Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Funny how the world just keeps on going, when my heart is broken

 Grateful for a lot of things.  Grateful that the world keeps on and that my broken heart is a sure sign of a healthy  emotional life.  It's easy to forget that loving and losing and grieving are signs of a healthy life. Bella is still looking for Roxie, and every night she goes to where Roxie's bed was and sniffs around and finally lays right over the spot. In the evening when I aqm in here on the computer, she comes in and lays on the very spot where Roxie died.  And when she does these things, it makes me cry. The other two dogs are a little depressed, but Bella is the one most affected I think. Well, Bella and I...

  I don't want it to sound like I am sitting around crying all the time, because I'm not.  BUt every now and again, I get a sharp stab of pain...knowing I'll never see her again.  Thinking I hear her coming down the hall.  Just too soon gone...and isn't that how it is ?


  This morning I thought I wanted split pea soup. Wouldn't you know that there is every type of bean on God's earth in this house except split peas ?  LOL  I planned to get out and run some errands anyway, because we are spiraling back into winter weather after  3 days that were 50 or above. They've predicted snow and I was down to about enough Sumatran beans to make another 2 pots of coffee. ALERT!!WARNING WARNING !! Cannot run out of coffee beans.  LOL

  So, I bought 6 bags of split peas and thought I'd fix that for supper, when I realized that I have 5 avocados on the counter that are going to be overripe in about 20 minutes. So...instead of split pea soup tonight, we are having chicken nachos, with beans, chilies, cheese, salsa, black olives, onions, sour cream and guacamole. The local market had a big meat sale going on, so I bought a family pack of chicken thighs. I froze  most of them and put 5 in the oven to bake. I'll pull the meat off and top the nachos with them. Fun, filling food to eat with our fingers while we watch television.

 But dammit, tomorrow I'm fixing split pea soup !!


  The temps were at 51 this morning around  9 AM...around 11 started falling rapidly and it's now windy, spitting snow and 30 degrees. Heading for 22 apparently. I can hear the wind howling out there. Last night we had temps in the 70's and tornado warnings and high winds and thunderstorms.  It's bizarre.

   The house is cozy, and the smell of baked chicken permeates everything.  I still have some leftover peach/pear cobbler from the weekend , so dessert is taken care of, if we should need any.  I've been kinda hungry for something chocolate though, so tomorrow I might bake some cream cheese brownies. Have to see how I feel.

  The Irishman will be home in about 45 minutes, so I guess I'd better get in there and get busy. Gotta open a jar of home canned pinto beans and season those up a little with some garlic, onions and cumin and green chilies.  Then I'll load up the big baking pan with chips and beans and chicken and cheese. Into the oven, and when it comes out all the other stuff goes on top. Gotta get the guac made too.

  Happy Hump Day, everyone.

  Thank you all for your love and support--it has meant the world to me.



Monday, January 28, 2013

R.I.P. Roxie Kelley

 This is one of the last pictures I took of my sweet little dog...just the day before yesterday.  Last night at 6:13 PM, January 27, 2013, Roxie  left us. But not without saying goodbye.

  She had been particularly listless and unable to walk far without repsiratory distress.  She was snuggled up with the Irishman on the couch, under the blankets. We had finished supper, but she wasn't eating...not even the juicy chunk of baked chicken I tried to give her. She'd barely eaten anything all day. She suddenly sat up and leaned against dad and nuzzled at him and he petted her and then without warning, she hopped off the couch before he could stop her to help. She poked at Bella with her nose and then trotted into the office where I was.  When she came in here, she nuzzled against my leg and I reached down and petted her and rubbed her ears. She was wagging her tail and I said--hey, look at that waggy tail-that's what I like to see! And she licked my hand and walked over by her pillow where she always lays, and laid down. Then she kinda tipped to one side and I yelled for the Irishman...he came running and I was crying. she's dying...I said, she's dying. It took about 5 minutes or so for her to completely stop breathing. We loved her and petted her and kept our hands on her.  We told her that it was okay, that everything was okay...we told her she was a good dog and that we loved her.  And then she was gone, after one last gasp.

  This morning we buried her by one of her favorite hole digging spots, all wrapped up in her red and polka dot fleece blanket that I made for her because she was always cold..  She would burrow into it every night to sleep.  She would climb out of it every morning when I called "Come on Rox--let's go do the chickens.". 

  My husband and son dug the hole for her and we all said a few words about her and what a great little dog she was, that rescuing us like she did was the greatest thing that ever happened. I petted and kissed her shiny black head before the Irishman lowered her into the grave. 


