If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pondering a TV

Mike has been wanting a TV in the kitchen for almost a year now.  I have grown to agree that it would be a nice thing to have - a luxury we could enjoy. 

First we had the dilemma of where would be the best place to put it.  Well, the best place to put it would not really make it easy to watch when we are spending time in there!  Mike, of course, had a strong idea of where he wants it before he even brought up the subject with me.  So, the location is already decided.  Plus, he already has in mind who he wants to install the whole shebang!

I am going to have to move around some of my decorative plates.  I've also pondered the idea of where the box which brings the satellite programming in should go.  I think Mike wants to have it installed and look sort of like one in a hospital room looks.  You know with that big black metal arm/bracket/pedestal thingy?  He is very utilitarian but that is not really the look I want in my kitchen. 

So, I have been doing some investigating and pondering.  Not only do we need to deal with the box which brings the programming in from the satellite, we will also have to deal with the mounting bracket and the cords.  I don't want a jumble like what I have behind the cabinet where the TV in the den sits.  It looks sort of like this before image from House of Hepworths:

They solved the problem as you can read in their blog. 

So, I have been searching and looking and pinning ideas and tutorials on Pinterest.  The folks over at Gus and Lula have a good tutorial for framing and hiding their TV above the mantel.  I don't really want to disguise mine - just make it look finished and tidy.  I also noticed what they did over at The Harpster Home and thought that looked promising.  High Definition Framing has a simplistic idea for framing the TV.  I think I like the polished and finished look of how Full of Great Ideas framed their TV.  All of these still leave me with the need for a place to store the satellite box, though. 

Basically, the TV will go where that blue box is drawn near the window.  So, I guess I could put the box atop the china cabinet. 

I've also been looking into something that has been advertised on TV pretty heavily lately.  It is offered by Direct TV and is a box which will allow users to DVR up to five programs at a time.  Of course that is something we would rarely need since we don't watch that much TV.  The new and shiny box is called a Genie and with other TVs in the house, users could simply add a Mini Genie to have the same capabilities as the main TV.  After calling the Direct TV folks, I learned that the Mini Genie is about the same size as a paperback book.  I like that idea.  Maybe it won't be so hard to locate the control box after all...

Does anybody have ideas or suggestions for my dilemma? 

Plus, what is the deal with Blogger lately?  I cannot resize my photos!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baking Bread

My daughter gave me a bread machine.  I have been wanting one for a long time.  I don't know where she got hers but she decided that she doesn't really like the results she gets when she uses it and gave it to me. 

I started out thinking I would follow the recipes and instructions in the book precisely.  That lasted...oh, about thirty seconds.  Then, I began adapting it to suit what I wanted!  Not that the recipes in it are bad or anything.  I'm sure they are quite alright for folks.  However, I wanted to use the Kefir that my sister gave me and guess what...there isn't a recipe like that in the book!

You can get the recipe and read about my bread-making adventure HERE.  I have a little tweaking to do but I think I'm going to like this new toy appliance.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What's with this weather?

On the weekend it was so warm here that I had my hair in a ponytail, wore shorts, and opened the windows here in the house.  Then, yesterday when I was heading home from work, I had to scrape the crust of ice off my windshield before I started out.  This morning the back deck had a coating of ice so think we could skate on it this morning and was still slushy through the day-long rain this afternoon.  Now we are under an ice and weather advisory throughout the night.

We have been surviving on stews, soups, and other comfort foods around here.  I was sickly and Ramen Noodle Soup kept me alive for the most part.  One day I was glad when a package of smoked roast beef fell out of the freezer and barely missed my foot.  It became the base of Beef Stew for our dinner.  You can find the recipe for that HERE.  A package that held a half-pound of browned ground beef became the base for vegetable beef soup Monday and helped to warm us up after we slipped around on the icy deck.  Then, yesterday I came home and made another of those comfort food dishes, Chicken Pot Pie.  That recipe is HERE.

