Not too old to learn new tricks, probably!

Piffle. Typed the title too soon! Put that title in the google doc and then popped offline to write the document and found I had to go back online to tell the document site that I wanted to work offline! But, it was managed and now I will wait for the hub contraption so I can add in pictures from out and about the yard and life in the PNW. (and the dryer just finished, naturally, so will go and fold clothes for a bit.) And after being off the chromebook for a while, I could not get into the document to do anything. Had to go BACK online. Am so very very thankful I didn’t have this in AK. With the spotty unreliable internet up there, I’d never gotten anything done on the internet. (and my laptop journal will go back to basic paper and pen.) So, reckon it isn’t being too old, it is getting used to new tricks (like using the highlight action to delete a phrase instead of back spacing one space at a time or I should say TRYING to use the highlighting feature since I can get it to work sometimes and not others.) and learning completely new ones. 

Little Bear is finally using his bicycle to go to work, after he comes home for lunch (he feels it is too ‘cold’ to ride in the morning still!). I’m rather glad he’s doing this, he tends to not care much for exercise that doesn’t involve hiking in the woods every so often or walking around the grocery store or mowing for his grandma. For years, we’ve been suggesting he do this and we live only a few blocks from his job, so it isn’t like it is a lot of work. He isn’t even confronted with much of an incline on his short journey! New things are often good things.  

But, the most awesome, amazing, coolest bit of knowledge today was in cooking. I adore cooking, it is such a good feeling knowing food I made is filling tummies and stimulating taste buds. Made cinnamon/sugar pretzels for Easter (not sure which thumb drive has those photos–or if they got to a thumb drive!) and a type of Reese’s bar that I had to use ground up honey nut Cheerios in, since I ran out of graham crackers (did I ever share why those were invented? Constantly makes me laugh, especially as May is one of those ‘national’ celebrations for the ‘self abuse’ the preacher was trying to curb!!). Cooking the wild turkey was a definite stretch in learning new things and wanted to use the last of the half I had cooked with rice. While looking for a not quite Spanish rice recipe, I found an article about using rice. The author shared she often had mixed results making rice and finally realised why. She wasn’t cooking it properly each time because not all rice is the same! I was stunned. I always cook my rice the same way and some dinners have crunchy rice and (why on EARTH did spell check change the word ‘others’ to ‘clothes’????) others are perfect. It seems I buy white rice that isn’t all the same..and I’ve sometimes been known to mix it in the rice bin in the cupboard. So, since I have no idea what kind of rice is on the shelf, I’ll cook it and if it is crunchy, I’ll know and add more liquid. Not because it is not done because the machine is off, but because I had no idea different rices needed different amounts of liquid. (am pretty sure GH is falling off her chair in giggles)  

Now, if only The Craftsman would find time to fix the dishwasher. Although, that is whining. He’s been busy doing stuff outside and washing dishes by hand isn’t that horrid. You just need to organise the job and it doesn’t usually take more than a half hour from start to finish. (speaking of whining, I am going to get 6 or more inches cut off my hair next time I get it done. I finally mentioned something and both men in the family responded. TCM: “I thought something looked different the other day.” LB: “I wasn’t sure, but thought dad probably had done it sometime.” I had 5 inches removed in early April!

A love of carbs

From a note on my notifications, it seems I’ve had this blog for about 4 years. Which means it was around the time I realised I needed to stay with mom indefinitely. How much life has changed since then! Trite, but so true. Thannk you for being a part of my long journey with mom and staying with me as my world has gotten odder!

This is a post of carbs. Things I’ve cooked in Feb of this year. :o) Starting with the Po’Boys made for Little Bear’s birthday. The rolls were a mess (as mentioned in a previous post!), but the actual meal was well received. OK, the first one is my odd attempt to use pre frozen rolls to make hoagie buns. I should have shaped them before the point in the photo as they fell FLAT! The second is the chocolate frosting made for cupcakes not for the kid’s birthday. Those were peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate inside and then frosted with more chocolate. The last picture is the actual sandwich. It is supposed to have mayo on both halves with one side also having shredded beef, gravy, and battered shrimp. Little Bear opted to add cheese, both shredded and not. The other side has the mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. He added onion. The mayo is so the gravy won’t soak into the bread on the one side.

