Considering a New Mattress

Charlie and I figure that mattress in the master bedroom is about 15 years old.

Our bed is getting pretty old.

This article suggests 10 years is about the limit.

The new trend seems to be memory foam mattresses.

I will take all suggestions and recommendations seriously.

I’ve never used a mattress without a boxspring.

I have been especially attracted to a mattress from Parachute which does NOT use a box spring.

How old is your bedding?  How does your back feel?

Doctor’s Orders

Back in November when I had pneumonia I went to see my primary care physician.

Trying to move my health status from good to excellent.

According to him I had not seen him for a couple of years so he sent me home with orders for blood tests, a bone density test, and a pneumonia shot.

The tech took enough blood to run a basic screen, Reactive C protein, vitamin D, blood sugar, and cholesterol tests.

I finally had the blood test taken for which I was apparently supposed to fast.  I didn’t but the blood was taken anyway.  Because I had not fasted the cholesterol and sugar numbers were 2 and 1 points high respectively.

My doctor is not worried and neither am I.

Other counts were right in line with healthy standards. I’m good to go, as they say.

Giving up sweets will not be easy.

My awakening, however, is to cut down on sugar and empty carbs and to raise my activity level. Since goals generally work better when they’re specific I will write out a plan with time limits, weight limits, and food limits when I return home from vacation.

Who holds you accountable?

Things Are NOT Heating Up

Since the new appliances have been installed we’ve had 2 major fails:  One of the strikers on the kitchen stove stopped clicking and the microwave stopped working.

Our most used burner on the left front no longer ignites with its electronic ignition.
Our most used burner on the left front no longer ignites with its electronic ignition.

Both appliances are still under warranty so we called the companies to get some satisfaction and here’s what happened.  The front left (and most used) burner on the stove would not ignite due to the striker being bad.  Something I didn’t know but subsequently found out is that all the strikers are connected together.  If one doesn’t work you can use a clicking one from another burner and the burner that’s out will also light.

Electric ignition strikers for the stove
Electric ignition strikers for the stove

 When the repairman came out with the new part he had to remove all the old strikers and replace them because they come batched together.

Formerly faulty burner
Formerly faulty burner

The repair was free because we’re still under warranty. The stove is working again. Yea!

Our microwave is only 2 months old.
Our microwave is only 2 months old.

Next the microwave stopped working.  The lights are on but none of the buttons will push.  Charlie called the company and after telling them the problem they said to send a receipt for the purchase which we did by email.

MicrowaveAfter receiving the receipt our customer service rep told us to cut off the plug and send it to them then they would send us a new microwave in 2 to 3 weeks.  Charlie called back to ask them to send us a pre-posted envelope since we shouldn’t be expected to have any expense connected with the exchange. The company is sending us an envelope.

We're back to using our old microwave for a few weeks.
We’re back to using our old microwave for a few weeks.

Our old (at least 40 years old) stove was small and nasty but it always worked.  These new appliances are very frustrating.

Is there an item of which you would prefer the old model?


Dr. Oz Sent Me to Weight Watchers

Oh, yes he did. I went to Oz’ website to sign up for “Transformation Nation” and he had a list of things I had to do to get on the road to health. 

Fill out the questionnaires on the Sharecare website.

  The first item on the list is to tell a friend.  He’s checking up on us because the winner of the contest gets a million big ones, so sharing means emailing a friend or posting on Facebook.  While I’d love to win a million dollars my sole purpose for following the program is to get healthier in 2012. I emailed my best friend and shared on Facebook with my good friends and now I’m blogging about it to my faithful friends.

The second item on the checklist is to enter your vital statistics: height, weight and waist size.  OK, I’m 5’5″, weight 1_0 and have a twenty _______ inch waist. (I can’t share everything people.) If by some stroke of strange circumstances I do get on the Oz show he’ll blast all my statistics out there for everyone to see.

Apparently Oz thinks we might lie wants a verifiable beginning and ending weight measurement so he joined with Weight Watchers who is the official weighing entity for the contest.  May I say that they weighed me in the evening at 1 pound more than the weight I had entered (I usually weigh in the morning). For the weigh in I could leave on or take off as much clothing as I was comfortable with which included removing my coat, my suit jacket and my shoes. (Other people were removing their jewelry and making a trip to the bathroom before being weighed. I’ve been there people.) 

While I was at Weight Watchers I thought it was a great time to see what it’s all about. Everyone was very upbeat.  The leaders knew I was here for my Oz weigh in but included me in the meeting at which I learned the keys to success at Weight Watchers (and I conclude these keys would help in any area of life). The keys:

  • Commitment
  • Belief
  • Discipline
  • Balance
  • Boundaries
  • Time.

