cookbook of recipes Don and I will both enjoy.

When we go out, I usually eat a salad with chicken or salmon on top. I can always find something that works.

I'm just so thankful and thrilled that I don't have to worry about getting sick on a regular basis any more. Hooray!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Biking to Tremont

Don and I went on a bike ride this morning. We left from Yours Truly restaurant on Rockside Road and traveled north 9 miles to Tremont.

  I love this ride because it has bridges, canals and trains. The path is windy and has gentle hills.
There is a lot to see along the way.

One of the areas we ride through is the Steelyard Commons.

Our turn around point today was the Christmas Story House at the corner of 11th Street and Rowley. The Christmas Story movie is near and dear to our hearts because we went to see that movie for our very first date in November 1983.

This is what happens when you try to ride your bike while carrying your phone in one hand.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Party in Columbus

Peter and Kendall threw together a little party at their house yesterday. It was a combination housewarming and birthday party for Peter. They had saved the top of their wedding cake in their freezer and used it for Peter's 23rd birthday.


Peter and Kendall made this great picnic table for their deck.

The deck is so spacious, it also held two rocking chairs and the swing (that Peter and Kendall made a couple of years ago).

Lucy and Roman were reunited for a brief time again. They couldn't believe their luck.

Lucy!

Roman!

Candace and Kaitlin with Kendall.

Daniel Criswell wanted to take at least one of the puppies home with him.

Nate & Daniela stopped by (newlyweds of just a few weeks)

Chris & Sarah live in Columbus, so it was a short jaunt for them.

Aunt Carolyn giving Kendall a big hug.

Daniel & Peter playing corn hole.

Our hostess with the most-ess. It was a great party! 

Happy Anniversary, Daniel & Heidi

Could a year have gone by already?
Happy Anniversary Daniel & Heidi!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Two are Better than One?

Katherine called on her way home from work last night, and one of the things we talked about was how much better behaved Roman was when Lucy stayed at their house.

Two puppies can wrestle all their extra energy out so they don't have to bite your ankles.

Two puppies can snuggle up together and feel like they are still in their mama's litter.

Two puppies can entertain themselves for hours.

I remember, because we got two puppies right after we got married, and they kept each other company and kept each other busy. They also collaborated on projects that got them into trouble.

They dug out under our backyard fence together and ended up in the pound.

I suggested that Lucy and Roman take turns spending one or two weeks at each others' houses until they are all grown up.

Kendall already had the idea that they should move closer together so the puppies could spend time with each other on a regular basis.

I don't know what the answer is. It's more work to have two puppies, but at the same time, it's not.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tomato Cucumber Salad

I've made this salad twice since Sunday. It is so easy and really delicious.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
5 mini-cucumbers, sliced into 1/4" coins
3 t. olive oil
1 t. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.
2 T. red onion, diced 
2 T. chopped fresh basil
Crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Mix everything together and toss. Simple as that!
Recipe from: tastesbetterfromscratch.com

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Visit to Marion

Don and I drove to Marion on Friday to spend a couple of days with Katherine & Josh. They happened to be watching Lucy for Peter and Kendall who were on vacation. I was sooo excited to spend time with both puppies! They were entertainment in and of themselves. I never got tired of watching them.

Penny had a personality all her own. She spent her days trying to decide if she wanted to play with the puppies or run from them. She always had an out because she could fit through the slats in the gate and she could climb over the cardboard wall to her safe places.

Katherine was doing a great job training Roman and Lucy. They know how to "get in their place," "sit," "get down," and "stay." They were very eager learners - and they are only 11 weeks old.

Katherine captured this photo of Josh giving some loving behind the ears.

Penny slept in Don's lap for an hour while he read his book. She's not afraid of anyone.

The real reason we went to Marion was because I wanted to work the Farm Market with Katherine. We spent Friday baking and Saturday selling. It was a beautiful day.

I made some Rice Krispie treats to sell.

Lucy and Roman came to visit us around noon. We had more than one customer wanting to know if they were for sale. NO!

Don ate a cinnamon roll and an Oreo brownie while he was there. And Katherine made him pay for them!

After we left to go home, Peter and Kendall arrived to take their baby home. I know the Ruiz household, including Roman, will miss her. (Her favorite pose for sleeping).

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

I'm headed to Indiana tomorrow to help Katherine with Market Day in Marion. I'm making some people treats, but I thought I'd try to make some homemade dog treats as well. They turned out a little ugly, but I'm hoping that by putting them in little cellophane bags, they will look more desirable.

I tested them out on Riley, and he loved them. But that's not saying much because he will eat anything that is placed in front of his nose - except his heart worm pill.

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 T. canola oil
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large saucepan whisk together apple juice, peanut butter, applesauce, honey and oil. Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to simmer and thicken, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and stir in oats. Cool slightly before adding flours.

Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time to a 1/4 inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes. Place cutouts on two ungreased large cookie sheets.

Bake on separate oven racks 15 minutes. Turn treats over and rearranged sheets. Bake 15 minutes more or until light brown. Turn off oven; let dry in oven 1 hour. Makes about 24 treats.

Recipe from Good Housekeeping "Get Together" magazine.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mid-Century Matador Decor

I'm not sure what my mom thought about this Spanish matador bullfight tapestry when my dad brought it home to hang on the wall in our living room, but we four kids thought it was great!

It was so soft and velvety, sporting such an exciting scene. 

It was perfect decor for the mid-1960's. It's one of those things that brings back instant memories of my childhood. 

I was curious about this tapestry, so I Googled it. You can actually buy it right now on Ebay for about $50. It is described as a vintage mid-century Spanish Bullfight Matador Wall Tapestry.

You can also buy this very item on Etsy for $18 where it is described as coming from the "Kitsch Era" of decorating. For those of you who are not familiar with the term "kitsch" it means cheesy or tacky. It refers to art or other objects that appeal to popular or uncultivated taste because they are garish or overly sentimental. Kitschy things are considered by fashionable people to be ugly or in poor taste.

I'm quite sure my dad did not know he was being kitschy when he bought it to be the centerpiece of our home. Perhaps if HGTV had been invented then, he might have been more aware and saved us from the embarrassment of our garish decor.