Catch Up

Ketchup is my son’s favorite condiment. Catch up is what I do when I put things off. So, in a nutshell.

Tuesday we went to see the newest Marvel movie. Honestly? It was only marginally good. In fact, if you miss the first hour for some reason, you won’t miss much of the story. There really wasn’t a plot, it was sketchy in many places, and the main character had about as much personality as a block of tofu. I fidgeted thru much of the first part and both Little Bear and The Craftsman (I was between them) asked if my blood was low! I kept hoping The Craftsman would hold my hand, but that didn’t happen til almost the end of the movie, for about 15 min. Later, I asked if maybe I had upset him (I really am a very bad movie goer.) I was too audible in many spots and I think I laughed way too hard when a few lyrics were sung near the end while the two main persons were doing dishes. (yeah, trying to not spoil anything good.) I think I was also one of the few in the theater who actually knew the song! Anyway, he seemed surprised. I said I liked it when he held my hand. He hugged me and then said, ‘The movie wasn’t bad.’ I felt a bit derailed. I let it go.

When the weekend arrived, I was pretty busy. On Saturday, I made cupcakes for church on Sunday (that was a mess!!! Piping icing needs to be HARD!) Soon after, I went to a wedding shower. This really deserves a post by itself because it was funny. I’ll sum up.

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I went with someone. (If I hadn’t been picked up, I’d probably not gone. I was feeling puny.) I’m glad I went. In spite of FB, I had no idea the bride to be had moved across the state. I also didn’t know her sister had moved to a totally different state with her older sister! Her older sister remembered a gift I’d given her for her wedding. (I was slightly mortified when she told me!) When I was married, many completely lovely and gifts of fru fru were given me.  One was a beautiful lily trivet. I used trivets, but this one had not been put into service yet. So, I decided to regift it. Unfortunately, I forgot something. Yup, under the gift in the box was a card to the newly married couple of my spouse and myself!!!!!! She thought it was funny and never forgot it. (stuff of memories) I gave the younger sister a gift card because I couldn’t make anything (I wasn’t told of this shower til two weeks before and wasn’t sure I wanted to go, even though I did) with short notice and not a single working glue stick and dust over everything in my craft room! Inside the card, I wrote a novel (we both love to read). Unfortunately, I forgot she’d been homeschooled and could not read or write cursive well at all. Her older sister said she’d read it to her later.

That evening, I decorated the cupcakes (see above note) and I think we watched Marvel’s ‘Winter Soldier’. I’ve been told there are no strong female super heroes. Obviously, the reviewers forgot about Black Widow. She is phenomenal. Although, she’s a whore and even mentioning that makes people freak out. Carol Danvers probably hadn’t kissed a man in decades, if ever, and was entirely too invincible. Another strong Marvel female was Peggy. I absolutely loved her and that series and was so darn mad when they terminated it after her character died in a major movie. Just cuz someone is dead doesn’t mean they don’t have a story!!

Sunday morning, my glucose was terrible. I was disgusted. It completely knocked me down for the morning. I managed to get a lot done, but I felt horrible. One of the things I did was put corned beef in the crock pot with basic veggies. Now, some might think this odd, but I’ve never made the stuff. Dad used to like it with the cabbage, I did not. So, this was an experimental meal. (note: it was well received!) After church, I went outside for a bit. It was so pretty and I wanted sunshine. Except, when I sat on my garden bench, all I could see were things that needed done. So, I went back inside, changed my clothes, mentioned to The Craftsman (he was watching TV, covered by cats) that I might need some help, and sailed into the weeding. Eventually, I went back in to get birdseed and said I was going to get a larger container for the debris. I was about done when he arrived outside, followed by cats. I had wanted some sturdy young trees pulled out (they multiplied like weeds while I wasn’t there to keep them under control). He used a very impressive looking set of clippers to remove them. Granted, they are ‘gone’, but their roots are still there. (kinda like my marriage. The obvious stuff is tidy, but underneath…..) Photos are before.

