Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Day 2019

   This is what the high holy day of gluttony looks like when your oven doesn't work.  LOL  Right now there is a pan of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in there for breakfast. That little Airfryer Oven has sure gotten a workout this past 6 months. I'm getting ready to make the pumpkin pie in it and then I'll put the crescent rolls in.  The Proctor Silex roaster oven held the 2 --12 pound turkeys just right...they've been cooking on low overnight and just turned it up to crisp the skin a little. House smells like roasted meat...and cinnamon. Keeping it pretty simple this year, turkey, stuffing, baked sweet potato and bacon wrapped asparagus.  Crescent rolls and pumpkin pie.  lol Some years I have lost my mind and made a 15 course meal.

  It's just me this year. And maybe my son.  But he's sick as a dog and I may just take a plate to him.  The Irishman is up in northern Wisconsin with his family. I don't know what any of the rest of my family is doing, but heard nothing about a get together, if anyone's even having one besides their immediate families. So, it's a quiet cold Thanksgiving day.  3 days ago it was 65. Today it's 35. I'm going to go out and refill the bird feeders in a bit. They appear to be stocking up, lol, and the wildbird seed feeder is empty and the suet block is almost gone. I filled them about 3 days ago. Maybe it will tun winter now...been crazy.

  Been thinking alot about the practice of giving thanks. My grandmother taught me to bend over the plants in the garden and thank them for feeding me and my family when I harvested them.  I was taught to say  thank you when anyone gave me gifts.  Gratitude and appreciation go a long way in changing my mindset, when I am feeling stressed about money or sorry for myself because I don't have everything I want.  But you know, I always have everything I need. My house isn't a palace, but it's [mostly] clean and it's cozy and it's warm and the roof doesn't leak. I have a car that runs well. Because I have a house and a car,  I have insurance that [for now] I am able to pay. I have family and a husband who loves me and a son with whom  I have a relationship I don't deserve.  I have friends.  I have  serenity. And I have a good stable life.  These things are the most important. The older I get the more I understand that the basic component of a well lived life is love. I could be anywhere, doing anything, and as long as I have love--in my heart and in my life-- all will be well.  The venerable Meister Eckhart  said : 

So I say thank you to God every day, for all things and in all circumstances. And I hope that is enough.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Friday, October 11, 2019

And just like that... it's autumn.

  A few days in the 70's,  back to the 90's and finally... 60's and below.  Today's high is expected to reach 49. Chilly nights coming up and cooler days.  The leaves are starting to fall. Colors beginning to change.  Still a lot of corn and soybeans in the fields, and it rained like a monsoon last night and most of this morning. It's stopped now, and the sun is out, but it's chilly.  Himself is walking the dogs down the road and back. One at a time. So every time he brings one back and leaves with another, the other two sit at the window and whine. Even (esp) the one that just came back.  smh...

  I love soup weather.  I have been home for 2 days and don't want to go out.  Decided I would make a nice comfort food stew this afternoon. Knew I was out of onions, but I had dehydrated onions in the pantry, so I used them.  All the rest of the ingredients for Posole were in my pantry. Yippee !!  It's in the crock pot now, filling the house with the wonderful aromas of onion, pork and cumin. I'll warm up some tortillas to go with it and it will be a filling and warming supper.  Made enough for supper and a lunch or two.  A great fall/winter meal.  But now I need to look for pork loin on sale to buy and can... that was the last 2 jars.  I still have lots of chicken, some roast beef and a jar or 2 of corned beef in there.  Winter is a good time to watch for sales on these meats and can them. Summertime is too busy with vegetables.


  When it's time to eat, I'll garnish the bowls of it with some thin sliced cabbage and radishes. 

  It's been a hectic week...doggie health issues, financial woes, sick friends.  My leg is in a cast for 1 more week, more or less, and I am SO ready to have it off.  It's a pain in my arse.  lol

 The kittens are growing by leaps and bounds.  The special needs girl is such fun to watch, as she grows more confident and gets braver all the time.  The boy is a snugglebug.  Our old cat Chichi doesn't like either of them.  She's going to have to suck it up soon, because it's getting too cold for her to stay outside all the time.  lol

Life goes on.  DC is a joke.  The world needs all our prayers.  

Be kind.

 Later, taters.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Will it ever be autumn ?

  It has actually cooled down some. but not much.  Tonight I changed the setting on my AC because it's feeling chilly and the damn thing wouldn't shut off.  I'm sitting here with my robe on.  We have still been having daytime temps in the mid to high 90's and it's getting old. Rainy today and probably tomorrow, so maybe things will really start to cool down. 

