Sunday, October 30, 2011


I have been told that confessions are good for the soul - so here goes.  Sometimes, when I read other blogs, I get discouraged and think that I should just give up and stop blogging.  I mean, I don't have an interesting life - I don't live on a ranch in Oklahoma, I don't have 6 small kids, I don't have some hidden talent that I can regal you with.  I am just an ordinary 59 year old female who lives in a VERY small town in south Florida.  I don't have a special talent  - although I love photography - I'm not a professional; although I love to read - I'm not a book reviewer; although I love to scrapbook - I certainly haven't had any pages in magazines- you get the picture here.  Please, don't think that I am fishing for compliments - I'm not - I'm being honest with you as well as myself. 

In the past, I've tried to be witty on my blog, but - for the most part - that just isn't me.  So, I just write from my heart.  I try and tell you, the readers that I have, what my life is like.  Some days, or weeks, are more exciting than others.  I will have to admit that while Dan and I were on the road things were more exciting than our life here in Lake Placid.  We are boring right now - that is not a nice thing to say about yourself, but it is true.  How do I know?  Well, the most exciting thing we did last week was go to some garage sales in the "gated" community that we had never been in before yesterday - pretty sad, huh?  But, sad or not, that is the truth.

So what has brought on this moment of self reflection and confessions?  Well, I have been reading some other blogs this past month - as part of a "31 day challenge".  I wasn't brave enough to take part in the challenge - I didn't  think that I had any subject I could write about for 31 straight days that other people would be interested in.  I mean I have trouble sometimes writing once a week, how could I come up with something to write about EVERY DAY FOR 31 DAYS???  I have to tell you that several of the blogs that I read were very interesting and I will continue to follow these (and I hope that they might read mine from time to time).  However, one of the things that I found out from reading these other blogs was - I COULD have done the 31 day challenge.  Some of the blogs I read were not that much- I mean, their posts might be a paragraph long and a stock picture.  Even I could have done that -

I mean, I could have written about trying to adapt recipes to a low sodium diet -

or the ups and downs of remodeling a house -

something like that. 

I could even have written about how to organize your house -

or about decorating -

There are things that I could have written about.

So, what is the point of this post?  Yes, I get discouraged when I see the amount of readers that some blogs have - and I get discouraged when I sit down to this computer and I can't think of anything to write about.  I also get discouraged when I look at a post and I see a "0" under comments (yes, I do look - every day!).  But you know what?  I have decided that, whether anyone reads my posts or not, I'm still going to write.  Whether my life is boring or not, I'm still going to write.  I might write one paragraph or, like today, I might write a small book.  Some days I might have pictures and other days I won't.  Do I hope to have people read and leave comments - you betcha (it is nice to know that someone out there is interested)- but will I stop writing because I don't get comments - nope.

So, here's to my boring life.  I hope it gets more interesting - in the fact that I hope Dan and I are able to start traveling some in the VERY near future - but if we don't I'm sure that God has some plan for us - we just have to be open to what ever that is. 

So, that is my confession.  You know what, people are right - it is good for the soul.  I feel so much better!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

We're here!

This past week has been somewhat busy with Dan's nephew here.  I can't really say that we were on the go all the time, because we weren't, but we certainly seemed to be busy all the time.  I did do laundry one day - but that doesn't take all day long and we did go into Sebring one day, but other than that we really just hung around the house the whole week. (Which was really good for Dan - he needed to take it easy)

Friday we had the kids over for dinner and they were able to meet Dale.  We had a nice visit before they went home to relax from their week at work.  Melissa brought some papers for me to grade for her - I have been trying to help her out with grading papers so she doesn't get so far behind - but I didn't get a chance to grade them until today.  However, I did get them done and delivered to her house this afternoon.  (In my defense - she did tell me that there was no rush on getting them graded.)

Dan and I went to a couple of garage sales today - I didn't buy that much - a leather wrapped picture frame from Crate and Barrel ($3) and a couple of canisters for fifteen cents each.  I'm just the last of the big spenders!  Dan and I enjoy going to the garage sales but most of the time we don't buy anything.  We still haven't had ours yet - but we will need to have it pretty soon - maybe in the next couple of weeks.  I do want to have it before Thanksgiving.  Of course, next week looks like we might be a little busy, but I might be able to fit getting the garage sale stuff ready.

Tuesday Dan and I will be going back to Lakeland to Cardiac Rehab.  I am not sure what they are going to tell us - but I am sure that they will be setting him up on an exercise program of some kind.  We will not be able to go to Watson Clinic every day like some people do after the procedure - but they should be able to set him up with a program that we can follow here at home.  We did walk a little this week and Dan has done a little more than he has been  (like changing a tire on the camper) but he still doesn't feel "normal".  We will see the doctor on the 15th so I will be anxious to see what he says.  I'm sure everything will work out just fine, but I will be glad when I know that he is all better!