Also made yummy blackberry muffins. They turned out fairly well, but no one liked them except the one who needs to be careful with carbs! So glad they were ‘healthier!’ When I made these, also made an applesauce muffin with some red hots applesauce a friend gave us. Red hots, in case you don’t know, are tiny dots of cinnamon candy and they melt in the heat of a pocket or a car or a pan of cooking apples! Those muffins went over very well.

Below are The Craftsman’s and Little Bear’s very favorite roll now. They take a bit of time to make, are super high in carbs, and have a good deal of protein as well. They use Greek yogurt and cheese. A lot of cheese! The dough is supposed to be separated into two lots. Sent the photo to a friend who said I should have bused them! I did knead them…….

This next to last item is not for humans. Although, we could probably eat them! They were for the rabbits and came out tons better than the ones made previously. Only bad part was how long they take. They bake for about 30 min and sit in the oven for 3-4 hours while it cools. The other bad part, was my silicone baking pan (even after two washes) smells like alfalfa!!! The rabbits, however, love them. Used to make dog treats, too. The dogs adored those things!!! But, for each critter, those are treats and not food. The bunny bites have banana in them. This time I used baby food. Making pureed bananas is easy, but it is best to use good ones and The Craftsman eats those. (I am allergic as is Little Bear) and when they get ‘gucky’, those become bread.

The cookies were an experiment. Wanted to make heart cookies from drop cookie dough. The directions seemed easier than the result. They do have a heart shape, but even after spreading the back with chocolate candy, they were very crunchy. Not at all like the normal recipe. Had to laugh when Little Bear asked if they all needed to be hearts. He knew it was Feb, but couldn’t I make round ones? Anyway, you drop the dough on the pan, squish it with a glass bottom dusted in sugar, cut out a triangle on one side, pinch the bottom into a V and bake them. This was a molasses cookie, betting short bread or something less spready might work better.

There you have a month of baking. Next month is March. Dr. Seuss’s birthday and St Pat’s Day and mom’s birthday. We’ll see what pops up on the cookie sheet next!

The Last Month in 2020

This is a month dedicated to festivities. The house here in OR is no exception. Mostly. The yard is surrounded in lights, but it isn’t one of a handful this December. It seems EVERYONE has put up lights and yard decor. Granted, the wind we’ve had has been rather negative towards towering air filled characters (This afternoon, I passed a smiling Santa flat on his nose!), but by and large, most of the items are things that shine. The Craftsman finished the wooden tree that went out partially last winter (he was not happy, it seems he zip tied the string to the board and removing them was a lot of work. However, it did let him paint the board and change the dull plywood brown for plywood green which looks much better under the fluorescent bulbs.) and he put out another one of the spinning lights that makes lovely fairy lights in the trees. Little Bear did move it because when it spun ‘low’ it was shining in the rabbit pens and he didn’t want his rabbits to have lights in the cages. (would they chase them like cats do???) Something I wondered was there is such a chasing after this holiday (“I need this after the year we’ve had around here.”), what will happen once January 6 hits (traditionally when decor is put away)? Coloring is a good idea to while away the new year!! Found this image under 5th grade math. (I texted Podman the wrong age, told him it was 2nd.) Between you and me, not exactly sure what math has to do with a busty lady wearing a corset while playing with her hair!

Moses isn’t as impressed with the decorations as he is with filled bird feeders. Now that it is colder, the little birds are even more eager to visit. We weren’t sure if Moses was a cat in a crime scene in this picture or if he was baiting the birds! (there are empty sunflower seeds in front of him) The squirrels have decided to munch on The Craftsman’s lights. We aren’t sure why, perhaps the little colored shapes look edible? He sprayed them all with a mix of Tabasco sauce and water and a smidge of dish soap after he needed to repair several strings days prior to their Thanksgiving Eve debut. (my mix came off in the rain, the night it was applied!!)

Inside, not much has gotten done. All the nativity sets are out, my adorable Holly is on her stand and half dressed. The fronds that make up her skirt are unpacked, but the bungee cord used in 2018 to hold the fronds on her waist is missing (bungee cords do wander off!!). (photo is from a couple of years back, the nose is NOT something I put on her.) The shelving unit in the living room is also decorated. Little Bear sort of objected to my balanced display of candy around the tree, he insisted that food can’t be art. Which is NOT true!!! All I wanted was candy to put in the container and the sweets The Craftsman found were favorites for the guys, but not entirely filling to the tree shape!!