I have also boiled over a dozen eggs and spent part of the afternoon searching for recipes using eggs.  Mike's girls are yielding an average of two dozen eggs per day now.  We have a few regular egg customers but it doesn't take long for them to stack up here!

Maybe I'll get a snow day tomorrow and can whip us up some omelets in the morning...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sick of being sick

I've been feeling poorly most of this new year.  I started out with sinus and ear infections and went to the walk-in clinic on the second where I was prescribed some medicine with a BAD TASTE.  I have been spoiled by the quick response of antibiotics to make me feel better when I'm feeling yucky.  So, when the antibiotics didn't work within a couple of days to make me feel almost well, I was frustrated.  Then, when I started feeling even worse and struggling just to breathe, I had Mike take me to the ER.

Here is just a suggestion - do not go to the ER when you are in your fifties, fat, and say that you are having a hard time breathing and you feel like your chest won't expand enough for you to inhale.  Especially don't do that after you have told them that you take blood pressure meds to control your high blood pressure.  Immediately, they think you are having a heart attack and go into EKGs and heart monitors and heart enzymes.  Here I was thinking I might have developed asthma and was having an asthma attack and they were hooking me up to heart monitors!

Finally, after at least four hours (no I am not exaggerating one single bit), I was given a couple of breathing treatments, a steroid shot, and a new prescription and released.  Mike and I got home and climbed into bed - well, actually he flopped in his recliner and I propped up on the couch so I could breathe better - at around two or two-thirty in the morning.

For the first couple of days last week I thought, I'll just take a half-day off in the morning and will feel enough better that I can work in the afternoon.  By the end of the day on Wednesday (and after a visit to my regular family practitioner), I just threw in the towel and took the rest of the week off.  It was a good thing because I spent Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday in bed - ALL DAY LONG!  Saturday found me able to go to the nearby Dollar General for much needed staples.  I decided on Sunday that I would return to work on Monday or drop dead trying.

Each day finds me feeling a bit better now, but truly, I have never been so sick of being sick!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Mrs. O

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday.  I don't think she will mind me sharing that she is turning eighty today.  (If she does, sorry, Mrs. O, but I'm glad you are.)

No, she doesn't look eighty - whatever that may "look" like.  She looks lovely and spunky and loved.  No, she doesn't act eighty - whatever that may be.  She is lively and active and loving.  I know I can speak for my favorite sister-in-law here and say that we both feel quite lucky to have her as our second mother.  She looks after us and our entire family.  She loves socializing and searches for reasons to celebrate life.  She loves nothing better than gathering all her family together for fellowship, food, and laughter. 

Her sense of humor is refreshing and she continually looks for ways to enjoy good living.  Her taste is impeccable and she tries to surround herself and those near her with the exquisite.  Her energy is contagious and those who are near tend to become involved in her schemes without even realizing they have done so. 

Yesterday we celebrated her with many of her brood - both sons, most of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  It was a rowdy, boisterous, delicious gathering of folks and we all left with smiles on our faces, full bellies, and warm memories of times reminisced and shared. 

Of course, I am most grateful that she has shared a wonderful man, my husband, Mike, to fill my life and help fulfill many of my dreams.  (Yes, I know that there are also days that I wonder why she didn't mold him a little closer to perfection in my mind, but mostly she did pretty well!) 

Today, I am thankful for Carrie Lucille Stephenson Ozburn and wish her a happy birthday!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Family Weekend

I am wrapping up my holiday break and will be going back to work/school on Monday.  So, this weekend we are spending it doing family events.

Yesterday, my mother-in-law and I went to watch our eldest granddaughter play her first basketball game.  I have never had better entertainment.  Have you ever watched Kindergarten girls play basketball?  You never really know how much there is to learn about something such as the sport basketball until you watch little folks learning all about it.  Those girls were so cute! 

