Sunday, May 30, 2010

Low Calorie Tuna Salad

Here is the recipe for Tuna Salad.  It is very good either on a piece of dry toast or with 2 slices of low calorie bread and made into a sandwich.

Low Calorie Tuna Salad
1 small can tuna in water
1 boiled egg chopped
 2 stalks celery chopped
1 dill pickle (small or just some chips) chopped
1 tbsp fat free Italian dressing
1 tbsp lite mayonnaise
Garlic salt and celery salt
Makes 3 servings at 156 calories each

Nutrition Grade from Calorie Count
96% confidence B-
Good points
# Low in sugar
# Very high in niacin
# High in phosphorus
# Very high in selenium
# High in vitamin B12
  Bad points
# High in cholesterol
# High in sodium

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Dieting

I don't intend to blog constantly about dieting, but that is what is on my mind right now. I have decided, after investigating the Calorie Count Website further, that I will not use MyNetDiary.  Calorie Count has some really great dieting tools.

My food log for today:
Breakfast: Hard Boiled egg, 1 slice of Cinnamon Swirl Bread, 4 oz. Orange Juice, Black Coffee  214 cal.

Lunch:   Tuna Salad on 1 slice of multi-grain bread, water  266 calories

Snacks:   1 slice of multi-grain bread, toasted, with 1 tblsp peanut butter, diet coke 204calories
                2 slices canned pineapple in 100% juice, 1 graham cracker  119 calories
          Dinner:  Baked Fish  265 calories
                          Broccoli Florets  25 calories             
                          Tossed Salad   33 calories
                          Light Ranch Dressing 2 tblsp   80 calories.
                          Tartar Sauce 1 Tblsp.   40 calories 

          Total Calories:  1245

We ate dinner out at a little Mom and Pop diner so I had to make a best guess as to the quantities of food that I ate.  I have about 150 calories left over.......hmmm.....what can I eat?

I really have not been hungry. Not that hunger has ever been the problem.  I am an emotional eater, but I am feeling motivated right now.  My pants are all getting too tight! :-)

 My Morning Walk - very peaceful and relatively cool.  A lot of singing birds. But I do miss my walking partner.

Diet Day 5:  Weight 178.2  Walked 30 minutes

Thursday, May 27, 2010

One Thing Off My List

I have made a lot of my own clothing in years past.  In the last few years, something "funny" has happened to my shape, and I don't seem to be able to fit myself anymore.   Also sewing clothing is no longer practical. It is time consuming and expensive.  I've decided that I am going to limit my sewing to making things that don't have to fit and don't take a lot of time.  Aprons fit in that category, and I like them.

I ordered this pattern 2 or 3 months ago from Mary Mulari's Patterns , got some fabric, cut it out, and it has been lying at my sewing machine for weeks now.  I decided to get it off my To Do List this past week before my sister-in-law arrived.  My husband recently put some hooks up in the kitchen to hang my aprons on. The white apron with embroidery I already had.  The apron I made is reversible and I am showing both sides of it.

Diet Day 4: Wt. 179 lbs.  Walked 40 minutes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back to Blogging (and Dieting)

Well, my guest has left, and we had a great time talking and going places.  Of course, I did not want to take the time away from her to blog, but I did miss it.  Here I am again!

This week I am starting on a 1400 calorie diet in order to remove about 20 excess pounds.  I have done this before (quite a while ago) with success, but those 20 pounds always come back.  Maintenance is a problem, and I need to figure out a way to handle this.  My target weight is 159 lbs. which is acceptable for my age and height.

My neighbor, whom I walked with every morning, has gone up to the NC mountains for the summer, so I have played hooky from walking the past couple of weeks. I really did not lose any weight while walking, but it seems that I have put on a pound or two since I haven't been doing it - so maybe it did help.  I got out and walked this morning, and it was not so bad walking alone.  I used my new iPod for music, but then decided that I like to listen to the birds instead.

In preparation for dieting I have been doing some research on the computer for websites that might be useful. My NetDiary is a free online food diary, although you can upgrade it for a fee.  However, the free part is sufficient for me.  It is fairly simple to use and helps calculate the number of calories and grams of fat, carbs, and protein in foods that I eat. Of, course, paper, pencil, and a calorie counting book would work just as well if not quicker - but it's not as much fun as a computer program. :-)

Another helpful site that I am using is Calorie Count. It allows me to copy my recipes into the calorie calculator to get a total calorie count for the recipe.  There is also a lot of good information on this site.

