Thursday, June 30, 2022

Thankful Thursday

I have to say for this thankful Thursday I am very thankful for my family, friends, and health. 

But, most of all, I am thankful that I had my sweet cat Nermal in my life for the short six years I had him. As most of you know I had to put him to sleep recently and it has been sooo hard!! I am sad daily but I am trying to just focus on the fact that I was just lucky to have him in my life. 
He was such a super sweet, funny, crazy cat and he truly was my snuggle muffin!!! Actually, he was everyone’s snuggle muffin! He snuggled and groomed all my other cats daily and snuggled me too! I think they are still trying to figure out who should groom them now…ha! I miss him everyday but am grateful that my other cats are still in my life even though no one has yet to step up and become a snuggler yet. Lol!

I hope he is so happy and healthy again up there at that Rainbow Bridge because she is sooo very missed everyday here on Earth both by me and the other kitties!!!!

I love and miss you my sweet Nermal!!! I am so grateful I had the time I did with you in my life!!!


Friday Five

Happy Friday everyone! Not only is it Friday but it’s a Friday before a holiday… Could it be any better day of the week? Nope, not possible!!!

As you’re reading this I am headed to my parents house for the Fourth of July weekend! It will be a weekend full of family and fun in the lake and I cannot wait to start it. I promise I will be posting a lot.

Let’s get started for my Friday five…

1.  This is gonna look like it’s an advertisement for Aldi’s but it’s not. Or, maybe it is as I’ve been finding so many things lately that I love there. I found this awesome tin in the toy aisle.  My family has always played the license plate game on trips ever since we were little kids. We would just keep track on a piece of paper when we were kids. Now that we are adults, we all have a download app that we use on our phones. But this magnetic game looks amazing. It has these cute little spongy license plates that are magnets and you stick them onto the state when you see that license plate. The state license plates are not flimsy at all… This is really a quality car game. It was only $5.99 at Aldi‘s. there were other car games too but this is the only one I purchased… I recommend you run and get yourself one!


2. This next item also comes from Aldi‘s. I can’t recommend that you run and get it because it was on an end aisle with a bunch of other lemon things and it was limited time only. I actually went back to purchase more because I love them so much and my Aldi‘s is all sold out. I think these were like $8.99? When you love something you have to buy multiples because it just may not be there the next time you go back. If you like lemon these are a dream come true! 

3. And I promise this is not an ad for Aldi‘s so the last item that I love this week is the last item from Aldi‘s. They always have the cutest and most fun cat and dog toys. I got my cats two toys this week each were $7.99. My cats adore them.

This first one is white and has a battery. You push that little white button and it spins around and shoots a laser around your house. It runs for about three minutes and then it shuts itself off. My cats are obsessed with this thing!

This second toy that’s a blue has no battery. You fill it with treats and wobbles on the floor like those old weebles used to do. When the cats bat at the toy or balls on it with their paws,  it drops treats out. Best $8 ever spent- lol!!!

4. My fourth obsession is this amazing honey. I just picked this up on the way home from Nicaragua. We bought it in the airport in Iberia, Costa Rica. It is absolutely to die for!!!! I wish I had bought more!!! I have been eating a small drizzle a day on a small plain cracker… it is sooo yummy! I will be seeing if they will mail order this product!!!!

5. Lastly I will leave you with my favorite summer pie recipe!! I believe I got this recipe from a blogger many years ago; if it was you please reach out to me so I can give you your deserved credit. It is delicious!!! And easy!!! You mix together 1 tub of whipped topping (I used low-fat generic brand), 6 oz frozen lemonade concentrate (I could only find pink lemonade so I used that), and one can of sweetened condensed milk. Mix that all together well, pour into a graham cracker crust, and freeze! That’s it! I promise it is delicious!!! I sometimes add extra lemon zest or lemon concentrate because I love “puckery” lemon flavor.

That’s what it looks like prior to freezing. Top with lemon zest or thin lemon slices if you have them! It is my absolute favorite pie for a hot summer day!!!!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July holiday!!! 

Hugs to you all!!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4

Looking back... 

Hello everyone!! Today I will be joining Annie for her  Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4. I am so happy to be joining in for the first time ever! Annie’s friend Toni started this and she continues it weekly in here memory! I am grateful to be able to join in!!

1. What music were your parents listening to when you were a kid? When I was a kid my Dad listened mostly to country. That was 60’s and 70’s so there was a lot of  Dolly Parton, Oak Ridge Boys, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Roger Miller, etc. Let’s say old country. Does that music bring back memories for you? It absolutely does…I still know all the words to all the songs.

