Monday, November 27, 2017

Slowly, But Surely

I'm getting things ready for Christmas.  Today I addressed and stamped cards, they'll go out next week.  Tomorrow I'll wrap everything that needs to be mailed.  Almost through shopping, looking for stocking stuffers.  Buying for Mac is the hardest, I search and search to find things that will tickle his fancy.
Took the carcass from  the game hens and made it into chicken and rice soup this morning, it made the whole house smell good.  I'm getting to really like homemade soups, so less full of sodium than the canned ones.
Today is Cyber Monday, but I haven't bought anything.  I shop online all the time, I don't need a special day to make Jeff Bezos richer ($100.5).  And to the people sending me catalogues, you're wasting your time and money.  I'm sorry to say that they go directly to the trash.
Suitcases await me, have to get to them tomorrow.  Colder in NYC than here so much warmer clothes.  Want to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Square lit up and the Christmas Market in Union Square, not to mention the Gangster Tour we're doing one night.
Hope you're off to a good start this week.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mighty Tasty

As good as the Cornish Game Hens were on Thanksgiving I think today's meal was even better.  We had braised lamb shanks with a brown gravy served over mashed potatoes.  It was delicious, could have swam in that sauce.
Another beautiful day here in the swamp, near 70º and a bright blue sky.  Perfect autumn weather.  Did our walk first thing this morning  and watched the leaves finally starting to fall.
Lots of football, yeah Atlanta, good game.  And it looks like Oakland might beat Denver, double yeah, hate Denver, love to watch them lose.
Need to start getting organized for Christmas, I have my cards, but not one addressed yet.  All my gifts to be mailed are here and need to be wrapped.  We have a short trip to New York City coming up and I'll really have to get going on things when we get back.
Hope you too had a great weekend.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday in the Swamp

Cold night in the 30's, beautiful day near 70º.  Putting Fall/Thanksgiving decorations up, getting  ready for Christmas.  Got our first Christmas card yesterday from Mac's elegant cousin Isabel.  In her 80's and still travels the world, has visited far more places than we have.
Made bread this morning and then a pot of bean and bacon soup, that's to go with the Leek Frittata I'm making for lunch.
We're still eating on the Cornish Hens I cooked for Thanksgiving, can't believe how much meat was on them.  Tomorrow I'm going to make them into chicken and rice soup.
Watched Guardians of The Galaxy 2 last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Love little Groot.
Reading a semi-nonfiction book called Rocket Boys by Homer Hickman.  It's the first in a trilogy about his life growing up in Coalwood, West Virginia the son of a coal mine and how he developed an interest in rockets.  That was to eventually lead him to NASA.  He says in the preface that it's mostly true, including the names, but some characters have been consolidated and events a bit out of sequence, so it's mostly nonfiction with a little fiction thrown in.  It was made into a movie in the 90's called October Sky which is an anagram of Rocket Boys.  I'm quite enjoying it, amazing what you can accomplish if you try hard enough.
I'm also reading A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, winner of the 2011 Pullitzer Prize.  It's 13 interlocking stories.  I like it, but I don't love it.  Hasn't made me want to go looking for more books by the author.
Also reading a science fantasy book,   Oath Bringer by Brandon Sanderson.  This is the 3rd in a planned 10 part book series.  Don't know if I'll live long enough to finish it, probably have to write the author a begin letter to let me know how it ends.
That's my Saturday, hope you're having a good one.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

No turkey was stuffed, but nevertheless we are.  After searching for recipes I cooked Cornish hens for Thanksgiving.  Hadn't fixed them in forever and never had much luck when I did cook them.  They usually turned out dry.
But the recipe was good and these turned out so delicious.  So was the pumpkin pie I bought at the store, so we're well stuffed.
Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it and a good weekend ahead to those who don't.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Home Made Pumpkin Pie

