Sun and Snow Cat Nips

Sometimes, getting comfortable with the circumstance is the only preparation you need to deal with it.”  JK Gumber

Less than a week ago, the sun was shining. It was beautifully warm and the snow looked like it just might melt. Moses and Maxwell often go outside and generally return immediately to the house when the temps are cooler. On this Saturday, while Max came back in, Moses was determined to milk every speck of sunshine he could from the hour!

That night, more snow fell and it doesn’t appear winter is quite done yet. As I am typing, I can hear ice sliding off the roof and it is rather startling! Moses is sleeping behind me on the computer chair, waiting for the door into summer to be open once more.

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Silly Stuff

I’ve been trying to craft this post on my iPad most of the day. I’d add a picture and if I tried to add anything else more, it would delete the picture! Very frustrating. So, I’m using the new WP. Also frustrating. Blogging should not be that difficult!

The first two pictures are from things learned and discovered in my house this week. (I’m also having trouble making the photos smaller as well as adding in italics. 😡😡😡)

This comic is one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure the artists have had cameras in my home since Strider lived with us. Zits!

I’m quite sure letting my mind wander is needed after this post! Or maybe I need some herbs to help me relax…

It’s after midnight on Tuesday morning. I’m only awake because of this post and encouraging the cats to sleep so The Craftsman can. We have several inches of new ❄️ snow ❄️, not everyone is as thrilled as I am! I keep wondering if we’ll get a petition handed to us to turn off the snow light in the yard. It is only a couple of gigantic snowflakes revolving on the house wall and it looks beautifully wintery. Every one else put up their winter decorations after Christmas was over. Exactly when I asked for these to be put out! The first week or two, we did get some nice comments on the display. Not so much now….

I made a cinnamon cake Monday afternoon, completely impressing Little Bear. He was fascinated by the blobs I dropped on the top cooking into the cake. (It was a cinnamon butter mixture I marbled in. Blobs is his word!) He also wanted me to make sure people knew not all the toasty crackers were as well done as the one pictured. They were actually not too bad! We both like fried cheese. When I was a kid, I’d go with my friend to her grandpa’s. He’d let us fry cheese on his kitchen stove. Perfect occupation for two 9 year olds! Question: Do you like fried cheese?

On the Range in February

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A flat loaf. I am not entirely sure what is going on. I make dough all the time and the bread machine works quite well. The two times I’ve made bread, it fell! The picture is the loaf on end, because it looked better that way!!! I used new yeast and all the right ingredients, very odd. However, the taste was grand! Garlic cheesey bread. Or maybe onion…The smaller bits from the loaf made excellent croutons!

I also made a pie crust. I’ve had many people tell me to not use shortening in my cooking. I suppose I should use butter, it probably makes it just as flaky! Since I don’t make crusts often (Little Bear likes all pie, The Craftsman prefers  chocolate cream or coconut cream), I use the shortening. It was for a pumpkin pie and I was rather impressed with it! (I like be pie crust!) One time I was given lessons on the making of crust, it was a definitely different experience. A friend offered to teach me. Her crust was excellent and it was used in our church for communion bread! I don’t use her recipe because it makes 6 crusts, but it  was interesting.

The very best thing I discovered with this pie was a filling hack. (That phrase sounds gross!) I was all set to cook this thing and the crust was chilling in the fridge, when I discovered I’d not a single can of evaporated milk. Google to the rescue! I learned I could add 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch to the dry ingredients, substitute regular milk, and it would work. And it did! I always have cornstarch around, so goodbye evaporated milk.

I do enjoy learning new things. Sometimes they are hard and it may take a bit to get them in my brain, but I am thankful for the lessons. When I get them down, I have been known to improvise to try to improve them. Like adding lots more spices to my pie mixture. 😄😄

Off to the post, hugs and kitchen kisses!

