Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tracy's Transplant Video

This is such a good story I wanted to save it here.  Tracy is Brittany and Allison's Mom and Brittany and Allison are Larry's grandddaughters.  Tracy was married to Larry's son, Michael.

Last week, we posted a sneak peek of a heart-warming paired kidney exchange. Now, we’re sharing a behind-the-scenes video to tell the sweet story of two families joined together by the gift of life.

Happy New Year's Eve

This is definitely a happy day.  I finally finished my t-shirt quilt that I started in August.  Now I can update this blog which I've been very amiss at since November and then the memoir that I've been talking about for 7 years.  At least during all that time, I've read everyone else's memoirs.

This is the front of the quilt.
 The backing is black fleece.
And it's a good thing I got it done today because when I made my signature piece I dated it 12/2014.
BTW - the binding is a black on black design which you can see at the bottom of this pic.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Smoky Sweet Potato Latkes

This was in the D&C this morning and found it online here:
I have to remember to make these since I did buy 5 pounds of sweet potatoes when they were $.33/lb before Thanksgiving.

Recipe By: Melissa d’Arabian
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Makes 16 latkes
1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated (about 4 cups)
1/2 large yellow or sweet onion, grated (about 3/4 cup)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
Plain Greek yogurt and unsweetened applesauce, to serve
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large colander, combine the sweet potato and onion. Set over the
sink. Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Slowly pour the water over the potato mixture, then let it
drain and cool until easily handled, 8 to 10 minutes. A handful at a time, place the sweet potato
mixture in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible, then transfer to a
large bowl.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg, salt, cumin and paprika, then stir into the sweet potato mixture.
Sprinkle the cornstarch over the sweet potatoes and mix well. The mixture should be moist, but not
wet. If needed, blot excess moisture and add a little more cornstarch.
Use 2 tablespoons of the oil to evenly coat a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the sweet potato mixture
into 16 mounds (each about 2 tablespoons) on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches
between them. Use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to flatten each.
Using a pastry brush and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, brush the tops of the latkes with oil. Bake
for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Serve the latkes with a dollop of yogurt and
applesauce. Makes about 16 latkes.
Nutrition information per serving: 60 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 15 mg cholesterol, 6 g
carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein, 70 mg sodium.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Greta Visit 11/19-11/24

I drove to Greta's on Wednesday and got there before Hunter got home from school.  We hugged and he said he was going to lie down because he was tired and had hockey practice in a couple of hours.  Later Greta told me he probably just wanted to play with his electronics.  When Myles came home he played his saxophone for me - first year of lessons and then his trumpet.

 Tucker and Hunter went to hockey practice with Bev and I took Myles to his practice at Chelsea Piers.  What a fantastic place.  So many types of sporting activity all under one roof.

Thursday the boys went off to school after Hunter had to quickly do his homework and then left separately with friends to drive up to Lake Placid and Greta and Charles followed later in the day.

 In the meantime I went to the Stamford Town Center where I spent 3 hours.  I was using MapMyWalk and it said I walked 6 miles although I find that hard to imagine.  It's a good thing I used it because awhile after it said something about 3 hours I realized that was how long I had left money for in the meter so I went rushing out and didn't have a ticket on my window when I got back to my car.  My next stop was to pick up Tucker at his school and I didn't know where I was going so it left me plenty of time to get lost.  It was cold and windy that day so I tried to stay warm in the vestibule of his building where they have 2 beautiful fish tanks at the Brunswick Lower School.
 Speaking of fish, this is Myles new spotted puffer fish.  While he was gone I had to feed the fish 2 frozen itsy bitty prawns which I remembered to do every day.

On Friday I went into the city to see Aunt Harrie.  Because my back was still bothering me and I wanted to get there earlier rather than later, I took the shuttle over to the West Side from Grand Central and then the train down to 14th St.  I'm finally figuring out how to get there the eaisest way possible and was able to stay underground until I could come out on 12th street since it was also cold out.  Then it was only a few blocks walk the rest of the way.
There was a lot of subway entertainment that day.  I had a great visit with Aunt Harrie and I can't believe I never took a picture because I planned on doing a selfie of the two of us.  We had a great Japanese lunch which I picked up at the restaurant around the corner and brought back to the apt.
Saturday morning Tucker and I were at Chelsea Piers in Stamford at 6:30 AM
Being a goalie meant there was a lot of gear to get into.  He had a 7:00 AM game and another one at 10:00.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Laura Visit 11/14-11/19

Nadine and I went to Laura's for a girls weekend.  I left home pretty much on time at 9:30.

