My "Go To" Summer Salad

     Well hello out there in blogland!!  This poor little blog has been so neglected, but here I am with a quick post on what has been my "go to" summer salad.  It was totally inspired by the salad I LOVE at Salad Creations.  They call it their Sesame Shrimp Salad -- the problem is, there is only one Salad Creations I know of and it is 45 minutes away so we only occasionally stop there on our way home from "up north". 
     Ya know how when you just crave something sometimes!!!???  Well, this healthy salad was actually a "good" kind of craving so I knew I had to try to duplicate it.  I must say, the results were pretty much spot on to the real deal, and it's oh so refreshingly good!! 

  Here's what you'll need:

spring mix - mixed greens
cooked shrimp (fresh or frozen)
canned mandarin oranges
sesame seeds
tortilla (or wonton) strips
Kraft (Lite) Asian Toasted Sesame salad dressing
I just thaw the frozen shrimp under cold running water, and
 then pat dry with paper towel
In a large bowl I add the spring mix, 1/2 small can of mandarin oranges (no juice),
sprinkle sesame seeds (which to me are more for looks), add the tortilla strips
(I use about 1/4 c.) and then add the shrimp

Then, to make it even more like the real deal, I take my hand pizza cutter and use it as a salad chopper in my big stainless bowl...  I love a chopped salad!

Voila!!!  I have my yummy pretty chopped Sesame Shrimp Salad!

     The finishing touch -- the Asian Toasted Sesame salad dressing!! 
I use 2-3 tablespoons...

  It's a big salad and this is the size I make for myself for lunch or dinner.  Obviously, I know you guys are smart enough to make it any size you want and just adjust the portions accordingly!!  Of course, you could substitute all kinds of things, but you know that, too!!!
 I think I'm going to go make myself one right now -- before summer's over!!!!!!!!!!


Monday Memories With My Mom

     My weeks usually include at least one type of surprise relating to my mom.  Some things less surprising than others, whether it be insurance changes, a new habit, a lost item, an injury, etc... 
     This week, I got a call on August 7th from Chris at American House.  She immediately said "everything is fine" (which is how they start out when it's not a medical emergency), but we wanted to let you know that your mom went to the apartment in the exact same location as her own, except it was the one on the opposite wing of the building...AND (the twist)...her key worked and she startled the woman inside.
     OMG!  Of course, I knew that my mom (and many other residents) regularly get disoriented in the building.  The twist was that her key opened the other lady's apartment!  Ugh!  Thankfully, they said the woman totally understood once they explained what happened.  So, we now have new keys to my mom's apartment. 

direction sign arrows arrow traffic turn billboard

     On another "note", we try to send my mom mail on a regular basis, although sometimes we are better at it than others.  Just a card of any kind with a note -- my mom loves it and if you visit you will see that it's the gift that keeps on giving.  She displays every kind of card everywhere.  I had the kids each write a note to grandma and we've been mailing them every few days.  My mom used to LOVE to send cards to all of her friends and family (as I've mentioned before) and I now have a big box of all the cards she had accumulated.
     My mom and her friend, Jane, made several of these type note cards by gluing some cute material to plain note cards.  Don't know if they triggered any memories for my mom, but they are too cute not to use.  Here's Kristin's little note to grandma -- 

     We dropped in on my mom last Thursday on our way up north for a day.  This is how we found my mom when we arrived -- chillin' and watching tv. 

     I rarely see my mom lying down on the couch like this, so I snapped a quick picture.  She was actually having a pretty good day -- more lucid than some and seeming a bit like her old self...  The take away message, though, was that she wants some pop!!!  "Vernors, zero calorie, diet."  I assured her I would get on it.

     Kristin gave her the two dogs* to keep her company.  My mom seemed very happy and I am grateful for that!! 

*Washing Muffin the dog is going to take longer than I thought as I will have to stay through the wash and dry cycle...still on my list of "to do" items!


Silent Sunday

Lake Huron - Lexington, Michigan
The Walk from Our Place to The Beach


Ten on Ten - August


It's my third time linking up with Rebekah at A Bit of Sunshine
and participating in "Ten on Ten"!!
For those who might not know, the idea is to find much life and beauty among the ordinary things of our day!

