Sunday, December 13, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Go!!

Christmas will be at our house, again, this year. All the things that need to be done before the 25th are constantly, day and night, swirling around in my head. I have lists, notes and recipes lurking in my purse, on the frig, on the computer table, on the present wrapping table, on the kitchen counters and stuck in magazines on my car's front seat. For me, the entire month of December is Christmas...until the 25th, then that special morning begins nothing but pure bliss, excitement and a frenzy of family coming and going and wrapping paper and bows quickly filling up the huge outside trash can. Then there's the smells of Christmas.....oh yea....evergreen and pine scented candles lit, the roast that will be in the crock pot, coffee brewed and ready, hubs and me doused in cologne, and glade plug-ins here and there....wish you could see how festive my home is....I WILL learn to put pics on here....will really try hard to have my daughter have patience with me and help me learn and conquer this feat!!!!

Tomorrow night (Monday) is girl's night at my home. My daughter and her 5 1/2 mo. old son will be here plus her two friends if they're able. We're having coffee and snacks and will exchange simple gifts with each other. It'll be a fun evening...

I'm hoping for snow for Christmas as I do each with you later

Monday, November 16, 2009

Girl's Nite At My House

Tonight my daughter and her two best friends came over to hang out. I fixed tacos with all the trimmings, coffee, blueberry muffies and spiced tea. I really enjoy them coming over. I enjoy hearing them chat back and forth about their day, family life, and ups and downs. Their hubs stay home and mine is at work when they are here, so it's just a real nice girl atmosphere time. Girl's Nite happens one night weekly, usually on a Monday. Sometimes all 3 come, sometimes 2 come, sometimes just my daughter and her baby come. Have a good week! Chat with you later...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Losing The LARD!

Well, I've lost 6 more pounds in the past two weeks! Yea!!!! It's coming off very slowly now, but I'm more determined to keep going until I'm happy with the way I look and the way my clothes fit me. I'm thinking maybe 30 more pounds. And no, I'm not going to be skinny! Far, far from that! I'm just not going to be obese anymore! Yes! It's difficult to explain the joy of being able to "flit" around easily, bend over without having to groan, ask for help, and having to hold on to a piece of furniture in order to stand back up. I have unexplainable energy, pep, and endurance to go, go, go all day. What a feeling! You skinny minnies don't have to endure what overweight people have to go through each and every day. This losing weight business is so very difficult, but I totally blame myself. Well, I weigh each Friday morning at the Dr.'s office, then go about my day and week until the next weigh-in. This helps to keep me, another week has started for me. Thanks for your encouraging comments. Bless you all! I'm no special person. Just greatly faced up to the fact that being overweight is not fun nor healthy for me. Chat with you later...

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Different Woman

I won't disclose how much I weighed in the left picture, but on the right I am 106 lb LIGHTER and still losing!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Well, Friday morning I weighed in at my Dr.'s....I lost 2 more lbs....totaling 106 lbs lost. October 22 will mark 6 months of strict dieting....low carb. My goal originally was to loose 100 lbs. then get off the low carb....but, I'm going to loose a few more lbs....I started eating a piece of fruit with my morning coffee...boy, the fruit tastes like pure sugar! I haven't had anything sweet in 6 months! I've grown quite fond of Gala apples. They taste delicious to me. I also have fresh bananas in my fruit bowl....anyways.....the diet keeps plugging along until I'm satisfied with my look and getting into darling clothing....also, getting into my daughter's cute wardrobe!!!! Chat with you later....can you smell my chicken in the crock pot? Yum.......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Chippo is my baby that will never leave home!
Readers, meet Chippo Leon Gates!