  I haven't posted here since  April. Good lord.  I have been feeling the need to write but somehow just not getting it done.  I have no excuses... still not working, although I am going to probably have to go back to work soon.  Having a terrible time with a nasty bone spur in my left heel that is tearing my Achilles tendon. The pain is and on.  The anti-inflammatory they prescribed made me sick as a dog, and am using a  cream now. It bypasses the gut, so no yuck. Unfortunately though, it helps for about 2 hours after I apply it and then it starts hurting again.  SO I'm all gimpy and cranky and trying to make it another 9 days til I can get in to see a new podiatrist. As usual, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off....on the go way too much, busy with a lot of things and blah blah blah.  

  On a bright note though... I rescued a couple of adorable kittens last February and they are doing great. They are about 7 months old now. The little boy was just neutered and the little girl is next. She's a warrior princess and in spite of her disabilities, is climbing and playing and just living a great life.   They are a handful and def keep me busy. I wouldn't trade 'em for the world.

I'm tired today. Maybe I'll hit the hay early tonight. We have a big annual picnic tomorrow and I need to get up early-ish and go help out. Also forgot (until about an hour ago) that I am supposed to make a basket for the raffle,  Yikes.  I'll figure something out, lol  I canned about 2 bushel of jalapenos as Cowboy Candy and Jalapeno jelly. Everybody wants some. Maybe I'll do that... 

  Good to be here again... With all the madness in the world, it's a great place to escape to.  Later taters...

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Is it safe to come out yet ???

April Fool's Day is over...and I think it's safe to come out. lol  Actually there weren't many pranks or jokes in my world this year, aside from a few tRump jokes.  The kind of people I know usually go all out for this special day, but this year I think everyone is so fizzled out from the winter sick and bad weathers that they just didn't have it in them. lol

  I've been spending my days doing weirdo things like dehydrating pineapple. In fact the loaded up 6 tray dehydrator is finishing up a batch now. The fruit has been on sale and I have so far dehydrated about 10 of them. I am finally feeling better enough to do stuff.   Moved all my furniture around one day. Got a new-to-me china hutch to put my new-to-me Pfaltzgraff set in, which meant I had to rearrange the angle of the dining room table and then rearrange all the living room too. That's what happens in these sought after (ahem-cough)  open living spaces.  But it looks good and seems to flow better and I am happy with it.  It took the dogs and that man that lives here a few days of grumbling and glares before finally getting used to the change. lol  But you know the saying..."When mama's happy, everybody's happy" and so it was.  It's quite pretty, the new stuff. I got the dishes for a hundred dollars, a huge set with all kinds of extra matching pieces and stuff like linen napkins, potholders, dish towels, candle holders... the woman I bought it from had obviously been collecting it for a long time.  I think she said she got the starter set when she got married. And it was her 30+ year old sons that loaded all the boxes into my little car.  (I was never that kind of a girl.)

  I got the hutch from a woman here in town selling things off because she and her husband were moving to Texas where it's warm and her grandbabies live. lol  Fifty bucks. Yay for me.

  So that's about the gist of it here on Honeysuckle Hill. I have started doing a little outside work. Weather has been hit and miss, warm and rainy, but it's a start. I haven't got the chicks yet and need to get on that before they're all gone. The Irishman is dragging his feet about it, so a friend of mine came over and we walked around the coop and took some measurements and talked about some ideas.  She wants to keep a couple of chickens here too, as she now lives in a place where she can't have them. Same with a garden, so I told her we could easily share crop if she wants to come help me with that. She has RA and has some limitations, but she's amazing and persistent-- between the two of us, we're almost a whole person. lol  It will be a win/win if we actually do that...

  The summer is shaping up to be busy, we have 2 family reunions, an area assembly and a speaking engagement  to fill it up. As well as my sober birthday and our 27th anniversary. And that's just June. We might try to turn the second family reunion (in Wisconsin) into a mini-vacation. A couple of years ago we did that...followed the Mississippi north, went to Hannibal MO (home of Mark Twain)  and Stillwater MN (Took a paddlewheel riverboat dinner cruise) and stopped at all kinds of places in between, including a cool set of caves that we hiked through. We're pretty simple folks, and easy to amuse.  lol

 In the meantime, there's weeds to pull and wisteria and Rose of Sharon to prune. Today is my volunteer at the AA office  day (every other Tuesday for 4 hours, no biggie).  I have a meatloaf in the oven for himself's supper and some leftover mashed potatoes to go with that. A vegetable and he's set, since I won't be here. After the office thing I'm going out to eat and then to a mtg to see a friend get her sobriety coin. I was out last night to, so I am really looking forward to Wednesday when I can stay home all day and night.  It's supposed to hit 60 today, the river is rising and the creeks are running over their banks and once it warms up north of us it's gonna be crazy. We live high and dry, so it doesn't affect us except when we have to go south. 

