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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I am now 60 years YOUNG!

Hi everyone!  Thanks for hanging with me through the last...ohhhhhh....well too long.  A lot has happened.  A lot of stress balanced by a lot of happy, healthy, memory making times.  I know I kept saying I was back and then did another disappearing act.  Let's hope I don't do that again.  I never know.

Most of you know that I had to quit working towards weight loss surgery.  It's tough to chew food to the consistency of baby food if you don't have enough teeth left to do it.  Yes, my teeth starting just falling apart and falling out.  It's been horrible.  I was diagnosed with sjogren's disease and one of the things it does is dry you up.  When they did the biopsy of my lip for diagnosis, they found no salivary glands in the sample.

I was working so hard to get there and had lost a bunch of weight in the process.  That put me down in the dumps for quite a while.  Having to give up that goal was terrible.

I've also had a few pretty bad flare ups with the fibromyalgia.  Most of you know I was diagnosed with that many years ago.  I go a while, often times a long while, with no problems, then SLAM I'm hit with a flare up.  Between that and the arthritis, I can quickly become a mess.

I had a knee replacement in May of 2013.  I can say it has taken away the horrid pain I was having.  I'm still trying things out with it.  I know I cannot get on my hands and knees.  And I forcefully learned to get off the ground.  Help!  I fell!  And I couldn't get up!!  My other knee is singing the same tune and I'm babying it.  I can't afford to get it done.  Plus, my left shoulder is terrible and should have been replaced almost a year ago.  When our medical coverage changed last October all these surgeries have been shelved.

We had two weddings since I've blogged.  One on New Year's eve and on in April last year.  Corry and Angel were married in their home with family present on New Year's eve.  Family includes a lot!  Not only does Corry have a lot of siblings, between them they have 8 kids.  Yes, the house was full.  Kris DJ'd and we had a karaoke reception after.

Rusty and Cait were married in April at a beautiful venue in Cleveland.  I think everyone who attended had a blast.  I've never seen a bride have as much fun as Cait.  And little Emmi was a doll.  She was so excited about "her" wedding.  What a memory making day we all had.

I'm thinking that should pretty much catch everyone up.  If I've missed things they'll probably come up in the blog one day.  I do tend to go on and on.


A 60th birthday is a wonderful occasion. 
You have crossed several milestones, 
but life just keeps looking for more 
Enjoy the bliss of sixty; 
enjoy the fruits of your labor. 
Surround yourself 
with your children & grandchildren
and tell them tales of the yesteryears. 
Relive the magical moments of life 
even while you look forward to 
new experiences. 
It's great to be sixty!
~~Oscar Wilde


Yes, I turned 60 on Monday.  I started the day out kind of in the dumps.  Little by little the family started checking in wishing me Happy Birthday.  Well I have to say my brother was first.  He called me 4 1/2 hours before the midnight hour.  lol  He wanted to be first and he was.  

When I went downstairs, Cliff surprised me with a bouquet of yellow roses and a gift card.  I was so happy! Yellow roses are my favorite.  He used to get them for me when we were first married 42 years ago.  I love them!!  

Corry had told me Angel and the kids wanted to see me and they were coming over around 7-7:30.  Cool.  I hadn't seen some of the kids for a while.  And then after Emmi got out of school, Cait let her call me to see if we were home.  Yep!  So Ms. Em brought me some things she had made at school.  She made a disco ball for me with glitter and jewels and had painted me a picture.  I love the kids' art.  If you come visit you'll find kids' art in many places.  And she also handed me a really pretty card they'd gotten with a gift card in it! Allllll-right!  I love gift cards!

A few minutes later, Dusty, Casey, and Kean showed up to pick up Dusty's cat crate we'd borrowed.  And I got to see them too!!  They visited a while and then left with Kennedy.  Everybody had their special place to watch the Brown's pre-season game.  lol  Dusty's hubby Leon is a Redskins fan so she rallied the troops to help her cheer on the Brown's.  Oops.  Her mistake.  Kean is a Pittsburgh fan.  When I told him he'd just have to fake it.....  lol  Not a good look!

The kids all played together with the cats and Nelly.  Commotion is normal in our house.  In fact, I thrive on it.  Angel and Corry had come separately.  He had the boys and Angel had the girls.  The girls stopped and got me a cake!  Purple decorations.  So pretty.  

During the day I got a text from Missy and got to talk to Adam about half an hour.  He's starting his PhD work at the University of North Carolina.  So proud of that boy.  He's done it all on his own.

Tonight, when I sat down to check my "other" file on Facebook, I started reading Birthday messages that I didn't even know were sent in my feed.  I guess we just flat don't get it all on our cells.  My cell was showing me about 20 messages.  My computer showed I had 100 greetings!  And that wasn't counting the few that were comments on someone else's post!!  I can't believe how blessed I am.  To have so many people out there wishing me well.  Oh my goodness.  My heart is full.  Thank you to each and every person for making my 60th birthday one of the most special days ever.  



Mama Sage

Saturday, February 15, 2014

And we always hope tomorrow comes

You know the other day when I had my blog half written and it just went away (my computer decided to restart after some updates and I missed the warning because I was so engrossed in my writing) my thought was first a bit of anger and then "I'll just do it tomorrow. Or the next day. Whenever the mood strikes again." I wasn't thinking about the things that have happened kind of close to home recently that should have made me realize that although we go through life with the hopes tomorrow will come, that sometimes it just doesn't.  

We were a little stunned a few weeks ago to hear that one of Cliff's classmates was out shoveling snow and died. Then my friend's mother fell going down a short two step stoop and broke her neck and passed away just days afterward. And then yet another member of my husband's class died while shoveling snow. Life isn't given to us with a guarantee of years. When it's our time, we will all be called home.