I had on a tank top, but since just a tank top makes him feel uncomfortable, I added a bra (I really hate those things!) and a short sleeved button up I removed when I was alone. He, himself, did not stick around the yard long. He went up to his mom’s to do some chores. He was also going to put gas in my car (I was grumpy. I had driven it on Friday and found it was almost empty. All weekend I’d been told he’d do it, but I’ll do it myself on Monday morning.) when he got back, but it was time for dinner. I got most of the stuff tidied up after that and went back outside. Except, I discovered my pond had melted more and at least one of the catfish had died. I could NOT sit and watch the sky knowing that white belly was viewable off to my left! So, I came inside, updated my laptop, and wrote out this bit.

PHEW!!!!!! Now, I am going to order some things off of Amazon. A book and maybe a skirt for me and a movie for him. Because he can’t seem to do it and I want to see it. (a Marvel one not on the shelf yet) I’ll leave you with this thought.

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Search, Discover, Share.

I spent most of my kids lives in Cub Scouting. The words above are the ‘motto’ for the first grade cubs. I’ve always liked those words. It usually fits my mindset. When I took my own boys for walks, we’d pick up crazy things and wonder about them. Why is there blood inside the robin egg fragment? How can this fat old fuzzy bumble bee fly (it was a dead bee we found)? How come sand is made up of so many zillions of things? It made learning how to cook a science experiment. What puts out fire? (that was more me when I set the oven on fire with candy cane cookies. Little Bear helped put it out.) Anyway, I was reading through blogs this morning and ran across Ellie’s. So many fun questions!!!!

Her duck comments made me realise I’m going to miss ducks this year. I will NOT feed the ones on the lake this spring and summer. Mum always did and I just can’t do it anymore. Too expensive. Besides, I’ve always felt it hazardous. (in the summer, people are encouraged to not feed birds due to the bears in the area. Mum always ignored that..even when the people across the lake lost a goat to a grizzly!) The rodents are also a pain in the butt. As many followers may recall!!! The ducklings are cute, but they really belong on the lake. Besides, the only ones who came up were mallards. They can adapt!!! And feeding the families or not won’t keep them alive after the predators discover the little ones.

I recently read a book my friend in Shanghai sent me. (Amazon is truly amazing!!!) Moses wanted to help rend it..READ it. But, the oddest part was a comment I got from a FB follower. ‘What a terrible book title!’ That friend obviously doesn’t have a intimate relationship with ‘The Princess Bride‘. I read this new book. It was good, but definitely NOT Goldman. Why do people make comments about things they are not familiar with??

I’ve found a new word game to play on my ipad. It isn’t my favorite one, it appears that game was discontinued. (I’m rolling my eyes) I needed a new game because the jewels puzzle game I’d play every day stopped working after the last update. So, I went back to words. I contacted the games app and even though I told them EVERYTHING I had already done, they asked to make sure I’d done it. (I may not be technologically on the map, but I can figure many things out with google. Searching and discovering!) How come something is replaced when it is perfectly useful the way it is? OK, I get some changes are good, but not all of them!

The Craftsman bought some seed to go in a feeder Little Bear purchased. The feeder is made for small seed. So, The Craftsman bought Nyger seed. He thought it was thistle seed. I decided to use it anyway. (I really really need to get a seed bag!) It made a huge mess, I dropped the feeder in the snow (the feeder is hanging so you can barely see it), and even my broken ceramic duck, Ida, is unimpressed! It looks a great deal like pepper and I’m not entirely sure how old the seed is, my hands smelled dusty after I filled the feeder. I wish the guys researched birds and feeders as much as they do other thing! On the other side of the yard, the sunflower seed feeder has also made a mess. Finches are not tidy. Whoever coined the phrase ‘eat like a bird’ must not have watched many of them. They are voracious slobs! (Even Meepette-the metal bird-is irritated by the hull thing!)

Spring really really might be on the way. Today we had a forecast of 100% precipitation. Rain, rain and snow, rain, and at the moment the expected freezing rain isn’t happening yet. 38 degrees! :o) The snowflakes were so heavy they left ripples in the pud muddles!!!!!! I even have a hint of crocus thinking about peeking from the ground-they are hiding in the brown locust leaves! I’m still a fan of snow, but I’d really like to see these beauties bloom before I leave!

