Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's only hair...right???

Today was my day to get "beautified" (ha)...and by that I mean a hair cut, full color, and a smathering of highlights. For those of you who thought that these "golden tresses" were all natural (ha, again), I will apologize now.

I adore my beautician, Caroline. She lets me drive her crazy each time that I come with a different idea about how I would like my hair to be.

She smiles...she laughs...and then she does what she wants. I love that about her!

Today's "plan" was totally ambiguous as I was thinking that I was ready for a little change. Instead of a short haircut like last time, I thought that maybe I would let it get a little longer? But, then, on the other hand, with my baby fine hair, I know that a short "do" is probably the most flattering....but, maybe if we just let it get chin length....or would a really layered cut make it appear thicker????

And then there is the color. I had been working my way to a more brunette look....but, with summer here I was thinking maybe a few blonde highlights might be the way to go....of course then I take the risk of it getting too light...and, brown is really my natural color (minus the gray, of course!)...but wouldn't a little lighter color perk things up a bit?????

....and, on and on and on I went....!

Well, as I said, Caroline "listens" to me and then does what she thinks will look best....so, she trimmed it slightly giving it a new shape, covered all my gray with a lighter brown...and then added some slight blonde highlights throughout.

It looks great despite all of my fretting.

Thanks, Caroline! I can't wait until my next appointment so that I can drive you crazy again.... : )

Monday, June 28, 2010


If you are wondering about the hiking boots above...I have a perfectly good explanation.(?) I saw a snake in my yard the other day. I was on my way to the shed on the side of the house and suddenly saw this huge thing slither by. I calmly screamed and ran into the house to get my camera so that I could take a photo to identify the species....but, it was gone by the time I got back out.

Since I have to go out into my backyard for various chores and such, I decided to protect myself (well, at least my feet!) by putting on my heavy boots to walk around the yard today.

I looked like a fool in the 98 degree temperatures, but I got everything done without any snake spottings...so, watch out, buddy! Ha!


Even though I was the "victim" in my little car accident on Saturday...I still find myself having to do a lot to take care of it all. Lots of phone calls, paper work, appointments with the other driver's insurance agency as well as a fun trip down to the downtown police department today. I had to pick up the accident report in person and pay $5 for the little piece of paper that the policeman filled out right in front of us on Saturday.

I'm still trying to figure out why he didn't just give us the carbon copies then!??! Bureaucracy at its finest.


My private "squirrel war" continues. Even after plugging up a couple of the bird feeder holes so that the squirrel wouldn't have anything to grasp on to....they have still found a way to swing on it while eating away at the bird seeds. I hate to break up their fun...but, they are draining my feeders so quickly that there isn't much left for the little birdies.

I had read that mothballs spread around the yard will keep the snakes away....so I thought that maybe it would do the same for the squirrels. Dave methodically spread the mothballs around the island where the bird feeder is located.

It didn't deter them....in fact, I think that I spotted a couple of squirrels playing catch with them.

C'mon, guys....can't we just all get along? Now go out and find your own food!


I can't believe that July is right around the corner. When did that happen? This year is just whizzing by and I don't like it one bit.


Those are all of my "rumblings" for today... : )

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I would have been better off if I had thrown the watermelon out....

I adore watermelon...especially the seedless ones that are bright red and so sweet! Yesterday, I couldn't resist buying a whole one for $4.99 while shopping at the nearby Target. I figured that I would cut it in half and give some of it to Dave to take home and enjoy.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be kind of mushy inside...maybe overripe? How disappointing.

So, bright and early this morning, I decided to take it back to Target and get a refund or a fresher melon. I figured that the traffic on the main drag would be light and I could just get it all done quickly.

Boy, was I wrong. The traffic literally came to a total standstill about 3 miles from the Target and I was stuck right in the middle of it all. Except for an occasional creeping up a little bit at a time, I pretty much sat unmoving in my car for at least 30 minutes.

