Friday, May 25, 2018

Finally, porch time

 Opossum who didn't have a care in the world.
 A flock of geese. They kept following the lead goose just like if they were flying in the sky.

First one deer, then another who stopped at the trees and kept looking back. Then ran back to the other end of the condos and waited. Two more came and they ran back to the trees and followed the first.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Meat Pie Makeover

Meat Pie Makeover - yum. My husband's family has a delicious French Canadian Meat Pie traditional recipe. They all love it. Potatoes, ground beef, beef fat.... Not Weight Watcher friendly. So I decided to give it a try for our dinner tonight. It was so delicious. It's not the original but we both liked it.

4 servings - 4 Freestyle points each 

I started with the 2-ingredient dough. Lessened the yogurt and added an egg. It was very sticky but workable. Add a little more flour on your hands as you make the ropes.

I always have ground turkey cooked and frozen in sandwich bags. I used one of those and added onions, celery and shredded zucchini. The spices are Mrs. Dash, salt, pepper, garlic, sage, celery seeds. Cook in pan until onions are translucent.

I added 2 Laughing Cow cheese wedges to add creaminess missing from not using fat.

I cooked the filling. Put it in a small casserole and put most of the crust on top. I used my fingers to pat it all over the filling. Then I made ropes out of leftover dough and put it around the pie to form the edge of the crust.

Bake 350 for 40 minutes.

1/2 cup self rising flour
1/3 cup Fage FF Greek yogurt
1 egg

Mix together. Knead in bowl. Will be sticky.

Cover 2 cups baby potatoes with water and microwave until tender. 

8 ounces cooked 99% FF ground turkey
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 cup shredded zucchini, drained
2 wedges Laughing Cow cheese
The potatoes that you microwaved.

Seasoning: Salt, Pepper, Mrs. Dash, sage, garlic, celery seeds.

Bake 40 minutes at 350

Thank you for this mrscooby1!

How did we ever work?

My goodness! We are so busy right now I don't know how we ever had full time jobs.

Several of the commitments include meals - it's a minefield of points waiting to sabotage my plan.

All I gotta say is don't be offended if I say no thank you to offers of food. I'm done eating points that make you feel better!

Love ya...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


I can't imagine my life without aunts and uncles and cousins. My aunt's and uncle's enriched my life while they were alive.  Family means so much to me.

My cousin Mary Lynn is more a sister than a cousin. If I need to ask a family history question Mary Lynn knows the answer. She was the first person to encourage me to write and offered to edit my first book. Twelve books later she still is the first person to read and edit each book.

The times I spent in Owosso with Elise, Roger and Rick or when they were staying with us we're the best of times. When we were little and my Dad was sick my little sister, Jane, and I sometimes stayed with Rob, Nancy, Sue, Mike and Ed. As we got older we had our family reunions at there house on the 4th of July and our children found out how wonderful extended families can be.

A few times our cousins came from California and it was such a celebration. It was the only time I remember seeing Grandma Brandi making the Palm Sunday spaghetti with ground walnuts sprinkled on top. I remember John, Maria and Jim visits would mean lots of family time which I loved.

My Dad was an only child so you would think that would mean no cousins. Wrong. We had Maureen and Kevin and Kerry. Their Dad was my Dad's cousin. I can't say how much it meant when their parents stepped in after my Dad died and included my sister Jane and me in so many good times. We also went to school together and the shenanigans Kerry and I caused still make me laugh.

Ed, Kevin, Elise, Maureen and Mike have passed away, even though they are still in my heart, I still miss each of them so much. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

New Phone Angst

It took me several times trying to get into this account. I would hate to lose all of my blogs! But I'm back.

My Samsung Galaxy7 started acting up for the third time. I had enough when I plugged it in to charge and the battery percentage started going down.

The person who always goes with me to buy a phone is in Ireland so Pat dropped me off and I was on my own.

After looking at a few Samsungs I told the clerk I love to take pictures and he said I should look at Google's Pixel XL. It was on sale so cheaper than a Samsung. The photos go right to Google photos. It is a bit bigger, but not too big. So I decided to get it. I double checked by calling my friend Amy who has one. She loves hers and said the added benefit is it doesn't have a ton of preloaded apps you can't get rid of - that was the best news.

