Happy Birthday to me!

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So I have been wanting to get a better zoom lens for my camera, but just could not justify the prices they were.  I did some research and most of them ran anywhere from $1,300.00 and $3,000.00.  Yeah, that is not happening.  So Idid a little more research and found one for $140.00.  WHAT!?  looked it up, and yep, that was the price and it had great reviews…. I read almost everyone of them, and the only problems I could see happened either because they did not use a tripod, or the picture was blurry….. ok, that is ok, the lens itself was fine.  Ok, I can afford that. It is a 650/1300 Zoom, the one I have now goes up to 300, so a lot more zoom power with this one.  Now, because of it’s size I did not want to be changing the lens all the time.  I checked online, and found a camera body, the same type that I have a rebel Cannon … for under $100.  Oh boy this is just awesome!  So I ordered both!  For under $300 I have a new camera and zoom lens.

They both came within 3 days, even more exciting.  So I snuck downstairs on our porch and played with it for a little while.  Shoot, I will be able to get a photo of the birds nose hairs!  geez.  I got some practicing to do for sure.  It is manual focus, so I will have to  re learn doing that ( got lazy with the auto focus) but can see where that can be fun too.  Will have to use a tripod, because as you know, the more you zoom, the more you can not move or the subject will be blurry, and the lens itself has a place to mount the tripod.  You mount it that way instead of on the body of the camera as the lens is heavier than the camera and thus could break off if moved around to much. I got so use to the camera choosing the F stops and iso, that I got lazy there as well, time to re learn!

Now I am the search of a smaller suitcase, which I will create as a camera case, cheaper than buying one for cameras and now I am looking for the weather to get warmer (mother nature is playing with us now) so I can plan for some scooter and car trips to go and sit and take photos to learn how to use the camera and lens.  Practice does make perfect…. I got lots of practicing to do!

 

I went back to school!

Ok, well, I did not go back to take a class, but rather to assist, by sharing what all we have in the Lucy Bensley Center for the High School group to use in their research projects.  all the rules of writing a paper and what would be a primary source and how to document it.

What joy I had … on the first day, I brought a box of artifacts to pass around.  We then placed a item on each table and the students were to decide what the item was and what it was used for.  Some items they guess right away, like the old ice skate which was wooden, with a blade on it, pin cushion, and a few others items that were easy… I thought they would get them all, but I was surprised!  The old candle mold, with a chunk of beeswax stumped 50% of them, they as a group worked that one out, a ink well, had some funny answers for that item. The items that seem to stump them all were…. a salt well, a small dish which would have had a very small spoon to use to dip into the salt and then spread it on the food, a sander for when you wrote with the old ink, the top two that were the hardest for the class…. are you ready?  A old fashion can opener… the type you jam in and use muscle power to go around the can, and the number one stumper of all time … is…. a sock darning egg!  Oh even as a class, and they all tried… could not guess that one.

I went back for the second day of primary resources I took some old photograph albums, old maps, and old bound newspapers.  The photographs were fun to look at and they as a class learned that you can date the photographs sometimes by looking at the clothes, hairstyles, toys that might be in the photo, and the names on the bottom or back of the photograph showing who took the photo and where they might be located. They like me understood the frustration when you get a box full of wonderful photos… with no names on them to indicate who was in the photo or even where they were.  We talked about different types of photos and how they progressed… just a mini lesson.  In one of the albums was a photo of Glen Warner… you know Pop Warner…. I now officially feel old. A lot of the kids had no idea who he was, I explained how he was a football coach and that some of the fields were named the Pop Warner football field, and how because of him, football rules were either refined or created, and how he was a artist as well.  I was bummed that no one seem to know him.

Then we had went thru the two atlas I brought in .. one in 1866 and one in 1880.  They got to compare the two and were surprised to see that some of the town names had changed and were spelled differently.  The kids had fun trying to find where they or their grandparents live, and saw where some of the road names came from the people who lived in the area.  East Hamburgh is now Orchard Park, so we challenged the group at that table to find Orchard Park on the 1866 map, which was not there…. that was fun.

The two bound local newspapers I brought in were both published in 1921, in Springville, One was the Springville News and one was the Springville Journal and Herald. I had them compare and contrast the papers side by side, as it was marketed for two different group of people so the articles reflected that.  For example, In Springville we got a new firetruck.  Both articles in the papers made the front page… one talked about the “workings” of the firetruck, such as how much water it would carry, dry chemicals it carried, size of the engine, how far the water could be shot…. the other went into who would be driving it, where it would be stored, how much it was. Then the kids just went through the paper and looked at the ads, articles and such that were in the paper.  They were amazed.

