I am not a fan of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top for Thanksgiving? No thank you. I was a little skeptical that I would like the soup that my mother-in-law made recently. It’s called Caramelized Onions with Apples and Sweet Potatoes Soup. I like onions and apples. No no no on sweet potatoes. But being the trooper I am, I said I would give it a try. And you know what? It was actually good. I didn’t really taste the sweet potatoes. Liz found the recipe in the Detroit Free Press. Will “I” go out of my way to make it? No. But I will eat it again if it is served.
Thank you, Liz, for broadening my culinary horizons.
Now that I have your attention, I would like you to know that I eat the same thing for breakfast almost every single day: peaches n cream oatmeal and a Kroger-brand strawberry smoothie. Granted, I did go through a phase about 10 years ago after I got my tastebuds back from radiation therapy where I ate 2 frozen waffles wallowing in butter-flavored syrup every day. And yes, I did pop the waffles into the toaster before I ate them. I thought I had a picture to share (wouldn’t that be exciting to look at?!), but I couldn’t locate it if I did. Anyway…..
I dared myself one morning back in February to “live dangerously” and I added banana slices to my p&c oatmeal. They added a different texture, but I don’t think they enhanced the flavor much. I don’t have it in my notes, but I am pretty sure I even went out of my way one morning to add raspberries to my oatmeal. I love raspberries. They turned my oatmeal pink, but they tasted oh so good in it. You would think after that I would add raspberries every day. I don’t. That would require too much effort in my morning haze. So I will go on with this standard breakfast every day until I die or some other circumstance causes me to change it.
Do you have a standard breakfast you eat every day? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Back in January, I was participating in the Buddy Up 2.0 program through the City of Westland. I was able to get a discount at the Wayne Rec Center to try their “gym” for 30 days. My family had a Lifetime Fitness membership, but we weren’t going as often as we should to make it worth what we were paying. We decided to look around at other facilities (we had already done this the year before, but we like to cover all our bases). We made visits to Anytime Fitness which was open 24 hours (you get a key to access the equipment during “off” hours), Planet Fitness and Bob was able to check out the Wayne Rec Center.
Although Anytime was very convenient for us (it is in a strip mall right around the corner from our neighborhood) and it had 24 hour access (which was good for Bob as his work schedule doesn’t allow him “normal” hours), we thought the monthly membership was too high for what we would get. The place was clean and had plenty of equipment, but it didn’t feel like the right fit for us.
Planet Fitness is a straight shot down a main road once we leave the neighborhood. It was big and had lots of equipment. There was an area where you could do a fitness routine in 20 minutes or so by spending a brief amount of time doing each station and moving when the alarm sounds. I like the idea of this. They had a tanning booth, but since I don’t follow the tanning booth trend, it was not a factor in my decision-making. Although they advertise “No Gymtimidation”, I felt intimidated just by the massive layout of gym equipment. Although it was clean and had all the bells and whistles, I didn’t feel “comfortable” here.
I loved Lifetime Fitness, our current fitness center. The people were always so welcoming and friendly. I never felt intimidated. We could use the pool. Jacuzzi and sauna anytime. Actually, we could use the gym anytime also because they were also open 24 hours. There was a café where we could grab something to eat if needed. Ali and John enjoyed using the rock climbing wall. Well, I did too in my mind; my leg muscles didn’t always enjoy it. Ali and I used their massage services with an introductory rate when we first joined. Alas, the monthly membership fee was high and unless we went every day, the per use amount could get spendy. It was with sadness that we closed our membership and opened up a new membership at….
Wayne Recreation Center
The amount we would pay for a yearly membership was less than 2 months at Lifetime. It had all the same equipment. We still got pool use and a Jacuzzi along with all the cardio and workout equipment we use. The only drawback was the restricted hours to use the facility-the hours the rec center is open each day.
Finally, as the perfect ending to a fitness center packed day, we stopped at Arby’s. I got the seasonal Shamrock Mint Shake with chocolate drizzles. It was deeeeeliciousssss!
So tell me, do you belong to a fitness club or gym? If so, why did you choose it over any other one?
The Senior Olympics, that is. Once you turn 50, you can join this elite group of athletes and surprisingly, artists, and compete for that Olympic medal you never knew you always wanted. Yes, folks-welcome to the 2014 Western Wayne County Senior Olympics!
