Sunday, August 31, 2014

Stinging Ants

I had a large ant hill in my mulch pile. They weren't red ants, but they were shiny black ants that sting. I put instant grits on the hill several times. Today I checked and the hill is no longer there. I dug into it and found no ants:)


The scuppernongs are starting to ripen. Our neighbor checks them every day.

Limb Fell

A big cracking sound really close meant we had a pretty good-sized limb falling. It just missed the flower bed. The big pile of green at the base of the tree is where it fell. It got a little of the spirea bush on the left, but I don't think it hurt it.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

German Pink Tomato

Our tomato plants kept dying so a neighbor gave us a couple of German pinks. They were huge! They are also "meaty." I think that means not full of juice and seeds. The small tomatoes in the background are from the tomato plants we got from the local stores and from plants I grew from seeds. 

Chocolate Banana Pudding Pops

I got the pudding pop basic recipe from Then I used half and half instead of milk, sugar-free chocolate fudge pudding, Splenda instead of sugar, and mashed a frozen banana into it. Actually I doubled the recipe but just used one banana. This is one of the popsicle trays I filled. The rest are in the freezer. I tasted one in a cup to see how it was...wonderful:)
I've tried low-carb chocolate ice cream. It's hard to find and I didn't like it. I like the low-carb fudge popsicles, but my local WalMart stopped carrying them.
This was really good.
The banana was the only thing not low-carb and really, divided into 18 servings, I don't think it could be too awful for my low-carb diet.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Kroger's Manager's Sale

I found a nice package of chicken thighs for a bit less than $6. I boned them and froze all of them except two. I boiled the bones and scraps in one pot. I pounded the two thighs I'd kept out until they were pretty flat. I salted and peppered them, dredged them in a beaten egg, then in 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs and 3/4 cup sesame seeds. Then I fried them in peanut oil. About ten minutes before I thought the chicken would be ready, I took out the bones and other stuff I'd trimmed from the chicken pieces and added half a box of Dreamfield elbow macaroni. I picked the little bits of cooked chicken from the bones and added it to the macaroni.
I had turnip greens in the refrigerator to warm up to go with the macaroni and chicken.
Larry has always refused to eat chicken thighs. I think they taste better than white meat and they are cheaper...besides being on sale:) So when I announced dinner was ready, I didn't know if he would eat it because he'd seen it was thighs.  But it was fried:) So he ate it and complimented it.
We will have three more meals from the chicken so it was less than $1 per serving for the chicken. And pounded thin and fried in those seeds, it was crispy and a lot.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

IPads at Doctor's

Our doctor and helpers stood around griping at their iPads today. I guess they'll get better at it, but today was three weeks into it and they were not very happy about it.
Not having a keyboard and mouse would slow me down, too. I seriously like technology but they didn't seem to think it was time efficient. It wouldn't be for me, either. I can peck around on an electronic keyboard, but I'm better with a keyboard and mouse. I think voice-responsive software would be better for doctors. It would take time to make sure the software was tuned to the users, but that would help prevent the stall. I had German doctors who dictated into recorders and had people transcribe it. It seems wrong for skilled doctors to waste time fiddling with the clerical aspect of the record keeping.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Be Happy!

People amaze me. A friend was dashing off to eat with another friend at a place she likes and was then going to a movie. From the expression on her face, she could have been going for a root canal. Where's the joy?
I wasn't going, but that was my choice. I don't like that restaurant and don't like movies much. So I was happy. When people are doing what they want to do, they should be happy they can:)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Almanac Agrees with Fog

The farmers' almanac says it is going to be another hard, cold winter. The number of foggy days in August indicating the number of snowy days in winter is folklore...but they agree, this year, anyway. We'll have to see if it is another unusually cold winter.
 People who lived here a long time ago say it used to be cold and snowy every winter. It hasn't been so bad since we moved here in 2000.