I should mention that the weirdest thing happened.  I originally packed in my mid size suitcase but then thought it would be too hard to manage going up the stairs to Laura's condo so that morning, kneeling over the suitcase, I transferred everything to my backpack.  When I was done and started walking around my back was hurting but it didn't feel like I pulled anything.  OK - on with the weekend.

Nadine arrived about 1/2 hour before me.  We both got great spots on the street where we left our cars the entire time and Laura chaufferred us around the entire weekend.  According to Nadine, a girls weekend was where you talked about diets, shopped and went out to eat, so that's what we did.  On Friday night we went to Jake and Joe's for dinner but it was going to be an hour wait so we went to Panera's where we sat around and ate and chatted.  From there we went to Marshall's that was in the same plaza searching out a pair of boots for Nadine but came up with nothing so we went home.

On Saturday after a few cups of coffee and a lazy morning we went to DSW and found the boots.  Laura bought a pair of sneakers but I didn't get anything.  I did try on a few pairs, achy back and all.  We had a late, late lunch at Joe's where they didn't rush us so we didn't rush.
On the way back, we stopped at Shaw's where they had Progresso soups for $1 a can - who could pass that up and I bought six bottles of Schweppes Diet Tonic to import across state lines to home where I can never find it any more.
Back at Laura's, everyone was on their electronics of choice or read a book (Nadine) and enjoyed each other's company at the same time.

Sunday we were going to be ambitious.  We went to the gym, Nadine and I did yoga and Laura did Zumba.  After class my back felt really good, it must have been all those forward folds.  But later in the day or the next it wasn't as good so I started bending over a lot whenever I felt the need because that's what made it feel so good from class.  We stopped at Laura's office so she could print out some flyers

and then went back to the house to change.   We went to the newest Wegmans near Laura in Burlington where we had a late lunch on the 2nd floor overlooking the store.

Back at Laura's it was into our PJs to hang out for the evening.

Laura went to work on Monday and it was a day right out of the Carpenter's Song "Rainy Days and Mondays" but it didn't get us down.  We used the occasion to stay in our pajamas all day and not get dressed until we showered at 4PM because we knew we were going out that night.  Nadine even went to the car to get her new boots in her PJs.
At night, after a dinner of Progresso soup,

we went to Laura's womens group meeting which we really liked and near the end everyone wrote nice things about each other on these hearts that were taped on our backs during a break.
This is Laura's.
 This is mine.
Nadine left Tuesday morning and I didn't get a chance to take a picture of hers.  I didn't leave until Wednesday so I went to Wegmans, this time the one in Newton and made dinner for us that night.

Wednesday while I was getting ready to leave for Greta's the carbon monoxide detector starting beeping every 30 seconds.  I thought I had set something off because I was using the hair dryer for so long.  However, it turns out, after some internet searching, that the unit needed to be replaced.  The beeping is a signal that the device is 7 years old and should be replaced.  Good thing it happened before Laura left to come to CT and then NY for Thanksgiving because I could hear the annoying beep outside.
 On my way out of town I stopped to get gas.  A Mobil station for only $2.97!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

TMI Tuesday

I had my colonoscopy today.  The last time I had one was March 2005 but since I turned 70 this year it was time for another one and I didn't need to wait for the 10 year mark.  The colonoscopy was a piece of cake, especially since I slept through the whole thing. Despite my attempt at trying to watch the screen I felt my eyes get heavy and that was the end of it.

