Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Save some Cash on Glasses - Buy them Online

This IS NOT a sponsored post. You see, I have the Medical Card, and while I am grateful for the medical care and eye care that it provides, one on the Medical Card rarely has much choice when it comes to glasses at the Optometrist. And while my Optometrist offers a discount on non-Medicaid approved frames for those that want to look a bit more stylish, glasses are still above $100 dollars and thus out of our price range.


Imagine my happiness when I learned that one can obtain glasses at steeply discounted prices online. All you need is your lens prescription and you are off to the races. I decided to go with EyeBuyDirect, but there are any number of places that you can buy from such as Frames Direct which has a huge selection of designer frames, 39 Dollar Glasses where glasses start at, you guessed it, $39, and Glasses Market.

There were a TON of styles to choose from but the sites make the work easier by letting you narrow down choices by shape, size, color, plastic, metal, etc, fully rimmed, rimless, etc, and price. They all have a tool where you can upload a picture (or use one of their models, which doesn't seem all that helpful to me) and "try on" different glasses. Here's my photo of the glasses I chose:

They are called "Cad" and with shipping and a new customer discount cost me just above $30.00. Thirty Dollars! You will have to add more for features like anti-glare, UV protection, transition lenses, ultra-thin, bifocals, etc., but the prices are still less that I have ever paid out of pocket for a pair of glasses (for the record, I had corrective eye surgery in 1998, when I was considered legally blind. I know how much ultra thin lenses with funky prisms, etc, cost. After I had William, my vision got blurry again, thus the new need for glasses).

I'm supposed to get the glasses in about 14 days. I'll let you know more about them when I actually get them. Thus far, however, the process has been easy and fun, and at prices like these, why not buy several different pairs and have an eye glasses wardrobe? More to come!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some Quotes, Some Hymns

I've always loved those stylized quotes that you find all over pinterest and decided to try my hand at a few of my own. This first one sits in front of my computer on a small plaque that was given to me by my mom during one of the darkest stages of my depression.


The Little Prince is a book that amazes me every time I read it. As a child it was a cool adventure with a sad ending. As an adult it plumbs the depths of our souls and speaks truths that are difficult to put into words.


This is from my favorite prayer. If you are a long-time reader, you may have noticed that I admire Mother Teresa greatly.


This song just slays me. Right to the heart.


I grew up Methodist. The doxology is part of me. It may be my favorite hymn (besides "In The Garden," which I like to sing with a country twang, and "The Old Rugged Cross," which I used to sing to William when I was nursing him).


That's all I have for tonight. If you've never designed one of these, you crafty bloggers you, I encourage you to do so. It's lots of fun. What would your picture-quote say?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Strawberry Bavarian Cream Cake

The leftover-day-after-Thanksgiving dinner is over; I made turkey sloppy joes and they were great. But that's not what you are here for, so here we go!


Like I said in the last post, I saw a Strawberry Bavarian Cream Cake on $40 a Day with Rachael Ray and got the inspiration for this cake. It's sloppy but easy to make, and there are several ways that you can construct it.

You will need:

Butter cake mix
Butter cream frosting (optional, read recipe to help you decide)
2 packages of strawberries
1 can Thank You brand vanilla pudding
1 small container of Kool Whip
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Bake cake as per package directions in round cake tins (this is a layer cake). Let cool completely.
2. While cake is cooling, combine entire can of pudding, an equal portion of Kool Whip, and the 2 cups of powdered sugar. This is your Bavarian Cream.
3. Also while cake is cooling slice one container of strawberries and cut off the leaves from the other package.
4. After cake has cooled, take one of your layers and remove a shallow bowl shaped section from the top of the cake. Pour about half of the cream mixture into this section. Then top with sliced strawberries
5. Place second layer on top of first.

Here's where your options come in. At this point you can either
A. Frost cake with butter cream frosting (messy but do-able; just make sure you fill in the entire space between the two layers with frosting) and top cake with remaining strawberries. Refrigerate if not serving immediately. This will help harden the cream a bit.
B. Pour the remaining cream mixture over the cake and top with strawberries (you will have to chill this cake until the cream is harder if you aren't going to serve the cake immediately).

It is super good and drew rave reviews. My son ate close to 3/4 of the cake over the course of yesterday and today and everyone else ate the rest and was satisfied with their servings. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Aftermath


istock photos

Thanksgiving dinner is over, my parents and aunt have gone home, all is well. We actually ended up eating with very little turkey as my turkey breast was quite on the pink side even though the meat thermometer said it was done. With all of the side dishes the lack of turkey wasn't missed.

