Monday, September 30, 2019


Edible art
Our niece Lauren has started up a cookie-making business. She is a warrior at heart but an injury means soon she will officially leave the military work she loves.

Her injury was not life threatening. It was, however, life changing. She says little about the lingering pain and frustration.

For bulldog fans

Instead, her active “can do” nature has her charging ahead. She is considering options, experimenting with one of her ideas and learning--and earning--as she goes.

She has christened her new brainchild, “Sugar Mae Cookies.” She chose the name in honor of her late grandmothers. 

Her dad’s mother was Shirley Mae. Her mom’s mother was tagged with the nickname “Sugar” as a child. It stayed with her as an adult and morphed into “Grandma Sugar” thanks to Lauren and the other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Now Lauren is turning out a steady stream of treats that are already finding fans. Her grandmothers would have been pleased with the name of her fledgling business. 

They would also have been proud of the palate-pleasing cookies and the variety of her artistic decorations that characterize this new enterprise.

To see more of Lauren's treats: Sugar Mae Cookies  

Way to go Lauren!


Monday, September 23, 2019

Afternoon pick-me-up

Coffee break
My route to our window seats took me past the Keurig that was filling Hubby’s mug with a dose of afternoon energy.

The steam and aroma had me whipping out my iPhone and snapping a pix. Unfortunately, my photograph failed to capture that coffee aroma.

My choice, though, is hot tea. I absolutely cannot stand the coffee taste. Many years ago I tried to learn to like it, if for no other reason than coffee seemed to be an essential element to socializing between classes at college.

After a few attempts I gave up. My stomach simply rebelled even though the smell of coffee brewing is usually a happy, comforting scent to me. 

The taste buds and stomach continue to override the sense of smell, however. Just a cup of hot, hot tea for me, please! 

What’s your choice of a hot beverage? 


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Breakfast on a bench

In the few months after we had moved into our new downsized home, I had already found one of my favorite spots--the window seat in a bump-out at the north side of our house. 
A favorite perch
Hubby sneaked around and captured me enjoying a casual breakfast of a toasted bagel and hot tea one November morning. 

I had already surrounded myself with my toys: laptop computer, binoculars for watching birds at the feeders, my birding field guide and a plush cartoon-character throw one of our grandsons had outgrown.

That was in 2016. I haven’t outgrown the throw, my toys or the hot tea. With a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, though, I no longer have that casual bagel breakfast. 
Cool November morn; hot, hot tea

And both Hubby and I are still enjoying those window seats, now my principal blogging location. 

The allure is good back support, room to elevate my legs comfortably, that handy window sill on which to park my mug of hot tea, and the restful view of the natural world when I give my eyes a break from the computer screen.  


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Input Requested

Since my Type 2 diabetes diagnosis a couple of years ago, I have attempted to control blood sugar levels with diet, exercise and no medication. 

If you are doing the same, I would appreciate any word on how you are doing and strategies you have developed.  

Here's the background:

For me, walking two miles or more daily usually translates to lower blood sugar readings the next day, but not always. 

With the help of Hubby, my cooperative chef and chief cheerleader, we are both mostly strict with diet. I count carbs. He counts calories. 

Consistent exercise and counting is not enough, however, to get a handle more specifically on what contributes to those less than stellar readings that occur too often. 

My former primary care physician kept a schedule of every six months doing that A1C test. She was okay with my diet and exercise regimen. Then she relocated. 

The new doc is emphatic that even with diet and exercise, I will have to go on medication eventually, anyway. I understand that. 

But she doesn’t want me to take my blood sugar daily because she doesn’t want me to “freak out.” Well that definitely freaked me out. 

I guess I do sound obsessive about the subject. No, make that I AM obsessive.

The routine of Hubby poking my finger and doing that simple blood sugar check every day and at different times of day has been revealing and helpful.

I see nothing wrong with trying to determine what more specifically I can tweak in exercise, eating and timing. Hopefully what I learn will help me pamper the remaining insulin-producing beta cells in my pancreas and keep them functioning a little longer. 

One of my challenges is finding an easy method for keeping a daily record of what specific foods and liquids I consume and when. We are out and about a lot.

I have tried carrying a small notepad; but whether at home or not, recording specifically when and what I eat seems to be an insurmountable task for me. 