You Made My Day

Today I told one of the hospital employees that the other volunteer cheers me up every time I go. The volunteer said she was glad I had said made her whole day.
It is easy to forget that what we say means a lot to others. I was glad I'd said it, too. It is true.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pale Pink Roses

I finally got the pink to show up in the picture (instead of glaring white). I stood with the roses in my shadow.

Foggy Days in August

There's a saying around here that the number of foggy days in August determines the snowy days in winter. I've lived here since 2000 and just encountered that bit of folklore but it's all over the place this August, I guess due to the high number of foggy days we've had.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Smell the Roses

Standing here to take the picture, I could smell the roses. Zinnias are in the picture, too, but no fragrance comes from them. The darker pink of the zinnias are nice with the pale pink of the roses.

Angel Wing Begonias

I've stuck other plants in with the begonias. All of them are thriving, but the begonias really show up well.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

J.D. Robb Death Series

Nora Roberts is an author I like. When she writes under the J.D. Robb pseudonym, I like those books, too. The main character is a New York City detective in the future.
Both main characters have awful childhoods that they deal with as adults as they get on with their lives.
The books are detective mysteries as well as love stories. The peripheral characters range from likable to awful. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Too Hot

I've gotten my steps in the last couple of days, but not the extra bit to get to 5 miles, and not the quick steps. Dragging steps on these hot, humid days.

Tomatoes and Hot Peppers

Because the peppers are really hot, I'm freezing them in ice trays so just a few can be put into a soup or sauce. After the trays freeze, I'll empty them into a ziplock bag so just a few can be added at a time.

Itchy Ears

I asked a friend about peroxide in the ears because I thought it might stop an itchy feeling in my ears. She said the doctor told her it is probably a result of seasonal allergies and to use a topical form of benedryl. She said the use of peroxide might dry my ears out and make the itching worse.
I tried the benedryl cream. It worked beautifully:)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Survivalist Fiction

I like science fiction and thought I'd like survivalist fiction. It is scary. I thought I would like it because of the sci-fi alternative history aspect. I like stories where the main characters are faced with a problem and come up with solutions in creative ways. I liked Emergence by David Palmer. I like the Ring of Fire series. But I've tried several survivalist books and find them dreary and depressing.

Pain Between the Shoulders

The pain between my shoulder blades wouldn't work out no matter how I twisted and stretched my back. A heating pad felt good in the winter but didn't cure it.
 I went to the chiropractor who showed me a poster. The nerves that were giving me trouble were not connected near my shoulder blades, but rather my neck.
So when I feel that tight feeling of strain, rolling my head in an exaggerated manner relieves the feeling.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


The various types of peppers I planted this year are all producing now. Today is the first day I've gotten any of the purple ones. That is today's pepper harvest. We got more tomatoes than that. I put them in the picture to show their size...not very large. 

Short, Fast Steps

The visit to the doctor included a bit of information that was interesting. He said studies have shown that walking 30 to 45 uninterrupted minutes is just as good as, or better than, running. I certainly think it is better for my joints.
He said strolling is fine. But actually, short, quick steps give me "very active minutes" on my fitbit, and I feel better than when I stroll slowly. It isn't always easy to get past the "stroll." I am trying, though.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Depressing Doctor Visit

Today I went to the doctor for the consultation following my lab work. Everything was good. My blood pressure was good. He said my feet are perfect, circulation is wonderful, everything was good.
So why was it depressing? He went on and on about how I should be taking statins. He is firmly convinced he's right. So all afternoon I've been trying to concentrate on all the good stuff from my lab report and not the mental image he gave me of stroke, nursing home, somebody else wiping my backside. Thanks, Doc.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

After the Storm

After a gray, stormy day, this was our sunset.


