Thursday, December 13, 2012

Did you know that I love coffee?

This post is sponsored by SheSpeaks and Torani.

I don't know if you knew that about me or not. But, it's the truth, I love coffee.  Most of the coffee I drink is black. I went through a phase where I wouldn't drink coffee without no-fat hazelnut creamer.  But, the vast majority of my adult coffee drinking has been just plain old strong black coffee.

That being said, I Love (with a capital L), a frou-frou coffee every once in awhile.  Once a week if I can afford it. When I had the chance, through SheSpeaks and Torani, to try Torani syrups at home, I jumped at it.

When I received my box with Sugar Free Salted Caramel and Gingerbread syrups I was excited! And rightly so.  It's good stuff!  I tend to stay away from Sugar Free stuff for various reasons.  Because I'm not sure the things that make it sugar free are good for you and there is often an unpleasant after-taste.  I tried both flavors and have to say that the sugar-free Salted Caramel was my favorite.  I liked the Gingerbread too, but not as much as the Salted Caramel.  It was good stuff.  I tried it in my coffee and also in my coffee with half and half added.  I liked the added creaminess the half and half added.  The other coffee drinkers in our house tried them as well and gave them two-thumbs up.

I would recommend these syrups for your stay-at-home fancy coffees.  I also noticed there are LOTS of recipes using the syrups on their website, but I haven't had a chance to try any yet!  I was impressed with the variety, though, and look forward to giving some of them a try soon.  (There's even a BACON  syrup!!!)

I also plan on taking the syrups with us on our holiday visits and sharing them with everyone else!  Good stuff!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I think it's time for a list

I have a birthday coming up, in October.  October is going to be crazy busy, like things every weekend, so I'm not waiting to do it on my birthday. And,  I'm not going to force you to read a list that includes one thing for every year I am old, because that would be a loooooooooooooooooooong list.  No, I won't subject you to that :)  I'll make it shorter.  But I've been feeling like it's time to make a list of things. It will be random, because I don't have a subject in mind, but here we go!

1-My college class is having it's 30th reunion in October. 30th!!! I am old.  That is weird. It also means that my high school class will be having a 35th reunion next year.  THAT is even weirder.

2-I don't feel any older than I did when I was in my 20's.  I remember (when I was in my 20's) my dad telling me that exact thing -- that he didn't feel any older inside, just his body.  I remember thinking "uhhh, yeah, suuuuuuure dad."  Now I know just what he meant.

3-When I was a little girl my dog, Princess Anne Burns, had puppies.  We named them Duchess, John John and . . . I can't remember the third ones name.  My friend Tricia and I took one of them, Duchess I think, on a bike ride with us.  We put her in the bike basket on the front of Tricia's bike. She fell out.

4-I had a purple stingray bicycle with a banana seat.  Tricia had a three speed traditional bike.  She liked riding mine and I liked riding hers.  Weird.  Mine was a one speed which I thought was lame.  My brother had a gold sting ray with a metallic banana seat and THREE SPEEDS.  Wish I still had that purple bike!  Oh, and it had a white plastic basket on the front with plastic flowers on it.

5-I walked or rode my bike to elementary school all year long -- rain, snow, etc.  I don't ever remember getting a ride.

6-I also wore pants under my skirt in the winter time.  Everyone did.  Girls had to wear dresses or skirts to school ALWAYS, no pants.  We had to take the pants off when we got to school and then we could put them back on at recess.

7-I remember when the dress code changed and we could wear pants (not jeans) to school.   I was in 6th grade.

8-My first apartment was the upstairs of a small house in Hesston.  I lived above one of the local police officers.  He had a small child and once they called and asked me to turn down my music.

9-I took a group of 8 teenagers to Mexico on a Girl Scout trip when I was a young adult.  We lost two of the girls in Mexico City.  We found them.

10-Our tour guide took us around Mexico City in two vans.  One of them was an old VW bus and the side door wouldn't close so he had to buckle it closed with a belt.  Seriously.

11-The guards at the Casa de Cambio's (the places where we exchanged our money) had big machine guns.  Well, that's what they looked like to me. They were big guns.  It freaked me totally out.

12-I was in active in 4-h when I was young and as a teenager was very involved at the county level, participating in trips to Chicago, Kansas City and Washington D.C./New York City.

13-Our county 4-h had a pageant at the county fair each summer where we sang and put on skits.  I did an Edith Ann skit (based on a Lily Tomlin character) and performed it at the State Fair too.

14-After our meetings and practices we always went to Dairy Stripe (the local version of Dairy Queen) and they would give me free ice cream cookies in my ice cream cone if I would do Edith Ann for them. I was like a local celebrity (not really).

15-When my kids were little, there were some books that I would read to them at bedtime that made me cry every time I read them.  On the Day You Were Born and Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge, to name two.

16-I like to make my Christmas gifts.  Pinterest is like a dream come true for me.