  I am doing some cathartic housecleaning this morning. I am all cried out, I think. The past week has been hard and I cried for her. Last night and today, I have cried for me.   I am grateful she isn't suffering anymore.  I am grateful that I took a little daschund that I didn't really want, when my niece found her abandoned in the house she had for sale. I am grateful that our lives were enriched by a little dog who was fiercely loyal and a constant companion...partly because she was afraid of being left again, but hey--I'll take it.  We loved each other completely...and it just doesn't get any better than that.

  A friend sent me this, and I wanted to share it because it is so true....

Okay. I'm going back to some work so I don't have to think so much.

  Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers during this painful time...I appreciate every one of you.


Friday, January 25, 2013


 I am practicing some extra gratitude today to try and still my whirlwind mind.  I have decided that I should tackle a few projects today, to keep my hands and brains busy...I'm so worried about my little doggie and having a terrible time keeping from going over the top about it all. I'm watching her breathing so hard and her little heart is still beating faster than it should and the vet put her on antibiotics..I'm not sure why as I never did get a straight answer out of him. Every time I asked him, he would revert back to wanting to do all those extra tests , blah blah blah... I am really trying to trust that it's going to be alright, but it sure is hard.

  So.  Grateful heart, peaceful mind.  Okay.

  I'm doing some laundry right now. I am going to tackle that guest room closet/pantry, because it's such a mess I can't find anything in there. I am also going to organize my office a little better.  Not sure just how yet, but it's important that it get done. Yesterday I put up a parquet vinyl tile about 1/3 of the way up the little hallway wall. It turned out pretty good, but was also a little harder than I thought it was going to be. lol  The cutting part.  That hallway wall gets slammed all the time with dogs and dog balls...we play fetch with Miss Molly McGee, the Jack Russell Terrorist by throwing the ball down the hallway.  She and it bounce off that wall like players in a jai alai game .  It is constantly dirty and gross looking.  SInce I know for sure that the game will never change, I have decided the path of least resistance to be covering it with something that is washable, and won't show up everything like the sage green wall does. Voila! I thought about something chic, like small pieces of driftwood glued to the wall in a pattern...and realized that A) I don't live by the sea anymore and B) It's so dusty out here in the country that it would just be a new and probably harder thing to keep clean. Then I remembered the vinyl tiles. We used them last year when my son put all new hardware on the kitchen cabinets and lined the shelves and bottoms of all the cabinets with the tile, which would take a beating and be very easy to clean. I had just enough of them left over. So far they're holding, but if they don't, my son brought me some spray adhesive to put them up with. (If I had waited another hour to do the job, he would have been here with it and probably done it for me. lol) 

  The Irishman has been out in the front yard pruning fruit trees this morning.  He's going out later to try to find a new work coat. His job trashes his clothing, so I gently suggested he go to thrift stores and try first. I buy all his jeans and T-shirts from Goodwill.  It's crazy to pay new prices for stuff that's going to have welding torch holes burned in it the first time he wears them, or that tar stuff he paints pipe with that doesn't come off.  I really hope he can find something--he's apparently going on his own...and he's not a patient shopper. Sigh....

  I started a new jar of orange peels and vinegar cleaner.  I have a full spray bottle of the cleaner, but it takes a few weeks for the vinegar and orange to really infuse.  It makes a nice cleaner and I've been doing this for a few years now.  I found a recipe for making regular liquid dish soap that I'm going to try too...maybe next week. That should be interesting... 

  Wellll..........guess I've lollygagged around here enough. Little Roxie is sleeping in a patch of sunlight, the temps outside have hit 35 on their way to warm. The laundry is going, filling the house with the clean smells of a little bleach and homemade detergent.  The boyo just came in for a minute, off work early today and came home with a plethora of leftover marble, granite and adhesives and grout from the job they just finished. He said the guy told him--this is going in the dumpster unless you want it. So, he loaded it all up in his truck and took it to his storage unit. He said that those boxes of black granite tile are at least a hundred bucks each, and he got 5 of them. Perks of being the tile guy, lol.

  The Irishman is off on his shopping spree. This should be interesting. There are 2 things that he and I rarely do together and shopping is one of them. (The other is going to Mass with his parents). lol

 I'm off to tackle the back pantry.  Wish me luck.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday already ?


  My new mantra. Because if I don't keep telling myself this, I might start to be afraid and believe otherwise.  And we can't have that happening. I've made the mistake of watching the news a few times this past couple of weeks.  Even if I didn't, there's the internet, which is more than happy to spew stuff at me...killings, hate crimes, politics, name it. Stupid people. The list goes on and on. It not only makes me tired, it starts eating away at the core of my being.  And I become terse and sarcastic and jaded.   And I know when I tell you this, that it is only a reaction to the fear that nibbles away at my psyche. Because I am afraid sometimes, when I look at the world, that we are not evolving fast enough or completely enough. People are unkind and even children are mean. There's so much craziness out there...I try to remember that hurt people, hurt people.  And concentrate on the fact that we all need healing. I belonged to a church when I lived in North Carolina that I initially joined because I wanted to sing.  One of the things that we did there that I absolutely adored was Prayerwalking. We would walk through our own and others neighborhoods, and as we passed each house, we say a short prayer, blessing all the people who lived there. We would bless the schools and the stores and the playgrounds. And doing that changed me in ways I never understood.  It connected me to my community. It was like I now had a personal vested interest in the people around me for the first time.