Then seeing the little post on facebook with the old ladies on the roller coaster. The first row was very obviously having the time of their lives. The second was having a good time but the third row back looked a little bored with things. I don't want to go through my life bored with things. I want to be in that first row. I want to have the time of my life. No regrets. I want to enjoy and to have fun and to appreciate what I have.

Sure there are things in my life I wish had gone differently. I don't think a truthful person around would say there wasn't. But what is, is. You can't change the past. You can't fix yesteryear. You also can't change things you don't have control of. And since I can't, I'm going to remember to live. I'm moving forward once again from here, where I am. I may not move like I wish I did. I may not have the stamina I once did. But I have a lot left here to work with. I'm not going to glide into the future, I am marching on with the vow to do everything I'm able and not watch others and think afterward, "Well I guess maybe I should've tried that because now I know I was able." If I find out I'm not able? Well at least I tried.


The last visit I had to the doctor, she told me to keep an exercise journal. Every extra little bend and stretch should be documented in a journal. Actually she told me to do it the visit before last. She called it homework. Well THAT wasn't happening said the teenager in me. And I didn't. This time I'm taking her seriously because I don't think she thinks I'm moving around much. And I am! Shoot. She's got me on five blood pressure tablets a day. Three different kinds!  All three are water pills. I've told her our potties are up...and down. We don't have a first floor bathroom. Just the trips up and down to potty keep me moving!!

Now that I'm actually paying attention, I've discovered that I have actually been doing a lot of the things I was taught (reminded of actually) in physical therapy. Never realized that I just do them without thinking as I go through my day. I still need to come up with some more things I can do to strengthen my thighs that doesn't wreck my hips. It would be wonderful to have that awesome bike they had at Edwin Shaw during my rehab after my knee replacement. I loved that thing and if they'd let me, I would have peddled my day away. The seat was a chair like seat that didn't put pressure on my tailbone and kill me. I just can't sit on the bikes that have a regular bike seat.


Don't stumble over something behind you...move on


I'm trying to get back to more writing. It's so relaxing for me. And such an outlet. I have two books I'm working on ... still ... and I'd like to finish them by Thanksgiving. Then I can print them up and gift them to my family like I'd hope to do the last couple years. Ah but life gets in the way and changes things. And I've learned that I just need to embrace the moment and go with it. My urge to write will never go away. And picking up from where I left off on these two is never a problem. When your heart is in it, it flows.


I'm getting back into my use it up mode with cooking. trying to learn to cook for two. I'm also trying to add more meatless meals. One of my other goals is work on controlling the carbs, but one thing at a time please.

Cooking for two is a real challenge. For the last thirty some odd years I've cooked for an army. Our family started growing with the birth of our first son in 1973 and it hasn't stopped growing yet. During the years all the kids were home, we rarely sat a table of seven. Our table was nearly always filled with not just our kids, but their friends. Then once they were married and started having families, we continued to grow. That growing isn't finished. I'm sure we'll grow a bit more here and I'll need to keep the cooking for many skills but when no one is here besides Cliff and I it needs to be toned down. Hard! I'm used to giant pans and huge bowls. This itty skillet and tiny pan are pretty foreign!

The meatless meals are coming for more reasons than one. It started when our one granddaughter who spends quite a bit of time here announced that she didn't want to eat meat. I thought Okay. We do a lot of meatless things. That'll work. Then my bloodcounts were all wacky last go round. I need to get a better handle on things again. So meatless meals more often will work into that fine.

And Cliff's sugar wasn't what it should have been. So the carbs need to get back into control too. We can do this. I do admit it would be much easier if it was summer. Fresh produce here in the winter isn't the best. I figure by summer when things are not only plentiful but have excellent flavor and better prices I'll be better at it. I'm considering the time from now until then as practice time and experimental time.

It's also giving me more of an incentive to get back to blogging. When I first started in 2006 it was to track how I was doing in the weight loss journey that I failed at. Well I had some success, but.... Well those blogs are history. Let's move on. I don't know how often I'll be able to, but I do want to blog my way through all this. I'll be praying my left arm and my want-to cooperate. Hard to type when you can't use both arms!


“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~~- Maria Robinson


We are going on a Disney cruise next December with our kids. I've been searching what all happens on Disney cruises and I'm super excited!! I've decided that since I don't know if we'll ever be fortunate to go again we are going to do it all. Except the shore excursions. I'm not really interested in that. And they cost extra money which we don't have. But on board there are so many fun things!!

One thing I'm excited about is doing the thing called "Fish Extender". I had no idea what it was. Now...I know! I'm making the extenders for all four rooms family will be in, five if my brother decides to go too. And if the room doesn't want to participate and do something for their extender gift to others in the group I get us in, I will! I love this idea. Each person in the group makes or buys a little goodie to gift everyone else with. You have a list of cabins and go room to room dropping your gift into the pockets of the recipient's fish extender. If you know me, you know I've already got a million ideas and me and crafty stuff? Well I can't just make one thing! I'll have to do more!

I'm also doing research to come up with an outfit for Cliff and I for pirate night. I know Rusty and Cait will do something. I'm pretty sure Lia and Dale, Cait's folks, will too. And my sister told me she has her outfit planned. It's going to be so much fun! And when I called Disney I found out they're doing it the day we go to their private island, Castaway Cay. Cool beans! Can you tell I'm excited!