If I could incorporate these keys into my everyday life on a consistent basis I’m sure my stress level would be lowered as well as my weight. Here’s to better living in 2012!

What have you committed to for the future? Are the possibilities endless?

Thanks, Fellas!

We use firewood in the winter but as we’re getting it together from branches that have fallen, felled trees and wood gathered from other sources the yard gets cluttered with piles of logs and such. 

This pile was in the West Yard near (but not in) the woodshed.

 I don’t like too many of these piles because snakes, mice and other critters build their nests in them. I don’t mind these wild creatures having a place to live but I prefer them restricted to one area where I won’t be.

Charlie and Son worked hard on a ho-o-o-otttt day to wean it to this.

Thanks, Fellas, you did a terrific job!

 Are they great?!! You’re great, too. What have you done above and beyond?

Graduation Gift

Our most darling niece is graduating from high school this week and we wanted for her the most special gift.  This young lady is studying nursing, has a crystal cruet collection and plays a plethora of musical instruments, quite a diverse personality.

Charlie and I wanted to get her something that would remind her of her BIG day and at the same time be useful for many years to come.  We decided to give her a silver serving spoon from the same pattern that she may some day inherit from her grndmother: Stieff Rose.

Engraved Silver Serving Spoon

 In the bowl we had engraved her school and the year in Roman numerals.

Bowl engrave "South Fork" MMXI

 Almost got her a fork since her school is “South Fork” but thought a spoon more practical. On the back her monogram.

Her monogram on back of handle

 Eleven years ago when my son graduated, he also received a spoon from me.

Silver Spoon

 As for dear niece, we think she’ll like it and hope she loves it.  Have you got any graduation gift suggestions (other than money, which is always welcome.)? When I graduated I got a scuba diving watch because Iwas into that kind of thing. What’s the best graduation gift you recieved (other than money, which is always welcome)?

The French Press

Charlie and I are lovers of a really good cup of coffee.  Especially that first cup in the morning ought to be GREAT! So here’s how we do it.

1.  Bring water to a nice rolling boil. (We do that in a saucepan ever since the kettle was smashed here.)

Rolling boil

2.  Next we measure out two-thirds of a cup (rounded if I’m measuring; heaping if Charlie measures) of French Roast coffee in a course grind for a French press. 

Measuring the coffee

Below is a picture of the coffee grinder we keep in the kitchen which, as you know, is very, very tiny.

Bunn Coffee Grinder

My favorite coffee is Starbuck’s French Roast; Charlie’s is Starbuck’s Christmas blend but our daily coffee (which is pretty delicious) is Eight O’Clock 100% Columbian coffee, bold and creamy with a fudgy afternote.  Mmmm. Today we’re using Trader Joe’s French Roast.

TJ French Roast

3.  Pour the boiling water over the ground coffee,

Making Coffee

stir vigorously with a chopstick (because if you stir the French press day after day with a metal spoon you will eventually break the pot unless it’s a metal one)

Stir with Chopstick

and let it brew for four minutes. (I usually let it brew for 5 minutes to make sure it gets a full 4; Charlie lets it go for 10 minutes for I don’t know what reason but it’s still good.) [N.B. Charlie says the reason is because it makes the coffee stronger.]

Let it Brew

4.  After the requisite time, we push down the plunger and pour our coffee into slightly heated whole milk and add sugar or sweetener to taste. 

Push the Plunger

Charlie uses a mug; I use a cup and saucer.

Mine on the left, his on the right

The most delicious part is the crema that floats on top.  No other coffee for the rest of the day tastes as good as this.

My First Cup

Take a sip.  Aaaah!

Stacking Tables

If you are very observant you will have noticed in the dining room, under the table is another table!

Dining Room

The table is a 1956 vintage marble top coffee table which I inherited from my grandmother by way of my mother. It was the coffee table in my childhood home and I have used it in my house for the past thirty years or so. Charlie loves it. I wanted a change.

In addition to the coffee table are a pair of matching Weiman marble top end tables. (Imprint on the drawer bottom says “Weiman Tables, Heirloom Quality”, the number “845-A428” and indicates a set of “2”.)

I would characterize them as Federal Style, but they have been described to me as having an Italian influenced design. Carved Greek key design on foot of table. Tables measure 26” (back to front) X 20″ (side to side) x 26″ tall. Bronze color drawer pulls are original hardware. Shades of tan, brown and crème marble tops marked “Made in Italy.”

Marble Tops


The wood is a rich warm wood tone. These I’m selling.

The coffee table is under the dining room table for storage until I can find another place for it. I’ll probably keep it.