Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It was more like the Twilight Zone...

 Listen to this, people: 

  Today I had to go to the DMV.  We all know what that means. Frustration, long lines, [un]civil servants.  An entity that has generally risen to it's ultimate inefficiency.  I never go without taking a book to read, because it doesn't matter what your business is there, it will take 3 times longer to do it than it ever should.

  Except for today.

  Let me step back a minute and tell you about the dream I had last night.  I dreamed that I was standing outside the DMV, at the door, when a scary voice boomed out-"DO NOT GO INSIDE !"   I looked around and over and up and decided it was God, giving me a chance to save myself.  I knew I needed to get a sticker for my husbands truck license, and I knew that it had to be that day. I looked around again and stepped towards the door, when again the voice boomed: "GO AWAY FROM THIS PLACE !!"  I hesitated a moment too long, and the doors were flung open with an extraordinary force and tentacles, hundreds of them, came out, grabbing my legs and and arms and torso and pulled me in. The door slammed shut and in the darkness I screamed and screamed.  Until I woke myself up.

  So. As you can imagine, I wasn't so keen on having to go to the DMV this morning.  Especially since I had to pay 99 dollars for that stupid license plate sticker.  I pulled up in the parking lot, which was only moderately full, got out, took a deep breath and went inside.

  I walked to the back where you get the stickers, no one was there. A woman came out from a room next to that area, took my money, gave me the sticker and I was back in my car within 5 minutes.

  And THAT, my friends, is weirder than ANY nightmare I could ever have possibly had.


    Got some sourdough starter  going today. Went to the DMV and the new CVS pharmacy. Met my baby sister and her daughter for lunch--went to the Starbucks for a back-up pound of Sumatran, since I took the last one out of the pantry.  Stopped by the credit union and paid the truck payment.  Came back home and did nothing. Had both deliveries of things I ordered from Amazon show up--one from the USPS and one from the UPS.  One was a case of organic coconut milk and the other was 2- 8 packages (each) boxes of organic soba noodles. The price difference between what I have to pay here, and what I can get them for from Amazon is 50%. And because I have Amazon Prime, I pay no shipping. So....I had to do it. lol  And now I won't have to buy either for a long time. My conscience twinges due to the carbon footprint AND the fact that I like to buy from local markets when I can. But not so much that it stopped me from ordering them when I saw the price difference.


 Watched an interesting PBS documentary on the Amish tonight. It was very unbiased I thought and I learned things I didn't know about them and their history.  It was 2 hours long...


  Still trying to decide what to serve my supper guests on Friday.  I have a wide berth, as the only restrictions I was given were -one's allergic to chocolate and neither of them like anchovies or sardines.  LOL easy peasy. I promised  no fish with mole sauce, and they gave me baffled looks.  I ate the remaining coconut custard tonight watching the Amish, and if it's possible, it was even better than the day I made them.  Of course, they didn't get properly cooled on Sunday...but they were still awesome.   I would definitely make that again. It was easy and yummy.


  Tomorrow I will go sit with my neighbor's husband who has Parkinsons so she can go out to lunch with some friends and get away a bit. I'll take The Girl With The Dragon tattoo along and maybe get some more read.  It is starting to move along a little better...either I am starting to get used to the Swedish landscape or the writing.  I'm sure it's me.  lol

   It was a lovely day today and the same is expected for tomorrow .  It's 54 right now, at almost 10 PM and the low for tomorrow is 36 and the high about 64.  Crazy weather for February in the middle west. If my neighbor is up for it, maybe we can take a walk around the property a little.  If not, we'll watch tv and he'll nap and I'll read.  He's a really great guy, and I have always loved talking to him. He was real active with the Boy Scouts when his son was young, and stayed in it til WAY after the boy grew into a research scientist who now works at Stanford.  They honored him with a banquet a couple of years ago...before the disease got him. He's a real sweetheart.


  I think I hear my husband pulling in the driveway. he went to a meeting in a town about 35 miles from here as part of his DCM duties. I think it may have been rather begrudgingly, but --you do what you have to do.  It's the life of service.  LOL


  Alrighty then. It's time for me to wind up here and get my gaming in for the night before I have to go to bed.

  Sleep well, my darlings.

  PS--DJan--I was not tempted to eat the ribs.  LOL  They made me a fettuccine alfredo with steamed veggies.  And I had a really great salad.  And then made veggie burgers for supper tonight so that the Irishman could eat and run.


Monday, February 27, 2012

I think the train has jumped the track. Do you want your money back?

  On Sunday, my dear son was over.  We chatted for a while, he fished for a while and then the Irishman got home and the three of us sat down to a midday meal.  I was in heaven. I don't get to feed him very often.  :)

  I made a panko battered fried tofu slices with peanut sauce, soba noodles with a coconut curry sauce and steamed vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, edamame, carrots, onions and garlic).  And of course, Asian slaw...Chinese cabbage with shredded carrot, minced cucumber and green onions...dressed with a rice vinegar and topped with black sesame seeds.  He loved everything--even the tofu was "okay" and he is not a tofu fan. lol

  For dessert, we had the picture at the top of the blog. A dairy free custard made from eggs, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut. I added just the tiniest bit of grated nutmeg...just a hint.  Of course, I then ruined the "dairy free" part by topping it with a little whipped cream, and sprinkled toasted coconut over it.  It was delightful. The texture was perfect.  I would definitely make it again.