While I was at a complete stop I suddenly felt a hard jolt as the car behind me plowed into my brand new Subaru! He began to pull off to the side of the road and I attempted to follow him. At this point it almost seemed as if he was going to try and drive away...but, he told me later that his conscience got the better of him and he decided to deal with what he had just done.

I got out and looked at the back of my car and saw a ripped hole in the rubber fender...as well as some scratched and dented spots on the frame of the car. I was crushed (no pun intended)...but, thankfully, neither of us was hurt...so I tried to keep it all in perspective.

The 20 something driver of the other car got out and told me that he had sneezed, the car began to move forward, and he accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake. He was visibly upset by the whole thing and I felt so badly for him. He was a young marine in the National Guard and his car was filled with fatigues and such. He told me that he had insurance, but did not have his card with him.

We called the police so that a report could be written up...but, we were told that it would be a while in that there was a bad accident right up the road from us.....thus the reason for the traffic being at a standstill.

So, we waited and waited...and got to know each other a bit. He turned out to be a really good kid who had just come back home....and promised me that he would get his insurance information to me as soon as he got home. I got his name, address and phone number...but, trusted that he would make good on his promise.

About 40 minutes later three police cars pulled up to our two cars....and one of them got out and began to get our information.

Unfortunately, the young kid was given a ticket for not having his insurance card on him. We were both given numbers to call on Monday morning to get the full report...and, then we were on our way.

And, yes, the kid did call me later in the afternoon with his insurance information. : )

And, yes, I did make my way to Target to return that !!%^&*##! watermelon....a bit shaken but determined to get rid of that thing....

Friday, June 25, 2010


Who knew that when I wrote my very first post 4 years ago (!) that I would still be putting my thoughts out there in Blogville?!

I, initially thought that this would just be something that my family could go to for updates on what was occurring with my children. Since we are all scattered around the country, I would post pictures and tell stories that would keep them informed. But, that changed the day that I had my first reader...and, it was someone that I didn't know.

Oh my....other people were going to be reading this, too!

Since that day in June, 2006, I have been on a wonderful journey...and many of you have come along for the ride. As of today, I have had 44,947 page views!

Of course, the most incredible part of my story has been the births of three beautiful and amazing grandchildren: Owen, Audrey, and Celia!! They have made me what I am today...a proud and grateful grandma! : ) Such blessings...

My blog has also introduced me to many new, and fascinating friends. For the most part, these are just everyday people trying to do the best they can in life and honoring me with their stories. I must say that, besides my dear friends and family, two of my most loyal readers who come to visit my page and almost always leave a thoughtful comment behind, are: Granny Annie and Tabor. Thanks, Ladies for your input and interest.

I have written about so many topics and along the way have learned so much about myself. ...my ups, my downs, my joys, my frustrations, my loves, my disappointments, my LIFE as I see it. Blogging has given me wings to express myself... and has been so cathartic and freeing in the process.

So, on this four year Blogger-versary, I must say that I look forward to many more adventures to come.... continuing to pour out my soul in my posts....and, hopefully, leaving some sort of small footprint on this vast world of ours.

I am grateful for this opportunity and hopeful that it will be a legacy of sorts for my children and grandchildren.

Now..... on to my fifth year!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Inner Peace?

Every day I receive an inspirational email from Jonathan Lockwood Huie. Lately, these messages have eerily paralleled what was going on in my life at that particular time and, sometimes, even on that day.

One of those issues that has been weighing heavily on my mind has been the fall that I had at a local P.F. Chang's restaurant here in town. After slipping on something that was on their floor, I fell hard and cut and fractured my nose. I recently went to a plastic surgeon after I noticed a bump starting to form in the area where the fall occurred. He said that I needed to have surgery to correct the bump caused by the fall....and it would entail shaving that section of the bone.

