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Another Change!

11 Feb

WOW – “There is nothing permanent except change.”  Heraclitus

Dear Sweetie –

You’ve probably noticed that, once again, I’ve changed the name of my blog.  What is with you, Grandma!  Perhaps it’s too much coffee.  Or perhaps my life is changing at record speed and I need a way to talk about it.

As many of my loyal followers know (total zero) I began this column as a cooking column in an attempt to encourage healthy eating.  One of my friends read it while consuming large bowls of M&M’s.  Come on you guys!  You all know what healthy eating looks like and you’re all strong enough to put on your big boy/girl pants, depending on your fashion preference, and do what’s right.

Then I morphed this column into babble.  Blah Blah Blah.  That got tiring even to me.  All the while, however, I’ve been writing delightful and amusing letters (my bias) to friends and grandkids.  I loved doing it and they loved getting them, which they assured me of at Christmas  as they lined up to get their holiday card with twenty bucks in it.  It was also a way to stay connected, spew facts about my insignificant life, pseudo journal, and give the kids enough ammunition for a future sanity hearing.  Oh what fun!

And so I’m morphing this blog into a “Dear Sweetie” letter format.  As you can see, the quote at the top of the blog is preceded by WOW, which stands for Words of Wisdom.  Obviously, these are not my words but some quote that has meaning in light of the words that follow, or not.

For those of you who are slow readers rest assured that I’m typing this slowly to accommodate you.  Please feel free to comment, share this with your friends (both of them), and examine your own exciting life.  For you know what they say about the unexamined life.  We’ll get into that later.

Loveya – The Grandma

 

 

CT Diet

31 Dec

“Yes, but first you have to…”

I follow this blog about minimalist living.  That simply means getting rid of stuff, and not only material stuff.  There are so many advantages to this that there isn’t enough space to sum it up in a few words.  Check out becoming minimalist.

BUT… There was one other thing I wanted to minimize and that was the size of my body.  I had put on a few pound over the last few years and wasn’t getting very far with my efforts to stuff cheeseburgers into my face and lose weight at the same time.  Go figure.

Then, one day while perusing the minimalist blog there was a link to a zen site.  This site had something to do with health and for the life of me I can’t find it again, but I did take away from it a diet/eating plan that not only makes sense but is easy to follow and effective.  The diet is the Crap Ton Diet.  I’m not sure if crap ton is one or two words but I did look it up and a crap ton equals four shit loads.  That’s a lot!

Soup3

So here is the gist of the diet.  You can eat anything you want but first you have to eat a crap ton of veggies.  That’s it.  Simple and to the point.  That also goes for snacks.  Want a dish of ice cream?  Fine.  But first you have to eat etc.  Glitches with this diet.  You always have to have a ton or four of veggies on hand and you have to do a bit of prep.  

Cob

You also get the bad news that M&M’s are not a veggie.  Nothing’s perfect!

Loveya – The Grandma

Two Choices

28 Dec

“Life is short.  Jingle your bells.”  Eleanor Brownn

The above quote hasn’t got a lot to do with the subject  of this post but I like the quote so you’re stuck with it.  This post is actually about choices.

My husband got home very late from work and needed to sleep in.  (Yes, this will lead to great information about choices.)  I wanted him to get up before noon.  At a little past 10:30 I went into the bedroom and asked him if he were still asleep.  A version of ask a stupid question.  Yes, Virginia, there are such things as stupid questions.

He grunted.  I told him it was important that he help me make a decision.  I had to go to a neighboring town and pick up some pizzas and if he wanted to come with me we could stop at one of his favorite places for lunch and then go up the block from the restaurant to a chocolate shop for sundaes and then pick up the pizzas, or, I could throw together some lunch at home and then we could go for sundaes and pick up the pizzas.

My husband said that if I were a character in a book I would be a temptress.  I smiled.  No matter what his choice I was going to get, at the least, an ice cream sundae after lunch.  A great sundae, may I add.  He opted for door one.  The lunch items at home could be put away for tomorrow.  

Moral of the story – when giving people choices make sure that either choice is a win for you.  That’s a real win-win.  Or as our pastor said to me, “You are shameless!”

Loveya – The Grandma

 

Define Nice

31 Aug

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  Oliver Platt

My son recently moved into his own apartment.  Details of the move are unimportant except to say that I was invited to assist and got to carry dresser drawers and boxes filled with his life.

The important thing about the move, as I saw it, is that it marked the beginning of a new phase of his life.  It was a “begin again” move.  And in some people’s eyes it might be seen as a step down.  His new dwelling is a small space of only two rooms and and an unlit storage locker.  Laundromat is three blocks away.  No garage.

When relating the news to a friend she asked if his new place was nice.  I asked her to define nice. “You know, a clean bathroom and a lovely, functional kitchen area.”  I asked her for another definition of nice.  She asked if it was simply a space that a man on his own would use to sleep in.  That was closer to the truth, yet I think it will finally feel like a home to him.

And then there was my reaction.  I was so envious.  I’ve lately been craving to downsize.  I’ve discussed this with my husband and we’ve agreed that in two years we’re going to look for a smaller home.  Probably in a town with amenities within walking distance.  He suggested we move into the country and I reminded him that we’re fast approaching the age where the kids might rescind our driving privileges.  Living in the country might lose some of its charm.

But whatever the future holds, I know that there can always be a “begin again”.  And by working with the bits of wisdom that have come to me over the years, I’m looking forward to those times!

