Sunday, July 12, 2020

Creative Healthy Cooking Has Some Great Benefits


During this pandemic that seems to just go on and on and on...there are some ways to have some benefits that my husband and I have discovered. We always have loved cooking together, as well as discovering new recipes. As we listen to friends sharing that they are gaining weight while being quarantined and staying at home, we were determined that we were not going to spoil our weight loss roll that we were on before this pandemic came along. 

It is so easy to just go to the pantry or fridge to grab whatever you want to eat, even when you are not really hungry. Both of us started taking stock of what we had already in the pantry and fridge. We read up on what is a healthy life style and we have stuck with it. During the pandemic we are more mindful of what we order at the grocery weekly and plan more meals thoughtfully so as not to waste fresh fruits and vegetables. Neither one of us can go by someone else's meal plan. It has to be set by us. We began searching out healthy low-carb recipes and sometimes we can substitute some ingredients in order to keep it a low carb meal. For example, instead of white flour, we use almond flour. 

This was a way to be creative together. The benefits we are seeing is by the pounds going down on the scale and even better? Clothes in our wardrobes are becoming too big on us. Both of us are wearing things that we have not worn in quite some time. It is a wonderful feeling to put on a whole new outfit. I am even discovering that some that I have not worn for quite some time are even getting too large for me. So I have had to purchase a few things on line to make up for what has had to go in a bag. 

The way that we started this was to read up on what is healthy for us to eat. We did not want to be on a "diet." It must be a "lifestyle." Diets will work if we stick to them but once we go back to eating what got us where we were, we will go back to that same weight again. Been there. Done that. Mindset to lifestyle!

People that I talked to that have been able to keep their weight off are aware of what they are eating. It is a balance. Cutting back on carbs is essential. Both of us did not know if we would be able to give up breads, pastas and potatoes. Guess what? We have. How? There are some low carb alternatives out there. Yes, most of them are a bit more expensive, but we don't have them everyday. It is just nice to give ourselves a treat of spaghetti and meatballs now and then. There is no problem with the meatballs or the marinara sauce. It was the pasta. Finding a low carb pasta on line was a dream come true, especially when we tried it and it was delicious. Same thing with bagels and breads. A toasted bagel or slice of toast  to go with our eggs and bacon just makes everything alright.

There is an app that we both use with our FitBit. All we must do is log in what we eat and it magically takes care of the net carbs, protein, fats (good and bad), calories, as well as other minerals and vitamins. At a glance, we can see what we did for the day. Keeping our carbs to around 20-50 a day is really not so hard. The next thing we watch out for is to eat enough protein, fats and vegetables. Each meal should have some of each. High protein also reduces cravings. Things like meats, seafoods and eggs are essential. Low carb veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, celery, spinach, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, asparagus, lettuces, and cucumbers are great additions to add to our meals. It is important to not buy all in one grocery trip. They are perishable so this is where the meal planning comes in to play.

This is a picture of my romaine lettuce that grows very tall, I harvest it by cutting about the top third off and it continues to grow in my Aerogarden. There have been recalls on romaine and I really crave it in my salads. I even wrap my hamburger in it, using it as the bun. So now we have pesticide free romaine and even better is that it is not recalled for e-coli. 

Healthy fats are also essential. We have switched to only using olive, coconut, avocado oils, and real butter. Avocados are also in the healthy fat list. YUM!

I do know that weight is lost a bit faster if you throw in exercise, even if it is not strenuous. I have some weights by my desk that I use and I love my DVD on Tai Chi. I really should get back to my recumbent bike. Steve has his workouts that he does daily also. 

Sometimes it helps to have a 'carb refeed' day once a week. For me, it has to be still in the high range of 50 carbs. I try to stick closer to 30. It has been noted by some scientists that counting calories does not really matter. Well, to a woman of a certain age who has hypothyroid, it does matter. Therefore, I do love my FitBit app that tells me how many I have eaten.

Another treat that I have given to myself is a Combo Meal Replacement and Loaded Tea. These are Herbalife dealers who have opened shops around the area and make their own specialties. We have tried a few of them but no one is as good as Wild Nutrition.

The small cup is the meal replacement shake. This one is called Bahama Breeze. It is 250 calories of protein. The tall cup is the loaded tea. This one is called Jimmy Buffet and it has added immunities and vitamins. The teas only have 24 calories and give you a boost for the day. I am loving that on the days we take our dogs to Doggie Day Care once or twice a week, that just a block over, we can stop and pick up a Combo for take out. Masks must be worn and the owners are so meticulous in following all of the CDC guidelines.

