Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Because I'm Happy

As has been my habit since the end of the first week of the year,  I am recounting and listing my daily joys and happiness. I can be a little legalistic on some things and since the new year began on a Wednesday, I use Wednesday as my new week set point. I intend to sit down NYE and re read all the things that brought me joy over the course of a year. I hope it reminds me of just how fortunate I am.

Wednesday: I did not have to run to Mom's house one time on Wednesday and that was true joy. I also booked the mover who is going to bring the items, my sister, son2 and I are going to use in our houses.

Thursday: The critter trap was sprung and inside was an armadillo. Joy! I also got my living room emptied so I could clean and wax the hardwoods. It will remain emptied (except for the piano)  until October 2 when the movers are coming. It is going to be interesting to see how some of Mom's things and my furniture coexist because we had very different aesthetics .

Friday: Trapped another armadillo! The "critter gitter" was at the house by mid morning and carried him/her off to his property for release. I want to know who brought these creatures across the Mississippi. Yeah, and the coyotes too.  I remember when they were only in the western states.  
After TheHub got off work we drove around a bit before grabbing a to go chicken dinner. Scenic drives and no cooking equals joy.

Saturday: TheHub and I woke early, did several errands, then came home to enjoy the SEC opening day of football. Roll Tide, Roll! We managed to watch or listen to multi games all day long, then had Son2, DIL2, and the granddog over to watch games and have dinner with us. It was a fun day!

Sunday: I loved our online church service, followed by our WebEx Sunday school class. After doing some chores, TheHub and I both fell asleep in our respective chairs. It was kind of like that meme that is circulating all over facebooks. "Know how to fall asleep in a chair? Be old__Sit down".  We really did enjoy the nice and restful day.

Monday: The "Critter Gitter" guy had his armadillo traps in the yard through Monday. $400 later we had caught one cat, 2 armadillos and 1 possum. Sorry to the cat and possum. We were not looking to trap either of you, but I seriously wanted the armadillos gone.

Tuesday: My sister and I spent more time at Mom's house getting things ready for the movers. We are both having to change several rooms in our houses to accommodate her things, and it will alter the look of our respective houses a good deal. My biggest joy is that Son2 agreed to keep the grandfather clock at his house. Mom left it to Son1 who lives in Oregon, but we have no idea how to ship it so it would arrive undamaged. (it's very old and very fragile) Son2 might have it forever!

For the last few weeks I have not gotten any major or minor projects done, but that changed this past week.
1. Emptied everything but the piano from the living room
2. Cleaned and waxed the living room hardwoods
3. Repositioned some artwork and added some more paintings (from Mom's house)
4. Made a huge dent in reorganizing the laundry room. I still have until tomorrow to get it completely done to make room for Mom's sewing machine  and a few other items. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tuesday's 4 Questions

I have been following Annie @ Tuesday 4 for the month of September. Today's questions are about marriage. 

1. How did you meet your husband/wife?

I was a freshman in college and had gone with a friend to a party at his apartment (We had never met before) . While there I ran into another good friend from high school who was his friend also, and she introduced us. 

2. How did you know he/she was “the one”? 

I have no idea. Honestly he was such a very good guy early in our relationship and he is still a very good guy. It just clicked.

3. How did he propose?

We were insanely young and we both just knew we wanted to get married to each other and had already discussed it at length. He was at my family's home for the weekend and went out on the deck to talk to my Dad. It was a formality and we would have gotten married anyway, but Dad appreciated it.  Immediately afterward he came into the den, and that was that and we were officially engaged. 

4. Do you have any favorite stories from your marriage or about your husband/wife? 

I do have some, and they are things we talk and laugh about on a regular basis. If I were talking to you in person I would tell you some of them, but they just don't necessarily belong on my blog because they are not just my stories. They are shared stories and this is not our shared blog.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Supper time, Supper time, Sup Sup Suppertime

If you look below you will see why this particular song is the one that popped into my little pea brain today, not that I don't love Nat King Cole's voice. 

Per usual my meal plan and actual meals did not converge. That's life, or at least my life. If you have read my past meal plan post, you know the only thing I do consistently well is take out. Everything else is hit or miss and honestly it is mainly miss. 

