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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

bad weekend, bobcats on the prowl, and crepes!

This past weekend is one I would not want to ever happen again. Seems as though every time someone wants to help "fix" something, it turns out making it worse. At least this is what happened to me. A new doctor decided to have me try a new med to see if it would help a condition I have lived with for years.  Did it help? No! It made things a lot worse... a lot worse... so much so that I seriously considered going to the ER Friday night. 

What happened was that I had a severe reaction to the new meds (or at least that's what we think happened).

And don't ever get sick on a Friday afternoon as there are no doctors available! The offices close (or at least ours do) at noon on Friday. But I finally got one office to call in a Rx... and that seemed to do the trick. 

I felt bad all weekend, but by Monday, things were better... and I got to see our family physician. She's running some tests, but the possibility of it being a reaction to the meds is very real. 


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Next are a few pictures of bobcats in our neighborhood. The first two were taken by our next door neighbor Tuesday evening on the fence between our properties. She sent us the text and pictures. 







And the next 2 are ones she had sent a while back when her husband went outside and the bobcat was in the tree behind their house hissing at him.





These cats are actually beautiful... and quite large. Most have some spots and have curly hair on their ears. You can't see this well in these pics as no one wanted to get too close. But... we came across one while walking in a nearby park a while back.  It ran almost up to us, saw us, and took off. They are generally not a danger to people, but can be to small animals, pets or feral.


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DH's birthday is a few days after mine in July, so we generally celebrate with one cake. Since we didn't do anything special (except go to Ham's Peach Orchard), we didn't even get a cake this year. But son and granddaughter came by with a little bundt cake and an invitation to go out to dinner one night... 


birthday bundt cake


And DH and I went to breakfast at a crepe shop we like nearby. This was the very first time we've been to an actual restaurant since the pandemic started. We wore our masks inside ordering, but planned to sit on their outside patio. However, the outside patio was packed... and the inside was empty... so we chose to sit inside. Still it was a breakthrough for us. 


birthday crepes


DH had a 'lemon blueberry crepe' and I had my usual 'plain jane'... which just has cinnamon sugar dusted on top.

And I guess that's the news here. Thanks for dropping by! The days seem to be flying by this summer. Can't believe it's almost August and the kids will be going back to school in about 2 weeks. Life is so strange lately and I wonder if it always will be from now on.

Have been reading, binge-watching, and playing 2 games on the Nintendo switch (Animal Crossing and Cozy Grove)... besides usual house maintenance and cooking.  Trying to get back to proofing my sequel, but haven't been up to it - so it may not be ready until the Fall. Hard to be motivated these days - not sure why. 

I did order an essential oil diffuser from Amazon and have been using it at night with lavender oil.  It does seem to help me relax and sleep - if not straight through the night - a least more so than before. I generally don't have trouble sleeping, but mine is interrupted so much during the night for BR visits due to my IC. And I sent a diffuser to my daughter also as she does have trouble sleeping (and has a stressful job). 

OK, it's Wednesday... not much left to the week. Wishing you all a good quiet peaceful rest of the week. 





Hugs (virtual), 

Rian




Thursday, July 15, 2021

Eataly's in the mall + adorable kitty dish towels...


We went back to walk the mall this week and I took a few more pictures inside Eataly's....




Sign inside Mall

Coffee Bar in Eataly

Fresh Bread area

One of many cheese areas


Pastry area

Where they make the fresh pasta

fresh pasta area

fresh pasta products

Fresh pasta counter



Gelato area

fresh prosciutti

fresh prosciutti


biscotti tins

more biscotti



other tins


fresh veggies 


I had originally put these pictures on smaller, but you really couldn't appreciate the store as well... so I enlarged them. We were there right after 10 am, so there's no pics of the pizza area or some of the large Italian food areas (like the Calizones, etc.) because they hadn't put the lunch food out yet. It goes out at 11am. And there are rows and rows of candy, olives and pickles, sauces, coffees, wines, etc. on 2 floors.

Anyway, it's a neat store and one interesting to walk through when walking the mall. So far we have only sampled their coffee, hot chocolate, gelato, pizza,... and granddaughter tried their olives (I don't like olives). We hope to take home some focacia bread and try their home-made pasta eventually.


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And


just had to show you the adorable dish towels my daughter sent us:



so-oo cute!



That's it for today.  Thanks again for visiting. 
I love that I can share this with you. 
I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea...
but 
thanks anyway!


Hugs (virtual),
Rian









 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

chicken salad video, peach torte, ancestry, and other nonsense...