This is the lifestyle that works for us and we can see the benefits. Creative outlet for ourselves and healthier bodies.

Caprese Salad 
(tomato slice with slice of mozzerella drizzled with balsamic glaze)

Chicken Parmesan

Italian Salad with Salami and Mozzerella Pearls

Surf and Turf

Only a handful of some creative ways we have pulled teamwork together to help us get through this pandemic healthy. We definitely are far off from the Before picture and not quite to the After picture. We are work in progress and having fun doing it together. We tend to not think of the last picture as the after picture, more like the way our minds and bodies are set to live a long and healthy life.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fireworks and Pets


Fireworks and pets! Sometimes it works and other times it is like the furbaby in the picture above. It can be a nightmare for some pets and that in turn can make it a nightmare for the parents of these pups. I do know from friends who have cats that this is a problem for some of them also. I can only speak of dogs at this stage. Cats seem to have their own personalities with loud noises. 

The poster above makes a very good point by asking if fireworks are necessary? They have always been a way to celebrate the Fourth of July. Usually in a big venue with lots of "oooohhhhhs and ahhhhhhhs" from the crowds. This year was quite different with coronavirus being around. We always have had a few people who have had some basic fireworks on hand to shoot off in their yards. In fact, a couple of years ago, a neighbor actually burned his home to the ground by shooting off fireworks. Just my opinion, but I believe that it is best to leave fireworks to the experts. 

We have never had a dog who was afraid of fireworks. Even our goldendoodles have never displayed fear in previous years. The difference this year seems to be that they were going off so close by and constantly. They actually did not bark and go running through the house. NOPE. This is what they did.

It is rather hard to tell because my husband and I are sitting side by side on a small sofa. I have a green throw over my legs and my feet are not covered, only the top part of a black striped sock is showing. There is the big black doodle lying horizontally over both of us and then his smaller sister is lying horizontally over my legs nestled right up to her brother. We tried putting them in their safe-havens (their crates) but they only wanted on us. 

Never having this problem before, we were at a loss of what to do. So we just talked them through the stress and petted them gently. It was nerve racking for us too. I was worried that one would land on our house or in trees and start a fire. They did seem to finally dwindle down, at least those close to us. Our furbabies went on to sleep in their crates. I know that I stayed awake in bed for at least another 30-40 minutes just listening and being aware in case they needed one of us again or with my wild imagination hoping that I did not smell smoke or the alarm going off from the roof on fire.

Not a good night sleep, that is for sure. Even the pups are having a rather sluggish day. Definitely naps will be happening in this house. From the looks on my social media page, this was the norm for a lot of friends. Actually, we had it easier and shorter than many others. 

By doing a little research, I did find out some simple strategies that we can use. There are ways to be more prepared.

  • Anti-anxiety vests are available that calm dogs down.
  • Stay indoors and turn on loud music or tv. (This is one thing that we did. Watching Hamilton helped to entertain us some while the loud musical helped to drown out some of what was happening outside). Did you know that more dogs go missing over the 4th of July than any other time of the year? They get spooked and if the door is open will bolt. So be sure to keep them safe inside but for good measure have them microchipped and a collar with your name and number on it.
  • Talk to our vet so that we are more prepared for this kind of situation if it happens again which of course, it will...some friends told me they use Benadryl or Melatonin or a prescription drug given by the vet. 
  • Giving lots of snuggles and cuddles and soothing words may help. (Another strategy that we used.)
  • Didn't happen this year, but if we ever decided to go out (which I highly doubt) be sure to have a loving and reliable dog sitter to stay with your furbabies.
  • Then there is the walk around as if nothing is happening to try to distract them. Do some simple doggie tricks. Things like sit, stay, shake, and down. Be sure to have those little tasty treats handy.

A study done in 2013 by the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences found that fireworks were the most common trigger for fearful behavior in dogs. Sometimes the way we as pet owners respond to our dog's fearful behavior can make it better or worse, as the case may be. The researchers did find that less than a third of owners sought professional advice about a treatment for their pet's response to noises. 

We believe that we did the best we could with this being the first time experiencing such behavior. We both liked to just try to keep them as calm as possible. It just kept us up later than usual and personally, I do not do well with little sleep. In our house today it will be nap time for all.