17-I also tend to be a big planner and not do so great with follow through.

18-When I was in college and right after, my family teased me about always giving unfinished Christmas gifts.

19-I have good intentions, almost always.

20-My mom used to say "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

21-Now I feel bad about having good intentions.

22-I think the majority of people in the world are good people.

23-I think it's possible for people to get along.

24-Sometimes it's really hard to get along, even with the people I love the most in the world.

25-When I was a kid, my dad made hundreds of pounds of peanut brittle every Christmas season and sold it. He was known far and wide (in central Iowa) as making the best peanut brittle.

26-I wish I'd have paid more attention to how he made it and let him teach me his method.

27-When I was 11 or 12 my family moved to the country.  Our house was on an inactive farm, but there was a barn and outbuildings.  I loved to lay on top of an abandoned hog feeder and watch the sun set.

28-I also liked to jump up and down on a fence that had fallen down across a big gulch.  I ended up falling and cutting my knee while "jumping on the fence" and had to get stitches.

29-Once I also fell off a balcony that was being built on my baby-sitters house and sprained my ankle.  I had to use crutches.

30-My babysitters son Jimmy would put me in the wagon and pull me all around their property.  He would take me out far from the house and then leave me.

I think 30 is enough, don't you?  Enough about me.  I just went with my train of thought.  Sorry if I repeated myself (I'm old, you know).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

So long . . .

It's been a long time since I've posted here.  Sooooo long . . .

Things in my life have slowed down, in some ways.  Having two children gone to college definitely changes the landscape of my days.  I miss them, but I guess I'm easing into this phase of parenting.  Life goes on -- going to work, paying bills, taking Ellie where she needs to go, cooking, cleaning (well . . .).  The daily responsibilities keep me from getting too melancholy about things, at least most of the time.  Of course, there are moments.

Last night, for the second time this fall, we had no children at home.  That was a little too weird.  I'm not wild about that.  I expected to like it, but it was just so quiet.

I'm trying to do more art things, but I'm only partially successful.  I have lots of vision and ideas, but actually doing them is hard sometimes. I wish I had a space in the house dedicated to creative stuff.  That may be a goal for the next few months.  We have room, it's just cluttered and not very inviting, but that could change.  Ellie asked for space to create for her birthday (and for Christmas last year, too, I just realized) so maybe it's time to make something like that happen.

And the weeks just fly by. I'm trying to plan ahead more and not have things sneak up on me.  But, wow!  It seems like it's just Sunday and I'm planning my week and suddenly, it's Friday again.  Time is strange, isn't it?

I guess I have nothing profound on my mind today, just wanted to post again after a long break.  Maybe I'll be profound next time!!

Happy Fall!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Melancholy, baby

I'm thinking summertime must make me feel melancholy. Maybe it's because it takes me back to happy times, in my childhood and later, my children's childhood. Happy, carefree days spent outdoors.

I've just recently been thinking a lot about my own children's childhood. A lot about things I could have (should have?) done differently. And about how quickly it passes.

I remember being a young adult and how much I enjoyed those years. And then I remember anticipating parenthood, and my years as a parent of young children.

Having young adult children seems to be an interesting phase of life to be moving into. It's not a bad thing, I know it will hold many wonderful things, but it's not a phase that I have eagerly anticipated as I have other phases, and it seems to involve a harder "letting go" of what was than other phases have, for me anyway.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

broken arm!

won't be posting for a while, not good at one hand typing . . . yet!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Reporting in and other things

I got all my reports back.  Everything was good.  My cholesterol and blood pressure were on the high end of normal, but not a concern at this point.  He said exercise would improve both.  My heart tests were all good and although they can't give a for sure report, the chance of me having a "heart related incident" in the next five years is very low.   So, that's all good.  Let the exercise regimen begin.  He recommended that I walk, so walk I shall.

There was something else I was going to post about but I have completely forgotten what it was.

I got my echocardiogram images and movies, but not my gamma-ray photos.  I will post those when I get them.  They were awesomely beautiful.  I can't figure out how to save my echo images.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The affect of gamma rays

On me (not Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, although I do remember that book/play from my high school days.  I don't think I ever read it, but I liked other books by that author, Paul Zindel, specifically My Darling, My Hamburger).

Remember these?  There was another one to go with this one that
had a picture of a nuclear power plant thinking "no cows"
I had a nuclear stress test last week.  Interesting stuff.  Especially interesting because I came of age during the "no nukes" era, and I was big into no nukes. Went to protests and everything, and had lots of buttons and pins (that I still have somewhere in the depths of my basement) that I wore with zeal.  I was also a card carrying member of the question authority brigade. Those were the days. But, I digress.

On to what affect these tests had on me.  For starters, it was kind of scary.  Everyone was really kind to me, but it was stressful.  Maybe that's why they call it a stress test?  For starters I had an echo-cardiogram of my heart.  It was awesome.  I had a screen right in front of me, and I could see my heart the whole time.  Have you ever seen your heart at work?  It was truly an incredible experience.  Spiritual even.  I have been having some irregular heart beats for quite a few years and it was really wild to see them happening.