Today is a special day at my house! My daughter, her baby and her best friend are coming over! I just LOVE having them over for treats, coffee, and chit chat! We try to do this weekly. My daughter's other best friend is ill this week, so won't be joining us. 'Girl's Nite' is so wonderful to be able to leave the hubs at home for a bit and just bond. Sometimes we also clip coupons, browse through various magazines, scrapbook, sit out back in the secret garden, and play farkle. Don't know what you all have planned for Wednesday.....but.....I know what I have planned!!!!! Having a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY! Yes, it's still gloomy, dark, dismal, and drippy outside....but that's what makes October! I get to turn on cute lamps throughout the house and the candles will be lit for sure. Unusual cars will be in the driveways....the neighbors must be SO curious to what's going on over at the Gates' house!!!! It's just us girls, having a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!!!! Chat with you later...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Do you truly know what all you put inside your mouth each day? I USED to constantly think about what food was in my freezer, frig, pantry, on the counter tops, and in the basket that sits on top of my frig....which harbors bags of tortilla chips, BBQ chips, potato chips...things like this. As I drove around, running errands and what nots, the aromas coming from restaurants and fast food places took over my brain, and I began to think and plan what sounds good to me and do I have the cash in my purse to stop and splurge. Well, of course I always did! With all due respect, I never was interested in stopping at Sonic. After hubs left for work each day, I truly felt like the night was totally mine to indulge in whatever fancied my mind and tummy usually while watching T.V. I actually got extremely happy and giddy planning in my mind what sounded delicious to me that evening and strongly anticipating getting comfy and just stuffing, eating, and drinking milk, milk, milk and cokes too. For me, the hardest part of my dieting was COMPLETELY changing my eating habits. Do you realize what all that involves?! A tremendous mind turn-over. Ok, now I'm beginning to invision apple turn-overs with vanilla ice cream....must think of something else NOW! Ok....I'm the beginning of my diet and for several months I constantly battled, struggled, fought TEMPTATION, TEMPTATION, TEMPTATION. The hubs schuedule didn't change, the TV didn't get moved, my recliner was in the same position, and the frig remained in it's normal place. So......that meant that I had to do some radical, and immediate changes in order to STOP these bad, bad habits and to do an immediate turn-around in my daily activities so that I could actually SUCCEED with my diet and actually CONQUER this diet yo-yoing. Well, today I feel that I have completely conquered my bad habits, but I also know and yes, fear, that a slip-up or two could oh so easily cause my weak mind and will-power to gradually slip back into that destructive way of living....not way of eating....but, way of living. Because that is what each day meant to me....what all could I eat and what sounded good to me that day...and night. I truly, truly, truly lived to eat....and now I truly eat to live. I am not at all interested in putting a morsel into my mouth that isn't beneficial, healthy or nutritious for me. I'd rather not eat it! Do I miss all the homemade cooking and food that constantly stares at me from my counter tops, in my frig and hides under aluminum foil? Oh yes! BUT!!!! I do not dwell on what I can't have. I really don't. Do I sometimes want to cheat? Yes, I've thought about licking the beaters, licking the spatula, etc....but I know that then I'd have to take a 'little' sample bite, then probably another, then I'd have to sample all the others simmering things on the other burners......and BOOM there would go my will-power and I'd be a failure once again.....I just cannot do that and will not do that. I'm very weak-natured when it comes to eating. Well.....I just had to share this with you. It's been on my with you later

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Recipe Box

I love the small jars of roasted red peppers that you can buy in the grocery stores. The taste is delicious and the washed out tiny jars are adorable for all different sorts of storage: paper clips, safety pins, buttons, etc. Here is a recipe that I'm going to try soon:


7 oz jar roasted red peppers
4 c grated Monteray Jack or Mozzarella cheese
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
3/4 c mayo
2 T minced onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 T Dijon mustard

Oven: 350 Remove peppers from jar and blot excess water with paper towels. Dice
up the peppers. Mix together all ingredients and bake til bubbly & golden.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Dogs lie around all day, sprawled on the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house. They can hear a package of food being opened half a block away but don't hear you when you're in the same room. They can look dumb and lovable at the same time. They growl when they are not happy. When you want to play, they want to play. When you want to be left alone, they want to play. They will love you forever if you rub their tummies. They leave their toys everywhere. CONCLUSION: They're tiny men in little fur coats!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Recipe Box


1/2 stick butter
1/2 c milk
8 slices Kraft sandwich cheese
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t garlic powder
1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 t granules

1 heaping cup elbow (or small pasta) macaroni

Cook and drain pasta. On medium heat in saucepan, melt butter. Add milk and spices. Put slices of cheese one at a time into sauce and stir til melted. Cut off heat. Pour over pasta. Yum!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Losing it!!!!!!!