 Have a titillating Tuesday campers.   I KNOW you will...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Technology will make your life easier, they said...

 Oy... I have struggled for 3 days with this blog. Every time I tried to sign in it would shoot me to the other blog and still not let me sign in to post. I am such a technotard... I don't know exactly what I did differently, but I think this is what happened last time too. And being over 3 years ago, I think, I didn't remember then either. And THEN, it tried to make me start a new blog. Well...having none of that, I promise.  lol  I don't know if it has something to do with the "synching" of 4 email accounts (3 are for area business) but I suspect it does. sigh...

  Anyway, here I am. I did something and fixed the problem. For now. Who knows... Steve Jobs I am not. lol

  It has been a busy and frustrating few weeks around here. I have taken on a service position that I may or may not be woefully unprepared for. In spite of it all, I survived the first 3 months of it.  Health issues abound around here (and regionally and nationally, it appears) and we have been struck senseless by it as well. Things appear to be on the upswing, and the weather is getting better too, which can only help. It's getting time to get out back and start cleaning up the garden beds and get to work on the chicken house. If  I am going to buy chicks, I probably need to get on it. I desperately want chickens again.  I really need a garden again. One year without both was a nice break and a tragedy at the same time. I'm seeing news reports that farmers are going to have the worst financial crisis in years due to economic sanctions and weather catastrophes) and that tells me I'd better get back to taking care of business. Prices will go up. Inflated reports of supplies will make everyone panic. I need to not attend that rodeo and the way to do that is produce as much of my own organic food as I can. Gardening and small scale farming gives me a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It's a lot of work, but it's good work. And I am extremely grateful to be able to do it.


  And that's pretty much it. I have this ominous feeling that things are going to get worse before they get better. So...I do what I can.

  My son asked me to dehydrate him some pineapple and Aldi's happens to have them on sale so I will probably do that tomorrow. I'm almost out of the pineapple I canned last year too. Today I am on sabbatical (lol) after a 5+ hour there and back road trip to sit on metal folding chairs (which almost kills me) for 6 hours. I'm a hot mess. But the reality is that I have physical structural issues as a result of being hit by an 80,000 lb fork truck in 2001 which crushed my pelvis and busted me up from the waist down. So, really the fact that I can do anything at all is pretty amazing. lol  I do try to keep that in mind when I want to complain too much.

 I need to tear my pantry apart and clean and organize it. See what's in there. See what needs to be tossed.  You stuff.  lol  I'm debating about cleaning my house today. Needs it but I'm not real motivated...unless my buddy is coming for lunch tomorrow, then I will be. lol  ***OK-- she is.  There you go. ***  Now my life has meaning again and I have a purpose.  (not).  I am slowly getting my house in order though, since I quit working. One room at a time. Little by little. As anyone who has had these nasty bugs going around can tell you, they knock you flat on your ass. No energy, sleeping a lot, and  a cough that sounds like a TB ward. During the 6 months I was working and  the 2 months I was sick, chaos reigned. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

  So, there's the news from Honeysuckle Hill. There have been some good times the past week, out at my beloved La Vista where I made a new friend and enjoyed the company and fine food of that bunch...and of another gathering on a different note, which always nourishes my soul and helps me to grow. 

  Looking forward to getting out the little in-house chicken cage where the babies live until the weather warms up enough to put them outside. (I will never forget the first year we did this because they always have the chicks out way too early around these parts weatherwise, and my husband told someone-- now she's got chickens living in the house!!) The newly remodeled chicken house/area will hopefully be done in time. I have high hopes. I am going to spend some time today researching some building plans and hints for predator proof chicken coops. Imperative that I never have to go thru the heartbreak of losing all my chickens like that again. This old heart of mine can't take it.  Even though I know that alla god's babies gotta eat...and that we're all on the food chain somewhere... still... Rather not lose them again.

  Life is never boring at the Hill. We may not have much, we may not get to travel as much as we'd like. We may look goofy to others, but we're living a simple life that some people only dream of.  And most days...that is enough.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

...will it ever be spring again ??