I'm still buying in bulk. Yes, even though I'm shopping for two of us, I'm buying in bulk. I still have that save money instinct. It's still better to buy cheese at less than $3 a pound and put it into smaller portions. Lots of things fall into that category. When you come home with three or four things needing separated, sometimes it looks like it's a terrible, time consuming job. It isn't. Time it sometime. You'll be totally surprised how little time that job takes.

You know that doesn't just apply to that example. It actually applies to many things we procrastinate about. They look like mountains you're going to have to move with a teaspoon. But your spoon is usually bigger than you thought  and one spoon at a time it goes faster than you think.


Italian Sausage Pasta Skillet

1# whole wheat Rotini, cooked and set aside

2 links sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces and browned

To the skillet with sausage, add:
4 small onions cut in lengthwise strips
Handful of mushrooms
Sm zucchini, halved then sliced
Sm yellow squash same, halved then sliced
1/2 a red bell sliced thin
2 handfuls baby spinach
Can of Hunts diced tomatoes with red pepper and fennel

When cooked to your liking (doneness of vegetables is a personal choice), stir in pasta and serve. A nice sprinkle of your favorite shredded cheese turns it into something wonderful.


With hugs and love until next time
~~Mama Sage

Sunday, September 29, 2013

It's blog time ....

I finally had the appointment with my ortho doctor for my shoulder.  She agreed it was a good thing for me to put off the surgery.  Losing weight and not being under so much stress will be a good thing.  No sense taking chances I don't need to. 

She xrayed my neck and other shoulder and I didn't like what I heard.  I already know that my feet have arthritis.  I already know my hands do.  I know it's in my knees too.  Well now, it's not only in my left shoulder, it's in my right.  It's also where my collar bone and shoulder meet.  The upper spine xray showed it's in my spine too.  C4, 5, and 6.  Super.  And I know if they did the xrays of my lower back, it's there too. I know now that it is something I have to find a way to live with.  It doesn't make me happy, but it's my reality.  I have to learn to live in my own reality.  And be happy.

We are changing my meds so I don't need to be on percocet.  I hate taking that stuff.  But it did work.  We are trying a new to me arthritis med called relafen.  Anyone out there used it?  Any reactions?  Advice?  So far it seems to be doing okay.  It's great not to be so tired all the time.
She also gave me shots in both shoulders.  It always takes a couple days, but it's all good now.


Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.  Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow.  Let reality be reality.  Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
~~Lao Tzu


Oh the stink from that freezer mess lasted forever!  It was horrible!  I think we pretty much have it handled now but I still need to reclean, reclean, reclean.  I want to do the inside again.  It was more or less just wiped out.  It needs a real strong cleaning.  It's just so hard for me to do so many things.  In time.  And the way I figure it, I've got the rest of my life to get things done.


The yard looks so different.  The pool is down now.  It has given us the incentive to do some more clearing out.  We just have so much stuff!  I'm helping a little out there, but I have so much inside to purge through it's tough for me to spend time out there. 

I finally have the attic back to where I can move around a little.  It will get much better as I go along.  I'm working on getting things ready to donate to our friend Mary Michel for the ministry she and her husband Marv Hodges run.  Bridging the Gap ministries in Cuyahoga Falls is changing locations and will be able to expand.  It's fantastic watching their growth.  The craft items I have stored up there not being used will be able to be utilized in good ways.  That will make me and all those who have passed things down to me happy. 

While I was working in the attic, I moved the things that went in the dressers in the attic back where they belong.  That's a good thing.  Finally.  I like things in order.  Getting them out of the office and clearing that space was easy because we just did grab and stack.  Putting it all back has taken time.  Lots of time.


Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad.  Let God deal with the things they do, 'cause hate in your heart will consume you too. 
~~Will Smith


We have found a way to gather some funds for our next Branson trip.  Our stay is free.  We have a free trip coming plus we had some points banked we needed to use.  We be gone the entire week.  Our food, gas and entertainment is being provided for free too.  Well mostly free.  We have cash vouchers at the casino that is only half an hour from home.  If they want to send free money I have no problem using it.  We are going up and using them, then whatever is won on them comes home and goes into our trip can.  None of our own money is being spent...because we have none TO spend.  While we are there, we've used our free food vouchers for a meal out.  And, we've got gas rewards credits we've used that actually have paid for the gas to go up and use the vouchers. 

So far, we have our gas money and show money in the can.  Shows will be cheap.  One will cost  $20 and one $30.  Next, food.  And whatever meals we don't have money for, we will be taking food.  The kitchen is full stocked with cooking utensils, etc. so cooking is no problem.  Only thing they don't have is a crockpot and we will take my little one. 

I plan to work on my writing the week we're gone.  I think the concentrated time away from the hustle and bustle of homelife will help me get back on track.  I'd love to get one of the two books actually done.  We shall see how it goes.


I tried making rice krispie treats with marshmallow cream.  I had what looked like a good recipe.  They tasted like...well not good, and they didn't hold together.  Recipe fail.


If there were no cooking failures, there wouldn't be as many fast food joints.
~~Mama Sage


Oh my oh my.  Cliff was cleaning out the shed that keeps the outdoor/garden things.  A nasty old mouse had decided to use the shed as her home.  Not happenin'.  Mama Sage doesn't like mice.  Nope.  They relocated to places beyond my sight.  And they better not be thinking they can move into the house.  We will have a war!


I am still mourning my pan.  Someone came over and asked to borrow my giant Farberware pan.  The more I think about it, it seems it was someone wanting to waterbath something but they couldn't find or didn't want to look for their own big pan.  I vaguely remember telling them it didn't have a rack for the bottom but that they could use extra canning jar rings to create a rack. 