After several letters and phone conversations with the restaurant's insurance agency, I have been repeatedly told that they(the restaurant) are not at fault...there wasn't any negligence on their part... and that none of my medical expenses would be covered! The last call was highly emotional, leaving me in tears when I hung up.

After consulting with my ex, a lawyer, I was advised that the next step would be to file a lawsuit and take them to court.

I thought about this long and hard and spoke to several people about the situation. The whole idea of going through that process was extremely unsettling for me and very anxiety producing.

After speaking with my insurance company, I found that it should all be covered with the exception of a few hundred dollars...and, even though even one penny is more that I feel that I should have to spend...I finally came to the conclusion that my own emotional health was worth more than the dollars.

Just as I had made that decision....this was the daily inspiration that I received that next day...

Legally, I have two years to decide what action to take...in the meantime I will be moving ahead in search of that "peaceful heart".....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hump Day

So, Wednesday (aka "hump day") is here...and I started my day very early...decided to get up and take my morning walk before the heat of the day kicked in. It was around 7:00 o'clock and I figured that it would be cool enough to have a pleasant enough walk.


It was incredibly hot and toasty and the humidity was thick and sticky and I found myself sweating bullets as I trudged through the neighborhood.Rounding the corner back home, all I could think about was getting into the shower!

So much for cooler mornings...looks like it is back to the treadmill in air-conditioning for me.


(For those of you who don't watch, "The Bachelor", read no further...)

So, it seems that Jake, the Bachelor, and his "fiance'", Vienna, are no more. (We warned you, Jake!) What a shame. What a shock! What a surprise!

I hope that you were able to read my sarcasm into those last few remarks... : )


Well, my dear girlie friend, Sharon, purchased a beautiful new Lexus SUV last weekend. Now, this isn't just any ordinary car....you can talk to it and it listens and responds! For example, if you are too cold, you can push a button and tell the car (!) that information out loud and it will make the car warmer for you...and vice versa.

I told her that she should try and ask the car for money and see what it says...


In light of Sharon's new car, I decided to try and talk to my new-ish car, Subie-do...my Subaru.

No response.

Go figure.


You may remember the issues that I was having with my bird feeder in the backyard. Even though it was touted as "squirrel-proof"...my very smart neighborhood squirrels outwitted it time and time again. Eventually I had to replace the perches with nails and tape the whole thing with duct tape to keep it together....put a large lid on top and, miraculously, the squirrels left it alone.

Well, evenually, the bottom fell out of my feeder and I knew that it was time to replace it. But, the nice thing about buying a feeder from Droll Yankees is that they promise a lifetime guarantee on their products....so, I took it back to the hardware store and they replaced the bottom with a brand spankin' new squirrel proof bottom complete with new and improved collapsible perches that can only hold the weight of birds.

Sitting in my kitchen this morning, I began to observe the birds happily chirping and having a lovely breakfast of bird seed that I had provided for them.

Suddenly, I saw one of the backyard squirrels take a flying leap towards the feeder.

"Ah ha", I thought, "Let's see you try to stay on to my brand new '100% squirrel-proof' feeder."

He did. With his paws holding on to the little holes where the food was kept, he managed to hang on and have at my bird's food.

So much for "new and improved".


Time to get back to work on my pottery......ciao.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Don't blow bubbles into the wind."

When I got in bed last night I began to look at this little book that I have had forever...it is called: "Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me" by Cynthia Copeland.

This delightful book is filled with wisdom from a child's perspective. Simplistic, yet full of great insights for people of all ages!

Here are some of my favorites:

"If you are going to draw on the wall, do it behind the couch.:

"Some weeks you really need Saturday on a Wednesday."

"Even if you make a really nice place for it to live, with grass and dirt and a few rocks and sticks, the caterpillar will still spend all its time trying to get out of the jar."

"Grandmothers don't mind hearing the same story over and over, but other people do."

"Hiding peas under your napkin only works once."

