Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Considering Resolutions

I'm trying to figure out what I can do to make my life better. Well, something that I'm willing to do. There are lots of things out there that just aren't going on my list. So far I'm dithering about it. I need to come up with at least one because I'm pretty sure things aren't as perfect as possible.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ATF (After the Fact)

There are people who wait until I've done something and then complain. They watch me do it, waiting to see if I'm going to guess right.
"You didn't save me a bite of that."
"You ate the last piece of candy."
Stuff like that. Well, it makes better sense not to think I can read minds. You want the last one? Get it. Don't wait to see if I'm going to toss it out. You want that last piece of candy? Take it. Whining after I've eaten it is silly.
You didn't offer me any coffee. You didn't ask for any. Communication is all well and good unless you wait until it is too late just to see if I'm considerate. I must not be.

Monday, December 29, 2014


"Why do you think you need a countertop oven?"
"I spent $3,000 on propane. I'm trying to use less gas. It perturbs me to spend that much."

Papers and Boxes

We got rid of a lot of boxes and papers today. Larry complains that I dispose of stuff incorrectly. A lot of what I burn could be put in the garbage. But that would require thinking, evaluating. I'd rather clean off my work area by putting what I'm finished with in a bag without trying to decide if anyone could gather useful information from it. So some of the stuff is still in the envelope when I toss it. So today I stood out in the damp air and ruffled through the piles until I was sure that every page was burned and every spark was extinguished.
I still have a pretty good stack of papers and boxes yet to dispose of. But the biggest pile is gone.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Soy Beans

The guy that plants our fields usually harvests right before Christmas. It is almost the New Year and he still hasn't done anything. It's too wet, still. I don't know if he'll get anything or not. The soybeans didn't look all that great, but we usually get enough to pay a lot of our taxes. Ouch.

My Printer

My printer hasn't worked for at least a month. I figured it was something to do with the power cable since it wasn't showing that it was getting power. But I'd pressed on the connection cable several different times with no results.
Tonight I decided to try plugging it into a different receptacle. Well. The cable fell out of the power box thing. So when I stuck it back in, it came on and printed a couple of things I'd tried to print.
That is such a relief!

End of the Year Stuff

Today I spent a while going through old papers, letters, cards, and pictures. Sometimes I save cards because it is awfully hard to toss them with the loving messages. Sometimes I save stuff because I think I'll use it as a pattern to paint something. So I also have old calendars, etc.
It's great to look at my mementos.
But we're going to burn boxes tomorrow so I can also burn check stubs from 11 years ago. Probably won't need them again. I'll have to fish out the metal spirals, but I can do that.
Anyway, getting rid of the boxes, paper, etc., means that is done for the New Year:)
I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow; I'm ready to git rid of some of that stuff. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Product Placement?

The second book in the Three Sisters trilogy by Nora Roberts has a character named Mac Book. I wonder if Ms. Roberts uses a Mac.

Trying to Decide

 I'm digging out stuff I've gathered for painting projects and putting them all together instead of one stuck here and another there. The painted watering can was a gift and I painted one like it and gave it away. I was going to try to paint using that pattern. So far I haven't found the pattern. I have another pattern I found. I might use it.
 These are all boxes with sliding lids. Some I bought and some Larry made.
These are boxes from a library that went from card catalog to a computer version. The boxes are nice but the metal thing needs to be removed.
But the reason I decided to go through everything and reorganize projects is that I want my garden books, cookbooks, and painting books all in the art room. I browse through the cookbooks while I'm in my art room.
I guess cooking is a hobby, too.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Why Did You Stop Going to Exercise Class?

Larry wanted to know why I stopped going to exercise class. I told him I didn't want to go. He pushed it. It was annoying to me, probably because I feel like I ought to go. But I'm seriously uncoordinated and decided I would just have to figure something out that didn't involve going somewhere in awful weather to do something I'm bad at. I'm pretty sure I'll have some other excuse when the weather is better.
But it isn't like Larry exercises. He has started walking since I've quit. My feet and knees are better without a lot of steps. I still walk on the porch some, but I'm not interested in checking on steps.

Merry Christmas!

