Every Good Thing...

As they say "Every good thing must come to an end" and so it is with the Olympics. For the past sixteen days we have sat on the edge of our seats and watched Lindsey Vonn ski to a gold, then fall and break a finger. We witnessed a country come together to support one of their own who lost her mother just days before she was to skate and skate she did with determination and heartbreak to a bronze medal. We saw Apollo Ohno skate to history. Bode Miller to win bronze, silver then gold after a horrible time in Turino, Italy, the US four man Bobsled team on the Night Train to win gold for the first time in sixty years. An American Nordic team wins gold and silver, four medals overall for the first time ever in the event. Yet we witnessed heartbreak and the death of the young Georgian Luger and saw his team rise and carry on. We witnessed a nation very proud of their athletes and who sang their national anthem with heartfelt pride, even more so after winning a gold in hockey. Why as Americans are we so afraid to sing our national anthem?

So many stories behind each Olympian. And yet not enough time to hear all of them. Stories of sacrifice, heartache, horrible accidents, triumph and warmth. I think the one story that moved me was about what happened on September 11, 2001 and all of the planes that converged on the tiny town of Gander in Newfoundland, Canada as the American sky ways were shut down and how the residents took over 7000 passengers and made them part of the community for 3-4 days. There are only 10,000 residents in Gander, yet they opened their homes, gave them food, shelter, clothing, and comfort. How they unselfishly gave of themselves to so many people and asked for nothing in return. For that, the town of Gander deserves a Gold medal. Tom Brokaw did the story, if they show it again you should see it as it will make you proud of our Northern Neighbors. It might even be posted on YouTube.

Last nights closing ceremonies were fun to watch and a fitting end to the past 16 days. It was great to see how the host country made fun of itself to kick off the ceremonies. The star studded cast was awesome. And just to think all those people we know so well that we thought were Americans were Canadians! And if you have ever been to Canada you were now Canadian according to Michael J. Fox. I guess I'm Canadian as I have been there quite a few times.

I have watched a lot of winter Olympics in my life and I think this one was the best that I have seen. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Was it because I've been to Vancouver and know what a beautiful city it is and I know how wonderful the Canadian people are? Was it because the US won in areas that we had not won in, in a long time or ever. Were we secretly rooting for Canada as well as the US? I know my hubby was. What was the magic of the Olympics this year? If you watched, what are your thoughts?

Amore and Arrivederche for now...

Sixteen Days of the Olympics...

I just love the Olympics. It doesn't matter if they are summer games or winter sports. I marvel at the amazing things that athletes can do. The opening ceremonies last night were awesome. Everyone was saying how can you outdo China and their summer games opening ceremonies, well I say you don't, you do what you are best at and that is to bring everyone together in an intimate setting and make the audience part of it and that is exactly what was done. David Adkins pulled it off beautifully. He made you and the TV audience feel the beauty of what Canada is. Canada may be vast but it is also intimate in it's nature. I say well done, eh?

I love Canada, you have to know that I am partial as I'm married to a Canadian who is now a naturalized citizen of the US. I have been to Canada many times and what they say is very true in that the people of Canada are very warm, friendly and welcoming. They are ready to help you at a moments notice if you ask or even if you don't ask they are there. It is a country of vast skies, towering mountains, clear water lakes and streams, beautiful sunsets, clear air and abundant wildlife. I am always amazed at the cleanliness of it's national parks. You just don't see trash in them. I have only been to Canada once in the winter and I can say they do have winters like we don't get here in Oklahoma. The closest thing to what a winter might be like is the blizzard that we had in December. Dave talked to one of his buddies from Calgary and he said " So your getting a taste of what we have for about 6 months of the year, eh?" The cold I can do without.

I have made another pot of stew as the weather calls for it and it is the time of season that I am extremely busy and don't have much time to cook. It's so easy to just put everything into one pot and let it simmer all day and have a feast that evening. I put everything in it again as I did for Super Bowl Sunday but this time I added corn and peas to the mixture. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Gooooooood.

At the top of the page is a picture of the amaryllis that my office gave me when I was out for my knee replacement surgery. To the left you can just see another bloom in the process of opening. The one you are looking at is about a week old. I just need to get my other pictures from my hubby so I can make a book of the flower opening. There is another stem that is growing and it should be opening sometime next weekend. These flowers are rather stunning. I could become partial to them as they seem easy to take care of. I wonder if they travel well?

Ah...the escapemisters...the dogs. For some reason I thought things were too quiet in the back yard and in looking out the kitchen window I could not see the dogs. I went to the back door in my bedroom where I can see the yard and knocked on the window. I saw Bear and Fitz but could not see Lizzy but noticed that one of the boards in the fence seemed to have a little more daylight between the slats. I hollered a Chris and told her that her dogs were out. She went out and gave her famous whistle and only one dog came running. So she brought in Bear and started to go out the front door to see where they had gone to when her dad came through the door with dogs at hand. He was on his way home from the store and saw them down the street. He parked the car and hollered at Fitz who heard him and turned and came home running with Lizzy tagging behind. Good thing too as the basketball game at the Lloyd Noble Center had just let out and traffic was getting heavy on the main thoroughfare. And he could have been hit by a passing car. Dave checked the fence line and found where they had dug out. So he filled in the hole with brick and repellent. Guess it's time to replace the fence and figure out a way to reinforce the ground under the fence so they can't dig out. Railroad ties may do the trick if we bury them.