So after buying it I had to wait for Pat to get back. I started setting it up and ran into trouble with only 7 of my contacts transferring. One of the Verizon employees waiting for someone to come in took the phone and within 20 seconds my contacts were there! Then for the first time ever my calendar was transferred too. I love the Verizon cloud.

Using it for the first day I already like it. The keyboard letters are not as close together, the screen is sharp and clear and it does take great pictures.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


This is really good cheesecake.

Preheat oven to 350°
Spray pie dish with Pam

3 cups FF Greek Yogurt  (I use Fage because it is so thick and creamy)
3 eggs
1 TBS Vanilla
1 TBS Truvia or other sweetener
1  small pkg  (3.4 oz) Jello Pudding Cheesecake flavor
Optional 1/4 cup PB2

Mix all Ingredients. Pour into pie dish. Smooth out the top to be even. Bake 30 minutes. Turn off oven and let cool in unopened oven. Cover with plastic or press and seal and refrigerate several hours or overnight. We like it with fresh blueberries.

6 servings - 1 Freestyle SP

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Shrimp Scampi

Someone posted on Facebook that she missed having shrimp scampi so I revised a recipe for her. This recipe serves six and I got it down to 6 points. Instead of putting the reduced amount of butter into the sauce I think drizzling it over the dish at the end will keep the buttery flavor more present.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Full Circle

Today I had such a great moment in culinary memories. I love cooking shows and thankfully, Pat does too. We started watching Julia Child on PBS in the early 80's. On Friday nights after the kids went to bed we would sit next to each other on the sofa and soak in the cooking. The joy of learning different techniques from Julia was magical for me.

In 1997 I was still watching Julia in "Baking with Julia," but now she had guests on the show. Nancy Silverton was the guest and this was what was reported by the Los Angeles Times:

"Silverton, who appeared in "In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs" and "Baking With Julia," remembers one particular taping including a moment of sheer terror, followed immediately by total bliss.
"Before the show, Julia took me aside and explained that she was not big on editing and that when I needed to wrap up my segment, she would tap me on my hip with her hand.
"Well, I am making this brioche tart with stone fruits and a hot wine syrup. I'm sauteing the fruits and putting the tart together when I get the tap. So, I quickly finish it off and cut a forkful and hand it to Julia who tastes it. There is silence.
"Then I see tears in her eyes and then she starts crying. I am thinking 'Oh my, I've burned Julia Child.' But, then Julia says, 'That is the most delicious dessert I have ever had.' "

When I saw that episode I cried too. I couldn't imagine being that baker. It has always been my favorite show.

Today I was watching my new favorite cooking show on Netflix, Chef's Table. Half way through, it shows the featured baker as a young woman on "Baking with Julia." It was my favorite episode! It was Nancy Silverton!

This made me inordinately happy this morning. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Lunch with Great Friends

BACK: Kay Conklin, Kate Cole, Mary Ellen Shea Clifford
Middle: Suzy Schwark, Jackie Medema, Meg Kennedy Shaw, Bethany Cronk
Seated: Dorothy Komarmy, Marj Kunz

In the early 80's I was on the Michigan Council of Cooperative Nursery Board. For three of the years I was Chairperson of the Spring Conference held at Michigan State University for over 1,000 parents and teachers of preschoolers.  I learned so much from these women.

Even though I was brand new and didn't know much about running a conference, they gave me the opportunity to get speakers to fill 40 workshops, find a keynote speaker (The three while I was chair were:

Fredelle Maynard
Author of Raising Creative Children; Raisins and Almonds; and The Child Care Crisis Also a Canadian television show, Parenting 

Louise Bates Ames
Psychologist and co-founder of the Geselle Institute of Human Development at Yale. Author of many books about developmental books by age (and hosted one of the first television shows on child development. 

David Elkind
Child Psychiatrist and professor at Tufts University and author of The Hurried Child and The Power of Play and Miseducation. His research and books were about the importance of play in development). 

With this group I learned how to run a meeting each month overseeing volunteers from all over Michigan who put on a bazaar, brought in vendors, ran a raffle, put on an annual meeting, found hostesses for each workshop, registration, welcoming, and made everything run smoothly.