2. What was your favorite meal and beverage as a teenager? As a teenager I loved a Big Mac!!! We didn’t really get to eat out a lot so it was a special treat when we got to go to McDonald’s for dinner. I was always so excited when I could get a Big Mac and Coke. Is it still or have things changed for you? It is definitely not the same now! I actually had a big Mac about three weeks ago and it was awful. I don’t think I remember it that much better than it was so Big Mac’s have changed. I remember them being delicious and it really and truly was not delicious. Anyone else notice this or is it just me??? I guess the good part is that I will not ever get another Big Mac again. LOL

3. As a teen did you live in a city, country, small town? I lived in a suburb of Pittsburgh called Bethel Park. I could not have picked a better hometown to grow up. I have a lot of hometown pride still to this day. I love my Bethel Park Blackhawks and I love the town itself. I still live nearby in adjacent town called Bridgeville. I was a majorette in the band and loved every second of it.  This picture recently came up on my Facebook: it is of our majorette squad in 1985. We were performing for something the school organized called Telerama. I am the one in the back row alone…lol!

4. Would you like to live in your hometown today? I think I loved it so much growing up there if I had children, I would definitely still be living there!!

Thanks again Annie for hosting!!! This was so much fun and I hope to be joining in each week!!! Can’t wait to make some new friends!!!!

Hugs to everyone! Have a great week!!!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Heading Home from Nicaragua

So this is day eight and we are finally headed home… it’s been a truly amazing trip and I am definitely ready to be headed home. 

We had to be ready for our chartered bus to pick us up at 5 AM at our hotel. We took that bus from our hotel to the border of Nicaragua where we crossed the border on foot and then got in another chartered bus and road to the Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica.

Here’s the picture of all of us in front of the hotel…
From left to right- Shawne, Dennis, me, Sr. Gupta (hotel owner), Mom and then Jeremy behind her.

Then this picture of Senor Gupta in the door of the hotel as we drove away…

Here are the pictures of the windmills that we get to see on the drive from Nicaragua to Costa Rica…

When we checked in for our flight to fly from Costa Rica to Miami we saw this drug sniffing dog. This is at the gate before you board the plane. They take the drug dog through all the people and all of the carry-on luggage.

The dog came closer and closer and we just kept commenting on how cute he was. But when he got to my mom his bag he stuck his nose in her bag and was rooting around with his nose. She was worried he was trying to eat her boarding pass so she kept trying to grab the boarding pass. The officer with the dog kept telling her no no no. And asking her not to grab her boarding pass. After he had the dog sit he explained the dog notifies him of drugs or cash. My mom had her envelope of cash in her purse and that’s what the dog can smelled and triggered on. It was definitely an amusing moment watching my mom try to fight with a drug dog. Ha ha ha

I knew I was home when I was able to just order a cuppa coffee. The hotel owner made us coffee every morning in his coffee pot. It was delicious but it was a mix of herbs and coffee… That’s how many people drink it there. I have to say I really missed plain black coffee. This was my favorite treat in the airport!

We had a flight from Miami to Pittsburgh that was scheduled for 7:30 PM. Keeping in line with all the delays recently in the airline travel… First it was delayed till 8 PM, then it was delayed until 8:30 PM, then it was delayed until 9 PM, then it was delayed till 9:30 PM. After the 9:30 PM delay they explained the reason it kept getting delayed was a crew shortage. Finally we took off around 9:30 and got home around 12:30 AM. Mom spent the night and then drove home around 7 AM the next morning.

It is so great to be home and just beginning to get unpacked. I cannot wait to do some laundry and put everything in its place. I love a good vacation but it also feels so amazing to come home!

They won’t admit it but I think the cats really missed me too! They’re going to be getting lots and lots of snuggles over the next couple days!

Hugs to you all I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did! If nothing else please know how very very blessed we are to have everything we need… Maybe not everything we want but definitely everything we need!

Patio Reading Anyone!?

Hi everyone! Happy Monday!

I’m officially back in the USA and settled at my home. It truly was an amazing trip but I’m really really happy to be home!

I will be spending the next couple days catching up on your blog post and seeing what everyone has been up to! While I do that I will be sitting on my deck.

Here is the current situation… Thank goodness I have an excellent cat sitter that takes care of watering everything while I am on vacation! She waters and feeds the cats and she also waters my plants! I am so grateful for her because I can take trips and know everything here is under control… She probably does a better job than I do myself!

I love my Clematis! I had a different purple one the past three years but it finally died this year. I had to replant this beautiful one at the beginning of the summer.

I only have the clematis and three other flowers. The whole rest of my patio is herbs. I use these all summer long to make some really fun recipes. Maybe one day I’ll do a post of all the recipes of things that I make with my herbs I grow.

Isn’t this one beautiful!?!? Love the color!!

And this one… I get one of these every year… The hummingbirds love this plant! The place I get it from grows them so large it takes up a whole side of my patio… It truly is my favorite plant next to my clematis!!

and here are all the herbs…they are all doing well this year with the exception of basil. I bought a basil plant with brown under leaves…the lady at the store told me that is would be fine once it got sun. Well I planted it between my other two basil plants and it turns out it had some kind of mold that basil gets. I was so angry within three days all of my basil plants were covered in molds and brown spots. Don’t ever listen to people at the store… Listen to your gut. I only purchase it because it was the last basil plant they had left - I should’ve listen to my gut! Ugh!!

