Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weigh in Wednesday

Here I go again... letting time get by without a blog post! I tell myself I won't let it happen, but it does. Life just gets going and I don't stop to blog about it!

My blog is Over The Backyard Fence - I share my faith, my life and my home with you! Bible study, cooking, cleaning, working out, gardening... you name it I should share it! :)

With that... I have been a faithful reader of my friend Kim's blog! Each Wednesday she has her Weigh In Wednesday's posts.  It's not about your weight - it's about health and fitness goals and making good choices.

So here is my first, official Weigh in Wednesday Post!!! 

Kim asked us three simple (or not so simple - grin) questions

What are you doing well?

I've been training well on my bike!  As long as work doesn't get in the way!  Not getting in as many miles as I would like, but training hard & I finally got my first race under my belt! 

I still go to my Strength & Endurance Class on Monday evenings.  In the fall/winter months I'm at the gym 4-5 times a week, in the summer it's once a week and the rest of the time is on my bike.  Unless it's raining, then I will hit the gym - or sometimes just relax!

What do you need to improve on?

I need more base miles.  I need to eat less sugar - I'm a sucker for Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream!

The one thing I've learned is this.  I eat in moderation, I never use the word diet (to me that's just setting myself up for failure) I don't deprive myself of things I like.  Lots of veggies and fruits and lean proteins.  I really hate processed foods, but don't limit myself to just brown rice and wheat flour.  I think that's another way of setting myself up for failure.  I need flavor for crying out loud!  I enjoy a cocktail now and again as well!

What are your goals for the coming week?

A good long weekend ride on my bike, better lunch time eating habits!  That's the time of day that can cause me to not eat soon enough, eat on the run or eat something REALLY bad for me!

So what are your goals?  What are you doing well in your healthy lifestyle choices?  What could you be doing better?

Join in each week!  Let's old each other accountable! 

Remember this link!!!  At Home With Kim

Stay healthy friends!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OK, so the best laid intentions simply never seem to turn into action for me on my blog! Fortunately Jim and I have been extremely busy with work. We are prayerful the real estate market in Indy continues to turn upward! We have truly been blessed!

I had to laugh looking back at the last post I wrote - Homemade Fire Starters! Who would have thought I wouldn't need them in March? We have had temps in the 80's for about a week now, and I even had to resort to turning on the A/C at night! Gasp! Yes - the A/C in Indiana and technically the calendar still said it was Winter! Spring is just a few short days old! It looks like more seasonal temps are on the way & I'm thankful! I do love spring!

So with nothing really pressing on my heart to write today... and with very limited time... I thought I would share a few photos I've taken in the last few months. I am loving my new camera & hope to have more time to really learn how to use it!

Red Bellied Woodpecker

I love seeing Mrs. Woodpecker peeking out of their nest

Bluebird sitting on the Bluebird House - Took 3 years, but we got a pair!
Spring Robin in our neighbor's garden
Mr. Cardinal Singing for his Supper
I LOVE how the wind blew the tuft on the top of the Cardinal's Head
My niece Kimberly at her last meet hosted by her gym.  They honor the Seniors that are Level 10 Competitors
Kimberly will be attending Eastern Michigan University in the fall on a full ride gymnastics scholarship!
I'm so proud!
Downtown Indy during Super Bowl Festivities!
We had such a great time enjoying the city and of course all things Football!
This is a favorite picture of mine - one taken w/ my iPhone, not my new camera!
Jet in the Sunshine
I LOVE this photo!
Jet NEVER has relaxed like this before - I'm so thankful to have caught him soaking up the sun!
I really like the shadows and sunshine contrast

Hope to have more for you all soon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Homemade Ideas - Firestarters

Keeping the Home Fires Burning

We love our fireplace! We love that our fireplace is wood burning. We love the sounds, the sight and smell of a wonderful wood fire. I know many people enjoy the ease of turning a key, flipping a switch or pressing a button to start a gas or electric fire. But I for one LOVE the old fashioned (really? old fashioned?) wood burning fires. The picture above was taken a few days before Christmas w/ my iPhone. I was enjoying a cozy fire, a cup of Christmas Tea and a sweet Christmas Book. Ahhh!!! That chair is a favorite spot of mine. But I digress.... OK, so back to the fireplace. After almost 20 years in our home we have become very savvy at starting a fire in the fireplace. For many years we bought duraflame type starters, or even cut up duraflame type logs to use as firestarters. Over the years, Martha Stewart among others have provided up w/ valuable tips on how to start the perfect fire! We make donuts out of newspaper, we collect sticks and twigs from our yard for kindling. We have received wonderful gifts for the fireplace over the years such as baskets of fatwood, "magic pinecones" that burn beautiful colors and utensils. However last year I decided to try my hand at making homemade firestarters out of saw dust, wax and egg cartons! My attempt worked marvelously! I made another batch this past Sunday & decided it would be a fun project to share! It's not too difficult, you just have to be careful as you are working w/ hot wax.

The wax I collect comes from old jar candles, tapers that are nothing but stubs etc. The easiest way to remove wax from jars or votive holders - place them in the freezer. After a short time in the freezer the wax will just pop out. Sometimes you have to use a butter knife to section wax in a larger jar.

Cardboard Egg Cartons (not Styrofoam)

I collect wax throughout the year and store it in ziploc baggies

I have a melt setting on my range...

however I do set it a bit higher so the wax melts quicker

Be careful that you don't set the temp to high! No fires on the rangetop please!

Fill each egg section w/ your wood shavings or sawdust

This particular time I used wood shavings from the logs that Jim

used to make his woodpecker feeders

Make sure you place a thick layer of newspaper under

the egg cartons as the wax will seep through the bottom

This is the pan I use for melting my wax.