  Interestingly enough, I posted this on Facebook, and my sister made a comment about ..."feed that boy a REAL meal."  I'm sure she thought she was being funny, but it pissed me off so much I deleted the post.  As I deleted the other posts that she and my sister-in-law had posted on my page (all quoting Bible verses and saying stupid stuff) about being gay...something neither of them know anything about.  I did tell her to shut up about something she knows nothing about.  And then I deleted that too. lol  Because I was doing a pretty good job of staying out of the fray, which involved a gay friend of mine and my homophobic relatives. Up to a point.  And then I can not stay silent any longer. And then a couple of my other gay friends joined the circus and  I didn't have to say any more.  lol
 Sigh...I swear. I made a remark to my friend about how slow and tedious evolution is, and we both laughed. She asked how I could have come from a family like that and I had to say,. I don't know. For years I thought I was from somewhere else...that there had been a terrible mistake of some kind or another.  lol  We laughed and she apologized to ME for getting so defensive and I was .."WHAT??"  She had nothing to apologize for, in my opinion. 

  And so goes life in the techno-age...I was laughing about this. For years and years I managed to stay at least 3 or 4 states away from my family.  And often farther. And they couldn't get through my inner circle. Now with computers, no place is safe. They can find you and make you as miserable as you let them. PLUS, I moved back to my point of origin, as I like to call it.  That didn't help...although I live far enough out that they don't bother me much. lol  (And don't get me wrong--some of them I really like!!)  lol


  It was a beautiful couple of days around these parts. I was reading blogs this morning and saw that some people north of us actually had snow, and I was surprised..  Yesterday was 65 degrees and today was about 50. And sunny and breezy and great.  The forecast for the rest of the week looks like high 40's/low 50's too...so I may have to get out there and plant something. lol

  Tomorrow I am going to lunch with my sister and her daughter. It will be fun, and I'm looking forward to it. There is one small problem...the place we are going has the best ribs around..and I haven't had any meat in a while. I could eat them...or not.  I have to say that I am feeling better eating all these vegetables.  And I was telling the Irishman tonight that, it sounds funny, but now when I get hungry, I am REALLY hungry.  Like maybe there's not so much residual gunk in my intestines or something.  I've been doing better about easting 3 meals a day too, and making sure I eat some kind of breakfast...sometimes and egg sandwich or a peanut butter toast...sometimes an egg and toast or oatmeal.  I feel better, plus I've lost 4 pounds.  That's in about 2 weeks. So...as long as it feels good, I will be doing it.

  I just looked up and noticed the blog title I put on here. lol  For some reason I have had that nursery rhyme humming around my head all day. Not really a nursery rhyme I guess, is it?   It's a jump rope or a hopscotch song...or some childs game that I remember.  Miss Mary Mack, mack, mack...she wore all black, black, black...with silver buttons, buttons, buttons...all down her back, back, back....
  Engine engine number nine, going down Chicago line....if the train should jump the track, do you want your money back??  My mother told me to pick the very best one.  (pointing at people and choosing for sides).

  Unfortunately, THIS train has jumped the track.  As in ...Alice doesn't live here anymore. Or--the lights are on, but nobody's home.  And--the elevator doesn't go all the way to the top.  Or, she's just a french fry short of a Happy Meal.  A few ants shy of a picnic.  

  Tra la la...


  It's getting close to my new self imposed bedtime. So I shall bid thee adieu.  I watched the PBS showing of the Red White and Blues tonight where my President belted out a couple of lines of Sweet Home Chicago, with Keb Mo, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Gary Clark, Jr., Susan Tedeschi, Wayne Haines, BB King and (I know there were more, but my train has jumped the track.)  It was all a sight to behold...but I must say..(don't stone me) I was puzzled by Mick Jagger being in this lineup.

  On that note--I'm outta here.

  PS--I don't know how I did this (those goofy sections) but I can't undo it...not tonight.  sheesh...


Friday, February 24, 2012

A blustery chilly Friday in February...

 This pic is from the backyard, where I (thank goodness) did not have to be.  That little black ball  in the bottom left corner, is Miss Roxie. Out doing what she can to help dad with the yard work. lol  The Irishman got his chainsaw sharpened and cut up some more downed limbs today. It's been windy as all get out...

  I chose to stay in the house and do some February chores...like getting all the grocery bags of dried basil out of the back closet and finally stripping the branches of the leaves and getting them into gallon sized Ziplock bags. 5 grocery bags of basil plants gave me 2 full bags of dried basil.  We ate a lot of basil last summer, plus I made pesto.  Had a good harvest. I'll still plant some basil this summer, but maybe not as much as last year. Open up the space to plant something else.

  Then I got busy and made a creamy carrot soup, because Wednesday I found a 25 pound bag of organic carrots for 20 dollars. WooHoo!!  I'll be juicing  some--you can be sure of that. Carrot juice is one of my favorites. The soup turned out really nice, and is thick and satisfying and we had it with slices of toasted garlic bread.

 I did some laundry and that pretty much filled up the day, since we had plans to hit a matinee.


  We went to a theater we hadn't been to before. It's about 23 or 25 miles from here, in our county seat. It's called The Marvel Theater. OH. MY. GOD.  It was delightful !!  A beautiful old 1930's art deco looking place.  We saw the new Denzel Washington movie Safe House.  It was amazing, naturally, and very violent, but otherwise mesmerizing. I love Denzel and anything he does.  And that's all I'm gonna say about that. :)

   We sorta had planned to go out for supper after the movie,. like we usually do on date night, but we were still full from that bowl of carrot soup and finally decided to just come home and eat something healthy. So far, we still haven't eaten anything. lol And seeing how it's after 9 PM now, I'm guessing that breakfast tomorrow will be the next meal. lol


  So it's been a full day and the laundry got done and I stayed warm and even blogged on my food blog. Feeling pretty productive, if I do say so myself.   And in the morning I have someone coming out in the morning and I warned her that my house is a little nasty and she said she didn't care...so I'll quickly run the vacuum in the morning and tidy up and that will be good enough.