Or at least that was the idea.  When the commissary had no pumpkin pies, fresh or frozen, we picked up a can of pumpkin for me to make a pie.  Well today was the day for baking, but it didn't happen.  I got the can of pumpkin out, saw that it called for 2 cans of condensed milk and went rummaging through the cupboard.  I found 1 can of fat free condensed milk, not good and then I noticed the best if used by date:  July of 2016.  Uh-oh, again not good.  It began to look as if a run to the grocery store was in order.  I asked Mac if a cake would do instead and he agreed, but really, cake is just not Thanksgivingy.  So we decided to go to the store.  I went to look at the frozen pie crust before we took off and it was so old, freezer burned and all the edges broken off.   So new crust was in order too.
On the way to the store Mac asked me if it wouldn't cheaper and easier to just buy a pie,  well I thought I'd check that out.  Turns out Eagle Brand Condensed Milk (which I prefer)  is $1.99 a can and a 2 pack of Pillsbury Pie Crust is $1.97 or about $1.00 a piece.  So that's about $5.00 to make my pie.  Fresh baked pumpkin pies were $2.50.  I bought a pie.
My heart was in the right place, just not my ingredients.  I'll bake a pie at Christmas.
Taken from Publix's Webstite

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I'm So Pleased

Last week sometime Sharon from At Rivercrest Cottage posted about going to Vintage Market Days in McKinney, Texas.  And in particular she showed a painting on wood of a rabbit.
  This is the painting.  She said the lady who sold them wasn't there and she was a bit disappointed.  Well I fell in love with the painting and asked Mac to paint one for me.  He hates copying other people's work, but agreed to paint it for me.  Today he finished and I'm in love with it.  Here he  is.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Afternoon Grumble As Opposed to a Crumble

Time to do an old lady vent.  We went to the commissary today and though it looks really good after its remodel I'm having trouble with it.  Things have really been rearranged.  Some of the rearranging makes sense and some makes no sense at all.  So shopping took way longer than it should have as Mac and I both searched for things.
Some things just weren't there:  no ground pork, no lamb of any kind, no UHT milk (I don't drink it, I use it for baking)---lots of soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, but no UHT, none of my coffee,  Dunkin Donut Dark, no red leaf lettuce, no calcium, lots of broken eggs ---Mac had to search a lot of boxes to find enough whole ones-- and no pumpkin pies.  So I'll be making my own, probably should have anyway, that way I'll know exactly what's in it.
Then my watch died, I buy cheap ones so they never last very long.  I only wear one when we're out and about, at home I don't care what time it is.
And to top things off I had an old lady moment.  When I change pants or jeans I like to pull them over my shoes.  Hate to take my shoes off because I have to double knot the ties because they're too long.  Anyway, I couldn't get my jeans off and had to call for Mac who basically laughed at me, told me take my shoes off, but them pulled them off of me.  I need to look for some  walking shoes with good support ( I wear Easy Spirit) that have velcro closing instead of ties, then it'd be easy to change clothes.
Well enough grumbling, it's a beautiful day and I need to go and fix lunch.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Some of This, Some of That

We were out running around yesterday and the traffic was terrible.  Reminded us of why we don't go out much.  We were in search of the Hobby Lobby in a town up the line and finally found it.  It was huge and deserving of another trip, but in a quieter location.
We had thought that we'd have lunch at the Panda Express near it,  but after reading reviews on YELP (does anyone else read these?) we decided not too, there were some really bad reviews.  But still in the mood for Chinese food we stopped by a local restaurant and got take out.  Mac got Sweet and Sour Pork with Chicken Fried Rice and I got Honey Chicken with White Rice.  We both got Spring Rolls.  All I can say is that I make better Chinese food and that the last time I checked I don't have any Chinese ancestry.  It was cheap, so I didn't squeal too much.
Today I've been finishing up photo projects and they went fairly quickly.
Supposed to hit 77º today, warm weather for mid-November.
Hope you're having a good weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

In The Closet

I've been sitting in the floor of my closet wrapping Christmas presents.  I usually haul it all upstairs and do it in my craft room and then have to turn around and drag it all back downstairs to put under the tree.  This year I thought I'd wrap in my closet instead, that's where I stow stuff as I buy it.  Now Mac's going to put it up on the shelf in the closet.  The floor was getting crowded in there with all the bags and boxes.  Wrapped up it looks a bit better.
I didn't want to sit on the bare floor so I brought in the cushion I sit on at the computer.  My lower back had been giving me fits so I got a chair cushion designed to make sitting less stressful on your back.  But even using that my back is a bit achy now.
I'm due for my B-12 shot tomorrow and boy do I need it.  All my get up and go has gone.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Working With Photos