OK, I'm going to try to post this strange amateur video I made for my friend in New Orleans. She and I were room-mates in college and Skype each Sunday, send each other funny selfies, etc. Her memory is better than mine... and although we have the same basic values, we are on opposite sides of the political scene. 

But we talk about it and don't get upset with each other, it seems to come down to what you believe is the truth... and trust. I try to respect her view and she tries to respect mine. The funny thing is that we both want the same outcomes (to a point), but we disagree on how to get there. 

I find the world no longer knows what "truth" is. And I'm not sure why that is. People blame the Media and maybe it is at fault, I don't know. We almost have too much communication from all different sources these days, no one know what is true and what is not.  

She is not as trusting as me... when it comes to lots of things. With me it's a choice I made a long time ago. I know one must be cautious, but I do choose to trust. I find that even though I know it's risky, I find it difficult to be happy if I can't trust (but that's me). She understands, but wants proof of everything... feels like no one takes the time and effort to prove what they say is true. And I do say that I go with my gut (as I'm sure many do) which is not infallible, but my gut has served me well these last 76 years.  

There are times when red warning lights go off in my brain and I know that this is someone not to be trusted. It hasn't happened often, but when it does, it's significant. 

Anyway, I didn't plan to get into all this.  Just wanted to post this amateur video of me making chicken salad. How it came about was she and I were texting Saturday morning and I was in the process of making this for supper. So I thought I might just sit my phone down and video my putting it together and send it to her. 

Oh... well, it won't let me download it. It's only 1 minute long, but it says it's size is over the limit???  No biggie.... (talk about warming you up to something and then dropping the ball).


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Well, we did get to the peach orchard, so today I made a peach torte from a recipe I got from a dear friend who passed away in 2011. She and I traded recipes, met for tea, and walked in the park every week before she left us. Every time I make one of her recipes or use something she gave me, I wonder if she sees me and realizes how much she meant to me. I hope so.


peach torte


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And now my latest Ancestry DNA...  




Nothing we didn't know... well, I was not aware of the Scotland part.... although when we went to England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and France in 1998 and 1999, Scotland was our favorite place. The people were so-oo friendly.  My father and his father were raised in England... but before that, we knew their family came from Ireland (O'Regan) at some point.  My grandmother was from London (Eleanor Fredericka King). Guess that whole area is so close, it's possible there's some Scottish blood there too. I do like the idea...


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I'm going to close this for today. I hope you all had a relaxing weekend and are ready to start another fun-filled week (I don't recommend watching the news).  But thank you for visiting, be good to yourself, and use the time to make someone smile! And stay safe! This pandemic is not over - although some are acting like it is. 




Hugs (virtual), 
Rian
























 

 







Hugs (virtual),
Rian

Monday, July 5, 2021

curiousity...

This week is my 76th birthday.  I happen to be looking on my blog to see exactly when I started blogging in place of journaling on a website.  I found the following... which I believe was my first post back in 2012:


"It is Monday, June 18, 2012.  Having just googled my old post to see what came up... I decided that the title "For Better or For Worse, but not for lunch" was apparently too popular.  So I've now changed it to "Older but better...?"  But you can find my older posts there.  I probably should have googled this title also before starting to write, but as the saying goes, "coulda, shoulda, woulda.... didn't".


This was me in school around 1954 or 55.  Life was simple then.  It gradually got more complicated... and less simple.  But it was always good.  Don't mean to imply that things were always wine and roses, but my philosophy then (even if I hadn't formulated it into words back then) was "what is... is, and I can handle it". And that philosophy continues to work for me today at the grand old age of approaching 67.

I have blogged or had a website for many many years.  Previous to this I journaled by hand, but when online journaling became popular (maybe 12 or more years ago), I went with it.  Sometimes I regret it as many of my websites disappeared over the years, some can still be brought up, and there are quite a few out there... the most recent having been Cats, Coffee, and Chocolate.  But this particular site was to be devoted to the new experience and adventure into retirement. 

Hubby retired the summer of 2009 and took to it more readily than I had expected. Having retired from my career field back in 1991, I've only worked part time in recent years; however arriving at full retirement age was something I both anticipated and feared.

So many unknowns.  Would we have enough money to live on?  Would we miss the routine we had established over the years?  Would we miss our working family and friends?  Would we get bored?  Would we like being home together 24/7?  Etc. Etc. Etc.   And then there's Social Security, and Medicare, and Supplements....