Winnie the Pooh says it all with these smart words:

Happy Napping!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Real Life Heroes Who Don't Wear Capes


When we think of heroes the pictures above may come to our minds. Who doesn't love a story about the heroes and how they win out over the villains.

In the times that we are living in currently, there are different kinds of heroes and these heroes are around the world. When Covid-19 first started off, it was taken seriously, along the lines of the Swine Flu. This quickly became so much more than anyone could have imagined. 

Businesses and schools just closed down and many started working from their homes. Teachers did zoom lessons for their students. That was somewhat problematic when many families did not have the technical devices or wi-fi to receive the instruction. New plans were being devised throughout the rest of the school year. By appointments, parents could go to the school and just as a drive-thru restaurant, they could drive by and the teacher would pass out work packets. Businesses that could work from home certainly did. They could still gather at times throughout the day by setting up Zoom meetings.

These options were not a choice for our real life heroes who don't wear capes.

The stress that this kind of work puts on their bodies must be tremendous. I really did believe that I understood that. After witnessing this in real time, I understand it even more after this weekend.

Let me start out by saying that my husband had an issue with one of his medications. I watched him closely, in case I noticed anything strange when he told me about it earlier that evening. I watched him and did not sleep well just wondering if he was going to be ok. Until 4:30 in the morning, I truly had not seen any difference in his behavior. Then I noticed how often he was going to the bathroom and his legs started terrible cramping. Once I realized that something was not right, I called the doctor to explain what was going on, I was told that I should get him to the hospital ER immediately. She stressed that it was very important and if I was able to get him to the car, there was no need to call 911. She would call and alert the hospital that we were on our way. They would have a wheelchair for him due to his dizziness.

Sure enough, there they were, waiting for us. Of course, I could not go in and I pulled over to the parking spots nearby. The nurse said someone would call me when they knew what was happening. So all I could do was sit and worry. I was watching the line up of people in cars going to the outdoor COVID-19 testing site. Trying to stay positive, I was thinking that at least we aren't dealing with that. Plus, being optimistic that this was one of the premier hospitals in our city, and all precautions were being taken to not expose anyone to this virus so that was making me feel better. Steve had his mask on, I gave him a small container of hand sanitizer for "just in case" scenarios. Just hoping for the best.

Within an hour, Steve's ER nurse called me to tell me that they have already run some tests, have him on a saline IV to flush his system, had an EKG which was good, and some lab tests were already back showing his kidneys were ok but his magnesium and potassium levels were askew. They would be keeping him overnight because even though it was early in the morning, they knew once they got him stable, they wanted to observe him. She said that someone would continue to call and update me. When they got him to a real hospital room they would call to let me know what the room number was so that I could call him.

I had two more calls from nurses who were wonderfully calm and very informative. Only through their professionalism was I able to make it through until Steve was actually able to call me. He sounded very positive and said that the nursing staff as well as the hospital staff in general were all working above and beyond what was expected. That was a relief. I knew that if he could not be home and had to stay overnight, that once he said that he had a large screen flat tv with so many choices of great movies, that he would be able to make it through the night. He had no more cramping in his legs and no more dizziness once they started the saline solution. 

Late on Friday afternoon, definitely after 5, I received a call from the doctor's office nurse who was the one who told me to get Steve immediately to the ER. She told me that there was no way she could not call to check up and see what happened. She said she could not be worried all weekend about it. Now, that is truly above and beyond in my opinion. I thanked her for giving us such good information and thanked her again for calling to follow up on what happened. The doctor's biggest concern was that of his kidneys but they ran that test first and all checked out just fine. Plus, so did the heart tests. 

Later that night, I told Steve about her calling and he was as amazed as I was. Such care! Steve said he has seen how the staff is working, and although he is not on a COVID-19 floor, these front line health care workers are most definitely heroes without capes. They deserve one! As these health care workers come home from work, after a 12 hour shift, they have had to make major adjustments, so as to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to their families. Their young children can't run up to them and hug them until they take off their scrubs, take a shower and become 'sanitized' again.They take all necessary precautions. 