I started my low carb diet on April 22, 2009. Each Fri. morning I pop in at my Dr.'s office and weigh in. Yes, EACH Friday. That has helped me keep on track and be accountable to someone. It's been an extremely trying journey. I'm still on the diet and have been very faithful to what I know I can and cannot eat. I don't COUNT CALORIES, watch FAT CONTENT, or drink DIET SODAS of any sort. I do COUNT CARBS, READ ALL LABELS, eat only when I'm very HUNGRY, STOP EATING when I don't have that starved feeling anymore, CHEW each bite a million times, EAT very, very slowly, and DRINK 100 oz of water daily. Drinking the water is hard for me, so I drink the H20 Fruit bottled water that I buy at Aldi's. There are zero carbs in each bottle. I do drink several cups of coffee each day and use HEAVY CREAM or WHIPPING CREAM in my coffee. No sugar in my coffee. As of today, I've lost a total of 94 POUNDS OF LARD. I want to lose 30-40 MORE. RESULTS SO FAR: It's so easy to walk up stairs, bend over without hanging onto something and groaning, move swiftly, do all household chores, walk, and get in and out of my car. I went from size 24 to a size 14. I love planning what I'm going to wear each day and what shoes, purse and accessories I'll be wearing for the day. I have cute clothes and I'm beggining to feel confidant and good about myself. My supporters are: HUBBY AND DAUGHTER, Kandace. I cook and bake regularly anything I want....but I don't eat the wrong things....only what's LEGAL. Three weeks ago I started POWER WALKING with the hubby and doing arm exercises each GOAL is to be where I want to be in ONE YEAR...that would be April, 2010. Are any of you losing weight or need to be? Comment me if you are....I'm sure I'm not the only one who is seriously with you later

Dinner & A Movie

I'm patiently waiting the arrival of my netflix movie titled: "Come Back, Little Sheba." Have you ever seen this 1952 movie? It stars a handsome Burt Lancaster (died in 1994, age 80) and Shirley Booth (died in 1992, age 94). It's such a interesting movie, and I just love the old movies be it black/white or colored. My dinner will be chef salad: Romaine lettuce topped with thinly sliced red onion, wedges of juicy tomato, sliced hard boiled egg, sliced steamed boneless/skinless chicken breast, generous amount of parmesean cheese...all topped with Ken's dressing. I'll probably also slice a hunk of cheddar cheese to eat along with it. No crackers, crutons or anything like that...I'm still low-carbing. I'll definitely be getting this movie in today's mail and will start my 'dinner and a movie' night, oh, around 7pm. Can't wait! Hubby will be at work, so the big screen is all MINE!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Back In My Kitchen!!!!!

I've been out of my kitchen for four long days, and I'm home now and ready to get cooking and baking again. I love to hubby loves to eat! Do we make a good pair?! Today, Monday, I first brewed a full pot of coffee then pawed through my recipe box that I started when I was a junior in high school. I'm in my 50's now, so, the recipe box is my most treasured item and dearest friend....while sipping the first cup, I decided to start my cooking frenzy by whipping up a double batch of homemade brownies. One batch with pecans and one without...there're some picky family members that prefer brownies...plain old brownies....plain, plain, plain....anyways.....I then decided to not bake them in my normal 9x13 pan, but to bake them in my tiny muffin pan and call them "brownie bites." It took hours to bake, take them out, re-spray with Pam, bake, take them out,.....etc, etc, etc....but the house started to smell so divine and encouraged me to keep going.....I began this all around 2 I crazy? Don't ask my daughter, please!!!!!