Odd, those two photos are a lot larger than they appeared after being shrunk. No matter. My little technology device just told me my glucose might be high, so need to go and verify that. This one has been on for almost 7 days and the ‘people who use this device approved‘ sticky patches arrived today, so there is a much more confident feeling as I go into this next week! Did make another pumpkin pie to use up the last of the canned punkin the fridge, the tiny ones still awaiting being cooked down are wearing Santa hats. (Wanted to text Ms. Monster a photo, but my phone is being VERY annoying and failing to send even 4 word texts unless I was outside in the freezing fog next to the car!!) If you make pumpkin pie, what kind of fluid do you use? I use a mix of reg milk with powdered milk or canned evaporated. My sister also adds rum! Another friend uses cream. More use only sweetened condensed milk. (which I only use for fudge!!) Had no idea there were so many things you could add to a pumpkin pie. Little Bear prefers whipped topping.

Not Fun Friday

Thursday night two odd things happened, the 80’s were embraced, and one dinner became a new favorite. One odd thing was a comment I didn’t know how to interpret. I’d mentioned to The Craftsman an observation I had found in the online notes from my Diabetes doctor. It read something like this, “Obese. Pleasant appearance.” He replied, ‘Maybe this new machine will help that.” Odd?  Yes. The other odd thing that happened, though, was really bad.  I forgot my long acting insulin. My new CGM reminded me, my cell phone alarm reminded me, I took a bit of short acting insulin and blew off the longer one. Later, The Craftsman put in a cheesy movie I had to watch. A few scenes I didn’t watch (it is a very familiar movie), but I was with Michael J. Fox until the end of The Secret of My Success. (I did leave at the very end when the love interest does the funny hand thing in the air with her back to him)  NOTE: Thursday must have been cheesy movie night. Earlier, he was watching ‘Dante’s Peak’ when Little Bear and I stopped in the living room and stayed because neither of us had ever seen it. Good LORD is that movie hilarious!! Little Bear, “How can he kiss the girl with that much energy after being pinned inside a squashed truck for two days with an arm that was broken so badly a bone was sticking out? He should be medivaced and on fluid.” We then decided it was because the character was being played by one of the several James Bonds AND Remington Steele (80’s, I loved Remie!!!) Anyway, it was after 1 am when I remembered my shot.

Friday morning was not exactly sparkly. I had to laugh inside, I knew The Craftsman had a lot to do and reminded him if he wanted intimacy (it was mid-morning and he was falling asleep petting my arm. He is very much a person who responsibly gets his day started as soon as he wakes up), we should get started and he’d be able to leave in a little bit. He complained I was treating ‘making love’ like a job. I smiled as he was getting dressed and said if it had been a job, I’d not get paid!  At any rate, he brought me the fountain soda I’d asked for before he left the second time and I put a stew in the crockpot. When he was home for lunch, I did tell him about my two toys, Bluebird and Twig (not by name). He didn’t seem too upset and asked if they worked. I also wasn’t feeling good and ate a single chicken patty and drank the soda, finished the electrolyte water I’d started, and drank regular tap water.

Except, I am not sure the fountain soda was sugar free. My CGM and my blood glucose monitor were both reading very high and I felt nauseous and ended up sleeping most of the rest of the day until it dropped to a passably decent level. Unfortunately, it started to climb after I had a cup and a half of stew and two 1 inch biscuits. (maybe 1 and a half) Or it could have been the delayed shot.  As I’m typing, everyone is out and about again and it is almost 9 pm. I’m going to check blood and the CGM and maybe read after unloading the dishwasher. (Friday night is so exciting!! Lol)

Oh.  And the favorite dinner? Chicken and waffles. The guys were decidedly dubious about the idea of waffles being eaten with chicken sans ranch dressing, but they tried it and fell in love with it!! Hooray to the restaurant owner in Harlem who first paired the two! Next time I serve it, I’ll make it all from scratch instead of using premade frozen chicken strips. (which really were not strips and had only a few in the package, in spite of how good they were!!) Strider said it was his favorite meal to order at iHop. This is a fun 2 page link about the many origins of this delicious treat.  

The Day after Easter

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Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

I’m so tired of being tired and confused. I’m tired of starting a day on the up and then after a couple of hours, feeling crappy. I’ve had others tell me they have confusion because they don’t know what day it is..or what they are doing. My days are pretty much exactly as they always have been. I live online, read, cook, clean, see my guys briefly in 24  hours (usually at dinner), and go outside now and again. But, I have been making mistakes in so many areas. Generally culinary, since I do a lot more of that than other things!