Next, I went to see Mary and she injected me with something radioactive.  She assured me there was no danger, but it was kind of freaky.  I had to sit and wait while the radioactivity worked it's way to my heart, and then she took me in to the "gamma" camera to lie still and have pictures taken of my heart.  I actually almost took a nap.  The cameras are all around you and it would be hard if you were claustrophobic, but I'm not really.  The pictures were really pretty.

Next, I had to go do the treadmill.  They hooked me up to all kinds of monitors and the doctor, a technician, and Mary were in the room with me.  I am not in great shape, but the exercise part went fine, and I had no chest pain. They kept asking me, but I was fine.  When I got to my target heart rate, Mary injected me with more radioactive stuff and then after a minute or two I could stop.  I went  back downstairs and got to nap again while she took more pictures of the radioactive stuff in my heart.  I worked up the courage to ask her if I could get some pictures of my heart -- they were so pretty and I thought it would be cool to make some art using them.  She actually told me I could get a whole cd of my heart images.  I'm so excited!!!  When I filled out the paperwork for it I told the lady I was going to make art with it.  She stared at me like I was nuts.  I laughed nervously and said I was sure she heard it all.  She continued to stare at me like I was nuts.  Maybe she doesn't hear it all.  Haha.

And now for the affects this testing has had on me.

Well, I'm trying harder than I ever have before to treat my body as a temple.  I don't think I ever really thought that much about that concept, and I've always taken my health for granted.  As soon as I get the all clear, I've decided I want to be a runner.  Not a fast runner.  I really was the last person chosen in elementary school when the "captain" got to choose relay teams.  But I want to run.  I crave the freedom that running represents for me.

Another affect is that I'm trying, really hard, to give other people a break.  I had gotten really intolerant of people doing what I felt like were stupid things.  Specifically people in cars, but not necessarily.  I've decided to work even harder to see the good in everyone I meet or see.  It's not easy, but this experience makes me want to try harder than ever.

I've also been humbled by my health.  Spending time in medical clinics is really eye opening.  You see people going through great personal crisis and trauma, and it makes you more aware of the many blessings in your life.  Well it did me, anyway.

Sorry I'm so wordy tonight.  This isn't even all I wanted to say.  But I'll save the rest for another time.

I caught this happy virus last night while singing beneath the stars. It's remarkably contagious. ...So Kiss me! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Amazing Race

Do you watch that show? We have kind of gotten into watching it, off and on, as a family. It's kind of fun, kind of silly, kind of annoying (at times).

I was thinking this week that life is really an amazing race. We don't all get to hike in Nepal, or go to Cinderella's castle in Austria, but our lives are really amazing. Each and every day.

I'm dealing with some things right now. Nothing I'm ready to go into here, but it's made me very contemplative. Thinking about what matters, and having faith.

And it makes me really think how important it is to view each and every day as amazing. We are given so much. Sometimes it feels like too much. More often, though, we want more. Usually more of something that we can't have. Money. Time.

I'm trying to take the time to enjoy more moments of this amazing race called life. I'm trying to be more positive, more aware.

Join me? I'll race you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

That's so random

This makes me happy. I could just look and look and look at things like this. Do you know what it is?

Ellie used my glitter, which was also something that I could just look at and be happy.

That's probably a good thing. It was wasteful to just have it and not use it. But I liked looking at it. It made me happy.
My new watch makes me happy too. It's hard to see here, but the little circles are swarovski crystals. It's like magic. I don't understand at all how it works. But it makes me happy.

That's all I need to be happy. This glitter and this watch. That's all I need. I don't need one more thing.

I need this! (Name that movie and I'll give you a sticker).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ok, enough whining

Or whinging as my New Zealand friend says.

It's a new year. I've made resolutions. Of course, I want to be healthier. If that includes losing weight, that's awesome. I do want to exercise more often, but that was something I wanted to do way before the new year. Hopefully I will get it done though.

My main resolutions are to:

1) Make more art. I don't mean crafty stuff -- I do plenty of that, and I love it -- my knitting keeps me sane, but I mean real art -- drawing, painting, collage, etc.

2) Be a nicer person inside my head, and inside my car. I tend to call other drivers IDIOT quite often. I was trying to be kind to everyone before Christmas, and I let people in front of my several times at the Walmart parking lot, but I also ended up calling several of them IDIOT. My mom said that undid my good deed. She's probably right. I'm going to try being nicer on the inside this year. I think my outside self is pretty nice to pretty much everyone, but I'm not always nice inside my head or my heart. I want to be.

That's it for now. I have lots of things I want to do with my life. Be more organized, make long term lesson plans, de-clutter my house. But they are way too much to think of all at once!!!