Be careful the wax is HOT!

Pour the wax (careful as it's very hot)

over the shavings

Let the wax harden and you are ready to tear the sections apart

They aren't the prettiest things, but they do the job!

One starter per fire is all we use!


Use extreme care whenever fire is involved!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Year's Resolutions????

OK, I am not big on resolutions! Too much pressure I say! Many times I set myself up for failure... many times it's just a good idea (or not) and not a resolution! Weight loss and exercise are not resolutions for me, as I am a fitness junky (and I do love junk food - so possibly the reason for being a junk food junky)That's my lifestyle, so I have to find other resolutions, uh I mean lifestyle additions. More prayer time, more Bible time, more handwritten letters/notes... can you imagine the list I have made in my head?

My blogging friend Kim at is who inspired me to get back to my blog and start writing! She made a few comments about what she is and what she is not, and why she is going to change her blog etc. That inspired me to get back to blogging! I am not a famous Bible teacher, and sometimes I feel if I don't have anything faith filled to share - why blog? I am not a famout TV chef/cook, and sometimes I feel that posting about food I've made isn't worth sharing... I could go on and on about what I am not! But what I am is a gal who loves Social Media, who has made many cyber friends over the years, and one who dearly loved blogging and following blogs. Of course Facebook, Twitter etc are a big part of my "social media" time both personally and professionally. If I wasn't disciplined about the computer I think I would waste, I mean spend 24 hours a day on the interent! Pinterest, FB, Twitter, Blogging, Food boards, other blogs... not to mention I do have some favorite television programs I love to watch! I have missed the blogland girls... I know I have missed out on meeting new cyber space pals, as well as also sharing with the folks who at one time read my blog faithfully. If I'm not a faitful writer, I won't have faithful readers!

With that... to catch up... Just kidding! I won't write a dissertation of what's gone on in my life over the last months... well, maybe I will for those who might just be interested. Business has been improving and I'm not in my over anxious mode that I normally experience in January, February and sometimes into March! Our dishwasher went kaput (is that how you spell kaput?) 2 Sunday's ago - and I have been washing dishes by hand since then. Oh how dry my poor hands are. Madge/the 1970's Palmolive Dish Soap Manicurist would be disappointed in me... remember "you're soaking in it?" We have purhased a new dishwasher, which also had to come with a new fridge and range! After all they have to match... RIGHT? I think I'm excited about all three pieces. The range has a double oven - so more blog posts about my cooking adventures right? The weather has been super mild this winter - not much snow - which I do miss, but I have to say it's been nice. I am excited about planning our spring/summer/fall garden and plan on lots of canning with my sister this next season. I've been working out and added some extra-intense training as this spring/summer I will be racing. I was asked to be on a cycling racing team - that has me nervous and excited. My niece signed her National Letter of Intent in November and will be attending Eastern Michigan University on a full ride gymnastics scholarship in the fall! I am so excited for her... as a former gymnast... I still LOVE the sport and love how my niece's have excelled. Her younger sister has also made her verbal commitment to accept a full gymnastics scholarship as well. My nephews continue to prosper and are growing up very fast. My nieces from Jim's side are amazing. The youngest is now a DDS! How could my sweet Ashley be a dentist? She practices in Seattle, WA. Two of my nieces have added more babies to our family - and I am now a Great Aunt to 5 wonderful, darling kids! My niece Stephanie Ann.. she and her husband are avid travellers and I am continually amazed at how smart, funny and grown up she is! We have a wonderful group of friends who we truly enjoy spending time with... Jim's mom continues to live on her own and we celebrated her 90th birthday last September. My mom retired in August, but still continues to consult, so I say she's not truly retired. My dad is retired and enjoys being retired. I am truly blessed! The Whippets and the cat continue to amuse and love on us! Jim continues to be my biggest fan, my best friend! We do enjoy our life!

Oh... and we did get a new Canon DSLR camera for Christmas - so I am excited to learn how to use all the features! It's a bit daunting... but I will share a few photos I've already taken before I sign off! Oh - and I promise to not be absent for so long! I do love to write all my thoughts down! No matter if they aren't profound! LOL

This was the first photo I took in the close up mode - I love it! It might not be great, but I took it! :)

My niece Kimberly just before the twist out of her Yurchenko Half

Sarah going into a tumbling pass - she's a strong tumbler and vaulter like her Auntie K *grin*

Needless to say I have A LOT to learn... and I'm excited to start a new hobby!

Have a blessed day and thanks for stopping by my "Backyard Fence" for a chat!

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's been too long...

Has it really been this long since my last blog post? August? Really?

Social networking definitely is different for me these days. Facebook is where I spend most of my time as I can be in contact with so many friends and family both near and far. Response time can be almost instant and I can peruse pictures and updates from everyone and I do enjoy that!

However, I certainly miss blogging. I miss the good ole days before FB... when I was connected with several ladies via blogland. Visiting their blogs, reading up on their lives, seeing photos, sharing recipes and memes. Cozied up on a winter afternoon, coffee cup at my side, reading updates from friends whom I had never met this side of the computer screen. If there were more time in the day I could do it all! Right? Tweet, Facebook, Blog, work, cook, workout, relax... *sigh* So I must decide where to spend my time.

I miss writing down my thoughts. I really miss reading the blogs I hold so dear. Oh to have the time to visit them all!

I really need to make a point of coming here more often... perhaps as the winter months bring a slower work schedule I can. Perhaps once a week? That would take too much time!

I hope to be able to share my thoughts here more often... to post weekly. I should try!

I miss you all in blogland! I hope to find the time soon to catch up with all of your blogs! Until then - much love, enjoy and savor the season of Advent!