Tuesday, December 03, 2013
As any one who knows me can testify, I do Not spend much time in the Kitchen. I don't like to cook, and I really do not think I am that good at it.
Every once in awhile, I find a recipe that I like enough to give it a shot and sometimes it comes out pretty good. The one that caught my eye this week was the Jiffy Corn Casserole. My Dad makes this, and I think I originally got the Recipe from him, if I remember right. Instead of a can of Regular Corn, I used Mexicorn to add some Color to it. I tried "Lightening" it up a bit by using Light Sour Cream and Blue Bonnet Light Margarine instead of Butter. The Family all liked it, and are eager for me to make it again. I think you could add some meat to it, and it would make a Great Main Dish.
And, because I am Me, I also added 1.5 tablespoons of Minced Garlic. I LOVE Garlic in almost EVERYTHING!!
This is a Photo of a similar Casserole. If I make it for Christmas, I may have to add the little Red Pepper slices and leaves.
When I was shopping today, I was checking out the Salsa. I have used Mrs. Renfro's Salsa often and I like it. I usually get her Pineapple or Black Bean Salsa. I like a small dollop of it with Cottage Cheese for a Bedtime Snack. Today however, I noticed a New Flavor!!
I am not sure how well the Label will show up, but it says "Caution: Scary Hot" and there are Flames on the lid, LOL!! I like Spicy Stuff, up to a Point! I bought this -- It was on Sale!! But I am not sure what I am going to do with it, LOL!! I even thought about adding it to my Corn Casserole next time. Maybe the Cornbread would 'Tone Down' the heat a little?
And, on a COMPLETLY Unrelated Note, the next time Maxynne and I are at the Skywalk in the Grand Canyon -- This is Us!!
Friday, November 29, 2013
The first time we went to Las Vegas, Everything was a Struggle for me. Even walking from one Casino to the one right next door was so difficult that I Gladly paid for a Taxi several times. One time the Taxi Driver even commented "You realize that is right next door?" I said Yes, but that was "Too Far" for me. One of the Highlights of that Trip was our visit to the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. I had my Picture made with one of my Heroines, Elizabeth Taylor. I can't think of another woman who was as Beautiful as she was when I was growing up!!
I LOVED the City and getting to visit places like the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam while we were there. But the walking was murder on my knees and back. I spent much of every evening sitting in the Hot Bathtub or on the side of it soaking my legs and feet. I cannot tell you how many Tylenol and Aleve Capsules I took. But I still looked forward to visiting every time Gary suggested going back to The City Of Lights!! I just made sure that I had Plenty of Tylenol with me and that I had the number for the Local Taxi in my Phone Book. Sometimes we rode the Deuce, a Double Decker Bus that travels up and down the Las Vegas Strip all day and is Much Less Expensive than the Taxi. The problem with the Deuce is that it is Not Reliable to pick you up on a "Regular" Basis. If you needed to be somewhere at a specific time, you couldn't count on the Deuce to get you there. Plus, it was often EXTREMELY Crowded!! People would be packed in tightly, often Standing Room Only and that is Not a Great Feeling in the Summer Heat.
I discovered the Fremont Street Experience during our first visit to Las Vegas. Fremont Street is a couple of miles off "The Strip" and the best I can describe it is that it is the World's Largest Projection Screen, stretching the length of several city blocks and from one side of the street to the other above the Casinos on each side. After dark, every hour on the hour, they do a Light and Music show. The Casinos turn off their outside lights but the screen above you makes it as Bright as Noon on the Street. The Experience is Free, but there is No Place to sit. As much as I loved the show, it was always difficult to stand for such an extended period of time. Each show only lasts a few minutes, but standing around or walking up and down the street waiting for the next show was Painful beyond words. Tylenol and Aleve could not touch it. We were usually Lucky to see one Show each time we visited, even though I would have LOVED to go down there Every Night.
By the time we visited Vegas in 2009, I had joined Curves and discovered SparkPeople. I did take the Taxi every day, but it was only to get to Curves. The Las Vegas Curves was several miles from where we were staying, and you had to walk through areas that I did not feel safe in.
The staff and Ladies at Curves were just as Friendly and Encouraging (almost) as the Ladies at my Home Curves. I really enjoyed my workouts there, and on my last visit there I bought Las Vegas Curves T-Shirts for myself and the Staff at the Yukon Curves.
Of course, one of our stops during that visit, was the Wax Museum. I had to have a Second Picture made with Elizabeth. She had not changed, but I certainly had!!
Last week Gary and I went back to Las Vegas with My Dad and My Sister (MOMINE). We walked EVERYWHERE!! There are elevated Pedestrian Bridges along The Strip, and above it so that you can cross the street without fighting several lanes of Bumper to Bumper Traffic. Even the fact that most of the Escalators were NOT Functioning did not slow me down!! I went Up The Stairs and Down The Stairs and Just Kept Going!! Poor Gary just had to Keep Up, LOL!!