This is what was planned:
1. Seared scallops, green beans, potatoes, salad, rolls
2. Spaghetti, tossed salad
3. Veggie dinner: Butterbeans, squash, tomatoes, coleslaw, cornbread
4. Another veggie dinner: Okra, corn relish, lady peas, cornbread, tomato slices
5. Pork tenderloin, broccoli, rice
6. White bbq chicken, caulitato salad, baked beans
7. Take out

And this is what we really ate:
Monday: We had cleaned out more of Mom's closets and had to get a rather large donation ready for pickup. I came home and just did not feel like cooking. Additionally we had a coupon for a $3 reuben. The sandwich is so big that we split one. We are the last of the big spenders.
Arby's reuben sandwich

Worked again at Mom's for a bit, then came home to string green beans. The beans yield has far overtaken the zucchini and I harvest enough to cook every single day. 
Green beans, squash, coleslaw, cornbread

I love it when TheHub actually requests something for dinner. I don't mind cooking but I get tired of thinking about what to make.
Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad

Thursday: The weather was cooler and it rained all day. It was the perfect time to put on a pot of butterbeans for a veggie meal.
Speckled butter beans, air fried okra, tomato slices, corn relish, cornbread

Friday: The Hub and I rode around just to get out of the house and see life going on somewhere and we decided to pick up dinner
Jack's chicken dinner

Saturday: Son2 and DIl2 came over and spent the afternoon and evening with us. It is ball game time down south  Roll Tide, Roll! Since our beloved Alabama played at 6 we decided to make life easy and ordered a take out meal midmorning. All I had to do was zap it for dinner and our meal was on the table with minimal effort.
Costa's baked ziti and salad

Sunday:  We had a boatload of salad left over, along with tortilla chips I forgot to open for the game day tv marathon.  It just made sense to use it for dinner
Taco salad

And this week I definitely have to begin keto again. Covid has been very very very unkind to me


                                                             Self portrait amid quarantine

Meal Possibilities for the week
1. Leftover spaghetti (TheHub) tossed salad
2. Cheeseburger salad
3. Egg roll in a bowl
4. White bbq chicken, caulitato salad, green beans
5. Greek chicken salad, asparagus, rolls or keto rolls
6. Grilled steak, grilled veggies, green beans, tossed salad
7. Grilled tuna steaks, coleslaw, cauliflower mashed potatoes or real mashed potatoes (TheHub)

p.s. If any of you had a blog comment from Merry,  it was me. I have several email accounts I use for various things and I was logged into my internet shopping google account/email address. The name I used in that account is Merry Christmas because I set it up several years ago when I was buying some  gifts online. Sorry!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Perfect Use for Crap Candy

             This seems like an appropriate song for today, "Salt Peanuts"


I will be honest and say out loud for the world to hear__I hate candy corn, unless . . .

Candy Corn
Salted cocktail peanuts
Peanut m&m's
Plain m&m's

Place all in a covered bowl. Shake to mix. Put some in a small bowl. Eat. Try to stop eating. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


During my teen years if I was at home alone (or just at home with my sister ) and feeling blue there were a few songs that would immediately put a little bounce in my step. Dad's only real material pride and joy was his stereo system. He bought components way before it was the  cool thing to do, and had our house wired with speakers so you could hear music from every room in the house. He was not picky about letting us play our music on it, but he did have one silly rule. We could not raise the volume above 5, which was loud enough unless you were a teenager. We followed his rules for using it to a tee__until he and Mom went out. Then all bets were off and we would crank it up to 10 (the loudest it would go), sing and dance all over the house. You just had to be clever and  remember to turn it back down to 5 before they got home.

I had some struggles this week and I found myself playing music from my teen years to prop myself up. This is one of those songs that always made me happy. I am finding myself seriously in need of some socialization. I miss seeing my friends and I really miss going places and doing things. I am really struggling with all of this isolation.

Wednesday: Sally was not as destructive as she could have been All our family and friends who live on or near the coast were safe, with minimum damage, and that is a tru joy considering how horrible things could have been

Thursday: I found some important documents of Mom's that had been misplaced. There is an air of chaos in her house still. Even as we get it emptied it seems the less we have in it the more often things we need disappear.

