Sunday, May 29, 2016

Chore Check List

As I said in the last post, Son3 is headed home from school for a brief visit and bringing 2 or 3 friends with him.  They are going to stay both here and at the lake place which means twice as much work getting things ready for them. So I thought I would gripe share where I am on my to do list.

Saturday and Sunday we spent at the lake watching all the other people at the lake swim, ski, tube, kayak, sun, boat, or fish while we cleaned and washed and cleaned and cut grass and  cleaned and washed a little more.

Lake Place

Bathrooms -  Totally done
Beds - Clean sheets on all
Linens - All washed and put away
Refrigerator - Cleaned
Kitchen - Cleaned
Deck - Scrubbed, all furniture cleaned, cushions washed
Windows - Cleaner (ok I did not do the exterior windows)
Family room - Cleaned
Floors- Mopped, vacuumed, swept as surface dictates
Yard - Mowed, plants planted
Boathouse - Hosed (goose poop removal system)
Boat - Cover cleaned (Purple Martin poop removal
Kayak - Hosed and de spidered
Beach Towels - Washed and in holder by the door

Guest Room - Cleaned, fresh sheets, needs vacuuming,
Guest Bath - Cleaned, linens out, toiletries out

Music Room - Nothing done. Needs a minor miracle
Bedroom 2- Nothing done, not even a bed in there.  Needs air mattress blown up, sheets and toiletries                     out
Son3 Room - Done except vacuuming
Son3 Bath - Done
Common Areas downstairs - Needs work but not too far from being done
Laundry room - Looks like crap
Kitchen - Good with the exception of cleaning the fridge and routine clean-up.
Deck - Needs sweeping and a quick dusting
Backyard - Grass needs cutting, need to pot 2 plants in empty planters
Pool - Fingers crossed, water no longer is green, needs vacuuming
Pool Deck- Needs furniture moved form the storage building, cushions on chaises

Friday, May 27, 2016

Overloaded with Goodwill/Badwill

This purging business is a little addictive.  I have systematically been going through every drawer, closet, hamper, cabinet or cupboard in this house and am getting rid of anything I have no need for. (Except for my ridiculous number of dishes, kitchen gadgets and serving items.  Who knows I might actually need all this some day)

Just a few minutes ago I attacked my fabric stash. At first I was going to post it on our local Buy Nothing FB page but then I would have to meet someone and they might not want every piece of fabric I am getting rid of. ( Like the copper colored metallic net that I bought when I really wanted copper screening instead of fabric for my living room curtains. After I bought and lugged it home from Oregon I decided I did not like the way it looked and went back to the original copper wire screening idea instead) Now I have a huge fabric pile for Goodwill, along with 5 gigantic boxes of other odds and ends.
I have a hard and fast deadline and absolutely have to have everything listed, hauled away and receipted by Tuesday. This would not normally be a big deal but it is Memorial Day weekend which means we are headed to the lake place. I have a gozillion things to do tomorrow so I may not make it to the drop station. If I don't, it will be Tuesday before it gets done. Again no real problem, except Tuesday is my volunteer day. Logistically I can load it all Monday night when I get home, head to Independence Place, do my thing, then hit Goodwill on my way back home, providing I get am there before 3:30 when they quit accepting donations.  Fingers crossed!  I have to have everything out of my car by the next morning because I have to drive to Atlanta to pick up Son3 and 2 of his friends from the airport so they can stay at                                                                                                          the lake place and unwind from the                                                                                                          school year.

"Don't worry Mom, it will be easy.  You don't need to do anything. We will probably stay in Birmingham a couple of days then head to the lake, oh and we are leaving from the lake and driving to New Orleans for a couple of days. You won't need your car will you?"  I started calculating how many beds will need clean sheets, how many bathrooms will need to be cleaned, how much food will need to be bought, how many. . . . Since 2 houses are involved everything is x 2. Meanwhile TheHub is being helpful like he always is. Sodding the microscopic bare spots in the yard!?!