I don't know why sometimes I simply cannot muster the willpower to diet, and sometimes I can.  Blogging about it may help me. Wish me luck!  And if anybody has any good low calorie recipes and suggestions for tips that have worked for them, I would greatly appreciate them.

Diet Day 3:  Wt. 180.2 lbs  Walked 40 minutes

Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting Ready for A Guest

I am busy getting ready for a guest this weekend and have a list of things to do to be prepared.  Company is always a great motivator for housework. :)  I may be a little slack about posting, but, never fear, I will be back.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lists Continued

I downloaded Ta-da, a free on-line list making tool.  I think I am going to like it.  Of course, over the past few years, I have tried several planning and list making computer programs.  I didn't stick with them. They were fun to play with, but I generally would go back to paper and pencil.  So we will see......

What I like about Ta-da is that it is simple and easy to edit.  I like the font and the appearance.  As you check items off, they are moved to the bottom of the list in faded print and do not completely disappear.  You can make multiple lists.  What I do not like is that you can only open one list at a time although you can get around this by opening multiple windows with different lists opened in each window.

I love making lists much more than I love doing what is listed on them, and I often procrastinate. You would think that after 50+ years of homemaking I would have this conquered.  My excuse is that, although I certainly have more time at this stage of my life, I don't have as much energy or motivation.  But things are getting backed up (maybe because I am on this computer too much) and are beginning to bother me.  I've got to get reorganized here!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

To Do Lists

To Do Lists have been on my mind the past few days - mainly because there are a lot of things I need to do around here (company is coming!).  I love lists.  Making them always makes me feel better.  Because of that I decided to post about lists.  In doing a little research here on the net, I find that there are already loads of blogs on this subject. Here are some blogs about lists that I found:  On this blog, the book, Eat That Frog, was mentioned in the comments.  It seems to be a book about procrastination.  I immediately ordered that from the library (we are fortunate enough in this county to have Books by Mail).  This blog identifies 15 different lists that homemakers need. No wonder I feel so fragmented.  This is a post of a list for a cleaning routine by a newly wed that she copied from a website named Hyper Homemaker Cleaning.  It is a good, comprehensive list but, unfortunately, I am not hyper - wish I were - maybe I'd get something done!  Actually, this blog appeals to me and I am going back to check it out futher.

I would love input on to do lists that others of you  keep and how you motivate yourselves to follow them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New iPod

One of my Mother's Day gifts this year was an iPod and a docking station.  I've been listening to beautiful music all day.  I have also spent a lot of time on the iTunes site trying to figure out how to do everything.  I love the compactness of this system.

I guess all of my husband's stereo equipment and our many music CD's and cassette tapes are now completely outdated.  Just a few months ago, I finally got rid of all the old LP's and a turntable that we had.  Most of my grandchildren do not even know what those are.

Things keep on changing.......

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Four Seasons - A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice

During a recent trip to the library I checked out  this book, The Four Seasons, A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice. I found it to be an enjoyable read. I do wish I had realized before finishing this book that the author had put a dictionary of  Italian words at the back as this would have helped with the all of the Italian words that she used in this story. The copy of the book I read also included questions for book club groups. There are good reviews of this book at Amazon  and used copies there begin at 15 cents.

The author, Laurel Corona, has a website that I also found interesting - especially this article about writing and perfectionism.  I  have a tendency to over edit which really increases the time it takes me to write anything - even emails.

In 1999, shortly after my husband retired, we were able to take a Mediterranean Cruise beginning with 2 days and a night in Venice.  After reading this novel, I got down our album of  photos of that trip, wiped off the dust, and enjoyed looking at them.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ali Edwards WITL

I spent some time reading Ali Edwards' WITL plan at her site.  She is selling some of the scrapbooking items she recommends for this project (scrapbooking a week in your life), but she also gives great instructions as to how to do it and shows step by step how she did this in her life. It is a great idea though it entails a lot of work.

Quite frankly, it was interesting to me to read about her life as she is working and caring for her family (the voyeur in me is coming out :).  Of course, my life is much different now than hers - but I can certainly remember those days and wish I had recorded the life of my family as she is doing.  Of course, we didn't have digital cameras and computers then.