Friday: My beloved sister and I worked at Mom's for a bit and had some really good conversations, and my cousin's son found a few more things he needed to help furnish his new kitchen. 

Saturday: I worked on some business of Mom's and completed it. Yay! TheHub had to go into the office for most of the day so he was working also. When he got home and I had finished what I was working on, we made a quick meal and socked in to watch a couple of episodes of The Americans.

Sunday: We began the morning by streaming church, followed by a WebEx Sunday school class. It is not the same, but it is so wonderful to see faces (even on a screen)  and to have a little virtual socialization. As soon as we were through we hopped in the car and drove to the lake.  The day was gorgeous and the ride down was just beautiful.

Monday:  We have an armadillo burrow and our lawn is slowly being torn apart, which is not joyful at all. The upside is Critter Gitters came out and set traps to capture said creature, then humanely release him/her elsewhere. I hope it is not a her because that means the potential that many smaller armadillos are burrowed also.

Tuesday: I was at Mom's house for a good part of the day, came home and did a few things around the house before getting dinner ready. I happened to look outside and saw one of the traps had been triggered. Yes, we had caught a critter.  When TheHub investigated (no I do not do animals in traps) instead of a possum on the half shell we heard a meow. We had trapped GrayGreg, our neighbors cat. Fortunately he was not trapped long and is completely fine, but we felt horrible about him being contained, even briefly.

So that end the joy list for a less than joyful week, but's I have said before there is joy every day, even if 
it is just joy that you did not harm the neighbors cat when you accidentally trapped it. Though now I wonder if we have freaked him out and he will no longer be our chipmunk controller. Time will tell and maybe he has a short memory.

Go have a wonderful week and look for those hidden joys. They are always there, hiding somewhere!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Tuesday 4


Annie has a series of 4 questions for Tuesdays. Some of them have made me think or reminisce about times in the past. This post did not require a whole lot of thinking, but simply reading the word Tuesday did remind me of this song. I had this when I was in high school and it is probably in the basement along with the rest of our old vinyl albums.  I bought it because I liked "Nights in White Satin" but after buying and listening to the entire album, it turns out that was my least favorite song.

Some questions, like today, are pretty straight forward. But before I go any further, let me make it known that I absolutely hate housework. I do it because it has to be done, but I get no pleasure from it. I do like the after effect, but the process sucks.

1. What laundry products do you like to use or find best for you?

 I use Shout for stains, bleach for the white towels, All  Small and Mighty unscented detergent and Myers Lavender fabric softener

2. Dryer, line or combination of both?

Dryer and a hanging rod in the laundry room. Our neighborhood does not allow clothes lines

3. Do you have wood floors or carpeting and which is best?

Living room, dining room, powder room and all hallways are hardwood. Next I will put hardwoods in the MBR and the main level den. Currently I have carpet in all the bedrooms, the dens, and the music room

4. Housekeeping professionals give the following guidelines. Which do you follow? Do you have better ideas?

1. Open windows first No

2. Clear up clutter before cleaning. Mostly but I can ignore a cluttered coffee table or dresser

3. Start in bedrooms first No, but I do make the bed before I leave the bedroom in the morning

4. Give cleaning products time to work.  Yes

5. Always sweep or vacuum before mopping Sweep

6. Use a toothbrush for hard to get at areas  Yes

7. Keep things on a central cart if you can No. I keep multiples of products where there are used.  i.e. Each bathroom has its own toilet bowl cleaner and scrub free, toilet brush, paper towels, and glass cleaner

8. Dust everything Depends on the day

9. Vacuum your furniture often, mattresses once a month or so. Furniture, yes. Mattress only when I wash the mattress pad

Cha Cha Cha Changes

                                                    Changes! This should be my theme song! 

As usual my plan and what happened did not coincide. If my plans were an asteroid, the earth would be safe every week, because each week is a near miss but I never actually hit my target. 