Our county has had spikes every day this week with more and more people being tested and diagnosed with this virus. The number being admitted into hospitals is staggering. Other countries are looking at the US, as if we are out of control. And, yes we are. There is no real consistent guidance or leadership. One state is opening up businesses again and others are requiring masks to be worn in public, while some people are refusing to wear masks. It seems all chaotic. Sort of reminds me of a title of the Beach Boys hit song of the early 70's :

There are several medical experts who all agree that this virus is not just going to go away on its own. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has stated that until there is a vaccine we won't have it under control. Truly our health care workers are the heroes.

Our health care workers are on the front lines battling this virus, with grace and professionalism, while others refuse to listen to the medical experts and come together to help stop this monster.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Tidy Desk or Messy Desk?


As it turns out there is really not a right or a wrong way and I try not to be too judgmental if someone has the opposite style from me. What studies have shown over the years is that whichever way we prefer our desks to be, it probably influences how we think.

Psychological Science published an article that stated for the most part those who preferred tidy desks, were ones who generally liked their whole life in a neat little box. Not necessarily OCD, which can cover a wide variety of issues, but promoting socially acceptable behaviors such as generosity, sticking to the tried and true, along with a sense of healthy eating. Definitely, one would hope that a banker would have the neater desk with all of the important documents they must deal with.  

Whereas the messy desk syndrome tended to show that these people were more open to new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. This is definitely for those creative marketing people. Have you known people like this, yet it is remarkable that when they need a specific paper or book, they can put their hands on it right away. Different kinds of work environments generally prove this same theory. A group of researchers from the University of Minnesota examined people, regardless of personalities, to find out if an orderly environment encouraged people to act in a more socially acceptable conventional way vs a disorderly environment encouraging people to seek novelty and display unconventional ways.

Groups of people were taken to a tidy room to fill out random questionnaires, while another group were taken to a messy room. On their way out they were presented the opportunity to donate to a charity along with taking a snack of an apple or chocolate. Eighty-two percent of those in the tidy room donated some money, while forty-seven percent of those did in the messy room. The same happened with the food choice. More in the tidy room chose the apple while the messy room participants chose the chocolate. Interesting results. 

One more experiment tested creativity. Each group were asked to think of ten new uses for ping pong balls. Both groups did so. They submitted their concepts  to impartial judges who rated the ideas. The outcome was that the people in the messy room had more interesting and creative thinking about ping pong balls than the other group.

Applying some of this research to the workplace can be tricky. Usually "the disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights, while the ordered environments seem to encourage convention and playing it safe." This is a quote from Kathleen Vohs, who led the University of Minnesota research team.

"Employers need to tailor the environment for the behaviors they want," suggested Joseph Redden, a co-author of this study.

Many times people are judged on their workspace, and sometimes unfairly. If your workspace is neat then sometimes that person is looked at as being less productive than a messy desk. The messy desk seems to demonstrate so much work is getting done. In reality we all should be judged on our actual productivity and work quality, not the state of our desks. We are human beings who tend to draw conclusions from what we see. Sometimes it backfires. A messy desk could make people think that the work must be a mess too. Just as a neat desk could make one think nothing is going on, when in truth, all of the work is organized and filed neatly away.

The one take away that I have from reading about tidy vs messy is that there is no one right answer. It is just not that cut and dry. There are a lot of people working from home now during the coronavirus. Sometimes this means having Zoom meetings and quite frankly, I don't want to look at someone's messy pile of papers. Offices, when they can, will provide a larger meeting room where no one is crammed into a cubicle full of a co-workers mess. This is not always possible with webinars.

What matters most of all about your workspace is your own productivity. If clutter around you slows your productivity, it is time to start tidying up. If you want your mind to feel uncluttered then it may be wise to get some control over your clutter, at least weekly. There are pros and cons of each style. In my humble opinion I think perhaps that a little of each style works best. Take a look at your own desk and ask where you fall on the spectrum. It could help change some of how you think and therefore improve your productivity. 

I like to think that I fall somewhere in the "gray" area. I like organization and things tidy, however, while working on project, I don't mind a little clutter on my desk every once in a while. 

As you can see, TIDY or MESSY is not so simple.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

See the Good in Everyone


Let me say that I will be the first to admit that I do work on trying to find the good in everyone. I try hard to not be judgmental. It is okay to agree to disagree. Before I go on with this blog, I will just say that I have been quick to fast forward Dolly Parton songs when they pop up on whatever device that I am listening to music on. In fact, I actually made a statement more than once that her kind of music was just too twangy for my taste. That simply is not a totally true statement. Some of the songs that are fun to listen to and bring good feelings to my soul are songs such as Islands in the Stream, I Will Always Love You, To Know Him is to Love Him, and 9 to 5. These are just a small sampling of songs that are not twangy country songs that she is so famous for with country music lovers. I have always prided my diverse love of music and realized that I made an unfair statement once I researched Dolly Parton.