  My beautiful clematis, which, in 2018 did not bloom or grow for the first time in 15 years. We'll see if she shows her face this year or if the dogs have possibly murdered her.  I decided this morning that I am going to WILL away this horrid winter by changing my FB profile picture to my road in the summer...[here]
 And by thinking spring thoughts. So I will start spring cleaning today as well, starting here in this  hellhole of an office, where the desk calendar still says January and the crap is piling up faster than  toilet paper during a colonoscopy cleanse.  There are a million things to do and I just got out of my pj's and into some sweats. Then realized I have to eat something, so heated up some leftover minestrone soup and am back here at the computer again. Eating. lol  Decided I would multi-task and do a little writing that I've been wanting to do but just didn't have the energy. Am feeling better mostly, so today's the day I tackle a few things. 

  The weather here has been atrocious. A few weeks ago we had almost 14 inches of snow that hung around for 2 weeks because it was too cold to melt. And again last night we had a storm sweep through that dropped some snow (not much) and a LOT of ice.  The this morning the temps started climbing and are supposed to hit 45.  60 by Saturday. And this is the roller coaster we've been riding for 2 months.  From 0 to 35 to 27 to 60. And then back to 10. Major suckage. You never know how to dress. So I just stay at home , inside, in my pajamas.  lol

 There have been some gawdawful bugs and viruses going around these parts. Immediately following my tests the 3rd of February, I picked one up that flattened me.  Finally started feeling a little better about 14 days later.  I was sleeping 12-16 hours a day sometimes. Coughing, fever, sore throat... utter and total exhaustion.  Tonight I was supposed to go to a welcome home potluck for a friend, but now she is sick and so everything was cancelled. I'm still going to make the chicken and rice casserole that I had planned and we will have that for supper. It's a lovely one dish meal that bakes at a low temp for a little over 3 hours, so it can cook while I work and warm the house and make things smell good. If that kind of thing interests you, you can find the recipe here: YumYum   (I don't often cook things with store bought soups or mixes, but this one is special. lol)

  I ordered a new wingback chair cover off Amazon this morning. Can't wait.  I have a 15 dollar yard sale find Ethan Allen wingback chair that I've had about 14 years. The cats and kittens over the years have destroyed the beautiful upholstery, but the bones are still good.  I have been covering it with a hodgepodge of covers and blankets that didn't fit it really, and decided it's time for this beauty to have a real slipcover. lol  It will be here Friday. Almost ordered a love seat cover as well, but decided that could wait. Don't need to be spending a lot of money since I'm not working anymore. I resigned from my pt job when the diverticulitis hit and then hit again and again making me unable to keep my commitment. I sent them a letter resigning and they called me and said they had been worried and that if things changed I always had a place on their team. (That was very nice)
 I am used to having a little extra money in my pocket... but I don't know if I want to do that work again.. the standing and sweeping and mopping really hurts me, I can barely do that at home, where I don't have deadlines.  We'll see what happens...

  So I am starting to feel better all around and am hopefully on the mend. My attitude is certainly better.  Getting a no cancer no polyps/clean bill of health (except for the diverticulitis)  certainly relieved a lot of my anxiety.  Who knows ?? I might be back running marathons any day now. (Just kidding. If you see me running ANYWHERE, you'd better run too, because there's probably a bear behind me!)

  TTFN, kids.
See ya on the flip side.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Another trip around the sun...

  Well well... another new year. Another holiday season come and gone.  Will all the survivors please raise your hands ? lol

  I celebrated my 66th birthday on Sunday (the 6th--66 on the 6th.  hmmm).  Lots of turbulence in this year 2019.  First off, they are dumping me off SS Disability and into the swarming pot of regular old people Social Security. Not much changing there-- same money, same pay date (the one thing I had hoped would change) same Medicare.  Just the IDEA I guess that I am now a senior citizen. People who AREN'T this old say  "OH, it's just a number!!"  People who ARE say-- moan...welcome to the club. Personally, I'm still astonished to have lived this long, as I do not come from a line of long livers. (snort).  At any rate here I am and there you go.  The good news is that since I rolled into SS at age 66, which is full retirement age, I am allowed to earn a sizable income without penalty.  Yay for me. And since I started working part time last August, there's that. So...

  Sunday morning, in preparation for a breakfast potluck, I had a french toast casserole in the oven and accidentally dumped over a Pyrex measuring cup of butter I was melting onto the floor of said oven, causing a 3 alarm fire (not really) but certainly flames and fire and smoke filling up the house. Luckily the first casserole was finished cooking and turned out to be delicious. Second one never got made. Opened all the windows, put dogs outside, got window fan and sucked all the smoke out.  Sigh... Used salt to put out the flames (took a bit) and so the mess of burned caked on salt was left to clean up later in the day (unless of course I just got in my car and started driving, never to return. Then his next wife could clean it up.)  Had a fun day all in all, because who doesn't like a good fire story ??  Got a card from himself which read "The results are in !" with a little mousie doctor on the front. Inside it said  "YOU'RE OLD !!"  Yup. And 2 gifts from friends, one a lovely wax warmer with Honeysuckle scented wax melts and the other this:
Part of a running joke around these parts. lol  I have a refrigerator magnet that says this as well as a gold sign for my front door which reads "The queen of Quite A Lot lives  HERE."