Olympians from all over Western Wayne County Michigan descended on Nankin Mills Field for a hearty pre-competition breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage patty, bagel and cream cheese, fruit cup, orange juice and water at the picnic pavilion.
After breakfast, everyone lined up behind the sign for the city they represented. I represented the All-American city of Westland. The Olympic music was played as the city delegates all walked in a line to the ceremony tent.
The delegates were welcomed with a few opening remarks and then the torch was lit! It took 3 lighters to get the torch going.
And let the games begin! There were areas set up for the baseball throw, the soccer kick and Frisbee throwing. I didn’t sign up for any of these, but next year I am going to enter the soccer kick and the Frisbee throw. I just have to practice throwing a Frisbee so I can throw it through the hoops. The hoops reminded me of Quidditch. Maybe they should have a Quidditch event! A lady I met at breakfast had entered the 5 mile bike ride. The riders were getting ready at the entrance to the park. I could probably enter the bike ride next year also. I was going to go home after the ceremony, but I decided to stay for the 1 mile Fun Walk. I am glad I did because I met Sandy, who happens to also live in Westland. We chatted as we walked. As it turns out, we think (as did others) that we walked a mile to the turn-around point to get water and then another mile back. Of course, what would be the Olympics if there weren’t a few minor mishaps? A lady fell over with her walker while doing the fun walk and banged her head. The paramedics were called to make sure she was okay.
I was certainly having fun!
I entered 4 competitions. First, we have the photography-people/activities. Below is my entry. I called it “Slow Mover”. It is my father-in-law on his bicycle. His shirt has the caution sign for Slow Mover. I love that he is out everyday riding his bike and staying active. This is the bike is employer got him when he retired. All of the photos had a good chance to win. They were all good; it just depended on what the judges themselves were attracted to. The only comment I have to make is that the rules said to put the title of your photo on the front. The majority of the photos did not have titles and of the 3 winners, only 1 had a title.
The next entry I had was for photography-scenery. I call this “Serendipity”. It is a scene taken at Proven Winners in Carleton, MI. The Wayne Garden Club took a trip there a few months ago. Again, all the photos in this category were good.
The 3rd entry was in Jewelry. I called this bracelet I made in a class at Michael’s “Pink Pearl Sparkle”. If you know me, you know I love the sparkle! As you can guess, I won 3rd place! I was quite thrilled! My first Olympic moment! You can see a portion of the 1st place winner to the right of the photo.
Finally, my last entry was Mixed Media. I called this “Monarch Migration”.
I also entered the Creative Writing competition. We were put in a room and given pencils and paper. At the top of the hour, we were given a topic to write about-My Most Memorable Vacation. We had one hour to write and turn in our piece. At the afternoon reception announcing the winners, the winning piece was read. Although I thought my piece was great and surely a winner, the selected winner was really good too.
On Friday, an awards banquet was held at Burton Manor in Livonia. Some people dressed up and some wore their Olympic t-shirt given to all entrants. There were about 20 vendors in the banquet hall to visit. I visited every table and got freebies-pens, hand sanitizer, tote bags (love the extra big ones!), cookies, candy, etc. A senior group called the Music Makers sang during the beginning of the banquet. We had some opening words and then got to go through the buffet line. We were also able to go up to tables lined up alphabetically by city that displayed all the winning medals and what they were for and who won them. I was able to pick up my bronze medal for the jewelry. It felt really good around my neck. I thought it might be too much to wear it while I was out shopping and running errands after the banquet.
I will be back for more next year! If you are at least 50, please consider competing next year in your local senior Olympics. It is so much fun and I made a few new friends. If you have already competed, tell me about it!
In June, I was trying to figure out how I can make collages or at least print multiple small photos onto one page to use in journaling. I downloaded Picasa http://picasa.google.com
I don’t know how to make it so that you could click on the work Picasa and head straight to the webpage. If you know how to do that on wordpress, I would love for you to share with me the steps. It could be the something new I learn that day.
Anyway, I was able to figure out how to print 8 wallet size photos to a page. I had taken a picture of my results, but I can’t seem to locate that picture in my picture files. Just imagine a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper with 8 evenly spaced photos on it, 4 down each side with 2 columns. That is about as technical as I got with Picasa. I will probably delve further into it one day when I need something again.