Anyway this is what was planned:
1. Seared scallops, potatoes of some sort, green beans, tossed salad
2. Huge salad meal, rolls
3. Grilled steak, tossed salad, rolls
4. Veggie dinner: lady peas, okra, sliced tomatoes, cornbread
5. Roasted turkey breast, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy
6. Some one pan chicken meal. Unsure, but something portable, to take  to the lake
7. Take-out

And this is what happened:
Monday: Roasted turkey, green beans and potatoes, tomato slices
Tuesday: Captain D's
Wednesday: Lady peas, air fried okra, tomato slices
Thursday: Frozen spinach, mushroom and garlic pizza
Friday: Huge salad, spinach pies
Saturday: Veggie sir fry. crescent rolls
Sunday: Grilled steak, baked potato, cucumbers and tomatoes

I don't remember what happened during the week. It was a blur filled with several frustrations and I am glad it is in my rear view mirror, so now on to this new weeks plan. (And I vow to eat those dang scallops that are still in the freezer this week)

1. Seared scallops, green beans, potatoes, salad, rolls
2. Spaghetti, tossed salad
3. Veggie dinner: Butterbeans, squash, tomatoes, coleslaw, cornbread
4. Another veggie dinner: Okra, corn relish, lady peas, cornbread, tomato slices
5. Pork tenderloin, broccoli, rice
6. White bbq chicken, caulitato salad, baked beans
7. Take out

And now have a great week, staying on plan, going off plan, or a week with no plan at all! 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Mom's Recipe Box

My Mom's metal recipe box was filled to the brim, mostly with recipes she never made. I can't say she had it all my life, but I have no memories of it not being in the kitchen. At one time the sides of it were a bright pink and the top was yellow. Maybe that color combo will help date it, but now it looks primarily off white with scattered hints of very pale pink and yellow.

Mom never claimed to be a good cook. To her it was just a chore she had to do to keep us alive, and as a result of her cooking indifference we ate some pretty basic foods. Even so she did have a couple of things she made better than most people. In our family and among all our friends she was well known for her chocolate fudge icing. Everyone called it Nan Cake and if you had an occasion you could bet the bank she would show up bearing Nan Cake. I could not begin to count the number of birthdays. anniversaries, family reunions, Thanksgivings, celebrations, or times of great mourning that it was present. I am a much better cook than she was and I can not even begin to make it anywhere nearly as perfect as hers was.

She also had a second cake that she made regularly,  her easily totable cake. It could never be for a birthday; that would have been a cake blaspheme. It was for picnics, Fourth of July parties, trips to the beach or middle of the winter cake to have with midday coffee.  So with no further ado, I give you:

Mom's German Chocolate Cake

1 cup shortening (I used butter because I don't usually keep shortening on hand)
2 cups sugar
1 bar German Chocolate, melted
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons butter flavoring
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Cream shortening and sugar until creamy, add the melted chocolate and mix well.  Mix in the eggs, then add the extracts and the buttermilk.

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients (I never do this step but the recipe call for it so I included it)

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet and blend well. Pour into a well greased and floured bunt pan. Bake at 300 for 1 1/2 hours.

I halved the recipe because I did not want that much cake around the house, but I wanted to make something comforting and familiar. I have small bunt pans that are about 4 1/2 inches in diameter and much shallower than a traditional bunt. It only took the cake about 1 hour in those pans, and I wound up with slightly more batter than fit into 2 of them. The last pan was filled less than 1/4 of the way full so that cake was only about 2 inches tall after baking.

We always ate it as just a plain pound cake, but now that I have possession of the recipe box, I see Mom was holding out on us! The back the card has a basic glaze to spoon over a cooled cake. I didn't even look at the back of the card to know about the glaze until I was writing this post, so the joke is still on me.

1 bar German Chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening
1/4 cup water
1 cup confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the chocolate add the shortening and water and stir over low heat. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to blend. Spoon over the top of the cake.

TheHub bought a pint of ice cream because he does not like plain cake. I guess he suffered through enough years of eating it like Mom served it, and now he can eat it with a scoop of vanilla and not have to worry about offending anyone. Imagine how he will feel the next time I make it and add the well kept secret glaze!

