Category Archives: coffee

Sending a Little Sunshine to You

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Here is a collection of things that produce happy thoughts,

along with a few quotes that hopefully will brighten your

day.

Drew Barrymore is so funny, sometimes in a quirky awkward

way but also in a beautiful and soulful way. Here is a book

she has written having taken photographs of hearts and

including them for all to see in, “Find It in Everything.”

Her words are well worth putting on your refrigerator:

“Hearts are my beacons. . .

Whenever and wherever I

see the heart shape, a smile

spreads across my face.

The heart has an unbeatable

romance when you discover

one where you least expect it.”

 

This made me think of the movie, “Titanic,” with Celine Deon’s song,

“My Heart Will Go On.”

 

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine- –

and shadows will fall behind you.”

~ Walt Whitman ~

 

Winter brings a change in moods and outlook, so here are a few more

ways to enjoy your days and find brighter moments.

1. Listen to upbeat music. Move with the music and dancing will give

you some extra energy and motivation. Also, it is FUN!

 

2. Walks with dogs or friends, a partner or spouse, with hand held,

warm scarf, mittens or gloves and a big parka, crunching through

old leaves or new snow… Just petting an animal or hugging a pal,

can be extra special to include. I have had friends who say they

need 4 hugs a day!

 

3. Add a potted plant to your office space. This has been found to

make people more productive and less stressed. The reason is

scientific: The plant reduces airborne dust, adds moisture and O2

to small spaces. It is also known to filter out harmful pollutants.

 

4. Placing vacation photos in strategic spots, can open your mind

to the times when you were happy and relaxed. “Gazing at a happy

moment from the past, can improve your present outlook.” In

other photos, choose ones of family and great memories together.

 

5. Staying hydrated with a slice of lemon or infusing your water with

berries, can certainly add a twist to your taste buds and improve

you in more than one way. Our daily ‘slump’ in the afternoon, is not

just due to wanting a nap or aging! We need to remember to add H2O

to our daily habits.

 

6. Fruit flavor sorbets and other refreshing choices can help be your

saving graces, helping ‘save the day.’ Chocolate and coffee have those

anti-cancer elements along with giving you some extra ‘pep in your

step.’

 

7. Just as a potted plant in your office or bathroom can improve a

location in your house or workplace, a bouquet of those grocery

store flowers can make your dining room a pleasant place to be.

I am sure there are many gardeners that can attest to their bringing

a bouquet of their garden’s flowers has brightened many people’s

days. A shut-in or elderly person will respond with such a big smile,

it will be a day-brightener to you, as well.

 

8. Sunrooms, atriums, public places that have sunny places are so

wonderful to help you feel better. I enjoy the Columbus, Ohio

Franklin Conservatory, at least two times in the winter. My Mom’s

senior living apartments has a greenhouse with three cozy chairs

in there. You can often see a couple of people sitting in this room

that is attached to the art room. Also, it is a nice place to snip and

weed, feeling useful. There are sometimes people sitting in the

art room, putting together a puzzle, with the greenhouse room’s

double doors open so they may benefit from the sunshine and

plant’s energy given.

There are also other places at no cost to visit. Let me know if you have

a few that I may include…

 

9. Herbs and spices can enliven your life, bringing some vigor into

your appetite and their scents can exhilarate you, too. I love the

scent of tangy patchouli or Italian herbs like basil and oregano.

The scent of peppermint is a great one that can invigorate too.

It is also great to calm and create better muscle relaxing in your

stomach, not only soothing it, but enhancing its function.

 

10. Colorful fabric will change your room and change your own

perspective while wearing brighter hues. It is a simple way of

sprucing up,’ along with being a fairly reasonable way of changing

your décor or wardrobe. Add a dash of color, while the skies are

gloomy and gray, your mood lightens without too much fuss or

bother. I enjoy looking at decorating magazines, paint and fabric

swatches, merely ‘dreaming’ about a change, makes me happy.

 

Here are a few musical ‘suggestions.’

1. I just discovered a man named Andrew McMahon, who sings in a real earthy voice,

gravelly and reminiscent of some of my old rocker favorites, along with Neil Diamond.

His song that mesmerized me was, “Canyon Moon,” which begins with lyrics about

a dissatisfied woman, “Somewhere on a cold October.” His debut solo album, having

been in bands but not on his own… is titled, “Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.”

**Wow!**

2. If you are wishing a little sunshine, here is one of my favorites, “Little Darlin’s!”

The Beatles’  in “Here Comes the Sun.”

Always a big wow, when I hear the tinkling beginning guitar strands and only one

man, from Kentucky, ever called me, “little darlin’.” (Alas!)

 

 

What little sunny things make your mood cheerier?

 

 

 

 

 

Loose Remnants

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I am writing a short post to let you know that I will be going on vacation up in

Sunny Cleveland! I enjoy Lake Erie, my Mom’s company and my brothers and

sister in law, who all fit in visits or invitations for me to accompany them to a

meal out. This means that I may get a chance to use the public computer that

is located in the Pub. I can listen to the sound of men playing poker, women who

gather in the a.m. to do “Wi” exercises or possibly have to wait for the entire

week for the woman who is addicted to “Candy Crush” and “Farm Hero Saga”

games!

I have a funny and interesting ‘library intrigue’ that you may be curious to know

about! My good coworker friends and happily married girlfriends are always

probing for any little morsels of ‘single-dom’ that I may share with them.

This one almost ‘takes the cake’ for winners! A woman who I met in AAUW, was

my editor of my (I was President) monthly newsletter and became a close friend

since 1993, got divorced in 2009. Her husband is always waving and looking

at me at the library. I smile and nod, being cordial and polite. I would never look

twice at him, “Joe’s” not my ‘type’ at all!