She is a cultural icon and has a heart of gold. I remember when our granddaughters were born, the hospital had our daughter sign them up for the Dolly Parton Book Club. Once a month a free book would be mailed to them. She wanted to promote literacy. What a grand thing to do for the children of Tennessee! She named it Imagination Library.

Dolly is more than just a singer and songwriter for which she is credited with writing over 3,000 songs and has won the Grammy Award nine times. She is also an actress that started off with The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in 1982. This gave her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Just a few of the other movies that you may have seen her in  are 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias. She came from a humble background in East Tennessee with eleven siblings and most definitely not much money. There is even a movie about her growing up in this environment, along with the song she wrote about it, Coat of Many Colors. She was born in 1946 and got her first big musical break at age 21. The rest is history. She did marry at age 24 and has celebrated more than 50 years to the same loving husband who has stayed out of the spotlight. They have no children.

In the business world, she helped create a theme park in East Tennessee called Dollywood. There are rides and shows, of course. But the Craftsman's Valley demonstrates how to make candles, soaps, butter and other items that some families still do in the Appalachia area. Lots of fun and education for the whole family.

She is well known for being a kind person with a great sense of humor and she never takes herself too seriously. In conversations during talk show appearances, some of her words actually turned into some very famous quotes from this woman of wisdom. Above all she has helped me understand through my daily positive mantras that it is important to live a life that I am proud of without the approval of others. In the times that we are going through now I just want to see everyone love one another and to be able to live out our dreams. The world would most definitely be a better place if we all could adopt this type of mentality.

Dolly is always wanting to make people feel better about life, love, aging plus everything that falls in between. Her love of living comes from a deep inspiration within because as she says, "When I'm inspired, I get excited because I can't wait to see what I'll come up with next." Some of the following quotes come straight from her heart based on the life that she has lived.

  • "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
  • I'm not happy all the time, and I wouldn't want to be because that would make me a shallow person. But why shouldn't I be happy? I have everything I ever wanted and more. Maybe I am simpleminded. Maybe that's the key: simple."
  • "Smile -- it increases your face value. I always just thought if you see somebody without a smile, give 'em yours."
  • "I don't know what the big deal is about old age. Old people who shine from the inside look 10-20 years younger. The magic is inside you. I just don't have time to get old."
  • ** This one is starred by me because I think it is one of my favorites: "I'm not offended by the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb, and I'm not blonde either."
Dolly Parton believes that our world needs more kind people. She encourages others to become empowered to be and believe in themselves. I know that she helps me to keep trying to make my life better as I move through the years.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Music is the Language of the Soul


The true language of the human soul is music. Many beautiful phrases have been created to describe what music really is all about. Words do not seem to capture the way that it touches us. Basically, what we do know is that this world would be a sad place without it.

What music means to each individual is so varied that it would be too overwhelming to even begin to describe it. I can only speak for myself and even then I can't exactly explain what music or certain songs mean to me. I only know that when I hear certain songs specific emotions come to my very being. Sometimes, even being moved to the point of tears or being transported back to a particular time in my life. They could be tears of joy and happiness or sad tears. It was the music that took me there.

Music is most definitely one of the universal languages that can be understood and enjoyed by all regardless of culture, society or other kinds of differences. Music belongs to everyone. What a great way to soothe a restless child. I know that it worked in my office as an assistant principal. I had playlists ready to play depending on what the age of the child was and how out of control he/she may have been. Think about how a mother communicates her love for her baby through lullabyes. That baby does not understand a word that is being said, but the feeling of being loved speaks volumes. 

Music was used in Steven Spielberg's 1977 movie of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" as a form of communication between the human race and beings from another planet through musical notes. Studies have shown that plants and animals react to music also. Music therapy is used with young children all the way through older adults suffering with Alzheimer's. In fact, it dates back to the ages of Greek philosophers. It was used to calm people, especially those suffering from mental disorders. Confucius and Plato recognized how music could help keep a person healthy in mind and body. During WWII, music was accepted as a valuable tool in aiding wounded soldiers recovering from their injuries. By speaking to the soul, it counteracts negative vibes from tension and promotes relaxation from within the body.