BTW the texture is slightly different using the butter. Using shortening makes it a tad denser, I guess since shortening is full fat and butter has a little liquid in it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

All About That Joy, Bout That Joy No Trouble

As some of you know, each week I recount the joy or joys that happen each day. My aim is to sit down on NYE with some soft background music (and possibly an adult beverage) and re-read the daily joys for the past year. Each day has at least one, even if I have to look a little hard to find it. I hope this helps me to recognize how joy rises, even on the most horrific days, and to admit that even in 2020 there are so many things that require gratitude.
Wednesday : Houston, we have functional internet at the lake! After years of hit or miss connectivity and a security system tied into an analog phone, we now have a new cellular security system and real internet. No more DSL which I am pretty sure stands for Damned Slow Linking. For the first time ever at the lake place we can have more than one device connected to wi-fi at the same time.
We did cancel our TV service there because we were paying for something we rarely used, but now we can stream via the Firestick. We rarely watch anything but Netflix or Amazon Prime anyway.
Losing the land line and TV covers the cost of Netflix for a year in just one and a half months, even accounting for the increase in the price of the internet service and additional security system cost.
Doing the happy dance!

Thursday: My Beloved Sister took me to pick up my car, but on the way we stopped and grabbed a couple of pastries from a fairly new Mexican bakery. They opened right before Covid caused the lockdown and are just getting their business back up and running well. I will definitely be one of their supporters! They have goodies galore, many unknown to me, but they also have lovely young women who work there who are incredibly helpful. After I  picked up my car we came back to my house to sample the treats.
I also got to text with one of Mom's former sitters.. She was pregnant when Mom died and I had been keeping in touch with her for the past four months, just checking in to see how she was doing.  She had a beautiful baby boy Wednesday night and sent me pictures of him on Thursday. I am so happy for her that he is here, and so happy to welcome him into the world.  I can't wait to meet him in person!

Friday: I found a new to me Podcast, The Strange South.  I like listening to music or podcasts and this one was fun. Plus, they speak "Southern" so I understand everything they say! 
Anything different from being at home is also joyful. We rode to a different burb to pick up our take out dinner and passed a couple of parks on the way. It was lovely to see kids playing. And dinner that I didn't have to cook? To paraphrase George Orwell "Double Plus Joyful".

Saturday: Friday afternoon my neighbor with  2 sets of twins asked if she could use the pool for her younger twins birthday celebration. One of their daughters is immunocompromised and they have been in strict isolation since early March. They used the pool several times over the summer and we make sure every thing is as clean and Covid free as possible before they come. We were lucky to have somewhere  we can share for them to swim and play safely  for a while.
Nothing is more joyful than hearing kids giggles and laughs (and they are really cute kids).

Sunday: We began the morning streaming our church service followed by a Webex Sunday school class. Our class traditionally takes a sabbatical during July and August. We are a small group and most people have secondary homes that see a lot of action during the summer. Instead of fighting it, we just go with the flow. Next weekend we can join from the lake place. (See Wednesday's joy) Woo hoo!
Son2 and DIL2 came over for a small celebration lunch and they brought Shelby, the dog. She obviously felt quite comfortable here since she walked in the front door through the dining room and kitchen into the den, surveyed her "spot", then went straightto the back door  to be let outside where she promptly pooped in her other"spot".

Monday:  Monday was a day like most Mondays are when I tend to organize the week, or in this case organize Mom's 2019 taxes. I did get a lot done and have a bit more to finish then scoot it to the accountants. The downside? One file with pertinent info is AWOL. I am going to have to search through her house to see if we can find it, and if not, recreate it.

Tuesday: Tuesday was my actual birthday, but we do not do huge celebrations anymore. We quit giving gifts and share experiences. TheHub and I have birthdays less than a month apart and our anniversary is just a couple of weeks past his birthday, so this year we are headed to the beach for a few days in October.
Usually we go to one of our favorite restaurants, but neither of them are open right now. Instead we piled in the car and drove to Captain D's for take out. Not thrilling but a perfectly fine meal.
I also made a non-traditional birthday cake for myself. Earlier I brought home Mom's old tin recipe box filled with hand written recipes. (most that she never made because she was not a really good cook)  I found her old (from my childhood) recipe for German Chocolate pound cake so I baked it
Funny though, we were so full after eating Capn. D's that we ate none of it. Tomorrow maybe!

