Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday dinner

Ron loves fried chicken. He shouldn't have the skin so when I make it, I usually put a fast one on him and give him "pretend" skin. I do it by creating such a flaky, fluffy coating that when he's eating it, he doesn't realize there is no skin there.

First, clean your chicken, remove the skin, and soak it in a mixture of egg, milk, and butter - with just a little bit of salt and pepper.

While it's soaking, create a batter using flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a secret recipe of herbs and spices. Kind of sounds like the Colonel... But, mine is better.

I use 1 teaspoon each of rosemary, thyme, sage, cumin, parsley, poultry seasoning (it's got some of the same stuff but I use it anyway), and then about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Pepper (don't measure) and onion flakes (about 2 teaspoons) follow. Then I add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Take your chicken out of the wet, cover it with the dry, put it back in the wet, and then back in the dry. Deep fry until it's crispy and done.


To not waste the skin, I boiled it and then removed and tossed them. The stock got used to make noodles with. I served those over baked potatoes. Side dish was broccoli florets. He loved it.

He has lunch tomorrow, I have lunch tomorrow, and we have dinner one more night. Easy peasy.

Guess who (or what) is back!!!

I looked out the front door this morning and saw tracks in the snow. Hmmm... Those weren't there last night when I went to bed, so I peeked out the window and, much to my surprise, saw mama duck.

I scared her when I took the picture, so when she moved, I saw she had brought back some of her baby eggs. I wonder where the others are.

I decided that she might be hungry, so I came back inside and broke up a large piece of bread for her and tossed it out onto the sidewalk. I didn't want her to stray too far from her nest so I opted to take these pictures through the glass on my front door. They don't seem to have too much glare on them.

If I thought I could get by with it, I'd throw out a winter scarf for her to pull into her nest but I'm afraid that she would just totally spook. One of the eggs looks like it's got a crack in it. I am almost sure that's from her moving it from one place to another and then back again. It's supposed to get really nice this week so maybe these babies will make it.

I'm not too keen on having duck poop on my sidewalk, and this means that I really won't be able to work in my flower bed to plant some new stuff, but I guess that will be OK. She makes a nice conversation piece. I can give directions to my house with "I live in the place behind the duck house." LOL!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nice conversation

I just had a very nice conversation with Skippymom from I Make Soap. We have a lot in common and we both like to talk. LOL! It was very nice to put a voice with the blog. Pooldad and the girls sound like they're wonderful family members to have. You're right - you are very blessed. It's so nice to have such loving and caring children and spouse. I think Wallene sounds charming and I bet she is a cheerful little thing - kind of like Isaiah - always happy. (Well, he's not always happy if he's getting into the kind of trouble that six year-old boys get into!)

While we talked, I made Ron some chili. He's been in the mood for chili for a while and since it is so cold outside, I decided I was also in the mood for chili. Chicken noodle soup is another cold weather favorite, but I didn't thaw out chicken today; I thawed out hamburger. There's a recipe on the back of the Williams' seasoning packet, but the only thing I follow from there is how much water I put in (1 cup). I didn't have all the ingredients of my regular chili, but I think this turned out pretty good.

Today's Chili

1 pound ground beef (good quality; not much water or fat content)
diced onion (or dried onion flakes if you don't have an onion)
1 packet of Williams' seasoning (the size that is for 2# of hamburger)
1 cup water
1 can chopped tomatoes with Italian seasoning
1 can tomato sauce
3 cans red kidney beans; drained

Brown the hamburger; add onion or onion flakes once the hamburger is about 1/2 finished. Drain off any fat/water. Add the chili seasoning, water, chopped tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir well until all the powdered seasoning is well absorbed. Add the kidney beans and cook until all the flavors have blended well.

I usually let it simmer 30-45 minutes on low heat. You can add shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers, etc. but we like it pretty much without any additions. Ron would have eaten shredded cheese in his but we didn't have any.

My usual chili has a can of chicken stock instead of water, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of Ranchero pinto beans, and 1 can of Mexican-style red beans. It won 2nd place in a chili cooking contest at work so it must be pretty good.