I did decide I’d wear my green St Paddy earrings this week. Since they were in Oregon and I was in Alaska, I’d not worn them in a few years. They still fit!!!

I think I’ll close there. Many thoughts have been stirred by different blogs I’ve read today. But, the most important thing I think I’ve gotten from them today is to enjoy what you have in front of you and be thankful. Now, I better go unload the dishes. (Hooray for a working water system where I can wash them! I even washed me today! Little Bear objected a bit to the thieves oil coconut oil mixture I used on me, it smelled up the house! I laughed.)

What’s Afoot? Cat Nips

A cat knows how to be comfortable, how to get the people around it to serve it. In a tranquil domestic situation, the cat is a veritable manipulative genius. It seeks the soft, it seeks the warm, it prefers the quiet and it loves to be full. It displays, when it gets its own way in these matters, a degree of contentment we would all like to emulate.”  Roger Caras

Moses is always taking Maxwell’s spot. When I saw this napping duo, I had to laugh. Maxwell’s feet are firmly on the top of Moses’s head! (The best part of this was the two legger lap these two were on was also asleep!) I wondered what each one was dreaming. I am sure our furkidz dream, but of what? Although, if Moses was dreaming of being stepped on, he’d probably object in a vocal manner. I’m curious if Maxwell was dreaming about being top cat, crushing others beneath his feet!

Late On the Range

I baked last weekend. (What a surprise!!) I made bread in the machine to see if it would rise. (The Craftsman was home and he often can fix things. In 2016 my bread machine wasn’t working–I thoughtlessly put the pan in the dishwasher and rusted the mechanism solid!!!! He purchased a new bit and replaced it.) Anyway, I made chocolate bread and it worked. I was so excited!!! I also made cookies again. Because they really are my absolute favorite cookies in the world.

I didn’t open the bread machine til it was done, but I wanted to photograph it inside. In case it fell! This was a smaller loaf, thus I was a tad surprised it was so tall. But, it didn’t reach up much past the pan top.

With a bread machine, the mixer piece always leaves a bit of a hole in the bread. Annoying problem. (It can be solved by baking the bread in the oven after it is done rising the second time, but I was really wanting to see if it would cook and rise all by itself!) Anyway, this loaf, for some reason ended up with a giant divot in it. (I always eat the caught bits and it was very yummy!)

The other thing I do with fresh bread is eat at least one of the ends HOT straight out of the pan. This is, as I mentioned, chocolate bread. I added some cinnamon. It is a basic yeast sweet bread with chocolate chips. If it works right, the chips marble in. Sometimes it tends to just turn the whole loaf beige. My family likes to eat this with peanut butter.

The cookies I made were the molasses crinkles with the chocolate coating on the bottom. I’ve shared those before, but not the recipe. The recipe is from one of my favorite recipe websites (Land o Lakes). But, I don’t follow it the way it is written! (I think that is why mine are so very good!) This is the original recipe on their website. Ginger Crinkles. I’ll rewrite the ingredients with my changes. (it makes almost exactly 4 dozen) 1 cup butter, softened. 1 egg. 3 Tablespoons of Molasses. 1 teaspoon vanilla. 3 cups of all purpose flour. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda. 2 tsp ground cinnamon. 1/2 tsp salt. 2 tsp ground ginger. 1/4 tsp cloves. I only roll HALF of the ball of dough in the sugar and after they are baked and cooled I spread melted dipping chocolate on the back of each one. In the summer, I don’t use the chocolate spread, but add mini chocolate chips to the dough. Not exactly the same, but much less difficult to let set up in temps above 20 degrees–no room in the fridge for that many cookies!

I also made stew on Monday night. I figured out how to encourage my family to not eat seconds. This stew had a can of petite diced up tomatoes, a small amount of diced up onion, a larger amount of diced up celery, a half a cup of peas, as well as green beans, taters, carrots, and hand ground hamburger with bacon added (for fat content). Little Bear detests cooked peas and The Craftsman does not care for ‘whole’ onion or tomatoes (unless maybe on a burger). I didn’t make very much, but there is enough for two more lunches for me!!!! I served it with leftover cheesy biscuits. (those were well liked!)

