Juicy July – 2019 – Are we having fun yet?

Well, as has been happening, the month is shooting by!  I’ve only done 5 posts so far.  Haven’t even been keeping up with the Song Lyric Sunday and Stream of Consciousness Saturdays!  What have I been doing??  Mostly taking care of my mom.  You read about my cooking lesson last week and in addition to that one I also got a lesson in making spaghetti.  Not an unusual thing for an Italian girl to learn from her mom but without going into too much detail, let me just say there are a lot of details in the way SHE cooks it, including how to open the package.  Silly me for trying to just cut the corner off the bag!  Apparently you can’t cook spaghetti properly without cutting the entire end off of the bag and then cutting it down the middle to expose the whole lot of spaghetti.  Who knew?  LOL I really love my mom 🙂 

Yesterday we spent the day at the park participating in our local Clean Sweep Flea Market.  I was trying to sell some of the household stuff I had been accumulating and a few of my extra craft supplies while my husband was selling some of his tools.  He is retired and has no need for all the things he collected in his years of working as a mechanic.  We had space enough to put up a canopy so my hubby could stay in the shade.  He’s in the background of this picture wheeling and dealing.  There were a lot of people selling things and a steady stream of people coming through all day. 

We did okay but mostly it was my husband’s tools that sold.  I decided that anything I didn’t sell was going to get donated to Goodwill.  If I was willing to sell it, I don’t need it.  
In addition to that, I was commissioned to make four cards for a friend of ours.  She is a teacher and wanted to send some thank you cards to people who helped out during the summer programs.  She gave me four words…library, construction, cupcake and ballet.  Here’s what I came up with:  
For the library:   

Construction:  

Cupcake:

Ballet:

Whaddya think?  
Oh yeah, my daughter and I went to see the movie Bohemian Rhapsody on the big screen at Oracle Park.  It was supposed to be a sing-a-long on the night of the 34th anniversary of the Live Aid performance.  We were surprised that more people weren’t singing!  There were people who were dressed as Freddy Mercury, but we just wore the crowns we got going in 🙂

The next night my husband and daughters and I went to see the real Queen in concert.  Two great nights in a row!

The local reporter made the mistake of calling them a “tribute band” since only two of the original four members remain but let me tell you, that was no tribute band.  Brian May even made a comment on Instagram that he didn’t appreciate that review and didn’t think that the fans felt that way! 

So, that about catches you up with me and my corner of the world.  How about you guys?  Anything special going on in your corner this summer?  Lemme know what I’m missing! 

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Juicy July – 2019 – Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Instructions

Linda, how timely you are with these prompts of yours!  Today’s is to give instructions on something you know how to do.  I had some intense instructions from my mom yesterday so I can now share them with you.

Back story:  My mom will be 96 years old next month.  Up until the last two months she has been fully functional, living alone, driving herself to the grocery store, library and church.  She was very proud of the fact that she passed her driving test (after 3 failed attempts) and tells everyone that the “State of California said I could drive until I was 101!”  (Maybe stay out of the State of California for a while – LOL). 

This was about 5 years ago around her 90th birthday.

In June she had a urinary tract infection and her blood sugars went very high (she is diabetic) and I took her to the emergency room where they gave her antibiotics and some insulin to help bring her sugars down.  The infection cleared but she was still feeling weak and suffered a fall.  A trip to the doctors revealed a stubbed toe with a blister (not good in someone with diabetes) and a compression fracture of L1.  She was told to rest but 3 days later she was in a lot of pain so another trip to the ER was made.  They gave her a walker, told her to take Tylenol and sent her home but ordered a home health nurse and physical and occupational therapy. 

Fortunately I live close and while we do not have room in our house to have her come and stay while she recuperates, I am able to go and check on her every day.  She is depressed and feels like she will never get better but actually each day she is getting stronger and the Tylenol alone is helping to control her pain.  The nurse and therapists have all visited and given her some instructions about how to use the walker and a few easy exercises to strengthen her upper arms and her legs.   