Loveya – The Grandma

Success

27 Aug

“Marie ‘ s brother, Don, passed away yesterday morning from a seizure following successful double bypass surgery.”  Quote from actual email I received.

How de we define success?  In the case of Don, I guess it’s having double bypass surgery where all the pieces fall into place as expected.  Living through it?

For me, at this point in my life, success would be downsizing into a smaller house with lots of windows and a countryfied yard, being healthy and energetic, and having plenty of time for a few good friends and creative activities.  Maybe a man with an ardent desire to have lovely conversations and do the dishes at night.  Is that asking for too much?

Did I mention great food that I don’t have to cook?  Let me give a little thought to the cats (two) in my life.  IMG_0647Maybe after he does the dishes he could tend to the litter boxes.  And how about evenings sitting on a pier with a cup of hot chocolate piled with whipped cream.

One of the things that motivational speakers (rah, rah, rah) find is that when people visualize their dream life/day there’s usually about half the things on the list that they could actually have in their lives immediately without too much effort.  

Another thing I’m learning is that what a person thinks about usually shows up in their life.  Lately I’ve been thinking (obsessing) about purchasing a mustard-gold scarf to go with some of the tops I own.  Got to find this scarf!  While shopping for the aforementioned item, I found it.  However, it’s 54″ by 216″ and meant to drape a window.  Note to self: when conversing with the universe, be specific.

Loveya – The Grandma

 

 

E-Bike

14 Jul

“I bought an e-bike.  What’s an e-bike?”  Actual conversation

Yes, I bought an e-bike for myself and found out that most of my acquaintances are not in the biking loop.

An e-bike, for the uninitiated, is a bicycle with a heavy battery and little electric motor that does all the work.  It’s a blessing for those of us who are in the upper double digits of our lives yet still want to get out into the great out-of-doors without expending a lot of energy.  A slight touch to the pedal and the electric motor takes over, at a pre-set level, and moves the bike forward.  Pedaling is necessary to keep the bike moving.  Effort is not.  Hills?  Not a problem.  Touch the button and change the level of assist.  Husbands should be this easy to manage!

To purchase an e-bike simply go to an e-bike store and try out various models.  Good questions to ask might include how far can I go on a fully charged battery, how much do these cost, and will this fit into the back of my Prius.  About thirty miles depending on the terrain and the weight of the rider, $1000 to $6000, and yes, with a little effort.

The main thing I learned while testing different models of e-bikes is that it’s important not to nudge the pedal while stopped.  That tells the motor that you want to go and the bike lurches forward and tosses you to the ground.  The other thing I learned is that if you return from a test ride with a bloody finger and tell the sales associate that you crashed they become extremely concerned and give you an extra $100 off the price of the bike that you purchase.

No, I did not purchase the bike that I crashed to the ground.  Yes, aside from a sore tailbone I’m quiet well.  Yes, the sales associate called two days after the purchase to check up on me.  Yes, I did go to my favorite Chiropractor and am now re-aligned.  Yes, e-bikes are legal on bike trails in the state where I live and a yearly trail pass is only $20.

The best part of my bike purchase is that I did it all by myself.  I saved my pennies, chose the model, and even bought and installed a mirror in the handlebar.  Grandma’s gaining confidence.  Look out world!

Loveya – The Grandma

 

Robert’s Ball

20 Feb

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch

I know.  I was swearing off recipes and now they come flooding in.  And your first question might be why I named this recipe as I did.  Because I want it to go viral.  Duh!

This is actually a recipe for energy balls which my friend, Robert, shared with me.  And as you will see from the recipe, Robert is a man who likes choices.

RoB

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups (dry) oatmeal (I used the old-fashioned oats)

1 cup unsweetened shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

1 cup peanut butter (can substitute almond butter)

1 cup any kind of chopped nuts (optional)

1 cup dried fruit (I like cranberries, blueberries or cherries) (optional)

1 dark chocolate bar (optional)

1/2 cup agave or honey

1 cup melted coconut oil (optional)

1 t vanilla

1 t cinnamon (optional)

1 ripe banana (optional)

DESTRUCTIONS:

You could melt the coconut oil peanut butter, and chocolate in a double boiler.  Or you can just use chocolate pieces, leave out the coconut oil, and skip the melting step.  (Robert!  Take a stand!)

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Cover and allow to chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.  Robert’s directions say half an hour but that’s not nearly enough time to obsess over whether you left out or put in the correct amount of optional ingredients, which are over half the recipe.

One chilled (the ingredients, not you) roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter.  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.  If you have trouble forming balls periodically wet your hands.

MY SIDE OF THE STREET

I used a gluten free granola that had all sorts of stuff in it because I had that in the house.  Be careful, if you’re on a gluten free diet, about the oatmeal.  Oatmeal is not always gluten free.  Make sure the brand you purchase specifies.

I used almond butter because I generally don’t eat peanuts.  I didn’t have any chocolate bar or chocolate pieces in the house so I added some cocoa powder.  It worked beautifully.  I didn’t add vanilla, which can now be listed as optional.  Nor did I use cinnamon or a banana.  The earth continued to spin on its axis.

I added some raisins to mine.  Robert thinks that raisins are pathetic.  It’s like discussing religion with that man when you start talking about his balls!  Did I say that out loud?  Whatever.

Loveya – The Grandma