I have less hair this afternoon than I did this morning.  I've been working on Christmas presents that involve photos and I've pulled a load of my hair out.  Some of my photos were just so darn big and I couldn't or didn't know how, to reduce them.  Those were the ones from my camera---I need a new camera before we go back to Japan next year.  The ones from Mac's camera we put on a disc, connected the disc reader to my computer, looked at previews, reduced the size, saved, uploaded to the project I was working on and dragged the pictures in.
Those I couldn't reduce took forever to upload, so instead of sitting here staring at the screen I went out played a couple of pages of piano music, came back and dragged the photo (I had to do them one at a time) into my project.  When I got tired of playing piano I cross-stitched in between photos.
I finally got two projects done and I have one more to do, hope I have enough hair left to get it done.

Monday, November 13, 2017

How Old


I was looking at my Fall/Winter dishes and I was wondering how old were they.  I know I bought them before we moved to Georgia and we've been here about 14 1/2 years.  And I know I didn't  buy them when we lived in Hemet, California because there was no Pier 1 store in Hemet.  We lived in Hemet about 6 1/2 years, so the dishes were at least 21 years old.  Then I realized that I had to have bought them when we lived in Murrieta, California.  We lived there about 6 1/2 years.  So they could be up to 27 years old.
Then I looked on the back and saw that they hadn't been made in China and Lord knows everything is made in China and has been for years.
Wonder of wonder they'd been made in England.  I didn't know England even made dishes any more. These still look brand new so I'd love to know who in England made them.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Out to Lunch

I did take Mac out for lunch yesterday to celebrate Veteran's Day,  and feeling an urge for Italian food we went to the Olive Garden.  When we came in they offered him a special Veteran's Day Menu to pick his free meal from.

He chose the Chicken Parmigiana  that came with spaghetti.  I ordered off the regular menu and had Shrimp Scampi on a bed of Fettuccini with  Asparagus.  Both meals came with endless salad and bread sticks.  What a nice treat.




We also went plant shopping and we got some gorgeous Chrysanthemums and Pansies.



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day

I wrote this originally back in 2011 and I feel today is good day to reblog it.  My Mac was named for his uncle who was killed in WWII shortly before he was born.

Today is Veteran's  Day and we say thank you to all the veterans who have served this country.  I have no relatives who served in World War I, my grandfathers were too young.  In World War II I had uncles from both sides of the family who served, but not my father, bad eye sight (which I inherited), and thankfully all of them made it home.
Mac's family was not so lucky, he lost an uncle in World War II, his uncle Mac who he is named after.  He had served in the South Pacific, met a girl in Australia, got engaged, and then near the end of the war he was killed.  Below is the letter his commanding officer sent to his mother.
                                   
Mrs. Mary Hernandez,
927 Watkins St. ,
Hayward, Calif.

Dear Mrs. Hernandez:

     Your son, Corporal Modesto Hernandez, served in this battalion since February, 1942.  He worked in the message center, and I always saw him several times a day.  I knew him quite well.
     On March 20, 1945, we made the assault landing on the beach at Zamboanga.  We immediately began to shoot at the Japs and they fired on us with artillery all through the day.  About five o'clock in the evening one of the shells burst right in front of the dugout where Modesto was working.  It killed several of our boys and wounded many others.  A fragment flew into the dugout and killed your son instantly.
     He was buried in the United States Armed Forces Cemetery No.1 Zamboanga, Mindenao, Phillippine Islands, on March 11, 1945 with full military honors.  The services were conducted by Father Terwood, Catholic Chaplain to the 41st Division of Artillery.  The  Father knew Modesto quite well.
     Your son served in battles at Salamana, New Guinea, Hollandia, Biak Island, Dutch New Guinea and Zamboanga, P.I.  He was very brave in combat under enemy fire and always performed all of his duties in an exemplary manner.  He was willing, cheerful, industrious and efficient as a soldier.  Everyone in this battalion knew him and liked him.  We called him "Shorty."
     We wish to extend our deepest sympathy to you at this time.  You may be justly proud of the fine record your son made in the Army and the splendid service he rendered to our country.  We who were friends and fellow soldiers with Modesto in combat will always remember him with affection.