 I later became involved in an internet project where I made a list of people who needed special blessings, and each morning as part of my prayer and meditation time, I would hold these people in the light and bless them with all the things they needed. It was a life changing experience. I still do this, maybe on a little smaller scale, but it keeps me grounded most of the time.

  I did another prosperity and abundance project where I made a special jar labeled with these words :

      This is an abundant Universe.
      I always have more than I need.
      I always have wealth to share.

 Then I was told to make a commitment to put money in that jar every day, any amount that I could easily afford.   And at the end of 3 months, I would donate that money to a charity, or pass it on anonymously to someone that I knew that needed it.  Sometimes I gave it to a pet rescue. Sometimes I handed it over to a homeless person. Sometimes I put it in an envelope and left it in someones mailbox or on their porch.  This endeavor shifted something in me where money was concerned.  I did this for almost 4 years. Some months I could afford to put more money in, some months less. It didn't matter.  It was the act of giving and sharing that was the point.  Of  knowing that I had enough to share with someone less fortunate. I still have my jar, and I really should start doing this again.

  The most recent thing I've gotten involved in is writing love letters.  It's a huge project that is all about writing little love letters and leaving them in places for people to find.  People are doing it all over the country. There's also another part of this where they learn of someone in dire need of them, and they put out a request and bombard this person with bundles and bundles of love letters.  All anonymous.  All little pep talks. All reminding us how magnificent we are and that we are loved.  And people find these notes, and when they're going through hard times  or battling depression or other illnesses...and they contact the site and comment on how it affected them. It's stupendous.  And it all came out of a depressed lonely girl, trying to find some way to make herself feel better. Here's a link:

 All I'm saying here is that there are a lot of ways to cope with life. I have learned from a 12 step program that the best thing I can do to get out of my own head is to do something for someone else. The best way to feel better is to make someone else feel better.  On a large scale or small scale...we can all make a difference.  

"We cannot do great things, but we can do small things with great love."
~ Mother Teresa


  And now, for the teary part of our program...

This morning, Miss Roxie was having a hard time. Her breathing was so rapid to be almost gasping. Her heart was racing. I couldn't get in to our vet until 4:30 and I was afraid to wait that long. (He has 2 offices, one far away where he is in the mornings and the one closer that he comes to at 4.)  I tried another vet that we have seen and he was gone until next week. I finally just walked in to another vet I haven't been to and asked if there was a chance the doc could take a quick look at her.  He did, and 162 dollars later, I was told she has heart worms and she is experiencing tachycardia. This could be from throwing a clot, or the heartworms had blocked a valve.  He wanted to do another $300 worth of tests on her and I declined--he had a hard time getting the blood draw for the heartworm test.  He did an EKG which came out pretty normal except for the rapid heartbeat. It's about twice what it should be. He wants her on antibiotics for 3 weeks and then will treat the heartworm. I don't understand this, and am going to call another vet tomorrow. He gave explicit orders concerning her resting and not jumping or getting excited.  She's lost a lot of her energy, as you can imagine.  I am so very worried that we're going to lose her. Apparently, her last heartworm test gave a false negative, something that happens more often than you'd think.  I'm afraid. Afraid we will lose her before they can treat her. Afraid I can't afford the treatment. Afraid afraid afraid.  I hate this. I hate watching her distress. I hate not being able to fix her so that everything's okay right now.  We've only had her for one year, and I'm so attached to her that you'd think she was always mine.

Please say a little prayer for her, if you're so inclined. We need all the good healing positive energy we can muster.


Alright. I am exhausted and ready for bed. Tomorrow is a new day, and I need to be at my best for it.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's a cold, cold Sunday

  I really like this picture.... I really like this idea...we're all just walking each other home...

 I remember when I was a kid, and we always said this when a friend had been at the house to play, and you'd yell to your mom "I'm going to walk her home!!!"  and you go and stretch out the play day a little longer. Because you could never, ever go straight somewhere and straight back home, no matter what your mom told you to do.  And there was something special about that walking each other home. It was a private time to talk (or not) and to look at every little thing in your path, and to look in the neighbor's windows as you passed by. And to try to guess if it was suppertime at every body else's house too...and what they were having, and could it ever be as good as what YOUR mom made.  And then stopping at the edge of the yard and waving goodbyes and going back home.  And taking your sweet time about it.