Saturday I made pies. Little Bear suggested punkin and Strider said that was sacrilegious to have punkin pie in spring. I made them anyway! I carefully measured ingredients for the crust and combined them and then thought…’that looks like one crust.’ Yup, I mixed ingredients for two crusts, except when adding flour. Instead of tossing out that ‘batch’, I added more flour after it was already mixed. BAD idea. Then, I didn’t realise that a can of punkin (I usually only make one pie at a time) that said it made two pies, makes them thin. So annoyed!!! The dinner I made was entertaining. I have made bacon turtles, but thought I would try lizards to eat in hoagie buns. Those worked, mostly. I’ll definitely do the process much differently next time!! The appendages were difficult to keep attached and cooked much faster than the rest. A friend told me it looked like a lot of work for a fancy hot dog. (I was not impressed, as I knew it was critical and not poking fun!) I was also going to make a cheese spread, but only after unwrapping the warmed cream cheese did I discover I didn’t have an important ingredient. All in all, I was tired and frustrated.

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Sunday, I woke up late and the pancakes I made for the guys didn’t exactly turn out as intended. They tasted ok, probably the final test! I dipped strawberries in chocolate and learned those are a lot of work! (Little Bear said they need eaten over a plate!) The ham I attempted cooking took WAY longer than anticipated and had more fat and bone than meat. The muffins I made looked more like a drop biscuit in a muffin pan (those were VERY good). The taters were stellar (cut into pieces, mixed with olive oil, baked with Mrs. Dash).

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Little Bear caught a rabbit that has been up at Grandma’s for the last year (we wonder if it was an Easter pet tossed out after it got too big). Jake identified it as a Chinchilla rabbit, useful for fur and meat. Little Bear is seriously thinking of raising some, although he needs more than one! We’ll see what happens.

My lasagna gardens have been blooming with daffs, tulips, hyacinth, and a tiny blue flower I have no idea yet what they are. Those ones have color, but in the yard, most of the blossoms now are in shades of white. In the ‘vase’  photo, the white fluffy looking daffs are called White Lion, the yellow are either Golden Ducat or Double Smiles. (I like the latter name!)

I’m making mistakes in typing, so am going to sign off for now. Have a splendid Tuesday and know you are brightening up at least one life here in Eastern Oregon!

Sick or just annoyed?

I’m lumping all into one, but at this moment in time, I’m appalled with the people called American. I’m a conservative social media user and am curbing my forays into FB. If I was a drinking sort, this would drive me further along the beverage cart. The people I know are burying heads in sand and not seeing the overall picture and the only thing to do is watch. As Strider said, the world is burning and we’ve got a front row seat. Grab the popcorn, it is a once in a lifetime show.

The other day on FB, I posted how I was thankful my tests came back negative. But I wonder if the 43 people who liked it realized it was for basic health tests and not the dreaded virus. (I finally deleted the post since I was tired of so many people being grateful with me.) One of my best friends since college is living in China and shares her story of quarantine. I have ‘friends’ here in my town who are already wearing out on their Day 4 of quarantine. (These guys have NOT A CLUE what a real quarantine is like.) Another very good friend here in town was angry because they had packed the car and were ready to leave for a beach vacation on Monday when they got notice the beaches were being closed. (they’d planned on this vacation since Christmas and were certain they would be the exception to the closures) I used to live in the town they were headed for and those folks were scared. (That town has two locations to shop and the only hospital for at least an hour in 3 directions.) BUT, people want what they want now.

I look at how virus testing is limited, how many older folks who might be vulnerable are confused about conflicting stories this ‘new’ disease, and how it is ok for us/them to lose  lives for the good of the nation. All people testing isn’t necessary, most  who get this survive. How 3% or even 4 isn’t that big of a deal. I’m not a math person, but I looked up a few numbers. The US, at the moment of the last census, has 327 million people living here. 4% of that number, according to Google, is 13,088,000. In WW2 405,000 Americans lost their lives. This is crazy to imagine that it is ‘ok’ to lose 4% of our nation. We celebrate our Vets all the time, yet now we are looking at throwing more than that away? When I read and share the WHO information, I’m considered uninformed. Staying in and washing hands will make this all go away.  I shared with Little Bear a skittles meme. If you were given a bowl of skittles and three would kill you, would you eat them? He said that didn’t work because these skittles are invisible and you don’t know you have eaten them or where you got them til days or weeks later!