                                                         Yours sincerely,
     
                                                         Ralph E. Cole
                                                         Lt. Col. F. A.
                                                         Comdg.  205th F. A. Bn.

Mac's Mother told me that it broke her mother's heart when Mac (his name was Modesto, named for a family friend, but everyone called him Mac) was killed  and I can well understand.
My Mac spent 21 years in the Army and each day I'm grateful that he didn't have to serve in a war.
So I say thank you to all those who've served this country
                                            

Friday, November 10, 2017

Well Friday, Finally

Happy Veteran's Day to
my favorite Veteran
I'll say it again, it's felt like a long week.  But is has finally cooled off and it's glorious.  Felt like Autumn when we walked this morning and though none of the leaves have changed color there's a nip in the air and I'm happy.
Plugged in our electric blanket this morning to see if it's ready to go and unfortunately it appears to have died, still a nice blanket, but no heat, so I've ordered a new one, should be here Sunday.  Which means it will probably warm back up.
Called our propane provider, we're an all electric house except for our fireplaces and the stove, but they said our tank wasn't low enough to fill yet.  Maybe in another month.
Finished another book, Mr. Churchill's Secretary  by Susan Elia MacNeil  and I didn't like it at all.  Everyone was beautiful, everyone was strong and brave and quite frankly everyone was boring as all get out.  Won't be continuing with this series.
Watched Pirates of the Caribbean -Dead Men Tell No Tales and the kindest thing I can say about it was that it was ok, but I really think it's time to end this film series.
I made so much Chili the other day we're still eating it, perfect for the weather.
Tomorrow is Veteran's Day and most of the restaurants around here are offering free meals to Veterans.  We've never taken advantage of that before, but I think we will tomorrow.  And while we're out I can go in search of some Autumn flowers.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Is This A Long Week or What?

Even though I don't work I'm sure today should be Friday.  It all started with our walk this morning, someone stretched it out so that it felt twice as long.  Of course the weather is a factor, it was 85º yesterday and it doesn't feel much cooler  today.  They keep teasing us saying tomorrow will be cooler, kind of like the old joke "free beer tomorrow".
We went to WallyWorld yesterday in search o Chrysanthemums and Pansies.  They had no plants!  Their whole big garden section was filled up with bikes.  So no flowers to decorate my front steps.  Did some other shopping and left, not my favorite store.
Today I had to make bread, strip the beds and wash sheets, cool off, clean bathrooms, iron pillow cases and make the bed.  I get tired just thinking about it.  Also made a pot of chili we'll have later, it tastes and smells delicious.  Actually got all that done except for the bathrooms, guess it's going to be toilet Thursday tomorrow.
I'm actually reading an Agatha Christie novel I've never read before, I thought I'd read them all.  It's They Came To Baghdad.  No Hercule Poirot, no Jane Marple, no Tuppence and Tommy, but quite good.


Monday, November 6, 2017

Just Another Monday in the Swamp

Though it hasn't rained in so long that parts of the swamp are drying up.  But a lovely cool down and rain storms are in the forecast for later in the week.
Little bit more energy so that's a good thing.  The people came and picked the couch up yesterday (YEAH!), though I worried that they'd get it home, give it a good look and bring it back.  Mac locked the garage, so if they change their mind they can't---LOL
Cleaned up my desk today, discovered I was down to one postage stamp and had to order some.  I pay most of my bills online, but I do send cards and other stuff through the mail.  Went ahead and ordered some Christmas ones too.
Made a couple of donations, I have a couple of charities that I support---Wounded Warrior Project, The Salvation Army and local Food Banks.
I finished a wonderful book this weekend, an oldie, but a goodie, A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. Written in 1950 it tells the story of Jean Paget who along with a group of women in Malay are captured by the Japanese during WWII and are marched around the country till nearly half of them die.  The first part of the book was about that and the second part was about her life in Australia where she goes to look for an Australian soldier who had helped her in Malay.  This book was partly based on a group of Dutch women and children who were captured by the Japanese in Sumatra.  I loved this book, such a smart, gutsy heroine, her story will stay with me for a long time.
Playing on the Mp3 as I exercised this morning:
Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
Mambo #5 by Lou Bega
Enter Sandman by Metallica
You're One of My Kind by INXS
Just Another Maniac Monday by The Bangles

