Monday, February 29, 2016


I had planned to post a pic of Son3 doing what he loves, but time, tide, tornados and American Airlines had other ideas. So here is a pic of him doing what he loves a couple of years ago. Use your imagination and imagine your favorite jazz tune played by a 16 piece jazz orchestra  instead of an ensemble and being played in a concert hall rather than a jazz club.
Oh well, there is always March, or is there?

Maybe next time

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Silver Lining

We met Son3 at 6 o'clock as his last class ended and he brought us tickets to Jazz at the Lincoln Center and the incredible talents of Christian McBride and his big band.  He is just wonderful as a leader, performer and musician. I have rarely seen such an engaging affable stage presence. If you have never listened to him before check him out .  You might like him.

After the concert we went to P.J. Clarkes for coffee and/or drinks and snacks. While there we ran into Son3's friends and they joined us at the table. So we had an accountant type person, a SAHM with no kids at home, one trombone jazz studies student, 2 studying music composition, and recent graduate studying classical French horn.

TheHub and I sat and listened to most of the conversations and were fascinated by the thought processes of creative people   Who would have ever guessed  a 5 minute piano piece would be based on the timing of an NBA players 3 point shots? Or thought a table discussion would be about the most perfectly composed opening to a song (Stevie Wonder was the hands down winner). And who were the 2 gaped mouth fish out of water?

Friday, February 26, 2016

It Was Not the End of the World, but

This is now day 3 of the current trip from Hell where things have been a tad upsetting.  When I have to wear the exact same duds for 3 days in a row I tend to get a little crabby and a tad musty.  Even with 2 showers a day you just don't feel fresh as a daisy stepping into exactly the same clothes.  Fortunately our bag came a bit ago and I was able to fling the ever so comfortable plaid pants into the dirty clothes and start over. (Note to all concerned: Never travel in an obvious print or plaid.  If I had worn jeans I could have bought any top and it would have worked with a minimal investment, and it would not be noticeable that I was wearing the same thing. Even jeans and the same black sweater would work. Instead I wore an odd color that had very limited matching possibilities, and was obviously the same thing worn over and over.  Live and learn)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I'm Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Don't know when I'll be back again.

Well actually I do know and because we are flying an airline other than Delta, we might leave on time.  I will be reading your posts and keeping up with your comings and goings, but will most likely be doing no posting of my own.  I would love to tell you we are painting the town red and will be too exhausted from our activities to even think about writing about all our happenings but I am being very honest here. If I don't comment it means we found fun things to do and truly are busy.

We are headed to NYC to see Son3 perform in a school concert, visit with him, eat at a few different places (fingers crossed that at least one will be a Cuban restaurant) and visit and eat a little more.'
While we are there we will decide if we want to go to a play or the opera, or just hit a few jazz clubs. I like a trip with no real agenda!

Addendum:  after canceling our flight we were changed to a flight connecting in DC instead of Charlotte. We got to hang out on the tarmeck for about an hour and a half before the late plane left Birmingham. After arriving in DC and circling the airport for about an hour we landed in Baltimore and were held hostage in a landed plane for another hour.  When they finally let us out with the promise of releasing our bags.  Another hour passed and all flights into nyc in time for even half the concert passed with it.  It is now 8pm and I am on Amtrack headed to New York.  I am not happy, but there is food and wine on the plane.  Oh and we have no bags.  They say they will be delivered to our hotel tomorrow. Hoping they will since I have nothing else to wear.

A little Peter, Paul, and Mary

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pot Roast in a Scotch Bath

This is another recipe from my green metal recipe box of yesteryear.  It is one I had forgotten about, but at least I did remember it was good.  I had just forgotten how blooming good it is.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pound(ish) chuck roast (I used sirloin tip which was in the freezer-no shopping!)
1 1/2 cup beef stock (I use bullion to make mine 'cause I never have any beef stock on hand)
1 1/2 cup  Scotch (Save the really good stuff for sipping.  Use the lesser scotch here)
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 pound baby carrots, roughly chopped if desired
6 celery stalks, roughly chopped, leaves on or off doesn't matter
1 bag frozen pearl onion

2 potatoes cut in a large dice
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (Check before adding if you used bullion. It has a good deal of salt)