Then I decided to make a full-blown homemade Italian lunch with homemade spaghetti sauce I had made the day before....picture this now: sauce simmering on the back burner, eggplant crisping in olive oil on the front burner, homemade alfredo sauce starting to happen on the other front burner, swiveling around to the long countertop to start slicing a loaf of french bread to slice, butter and sprinkle with garlic powder and just a tad of oregano, keeping an eye on the huge pot on the other back burner getting ready to boil so I can add salt and olive oil before dropping in a pound of fetticcini....can you almost smell all that goodness? I'm half Italian, so you know I just HAVE to whip up Italian meals once in a while.....lots of work, tons of mess....but, boy oh boy....the look on hubby's face and the sauce all over him make it so worth the effort!!!!! My daughter makes homemade spaghetti sauce also at her home...hopefully she'll teach her son and future children how to skillfully and lovingly make good and mighty delicious. I don't always add wine in it, but, this time I made a run to the liquor store and bought a good quality (and expensive) bottle of Chianti and added 1/4 cup about 20 mins before I turned off the burner. The Chianti just kicked it up a notch and my hubby loved it!!!!!!

My daughter came over this evening and ate a "sample plate" of all the goodness I had been cooking today....she loved it all....she and I have a love for cooking, shopping in markets, using coupons, trying new recipes, and sharing our homemade goodies with each other....I love having her live so close to me. She's a registered nurse, a new nursing mother, keeps a darling clean and decorated home, and keeps herself fit, trim, and I love her!!!! You bet! Chat with you later....she just came by for a visit...and that I am going to do with my sweet girl! Chat later


My daughter, Kandace, her 3 mo. baby, Bradley & I flew from Oklahoma to Ohio to visit my folks whom I haven't seen in 4 yrs. and my youngest sister, Diane, and her family whom I haven't seen in 5 long yrs. Oh, oh, oh, we had a marvelous time!!!!! We left our husbands here in Oklahoma to fend for themselves for 4 days and 3 nights. Boy, were they glad to have us back home! We were so delighted also. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit in Ohio....but....there truly is no place like your home. It's good to be back in our ruts and rituals.....and in our OWN bed!!!!! I haven't flown in around 20 yrs. Security is so disgustingly tight at the airports. We had lay overs in Chicago which was interesting. O'Hare Airport is awesome!

Oh, people from all walks of life! We 'overheard' so many different languages, and it was fun whispering to each other and trying to guess what language was being spoken. And no, we didn't lose our luggage!!!!! I always fear you?'re probably wondering when oh when am I going to post adorable pics like you all do...well, I'm learning all this and a huge thanks to my daughter for her patience in working slowly with me to get the hang of this blogging stuff. I enjoy, enjoy, enjoy all the blogs I read, and I've so badly wanted to have a blog too and post interesting pics, recipes, my life, great finds I get at garage sales, etc, etc, etc. Well, that is soon coming!!!!!! Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE your blogs and pics! I'd rather read them then watch T.V......have a lovely week you all.

By the way, our temp. is so, in the 50's and 60's, with rain in the forecast for the entire week! Love it!!!!!!!! I'm a cool weather gal!!!!! Wanna see pics of my sweet pups?

Guess what kind of dogs I have.....can you guess? Do I like large, medium, or small dogs? How many do I have? Are they inside or outside dogs? Do we have any other pets? How do I like to decorate? Am I simple, complex, or don't care? You'll soon know more and more about me just like you have shared intimate, interesting and neat details about your homes, likes, marriages, families, and life.....this is so fun for with you later.....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Welcome to my Rock Cottage

Hi! Welcome to 'Beyond the secret garden.' This garden leads you to my massive shady backyard or to the inside of my rock cottage home. If it's daytime, I'll probably have coffee brewing. If it's evening, the candles will be lit in the secret garden...