I went back on more time with several pre 1900s bound newspapers for them to look at.  It was interesting to see which group ( they worked in teams) went for different things that were in the paper.  One group seemed to focus on ads, and how they were all written in the same font, same size and just gave basic facts, sometimes not even given the location.  Others went for the personal columns the paper had, and were tickled to see that they would write down when someone came into town to visit someone living here, or that they had mail they needed to pick up.  Another group was fascinated with the “world” news of the time, and Another group thought it was funny that when you died your age was in the paper as X years, X month, and X days.  They thought that was great when you were researching your family genealogy and you could find out when someone was born.   Also the 3rd time I went… One boy had actually done a little more research and told me what he had learned about Glen Pop Warner.  How exciting that he had done that.

If all I do it touch one young person, to learn a little more about the past I feel like I struck a gold mine!  I want to thank Frontier High School for allowing me to come in to Mrs. Blood’s room and share all of this with the students.  I hope that they enjoyed it as much as I did showing and talking to them.  I will tell you that these were the most behaved, attentive kids I have seen in a long while…..so thanks goes also to these great students.  I am looking forward to getting to go to some other schools and do the same!

One choice at a time, and boy oh boy… this one was a great choice!

What wonderful food I am finding!

I am amazed at the wonderful food choices I am getting now that I am gluten free.  The photo on the left is showing a sweet potato breakfast bowl with cranberries, nuts, and a cinnamon sauce, at our local NEW Coffee shop.  They are also carrying home made baked good, a chocolate brownie with peanut butter icing, cookies, another type of a bake good, so far all have been just wonderful!.  On the right is a picture I took at another coffee shop in a town nearby, they offer every sandwich on corn taco shells… and let me tell you, this one was sooooooo good, and yes I had to take some home with me.

Since I have chosen to be Gluten Free, the choices I am finding at different places we go out to eat are just amazing.  The little pizza place we have in town, will fix any of their pizza in a small size, gluten free, and have chicken fingers that are gluten free, oh yea and most of the dishes that are serve with noodles…. except Lasagna… and I am working with them on that… because it is so good.  They are thinking about it.  My husband is a shriner and we went to a meal they offered there… a fish fry.  I wanted to support the Lodge, but knew I did not want a fish fry.  I was surprised when there was three different kinds of fish baked and or grilled I could chose from.  AND they would cook up “naked” chicken wings for me.  ( for those that do not know… that is a chicken wing, just fried, no breading, not dipped in batter, just fried) Now that is the one thing I am craving after 4 months is fried chicken or fish.  Well I got some wings to bring home for the next day, and Folks, let me tell you , they were really good, and hit the spot that was craving the fried food.  I can not wait to go back!

My family is being so supportive of me now, we had Easter dinner at my in laws house, and everyone there that brought food, and we all did, was careful about how the food was made, or brought me a different choose.  I brought my own bread,  mom was great and did not add flour for the gravy, but corn starch instead, all of the salad dressing were gluten free, lots of freshly cooked vegetables, and the salad had fresh fruit and nuts in it. For desert she had made a fruit and whipped cream, and after eating all the veggie and salad, along with ham was a perfect ending to a great meal!  This week we also picked up some maple kettle korn pop corn, … and yes it is good.

The Girl Scouts had their cookie sale, and they now carry one type of gluten free cookies, a Oatmeal / peanut butter/ with chocolate chips.  Not as good as the thin mints I love, but not bad at all.  And I have found 3 places not that bake gluten free goods, and oh this journey I am on is getting easier, and yes the reason I started it was to lower my pain levels as I have fibromyalgia and lower back degeneration and it has worked on lower my pains.  I also notice, I do not have as much heart burn as I use to, nor do I feel so tight, like I was full of gas, and I seem to be more regular… so I think that I am getting a benefit from that, and my skins seems to be softer… more color to it… So I think over all it seems to be working!

I still take life one day at a time, still enjoy life one choice at a time, try to do all I can, and still pace myself to be able to do all I can.  Still have days, where I do not want to do anything, no drive, no energy, but I am starting to have days with energy, and the drive to not only do something, but to go out and do it!

Now the one downfall I have…. I now feel like walking more, so I have been trying to bump up my steps for each day ( fitbit tracked) and…. well … my body I guess was not ready for all of that as now I have a achilles tendon that is not only flared up pain wise, but swollen and makes walking hard…. so I will have to re adjust, brace and baby the achilles tendon, rest it, ice/heat, support when I walk… for a while.  Oh well, life comes with bumps along the way, just adjust and try again!

