Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Runaround Tuesday

We always try to combine errands so we're not running to town everyday.  It's 8-10 miles to town from our place , depending on where we're going exactly,  and being the thrifty soul that I am we try to combine errands  to save some gas.  So today was runaround day.  First to the bank for both deposits and withdrawals, then to have the oil changed in my car and the tires rotated.  While that we being done we did a walk in the city park that was nearby.  Nice walk except that it was warm so I tied my jacket around my waist and somewhere along the way it fell off and even though we went back later to rewalk where we thought I'd lost it, we couldn't find it.  Oh well, it was about 15 years old so I'm pretty sure I got my money's worth out of it.
We picked up the car, dropped off some donations at Goodwill and picked up some items at the Dollar store.  From there it was off to the grocery store.  All done!
Mostly, except for loss of jacket, a nice day.
Some pictures from our walk.  The city park was made from part of the old Henry Ford Plantation.  It has the remains of his rice fields and all the water around them.


One of my favorite signs.

Think these are raccoon tracks.

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Promotion

Yesterday my sous chef took over the kitchen and fixed lunch.  He made a specialty of his, pork ribs broiled in the oven with potatoes, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes.  It was delicious!  Today the sous chef was promoted to plumber.  He changed the faucet in the kitchen and then put new peel and stick tile under the sink.  Multi-talented.

While that was going on I used Mop and Glow on the bedroom floors to make them shine again.  Then for lunch I made Weight Watchers Individual Chicken Pot Pies---they were so good.
Chilly here today, temperatures only in the 50's and windy, but a warm-up is coming.  I have Freesia bulbs, Nasturiums and Peas to plants, but I'm a fair weather gardener so I'm looking forward to a little more warmth.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Fibber McGee and Me or How I Spent My Saturday

For those who don't know,  Fibber McGee was a character on an old radio show, Fibber McGee and Molly, who had closets that you risked your life opening.  The closet in our computer room was one of those.
Our daughter left a bit of stuff with us when she moved to Japan and this closet, along with mine, was a repository for some of it.  Some of the boxes have been shifted upstairs to the crawlspace, it's actually a walkout space, and now that there is room to maneuver I knew I had to tackle this closet.
There are no before pictures because I forgot to take any, too ashamed to take any, couldn't find the camera---pick an answer.  But I am sharing the after picture.  There are two bookcases of books, mostly Mac's, mostly science and nature.  My book journals, drawing books and colored pencils.  Much, and I do much, has been put in the trash, some sorted for Goodwill and some put into a  I just don't know pile.  There were old calculators, more power adaptors than I thought it was possible to own, assorted electrical connectors and a remote control I have no idea what it goes to.
But it's better, shelves cleaned, easier to find stuff and room for more junk.

How did you spend your Saturday.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Five on Friday

Cool day here in the sunny south and time to join Amy and the other bloggers at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.
Our warm spring weather is getting ready to slip back into winter, but that's ok because there's lots of things to do indoors too.  But before we shut the door, let's see what's going on out in the yard.

One:   Our Camellia tree, that I've name Camilla in honor of Miss Fritton of  St. Trinians fame, is so covered in flowers that she hardly has leaves.





Two: Yellow Jasmine is blooming around our pool.  The yellow Jasmine grows wild here in the South and is known as Carolina or Confederate Jasmine.  The pool itself is dead having died in Hurricane Matthew and will be replaced before summer.











Moving back indoors there have been a couple of new things added to the kitchen.


Third:  




Fourth:  I finished my Godzilla puzzle, but forgot to take a photo.  But he is done in all his glory with all the poor Japanese being tossed about in the waves.  My daughter Tweeted that a building had collapsed in her city, one that was to be demolished and I wondered if Godzilla had had a hand or foot in its destruction.


On Jan. 25 (Wed.), a building in the Nishijin Shopping Arcade collapsed. The building was undergoing planned deconstruction when the collapse took place.
FUKUOKA-NOW.COM


Fifth:  My yarn finally came in for my afghan and I have been crocheting away, no pictures till it gets a little further along.

That's my five, hope you have a great weekend.







Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It Was Time

Today we did something that we've been talking about for a while.  We sold Mac's car.  It was a Mazda MX5 also known as a Miata.  It was a cutie, but we just never drove it.  It was a 2010 and it had a bit over 13,000 miles on it which means we were averaging a bit over  1800   miles a year on it or a bit over a 100 miles a month.  And considering that we live nearly 10 miles from town it's easy to see that we weren't driving it much.  In fact it was starting to have problems from just sitting around and not being driven.  So we made the smart choice and sold it, sold it back to Mazda.  We'd planned on selling it to CarMax a national company that buys used cars, but we had to have a valve fixed on it first (something caused by it not being driven enough) before we could sell it.  When we told Mazda what we were doing (that's where we were having the work done) they offered to buy it from us and take care of the repair, and considering the repair was going to cost $700 their offer was more than fair.  So now we have one car, mine and my auto insurance is much cheaper.  I'm very happy and Mac will no longer feel guilty about the car just sitting in the garage.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Talk About Relaxed

If I could sleep like this I could do anything spoke the lady who had trouble sleeping again.  Doctor visit went well yesterday, arm is fine, blood pressure back to where it should be so I should be putting along.  But the brain has been busy and says it needs some of my sleep time to get everything done.
Beautiful sunshine here today, still warm, but only for one more day.  So laundry is out on the line to get that outdoor smell.
Zilla the puzzle is done and I did repair work on some of my pants.  In order to fit my rather rotund rear I have to buy pants that are way too big for my waist.  I've tried wearing a belt, but I don't like them.  So I took the waist in on the pants.
Lovely lamb steaks for lunch today and I've promised to have it ready in an hour so I must be off.

Monday, January 23, 2017

With Apologies to Kate Atkinson

I didn't start early, woke late 9:20 AM, didn't walk the dog, but fed the cat.  For some reason her book title is stuck in my head (Started Early, Took My Dog) and keeps floating around there.  I've read all of her books and if you haven't you should give them a try, in fact I've been thinking about rereading them in anticipation that she might be putting out a new one soon.
As I said we really slept late today, both of us had trouble getting to sleep and when it finally kicked in it just kept on going.
So a morning walk, washed the afghan the cat barfed on, rearranged an eye appointment and made my semi-annual dermatology appointment,  had breakfast, read blogs, washed hair, made Leek and Potato Soup and got ready for a doctor's appointment.  It's the final check-up on my wrist and to see if the new medication has settled my blood pressure.
Most of the rain is gone, a little drizzle this morning and headed towards cooler weather by the end of the week.  All in all not a bad Monday morning.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Storms

Actually that should read weekend storms.  It's been raining here since Saturday afternoon, we've gotten over 3 inches of rain, been under 4 different watches: thunderstorm, flooding, high wind and tornado.  Thank goodness all we've gotten is the rain and thunderstorms.  Some parts of the south have really had it bad, but I'll be glad when it's all over here.
No walking outside today, I'll walk in the rain, but not in thunder and lightening.
So indoor activities only.  Skyped with our daughter and firmed up some of our plans for our trip to Japan, need rail passes next.
Then it was cross-stitching and exercising for me. Next is lunch and lots of football.  Come on Atlanta.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why Am I So Tired?

Been dragging around all week like a snail in slow down mode and kept wondering why.  Then it hit me.  I was over due for my B-12 shot.  Went online to our local Minute Clinic and signed in.  In a little over a half hour we got there, got my shot and were back home again.  Feeling quite a bit less snailsh.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Five on Friday

Another Friday and time to join Amy and the other bloggers at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.  It's been a fast week with not much going on, typical January I guess.  So here's my five.

One:  I made new "springy" pillows for our couch and finally put the Christmas ones away,



Two:  Even though it's just the middle of January I've started decorating my table for Valentine's Day because I love the color red.



Three:  It has taken me forever to get around to it, but I have finally cleaned out the two junk drawers in the kitchen.  The one on the right looks like I running an optical shop and that's after I took out a half dozen pair of glasses to donate.







Fourth: My daffodils are blooming and don't my Pansies looks sweet.



Fifth:   I learned the difference between Cottage Pie and Shepard's Pie.  And I made a Cottage Pie yesterday.  You can buy ground beef here, ground pork, ground turkey and ground chicken, but I have never seen ground lamb.  Always good to learn something new.