–That is odd. I hope it ‘turns’ when I publish. The photo below is sideways in the gallery and on here. And it isn’t what it looks like in my photo file!!!

Not movies-

My kid sister, Jake, invited me to post a picture from a favorite movie for 10 days. I don’t think I have 10 favorite movies!!! (thankfully, she didn’t ask for 10 favorite books, I’d have to go with authors and genres!) I have several I like, but honestly, the only movies I’ve seen more than 3 times are probably a couple of holiday ones and a few others. So, I decided I’d go with favorite songs from movies. Thanks to YouTube, I can do this easily! I’ll share the first five with you.

This first movie tune is by far my favorite. It can always cheer me up when I’m blue. I’m pretty sure I saw a premier of this movie when I was in college, but I’m not entirely sure! I was in a giant auditorium with a friend. There were dancers on the stage and then we watched the movie.

This next movie was great fun, so many quotable bits! (I think my favorite part, now, is seeing Chris O’Donnell as a teen with long hair!) But, this song. Oh my, the harmonies and sound. Perfection!

This song is another song I take to heart. (I also loved the movie and have watched it several times. Mostly because when the boys were small, they enjoyed musicals. I’ll never forget Strider as a toddler playing with playdo on the table singing, ‘It takes a woman…’) This song sort of embodies good things to do to make one feel better. And it works!!! (NOTE: It is hard to decide what is better in this movie. The music or the amazing costumes!)

Another quotable movie, this one has a beautiful song people often forget about. This movie I watched over and over. Because it was one of Strider’s favorites. (When he was tiny, he used to ask for the movie with ‘the black man’.) I recall driving a car load of teen boys, they spent most of the drive quoting this movie. The novel is also a plus, but Cary’s book (‘As You Wish‘) is one I highly recommend. Fast, fun, fascinating.

My fifth favorite movie song was difficult. I grew up with Muppets from the first episode of Sesame Street. I fell in love with Kermit early on. I adored the original Muppet Show on TV. So, I chose a movie song that shares as many Muppets as possible. (AND a musician from another great musical, ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show–his dad was a Methodist Chaplain in the Royal Navy!!!!)

So, five favorite NOT movies. I hope they perk up your weekend. Do you have any movie songs you love???

Hole

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It is Saturday. I’m thinking about the songs I shared and wishing life was one of those musicals where everything ends up ‘Happily Ever After’. (Ohhhh, ‘Enchanted’!!!!) Although, to be quite honest, my favorite song from THAT movie is ‘That’s how you know.‘ So much satire and happy that seems to be completely carefree and unrealistic!

But, yeah. I want to dig a hole and crawl inside and pull it after me. My glucose has been up and down. I woke this morning with my right leg heavy. Seriously, it feels like a block of wood. (I want to cry. I just got so I was able to move again!) When I got up, I realised I’d been sleeping with my hand between my legs on an inside thigh and there were red fingerprints for quite a while! Thus, I’ve been stress baking all day.

Earlier this week, the kid was planning on attending a gun show and asked his dad, ‘Hey, I’m going to a gun show on Saturday. Are you going to go to that Home Show you went to last year?’ The Craftsman adamantly discoursed on why he did not want to go. Then, Little Bear said, ‘Oh, I thought you’d want to take mom.’ I was then asked if I wanted to go. (Like I’d want to go somewhere after hearing definite reasons why the other person would not want to!) So, I baked and he dinked around here and there and watched movies on TV.

He actually held me for a bit (I took the initiative and moved near him.) this morning. Unfortunately, the kisses I got were all in a dream. Literally. He even put his arm around me. First time in almost two months. I’d think things were more positive, but it sucks that the most communication I get is with my boys. One who is across the country! Oh well, I reckon it is time to make dinner. Waffles. (OH!!! I have frozen chicken strips I could also bake..I’ve not had chicken and waffles since I took mum to the big city for her pain pump!) Nope. The man says he’d prefer scrambled eggs with ham bits and cheese. Le sigh. (and thus is my world…to make everyone around me as happy as possible.)

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Eyes and Teeth

Nose crinkle..Using the WordPress library photos on the old editor usually doesn’t scream out the photographer’s name. (on my creation screen, the picture is half enveloped by words! Ah, well. They are great pictures!)