Speaking of knees my therapy is going well. I'm working out at the Huff three to four times a week for about an hour and a half. I'm also doing upper arm work as I have decided that I don't like having bingo arms. I am building my time on the recumbent bike and am now up to 25 minutes. I'm pressing about 85lbs with my legs on the leg press and am getting more bend of the knee on the free leg swing. I am up to a 100 swings. I also do other stretches with a thera-band, and am doing quad bends. That one hurts as it stretches the front of your quad and you have to stretch the hamstring where it connects the the back of the knee. I have not been a big gym person since my mid thirties but I am starting to like it again. It's called...not putting it off if you want to be able to move normal again.

Well it is time to watch some more of the Olympics and cheer on the USA and Canadian Teams.

The faintness of the stars, the freshness of the morning,the dewdrop on the flower, speaks to me ~ Chief Dan George, Native American Author

Just another day in the life of...

Amore and Arrivederci For Now


Super Bowl Sunday...

I don't have a preference one way or the other. The Colts vs. the Saints...If I had to choose I guess I would choose the under-dog Saints. The thing I will be watching are the commercials to see what lunacy people are doing to get our attention and dollars.
Other than that it's an ordinary Sunday going into Monday. I will however watch the next installment of Jane Austen's "Emma" on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre later this evening. I do love the classics and they are getting ready to present Austen's Northanger Abby and Persuasion. Last night I saw where Great Performances was going to have Puccini's "Turandot" on soon. That was the first opera that I ever performed in. Oh it was so much fun remembering the wonderful memories of my youth.

The lovely Amerillas that the office gave me has bloomed. Dave has been getting timed photos of the blooming. I must say that it is beautiful. We are getting ready for another round of snow here starting tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully it will not be very much and we won't have the ice that we had last time. The northern part of the state is going to get socked again I fear up to 8 inches is possible. And then another storm in here on Thursday...UGH! The Farmer's Almanac said that February was going to be a bear weather wise. I guess they were right. I have made a great big crock pot of beef tips with potatos, cabbage, carrots, onions and diced tomatoes. Good hearty food for cold weather.

Well the Saints just won the Super Bowl, the underdog prevailed. Who Dat!!!

Never, never, never, never give up! ~ Sir Winston Churchill

Amore and Arrivederci For Now


Ground Hog Day or Puxatawny Phil...

Well it seems like ole Puxatawny Phil the Ground Hog saw his shadow today, so 6 more weeks of winter before spring arrives. I was looking at the video and if Phil saw his shadow then I'm a monkeys uncle. How you can see your shadow in a heavy overcast state is beyond me. It must have been the lights from the cameramen filming him. Hmmmmm.

The sun tried to peek through the overcast skies today but did not make it. Frankly I am ready to see some sunlight. Don't get me wrong I have enjoyed the snow but enough is enough of the overcast business. The light pole at the end of our block is about to fall over or at least snap in two. The big arborvitaes are piled with snow and have knocked over the power line thus pulling over the pole. The ice is crashing down on the streets and yards. You almost need a football helmet on to keep from being knocked out. We still have ice from the roof of the house to the ground. But I bet not for long.

We now have a giant mud hole in the backyard due to the dogs. I think I will get some hay and put it down and see if that will help the problem. I know the dogs have loved this snow, I am and I know they are ready for a patch of dry ground. Every time Lizzy goes outside we have to bathe her before she can come back in. They are being startled by falling ice and not quite sure what to make of it. To think we are due more rain and possible freezing drizzle come Thursday.

There's a tree outside my office window and today perched in its branches were the biggest fattest robins I have ever seen. Not just a few of them but 50 or more at a time. There were hundreds of robins in the courtyard.

It was interesting to see the students trying to get the ice off their cars this evening as I was leaving work. I saw two girls using pancake turners to get under the ice on their back window and flip it off. It got up to a warm 39 today. I sure could go for some 70 degree weather at the moment. But wait until it is 100 degree weather and I will be wishing for the 39 degrees. One cannot win at this game.

Dinner consisted of tenderized cube steak dredged in flour with salt & pepper and browned in olive oil along with 2 sliced onions placed on top then after browning add the tomato sauce poured on top of it (I sometimes will cut up a bell pepper in rings and put that in as well), cover and cook on low for 25 minutes. Mashed potatoes and peas. I have vowed to never fix mashed potatoes the old fashion way again. There is a new product in the freezer case that takes the work out of it. Put the bag in the microwave for 10 minutes and the let it set for 2 minutes after cooking. Follow the instructions on the bag and walla the best mashed potatoes I have had in a long time. There are 4 types of potatoes...russet, garlic, red and sweet potato. It was sooooo good. I fixed enough to have it for lunch tomorrow. :) Next to fried chicken, mashed potatoes and peas this is my next best favorite.

I went and worked out last night. Rode the recumbent bike for 15 minutes, that's the first time for that. I did my leg swings and leg presses. It felt good doing it. My leg was a little sore today but not too bad. I need to do more of my back leg bends as I am having trouble stepping down off of curbs. It's interesting how all of it comes into play, little things that you just take for granted. I also need to walk more. I'm still somewhat unsteady on my feet. I need to lengthen my stride to try and loose the limp. All of that will come in time but it sure is strange to feel like a little old lady teetering along. Today was the first day that the knee did not feel as heavy as it has been in the past. Little by little it is getting better. I need to go and have it measured to see what my extension is. The goal is to be able to sit at my office chair with my legs pulled to the sides of the chair with my toes on the ground pointed. I have a little ways to go yet on the left leg.
This is a painting that I have been working on. It is 4 paintings in one. It will have to have a custom made frame to look like window panes. It's on a 4x6 canvas board. I love doing miniatures. It takes time but it is fun. The quality of the picture is not good but at least you can see what I am doing. It is one of the activities that I do that relaxes me. I never paint at home, only when I am out on the road traveling.

Keep breathing ~ Sophie Tucker, U.S. singer
Just another day in the life of...
Amore and Arrivederchi For Now