I hope you had a great joy filled week. Look for them because they are always there! Peace!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

It's Fall__Somewhere Else

On Tuesdays Annie at Tuesday 4 poses some questions. They are simple enough to answer relatively quickly, but sometimes do require a little mental processing before actually committing to an answer. And some of them__well, I never would have a thought about at all prior to reading the question. 

1. Fall is usually the time that new series appear on TV. If you could make a show that you would really enjoy what kind and what subject would you like to see
I prefer shows that have a really fine ensemble cast that is centered around the whole vs. a "star". I also like tight writing with believable dialogue. It could be a comedy or drama, either would work. Right now my favorite show is "What We Do in the Shadows" on Hulu. It is funny, well written  and over the top, but it still works.

2.  You have a rare opportunity this fall: you can step into a movie, TV program or book and live out a week there, which would it be and why?
My favorite book of all time is "A Confederacy of Dunces" so I imagine I would wander into New Orleans in the early 60's. I have read the book so many times and have such vivid mental images of the characters that I would love to be an outlier just observing them. I have been to New Orleans often and seen it change over the years. It would be great to see it in a simpler decade.

3. Are you decorating outside for autumn? What are you doing? Is it HGTV worthy?
Other than buying a few pots of mums I do absolutely no decorating until a couple of days before Halloween (My Halloween decorations are not HGTV worthy but they are still really good) and they come down by 10 o'clock Halloween night. During the first week of November I put a couple of Thanksgiving(ish) decorations out, again not HGTV worthy. 

4. What's on TV this week you really are going to enjoy?
We watch one episode of The Americans on Amazon Prime each night. Right now we are on season 3 of 6. When we finish that we will find another episodic show on either Netflix or Amazon to begin. But ask me this same question when "Succession" and"The Righteous Gemstones" air their new seasons and I will have a completely different answer. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Last Week in Dinner Land

Monday is the day of the week when I pretend to map out our meals for the week. I do look through the fridge and freezer each Sunday to see what I might be needing to buy/use during the coming week. Then some time during the week I change my mind, at least about some meals. 

This is what I thought might happen last week:
1. Grilled scallops, tossed salad, potatoes of some kind
2. Bbq ribs, caulitato salad, green beans(/)
3. Grilled lamb chops, mashed potatoes, tossed salad
4. Tomato pie, wedge salad
5. Grilled burgers with fixings
6. Take out
7. Take out

And this is what we really ate:
Monday: We had a small slab of ribs leftover from the lake weekend, so this was mostly a planned over meal.
Bbq ribs, corn on the cob, coleslaw

Tuesday: Because TheHub was off work on Monday, Tuesday felt like a Monday. I proceeded with my Monday routine then remembered it was really Tuesday and we were going to have to run back to the lake place and spend the night so I could meet a guy for a new internet installation there. My car was in the shop so TheHub and I planned to drive down together and eat dinner at the lake. I knew I needed something that was easily portable
Meatloaf ,mashed potatoes (instant, from a pouch) green beans (frozen, in the lake fridge)

Wednesday:  The ATT guy was scheduled to be at the lake place between 8 and 12. I woke at sunrise and got ready just incase they showed up at 8 instead of 11:45 which is when they actually arrived. I am just glad my car was in the shop and I could not have driven down in the morning anyway or I would have been seriously teed off!  By the time TheHub got to the lake after work and did the one chore he had planned on doing, it was later when we finally left. (I had already done everything I could possibly do there and personally was done with tasks)  
Chicken dinner meal takeout from Jack's

Thursday:  Since we had spent the night at the lake Tuesday and I had been there all day Wednesday, it felt like this week had 2 false Mondays. It was a weird feeling! At some point during the week I had taken a pack of chicken tenders  (3 actual tenders) out of the freezer. I must have intended to cook something as food prep to freeze, but never did it. Instead ,when I remembered they were thawed in the meat drawer, I had to cook them right then. To heck with meal prepping, it just became dinner.
Chicken, peppers, onions, tomatoes and black beans cooked in Mexican seasonings. lettuce wedge