Anyway, if you want to read the first posts during these awkward months, you will have to go back to "For Better or for Worse" and "Cats, Coffee, and Chocolate".  As now it is almost the first anniversary of both of us being home and retired.  August 12, 2011 was my last day at the bookstore... which is where I spent the last 5 years of mornings. Loved it!  Love books, love people who love books, write books, read books, etc.  So it was a good match.  But have to say this also.... I love being retired!

It has worked out well.  We both have our own routines.  Love being able to do what I want when I want...  (limited some by budget of course, but not by time).  Will go into more of this tomorrow.  Have to close for today. "

It's always interesting to read what one wrote years ago. Sometimes when I read old letters that I wrote to my parents or old letters my now grown kids wrote to me in their younger years, I have to laugh.  Recently I read one of these letters and had to turn to DH and ask, "Did you know this? I don't remember this." 

So... it looks like June, 2022 will be my 10th year blogging. Not sure that is pertinent, but interesting to me. The only negative thing I can think about blogging (in place of jounaling - in a journal) is that like texting (in place of writing letters), you no longer have the physical proof if your post/text is lost in cyberspace. But... blogging is a bit more interactive. It does give you not only the experience of putting down your thoughts, but also the possibility of others commenting. And I have found that some of the comments are more interesting than the post itself. 

So feel free to comment. I know my blog is not as interesting as some... and pretty mundane. But I enjoy sharing my thoughts and experiences (such as they are).  Reading or listening to what others think and feel is educational in my book.

Closing this with a hope that everyone had a nice relaxing 4th! We didn't do much... I made chocolate chip muffins and DH got us some Popeye's chicken! It was enough.  

Daughter sent me this picture of watching the rain from her porch in the hill country.  I like it... very peaceful.




Hugs (virtual),
Rian  



Friday, July 2, 2021

a change of plans...

Our laptop crashed Monday right after my last blog posting. So off it went to the Geek Squad at Best Buy's. We finally got it back Thursday afternoon.

And Tuesday (which was when we planned to go to Ham's Peach Orchard) was rainy when we got up, so we decided to postpone that little excursion until next week.  

Instead we headed for the Mall and Eataly's again for walking and coffee. Granddaughter came with us. She decided to try some coconut gelato this time... while I had my espresso hit and DH had his black coffee.


granddaughter


Since we didn't have our laptop this week, we couldn't do our online curbside pickups...  so grocery shopping got postponed too. I mean, we could have gone to the grocery and shopped inside with our masks on, but we 've gotten so spoiled with online shopping that we really didn't want to... unless fixing the laptop was going to take longer than expected.  Luckily it didn't. 

And I have to admit too that that awful tragedy in Florida where that Condo collapsed has taken a lot of my attention this week. How could that have happened?  Watching the video on TV is so appalling...  it almost defies belief.  I continue to pray that they will find more people alive (as hopeless as it seems when you see the devastation).  But miracles do happen...  and I'm certainly praying for one. 

I know this is short, but just wanted to let people know that I haven't  kept up with blogs or made comments these lasts few days due to our laptop problem. But hopefully that is fixed now and life 'as we know it these days' can resume. 

Also...  when dusting today, I came across my old critter chess set we made as a clay project years ago. I still like it... (although it's a bit rough).


 clay chess set


close up of chess pieces


I made the King and Queen (center) a dog and cat, Bishops were  rats, Knights were rabbits, Rooks were snakes... and Pawns were birds. It was a fun project (although it took a bit of time).

Well, stay safe... and have a good weekend!

Hugs (virtual),

Rian


 


  

Monday, June 28, 2021

our family's dogs... and other things

All 3 of our children have dogs.  Our oldest son and his wife have a Golden Doodle.  They came by to visit yesterday (live about an hour and a half away) and brought Winston with them. Here are a few pics:


Winston




He is a beautiful dog... and a big baby (of course he is only 8 months old). But he listens well and seems to be very friendly and curious. He is the one who has Fred, the toad, as his buddy.


loves TV


Our daughter and her family in the hill country have only one dog at the moment . They lost an old dog recently, so being down to one dog in the house is strange for them (but they also have a cat, 2 horses, several turtles, and chickens).  Their dog is a Great Dane named Moose. He is a sweetie too. Loves people!  Here is a few pics of him:


Moose at the table


Moose in daughter' office at work


And youngest son and his family have Cookie, a French Bulldog. She too is a sweetheart... and is my 8 year old granddaughter's constant companion. They lost their old cat not too long ago, but also have a few snakes and turtles around the house.  Here is a a few pics of Cookie:


Cookie and granddaughter


So, as you can see, our family is very animal friendly. And when oldest son and wife visited yesterday, they brought us 2 large cat trees for our back porch. They figured the feral cats would enjoy them... and I'm sure they will. Right now the cats are suspicious, not sure exactly what to think of these strange new structures that have suddenly appeared. But I plan to take pictures once I see some activity on them.


