Just Hanging Out With the Scots

What a lazy day today! I have just been taking it easy….still! This is OK, I guess, but sometimes I find myself getting a bit stir crazy!

Last week, I was supposed to go in to the dentist for a cleaning. When I “mentioned” this in passing to Carly, she advised me NOT to go! She explained that since the DR was concerned about an undiagnosed heart murmur, I should wait until after the echo cardiogram. The DR said she could prescribe an antibiotic that is taken an hour before the appointment, but since I wasn’t feeling so hot, Mark and I decided it would be best to just reschedule the appointment after we finish all of this nonsense!

All that said, I cannot believe that yesterday, I developed a *toothache*! I have never had a toothache before, and the timing on this is ridiculous. The echo cardiogram is scheduled for May 1, so I am planning to hold out till then. It isn’t a “pounding” ache…it just hurts when I eat. So, I have not been stuffing my face. THAT is a good thing!

This afternoon, Michelle took a picture of me with the Scotties. She refused to try the Nikon, so she took the picture with my old Olympus.

Vanilla, of Course!

I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to discover that I am not the *only* person who favors the flavor vanilla over chocolate! Lisanne, I have found out, loves vanilla, too! It just seems like so many people call themselves chocoholics, and I never quite understood what all the draw was to that “brown” flavor!
When Lisanne told me that she really enjoys a white cake with white frosting, I giggled, as I *always* am excited about my birthday, because I know what is coming down the pike….white cake with….you guessed it! White frosting! I made a cake a couple of weeks ago, but it was not “plain” white cake. Somewhere along the line, I saw a recipe for a “poke cake” that you use a fork to make holes in the cake and then drizzle jello over the top. I only had lime flavor jello, so it was kind of ho-hum. But, the frosting was a hit!
This “icing” recipe is one that my mom has used since before I was a teenager! It isn’t so sugary it makes you want to gag, but it is a recipe that can be used for very special occasions!
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French Creme Icing
1 cup milk
4 Tablespoons flour
Mix milk and flour well, then boil until thick. (My mom always used a Tupperware “shaker” to blend the milk and flour together. If these two ingredients are not well blended, the frosting will be a bit “lumpy”…like gravy! I would love to use an immersion blender for this, but mine is used for…..soap….)
Set this aside to completely cool.
Cream and beat well:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
Add the cooled milk and flour mixture, then 1 teaspoon vanilla (or twice as much if you are me!)
and beat until the mix is the consistency of whipped cream.
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If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it!

*Captured!*

Yesterday, I decided to try out the Loreal haircolor kit I bought at WalMart a few weeks ago. I have been feeling so “off”, I just didn’t want to take the time to use it before this! So, after doing the base color, highlights are kind of “painted” on.

I have NEVER done anything like this before! I always just did a basic color……

Michelle helped me place the highlights, which was very useful as I do not have eyes in the back of my head. (in spite of the fact that I always tell Ben I do!) When I was done, there was still a lot of the mix left, so I told Michelle she could do her hair. When I tried to snap her picture today, she took off, fleeting like a gazelle! hehehe GAZELLE MICHELLE

Little did she know….I am ******fast******* or, at least my Nikon is!!!

The Results are In!

The doctor called our house early this afternoon to tell me that the bloodwork results were now in and they were (as she put it) “picture perfect”. She told me she could not have asked for better numbers. So, the possibilities of anemia and thyroid have been ruled out. The next step is an echo cardiogram that will be done on May 1. I am praying that the results will be as excellent.

There is not much happening here. The doctor had ordered me to take things easy, and that is precisely what I am doing.

Yesterday, Carly “borrowed’ Ben for a few hours to help demolish her basement. Oops! Did I say *demolish*? Actually, Ben helped Carly and her son, Kyle, take down some walls in the basement! The former owners of this older home decided to build a room in the basement. The mode of doing this was haphazzard at best, and somewhat illegal. As Carly showed me electric wire hanging in mid air hidden behind paneled walls, I couldn’t help but wonder what the building inspector that looked over her home before they purchased it might have said were it exposed…For insulation, the technique used was to place the insulation into plastic garbage bags and throw them into the walls. Ugh….