  We had a crazy beautiful day yesterday, over 60 degrees. Sunny and brilliant. Skies so blue it looked like a movie. I took a trip to a flea market and bought an antique metal bed frame for 10 bucks. I bought a couple of other little things too. And had some excitement, as I lost my car keys (a hole in my jacket pocket) and panicked a little before backtracking some and then going to the office and finding that the keys had been turned in by a little girl who found them in a booth. Thank goodness !  My little Roxie was in the car.  All's well that ends well.  It was really my first big day out since I've been sick and I kinda overdid it I guess, because by the time I got home I was exhausted. I sat on the front porch in the sunshine and read a bit, then got up and  swept the porch. Then I read a little more (Book 3 of the Hunger Games Trilogy) and then I went inside and did some dishes and swept up a little and straightened couch covers and such.  Today I was out for a bit this morning and then came home. I am tired. And I am coughing a bit again.  Sigh.....

  It's 24 degrees right now and heading for 18.  It feels frigid out there. It never got above about 26 degrees today.  Guess winter is back. But then my father-in-law called and said it was 4 below there.  And then I read Mama Pea and it was seriously cold there. So, maybe I should shut up about it. lol

  Friday I am going to a friends house where a mutual friend is going to give the 2 of us an elementary knitting lesson.  I am excited about that.  A friend is coming by tomorrow and I have a couple of other plans for the week. Hopefully I am not getting this cold back again...I am going to make some nice chicken soup tomorrow...that should help.

 I am having a hissy fit tonight with my electronics. My digital camera won't download any pictures. I think the problem may be in the USB cable. I tried to re-take the pictures with my iPhone, but it won't let my into the Instagram app--says it needs to be updated, but it won't let me update it because it says my id/password is incorrect.  AARRGGHHHHH...I was talking to a friend and told her I just need to go back to 2 cans and a string. and a Kodak instamatic. lol  I am so tired of this's entirely more work than it's worth to me. Hate hate hate it.  And of course I am stuck with it. Another year I guess. 

  So I'm tired and cranky and coughing and  woried about my little dog.  She seems to breathing hard a lot of the time. Pat says maybe she got our bug and that could be it...but she's also 8 or 9 years old and I don't know how long doxies live, but it's probably around 10 or 12. And that upsets me.  She doesn't seem to be in a lot of distress...her nose is cool and moist. Her eyes look a little tired to me.  Anyway, one more thing on my mind tonight...

  Made a yummy supper of soba noodles with a bunch of veggies cooked in coconut milk. Hit the spot.

  Guess I'm gonna call it a night. Feeling tired and about ready to jump in that big warm sleigh bed with the lovely quilts, and my sweetheart sleeping away next to me.  And start again tomorrow.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thursdays child is full of...well, you know...

Little Roxie the Doxie under one of her favorite blankies. This little rescue dog is SO spoiled....


  It's been a long day today, for some reason.  It's only 10 PM and I feel like I have been awake for a hundred hours. Didn't do much today besides tend critters and vacuum and clean the big bathroom. And finish reading the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. And lay around. Just kinda tired today...

  Got a call from my sister, telling me that my niece (who lost a baby over a year ago) had a sonogram today. It's a boy, it's big, it's healthy.  Good news for everyone concerned. 

 It was crisp and chilly today...enough to make you put on a coat and gloves when you ventured out.  Tomorrow is slated for the low 50's and Saturday for the mid 50's.  Then all hell is gonna break loose, and all next week will have highs around 20.  I keep forgetting it's mid January...


  Feeling a little low. Mary Moon's mother died yesterday, and reading her blog has stirred up all kinds of memories and feelings about the death of my own mother, 33 years ago.  Wow. 33 years ago.  I was 27...certainly too young to deal with the death of a mother I had such a hard life with...but, maybe you're never old enough.  At any rate, I have been thinking about it all day, and that's probably part of the reason for my tiredness as well.  Nothing that can be changed.  And I always think it should be less traumatic by now, and I guess it is, a little.  But it's still a strong memory and it still affects me in ways that surprise me.  Even now, after all these years. And I think, I am tired of death, of people dying, of the scars that it leaves on my heart. Of  course, that's foolish...everything and everyone dies sometime. But the gamut of emotions is exhausting...sick people die, and it's a blessing. Babies die, and it's a travesty. Old people die, and it's their time.  And it's mysterious and it's frightening and it's a relief and it's inevitable. But all in all, we feel like we are such victims of a fickle fate.  Because we can't control it..and we are a people who SO like to control things. 



    Tomorrow I am calling and making an appointment with a place called Riverbend Physical Medicine. They are a medical/chiropractic/wellness  group that I have been researching, and  hopefully they can help me with these problems I'm having.  Pain, neuropathy, severely stiff joints. Weight gain (again).  I have dragged my feet long's getting to the point where I am crying from pain sometimes. It's ridiculous. They take Medicare and I have no supplemental insurance, so hopefully they won't laugh me out the door. And hopefully I won't go bankrupt trying to get this taken care of.