As I started to say when I began posting here. Eyes and teeth were a huge part of February. (Some of this might be repeating, so be it!) Because of dry eye, it was decided to put plugs in my eyes. The odd plugs in my tear ducts were supposed to allow the ‘tearing’ to abate, it hasn’t. Tiny plugs were put into the bottom ducts (I can still cry, if I want) and after my eyes adjusted, they’d not water so constantly. I was to call the doctor after a couple of weeks, but I’ll call next week. If it has not changed in a month, I’ll know something really isn’t right. I’m pretty sure the tiny plugs are still there. I can see little white spots where the duct is normally. Oh well, maybe there is another thing that can be done. My eyes do feel best when I’m in the shower!!! Perhaps I need to move to a rain forest?

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I had a tooth taken out in early February. It has healed and now more choices need made. The good part is the root canal tooth is still ok and the apparent infection is gone. The bad part is a gap in my smile, so I don’t like smiling now. It was awful having a tooth removed. (I didn’t look at it after it was pulled, I kind of wish I had!) From what the dentist said, it was cracked up and down…vertical? And those cracks don’t show up on xrays. When it was taken out, I could hear it break! 😳😳Yup, this was definitely worse than a root canal! (I’m still shuddering!) However, the next step is to decide on implant or bridge. Actually, the implant is the best choice. Except it will probably take up to a year or longer for all of the steps. All in all, I much prefer the more expensive dentist in Alaska. I like this office, but it was odd. I felt like a patient and not really a person.

This is also very funny. Before I went to my appointment, I made sure all those nasty stray hair bits were removed off my face (Such an annoying thing to happen to grown ups!!). I almost turned around twice because of the ice on my windscreen. I arrived safely and after my teeth were tidy, they took photos with a camera. (they used the xrays from my Alaskan dentist) I had to hold my lips back with metal hook things (it didn’t hurt) and when I saw the giant photos on the screen in front of me, I was horrified!!! I absolutely need complete waxing!!!!

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Life is full of interesting things. These are more distressing than fascinating, so I’ll share a couple of still winter in March pictures!

Name Games

Mawwidge is what bwings us togever…’ loosely quoted from ‘The Princess Bride‘. It brings families and often names under one roof. The wedding above was interesting. Strider was marrying his ‘soul mate’ (GOD, I hate that phrase!) and it was an obscure marriage. It was in the church he’d grown up in, because it was ‘free’. She had numerous friends on her side (one a man, she wanted–I think–to stir the strictly conservative guest list from his side), it was on Halloween, she almost called it the day of (because it wasn’t going to be how she wanted it. She wanted to just run off. I told her she could..just show up for the reception many of us had spent hours on! She rolled her eyes and went with it). Anyway, the oddest part of this wedding wasn’t the invitations (bottles of sand with a note inside. Expensive buggers!) or the real goldfish table decor. It was the closing. Even the minister (a sweet, gay love of a man who was good friends with our whole family–much to her surprise.), was a bit stymied. The church didn’t have a center aisle, so no one walked together. She wanted to keep her name, so at the end, they were announced ‘Strider’ and ‘Sprite’…not Mr. and Mrs. (Later The Prince–he’d been in many plays and was a prince in at least one– said, ‘Kris, I’m not sure how secure this knot is…..‘) Thankfully, she kept her name as the marriage lasted less than two years and it made it tons easier for her to stay herself. (NOTE: this is my point of view!!!)

I have a friend who has 3 daughters. All of them have the same middle name and one, when she was married, kept her maiden name. Her spouse changed his to hers! The Craftsman’s dad was an identical twin. Their names were also pretty similar. G. Rodney and J. Roderick (the letters were just letters…much to the chagrin of the Coast Guard in WW2) married at different times in their lives to women named Dorothy. They lived within 40 miles of each other. (talk about crazy confusing!!!!)