1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I skipped this)
2 tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)  combined with about 1/4 cup water
salt & pepper to taste

Put the oil in a large Dutch oven and heat to a fairly hot temp then slap the roast into it. (This will splatter and smoke a little.  If your smoke alarm is near, make sure you leave an outside door  open, or don't sear the meat in extremely hot oil)  Brown well on all sides then add the garlic and give it a couple of quick stirs right before adding the beef broth. Stir well to get those tasty beef bits incorporated into the broth then add the scotch.  Bring the pot to a boil then immediately turn the heat to a lower temp.  You want this to simmer for about 2 hours or until it is very tender.  Add the carrots, celery and pearl onions and cook until half done.  Add the potato pieces and cook for about 15 more minutes, adding the seasoned salt and liquid smoke at the same time.   Right before serving add the butter, if using and the arrowroot/water slurry.  Stir until it is incorporated, turn up the heat and stir until the broth thickens.  Serve in a bowl and enjoy.

What can I say?  This is nothing but a slightly gussied up pot roast, but the flavor of the sauce is oh so delicious.  Amazingly delicious in fact.  The alcohol cooks from the scotch leaving behind its very sweet almost caramel flavor which marries the beef broth into this rich goodness. Then the hint of smokiness takes it to a different level.  The only way I can describe  it would be to call it gravy barbecue sauce.  When first taste it you get a strong beefy flavor with a hint of scotch sweetness followed by the smoke.  Yum!

This is not Paleo because I forgot about the scotch being a grain product and all that, so I only had one spoonful of the gravy so I could describe the taste accurately.  It was so good I would really love more. Lots more! But I am not eating it.  Instead I blotted off my veggies and the roast and am eating it dreaming of the sauce I am not having.  This is gong to happen again soon! After Lent type soon, but soon.

And since we are having drunken roast how about drunken sailors

Monday, February 22, 2016

Chicken Putanesca

A few nights ago i defrosted what I thought was a package of chicken, but it turned out to be 2 enormous chicken breasts. Son3 was going to be eating with us so I only needed enough for 3 people and decided I would cut them into strips to divide among all of us.  It was a good plan but after slicing them I realized I had no idea what I was going to cook.  Since I have been doing the paleo thing I wanted intense flavors and to use only what I had available but it had to be something that could be either be cooked at the last minute or something stewish that could be cooked ahead and would hold.  I was tired of soups and stews and wanted something crisper and tastier.

 I grabbed my trusty ages old file  box and started flipping through index cards filled with hand written recipes. (Do any of you remember those?  Mine is a green metal box  with yellow daisies on the top.  Someone gave it to me at a kitchen shower before I was married filled with both blank cards and easy to make recipes for 2. I was a pretty good cook before I was married so I confess I tossed those recipes, but over the years I filled it with things we like and eat fairly regularly. Please tell me I am not the only ancient one here who had/has one of those!)

Bingo! After the third card flip in the chicken tab I saw my old Chicken Putanesca recipe. There was no need to flip any further. It would be simple, quick, made in a flash, I had everything I needed (or so I thought)  and would be easy for me to remain Paleo while the others had a traditional meal. Win/win!  The only difference in making this Paleo vs. regular everyday eating is what I served it on. They had theirs on traditional spaghetti noodles and I topped spaghetti squash with mine.  I love it when something so simple happens.  Normally I would serve this with a large green salad, but I had no salad fixin's.  I did have a head of cauliflower that needed to be cooked immediately. Again, the universe  decided what we would have as a side dish.

4 regular sized chicken breasts, flatten slightly
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small red onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped if desired
1/2 cup assorted Italian olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 large tomatoes, chopped (Unless it is winter and fresh tomatoes are bad.  Then use a large can of petite diced tomatoes that have been drained)

Heat the oil in a large saute' pan. Add the chicken to the hot oil and cook until it loses its color, then remove from the pan.  Add the onions and wilt them then toss in the garlic, stirring constantly. Quickly add the capers, chopped olives, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Stir well to mix then add the chicken back to the pan.  Add the tomatoes, cover the pan and cook until the tomatoes are cooked through and the chicken is completely done. (This only takes a very few minutes).