I already carry my iPhone everywhere, and I have seen counting-carbs apps for iPhone advertised. It all looks intimidating, though, for this non-techie procrastinator. 

I am still exploring options. Experiences that have helped others, and word of any apps or strategies that worked or didn’t work will be appreciated.

Ideas anyone?


Monday, September 9, 2019

Caution: Grandkid Post Ahead

Hubby and I are making plans for travel when the weather gets a bit cooler. 

Ironing out the specifics of our travel plans lately seems to revolve around the schedules of doctors, kids and grandkids.

Medical procedures and doctors’ appointments are a necessary fact of physical health at this stage of life. But the kid and grandkid element is a delightful addiction that boosts our mental and emotional health.

That said, cooler weather travel must include our annual trek to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for Grandparents Day at our Louisiana grands’ school.

Last year the visit to Walker’s classroom was typical. We met his teacher and classroom aide. We joined him in the word puzzles and other activities the teacher had planned for each student to complete with grandparents. 

Walker did a great job of involving both sets of grandparents in his activities. 
Nana, Baboo and Walker
We caught up with Granddaughter Molly Kate in the chapel where performances were planned featuring each of the upper grades plus the school band and choir. Among the fourth-grade numbers were Molly Kate and four other students in a Vegas-styled rendition of the Beatles’ “Love.” 

Our granddaughter on far right
The girls were “backup” singers and dancers to a male classmate’s solo. He nailed what I imagined a Vegas crooner would look like, prancing down the aisle to the stage in a flashy sport coat with the “backup babes” dancing in his wake.

MK doing what she loves
Their singing and dancing plus the performances of other student groups didn’t disappoint.

We definitely weren’t the only happy grandparents that day. It was an enthusiastic, standing-room-only crowd. 

We closed that celebration with another tradition, the grands' choice for lunch at Chick-fil-A.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Washer Woes and Toddler Adventures

Our washing machine has been comatose for more than a week. After a couple days of tinkering, Hubby was not sure whether resuscitation was possible or even desirable. 

The repairman wasn't available until after the weekend. So off Hubby went with about a week’s worth of laundry to the local washateria (“laundromat” for those who are under 70 and didn’t grow up in Mississippi).   

The current washer woes reminded me of another washing machine malfunction that had me scurrying to that same washateria almost 40 years ago with a load of cloth diapers.

Accompanying me was our youngest son, not yet a year old. He required a near constant parental eye on him as he was an avid and determined explorer of the look, touch, taste variety.

I walked in with son on one hip and the piled high laundry basket on the other.

In that long ago era, the establishment offered no air conditioning, just an exhaust fan in the ceiling. I could see through the vent to the sky above, and the sun on the slowly rotating fan blades made shadows on the floor. 

That exhaust fan didn’t help the heat and humidity much with nearly every washer and dryer in operation. I snared the only available washer left, stood my toddler by me and started loading the washer with an eye on my son.

But when I started putting quarters in the slidey thing, it wouldn’t slide in. My mom radar failed for the few moments I jiggled and pushed until it slid in and the washing machine started.

I turned to check on my little one. He was stretched out on the floor, the dirty floor, on his stomach, licking the shadows the exhaust fan made on the floor—on that extremely dirty, dirty floor. Did I mention it was filthy?

I cannot remember what I did next. I know I avoided my initial reaction, which was to throw up. And our son is still around with full use of his arms, legs and mental faculties, so there was no destructive mom meltdown. 

Knowing his character, I suspect that in our little experimenter’s mind it would have been impolite NOT to sample this new potential and fascinating treat. Yuck!

Update: Hubby made one more trip to that establishment before the repairman came out to give us an estimate. Price was good; part had to be ordered; it arrived in a few days.

We were shortly back in business. Hooray!


Monday, September 2, 2019

Good Words

Sorrow looks back.
Worry looks around.
Faith looks up.

The words above are so true. I spent much of my younger years doing more of the first two lines. The third line is a succinct recipe for embracing the peace that passes all understanding. 

I borrowed the lines from Ginny Hartzler’s excellent August 6, 2019, post about service dogs in training. 

 Click here to see her post. Her blog is "Let Your Light Shine."