     I have a quick little story before I share my set of "ten"...  You will see in one of the pictures below my son is actually looking at my blog on his new Kindle Fire which arrived in today's mail.  (He paid for it with his grass cutting money he has been earning this summer.)  While looking through the blog he came across my last set of Ten on Ten pictures.  I told him how I always forget to participate on the "tenth" and that "it figures" that today is the ninth.  Then, we both laughed and said "wait, today is the tenth"!!!!
     So you see, I believe things happen for a reason and that must have happened to remind me to put together a set and link up with Rebekah today.
     I kind of wish the tenth was yesterday, as I have some beautiful pictures of the my trip to Michigan's Lake Huron, but perhaps a separate post for those.  Today was a day full of errands and the ordinary... 

     Thanks for stopping by...I hope you enjoy!!!

Picked Up My Daughter From Marching Band Camp

Arrived Back Home to Jacob's Kindle Fire Delivery

Hit the Road to Do Some Errands

Finding Beauty at Bed Bath & Beyond

Even School Supplies Can Be Pretty

Grocery Shopping

Corn for Dinner

Raspberries for Dessert

Flowers on My Porch

Time to Catch Up on My Magazines


He's Nice, Not Mean & Now He's 13!!

     As you may or may not know.  I have boy-girl twins, Jacob and Kristin, who turned 13 in June.  We knew we wanted to do something special for the kids becoming teenagers.  You can read about Kristin's birthday celebration here, but now it was Jacob's turn!!! 
     While I was keeping the girls entertained, my husband took Jacob and a couple friends to our place in Lexington, Michigan (on Lake Huron). 
These Boys Are Great!!
Who's Birthday Is It...This Guy's!!!
  The invitations were given out...
  On the way up north, they stopped at C.J. Barrymore's for some go-kart and arcade fun!!!! 
Hunter is gaining on you, Jacob!!!!

The boys hung out in the Lake and on the beach.  They went to the Drive In and saw Fast and Furious 6 and World War Z.  Rumor has it some of the boys fell asleep in the truck!  They also went putt-putt golfing and had lunch at the local A&W, which is still the old style drive in type.  The boys also made their way to the country store and made out with lots of penny candy (which isn't a penny anymore!!).  They had fun being boys!
From what I heard, a good time was had by all.  My husband mentioned he was especially grateful (or not) to me for getting whoopie cushions for the boys -- apparently they provided hours of entertainment.  Some things never get old!!! 
 Sadly, this is pretty much the extent of the pictures -- remember Dad
was in charge of this little celebration!!! 
The Golf Dudes
 One of Jacob's favorite gifts was his remote control helicopter...which I didn't
really realize he would be using indoors!!  He assures me that because of his expert flying skills, I have nothing to worry about -- why does that make me nervous!!!??

The Birthday Pilot
 Jacob also made a point of spending some time with a younger friend who
was out of town for Jacob's birthday.  They had some fast food, did some golfing,
and topped it off with a trip to DQ!! 
 All is well with this birthday teen!!!!


Monday Memories With My Mom

     When I last posted a couple Mondays ago, my mom's senior living facility had a nice family picnic.  I left there feeling better overall about how my mom is doing.  I am hoping her care is better than it was in June, but only another sleepover by me will determine that for sure.  I hope I can make time to do that soon.
     Meanwhile, when we were there for the picnic we had added this little note to our "bead sorting project" that we left for my mom.  We thought she might need a reminder of why the beads were there in the first place. 

     I have to say, both Kristin and I were very excited and even very proud of our little Grandma when we saw that she had sorted every last bead!!!  We thanked her for sorting the beads, and she said, "oh I didn't do it -- I don't think"!!!  Ha!  (I'm 99.9 percent sure she did!!!!)

     On July 23rd I received a call that my mom was found on the floor near her kitchen.  I was told she was not hurt and, again, we are not sure what happened.  Kristin and I are hoping she didn't drop any beads.  We are very aware that she will try to pick up any little thing that is on the floor.  I am debating whether we should continue our little bead project for this reason.  However, I might mix up all those beads again and give it another go!!  So hard to know what to do.  Even an innocent little project like this could turn into a disaster if she spilled or dropped the beads and fell picking them up.  Sometimes ya just gotta say YOLO!!  I also received a call from Liz from the Med Team.  She made me aware of some supplies my mom was running low on, like shampoo and such.  She also gave me some insights into some of the things my mom was doing...like taking dirty laundry out of the dirty clothes bag and hanging them back up.  Ugh (again)!  I bought a laundry hamper and put a sign on it to leave the dirty clothes in it!!  Who knows if this will deter her.  I appreciated so much the phone call.  I think it was only the second time that somebody had gone out of their way to contact me.
     Jacob had not seen Grandma in a few weeks, so I snapped a picture of them.  Grandma was all over him trying to love him up, thus the reason for the goofy smiles!!