This is my very basic go-to recipe for this dish.  I really prefer it during the summer when tomatoes are at their peak, but sometimes I have to settle for something less than perfect. (Can you hear me laughing at the word "sometimes"?) We have this often because dinner can be prepared in a very short amount of time and it is very good.

I thought I several varieties of olives in the refrigerator but I was mistaken. Instead of wonderful Italian olives I used canned black olives and the green pimento stuffed ones. Bummer! (Now I have to be like Nancy Drew and solve detective and solve the  Great  Castelvetrano and Gaetna Olive Caper)   

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

So Beautiful It Makes Me Cry

This post is a bit of a departure for me. I generally write about food, specifically what we ate for dinner. But I have been so inspired by a recent purchase that I thought I would share it with you.

 I love music, especially music that can play in the background without overpowering whatever I am doing.  I can't say I prefer one genre over another particularly, but there are a few I can do without. I am totally out of the rap demo.  I don't pretend to understand it or its appeal.  Hip-hop I can take in small doses, but again I am just too old to enjoy it. I can listen to some heavy metal, but I did notice something as I got older. When I was younger I loved to literally be able to feel the music.  The last time I was listening to live heavy metal I had fantastic seats, about 5 rows back, and wondered the entire time if the pounding drum beats  and relentless bass that were slamming into my chest could affect the rhythm of my heart. So I marked off heavy metal unless I am listening to it at home and can control both the bass and volume. Again I am too old to properly appreciate it.  About the only other genre I don't listen to is C/W.  I can enjoy some good old time country like Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Charlie Pride, Waylon Jennings and such but I don't like the new crossover country western at all. I have no idea why I don't like it,  I just don't.

There are many types of music that I can listen to and really enjoy.  Give me some Motown and I am right there with you dancing and singing. The same goes for Phish and String Cheese Incident.  I will sing bad backups while listening to do wap singers, will belt out lyrics to show tunes in a heart beat, and have been known to sing and dance to Raffi.  (Understand all this singing and dancing is happening in my home while no one is here but me. I do not have the performance gene.) Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are the bomb and I listen to her regularly, but will also listen to crooners then follow it up with a little Buckwheat Zydeco. Still, there are a couple of genres that own me and I can listen to them all day without ever getting tired of them.

I adore jazz in all shapes and forms except for some avant-garde jazz and some free jazz.  That can get a little out there and too tedious for me.  I suppose I am not hip enough to understand it.  Oh well! Anytime I am down in the dumps I can listen to jazz and immediately feel brighter, plus it puts a spring in my step and makes my head nod while keeping time.  I don't even realize I am doing it, butI am called out on it regularly. (For the record,  as much as jazz musicians love and rely on audience participation while they are playing do not insult them by clapping rhythmically on the 1 and 3!)

I also love classical music.  I don't think I have ever met any I can't at the least be friends with. I am quite certain the cello is the closest thing to a voice from heaven that human ears will ever hear. (Though french horns and violas give it a close run for its money, and I can't forget the oboe can I?)

I love the romantics, the wonderful counterpoint of the baroque, waltzes, heavy ponderous Russian composers, scores for ballets and operas, madrigals from the Renaissance period, and the neo-classicals of the 20th century. Imagine my surprise and delight a couple of days ago when I found The 50 Greatest Classical Pieces by the London Philharmonic on Itunes for $5.99. This should link to the album.

Now, I need more music like I need another hole in my head, in fact I have all of these pieces on cd's and/or vinyl from decades of collecting music, but now I have them all together in one easy to access collection and have been listening to it non-stop since purchasing it. I really do like each piece, but a few of them have been favorites of mine since I was a young girl.  My family listened to music each night with dinner, usually classical. Sometimes as a part of after dinner conversation (and yes we had a set time for conversation before we could ask to be excused from the table) Dad would go to the stereo ( and yes I am that old) and select an album, put the needle down randomly and we would name the piece. (Until I typed that I didn't realize how weird we were. This activity is also why MyBeloved Sister and I can sing so many Broadway songs)

 One of my favorites Bacarolle from Tales of the Hoffman was a song I would listen to while My Younger Beloved Sister was napping. I would have been about 3 1/2  then I was probably supposed to nap also, but instead was very quiet so I could listen to music.  Another on the album is Adagio for Strings. A lot of people remember it from the movie Platoon, but it haunted me long before that.  I heard it at an open air symphony in the park when I in jr. high. Whenever I hear it I am transported back to that time. Then there is Finlandia, which I listened to with my Dad.  It was his favorite piece of music and he always asked us to have it played at his funeral. We honored his request and had it played, but now instead of sitting with Dad and listening to it as we always did, I heard it, marveled at its very simple beauty and cried.