Our pyramid gently turning, Mannheim Steamroller, warm apple cider...I hope your Christmas is happy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Warm Spiced Apple Cider

While I was in Germany, I went to an evening class making German Christmas cookies. As we walked into the large home ec area of a school, the aroma was wonderful. She said to fill a pot with apple juice and throw in some whole cloves and cinnamon sticks. How much would depend on home much apple juice. The juice is high in sugar, but it is fine with me to only drink a cup of it and just leave it simmering on the stove to make the house smell wonderful.
I looked up some recipes online and ended up making half a gallon of it in our coffee maker, putting the spices in the coffee filter. There were some other things in that recipe, but just putting the cloves and cinnamon sticks worked great. When we'd had some of it, I put the rest in a quart container to cool. I'll refrigerate it and microwave it tomorrow.


Larry called Dish and pointed out that some of the channels he watches aren't on it during negotiations. He likes Turner Classic Movies. It was off for about a month during October. He also mentioned that Fox is currently off.
They said that Fox news and business channels are tied in with the sports and entertainment channels and Fox wants more money.
But they gave him a $10 reduction for five months because of the Turner Classic Movies one month outage.

Not Deaf

Today I opened new earbuds and ordered my next pair. I don't know why the left ear always goes out, but it does. I've paid different prices and gotten different results, but never have I had a pair that lasted long. It may be because I drop them, put them in a pocket and bend frequently, or they just aren't very durable, but when I start a new pair, I buy the next.


I used to think Christmas cards were pretty pointless. If the only time I heard from a person was at Christmas, it wasn't a very close relationship.
So, I have come to realize that the relationships are there whether I see them or talk to them in between, or not. So the cards are nice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Is It Healthy?

It is pretty surprising to me when Larry wants to know if something I've made is healthy since he has spent so much of his time cutting me off when I'd try to tell him what I'd done to make something healthy.
No, it isn't healthy so I used the small melon scoop and tried to make the portions small. They aren't all that small, actually, but smaller than using the next size up melon scoop.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Planning for Spring

I order my seeds for spring in January. Plant in February, and transplant when the ground warms up.
So that means I'm making my list of seeds to order now. It's cold and gray outside, but I'm thinking or what I'll put in my flower boxes, baskets, and flower beds in the spring:)
I've also started thinking about next year's birthday presents. At a time when people are thinking about Christmas, I'm thinking about next year.

What Happened to Fox?

I don't care for any of the news channels as they seem to me to be expressions of whatever opinions they have. Even if something is a fact, which facts they present constitute opinions. I don't have confidence in the media...any of it.
But. Is Fox's disappearance an example of censorship? If they think taking Fox off the air will turn conservatives into liberals, I don't think that will work.
I am concerned with the direction our media appears to be taking. Where is the choice for viewers? The choice for me is pretty simple. I read.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Odd Smell

There was an odd smell in the kitchen which had me sniffing around trying to find it. It wasn't a good smell. I checked fruit, potatoes, compost pail, garbage can and refrigerator. I finally took the garbage out and maybe that got it. Larry is no help. He doesn't smell it. So, of course, I start wondering if I have a brain tumor. But I don't smell it everywhere.

Dark Witch Trilogy

The Dark Witch trilogy by Nora Roberts starts off badly. But I like Nora Roberts. I don't like it when she dwells on the sexual details. But I like it that family counts and sometimes friends are like family. But the first one had a narrator (yeah, audio book) with a speech impediment. Well, that's what I thought at first. After a while I realized the characters spoke English like someone for whom English is a second language. The "th" sounds had silent "h." I guess my favorite was "third" which came out as "turd." So the first two had an unexpected entertainment factor.
The third book in the series was better. The plot was better, the sex wasn't detailed (thank you!), and the narrator had achieved the "th" blend.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cleaning Cooked-on Grease

Today I cleaned out the turkey fryer. It was a pretty big job as I hadn't done it for a while. When all the pieces were clean and back together, I noticed the lid was sticky with cooked on grease. I tried soap and noticed no change. I tried vinegar. No change. I used alcohol and it wiped right off. So it now looks clean and feels clean.


When I buy a large package of bacon, it goes bad before I use it all. So I separate the bacon into stacks of two slices, freeze them, and then cut each stack in half. Then I freeze the pieces and pull out however many I want. I can microwave them for a minute to thaw them out, or just let them sit a minute and they thaw.
Nothing goes bad.