Thanks, Skippymom! We'll have to do that again.

Ah... the first day of Spring!

This was the way my flower bed looked on Thursday. Note mama duck sitting on her nest...

I thought she knew I was there, but when my camera "clicked" she got startled and flew off, leaving behind the "triplets" for me to take a picture of.

I wish I had taken a picture yesterday because I could see that she had laid at least two more eggs (there may have been one more buried but I didn't want to disturb the nest to look). I knew it was going to get cold and snow overnight, so I took a stick and pulled the sides of the mulch nest up higher to try and protect the eggs, and even put a little more on top of them. I know she was fine with that because I saw her sitting on them later.

This morning, this is the sight that greeted me when I opened the door to check on her:

She must have been in the process of moving the eggs somewhere else, because this is what it looks like now:

I think she must know this one won't survive because she very obviously left it behind. The snow has blown away any trace of her tracks so it's been a while since she has been back to the nest. I hope she found a warm place to put her babies.

The ducks are supposed to live here:

Once we laid the rock to keep our yard from being absorbed by the water, the ducks had a harder time laying their eggs and making their nests. Last year about this same time, I noticed one lone egg on our sidewalk so I think they were trying to create a nest out front then, too.

The first day of spring is not supposed to look like this, especially when it was shirt-sleeve weather yesterday...

Thursday, March 18, 2010


When you can't - or refuse to - cry for yourself, it's good to watch a sappy show that makes those tears just roll on out. I watched two things tonight that I had previously recorded and both of them got the water works primed, pumped, and flowing.

The first was What Not to Wear from one night last week or maybe early this week... The recipient was a 32 year old who had been diagnosed with breast cancer at 28. She'd had a double mastectomy and had elected to not do reconstructive surgery. She was awesome and such an inspiration to me. If she can suck it up and go on with life then there is no excuse for me to not put out more effort.

The second was Biggest Loser from this past Tuesday. These people are struggling with some of the same issues and feelings that I have struggled with for so long and to see them break through and change their lives is such a wonderful thing to see. I don't always like the people as they are being portrayed on the show (Mike - he's one I have wanted to smack more than once) but I can feel their pain and I understand their needs and that they are crying out for help. I can empathize with them in the changes they are going through - and they're not just physical changes but emotional and mental changes as well.

I don't let my emotions get the better of me very often and I rarely let others see tears. My dad always said it was a sign of weakness and being "thin skinned" and he would punish us if he saw us cry. For that reason, I would rather crawl into a corner and hide than to let anyone see me break. God is trying to break down those walls and to make me realize that I need to show others that I am vulnerable and that I have feelings, too. I hid them for so long that I gave off the impression to many that I was cold and uncaring; that was so far from the truth that it's laughable. I was just protecting myself with thick, thick walls.

I will still continue to protect myself and I can't say that the walls will ever come down completely. I may shed a tear now and then, but I'll do my darnedest to stop the water before it starts. I can't run with the big dogs if I'm crying and carrying on or feeling sorry for myself.

Tonight I read Ron some entries from Eva's blog. She's one that I read often but I don't post; she gets so many comments on her blog and she doesn't need any more to try and wade through. Her condition and strength make what we're going through seem like child's play and when I really need a dose of reality, I go check in on people who have it much worse than I do.

Today was discouraging but tomorrow will be better; I'll put on my big girl britches, suck it up, and have a better day.

That's the plan anyway.

Discouraged and out of sorts...

Wound care visit was less than stellar. What I had seen of the hole when I changed the dressing on Monday looked promising. It was better than last week – at least the margins were closing in. Then the “big guns” came in and announced that under the callous was an ulcer. Only way to heal the ulcer was to remove the callous. Gee… that’s what I’ve mentioned more than once and been told it was ok.

The wound nurses got out their scalpels and went to work. Thank God for peripheral neuropathy today! With his feet totally numb, Ron did not feel them cutting & trimming away. One nurse worked on him for a while and then the other took over. When finished, it did look cleaner. Now, if it will just heal.