"Don't say 'The last one there is a rotten egg' unless you're absolutely sure there's a slow kid behind you."

"Remember who gives you wet kisses, and the next time you see them, wave from across the room."

"If you want a kitten, start out asking for a horse."

"A penny saved is not much."

And my favorite: "Don't always act your age."

Makes perfect sense to me..... : )

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

(A piece of pottery hand-crafted and painted by my Dad in the spring of 2006..with a clay key chain that I made for him hanging above it...)
As people all over honor their dad's today, I feel somewhat of an emptiness.

Having lost my dad a few year's ago, I don't have the privilege of sending a card....or picking up the phone to send my Father's Day wishes and love.

I'm trying to use the day to remember all of the good things about Dad....in hopes that it will alleviate some of the sadness that goes along with loss of a loved one....more pronounced during holidays.

The photo above was from the last visit to my home that Dad made. I had the whole family here for Passover and decided to do a "pottery class". He sat very quietly working on his little state of Florida...adding the wonderful touches of a smiling face. He painted it in bright colors and seemed quite proud of his accomplishment.

After I expressed to him how much I loved it, he told me to keep it here in my house...that he wanted me to have it.

I didn't refuse...and, I am so glad that I did. It hangs in my studio and makes me smile every time that I see it.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love and miss you...

Friday, June 18, 2010

The wedding on the beach....

While sitting on the patio with the Girlies at the end of May... high above the beach....we suddenly noticed that a wedding was getting ready to start down below us.

Being nosy interested, we began to watch the whole event from our "front row" seats...so, I put my camera zoom on and took this photo.

There were just a few "guests" and many photographers, all awaiting the arrival of the bride....who made her way down the sandy beach after a while.

It was all very sweet, and we enjoyed the "show" as we tried to guess what was actually happening and who these people were. We all had a different take on what was occurring in front of our eyes.

Interestingly, when I was browsing through some of my beach pictures today, I noticed something in the picture that I hadn't picked up on before.

Over on the right side of the photo was something that caught my eye....Since the photo was taken some 20 stories up from the beach, I cropped it to get a better look...

There it was...a violinist.

I just loved that...wish that we could have heard his music from our front row seats... : )

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy birthday, AUDREY!

How can it be????

Audrey is turning TWO today!!

Wasn't she just a tiny baby that I held in my arms?

As Jim Croce wrote:

"If I could save Time in a bottle-- The first thing that I'd like to do -- Is to save every day-- 'Til Eternity passes away -- Just to spend them with you.

If I could make days last forever -- If words could make wishes come true-- I'd save every day like a treasure and then,-- Again, I would spend them with you ."

Happy, happy birthday, my precious Audrey!

I love and miss you,


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Magazine Madness

I guess that you could say that I am going through a "clearing out" or cleansing period right now...as I sit straddled on the floor going through my veritable mountain of old magazines.

I had been holding on to back issues of Cooking Light thinking that one day I might actually go through them again for recipes. I usually rip out anything that interests me while reading them the first time...so, what made me think that I would find anything new the second, third, time, etc? And, I can get these same recipes online...

Then there were all of my Oprah issues. These gems are filled with so much good information, I hated to part with any of them. Unfortunately, each magazine must weigh 20 lbs.-they are so big and heavy...and, needed to be a part of my "lightening up" process. So, I quickly skimmed through them, tearing out anything that I knew I would read again at a later time and bagged them up, too.

And, how about my "fantasy world" People magazines? These come every week, so you can imagine how quickly those can pile up. Many of them were half-read with the pages folded down to remind me of my place. Could I let go of these without finishing them? Did I really need to know about Heidi Montag's ten plastic surgeries? Or, Lindsay Lohan's latest antics? Tempting, but I trashed (Freudian slip?) them all.

Then there were my pottery magazines. How could I ever part with them? What if I needed some sudden inspiration before getting into my clay? But, since I subscribe to several of them, I decided to keep a few and ditch the rest. I can find my creative inspiration all around me!