If you like classical music it is well worth the money, and if you don't like classical music it would be a total waste of your 6 bucks so don't purchase it!

I feel very fortunate to have grown up in a house where music was accessible, encouraged and very much appreciated.  For the record though not all music at our house was appreciated.  I can remember Dad being totally disgusted that the same piece of electronics that delivered his beloved classics would also play The Beatles, James Brown, The Doors, Motown, Janis Joplin, Black Sabbath etc. at full volume.

Love you Dad and thanks!


Delicious Ugly Soup

(This was written immediately after dinner last night )

When I was a kid my grandparents had a ton of tchotchkes around their house. I imagine it was from living together for such a long time coupled with the fact that they had 21 grandchildren. If you do the math Father's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas, and Birthdays every year X 21 gifts = one heck of a lot of presents. Add in the fact that  we were kids with very limited funds to spend on gifts, so those presents were certainly less than stellar.

Two of my favorites were kept on their breakfast porch  One was a dunking bird with a blue feather on its head, ( You put a cup of water in front of the bird, gave it a gentle push and it kept bobbing its head in the cup)  The other was a weather stick.  It was essentially a wooden ruler with simple rules to follow to get an accurate weather report.  "Put the stick outside the window and leave for 1 minute. If it is wet, it is raining." "Put the stick outside the window, if the stick is hot  the temp will very warm".  I have no idea why this gigged me so much, but as a kid I  thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. I suppose there is just no accounting for taste!

The weather here has been crazy.  It was supposed to get to the mid 60's today so those idiots like me got up and dressed  for a spring like day. It is now 8 pm and the temps have just started warming a tad.  It is now almost 50 after a day of 40's with torrential rains which makes it feel much cooler, especially if you are wearing thin clothes and no socks.  Yes I am an idiot to trust you weather people who wear that meteorologist label like it means anything more than an educated guesser. If only I had a weather stick!  I would have a much better indicator of the actual weather than listening to you, James Spann!

And where exactly is this post headed, you might ask. After being cold the entire day I decided I wanted soup for dinner to warm my very cold body, but it had to be something that would taste really good, require no trip to the store and be ready quickly.  The result was some of the most unattractive soup we have ever eaten, but it was delicious beyond belief.

What's In The Freezer Chicken Soup

3/4 cup shredded chicken (because I had it in a nice little frozen labeled package)
1 boneless chicken breast, poached and chopped (had one poached breast in the freezer)
i quart bag frozen sliced summer squash (could just as easily use 3 sliced zucchini)
1/2 pound baby carrots (all I had)
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper (I used an orange pepper because that is all I had.  Green would have looked nicer)
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 shakes dried minced garlic
1 small frozen pack of okra and tomatoes (maybe a pint?)
1 quart chicken broth
2 tablespoons dried parsley
4 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything in a large dutch oven and cook until the vegetables are soft and it will not be so ugly. (Or do like I did and put it on expecting TheHub to be home a little earlier than he was then just forget about it and cook it until everything is mushy.)  In truth, if I had taken a little more time and cooked the veggies in a little olive oil before adding the liquid and chicken they would have retained their shape a little better and the soup would have looked nicer. But I didn't so we ate the most delicious ugly soup I have ever made.  Serve it and pass the hot sauce for people like me who need additional heat with their food. Yum! And there is enough left for me to have chicken soup for breakfast tomorrow which is a double win. (No dog food for me!)

So now we are fed and warm thanks to the soup, sweatshirt and socks.  Curse you James Spann!

And just to keep up the ugly theme

Monday, February 15, 2016

And This Is Why Ziploc Bags Have Labels

This morning I woke and did my usual Monday morning things, like gather laundry, tackle a few easy chores and sip coffee while I am doing them.  I am not a big breakfast fan the the thought of having to actually chew before 10:30 or 11 almost causes a gag reflex for me. So usually by my third cup of coffee, I am ready for a bite to eat.  The down side of doing this paleo diet is my belly is ready to eat way before my mouth is, so the moment my mouth says food is tolerable I am starving. Today was no exception!