The coach had worked on defense and they knew their "spots" and would run to them to set up for a zone defense.  Evidently they had each practiced at every "spot" because when Lillie first went out on the court, the coach shouted, "Other side, Lillie!" and she hopped right across the key and into the right spot.  Later, he shouted, "In the middle, Lillie!" and she zipped right into the middle and those hands went into the air.  Now, I'm not sure there was much real defending against a basket being scored, but all of them knew about their "spot!"  Mostly, the game was just watching the girls run back and forth from one goal to another, but in the end, Lillie exclaimed that it was, "Fun!  Fun!  Fun!"  Isn't that what sports and games are all about?

Tonight we will be celebrating my mother-in-law's birthday.  She will turn eighty tomorrow and our crew and Mike's brother, Jim, and his crew are putting together a dinner to honor her and fellowship together.  We already know that there will be at least twenty-two of us and we aren't sure that two of our children and their families will be coming.  So, there will be a crowd to usher in her new decade of life!  I'm to bring the birthday cake and I've stirred up a Chocolate Wet Cake.  You can find the recipe HERE.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Mike's got eggs!
A few months ago Mike took on a new project.  Then, for Christmas, Stephen and Bonnie gave him more chickens.  So, now we have eggs!  LOTS of eggs! 

He is getting almost two dozen per day!  Here are some of the ones he gathered this week:

We were doing fairly well at keeping up with them.  Stephanie, a friend from work, has been buying a couple dozen each week.  We have given some away to family members.  I have made deviled eggs to take to holiday gatherings.  We shared some as Christmas gifts.  We have eaten eggs fried and scrambled for breakfast.  We boiled eggs for lunch bags.  We have enjoyed omlets for dinner.  All of a sudden, though, our fridge is almost over-run with eggs!

Today's gathering

Does anybody want some farm-fresh eggs?  They are tasty - any way you prepare them!

And there will be more tomorrow...

Bad Taste

Guess who's sickly?

Yep, and I am one of those folks who resists doctors and medicines as much as possible.  I've been schlepping round with 'sinus pressure' for a couple or three weeks.  I would notice the stuffiness in my sinuses when I'd roll over in bed and it seemed like all the fluid in my head On New Year's Day I started REALLY feeling sinus-pressure-to-the-max - even to headache mode. 

So, I crawled out of bed and shuffled to the shower and drug around to get dry and dressed and was out the door to the walk-in clinic by eight o'clock in the morning on January 2nd.  Upon arrival I started to sign in and the girl behind the counter said, "We do not have a provider here as yet.  I just want you to know that we have put a call in and don't know whether one will arrive in minutes or an hour or what."  So, I tromped back out to the truck and went down the street to the local medical clinic.  Nobody was in the waiting room; so, I thought I might have some luck.  I asked the girl behind the counter there if there was a possibility to be a work-in because I was almost positive I have a sinus infection.  She shook her head and said no.  (Do these places just not want business or what is the story with that sort of attitude?  I gave my regular doctor's office (which is a 40-minute drive across town away) a call and learned that he is off on Wednesdays and the Physician's Assistant is slammed but will try to work me in SOMETIME.  So, I just trudged back home and flopped on the couch. 

In a while, at about ten-thirty, the original walk-in clinic called and said the provider had arrived and I could be seen if I wanted to return to the clinic.  I did.  Six prescriptions. 

I had to drive another ten miles to the pharmacy which my insurance is in bed with is in cahoots with is contracted.  The girl at the drive-thru window said I could wait thirty minutes for my meds.  By now it is nearly noon and I have had nothing to eat.  So, I drove through a fast food place and got a roast beef sandwich and a glass of tea.  When I returned to the pharmacy, I only had to wait about ten minutes.  Then, I had to have a pharmacist consult on every single one of the six prescriptions.

I got back home at around one-thirty and crashed on the couch.  I was $160 (plus the $10 for lunch and $3 for Red Box movies) poorer and still felt like crap. 

The most important question I would like answered at this point is:
Why does cough syrup have to have such a B-A-D taste?