I hear stories of people of all ages, especially younger ones, have been exposed and gotten sick and yet, were only tested because they asked for it. One young man was tested, but his girlfriend was told to just stay home and get well if she thought she had it. (she had similar symptoms to her BF, but it was decided she wasn’t sick enough for testing!!) A Fed Ex driver Little Bear talked to was sure he had it, but couldn’t take off that much time or he’d lose his job and is concerned he exposed hundreds of people (I sort of get this, sanitizing as you get in and out of a truck and juggle packages is probably not that easy!). He was told he didn’t need testing. Only really ill people get tested, the rest of us just ‘hunker down’ and wait for it to blow over. Because isolating will flatten the curve of the disease and we’ll get back to normal. My friend in China has been in quarantine for 46 days and they are doing all kinds of things to make sure this virus doesn’t get back in. Testing for anyone who gets off public transportation, fever checks at all times, and yes the US wouldn’t go for that because I can take my own temps when I want to. I can absolutely see where a stricter country would have benefits now, not that I’d want to live in one!

Our nation is so freaking scared of the president they won’t do a damn thing to stand up and admit he’s a megalomaniac ass. The few who have will probably get some sort of punishment. That is the beauty of this man. He plays and watches and when he finds the chips in his favor, he snatches. If the chips are off, he’ll wait and push the blame elsewhere. (It is China’s fault or Obama’s fault) Dumping cash into the economy when there isn’t much to back it is beyond ridiculous! We need to take care of the people and not the economy right now. (Economy has always run the world, it is not anything new, history shows this, but it is sad) I believe there is a video on youtube about substituting this president for any other president who served in a war situation and I can’t imagine what this person would have done in WW! Or 2. (Strider was telling me about it) But, I digress.

I cannot mention anything like this on FB or I’ll get called on my illogical or wrong interpretations. I had one of my better friends cut me off in a message conversation because he was telling me about his ammo he’ll use to defend himself. If he needs it. I said that was silly and he dropped me like a hot pan. Idiots. If anyone comes into this house to get something, well, if I’m the only one here, they are welcome to it. My faith may not be as strict as others, but I do know I have a life after this one elsewhere. I’m not going to be like some of the Christians I know who say ‘if I die, I die.’ I will do my damnedest to stay on this side of the rainbow bridge (why are pets the only ones who cross that???), but if it happens, I’m ok. I’d prefer to get the house up north sold and the stuff sorted, but that might all end up being moot anyway!

This is super long. I’m sorry. I should just save it to my journal, but I’m not. I can chat with Strider, but most of the rest of my family are on the fence about the virus and completely in favor of cash saving our economy. America, you have made me ill.

Adding a trio of turtles and flowers from the yard to brighten your day! (NOTE: my sister didn’t believe the turtles were mine. She thought I had taken the photo from somewhere else…because ‘those are so cute!’ Sheesh.)

 

Ides of February

I got side tracked and didn’t write up the rest of the weekend! So, I’ll do it now and post accordingly.

Saturday was a busy day. I planned on cooking a ham for dinner that night and decided to add whole wheat homemade rolls. They had sage and thyme and a bit of shredded Parmesan as ingredients. However, I’ve not made whole wheat before and the rolls I made were cute little clover leaf almost weapons. Soft deep inside, but quite sturdy on the outside. (I had made a larger loaf so I’d have extra dough to wrap around hotdogs for dinner on Sunday and those were waiting in the addition overnight.) I was also going to make cookies for a church potluck, but needed sugar. The guys had planned on going out on Saturday afternoon, so I had asked them to pick me up some.

By the time dinner was on the table, I realized I needed to find a cookie with just the ingredients I had and not ones I was used to using since they had NOT left. Dinner was interesting, my tiny Yukon taters exploded in the pressure cooker (It has been a while since I’ve used the pressure cooker for tiny whole taters!) and made a bit of a mess and those paired with the rolls, well, aesthetics aside, it did taste good!