The magic of music remains a secret. We may never understand the exact science of it...what we do understand is that it brings pleasure to all of our souls. I can remember having an outpatient surgery. I did not have to be totally under anesthesia. I used my own technique of breathing to relax, when all of a sudden, my surgeon started singing opera while he was operating on me. My eyes flew open in surprise. One of the nurses asked me if that bothered me, she would ask him to stop. Surprisingly, it did not bother me. I could feel it not only relaxing me but more than likely him too. And that is not a bad thing in my book.

Doing some research, I found some music quotes on how it heals our soul. I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I did in finding them.

  • "Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music."  ~ George Eliot
  • A great song should lift your heart, warm the soul and make you feel good."  ~ Colbie Caillat
  • "Where words fail, music speaks." ~ Hans Christian Anderson
  • "Music is to the soul what words are to the mind." ~ Modest Mouse
  • "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything."  ~ Plato
  • "One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain."  ~ Bob Marley
  • "Music is powerful. As people listen to it, they can be affected. They respond."  ~  Ray Charles
  • "Music is a language that doesn't speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it's in the bones, it's in the bones."  ~ Keith Richards
  • "I see my life in terms of music." ~ Albert Einstein
  • "Music changes, and I'm gonna change right along with it."  ~ Aretha Franklin

Next time when you are feeling down and out, put on some music to lift your spirits. Music has that power to reset our thinking.  It is an essential part of human existence. Music can make you feel happy or sad, in love or angry. Hopefully some of these quotes fueled your soul and reminded you of just how strong of an impact music has on all of us.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

More Than Words


 George Bernard Shaw once said, "England and America are two countries divided by a common language." I can tell you that is truly an understatement. Even after twenty years together, my British husband can surprise me with a word or phrase that I have not a clue what he is talking about. On the other hand, I can do the same to him. The difference is that he really has not come to the American side of the English language that much. Then, there is me. Every once in a while I shock myself when I say it just the way that he would. About the only thing that I have taught him and that he uses is the phrase, "Well, bless your heart." He has learned that it is all in the intonations of how you say it as to what it means. I believe that this is more of a Southern phrase and it is not always meant in a positive way. An example would be, if you said it to someone who just served a meal and you told others, "Well, bless her heart," meaning that she tried but it was not edible.

Below you will find some of the differences that have come to light throughout the time that we have been together.

Steve still asks me where do we want to go for our holiday? (vacation) The first time he asked me, I thought that we were going to go away for Christmas!
When we get in our pool he will ask me if I am wearing a new swimming costume. I will let him know that it is the same swimming SUIT that I had last year. If our granddaughters are over, he will ask if I have the lilo blown up? Once he pointed to her floaty, I knew what he meant.

Let's talk for a minute about going on a holiday or out to eat. First, we must get some petrol, he will tell me. I refresh his memory that we call it gas here. He smiles and says that he is glad that we don't own an estate car. I ask you this:  

 Were you aware that a station wagon/SUV was called an estate car? I was thinking a limousine. Something that would cost a fortune to fill up with GAS. As we are getting ready to pay, I ask him if he will pass my purse over. He passes my wallet. That was fine, in that is where my money is but he calls the bag that the wallet was in 'a wallet.'

Going out to eat is interesting because I have learned what a serviette is. He was missing a napkin when we were seated once and he meant a napkin. However, he asked the waitress for a serviette. Her blank and clueless face was priceless. I translated. Also did a translation to help when he requested  tomato sauce. He wanted it to go on his burger. And he said that he had crisps on his plate. He asked for them. I did not, so the regular fries came with my burger. He said to the waitress and to me that I got chips. We were all confused on that one. She did bring him out some FRIES. I don't think she could get too upset because he does have a very proper British accent. Although, when she set them down she did kindly say to him that these were his fries. 

She had a look of surprise until I shared with her that he meant ketchup. 

Truly would give the burger a different flavor. Easy enough to straighten out what he needed. I would love to have heard the conversation that our waitress had with the other servers. On the positive side she now has a new vocabulary word and what it means if someone orders tomato sauce. We did confuse her a bit when she asked if there was anything else that we needed and I said,"Yes, please the check, and he said, "And the bill." So which is it? Sort of like the same thing when he asks where are the loos. Not everyone knows that he is asking where are the restrooms. He still questions me on that one about why they are called that because one does not go in to rest. 