  Then I have a date at noon with a friend to hit a meeting. I need one.  lol

   Saturday I have a friend coming out for lunch.  That will be nice, especially as the day is supposed to be in the mid 50's.  Not sure what I'll make...probably some french onion soup and salad. Easy enough. Whatever I make she will appreciate. It will be good, spending time with women I care about.  I've been home, in my head, for a little too long. I'm still not completely over this bug, and the nightime coughing gets a little icky. I've been putting Vicks on my chest and throat before bed, and that helps a lot.  Arrgghhh...I wish it would just go away, but that doesn't seem to be the nature of this beast.

Alright. It's almost 11 PM, so I can go to bed now. lol  My son stopped in after work to tell me that he didn't get the little house in the country he was hoping for.  I managed to not jump up and down cheering. lol  It won't be long before he will be going though, I can feel it. It's right. I know that. But I sure love having him here.....even though I don't see him everyday.

  Sweet dreams, friends.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday was a typical January Day

   This is a batch of Puttansca sauce for the spaghetti for tonight's supper. I made spaghetti and salad and bread.  Earthy fare for a cold night.
 Didn't get any pictures of the beautiful salad I made because we were starving.

 And since it was cold enough to freeze your hiney, I stayed in the house almost all day. Had to go out and do the chooks of course, first thing. Their water bowl was frozen solid and they were none too happy about the frigid day out there.  It was about 16 when I first got up, but made it all the way up to 26 before the day was over and it started to spiral back down.  Supposed to get down to 12 tonight.

  I made a batch of artisan bread dough around noon and turned on the oven and decided to make oatmeal applesauce cookies. It cozied up the house right nice. The dough has to raise about 5 hours, so I thought that would work out pretty good for fresh bread for supper.

 Here it is, resting for half an hour before going into the oven. Boy, was it ever good. The batch made one large loaf and 2 smaller loaves and I went ahead and baked them all because there's not much room in the fridge for a bowl of dough. lol

 I took a shower after the Irishman tonight and so only had enough hot water left for about half the dishes. So, I still have work waiting for me in the other room. lol  Not that much left though, if you don't count the nasty mess I made all over the stovetop. No matter how hard I try, I always make a mess when I make spaghetti sauce. Every time.  sigh...


  Had a relatively productive day today. Have you ever noticed that no matter how many times you do laundry, you always have to do it again? lol  3 loads today. And decided to wait until tomorrow to wash the love seat covers. Got company coming for lunch on Wednesday.  I also got the nasty aquarium cleaned. That's a job I always takes longer than I think it's going to. You have to siphon water out of it and vacuum the rocks...and replace about 2/3 of the water. It's a little over a 30 gallon aquarium, so it's no mean feat hauling 4- 5 gallon buckets of dirty fish poop water from the living room to the bathroom. Can I just say...YUCK !  lol  Then (because I don't do it often enough) I have to scrape the top of the walls and down along the bottom as well. Lime buildup mostly, mixed in with a little algae.  It has 2 filters that have to be taken out, scrubbed down (slime--YUCK) and have the cartridges replaced.  It looks really good once it's done, but lordy....

  3 things on my list that didn't get done. But there's always tomorrow...Of course, tomorrow's list already has 6 things on it. (I can't win). lol


Alright. Dishes are finished, stovetop is sparkly clean.  Everything's put away. Roxie is all snuggled in her doggie bed, Miss Molly McGee is asleep on the sofa, covered up with one of the fleece blankets.  Bella and Caylee are in here sleeping at my feet, snoring softly and chasing rabbits in their dreams. All the cats are in, the bird is covered and chirping now and then to remind me that tomorrow is his day for a housecleaning.

  Outside the sky is clear and dark, and everything is already completely iced over. Supposed to warm up some by Wednesday...that'll be nice.

 My bedtime is here.  Mr. I come !!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Saturday in Winter

 Only it didn't feel like winter. It felt like late spring, with temperatures already in the mid-fifties when I checked the computer at 9 AM. Insanity. Yesterday and today both were about 20-30 degrees above typical. (Since there doesn't seem to be a "normal" anymore).  The birds and squirrels were all bandy-ing about and even the chickens were in rare form. I spent a little time doing some outside chores this morning and then moved myself inside to do a little of that too. I washed the bedsheets and swept some floors, but mostly I made a small pot of vegetable soup for lunch, with garlic bread.  That's what the Irishman and I had for lunch.