It looks like we will be having Thanksgiving at our house again this year which is fine with us - we enjoy having everyone here at the house.  Plus, I will be able to keep an eye on the amount of salt the Dan takes in IF I cook the food (you know what I mean?)!  Anyway, it is something that we will be working all the details out in the next couple of weeks - I'll keep you posted on how things go.

Well, I think that I will close of now - I think that I will be able to post a little more frequently now and I will keep everyone up to date on Dan's exercise program!  I hope that you are having a relaxing weekend - enjoy your football (I know that we do!)  Take care and I'll talk to you soon!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Grocery Shopping Wiped Dan Out!

Yesterday was the first day that Dan really got out of the house since he came home from the hospital.  He was going nuts in the house and wanted to go to town and "do some shopping".  Since I needed to go to the grocery store I figured that we would do that little trip together.  Thought it would do him good to get out and get a little exercise.  I guess what we both forgot was - he had not done much of anything in over two weeks!

We started out by going to the storage unit and dropping off some things from the camper.  Then we went over to my mom's to check on her (and to get the pups out too, because when we said we were "going" they went tearing out of the house and up to the truck barking and carrying on so we just couldn't leave them behind!).  We stayed at her house for about an hour then came back home and dropped the pups off before heading out again to Sebring.

Our first stop in Sebring was at Lowe's - we wanted to check on some shelving for the garage.  We have talked about doing some additional shelving out there, but after seeing the price of those cheap plastic shelves - I think we will wait a while!  We walked around a little while and looked at some other things - it had been so long since we had been in a store we were both a little surprised to see all the Christmas stuff out.  We looked at the Christmas trees, but we don't need one - we already have one that is just fine.

After leaving Lowe's (with only one small purchase of $15.00) it was off to Walmart for the groceries.  We had some things that we really needed - like milk, eggs, and OJ and then some things that we knew that we would need before the end of next week - like coffee and then some things we knew the price was going up on and we needed to pick up before it went sky high - like peanut butter.  Anyway, we ended up getting more meat than I thought we would get - but we did stay out of the center aisles (that's were all the processed stuff is) and we did get out for less than $150.00.  That is really pretty good for us and we did buy a lot of meat - including a turkey. 

One of the things that I am really trying to do is trying to only buy things that we really need - or stuff that is on sale.  For example, I knew that we would be needing coffee in the next week to week and a half - and Walgreen's has Folgers coffee on sale this week for $7.98 - there was also $1.00 off coupon in the Sunday paper.  Well, the Walmart here in Sebring will price match (even if you don't have the ad) plus they took the coupon so the coffee that they usually charge $9.48 for I got for $6.98 - $3.00 off!  I think that is a pretty good deal.  The cashier told me that this Walmart will price match EVERYTHING - including BOGO deals!  I had NO idea!  So, why would you run all over town trying to get all these deals when all you have to do is take the circulars with you to Walmart and they will price match what ever is in the paper?  That will solve a lot of my problems - so unless there is something I just have to have and I don't want to go 30 miles to the Walmart store - that is what I am going to do from now on.  Even if I do the run once a week - I think it will still save me money - ESPECIALLY if we stay out of the rest of the store (like we did yesterday!).

Anyway, the point of the blog was this - when we got home from the grocery store - Dan was whipped.  He sat down in his chair and went hard and fast asleep,. plus he went to bed at 9 o'clock last night.  He realized that he has to go at this slowly - and that he can't just jump up and be back at doing things the way he was doing things before.  Today, he is taking it easy again.  His nephew is due in this afternoon and we are going to grill tonight along with the kids coming over.  Should be a good time!

Hope you all had a good week - and I'll talk to you soon!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Low Sodium Diet Ain't No Picnic

Well, this week has been a eye opener for me! You know, when you cook you just add a lttle salt here and there and you pour in a can of tomatoes here or a can of beans there - maybe a package of seasonings to the pot. Well, have you ever looked at the sodium content on any of that stuff? You should - you will NOT believe it! I certainly didn't.

I thought - Okay, Dan is suppose to be on a low sodium diet (around 2000 mg) - no big deal. I'd just cut out the salt when I was cooking and NO salt on the table. Well, it's not that simple. For example, we all knew that soup had a lot of sodium - 1/2 cup of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup has 890 mg of sodium - but did you know that 99% Fat Free - No MSG Swanson Chicken Broth has 860 mg in one cup (and you thought it was healthy didn't you)? Also, while speghetti noodles have no sodium, tomato sauce has 260 mg in 1/4 cup! (Just imagine how much would be in spaghetti sauce!)

Now, let's look at boxed sides. Zatarain's Yellow Rice - 950 mg in 1 cup. Uncle Ben's Broccoli Rice au Gratin 720 mg in 1 cup. Garden Rotini (just plain on noodles) has 20 mg in 3/4 cup. Zatarian's Jambalaya Mix 500 mg in 1 cup (that's not counting the sausage!) But the granddaddy of them all - at least so far - is Uncle Ben's Ready Rice Roasted Chicken with a whopping 1020mg in 1 cup. So, this low sodium diet is NOT as easy as it first appeared.