Carly met us to deliver Ben back to us, and her little dachshund, Joe came along for the ride.

Mark snapped this picture…..doesn’t it look as though he is just hanging out, listening and taking everything in?

He is such a cutie…but he was thinking it was time to start heading on home. As we chatted, he began to think perhaps he needed to take matters into his own “paws”!!!!

Take a Deep Breath…..

YES! I have been breathing *much* better today. No yawning and making silly faces, trying to swallow a big gulp of air! Ah, it feels so much better. I don’t even have to open my mouth to breathe, matter of fact. Gads, it is hard to even imagine such a thing unless one experiences this!

And, I hope I *never* do again!!!
I called my father this morning and talked to him for awhile. He was telling me how nice and warm it was at the house. I laughed, thinking he was pulling my leg. Mark took the phone and talked to him for a bit, and as they were talking, I could see the sky beginning to change….there was some blue sky poking through. As the day progressed, we found ourselves bathed in golden sunshine…the temps were a good deal cooler than yesterday, but it was a stellar day!
Please bear with me, but once again, I was having some fun with the camera. I caught Doe as she was passing through our property……..

Okay, so you are tired of seeing Doe and her little ones. So, how about…………………………..

A *STINK * bug I caught as he was walking across the concrete sidewalk………OR,

A pretty Robin redbreast sitting in the tree at the park?

Well, those *were* my offerings for today. Then, I came up into the bedroom and saw the sun setting through the bedroom windows!

I love how the light cast the shadow of the lace curtains in the windows and the little red glass Scottie that sits on the window. Forgive the mess all over my desk. I so need to clean up some, but *how* does one decide what to keep and what to get rid of? Such a dilemma….so many treasures remind me of the kids and it makes it so hard to even think of ridding the house of them! Believe me, I have never been a packrat! But……

As I began to make way across the room to pack up my camera, I looked up to see the picture of Brewster. ……

Brewster belongs to a dear Scottie friend, Ruth Wynne. Ruth and her husband had five Scotties at one point, but three of her dear little Scots have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Well, yesterday, late in the afternoon, Ruth was walking Brewster and his “sister”, Molly. Suddenly, a large German Shepherd appeared and grabbed hold of Brewster! Ruth pushed and scolded the shepherd, but he refused to stop. He attacked Brewster and left several bites all over his back, base of his tail, and his hind legs! Poor Ruth called for help, and when the shepherd’s master heard, he merely called his dog home, leaving Ruth and the petrified Scotties with no help. Ruth immediately rushed the Scots to an emergency veterinary center. Molly was fine, but little Brewster had to stay behind. He was treated for multiple bite wounds and was released home early this morning. What a terrible experience for Ruth. She assured those of us on the CyberScots forum that little Brewster will be just fine.

I hope all are enjoying the fine spring weather, wherever you might find yourself. This winter arrived so late this year and seemed to linger on and on. We are anxiously awaiting all of the buds to pop open and spring to go full steam ahead!

Four in a Row!

Nice days, that is! I cannot believe the contrast from one week ago. Today, as I was walking outside in the sun, I felt faint from the heat! Wow!

While Mondays are usually hurried and crazy, today was relatively quiet. I enjoyed that and made the most of it. The only plan for today was that Michelle was going to meet with a friend she met at her Bible study. This friend and her family had moved here eight months ago. Her step dad was going to open a restaurant…..they had bought a lovely house and had so many plans. Unfortunately, no one knew that within just a few short months, the step dad would pass away at a young age. It was so sad, and now the family is moving back to where they previously lived. Michelle and her friend went to Penney’s and looked around a bit. When they came back to the car, Michelle took a set of “bangly” bracelets from a bag. She cut the tag that held them together and gave her friend half of them and kept the other half….I thought that was so cool…Michelle would remember her friend and vice versa, every time they see the bracelets!

I am in awe of the way all of the flora bounced back after the terrible storm that passed through here last week. One week ago, I was concerned that the lilac bush was going to split in half under the weight of the wet, sticky snow. Now, the buds and leaves are growing larger in size by the day!