 That's my five, hope you have a great weekend.






Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Little Zilla Time

No cross-stitching today.  Today it was time to spend some quality time with Godzilla.  Got a nice start on him, but unfortunately life has a way of intervening I have to get lunch started.  Today it's Shepard's Pie.  And I have a question for my English friends, why is it called Shepard's pie?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This is the End

This beautiful tray is a gift from Mac.  He bought it for me last week to reward me for going to get my mammogram.  It turned out fine, but I swear I'm not going to do it any more.  I think it's fitting that the tray has lemons and olives, two things that get squished flat, just like me.  My daughter says it's not so bad and I've heard other say that too, but it's not true for me.  It's horrible and hurts worse than I can say.  They say hold your breath and I have too, otherwise I'd scream. So I'm through, no more.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday, Monday

And quite a nice one too.  Bit misty for our morning walk, then hazy sunshine and temperatures around 70ยบ, I love it.  Load of laundry done and hanging on the line, some cross-stitching, exercising and piano playing.  That last bit is still a bit painful, but I'm working through it.
Today's lunch is going to be paella.  Mac's brother and his wife gave us a paella pan and all the fixings for Christmas and so I'm going to give it a go.  I usually just do my paella in a skillet, it's been years since I had a paella pan and I'm not sure how often I even used it.  But we shall see.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Five On Friday

It's time to join Amy and the other bloggers at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.  Boy the weeks just run away don't they.
Busy week with Doctor appointments that just slice up the week.  But the weather is gorgeous, highs in the 70's and loads of sunshine, so I have no complaints.

First:  This is a lovely Camellia that Mac cut and brought in for me this week.  Our Camellia blooms in January and it is doing a wonderful job this year.



Second:   Lettuce is growing out in the greenhouse and we'll be eating some in our salads today.  How great to have homegrown lettuce in January.


Third:  I love the cigar plant Mac has growing in the greenhouse, don't know its real name, we've always called it a cigar plant because that's what it looks like.  It was one of my Mother-in-law's favorite plants and this is the first time we've had much luck with one.



Fourth:  The smell of fresh vegetable beef soup.  We're having steak sandwiches for lunch today  and I cut up some of the steak to make soup.  I've never made vegetable beef soup before, so I just winged it, chopping up carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic and green beans.  When they were about done I added kidney beans and stewed tomatoes.  Sure smells good.


Fifth:  I finished another book, Coffin Road, by Peter May.  I usually enjoy his books, but not this one.  Told from 3 POVs   just didn't  hold my attention. The first POV starts with a man washing up on shore with no memory, that was interesting.   The next POV was a rebellious, yawn, teenager,  the 3rd was a rather boring policeman.  By †he end I just didn't  care.





That's my five, have a great weekend.






Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day here in the swamp, in the 70's with lots of sunshine, enjoyed our morning walk and even exercised today.  Must be getting better.
Crocheted the foundation row for my new afghan and ordered the rest of the yarn to make it.  It's going to be pink, green and white, nice and springy.
Finished a book that I've been working on for a while, it wasn't long, just so darn good I hated for it to end.  It's The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner one of my favorite authors.  I stumbled upon his writing more than 30 years ago when I read The Angle of Repose and fell in love with his writing.  he has never failed me.  This one is the story of Joe, a retired literary agent, and his wife Ruth.  They have retired to California where she is actively involved in the community.  He is pessimistic and is waiting for the inevitable decline into death.  He's not involved in his life and is instead a spectator.  He suspects that that is what he's always been.  Then he gets a card from a Countess that they had met and stayed with in Denmark more than 20 years ago.  The memories return and Joe begins reading his diary from that time and Ruth insists that he read it to her too.
Last night we watched a truly bad movie, The Secret Life Of Pets.  It could have been a cute little movie, it wasn't, we finally just turned it off, as our daughter told us she had done too.  They should have lost money on making this movie, but they probably didn't.  Here's hoping they don't make a sequel.
Hamburger steaks for lunch and I'm hungry.  Still can't taste much, antibiotics always wipe my flora and fauna out and it takes awhile for everything to come back.  My mouth is so dry that I'm having to use a spray to keep it moist.  Oh well, there are always trade-offs.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday in the Swamp