He is developing a new pressure spot where the original injury was located, but just a bit more toward the outside of the foot. It has a callous and a black spot. The nurse said there wasn’t anything she could do for it but they did put a white foam piece on it for padding and I’m supposed to watch it. They put the silver back on the other. We go back next week after he sees the foot doctor.

I’m just totally bummed about it. It’s very hard to stay positive when week after week it’s always something. He wants the doctor to go ahead and operate on his left knee because he’s in so much pain from it. What he doesn’t understand is that it is an out-patient procedure and he’ll need to be non-weight bearing for 2-3 days and maybe longer. He is not strong enough to do that and I am not strong enough to pick him up or transfer him from point A to point B. I can’t stay home with him and he can’t stay alone. The new walker with the seat won’t fit in my back seat so I have to lower the ramp to put it in the back. The ramp weighs about 75 pounds. Going down isn’t too bad but putting it back up is doing a number on my low back. I sprayed it with WD-40 but it still feels very stiff.

He called the chiropractor yesterday and made arrangements to go see him 2-3 times a week for his back to see if he can help him. That is 2-3 more trips each from home to work (13 miles) to home (13 miles), back to town (about 15 miles) and then back home (15 more miles). In order to do that, on those days I have to come to work early so I can leave early to go get him. Or, I have to come in late and stay late so he can have an early morning appointment. Add to that the weekly trips to the wound clinic (26 miles round trip) and then to work and home (26 miles round trip) and the bi-weekly trips to the foot doctor (52 miles round trip) and then to work/home (26 miles round trip).

On top of that, he continues to shake – sometimes violently. Because of his back and hip (and knee) pain, he can’t walk very far even using the walker and forget about walking more than 10 feet with the cane. He said last night that his hands are getting stiff enough that he can no longer extend his little fingers flat. I don’t want to stick my head in the sand, but I just dread hearing about one more thing on him that hurts or doesn’t work right. My knees, my hips, my back, and my shoulders hurt all the time – some days worse than others – from the lifting, tugging, and pulling that I have to do.

I have no help to speak of. We all work full-time except for one (my 30-year old step-son – who works p/t) and I can’t even get him to pick up the phone and call his dad. He works 10-15 hours a week and then stays up all night playing games on his computer. He did actually call on Tuesday but that was after Ron had called his house to talk to someone else there. Of course, he gave the usual B.S. that he’s just been so busy that he hasn’t had time to call. Puh-leeze… I am to the point that I don’t care if I EVER speak to him again and I am totally done with the other one – who is 37. It is not Ron’s job to call his children and say how he’s doing. My son and DIL in WA call at least 2-3 times each week to see how he’s doing. Since they are 1500 miles away, it’s not like they can do anything for him but they do call and check. Jenny sends him care packages all the time with things in it that he likes to eat and snack on.

Today is my whine day. I need some good cheese to go with it… And crackers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blog Hopping

As I was sitting and watching Ron today (he had the shakes this morning) and in between fetching him food and water/tea, I was blog hopping. This is how I do it…

After I've looked at Isaiah's blog (Isaiah's Eyes) to see if anyone has left a comment there, I go to the top of my blog roll and look at all updates. I check to see if my niece has updated Aiden's blog or if my other niece has updated Micah's blog. I look at my friend Jamie's to see if she's had any updates. I briefly check in on the Wilson triplets (they are adorable), I check out The Meanest Mom (she's a trip; found her from the Wilson's page). I have a few scrapbook pages I visit and a couple of other places in addition to those. All of these I found from one link or another.

Then, I usually go to Pat's blog (A View from the Edge) and after I read her stuff, I usually go to Rae's blog (Weather Vane) because she's commented on Pat's, or I go to Kathy's (kathy's campground kapers) if she's left a comment and Rae hasn't. Or, I go to Kathy's first and Rae's second.