  I'm doing a better job of getting to bed at a more normal hour and am feeling more rested I think.  I have decided that after the first of the month I am going to do a juice fast for 3 days...I'll juice veggies and greens and maybe a little fruit thrown in here and there. This will be a good time to do it, since I don't have to leave the house if I don't want to.  I haven't done a fast in a long time, so I need to pamper myself through it.  We have eaten vegetarian meals for a week straight now...there are still 2 ham steaks in the freezer and a bag of fish. I think that's all.  (Oh wait--there might be a turkey breast...) Anyway, most all the meat is gone.  It takes a little more planning to make vegetarian meals and it isn't hard, just a matter of being mindful and thoughtful. I've been gathering recipes when I see ones that sound good and every now and then I pore over vegetarian cooking sites on Google...


  That's about all the news from Honeysuckle Hill for today. Not liking this cold snap so much....another day of it and then it's supposed to head back up to the 50's.  Fine by me.  lol

   Happy Weekend to you all...

  Be Kind.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mixed Blessings...

 Trying to stay in the tranquility tonight.

 And trying to understand the human condition, I guess. Or the conditions of some humans.  And stay grounded enough to not get lost in the what ifs and the omg's !!  The long and short of it is that as of this morning, my visits to MissB's are finished.  I was called down early and told that she was put in a nursing home.  Then I was paid and asked to deliver a suitcase to the place. Don't ask me why I did it.  The place is a hellhole, it stinks to high heaven and I couldn't get out of there fast enough.  I learned later that the niece didn't even take her there herself--"she just couldn't".  So, she hasn't even seen her all day. And the worst part is that she isn't telling the truth about any of it. This has been an ongoing part of this madness from the beginning...for some reason , this person compulsively lies about everything, even things that don't matter, and tells a different story to everyone and gets lost in the untruths.   It's pathetic (not to mention annoying).

  I guess the worst part of it (for me) is that she did all this without even a hint as to what was going on, though we were figuring it out. And she had always said she would never put her in a nursing home.  She made me drive all the way down there 40 miles RT, to get paid. (She lives in the same town as me). Just kind of blindsided all of us with the events of the day. No notice, no chance to try to arrange for anything to take the place of it--nothing.

   It is a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, I won't have to deal with it anymore. On the other hand, the extra deniros were sure nice.

  SO it goes.  Trusting that there is a plan afoot....


  ON a lighter note, I made some kick ass giant banana/toasted pecan muffins this morning. I always put over-ripe bananas in the freezer in a ziplock bag for just this kind of thing. And they were great.  Had a bit of company at 9 AM and we had coffee and muffins. It was fun.  I even got up early and got my house cleaned up a little.  Guess I'll have plenty of time to be getting that taken care of now.  And--it will be great to have more time for gardening and canning this summer, assuming something else doesn't fall in my lap in the meantime....


  I have had a terrible stiff neck for the past  week and a half or more...so bad that I've been using IcyHot every night on it. Guess what??  This morning at 4 AM I woke up from a dead sleep and got up to use the toilet.  I remember thinking--thank God--my neck is finally loosening up! I have barely been able to turn my head.  Watching the news tonight, I see that there were 2 earthquakes this morning on the New Madrid fault, down by Sikeston, MO.  That's about 3 hours from here.  The one at 4 AM was a 4.0  quake with several aftershocks later of around 2.5 magnitudes.  So--there ya go. There was a bit of cracked roads and foundations and ceilings, but no significant damage.


   It was about 53 degrees here today, but got a little cool and windy as the day went on. Pretty nice for February.  Tomorrow and Thursday are supposed to be almost 60, then a cool down. To 45. HA ! It is still getting chilly at night though, in the high 20's.

   I sure wish this darn cough would go away. I'm tired of it !!   And naturally it gets worse in the cool of the evening and so I slather Vicks on my chest and throat and so I can at least sleep at night.  I know I shouldn't complain, since really, the cough is all that's left of it.  I know a lot of people in these parts who just keep having all the symptoms over and over again. 

  I'm thinking I might go to the gym tomorrow and sit in the jacuzzi for--oh, I don't know-- 5 or 6 hours.  lol  My bones hurt.  My sister wants me to come down and see her new little Yorkie that she got and fell in love with.  Maybe I will...and have lunch with her. Or something.

  The neighbor of MissB who gave me all the clear plastic sauerkraut gallon jars last fall flagged me down yesterday and gave me another 4 cases of them. I use them in my pantry for storage of dry goods--beans, rice, flour, sugar, oats, quinoa... my back seat is full right now, so I guess I'll get those out and maybe take the time tomorrow to clean my car too.  It's disgusting. I usually keep it pretty clean, but this winter it went to hell. Everything needs cleaning, from the Roxie snot prints on the window and mudprints on the door  to the dusty dirty dash and littered floors. Hopefully it'll be warm enough to get that done easily.

  Okay. I'm doing a pretty good job of getting to bed at a decent time and tonight I've missed my 12:30 deadline.  Good grief. How did it get to be 1 o'clock already????

  Good night, fellow travelers.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

We're having a spiritual experience...

  I am home, with Roxie, singing along to the cd playing in the Bose.  It's a marvelous cd by a woman named Jan Phillips, full of spiritual songs. It's my Sunday morning go-to music. That..and the Staples Singers.  If you aren't familiar with Jan, please check out the link. I have several of her books and the music...she speaks to me...

