Gratitude List #32

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.Oprah Winfrey

I do want to continue doing my weekly gratitude list. It is one of my favorite posts to write each week. I think that recapturing the good moments makes me feel positive and thankful.

Gratitude List (in no certain order)

  • my eyes are healing well and I was able to have my last appointment on Friday. The doctor said there is no permanent damage but no contacts for 4 more weeks. I can live with that.
  • I had 5 days off over Christmas and 4 over New Years. It was nice to have the time off to not only spend with friends and family but also to get items crossed off of my To Do List
  • While we have had a few cold days the weather has been very nice. I was able to take my outside Christmas decoration down on Friday without being bundled like Nanook of the North
  • Having the ability to have my family here at Christmas. We had a wonderful brunch and conversation.
  • Going to brunch with Shannon and catch up on all her news living and working in New York
  • Receiving  beautiful gifts from my family and friends: jewelry, decorative pillows for my living room, cozy warm slippers, candles, lotions, a lighted snowman, books and gift cards . I am truly blessed.
  • Having my new washer and dryer. It was a long process to get them both installed but well worth the wait.
  • I enjoyed the holidays but happy the decorations are down and put away until next year.

What is on your gratitude list?


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My Goals for 2015

Setting goals is the first step of turning the invisible to the visible.”- Anthony Robbins

Goals are important to me. They help balance my life and give me a focus. I didn’t do as well last year as I wanted but that has not deterred me in making my list for 2015. I am grouping them this year as Health goals, Financial goals and Other

Health Goals

1. Achieve 10,000 steps a day
2. Exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week
3. Make well-balanced weekly menus
4. Track my daily food
5. Run 3 races this year.
6. Restart my vitamin and supplement regimen

Financial Goals

1.Go on a 30 day spending freeze for non-essential items including packing my lunch, taking my morning coffee.
2.Take more of an active interest in my retirement account.
3. Increase my contribution to my savings account by 100%

Other Goals

1. Restart my blogging at least 5 days a week.
2. Spend at least 2 hours a week on my photography
3. Read at least 2 books a month.
4. Read and participate with other bloggers on a more consistent basis
5. Make sure I take my vacation this year

These goals will also help me improve time management and help me enjoy life more. What are some of your goals for 2015


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My Christmas Miracle

First I would like to wish everyone a Happy 2015 and hope it brings happiness, health and blessings.

This past three weeks have been a gamut of emotions. December 17th was a typical day of work then I decided I needed to do some last minute errands. I ended up staying out a little later than anticipated so when I came home I was unable to clean my contacts as I always do and stored them in another case. I thought for a moment about using a new case but thought it would be fine for just 1 night.

I woke up and put my contacts in the next morning. Everything seemed fine. I arrived at work and noticed that there was a film on my left eye. I attributed it to my contact so I removed the contact and cleaned it. I went through the day but that film never left. Why I did not remove the contact is beyond me but it is a decision I would come to regret. When I left work I went outside and it looked like fog had rolled in the city. I was afraid to ask anyone if it was fog. Thinking back I now realize I knew something was wrong.

Finally made it home and took Kibbles out. Everything still looked hazy so I decided to take out my contacts. I took the left out first and felt a burning sharp pain in the eye. I looked and realized my left eye was blurred. I could not make out any features just shapes. My right eye was still ok until 30 minutes later when I noticed the blur beginning. I immediately called my eye doctor and she told me to come right away. I of course decided I needed to drive myself until I went out on the road. The headlights appeared as prisms and the colors prevented me from seeing. Thankfully, my guardian angel was there to guide me back home.

Now I was frightened as my worst fear was this would now be my vision. I knocked on my neighbor’s door but they were not home. My next thing was to call my son and luckily they were out but came and drove me to the eye doctor. The diagnosis was corneal erosion. I somehow mixed up my contact solution and put hydrogen peroxide in my eye. The result of this mistake was taking the first layer of the cornea off. The good news was hopefully it would heal.

I finally regained my vision 4 days later. It has involved antibiotic drops, eye ointment and eye drops as well as multiple visits to my eye doctor (in fact I have another one tomorrow). Everything seems to be progressing nicely and the corneal tissue has regrown.

