Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sorry to Call so Late

"Sorry to call so late. Did I wake you?"
"It's 7:30. "
"Some of my relatives go to sleep as soon as it's dark."

Note to Self

Don't shop on Saturday. What was I thinking?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Really Good Day

I had my hair trimmed today and asked for the phone number of the person who made the yarn necklaces I had seen displayed there. She gave me the number and I called as soon as I got home. She wasn't home but her husband said I'd called and she called me back!
Not only was she willing to tell me about where to get the yarn, she gave me some for the hospital gift shop for the cost of the yarn.
She is a very interesting, creative person who may be willing to volunteer at the hospital and bring her sister with her!
She took me around and showed me the interesting craft hobbies she does. I could see a way to tailor several of them for the gift shop. I hope she decides to volunteer:) It was really nice to talk to her and see her stuff.
The pile in the picture is four necklaces I'll take to the gift shop Tuesday:)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Different but not Great

I've made toast pizza before. I used low-carb bread, Romano sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.
Well, I accidentally thawed out barbecue sauce I'd made for chicken instead of Romano sauce. So I decided to go ahead and make the toast pizza using that. It was awfully soggy. It tasted good, but it wasn't finger food.
I won't make it again.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bible Discussion

At the hospital sometimes I find myself receiving confidences from people who are distressed and wander into the gift shop. I do the best I can, but when somebody digs out a well-worn Bible, I'm not going to say it is a political document designed to keep people in their place. I try to comfort people as well as I can, but some are determined to dig out the most hurtful passages and flail themselves with it. I'm pretty sure none of them are going to decide that some of it is ok to believe and some of it is not. I think some people really should stop by the chaplain's office not the gift shop.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

You Can Glue It

I received an order for the gift shop. Some of the magnets fell off the hummingbirds and butterflies. I called the company and the lady said I could glue them back on. I agreed that I could but pointed out I hadn't intentionally ordered a do-it-yourself kit.
She laughed, agreed, and deducted the cost of the defective items from my bill. She said I can glue the magnets back on and sell them at a reduced price. That works.

Finishing Projects

Waiting for the paint on the watering can to dry, I dug out a couple of partially-finished scarves to work on.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Almost Finished

I need to leave it alone to dry really well. Then I can varnish it a couple of times.
Painting in the greenhouse was pleasant today. It's been dark but today was pretty bright.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Copied Stuff

I made a current copy of important cards in my purse and Larry's wallet just now. I put the copies with the phone numbers to call in case we lose them. It's easy to forget to update these small documents and miserable in case of loss...not just because of possible fraudulent use by others, but who to call and the numbers are usually on the cards. Going through the stuff in January means I have current insurance cards copied, and old ones discarded, too.

Next Step in Painting on Black

This has a white base coat and two coats of orange on both sides.

Painting on Black

When painting on black, basecoating with white helps give a brilliant glow to the finished picture.
It takes a while to decide what to paint. It takes another bit of time to sketch what is in my mind.
But once the sketch is done, transferring it to the item isn't time-consuming, nor is base coating in white.
Orange is my next color to add, but I have to wait until the white is dry. Since I'm using acrylics, the drying time isn't long.

Inside Hobby

It is gray and drizzly outside today. It's January so that happens. The trick is to have something inside to do. I have sweet orange essential oil going in the little candle warmer. The watering can has been basecoated with black. I have sketched what I want on the can. I have practiced painting one on black to get an idea whether I can actually paint what I want on it.
Now I have attached transfer paper to the watering can and my sketch on top of that. The stylus is ready and waiting to being transferring my design onto the watering can.
When I have finished transferring the design, I will remove the transfer paper and sketch so I can attach it to the other side.
My dad built houses. He always tried to have "inside jobs" for bad weather so his crews had as little slack time as possible. I like to be outside when the weather is nice, but I like to have something to do inside when the weather is typical of winter.
I tried knitting, but I really don't feel much enthusiasm for it as others are so much better at it than I am and willing to keep me supplied:)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie

Today I cooked four thighs and stripped the meat and skin from the bones. I used the juice to thicken a sauce, added a can of green chilies, a small can of mushrooms, a rutabaga, a sweet potato, Brussel sprouts, and some okra. I stirred all that in, and added the shredded chicken. Then I made a small batch of tortilla dough using 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water. I rolled the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, and fried the strips. I put the strips across the pot pie filling, added shredded cheese and baked it in the toaster oven until the cheese was melted.
When I make something up, I am willing to eat it. Sometimes Larry won't even try it. He ate that and said it was good but it should have had more crust. I had cooked the casserole in two disposable brownie tins. I guess I should have used 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water.

Friday, January 23, 2015

I Wonder

I was talking to a guy who has changed propane providers. I've been unhappy with mine for a couple of years. He said he changed over a year ago but they wouldn't come pick up the tank. So he has two tanks. I have two tanks. If they abandon them on my property, I'll have four tanks. They aren't as cute as one might think.
I wonder if I can charge them storage fees?
I wonder if I can claim them as mine and use or sell them after a certain length of time.
I wonder how much a lawyer would charge.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Old Hair Style Revisited

I used to wear my hair like this until I was about 35. Then I either had straight short hair or a perm.
I recently got tired of short hair and perms.
So this is my current style.
It is easy and I can roll it if I want to or just stroll off with it wet. It looks about the same.
My gray shows up when it is straight, but I don't notice it. If anybody else does, they are standing beside my chair picking through it. I was pretty amazed the first time that happened. Kids would do it, but I guess some didn't get over it when they grew up.
Great sweater!

Paying a Gas Bill

I don't know why I need to pay this bill but I have a credit on this other one. It seems reasonable that you would pay one from the other.
We aren't allowed to transfer one account to another.
You do realize I pay both bills?
If my husband dies, will I have to keep one account in his name in order to have two tanks?
No. But you'll have two accounts in your name and nothing will transfer between the two accounts.
I really need a new gas company.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Today Something Good

A friend said her daughter is in a more positive frame of mind. Every morning when she wakes up, she says, "Today something good will happen to me, and something good will happen through me." I guess it's a quote.
I said, "Every morning when I wake up, I pull my knees up and lean them first one way, then the other. Then I extend them and do the same thing. Then I do it with my arms. Doing my stretches while I'm still in bed and relaxed seems to make it easier to move when I get up."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Every January we've had to come up with a calendar for the gift shop. I thought we should be able to get one from the hospital, but no luck. So we'd get a freebie from one of the stores so we could note our meetings, etc., and the other volunteers would see it.
This year I managed to ask in admin. She told me where to check. I went and she gave me a hospital calendar. I knew it should be possible. I knew they had them. Now I know who to ask:)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunny and Warm

OK. It's just in the low 60's but sunny with no wind so I placed my seed order. The greenhouse is above freezing part of the time (when it's cold and gray outside), but yesterday and today it was hot. So I decided spring will eventually arrive and I should go ahead and place my order. The catalog promised $10 off the order and my email from them today promised free shipping on orders over $69. So I placed my order and got the $10 off. I had to go to my email to get the code to get the free shipping. So that's done.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


This isn't the lowest-carb dish I've made, but I'm pretty happy with it. I wanted stew. So I started with round steak which I beat with a mallet, browned, and covered with water. It simmered for an hour. By the time it had simmered an hour, I had the rest of the things prepared. I picked a rutabega root a couple of days ago. I peeled and diced it to add to the stew when the meat was tender. I also added chopped celery (including the leaves), three carrots, a small sweet potato (chopped), onions and peppers from the freezer. I bought a bag of potatoes before Thanksgiving and decided to add a few of the smallest ones, also cubed.
Usually when I make stew it has onions, carrots, and potatoes. I still put those things in, just not a lot, and added other stuff.
It turned out good. I'd been thinking of trying a sweet potato cut into chunks for a while. It was all right, but not spectacular. But the stew was good. I'm glad because it was pretty huge.
After cooking the meat, I picked off all the fat and stuff other than meat. It makes eating it nicer. I cooked it with the fat in case there was some flavor lurking around in there.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Another Nice Day