Update: I actually made it to Goodwill about 5 minutes before they quit taking donations. Of course I had to wait about 30 minutes before they could find a receipt book and wondered why I continued to wait. Uh, tax write off?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mockingbird News

We have a mockingbird who hangs around my bedroom window Every. Single. Night. He starts chirping about 1 in the morning and keeps his/her happy song going, nonstop, until about 5:30 a.m. I am glad he is a jubilant critter and I certainly don't want to destroy his joy de vivre but I would like to lean out the window and politely suggest "Daytime little bird"

Mockingbird singing at night.  This is not my video but is similar to what I hear each night

Monday, May 23, 2016

Malaysian Garlic Ginger Chicken

One of my May Joy list items is to make food from a location I have never tried before.  I picked up a Malaysian paperback cookbook for a quarter at a going out of business sale a while back, and had never even looked at it before today.  My only "rule" when looking at the recipes was to make something that would clear an item from the freezer and use only ingredients I had on hand. Well I am not sure about the rest of you, but I rarely have an octopus, or fresh lemon grass, or lime leaves or a ton of other things the recipes in the book called for, so when I finally found this recipe I quit flipping through the book. Woo hoo, dinner was ready to roll.
     Malaysian Ginger Garlic Chicken

1 1/2 pound chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 inch section fresh ginger, peeled and minced
7 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon five spice powder
black pepper to taste (1/4ish teaspoon)

Put the chicken in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the chicken.  Let it sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. Take it out of the bag and put the chicken in a greased baking dish. If you are like me and like to live dangerously pour the marinade over the chicken and bake for 35 minutes at 375.  It is going to get blazing hot and cook any evil bacteria to smithereens.  If you are a little squeamish then double the marinade and leave the other recipe to pour over the chicken and toss the marinade that was used down the drain. Everyone has their own comfort level. (I will only use it if whatever I make is going to be cooked  300 + degrees for a long time.  I would never use it to brush on anything grilled). I put aluminum foil on top of mine and I will not do that again. The sauce was more of a liquid instead of a thick rich sauce. I think open cooking would have created a sticky sauce that would have been even tastier. My mistake. Learn from mine instead of making it yourself.

Oh my goodness was this stuff delicious! We are definitely going to put this in our regular eats location.  I served it over rice and the sauce dripped down making a delicious, from bottom to top meal. I am even considering tripling the sauce and freezing it with chicken in vacuum sealed bags, just to have it a quick thaw and bake meal.  If you want something that is easy peasy and tempting to the tongue, this is it.

For the record, this is not at all hot but is deliciously spicy. It made my mouth very happy!

It may or may not be authentically Malaysian, but I am counting it since it was directly from a Malaysian cookbook.  If it isn't and you know it is not, please humor me and let me remain delusional!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Scallop Salad with Mango Dressing

Since Sprouts opened its newest store about a mile from my house, I have become and avid Wednesday shopper.  Every Wednesday shoppers get the sale prices for both the current ad  as well as the previous weeks sale prices. I am in class every Wednesday morning just a couple of blocks from there so it is a no brainer for me to stop by on my way home.

This week I was able to get scallops at a substantial savings so 1 1/2 pounds jumped in my buggy (that is southern speak for cart).  I did not cook them the day I bought them so the next night we had to have them. (We had it tonight as I am writing this, but it will tomorrow as you are reading it because I am not posting this until my blooming phone battery will hold a charge long enough for me to send the picture here.  I am headed to bed in a few minutes, so I will not be awake when the phone is ready to send it.)

                                      Scallop Salad with Mango Dressing

Mango Dressing: Make this ahead of time and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes

1 whole mango cut in cubes
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
garlic salt to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon dehydrated onion flakes

Toss everything into a blender and blend until it is smooth.

For the Salad: Serves 3 generous or 4 average portions

1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
1 tablespoon olive oil
seasonings to taste
1 head red leaf lettuce, cleaned
1/2 bunch fresh spinach, long stems removed
1 large red pepper seeded, cored and cut into strips
1/2 cucumber sliced

Divide the lettuce among the bowls (3 or 4) and top with the spinach.  Add the pepper slices and cucumber.  Set aside while the scallops cook.

Put the olive oil in a saute' pan and bring to a mid-hi heat.  Add the scallops, sear on one side then flip them and allow them to very slightly brown.  Season (light dash of salt and pepper or use a light dusting of your favorite seasoning blend.  I used Penzy's Balti* which has a wonderful flavor, but is a tad hot ) Place the hot scallops on top of the salad and pour the mango dressing over it.  Add a little freshly ground black pepper and enjoy.

