Apres’ Ski

When I woke up this morning the first thing that hit me was a stinging pain in my left eye. I got up and rinsed it out and then got Hubby up and we got ready to go skiing. It was cloudy and cold, but we thought what the heck, might as well go. So, I threw in a pack of cold cuts and cheese for me and off we went. We stopped briefly at McDonald’s so Hubby could get a breakfast, and then headed to Waterville Valley.
Usually on a Monday morning it is pretty quiet, but because it was a holiday, the parking lots were full! We found a spot to park and headed into the lodge to get ready.
Today was the first day I wore my ski helmet. It’s comfortable, but there is this odd thing. The wind whistles around the ear openings on the helmet making a strange noise. It was sort of funny.
Now here is my great news of the day. First I really detest impolite skiers. You know, the ones who ski way too close to you and nearly knock you down? There were plenty of them there today. I observed these three snow boarders nearly knock someone over then they skied up to a closed trail and skied under the rope. Just then a ski cat came up, a man jumped out of the drivers seat and apprehended them. HA! Finally Divine Justice!
We skied over to one of the most challenging slopes called Gema and I was about half way down when I started sweating, shaking and not thinking straight. I knew immediately it was low blood sugar from me not eating a correct breakfast. I got down and met up with Hubby and told him how I was feeling. We skied down to the lodge where he got me a regular hot chocolate and peanut butter crackers to stabilize the blood sugar. Then as I lamented about feeling shaky on the slopes he joked, “So what else is new?”
We skied a little more after that, but I was feeling tired and the slopes were so crowded that we gave up after 7 runs and came home.
My eye is still sore, and I’ve put some gel into it to coat the surface. I made myself a nice chef salad and so that is helping to make me feel more like myself.
Now it’s time to take down the Christmas decorations and get the boxes packed again for another year.

Happy New Years!

Our celebration last night was a good one. Filled with lots of food, drink and chatting. It started with chips and dips and proceeded to a Lobster dinner.
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We had sparkling cider, champagne and apple crisp for dessert!
We saw Dick Clark and though it saddened us to see how severe his stroke had been, we all were proud of his courage and all the work he has done in the last year to return to his viewing audiance.
This morning it’s some German Stollen bread, and eggs and sausages, with lots and lots of coffee!!

New Years Eve

It’s New Years Eve and I’m thinking of the year that has passed and the year ahead. It’s funny how quickly 2005 went. For a while last summer I felt like the year was going to go on and on, but with the blink of an eye, here we are, the last day of the year.
Many wonderful things happened this year. At the top of the list is the deepening love and friendship that I am enjoying with my daughter. It is just so much fun to be part of her “grown up” world!
My husband is a wonder too. I’m not sure how he puts up with me, but somehow he does and we have a blast together! Life is good and we are blessed.
It’s wonderful to watch my grandnephews and grandniece grow. This year I feel really close to my family, especially my sister and cousin, Janet. Thank you Verizon for the ability to keep in touch for free with these two and my daughter as well.
I am thankful also for the many wonderful friends I have both close to home and around the world. They make my days special in their own ways. Thank you!
On a very personal and selfish level, the return of my health has been quite a gift. My eye is healed and well, my medications are finally balanced and I am feeling happy and healthy. A great way to end 2005 and begin 2006!
I’ve met so many wonderful Bloggers this year, and I really enjoy reading their words as well as writing my own to share. Sometimes serious, sometimes funny, but every day as we learn more and more about each other, we can see the humor in life, and the wonder, despite the pain that it sometimes brings.

I lost my beloved Aunt this year, and the sadness I feel is still very raw. She was such a big and good part of my life and I will miss her as long as I live.

All My Life
By the Beatles

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

Carrot Casserole

3 Eggs
1/2 cup sugar or (1/2 cup Splenda sugar blend)
1 stick butter
1 tbs. baking powder
2 tbs. flour
1 cup milk
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups hot cooked carrots

Place all ingredients into blender and puree. Pour into buttered (or Pam) casserole dish (8 X 11) and bake at 350* for about 30 minutes or until set.
This is good either warm or cold.

7 Layer Mexican Dip

1) 1 can refried beans
2) 8 ounce container of sour cream
3) 16 ounce container medium salsa
4) An 8 ounce package shredded Mexican cheese mix (or shredded Jack cheese)
5) 4-5 plum tomatoes chopped
6) 6 ounce can sliced black olives
7) 5-6 scallions sliced thinly

Starting with #1 spread each layer in a shallow 9X9 pan. Chill for an hour, then serve with bowl of nacho chips

I’m making this for New Years Eve munchies!