Thoughts and pictures

It’s been ages since I’ve wanted to say anything. I’ve been cooking, cleaning, and reading. Definitely boring! Im not trying hard enough to make The Craftsman the lodestar of my existence. (I’m not sure I want to.) I got more of my favorite flower for Valentine’s Day. I hadn’t purchased any for myself, the ones I’d gotten on my birthday still looked good. I’ll need to get more on March 1st. (I usually get out on Friday)

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Yet, much of my  month was waiting. I did make a snowman cuz we finally got snowman snow. Little Bear commented on it and asked if dad had helped. When I laughed and said no, he asked why. (The only persons to help me make snow people have been the boys. Little Bear last helped me a few years back) The Craftsman didn’t really say much in response.

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On the 28th, it was our 30th anniversary. He actually stayed home after dinner (I made something he liked.) He had gotten home a bit late because he stopped to get me something. It wasn’t what he wanted to get, but I’d mentioned I wanted to see it. (His gift was in the mail, it was delivered on Tuesday. I forgot about the bank holiday! It was a several CD version of The Screwtape Letters. He and the kid were very impressed. Little Bear mostly because the book has about 200 pages, double spaced…) Anyway, we watched ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Absolute great fun, especially if you were an 80s teen! (I knew he’d not like it much and he didn’t. Because he doesn’t like that sort of thing. There was guy kissing ) Then, a good night kiss and that was that. Of course, I did bring up I thought using drugs in movies was worse than a normal thing like kisses. Bad, Kris. Ruined the nostalgic evening.

I even took a picture of waiting this week. He puts the tv on pause and does things that need done. I generally read or something. I get sort of bored, I need more to do. At least one choice I’ve made this month, has been to wear short skirts and leggings. He seems resigned to my decision. Probably cuz I don’t wear either of them alone.

We did go out for a combined birthday lunch at a family favorite restaurant. Little Bear had a gigantic hamburger with roast beef and bacon and ham. He called it a double beef, double pig..🙄🙄🙄

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As mentioned, I’ve been reading a lot. A great deal of Anne McCaffrey. I love her stuff. This particular book, I’ve had since before my name was changed the first time by my adoptive dad! Probably jr high. It’s been a favorite. 💕💕 Can you tell? It’s held together with clear vinyl!

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Today, Saturday, was sunny and almost 50F! I decided to go outside and sit. Needless to say, my butt got slightly soaked! The wet was rather chilly. 😳😳 I took the kris picture and noticed I look tired. More tired than I did when I was taking care of mom. Crazy! (Part of that maybe cuz the sun was in my eyes…)

I’m back to that having everything I need and not exactly what I want. Perhaps, it’s cuz I don’t know what I want. I do know, lately, curling up in a ball and hiding has been a choice I’ve regretfully avoided. Stupid circuitous living.

One thing I’ve learned for sure. Friendship is the most important part of being alive. No matter how long that friendship lasts on earth, it will never vanish completely. Friends change us, for better or worse and almost always for the best.

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Drink up.

I know it’s just feelings and feelings aren’t a true barometer of what is real, but I’m frustrated. Yes, I feel like crappachino and need to venti. Ouch, it seems to be a tall drink!

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One of my best friends in the world says I’m a bit of a drama queen. I’m sure he’s right. Another good friend has said I should not look at what I want and focus on what is done and be thankful. I look at little things and make them big. So, being about to cry is my own choice. Thankfully, my eyes are still watering profusely and that’s a good way to disguise minute moments of tears.

I haven’t chosen to let go of mom yet. It’s not that I’ve not had time, I’m constantly alone. I can do whatever I want when I am alone, besides the things I need to do! I’ve been told it’s been long enough and it’s not like anyone here really knew her. Even my family didn’t.

I got a call today for her. It appears one of mom’s doctors was owed money and they wanted to speak to her. I thought for sure I’d contacted them after mums death, I guess not. Anyway, they’d not sent a bill cuz it was under $10, but she was calling to tell mom about it. 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔 I asked her to send it and I’d take care of it.