This was a really tasty salad supper.  I served it with sauteed squash and declared it enough.  If I had rolls it would have been a fantastic addition but I didn't have any.  Too bad.  But no one left the table hungry anyway.

If you find some inexpensive scallops this is a great way to have an easy peasy meal.  Try it, you might just like it.

* I do not get any endorsements for any products I mention. I just really do love the flavor of the Balti
seasoning blend.  Don't ask me what is in it.  If I knew I would make my own and not have to pay Penzy's outrageous prices

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Big Check on the Joy List

One of my joy list items for May was to meet a fellow blogger live and in 3-D. CHECK

I had the pleasure of meeting Sluggy from Don't Read This, It's Boring and Mr. Sluggy Tuesday night for dinner (supper if you live in Birmingham) while they were driving through on their multi destination trip home. If any of you live near her, make it a point to drive over and meet her.  She is just as funny and adorable as she seems in her blog.

 I would post a picture but I forgot to take one, probably because I am one of those people who forgets to document my life via pictures. (Or because my crappy phone battery will never hold a charge long enough for me to take one.)

Next time, Sluggy we are going somewhere with a bar not just beer.  I am not a beer guy, but give me a very nice dirty vodka martini and I am in like Flint!

Now who else is traveling through the South.  I am always game for a bite to eat!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Different Corn

How is it possible for corn to be unusual! I mean it's corn! And corn is about as plain and simple a food as you can get right? Well tonight I was using a bag of corn niblets I had frozen and just was not in the mood for traditional corn. So I did a Google search using the keywords unusual corn and came up with this recipe from All Recipes.  For once I made it mostly by the recipe except for a few changes, one intentional and one accidental and one just because I like to be a little different occasionally.

For the sake of all that is holy when recipe sharing I am writing it as written. I will put my changes in parenthesis

                                                               Cajun Corn

            (I have no idea if this is a cajun standard or not.  I have been to Louisiana many time and have              never eaten it or seen it on a menu, at least that I remember)

6 ears corn, husked, cleaned  and scraped (2 1/2 cups frozen corn niblets)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (Wasn't wearing glasses, used 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil then 1                                                           tablespoon olive oil. Oops, but the flavor was good!)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped (I used 1 1/2)
1  large fresh tomato, chopped ( 2 large tomatoes because they both needed to be used right then)
1/4 cup milk (I omitted this because it sounded weird. Next time I will add heavy cream instead)
salt to taste
cayenne pepper to taste ( The plastic shaker top came off, so I probably accidentally                                                                    dumped a tablespoon into the corn. Hot! )
(couple of dashes of red pepper flakes) Not sure why I added this, habit I guess
1/4 cup chopped green onions
8 strips crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
(sour cream) it was so blooming hot we had to have something to temper the heat

In a large saute' pan, heat the oil  and add the onions and peppers.  Cook until wilted but not browned. Throw in the corn (if using fresh off the cob corn scrape the cob for the "milk" and toss it in too. Add the milk (I used water because milk sounded weird to me.  Next time I am going to use heavy cream. You need a bit of dairy to temper the heat.) Add the spices and cook until the corn is tender.  Serve on plates and top with the green onions, tomatoes and bacon.  You will see in the picture there is no sour cream, mainly because I had not taken a bite of it and realized how hot it was. I immediately put about a tablespoon of sour cream on mine to fight the malingering heat inside my mouth. It did the trick for me, but TheHub couldn't eat his. He thought the flavor was great but it almost brought tears to his eyes.

I will make this again, but I will be very careful about the amount of cayenne I use. I guess I need to rethink my "measuring is for sissies" mantra.  This might be equally tasty without the hot stuff, at least for those who don't like their food to bite back a little.

My Beloved Sister shared this website with me and told me to post it on the blog.  I had never seen or heard of it before, but after playing with it a bit it has some serious potential for quick on the spot dinner planning. She has been using it regularly and swears by it!

Friday, May 13, 2016

No Life?

This is one of those posts with nothing of any interest or value to say, so why am I even writing this? I suppose it is a self indulgence.