Happy 63 Birthday to me, and my new life style to enjoy the golden years with my husband, family and friends!

almost 4 months!

Gluten free has become a way of life for me.  I have learned how to go out to eat and choose different foods …. Do I still miss fried food… absolutely.  But I am learning how to adjust.  McDonald’s will serve anything without bread… which is nice, one of the places we go served a egg Benedict on hash browns instead of biscuits, it was yummy.  Restaurants are offering gluten free chooses now, I have found several places to purchase gluten free products around here… and several places online, so I can always get a good price.

Now if I can just get over this flu/cold/allergy bug, I would be much happier.  When I am not feeling well, I like chicken noodle, and I just did not feel like making it from scratch so I did not have any…sigh, guess I will have to make some up and freeze it so I will have it on hand.

I have been taking care of my friends cats while they are off and have been taking my camera and getting some great photos this week.  I do love taking my photos … Got some great hawk photos, birds and of course snow… everywhere…. in the sun, shadows, yep all of it!

 

Can you believe 3 months gluten Free?~

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I am going to pat myself on the back.  3 months gluten free…. I have done it.  Had some good days, some days where I craved food that had gluten… like a donut, fried chicken, cookies… But, I stuck with it, and found some really great food!  This little bakery shop Vin-Chet.  OMG… if you want so fantastic bake goods, fresh bread, even Pizza, this is the place to go, OR if you can find it in the stores buy it.  I highly recommend it.  I had a Chocolate~peanut butter dessert that just melted in my mouth.  We watched them as they made Pizza and wrapped it up for sale at Stores… and the bread … you could smell it as it baked.   They also had some jars of different things like pasta sauce ( bet you did not think that some of the sauces have gluten in them)

I have found some great pre made cookies in the refrigerator section of the store… you know they type, you separate them and place them on the cookie sheet to bake.  They were wonderful.  And I have found some dry mixes for Chocolate chip gluten free cookies, will try them next.  AND the absolutely best…. Girl Scout have even made a Gluten free cookies!  My niece was selling them and I got 2 packages and let me tell you , they were really good.

They say it takes 6 weeks of doing something to make a bad habit…. and 12 weeks to undo that habit.  So I wonder, does being gluten free, make this a good habit now… I hope so,  making the choice to have a hamburger without the bun, or grilled fish, instead of fried, choosing jello or fresh fruit for dessert instead of cake, it is easier so maybe it is getting to be a good habit now.

The last few days I have not been feeling well, like everyone else… nothing a lot of sunshine and warmth, would not help me get over, but will look at photos for now.  During this time, I use to love having chicken noodle soup, which I am still having, but now, instead of coming our a can, now I make my own, with gluten free noodles,  or wild rice with  chicken broth, taste really good to me.  Still working on crackers I like… I have tried a few of them, just not always crazy about them.  I like them, but just not excited about any of them.

My pain management that I am doing, seems to be working, and I am walking more, so that has help, but the main absolutely  most positive result is I am sleeping again.  Maybe not a lot at one time, but I am sleeping.  That always helps me during the day.  I am still drinking lots of water, and not eating anything if possible with preservatives in it, and thus not very many pre made items, so fresh and from scratch is the way now.

Continuing to make a choice to be Gluten Free, one day at a time, one item at a time… and researching each day!

updates

Well, I am starting to feel a lot better since I have gone gluten free.  I have noticed that my heartburn has almost left.  Interesting, wonder if that is what caused my heartburn, eating the gluten… will keep you posted.  I also have been on a new pain management program now for 10 days now, and wow, what a difference!.  Think we are on the right path for sure.

For the last week, I have slowly been getting sicker and sicker, and I guess it was my time to be sick.  Sunday morning, we headed down to the Ashford Junction Store for breakfast, and ended up meeting several friends there, so we ate at one large table and caught up with each other.  I also am staff for the Historical building on the Erie County Fair grounds, and even though the Fair is not until Aug 8th thru 19th, we have started having meetings and starting to get all the demonstrators lined up for the 10 day events.  We will ( 4 of us) rent a camper again, which makes it so much easier to work there, without traveling back and forth to the house, carrying all I need for the Butter churning demos, and my camera, because I take photos of course, and my old fashion clothes, and my needled felting pictures, and well, you get the idea.