What we/I have had to do is completely rethink, not only WHAT I cook but also HOW I cook and WHAT I to cook with. Just reading the sides of boxes and cans have really opened my eyes to the amount of salt we consume daily without being aware. I can remember hearing people on TV talking about how much salt well eat without knowing it and I always thought it was someone else - not me because I don't salt my food at the table. Okay, I do salt sliced tomatoes and french fries, but that's it. And yes, I would add salt while I was cooking - when the recipe called for it - and I would put my favorite seasoning on meat before I would cook it (Everglades Seasoning), but not anymore! All that changed a week ago.

I think that we are eating better - I don't know if we are below the 2000 mg a day - but I have certainly tried to keep it below that threshold. Sometimes you have to use what you have though - I just try to make sure that if I am going to use something that I know has a higher sodium content in what I am cooking for dinner I will make sure the rest of the day we are especially careful. I guess we shall see how it goes - I will continue to try and and keep Dan doing what he is suppose to be doing - but it isn't easy! Just wish me luck - and let's just say that I am doing a lot more cooking from scratch than I have in a very long time! So far, we are both still going strong!

  We did go out on the boat Friday afternoon - that's where the picture of Dan came from above and this one.  The sky was beautiful and I thought you might enjoy the pictures.

Sunset on Lake June

We took our youngest daughter and our son-in-law out with us Friday evening also for a quick ride around the lake. 

Well, that's it for today - hope all is going well with you - and if any of you out there have any good low sodium recipe's send them my way - I could use the variety!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oh my, how things can change!

In my last post I talked about Dan's doctor's appointment and that he had "some other tests that would have to be done, but that they were not anything to worry about".   Well, did I ever have to eat my words!  If you haven't read my other blog ( you would not know that we spent two and a half days in the hospital last week and Dan is now the proud owner of a heart stent.  I am not going to go into all the details and repeat myself from the other blog (so if you are interested in all the sordid details, please go to to read all about that little adventure!).  Let us just say that I spent a couple of days scared beyond belief and I am sooooooooo glad that everything seems to be working out for the best.
For the next month Dan is on, well how do I want to word this - not bed rest, but he is not suppose to do anything.  The doctor told him to "take it easy and just relax for the next month".  He can not lift anything over five pounds for the first two weeks and then nothing over ten pounds until we go back for his check-up - so that means NO camping.  Now, while I might complain about Dan not breaking a sweat around here, he does quite a bit of work.  Yes, he does it slowly and in his own time frame (not mine) but he does get it done.  Trying to keep him from doing stuff is NOT going to be easy!

However,  I think that he had an epiphany this morning.  He figured out that the reason that the doctors did not want him to do anything was NOT because of the incision in his groin, but because of his heart.  He realized that, while he might feel great, his heart and system went through quite a shock Saturday - and the heart has to get used to having this stent in his artery.  Plus, the stent has to have a chance to "set" and not get pushed around - so to speak.  So, HE has decided to follow the doctor's orders and take it easy for the next TWO weeks, but then he thinks that he should be able to start a walking program after the two weeks.  Just walking to the end of our street and back - which I think will probably be okay.  It is flat - and if he takes it slow and easy I don't think it would be a bad thing to start the exercise program.

So far the biggest change has been the low sodium diet - I mean I have really been watching the amount of salt that we are consuming - I am not adding any salt to the food I am cooking and NO salt is allowed on the table.  So far he is not complaining - we will see how long that lasts.  He is weighing every morning and he has lost a little over a pound so far.  I have been doing all the cooking from scratch, which means no boxed meals or fast food - also all the meat has been grilled on the indoor grill - and NO processed foods.  It will be a big change for both of us, but we will do what ever we have to do to make sure all is well.

Really, that is all that has been going on in this household - we are going to take a boat ride tonight - the canal  and lake is up enough from all the rain that Dan won't need to do anything but pilot the boat which is not a problem - I will tie the boat up to the dock and untie it before we leave - so I really don't think that will prove to be an issue, plus it gives him something to look forward to.

I worked on the pool today - I brushed the sides down and tomorrow I will vacuum it - I think we are going to look at getting another pool service - I don't know if I want to do all the work on the pool myself and we have been having a problem with, what I think is a mustard bloom for over a week now.  I'm hoping that when I vacuum it tomorrow it will get it all back into shape.  We shall see.

Well, I think I will close for now.  I will continue to keep you posted on what is going on with "the man" and how we are doing on the exercise and diet - maybe this is what it will take to have him really decide to lose those extra pounds and get a little healthier!  I hope so!

Take care and I'll talk to you soon!


Rainy, Dreary Days

Well, I don't know what the weather has been like where you live but here it has been warm, overcast, and rainy.  We are having temperat...