Though I was spot on with my advance prep of condiments and such, I neglected to prep some of the basic foods I did the last time I was doing Whole30. I have no sausage nor chorizo made, I have not cooked my paleo acceptable bacon and frozen it in strips for easy grab and go breakfasts.  In fact I have done little if any advance food prep, so while starving I looked in the freezer to see what I had cooked that could be thawed and eaten quickly.  I found a small package with about a cup of food in it and it looked like ground beef with vegetables.  It was not exactly what I wanted but I figured I could put it in a saute' pan with a little water and have my meal hot and ready to go in about 5 minutes.  It worked like a charm and poured it, liquid and all into a bowl, took a bite and then realized it was food I had cooked and packaged for the dog.  From the taste of it I would guess It was a combo of ground beef, minced chicken hearts, and livers and some other mystery meat, combined with minced carrots, spinach and green beans.  And the moral to this tale...

Write the contents of the bag on the space provided!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Crabby Valentine's Day

Wishing all of you a very Happy Valentine's Day!  I am trying to enjoy it but Valentine's Day is about 3 things: love, chocolate and love of chocolate.  I have the love part covered and woke this morning to a dozen roses sitting on the kitchen table. (Which means TheHub was awake, showered, dressed and at the store to buy them before 7:30.  I am not sure I would have been as dedicated as he was)

But the chocolate, the seriously delicious part of Valentine's is sadly missing this year.  When Easter is early, Ash Wednesday and Lent are early also and it foils 2 significant events in the life of a chocoholic.  Valentine's Day is void of anything dark, rich and sweet, creamy and tantalizing, and nougaty, and nutty, and peanutty, and m&my, and truffley and....  Now, I can buy chocolate any day and anywhere after Easter.   To me Chocolate dressed in pastels tastes just as good as chocolate from a satin heart box. In fact I can buy Easter candy 50% off the day after Easter. (Oh my goodness the thought of Russell Stover Chocolate covered coconut cream eggs or a Lindt Chocolate bunny half off is what chocolate dreams are made of.)

The second joy kill of early Lent is the annual Girl Scout Cookie sale (can I get an amen for Thin Mints?) We had  a box on Fat Tuesday and I ate a few but certainly did not get my fix.  Again I can buy cookies any day once Lent is over but replicating those delectable Thin Mints cookies is another issue entirely.  The little girl scouts and all their mama's who currently call to me from shopping center parking lots or a table in front of the  grocery store hawking all that minty goodness will be long gone after Easter.  It takes a Ulyssian effort to step away from their siren call right now, but in 40 days I could be giving in and buying however many boxes the cash in my wallet would purchase. And where will they be then?  Earning a merit badge in karate or kayaking or birding?  Who knows? But they sure as shootin' will not be peddling their cookies then.

Having looked at all my options I see only one solution.  I will have to buy an acceptable (to me) number of boxes, wrap them in freezer paper (to keep other's prying eyes from knowing what is in the freezer) and label each box squash (for maximum deception).  Then I can just sit back and wait until I can enjoy my beloved Thin Mints and a cup of coffee, black with no guilt.

p.s. For the record, hamburgers with no bun, paleo ketchup, mustard  and lots of accompanying veggies are good but not nearly as delicious as the full dripping juicy burgers everyone else was eating.  Not let me quit whining about this (first world problem) and go eat a tangerine while everyone else eats chocolate.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I know some of you will make an effort to give something up for Lent.  Usually I do too but this year I am trying something a little different.  When I follow a strict Paleo diet I really do feel better, especially if I make sure I get 4 full servings of vegetables daily, so this year rather than "giving up". I am "giving in"to do something beneficial for me.

Beginning this morning I started Whole30, again and look forward to the first 3 days being over.  It takes me about 3 days to adjust to eating clean and getting rid of the sugars from carbs.