 Got home that evening and after a bit started having some crazy pains in my lower left abdominal quadrant.  Thought maybe I had pulled a muscle or something. Kept hurting worse, I went to bed and laid on a heating pad, which didn't really help, but was comforting. Later started passing blood and got scared. Not a lot. At first.  Told himself that if it wasn't better in the morning I would go to the dr or the ER.  He wondered if I needed to go now, but ever the optimist I said no,  tomorrow would be fine. He muttered something about, yeah, fine if you're not dead, which I cheerfully ignored and went to bed. I woke up in pain and bleeding more  around 5:30 and he was up and getting ready for work. I called off work and went back to bed. At 9 called doc, who wasn't going to be in that day and they told me to go to ER. So off I went, doubled over in pain and sweating and it was all just so stupid.  6 hours and multiple tests later they concluded that I had Acute Diverticulitis, gave me pain pills and a massive antibiotic and sent me home. They wanted to give me pain stuff there, but I told them I had to drive home so, no. Armed with prescriptions I finally left there after 6 PM. When I came back from the CT scan, himself was there waiting. His boss heard him talking on the phone to me (when I was still in the waiting room, after 1:30) and when he hung up said "Was that your wife?" He said yes and the boss was like--hell man--get out of here.  Go down to the hospital !!  So, there he was. I hadn't had anything to eat all day and no coffee, so I had a terrible headache. He was concerned about me driving and I said we're driving to a restaurant right down the hill, I have to eat and have some coffee. lol  After we ate breakfast (for supper--I had a great spinach mushroom and swiss omelet) I convinced him that he could go home and tend the critters and I would stop at the Walcrap and get the prescriptions filled.   Got there and the girl says, it will be a half hour to an hour if you're going to wait.  I looked around and saw 3 people and said--seriously??  I was hurting and she said yeah, sorry. So I hobbled over to a bench and sat. It took them 45 minutes to fill a prescription for 20 hydrocodones for pain and 20 Augmentin (antibiotic) . The generics for these cost me close to a hundred dollars.  I got home, opened the bag and took out the Augmentin (which I had to start that night) and it was a sealed, pre-filled bottle !!!  They didn't even have to COUNT those pills...Grrr.... This world will make you crazy.

  So, I have been off work all week so far, and I was pondering what would happen at work (will they fire me) when they called and said since I had been off 3 days I needed a dr note to come back. I told them it was going to be next Monday before I come back (I am off Sat/Sun). I sent a text message to the MyChart thingy and they texted me back that they could not send that without seeing me. Yesterday I had sent them a message asking for a follow up appt and they said that I had a "hospital generated" appt and that would be fine. I looked and it wasn't until Feb 1st.  The ER doc had been adamant about my being followed up immediately, so I was surprised by this. Plus-- they didn't tell me they had set one up. I called the actual dr office and they set me up for tomorrow at 11 AM.   I am still hurting. Am very tired and weak.  And cranky. The bleeding has stopped but the pain has not.  I am  wrecked. 

  I have never had digestive issues.  My first thought when they told me what was happening was-- OH HELL NO !!  I eat way too much brown rice and kale for this to be going on ! lol  SO who knows?   They (the medical world)  have changed their ideas about what the causes and treatments are for this and  the old stories of seeds and nuts are no longer holding water.  So everything I thought I knew, which admittedly wasn't much,  is incorrect. And so begins a journey of  dealing with what could be a life long learning experience about something I really never wanted to know about.

  I cleaned up a little and laid down a little a few times, and got the Xmas decorations all taken down and put away. Thankfully I didn't get very elaborate with that stuff this year. We had our usual guests for Xmas Eve supper, had a good time and that was about the extent of Christmas here. I'm going to lay down again and then get up and try to run the vacuum after I put a meatloaf in the oven. A basic lightly seasoned meatloaf with some mashed potatoes and gravy  and some stir fried cabbage I think. Himself will be home in a couple of hours. The weather went from high 60's on Monday to high 50's yesterday to mid 30's today.  Might be looking at snow by the weekend. Crazy  weather.  

  Well, there's the 2019 early report from Honeysuckle Hill...a little out of the way place on the prairie where life keeps chugging along and the folks keep trying to move forward and be kind.  as much as they can. lol