I consider myself blessed and fortunate. I have subsequently talked to people who have had permanent partial vision loss. It still bothers me to be on a computer for a long period of time but that too can be a blessing. I still am not permitted to use my contacts so I have to wear my glasses but that is a little price to pay for what could have been.

I have now separated all the solutions so that mistake can never be made again. The old contacts and cases have been tossed.  I learned a valuable lesson and will be more careful in the future.

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Gratitude List # 31

It seems like a whirlwind since Thanksgiving. Shopping decorating and trying to fit work in as well. I realized today, as I sat sipping my hot tea, that my gratitude list is so full.

“Gratitude helps you grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all of those around you.” – Eileen Caddy

Gratitude List (in no particular order)

  • Sharing Thanksgiving with friends and family-laughter and great conversation filling my home.
  • My washer breaking after 18 years may not seem like something to be thankful for but having it break when there are great sales is a good thing. I bought a washer and dryer just due to the fact my dryer was ready to go as well. It will be delivered tomorrow-just in the nick of time. Who new that one person could have so much laundry in 10 days.
  • Spending time decorating with my granddaughter. She has her own special Christmas tree and we spent time decorating. She put all her favorite ornaments on the tree then directed Gram where the rest should be placed on the tree.
  • Decorating the rest of my house and having the lights and decorations adding the feeling of peace and calm to the house.
  • With delivery scheduled tomorrow having to clean the basement forcing me to take a hard look at the things I saved and finding I have and can live without them.
  • Gaining an extra day off due to the delivery tomorrow. 3 day weekends are great
  • Planning time for a get together with some friends.
  • Shopping and enjoying spending time picking out special things for loved ones.
  • A wonderful performance review by my boss. It is always nice to be appreciated.

What is on your gratitude list this week?

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Gratitude List #30

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is this week! Where did the time go? I again am hosting Thanksgiving but everyone is bringing a dish so that makes it easier. I think having new dishes also helps make new traditions.

My gratitude list (in no particular order)

  • after having a wintry week a 60 degree day like today is always a treat. Opening the windows at the end of November is a day to give thanks
  • Being able to gather with friends in a pre-holiday get together for laughter and good food
  • Starting the holiday season in the true spirit and helping those who are not so fortunate
  • looking forward to having all my family gathered at the table
  • excited to get the Christmas decorations started this Friday (I don’t shop Black Friday but start the decorating instead)
  • only having a 3 day work week this week
  • having fellow board members on my townhouse association that are like minded

What is on your gratitude list this week?

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Nature’s Canvas

At the end of October I went to one of my favorite places, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I usually meet some friends there in the summer and we hike, see nature and visit the wineries. One of my friends asked me to come down in October and see the fall colors.

At first, I thought we would be too late as here in Pennsylvania many of the trees had lost their leaves but soon realized many of the leaves would still be changing in Virginia. Little did I know the beauty that awaited me.

The main road in the park is 106 miles long. The South end still had leaves which were not the initial vibrant colors but rather a mature darker color. They truly were still beautiful and Mother Nature painted a beautiful canvas to all to see


In the central portion of the park most of the trees had lost their leaves. Some trees were trying desperately to hang on to their color. This next picture was taken about 20 miles from the previous picture


The second day we went to the north portion of the park. Here is where the brightest colors could be seen. The yellows and oranges mixed nicely with the last of the green in the tree. This is where the colors were their best.


Summer there is a busy time with people hiking, animal watching and visiting the waterfalls for a quick cooling off.  Fall there is so much different as the only animals to be seen are the deer. Hiking is limited to short distances due to darkness coming so early. Fall allows time for thinking and enjoying the art nature has to offer.

I sit here tonight in the cold November but somehow the quiet, reflective fall trip still provides warmth and comfort.

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Baked Shrimp and Orzo with Feta Cheese

Since the weather is colder the dishes that require an oven can now again be added to the menu. I love seafood and shrimp is probably my favorite. I have orzo in my pantry but don’t use it often enough. It is a small but filling pasta.

I used fresh shrimp for the recipe but you can use frozen just as easily. This dish was an adaptation of one I found at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.