I usually have A LOT of basil but I planted this little guy under the clematis and he’s the only basil plant that survived.

Here’s the curly parsley - I use this in my Tabouli

Here’s the sage…

Here’s the oregano….

And now the dill…this is delicious on potato’s and salmon!!

Here is the lemon oregano…

And then here is the rosemary…

Next is the mint planter…it has sweet mint on the sides and chocolate mint in the middle…yum!!!

Last but not least is my favorite tree that then I will be bringing in once winter comes… It is a pineapple guava tree. Fingers crossed I can actually get fruit from this someday!

I hope everyone is having a great Monday!! I am off to read what everyone has been up to!! 

Hugs to everyone!! Be grateful for both what you have and what you do not have!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Day 7 Afternoon Nicaragua - Vera Cruz

In the afternoon of our final day in Nicaragua we were having a clinic in Veracruz. It had been raining from the day before and had not slowed down at all. Many streets were flooded so when we went to go to Vera Cruz the main roads were all flooded out. We had to drive the back roads that the locals use. Thank goodness we had Carlos, a very experienced driver, because it was a very sketchy ride.  Later in the week I will post the video of him driving. 

This is what the road look like on our way there around noon on our last day. We took this back road because the main road and bridge had been flooded out. As you can see the back roads are fairly flooded also… Lol!

This poor family was walking apparently had called for a ride… We were following the pastor to his church… He is the one in the Toyota in front of us. We needed him to show us the back roads that were still available to drive on.

This poor family had to walk through this river of a road!! Ugh! Those cookies you can see on the dashboard below I called brown sugar cookies. They are delicious! We all shared them in the van! They were made at a local bakery!

Our final clinic in the afternoon was held at a nursing students house. He went to his house to his church to hold the clinic inside. It was super nice of him because we were unable to access the church due to the road flooding. Here we are all set up…

Another photo… all the kids were absolutely adorable!

Another shot of the clinic and the pharmacy…

and this time a stray cat ran through the middle of the clinic… Lol

A local family was unable to get back home due to the rain so they hopped in the back of the van with us and we dropped them off when we were finished with the clinic and headed home to the mission.

This is a picture of the flooding when we returned home… The water was so much higher it was to the bottom of our doors in our Land Cruiser. You will see you when I post a video how absolutely crazy the drive home was. I was honestly worried that we would be stranded and not make it back to the mission. The person you can see in the front seat in this photo is the pastor‘s wife. We gave her a ride home as well.

Crazy high waters! It’s like we were driving down a river!

Here is a video of the high water travel.

Once we made it safely back to the mission we wanted to get a few pictures of the mission staff. Here are the wonderful people that we worked with all week! (Left to right… Laura - mission pastors wife, Blanca one of our translators, my Mom, me, Shawn fellow nursing student, Dennis nursing professor, Jeremy fellow nursing student, Carlos one of our drivers - down in front is Angel one of our translators)

so this picture is the same people as above except Angel is taking the picture and add it on the left is Drew. Drew is the pastor that runs Straight Street Nicaragua which is the mission that we volunteered with. This entire crew of people is so amazing. They are the most selfless people I’ve ever met in my life.

There was an uprising in 2018 in Nicaragua. The people tried to overthrow the government… There were protests in the street and in order to stop the protests; the government was just shooting people, including children, in the street. Over 400 people lost their lives before the people finally gave up because too many of their children were being shot for no reason. The people who run Straight Streeet Nicaragua stayed through this turmoil. They could’ve went home to Tennessee and instead they stayed to help the people of Nicaragua. This is the same for our translators and everyone that works there. We asked them why they didn’t leave and go to another country and they said they have a calling to help their families and the people of Nicaragua. I have so much respect for every single person we met here and I hope and pray daily that these people can someday have a democracy and be able to live the lives they deserve to live.

Our final night we went to a nice dinner at the Garden Café in Granada. This is a view of the restaurant inside… It was absolutely beautiful! They also have a cute little store you can shop in while you wait for your meal.

This was mom‘s dinner she got the salmon and green beans and zucchini. There’s also a side of couscous that was absolutely delicious!

Jeremy got a hamburger they served it with a side of chicken salad.

Here’s a little selfie of the whole crew… At this point I think we were already to be home. It’s a lot of together time and it’s a lot of personalities. By the end I think we all needed a little time apart… Lol
I hope you all had a fantastic week! Feel blessed for what you have and where you live! Sending so many hugs to you all!

ICU Nurse it is

 Hi everyone!! I am just here checking in quickly. I almost feel bad checking in as it has been an eternity since I posted!!! UGH! Life has ...