Friday: We really do miss our Friday date night like we used to have. Unless we had something more pressing, we went out to eat every Friday. Most of the time we went somewhere inexpensive, but it had to be somewhere that alcohol was served. For TheHub, having a drink, glass of wine or a beer with the meal on Friday was his reward for slaving away in the salt mines all week. As long as I did not have to cook, I was never picky about where we went. Enter Covid__that bitch! Now our Fridays are totally different. If we are going to the lake I do cook something to take for an easy meal, but if we stay in town we either grill or do take out. And now, we stop at ThePig for a bottle of wine or a six pack. 
The Red Pearl take out, basil chicken and pea leaves (and wine from home)

Saturday: It was just one of those days! It was hot and we had a few errands to run which just made us  hotter. Nothing like soaring temps, high humidity, in and out errands so the car a/c never really cools, and masks! When we got home we were limp noodles. Dinner plans went out the window and we wanted just cold food.
Huge tossed salad with greek feta dressing

Sunday: We were having a very small birthday celebration of sorts (TheHub's idea. I would have been perfectly fine without it) and invited Son2 and DIL2 over to eat. Since everyone but me had to be at work early Monday morning we decided to have our birthday dinner as a late lunch.
Hamburgers with all the fixings, pasta salad, birthday cake 

Now on to this weeks menu suggestions, which we all know are suggestions at best. Such is life!

1. Seared scallops, potatoes of some sort, green beans, tossed salad
2. Huge salad meal, rolls
3. Grilled steak, tossed salad, rolls
4. Veggie dinner: lady peas, okra, sliced tomatoes, cornbread
5. Roasted turkey breast, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy
6. Some one pan chicken meal. Unsure, but something portable, to take  to the lake
7. Take-out

Friday, September 11, 2020

It's That Kind Of Day

This is certainly not original, in fact I saw it on Facebook this morning, but I thought it is well worth passing along. Have a great and kind day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Nothing but that Joy

 I thought I would open with a song this week. I think if we all paid heed to this message it might make finding our joy so much easier. I was totally unfamiliar with this song until a Facebook friend posted this last week.

In a former life we went to elementary school together, then my family moved and I lost touch with him until about 2 months ago when we reacquainted through a mutual Facebook friend, who I also went to elementary school with, and whom I had also reacquainted with about 2 weeks prior to that. 

I hear everyone gripe about Facebook and it is not my favorite medium, but I can control what I choose to read or not, plus I can still be very good friends with people who have totally different beliefs than I do, because my criteria for friendship does not demand my friends share my thoughts or ideals. Plus, if not for Facebook how the heck would I ever have been reunited, even virtually, with L and J?

As usual for the year, I am listing the joys I find each day. Some days are chock full of joyous things and some days they hide and I have to hunt for them. But they are there every single day, even when things looks bleak. 

My intent is to re-read each week  on New Year's Eve starting with Jan 1, 202 and realize that even for a difficult year, joy could and was found every single day. I might even add to the joy while re-reading with a glass of wine or an adult beverage and some chocolate. 

So here is my list of joys for then 36th week of the year.

Wednesday: Chocolate__delicious chocolate brownies!

Thursday: My kitchen table sits in a bay window overlooking the back yard. I am not a big fan of curtains, so my windows there are bare. We also keep the light over the table on until I go to sleep each night. Bright lights through a window at night means lots of flying bugs gather on the windows. Bugs gathering on the windows brings a lot of spiders to catch said bugs attracted to the light. If I know I knock the webs off in the morning, they are back before afternoon.
I have been seeing hummingbirds flitting around the potato plants and on the lantana and marigolds in the back, but Thursday morning about 10 inches from my face I saw a hummingbird dive bombing the spider webs then feasting on bugs that had been caught in them. Next they returned to catch and eat the spiders. I had no idea they were omnivores. What a joy to see those murderous little critters up close and personal!

Friday: We decided to go to the lake for part of the weekend., TheHub thought he would get off of work early and we could scoot down mid-afternoon. No dice on that front! By the time we finally pulled out of the driveway it was rush hour so we made the decision to take our time and do a few errands instead of busting our tails to hurry up and sit in traffic most of the way down.  4 stops and a shared order of French fries later we were actually almost halfway there., We pulled in the driveway there just at sundown, but we had talked a lot, listened to some really good music and knocked 4 tasks off of our to-do list.