Last Thursday, as I was hurrying out of the library, to pack up and get ready to leave

after work on Friday for my super wedding extravaganza weekend, “Joe” handed me

a note.

Now, if you have ‘followed’ me for awhile, I have received offers for many things, in

the months that have passed since my youngest daughter ‘left me’ to live in Columbus

with her laptop! I have had an invitation to go out for a “fast food dinner,” followed

within an hour of the invitation, by a wife standing behind him, her  hands on his

shoulders, saying, “Are you ready to go now, dear!” Really! The ‘nerve’ of some people!

He must have meant very fast food!)

I got invited t join a nearly homeless man at Open Mic night at Roop’s. I still talk to

this man, Chad.

I had received a longer letter from someone named “Roger,” who had explained why

he was probably not the ‘right man’ for me, saying he had run one of the bowling

alleys here in town, had moved to Florida and was interested in taking me out to

eat using a gift card that he had received from his daughter in the mail that week.

(I forget, was it Father’s Day? a holiday?)

I was offered a Pupperoni (yes! for dogs!) stick which the man meant to be handing

me a Slim Jim! and other silly antics that somehow I provoke out of men!

This one, though, took me by surprise.

I went out to the car and opened Joe’s note that was carefully folded in two. It held

a short but neatly written note, asking if I would find a “different venue” for continuing

a conversation, choosing a place where I would feel comfortable and the last line

shocked me a bit!

It said, “And if you are feeling frisky, it can be at your house or mine.” It was signed

with husband of my good friend, who moved first to Dublin, Ohio while divorcing her

“Joe.” Then,  when her son graduated from college,  she moved out to Sacramento.

Now, she has chosen to live in Las Vegas, where her son got transferred.

Of course, I know lots of sordid details of their marriage, none of them appealing to

me, in the least!

Now, if it had been the ‘randy’ firefighter who had showed his hose, demonstrating

his prowess to over 50 lovers all across town, various professions, including a female

gynecologist. If it had been my acquaintance’s ex-husband, Jerry, I may have said,

“If you have your shots records, plenty of condoms and a plan to ‘wine and dine’ me,

Maybe I will go with you!” (Sorry, acquaintance who is a distant ‘friend’ since I don’t

feel I owe you anything, in the way of manners!) Additional information: Just kidding!

I am meeting a mutual friend of this couple, “Joe” and his ex, tonight for a coffee and

dessert. I may show her the note, since it is hardly of much interest to my children or

other family members. Someone needs to give me an opinion. I am ‘torn’ whether or

not to let my long distance close friend know about the note. Maybe she will laugh?

Maybe it is still a sore subject? My friend, Jenny, will let me know and I bet it will

be advice to:

“Keep your mouth shut, Robin!”

Talk to you soon, hope you have a grand and exciting week!

I will have some moments where I will try to sneak onto that one computer at

Mom’s Senior Living Apartments!

Happy Fourth of July, too!

 

 

10 Ways to Stay Young

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I received Mom’s card, that she bought in the downstairs area of her senior living

apartments, at the end of last week. This is called the ‘library’ where you can choose

to borrow, return or give books and pick out greeting cards. There is an ‘honor code,’

where you go to the nearby Front desk to pay for the cards or check out the books.

This card, and its message, really made my day this week!

It was one of those simple ones that talk about friendship. She vacillates between

saying that I am her ‘best friend’ and missing her faithful little dog, Nicki, (her ‘other

best friend.’)

These notes, I realize I have mentioned, hold important feelings that she shares

with me, her only daughter. I am touched with her added embellishments, sincerely

expressed ideas and loving memories of our special ‘girlfriend’ visits and shopping

trips.

She writes to many people, her words are less descriptive and their clarity may not

always be there. Time has taken some of her training in spelling, grammar and English

usage away. But the essence of love shines through to all of her recipients of letters.

Her good friend, Joyce, who will always be known as “Pooky” to those who love her,

wrote her a long typed (on the computer and printed out) letter. In this, she was

supporting my Mom’s asking to be able to have her dog back. Nicki is residing with

my brother and sister in law, with multiple dogs, on a ‘better, healthier’ diet and

regime. Their main concern was that Mom had fallen, so they felt with her new

walker, therapy visits and trying to manage Nicki with the walker may do more

‘harm than good.’  “Pooky” lives in California and I have written her notes to

keep her abreast of my Mom’s current health status, along with over the years,

many holiday cards. She is a good and true, lifelong friend of my Mom’s.

“Pooky” sent a clever list which has some fun, but often expressed, ideas about

growing older, includes positive life lessons and ways to stay young.

On the top of the first page, my Mom had handwritten these sweet words:

“You know all of these, my Robin, but it never hurts to be reminded of them. . .

To my best friend in the world!”

“How to Stay Young

Friend to Friend Advice”

1.  Try everything twice.

On one woman’s grave, the epitaph reads:

“Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!”

2.  Keep only cheerful friends.

The Grouches pull you down.

Keep this in mind, if you are one of those Grouches!

3.  Keep learning.

Don’t stop!

Whatever it is that stimulates your brain cells and keeps

your mind active.

4.  Enjoy the simple things in life.

The little ‘details’ can make you happy.

5.  Laugh often.

Belly laughs, long and loud.

Laugh until you gasp for breath or tears run down your face.

If someone produces this level of joy, spend lots and lots of

time with them.

Be silly!

6.  Sad things and tears happen.

Unfortunately.

Endure, grieve and move on.

The only person who is with us, our entire life, is ourselves.

Live while you are alive.

7.  Surround yourself with whatever you love:

Family, pets, keepsakes, music, art, crafts, plants. . .

Make your home a retreat or refuge.