Another large and heavy one that I get monthly is the Birmingham magazine. I feel that it is important to support this local periodical...but, finding issues in this pile for the years 2006 and 2007 were certainly not a necessity. Buh bye.

I now have five large plastic bags filled with these out-dated, half-read journals that were difficult to part with.......but, I must say....

...I feel lighter already. : )

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

As I headed out for an early morning appointment today....

...I wasn't prepared for what lie ahead for me.

Even though I gave myself plenty of time to get there, my first obstacle was the road construction going on right down the street.

The little man from the road crew was standing there in the middle of the road with one of those signs that has "slow" and "stop" on it. Normally, there is a steady progression of cars alternating moving ahead...but, not this morning! I sat there for almost ten minutes before I was allowed to "go"...and, even then, I had to follow a truck with a "follow me" sign on the back.

Well, I turned on the car radio, made a few air conditioning adjustments and went on my way. Suddenly I realized that my hazard lights were blinking and I had no idea why....or, more importantly, where the button was located. After pushing everything within my sight, I finally gave up and pulled over. I got out my driver's manual and began to read....

OK, stop laughing. This is a new car you know. : )

Once I got the hazard lights off, I began to hear a clicking noise. Where could it be coming from? It was making me crazy until I turned off the radio to hear it better...and, the sound was gone.

Further up the road I saw my life flash before me as a car was coming around the curve to get into the turn lane and began to head right for me! I am not exaggerating...I thought that a head-on collision was imminent. At the last second the other driver managed to get control of her car and swerve away from me. (I'm guessing that some texting or phone calling was involved.)

Once I was able to catch my breath, I began to do some stress-reducing, deep-breathing exercises....

.......only to come upon some additional road construction ahead.

...definitely one of those days that I should have stayed in my jammies... cuddled up in bed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Butterflies on the wall....

"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom."

Audrey and Owen "chasing" butterflies at the Children's Museum-May 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Eating Our Way Through San Francisco-2010

In my 61 years of life on this planet, I haven't ever been to California...so, when Dave and I both ended up with free tickets on Southwest Airlines...we decided to head out west to San Francisco!

After finalizing the dates that we could go (October)...I began to read through the Frommer's Guide to San Francisco while Dave checked things out online.

Did we look up the sites to be seen? No. Did we check out the hotels, B and B's? No. Did we check out the maps of the city? No. Did we look into how we would be spending a couple of days in wine country? No.

We were both checking out the FOOD!

I had to laugh in that we both share a love of food and are challenging ourselves to find the restaurants that are quaint, inexpensive, where the California natives go....and, most of all, where the best food is. It is kind of like that show: Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives where host Guy Fieri goes all over America looking for great food. He finds it in some of the strangest and most remote places... and it always looks so delicious!

So, I have decided to name our upcoming trip: "Eating Our Way Through San Francisco 2010".

Any suggestions? : )

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I got in the mood to try and replace my old blogging background with something a little more serene. I was afraid to get too ambitious and possibly erase the entire thing so I am taking this change slowly. Who knows what I might do next?!?!


Summer is definitely here! With highs in the 90's and humidity in the thousands (!), I sure can feel it. Remind me of all of this warmth when I complain about the cold winter.


My neighbor turned "83" today. He told me that he is going to start switching his age around from now on...so, he is really only "38" today.

I think that it is a good idea.

I kind of like being "16". : ) Hey, we might even start a new trend...


The same neighbor was having his whole family over to celebrate today and asked if I would mind if his grandkids came over to swim. Of course, I was delighted...especially since I have gotten the water so clear and inviting.

The kids range in age from about 8-16. I have to admit that sitting here looking out my window at them doing cannonballs into the water brings back lots of memories of when my boys were younger.



I think that Facebook is going to take over the world one day! With over 400 million subscribers...it is amazingly popular.

