The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

Hen on the Mend March 19, 2009

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick",Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 12:22 pm

hen_on_mend1

Fat Chick: “What happened to the lady at the desk? And who’s the new chick?”

Hen: “I’m new. I’m Hen on the Mend. The lady at the desk has an owie and has to go to that people hospital next week to be repaired. She’s going to be away for awhile and left me in charge of things.”

Fat Chick: “IN CHARGE? I thought I was in charge!”

Hen: “When she needs someone to be assertive, Chick, you get to be in charge. When she needs a diplomat, Henrietta is in charge. When she wants to show off, Gregory Pecked is in charge and when she wants to make the world go away she pretends she’s a toad and Pigeon is in charge. But right now, she doesn’t feel very well and needs someone to be a nurse and that’s why someone nice brought me to her. I’m supposed to help her and let everyone know how she’s doing while she’s gone.”

Fat Chick: “Is she leaving her laptop? Can we play while she’s gone?”

Hen: “You’ll have to use the computer at her desk. She needs her laptop so she can send messages to us from home. She wants to hear from everyone though. She’s easily bored and hates not being here with all her people friends. And her chickens, too, of course!”

Fat Chick: “Okay. Well, welcome to the zoo and to the family. I guess we can always use someone to help make us feel better. Wow, did I just say something nice? I must be sick! Help! Hen on the Mend, make me normal again!”

Hen: “It’s just a little anxiety, Chick, you’ll be fine in a day or two. Things will be back to normal in no time!”

 

Happy 16th Birthday Allen! February 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 6:43 pm

Allen's 16th Birthday Present from Mom and Dad

We celebrated Allen’s 16th birthday a little early so that his brothers and sisters could take part. He was pretty excited, to say the least. He had no clue he was getting a car for his birthday. I think we kept the secret pretty well!

The happy new driver

He couldn’t believe it and kept asking “Is it really mine?”

The fancy birthday cake

He was spoiled further by his brothers and sisters with a new Pioneer Stereo System for his CRV.

Opening the new care stereo system

And to top it all off, he got his hoped for XBox 360 from Grandma and Grandpa Hamilton. I don’t know if he’s been THAT good this year, but, you only turn 16 once. I think I can safely say this was a birthday he’ll never forget!

Happy early birthday Allen!

 

My ten favorite kitchen things February 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:45 am

I was inspired to write this after reading another list like it from one of my favorite blogs:ย  The Kitchn. I’m sure many of the rest of you who cook have similar lists. Please share some of your own favorite things. I may have to add a few more to my own list if you inspire me!

1. An old sheet cake pan like my Mom’s that actually doubles as a lid to a roaster. I borrowed hers so often that when she saw one in an antique store she bought it for me. It is the perfect pan for my carrot cake recipe!

2. My Mom’s iron skillet. Again, I borrowed it so often she finally gave it to me since she didn’t use it anymore. It’s well seasoned and the perfect size for cornbread and oven pancakes.

3. My set of Wustof knives. Don’t know what I did before I had them, but, don’t think I could live without them now.

4. My family cookbook. I set about the task years ago of collecting the favorite recipes of my Mom’s and my grandmothers, adding them to my own and making copies for my other close family members. It sure did save a lot of phone calls and digging through tupperware boxes full of clippings searching for them when I needed them.

5. My Pampered Chef garlic mincer. It’s a newer addition to my kitchen and, again, don’t know how I lived without this one!

6. The KitchenAid Artisan mixer with dough hooks. Now that I have a husband that makes bread, this is an even more important kitchen tool. However, I think it’s time we graduated to the next model up in both power and capacity.

7. My walk-in pantry. This one should have been at the top of the list. I don’t know how any avid cook manages without the storage space this pantry provides. My husband did a good thing building this for me. He even finished out the interior in oak to match my kitchen cabinets!

8. My spice rack. It’s oak, has a moon-phase clock built-in and tons ofย  shelves and drawers for all kinds of spices. The best thing about it is that my husband made it for me as a wedding present. We designed our kitchen to leave a special space just for hanging this spice rack. Yes, it’s that important!

9. My deep-dish Longaberger pie plates. Beautiful, functional and they fit perfectly in my Longaberger pie basket that I take to church dinners.

10. My custom-made oak cabinets. They’re beautiful, they’re roomy and my husband built them for me when we built our new house. I especially love the silverware drawer that fully extends with extra heavy-duty slides and has 8 sections built-in for all kinds of silverware items.

 

My Funny Little Valentine starring Gregory Pecked February 13, 2009

Filed under: The Adventures of "Fat Chick" — auntlelo @ 8:59 am

valentine

Gregory Pecked: “Fat Chick, I have a singing Valentine for you!”

Fat Chick: “Bring it on, rooster boy. But if it starts losing its feathers, I’m outta here.”

Gregory Pecked: “Not THAT kind of singing Valentine, silly bird. It’s not one of the Chickendales! I am your singing Valentine!”

Fat Chick: “But Greg, honey, you don’t sing. You don’t even cackle. What’re you going to do, crow me a little tune?”