While we are on the subject, sort of, about food, let's talk about going to the grocery store. First you must find a place to park in the car park. He still calls it that instead of a parking lot. That's ok. I have even let it slip out a few times pointing out to him as we drove by a very busy store. You knew it was because I said, "Just look at that car park!" It flew out of my mouth before I knew it. 

Some items that we pick up at the grocery are:

barbie sauce  (BBQ sauce)
mince meat  (hamburger meat)
kitchen towels (paper towels-not linen kitchen towels)
lollies   (popsicles for granddaughters)
courgettes  (zucchini)

washing liquid (dish soap)
beetroots (beets)
satsumas (clementines)
I have always called aluminum foil Reynolds Wrap. He asked if we needed some AL - U - MIN - YUN. I must admit that one took me a bit to grasp what he meant.

Before we went over to get in the long line (queue), we passed the vitamins. He mentioned that he would like to pick up a multi- VIT - A - MIN. It must be said like I spelled it with a hard accent on each syllable. It sounds nothing like the word vitamin.

Once we got home, I asked if he could pull all the way in the garage. He asked me if I meant the GAR - AGE. We work it out. He also asked if maybe later we could go back out because he thought he saw a new place called the Pie Shop. He was so excited. I was so confused. He is not a real sweet eater, especially pies (one exception is apple pie). We went back later that afternoon and he went up and down the counters looking and finally asked where the savory meat pies were. I could not translate that one until he told me like the ones in the pubs of England such as Steak and Kidney Pie or pasties. Plus, I can assure you that they would not have Faggots and Peas, which is on almost every pub's menu. Let's just say that faggots are spicy meatballs made out of beef and pork organs. The peas are mushy and also usually served with mashed potatoes. The only thing here that  could somewhat compare to the savory meat pies
 would be a Shepherd's Pie or Chicken Pot Pie. With that said, we do not go in a Pie Shop for those. He was sadly disappointed that the choices were chocolate, key lime, lemon, banana, peach, apple and a handful of other pies. He didn't even buy an apple pie to take home. I remember the horrified look on the waitress behind the counter thinking they would have meat pies in her shop.

Cooking at home is entertaining because I cook on the stove while he uses the cooker. (Yes, they are one in the same.)

 Two easy sandwiches that we make (with some minor adjustments) are Welsh rarebit and a Bacon Butty. The Welsh rarebit is really a grilled cheese. I like mine just that way. The British way that he grew up with is to put Worcestershire sauce on the cheese. I suppose it is what you grew up with. The Bacon Butty was new to me. Usually I made BLT's. For breakfast he asked me one day if I fancied a Bacon Butty. When he explained it was toast that was buttered with bacon inside for a sandwich. I must admit that was good. I still like the idea of adding lettuce and tomato. Or even an egg for a breakfast sandwich. It is a little give and take. Some days all I want is a tomato and mayo sandwich. is what I grew up with.

Some other words that mean the same but are separate items would be:

  • waistcoat      vest
  • jumper         sweater

  • vest             wifebeater

There are times I ask my darlin' husband about his opinion about a style. I asked what he thought about me getting bangs. He had a horrified look on his face. I turned my magazine picture of a woman with bangs and showed him what I meant. He sighed a sigh of relief and said, "Oh, you mean fringe!"  He explained later what he thought I meant when I used the word bangs. I will not even mention it here. 

When I put the date on my blogs, he politely questions me about why I put the month before the day and then the year. Then, I remembered that I thought for a long time that his birthday was June 12th. Because he writes it out 6.12.1951. It wasn't until it came out in the beginning of our relationship that I realized that he was a December baby just like me. In fact, he asked me if I needed a rubber to erase my mistake. Yes, you guessed it. The Brits call an eraser a rubber.

Well, at this time, I have mentioned from A to Z most of our vocabulary differences. I don't throw fits over these differences (or wobblers as he would say).
Instead I embrace them.  Oh, wait a moment, I should have said all of the differences from A to Zed.
I learned that when he took me to the showroom to trade in my great big Tahoe for a Zed-3. I had not a clue what he meant. Until I saw we were pulling into a BMW showroom and he took me to a little two seater convertible that I had always called a Z-3.

 I believe that is when it dawned on me just exactly why our relationship is more than words. (Or as he would say, " Bob's your uncle.")