And now my pan is gone.  I-dunno has it.  I really, really want it back!  Really.  I'm hoping and praying whoever has it runs across it and realizes it is mine.  If they don't want to admit they had it, fine.  Anonymously drop it on the porch.  I'll be good with that.  As long as I get my pan back.


Last weekend, not today and yesterday, but last weekend, we had Emmi and Kennedy both for the weekend.  It was Kennedy's regular weekend with us and Emmi's mommy and daddy were away at a friend's wedding.  We had the best time.  I just love spending time with our kiddos.  THIS is what being a grandparent is all about.  Love and smiles neverending.  I missed them as soon as they left.


My turkey tetrazzini was a hit.  I wish I'd written down what I did.  The sauce was cream of chicken soup with milk added.  There was some shredded cheese but not a lot.  I used carrots and onions.  Of course the turkey and noodles.  Since I had spaghetti noodles handy and actually a few that were in my frig as leftovers, I used them instead of fettuccini.  I used crushed chip crumbs on top.  Waste not ya know.  I really don't know what else was in it.  Darn it.  I know the recipes I looked at called for peas and I decided on carrots.  I didn't use one particular recipe so I can't look it up.  Shoot.  Well that'll teach me!


I learned I can still sew!  lol  I don't do much in the way of sewing anymore so when Corry brought me the couch cushion to repair, I was a bit leary about doing it.  Angel had washed it and the entire zipper had come off.  Oh boy.  When I took it downstairs and set to fixing it, it all came back like riding a bike.  When it was done, it was good as new.  Yay me!


Cooking fails seem to be my thing lately.  I made bean soup and it smelled so good!  It looked fabulous.  It tasted....SALTY!  Nothing worse than salty.  Even after putting the potato in for a long time to absorb the excess salt it was still bad.  I haven't made myself toss it yet, but I'm thinking by tomorrow I'll be able to let that pot o' beans swirl down the disposal.  No way can we eat it!  No way.  Blood pressure nightmare!


We had to go to Verizon to reset the phone brought back to us that someone used.  Sometimes I think these smart phones are only smart because they make us feel dumb!  I did a hard reset on it and still it had the last user's apple ID attached to it.  It was useless.  It's bad enough we still have to pay for the sucker for the next 16 months, but the fact it couldn't be used made me angry!  What the heck. 

Cliff went in to Verizon after we had messed with it a few days and it was one of those "click - here ya go" fixes.  Now why can't the fix be posted somewhere online to save people the inconvenience of going into a store?  Dumb.


In case you wondered, the apple cider at Aldi's is wonderful!  Liquid apple.  No odd tastes.


I'm going to get back into writing one way or the other.  It is so good for me!  We had our first meeting to organize the next reunion for the singing/social action group we belonged to as teens.  I volunteered to do a blog for the masses to keep everyone up to speed with what's happening.  Made me feel good to get going on it. 

Writing for me sort of has a domino effect.  One project leads to another and soon I'm doing a lot of it which makes me feel fantastic!  Who knew I'd ever feel that way about writing.  I always thought my best suit was something in the math area in school  I never would have imagined myself actually enjoying writing with a passion.


Packaged cinnamon biscuits are good.  I think a little less milk than called for would have made them better, but they tasted very good.  Martha White brand.  Yum.

That was Saturday's breakfast.  Lunch was a quesadilla inspired by the leftovers in the frig.  I had leftover fajita chicken and the onions and peppers to go with it.  Oh and mine also had mushrooms added.  I love the quesadilla maker my sister-in-law April gave us for Christmas many years back.  All you do is put the filling between two tortillas and close it.  In just a few short minutes, you've got something tasty. 


Since my blog has been nothing but boring this time, I'm cutting it off.  lol  I know you're thanking me for that.  I hear you.  But beware.  I shall be back.


~~Mama Sage

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh what a week it's been!

I enjoyed my time with my sister so much!  I liked when we both lived in Texas just hours from each other.  We got to see each other at least once a month then.  That was nice.  Living two days from one another is tough after ten years of being close.  I know it's been a lot of years since then but I'm still not used to it.  Not at all.  I miss people who belong in my life when they aren't around.  And my sister isn't the only one.  There are a few.  :-)

I think I'm going to have to give in and call the shoulder/knee doctor.  First I need to get the xrays of the other knee and other shoulder done.  I'm actually having trouble with them all now.  I just don't want to do the surgery until after I lose the weight again.  I don't feel safe going under the knife when I'm this fat.  And with all the breathing stuff that's been going on lately I want to for sure wait until I'm a bit slimmer.  Every pound off reduces my risk.

I'm also having trouble lately with the dry eyes.  I have the eye drops to replenish the moisture.  I just wish it wasn't necessary.  I never knew what it would feel like to have them go dry.  It actually hurts!  Pain.  Strange. 

I love still having things we bought in Amish country in the freezer.  (And thankfully I used them before the catastrophe.  Info to come later in the blog.)  I had gotten a bag of ends and pieces of lunch meat.  I took them and put them through the grinder on my Kitchen Aide, added cheese ends from home slicing and some pickles I wanted to use up, then added light Hellmans mayo and scraped the last of the jar of Kraft mayo and stirred it all up together.  I ended up with two huge containers of "ham" salad. A lady I knew when I was in high school worked at a local Lawson's store and she used to make it for them with their ends and pieces.  Glad I watched a time or two.  Homemade beats the heck out of store bought.


I got a letter back from our granddaughter Brandi. Brandi is our oldest son's middle daughter. She seems to be doing good in bootcamp and is actually sort of enjoying it.  She's always been one to love a sports challenge and I guess a lot of bootcamp is like a physical challenge.  We are so proud of her and what she's doing. She would really appreciate mail from people.  She has a couple more weeks. 