Once I leave their blogs, I go back to my blog roll and see who else has updated. I've recently found I Make Soap (that caught my eye because I used to make soaps and lotions) but I don't remember whose blog I was on. From her blog, I found Eva, a young lady struggling to live with "65 Roses" (Cystic Fibrosis). I also found Nancy, Life in the Second Half, from either Rae or Pat (can't remember) and today I found another new one, Kathy at Four Dog Day from Donna's blog (Discovering the Purpose of Our Lives). I couldn't tell you how I got to Donna's blog.

It's so nice to have new friends all over the place. Many of us are in the same age group and struggling with some of the same life issues. Some seem to be having more fun than others (ahem… Pat comes to mind) and everyone has something interesting to say. I don't even remember how I came to find Kathy or Pat or Rae. I read many more that I don't officially follow, but if I really think I won't be able to find it again, I either bookmark it or I follow it. I don't always leave comments, but when I do I try to make them personal and not just a "great post" type of response.

When I have more time, I go back to those blogs and read several entries. Once I do that, I'm usually hooked and I return again and again. I appreciate the time everyone takes to share their lives, their thoughts, and their pictures. Some of the pictures I see are of places I'll never visit and getting an opportunity to see pictures is really nice.

So – a big thanks to all of you who post, follow, or read my blog. Thank you to all who have their own blogs and share within the lines.


I was blog-hopping today and came across this "I AM" statement list. I liked it so well that I decided I had to blog-lift it. I got it from Donna at and told her that I'd be "borrowing" it from her. Hers was interesting and some of my responses are similar to hers. Once you leave mine, go ahead and hop on over to hers and see what she has to say.

I AM: Teresa, Mom, Grandma, T
I THINK: too much
I KNOW: how to sacrifice and to be a friend
I WANT: to be a better person, Christian, wife, mother, friend
I HAVE: everything I need
I DISLIKE: dishonesty, prejudice, laziness
I MISS: family members and friends who are no longer with us
I FEAR: snakes and spiders and confined spaces
I FEEL: deeply
I HEAR: the TV and my husband
I SMELL: nothing
I CRAVE: consistency, stability, and a year without major medical problems
I USUALLY: make lists, re-do them, and then do them again
I SEARCH: for how I could do things differently and make things better
I WONDER: whether my DIL will have a boy or a girl
I REGRET: not joining the military in 1976
I LOVE: my family and friends
I CARE: deeply
I ALWAYS: want to be a positive influence on others and to project a positive attitude
I WORRY: about my mom and my husband
I REMEMBER: the good in all instances
I HAVE: more patience for others than I do for myself
I DANCE: when I’m cutting up with Isaiah
I SING: when I think no one is listening
I DON'T ALWAYS: manage to stay cheerful
I ARGUE: when needed to defend someone (not always myself)
I WRITE: because it helps relax me
I LOSE: perspective with momentum and then beat myself up over it
I WISH: I could lose 30 pounds and not need diabetes medication
I LISTEN: to hear the voice of God
I DON'T UNDERSTAND: why people can’t get along
I CAN USUALLY BE FOUND: at work or sitting in the living room/bedroom with my hubby
I AM SCARED: of drowning and being confined
I NEED: my alone time to recharge
I FORGET: what it was like before Isaiah came to live with us
I AM HAPPY: the majority of the time
I DREAM: of being chosen for a makeover – for me and for the house (I know, that’s a cheesy dream, but it’s great relaxation and often recharges me for another day – and sometimes gives me ideas on how to make the house more user-friendly for hubby.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I've been thinking about this post for quite a while - since Vegas, to be exact. I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to address it, but I knew that I just had to write something about it. For those of you reading who don't know me personally, I am not a prejudiced person and I can't stand to see discrimination in action - ethnic origin, religious preference, gender, etc. You don't have to agree with someones religion or their gender preference, but discriminating against someone because of this is pathetic. My daughter was married to someone of Hispanic origin and my son is married to someone from Taiwan. None of my children really see "race" as an issue when deciding to date someone or not. The color of the skin makes no difference; it's what is inside that matters to them and to me.