Saturday's Highlight was meeting my SparkFriend Sparklingme176, walking on Fremont Street with her, having Lunch together and visiting the Neon Museum with her. It really was like spending time with an Old Friend who you knew well even though we had never "Met" in person. It was rainy and COLD, but we had a WONDERFUL Time!! We stayed at the Stardust the first several times we visited Vegas, and LOVED it. It has been gone for several years now, and it was sort of bittersweet to see the Stardust Sign in the Museum lying on the ground. It was (in My Opinion!!) one of the Most Beautiful Signs on the Strip and I hope that they are able to restore it soon. This is the Sign as I remember it, although Pictures Do Not do it Justice!! You can still find Videos of the sign as it was with the Stars flashing on YOUTUBE.
And here is the Sign at the Neon Museum. They are working on restoring the Old Neon Signs as quickly as they can. I can't wait to see the Stardust lit up and flashing again!! I am Forever Grateful to Starlight for taking us to the Museum!
Some of the Stardust's stars have been included in the Neon Museum's Sign which uses L.E.D. Lighting which is less expensive than Neon.
To celebrate our Anniversary on Sunday, I booked the "Romance Package" at The Venetian. It included a Gondola Ride, Dinner at a Very Nice Italian Restaurant, Zeffirino's and -Of Course! - A trip through Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum!!
We got a few pictures but the Important One was the one with Elizabeth!! This was the first time we have been back to Las Vegas since I reached my Goal Weight. I am about 20 pounds heavier than I want to be, and the lighting isn't the Greatest but I think you can see the difference!!
Me, working out at Curves in Las Vegas, October 2009.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Last week I was confessing that even though I KNOW that I need to do "Something" Different in my Fitness Routine, I was reluctant to try Zumba. I listed all of my "Reasons" and "Excuses" and admitted that I Knew some of them were Groundless -- "I'm afraid I'll make a Fool of myself" I know that is not true but it was still there. Also, I am going to be out of town later this week and I am working Extra Shifts this week so I am Very Busy.
The result of that conversation was a Spark Goodie from a Very Good Spark Friend with this note:
"The next time you even think of Zumba you are going to determine when the next class is and GO. You are not going to make any excuses as to why you can't. There are No Excuses until you take One Class.
After that you can make the excuses.
You will get One Zumba Class done as soon as you can.
Go light up with that Spark and Zumba!"
I had also talked to the New Manager at the Gym (he is Awesome, by the way!!) and he encouraged me to try the Monday Night Zumba Class. He even had the Audacity to remind me that "The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing Over & Over and expecting a Different Result."
So, that is how it happened that I showed up at Monday Night Zumba this evening after work. The other Ladies were very Friendly and reassured me that the Teacher was Fantastic, and that I would NOT know all the moves for awhile. "Just keep your feet moving and watch" was the main advice they offered before the class started.
I did complete the Full Hour Long Class (that had been one of my fears!) and I was able to follow more of the moves than I expected to. BUT... There was a lot of Lunging and Jumping which I modified but my Back and Knees still protested. Plus I have NEVER Danced once in my Life and the Swings and Circles that they did with their hips and chests were MILES and MILES outside of my Comfort Zone, not to mention my 56 year old Body's Skill Set!! I am thinking I will be "Feeling It" in the Morning, LOL!!
I really DID Enjoy the "Zumba Sticks" -- lightweight, specialized Dumbbells. I am tempted to find some and add them to my Leslie Sansone Walking Workouts. They really did add a good Strength Training Element to the workout.
I am thinking of trying the Zumba Class at the Community Center to see if it is a little less "Intense." I will also be watching for other Classes that become available at the Gym or the Community Center.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Received this in my E-Mail today and wanted to share it with all of My Spark Sisters. It is apparently from a book called "Oil For Your Lamp: Women Who Light Up The World" by Lisa Hammond & BJ Gallagher.
"To Keep A Lamp Burning, We Must Keep Putting Oil In It."
We are Women who light up Our World with Our Beauty, Our Creativity, and Our Intelligence. Our eyes Sparkle as we talk and laugh among Ourselves.
Our Smiles radiate Warmth and Comfort to those who love us.
Our Faces beam happily when we are engaged in fulfilling work.
We Shine, We Illuminate, We Enlighten.
We glow softly when Contented, and burn brightly when Passionate.
But who is the Keeper of the Flame? Who will Fill Our Lamps?
We must do it for Ourselves, Dear Sisters. We must Fill Our Own Lamps First, Not Last.
We must commit to Our Own Well Being and Self Care, lest Our Lamps flicker out.
So take some time, Sweet Sisters to Rest, Recoup, Relax and Regroup. Take time to fill Your Own Lamp.
The World needs Your Flame, But First -- YOU Need Your Oil!
THE NEW GOLDEN RULE FOR WOMEN:
We Must Do Unto Ourselves As We Do Unto Others
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