She is able to get up and put food in the microwave by herself and generally makes a big batch of something and puts it in containers in the freezer.  She was proud of the fact that each of her meals are “less than a dollar.”  Obviously in her condition she cannot stand or maneuver enough to make the meals so I told her that I would cook for her.  Now for the real instructions (per my mom, sitting in a chair by the kitchen counter)…

First you take the pan and cover it with tin foil, but the tin foil is very thin so you have to be extremely careful that it doesn’t tear or get holes.  If it does you have to start all over.  (I suggested she get stronger tin foil but that didn’t go over well).  Make sure you put enough foil on to cover the sides.  Turn the oven on to 400 degrees. 

Next you need to get out a plastic bag and put it on the floor in the corner because you will be opening a lot of frozen food bags and you will need a place to put the garbage.  (I did not do this step as there was already a bag on the counter for this purpose.  She didn’t like that.)

Then you need to put olive oil all over the bottom of the pan.  A lot of olive oil.  (Apparently I did not put enough at first because she said, “If you have to move the pan like that to coat it, you don’t have enough oil.”) 

Next put the potatoes on the bottom.  Spread them out all over evenly.  Then the bell pepper mix on top.  Add some salt…the salt comes out of the package too heavy so put some salt in your hand and then sprinkle 3 pinches over the food.  Then some pepper, onion powder, garlic salt and Italian seasonings.  Put some more olive oil over the top and put it in the oven for an hour but check it after a half an hour to see how it is doing.  Get the package of mixed vegetables and rib pieces out of the freezer.  Those will go in next.  Take this bowl and cut the rib pieces in half and put them in the bowl.  (I did not do this step right away since I was going to let the ribs defrost a bit before trying to cut them in half.  She did not like that either.)

When we had gotten this far, the home health aide came.  Break in action while she took mom’s vitals and talked to her about trying to control her blood sugars and getting in touch with her primary doctor to see what her suggestions would be.  Mom wasn’t happy.  She is resistant to taking meds and believes she can control her diabetes with diet and exercise.  Maybe 10 years ago that was possible but not anymore.  Also, she feels the nurse talks to me and not her but every time the nurse does address her mom looks at me because she can’t hear.  (sigh)   

By this time the rib pieces were defrosted so I cut them in half and put them in the bowl.  We checked on the dish in the oven and the potatoes had definitely gotten brown (“They’re burning, turn the oven off and put the rib pieces on and then the mixed vegetables and more olive oil so they don’t burn anymore.  They will cook as the oven cools down.”)

Occupational therapist came next and showed her how to use the walker and gave her a talk about getting a shower chair for the bathroom and exercises to strengthen her arms.  She didn’t mind that too much and he is going to order a shower chair for her, which will be very helpful as she has a tub shower.

Finally it was time to portion the meal into containers that she could freeze.  More instructions…

Take the tops off these four containers and put them on top of the toaster so they are out of the way.  I started to divide the pan into quarters but she said, “You don’t have to worry about making it even, just spoon it into the dishes.”  Apparently I don’t know how to spoon very well because after I filled the first dish she took the spoon away from me and said, “You fill them like this, take a spoonful and put it here, then another spoonful here and another, and another.” 

By this point I’m afraid I had lost my patience.  I said, “Or I could just do it like this” and proceeded to fill the rest of the containers.  She looked at me with a defeated expression and said, “Yes, I guess so, it’s only food, do it however you want” and shuffled her walker out of the kitchen. 

Of course then I felt bad.  Would it have hurt to spoon it the way she wanted?  Obviously I am very glad that I still have my mom at age 95 (if I say she is 96 she gets offended since she still has a few weeks to go).  I know there are many people out there who would love to still have their moms.  My younger sister is moving back to California in a few months and is getting a house big enough so that mom can move in with her.  I know I will miss her since she will be living over an hour away. 