8.  Cherish your health.

If it is good- preserve it.

If it is unstable- improve it.

If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

You are still here.

9.  Don’t take guilt trips.

Take instead trips down memory lane, to the mall or to a new place.

If you can afford to, travel far and wide. If your health does not permit

this, wander through countries in books or on the Internet.

10.  Tell the people you love that you love them every time you see them.

Every opportunity, try to show your gratitude towards them.

(Author Unknown, some embellishments are my own added to the list.)

So here goes, I am following the ‘rules’ laid out in the life list! I wish to tell you

again, that I appreciate your being part of my life. I think that our community

of fellow bloggers satisfies many things on the examples mentioned. So, in

honor for #s 3, 4, 7 and 10, I am thankful for your enhancing and enriching

my life!

You fill in the gaps in my life, helping me to utilize my brain daily.

We talk, through our posts and replies, about things and share our worlds.

Your thoughts and feelings bring us closer together. Sometimes more than

my friends I spend time with. Maybe it is the safety of being separated by

time and space. Maybe it is due to being sojourners in a world of our own

making.

Fellow bloggers you brings my inner thoughts and respond positively, for that:

I thank you!

Maybe it is the way we bounce off each other, spurring each other to reach out

and connect on a different level than most daily interactions.

To those poets out there, thanks for treating me to your beautiful (sometimes

angry, distressed but always meaningful) words. You have inspired me to try

my hand at writing poetry. It is a different way of writing than I am used to!

To the artists out there, whether using paint, pen and ink, photography or

other creative and artistic ways you lead your life, I appreciate your sharing

this with me. The ‘details’ of life that you give to me, through your art and

music, are limitless!

To the ones who incorporate animals, healing solutions, share your faith and

other ways to connect and feel whole; your posts make me feel good and lead me

to peace in my heart and soul.

Those nature lovers and healthy lifestyle believers, you make me want to be

more interactive in environmental issues and eat more healthier. The cooking

blogs and vegan choices are certainly ones that I copy down suggestions and

feel that I have become more aware of what I am ingesting!

Then those who have traveled or are out there, living in different countries,

letting us know what is happening, Thank you!

It makes the world come together and become a ‘smaller’ place, uniting us in our

common interests:

Wow! The inspiration in the gifts you all share, continue to amaze and challenge

me to be a better ‘me!’

 

 

 

 

 

Peace, hope and safe travels

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I had just got off the phone from talking to my good and oldest

friend, Patrice, (that I still stay in touch with), who was preparing

for her annual trip to Charlevoix, Michigan. We both say sometimes

we should just call it, “Camelot.” Bill and I traveled up there once, to

see her sister’s renovated Castle Farms. The town is beautiful, with

Lake Charlevoix and the special houses that look like mushrooms are

there, too. The Castle is so breathtakingly Princess-like I complained

when we had to leave!

We did venture North ward to the Upper Peninsula, the locks, great

waterfalls, the towering evergreens, and Lake Michigan, too. I did

stop complaining, I think I was just missing my Patrice, who is

a source of comfort and joy. We saw all kinds of other fantastic

sights!

Pat had packed up her bags, shipped her papers and medications

up to Charlevoix, had completed a few different doctors’ visits,

and was relaxing. Pat’s sister, Linda, would be coming to take

them to the airport and she patiently listened to my nervous

energy and anxiousness about my Mom. She gave me comfort that

she had put my Mom on their church’s Prayer Chain, earlier in

the week.

We sang a little bit of “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” to cheer us both up.

She’s ready to leave soon. My car is packed, ready to go. Stopping

to call her before I go post this story about Mom and plans made.

Ever since Hurricane Katrina, this has become Pat’s yearly routine.

She has only once come back to Long Beach to find roof damage, no

serious side effects that could be compared to the year the hurricane

disaster hit the gulf coast.

since she hates and fears the potential

She has always, ever since I met her freshman year in college,

imparted heavenly peaceful feelings to me. She is my ‘Zen.’

Patrice was my first and only “Maid of Honor.” We’ve shared

a lot and has known my Mom since 1978. Both her parents died,

while she went to live down there, taking care of her Mom first,

then her Dad. Living in their retirement home, now.

She gave me a lot of reassurances and reminders of how ‘spunky’

and ‘strong-willed’ my mother is. I am prepared to see her in a few

short hours.

Mom had been a little strange, had hurt her leg, twisting it a

little as she got out of the “Whistle Stop” restaurant booth.

My brother and I had decided to see what the place that had taken

over the old Cahoon Winery would look like, what their food would

be like and found the atmosphere and the prime rib dinners very

satisfying. Mom did not recognize it, due to its internal changes

but the outside, she had exclaimed,

“Dad painted this in acrylics, didn’t he?”

It was one of the many paintings my Dad had decorated the house

with, before my brother started to paint ‘real art.’

My brothers had said the twist that had produced pain and a

slight limp, would be ‘just fine,’ only a muscle strain and

not even a bruise on Easter, when I was with her in the

bathroom, looking at Mom’s leg.

I had sent cards, reminding her to use a heating pad. I had

added another suggestion to alternate with a bag of frozen peas,

and ‘Make sure you elevate it!’

When I had to leave on Easter, she had reassured me that she would

be okay and I hugged and kissed her. I always am torn between seeing

my grandchildren and children, and the possibility that Mom may be

not as well the next time I go up there.

As I was leaving, she told me she was not used to putting her feet up

to relax on her sofa. There is a nice, soft ottoman that is part of

her living room set.

Then, recently, I was filled with some trepidation, when my brother

called during a work day. He had left a message saying he had called

an ambulance, met my Mom at the hospital.

She ended up staying the three days, that allows to have her Medicaid

‘kick in,’ along with having a battery of tests. Not many medications,

not really any results.

