Monday, May 30, 2011

Hello Again

 I've decided to revive my first blog.  Nothing earth shattering, just looking to share more of the everyday aspects of life here, rather than on my "art blog". I'm also in the process of sprucing things up around here and at my art blog. It's good to freshen things up now and then.

I thought I'd kick things off by sharing a favorite recipe--Blueberry Buckle. Really, it's just a fancy name for coffee cake. Normally I make it with blueberries, but at this time of year I like to use fresh rhubarb.

Blueberry Buckle

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter 

1/4 cup shortening

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

Mix sugar, butter, shortening and egg with spoon. Add milk and vanilla. Stir. Add remaining dry ingredients. Spread in ungreased 8 inch pan. 

Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or other fruit. Rhubarb is a great choice! I'm not much for measuring the fruit--I just load it on (especially the rhubarb)!

Mix until crumbly: 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon 

Sprinkle above mixture over blueberries or fruit. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.  You can also double the recipe and use a 9x13 pan!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday in pictures

As promised, some pictures from our Christmas! Christmas Eve was spent doing lots of baking...well, that's what I did! Cy had to work from 9 a.m. till 8 p.m.! It's horrid working retail during the holidays!


But Ana and her boyfriend, Travis, took advantage of the new snow and made some great snowmen!


After a late dinner, it was time to open gifts!


Ana was super excited about the CHI hair straightener she got!


Even though he don't look it here, Cy was thrilled with his dress clothes from Express...later, he put on a little show for mom!




Joel was pleased that there was a little baseball this Christmas...


I bought us a 20-game season ticket package for the new stadium! We are sitting very, very high!


No pictures of me on Christmas Eve (I was taking the pics!)...but I was thrilled with my new DVDs...Thirtysomething, Season 1, Julie & Julia, and the fantastic movie Up. I also got some wonderful things to help me relax--a massage chair pad (it works great!) and Ana got me one of those things you put around your neck (and you can heat it up in the microwave...smells like lavender!)

A few days later, we had Christmas with Joel's kids--


Hope you all enjoyed a wondrous holiday season!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Feeling bummed...

So a week ago, just before Christmas, I had a doctor's appointment with my regular physician. It was a "routine" diabetic visit, one that should be scheduled every 3-4 months.  It had actually been more like 6 months. 

I hate these visits. I never leave feeling good about myself or my body. I feel like I'm aging before my time. Genetics is not on my side. Turning 49 earlier this month did not help my attitude about this whole aging thing. I'm having hot flashes right and left and I can't seem to get a start on losing those 25 pounds I need to take off (again).

But I know eventually I need to go in, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet. And the news was not good. My blood sugar numbers were up. I can't say I was really surprised. My stress has been pretty high this fall. I have not been exercising like I should. My meds don't seem to be working. 

So my doctor informed me that I needed to start taking insulin once a day. I sat in her office fighting tears as she explained how much better insulin is now, how easy it is to use...It may be easier, but it still does not feel good. At best, I feel like I'm failing and at worst, I feel like I'm cursed. Like I said, genetics is not really on my side.

I have been a Type II diabetic for over 10 years. My mother has been a diabetic for years and I think my father was possibly a Type II diabetic as well.  Up to now, I've been managing my diabetes with oral medications, but I have never had stellar numbers. Over time this plays havoc with your body. I run a much higher risk for kidney and heart disease. Given my family history of heart disease that is something that needs to be taken seriously. 

Today I had my little "education" appointment with the nurse...I was walked through how to give myself the injections. I'm not really worried about it...I had to give myself injections when I had the blood clots years ago. I'm not saying that I'm excited about it, but I'm not a needle phobe.

I guess the part that I don't like about it is that it's just another sign that this disease is getting the upper is becoming more intrusive. And it's not getting better.

I'm writing about this because writing helps me to work through things...and I'm warning you that I'm having a bit of a pity party, but I assure you I'll get past this. But just for a moment can I say how much it sucks dealing with this every day. I'm not the healthiest of eaters, but certainly not the worst...and sometimes it just annoys the crap out of me that people around me can eat so much worse and not pay the consequences. Sure, maybe they are just living in their own little land of denial, but sometimes I really just don't want to think about what I'm eating. And honestly, I don't like exercising. I'd rather be painting in the studio. I need some motivator to get out there and start moving. Frankly, I would like a dog that would insist on being taken out, but I don't think that's in the cards right now.

So I'm trying to wrap my head around all this.  I'll probably be writing about this a bit more. I need a place to vent, deal with disappointments, and hopefully celebrate some successes. 

Like a lot of folks, the beginning of a new year seems a good time to re-dedicate myself to living healthier. I will lose those 25 pounds (again). I will get better control of my blood sugars. I will look and feel healthier and younger. 

Besides  a year from now, I turn the BIG 5-0!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 1 at the Fair

This was my favorite photo of the day--four barely adolescent boys sitting on a bench, holding these bananas they had won at the fair. They were willing to let me take their pic...I didn't tell them I was posting it for the world to see! Lots of bananas walking around the fair...

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the grandstand. I was less than thrilled to see a huge Wal-mart sign posted on the side of the grandstand...yuk...obviously they gave money for something.

Gotta check out the Seed Art...always displayed in the Ag bldg in the middle of the fairgrounds.

One of my favorite fair treats...warm scones with fruit and cream cheese topping from French Meadow Bakery. It was the first food I looked for this year and initially I was disappointed to see them gone from their usual spot in the Food Bldg...then I spied them outside in their very own (and very lovely) building. They serve all kinds of coffee drinks too!

The Skyride

Joel & I outside the Fine Arts bldg. There is always a wonderful exhibit of art by MN artists in the Fine Arts building...always one of my first stops.

Hey, I didn't find these...who was handing them out? I want one! Mauer on a stick!

It was early in the day and these two were tuckered out! They had a great place for a nap though!

Other Fair tips/tidbits:

  • Metro transit has apparrently lost the contract for providing the service for all the free/low-cost bus shuttles to the fair. The good part of this is the service is now being provided by more comfy coach buses. On the bad side: there are fewer buses, fewer seats and these buses were not built for standing passengers!
  • The Fair coupon book for $5 is a good deal. It can be purchased at the State Fair gift shop or several kiosks across the fairgrounds. (Next year buy it before the fair for a discount! I did!)
  • The best deal on pop at the fair is to buy a reusable State Fair cup, available at several vendors, for $5. Refills are then $1-1.25. And you can bring the cup back on subsequent visits to the fair (or even the next year like we did!)
  • What Not to Wear would have a field day at the Fair...but I say wear comfortable clothes and shoes. And definitely pants with pockets for your cell phone!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's time---

for the Great Minnesota Get-Together! Here are some of my favorite pics from previous years. I'm off to take in Day 1 of 2009 and take more great photos!

See you at the Fair!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blueberry Buckle

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup shortening

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

Mix sugar, butter, shortening and egg with spoon. Add milk and vanilla. Stir. Add remaining dry ingredients. Spread in ungreased 8 inch pan. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries Mix until crumbly: 1/2 cup sugar 1/3 cup flour 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 1/2 tsp cinnamon Sprinkle over blueberries. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.

This is one of my favorite things to bake in the summer...or any time really. I was going to make it this morning, but didn't have any baking powder! But that has now been remedied, so Sunday morning we'll be enjoying some Blueberry Buckle (it's a coffeecake).