Gregory Pecked: “Well, I may not be the best crooner in the chicken yard, but, I’m an excellent poet. Would you like to hear?”

Fat Chick: “Sure! Sounds like a safe enough bet.”

Gregory Pecked: “Roses are red, birdseed is yellow, you are my chick and I am your fellow…”

Fat Chick: “Uh…well…hmmmm…is that it? That’s my Valentine?”

Gregory Pecked: “Well, yes my little chickadee, don’t you like it?”

Fat Chick: “Well, I just thought maybe there might be something a little more…substantial coming along. You know like flowers or chocolates or a fancy card or something.”

Gregory Pecked: “But my little egg-drop, I worked on this all week. I have another poem, maybe you’ll like it better! How do I love thee, let me count the ways. I love you for every feather in your head, every chirp upon your lips…”

Fat Chick: “Chickens don’t have lips, birdbrain! Good grief, all I wanted was a little of the traditional chicken worship that’s supposed to happen on Valentine’s Day. Don’t you know me at all? I require chocolate on EVERY holiday. Lots of it. That’s why they call me FAT CHICK! Men!”

Gregory Pecked: “Ha, HAAAAAAAA, ha ha ha. I had you going there didn’t I? Got real flap out of you! Of COURSE I know that! I am, after all, a very well trained bird.”

Fat Chick: “You mean you weren’t serious? There IS more?”

Gregory Pecked: “Yes my little feather pillow. Chocolate and a fancy card, all for you.”

Fat Chick: “Ahhhh, that’s so sweet. And what a surprise! And the best part of it is that on Valentine’s Day no one expects you to share your chocolates!”

Gregory Pecked: “No my sweet. That’s why we call you Fat Chick!”

Fat Chick: “Why, yes it is! Happy Valentine’s Day, Greg. You’re the best!”

 

Things I Love: In recognition of Valentine’s Day February 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:12 pm

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I haven’t written in the blog for awhile. There have been lots of other things going on that have taken my time and attention, and I haven’t really felt very creative lately. However, I decided it’s time to make a long list of things I love to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Note that I didn’t say “people I love.” I’m sure all of my family and friends already know how much I love them. No, I thought it might be fun to just share a few of the other things in life that give me pleasure. Here goes:

  • Dark chocolate (oh yeah!)
  • A fire in the fireplace early in the morning with a cup of coffee
  • My Mom’s spaghetti
  • Old pictures from my childhood
  • Getting a personal, handwritten letter in the mail (that just doesn’t happen anymore)
  • Playing board games with my kids
  • Old gospel music
  • Jane Austen books
  • Watching Gone With the Wind by myself (so others don’t make comments and make fun while I watch it)
  • Old recipes that remind me of people I love
  • The smell of new leather shoes
  • Watching my dog sleep (it’s very entertaining)
  • Humor that doesn’t require vulgar language
  • Puns and analogies
  • Video games (especially Zelda)
  • Pretty earrings
  • Blue sapphires, although I’ve never owned any except the one that represents my daughter Ashley in my mother’s ring
  • My husband’s homemade bread
  • My mother-in-law’s cherry rhubarb jam (on my husband’s homemade bread)
  • Primitive antiques
  • Quilts
  • Oak
  • Going to work and being with the people in my office (most days) ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Public speaking and getting good reviews
  • Teaching others
  • Anything my husband cooks on the grill. He’s an expert!
  • Asparagus
  • The colors red, purple, green, blue and fuschia
  • I like sunrises better than sunsets
  • When my parents tell me they love me
  • Old people
  • Oral storytelling. I think I get that from my Gramps.
  • Patriotic moments
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Finding forgotten money in your coat pocket
  • Getting an unexpected call from an old friend
  • Sunday afternoon visits with family
  • Watching little people play pretend things
  • Feeling proud when my kids have done something really cool
  • Watching one of my granddaughters draw pictures of the two of us in sidewalk chalk on my walkway. (It’s still there. I won’t wash it off.)
  • Watching my gray hair come in and realizing it’s the same beautiful silver-white as my Granny’s
  • Home grown tomatoes and sweet corn
  • People who smile a lot and always say good morning
  • The German Chocolate cake my Mom always made for my birthday
  • Playing the piano for fun
  • Waking up in the morning, still being sleepy and realizing it’s Saturday! That’s just the best!
  • The smell of coffee brewing. I prefer Dunkin’ Donuts coffee beans.
  • Learning new things.
  • Making lists.

Well, this list is probably long enough. I can think of a million other things I could write, but, it’s time for supper and remembering certain foods in the list has made me hungry! Want to add a few of your favorites? Comment away!