I had dinner ready at six pm, I almost always do. Little Bear called his dad on the phone to ask him to come home for dinner. I figured The Craftsman would arrive eventually. Then, after dinner, I mentioned I thought maybe my glucose had dropped. He agreed, saying he’d lived with me for 38 years and knew the signs. I’m sure he didn’t suggest fruit or something like that cuz we’d we had been eating dinner. So, I was acting “off” and they were just letting me. (He also didn’t count the last two years of our marriage cuz we’d not lived together for them..although, I did find out he counted me on taxes.) Often, at dinner, I can find something amusing. .its a game to discover fun in the one conversation I listen to each day and may even be a part of. Not tonight. (I was proud of myself. I didn’t apologize for dinner. It wasn’t exactly what I’d envisioned, but it wasn’t bad. I won’t make it again, though.)

After dinner, I was frustrated with how the dishes were being loaded. I do a majority of the chores and have figured out the most efficient ways to do them. I’ve probably got bubbles in my brain. The Craftsman didn’t see anything wrong. I let it go. It really isn’t important. Besides, I needed to get my glucose up.

I ate my low carb ice cream at the table, he had punkin pie in the living room. Now, I’m writing in the kitchen. He’s still in the living room.

This morning , I woke up alone, he’d awakened earlier and wanted more sleep, so he went elsewhere. I’ve received at least three nice hugs and a couple of kisses today. He called this afternoon from the store to verify what I needed and had forgotten while shopping on Friday. He was busy doing projects all day because it was fairly dry and sunny. We have spent a lot of time together this week, I shouldn’t want more. On Friday, I called to tell him I was in town. He was glad and we had lunch together in a local fast food spot. He did say it cost as much per person as the birthday one we had with the kid on Sunday.(It was my choice to feel guilty about that comment). We didn’t talk much, I tried and was silly. I brought up something controversial. Absolutely cutting any sort of communication off at the very beginning. It may have related to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’

I’ve not been happy since my return. Little Bear thinks I’m crazy to miss Alaska so much. Because Home should be with my family. A place isn’t as important as those who love me. I guess I need to grow up and know love is whatever I’m given. At least my last weeks in Alaska, I didn’t have to pretend very often.

Que, sera, sera.

Love, The Boston Fern, who really doesn’t like coffee..except when kissing!

 

 

 

Crabs 🦀

This is another post from a previous blog. It’s very much the 70s, but I always enjoy remembering it. I hope you enjoy it, too. As stated in the story, it’s part memory and part fact.  Historical fiction? 🤔🤔
This isn’t my tale. I knew the teacher, I had heard part of it in high school lore, but only learned the rest of it today. I wanted to share his memory (I’d love to copy and paste the teacher’s version, but haven’t asked.), as it is indicative of how much our values have changed in what might be the last 40 or so years.
So, my cliff notes of ‘The Day Mr. Bishop went Bat-Shit Crazy’.

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It all started with crabs. Mr. Bishop went down to the docks one morning to pick up some yummy giant King Crabs. In the bottom of the holding tank were some octopus. They were lurking in the depths and would eventually be tossed out. Mr. B offered to take one home. Thus, he and his friends hauled off in bulging garbage bags, crabs and an octopus. They feasted that night and the next morning Mr. B showed up for school. He had an idea someone,  his biology teacher friend?, might like an octopus.

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He arrived and found the place over run with fire trucks. I’m not sure on this part, but the new pool was being built and a fire had started. It was a busy morning with kids arriving and the halls full of folks. Mr. Bishop then decided his good friend, the school principal, might need a cheerful 8 legged companion. Because, why not?