 By about 3 o'clock, the clouds started gathering and the sky darkened. The temps started slowly falling and the wind picked up a little. By 5 it was starting to rain.  And now it is late, and 32 degrees and the rain is a light mix of snow and rain.  Nothing serious, but bone chilling cold.  We spent the evening in front of the tv and under a blanket. We watched Shrek2  and then we watched Cowboys and Aliens, as we ate a supper of giant burritos filled with a ground beef, peppers and onions mixture, simmered in enchilada sauce, refried pinto beans, sliced black olives, chopped onion and lettuce, cheese and sour cream and salsa.  They were good. And filling. And warming. lol

 Now all the puppies and kitties and husbands are in bed and sleeping and I'm in here pecking away at the keyboard.  I should be in bed, but I'm not. My head hurts and I'm coughing, but otherwise, the bug seems to be on it's way out.  

  Thank Goodness.  I'm really tired of not feeling good. I have things to do, darn it. 

 Okay. I do need to go to bed. I've missed my goal bedtime by an hour. Not acceptable. lol

 I was thinking today of things I'd like to get on with in the coming year...and one of them is making more and more of my own stuff like soaps, toothpaste, etc. I found some recipes to try today making toothpaste using coconut oil.  Can't wait to try it.  I make my own laundry soap.  I make several cleaners  for the house. I make my own fabric freshener. I make cough medicine.  I make spice mixtures.  I looked at some recipes for making a home made version of Dr Bronners Peppermint Castille liquid soap...OMG.  I'll be buying that.  Making liquid soap is an ordeal. LOL.

  My head is getting goopy....I'm off to sleepytime.....


Thursday, January 10, 2013


   (This is my Fairie Santa from the Poconos).
 I spent a good part of this softly rainy day taking down and putting away Christmas decorations.  Transitioning from the holidays of the past year to the smart cleanliness of the incoming time. (Snork)  Okay, well at least to the Not Holidays Anymore time.  lol   It's amazing how much dust collects during the winter season, and then you put things away and have to dust everything too.  It was almost too much, lol.  I still have a couple of holiday scarves and table coverings out, but they'll need washing first anyway before being put away. I got quite a bit done.  And tomorrow's another day...


  My husband is in the living room watching the scariest movie I have ever seen again.  Contagion.  We have watched it together twice and this is probably twice he has watched it by himself.  Not me. I don't need to watch it again, thank you.  Although I can still hear it from in here...and I did remark on how familiar that cough  There was a segment on tonight's 6 o'clock news (I usually don't watch it, but was in the middle of doing something and didn't get the channel changed in time).  They said that the flu outbreak in Illinois was epidemic and that 550 people had been admitted to ICU's.  Nationwide, 28 babies have died from it.  Local hospitals are changing some of their protocols about visitors, etc and hospital personell procedures.  Safety measures.  At least 2 different strains of the flu virus have been identified, so flu shots are not helping because at least one of the flu strains is not in the vaccine.

   I feel better today and so does my Irishman. But we didn't have the flu either, I don't think...just a head banger of a nasty cold. 


   It has suddenly started raining in earnest. All day it's just been drizzly and grey, wetting down the earth nicely, for sure, but not a barnstormer of a rain. It's been a little bizarre, as the temperatures started climbing and got up to 55 at about 7 PM.  They're saying it will be 60 by midnight.  And then tomorrow will be sunny and beautiful and by late Monday night it will be snowing again. O, my spinning head.

  I have an abundance of eggs piling up. So, like any good little farmwife, I thought I'd make something for supper that used a lot of eggs...I pulled out mushrooms, kale, onions, garlic, broccoli and sweet red and orange peppers and lightly sauteed them in a skillet. I seasoned it with dried basil, pepper and a touch of salt.  I sprayed a glass pie pan with olive oil and dumped all the veggies in. sprinkled a bit of cheese on top, and then beat up about 8 eggs in a bowl and poured it over the top. Then I baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, maybe less.  In the meantime, I oiled up my cast iron skillet, put about half a stick of butter in there along with some olive oil, sliced 4 large red potatoes into it and then half an onion. I stirred it all around a little and then put a lid on it, coming back from time to time to stir it 'round again. I picked some fresh rosemary off my plant, seasoned the potatoes with salt, pepper and garlic powder and tossed in that rosemary. It was a smell that would have pleased the gods !! I put the lid back on and cooked those taterrs to an almost overdone crispiness. 

  It was a heavenly supper.

  I got a gift in the mail today from an old childhood friend, a cookbook called Fifty Shades of Chicken, by FL Fowler. I've been smiling since I opened it and started reading the Introduction.  Check this book out. It's a KEEPER.  It's food porn if I've ever seen it. And the recipes and photographs are...sensual, heart-stopping and fabulous.