Most of the time I write about what we had for dinner (or supper if you live in Alabama) but I am using stuff from the freezer and not buying much this month, so my ingredient list is limited, and I am not going to buy anything outside of the regular fruit and salad fixings for the month. Let me be the first to admit we have had some spartan meals lately, and sadly I just don't care. I really just want everything left from last years freezer "fill" and canning sessions to be out of here by June. Around here,  June marks the start of produce season and I want to can and freeze as much local produce as possible.

There are a couple of farms reasonably close to me that use no pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and though the farms are not certified organic they use safe and sustainable farming techniques.  I love buying by the bushel from them, but it does mean I have to go into immediate processing mode. I want to make sure I have plenty of freezer space and lots of canning jars in time for the food onslaught.

Son3 is headed home from school in early June for a brief summer visit and is bringing 2 or 3 friends with him.  This will be a great time to cook a gigantic pan of frozen pastichio, especially since it is one of Son3's favorite foods. It is delicious and I think they will like it. (Hopefully they like ethnic foods.)  I also have a frozen ham I plan on cooking for them and between those 2 items a lot of space will empty. Yay! Maybe I need to start this annually and have house guests in late May/early June just to help eat the frozen excess.

The only  things I am adding to the freezer right now are stellar poultry and meat buys.  I am down to a very few packs of previously frozen proteins and should have them finished off by the end of May. Anything I add to the freezer goes on a different shelf so I won't mistakenly grab it, but since it is getting very close to Memorial Day I am seeing incredible sales on ground chuck, chicken breasts, and pork butts, so I am taking advantage of the reduced prices to stock up for later.

Freezer tip: Keep a pair of gloves by the freezer. (Mine hang from a magnetic clamp on the side of the freezer)  That way you can move a lot of freezer foods without freezing your hands.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


                Happy Mother's Day

                              to all you mothers, want to be mothers, or people                                               who had mothers!

                                And a special Happy Mother's Day to my Mom!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Taste of Your Area

Since I just posted about Moon Pies, how about anyone who reads this telling us a bit about a food/beverage that originated in your area, along with anything else interesting about your town.
I will start it off since I am the one who asked everyone to join in.

I am a native of Birmingham, Alabama and have lived here most of my life.  Birmingham originated as a merger of 3 farming communities which took the name Birmingham from England.  Until the mid 80's ish it was still a steel town, but has morphed into a huge medical/ medical research/ school town with UAB (The University of Alabama Birmingham) being the single largest employer. Understand that UAB consists not only of a metro college, but it also  multi hospitals, multi diagnostic centers, multi professional office buildings, so it is a gigantic complex occupying a huge hunk of Birmingham's Southside.

I have no idea what the population of the city proper is (guessing about 250,000 but I could be wrong) but the metro area is roughly 1,000,000 -1,200,000.  Obviously most of the population lives outside the city, mostly in small incorporated areas. (20ish incorporated towns of 20k or more. I said 20ish because it seems like some new community incorporates every few years and I lose count of who is who.)

We are infamously known for Bull Conner and his hose men during the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's. This is not something to be proud of, but it did happen. We do get tired of everyone outside of Alabama assuming life is still like this. We have changed, we really have

We do now have a fabulous Civil Rights Museum and if you are ever this way it is well worth visiting.

Speaking of museums, one of my friends is a docent at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Whenever we complain about living in Boringham  she lets us know that outside of England the Birmingham Art Museum has the largest collection of Wedgewood.  I enjoy some of the exhibits there but I spend very little time in the Wedgewood room.  I guess I lack the proper appreciation for jasper

Birmingham is also the home of Legion Field also known as The Gray Lady.  It is an old outdated football field that used to be home of The Iron Bowl (the annual football game between Auburn University and The University of Alabama. Roll Tide just in case anyone is wondering!) Both Alabama and Auburn pumped major dollars into their home fields and realized it would be much better for their bottom line and the bottom line of their respective towns to host the games at their actual home field. Pity since it was always fun to go to a game there. Amazingly though the game is still called the Iron Bowl. Roll Tide Roll! just in case you didn't catch it the first time. (And yes, I do own a houndstooth blazer!)