2 pounds of shrimp peeled and deveined
1/2 cup of chopped yellow onions
1 tsp of olive oil
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
1 pound of orzo pasta(uncooked)
4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 cup of water
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup feta cheese crumbled


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan
3. Pat shrimp dry and lightly season with salt and pepper. Set aside
4. In a 4 quart pot combine the onion, oil, Italian seasoning and 1/2 tsp salt over medium heat. Cover the pot and cook stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
5. Stir in the orzo, increase the heat until the orzo is coated with the above ingredients (5 minutes)
6. Stir in the broth and water until the orzo is slightly tender (10-14 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes and shrimp- cook for about 10 minutes


7. Pour the mixture into the baking pan. Sprinkle the feta cheese evenly over the top


8.Bake the casserole until the shrimp are cooked through and the cheese is lightly brown (18-20 minutes)

9. Serve immediately and may use a lemon wedge if you like


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Gratitude List #29

It has been some time since I came here to write anything. The condensed version is that I didn’t feel like I had anything interesting to write. I think I forgot that I do not have to always have the most interesting topic or always on the go to write this blog. I lost focus of why I started to write. I have been thinking about picking up where I left off and decided this was the one post I should begin to again write this blog.

My Gratitude List (in no particular order)

  • grateful for the good health of all my family.
  • Work is still as busy or busier but I have come to realize I like the hectic schedule as it challenges me to be at my best.
  • Going to a conference and finding classmates I had not seen in 5 or more years. It was fun catching up and making plans to get together soon.
  • Speaking of the conference, it was great to get my engine restarted, learn many new things but find that nurse practitioners while different have many things in common and are the most supportive people.
  • While realizing things may not turn out the way I wanted, God still does answer prayers and gives me what I need ( cue in Garth Brooks Unanswered Prayers)
  • While not being the best about healthy eating and exercise, grateful I can hit the restart button tomorrow.
  • Planning Thanksgiving Day as all my family and some friends will be coming here. I enjoy cooking and having good conversation and fun.

What is on your gratitude list?

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Gratitude List #28

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” ~Henry Ward Beecher

As I mentioned I was off last week, so this week was back to the usual routine. Of course, as is normal the week proved to be unusually busy and hectic. 10 plus hours a day was the norm. It was a rough week but I am grateful to have a job I do enjoy.

My Gratitude List (in no particular order)

  • The situation that prevented me from travel has been settled. It had a good outcome to which I am grateful
  • Even though this week was busy, I was able to get my needed sleep. I planned to do other things but realized I needed rest more.
  • I have gotten off my workout routine but starting on Tuesday, I am implementing my new routine
  • Excited to start the next class in Photography tomorrow. I plan to dedicate a day on the blog to post some of my week’s pictures
  • Have decided to become more active in my blog. I have missed writing and sharing.
  • Appreciate having a supportive and loving family-they make my life so enjoyable.
  • Busy work week means that we are doing a great job and also means I can continue a job I enjoy.

What is on your gratitude list this week

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Gratitude List # 27

Never lose the childlike wonder. Show gratitude..Don’t complain; just work harder…Never give up.” – Randy Pausch


This past week was to be the week I traveled to Arizona. Unfortunately some unforeseen circumstances prevented that from happening. While disappointed , the circumstance seems to have a happy ending  and I did get to enjoy some time off from work.

The above quote took on a special meaning this week especially the never give up part of the quote. Prayer, faith and trust became a theme as well as a comfort this week.

My gratitude list (in no particular order)

  • Good health is something that is on my gratitude list but not only for me but my family.
  • Being able to spend time with my family and truly enjoy the time together
  • I was able to take my granddaughter to her first baseball game. After the game the kids are able to run the bases. Watching her enjoy the entire experience was a very special day.



(that is her and her aunt – my daughter rounding third base)

  • the ability to sit on your deck in the morning and enjoy the sounds of the birds as well as the view of rabbits and deer.
  • being able to donate items you no longer need. What is not needed by me may be of great use to others.
  • Enjoying the start of fall as well as Steelers football.

What is on your gratitude list this week?



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