Chicken Enchiladas

 I used the last of the rotisserie chicken to make chicken enchiladas. I couldn't find my tortilla press so I had to use a rolling pin:(
I just made a half recipe of the tortillas as I only wanted enough for the chicken enchiladas.
It might have been a little better if I'd had Monterrey Jack cheese or the Mexican mix, but I used cheddar as I had it.
I usually do a red sauce but this was tasty. Butter, flour, chicken broth to make the sauce. Then turn it off and add a can of green chilies and a cup of sour cream.
Inside the tortilla is chicken cooked with onion (the chicken was already cooked as I used leftover chicken) and a tablespoon and a half of shredded cheese.
Slaw finished off that meal...pretty light but I still have a lot left.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Screeching in my Ears

The narrators of some books are seriously annoying. I can like the book, the characters, and hate a female reading an action part in a high-pitched voice. The Egyptian Series by Rick Riordan has a person doing the girl's part who has a great voice and wonderful accent...when she is speaking calmly...which is almost never. It's a fast-paced series and delightful, except for the excited screeching. When I turn the volume down, the other characters' voices are too soft. That series may be better read than in audio.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Today I Noticed

Today at the store I noticed that I'm not tall enough to reach some of the stuff I want. I went looking for a tall guy and asked if he would mind getting it for me. He very kindly did. His wife was nice about it.
I'm not a dwarf. There are a lot of people shorter than I am, which means sometimes they can't even see what is on the top shelves. I saw one short woman walking around with a magnifying glass. I'm pretty sure that limited what she could actually see to what was right in front of her.
In some stores I ask the manager to get things that are on the top shelf. But today's store didn't have any tall guys working. How do they even stock those shelves?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Really Easy Holiday Snacks

 Peanut Clusters
Everybody isn't on a low-carb diet so it's great to have some easy recipes to put together for small gifts or snacks for guests.
Microwave six ounces of chocolate chips and 11 oz of butterscotch morsels for about three minutes. When you stir it, they blend together.
Then stir in a can of Spanish peanuts.
Drop onto waxed paper.

Hot Crackers
Put 1 box of crackers in gallon Ziploc bag.
Mix 1 1/2 cups canola oil, 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix, 2 Tablespoons crushed red pepper. Pour mixture over the crackers. Let stand several hours or overnight, turning over every half hour or so until the crackers are well-coated. They are better the longer they sit.

Sauce for Hot Dogs or Meatballs
1 can cranberry sauce (jellied or whole)
1 cup ketchup
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 T Worcestershire sauce
Put in crockpot; mix well. Add meat and cook on low until heated.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Cards

The last of my Christmas cards will go in the mail tomorrow. I hardly ever write anything except my name because of the year I did everything (including stamp them) except mail them. I found the stack several years later and had to throw them away because I'd written so much stuff in them that no longer applied!
So, this year I'm not too busy to have a clue what I'm doing. That's good.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Stuff

I changed the sheets, washed three loads of clothes, and baked  two loaves of banana nut bread. Easy day, good stuff done.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rotisserie Chicken

I put the rotisserie together, washed all parts, and put wrapped the chicken up with a tie so no parts would hang out. I tried to get the weight distributed so it wouldn't clunk when cooking. I put cajun seasoning on it after patting it dry. Then I set the timer for thirty minutes longer than the table called for.
Success! No clunking, no sparks, no smoke, just a quiet sound as it cooked.
Everything fit nicely.
The chicken was great and cleanup was easy.
I lined the drip pan with foil, but it probably would have cleaned up just fine without it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


People play games. My husband and I play Free Cell, but we play it differently. He plays. He doesn't look at statistics.
My current winning streak is 938 games.
I had a winning streak of 1,035 but I had so many games on it that I couldn't get my percentage to move up. So I erased the statistics and started over. I have won 8,749 games and lost 79. My percentage is 99.11%. I don't play with anyone or against anyone, except myself.
I undo and keep trying. I use the hints. But the hints are only useful for one step moves. For several moves, the hints don't help.
It is awful to be so obsessive about it, but I hardly ever annoy anybody else...unless they want to play free cell on my computer or kindle.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Only One Patient

Today there was only one patient. How can a hospital pay to keep staffed adequately with only one patient?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

299 Days--I'm the Man

It is annoying to me to listen to or read a book that assumes that being a man means he's right. The main character keeps saying he's the man so he's prepping. Well, if I think prepping is a good idea, do I have to be a man? Wanting your family to be safe and have food in an emergency isn't gender specific. The state web sites have a fema link that encourages having emergency preparations. It doesn't mean a person has to be nuts (like some of the tv preppers), but it is only reasonable to be prepared for emergencies. I've been through two category ten hurricanes and been without electricity and water for a couple of weeks. My dad was several hundred miles away and was without power for a couple of weeks because all the power workers went to the hurricane area and couldn't fix their problems. So he bought a generator, a gas stove and gas heater in case it ever happened again. They were cold and didn't have any way to cook without power.
Last year we had an ice storm and couldn't get out of our driveway for a week and then it was because a neighbor came over with his tractor.
The story in 299 Days is interesting, but I really wish there were more strong female characters. I like sci-fi and fantasy.