The peonies that had begun to poke through the soil shortly before the storm also seem unscathed by the heavy snow that not only surrounded them, but pinned them down to the ground. These peonies are pretty special, because they are from some that my grandmother had planted many years ago…..
I had titled one entry in my blog (April 14) I Want to be a Daffodil. I photographed my miniature daffodils then, after they had been frozen solid, blooming their cheerful bright yellow flowers! Well, nine days later, after being totally buried, they are as beautiful today as they were on that day! The regular daffodils seem to have been ruined by the weather, but not those minis! I need to check out the bulb sellers to see if I can get more of these hearty little buggers. I would love to have them everywhere!
When we were in town today, we went down by the lake to spend some time while waiting for Michelle and her friend. There were three men sailboarding (not sure of the name?) but by the time I thought of photographing them, rain began to fall and they came in from the water. The lake looked so *angry* as though it was lashing out at the shore! A little later, the thunder began to rumble, then we got some downpours.
The weather calls for some rain and coolers temps over the next few days. That is OK, though….after all, April showers bring May flowers!

A Spectacular Day!

Wow, another wonderful, glorious, gorgeous day! Thinking back to one week ago, we were waiting out the pending storm and watching the sky! Hopefully, *that* weather is now behind us!

It was such a nice day, I just couldn’t resist taking a stroll down to the camper to open the windows to allow the fresh air to flow through. Of course, once seeing that the floor was kind of messy, I needed to run an electric cord on down so I could run the little vacuum cleaner! I cannot believe how dirty the floor and carpet were, but when I consider we always close the camper up in October, when the weather is kind of wet and muddy, I guess it makes sense! A good run with the vaccum cleans everything up quickly, and it doesn’t take much to make the little camper sparkle!
That was about all I accomplished today. I think we were all a little tired from our *almost* overnighter. Even the Scotties seemed kind of “mellow” today. So, we kind of took it easy. Mark and I spent some time looking online at various refrigerators. The one we have now is an Amana we bought while building our house. It was a good refrigerator, but it was greatly abused. As the kids got to the “age of exploration”, they both discovered that Mom often hid things atop the fridge. Well, the shortest distance between two points, we have all discovered, is a straight line.
And, the straightest line merely required opening the refrigerator door, and climbing the shelves until the top of said appliance could be reached! It is a fact that both of my kids got reprimanded for such actions, but when it comes to strong-willed children, nothing short of binding them up will stop the unquenchable drive to attain *success*!
Our 15 year-old refrigerator served us well, but methinks it is definitely time for retirement to that big scrap pile in the sky! The poor thing….every single shelf designed for the door was long removed,or should I say “destroyed, save for the butter keeper. The fruit and veggie drawers defy gravity, somehow hanging in their appropriate spots, support broken many moons ago. The plastic cover for the bottom vent was finally pitched last year after Mark’s noble effort to piece the many, many puzzlelike pieces together ended with the thing becoming UNglued. Little shoes had gotten wedged in the slots a long time before, breaking the plastic which I usually placed into a large ziploc bag. Oh my….the handle on the door began its slow degrading process ages ago and was finally totally removed only a few short months ago.
It is time for a new refrigerator, to be sure!
While looking at pictures I have taken recently, I came upon this picture of Angus. As we were getting ready for out little trip on Friday, Angus was watching over what was going on…..surveying all the activity, and making it known that under no circumstances was he to be left behind!!!
And another picture of Angus “sitting pretty” for my father. Whenever Angus wants something from a human, he strikes the “sitting cute on my haunches” pose, hoping that the viewer will take pity on the sweet little lad and hand over the booty…er, cookies!
I am praying to hear good news from the doctor tomorrow, but I guess I had better not hold my breath….no pun intended. I have been struggling for the past several days to take a deep cleansing breath. The doctor didn’t tell me the timeframe for getting test results, so I will just patiently sit back and await the results. No news is good news, correct?

Sun-Saturated, Satisfying Saturday!

The kids went to Splash Lagoon last November, and at that point, we decided not to stay at one of the expensive hotels nearby. We would rather save the money for a camping trip with our camper. So, after the kids reemerged shortly after 3 am, we went on down the road to Sam’s Club. Sure enough, there was a big class A motorhome, slides out, parked in the lot. We simply pulled up behind them.

