June, exploring and expanding my view

You see with your eyes, and hear with your ears, but how much do you extrapolate?

I have come to realize that with each glimpse you bring into the picture your past memories of that subject, and the corresponding feelings, positive or negative into today’s new moment.

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What inspires you?

Do you ever wonder how it is that you choose to do something? What inspires you? Why does that particular thing spark your interest?

Are you a ” go with the flow” type of person or are you rigid in your thoughts of what you’ve already decided is right for you?

I am finding that I have changed my likes over the years, just as some people change friends.  I am open to new things. I am interested.  From the perspective of children, some cannot wait to finish school, yet you can spend your lifetime learning. Your brain, thinking and your mind ready to absorb different information.  I feel you become a better person with each new thing that you introduce. It is social, in the process, you meet new people. You don’t have to like every aspect of a person, but you learn to appreciate that part of them that participates in a certain activity, whether it yoga, painting, rock climbing, singing, teaching, jewelry-making, bakery owner, gardener.

I am amazed at my local library and all the venues it has to offer. It truly has become a multi-faceted place in which during the learning process,  I have met several new friends.

There is the ” Digital Cafe”, The Smart Lab” to take various computer seminars, and to make appointments for one on one questions. Also there you can learn ” Garage Band”, video-Editing, there is a Library consortium of shared services, one of these being sewing. I sewed  both a zipped pouch and a pretty library tote of toile fabric which I like.

During both months of  January and March were ” Makers month ” at local libraries in my area.

Who would have thought that all you need is a black felt tip sharpie and a white ” tile” cardboard and you can create artistic doodles called Zentangle.  The premise is that while playing New Age music, music that is played during yoga classes, and drawing patterns, that it releases endorphins that create a form of relaxation.  That day in January, I also learned knitting, and ball room dancing. In March, I was enthused to attend and watch documentaries.

One of my favorites was the movie entitled ” Angel Azul”,  about the long process of creating an Angel statue by plaster casting on a model, this took hours to do and I appreciated the patience of the lady model. This statue was lowered into the ocean with a giant crane.  Many more statues were created by sculptures in the same method , all to be used on the ocean floor, to create a new barrier reef ,  a place for plankton, and sea life to adhere to.  I learned that professional scuba divers travel from all areas of the world to scuba  dive in Mexico to view this place.

Thank- you for visiting my blog and finding this post.

Comments: I welcome your comments, thoughts on the subject.

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14., and Philadelphia’s Constitution Center

Today is Flag Day. What does that mean? To me, as an American, everyday is the day to celebrate and display our American flag.

And I do. In my own way. My garden has American flags waving proudly among my summer flowers. When I plant my flower garden, The colors I choose are red, white and blue. Red geraniums, white , and blue ageratums.

My front door welcomes you with a homemade hanging sign in the shape of an American flag; it is old, In fact my family made it at a craft project at my hometown library several years ago, and I still display it. It has ribbons, and during the year I drape it on the edge of my plant stand in the kitchen. Whenever I’m cooking, reading one of my cookbook collection or gazing out the sliding door’s window, I am reminded of our Freedom, I jotted notes about it a couple of weeks ago while at the Princeton Public Library.

Freedom to read almost anything out there that is published.  It was a real eye-opening moment when I came across a book last month,

Flag Day at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA

Flag Day at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA

that a writer attempt to describe what it is like in out her countries.  Found the book in the Princeton Public library, was so interesting, that I jotted down.

History of Flag Day:

A celebration of the adoption of the Continental Congress to adopt the flag June 14, 1777.

Resolved that the flag be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, thirteen stars.

Although for 200 years, the American flag was flown on public buildings, and in several small cities, Flag day wasn’t  officially recognized until President Harry Truman signed it into law in 1949.

Nearby Philadelphia’s Constitution center is having Flag Day celebration, opening early at 0930 am with reduced admission price of $5.00 sponsored by Macy’s ( Department store. )  At 10:30 am on the front lawn is a 50 star grand flag raising and a parade to Independence Mall.

Betsy Ross, the birthplace of the American Flag is open today, the 13 star flag raising.

There is a ” Stars and Stripes” Community fair 09:00 to 3:00 pm at a Independence Mall.

Celebrate Flag Day!!

June, It’s been a long time

Hello, blog friends and followers.  How have you been?   It’s been a long time since I blogged. I do still like to write and take pictures, have been doing this all year except other priorities have kept me from downloading photos and writing.

My proclamation:

I, lovesclassics, solemnly swear that I will in the next Six months find time for myself to express and create  on this blog.  I have many more stories to tell about my mom growing up in Pennsylvania. Believe it or it, I still like to jot things down on paper, notebook paper, and like those little pads of ” sticky notes”, I keep yellow and blue ones in the car, just under the dashboard radio. During this hectic life, as I go about my day, when I think of something , or as I get a call, yes I have a fairly new, , gasp new car with” blue tooth” capabilities, , I jot things down  The trick here , is to keep referring to these stickies notes.