No one hovered over me, the Board and our mentors were there to help if we asked. It was the most amazing group of people.

I always told the volunteers that the work we did should be on their resumes. After I left the Board to go to my paying job I became one of the speakers at Spring Conference presenting a workshop called, "It Will Look Good on Your Resume."

For the first time since I left the Board to go to work for the City of Saginaw in 1986, nine of us got together for lunch at the Kellogg State Room at MSU. It was a wonderful afternoon filled with memories and friendship.

Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16th

April is half gone. We've only been on the porch two times. Now the river is flooding. But.... We left the condo to go exercise this morning and the roads are okay.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


What to do the second day of ice and sleet? Make inspirational posts!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Oprah reported on 60 minutes that Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer and professor at NYU, founded the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. 

This month the EJI will open a Lynching Museum. While watching the segment I got goosebumps on my arms and my stomach turned. The last time that happened I was at the Holocaust Memorial in Boston.

This was the most important lesson in American history I've seen on 60 Minutes. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Aunt Janie Eggs

One time when we went to visit the Noble Family, my sister made the most delicious scrambled eggs. She added cream cheese and dill.  Over the years they came to be known as "Aunt Janie Eggs."

Many years later my sister had breakfast at our house and I told her we were going to have "Aunt Janie Eggs." She didn't remember making them. What? All those years she was famous at our favorite breakfasts and she didn't even remember them!

Here is an updated Weight Watcher version.

Eggs, Dill, Salt, Pepper, Mrs. Dash and 
1 wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese
for each person.

         I always end up adding more dill

Cook the eggs smashing and smushing the wedges of cheese to incorporate it into the eggs. When the eggs are still very wet, but mostly set, turn off the flame. Continue stirring the eggs and plate them while they are still creamy.

Eggs - 1 pt
Joseph's Pita Bread - 1 pt
4 slices Al Fresco Chicken Bacon - 1 pt
3 Freestyle Smart Points 


Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Thanks Barb Sharma for sharing this on Facebook. I miss my Mom, but she's always with me.

Live Production Jesus Christ Superstar

This was such a great television show on Easter Sunday. I love the music and was surprised I still knew all the words. The set was fabulous. The casting wonderful. Well done!

Lentil Coconut Soup

This was delicious. Will make again. Makes 4 - 5 Freestyle Point servings (2 ladles each).

1 Tbsp olive oil 
1/2 yellow onion
2 tsp turmeric 
1 TBS Mrs. Dash
1/2 tsp salt
red pepper flakes
12 baby  carrots

Cook over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent. 

1/2 pkg Trader Joe's cooked Lentils
2-3 cups FF chicken broth
13.5 oz can Trader Joe's RF coconut milk
1 container cooked Minute Rice

Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 container of Minute Rice. Take off heat and cover for 5 minutes.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Thankful for Friends

My friend, Jimmy E. Greene, posted something this Easter morning that touched my soul. Thank you Jimmy.

On this Easter Sunday there is much unrest and anger at the scandals surrounding our diocese, priests and leader.  Critics outside the Church will ask how we adhere to an institution that has so many deep flaws and now this. My first response is that the Catholic tradition of thought and practice is that faith and the physical church are as separate as faith and mortal man.  My faith isn’t shaken anymore by the flaws of a mortal man who is but a conduit then it would be if an earthquake made rubble out of the church building.  Our faith is an inside of us thing and not a flesh and blood or bricks and mortar thing.

I’ll never forget the William James phrase that faith is a “live option” inside of us.   How true.  For me, The Catholic Church is the only religious place that I feel at home in and to renounce it based on the misdeeds of failed priests is to question what and who I had faith in to begin with.  I hope that my community of Catholics uses this to remember that crucial reminder; faith is and always has been the message and not in the messenger.   One does not need a conduit to receive it since there’s a direct line for each us of 24/7/365✝️✝️✝️

That “live option” in each of us is just that...alive.