He dropped by the office and dropped the not so small, writhing, out of water, cephalopod upon the unsuspecting, very busy man’s desk. After laughter and surprise, Mr. Bishop then met (no one is quite sure what happened to the poor  octopus) up with another teacher. The cross country coach, Mr. Ostreander. (I had someone else as my coach, but this experience happened a few years before I was in HS). Mr. O had a starter pistol in his hand and bless Mr. B’s heart! He asked for the pistol and told Mr. O to start running. Mr. Bishop began shooting and yelling ‘not with my wife!’ Kids everywhere lined up against the lockers with wide eyes! The principal came over the loudspeaker telling everyone to remain calm, it was Mr. Bishop having fun.

As I read the original story and laughed, I thought about how different it is today. Our world is so full of fear and being safe. A fire near the school building would mean a delay if not a cancellation. Shooting would mean SWAT teams and a teacher fired and hauled off to jail. An octopus in a garbage bag would probably end up in an arrest as well. (SPCA and all) I’m so thankful I grew up in an innocent environment. I am thankful my kids got to run around in the woods and play in places that were relatively safe (I didn’t know til a few years ago that Strider had been shot at during nightly excursions in the Oregon coast forest!).

Playing in rivers on net tubesvwithout supervision, riding my bike to go fishing whenever I wanted, rafting on a dubious pallet in a gravel pit pond, riding my bike down hills of ice, riding on snowmachines in the darkness, going around and talking to moose on walks in the woods (it’s their home first!), hiking 12 min to the bus stop, hanging out with friends while our parents partied, and knowing that the drunk next door would calm down eventually and we could go out to play again. These are memories that I will cherish forever.

Sugaring times two

This is a reshare. I’m pretty sure I posted it a million years back, but I was looking for it and couldn’t find it. Piffle. Thus, I found it elsewhere, changed a couple of words, and am posting again. I’m also in a bit of a funk and not wanting to write, so amusing others at my expense is a grand idea! I do hope the links still exist…

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Around a year ago, I decided one of the ‘new’ things I wanted to do was go bare. It was silly, but I didn’t care, I thought it might be different and interesting. I approached the topic with intense research. I finally chose to try one of the many home methods. Sugaring.  I used this site because it had simple instructions for all the steps. Sugaring Hair Removal.  I also discovered sugaring or waxing pubic areas for a person with Diabetes is not suggested. The product is hot, can burn, and often persons with Diabetes don’t heal well. Some salons may turn you away! So, here is my story. Read and grow wise.
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Sugaring, or the longest 20 min of my life