Vulcan is supposedly the largest iron statue in the U.S.? World? Universe? I don't remember which and I could just look it up for you but then I would find an interesting link and the adult ADD would set in and before it was all said and done I would have somehow migrated to an intense study of the 3rd Punic War.  In Alabama we like to be the best or biggest at anything (it happens rarely) so we always mention it. Vulcan is an huge iron god wearing nothing but an apron who faces the city to the north and whose bare butt faces the south. This gave rise to a song in the 80's or 90's (I forget which) "Moon Over Homewood", the incorporated city directly on the receiving end of, well, of Vulcan's end. If you are in Birmingham and have a lot of time Vulcan is worth seeing, but it is not the same since they put an elevator in.  When I was a kid you got to the top via a curving stairwell.  It was a lot of fun to run to the top then run back down and run to the top again. I don't know if anyone ever died falling from those stairs, but one of us probably should have.  Now, it would probably kill me to walk up them so I need to shut up about the elevators don't I?

Keeping with the best theme, Roll Tide! The University of Alabama football program has 16 National Championships, just sayin'.

Birmingham is also a foodie town.  There are restaurants everywhere, of course the usual chains are here but there are some outstanding locally owned places.  Frank Stitt and Chris Hastings are 2 local chefs who seem to be on the James Beard list regularly.

Frank Stitt's Highlands Bar and Grill (get gussied up before you go here and make reservations well in advance) is a place to see the beautiful people while you eat mouthwatering local food. Oh my goodness  the baked grits are to die for. This is by far my go to special occasion restaurant.

The Hot and Hot Fish Club is another iconic restaurant. Chris Hastings also embraces the local seasonal food.  It is a tad (just a tad though) more casual than Highlands.  Nothing is more delicious than his tomato salad, which is an architectural feast of tomatoes, lady peas, fried okra and Nuskie's bacon. I wonder if he is getting good tomatoes yet, because he only offers it when he gets the best ingredients and I want it now!

And after a long and somewhat torturous journey through my home town I am finally going to tell you about one of our best local products.
In the early 1900's local grocer Sidney Lee mixed a strongly spiced ginger syrup (specifically made to treat stomach distress) with carbonated water and Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale was born. As luck would have it, his new ginger beverage was very popular and before too many years he gave up his wholesale grocery business to bottle and sell his product exclusively. It kept gaining in popularity and his processing business grew and grew.  Before too long the family business acquired the rights for bottling regional Pepsi products, but they also continued to make Buffalo Rock. This is a not for sissies ginger ale.  It is a fantastic kick in the face ginger overload drinking experience on its own. Besides quenching thirst is is a wonderful base for a mouthwatering Moscow mule, an all around stomach settler, and as I understand (though I would certainly have no way of knowing) a pretty decent hangover remedy.  Do yourself a favor. If you are heading through Alabama grab a six pack or more of Buffalo Rock.  It comes in a diet option for those who need a lot of ginger sans sugars. I have no idea where else you can buy it.  I am sure it is in other states, but there is no grocery store  in Alabama that doesn't carry it. Buy it, drink it, enjoy it, but don't say I didn't warn you. It has a super intense ginger kick!

Your turn. What is fantastic in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

So Who Needs A Moon Pie?

Regional treats everyone should eat

I just saw this list on Facebook and can get my hands on Moon Pies, Zapps Chips (Voodoo are the best) Wickles Pickles, and Palmetto Cheese in 5 minutes. And if you come through Birmingham I can personally take you to Zaxby's.  If any of you want a taste of the South (particularly a Moon Pie) let me know and we will see what we can work out.  Meanwhile I am intrigued by the  Idaho Spuds Candy bar and Sponge Candy, and am craving the Beaver Bites.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Joy List

Well at this rate I don't have to worry about ever finishing my joy list.  On to May!