They did not understand why she was ‘lethargic’ and rather

‘non-responsive’ but once the I.V’s kicked in, she had ‘rallied,’

was renewed and ‘herself’ again.

I should be grateful for small mercies, knowing that she could have

had something more seriously wrong. There is a knot by her knee,

that is healing. She will have ten days of therapy, visiting in

her senior living apartment.

I talked to Mom for an hour this week, she shared with me a sort of

funny explanation. She knew my brother was coming to get her for

dinner, she had fallen asleep taking a nap. She was wearing a t-shirt

and underwear. When the knock at the door came, she had called out,

“Who’s there?”

My brother had answered, so she thought the quickest way to get to the

door was to ‘crawl.’ This is her explanation of what she did.

Yup, Mom crawled to the door to greet my brother, on her knees.

That ‘set off alarms, in my mind,’ too!

My brother said,

“It’s locked, Mom!”

She replied,

“I’m on my way, just a minute!”

She stretched and unlocked the door, remaining on all fours.

He looked at her, then looked at her dog, Nicki, who was sitting

beside her.

I am sure this was quite a shock to his system!

Nicki usually is nervous when people come in, ‘whimpering.’ Even

familiar people and family members. Mom moved to a chair, climbing

on it to sit down.

Anyway, with much reassurances that she was fine, he called

downstairs and found that my very polite mother had received

three days in a row, calls from the front desk, asking if

she was ‘all right.’

Each time, my Mom had said “I’m fine, thank you,” hanging up.

They did not ask why she didn’t go to the dining room nor did

they offer to send her up a dinner. This will be discussed in

the later part of June, when my brother can be there, along

with staff and the social worker. The ‘protocol’ was told to

us, that if someone did not come to the dining room, (without

cancelling their dinner, as sometimes people do to eat out with

their family) they would send someone up to check on them.

This is why my brother my Mom had appeared lethargic, almost

comatose and delusional! She probably had eaten a tablespoon of

peanut butter and endless cups of coffee. She is not one to

convince easily to use the microwaveable meals and other food

items that we put in her refrigerator.

By the way, Mom’s little dog is staying with her ‘sister’ who

is a half dachshund and half beagle, nine years younger, her big

brother, Hamlet, who is a golden retriever and her huge sister,

Fiona, who is a Newfoundland, at my brother and sister in law’s

house, across the street.

My brother and sister in law, are heading this weekend to Bethany

Beach, Maryland. They will be taking the big dogs, Hamlet and Fiona,

leaving the little ones, Nicki (my Mom’s shih tzu) and her other

one, she had to give up to move into the senior apt., Bella for

my brother to watch, take care of and feed. I look forward to his

coming over after he works, plays volleyball or tennis, along with

his other activities. I picked up a few movies, older ones for Mom

and I to watch and action ones where the three of us will watch.

I am filled with less trepidation, just sadness, because I am

not sure how Mom will “be” over the weekend. I had sent a couple

of “Get Well” cards this week. Unless she made it to the mail box

she knows from my big letters on her white board on the kitchen

wall and her calendar over the sink, “Robin will be here for

Memorial Day weekend, on May 23- May 26.”

I saved the rather amusing “Mom’s version of what happened before

she got taken in the ambulance” for you to possibly chuckle at!

In her recounting of the crazy, cuckoo, some would say, “Did you

lose some of your marbles?” moments, I gathered that she was not,

in the least, embarrassed about her state of undress, when greeting

my brother.

By showing a fine sense of humor, she had told me, ‘right off

the bat:’

“Hello, Robin! I am fine, I was in the hospital and got a few

meals along with tests. I hate to tell you this, but I would

not have passed the ‘dining room dress code’ the other day,

when your brother came to get me to take me out to dinner! I

had no pants on!”

Last summer, the signs to enter the dining room had first said,

“No shorts allowed in the Dining Room.”

I had inquired of the seating hostess, “Why did this happen? Surely,

no one would wear ‘short shorts’ in the dining room.”

I had ‘capri shorts’ on which ‘passed inspection’ for dining that

summer evening.

She had leaned over and whispered to me,

“A few gentlemen came to the dining room wearing boxer shorts!”

She had added in a rather horrified tone,

“And one’s overlapped fly, didn’t exactly overlap!”

Later last summer, 2013, apparently someone had come in their

bathrobe to dinner!

A new sign had been posted upon my next monthly visit:

“Proper Attire Required in the Dining Room.

NO shorts.

No pajamas, robes, boxer shorts or otherwise

bed clothes allowed.

Men and women must wear pants.”

I laughed (back then) when it had become such a wild and long

list, almost like the silly Jean Kerr’s “Please Don’t Eat the

Daisies” book where she had forgotten to tell the children in

the New York apartment that request.

I had stopped worrying about my Mom’s mental state when she made

that joke about proper dining room apparel. But, when she said

she wanted to ‘do all the things we usually do, like go to the

grocery store and eat out, at least twice!’ I had become rather

concerned. Hopefully, she and her walker will be just fine and

we will have a grand old time up in Cleveland, ‘tooling around

like we usually do!’

Hope you all have a happy Memorial Day!

Hope there are lots of good times with family or friends.

A few moments of meditation and memories for loved ones, too.

Enjoy your three-day weekend!

May it be safe and peaceful.

Healthy Breakfast

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My girlfriend likes to eat oatmeal and a cup of yogurt for her

breakfast. My youngest daughter enjoys an egg, from a farmer

who uses only natural farming, with no added fertilizer or

other unhealthy ways to produce the chicken that lays the egg.