Let's flood her with a ton!  Feel free to pass on her address to those you know. 
Thanks everyone!

Goostree, Brandi
1st PLT "Renegades"
E Co, 1-34 IN BN, 165th IN BDE
12000 Dixie Rd.
Ft. Jackson, SC 29207-6019

Please put a "1" on the back of the envelope.

When she's done in South Carolina she will be headed to Virginia for further training.  I'll be sure to pass on that address too. 


I'll tell you what.  It seems every plane trip I go pick people up at the airport for has a little drama.  Judy's plane got in early.  That's pretty normal.  Usually about 10 minutes.  But, her luggage wasn't on the turnstile.  Hmmm.  After some investigating, they discovered hers wasn't late, it had actually come on an earlier plane.  It took just a little time, but they found it and off we went.

To Eat and Park!  She had been on the plane or in airports all day and was hungry.  Eat and park is good for breakfast or a regular meal any time of day or night.  She'd never been so it was perfect. 

Well Miss Emmi got her first stitches.  She somehow slipped and cracked her noggen on her other grampa's sailboat and had to have a staple.  She called it her "sparkly princess bandage staple" so we just went along with it and told her how beautiful it was.  What a trooper.  She acted as if it was nothing.


I had a really bad stressful night while Judy was here.  The day had gone good.  I'd gotten the chicken cooking for the pulled chicken sandwiches.  The planning was all good.  I had gotten the message sent out for when we'd be having it so the kids could come see her while she was here.  Adam was in town for the weekend for the Browns opener too and we worked according to both schedules.  All that was good.  Then my mind took over.  I started thinking about situations happening.  I got so stressed I actually started having chest pain and got out the nitro tablets just in case.  I was fighting it and trying to calm myself for a long while.  Almost went and woke her up to take me to the ER.  Then it eased.  But it was horrible!  Stress just about did me in.

I'm working hard to tell myself prayer is the best I can give.  And I know it is.  But there are just times when you feel like it might not be enough.  It's been a week now and I'm doing a bit better.  Still breaking down often, but trying to remember God is in charge.  Period.  Not any of the people who think they are.  God. 


We had a nice afternoon meal with the kids here to see Judy.  Rusty, Cait and Em along with Adam came by on Saturday.  We had the chicken sandwiches and a cucumber and tomato salad. 

Saturday was her class 70th birthday.  I drove her over to join her classmates and on the way we drove by my gramma's old house and the house we lived in as kids.  I wanted her to see things and tried to make use of the miles each trip we headed out. 


Sunday Kris and Darlene, then Corry and Angel and CJ came by to see Judy.  I'm glad they did.  She missed seeing Dusty, Leon and Casey and Missy and Melanie, but she did get to see most of the family. 

When everyone left, we took her out to the Racino at Thistledown.  That lucky duck sat down, played $2.05 and won $56!  Wow!  And yes, she went home with every dime of it.  We played our free vouchers and ate on the food vouchers so the evening was cheap fun. 


We also did a little sneakin around.  Heeheehee.  My sister follows a certain Christian singing group and someone in it lives very close.  She couldn't find out the info but wanted to try and see the house.  Well this ol' gal can find her some people!  lol  I took the info she had and very quickly went to my "find 'em" websites and found him!  So we went out and drove past his home and his father-in-law's home what was also a big gospel singer in his day.

Another meal I made my sister was plain ol' meatloaf.  Yep.  Nothin fancy.  Just my meatloaf with cheese.  Also made a hashbrown casserole that was suppose to be like Cracker Barrel.  Next time I make it I'll tone back the cheese.  WAY too cheesy for me.  I think the best part of Cracker Barrel's is that the cheese isn't overbearing and you can actually taste the sour cream a bit. 


Whoa boy what a catastrophe!  I put too much cinnamon butter topping in the bottom of the pan (along with pecans and raisins) of cinnamon biscuits.  It ran over and wow what a mess I had.  Oh it smelled awful in here.  Not much worse than the overpowering smell of burnt sugar. 

Lunch was a ham and swiss quesadilla in our quesadilla maker.  Then we took off for one more time past the star's home to make sure we were thinking the right one in our heads. 

And to finish one more thing on my list of "do with my sister" we went to Stoddards.  Her suggestion actually.  I got cherry frozen yogurt.  She got traditional chocolate custard. 

Somewhere here I missed the fact we went to the hotdog shop.  Retro Dog.  It's got a Stow address but is actually right inside the Cuyahoga Falls line on Steels Corners Road.  Great place if you haven't tried it.  I wasn't in the mood for a dog so I got chili cheese fries.  Awesome!  I might just have to get them again!


You know I really like puzzles.  But a dresser is not supposed to turn into a puzzle!  I had taken all the drawers out of a dresser when we made room for Missy and Melanie and must have put them back in the wrong order.  What a job to untangle my mess!  Now that she is no longer here with us, I'm trying to put the house back in order.  It's taking a lot longer to put it back!  I still can't move even a couple steps into the attic.  It'll happen.  I have to.  I want to start purging and selling or giving away things.  It'll happen. I have to keep positive. 


Oh boy have I been SICK!  We went out the other night and I had onion rings/petals that had been fried in oil that had fried fish.  My fish allergy has progressed so much that I had terrible stomach problems.  So bad I probably should have headed to the hospital but I've been holding off.  Instead, I had a day of a soft diet and slowly put a few more things into my diet.  So far so good.  My belly, lower belly, still hurts a little but not like it was. 