Do you work with Picasa and if so, how do you like it? Any brilliant tips you want to share?
While going through emails today, I came across one that mentioned summer fruit salads. I like fruit, so I decided to click on the link and see what came up. At the bottom of the post is a video that shows how to make fruit ice pops. In watching the video, I learned how to peel a kiwi! It is so much simpler than the way I have always done it with a peeler, much like the way I peel an apple, cucumber, etc. Watch the video and you, too, can learn something new today. Have fun!
I’ve never inserted a link to a webpage before, so I sure hope this works.
I don’t mind going to the mall and browsing in a new shop. It doesn’t seem intimidating to walk into a store that’s in a line of stores. I do find it intimidating though, to walk into a new store that you have to drive to, park in their lot and then walk in. I had to do this recently, though, when I needed a bike cover for my new bike. I thought Wayne still had a bike shop in their downtown; I went there and it turned out to be a scooter shop now. I had passed a bike shop on Middlebelt quite a few times in shuttling John back and forth from Lawrence Tech. I decided I would head over there and see if they had one after first hitting Walmart and Target and finding nothing. I park in the back lot of this bike shop and nothing stands out to welcome me in from the parking lot. So I walk around to the street front door and am greeted? by a sign that tells me to use the parking lot door as an entrance. Ugh! So back I walk to the parking lot and use the back door. I didn’t feel very welcomed at this door, but that’s beside the point, I think. I was greeted by someone when I came in. I asked if they had any bike covers. He had just sold his last one and wasn’t expecting any more for a few days. I walked around the store, but it was mostly bikes rather than cool accessories, so I left. I don’t know why walking into a new place like this made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t so bad, though. I still like mall shopping better!
Anyway, I was at KMart a few days later and guess what? They had a bike cover. I just covered my bike; it’s now protected from the rain when it has to sit outside.
Are there stores that you think you might like to go into that intimidate you?
A few weeks ago, I went to a program at the library called “History of Eloise”. Eloise is the former insane asylum, poor house, hospital, call it what you will, that is located in Westland MI. It closed it’s doors in 1982, long before I arrived in Michigan. A lady with the Friends of Eloise gave a talk about the history, duh!, of Eloise. It was very interesting, but I found it most interesting to hear from a lady who couldn’t be there that night about how she had grown up living at Eloise (her father worked there and employees and their families lived on site). There was fencing that surrounded the Eloise grounds. It was there not to keep the inmates inside but to keep regular folks out. The grounds were so well-maintained that people wanted to come and picnic on the grounds. This lady said when the kids got bored, they would go out to the fence, grab hold of the bars, and rattle them while screaming to be let out. They found this very entertaining as people would drive by. When the Friends of Eloise was first formed, they went around the table asking why each person who came to that first meeting was there. One gal mentioned that as a kid, she remembered her family driving by Eloise and seeing the crazy people rattling the bars to get out. The one lady was there and laughed, saying they did that for fun. I wish I had grown up in this area to see more of the history of Eloise.
During the Q and A after the talk, a gentleman in the back of the room stood up, said he was a ghosthunter, and that was that! Ali had come with me and neither of us got to hear the conversation. As soon as he said ghosthunter, people around us were whispering “he’s a ghosthunter!” with disgust and then they proceeded to carry on normal conversations. How RUDE! (as Michelle Tanner of “Full House” would say.) I would have found a conversation on ghost hunting interesting. We were also told that the tunnels that ran under Eloise had been filled by the Fire Department, but I don’t know when they did that. Exploring the tunnels could have been fun!
And in case you didn’t know, there is going to be a movie made with Eloise in it. Some people are saying it’s about Eloise, but I think Eloise is just the backdrop for the movie.
Do you have any experiences you remember in regards to Eloise? If so, share them with me. I would love to hear about them.
Well, this is a first for me. I am writing a post right after learning something new! We got a new landline phone system last fall. Today, I finally decided to learn how to to record my own outgoing message. Luckily, the phone set included a handy dandy user’s manual. I really like manuals. They make things so much easier (when you actually use them). I wish my phone, my iPad and my laptop came with user’s manuals. Nooooo! I have to go out and buy a book, like iPad for dummies, to learn things. I don’t know if that’s an actual book title, but you get the picture.