The Craftsman watched TV with Moses on Saturday, and did a lot in the basement. He finished an earring holder I’d planned on making. Mine was going to be much simpler and from recycled picture frames. You can see the one he made (also from recycled wood) is definitely not simple, but that is why he’s a craftsman and I’m more of a dabbler in crafting! It will be nice to have most of my earrings hanging where I can see them instead of in boxes. I’ll still need to keep some in boxes, but they won’t be all jumbled together with the earrings with hooks. (and yes, I do have that many!! I love earrings!!!) The hooks on the frame are for necklaces. He actually finished this on Sunday, was going to hang it on Monday, it is still in the basement with this other item on the lathe he said is for the kitchen and I’ll use it the most. (run on sentence!!) I’m not entirely sure what it is, besides pretty.

So, Saturday night, I needed a sweets recipe without white sugar and found a different sour cream cookie one, once again it is one of Betty’s. It is also fiddly, but I might make it every so often anyway! Little Bear tried one when they were just out of the oven and decided they were a ‘cookie that was trying to be a cupcake and only made it halfway.’ After I frosted them, he enthusiastically decided, ‘these are like pancakes with syrup and butter!’ At church, one youngster said they were like little maple bars. I was intrigued by the change in the glaze color with a difference of a single ingredient. The recipe called for butter, melted until slightly browned. Also adding powdered sugar and maple extract. I did this with margarine (yes, I know there are evils in margarine, but all cookies are evil from the first pan pulled from the oven, so I tend to go cheaper instead of buttery) and it wasn’t that good. I ran out of glaze, (the recipe made around 60 cookies, so that was good) and made it again with butter. It was lighter in color and the taste was much better. (also didn’t take the time to let it cook to the darker hue) I’m not a fan of maple bars, but I do like maple. Once this extract is gone, I think I’ll make them again with real maple syrup in the glaze. I wonder what that glaze would be like on a cinnamon roll????

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I didn’t get to bed til early Sunday morning, I had toyed with putting the glaze on in the morning, but realized it WAS morning and figured I’d just do it and get it out of the way! Which was good, Sunday morning brought its own chores and duties! After church, I did more things around the house and the guys left to go shopping (Grandma needed pellets for her woodstove). I got the wrapped dogs out of chilling and hoped for the best. Oddly, after rising for almost 3 and half hours, they were beautiful. I wouldn’t have done that if they had been something other than very good highly processed meat wieners. I hate leaving food in unsafe conditions! (I even bleach down my sink and cutting boards after working with fowl!) The taste of herbs inside the wheat was perfect! Little Bear didn’t care for them, but he prefers his wheat white and colored only by chocolate.

I finally finished the last Witcher book I had checked out. I’m done with those for now. (I’m shaking my head as I type!) In the first pages of the latest book I read, a main character (I’d not met before) was sighting in carefully with a bow on something and in between waiting for the object of her intent, reminisced a LOT, catching the reader up on things. For more than a chapter! The end of this book an old man was telling the story I was reading to a group of children and they were demanding more, so after choosing what character story to share, he did. Completely confused me! However, I did love the vampire. He was of a race of peoples who don’t drink blood to live, but for enjoyment, like a party beverage, and this particular vampire tended to get ‘drunk’ on it, so he didn’t drink it anymore. He pooh poohed vampire regeneration because anyone can regenerate fingernails and hair and skin, vampires just do it better. He scoffed at sunshine melting folks because most peoples fear the night and his own people had to adapt and mutated to live in it comfortably. He did believe sunshine is a killer anyway and in another thousand years, most people would be nocturnal anyway. This particular vampire was a sort of a doctor and very good at it. As stated, I liked him. But not enough to keep reading the rest of the series any time soon!!!

Which brings us to Feb 17 and Random Acts of Kindness Day. I hadn’t realized how hard it is to randomly act, most of my day has planned portions and random ones will need to wait til I leave the house! Actually, today is the 18th in Oregon and I should probably do some chores after posting this! May your week be filled with sunshine and laughter! (photo from Alaska in feb 2018)

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The Kid

Tuesday was an interesting day. 26 years ago, my baby was born (he knows he’ll always be my baby, he’s resigned to it!) and he hates having himself being in the limelight. Last year there was a snow storm and we had a party anyway. It was great fun. Tuesday morning, I made chocolate moose mud muffins for him to take to work. (The treats stayed in his Bronco because he HATES people knowing anything about him!!) We’ll have pizza for dinner and I was baking a chocolate cake while I typed up most of this post! When he came home for lunch, I thought I’d warm up the fries he had leftover from Sunday in the air fryer. He had on the microwave, the washer and dryer were going, and just in the last seconds of the microwave and air fryer time, a breaker went off. (no storm here, just a cool electrical picture from WP free photos)