  Anyway...we had a nice breakfast of spinach, onion, minced garlic and cheese omelets with english muffins. Then the Irishman left for his busy Sunday...meeting at 10 and then District Mtg at 2 and making copies in between. Copies he should have made earlier, but forgot, of meeting agendas, necessary for the GSR's to have. Anyway, I sent him on his way with a healthy breakfast and my part in THAT is done. lol

  So Roxie and I cleaned up the kitchen and made our way to the computer and the music and she is singing her little heart out. lol  She loves to sing with Joan Baez, too. Someone said the music must hurt her ears, but I don't think so...she just likes to sing.  She sings along until she's done and then she stops and doesn't sing any more.


   Yesterdays long day at MissB's was relatively uneventful, as she slept most of the day because she was up half the night and on a rampage.  They all warned my about the day, and even thought they were maybe going to have to take her to the  hospital, but finally she exhausted herself (I guess) and went to sleep.  She even ate breakfast for me and had some coffee, and then after an hour or so, dozed off. I did all kinds of little cleaning chores and some laundry and even took the kitchen curtains down and washed them. 

   It was great to be off at 3 in the afternoon and come home after stopping at the market for some bread.  OMG. I have got to get back to baking all my bread again. I cannot believe the price of a decent loaf of bread..and the only kind I buy around here is the Brownberry Health Nut, and it's over 4 dollars a loaf.  Highway robbery. 


  It was beautiful day yesterday, close to 50, and the same is expected for today. I'm going to take Miss Roxie for a walk in the park, as she didn't get one yesterday and the other dogs did. The next few days are supposed to be even warmer, if you can imagine. 

  The bad news is that my peach trees are budding.  I have lilies poking up through the ground, and that's one thing, but if the trees flower too early and then we get a freeze we will lose the whole peach crop. And THAT, my friends, would be tragic. Because we grow some damn fine peaches, if I do say so myself. Tomorrow morning I am going to try to get some seeds started.  Cabbage type stuff, I think. Cruciferous vegetables...which include kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbages. I'm going to research and see if we can grow Napa Cabbage here--not sure.  And regular cabbage for sure.  I need to go check Beth Marie's blog and see how close we are to spring. The Irishman seems to think it's way too early for doing ANYTHING, but I know better. One thing I know--this time of year time speeds up and if we're not careful, it'll be late May and we won't even have the compost on the beds yet...at the end of every year, we do a lot of layered composting..putting the debris and leftovers directly onto the beds and let it compost all winter long. Then we turn that beautiful stuff over in the early spring and then we start moving the real stuff from the compost bins onto the beds and turn that under too.  After we plant and things start coming up, we start top dressing them with composted leaf material and whatever compost is left from the bins. After that, we don't fertilize much...unless it looks like something really needs an extra boost. Then I use either a fish emulsion or a manure tea.  And I make my own insect spray from onions, garlic, a tiny bit of dish soap and water, and cayenne pepper.

  I feel like I have spring fever....lol.


 It's going to be interesting to see how my blackberries come back from the horrific rape by the tree cutting hillbillies. Husbandman seems to think they'll be fine and come back with a vengeance. I hope so.  And if they do, at the end of this summer, I'll go around cutting the rest of the ones all around my perimeters out. I want to get some blueberries in this year too. I planted them once, when I first moved in and then accidently mowed them down. And killed them.  oops.  I have raspberries and blackberries (the blackberries are wild and delicious). I want to plant strawberries too, and I think they probably need to be getting in the ground soon. I had strawberries the first 3 years here, but they tired out and I mowed them all down and didn't replant. (Plus--I had about a gazillion jars of strawberry jam in the pantry, so....)  lol  I know Mama Pea plants lots of strawberries..maybe I'll pick her brain about how she maintains them, because I suspect I could keep them longer. 

  A friend laughed when asking me how much more garden I thought I get in on this little piece of dirt of ours. I looked at her seriously and said that we still have way too much lawn that could be used for practical purposes.  Then she stopped and said--are you serious?? I said hell yes I'm serious.  We have a beautiful yard, but I am so not into all that mowing and maintenance when I could be growing food on it. In this country we are crazier about that than anywhere else in the world.  And I have plenty to spare. There's a little less room in the back where the majority of my garden beds are, just because there are a lot of trees back there, and so it's a sunlight issue. We have already used all the good spots for all the gardens back there. I think. lol  We do still have to have some leisure places back there, and my chicken coop is back there and my clothesline and our back decks, with the bbq and all. I have a little quiet spot down by the pond, with a table and chairs and a shepherds hook with a tiny delicate wind chime hanging from it. It's incredibly peaceful there, and I love to have my breakfast down there in the summer and read. There are bird feeders all arouond down there too, and a wren house.  Down by the pond on any given day, you might see our resident Great Blue heron,  tiny little bluebirds, juncos,  sparrows and woodpeckers. We have some small green herons too, every now and again. And always Robins and Cardinals and Bluejays.  It's heaven.


  Well, the morning is slipping away and I have things to do. So, I bid you adieu and wish you a spiritual experience all your own on this fine day.  Stay grateful for all the little things, and remember to say a small prayer for Linda as she goes through recovery from her surgery yesterday. Step outside and listen to the birds and look for the signs of spring...they're everywhere....


Friday, February 17, 2012

Oscars all around...

  (Not that this has anything to do with that...but I think there might be some wisdom here...)

 Oscars all 'round...

  Tonight we went to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  It was an outstanding movie that was a real tear jerker at times and a marvelous snapshot of 9/11 and the impact it had on the city of NY and the people who lost loved ones.  Even the Irishman cried a time or two.  I told him it must be Oscar quality, because I was still crying off and on coming home.