  All it says about the author is that FL Fowler is a pseudonym.  LOL


  My mailman remarked today that "somebody must be loved--mail from the East Coast and mail from the West Coast !!  I got a second package from a friend who sent me some recovery books he had found while de-cluttering.  It was wonderful...I do love prezzies !!!  (Especially on rainy days). The boxes wouldn't fit in the mailbox down at the road, so he had to bring them up to the house. yay--I didn't have to go down there in the rain.  ;)

  Alright--I have other earth shattering things to do tonight, so I'll finish this up and get to them.



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Little Acts of Kindness

...go a long, long way.   And never am I more aware of this truth than when I am ill.  When every tiny thing seems monumental to me.  When the smallest things bring me comfort, or relief, or just joy.

  And I have been sick, sick, sick.  Sine Friday night. I spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday in bed. Almost continually.  Coughing, exhausted, slightly feverish (so says the Irishman, I didn't think so).  Absolutely unable to function. I'd get up, stay up for about an hour or maybe 2 (not usually) and go back to bed. I managed to drink enough water to not get dehydrated. I had lemon, honey and ginger tea each time I was up. I nibbled bits of food. And went back to bed. I was in bed so much that it hurt. lol  My back, my yi yi...

  As most of you know, I still refuse to get flu shots.  I went to 2 AA meetings in a week, and I'm pretty sure that's where I got it. Maybe. My nephew was sick with something when he was here at Christmas, which my son and husband consequently came down with too.  There are so many people around here sick with various forms of something or other...I personally know at least 5 people who have been sick enough to be hosptalized.  Most of them have had flu shots.

  The Irishman has taken very good care of me and of things around the house. Yesterday I turned a corner and felt SO GOOD..that I immediately rushed outside in the warm spring-like air and did a few silly things, like scrape ice off the back deck and sweep down the front deck. I caught up laundry and vacuumed the house.  I hung the dog blankets and the people couch blankets out on the line to air out. I opened all the windows and shut off the furnace and aired out the house. I should be doing that window thing right now--it's 53 degrees out there !  But I don't feel quite so chipper today.  Thinking maybe I jumped the gun a little....

  Beth tells me they're forecasting about 2 inches of rain for us down here tomorrow. That means I really should get dressed  and go out  and do a little shopping so that I don't have to go out tomorrow.  But honestly...I just don't feel up to driving anywhere....I have enough coffee for tomorrow morning. So there's nothing I absolutely HAVE to get today.  I'm gonna play it by ear. I am a little stir crazy. But I'm thinking that a nap sounds like a good idea right now. I can't decide anything--that should tell me somethng. lol

 My Christmas decos are still everywhere, and I don't care. I got the piles of dog hair up yesterday, and things freshened up a bit, so now worries there. The dishes are done and  there are leftovers in the fridge, enough to get us by one more day, at least.  On Monday, when the Irishman went back to work,, I got out of bed around 9 and went out back to get the chickens out and promptly fell on the ice at the bottom of the back step. A solid sheet of it. And hit my bad knee hard and bruised my hip, elbows and knees. I just lay there for a minute, crying in that pitiful, snot-choked sobbing that only I can do so well...I just couldn't take one more thing, you know ?  LOL  I really hurt from that fall.  That was the evening that my neighbor called my husband at work to stop by on his way home, because she made supper for us.   I felt so blessed to have such a wonderful neighbor...and she made a whole meal: a comfort food casserole (chicken tettrazini), a lovely green salad, birthday cupcakes and bread.  That small kindness meant the world to me. People were calling and sending me Facebook birthday wishes on Sunday, and I was too sick to barely acknowledge them.  But just knowing that someone was thinking of me seemed like the grandest thing in the world at that moment.  The Irishman brought me home flowers and a lovely card and a get well card and a beautiful wooden Bobby Flay salad bowl and spoons. And he promised me that next weekend --WHEN I WAS WELL-- we would go out and celebrate twice to make up for my being so sick on my 60th birthday.  

  I am one lucky duck.  

  And now, I think it's time for a nap.



Friday, January 4, 2013

The men are running....

  Granny is rearranging the furniture, and I had the guys move the big giant queen sized hideabed across the room to a different location.  Then I had them move the big solid oak table with the cabinet on the bottom that is full of vinyl record albums.  Then I looked around and said...well..and they both lit out of here so fast you'd have thought they were trying to outrun the devil. LOL  I guess they weren't going to risk having to move those things back to where they were...

  But I got it all done. And vacuumed. And cleaned out window sills.  And put clean slipcovers on the loveseats.  And moved the lighter furniture around myself mostly.  And I am pretty happy with the way it all looks.  

 I think.   

 It's a change's not been rearranged since about 2009.  It was due.


  I spent most of yesterday working on a fleece blanket for the Irishman. I was going to make him a Green Bay Packers blanket, but they didn't have any Packers fleece.  Said they could order some, but because of NFL licensing, the price was so high I said forget it. Here's what I did instead.