Today wasn't as nice as yesterday because it was breezier, but it was sunny and about 60 degrees so we were able to prune some of the crepe myrtles, peonies, and grapes. We cut back some of the dead stuff to make way for spring's new growth. We're nowhere near finished, but it was nice to be able to get some of it done.

Friday, January 16, 2015

iPod Scare

I went to audible to download a couple of books with my credits. All went well. When I tried to find them, everything was messed up. Letters were missing, my audio books were missing, it looked as if I had changed to a different language!
So I plugged the iPod back into my computer, it synced...again, and this time it is in English instead of garble. My iPod isn't very old and it was very disconcerting. But it's back:)

Small Bit of Spring

Today the weather was sunny, no wind, and sixty degrees. I worked a little in my tire garden for the first time since forever. There is still a lot to do, but I got a start. It was a really nice day!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2617 Winning Streak on Free Cell

Well, I lost today. I really hated breaking that winning streak. The games with a lot of doubles (both numbers of one color) are difficult. The game I lost today didn't look that bad, but I couldn't win.
New longest winning streak though.


I told my doctor the bottoms of my feet burn and tingle. He said it is diabetic neuropathy.  I think it is neuropathy but I don't think it is diabetic neuropathy. I've held my numbers down and am not on medication. My liver and kidney functions are good.
I think the nerve damage is from working on concrete floors for so long.
I asked him what can be done about it, and he said there isn't anything. It's just annoying.
Well, I don't think he's right, but I might not want whatever the solution is. It is bad enough that it is difficult getting to sleep.
I'm trying essential oils.
I tried lemongrass cut with oil. It wasn't great.
I've tried lavender cut with oil. It worked pretty well.
Last night I tried frankincense by Healing Solutions. It worked well, but that was just one night.
The claim by Healing Solutions is that they put out therapeutic grade essential oils. The price on Amazon was about $10. The other sources were really expensive.
The reviews claim success from healing genital warts to cancer to whatever. I also saw a claim saying it relieved the symptoms of neuropathy. They also claimed it smelled good. I hope the other claims are better than the fragrance claim.
I've dabbed it on a lichenoid  something or other that my dermatologist says isn't dangerous. I've had it for several years. It isn't raised and isn't painful, but it is very red. I've dabbed it on some of Larry's skin things.
We'll see how it does. I'm not a fan of "It's better if it costs more." I'm a fan of cheaper is better if it works.


I pointed out that there was mold or mildew in a drip pan. I told two different people that that should be inspected regularly by the cleaning team. One said yes, she is allergic. I am, too, but the patients and workers are both at risk. The patients are less able to deal with additional complications.
I am there twice a week on consecutive days so whoever is dealing with that pan regularly needs to be aware of the problem.
The second person I told said it is especially important because people will be coming next week to check that they are in compliance with all the rules and regulations. I said things should be perfect all the time, not just when inspections are due.
I'm sure I sounded pompous. But the point in compliance is the well-being of all the people there. Failure to comply results in a piece of paperwork if the inspectors catch it. It results in litigation if someone has an adverse reaction. Scrupulous attention to the regulations insures the best possible outcome for health and safety with the added benefit of fewer unpleasant conversations and possible litigation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Quarterly Volunteer Meeting

There were only four of us there and one said she might not continue past April. We seriously need more volunteers. It is very discouraging.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tennessee Funny

My husband asked if I knew why Tennessee's football team wears orange.
I said so they could go hunting next.
I was partly right according to the radio guy who told the joke.
They can play football on Saturday, hunt on Sunday, and pick up trash beside the road on Monday.
Most people have taken down their Christmas lights, but one house is apparently waiting until hunting season is over as they have one of the lighted reindeer hanging by a back leg from a tree.