And, when it rains, it pours.  As if we aren't under enough stress in this house, we had a horrible discovery.  Kris went downstairs and discovered the source of our stinky smell.  The freezer had been open.  My fault.  The night before I had gone down and messed with things.  I moved some things.  I did shut it but was too lazy to lock it.  Never again!  I will ALWAYS lock it!  We lost hundreds of pounds of stuff.  Thankfully not all of it like we thought.  As we dug through, some was actually still icy cold or frosty.  One of the turkeys was cold enough I finished thawing it and cooked it today.  The ham was cold enough I'm cooking it tomorrow.  And some things were able to be refrozen.  I'm just so thankful Kris found it or we definitely would have lost everything!


On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

I think we're about caught up for now.  I plan to keep blogging.  But, when life happens there might me a few days between them. 

Thanks for being my readers.  You guys are great.  I enjoy your comments here, on facebook and in emails.  Hugs to you all....

~~Mama Sage

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Slowing down … want to or not!

I really don’t like this slowing down thing my body is going through.  It’s hard when my mind is still on zoom and my body has switched to scoot.  I’m trying hard to keep doing things but so often something slows me right down.  Like tonight.  I had all good intentions of coming upstairs after the weather (my old routine) and starting to bring back down things we had taken to the attic to make the office into a bedroom.  When the things were taken up, I had Natalie and Kennedy here to do the carrying.  I thought down would be so much easier than up. 

When I got up here, I decided to dust this floor first.  By the time I had the second floor dusted, I was exhausted.  I could hardly breathe!  I don’t know if I was just overworked or if I was having a tad bit of a problem with my asthma.  But, whatever, plans changed and I ended up pulling out yarn for more little blankets and rolling some half done projects into yarn balls. 

I love how even pretty ugly yarns turn into cute once they are paired with another thin yarn and knitted up into itty bitty baby blankets.  When I first started these I wasn’t real excited about them.  I loved the little hats I’d made and they actually made up pretty fast.  I just wasn’t sure about the blankets.  Now that I have several done (almost 20) I’m enjoying it.  I’m enjoying putting all this yarn I’d stored into use.  I’m glad that yarn that my mom and my gramma and a few others passed down is being put to use.  And for it to go to little babies so small (NiCU babies) is a bonus.  You see those tiny little babies no bigger than someone’s hand and you want to help.  I kind of feel like this is helping.  Makes me feel good inside.


I’m really enjoying free vacations.  We still have a couple more that we haven’t done.  One is an all expenses and fees paid cruise.  One is another trip to Branson or Pigeon Forge.  Well those are still available after we take this last one this year.  It’s nice to just pay the gas and have a home away from home when we get there.  We will stop at the commissary at Ft. Leonard Wood this trip.  It’s about two hours out of Branson so with a cooler we will be good.  We’re going to in Branson all week and don’t plan on eating out much if at all. 

We have a timeshare in Branson but we can stay pretty much anywhere with it.  It has all the supplies you need in the kitchen, all linens, etc.  It’s great.  They have several properties and we’ve stayed at two different ones so far.  This will be the third.  I understand there is one more in the Branson area so one day we will have to stay there. 


Am I un-American?  I mean is it required that if you live in the US of A that you love baseball?  I don’t.  Still.  Even after giving it a rallying try this year.  I can, however, tolerate it more.  That’s progress.  Yep, give me football any old day, but baseball?  Naaaaaa. 


The plan was to steam and dust the first floor Sunday.  Didn’t happen.  I did get the dusting done but it wore me out.  I love the swiffer duster dealie.  So much easier to dust with.  Have you tried them yet? 


Sunday’s running around included getting gas ~~choke choke~~ , getting what little groceries we could, and finding out Cartridge World was closed Sunday and Labor Day.  Hope we don’t have to print something! 

Our meals all weekend were leftovers pretty much.  I had an open face sloppy joe for lunch so I wouldn’t eat as much bread.  Then for supper, I made us a pizza.  It was pretty cheap to make.  We got three crusts at the R Store so the crust was .50.  The sauce was leftover pizza sauce I had frozen.  We had gotten a 5# chub of Italian sausage at the R Store one time for $7 and I had chunks of it in the freezer too.  We added the sausage, some pepperoni, some black olives and some mushrooms.  I cooked it on my pizza stone and it was awesome.

We are not a failure
because we fail at something.
Nobody is a failure unless they quit trying!
~~Joyce Meyer
I love that the little ones are getting artistic and bringing me pictures.  These are a couple that our budding artists have brought to Mimi to hang up for all to see.

After the little bit of running around we did today, we came home, ate a little and I got going with the steam cleaning.  It took me doing part at a time to get through it, but eventually the livingroom, diningroom and kitchen got done.  Tomorrow my plan is to attack the furniture.  We shall see.  I hope it gets done but I also need to finish the bathroom cleanup and sweep the stairs and second floor.  Wish me strength!!
And I felt guilty for not doing more so I just went up and straightened the office supply shelves.  I didn’t purge it but that will eventually happen.  I brought a few things down but didn’t do much.  It’s going to take a very long time to get it all done and have things back where they belong. 
Well by Wednesday, all the kids will be back in school.  And Miss Melanie will be in preschool just like Miss Emerson.  I love having them all around, but I remember how exciting it was to have them all back in school.  Here’s to a superb school year.
Love and hugs from
~~Mama Sage

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I just didn't get it done today

Humidity and this body just don’t mix.  I checked the weather on my phone and it said the humidity was 64%.  I walked outside and the air was so thick I could hardly breathe.  Hmm  Something wasn’t right.  Since I couldn’t breathe, my whole day’s plans changed.