We had supper at the new Japanese Restaurant in Litchfield.  It's called Sakura. It was wonderful. We ate like 5 people, lol.  We ordered appetizers of a Miami roll (smoked salmon, cream cheese and avocado--an inside out roll.) AND an appetizer of age dashi dofu, which is a crispy fried chunk of tofu with fish flakes on top (that wave in the heat) and a ginger soy sauce for dipping. Both were excellent.  Then we each ordered the hibachi meals --his shrimp and scallops and mine scallops, gently and perfectly grilled. Each plate came with a mound of really good fried rice and a stir fry of broccoli, carrots and lots of onions. Also came with a bowl of miso soup and a small salad. The salad was typical, iceberg and shredded carrots with their tahini dressing on it. The miso soup, however, was delicious...rich and simple and exquisitely prepared. Tiny bits of tofu and wakame and thinly sliced green onions.  The service was great, the new decor was beautiful and the ambience was very tranquil.  We will definitely be going back again. We ate all that food for under 35 dollars too. PLUS--(oh, and this was my favorite part) I ordered green tea, and it came in a beautiful small cast iron teapot. I really wanted to smuggle that pot out with me....

  So, it's Friday night and I have a very early morning --have to be up by about 5:30 in the morning. My Saturday schedule has changed and I'll be at MissB's from 7-3, which means one more night to have supper with my husband. That will be nice. That'll be 3 nights a week!!  woohoo!  

(And yes--I am cooking for him)

 Ai yi yi....


I got a new Elmore Leonard book (I am a big fan--and the book isn't new-new...came out in 2009 I think.)  I also got a new (again) Wally Lamb book. This one is called The Hour I First Believed. There was one in between this one and the first one I read (She's Come Undone) which I loved. Looking forward to getting into it. But I have Elmore sitting on the bedside table, as he's a quick and easy read.  And I am reading (still)  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. mostly at work. It's been slow getting into, but it is starting to pick up, about a quarter of the way into it.  The new WL book is about a couple of teachers who move from Connecticut to Colorado and the woman teaches at Columbine. She's in the middle of the shooting spree and survives, while her husband is off in Connecticut because his mother died (or is sick or something). Apparently she never gets over the trauma...I'm looking forward to reading it.


It was about 50 degrees here today. The Irishman piddled around working on things and chainsawing tree debris and I made some menus and a shopping list and went to the Green Earth market. I got some great deals, some needed spices (turmeric and smoky paprika), and spent a fortune on a  juice drink called Green earth goddess..It had wheat grass, spirulina, celery, carrots, beets...it was very good but I nearly choked when I saw the price. As you know, I juice all the time in the summer garden months, when I have all the produce I can stand. For free.  This drink set me back almost 7 dollars!!!!!!!!!  I'll probably not do that again.  lol  It was really good though...

  I got 2 huge heads of cauliflower, mushrooms, avocado, and red potatoes-all organic.  I got 2 packages of tofu. I got a dozen eggs to let my hens try to catch up, as they are slowing down in this yo-yo weather we're having. Cage free-naturally fed eggs for 2.99/dozen. (The organic ones were 4.79!!!!) I haven't had to buy eggs for awhile, so I experienced some sticker shock there. lol  I got rye flour so I can make the bread for some Vegetarian Reubens.  I got whole wheat lasagna noodles so I can try a recipe I found for a Caramelized Onion Lasagna. I got organic baby spinach. I got a pound of organic raw cashews (PRICEY!) And I got coarse ground corn grits for making polenta, which we love.  All  this for about 40 dollars. Not too bad, considering...and like my husband said--you can't put a price tag on our health. So--there you have it.


  Okay--really have to hit the hay.  have a great Friday night, all you night owls...I'm outta hereeeeeeee.....


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cuckoo!! Cuckoo!!

I don't know what the Sam Hill is going on in my brain, but I am starting to be concerned by some of the goofiness.  Last night after I went to bed, I kept seeing a computer game that I play behind my closed eyelids. I was ACTUALLY PLAYING THE GAME...  in my head.  WTH??  It took me a while to get to sleep. 

  Maybe I have a brain tumor.

  I'm mad at my husband again.  I've not returned about 4 phone calls in the last week that I really should, but just don't want to. And I don't know why.  

   It's Thursday, and I spent my whole day off cleaning and doing laundry and cooking and never left the house, except for one short foray into the back yard and then around to the garage to look in the freezer.

  Himself came home, jumped in the shower and left again. And DID NOT EAT THE FOOD I COOKED.  Took a peanut butter sandwich with him to eat on the way.  After he was gone, I said (out loud, to the dogs and cats) I'LL NEVER COOK HIM ANOTHER MEAL. HE CAN DO HIS OWN LAUNDRY. And I thought, I think I'll take off and go somewhere about a half hour before he gets back. And stay gone. And that'll show him.

  And I cried a little. And then I ate my supper, alone, in front of the television.  When he came back home 3 and a half hours later, I acted like a child and mostly just ignored him.

  It must be a tumor.

   Because the TRUE story here, is that he wanted to go to the open mic night at the Jacoby Storehouse, and had said he might go and I could come with him and I said I didn't know. He said he would see how he felt when he got off work. He said this a couple of days ago.

  Well, hell's bells. I forgot.  And cooked a beautiful supper of  Pepper steak and baked potatoes and salad. And when he walked in and looked at the table (that was all set) he said..oh...uh....I was going to go to the JSH...and I just looked at him and said--do whatever you want. He said, well...I guess I could just stay home tonight...and I said--hey, don't do ME any favors. If you want to go--GO.

  You can see how silly this is. 

  Except...he WENT. He asked me to make him a pb&j sandwich to eat in the car, so he could shower.  And I did.  See, he doesn't get home from work until about 6:10. These things start at 6:30. And it's a 30 minute drive to get there.  I hate that rushing around and flying down the road. I won't do it, most of the time.  It is not fun for me.

   And I got mad. 