     I am not sure how to segue into this, but just as things have been looking up a bit, there are also some issues that I don't think I have mentioned.  Underlying the good and the bad...is sometimes the ugly.  There are some things I've noticed overall declining with my mom.  You may recall, over a year ago, I was forced (and actually asked by my mom) to take all of her scissors away from her after she cut all of her own hair quite short.  Then, not long ago, I actually decided to take all of my mom's scotch tape (of all things) away after I saw that she was dressing some of her own injuries with tissues and tape placed directly on the wounds.  Also in the last few months or so my brother actually noticed my mom was filing down her nails to the point where there were almost gone.  He took her nail files away. 
     Weeks later, I received a call from the staff that my mom had filed her nails to the point that her fingers were actually bleeding and they had to change her clothes which had a bit of blood on them.  Obviously, I found this disheartening in a way I cannot fully describe.  Seemingly basic things that I can no longer feel comfortable letting my mom use at her own discretion.  I later realized my brother missed a few of the nail files around her apartment and that's how she was able to get into that.   She can be a sneaky one.
     One of the Med Team staff members later told me that my mom was now biting her nails.  My mom never used to do this.  There are very few things I can do about this.  I considered a few options, but instead decided to hope it was some temporary phase that she would possibly move out of.  The last few weeks, I am not aware of it being a problem.       
     After all of this, I took a few minutes to think about what else could lead to problems in my mom's apartment.  I decided that I should take away even the butter knives she had in her kitchen drawer.  I don't know why...but obviously I'm erring on the side of caution.  That said, with this disease it seems like a problem can sometimes come from even the most seemingly benign thing.  The knobs have been removed from her stove since she first moved in and even before that in her previous condo where she was living.  
     Anticipating and putting out small fires (sometimes literally) is part of the job.  The relative unpredictability of these things definitely raises my anxiety level more than I would hope!!
      On a much brighter note, I learned a few weeks ago that a childhood neighbor friend (who moved to Indiana when I was 14 or so) was coming back to Michigan to visit.  Her mom and my mom were also great friends during my elementary and middle school years.  Sadly, her mom passed away several years ago from an apparent fall down her stairs at home.  Ironically, my mom had a similar fall a few years ago, but thanks to a neighbor, was found in time to get her help.  Tracy misses her mom terribly, and has had a very rough time as she just lost her husband to cancer in November.  He was only 54 years old and they have five children.  
     The visit ended up being late at night as we tried to pack so much into the one day we had to spend together.  My mom was awake, but ready for bed.  It's been many years, but she remembers Tracy!  I knew she would.  It was a short but emotional visit as my mom kept asking about Tracy's mom and saying how sad she was that she was gone.  Earlier in the day, I had also shared with Tracy that my mom actually cried when I told her that Tracy's husband, Paul, passed away.  My mom almost never (maybe twice a year) shows that kind of emotion any more.  Tracy was touched by that and when we left my mom's apartment, truth is, we had a small sob fest in the hallway as I think Tracy understood how difficult it is for my mom, misses her own mom...and just the sadness of the direction sometimes life  takes us.  I am very grateful she insisted on visiting my mom and know  my mom appreciated it.  Tracy said she always saw my mom as a bit of a mother figure growing up, and I also felt a connection to her mom for all those years.
     Then, a few days ago my mom got a visit from two of my cousins and their kids!!  I am so grateful for that!!  I've probably said it before, but any caregiver in a situation like ours knows what a treat it is, not just for my mom, but for me to know my mom is getting a social visit from someone besides me or my brother, even if only for a short time.  They said their visit went well and they liked my mom's place.  My mom also told me how cute their kids were and I know it made her very happy.  Thanks, Karen and Stacey!!
     Next on the agenda -- a very urgent matter!!!!  I have to get that dog "Muffin", the stuffed animal, into a washing machine -- and soon!!!!!  Stay tuned and thanks for checking in!!!

My Mom and Tracy
July 2013