So, every step of the egg’s progress from the chicken to the

buyer, is considered healthy. She adds some seasonal fruits and

has been adding no gluten in her ‘diet,’ trying this to see if

her arthritis will stop flaring up. So far, so good. My brother

who had quadruple by-pass surgery on his heart, makes omelets

with mushrooms, peppers, onions and tomatoes. He has been trying

less gluten on his ‘menus,’ too. Then, there is my oldest daughter

who thinks those caffeine shots that give you energy, a donut,

cookie or other sweet food item with a cup of flavored coffee is

an acceptable way to head off to her third shift job!

My good guy friend, Bill, will tell you he used to be a frequent

customer of Waffle House, Denny’s and Bob Evans. He used to say,

“I don’t feel ‘normal’ without tons of sugar and coffee!”

Granted, until my late forties, when I had my cholesterol ‘scare’

that headed me towards a better diet and weight range, I was one

of those caffeine and sugar (with no dietary nutrition whatsoever)

people, too.

I have discovered a great cereal brand and am hoping to be helpful,

healthy conscious and informative today!

I was wandering around our local grocery store but not the Delaware

Community Market. I came across the Healthy Foods aisle, with soy

and almond milks in sealed boxes, nuts that have not been introduced

to salt, unless it is ‘sea salt,’and in the cereal aisle, big boxes

of cereal that had such nice, simple artwork seemingly ‘silk-screened’

onto them. These outdoors scenes are very modern and pretty, I would

like them on a t-shirt. They may be ‘downloaded’ as a free screensaver

on your computer. (A fact listed on the cereal box.)

I am a big fan of “Frosted Mini Wheats” or “Shredded Wheat,” so I was

searching for a healthier choice for my Breakfast of Champion: Me!

I found decorated with green and brown mountains and a cool blue lake

on the box labeled: “Mom’s Best” Cereal brand.

This happened to be on sale for the low price of $1.99.

Mom’s Best catchy little logo says, “Simple Goodness.”

I will proceed to give you the list of the nutrients that

sounded quite healthy and in big letter and numbers in the

front corner of the box, “44 grams of whole grains.” Wow!

I had never seen quite as high # of grains in just one

cup of cereal!

Here are some more facts about the cereal of my choice,

“Sweetened Wheat-Fuls:”

Calories= 210 without milk.

Total Fat= 1 gram which is just 2% of daily recommended amount.

0% Saturated Fat, 0% Transfat, 0 % Monosaturated fat, 0.5 grams of

Poly-unsaturated fat.

Cholesterol= 0%

Sodium= 10 mg. which is considered 5% of daily allowance for salt.

Potassium= 180 mg. which is also 5% of the daily allowance.

Carbohydrates totaled 45 grams= 15% of daily recommended amount.

Dietary fiber= 6 grams. I consider whole wheat bread as my ‘standard’

and usually try to get 3-4 grams, so this isn’t too bad. Higher than

most other cereals.

There were only negligible amounts of other vitamins and minerals,

with the only high ones being Phosphorus (15%), Magnesium (10%),

Zinc (10%) and Copper being 10%. Thiamine was 8%, Iron was 10%,

Niacin was 15% and Vitamin B6 was 8%.

What I enjoyed finding out about the cereal was that it tasted good

and did not have too much Sugar! (11 grams).

Since 2006, Mom’s Best Cereals has purchased more than 14 million

kilowatts hours of renewable wind energy.

The company practices a huge amount of recycling, with the most

notable plant being in North Carolina. This amazing plant claims

to have recycled 99% of any refuse or extra bi-products in 2011.

Company-wide, the number is still high at 96% recycled.

Between 2006 and 2011, the Utah plant reduced their amount of

water usage, needed to produce each one pound of cereal by this

fantastic amount: 26 million gallons of water!

So, while interpreting this data, I found that it was over that

five year period, producing every box of one pound of cereal,

saved the total usage of that huge amount of water!

Interpreted this into a ‘picture of the amount of water saved’

is: Picture 62 football fields covered with one foot of water

on them all!

If you wish to explore this cereal more, look up Mom’s Best Cereals

and there is a great cereal that I introduced to my grandkids that

is very similar to Honey Flavored Cheerios. (No nuts, for those who

have children with nut allergies.)

I had fun in the past, looking up those old time cereals, which you

may like to be nostalgic and see my post on those.

Otherwise, some of my readers may have other natural breakfast choices

that will make us hungry and possibly make ‘breakfast for dinner!’

I like to make whole wheat pancakes and waffles, along with using my

whole wheat bread to make French Toast. I love real butter, honey or

maple syrup on these. My grandkids sometimes ‘opt’ for strawberry

or raspberry preserves, from the Delaware Community Marker or the

Farmer’s Market, which is on Wed. evenings and Sat. morns, coming

soon!

Hope you will share something you like to eat for breakfast…

I promise not to ‘judge’ you!

Revelry

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Just going to fill you in on mostly ‘good’ stuff going on in my

family’s life. The best times are with family!

If you celebrated Easter or Passover, hope you had special times

with family, too.

Sometimes, concerns about health issues can be a little bit of a

drawback to a holiday or any visit. You may be interested though,

to know about things, as they progress in my Mom’s aging process.

Colorful sights and fragrant aromas filled the weekend. There were

delicious meals, from Friday until Sunday evening.

Love flowed all around us…

My Mom had saved a Maxine quote, one that I have to share, due to

its Easter holiday theme. She loves it when I tell her I included

something she found, on my blog.

Maxine is an older woman, who sometimes gives biting commentaries.

Other times, she is just an observer on life, as it is for senior

adults. The cartoon character sometimes is wearing a hat or has

a bushy head of white hair, has sun glasses on occasionally and

her pet dog is sometimes looking rather amused or askance at her.