After breakfast, we decided to take a “Sunday” drive and really enjoyed it.  Taking photos and enjoying the Spring like weather it got up to 44 degrees while we were out.  Saw all kind of wildlife, out and enjoying the warmer weather, and the cows and horses were out of the barns today as well.  Took several hours and drove on back roads and past cemeteries that of course are not plowed out yet, but took photos of the cemetery anyway, as well as the area where we traveled even a snowman someone placed in the crossroads.  and a dinosaur!  Deer were everywhere, birds …. crows, ravens, pigeons, small birds were flitting about.  We drove by the yellow submarine that is parked by the side of the road, and some of the other little places we like to go to , we will go back when the weather is better and the snow is gone… then watch out, as we really love driving around taking photos….Then by afternoon, I was sick, so I stayed in bed off and on the rest of the day, and on Monday, that is my game plan.  I am feeling better, so the sun is shinning now, and hopefully I am on the upswing to feeling better.  Got lots of computer work to do this week, as well as giving a talk on Wednesday night for the Historical Society  on the older places located in town where you could purchase items for Valentine day, and what was available… from some that were in 1844, to the 1880s, to the 1907 and 1912, to 1956, 1973, to present… some of the stores lasted several decades!  Thursday, I am talking to home schoolers, about how to research your family history and they will be able to cut some articles out of some old newspapers (don’t panic, these are copies, upon copies of some old ones we have, we kept the best) to be able to see how prices have changed and what all would have been in the paper from the 1920s before the radios and TVs and all the advertising that we have now.  Friday, I have another appointment, follow up and then…. who knows what adventure my week will bring.  So glad that it is becoming easier to stay gluten free and learning the choices, and do not even think about it much anymore.  Still miss some of my foods that I used to eat, like fried Chicken or fish fry, but I will hold on to continue being gluten free, and will learn how to create the fried Chicken and such using gluten free flour and cornmeal…. one meal at a time.

So I will continue to improve my health, day by day, choice by choice, while we line up demostations for my butter churning, with my friend, (we are know as Grandma butter and Aunty Herb) to my  needle felted pictures, to writing articles for the Springville Times called Looking Back with the history of the local area, to focusing on walking more, since my pain levels are down now, to taking photos, and working on several facebook pages for others, to reading for some authors and reviewing their books, to whatever adventures lies ahead of me while I continue to  enjoy my life …. Follow me to see where I go and what happens next!

My Adventure for the day

So, Today I am starting a new pain management program to try to reduce my pain.  I grab my friend to ride along with me as I need to go to Amherst.  You know you may have a strange day, when you park your car, to go inside, and when you come out… there is a huge truck , unloading food for a restaurant.  So we sat there for 15 minutes, but she went out and ask if he could move his truck so we could get out, which he did with no problem.  Ok, 1st hurdle crossed and we are on our way.  Now I am using my GPS, because, even though I know where Amherst is, I am not sure where the building is… all is going well, and then we hit the 33.  Now, my GPS had issues for some reason, because I went on ever part of the clover leaf…. I would get off one, and it would send me to the other one…. After both of us getting the Giggles, we got off and headed in the right direction using her phone as a GPS.  Now we are on a roll and heading off…. only 7 miles away, and mine GPS now wants me to get back on the 290…. arrgghh… so we used hers only and finally find the complex.  Now… next hurdle, we have to find the  number…. it is # 30.  We see # 25, and next to it # 100.  Wait? What?! … Where is #26 thru #99?  So my friend gets out, to see if it is inside the building, nope, on the other side…. geez…. So as we drive around, we see the Lloyd’s Taco truck!!  OMG we know what we are having for lunch. ( they make their own shells, we checked, all corn, and other ingredients were all gluten free)  So on the other side of the building, on the very end… (numbering system, made absolutely no sense) we find #30.  Park and go inside.  The gentleman at the first counter, the first one you talk to … was …. very…. well, serious.  Mmmmm, I guess we have to settle down.  By the time I filled out more forms, and went to the bathroom, it was time to be seen.  I had a very pleasant lady assist me, followed by the pharmacist, who took there time with me, answered every question I had, told me how to take the new meds… and left it as I can call if I have any questions.  Talk about nice!   We went back to the back parking lot and had tacos, very good and worth the wait.  Now back home we come, with a little side trip to Vin Chet, a gluten free Baked good shop.  OMG… talked about excited.  A very little shop, but with so many items in their case from all kinds of sweets, to breads, to pizzas to sauces, noodles, frozen goods… WOW.  I got a heart shaped peanut butter treat, it was great!  My friend go carrot cake and I tried some… it was delious.I will be going back there again!  My GPS knew the way home, and we were back in town by 2pm.  Impressed if I says so myself.  So still staying gluten free, one choice at a time… and having a friend to support me and go with me is priceless!