The thunderstorm we had today was so long and loud I had trouble listening to my iPod while I tried to get my fitbit steps in. There was just a small section of the porch that wasn't getting rain blown in.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Arthritis Pain

A new item has joined Larry's cpap machine...a tennis ball. His hand has been waking him at night. For a while a couple of fingers were locking up and hurting. He's used a TENS machine lately and his hand is better, but his hand still wakes him at night hurting. I bought him a tennis ball to manipulate when that happens. He said he slept better than he has in a long time.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Shopping Today

My friend and I went to Jackson today. Macy's had a bunch of people giving out slips of paper with scents applied to them. I was waiting for my friend to get a facial at one of the cosmetic counters. I was trying to walk a bit without losing which cosmetic counter she occupied. This put me in the position of saying, "No, thank you. I don't want the scent. It will make my hand smell if I touch it." Then I decided that sounded rude and added, "I'm allergic to almost all scents." Two stores we went in were so strongly scented with fragrances that both of us objected to staying. I like Bath and Body Works, but getting through all the strong, stray smells meant finding one I like among the overpowering scents was impossible. I used to have trouble with Bed, Bath and Beyond but they moved their candles away from the front.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Today we went for our lab work. After that, we went to the diner where we usually go for breakfast after the lab work. When we got there, one of the large plate glass windows was covered with plywood. A woman had passed out while driving by and veered into the diner. She wasn't hurt and nobody was in that side of the diner, but our waitress said it was a crazy day. The diner was packed, even the side with the plywood covering the window.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Small Deer

A small deer is eating leaves on my strawberry plants! It isn't a spots...but it's still very small. When I move, it dashes into the soybean field. It is so small that just its head shows above the short, bushy plants. There are more deer out there, but the small one is the only one I've seen in the yard.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I was sad at the death of Robin Williams. I wonder if creative people live so much in the future that they can't enjoy what they've already done. Is there no feeling of satisfaction, only fear that tomorrow they won't be as good? I have no way of knowing what would cause such despair.
The media has been all over this. Mostly I'm not interested in entertainers. I don't care much for television or movies. But Robin Williams was special.

Friendly Wasps

It was a lovely day. When the shade hit my front flower bed, I decided to cut back the plants that needed it...a fairly big task that would take more than one nice day. As I was working among the tall stems, I noticed I was brushing wasps out of my hair. After the second one, I found that wasps had built a nice sized duplex on one of the stems...half on one side, half on the other. I found my can of flying insect killer and sprayed the nest, the flurry of wasps, and the strays that came wandering back to see what the excitement was all about.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Porch Flowers 2014

I mixed coleus, cilantro, snapdragons, and some kind of trailing vine in my flower boxes this year. They look lush and colorful...better than I expected. Last year's flowers didn't do this well. Last year is the only year I used potting soil that wasn't Miracle Gro moisture control.


I decided to brown the rest of the ground chuck with onions and peppers. I also cooked some of the Dreamfields pasta I already had stockpiled before I found out it doesn't have blocked carbs in spite of the claims of several years. I put some frozen broccoli in the ground chuck mixture and then added the penne pasta.
I topped it with the salsa I had left from the other day, added a bit of olive oil to the salsa, and enjoyed my lunch. I will have enough for tomorrow, too:)


I have four kinds of peppers growing. This picture shows three of them (no bell peppers shown). It's tricky getting peppers for two people. Larry isn't as wild about hot peppers as I am. I don't really want to sell any, so I just grown a few. I'm happy to freeze some and make pepper sauce with some. Those really dark green ones are tiburon...perfect for poppers stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon. The cayenne peppers are the small ones. I don't remember about the large light green peppers. Maybe I still have the itemized receipt. They've just started to produce so I've only made salsa so far.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Sunday!

I'm having to start a new cleaning lady. She's young but has other cleaning jobs. It is always tricky getting a new person settled. I've had her twice now. The first time she did half of what I wanted done. The second time she did the other half. I guess I'm going to give her another chance...and make a list instead of just telling her.
I'm spending time cleaning what she didn't do. I had enough money to pay her however long she had to work to finish. The problem is I get tired of telling her what to do next and just take her home and finish myself. Maybe a list will help. I shouldn't have to tell her to go through the rooms and put things back where they go.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Easy Flowers