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Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

The air fryer on the other side of the kitchen went off, as well as the microwave, the fridge, the washer (not the dryer), and the kitchen radio/CD player! The dryer is on the same side of the house as most of the appliances which stopped. It was odd. Now, fixing this is normally simple. Except in this house. We have lived here for at least 11 years, the electrical was all odd when we moved in and The Craftsman (who likes working with electrical things) went on a fixing spree. But, he did not label the breaker box. Little Bear had to carefully turn switches (none were off) til the off things popped back on. His place of work gives them an hour for lunch instead of 30 min with two 15 min breaks in the day. He often takes that time to nap or read, both of which were missed today because he gave me power again. He also said he’d go with me to buy pizza. His cakes had  ‘outies’ and fell, one of the two pizzas slipped to the bottom of the oven, turned into a calzone and was opened back up, and it was a ridiculous day. Except for two phone calls. One from my uncle in MN and a brief one from TnT. I also got a text from my Alaskan neighbor. She’s in Hawaii with her spouse to celebrate her birthday, she texted cuz someone put piles of snow in front of three different drives! Her son was going to move them. Crazy!!! (The Kid’s cake with nipples and decor of chocolate curls on top made with tater peeler shavings from a candy bar and inside the two layers is raspberry jelly with mini chocolate chips)

Saturday was interesting. I haven’t checked emails and after opening up one, haven’t again!!! The power bill for $730 was more than I wanted. (it has been really cold up north. Not sure at my house, but my sister 20 miles away had -23F) I was busy all that day with baking and cleaning. The Craftsman helped vacuum the downstairs before he left for things he wanted to do, so that was different and nice. I got many FB greetings and several cards were mailed my way along with texts. For a birthday, it was really nice. It is all in your attitude. I could have whined cuz my family didn’t ‘do’ anything to celebrate me. Yet, they did. The Craftsman gave me a bag of Christmas Kit Kats he’d saved to give me (I did say something about chocolate and he popped them in front of me!), Little Bear purchased me a lovely soft blanket I didn’t need but appreciated, my aunt from Minnesota called, and the three of us did spend part of the evening watching a movie together. On Sunday, we took Grandma and went out for our annual February Sunday birthday lunch (photos are my lunch and Little Bear’s) and I bought a pair of earrings.

 

(My sandwich-above next to my ice cream for breakfast- was grilled chicken, blue cheese spread, and bacon. The kid had two patties of burger, a layer of roast beef, and ham and bacon!!)

I have almost a dozen Valentine’s almost ready to mail, I’ll do those later this week. Today has been too convoluted to visit the post!

While out

I really have been able to get outside now and then. Mostly to drive from the house to town and back. However, I was texting Ms. Monster (she may be in her cookie jar, but my view is much better!) about getting out  more. Then, she felt I was being disparaging about a certain bull moose hanging around the house. So, I am posting a couple of photos of the horrible looking moose. (If it was at all possible, I’d take a brush to the creature and feed it up on grains!) So, since I took the photos with the camera and not the cell phone, I am sharing this way. He was across the road and since I’m a smart lady, I used my telephoto capabilities. (He definitely wasn’t impressed with my watching him, either!) So, my dear Ms. Monster, here is a frightfully sad Bullwinkle!!! (note: I love that lady and she’s a darn good wordsmith, too!)

 

I also was able to experience my first shaking since arriving back north early Memorial Day morning. I had turned over in bed and noticed it shaking. I wasn’t sure if it was vertigo or something else. I was sleeping with my bear and he is NOT one to make the bed shake!  Then, I heard the wind chimes in the living room. (Many Alaskans keep wind chimes inside as earthquake notifications.) It didn’t last very long and I went back to sleep to the sound of quieting chimes.

I’ve managed to find half of the paperwork I need, so I’m making progress of sorts. I was sad her church could only give me records from the last three years. (it appears the treasurer changed programs or computers or something and lost most of her records) I’m not even sure the work I’m doing will make a dent in her debt, but I’ll find out in a week. No matter, as I told Ms. Monster, at least I have great views from where I’m working on the living room floor!

I did realise, too, that Gaz was right. The chicken breast I purchased and cooked (I admit, I cooked it too long. I even forgot my tea and it was truly tepid!) had a too dry mouth feel. I should have gotten thighs. I’ll crumble it up for my salads.