Do You Want to Eat at BK?

"Do you want to eat at Burger King?"
"Do you want to watch me eat at Burger King?"
"OK. I could eat."

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Budget vs. Diet

I bought a sirloin roast that claimed to be "garlic and herb." I used the rotisserie grill. I don't know what was wrong with it but it didn't taste good to me. It didn't taste spoiled. I have to guess that the herbs used were the problem. I'm not a fan of herbs generally. But the texture wasn't wonderful, either. It was more like pressed meat although it didn't look like it before I cooked it.
So today I sliced a potato and started frying it, added hot peppers and onions, and then added the roast in bite-sized pieces. That is pretty much a recipe for hash. When it was done, I doused it with ketchup. It was fine.
I couldn't make myself throw away a chunk of meat. I couldn't eat it undisguised, which was my plan and would have been on my diet. So it isn't a diet meal, but it isn't wasting food.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Joint Custody of a Plant

We were given an air plant. It isn't in soil. It is supposed to be soaked in a lightly fertilized solution ever two or three weeks. So I ordered the fertilizer, soaked it, and put it in the greenhouse in the day light so it could get sun and took it inside over night as it is pretty cool right now in the greenhouse due to the low temperatures overall.
Today I saw the little plant in the house soaking. I asked Larry if he put any fertilizer in it (1/16 of a teaspoon isn't much). He hadn't. I told him if he wants to take care of it, fine, but we can't both do it as it won't be watered on any kind of schedule at all. So I don't know if he's going to do it right or just mess up my attempts to take care of it.
It is in the bromeliad family. I've raised bromeliads before, but not like these. They are quite small. I'm pretty convinced plants need to be tough to survive my care. If they don't make it, I hardly ever get the same type of plant. We'll see how this one does. I was tempted to buy some more just because they are so cute.

A Rising Thunder - audio

I like the first ten or so books of the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. I read them before I listened to them. It's interesting to me to hear the pronunciation of the reader after I've read the books. Manticoran is a case in point. When I was reading it, I thought it was pronounced like manticore with un on the end. The reader pronounced it man tic a run instead of man ti core un. So I got used to hearing it pronounced man tic' a run. It's pretty silly to think about it as it is a fictitious place. In A Rising Thunder, the reader pronounces it man ti core un.
I was reading a survivalist series where the reader pronounced cache as cash ay. On about the third book in the series somebody had convinced the reader that it is correctly pronounced cash.

Friday, January 9, 2015


I like Carbsmart fudge bars. Large WalMart stores carry them. Larry likes carbsmart chocolate covered ice cream bars. Kroger has them. I asked at Kroger why they didn't carry the fudge bars. They are put out by the same brand as the chocolate covered ice cream bars. The lady said to bring in the bar code from the fudge bars and they would see if they could get them. That wasn't a "yes" but it was closer than I got at WalMart when I asked why they didn't carry either one of them in that particular store which is closest to me. They just said they weren't allowed to. They didn't say that since I wanted them they would try.
I really hate to shop. But shopping at more than one grocery store is annoying.

Pina Colada Cheesecake

This is my favorite cheesecake.  I plan to make it tomorrow without pecan sandies for the crust. I thought maybe I'd roast some pecans and chop them for the bottom. I am going to use splenda instead of sugar. Instead of cornstarch, I'll use arrowroot. Everything else is low carb anyway.
 Recipe without adaptations:
Crust: pecan sandies---crush
pile in bottom of springpan and about an inch up the sides
4 eight oz. pkg. of cream cheese (room temp)
3.4 cup sugar
4 lg eggs (room temp)
Mix thoroughly.
Fold in:
8 oz. carton sour cream
16 oz can cream of coconut
15 1/2 oz can crushed pineapple, well-drained
2 t cornstarch
1 t vanilla extract
1 t rum flavoring
1 t lemon juice
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr 20 min.