I am sometimes surprised that the creator of Maxine is a man named

John Wagner. Here’s Maxine’s recent yearly physical cartoon:

“Yesterday I went to the doctor

For my yearly physical.

My blood pressure was high.

My cholesterol was high.

I’d gained some weight,

and I didn’t feel so hot.

My doctor said eating right

doesn’t have to be complicated

and it would solve my physical problems.

He said,

‘Just think in colors.

Fill your plate with bright colors.

Try some greens, oranges, reds, maybe

something yellow, and so forth.

So I (Maxine) went right home and ate an

entire bowl of bright colors.

And sure enough, I felt better immediately!

I never knew eating right could be so easy!

Now stay healthy,

Eat your colors and have a nice day.”

(Picture is shown of a bowl of M and M’s.

Mom pointed out, it could have easily been

a bowl of colored jelly beans!)

Speaking of Mom, we went on several ‘wild goose chases,’ while I was

visiting.

First of all, she felt the sweet young Hispanic housekeeper in her

wing of the Senior Apts. had taken her little Shih Tzu’s hair brush.

Mom had written two concerned letters to me, the subject being

“Missing Items.”

I found the yellow baby brush, she uses on Nicki, under the

bathroom sink.

I took her to Walgreen’s, upon arrival, to purchase necessities,

having not been able to locate her stamps.

(Which Mom was very adamant on this subject, saying they got taken

by the same girl.)

Believe me, if you have read about my mother’s love of young people,

my parents’ marching for civil rights, and paying for two non-Caucasian

females’ college education, you would know this is not aimed towards

race or age of the young Senior Apts. housekeeper.

It involves a combination of Mom’s way of dealing with forgetfulness

or possible dementia setting in. Mom is not mean-spirited, though.

The young woman has told my brothers that Mom hugs and gives her bags

of candy and other gifts.

After purchasing a few items, while I was putting them away I found

duplicates.

While I was looking for scissors, I found her stamps.

It was more of a chaotic time than at Valentine’s Day, when she had

written notes to my grandkids and had candy in bags, ready to take

back after my visit.

This time, her Easter cards were sitting out, with some notes in them,

not addressed. We searched high and low, found a few envelopes with

addresses of her sister, my cousins and her good friends.

I never found Mom’s “Master Address Book.”

We will tackle that ‘chore’ over Memorial Day Weekend!

The fun stuff and special times began on Friday, after shopping

and searching for lost items had been set aside, for dinner.

Mom wore a nice pink jacket with a signature brooch. Mom has always

liked wearing a variety of pins on her lapels. She had a nice pair

of black slacks on. We had heard from my younger brother that he

and his wife, Susan and a possible friend would be joining us at one

of my Mom’s current “favorite restaurants.” She is like a ‘big kid’

and likes Friendly’s for their clam boats, ice cream sundaes and the

colorful atmosphere.

When you walk in the front door, you see such a majestic brass scale

with old fashioned details on it. There is also a large circus mural.

We went home to watch an older movie, which turned out to be quite

different from what we expected. Sidney Poitier plays a type of ‘playboy.’

He depicts a wild, carefree man, who is involved with some dishonest

activities. He is ‘set up’ on a date, by a young man, played by Beau

Bridges. The housekeeper is going to leave her household, having told

the younger members of the family before the ones who have employed her.

She is played by Abbey Lincoln, with an innocent charm. She shows curiosity

about the wilder side that Sidney’s character offers her. Later, we meet

the head of the household, played by Carroll O’Connor. This was a Turner

Classic Movie, called, “For Love of Ivy,” 1968. It has music by Quincy Jones

and a happy ending. It is a satisfying romantic comedy where I was mostly

looking at the wardrobe and commenting on the dialects. (Nehru collars, Kaftan

robes and “Groovy,” spoken.)

We drank a juice glass full of Sangria, had crackers and cheese,

with a ‘side of cookies’ before bed. Mom and I did our special

Spanish toast.

Our Saturday began with my ‘fetching’ breakfast from the dining

room. Mom loves eating breakfast in her room, in her pajamas. I tell

people who ask why she doesn’t come down, that my Dad and she got

‘spoiled’ while retiring early and became ‘night owls!’

I piled on the dining room tray, a jelly donut for Mom, a pecan nut

roll for me, a big bowl of oatmeal with garnishments of brown sugar,

raisins and pats of real butter. It becomes ‘less healthy’ for me, as

I add so much to it! I grabbed 3 cups of delicious coffee, a juice cup

of cranberry juice for her and one of tomato juice for me. I also bring

back two bananas every trip I make (anytime) past the dining room. Mom

lives (while I am away) on bananas and peanut butter out of the jar,

for her breakfasts and lunches. She only goes to dinner in the dining

room daily at 5:30 p.m. Unless we are around to ‘cancel her dinner

reservations.’

On Saturday afternoon, watched a movie I had brought from the library

called, “The Young Victoria,” 2009. It has an excellent British cast

of Emily Blunt, Paul Bettany, Rupert Friend and Miranda Richardson.

I highly recommend this love story about Queen Victoria’s childhood, her

growing up years and her courtship by two suitors. The story made both my

Mom and I ‘tear up,’ but it is still a lovely movie. We hold hands, eat

cookies, candy and some maple flavored walnuts that my youngest daughter

had left behind. They ‘roasted up’ in the microwave, tasting quite yummy

while warm. We ‘pause’ the movie to either make instant coffee or to use

the bathroom. I think that I will always drink coffee, since evidently,

she has lived to 85 and other than needing to use the restroom frequently,

no dangerous side effects!

On Saturday, my artist brother, who had been enjoying a night out

at a place that pays him to paint logos, make tables, along with

clouds and headhunters for either “Fat Head’s Brewery” or “Fat Head’s

Restaurant.” We have eaten their numerous times. Even my good guy

friend, Bill has been up to witness the wall designs and murals.