So armed with a handset and my manual, I was ready. I started reading through the manual and while waiting to get to the part about recording outgoing messages, I learned several other things! I found out I can push a button on the handset and call another handset in the house. Like maybe I want to call my husband who’s comfortably ensconced in bed watching TV while I am in the living room watching a rollicking evening of “Dancing With the Stars” . I don’t want to miss one minute of seeing Charlie or Meryl perform. Actually, I was thinking last night wouldn’t it be great if they continued to compete and were able to incorporate these new–to-them dance moves into their routine? How awesome would that be for ice dancing? Anyway…I might want to tell Bob that I am ready for him to bake me some chocolate chip cookies. I wouldn’t even need to move from the couch. It would be payback for when I was on the couch with scrapbook memorabilia all sorted over me and to my sides and he called me on my cell phone (which I do not have with me at all times–I grew up when the only phone was the house phone or the pay phone.) So I push everything aside, careful not to mess up my organized piles, and answer my phone. Not many people have my cell number so it must be important if it rings. Low and behold, Bob is on the phone telling me he is ready for ME to bake chocolate chip cookies. And he’s down the hall in the bedroom. Yea, so funny! In case you are wondering, I did make him cookies. It’s the least I can do when he works all day.
I also learned I can set the number of times the phone rings before the answering machine picks up. It seems I am always doing laundry, or out in the yard, or doing something important when the phone rings. By the time I hear it and rush rush rush to the phone (because it could always be really important), I’ve missed the call. So I set my ringer for 6 rings instead of 2 or 4 or whatever we were at. My dad taught me you should always let the phone ring 7 times before you hang up to give a person time to answer the phone. Yes, that was the old days when people didn’t carry their phones in their pockets. Can you imagine carrying around one of those old rotary phones? I’m still all for my invention of the phone piece integrated into your hand so all you have to do to answer the phone is hold your hand up to your ear and say hello!
So those are some of the things I learned today about our landline phone. If you have a landline, why don’t you go check it out and see if you can discover something about it you didn’t already know. Let me know what you find out!
As you might know, one of the side effects, if you could call it that, of the tongue cancer was having to have all my teeth pulled. This was a very traumatic thing for a young person. I had to wait over a year before I could get fitted for dentures because my gums had to heal completely to lessen the risk of cancer recurring. By the time I got the dentures, I was so used to eating without anything that it was very difficult to eat with them. Another side effect of the radiation was that I could only open my mouth so far. Put in the teeth, open the mouth, and try to stuff some food inside. Wasn’t working too well. It took much too long to eat with the teeth in. So out they came. After several years, I was able to find a new prosthodontist who told me that the dentures that had been made for me originally were all wrong. He could see they were not a good fit. He specialized in dentures so he took his time with me and we went outside the box. I have a small mouth so I had to have a small set made. I am happy with the fit of the new ones (I’ve had them for a year now), but again it is so hard to eat with them in. I imagine that is because I am not used to them. I try to put them in and then within a few hours, they are back out because I want to eat. And then they just don’t go back in.
So one day last month, I decided to challenge myself to wear them all day. I waited until after I ate breakfast and then plopped them in my mouth. It felt odd at first, of course, but I muddled through. I made it until dinner time when I became frustrated trying to eat and took them out. I know that I need to work on this everyday ’cause I certainly hate my smile without them. I try to imagine what it is like for someone, say the gal on Dancing with the Stars, who lost her legs and what they have to go through to get used to fake ones. They all usually say that it hurts and is uncomfortable. So it is with dentures. I guess I just have to challenge myself each day to put them in and see where it takes me. A little bit each day builds on itself and soon enough I will be eating like I used to.
Is there anyone out there who also has dentures? How did you feel with them? Do you have any tips for me?
On another note, there was a day I challenged myself to learn how to make a grocery list on my new Note 3 phone. I had heard you could make a list and then check items off as you added them to your cart. So I played with my phone, found a note app, and was able to make a list with checkboxes. It didn’t take but maybe 10 minutes for me to figure this out. Go me!
Until next time!