Which means that I have a huge amount of leftover turkey. This isn't a problem that I'm used to dealing with and I'll be trolling the recipe sites for leftover turkey suggestions that go beyone sandwiches, tetrazini, and hash. Anyone out there have any great recipes?

The dessert was met with much enthusiasm. Yesterday was my mom's birthday and I decided that I would make her a strawberry bavarian cream cake. I saw one on $40 a Day with Rachael Ray and thought "I could make that" and the rest is culinary history. My son ate about half of it and everyone else raved. I'll share the recipe with you soon!


istock photo

I also served blueberry cobbler, which my dad took home, kentucky derby pie (super recipes for this are available all over the web; I left out the bourbon), and pumpkin pie (which didn't get eaten at all). It was nice to sit at the table with my parents and aunt chatting for hours, watching everyone enjoy my cooking. I really do enjoy hosting Thanksgiving, even though it is a lot of cooking.

I hope you all had wonderful holidays and to all of you braving Black Friday, Good Luck and Godspeed!


Sunday, November 20, 2011


Love has a hem to her garment
That reaches the very dust.
It sweeps the stains
From the streets and lanes,
And because it can, it must.

-Mother Teresa

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cassoulet a Faux-Faux

Alright.  So this isn't really a cassoulet.  You don't bake it, it's a one-skillet dish.  And there's no duck confit; instead smoked sausage and prosciutto add depth of flavor.  BUT it utilizes classic elements of French cooking such as a mirepoix (a blend of carrot, celery, and onion), thyme, bay leaves, there are beans, and so it's a sort of faux cassoulet.  A cassoulet a faux-faux!

You will need:

One length of smoked sausage, sliced in bite sized pieces
8 oz of finely diced prosciutto
1-8 oz can of tomato sauce (NOT Italian, plain tomatoes)
1-8 oz can of cannellini or Great White Northern beans
1-8 oz can of navy beans
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
2 ribs of celery, sliced
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP dried parsley
Salt to taste

Make it:

1. Saute carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and prouscioutto in a dollop of olive oil until onion start to clear.

2. Add smoked sausage and continue to fry until the sausage starts to render its juices into the pan, about 5 minutes.

3.  Add everything else (except salt) to the pan, stir, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

4. Remove the bay leaves and salt to taste.

I like to serve this with naan or a similar flat bread to sop up all of the delicious tomato sauce from the bowl.  Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yarn shopping plans and a kitchen update

So the dishwasher and garbage disposal or in BUT the dishwasher was plugged into the same line as the garbage disposal and, therefore, the dishwasher cannot be run unless the disposal is on, too.  It will be fixed very soon, I am assured.  So today I had to do a HUGE load of dishes by hand.  I also have been engulfed in moving around everything in the kitchen since I lost a large cabinet and drawer and have to find a place to put all of the displaced bowls and mixing spoons.  The kitchen is still a bit typhoonish, so no picture yet.

I also was given the green light to go YARN SHOPPING(!) Hubs is letting me go buy expensive yarn store yarn for a few Christmas presents.  I am so excited!  I have a randomly striped scarf, ssimple pattern, in grey tones and a Jacques Cousteau hat in mind (but not in red, probably also in a coal or slate grey), but I can't say for whom.  I think I'm going to use Brown Sheep Company yarn, but of course I will have to check out all of my options!  I'm also involved in another project that I can't say a thing about but you can get details on Ravelry (I'm droppedstitches72, feel free to friend me!).  Will post some photos of YARN after I go shopping!

What are you knitting right now?  I'd love to know!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Marysville Horror Story

About 4 months ago a church friend of ours found a brand new FREE dishwasher and asked my husband if we were interested in it.  My 1961 kitchen wasn't built with a dishwasher in it so for the last 10 years we've been doing the dishes old school- by hand.  Things also tend to break in old homes and ours is no exception.  We haven't had a garbage disposal for about 7 months and have had to close off that side of the sink because there was a large leak below the dead disposal.  We've had a new disposal for several months but it hasn't been installed for one reason or another.

Today is installation day.  The sink and area where the dishwasher will go has been gutted.  The entire kitchen looks like a tornado went through it.  And it's dusty and dirty.  Just look at those pictures- I know, they are scary!