It's been cold here, down in the high 20's,  low 30's at night, but it's warming up nicely now, in the 60's for today and in the 70's for the rest of the week.  Can't ask for better than that  in mid-January.
Doctor visits again, my blood pressure had gotten out of whack due to illness, age, decrepitude, you name it.  But my doctor has already straightened it out, so I'm pleased.
I've been taking it easy, working on getting healthy for the new year, reading, cross stitching, little bits of housework, making soup.
Speaking of cross stitch, I have to share a kit my daughter gave me for Christmas, it's of Angkor Wat. I'm a long way from finishing the one I'm working on, but I have given myself permission to start this one in February and to alternate between the two.  The first one has taken so long, but it was a learning process and it's going so much faster now.  I find it very relaxing and that's good for my blood pressure too.
Have played the piano a little since the doctor said my wrist x-rays looked good.  Slow going as the pinky finger still isn't right and stretching my hand way out is still a bit uncomfortable, but I missed playing so much so I found some really easy stuff and have been plunking along.
Heading upstairs to sort through my yarn, I want to start a spring afghan throw and I need to see what colors I have.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

End of Year Reading Round-Up

I'm a bit behind on this, but that's ok.  My Goodread's goal for 2016 was 150 books and I missed my goal by 4 books, not bad.

I'll list some of my favorite books of the year in no particular order and write a little about why they made my list.


1. by Khalid Hosseini
 The Kite Runner
This one had been on my TBR list for quite some time and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.  Such a sad story and so full of self-discovery, who we are and who we thought we were.  The story set in Afghanistan and California will be with me for a good long while and remind me to think of how I treat others.

2. Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier

Another book about discovering who we are and how one simple act can change our world.











3.  The Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
Sort of a cookbook, but so much more, telling the story of Eva who has the palate of a lifetime and becomes a world class cook and the people she meets through the years.











4.  Commonwealth by Anne Patchatt
What can I say, I love her writing and this is one of her best.  A kiss at a christening party affects a dozen lives.









5.  Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
What we don't tell others is often more devastating than what we do tell.  Growing up a mixed race family Chinese/Anglo  is harder than it looks and family expectations can destroy us.











6.  Be Frank With Me  by Julia Claiborne Johnson
What a great little book, I did not want it to end!  She works for a publisher in New York City, a reclusive author Mimi,  think of a female J.D. Salinger, must finally write a new novel, but she needs someone to run her house and take care of her son Frank while she does it so her publisher sends her Alice.  Frank is a joy, so Fred Astaire and Errol Flynn and so much more.











7.  Sacred Hearts by Sarah Durant
Imagine being put into a convent in Italy in 1570 against your will, how could you get out.  Fascinating story.









8.  She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Another great book by him.









9.  The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Slow going, but so worth it.


It was not a banner year for books, many I just read, lots of mysteries that though they're good will probably never make my best list.
Hoping for more good books in 2017.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Five on Friday

First Five on Friday of the New Year and I'll be joining the other bloggers over at Love Made My Home hosted by the lovely Amy.

I don't like to brag, but my family always gets me such neat and original stuff for Christmas that I have to use them for my Five on Friday.

First:  Our daughter had the pictures from our Japan/Korea/Cambodia trip made into a book for us.  It is beyond wonderful and such a great memory.




Second:  Mac got me another miniature sewing machine and my sister gave me a vintage pair of scissors and a thimble.




Third:  Mac made me a miniature Japanese garden, complete with Koi.



Fourth:    April made me a complete Gudetama 7-11 store, it is so fantastic.




Fifth:  Mac, who knows me so well, found some vintage copies of one of my favorite funny books from my childhood, Little Lulu.  She was such a favorite of mine, I can still sing the theme sone from her tv show!  

Little Lulu, Little Lulu with Freckles on her chin
In and out of trouble, but mostly always in
Using Daddy's necktie for the tail of her kite,
Using Mommy's lipstick for the letters she writes
Though the clock says 7:30 it's really after 10
Looks like Lulu's been repairing it again
Though she's wild as any Zulu and just as hard to tame
We love Little Lulu just the same, the same
Little Lulu we love you.


That's my Five, hope you have a good weekend.