After getting Mark and Ben all set in the truck, Michelle and I took Murphy and crawled into the back of the truck. We placed a sleeping bag on the Bedrug, and then snuggled in for a few hours rest under a down comforter.

Michelle woke me up at 7, showing me how little Murphy was enjoying being placed under the comforter after waking up shivering! He never allows us to cover him up, as he would rather sleep down by our feet. Not being an *outdoor dog*, he obviously could not stand the “cold” temps in the 50’s!!!

I couldn’t believe how blue the sky was, nor how beautiful it appeared outside! People with business memberships could be seen in the distance, entering Sam’s. I called Mark and woke him up. We went in Sam’s for a bit, then called my parents to tell them we were coming back to visit today.

We had yet another day of relaxation and fun visiting with my parents and brother, Randy. We were able to spend the entire day outside! And, the most strenuous thing I did today was take pictures of some of the visitors to the bird feeder! (we are unable to have a feeder…..just last Thursday, one of our neighbors called to warn us a black bear had been wandering about our “neighborhood”. It had upset their feeder, as well as a birdbath!) So, I must enjoy the birds at homes other than my own!


We reluctantly left for home, arriving here at about 7 pm. Only a little snow remains on the ground from the piles we shoveled to nearly 4 feet tall! As always, it was good to arrive home again after our little outing, but there is so much to do!!!

Frenzied But Fabulous Friday!

I was going to tell all that has been going on the past couple of days in one entry, but decided it was too long. Sooo….

Yesterday morning, (Friday) I had an early appointment with the doctor at 8:30 am. Since last August, I have had a number of instances where I have a bit of difficulty breathing. I will be fine, then I will find myself having a tough time “catching” my breath. It is as though I can breathe deeply, but am unable to feel “refreshed”…it is as though the air is not entering my lungs. A little difficult to explain.

Given the fact that my older brother had to have open heart surgery last June, and my father recently had a pacemaker/ ICD implanted, I decided that perhaps I needed to have the doctor at least look at me….

I am generally on the low side when it comes to blood pressure. You cannot imagine my surprise and dismay when the doctor told me that my blood pressure was 180 over 100! She took my family history, and examined me. Upon completion, she decided that I needed to have bloodwork done and a cardiogram. When asked what her thoughts were, she said it could be heart, but she wanted to rule out anemia and thyroid problems.

I don’t know exactly *why*, but I was relieved after the doctor visit. She asked me to have my blood pressure checked a couple of times this weekend, and I will tell you that the readings were considerably lower….in the range of 122 over 76.

After finishing up, I went in to a lab up the road and had blood drawn. The receptionist was a little different….she asked if I was fasting. Well, no, I had a cup of tea with a teaspoon of sugar and some milk……she released a heavy sigh as though insinuating I was a dummy, but the joke was on her….I had NO idea I would be having bloodwork done!

The doctor admonished me to “take it easy” and not do anything strenuous, nor anything that would cause stress. A bit hard to do, but we had some plans……

We finished up in town, then headed home to pack our bags! After an extremely disappointing cancellation of a trip to Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA last month, due to *extreme* weather, the time had finally come for the kids to go! The real “trick” to this whole event was that it takes place from 11 pm until 3 am! It is deemed an “almost overnighter”!

We left early, right after noon, as the kids had done their schoolwork ahead so they could have a day off. We went to my parents’ home, as they are along the way. We had such a relaxing visit including a wonderfully delicious meal at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club. The club is exclusive…you must be a member, and sits on Chautauqua Lake. Mark and I had their fish fry, and the meal was so fantastic! What a memorable evening this was!

We went back to my parents’ house and visited some more until it was time for us to get on our way.

We arrived in Erie and dropped the kids off. We parked in the lot and Mark and I both immediately fell asleep! We had planned to go inside and take some pictures of the kids and just hang out, but our plans changed! Mark awakened me at about 2 o’clock, saying he was cold. I gave him a blanket, then sat and waited for the kids to come on out.

What a crazy but fun day!!! The kids had a delightful time and they were so excited but tired!