I have met some old friends on it and kept up with current acquaintances as well. It is a great source for picture sharing, too....and, just seems to make this big old world a bit smaller.

I recently decided to put photos of my pottery on it and try and sell it that way. It has only been on for a few days and three pieces have already sold!

If you are a Facebook subscriber and would like to take a look...put: "Pottery to the Max" in the search area and come by for a visit!

See you then... : )


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gin-soaked raisins?

I was going through some of my beach pictures this afternoon and I came up this photo. It is a jar filled with gin-soaked raisins that one of the Girlies brought with her.

Now, unlike "Jello shooters", this is not a new fad amongst drinkers. It is actually a folk remedy for arthritis that had been recommended for her to try for some of her aches and pains. The verdict is still out whether or not these raisins were of any help. In fact, there haven't been any scientific studies done to prove or disprove this theory...but, many people swear by it.

Here is what you do in case you would like to try it:

*take a box of golden raisins. (note: they must be the golden variety, sometimes called white raisins, not ordinary black raisins).

*place the raisins in a shallow container.

*cover the raisins with gin.

*let the raisins soak in the gin for a few weeks until the gin evaporates.

*you then eat nine of these drunken raisins a day to help your arthritis.

Want to read more? Go to this site.

I guess that it can't hurt...and, it might be kind of fun!? *hic* : )

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Grammie's Grunts

OK. I have to vent a little and my blog is the perfect place to let it all out.


Why is it that:

People tell you one thing and then do another? When I am told that I will be called back, I expect to get that call. When I am told that someone will be arriving to my home within a certain time framework...why don't they show up....or, at least call?

Why do people find the energy to be mean-spirited when that same amount of energy could be expended on pleasantries and kindness? It seems so easy to just soften a tone of voice and put a smile on someone else's face. Have lost this character trait in our busy-ness??

Why can't people allow President Obama to be the person that he is? If he shows too much emotion then they say he is "weak" and "indecisive". If he doesn't show emotion, they say that he is "cold" and "unfeeling". Give the man a break...after all, he is just that, a man.

Why is it that the people who seem to have everything in life don't seem to appreciate it...while those who don't, do?

Why can't all phone numbers just work with a numeral "1" in front of the number? When I dial a number of someone out of town...if it turns out to be a cell phone, I get the message that it isn't necessary to dial a "1"...and, to please dial again. Conversely, if I try calling a long distance number and forget to put a "1" in front of it, the voice tells me that I don't need to use a "1" and to please dial my number again.

Why is there so much anger and hate in the world? I just don't get it.

Why do the food manufacturers think that we aren't bright enough to recognize that their product boxes, cans, or bags are getting smaller, while the prices are going higher? C'mon people.

Why would a huge oil company drill in open waters and not have a million back up plans ready to put into action just in case something goes wrong???? Certainly they must care about our environment, too, right????

Why does simplicity seem to always become so complicated?????

Well, that's it for now....I guess that I feel a little better. Thanks for listening.

Peace. : )

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I can see clearly now......the green is gone!

It took a lot of hard work (not to mention, chemical$!) but my pool is crystal clear and open and ready for summer!!!

Now, if I could just fill it with the sounds of giggling grandchildren! *sigh* : )


Mah Jongg Monday was a lot of silliness and fun as we all seemed to need to just do a lot of laughing. Not the most serious game that we have ever had....but, certainly one of the most fun.


My mom, sisters and I are trying to plan a trip to Skaneateles, NY, this summer. We are going to celebrate two special b'days in the group this year. One sister, Karen, turned 50 in March, and another, Marsha, will be rounding the bend to 65 in September. The plan is to meet up in Karen's beautiful NY summer home and all be together for several days!

One would think that this would be relatively easy..but, when you have 5 women all trying to work out their best dates as well as planning a few side trips along the way....well, it becomes complicated.