The day before is a different story.  The prescription for that day was to take 4 Dulcolax tablets in the afternoon, 2 at 12:00 and the other 2 at 3:00.  Then mix the Miralax with your beverage of choice (from the list) and drink 8 8oz glasses every 15 minutes.  I decided to go to Joann's that morning to buy the fleece that I needed to finish my quilt.  I was late leaving the house so I didn't take my first 2 pills until 1:00.  I took the next 2 at 3 staying on the 3 hour later schedule.  Nothing happened.  At 6:30 I decided I didn't want to wait until 7 to start the Miralax so having mixed them up in the morning I poured my first glass and chugged it.  The instructions were to drink as fast as you can.

I have to say the taste and texture weren't as nauseating as the GoLYTELY I took 9 years earlier.  The GoLYTELY was salty and sort of thick.  Even though I chose the lemon flavor and even added additional Crystal Light to hide the flavor all it did was make it impossible for me to drink lemonade to this day.  So the first glass went well as did the next three.  After that it became more difficult.  The taste wasn't good anymore, even though I chose two different flavors so I could alternate them.  Plus the bloating from drinking so much in such a short time wasn't fun either.  It said if you experienced discomfort you could slow it down.  It took me 1 1/2 hours to finish the rest.  My last dose only had 6 oz since I had drunk some of it earlier in the day before mixing it.  As fast as it went down it came up plus more.  "Oh, oh," I thought.  Since I still hadn't hit the toilet and it was already 9:30 my biggest fear was that they wouldn't be able to do the colonoscopy because I wasn't cleaned out enough and I would have to drink that stuff all over again on another day.

Finally at 11:30 PM it worked.  I won't go into the gory details but I didn't have to sit on the toilet all night.  Just then and I got up a couple of times during the night.  I started to drink a lot of water between bathroom visits since I read that a lot of liquids helped the cleansing process.  The plain water tasted great but I was still worried about not being clean enough for my 8:30 AM appointment.  However, all's well that ends well and I was good enough to pass the test.

The people at the Wilson Health Center couldn't have been nicer.  I was able to sit in my bed, with a heated blanket, how wonderful, using my iPhone to listen to a book and take some pictures until it was my turn.
This is me before they moved  my bed to a sitting position and after I got my IV.

 The whole procedure didn't take very long because before I knew it I was wheeled back into my cubicle space, awakened by the nurse and Larry joined me.  The best part was that it was just like giving blood, juice and cookies after.  I was still pretty out of it because I didn't remember about the cookies and juice until I was looking at my pictures.

Things to remember for the next time, which for some reason is in 5 years.  Do I have something that needs watching?  Start drinking liquids a few days earlier and also start everything earlier than they say so in case I'm slow it won't start so late.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

T-shirt Quilt

On Thursday I finally got my t-shirt quilt put together.  Now I'm going to buy some fleece to use for the backing.  Can't wait to finish this so I can move on to the memoir I've been talking about writing for at least 7 years.


I got my hair cut almost 3 weeks ago and I took a before picture from the back.  I finally got around to taking an after picture from the back and one from the front too.
Only two people have mentioned that they noticed I got my hair cut.   Much more noticeable from the back in that style.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NYC Marathon

Congratulations to Greta!!!  She completed the NYC Marathon under windy conditions that the elite runners complained about.
Got these pics and video from Charles

I posted this on Facebook today (11/3/14) after posting the above yesterday and wanted to save it here.

I forgot to mention the reason I was even more proud of Greta's accomplishment. She raised $6,525 for Memorial Sloan Kettering as part of their Fred's Team program.
This is what she wrote on her donation page.
"My Mom reminded me the other day that at the finish line in 2000 I said "I will never do this again." But here I am, 14 years later, training to run the NYC marathon. In 2000 I was fit, young, and determined to make a certain time. Well now... I'm no longer (as) young, I'm not nearly as fit, and I'm just looking to finish. I'm blessed to have a healthy husband and sons and everyday I reflect and give my thanks for this. I will not take it for granted. That's why I've joined the fight against cancer by running the NYC Marathon AGAIN. This time I'm doing it with Fred’s Team - Memorial Sloan Kettering’s (MSK) marathon program. The program raises money to fund lifesaving research at MSK—and I’m proud to be part of the team! I can imagine a world without cancer."
Love you Greta!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

This morning when I was getting dressed for work and since it was Halloween, I thought, why not!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