Last Autumn, I wrote after our going to a gallery opening with some of

Randy’s artwork, we and others went to see the actual brewery. They win

awards for their homemade brews, located in Cleveland and Pittsburg.

Randy will be heading West to Oregon, sometime in the near future, for

a new Fat Head’s Restaurant.

Randy bought Mom’s and my prime rib dinners at a railroad station

restaurant, which while we were in high school was called the “Cahoon

Winery.”

It is located on Cahoon Road, in Westlake, Ohio. It is less than a mile

from our home on the other side of the tracks, where we lived in during

our middle and high school years in Bay Village, Ohio. It is now called,

“The Whistle Stop.” We admired the different antique photographs of trains

and memorabilia along with a brass spittoon on a shelf.

Eating out is a different way to celebrate holidays, than our family

used to in the past. We made adjustments and changes once Mom’s ‘home

base’ was moved into the Senior Apts. In the ‘old days,’ I would drive

up from Delaware, when the children were small and Dad would take over

watching them once we got inside the door of their lake cottage.

Mom and I would head to the grocery store in Vermilion, immediately

upon our arrival.

Our ‘job’ was getting a bunch of food to cook. We would have ‘the boys’

use the gas grill, in all kinds of weather, on the covered porch, a

‘carport,’ but never was used for that.

There were always two picnic tables end to end, lined up and some chairs

positioned around the edges. If it were snowing, one of my brothers, or

while my Dad was alive, wearing ear muffs and armed with the barbecue

equipment, would grill steaks, chops or chicken out there, while Mom

and I would make the side dishes.

Onward to Easter Sunday!

This is getting too long and filled with a mixture of nostalgia and

too many details!

I got Mom’s and my breakfast, we ate it with a little bit of

lingering, knowing that our time was going to be cut short. She

always understands I need to get back to see my grandchildren. Mom

had thought of them last year, after Easter, buying gifts at super

discounted prices. I reassured her, not to worry. They remember her,

some had been here for Thanksgiving and others over last summer.

We have a wedding celebration of my niece, which will be held out at

the lake side cottage.

I had found, in the back of the closet, a packed box of Easter glitter

globes, some with bunnies inside, others with chicks and one smaller

one had Tweety bird in it. I was surprised that she had this one

labeled for Skyler, age 9.

The Official Family Easter Egg Hunt in Delaware with the ‘real’

Easter Bunny’s choices of goodies was held while Nana (otherwise

known as Robin, to you) was out of town. The breakfast and fun time

dying eggs was also completed. (Usually done the day before,

but this time, just in time to crack colored eggs and make deviled

eggs for company.)

I arrived to a sunny and warm, outdoorsy scene with children taking

turns jumping on the trampoline. Others were playing on the swing and

gym set. They were all stopping to run in the house, to receive their

gifts from Great Grammie O. and then, to keep their eyes glued on

something other than the windows, while Nana hid her eggs. I specialize

in putting dollar bills in the green eggs, little wrapped chocolates

in the other colored eggs, along with an occasional quarter or

dime in the yellow eggs. I also gave each a stuffed animal that

was chosen over the course of the year, not all bunnies and

ducks, either.

When all the eggs were found, we went inside to eat a delicious

orange, honey glazed ham. My son made the ham and glaze, mashed

potatoes and green bean casserole. My daughter in law made the 3-cheese

macaroni casserole, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and

the deviled eggs.

Yesterday, after I posted my story, I went over to give Micah and

Skyler their gifts from Mom and me. Micah had generously told me

that he “would wait on brother” to open them, since Sky was at

his Dad’s house, while Micah was with his Mom and Dad at my son’s

house. He participated in the egg hunt, meal and trampoline so it

was not a ‘big sacrifice!’

Skyler showed me an amazing gift that the Easter Bunny had given

him at his mother’s house. My daughter, being an artist, had chosen

or suggested to that Bunny, this would be a good year for the two

boys to receive drawing or sketch pads. Sky proceeded last night to

have me sit on his front porch within an arm’s length of him. He

drew a picture of me, with my work shirt on, my worn face none the

worse for wear. He drew in my wrinkles and lines around my mouth, a

good and fairly accurate drawing of me. I was pleased with my oval

shaped head, my neck and eyebrows looked very good. I drew him,

in turn, using a different page, while Micah blew soap bubbles

upon our heads.

We had a lovely and simple, quiet time.

When I got ready to leave, both boys declared they love me, which

is always a happy ending of any holiday! They also pronounced next

Saturday, to be an “overnight with Nana” event. Mom and Micah’s

Dad, Sky’s Stepdad, agreed!

Healthy Food Choices for Kids

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I have sometimes wandered away from my theme of witless dating,

but I stay strong in the area of relationships. With helpful

information on how to make healthy food choices, I hope to

inspire you to make some changes in your lives. This includes

any children that you are in communication with, neighbor’s

kids or your grandchildren. Every time you choose to change

something in your family’s diet, it can impact the guests

and friends of your children, too.

The facts that are here may startle you. I was shocked!

I had known our country, in particular, was having trouble

living longer, healthier lives but I did not know, to the

large extent, the numbers involved. Obesity has doubled in

children, ages 6-11 and tripled in teens, age 12-19.

These numbers, collected by the National Center for Health

Statistics are just unbelievable! The time period is from

1980 until 2010. By 2013, there have been a few reversals

in these numbers but not of significant amounts; yet.

Understanding food labels and the amount of news and media

coverage have helped this trend to start heading in the

right direction. I am pleased that Michelle Obama’s part

is playing a big impact, along with magazines that usually

feature articles with juicy and delicious foods that have

saturated fat and hydrogenated fat have also joined forces,

by including good and tasty alternatives.