Fried chicken for lunch today, what can I say, it's the South, having fried chicken on a regular basis is mandatory.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Doing the Happy Dance

Mac, in a fit of pure genius, on Friday asked  why didn't I put the couch on our local bulletin board----NextDoor-- it goes out to everyone in our area.  Well, within 20 minutes of putting a picture of the couch and the price--FREE--someone responded that they'd take it.  They're due sometime this afternoon to pick it up.  I'm doing a Happy Dance, can't wait to see it gone.  Have hated it almost since I bought it, but I kept it and used it till I absolutely had to get rid of it or move.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saturday in the Swamp

My new pan,
Up reasonably early, walk done, coffee, orange juice and toast for breakfast, load of laundry done and out on the line----boy was there a lot of it--, a new pan ordered--my go to cooking pan has started sticking and that's a no-no---now I must make bread.
I make honey wheat bread and it's so good, tastes like cake.  I use a bread maker and it makes life  so easy.  How many of you make your own bread and do you use a bread machine?  I decided a number of years ago, as we got older, that the fewer strange ingredients we injested the better off we would be.  So I quit buying margarine, God knows what's in there, and started making my own bread.  I'm working on my second bread maker and it makes life to easy.
Going to be way too hot around here this week until a much anticipated cold front comes through at the end of next week, so it's go slow and stay cool time.
Hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Just Another Thursday

Is there anything more fun than mopping your kitchen floor?  Obviously not, for as I gained some energy that's how I decided to waste/use it.  I like my steam mop and it does make it fairly easy to do, but not the most exciting use of  my limited energy.
I than had a sit down at my computer and did some Christmas shopping.  Hate going to stores and so hopping around the net is how I do most of it.
Enjoyed game 7 of the World Series, fun to see the underdog win.  I'll miss baseball.
Nielson Ratings called me yesterday to see how I was doing with my TV Diary and I said fine, but all we'd watched were reruns of The Big Bang Theory and the World Series followed by Football.  She said that was fine.  I need to mail it in today.
I've enjoyed our cooler weather, but they're saying we'll be in the mid-80s by the weekend, BOO-HISS.
If there is anyone out there who has not sexually harassed a woman please raise your hand, we need to know who you are.  Are you surprised that men in Hollywood harassed women and young boys too?  Surprise, surprise.
Just finish reading The Western Star by Craig Johnson, the 13th in the Longmire series and WOW.  Hope it's not too long until the next one comes out.
That's about all from the swamp.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Day After

The Trick or Treaters who came in the golf cart caravan were the only one we got all night.  So now I have a bowl of candy even though I was very generous in giving the candy out.
A question for those of you out there who use Safari, since I downloaded  the latest version of this I can no long scroll down on Amazon when looking at lists of  things.  So I had to download Firefox and use it when shopping on Amazon.  What a pain.
I'm trying to donate a couch and having problems.  Goodwill flat won't take furniture and the Salvation Army will take it, but I'm having trouble scheduling a pick-up.
I'm wondering if my neighborhood is going to have a yard sale this fall, I'd give the puppy away.  Mac ended up cutting the last one up and says he'd rather not do that again.  Don't want to use Craig's List, too many unsavory people use is.
The worst part of getting sick at our age is that it just takes so long to get your energy back.  Today is the first day I've done any real cleaning.  Yesterday before going to the doctor I made a new soup, Chicken/Corn Chowder.  It turned out well, but very rich, I definitely won't use as much butter in it the next time I make it.  And I truly made a mess of my stove, thank goodness it's easy to clean, I gave it a good going over this morning. The last stove we had I'm sure was designed by someone who never cooked,  it had all sorts of grooves and places to fill up with gunk.
To those who celebrate All Saints Day today or Dîa del Muerto  tomorrow hope you have a great day.

This  is Mac, I'm so sad to say that Janet passed away the 30th of May. Her heart and mind and attitude were strong, but her body could ...