I really wanted to go to our grandson Hadyn’s football game.  I just knew it was a bad idea for me to be outside.  I’m VERY proud of him though.  Corry gave me the report that even though they lost, he had two great tackles and a couple sacs.  SUPER!  You have to understand, he is right smack dab on that front line and he’s not a big guy.  The week before he was faced with a HUGE opponent.  I didn’t get to see this week, but my guess is it was probably another pretty good sized kid. 


I had also planned to get a letter written and sent to our granddaughter Brandi.  Brandi is in bootcamp for guard right now in South Carolina.  We are so proud of her!  This is a picture her boyfriend found on her group’s website.  I’m so glad to see it.  You know they’re doing fine.  They’re in good hands during their training, but a picture just says so much!

Brandi is on the bottom row behind the wood on the left.

I have a good start on the letter but want to take a little more time with it tomorrow.  This being the Labor Day weekend, it wouldn’t go very far even if I had mailed it today.


We ran into a great deal today.  I think anyone can get it.  Go to the Spaghetti Warehouse website.  That is if you have one close.  With the coupon you’ll find there, you get

2 lasagna entrees

2 fettuccini Alfredo entrees

2 chicken parmesan entrees

4 salads or soups (we got two of each)

2 loaves of their bread with two little tubs of the garlic spread

All that food for $30.  Since you can get it to go curbside, you can get it without purchasing drinks or paying a tip.  Awesome deal.  I haven’t found any better deal anywhere.  It’s only good through Monday so get online and take advantage of it ASAP.


I want y’all to keep me to this….I want to start going to the gym on Tuesday.  I’d like to start slow but go a couple times a week to start out.  I’ve got to get in there and strengthen up some.  I’m having a terrible time really.  I keep saying I’m doing good, encouraging myself.  I’m talking my way to positive.  But the truth is my legs feel very weak.  And when the shoulders start up, it’s bad.  Last night I had trouble with both legs and both shoulders all night long.  It made sleeping nearly impossible.  So far tonight doesn’t look like it will be much better.  I’ve got so much I want to do I just can’t let this body of mine fail me.


Dinner tonight was a real challenge.  I had decided on some sweet and sour chicken stir fry.  I had the chicken all cut up and waiting.  I’d gotten the veggies ready.  I started browning the chicken.  And then I realized I didn’t have some of the ingredients I really needed.  So I just played around and made it up as I went along.  It didn’t really end up like sweet and sour chicken but it was good. 

I browned the chicken in a little olive oil.  I added the veggies and continued cooking until the veggies were as soft as we like them.  I added the sauce mix which included a pouch of seasoning I had on the shelf, some catsup, some soy sauce, some sugar.  And then I realized no cornstarch.  Well I had to thicken it somehow.  I didn’t have pineapple chunks but I had crushed pineapple.  I stirred some brown gravy mix into it and then stirred that mix into the pan.  It was really good with a decent consistency to serve over rice.  I couldn’t do the steps to go down and get white or brown rice (I had run out in the kitchen and my pantry is downstairs).  I dug around the cupboard and found two pouches of cook it quick in the microwave rice.  Uncle Ben’s garlic wild rice mix.  It was wild rice with red and black quinoa.  Turned out pretty good.  We just had peaches with it.

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. 
Be happy now. 
Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future.  Think how really precious is the time you have to spend,
whether it's at work or with your family. 
 Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

~~Earl Nightengale

I got out some cleaning supplies for tomorrow and then headed upstairs after cleaning the kitchen.  Once I was up here I put away the laundry and cleaned part of the bathroom.  I can’t do it all at once so I just did the sink tonight.  I did the tub deep clean the other day.  One thing at a time and eventually it all gets done.  It’s the best I can do. 

Well it’s time to try to relax these legs and see if maybe some Aleve will give me some relief.  I don’t need another bad night.

See you next time…

~~Mama Sage

Friday, August 30, 2013

Procrastinating doesn’t pay!

Seriously.  I procrastinated about paperwork around here so long it has become a hurdle much too high to jump in a single bound.  I started today with current stuff.  Now that hamper full of paper is all that stands between me and peace.  My plan is to accomplish it this weekend but…  I do have other things to get done too.  I have company coming on Wednesday which means last minute steam cleaning, sweeping and dusting, bathroom and meal planning needs done.  I can DO IT!!  Yes I can!

I’m still not eating the way I should, but I’ll get there.  I’m staying well within the calorie limits to lose, but I’m not eating only what’s good for me.  Lol  I guess most people really don’t.  I’m trying to make sure to eat enough to be above that 1200 calorie mark.  There’s so much fat on this body I know people think I could eat off the fat of the land a long while, but I won’t do that.  Not after seeing on Dr. Oz that if women don’t eat at least 1200 calories they will go into starvation mode and actually gain weight.  Yes, seriously. 

I finished the thawed salsa this evening so I won’t be eating chips and salsa the rest of the weekend.  And I won’t have any of the babies here this weekend and won’t get tempted into eating a grilled cheese sandwich.  I’ve got chicken thawed for tomorrow.  The plan is to do sweet and sour chicken, wild rice and peaches.  Now that I wrote that down, maybe I’ll feel obligated to really make that. 


Tomorrow, Friday, two of my kids are having minor back surgery.  I don’t know how any back surgery can be considered minor, but that’s how it’s categorized.  I just know this mama will be really glad once noon rolls around and I know both are fine.  Yes, I would definitely appreciate all the prayers people feel like sending up.  Any back surgery can have terrible consequences so yes, prayers for successful surgeries would be welcomed.


This past week has been full of challenges as well as blessings.  The blessings are many.  I’ve been so happy to be back in contact with several life long friends.  Finding out that we aren’t the only ones going through trials right now is sad, but it’s also giving us someone else to pray for. 