I had 3½ cups of fresh pumpkin in the freezer from last year and I have 2 new pie pumpkins sitting on my dining room table now so I better use up the frozen stuff. Thought I'd make a pumpkin bread and pie but needed 4 cups of pumpkin so I looked for a recipe using pumpkin and bananas and found this one from Closet Cooking

Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

A moist, light and fluffy pumpkin banana bread with Greek yogurt that is perfect for cool fall days and pretty healthy as well.
Servings: makes 1 loaf  (my note:  very moist -YUM!)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours 10 minutes

Printable Recipe
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or store bought)
2 large over-ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)

Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl.
Mix brown sugar, pumpkin puree, bananas, eggs and yogurt in another large bowl.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients followed by the pecans.
Pour the mixture into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hilton Head - September 2014

I am so far behind in posting that I must get this one uploaded and then try to stay current because I won't know what I did with my life.

We went to Hilton Head with Audrey and Steve and before that spent a few days at St James Plantation in Southport, NC.
= = = = = = =

I must have written the above a month ago.  Well, it looks like I took the easy way out.  Instead of posting all the pics I made a photobook and it's available for viewing here.

Now back to my t-shirt quilt.  I'm almost ready to sew it together.  I have watched Seasons 1-6 of Mad Men and all of Breaking Bad during the past month while I work on this quilt.  What else have I been doing,  ? ? ? ?

Create your own custom photo books at

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sydney - Gone but Never Forgotten

After two stressful and exhausting weeks it came time for Laura to say goodbye to Sydney.

1998 - September 26, 2014

 Sydney was so little and light in this picture from Christmas 1998 she was able to sit in the tree.
A picture of Laura and Sydney from back then and Calie (same age as Sydney) thinking what's up?

Moon Eclipse

We went outside at 6:30 AM to see the eclipse.  This was the best picture that I got.  We should have gone out by the lake because there were too many trees in the way to get a better view but it was 6:30 and I was in my pajamas.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Fajita Seasoning

1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

I used this recipe to make fajitas for Girls Night on October 10th when Larry went to visit Michael.
We had an entire Mexican meal.
To Start:
Black Bean Hummus
Nacho Cheese

Main Course:
Chicken Fajitas with sauteed Peppers and Onions
Black Beans and Rice
Refried Beans
Grated Cheese
Corn Tortillas
Sour Cream (it was on my list but I didn't realize till the next day that I forgot to serve it)

Mary came over the next day and we had leftovers and when Larry came home on Monday we had more leftovers but we used the sour cream that night.

Easy Black Beans and Rice
1 cup uncooked rice (I used brown)
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can corn

Cook rice as per package directions
Add other ingredients and blend together
Reheat for serving as necessary

Chicken for fajitas
Marinate chicken in 2-3 Tbsp seasoning with 2 Tbsp olive oil and water for more moisture as necessary for 4 hours
Bake on rack on baking sheet in 450° oven for 15-20 minutes
When ready to serve slice in strips

Catching Up

Well, I still haven't posted our beginning of September posts from our trip to Hilton Head and here it is the middle of October.  But tonight, just around midnight I finally got my T-shirt quilt laid out, at least it is with graph paper.  I still have a long way to go because I have to do final cutting on a lot of the pieces and still have 4 or 5 t-shirts that I haven't cut at all but the hard part is done.  I am so excited.  I've been working on this since August.  I had to take some breaks because all that bending over the island doing the cutting and the ironing board putting on the interfacing killed my neck and back for a week.  Good thing we went away for two weeks so it made me take a rest from it.  Since we've been back I worked on it in between other things but now I've been more focused since I've been binge watching some shows which probably drags out the actual time I spend working on the quilt because I have to focus a lot on my shows.

So far since the middle of September I watched the first six seasons of Mad Men and now I'm into Breaking Bad.  Just finished the first half of Season 4 and I have Season 5 ready to go after that.

This was the first layout
and then I moved a couple of pieces around to make it more interesting.  Tomorrow I'll play with these pieces some more to reorganize where I want the colors and to move some of the pieces that form straight lines  that are too long .