She also includes some great quotes in her blog. Here is one that really struck a chord with me:
As I was ending my day I came across this quote from Emerson: 
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I have been reading a blog called Cooking My Life. Maureen, the writer of this blog, is following Ali Edwards, another scrapbooker, who has given a plan for WITL (week in the life) scrapbooking. Maureen is posting some collages she has made with this topic, and I have enjoyed looking at them.  It's fun to get a glimpse of someone else's life.

Recently I found a tutorial on how to make overlays for scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements at a website named Technique Speak. I have been experimenting with this and have made my own collage using overlays. Though this is not a week in my life, it's a pretty normal morning in my life. Be sure to click the photo to go to a separate page and then click again to enlarge it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I have really been pretty lazy with cooking in the last couple of weeks. My husband would probably like it if I had a cooking blog as I would have to do some cooking!

I'm not an expert on cooking. It's a family joke  that I never sit down to a meal that I have prepared without criticizing something about it. My kids think that I inherited this trait from my mother who always did the same thing. She was a good cook - so maybe we both were just fishing for praise. :)

There is one thing that I do make that I always like - my meatloaf.  It is a recipe that I got from a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that I got over 50 years ago for a wedding gift. That cookbook is long gone as it finally fell apart, but I kept a lot of recipes from it.

In an attempt to get my children, when they were little, to eat more vegetables, I added the carrots in the recipe. They add moisture to the meat loaf, and my children did not seem to know the difference. Here is the recipe.
2/3 cup bread crumbs dry
1 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup onion chopped (I usually add more onions than this.)
2 carrots, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sage
1 dash pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup catsup
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dry mustard   

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix well bread crumbs, milk; meat, eggs, onion, carrots, and seasonings. Form into loaf and place into loaf pan.

I use a flat pan with sides instead of the loaf pan so that I can pour off any grease that accumulates around the meatloaf. I usually start doing this about half-way through the baking. I shape the loaf with wet hands. This seems to work better and is supposed to keep the meatloaf from cracking when it bakes. I used to make my own bread crumbs in the blender or food processor but for the past few years I buy the ready made kind - much easier!

Spread with Piquant Sauce made by mixing brown sugar, catsup, nutmeg and dry mustard. Bake 1 hour. Servings: 8

This is a good dish to prepare in the morning. ( Remember to take the ground beef  out of the freezer the night before, if it is frozen.)  I cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the refrigerator. Then I can just put it into the oven an hour before dinner is to be served.
Ready to stick in the refrigerator until time to bake for dinner

Baked and ready to eat.  (I started slicing it before I remembered to take the photo.) Makes a messy pan!

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Grandchildren

I have not really talked about my grandchildren - mainly because of privacy issues - but they are a big part of my life. There are eleven of them ranging from five years old to twenty-eight. All except two of them are fairly close by so that I see them frequently.

This past Friday was Grandparents' day at the school of my three youngest grandchildren.  They always have a big production at their school for this particular event - with performances, food, and visits to the children's rooms where they present us with gifts they have made.
My twenty-two year old grandson was with us for the weekend as he had a job near us to do.  My nine year old grandson is with us today.  He is recuperating from being sick over the weekend and needed to stay home from school. He is on his Grandpa's computer while I am working on this blog.

My seventeen year old granddaughter is having irregular hours at her school this week because of exams. Because of that she is spending tonight with us so that we can take her to school tomorrow for an exam at 11:30 in the morning (she has a working mother - as do all of my grandchildren).

I've always felt that I never knew what love really was until I had my first child.  However, I have found with my grandchildren that love really is absolutely unconditional - they can do no wrong! :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Peru Scrapbook Pages

Here are some old digital scrapbook pages that I have done.

My husband's step father would always want to show us thousands of slides of their trips every time we would go up in the summer to visit them, and I swore I would never do that to my children.  However I couldn't resist making a couple of pages of this Peru trip for my 2007 Family Scrapbook.

For some reason, visiting Machu Pichu was always on my "bucket list" though I had no idea I would ever get to go. (Goes to show - you never know what life will hold for you :)  It was a rugged trip for two old people, and I almost killed my husband with it (he developed a huge blood clot in his leg shortly after that trip). However, I think both of us would do it again.