Mom at 90 walking across the Golden Gate Bridge for my 60th birthday – She had rented the walker “just in case” but didn’t really need it.  
On a bus trip to the casino for some gambling fun

Hope that God will give me the strength to accept any more “instructions” that my mom wants to give while she still can.  (Also am telling my kids that if I ever get so detailed with my instructions to them, they have the right to say “okay gramma” and I’ll try to stop – LOL).

So that’s my stream.  Have you gotten specific instructions about something from your mom or dad? 

   

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Juicy July – 2019 – Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Lovely Linda has given us the prompt of “chew/choo” for our #SoCS and a lot of people are talking about food and trains. 

My first thought was of Jimmy Choo shoes – don’t ask me why.  I’m not a real shoe person so I thought I’d look at some pictures since I couldn’t tell you the difference between a “Choo” shoe and a PayLess shoe.  Here are a couple I found:

Pretty sure that I could get some serious groceries to “chew” on with that kind of money and if I tried to walk in those I’d probably kill myself!  How about you?  Like Choo shoes or rather chew on a nice juicy steak? 

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Juicy July – 2019 – Fourth of July Fun

Had a mostly quiet 4th during the day as usual but when night falls the sky lights up and there is a lot to see without leaving our own front yard which makes it the best!  I was not sure how our Benny was going to react since this is our first 4th of July together but I didn’t have to worry.  He is such a good boy and the noises did not affect him at all.  Bill brought him outside for a bit but it was cold so he went back inside. 

We had some friends come over and the guys got the fireworks ready for the kids to light.  We should be able to have a pretty good show with all these. 

Sparklers are fun no matter what the age.

I got some cool pictures this year I think.  It is not always easy to capture the fireworks. 

A few more neighbors came by to share in the fun.

One of our neighbors gave us some of these cool glasses and it turned the fireworks into a rainbow display!

 I put the glasses over my iPhone lens and this is what I got:

All done for this year. 

The Crazy Bug Fountain in action:

Hope your 4th was a good one.  Did you catch some fireworks?   

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Juicy July – 2019 – Vision card updates

Back in January I wrote about the Vision cards I made for this year.

About this time of the year I go back to them and see if I’ve accomplished anything.  I make notes on the back to document what I have done and what still could be done in the next six months.  
Travel was one of the cards and unfortunately we haven’t been able to do much of that.  I don’t see it happening this year either but we did make a plan to go to Yosemite with some friends in July 2020.  I’m not giving up on this quite yet though.  We went to some San Jose Sharks hockey games which were new experiences for me so there is that.  
Health was another category and I’m pleased to say I made a big change in this department.  In March I started following a Keto plan and to date I’ve lost 29 pounds.  Still have a way to go but I’m happy with 29 pounds in a little over three months.  Walking our new dog is helping but also really paying attention to what I’m shoving in my face is the biggest thing.  

Money is an area that needs some serious work for the rest of the year.  We had a small setback because a job I contracted for did not last as long as anticipated.  We’ll be okay but it will take some good planning on our part.  

Connecting with family and friends is on my list.  We have gone to a couple of baseball games and out to dinner with different friends so far this year.  This weekend I’m taking my mom to visit my sister who we don’t get to see very often.  

My crafty business is a top priority and I’ve done some things to try and increase my presence online and in my Etsy shop.  I have made a couple of sales and I am about to make a presentation to a local sweet shop who rents their back room for parties.  I’d like to offer to make mini-albums for sale to their customers.  Cross your fingers!  I also did the YouTube video of my studio. 

Finally there is Home.  We’ve done a lot of shifting things around with the addition of the studio in the backyard.  That made it easy for me to take craft supplies and put them all in one place.  We reorganized some of the storage in the kitchen too.  The biggest addition to the home though has been our new dog, Benny.  He is bringing such fun into the house.  

I really like this way of making my goals turn into realities.  It is much better, for me anyway, than just making a list of “resolutions” at the beginning of the year.  I don’t feel like I’m failing if I can get at least one thing accomplished.  How about you?  Have you taken a look at where you are mid-year?  
Hope everyone has a great 4th of July.  We will be lighting the safe and sane type in front of our house as usual.   

