Friday, August 22, 2014

And More Meals...

Homemade waffles with homemade huckleberry syrup.

Sloppy Joes with yellow beans and squash from our garden.

Crab cakes, red potato salad and watermelon.

Salmon, baked potatoes, roasted squash and tomatoes from our garden (hubby had yellow beans from the garden instead of the squash and tomatoes).

Tuna and pasta salad with all kinds of veggies included.

Tomato and Havarti melts on whole wheat English muffins.

My birthday dinner~corn on the cob, pasta salad, strawberries and raspberry salad (from the garden), bacon wrapped steaks with sauteed mushrooms.

Meatloaf with roasted potatoes.

Orange chicken over rice, Asian veggies.

Double stuffed and baked potatoes, green salad from the garden.

Homemade BBQed chicken pizza.

Turkey burgers, carrot sticks and chips.

Kalua Pig, rice and cabbage.

Cheese tortellini, salad from the garden, garlic bread and a nice glass of wine.

Garden salad with strawberries, lettuce, strawberries and blueberries from our garden.


Isaiah, Hailey, Uncle Jaysn and Bradley 
   Our niece Shannon, her hubby Travis and our great-niece Hailey came over for a visit recently and we had a wonderful time together!  I loved having our family together and seeing everyone laughing, sharing meals and enjoying each others company.  Hailey kept Bradley entertained for hours and I think he really likes having such a fun big cousin. ;)


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Pain Behind the Smile

   Robin Williams 2011a (2).jpg

Within the past few days, the world lost one of the most talented actor/comedians to ever grace the planet.  Robin Williams was found dead from an apparent suicide.  He had been struggling with substance abuse and depression and it took him to the darkest of places where he just wanted to pain to end.  My heart aches for him and what he was going through and also for his family that is left behind.

   Robin Williams had the ability to make us all laugh and also cry.  How many of us took "refuge" from the storms of life all around us by watching him in "Mork and Mindy", "Mrs. Doubtfire", "Night at the Museum" or one of the many other movies or shows he was in?  From what I am reading online, it seems like he was always there for his friends, family, our troops, and for children were facing hardships and needed some laughter and fun in their lives.  This incredible man gave the world the gift of laughter, all the while masking the terrible pain that he was feeling inside.

   Even in his death though, he continues to give us yet another  gift...the gift of awareness of depression and sometimes the  substance abuse that may go along with it that is used to try and dull the pain.  So many people, ones that most would never suspect of struggling with depression, are coming out and sharing their story of their own struggles with this debilitating mental health issue.  For so long it has been considered shameful to either suffer from it or have a family member that does.  It is an illness, just like any other illness, be it cancer, lupus, diabetes, and it should not be something that we whisper about, or blame the person for having it.  I personally believe that many lives could have been saved if the stigma and shame attached to depression had not been placed there by society as a whole.

   I'm willing to bet that every single one of us knows at least one person that suffers from depression...but we may not even realize it.  Sometimes, people with the biggest smiles and the most infectious laughter, are hiding behind that mask hoping that you do not see the deep pain they are in.  They have learned to mask the pain for many reasons; shame, fear,and expectations of others are the ones that immediately come to mind.  All the while, they are living with this dark secret that keeps pulling them down further and further.  Sadly, some of these people will never get the help that they need to help them climb out of that deep and dark hole.  And some, like Robin Williams, tragically see no other way to stop the pain but through suicide.  

   I hope that we, as friends, coworkers, family members, and society, will help get rid of the stigma attached to depression and help those that are struggling with this disease get the help they need and deserve.  So please be there for others. Be kind, be supportive and help them, or even yourself, know that it is ok to ask for and seek help and that there are many people who do care.



Friday, August 1, 2014

Recent Yard Sale and Thrift Store Finds

Mantis 7225-15-02 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Tiller/Cultivator with Border Edger and Kickstand (CARB Compliant)Jeff and I have been having great luck lately finding things at yard sales that have been on our "wish list" lately.  Our best score was a Mantis tiller that is very similar to this one (minus the kick stand).  The one pictures above is on sale right now at for $336.92.  We bought ours from one of my former students for $10.  Major Score!!!
 Bella rotating Waffle Iron $14.99 (retails for $69.99).

 Brand new Toastmaster Bread Machine $7.50 (retails for $40.00 used at marketplace)

 Set of 2 Royal Kona Coffee mugs .49 each  (retail $7.45 each), I had to buy these because they are from my home town. ;)

Lots of DVDs and CDs ranging from .90 , $1.00 and $2.00 each.

Some of the other items that we have scored lately:
~recliner chair for $10
~2 nice bar stools for a total of $3
~a KitchenAid pouring shield .75 for my 5 quart mixer (retails for $24.99)
~lots of books and toys for the grandkids
~books for me .10 to $2.00
~a huge old woven laundry basket for $3
~a vintage miniature Mickey Mouse tea set made in occupied Japan for $2.50
~lots of assorted jewelry .25 to $2.99
~a cute bedspread $2.00 and quilt $2.00
~purses .49 to $4.99
~scarves .99 each
~clothing (most new with tags still attached)
~dog gate that you put in your car to keep the dog in the back $14.99 (retails for $35.99 on sale at
~old china plates .49 each
~lots of tempera paint, new sidewalk chalk, foam craft sheets .49 and .99 each
~storage containers and baskets .99 each
~another waffle iron that makes animal shapes brand new in box for $4.99 (we thought the grandkids would get a kick out of them)

I know there are many more things that we have bought.  The items above are just a snippet of things that we have been blessed to find lately.  If you are not shopping yard sales and thrift stores then you are missing out on some great bargains!