Sometimes, you will find me getting out of the car , small purse on right shoulder, and little blue stickie In Hand to ” get what’s on my list” , “” stick to the list, now don’t veer off.  Oh wait,here’s something I need.  Ask yourself,  ” Is it a need? , or , is it a want?.”

Jiffy French Dressing for Salad and two lunch salads, October 4, 2013

Life is Beautiful  is the title that I choose for my blog  when I started it.

Lately , I put other family members first and have less time for myself, my husband  and my house working a full -time job.  It has caused me to delay my own check-ups, the first being my dental cleaning, was due in December.   Each month, I knew this, yet I had to bring mom for many follow -up visits both in January and February for the dentist.   until now, I spend every week house sitting ,and  working alongside the  ” Visiting Angel” coming to mom’s house; and during the months of July and August, taking my sister three times a week for Physical Therapy, left no chance to take them to the beach even for one day.  Also, getting their porch fixed and selecting and ordering porch railings  a priority.( expect a phone call any day this week that ready for installation.  As long as it comes before the weather turns colder.

After I received a follow-up phone call,In August from my dental receptionist,  , asking  where are you? I said , “taking care of my mothers house, I don’t have time for my appointments” . I now in the process of getting a crown on a molar tooth For a cavity.  This will cost big bucks.

At home,  we prepare foods that  are good for a couple of days in a stew pot, like lentils , with carrots, sweet potato  in a tomato based broth, but I post a lunch salad recipe this morning.

Jiffy French Dressing  ( not associated with the store box mixes)

Blend well:

1 Tbsp sugar or Sugar substitute,

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Put into a 1 – pint Screw-top jar.  Add

1 cup salad oil ( canola oil , lower in cholesterol I buy what is on sale. )

1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice

Cover jar tightly and shake vigorously to blend.   store in  the refrigerator.  Shake well before using.

Makes : 1 1/ 4 cup French dressing

Salads:

Salad for one person

Ring- Around salad

For each salad, place on a salad plate, 1 lettuce  leaf , washed.

In center of lettuce, place 1 slice pineapple , well -drained,

Around the slice of pineapple, arrange

6 orange sections

Place in center of pineapple, one apricot half , cut side up.

Fill apricot with 1 tsp jiffy French dressing

6 raisins.

Makes 1 salad

Peach and Cottage cheese salad

For each salad, place one crisp lettuce leaf on salad plate,  and top with 2 peach halves ,

Place the peach halves close together, rounded sides down . Then arrange from the center of one peach half to the center of the other

1large green pepper ring .

Inside green pepper ring, place 1/4 cup cottage cheese and shape into a mound .  Circle cheese mound with 2 or 3 rings of green pepper.

The design is of a cowboy. The peach halves are the rim of cowboy hat, the cheese forms the crown, and pepper rings are bands around the sombrero.  If desired, drizzle over the top of the ” hat crown,  Jiffy French dressing.

When it’s time for lunch, Choose  a pretty plate from your cabinet, it does not have to  match. I have a set of 4 clear glass salad plates and a few brightly colored plates that  I purchased at Home Goods/ or Marshall’s. 

I have a favorite plate that has the colors pink and green and beige, pink flowers from a well-known pattern, I purchase dishes in sets of Two.

My Day

May 15, 2013. My Day off goes like this.

I wake up to kiss Pat as he leaves for work. I lie in bed, hoping for another half hour of rest. The sun is shining very brightly this morning through the closed blinds and sheer floral curtains.
I think, I need to start my shower, however the Master bath needs removal and repair/re-grout of the floor and tiles; the contractor had suggested to refrain from using this bathroom. 
In the second (guest) bathroom inside the tub is Bulk toilet paper, a bag of Nina’s books,and Reader’s Digest.  Then, I decide that I need to start a load of laundry but first I’ll have a quick bowl of cereal. Another day, another time, there will be a chance to sit outside at the Patio table with my breakfast and enjoy the outdoor sounds. 
Once downstairs, as I approach the sink/counter, I see that the floor below still needs sweeping.  Monday started off with a busy work-week,including both an early morning Team Leader meeting and staff meeting followed by an eight-hour shift. 
Instead of reaching up in the cabinet for my bowl for cereal, I reach down to move the kitchen slice rug, and see spots on the floor. First I sweep, then get the Swiffer that needs refill sponges,so I dampen a paper towel add dish soap and gently stoop down and give it a scrub. There, that will do. I don’t want to overdo it and strain any muscles, I have a 12 hr shift tomorrow at both Parsippany and Muhlenberg. 
I look over to the rest of the kitchen. The cute card table has things on it, it was intended to sit and eat there, currently there’s a stack of cookbooks jam from Sussex County fair with pretty fabric covers,a bag of pistachios, orange cranberry chutney , a bag of jasmine rice (should be moved to the upper cabinet and place in a plastic bag.), a Betty Crocker’s
” new” Boys and Girls Club book from the late 1960s , a bag of dried blueberries trail mix with cashews cranberries and almonds, and a cookbook called healthy meals. It was 915 a.m.as I sat down to write this,  I did prepare my bowl of  half rice Chex cereal ,half Raisin Bran with vanilla Eating my cereal one spoonful at a time and sip my tea from one of my favorite mugs a Hawaiian theme that I got in the big Island in the 1998 trip with the CAC. I like to stir in A tsp of wildflower honey from the local Griggstown market. As I pause, I hear the ticking of the kitchen clock outside the home and rumble of the lawnmowers and the Weedwhacker’s of the landscape company. It’s a sunny day I ask myself if there’ time for a ten minute walk. Th e house after picking up/fish flounder and package of chicken drumsticks, Perdue , 5 La yogurts,  oatmeal, an organic plastic wrapped Zucchini. Yesterday morning before working evening shift at old Bridge I went to target store for Lysol spray bathroom cleaner with hydrogen peroxide three bottles were on sale plus Efferdent mint dentures tablets .  The  family were practically all out with two tabs left and they were breaking them in half and did not tell me nor did Mom buy any when she went shopping on her senior bus. When mom shops she thinks of meat and cake and pasta sauce and only allowed two grocery bags anyway.