 

What I love about Saturdays January 31, 2009

Filed under: Random Musings — auntlelo @ 9:01 am

Wonderful lazy Saturday mornings. The busier the week, the more you cherish Saturdays. Here are a few of the random reasons why Saturday is such a special day of the week:

  • There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning without an alarm clock knowing that if you want a few more minutes you can just snuggle up under the covers and go back to sleep.
  • Time to savor a lazy cup of coffee (or two) while you look out the window and watch the rest of the world wake up. The birds seem so much more interesting and colorful first thing in the morning.
  • As much as I hate doing housework, I love the way it looks and smells after all the Saturday chores are done.
  • It’s so much fun to plan the menus for the week and make up the shopping list. Even on a diet. ESPECIALLY on a diet!
  • Some Saturdays are full of visitors like my kids and grandkids. Perfect excuses to bake cookies and play Barbies.
  • There are always a few extra minutes to play computer or video games.
  • I like taking Allen to his guitar lessons and watching and hearing him get better every week.
  • Spending more time with my family.
  • Having my Mom and Dad, etc. , in for supper. Love the visits.
  • Taking a longer shower. (If the teenager is still asleep, I can take one with hot water which is even MORE exciting!)
  • Knowing when I go to bed there’s one more day at home before going back to work. Ahhhhh…
 

Lots of company January 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 9:52 am

As I’ve been blogging about my recent health crisis, I’ve come to realize that I’m by no means alone when it comes to facing trying times. There have been many others who have had some serious health issues, including my pastor. In addition, there have been several sudden and unexpected deaths within our church family and extended family.

While the natural thing is to focus on one’s own difficulties, I am certainly putting my time to better use praying for and supporting others. It isn’t healthy to dwell on your own problems. It leads you into depression and meltdown and just makes you feel sorry for yourself. I sure am glad I have family and friends who give me a kick in the pants right when I need it. No matter what I have on my plate, there are an awful lot of others who are facing things far worse.

This is just the self pep talk I need before I force myself into that blasted swimsuit again for another dreaded trip to the pool…

 

Esther Williams here…checking in January 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 2:02 pm

This is one week post terrifying doctors appointment. I have been swimming several times and can safely say that no one has paid the least bit of attention to the chubby woman in the Grotto (a.k.a. Adult Kiddie Pool). All this swimming is truly kicking my butt.

I’ve lost 3 pounds in week one. A friend likes to say she pictures me in one of those flowery swimming caps. I can tell you that I don’t own a swimming cap. Or goggles. Or nose plugs. Or fins.

The biggest stresser of the past week has been acclimating myself to the women’s locker room. The bottom line is that I don’t usually enjoy going through my morning routine in the company of others. Privacy is something I guess I’ll have to give up in order to get better.

Same time next week!

 

Up to my neck in chlorinated water January 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 9:31 pm

For the first time in many years, I donned a new swimsuit (chocolate brown, very chic) and entered a public pool. I was able to survive a session of about 35-40 minutes before dragging my tired and aching body from the water.

I was pretty rusty and had zero stamina to speak of. However, it was a brave effort for someone as portly as me and I guess I had to start somewhere. My back tolerated the pool fine, it was my chest that hurt something awful when I got finished. I don’t think I knew I had muscles that could ache in some of these places!

My husband accompanied me to the gym and allowed me my privacy as I tackled the pool situation. He worked out on a treadmill while I was busily trying to keep my head above water. I appreciated the support though. All of this is easier because so many family and friends have provided motivation and prayers.

Tomorrow I’ll let you know if I see any ounces melting away. I’m hoping to have shed at least 10 pounds by my next doctor’s appointment!

 

How one doctor’s visit can change your life January 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 5:10 pm

I really thought I knew what to expect when I went to the orthopaedic surgeon’s office to get the results of my MRI. I knew I had a severely herniated disc at T9-10. I assumed we’d talk about PT, losing weight and eventually surgery if conservative treatment didn’t work. I wasn’t prepared for what I heard.

Temporary disability leave; lose 50 pounds and get stronger as fast as you possibly can; spinal cord damage has already occurred; further damage could cause you to lose control of bodily functions or paralysis.

Wow. If he was trying to get my attention, he did a good job. He was blunt, and to quote him “serious as a heart attack.”

On the plus side of things, he said it was fixable, just not easy. I have to do my part or it won’t work. I have to be thinner, healthier and a whole lot stronger than I am right now. I have to exercise as much as I can tolerate every day. I’m not allowed to exercise on land, only in the water.

In the next 2-3 months, I have to lose 50 pounds to get ready for the surgery that will keep me walking, feeling and functioning. The doc wants me to give up working until all of this is over and my rehab is complete. I don’t see that happening. We’ll see how it goes. I suspect he wants my full focus to be on exercising. He also expects to pain to get worse and there’s nothing more they can do until surgery takes place. I found out in a rather miserable way that I’m allergic to steroids.

I have lots of very supportive family, friends and co-workers. I appreciate all the prayers and the show of support while I do my part to get ready. Starting today, I’ll be posting my weight loss and strength progress here so that it keeps me honest and open with myself about my status.

Tomorrow I appear in public in a swimsuit for the first time in…well, a long time. If anything requires prayer, that does.

Stay tuned. Stronger, slimmer person will be shown here in the future. In the meantime, I think the group of birds in my office will need to adopt some sort of water fowl to represent my new commitment to the pool. ๐Ÿ™‚