A Day With My Daughter

Yesterday I spent the day with my daughter, Mandy.
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She lives about and hour and fifteen minutes south of my home. She recently purchased her own condo and yesterday was the first time I’d been down to see it. It’s really lovely, situated up on a hillside with beautiful views. It has over 1700 square feet, which gives my grand kitties (three of them!) plenty of room to frolic and play.
Maestro, Cleo and Ortez greeted me at the door and proceeded to curl up next to me, purr and then play with the Christmas present bows on the packages I brought and Mandy had for me.
I can’t express in words how really proud I am of Mandy. To see how successful she is, and what a good head she has on her shoulders and the home she has made for herself, makes me realize again and again something that I’ve always known, but suspected what just a mother’s bias! Mandy is one heck of a person! Definitely someone I would chose to know even if she wasn’t my daughter!
We sat drinking coffee with one of her friends, who was visiting from Maine. She was getting things together for her trip back when I arrived, but stayed and visited for a while.
After she left we opened our Christmas gifts. Mandy showed how well she knows me with gifts of two sweaters, (next to my purse fetish, I have a sweater thing going too!), and then a T-shirt with a cartoon drawing of dachshunds on them, a dachsie doormat, a dachsie ornament and a dachshund date book!
I gave her an LL Bean tote bag for her car, champagne, a wonderful fluffy scarf, a geode window hanging, and a hand made pottery tray with a salt and pepper, cream and sugar on it. Near my home is a shop that sells items hand made here in New Hampshire. I swear I am one of their best customers. This gift came from that shop. I also got her two Christmas tree ornaments.
Then we headed out to have lunch with her grandmother, (my former mother-in-law). If I had one wish it would have been to have kept her as my mother-in-law and just divorced my ex-husband. I have always loved Alice like a mother and I have missed her a great deal.
We just had the best time at lunch. We talked and talked and talked, sharing stories from the past and both Alice and I looking with pride at our girl Mandy. Before we knew it, 2 1/2 hours had flown by and we had to say good-bye. Alice told me not to be a stranger and to come see her and keep in touch. Something I plan to do. Life is too short not to love the people in your life.
Then I brought Amanda to a European Deli I found near her. They have so many of the wonderful German foods that we love. I bought a lot of things, cheeses, wursts, salami and wonderful Bauernbrot. (German Rye bread!)
Then, in the cold pouring rain, we headed back to her place where I picked up my car and headed home. It rained literally in sheets. There were times I couldn’t even see the road! It scared the heck out of me. It took me two hours to make the trip, but I got home safely and quite happily!

After Christmas Sales

Tuesday I went shopping. I was enjoying the after Christmas sales. I found a great selection of Christmas cards at 40% off their list price, and proceeded to buy what I will need for next year! I think the best thing is that I was able to get cards I really liked. As I have mentioned before, I just LOVE a good sale!
After filling my car with cards I headed over to JC Penney’s for their sales. I looked at pocketbooks, as I really have a pocketbook fetish that hasn’t been fed in a while. After walking around and around I understood why. I simply don’t care for the current styles. Hmmm.
Then I went into the sleep wear section. I always get a new robe and new flannel pajamas after Christmas when everything is on sale. This year was no different. I got a pair of leopard print flannel pajamas, and a mint green fleece robe. Both were 50% off. I was feeling good about the money I was saving as I slid my credit card through the machine!
Then I went to Sears and stood looking longingly at the vacuums. I really hate my current vacuum. It’s fine for someone with no animals, but after a few years I find that each time I was taking it out to use I felt like I was simply putting dust in the air and on my furniture and that the stupid machine did nothing to really clean my house. So there I was standing, looking, nearly crying with the longing of a thirsty woman for a tall glass of ice water, when my cell phone rang and Hubby asked what I was up to. I told him what I was doing and then explained all the reasons I simply had to get that vacuum! He listened and then said, quite casually, mind you, “So get it” and I did!
When I got home and unpacked it from the box, my hands shook as they caressed the sleek body of the white canister machine. I plugged it in, and heard the soft whir of the engine as it came to life. My heart skipped a beat!
So what did I do all day on Wednesday? I think you know. Yes, I cleaned and vacuumed until the happiness was almost more then I could stand!
Okay, I admit it. I’m getting old. Old is when you get a major appliance like a vacuum and you find it’s making your entire year. I remember 20 years ago I wanted new clothes, books to read, games to play, stereo equipment, etc. Now, I don’t want all that crap. It just sits around taking up space. I good appliance that will be used several times a week is worth it’s weight in gold!