  Maybe it's not a tumor.  Maybe it's that brain eating amoeba that people in Louisiana got from using a neti pot.  Whatever it is, I can't keep getting all crazy like this.  I'm not getting enough sleep and I'm still coughing and I feel so overwhelmed by my life that it scares me.  

    Whatever it is, it can't be being helped by these 2 AM nights I've been keeping.  I need to set a plausible sleep schedule and stick to it.  It almost feels like the early stages of menopause ALL OVER AGAIN. And if that's the case, I'll shoot myself in the head, I swear.  Because I don't ever want to do that again.

   This may be the craziest blog post yet...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Post Valentine Apocalypse

  The Love His Heart supper I made for my sweetie on V Day.  I had to work, but made it and had it all ready for his supper when he got home.  Made him a beautiful card and la-la-la.  Soba noodles dressed in a sesame ginger dressing, beets (home canned), carrots and broccoli -steamed. Chives and sesame seeds on the noodles.  It was double yummy!

   He showered me with 3 different kinds of licorice and a card.  No chocolate. NO CHOCOLATE !!!!!!!

 What??????  lol

  On Friday, which is our regular "date night", we are going to make the trip 25 miles north and try out a new Japanese restaurant called Sakura.  That will be our VD celebration.  Dinner and possibly a movie, if I feel like I can make it through without too much coughing.  I'm still hacking away...nothing like it was...just enough to be a pain in the butt.


   I am off the next 2 days thank goodness. Things have gotten almost surreal at MissB's, as she is always on her way to go "home"  to the house of her childhood. She is seeing people that aren't there and having conversations with them. Tonight she wanted me to get the buggy around front so I could take her to the store. It's tough.They are starting her on an Altzheimer's medication, hoping that will bring her back. Maybe it will and maybe it won't.  A curious and tragic disease, Altzheimers. 


  No big plans really for the day off...laundry. And housekeeping. It's been snowy and now raining here, so you can't even tell that I mopped 2 days ago.  sigh... The dogs track in so much mud it's unreal. Bless their hearts.  I am just going to relish the opportunity I have to not have to be anywhere at any time and can do whatever I want. woohoo.


    The temps are back up in the high forties and low fifties again. Ay Carumba. This is just too weird. Man I want to plant something!!!!   My seeds came from Baker Creek...I ordered quinoa and edamame from them. I think we'll put the edamame back in the front garden this year, where we planted it 2 years ago. The deer never came near it, because our dogs are out front mostly. We had a magnificent crop there.I told the Irishman I was having daydreams about tearing up more lawn for beds and he told me to slow down a little. LOL  Stay tuned to see what happens....lol

   My son has expressed an interest in growing this year and even canning. He dries lots of things, but hasn't gotten into it whole hog yet. This might be his year...(my fingers are crossed).


  The rain is about to put me to sleep, so I guess I'll start moseying off that direction. I have Vicks vaporub on my chest (helps with the coughing) and I might just take an Alka-seltzer cough and cold..because it has aspirin in it and really does help the coughing.  I'm a little bruised, as I fell in the kitchen yesterday evening. It's a ludicrous story and I won't bore you with it...but though I didn't fall FAR, I fell very HARD...and my knee hurts and my shoulder hurts and back.  The pain reliever in that fizzy stuff seems to help.


   Okay. Here's wishing you all sweet dreams and healthy days. Asking for prayers for my friend Linda who is off to have some surgical re-arranging done on Friday and needs as many good vibrations sent her way as we can summon. Be grateful, y'all, for your good health and happiness. It is a fragile thing this time of our lives and needs to be attended to with all the gusto we have.


  Here is one of my favorite Rumi poems....

     Be crumbled,
 So wildflowers will come up where you are.

     You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day !

  It's a cold, snow-glam day out there. None falling, but all beautiful and white...If the rain starts it will all be gone within hours, as it's getting close to 40 degrees outside.

 Are you celebrating yourself this Valentine's Day??  Are you cherishing the relationship you have cultivated with your body and your heart?  We co-exist within this fleshy framework, sometimes forgetting that our hearts beat without us having to tell them to, our lungs inhale and exhale all on their own.  Our legs carry us to wondrous places hither and yon and our arms hug those dear to us and do all sorts of little loving things all day long. Lips for kissing, toes for tapping...brains for remembering.  Thank you, all these cells that make Annie Kelley...you've done a fantastic job!!


  LOL.  Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. I am at MissB's tonight and the hubster's not home until after 6...we will celebrate V-Day on Friday, on our regular date night.  It's all good. In the meantime, I have made him a card and will get my butt in that kitchen and make him a wonderful dinner for VD night, and he will feel loved with every bite.  And that's what matters to me.  That he feel as loved as I can possibly make him. That he knows without a doubt, that he is the most important person in someone's life (mine!!) and that I cherish my time with him.  To love...and be loved....the greatest things on earth.


  I think I'll make some soba noodles again as a main dish, with some steamed cauliflower and broccoli and carrots (for color) on the side. I have a peach pie in the freezer for dessert.  He'll love it.  And it will be very good for him.  Last night we had stir fried veggies and a half block of leftover tofu..I came home from work early  because of the weather...my co-worker was a doll about coming in 2 hours early. (She lives there in town) It was already crazy out there, and took me an hour to make the 17 mile trip home. So I threw together a stir fry over leftover sushi rice and it was perfect.  The meat supply is dwindling down to nothing...we're almost there. As it is lately we're eating probably 4 meatless meals a week, at least.


  It's supposed to be in the forties all the rest of the week.  Crazy, huh??