What I hate most about it is the insane amount of time it will take me this first week to prepare everything I will need for the course of Lent.  I don't mind making my meals from scratch, and have learned how to navigate restaurants ( not giving up our weekly night out) but I hate making all the condiments that make life fun.  Tomorrow afternoon I will begin the process of making ketchup, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, bbq sauce, buffalo sauce, and the non dairy version of paleo sour cream.

Fortunately I love my coffee black, I'm not a soda lover, and tea sweetened with stevia is fine with me. Unfortunately my nightly glass of Pinot Noir is not Whole30 compliant so I guess my indulgence will be a small glass of kombucha for the probiotic benefits and the fizz.

If I don't post for the next 3 days it is because I am in a foul mood, have a headache, am peeing my brains out, (tmi, yes i know but it is one of the side effects of this diet change)  and am cussing at all the bloomin food prep. My kitchen will look like a war zone for a couple of days, sigh.

After 3 days life will be better, I will be sugar and grain detoxed and all those "almost"condiments will be living in neat little jars in the fridge. I will not be as grumpy and  will be adjusted to the new order.

All will be fine until Valentine's Day and them I am apt to be a little pissy because it will be a no chocolate day for me, and what good is Valentine's day with no chocolate?  Maybe I will get TheHub some just so I can smell the box.

p.s. Forgot another "giving in" I am doing for Lent.  I will be in the bed by midnight every weekday night.  This is going to be hard since I never go to bed before 2 and most nights 3.  Yikes it' a quarter till. Need to start the bedtime routine right now!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sausage Stew?

Yesterday was one of those days that launches an assault on your time and just doesn't let up until you run in the house late with no plans for dinner, nothing defrosted and no inclination to eat out or bring something in. I looked through the freezer to see if I had anything in small packages that I could thaw quickly in the microwave, but came up with nothing. Then I remembered I had a pound of Conecuh Sausage (the most delicious smoked sausage in the world) in the refrigerator meat drawer. If I am making a dinner meal with it I generally pare it with cabbage or kraut but I had neither so once again it was time to think way outside my normal box. (Have I ever mentioned how grateful I am TheHub is not a picky eater?)

After a quick visit to the crisper drawer  and pantry I had the beginnings of what would be supper. The only thing left was a little cooking time and a seasoning experiment.

For lack of a better idea I am calling this Corn Sausage Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium red sweet pepper, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped (I would have preferred more but this was all I had)
2 zucchini, sliced in "coins"
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound smoked sausage sliced in "coins"
1 can petite chopped tomatoes, drained of most of the liquid
2 small cans of niblet corn (again I only had the smaller cans)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (You may need more.  I am not a salt lover and thought it was too salty)
dash onion powder
dash celery salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I used white pepper because I was out of black pepper)
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
juice of 1/2 lime

Heat the olive oil in a large an an wilt the onions, add the peppers and cook until they begin to soften then toss in the zucchini. Cook until it bends a bit then add the garlic and sausage.  Heat the sausage through stirring continuously so the garlic will not burn adding the tomatoes and corn.  Stir well and add the seasonings.  I let it cook on a mid low heat for about 15 minutes just so the flavors would marry.  Right before serving I squeezed the lime juice over it and stirred it through.

Serve in bowls and pass the Chulula.  We thought this was really good and will add this to our regular rotation as it, but I am really looking forward to having this in the summer.  I think with fresh corn and fresh tomatoes this will be remarkable.

And for your listening pleasure Wide Spread Panic"Thought Sausage"  I even did a little home cooking with this link since the arena is our local ampitheater.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Joy List

I am not exactly sure when and where January went.  It started like any new year month, but somehow or another flew past me.  I did not knock as many things off the Joy List as I would have liked, but it was not a total flop.  Hope springs eternal and February has rolled in.  Maybe this will be the month I actually complete this list.