Vintage Jacobson's

If you ever shopped at Jacobson's then you will understand my joy. I found a cute skirt with pockets (I love pockets because I don't carry a purse). We were at Goodwill in Traverse City, Michigan and I was so surprised to find it had a Jacobson's label. One of the most missed places to shop in Michigan and Florida. I just had to buy it. So for Easter Sunday I'm wearing it with great memories of a wonderful store. And.... It's an 18.... yeah!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

St. Dominic's 2018 Palm Sunday

St. Dominic's Church - Saginaw Michigan
SS Peter and Paul Site
Palm Sunday - 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Bird Migration

Bird Migration

Click below to go to all kinds of
Research Data

Lots of Sunshine

We went to Mass this morning. We met our niece, Heather, at Blessed Sacrament. After Mass she came over for breakfast.

We talked a lot about traveling in Michigan. When she was leaving she mentioned her blinker was probably burnt out. They went to the auto supply and Pat changed it. When he came back home I asked if he wanted to go grocery shopping. He suggested a drive to Traverse City. Mmm...... No brainer. Traverse City won.

Traverse Bay was dark blue and Teal with sunshine sparkling. We went to McGee's and celebrated Hannah's (one of two sisters whi bartend at McGee's) birthday with her. It was fun. On our way home.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

New Beginnings Free Promotion

Free Book Promotion

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day - and to thank my sweet husband for buying the beautiful portrait for me from the artist, Clarence Lum - I am giving away my eBook, "New Beginnings."  When I originally saw the painting, Prada Girl, at Clarence's home I was instantly inspired to write the book.  I wondered why the girl was leaving the apartment? Why did she not look back?  Where was she going? Why was she alone? What emotions were on her face, sad, happy, relieved?  I couldn't stop thinking of her when I went home. The words flew out of my heart. When the book was finished I was so happy Clarence agreed to let me use Prada Girl on the cover.  New Beginnings is one of my favorite books.  March 15 - 19, 2018, the book is free.  Go to Amazon to get your copy today.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Wise Words

This is something I found on Connect this morning. My pet peeve is when someone tells a "friend" what someone else has said about this friend. I don't want to know what other people have told you in confidence. Please keep it to yourself! Thank you Harrietta29.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

We all have those moments. We followed the plan, piled up blue dots, went to the gym 6 days... weigh in day shows +.8 lbs. It can be so discouraging.  But wait, what if our results from what we did this week shows results in two weeks instead of one week?

When I have a good week, like recently -3.8, and someone says, "You did good this week!" I usually answer, "I follow the plan whether the scale shows it or not."

Don't get me wrong, I still get disappointed when I have a small gain. What I am most thankful for is when Celia weighed me in and saw that disappointment. She took the time to go over my past few weeks and show me how much weight I had lost during that time. It changed my perspective and gave me inspiration to go on.

Then that same meeting our wonderful leader, Barb, challenged us to set some goals for the next 40 days. It dawned on me while the discussion was going on that I have no control over the scale. I do have control over what I do on this journey. When I mentioned that, Barb asked everyone what we could do.

They gave such good ideas for the challenge.  Drink more water, achieve attendance goals at the gym, weigh and measure everything - even 0 pt foods, attend a meeting every week, track every bite, listen to @fatdag podcasts, join Facebook pages like wwover50, interact on the most positive social media - Connect.

This is why Weight Watchers works. Everywhere I turn there are people willing to help ME. They are so generous with their support for ME! When I feel disappointed someone notices ME.

I spend a lot of time writing on Connect (Weight Watchers Social Media similar to Facebook) and on FB to help YOU. However, I found on this journey helping YOU also helps ME. This is why we are becoming new people on the inside as well as on the outside.

This journey isn't with the company called Weight Watchers it is really that we are building a connection with people. It is being a support to others. It is noticing how we can help when someone needs a boost. It is learning how to be kind to ourselves. Thank you for every little thing you do because together we are changing the world.

Thai Chicken and Vegetables

    • Thai Chicken and vegetables

    • Adapted from Slender Kitchen - Click on pan of Thai Chicken to go to to Slender Kitchen.


  • Sauce
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Iron Chef Asian Garlic Sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Make sauce - add ingredients. Heat on low until thick. Can make ahead and put in refrigerator.

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped 
  • Season with Mrs. Dash, garlic, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and then refrigerate overnight.