A nice native design.  It's that lighter red color on the other side. Turned out nice, and I got it all done before the Irishman got home from work, even got it washed and into the dryer. He's fighting a bad cold, and  after supper when he was sitting on the couch looking miserable, I got the warm blanket out of the dryer and put it over him. He loves it.  I decided to make it bigger than the ones I usually make, so bought 3 yards of fleece for each was too big for my bed (queen sized) so I had to do it in increments...I won't do that again. It's really almost too big. The other ones, that I make with 2 yards are a little short for a man, perfect for me, so maybe 2.5 yards next time?  lol   Live and learn.

  Hours later now...both of us are marginally sick with a cold now.  Boo.  Drinking lots of lemon, honey and ginger tea, taking some aspirin and getting some rest.  We've been snuggled up on the couch most of the evening/late afternoon.  Heated up some leftover wild rice and topped with leftover tofu and vegetables in peanut sauce.  Finished off the onion soup at lunch.  Just finished all the dishes from all day (including breakfast --good grief! It was a lot of dishes!!)  and thought I'd come in and finish up this post before heading for an early bedtime. 

  Temps have warmed up a little. We've been having nighttime temps in the low teens and single digits...tonight is only supposed to get down to 27. It was brilliantly sunny all day, but breezy and a little cool. They're saying it will be 40 tomorrow and rainy and then sunny again on Sunday and just a little cooler.  Sunday is my big 6-0 birthday...sun would be a good present.  lol

  If he is able to crawl out of here, the Irishman has plans to hit the big Boat and Fishing show this weekend. He'll only go tomorrow, and only if he feels better than he does now, I suspect. The poor baby is feeling pretty miserable.

  Sunday we will go to dinner and probably a movie. All depends, again, on if we get sicker.  There is a lot of crud floating around out here, and lots of people we know are sick. One of my son's friends said that half the kids in her son's 2nd grade class were out.  Yikes.

  Alrighty...I'm outta here.  Have a good weekend, everyone....


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Here we go...

 The very first day of the in it's jammies and heading for bed.  It was a cold dry day here on Honeysuckle Hill...perfect for staying in and watching movies and eating popcorn.  So, that's what we did.

 Last nights celebration was stupendous. The lobster tails were broiled to perfection. The steaks were amazing, considering I cooked them in a bit of butter and olive oil in my big cast iron skillet. Actually I do them like that anytime the weather isn't conducive to using the outdoor grill, and we really like them like that. It sears the outside and leaves the inside pink, just the way we like them.  I made a brown and wild rice pilaf, mixed with leftover sauteed cabbage and garlic, onions and crimini mushrooms. And a beautiful mixed greens salad with vegetables and steamed baby beets from our garden. It was fantastic. For dessert we had an Impossible Coconut Custard pie.

Let me tell you something...that dang pie was scrumptious !  And even though I ran out of milk and had to use evaporated mixed with water, the filling was still beautiful and custard-y.  It's one of those recipes that has flour mixed into the pie filling, and so creates this thin layer on the bottom...and we loved it ! It looks like hashbrowns.  lol   I'm going to put the recipe on my other blog...

  So, we ate until we could barely move (not really) and then at midnight (miracle of miracles, we were still awake), we opened a bottle of sparkling grape juice and toasted in the new year.  I got an immediate headache from it. Not sure if it was the sugar or what. I was in bed by 1 and snuggled up to my husband, and thankful for our life together.

  This morning I didn't get up until almost 10. Shocking !! lol  When I had a little coffee in me, I asked the Irishman if he was hungry and we looked at each other and laughed.  So, I got out the leftover rice pilaf and heated some up, divided it into 2 bowls and poached us each 2 eggs to go on top. It was perfect.
  We talked about going to the movies. We talked about cleaning out the guest room closet. We talked about taking the dogs to the park. (I really had no intention of doing that...the temps here today never hit 30.  It's 15 right now.)  In the end we drove into town and picked up 3 movies and came home and made the worlds biggest bowl of buttered popcorn, sprinkled with nutritional yeast and drank a small bottle of root beer. For supper I made us plates of sliced apples and cheese, summer sausage and fried ham bits, sesame crackers, quinoa tortilla chips and spinach dip. And, of course, more pie.

  I have started book 2 of the Hunger Games Trilogy, called Catching Fire.  

  So, here we go. Into the new year.  I didn't really make any resolutions this year, which is strange because I usually do. I have randomly thought about things I want to do differently, and things I want to do more of. But I'm afraid that's about it. lol

  Tomorrow I will clean out that guest room closet, which is a catch-all repository for everything from wrapping paper to kitchen appliances to apple butter to cans of paint that can't be left in the garage to freeze over the winter.  It should be exciting, rather like an archaeological dig, I suppose.

  For now, I am going to try to establish a regular bedtime of midnight or so. I feel better when I sleep regular hours. And already tonight, I am up past !!