  I have got to get some kind of system back in place for keeping my house clean. It's a disaster and I swear, I've been trying to do some stuff...it's just that I'm still so tired.  Yesterday I vacuumed and mopped and it was all I could do. The day before that, I straightened couch covers and dusted a bit, but you can't tell it 30 minutes later.  Sigh....I'm keeping the dishes and laundry done, at least.  lol   

  I'm thinking it's time to set up a little FlyLady stuff again.  Are you familiar with her??

  Flylady   check it out!!


  Okay. Off the computer and into the kitchen for a bit of magick.  Tell me about your Valentine's Day.

   I love you all!!!! (Today, anyway)  lol


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Oh my goodness...

  Got word tonight that another of my friends has lost their adult child to cancer. She fought a valiant battle, upbeat the whole time, right to the end. My friend is inconsolable....and I cannot imagine the scope of that pain--to have to bury your child.  My heart hurts, and I think the world is a little poorer tonight for this loss. She was a kind and talented and compassionate woman.


  It has set my mind to thinking of all the losses endured over the past couple of years, and that includes 3 people in the blogosphere. My friend Mac Walton, and Thailand Chani, and a young woman I didn't know very well who took her own life.  Then there was my friend Ardis, and my other friend Roger, both relatively recently.  Melissa and Matt--both dead of alcoholism.  Diane and Lisa and Maureen and my aunt Teena.  (Just making this list is staggering). Geri and Art and Donna and Curtis and Sally. My uncle and my cousin. It's too much...

  I guess I am at that time of life when this stuff starts happening..I don't like it.


  On a colder note, we are supposedly in line to get about 4 inches of snow tonight. But so far, nothing is happening. That reminds me--I need to go check the chicken coop, as I forgot to ask the Irishman if he had gone out and shut up the chickens...he probably did, but you never know... I can just go to the back door and see if the light is shining out into the yard or not.  BRB.  I'm back--naturally, he forgot and the henhouse was wide open.  It's probably too cold out there for even the coons and possums to be out raiding, but my bigger worry is frost bite. We have had a couple of hens over the past few years get their combs and /or feet frost bitten...it's NOT a good thing. So I tromped out the back door in my pajamas and robe and coat and scarf and shut them up AND got an egg.  Sigh...


  I've not got a lot to say tonight...I've been kinda jacked up all evening, because the niece and 2 of the women who come sit with MissB have been smoking out in the garage, with the door open to the house, and the whole damned place reeks of cigarettes. Not only the house, but my clothes, my coat and my Pashmina scarf. My throat hurts, I'm coughing and I have a headache. I had to take a shower when I got home, because it's all over my clothes and in my hair. And I am pissed. And I feel like a whiny bitch about it, but I don't care.  She doesn't need to be exposed to that and neither do I. It will be an issue...and I will not work in a smoke filled environment. I won't. I have been exposed to second hand smoke and have health issues because of it. I have never smoked cigarettes.  This is a big deal with me....

    I need to start heading for bed.  This feels like another in a line of too many negative posts, on so many levels, and I'm not interested in doing that.  lol

  So, I'll sleep and come back in the morning. IN the meantime...live, love and laugh, y'all.  I mean it.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

O, my....where has the week gone??

 It has been a busy week...finally back to MissB's after having the dreaded nasty bug making the rounds for 2 weeks--that wore me out.  Then it was my beloveds birthday on Wednesday the 8th. I didn't get home until late that night,  and promised him a birthday feast for the following night, to which he replied "Don't forget, we're back at l;a Vista on Thursday night."  NOOooooo!!!!!!  So, I called the director and said, hey--is it okay if I bring food and dessert Thursday, it's Patrick's birthday --and she said--Yes,please.

  And so, there you are.  lol

  I spent a solid 5 (F-I-V-E) hours cooking on Thursday afternoon...as I decided to fix the Asian feast I've been wanting to make. And it is all vegetarian, so it lent itself well to this group.  The above picture is my recent attempt at making sushi (only the second time I've ever made it).  I tried to make some of it with brown rice, but it wasn't sticky enough, and the sushi rolls kinda exploded. (Oops.) I made an assortment of combinations, inside-out rolls and regular rolls, with daikon, carrot, avocado, radish sprouts, scallions, cucumber, and cream cheese. All mixed up and willy nilly and it was fun. It got more fun as it went along and the rolls got better looking.  lol  They were really good...and we are still eating them (almost gone).

  Then I made an Asian slaw --ribboned Napa cabbage with shredded carrot, daikon and finely diced cucumber and thinly sliced  scallion tops. I dressed it lightly with a mixture of sesame oil, tamari, and rice vinegar.  It was delightful...topped with chopped cilantro and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.

  Then I made a pot of soba noodles, which are a Japanese buckwheat noodle. (Somehow forgot to take a picture of them...) Oh my sweet lord...are they good. I tossed them with a dressing of peanut sauce, ginger, rice vinegar and tamari, mixed in some chives and tossed in some sesame seed. 

  For dessert, I made a tofu cheesecake for my husband...he loves them,  He is lactose sensitive and so I've been making these kinds of desserts for him for a while. This one was lovely with lemon overtones, and a graham cracker/pecan crust...garnished with organic blueberries and starfruit.  Almost everyone loved it...(there's always a tofu hater in the crowd, whether they've actually had tofu or not) lol. 


  We had a great time and I am so glad that they changed the day of the week they meet so that I can get back in the groove with this eco-discussion group.

    On Friday the Irishman and I went to town for the afternoon. He wanted to see a movie, but I begged off. I am coughing still, and I hate it when people go to the movies and sit there coughing. So, instead, we had a decadent and leisurely late lunch, spent 2 hours browsing in the new Books-A-Million (that took over the old Borders) and then moved on to the Petco for dog biscuits before heading back home to the country. By the time we got out of the restaurant, it was starting to act like winter, with sleet and rain and snow...