It’s 9:45 AM I have to take a quick shower and at the same time start the lingerie on Coldwater wash. I’m still in my PJs. I have to quit right my bill for the car payment due the 19th and pack the car with the blue flowered tote bag  with file folders , bring the small red cooler with the chicken and fish and your perishables and look around and see what else. Alas, I want to cook something at least some pasta salad or an entrée for this evening for Pat and I. While busy at my mothers’ house, I must remember to be home before 7 PM there’s a webinar , Nurse.com,  I’d like to listen in. 
Well, it’s 9:46 PM exactly 12 hours later and I did not make it home in time for the 7 PM webinar. what I did accomplish at my mother’s house was to take her to her bank to deposit the monthly checks that came in on May 1 and today is May 15 and to take her down to the borough Hall  to write a check for her taxes that were due May 1 , late also.
Joan, the Visiting Angel was there from 11:15am to 3 :15 pm.  After I gathered the laundry and sheets off one bed, Joan started the laundry. Once I sorted through my sister’s books and magazines, and placed them in two new plastic containers, Joan did the vacuuming.   There was excess green salad from my mothers lunch, so while Joan suggested I take it home, I sat down to eat it. After all it was already 1:30 pm; I eat and talk with Joan. By this time, mom is in the spare room napping. 
Sister is laying down on her bed,since I had things on her rocker when she got home; then she had a big headache. Once Joan finished cooking dinner,neither was ready to eat.  Mom did not feel well this afternoon, mentioning diarrhea; I bring the soiled laundry downstairs and start a load, around 6pm. Three hours and neither has touched their plates of food on the kitchen counter.  Now, I package both meals up in plastic left-overs containers. Mom, is sipping Chamomile tea in her tea mug, When I first prepared it in the microwave since Joan was cooking at the stove, mom said it was too hot and added cold water to the mug. Later,after return from the bank and Boro Hall, she asked me to warm up the tea. 

Barbecue Sauce and the fun of visiting small towns with quaint book shops

A pretty view through the lace curtain at a quaint book shop in Cranbury, N.J.

A pretty view through the lace curtain at a quaint book shop in Cranbury, N.J.

It’s Friday, and I’m thinking BBQ for the weekend as in Pork spare ribs,  and some home-made barbecue sauce.  Spring is here in , yet in the Northeast, the temperatures are still quite chilly.   This is funny. While I still need some kind of hat, I can’t bear to put on my winter red hat; today, I’ve got to bring down some of my collection of baseball caps, something to cover my head, yet not quite a summer hat.   You , know those, wide-brimmed , straw or fabric hats.

Wishing on wearing once again, my warm weather  collection of short sleeve tees, my favorites, the “Life is Good”  in a couple of weeks perhaps.

Let’s get cooking!!!!

Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

3 stalks celery, chopped (perhaps dices)

2 bay leaves

1 clove  garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp chopped onion

4 TBSP butter

4 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon paprika

Dash of black pepper

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain.

Recipe from:

Cookbook: “This Little Higgy went to marke#

This cookbook has an intriquing Introduction,

” The Higginbottom ancestors immigrated over time to Water Valley , Mississippi from England by way of Barbados, Virginia. They fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and by 1870 were ready to head west.  By 1880 , most of the family of John Higginbottham and wife Lucy Ann and their twelve children had arrived and settled in Dublin, Texas. ”

Note: A nice outing, is visiting a used book sale, or flea market.  My hobby is to keep a sharp eye out for things “Made in the USA” , cookbooks included.  I like to learn about other parts of the country and what their ancestors prepared.  Another book , I came across, is a Southern recipe book,  I enjoy reading through those pages. I discovered this cook book while I was at the Cranbury bookshop, a quaint book shop set up in a very old 1800’s style house.  Although a little chilly for an old house, bring a sweater along with you , so you can pull up a chair, and browse through the pages of a book  or two.  There are nooks a cranny’ by the windows with  chairs set up for your to sit and read.

Well, a picture is better, if I can't take them all home!

Well, a picture is better, if I can’t take them all home!

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