Can miles truly separate you from friends…

If you want to be with someone you love,

Aren’t you already there?

~~Richard Bach


It’s looking like our pool will be taken down a little earlier this year.  We don’t stand by the Labor Day tradition.  There has often been really warm weather the month of September.  Somehow I don’t think that will happen this year.  They’re calling for some pretty nippy temps in the 10 day forecast.  I bet we have it down within the next two weeks.


Well, it’s time to close this up and relax the legs.  They still give me trouble.

Love y’all,

~~Mama Sage

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Posting without editing because it won't let me.

It’s been a while I know but once again I’m going to try and pick up and continue my blog.  So much has transpired since I last wrote there is no chance of catching up.  If any of you are curious about certain things, feel free to ask.  I will answer as best I can.  Some questions I may choose not to answer in my blog or in a comment on the blog.  I may ask you to message me personally and answer more privately.  Thanks for understanding.  My followers do rock!
When I started my blog, I was just doing it to keep track of my progress in my weight loss journey and make myself accountable in a public venue to myself.  I absolutely loved the encouragement and support from each and every one of you.  I was working to lose enough to have weight loss surgery.  That is no longer an option. 
I found out I have something called Sjogren’s  Disease.  It was diagnosed using a lip biopsy.  The test showed no salivary glands in the chunk of lip they took.  And it was actually pretty good sized!  It’s something that causes lots of things I hate.  My mouth dries out so much at night that it “glues” itself shut.  I’ve had some pretty nasty injuries from that happening and my opening my mouth anyhow.  I have a temporary fix for that problem but it isn’t perfect.  I still dry out but at least there is something I can do to help a little.  I do use Biotene products, but the dentist and dental hygienist told me about something call MI paste.  It’s very expensive but it does last quite a while.  I use it mainly at night when I wake up and can’t open my mouth.  If I can open my lips, I can rub a little on my teeth and work it around with my tongue.  Weird.  I know.  But for me, it’s life.
Because of the saliva problem, I lost most of the teeth on the right side of my mouth.  They just started falling apart.  Saliva is extremely important for teeth to stay healthy.  The other side was able to be saved at least for a while. 
The Sjogren’s also makes other things dry out.  My skin, yes, but what bugs me more is my ears.  I have no ear wax.  Not only does that cause itching and flaking, it means it’s sometimes hard to hear.  Strange.  I’m finding out more and more about how things work in this ol’ bod the longer I have this disease.  I have a cream I can occasionally use in my ears but it’s not an every day thing to use.   My feet also drive me nuts.  The skin on the bottom of my feet dries up really bad.  They feel so tight and miserable.  That coupled with the gout/arthritis makes my feet a very painful part of my body. 
So now you’re up to speed with that.  The fact I don’t produce enough saliva is part of the reason I can’t do the weight loss surgery.  The other reason is I now have no teeth that meet to actually grind the food.  When you have weight loss surgery it is extremely important to properly chew your food.  If it isn’t properly chewed it would be able to be properly digested. 
The doctor I was seeing for the weight told me he was confident I could do it on my own without surgery.  My last visit with him I had lost 50 pounds on my own.  And now, I’m back to square one.  I got terribly depressed about it.  And I’m an emotional eater. 
I hate the image that stares back at me in the mirror.  I hate that I’m not able to do a lot of things because of this weight.  I am going to try and get back with the program and DO this. 
I had my right knee replaced in May and am now able to walk a little more than I had been.  My back is still a problem, but most days I can deal with it at least a while.  I had planned on doing my left shoulder later this month but have cancelled that.  I don’t feel like I’m ready for it.  Several things in my life have added a lot of stress, I’ve gained back weight and don’t feel safe in that respect, and I don’t think my knee is strong enough to do the shoulder surgery.  You’d be surprised which limb helps the others.  Try to not use your left shoulder and not put weight on your right knee and get in bed.  Not real easy.  No.  I’m not ready for more surgery yet.
And we are still fighting all the medical billing people to properly bill things so they can get paid!  Amazing how many mistakes can be made on the billing for one medical problem. 
Today I started back using My Fitness Pal.  I’m not adding friends or anything.  It will just be for my benefit so I can track which nutrients, etc. I should increase or decrease.  I also have found out that a woman should never eat less than 1200 calories a day because the body goes into starvation mode. 
I plan to do the things I used to do here.   I plan to continue to post a recipe or two, add quotes, post pictures, speak Mama Sage speak.  I think I need this to get me back in the full groove.  I definitely need to put myself first again.  I need to realize I can’t help those who don’t want help.  I need to get many things in life straightened around and orderly.  My plan for fall and winter is to straighten out bookwork and filing, purge purge PURGE the whole house, keep accountable through my blogging and reconnect where I feel disconnected. 
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry,
show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.
No recipes today.  We had stuffed peppers, but they were ones I’d made earlier in the summer and frozen.  With that I just cooked up noodles and added peas and we had applesauce.  For an evening snack, we had left over strawberries over chocolate ice cream.  Yes.  I’m still within my calorie limits.  Well within. 
Well, friends, Mama Sage is closing up for the night.  I’ve got a lunch to pack and I want to try and tackle a little of this paperwork mountain before I head upstairs for the night.  Tomorrow we will be spending the day with Emmi.  I want to gather things to do some crafting with her too.  Night all….
~~Mama Sage
Having trouble trying to edit this before posting.  Hoping I'll be able to do it later?  Maybe?  Who knows.  Can't highlight anything to make changes.  Can't back space to make changes.  Weird.