Names can be slightly ridiculous. One of my teacher friends in CA shudders at the start of the new year. He’s convinced he’s seen every way there is to use a ‘Y’ in a name! My niece’s have made up names and obscure middle ones. Many of us have read of celebrity names that are a bit bizarre. Or of those parents who choose difficult names like ‘Adolf Hitler’. One of the kids I went to college with had a longer name because (I think) he was allowed to choose it as a kid and added to what he originally wanted after he grew a bit. (Christopher Robin) Another friend was born near Christmas. So, since her last name was Day..yup. Mary Christmas Day. (we called her Chris)

I’m sure I could go on, but I won’t! A moniker is really only needed to organize us. (OK, that and a social security number!) If you want to change it, you can. If you want to keep it, you can. Thankfully, what we are called isn’t as important as who we are. You can be a blessing as anyone!

To wake the beast Cat Nips

Arise from sleep, old cat,
And with great yawns and stretchings…
Amble out for love
”  Issa

Moses loves to sleep. Well, he’s 17..of course he does! Usually Maxwell sleeps on the cushion on top of the couch, Moses has appropriated it. Moses loves, but he appropriates. If it is yours, then it is his. Whether it is food, a sleeping spot, the yard, or a lap. For being a sweetheart, this guy is definitely the biggest bully on the block!

More on The Range (late)

I’ve been doing quite a bit of cooking these last weeks. With the weather so freaking cold, I can make dipped cookies and not worry about how long they take to set up. I just pop them on a pan and move them to the addition. (The addition is a room we had added on in 2008. It was going to be a bathroom, library/computer room, closet, with a hall. It is still a large windowed place that holds my clothes in a metal closet, storage of many sorts, and is great to cool off things when the fridge is full) I don’t know if it will ever be finished, but meanwhile, it is handy as it is. I shouldn’t make more than one more batch of these ginger ones..they are so darn good!!! The backs I spread melted chocolate on..in warmer months, I just make the cookies sans the chocolate. (I like them either way, The Craftsman prefers them with the chocolate.)

I made a few odd things this month. I am going to not cook any stir fry til the end of March! (I’ve made 3 meals like that in Feb and we ate out twice at places that served Asian meals.) I particularly love the veggies (non spicy sorts), especially baby corn. These aren’t packaged in the states and so are a bit spendy. I don’t get them often. When I do, they are a treat and the kid and I halve the contents. Except for this can. These were adolescent corn! Usually, they are at least half this size and closer in diameter to the sharpie. I think there were 7 in the whole can!!!!

The fun thing I made, I’ll make again. I had this recipe for a pull apart pizza sitting in my recipe folder. I’ve wanted to make it for ages and never managed to get around to it. When I did, I went afoul at the start. My bread machine recipe book suggests a 12 in pizza is large enough. I ALWAYS double the recipe. This pull apart said to use two packaged pizza dough portions. (not ever purchasing the stuff, I was unsure of how much two might be and when I looked at the amount, I was still unsure.) I used the smaller recipe in the bread machine book. Next time I’ll use the larger one. I barely had enough to coat the bottom of a bread pan, much less fill a fluted cake one! I used the left over ingredients in a flat pizza sort of bread thing.

One of the directions in the pull apart recipe was to dip each bite sized dough ball in ‘dipping oil’. Being a kid from a small town in AK and growing up eating American cooked meals, I had no idea what ‘dipping oil’ was. (Outside of medieval stories) I looked it up and was pleasantly impressed. I didn’t use the fast recipe I found. It had a few ingredients and looked easy. Sort of. I read it would take 5 min to prepare and thought ‘no problem!’. The first step was to mix the herbs and set aside for six months! (I laughed) I just mixed some herbs from my cupboard and added olive oil. It was dubious alone, but in the pull apart and then, later, drizzled over the flat bread..OMGoodness!!! (note: I didn’t make pizza. I just used chopped ham and cheese and we ate it with tomato soup!)

The last cookies I made were also ones that needed chilled, but they are ones I usually make at Christmas, the mint ones. And since I didn’t get Andes mints at Valentine’s Day, I won’t be making these again. Or, at least not til after Halloween. I also used chocolate candy shot instead of the festive multi colored ones. The guys didn’t mind. (I should have bought the Unicorn mix…but it cost more for less sprinkle!)

I have decided I really like my mixer. Little Bear was a genius when he said I needed one. I love that kid!!!! (although, it does take less time to mix most of my cookie mixes by hand.)