Sugaring.  This is a ‘simple’ way to remove body hair and I believed it would be much less stressful than waxing (I had read many a calamity concerning home wax procedures) with easy to obtain ingredients.  Sugar, water, and lemon juice. (note: I hope you can breathe after clicking that link. It ALWAYS makes me laugh til I cry.)  I mixed the ingredients and discovered, after it cooled, I had actually made glass. A lovely amber hue of one inch scented glass candy. Thankfully, adding water softened it.  I put it in a plastic container and stored it against a day when I might have time to use it.
I had been sick, but this experience was on my agenda and being slightly agenda oriented, I decided to go for it. I had noticed the stuff I had made was still soft and I put everything I might need in the bathroom. (I am so glad I chose the bathroom and not my bedroom!) I was fortunate to have linoleum flooring and water just a step away. I stripped down and confidently sat on the edge of the tub.
Mentally going over each step, I decided this was going to be a very easy procedure.  I opened up the sugar mixture and scooped out a glob. It was once again candy. Sticky, not quite taffy, candy. It resembled melted mozzarella on a hot pizza, but I was committed. I couldn’t get it off my fingers. It was like trying to wash off oil based paint with water! (note: I have actually done that…)
I slapped it on my tender cringing flesh and hoped for the best. My project wasn’t even close to the best. The stuff dripped off my hand onto the floor in puddles of stiff January-like molasses. I pushed the bath mat away from the goo with a toe and proceeded to shove the open container out of the way.
Now, for the uninformed, there are two types of sugaring techniques. I was going for a less painful removal where you cook the sugar mixture to a soft taffy consistency resembling warm tootsie rolls. This is then molded to the skin and pulled away with unwanted hairs. My sugar paste, well, it was too thin and sticky. Wishing I had warm tootsie rolls, I remembered the second sugar technique used cloth strips, making it similar to waxing. The directions suggested old jean strips. I had those. Upstairs in my sewing room still attached to jeans.
I looked down at my liberally coated skin and decided I’d do that after I cleaned up a bit. (because why not tidy before making a bigger mess???)  Unfortunately, every move I made stuck my legs to each other. When I bent to get the chaos on the floor cleaned up, my body stuck firmly to my thighs. Was it really necessary for an aging person with a tummy to need to go bare? YES. I wanted to do this.
Soldiering on, it seemed to take forever to get the sweet debris cleaned up, since it grew with every step I made. Literally. As I was hopping around the bathroom floor stuck to myself, I accidentally pressed my foot firmly into the open container of mixture I’d left in an out of the way spot. In the tub, nekkid from the tummy down, I praised God for the best thing about using sugar as a hair removal technique.  Sugar melts in hot water!
Finally, the bathroom was presentable and my feet were clean. I hadn’t washed off the rest of me, I was on a do or die mission. I sneakily streaked upstairs to my craft room as fast as my glued body parts could move and looked for old jeans. I knew they were  there, I often used them! Tearing apart the place, I eventually found them exactly where they were supposed to be. Breathing hard, I cut out several sections to use as epilation tools.
In my frantic search, I glanced at the almost full length mirror on the wall. I had on a tank top, was gripping a pair of jeans in one hand and was brandishing sewing shears in the other, My nether region was covered in a veneer of hazel goo, my pony tail was coming undone, and my face was a frenzied contortion of freckles, lips, and cheeks. I wanted to fall over laughing, but was afraid I’d stick to the floor and someone would have heart failure when they found me amidst the dust bunnies.
Back in the bathroom (in the tub this time), I generously applied the cloth to my anatomy, hoping to see results of a smooth nature. It didn’t work. After several patches were used and I’d worn off much of the stuff (not hair), it was starting to hurt. The frantic pulling of cloth from candy coated skin was more painful than removing a band aid from a week long wound.
Disgusted with the whole thing, I turned on the faucet. In seconds I was relieved to be clean again, sporting only a few faint pink marks where I had gotten carried away with my mission. I knew I needed to start dinner soon, so I looked at the clock to see how many minutes I had sucked into this rabbit hole. I was shocked to discover very little actual time had passed during my sugaring debut. I was also convinced I need much more research into this project before another attempt.
In the end, being an older and wiser woman, I took to razors. Which was definitely the better idea.

The 14th.

Gracious, this is a bit of a waffling on!! Bear with me, please! (Not that kind!!! laughing!)

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Normally this holiday is my absolute favorite one in the entire year. I can hand out cookies and flowers with hugs like a politician kissing babies prior to an election (do they even still do that???) with little consequences. I’m not there, this year. I don’t exactly know why. I’m going to make heart cookies for The Craftsman to take to work and have some bunny graham crackers for Little Bear (some bunny loves him very much!). Yet…It’s just another day. I also am getting the plugs put in my eyes, not an entirely romantic sort of thing! But definitely needed. I’ve got an easy dinner planned, so I don’t need to think about that much. (I plan for EVERY dinner, it is better to decide days ahead!!)

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I keep thinking about Boston Ferns. A lovely plant sitting on the shelf near sunshine and watered once a week. I didn’t want to be this plant again, but it sort of looks like it is my place. I recall Mary Poppins pulling a large potted plant from her voluminous carpet bag and stating, ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever.’ Is being a Boston Fern that horrible? I do have everything I need, even if I don’t have what I want.