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My brother - an author

Thanks to Phil's post on LinkedIn I discovered this on amazon --> click here:
Congratulations to all the authors!!!

and then went to Gerry's author page

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fruit flies

It's time for fruit flies to invade again.  I thought I posted what I did to try to catch them last year but didn't so I had to look online again for the magic recipe.  Not that we caught very many last year but at least it made me feel like we were doing something.  I'm using the same recipe but found an addition for this year at this site

This is what my traps looked like last year

I added a paper cone this year to make it harder for them to come out and also left some red wine for their enjoyment.

 Don't think I got any in the wine but they loved the apple cider vinegar.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WD-40 Uses

I got this from Facebook (Trish posted a share.)  I've seen the uses of WD-40 before but this is a good place for me to keep it so I can refer to it.

Before you read to the end, does anybody know what the main ingredient of WD-40?
No Cheating.....
WD-40 ~ Who knew!
I had a neighbour who bought a new pickup.
I got up very early one Sunday morning and saw that someone had spray
painted red all around the sides of this beige truck (for some unknown
I went over, woke him up, and told him the bad news.
He was very upset and was trying to figure out what to do ....
probably nothing until Monday morning, since nothing was open.
Another neighbour came out and told him to get his WD-40 and clean it off.
It removed the unwanted paint beautifully and did not harm his paint
job that was on the truck. I was impressed!
WD-40 who knew?
"Water Displacement #40".
The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and
degreaser to protect missile parts.
WD-40 was created in 1953, by three technicians at the San Diego
Rocket Chemical Company.
Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'Water
Displacement' Compound.
They were finally successful for a formulation, with their fortieth
attempt, thus WD-40. The 'Convair Company' bought it in bulk to
protect their atlas missile parts.
Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40
that would hurt you.
When you read the 'shower door' part, try it. It's the first thing
that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door. If yours is plastic,
it works just as well as on glass. It's a miracle!
Then try it on your stove-top.
It's now shinier than it's ever been.
You'll be amazed.

WD-40 Uses:
1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floor that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps the flies off of Cows, Horses, and other Farm Critters.
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewellery chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12. Keeps ceramic/terracotta garden pots from oxidising.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on both home and vehicles doors.
18. It removes that nasty tar and scuff marks from the kitchen
flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to
scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some
windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Remove those nasty bug guts that will eat away the finish
on your car if not removed quickly!
20. Gives a children's playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gearshift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on
riding mowers.
22. Rids kids rocking chair and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well
as vinyl bumpers.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons and bicycles for
easy handling.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes grease splatters from stove-tops.
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve
arthritis pain.
37. Florida 's favourite use is: 'cleans and removes love bugs from
grills and bumpers.'
38. The favourite use in the state of New York , it protects the Statue
of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you
will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it's a lot cheaper than
the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep
in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing
are not allowed in some states.
40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and
stops the itch.
41. It is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray it on the marks
and wipe with a clean rag.
42. Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed
and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the
lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!
43. If you spray it inside a wet distributor cap, it will displace the
moisture, allowing the engine to start.
My discovery, Ants don't like it..................

As for that Basic, Main Ingredient.......
Well.... it's FISH OIL....
Now This Is Definitely Worth SHARING!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Laura Visit August 7 - 11

After leaving Greta's I drove to Laura's.  On the way I ran into a 7 minute hail storm but pulled off to the side of the road to wait it out.
The next day we drove downtown and parked at the Prudential Center and first thing we did was buy something so we could get the discounted parking.
Someone was nice enough to take our picture.
 For lunch we went to Joe's
 and took a selfie
 Then we got someone else to take our picture down by the pier.
We saw entertainment in front of Quincy Market
and other street entertainment
 We walked around Boston
 Walked through Quincy Market
 and Boston Commons but didn't stay for the play
We went back to the Prudential Center and when we went to pay our parking fee realized that we never looked at the check-in time of the ticket and had to pay full price because we were 4 minutes late!!

At night we went to Wegmans for the $6 meals.
On Friday we went to Mooney Street for some rug shopping.  Laura got 2 new rugs and Sydney quickly adopted the one inside the house.
and we went to the car wash
On Sunday we took a walk, went kayaking and to Margaritas for dinner.  A great weekend!!