    We made it home just ahead of the icky parts, thank goodness, and watched a movie on tv and snacked on leftover sushi...I had to go to bed early as my Saturday schedule is changed and had to get up by 5:30 to be at MissB's by 7.  The good news is that I am home by 3:30...one more night that my sweetheart and I can have supper together. (The one thing I hate most about not being home all the time....)


  Today when I got home, the Irishman and a friend from Kentucky were out hiking. I was surprised to see his truck in the driveway when I pulled in, because he said he would be going to J's house. This is a typical Saturday event. Turns out they decided to come here and hang out, playing guitars and banjo.   

  All the way home I had been humming my favorite Carolina Chocolate Drop's song..Cornbread and butterbeans  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xOxHyTP91c... Since he wasn't going to be here, I thought I would open a can of butterbeans and heat them up, butter a piece of 12 grain bread and pout them right on top! Add some chopped onions and VOILA!

  So, instead, I asked J if he would stay to supper and he said What are you having?  I laughed and said --cornbread and beans. And he said--oh, hell yes.  I opened a jar of my home canned pinto beans, sauteed some carrot, celery and onion in a pot and dumped them in. Then I found a ham steak in the freezer and cut that up into big chunks. While I was out there, I brought in a quart bag of frozen turnip greens too. While the beans cooked and the greens thawed, I whipped up a batch of buttermilk corn bread and got the trusty cast iron skillet all oiled and put it in the oven to heat. I always pour the batter into a hot skillet.

  The turnip greens are easy enough...saute a little onion and chopped garlic in the small cast iron skillet, and cook the greens a little. I added just a smidgen of sugar to counter balance the sometimes bitter quality and it all turned out to be a wonderful supper. The Kentucky boy just kept saying to the Irishman --My god..do you always eat like this???  (We hear that a lot.)  lol

   Well, I am whipped. I've been up since 5:30 and it's now almost midnight.  I am good and tired and ready for that big sleigh bed to carry me off into the realm of the Sandman....

     Sweet dreams, all....


Monday, February 6, 2012

Seeing things with new eyes today...

 One, Two, Three....BREATHE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Woke up this morning with a much better outlook on life. Feeling better, slept until after 9:30 (which gave me a full 7 hours of sleep), and had breakfast of oatmeal.  Woke up with a bit of an emotional hangover, but I was able to make amends for my erratic behavior and apologize to my [much] better half.

   Sometimes a person just overloads and whacks out and that's all there is to it. I am normally a very patient (snork) and compromising and understanding person.  Yesterday I was not. I went from  0 to BEAST in the course of about an hour.

Whew. I am glad that's over.


  Sipping a cup of rooibos tea this evening and sitting here at the computer thinking about going to bed. It's not 11 yet, but I have to get up early tomorrow and make sure to not miss my tax appointment.  I need to get the stitches taken out of Miss Bella too, in the next day or 2.  She has healed beautifully from the spay and was only a bit wonky for a day or two.  I need to get this desk cleaned up and pay bills and vacuum the mounds of dog hair accumulating on my floors. Certainly enough to do to keep me busy.


  I finally made the cabbage rolls today before leaving for MissB's house. They turned out yummy and I had some for my supper, with green beans. 

   Tomorrow will be a vegetarian meal....not sure what, but am leaning into something Asian. May take a trip to The Green Earth Grocers and see if they have soba noodles.  I found them on Amazon, but have to order quite a bit. Which is okay...anyway, yesterday evening I went to one of the big markets looking for stuff that I wanted and found daikon radish and satay sauce and tamari sauce and sesame  oil and  teriyaki sauce. I still need umeboshi sauce, and can order it too, but again...if I can find it locally, that is where I will buy it. I have a large head of napa cabbage to make cabbage salad with, along with the daikon and carrot. Soba noodles with a light sauce. And a cup of the leftover miso soup. Mmmmm...that sounds good. Not sure of the dressing to put on the cabbage salad, but I know it will have tamari sauce and sesame oil and ginger.  With perhaps some sesame seeds too.


   I am tired. I'll go to MissB's only 3 days before being off again for 2. Taking it easy. She asked me to come an extra day and I said no, thanks anyway. (Aren't you proud of me ??)  I just don't want to overdo it and wind up in a relapse from this nasty little bug again.  I've had my fill of this business....


   Isn't it a funny thing, the way we slide into our later years and things change so much? I told someone today, (and this is the truth) that I never used to stay home, sick or not. I never missed work. Now I'm all pussed out and changing my operating system. lol  I used to say "I can be just as sick at home and not get paid for it"  I never rested if I was sick or tired, just kept charging on through, no matter what.  Now, I listen to this old body more and when I am tired, I rest. When I am sick, I try to do the things that need to be done to recuperate.  It feels more like honoring my spirit to me, to listen, to pay attention.  I did a guided meditation once in a group, where we went over every inch of our bodies, saying thank you and I'm sorry. And by the time it was half done, 90% of the group was crying. I was bawling like a baby calf. It was incredibly healing and enlightening.  I realized then that I have abused this temple, neglected it, disrespected it.  I have never been grateful enough for all the years of service, all the incredible feats performed. Illuminating, to say the least. 

  These days I try to be more respectful and compassionate on a daily basis.  I spend a bit of time in the morning, thanking and honoring this old bag of bones for a job well done.  And telling it I love it. And telling me I love me too.  And that I am worth taking care of, that I am precious and my body is precious. This old, wrinkled,  worn  out body is precious. And so it is.


   Alright campers. Time for some shut eye.  Gonna put a salon pas patch on my aching knee and take a half dose of cough syrup and hit the hay.

    Sweetest of dreams to you all.....