My sister gave me some goat cheese the other day. It was very crumbly and tasted a little of lemons. (she made it) I don’t think I want any more, but I’m not going to post the photo I took on FB. She’ll interrogate me on how I ate it. (on salad with chopped ham pieces and a lot of regular cheese. I did add seasonings. I don’t put dressing on salads. Ever. Naked all the way!)  I think I’ll share that picture here!

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And I will leave you with another shot I took. This was later than the moose ones, it is after 1045 pm on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. (I needed some large envelopes to hold mom’s receipts, so went to town shopping. I should have gotten ice cream, but I was too stingy!)  There was a break in the rain clouds, letting the mountains peek through!

 

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Life goes on

This last week my Gramps died. Gramps was my 4th dad’s step dad and a huge (even though I hadn’t seen him in more than 10 years) part of my life. I always knew he was around. I mentioned elsewhere that mum was immortal, Gramps and Dad were constant. I’ll totally take consistency over immortality. I decided to NOT wear my amethyst today and instead donned forget me not earrings with opal/diamond ones Gramps bought Grams. (Grams died when I was in college and I was given an opal set she loved.) I always think of Grams when I wear it, now I will remember Gramps, as well.

Spring is really truly on the way. My crocus (I looked at my plant photo calendar–I write and photograph when things appear/bloom so I have a record–and one year they didn’t bloom til mid March, so this week isn’t that far off!) are looking spectacular! I will need to pick dozens of them before it rains this weekend. Rain turns fragile dark purple crocus blooms into mashed up goo. I weeded one of the garden areas and accidentally pulled up my old fashioned peony. It is such a pretty, fun flower and I plumb forgot the ‘root’ is a carrot shaped thing. It takes three years for it to get going and last summer it had 3 blooms on it. (I think I just set it into cha cha mode….) The first photo is one I shared before. The second two are after. The peony is under the chair, the pot in the chair has petunias that appear to come back each year. Since The Craftsman likes petunias, I’ll put a bunch of those in the brick edged bed before I head north. He removed the netting I’d put up for sweet peas and nasturtiums. (The bed was full of grass). I’ll put another peony next to the green pot, it used to have hosts. The white ring has orange oriental poppies. The ‘fence’ holds them upright.

I’m glad to be in ‘my’ garden. That was something I wanted to do at mom’s and she resented it. It isn’t really mine, though. I plan and plant and dig and weed and then The Craftsman decides to cut something down or dig up something and recreate the UGS system. Oh well. I did discover a couple of interesting things. Honeysuckle will replace the hops plant in the yard. (Hops tend to go bonkers and a single plant will grow literally anywhere!) Strider suggested honeysuckle. I also inadvertently found an easy way to keep my hands clean. I am one of those who wears gloves just long enough to be driven nuts. Then, I dig in with bare hands. The other day I had rubbed almond oil on them and, later, washing off the dirt was easy peasy!!! Then, I learned from google that lily of the valley is probably more toxic than a daffodil. 😳😳😳(although, dead is dead. I guess it is just how much you ingest at a time. NOTE: Do not eat flowers unless you are darn sure they are edible!)

This, above, is entirely edible. I try different low fat sorts of ice creams and most of them are nasty. When I need to use a fork to eat ice cream just to pry it out of the container, that is silly. This product above has, as Gaz would say, an excellent mouth feel. (creamy, soft, smooth, decadent.) It also loks like it is made in the PNW, Portland. I laughed after I ate the whole pint, though. I thought the carb amount was for the pint instead of a serving. Really. Servings belong in larger containers. Pints are most assuredly a single serving!!! This company makes other flavors, but this is my favorite. I rarely buy it cuz it is freaking spendy. Usually, I end up with some other stuff that is ok, but not stellar. I generally need to ‘wash’ off my taste buds with something else after eating those. Like this sweet made with Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. (I think that company uses a special ingredient to make their treats so tempting!) You cut up canned cinnamon rolls, shake them in cinnamon sugar, put them in a greased pan, drizzle butter and brown sugar on top, bake, and eat and eat and eat and eat!!!!! Oh, I did put the ‘frosting’ on top, too. (But, not all of it!!) EVERYONE likes it.

I may see how many ways there are to make cinnamon sweets! Are any of you Americans old enough to remember Jolly Rancher Fire Stix?