Color - trying to understand why "black" individuals refer to themselves as African-American. Yes, their ancestors probably came from Africa but many did not. There are other countries where they might have originated from. Since I am predominantly Caucasian, should I say that I am "European-American" since my ancestors most likely came from Europe? Some of my ancestors came from here (Cherokee and Mohawk Indian), so am I an individual of "European-Native American Indian-American" origin? What a mouthful. My grandchildren are very mixed so what are they? "Chinese-European-Native American Indian-American" and "Hispanic-Aztec Indian-European-Native American Indian-American" seems a little much to put on the census form.

Race - I can't stand the word "race" when used in conjunction with ethnic origin. We are all part of the "human race" so asking someone what race they are implies that they are something other than "human." Why can't we identify ourselves as someone of XXX ethnic origin and not XXX race?

Back to the discrimination....
I have heard "African-Americans" say that they are still victims of discrimination and I never could understand why they would say that. I'm not saying I was denying it happened, but I had never seen what they were talking about so I assumed they were just being overly sensitive. That perception has changed because of a minor incident in Las Vegas.

I was standing in line at Criss Angel's show waiting to get Ron and I some refreshments. The lines were terribly long and no one wanted to stand there for 30 minutes or longer. This cute "African-American" couple came up behind me and asked where the end of the line was. I said I was currently the end of that particular line, but there were three others they could choose from. They all looked about the same, so they stayed in my line. We chatted a bit and then they were looking at a menu and I was just looking around. This tall "Caucasian" guy came up behind me and asked where the end of the line was. I pointed to the couple behind me and said, "They are the end of this line."

He just stood there - between me and the other couple. I wasn't quite sure what to do but after 2-3 minutes, I looked at him again and said, "They are behind me in line so you'll need to get behind them." He looked down his nose at them and decided to change to a different line. I was frankly amazed. I really felt that he only left the line because I said something twice. If I had been silent and not stood up for them, he would have continued to stand behind me and cut in front of them.

Granted, that's not a big discrimination, but it did open my eyes to the fact that although this is a slight instance it is indicative of bigger things that they face every day. It does not excuse actions on their part to retaliate or act in an inappropriate manner but it does make me see things in a totally different light.

I have mixed race grandchildren. I don't want them to be the victims of the same type behavior as they grow up.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


My daughter is getting married. I'm very excited because we really like her fella and know that he is a great guy for both her and for Isaiah.

The problem??? Not really a problem, but something to take into consideration. The wedding is in Cancun. The locale totally excites me (never been anyplace like this) so I'm totally looking forward to the event but torn about the event, too.

Ron doesn't think he can go. He's not sure he'll feel good enough to even try to go although with his electric scooter, mobility would not be an issue. Ron is fine with me going without him and I would make sure that someone was able to stay with him. Amy wants at least one of her parents at her wedding and I would be the sole representative from her side of the family. They are only extending invitations to parents and siblings and none of Amy's can attend. Shaun's wife will be nearing delivery of baby #3 and Keith says he doesn't think he can afford to go. Her other siblings (Ron's children by first marriage) are also unable to go.

I want her to have the destination wedding of her dreams, especially since her first marriage was so bad and because I know that even though I had a lovely 2nd wedding myself, I've always wished that we had been able to do something or go somewhere special. I don't want her to wish for the next 25 years that they'd done the special trip. It's her day (and his) and they should do what they want and this will combine with a honeymoon trip for them. Amy has really sacrificed a lot to get to this point and she's done a great deal for Ron and I, so we are totally supportive of her decision to have a destination wedding/honeymoon combination.

If I don't go then Isaiah doesn't get to go and if he can't go, then she might as well get married by a justice of the peace here. That's not what she wants. Actually, she was married by a justice the first time and then had a "re-do" ceremony here a year later. She wants Isaiah to give her away and to have some really wonderful memories of the time. Granted, she can create wonderful memories for him here, too but I understand perfectly where she's coming from.

So, we will bat it around. I can reserve for Ron, too and buy trip insurance. If he is unable to travel then I will get our money back. I am not certain how much it will take to reserve the trip but between my children and I, we will get it done.