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Juicy July – 2019 – Here we go…

Juicy – full of juice, interestingly scandalous, temptingly appealing.  Synonyms of fascinating, colorful, exciting, thrilling.  Sounds like a good name for a month, right? 

Let’s see if we can start the month out with some juicy stories. 

First, under fascinating and exciting, our local mall had a shooting yesterday and while I was not inside the mall at the time, my husband was in the parking lot at a booth selling fireworks for our local Pony Baseball team.  I happened to be on my way to bring him a sandwich when I saw traffic backing up and police car lights both in front of me and coming up behind me, sirens blaring.  All in all there must have been 100 different emergency vehicles from all over the county.  The story is that there were two shooters inside the mall and two people were shot.  It was not a random attack, rather a deliberate thing between these four people.  We are not sure yet exactly why.  Unfortunately, the local mass transit, BART, station is on the same property as the mall and at least one of the suspects was able to get on the train and go across the Bay to Oakland.  We have not been told the identity of either the victims or the shooters as the police are waiting to see surveillance camera videos but the boys that were shot were about 14 and 16.  Way too young.  They were taken to the ER in San Francisco, one in critical condition and one in serious condition.   

The police set up a command center in the parking lot across the street from the mall.  I caught these pictures as I was driving home.  Lots of armed uniformed men crossing the street with rifles out and ready to go.  It was not really scary to me, but it definitely was not something we see everyday.   

Today the mall is open again and I suppose business as usual, although perhaps a few more police present. 

More on the colorful side, my entries into the Escapist Coloring Club for July.

I think I’m going to take a break from coloring these card toppers and go back to Alice in Wonderland or something else.  After a while the flowers all start looking the same to me.  I do kind of like the feather and the owl though. 

That’s it for the first installment of Juicy July.  How about you, any fascinating things to tell me?
 

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June in Janet’s World – Song Lyric Sunday – Who, What, When, Where

Jim Adams has chosen the good reporter’s questions, Who, What, When, Where, Why and How as our theme for today.  So many possibilities!

This reminds me of when we were raising the kids.  If they wanted to go somewhere with their friends, we always told them not to bother asking us if they couldn’t answer the questions:  Who were they going with?   What were they going to do?    When were they going to be home?  Where were they going?  How were they getting there?  The Why was kind of obvious – to get away from their parents who asked too many questions – LOL. 

I wanted to use a song by Adele off her “25” album, “Why Do You Love Me?” but it seems there is no video for it.  It was a bonus track on that album, available only if you bought it from Target.  It is a really catchy tune and if you get a chance you should try and have a listen somewhere.   

So I decided to go with “Where Or When” written by Rogers and Hart, as sung by Rod Stewart on his “As Time Goes By” album.  He did a series of oldies called “The Great American Songbook” and this is on Volume II.  Quite a departure from his normal rock.  We’ve seen Rod a couple of times and I always have to check the setlist before my husband will go because this style is not his cup of tea.

Where or When
It seems we stood and talked like this before
We looked at each other in the same way then
But I can’t remember where or when
The clothes you’re wearing are the clothes you wore
The smile you are smiling you were smiling then
But I can’t remember where or when
Some things that happened for the first time
Seem to be happening again
And so it seems that we have met before
And laughed before, and loved before
But who knows where or when
Some things that happened for the first time
Seem to be happening again
And so it seems that we have met before
And laughed before, and loved before
But who knows where or when
Who knows where or when
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Lorenz Hart / Richard Rodgers
Where or When lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Concord Music Publishing LLC

 From a show my daughter and I saw in 2009:

From the “Heart and Soul” tour he did with Stevie Nicks in 2011.  
His autobiography is pretty interesting too.  He spent a lot of time on his hair!

That’s all I got for today.  Make sure to check out some of the other #SLS gang.  Pretty great songs out there.  Happy last day of June.  What am I gonna call the blog next month?     

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