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Now I have a question:


Does anyone recognize this?








My mother-in-law gave me these pieces years ago.  I don't think they make them anymore. I used to use them, but haven't in years. Just wondering what to do with them. Guess I could sell them on ebay? Any suggestions?

I'm trying to slowly clean out things around here, but when you've been in a house for 35 years, there's so much stuffed away in boxes and closets... and the garage and attic, etc. that it's an almost impossible task. I feel like it's difficult to make a dent in it. 

My friend says to just leave it for the kids to go through after we've gone, but I hate to do that. Had to do that for my brother and my mom and it's such a difficult job... and sad... I'd like to at least lessen the burden a bit. 

I also have a ton of mom's jewelry... a few good things I kept, but I'm not a jewelry person and mom had tons of costume jewelry. What do you do with stuff like that?


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Now this week we're heading to Ham's Peach Orchard in Terrell, TX. It's a fun place to go... and shop. I've posted about it before. We missed it last year as it was closed down with the pandemic. But we heard that they were opening again... cautiously... masks required upon entering and only so many allowed inside the shop at a time. That's OK with us. They sell their peaches and all types of products made with peaches from salsa's to pies, cakes, and ice-cream, etc.  They also sell local fresh fruit and veggies... can't wait. And I will take some pics!

Hope everyone has a great week! Next week is the 4th of July... and my 76th birthday... growing up we always celebrated my birthday on the 4th with the family and a picnic out by the lake. Now DH and I don't celebrate much... (his is the following week in July), but we generally go out to eat with the kids or just get a cake and celebrate quietly at home. It's enough. 

Take care, be safe, and as always, thanks for coming by! 

Hugs (virtual),

Rian










 






Sunday, June 20, 2021

Saturday and Sunday combo post...

Saturday morning:

I have to report that DH got the pressure sprayer (his Father's Day gift) to work... finally. Since it is gasoline operated, you have to pull the thingamajig to start it. He pulled so many times I thought he was going to have a heart attack as it was hot outside and he was getting all sweaty. I was ready to bring the darn thing back to where we bought it, but he wanted to keep trying. 

I went inside.   

But he finally got it to work. Said he might have flooded it before. (?)  Anyway,  it works well... maybe too well as it took a lot of the paint off our outside furniture before he realized it. Apparently there is enough pressure to splinter the wood on the rocking chairs too. (ha!)

I've been planning to spray paint both for some time. I think maybe the time has come. 


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The outside feral cats (and the blue jays who love to sit on the iron chairs and eat from the cat food dishes) were confused when we had all the furniture pulled off the back porch and into the grass. They kept watching from a distance and apparently wondering what we were doing.

Cats don't like change - in case you didn't know.  Even our inside cats (when we had them) would get nervous if you moved furniture around. They would stay out of the way and then cautiously sneak up to it to check it out.  If you moved it when they were close, they would jump straight up into the air. (It was pretty funny). 


Tux, Ghost, and Julie in Dec. 2019 


I've washed all the outside toys... the ball that goes around in a circular thingy... and brushed off the u-shaped cat scratcher that they love.  And we put away the winter beds that were out there for next winter. The back porch fan needs to be replaced. It's old and doesn't work anymore (and it's filthy). And we could use some new cushions for the iron chairs - although I'm not sure the cats care about the cushions. 

We have a huge bird cage out there that we don't use. I bought it years ago when I thought I might go back to raising budgies, but never did. We would get rid of it, but the cats use it to sleep on and play under... so, what can you do? There's also a huge barbecue pit out there that doesn't work anymore. But can we get rid of it? No, because the outside cats sleep on top and hide underneath... especially if a coyote comes into the yard. So, it has to stay too. Are we crazy?  (maybe a little)


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Next is a few pics of our youngest granddaughter at a goat farm. She is crazy about all critters (like her grandmother).





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Next are just some cute pics I've come across...


orange tabby cuddles

a surplus of little Ghosts...

Dumbo the kitten?


That's it for today...

Hope everyone and their fathers are having a 

Happy Father's Day!


Hugs (virtual),

Rian