In church last Sunday, the bulletin had a brochure inside. As most of us do, I read it during lulls in the sermon. You have to remember it is a church thing, but it does have good stuff in it. It also made me think about how little interest modern churches have in the Old Testament. (Where the Song of Songs is.) The focus is on the love in the New Testament, which is grand, and most forget about the fascinating stuff in the previous writings. (Song of Songs is one of the most erotic books I’ve ever read and I’ve read a great many of that genre.) Anyway, our world, in and out of church buildings, is all about love. People today spread it around like confetti (or like I usually do on Feb. 14). They are what I call ‘Love Zombies’. People attracted to love, wishing for love to be everywhere, do activities in the name of love, and condemn those who cannot love they way they believe. (Crazy!!) And yet, there is something missing. Love isn’t just a noun, it is an action verb. This is what people forget.

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When I read the snippet in the brochure, it made sense. Cherish is missing from love in all kinds of relationships. This is action. Cherishing is laughing together, playing, disagreeing with care, sharing lives, and working to make the friendship stronger. Together cherishing and loving make a place where people bond, grow, and develop. A place of being curious about each other and not being bored. Fascinated with the person they were and are becoming.

In marriage, mine in particular, I know care and love exist. I am taken care of medically (my readers know more about that than anyone in my family!), I am warm and well fed (I am becoming very fond of Mt. Olive pickles…), and I do get hugs at least once a day, often with a kiss or two. (Attempts to encourage this are inconclusive.)

I get so tired, though, of The Craftsman saying things like, ‘I’m no good at planning.’ Yes, I do think ahead, I learned to do this. Buying treats in the store, putting a note with them, and placing them strategically isn’t that difficult. (I’ve done this often since my return. Notes alone are nice, too.) I know The Craftsman has a couple of projects he’s been working on for quite a while for me. I imagine they’ll get done eventually. I know there are three movies coming out before I head north we (as a family) want to see. (I never did get to see Mary Poppins Returns, but I’ve read the books!) If I ask for something, usually I end up purchasing it or Little Bear does. I’m beginning to think Cupid has been shot….

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The 14th is a beautiful day. I hope yours is full of good things and that you cherish those around you from family and friends to stuffed animals, fuzzy pets and beautiful plants. I know I will.

Yours, Kris, the Boston Fern.

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The side of the range!

Little Bear turned 25 on February 4. I wanted to do something amazing for his birthday. I’d made so many cakes over the years. The hamburger one (HUGE!), the kit kat one, I made a candy pizza, an ice cream cake, one that looked like a shark, Big Bird, Garfield (that one was actually not very easy!), and a lot of fun cupcakes.

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I had a vague idea of a cake with white frosting and a ganache sort of chocolate layer on top with snowflake cupcakes on top of that. (To be fair, the cupcake idea only happened after it started snowing on his birthday!) He wanted a poppyseed chocolate cake and I found several online recipes, but they were fiddly and time consuming. In retrospect, I took tons of time with what I did!!! The other would have been more fun. (maybe!) I found a butter cake mix in the cupboard and added a hint of chocolate powdered baking cocoa with poppy seeds and mini chocolate chips. The baked mixture was very good, but the silicone baking pan wasn’t made for add ins….

The darn things stuck, even after spraying and cooling. The three that were removed mostly intact had no real definition on the tops. I grumbled and decided I’d pipe on the white lines. (I just rolled my eyes at myself. It was not efficient!) After too much frosting of all kinds, the cake ended up with a marbled motif…and then so did the cupcakes. The main cake ended up being a basic triple chocolate mix.

I added the candle letters the guys got for a cookie cake they bought for ‘me’ last year while I was in AK. Even with the few undesired pink candles in the cupboard, I still didn’t have enough for 25, so I stayed with the letters. It was festive, none the less! The cupcakes I took to the warehouse where Little Bear works were also cheerful with a lot of sprinkles. (I love sprinkles! They are joyful little shots of sugar.)

All in all, it was definitely not one of my best birthday cakes, but it did taste good. Which really should be the entire point of cake!