 These impatiens reseeded last year. They are full of blooms with absolutely no work from me.
 There are a couple of annuals in this, but mostly it is flowers that have reseeded.
There are a few salvia plants in this, marigolds, and zinnias. They were annuals planted this year. The zinnias may reseed next year, and possibly the marigolds. I'm trying to only put heritage plants in.
I figure I'll get older and older but still enjoy flowers and color. I'm trying to get the  flower bed to produce color with a minimum of effort:)


 Tomatoes, peppers, onion, cilantro and lime juice
 on a ground chuck patty. Well, I grew the tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro:)

Praying Mantis

I had just vacuumed a bunch of spiders and their egg sacs. I'll bet the praying mantis wishes it had gotten here a few days ago. The carport isn't usually where I see one. Lurking near a hummingbird feeder is more usual.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rainy Day

It rained some today...finally.
I made a dozen stuffed eggs as my effort toward responsible behavior. I cleaned some glassware that sits around. I wish I hadn't just read three books about how shiny and clean things were. After listening to Nathan Lowell's Solar Clipper series I go around wiping smudges off of light switch covers and around door knobs.
My tire towers are STILL settling so I took a couple off and put them among tomato plants...just one in a couple of places. Then I weeded and put the weeds in those tires and emptied my kitchen compost pail into one of them. I put paper in the bottom after spraying a couple of weeds underneath with round up. The small compost areas are supposed to make "compost tea" for nearby plants. We'll see. I like the idea.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


We went to the marina for lunch today. The weather was wonderful and the leaves had started to change colors on some of the trees. It seems awfully early for that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Inn Ad...Three Volumes

I'm listening to the Nora Roberts' trilogy, Inn Boonsboro. It is filled with description of an inn being built from an old building. The family doing the renovation are the main characters...three brothers. It turns out that Nora Roberts has an actual inn that follows the description in the book. Good advertising:)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Where did you put the short hose?
I didn't put it anywhere.
It was right here.
Is that it on the hose you're using?
Oh, yeah.
Why would anybody who knows me think I'd put somebody else's stuff anywhere? Really.

Monday, August 4, 2014


It hasn't been hot for a while, but today it was in the low 90's. I slept through the worst of it and did my walking in the late afternoon and evening.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


 The pile of old hay is to add to the soil in Larry's garden.
A bit of new hay shows as a trailer truck leaves. It would have shown better from the other porch but I couldn't see it well enough to tell in time to change porches before it was gone.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Resurrection Lilies

Resurrection lilies is the name we were told when we got these bulbs. They are old plants but we'd never seen them before. The greenery comes up and then dies back. Later the long stem and lilies come along.
I found out they are known by different names...Naked Ladies is one...Surprise Lily is another.

Old Books

I like science fiction and fantasy stories. I sometimes read post-apocalypse books. It seems reasonable to me that civilizations rise and fall. The fall of a civilization must seem like a post-apocalypse scenario to them. I like the characters dealing with the situation and trying to survive and rebuild. But the last few that I've read have been so depressing that I decided to listen to the Swiss Family Robinson. The language is from a long time ago and is part of it. It's preachy. That didn't bother me when I was a lot younger. I'm getting used to it againbecause I am pretty determined to go through the whole thing.


Last year we went to the Vanity Fair Outlet in Union City the week following the tax-free weekend as we wanted to avoid the crowds. We found very little there after the tax-free weekend. So today we went thinking it would be crowded but well stocked.
We arrived to find it closed. We finally found where it had relocated and discovered it was the grand opening of the new location.
They had popcorn, hot dogs, soft drinks and pizza. They had somebody making things with the long skinny balloons, and facepaint.
The new location was in an old WalMart store. The line stretched from the front to the back of the store. I will never go back on a tax-free weekend. I got what I went for, but I couldn't believe how tired I was. I didn't get my steps in today. Standing in line for over an hour wore me out.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Morning Visitor

A large king snake lay in the sun for a while and then made its way toward my tire garden. Before it got there, it went into one of the many mole holes in the yard. King snakes usually keep a place free of poisonous snakes:) They also eat rodents.