Great News

I saw Dr. C. yesterday, my Retinologist. He was pleased with my eye and pronounced it fit and empty of all the bad post-operative debris. I knew it was, and I expected this good report, but it was still nice to hear him say the words.
In an ironic twist, yesterday was the third anniversary of my retinal detachment. I remember it so well.
I was chatting on the computer with my friend Uschi in Germany when all of a sudden a curtain dropped on the vision in my left eye! I didn’t quite know what to do. Uschi told me to call my eye doctor, and I did. While I waited for a return call, Uschi and I chatted about what it could be. I suspected a detachment, but kept talking myself out of it. It was nothing, just some strange minor glitch.
They called me back and said I was to come to the hospital immediately. The hospital is 55 miles away. Hubby was in Southern New Hampshire that day on business, my neighbors were gone and after talking to Hubby on the cell phone we decided it was best for me to drive, so I got in my Jeep and headed to the hospital. I did rather well with the drive, until I got to the highway. Then merging onto the road, I felt off balance because I had no vision in the left eye.
My eye doctor examined the eye and brought me by the hand to Dr. C.’s office. We were introduced, he examined my eye and pronounced he needed to operate immediately. He scurried off, leaving me there with my mouth hanging open.
When he returned he told me that he had his A surgical team on standby and he would operate in about an hour, or as soon as he could get me prepped.
I remember asking him what would happen if I didn’t have the surgery? “Simple”, he said, “You’ll stay blind in that eye.”
Okay, so that was probably the easiest decision I have made in the last 20 years.
I was brought down to the pre-operative area, changed out of my clothes, given a cursory physical and got the IV put in.
A nurse came in and told me that they really hated to operate on someone without having their next of kin there, or at least have them know.
I hadn’t been able to reach Hubby since I got to the hospital, so I called my sister, Mel and told her what was going on. I was being so brave right up until I heard her voice, but then I just lost it! She promised to keep trying Hubby’s cell phone to alert him to the fact that they were operating immediately, and we said good-bye.
As they wheeled me into the operating room I remember looking up and asking Dr. C. “When can I go skiing again?” He sort of laughed and then I felt so relaxed that I couldn’t have cared if I never skied again!
I remember the voices during the surgery. I remember Dr. C. telling me to be still and to let them know if I felt anything. I remember the kindness of the Anesthesiologist who held my hand as he kept me on the edge of consciousness. I had no idea that the surgery had lasted three hours.
Hubby arrived during the surgery, and he spoke to Dr. C. after it was over. I saw him when I got to the recovery room, but they wanted to keep me overnight, so he went home and I went to the only free bed they had in the hospital, in “The Pediatric Ward“!
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In the hospital after surgery.
I went home the next day,
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but the recovery was long and uncomfortable with 4 additional surgeries to clear debris from the eye. But I have my vision and so it has been worth all that I have gone through. Being able to see, is truly a great gift.

Inhale and Hold Your Breath

I decided a week or so ago that due to the abundance of food in our house, I had to eat. It wasn’t for myself, you see, Hubby is a diabetic and to protect him from all the sugar and fats, I decided that I would eat. The first things to go were the Snickerdoodles. I gave away a ton of them, but there were a few left, and since they are primarily made of sugar, they had to be eliminated.
Next, the chocolates. Friends had sent us a basket of assorted fine chocolates. Now surely this would send Hubby into a diabetic coma, so down they went. You know I did this to “save” him. Such is my love for him!
Then there was the Chocolate Chip Cookies. He loves those, and even though I made them with Splenda, well those carbs just aren’t good for him. So I helped get rid of those too.
Christmas morning I opened the Stollen Christmas Bread from Germany. It’s a family tradition. The bread is made with candied fruit, raisins and marzipan filling and then covered liberally with powdered sugar! Well, there you go. The sugar thing. I had to save him from that too.
Somewhere around dessert Christmas night I realized I was on a “sugar high“. I felt jazzed, like I could run a marathon. In fact I didn’t sleep well that night because I was so full of sugar. Where would it all end?

Yesterday I went out shopping during the after Christmas sales. I grabbed some great pants off the rack and headed right into the changing room to try them on.
As I stood in front of the floor to ceiling, three way mirror I saw where it all had ended up! Right on my hips! Oh, My God!!! I inhaled. I held my breath. Sadly, it was too late. the cookies, stollen and chocolates had found a new home. Right there on my hips!
There was a black cloud over the Liz Claiborne Outlet store. It was filled with all the naughty words I ws spewing from inside my changing room. How could I have done this?
A tear escaped one eye as I put the size 10’s back on the shelf. I couldn’t be too depressed, because I’d eaten those things to save Hubby and well, it’s a sacrifice I would make again for the man I love.
Still, come midnight on January 1st I will go back strictly on my diet. I will throw away any leftover sweets and stock up on sugar free jello.
And as much as I hate to even “think” about this, I will exercise.
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What I want to know is why? Why, when you get to a point in your life when you can actually enjoy yourself, are you suddenly just one donut away from “Fatdom”? Long ago, back in my 20’s I could eat what I wanted and I didn’t gain weight. Now, suddenly in my 40’s all I have to do is look at food and I gain 10 pounds!

So until next week I will inhale, and hold my breath and hope that the zipper on my jeans holds!