I am the kind of person who likes to make the plans quickly, buy the tickets, and then just sit back and look forward to the whole thing. I have a difficult time with a "wait and see" approach....but, having grown up with three very different sisters, I should know better.


Did you know that a Tootsie Roll pop is only 60 calories? I tried to convince the Mah Jongg girlies to each have one yesterday. Besides being a great way to solve one's craving for something sweet, I announced that this guilty pleasure can last about an hour.

So, they all timed me.

I got to the wonderful Tootsie Roll middle in less than 10 minutes.

So much for that theory...but, they all ended up taking one anyway.

Maybe that's why there was so much giggling at Mah Jongg yesterday?!?!?!

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Many Faces of Celia...

New photos arrived today....so I have to share some of my favorites!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The chard challenge....

So, I chopped the stems....

...and, then the leaves and sauteed them in some olive oil and fresh garlic...the smell was wonderful!

Like spinach, my huge bunch shriveled down quite a bit...

It actually turned out to be very good and went really well with the fresh corn off of the cob, pink-eyed peas from the Farmer's Market, wonderful tomato slices, and a delicious piece of fresh snapper that Dave picked up at the fish market nearby and I coated with Panko crumbs and sauteed in a pan with fresh squeezed lemon, garlic and capers. Mmmmmm..... : )

Saturday, June 05, 2010

How to Cook Swiss Chard...

I went to the local Saturday morning market place midtown today.

This particular day they were honoring cancer survivors... so three of us went with my cancer survivor friend, Sherri.

As I walked around the various booths of homemade breads and cakes, local artist's work, Alabama honey, farm grown vegetables, a variety of herb plants, etc. etc. my eye caught a bunch of greens sitting on a nearby counter. The sign said: "Swiss Chard $2 bunch". I remembered a time a while back when I picked up some salads at Whole Foods and one of them contained chard. I recall that it was different and quite delicious.

OK, I'm adventurous, so I bought a bunch and began to inquire exactly how to cook these greens.

No one seemed to know. Not a good sign.

I finally arrived at another booth that also had the Swiss Chards displayed. This gentleman knew what to do with them. He began to tell me to cut off the stems and cook them first because they took longer than the leaves. He continued as he added onions, cheese, nuts, and fruit (fruit?) to the recipe. I smiled, told him "thank you" and went on my way. Before leaving the area I got in a conversation with a woman who was also looking to buy some greens. I told her about the Whole Food's salad and she said: "Oh, you mean Kale!".

KALE! Right! That was what I had and loved....

Oh well. I was stuck with this strange looking bunch of chard and was determined to make it tonight....so, I got home....looked it up on the Internet and here is what I found.

(my Swiss Chard on the left)

"Of all the fresh greens that you can find in your supermarket's produce section, none is as nutritious for you as Swiss chard. Really, it is bursting with good things, from huge amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C to lots and lots of phytonutrients. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans praised chard for its health-giving properties. Swiss chard is available year round in most places, although by most accounts it is at its peak of taste in the summer months. I have personally bought and enjoyed it even in the depths of January and February.

If you can get hold of young chard, which is the most tender, you can eat it raw in salads or as a flavorful alternative to lettuce in sandwiches.

As for cooking Swiss chard, feel free to use it instead of spinach in any recipe. You'll have to cook it slightly longer than you would spinach, and perhaps a good bit longer if it is older chard.

Chard can be used in place of spinach in any recipe, although chard will need to be cooked a bit longer. When cooking older chard, the stems require longer cooking time than the leaves. You might find that you need to separate the stems from the leaves and cook them separately, with the stems requiring a longer cooking time because of their thickness.

Here's an easy recipe for cooking Swiss chard:


1 to 2 pounds Swiss chard, thoroughly washed and drained

2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil (2 tablespoons per pound of chard)

2 cloves of garlic, minced


Ground black pepper


1. Remove leaves of chard from their stems; chop stems into bite-sized pieces.

2. Stack or roll the leaves together and slice them into smaller strips using a sharp knife.

3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Place olive oil, chopped chard stems and minced garlic in skillet and saute 4 to 6 minutes.

