Night Skies

Sitting outside and looked in the sky. Thought this was a pretty night sky



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The Deck Re-Staining.

One thing I have never lost is my determination to attempt a new project. If I am told that I should probably wait until someone can help or hire someone when I know I am capable of doing a project you have guaranteed I will try sooner than later.

The project this time was my deck. I stained it 2 years ago but it didn’t seem to wear as well as I thought it should. I did my research (watched the handyman You Tube Videos) and made my list of things I needed. One of the major tools I did not own was a sander. I researched them and purchased one that fit my needs. I also bought the stain and brushes.

The hardest part of the project was getting the weather to cooperate. The weather needs to have no rain in the forecast for 2 days after painting. It is also better if the humidity is lower to allow it to dry properly.  I only had the weekends and it was scheduled to rain most Mondays.

The Fourth of July weekend offered everything I needed. The humidity was down and sunny weather was the forecast for the 3 day weekend. I knew this was the perfect time to get the job done.

Here is a picture of the deck before


I was up early on Friday and started by pressure washing the deck. It not only took off dirt but also some of the flaking old stain. I let it dry then brought out the sander and did the rails and the deck floor. It was only in the 60’s but I felt like it was 90.  After sanding and sweeping off the excess dust it was time to stain the deck. I did put one coat on but noticed it was going right into the wood. I then realized this would be a 2 day project as it required a second coat.

Saturday I again arose early and wanted to finish the painting before leaving for the Pirate game. I was on a strict schedule but I did get the deck finished.

Sunday I was able to put my furniture out and enjoy the deck. Here are some pictures of the completed job


The only down side was I now have to go buy a new grill.  My old grill has tipped a few times with the storms. It was fine when it was on the deck but when I went to move it the screws came out and the lower portion fell apart.

The project was a success and I certainly silenced a few naysayers.

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Gratitude List # 20

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.- Zig Ziglar

It has been a great week and a wonderful three-day weekend.  It was a quiet weekend but filled with getting things off my to-do list. The weather was beautiful and sunny-one couldn’t ask for much more.

My Gratitude List (in no particular order)

  • spending last night with my daughter which included a Pirate game. I am lucky to not only have a wonderful daughter but a great best friend.
  • having a quiet week at work enabling me to get caught up on my work so I can start with a clean slate tomorrow
  • Getting raspberries and blueberries at the farmers market. They make the best smoothies and yogurt parfait.
  • Even though the machinery started at 7 a.m. on Saturday, getting up and enjoying the sunny cool morning.
  • Finally having my deck re-stained, furniture out and enjoying my deck today
  • Having a like-minded townhouse board member. We are redoing the entrance to our townhouse community to improve the initial impression and provide a welcome feeling to our community and their visitors.
  • Turning off the air conditioning, opening up the windows and enjoying the breeze coming into the house.
  • Happy to once again welcome the Anthrocon Convention to Pittsburgh. They are better known as “Furries”. This is an event that is welcomed by most of Pittsburgh. We may be “yinzers” but we are the most accepting and welcoming city I know. I am sad I did not capture any photos but have definitely put it on my to-do list for next year
  • I realized today is an important day for me as a blogger. My blog turns 1 today. It has been a year of ups and downs but I only look forward to year 2. Thanks to all my readers.

What is on your gratitude list?



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From Trash to Treasure

I have the best neighbors. My next door neighbor decided to clean her basement. She had an old school desk. She saw me the other day and asked if I would like it for my granddaughter. She also has grandchildren but they live in Ohio and North Carolina. They don’t visit here often so she decided it was time to find someone who would like it. My granddaughter loves to draw and color but doesn’t have her own special area at my house.

I did take the desk and it reminded me of some of the desks when I was in school. Mine had a lid with deeper desk storage. It certainly brought back some memories


My granddaughter and son came to visit last night. I wish I had my camera ready to capture that initial expression when she saw the desk. She sat at the desk and did some artwork but then also used to iPad to read and play some of her games.  She said she liked her desk . It fit her perfectly and she put some papers in the storage area.

IMG_7235Snacks on one side and activities on the other. This was the best.

We fixed her dinner and she had a special request. She wanted to eat at her desk. All the activities were cleared and dinner was served. She finished her dinner and even finished the grapes for dessert.


Who knew one old desk could provide so much fun.


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Barbecued Chicken Thighs

I usually purchase boneless skinless chicken breast but have found that boneless chicken thighs are much cheaper and can be used in the same recipes. This week with the Fourth of July Holiday I decided to try out a new barbecue sauce on bone in chicken thighs.

Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and blend. Bring this to a boil. Immediately reduce to low heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile heat the grill.
Take the chicken thighs and place them on aluminum foil coated with nonstick olive oil spray.
Place the chicken on the grill skin side down and cook until the skin browns (10-12 minutes)
Turn chicken over and continue grilling another 10-12 minutes.
Brush the skin side of the chicken with the barbecue sauce and cook 5 minutes.
Turn the chicken and brush the other side with the sauce and cook 5 minutes.
Turn chicken one more time and brush skin side of chicken one more time and cook 2-3 minutes.
Remove chicken on plate. Serve with additional sauce.

Sauce was based on a recipe found on

Chicken was very moist and tasty. I would definitely make this again. I added a salad and it was a great meal for a warm summer night.



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Gratitude List #19

Another beautiful weekend has come to an end. Even though we are anticipating some storms I am grateful for being able to enjoy the outdoors in the summer.