April Joy List

1. Take Mom to Uncle Bob's  Happy Birthday, UB!
2. Have a small dinner party Had grilled swordfish, baked potatoes, salad, rolls and cake for 4
3. Learn another jazz song for piano Lullaby of Birdland (again not great but I can play it and even tried my hand at improv)
4. Take food to someone having a hard time Sorry about the surgery Sally but loved seeing you
5. Go to a small town 2 times this month.  Eat Locally and explore a local business. Ran out of time
6. Since I missed Easter, buy an outfit for someone who has lost everything - Found a family who lost everything in    a fire. Waiting for specific sizes and wants
7. Go watch a little league ball game- Just flat out didn't do this
8. Go to a museum - didn't do it
9. See a play  - Gave our tickets to Flashdance away
10. Go to a matinee movie by myself (eat popcorn)- Nothing I really wanted to see was playing
11. Read at least 4 books  "The Day I Was Crucified" "The Runaway Family" "The Girl on a Train" 
12. Try a new to me beverage Sazerac (meh)
13. Continue with the gratitude list I am amazed at what all I have to be thankful about
14. Make 2 prototypes for I.P. Christmas sale will post pics of these later
15.Volunteer at Independence Place This place has a large piece of my heart
16. Seriously do something with a homeless ministry  Cooked for a couple of families in transitional housing.
17. Take flowers to someone
18. Get herbs planted 
19. Watch an Opera (if I can't see one live at least I can watch a video) Dido and Aeneas. Ran out of time but will do this in May
20. Find some free live music to enjoy  Heard Sweet Kick at Workplay's bar.
21. Make a Christmas present  This one is really cute. I actually want it.
22. Repair 2 squares on quilt top Thought of this every time I made my bed, then didn't think about it again.
23. Polish silver (yes it is a chore but I love the way things look after it is done)
24. Get rid of 10 items per week
25. Paint those 2 pictures for the lake (Find some inspiration somewhere) Did 1 but still uninspired about the other
26. Make cookies for the neighborhood kids
27. Open the pool Rain  got in the way
28. Work on learning Spanish
29. Work on family cookbook
30. Have guests at the lake place Forgot TheHub was going to be busy 2 weeks this month, so we      had day guests not weekend ones.
31. Be kind, even if I don't want to This month has been one that begged me to kick butt and take        names, but I am      forcing myself to be kind (even to those who don't deserve my kindness, but     probably need it most. I am thinking of eliminating this item in May just so I can snap if I want to.
32. Plant flower seed (Must have zinnias) 
33. Make paper from junk mail- Have to find a working blender at a garage sale first, no luck so far.      Not using my  good blender.
34. Paint corner cabinets in dining room (faux leather tops?)
35. Paint decorative edging on basement stairs at lake place.- Only went once and left my paints at home.

May Joy List

 1. Take Mom out at least 1 night a week  Mom is angry with me (with her life) and wouldn't go                                                                            every week. Oh well, I tried.
 2. Go to a movie by myself (eat popcorn)
 3. Watch an Opera
 4. Go to a play  Saw Love's Labours Lost
 5. Find and enjoy some free music
 6. Go to a museum
 7. Find those elusive 2 small towns and visit them!
 8. Have weekend company    Not happening
 9.  Randomly make it a point to meet someone new
10. Meet someone from blogland for lunch Do yourself a favor and make it a point to meet Sluggy.                                                                       She is fabulous!                                                             
11. Be kind, even when I don't want to be kind.
12. Mend 2 squares on the quilt (This was a gift from my late MIL and it MUST be repaired)
13. Polish the silver (Tea service on the buffet is currently black)
14. Paint corner cabinets in the dining room
15. Paint decorative edge on lake house steps
16. Volunteer at Independence Place
17. Volunteer with some homeless/hunger mission
18. Give someone flowers Took Mom lilies from the yard tonight
19. Take food to someone having a hard time
20. Create a bedroom for granddaughter (my former office)
21. Learn another jazz piano piece.
22. Work on Spanish (Spanish with a Southern accent is not really pretty)
23. Work on the family cookbook
24. Make 2 more prototypes for Independence Christmas Bazaar sale.
25. Have a small dinner party
26. Have guests at the lake house
27. Send a note to someone who has good news.
28. Try a new to me beverage  Made some habanero infused tequila. Drank a shot on the rocks.                                                      Will never do that again, but I used just a tad in addition to traditional                                                   bloody mary fixin's and it was fantastic
29. Try cooking ethnic food I have never cooked before.
30. Make a Christmas gift I am not actually giving this one for Christmas, but made as a                                                             prototype. It will be made again in November for Christmas giving.
31. Paint a picture for the lake place
32. Contact someone I have been out of touch with for a long time.
33. Read 4 books.
34. Write in the gratitude notebook keeping a list of every good thing.
35. Laugh as much as possible