4. Add the chard leaves a bunch at a time as you stir. Once all the leaves are in the skillet, cover with a lid and allow to cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, or until the greens look wilted.

5. Remove the lid. Turn heat to high and continue cooking approximately 2 more minutes, or until all liquid has evaporated.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. "

Wish me luck. More tomorrow!!!! : )

Thursday, June 03, 2010

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." Confucius

In my continuing idiocy determination to win the war on the algae dust at the bottom of my pool, I must admit that I am nearing wit's end.

Making life simpler, but more costly, would be calling the local pool company (who charge $100 an hour) to come over and clean up the pool for me while I sit inside my air-conditioned house eating bonbons.

But, noooo, I have to complicate my life a bit more than it already is by trying to do it all myself!

So, yesterday I went online and watched lots of how-to videos on "vacuuming out an in ground swimming pool".

It looked pretty straight forward to me.....so I drove over to the local pool company and purchased all of the vacuuming equipment that I could. My thinking was that it was worth the initial investment to have the stuff that I would need year after year...right? Wrong.

But, not to be deterred, early this morning I headed out with the vacuum head, 40 ft. hose and skimmer cap. I simply attached a telescoping pole to the head and then attached the 40 ft. hose. So far so good.

Now, the video said that you must get the tubing totally filled with water so that no air bubbles will get into your system. This sounds easier than it is to do...believe me!

There I was on my knees (ouch!)trying to slowly push 40 feet of tubing underwater. It just kept floating to the surface filled with air. Not good.

On top of that one must keep the pole and vacuum head down in the water at the bottom of the pool. Well, it kept sliding down into the pool so I brilliantly got the idea to "anchor" it with one of my patio chairs. Once it was in place I went to turn on the hose so that the pool could stay filled with water....as I turned back around I saw the pole AND my yard furniture sinking slowly into the deep end of my pool.

After capturing the sinking chair, I somehow managed to begin the process of vacuuming. For about 2 minutes it was working great as I smugly smiled at my money-saving genius. But, then all suction stopped and the filter basket sounded like it was gasping for air.

After several attempts to get in touch with the pool guy..... (who I brought homemade cookies to the other day to keep him in my good graces and whose line was continually busy)....I called Dave at work (in a panic) to have him go online and help me find out what was going on!

Dave found a pool site and began to read it to me...luckily, one of the suggestions was to open all of the skimmer vents (don't ask!) which I did....and, the water began to flown once again. When I finally spoke with my pool guy later on, he said that if I hadn't done that within a few minutes the filter system would have burnt up.

OK. So much for my do-it-yourself brilliance.

Truthfully, I'd rather be eating bonbons...

(stay tuned)

(...the scene of the algae crime-note the dark cloud at the deep end...)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Celia has something to tell you.....

"I am going to be a big sister in a few months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I can finally talk about the exciting news...Jeffrey and Janet have announced that a new grandbaby will be arriving this year....possibly around the third of December....and this Grammie could not be happier....another sweet baby to love!


: )

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Celia does Florida....and Grammie's so jealous!

Jeffrey, Janet and Celia are making the "rounds" in S. Florida visiting with family....these pictures make me miss them all even more than I already do!

The amazing and wonderful thing about having a grandbaby visit is the indescribable joy that they bring to everyone....especially my mom.

I had a message from Mom this morning going on and on about her "...incredible, beautiful, adorable, brilliant" etc. etc. great-granddaughter. I loved the lift that I heard in Mom's voice and the immense pleasure that she was getting out of the visit.

Today's plan was for everyone to come to "The Home" and have lunch with Mom....which gives her a wonderful chance to show off her family a bit....especially little Celia!

Even though I am terribly a bit jealous, I have a huge smile on my face and a very happy heart... : )