My Gratitude List (in no particular order)

  • The time my daughter and son-in-law spent visiting today. I appreciate their help when they come over to visit and I end up asking them to do something I can’t do alone.
  • I meet so many nice patients each week and always learn something from their stories whether it be their strength, knowledge, their bits of wisdom they share but especially their smiles even through their chronic osteoarthritic pain they endure
  • Being fortunate to live in an area that I may see a turkey in the road or a doe leading her fawns across that same road.
  • Having a four-day workweek due to the fourth of July
  • Enjoying the fresh veggies and fruits such as zucchini, lettuce, pears, peaches, blueberries and strawberries. They taste so different when they were “just picked today”
  • Attended my first townhouse board meeting and finding all of us are basically on the same page. The nice thing is if we disagree we listen to each other and then are able to come to some compromise
  • Crossing more things off of my To Do List
  • For all my readers as I appreciate all stopping by and the support you give me

What is on the Gratitude List?

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Mid Year Goal Review

In January I made some Goals for 2014 and have not reviewed them in a few months. Lately I have been making some changes to my life so what better time to review the goals and refocus on achieving them.

Paring down the items in my house. I have made great strides in this area. I finished my kitchen purge and have not missed one item I gave away. The kitchen is better organized and I am able to use my counter space. I find myself cooking more and trying many of the recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.  I have now moved onto my basement and bedroom. My closet has been again targeted. I have clothes that I have had for a few years and while they are fine I just don’t think they look the best on me. I have donated them and made some extra space in the closet. The basement is a challenge but I intend to start it this weekend.

The second goal was to return to running. I am happy to report my hip feels great. I am back to exercising 6 days a week and running 3 days a week. I found a great program that is a gradual return to running and the end goal is running 6 miles. I am up to 3 miles but am taking slow. I have learned the importance of building the core (abdominal, back and butt). Cross training has been a very important of getting back to feeling stronger and avoiding injury.  I truly believe slow and steady wins the race.

In January my main goal was making 2014 the year of me. I have had some bumps and detours but am back to being focused on me. I realized that I needed to accept me where I am presently. For instance, I began reading some books on fashion for women over 50 and learned a great deal about style. I began making some minor changes to the way I dressed when I went to the store, to the mall or just to run an errand.  I don’t just put on frumpy clothes but rather a nice top and pants or capris. I wear some makeup and now that my hair is easy to style I feel put together and most importantly good about myself. The biggest change has been getting a few people out of my life that were negative and at times demeaning. I don’t need negativity in my life and haven’t looked back.

Overall I think I am headed in the right direction. I feel stronger and more positive. How are you progressing with your goals?



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Shrimp Tacos

Need a meal in a hurry or are you looking for a tasty dinner treat? This is the recipe you need to try if your answer is yes either question. This recipe is based on a recipe found at Handle The Heat.


For the shrimp
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Chipotle sauce
1/3 cup Non-fat Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of finely diced chipotle in adobo sauce

For the Tacos
White corn tortillas
Shredded cabbage or lettuce (I used an Asian style shredded salad that I had leftover)
Lime wedge

In a bowl combine the lime juice and zest, cumin, chili powder garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and honey. Mix well and place in a gallon storage bag.
Take the shrimp, place it in the bag and coat it with the mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes

In another bowl mix the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and chipotle together to make the sauce. Cover and refrigerate until shrimp is ready to be served

Once you are ready to start cooking the shrimp, place a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Heat the skillet over medium high heat.
Remove the shrimp from the marinade
Place the shrimp in the skillet in a single layer.
Cook shrimp until the shrimp is pink then turn on other side and cook until pink. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on the shrimp so it will not become overcooked.
Heat the tortilla shells if desired. I wrapped mine in a wet paper towel for 10 seconds in the microwave

Assemble shrimp on the tortilla shell, place a spoon full of the chipolte sauce then top with shredded lettuce/cabbage.





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Gratitude List #18

Summer is officially here. This week was rainy until today and it was a dry but humid day. I love summer so I am happy for all the weather we have in this season.

I have not been blogging lately due to some unforeseen problems (wi-fi and router problems) and a few other things. All problems have been resolved and it is full speed ahead.

My Gratitude List (in no particular order)

  • For being able to complete a run/walk of 3 miles this morning even through the humidity
  • While in the middle of my cool down from the run a sprinkle started as well as a welcome breeze. It truly did help to achieve a complete cool down
  • Even though things didn’t turn out the way I had hope, I still had the ability to regroup and keep my goals in focus instead of the poor me doldrums
  • Having the rain throughout the week so I could complete my weeding of the  back area of my house without difficulty.
  • Spending time yesterday getting some great pictures of nature, flowers and clouds
  • Going shopping and finding clothes are fitting better. Go me!
  • Went to my first farmers market of the season and was able to get many good vegetables to use this week for a great price.
  • Being able to have quality time with my granddaughter. Her smile and laughter add so much joy to my days

What are you thankful for this week

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Gratitude List 17

Happy Fathers Day and what a beautiful weekend


This is my Dad and unfortunately passed away in 1989. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him. He was a wonderful father and grandfather. I love and miss you Dad. His love and caring is definitely on my gratitude list today.

My Gratitude List (in no particular order)

  • the beautiful weather this weekend. It is nice that the rain comes during the work week.
  • Enjoying a Friday night sleepover with my granddaughter. Being awakened with the song “Let It Go” at 6:30 in the morning only to discover she is singing in her sleep will definitely bring a smile to your face
  • finding some new photography sites and to learn more about photography
  • Running 3 miles 3 times this week and no hip pain.
  • Watching my son with his daughter and seeing a wonderful and loving father in addition to being a great son.
  • Finding a new fragrance from Philosophy: Fresh Cream. It is a light and clean scent which is perfect for summer
  • Seeing all the flowers growing.
  • Watching the baby eagles here in Pittsburgh grow to adulthood and almost ready to leave the nest. I have learned so much watching them

What are you grateful this week?




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