Caffeine Struggle

Caffeine in my breakfast coffee is still all right, but I decided my afternoon coffee needed to be decaf. While my husband was away it worked well and I was able to get to sleep. When he returned, I told him not to make me any coffee unless it is decaf. So for four days he made it with caffeine and dumped my mug. Today he said he made it with 2/3 decaf and 1/3 high test. So I tried it. If I get to sleep tonight, fine. If not, I'll use the other coffee pot and the big pot of decaf I bought today. I really like sleeping better than high test coffee.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Satsumas, Kumquats, and Pecans

Larry made a trip to Grand Bay and returned with a box of satsumas, 25 pounds of cracked pecans, and a bag of kumquats.
He picked the kumquats, but bought the rest.
We've spent a couple of days taking the shells off the pecans. We aren't finished.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sleeping 12-5-2014

My most recent attempts to get a good night's sleep:
1. No caffeine after lunch.
2. A melatonin tablet at 10:00 pm
4. Start getting ready for bed at 10:20
5. Put lavender on my feet (to combat diabetic neuropathy burning)
6. Listen to sleep tape.
So far this is allowing me to get to sleep. This is pretty involved, but after four nights of not getting to sleep until 3:30 am, I was ready to try other steps.
So far, so good.

Enjoying Christmas

I packed my Christmas socks in with the Christmas ornaments. When I start to decorate, there are my socks. Some of them are $2.97 variety that claim to be aloe infused that WalMart has for sale right now.
Zero carbs.
Manheimm Steamroller is also zero carbs:)
I've been looking through my Southern Living Christmas Cookbooks for low-carb recipes. They don't call themselves that, but if the ingredients are right, they are still low-carb.

OK. I Made Turkey Soup

What's that?
Turkey gumbo. It's healthy and you can eat all you want.
Does it have rice?
No, rice isn't a requirement, okra is.
If it doesn't have rice, it isn't gumbo.
OK. I made turkey soup. 
It's delicious, it's healthy, and it doesn't have rice.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tomato Stakes

It has drizzled enough to show up in the rain gauge, but not a lot. I took the shovel down to try to dig out my wooden tomato stakes but a neighbor dropped by and pulled them out for me. Yea, neighbors! They also brought some fudge made with dark chocolate that was really, really good. Who knew?
I cleaned off the coffee table to put my runner and pyramid out. The coffee table looks excellent, but the couch is pretty full. It isn't my stuff so I'm not willing to go through it.
I also put up the little optic fiber Christmas tree that I bought for school. I am going to have to wait until Larry is in the mood to help me with the big Christmas tree. It's the kind in three pieces with the lights already on it. I can mostly do it by myself once the box is out and open and I'm just dealing with one section at a time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Still Decorating

I have the Nativity set I made a long time ago out, the Christmas village I made put out, but the bess is still there. I don't have all my stuff out of the basement yet.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Decorating with Hershey Kisses

I think the Hershey's Kisses make a pretty decoration alone
or sprinkled around other decorations.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Started Decorating:)

This spot isn't finished, but it is getting there. The artificial fruit doesn't look real, but it does look festive. I brought in some paint in case some of it needed touching up, but it's fine. The peppermint candles are a favorite of mine. I wish I felt impelled to decorate for other holidays, but only Easter gets any effort at all, and it's only because I love my scratched eggs. As soon as Christmas is over, well, maybe New Year's, I'll start on eggs. I have some egg gourds this year that should be dried out enough by then.

Yesterday Was Too Warm

I have already put the warm, fuzzy sheets on the bed. It's supposed to be cold. Today it is. Last night it was 66 degrees. It still was at 3 am. I was in my fuzzy sheets sweltering. I finally got out of the everything except some of the sheet and turned on the fan. Part of the problem is my feet burn. I really don't know what to do about that.