Here are five ways to educate children to become more

‘savvy’ in the area of food choices.

1. Help your children (and yourself) visualize serving sizes.

Assemble products that you regularly include in your or their

diet. Examples of applesauce, oatmeal and cereals can be an

easy way to measure what is considered ‘regular’ portions.

When labels with nutrition information are looked at, it

helps to realize these are written for an adult’s size or a

2000 calorie adult diet.

Kids from four to eight, are about 2/3rds the size of an

adult. Teens should consume between 80-90% size of the adult

amounts.

Measure out single servings. This will take your cell phone’s

calculator and/or paper to figure out! Serving sizes of bars

of candy and little pints of ice cream can sometimes be based

on only a portion of the actual whole content!

2. Help your child to check out the details. These are in the

little fine print on the label. When there is a long list of

names of ingredients that you don’t even recognize, this food

item may not be healthy! Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners,

high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated anything

should signal this food product is of lower nutritional value.

Making this process a game rather than a ‘lecture’ will help

to interact and make this meaningful. Ingredients which you

cannot pronounce often mean, ‘lab-created, fake, food-like

items.’ This was a suggestion from a registered dietitian,

Tara Dellolacono-Thies.

Of course, going to natural food places, including farmer’s

markets, can be a wonderful fun activity for families. Point

out, there are usually no labels on foods that are actual

fruits, vegetables and homemade products, usually include

more natural ingredients.

Comparisons can be made while watching television, with

advertisements that may mislead people into thinking they

are ‘good for you.’ Any opportunity, including driving

down the road, on billboards, can open up discussions on

food choices. Asking, rather than telling, really helps in

these ‘off the cuff’ situations.

I remember, as a child, my parents really wanting us to stay

away from sugary cereals. We still considered it a ‘treat’ to

get ones like, “Sugar Crisp” or “Frosted Flakes.”

When I went away to college, I gorged on dumb things like,

“Captain Crunch” and “Count Chocula,” which came out in 1971.

Buying things, like Hostess products out of the dorm vending

machines, ostensibly to ‘help me study and stay awake,’ such

as “Twinkies,” “Ho Ho’s,” and those pink-colored, coconut

marshmallow iced chocolate balls, called, “Sno-balls” were

my downfalls.

When they talk about “Freshman 5 pound weight gains,” I had

probably ten pounds! I read recently of a famous person,

Maria Menounos, who gained 40 lbs. There is a photo of her,

in April’s “Ladies Home Journal,” that is unrecognizable!

3. Evaluate the numbers and figure out how that computes in your

child’s daily intake. Immediately, I think of salt and sugar

levels in foods, in this message! Discuss the listed numbers

noted for calories, fat, sugar, fiber and cholesterol.

I have been shocked how sugary items, including cereals, have

salt in them. Then, salty items like snacks, have tons of sugar

in them. When evaluating a packaged food for an elementary

school’s lunch box, aim for 175 calories or less per serving,

one gram or less of saturated fat, no trans fats, no more than

13 grams of sugars and no more than 210 milligrams of sodium

content. Try for at least 2 grams of fiber. These were also

suggested by the woman dietitian named, Tara D.-T. I usually

look for 5 grams’ fiber in my whole wheat or whole mixed grains

bread. I have found better cereals these days, particularly, in

the natural foods’ aisles.

4. Compare and contrast whenever you have a chance to do this.

No matter when you see food products, on television, in ads

and even on billboards, you have an opportunity to bring up the

subject of good food choices.

My grandchildren and I play that fun game of, “My father/

grandfather/mother or whomever, owns a grocery store and in it,

he/she sells something that starts with a __ (insert first letter)”

This has often been a way to find out where they find the item,

which is one of the many questions that you ask: “Can you find

it in the Meats’ department?” Once we discover from questions,

the product they were thinking of, I get an idea of their favorite

foods. Also, it gives me a moment to prosthelytize.

Under this category, Tara D-T. suggests looking for a high-percent

daily value of important growth vitamins, such as calcium, iron,

zinc and Vitamin D. These important nutrients, by the way, are

also important for all of us, during our aging process, to keep

our brains and bodies strong and healthy!

5. A plan of action should be to translate this knowledge into

good, healthy choices. Once you, your child and family have

become more adept and practiced in this area, you can be less

worried about the times you do ‘slip up,’ with a fast food meal

or a fun time at the movies, eating the popcorn with partially-

hydrogenated fat poured over it. Our Delaware Strand buys a

better product, made from Promise margarine. It isn’t nearly

as high in fat content.

Sorry, this is one of my big downfalls, along with donuts,

candy and ice cream! I have been unable to give up these and

simply, try to limit them.

The trend for teens to drink those high calorie pops, energy

drinks, with loads of caffeine, and flavored coffees, needs to

be addressed. I hope that if this seems to be common among

your teens’ friends or group, that you may wish to suggest some

limits to this. I would say, after my own experience of being

‘denied’ certain foods, that it is best not to boycott these

altogether. As parents you could instead suggest moderation.

Limiting to an extreme, I will remind all of you who were teen

‘rebels’ out there, causes the reverse action to be produced!

With time and practice, children will begin to include the power

of reading food labels before choosing foods. Teens may think

twice, as they stand in front of the vending machines at their

school, work or play centers. By understanding food labels,

the more kids know about what they are eating, the more often

they will choose healthier food choices.

I hope that this will be another way to start Spring, with a

renewal of your New Year’s resolutions to become healthier and

lead longer lives. This include all members of your family,

beginning with the little ones! They are much more open and

less resistant to changes and as mentioned, this can be an

interactive experience.