BUT, I will feel like I am living in the lap of luxury when the job is done.  No more hand washing the dishes!  A working garbage disposal!  Two sides of the sink to work with!  I'll make sure to share photos of the finished product.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 wishes


what have you wished for?

An end to hunger?

a happy child?

a PS3?

a college degree?

someone to love?

a Dodge Viper?

Happy Holidays?

a writing gig?

Whatever you have wished for,

may all your wishes come true

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Photographs of Beautiful Camp Wilson

At the beginning of October I attended a women's church retreat at Bellefountaine, Ohio's Camp Wilson. I had heard a lot about the camp from my son who attended summer camp for a week there; he thought it was fantastic. I was excited to have a bit of time away from the homestead and a bit of time for contemplation and it turned out that this little patch of Ohio was the perfect spot for a mommy time out.

We had our teaching, social times, and camp activities (I learned that with a bit of practice I might be a pretty fair archer), but what I loved the most was the time that I found to walk and wander the property, which was gorgeous. The lake was one of the most peaceful places I have been in a long time. Usually when I attend a retreat I am itching to get home. This time, though, I could have used a bit more time to enjoy this slice of heaven here on earth.









Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Cowboy

I'm a little late on the Halloween post due to Dad Days, but here is my boy, all decked out in his cowboy gear.  He looks like he belongs in the 50s with Howdy Doody.  Do I have to tell you that I love it?

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Special Thanks to all Dad Days Bloggers!

I'd like to take a moment to offer up a special "Thank You" to all of the fathers who were guest posters here on Dropped Stitches during the month of October. The entire success of Dad Days is due to the blogging dads who were generous enough to contribute their work to the blog.



Dustin Christian, author of Daddy Geek: Raising the Dungeonmasters of Tomorrow

Ben Moffat of The Angry Scot

Justin Mannato, writer of Daddy Knows Less

Barry Silver of A Life Well Lived Concludes with a Smile

Mark Perlman (not pictured), from an excerpt of the book Caring For Your Newborn

Richard Monroe, author of The Butterbottom Blog

Steve Birkett of Above The Static

Matthew Peregoy, The Real Matt Daddy

John Willey, writer of Daddy's in Charge?

Alex Walsh, author of Daddacool


Josh Solar of The Happy Family Movement

To all of you


Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Father Figures: My Step-Dad (but really my Dad), Mark Seelbach

My parents were divorced when I was 4. Bad divorce. That's all I'm going to say. After a few years we moved to the West side of Columbus, to the now super scary but then amazingly wonderful Lincoln Village, a huge apartment complex where my grandparents lived. Until I was 9 it was mom and me. I guess we were living hand to mouth, but I never knew it. My mom worked hard to provide for us and childhood was good.


She liked to eat at Bob Evans and one day a waitress that she knew introduced her to another diner. They hit it off and started dating. Then one day he came over for dinner and I could not get over this wierd guy that mom had invited over. Then I went with mom to his bachelor apartment where I noticed he had Omni magazine, which, at the time, I thought was like Playboy, and I was mortified. But he turned out to be okay (and for those of you that don't know, Omni is a now defunct but iconic sci fi magazine, which said a lot about Mark Seelbach, though I didn't know it at the time) and one day in November 1981 they got married and I had a stepdad.


Mark had no children. He wasn't used to shy, sensitive pre-adolescent girls but he did the best he could. In time, I figured out that he was pretty shy, too, and geeky. He liked jazz music, which I hadn't paid much attention to before then, and played the trumpet. We started going to the Methodist church because he grew up Methodist (in Youngstown, OH, which has an interesting population of Polish, German, and Italian people mostly, so I was introduced to Perogies, red cabbage, and all variety of German sausage). I now love good funky jazz, I still consider myself Methodist, and I LOVE brats and saurkraut.


When computers came to the forefront in the late 80's he started working for the software industry, which began a lifelong love of computers and technology. Yes, my dad is a geek. A big one. He loves Star Trek and Dr. Who, collects vintage toys particularly GI Joes and those with a sci fi theme. My mom loves the geek stuff, too, and I was being molded, so when we went to the Dr. Who convention when I was in Middle School it was quite a moment. Did I mention he loves computers? He currently works as an auditor (he has a degree in accounting), but the computer love is not going away.


He has been a wonderful father to me. He really would do anything for me. When I need him, he's there. I know that he's proud of me, even though he hasn't said it in so many words. He doesn't say things like that, those emotional type things, but with all of the caring and everything he's done for me over the years, I know. You know what I mean?
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