  • Cookie Sheet Prep for Dinner - rinse and cut vegetables into bite size pieces
  • 1 bunch bok choy 
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Red and orange peppers
  • 1 cup cashews

Place on two foil wrapped cookie sheets.  Put all vegetables around the outside of the pan and the chicken in the middle.  Spoon sauce over all.

Bake 400° for 25 minutes. Makes 12 servings. 5 Smart Points each.

Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad

Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad

Jennifer Pierce Health Website
Click on picture to find more

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
ZEST of one lemon
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp shallot, finely minced
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Pinch black pepper
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil (I used Walden Farms Honey Mustard for 0 points)
I added 1/4 cup honey
3 c thinly sliced kale (approx 1/2 a bunch)
1 lb Brussels sprouts, finely shredded using a mandolin or sharp knife
2 cups shredded zucchini
3-4 slices turkey bacon, baked and chopped (I used Al Fresco Chicken Bacon)
1/4 c roasted almonds, chopped (I didn't roast)
1/2 c Pecorino cheese, finely grated
I added 1 cup blueberries
I mixed the dressing and stored in refrigerator. I like to add at the last minute.
Add everything for the salad but the dressing and the almonds. Store in refrigerator.
Just before serving add the dressing and almonds to the salad. This salad serves 6 generous portions - 1 Smart Point.

Monday, March 5, 2018

This is so good

jrace02 - this was an amazing, life changing moment.  I read it in Connect (Weight Watchers social media) and continued to scroll down. I stopped. Scrolled back and read it again.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

If there is an elephant in the room...

Today I cried at church. At the end of Mass Fr. Steve said, "If there is an elephant in the room it's best to acknowledge it."

A priest from our Diocese was charged with sexual crimes as well as furnishing drugs and alcohol to boys. There is such pain and anger and betrayal.

Fr. Steve wonders how the parishioners can trust the other priests. He mentioned the words in the David Haas song, "Will you let me be your servant let me be as Christ to you?" He apologized to us that this has happened.

I can't imagine how much sadness this must bring to the priests, our Bishop and the parishioners that trusted that man.

God, I ask for patience and understanding because I don't want to face this trial to come. The news reports there are so many complaints since this arrest - against more priests in our Diocese of Saginaw.

This is a sad day.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Serves 12
4 points per serving 

2 ingredient breadsticks
1 1/4 cup Self Rising Flour
1 1/4 cups FF Greek Yogurt 

9 chicken breasts
3 cans Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup
2 cups FF Greek Yogurt 
Juice of one lemon
6 slices ultra thin sharp cheddar cheese
1 TBS Curry with 1 tsp each cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash
2 TBS butter
4 cups broccoli 

Mix flour and 1 1/4 cup yogurt.  Knead in bowl. Roll into 12 breadsticks. Bake. Set aside.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and brown in Pam sprayed pan. 

Cook broccoli in microwave. Trim off large stems. Cut large heads in two.

Mix condensed soup and rest of yogurt and lemon juice, cheese with rest of Curry, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash. Add cooked chicken, cooked broccoli. Mix well. Put into 6 metal foil loaf pans (2 servings in each) sprayed with Pam. 

Cut breadsticks into cubes. Brown in Pam sprayed pan and melted butter. Top each casserole. Cover with foil and refrigerate or  freeze.

Bake 350° oven for 1/2 - 1 hour.

Thursday, March 1, 2018


I saw this verse:

 "I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

So after downloading a few photo editors I found one I liked a lot. This is the app:

So here is today's quote:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Blue Ice

This was absolutely, positively the most beautiful day at Mackinac Bridge. We heard about the blue ice and before coming home from our overnight trip to Traverse City we decided to go to the bridge.

In an article in USA Today I found this explanation, "When lake ice is clear with no bubbles, in this case where lakes Michigan and Huron meet, it allows for short wavelength light to penetrate and scatter in the water below and reflect back through the ice."  George Leshkevich, a field scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. 

It was 38° but actually felt much warmer. There were lots of people climbing on the ice. The mountain of ice is inches away from the house we were near.

The huge shards created steps to climb. I had on tennis shoes and it was too slippery for me.