January Joy List Update
 1 . Send someone who deserves it a hand written congratulations note. Decided to wait until the first trimester is over before sending the note.
 2 . Take care of all thank you notes.
 3 . Buy new address pages and calendar pages for Daytimer.
 4 . Cut bouquet of prematurely blooming camellias I probably have 150 blooms right now
 5 . Wear new funky socks
 6 . Take food to someone having a hard time Single mom having a hard time right now was sick and           needed a little food help.
 7 . Food bank large donation (they dry up after Christmas) Mom was in the hospital so it threw a little wrench into most of my plans this month
 8 . Take coats and blankets to shelter. (It was so hot in December they wouldn't take them)
 9 . Volunteer at IP at least 1 time this month This place has my heart!
10. Eat salad daily Most days but not every single day
11. Work on family cookbook
12. Make 1 Christmas present for next year
13. Purge 10 things per week This was almost too easy
14. Read 3 books Read 5 Not My Father's Son,  Harebrained: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time,  Now They Tell Me:50 Life Lessons I Didn't Learn In School,  How To Cook A Wolf,   DrySpice Mixes  and am halfway through another and started an additional book . 
15. Watch a movie that will make me cry (I am thinking Madame X with Lana Turner)
16. Force bloom some bulbs, narcissus maybe?
17. Make citrus infused wine for summer Completely forgot about this one
18. Clean dining room buffet (drawers and cabinets)
19. Go through all Christmas decorations and discard anything I will not use again
20. Learn to do something new.
21. Find some free live music and enjoy it Heard a Ugandan children's choir (From an orphanage)
22. Try a new to me recipe
23. Begin learning conversational Spanish (Speaking is much harder for me than reading it.)  Minor attempt with no real dedication.  Hopefully February
24. Take Mom to visit Uncle Bob   She is not ready to go yet
25. Take Mom window shopping
26. Find some kind of mission work for homeless  Found it and ready to start, just not on their calendar yet
27. Attend a lecture or informational meeting
28.  Go to a local museum
29. Try a new to me food (fruit or vegetable) Culantro and it is a Latin herb
30. Finish repairing quilt    Can't find my mending stash!
31. Make some centerpiece for Chinese New Year (Feb 8) This is the year of the Red Monkey

February Joy List

1. Volunteer at Independence Place
2.Volunteer with Homeless Ministry
3. Start tomato seedlings
4. Make a Christmas present
5. Use only meats, chicken or fish from the freezer (No protein buying this month)
6. Make a large dent in the foods in the pantry (Time to use storage items)
7, Start growing sprouts again (I have missed these, especially radish sprouts)
8. Initiate contact with a friend I am no longer in touch with (No one particular but over a lifetime there are many dear folks I have neglected.)  Reconnected with a friend from High School.  Enjoyed the coffee and conversation Carol!
9. Take Mom to visit Uncle Bob (She mentions this weekly and I am available but we still haven't gone)
10. Try a different hair color, even if it is just a temporary rinse
11. Try a new fruit or vegetable
12. Listen to some ethnic music from a culture I  have not listened to before. Bought and listened to some didgeridoo music.  It is beautiful, but a little of it goes a long way
13. See a play Saw Chicago (for the 4th time)
14. Go to a movie solo in the middle of the day.
15. Repair the sewing machine and refashion some frumpy item found in my closet (thinking black dress)
16. Enjoy Fat Tuesday to its fullest, because Lent starts at 12:01 I did not know it was possible to eat that much chocolate in one day
17. Observe Lent without whining (even to myself) Observing, but whining
18. Take the large food donation to the food bank
19. Get rid of 10 items each week (purge) Way more than 40 items
20. Find and enjoy some free live music.
21. Work on the family cookbook.
22. Take food to someone who is having a hard time.
23. Take Mom out to do something at night each week this month. (She and Dad did a lot at night and she misses the night lights.  My mistake for not catching on to this earlier)
24. Have a small dinner party
25. Go for a drive somewhere I have never been before. Bonus points for taking Mom, and even more if we find some quaint little shop to explore.
26. Hand make Valentines My Beloved Sister and I do this every year. Our objective is to make ours to each other funny enough to make them laugh.  Bonus points are awarded if you can catch each other  sipping coffee while reading the card and make them spew
27. Celebrate Chinese New Year (Eat takeout Chinese in the dining room and use the "good" dishes and chopsticks) and Valentine's Day (Dining room candlelight meal, "good" dishes sans chopsticks) And for the record, Valentine's lunch was a grilled hamburger served on China, so no utensils were actually required.
28. Read 4 books. Thanks to Band of Brothers I am on a WW2 kick right now, should be interesting to see what I pick to read.
29. Reserve one night to be completely video/tv/computer free.  Listen to symphonic music only