1/4 c butter
1/2 c flaked coconut
1/2 c finely chopped nuts
1/4 c sugar
Melt butter, add rest, saute until golden, stirring frequently.  Don't overcook.
After cheesecake has baked 1 hr 20 min, turn oven off.
Sprinkle on topping; return to oven for 1 hr, door closed. Remove and let cool to room temperature.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


I've watched a lot of people shiver lately. I asked a friend if she has any cashmere sweaters. She said she has two. I asked why she wasn't wearing one today (she had on several layers, her jacket over her shoulders and my jacket in her lap, my scarf wrapped around her hands). She said, well, I'm wearing...she plucked at the sweater she was wearing, and said she was wearing layers.
It isn't cold for long periods here so people don't really figure out about wool. It's warmer than cotton.
If it were cold longer, I'd replace my silk underlayer. LL Bean has some. It is thinner than long underwear so clothes still fit. But the silk layer a little larger than skin tight so you don't rip holes in it just putting it on.
But a layer of silk, then cashmere, and then anything and the body stays warm. I don't need all those layers here. If I were outside and not active, I would, I guess. But the shivering people I'm seeing aren't even outside; they are in heated buildings!
Get wool. Wear it. Take good care of it because it isn't cheap.
Happy winter!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Practicing Painting

A new favorite flower is the columbine. It seeds freely and has lovely flowers with more than one color. I didn't like them at first because they don't show up at a distance. But the cure for that problem was simple, I planted them close to the end of the porch and beside the carport.
Then I decided I wanted to paint them. I didn't have a pattern so I looked up a picture on the internet and sketched it. Then I tried painting them on these wooden ornaments. I think they turned out pretty well. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Boring Day

Nothing much happened today. I spent the first half day doing an errand which wasn't entertaining. When I got home, I ate and just vegged out. I'm ready for something besides cold weather, gray skies, and rain.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Jury Duty Tomorrow

My hair is clean. I have picked out warm clothes. I can't take a purse, cell phone, or probably a Kindle or iPod or book. I have to get there early or park in the next county and stand up the whole time. Maybe I won't be picked. I've done it before and it drove me nuts because I couldn't talk about it.

Free Cell

I've been playing Free Cell forever it seems. It isn't really forever because I didn't play it before I had a computer and that isn't forever.
When I first started playing, I thought there would be a game where I would make one move and all the cards would play themselves to a win. Well, there may be a game like that, but I haven't found it.
Then I just tried to improve my percentage.
Now I'm trying out the idea that it is possible to win every game. My longest winning streak was 1,035 until I erased all the statistics. I had so many games on that I couldn't improve my percentage.
Now my percentage is 99.2 with a current win streak of 2,026.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Tossing Papers

It's difficult to dispose of papers. But today I cleaned out a notebook and put the papers in my burning box. I don't know if they are sensitive, but they will burn. Now I have a notebook for something else. I think I'll get rid of more tomorrow. It frees up space. And honestly, retired, I don't see a use for old evaluations, leave and earnings statements, etc. But it's still difficult.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Resolution

I'm pretty tired of self-improvement resolutions.
I want something that will make me smile. Drugs and alcohol are out.
I finally decided to pick where I want an arbor and get one there. I would like to have two, but I think I'll start with one. I want two fragrant climbing roses for it.

Clearing a Shelf

When I decide to work on something, I get it out where I can see it. So the dozen white Christmas ornaments came out of the box, off the shelf, and onto the tree. Now when my mind goes ADHD, I'll just switch from watering cans to ornaments or gourds, or recycled card catalog boxes.
It's a great time to paint as it is too awful outside to play in the yard.

Great Start

I painted a watering can today. It may be the first thing I've painted that isn't "busy."
The air plant to the right in its little stand inspired the picture on the watering can.
I also finished clearing away the Christmas ornaments and took them to the basement. The house looks like it should again.