Saturday: I woke early when the sky was still gray to watch the sunrise over the lake. It was gorgeous, again and because I woke so dang early, I had breakfast ready butt early. TheHub and I got dressed and went out to do a few errands in a town about 20 minutes away. After finishing we stopped by a joint famous for their fried pies and each got one. (We saved them for dinner) When we got back to the lake  we had lunch then I took a nap. I never take naps and it felt great! Unfortunately after the naps I had some chores outside to do, but was rewarded with a completely clean deck and screened porch. Perfect timing to watch the moon. It was a gorgeous and huge amber moon and when it was rising it left an amber trail across the water diagonally on  the eastern part of the lake. Sometimes looking at something so beautiful moves me to happy tears.

Sunday: I woke early Sunday and was standing in front of the picture window looking at the lake while I drank a cup of coffee. As I stood 
there another hummingbird decided it would like a spider for breakfast. The bird was no farther than 4 inches from my face. I brush all the webs down when we get to the lake but the kitchen windows are too far from the ground for me to reach with my spider web getter, so they stay webbed. I am thrilled they do. About mid day we bailed on the lake, ran some more errands then visited Son2 and DIL2. I loved seeing them, but Shelby the dog was thrilled to see TheHub and me and ran in circles around us until we would pet her, then she would begin all over again finally sitting as close to me as possible so I could give her belly rubs. Because in her dog mind she knew we came to see her, not Son2 and DIL2.

Monday: TheHub and I planned a lazy Labor Day and just ran a couple of errands before puttering around the house while watching the FedEx golf championship. I have never watched it before and honestly still just like to watch the leaders on the last few holes. I had never thought of it in terms of dollars and cents, but one errant putt on the 18th cost one golfer 500k.  

Tuesday: My cousin's son came to Mom's to gather things for his new home. I am sorry for the reasons he needs a new house, when he had a wonderful home before, but life throws curveballs at all of us some time or another. All we wanted him to do was claim them, but he actually moved most of it. Until it was bare I did not realize how large Mom's den is.
Woo hoo! He did ask us not get rid of several more things because he will not know exactly what else he needs until he gets better situated.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Songs for the Seasons.

I have linked to the Tuesday 4 questions provided here by Anne (yes there are more than one of us!) It is fun to play along.

I am beginning this post with Vivaldi's  "Four Seasons" autumn, but have included winter (my personal favorite) spring and summer below

1.Can you name songs that remind  you of autumn , spring, winter or summer? Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for all the seasons. 
Specific songs are: 
Fall: "Autumn in New York" especially the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong cover
Winter:"River" by Joni Mitchell 
Spring: "Where the Boys Are" by Connie Francis (The movie would play on tv every year during spring break) 
Summer: "Hot Fun in the Summertime" by Sly and the Family Stone

2.Do you like background music when eating or shopping? 
I do like it most of the time. TheHub and I were shopping during Christmas and the particular store was blaring rap. It was so loud we could not even hear ourselves talk, so we left the store.
Do you play background music at home? 
 I listen to music every day and we listen to music every night during dinner generally jazz. TheHub has a few favorites and we seem to listen to Thelonious Monk more than any other particular person while we are eating.

3.Christmas music begins playing some places as early as November just before Thanksgiving. Do you have a favorite Christmas song? 
 I love the German carol “Still, Still, Still. 

4. Songs bring back memories. Would you share a song that triggers memories, good or bad, for you?

Good memory__The guy who lived next door to my college boyfriend was a DJ at an oldies station while he was attending school. He aired late night and would often play songs he would dedicate to us.  "Stand By Me" was one he played occasionally. 

Monday, September 7, 2020

What's For Dinner?

I have been trying to make a meal plan every week and, to be honest,  I am unsuccessful cooking by plan nearly every week.  I try,  I fail, and we eat anyway.

And yes, I know this song is not technically about food, but just look at Saturday and you will see why it leapt into my brain!

This is what was planned for the week:
1. Crack slaw
2. Chicken Florentine over rice or caulirice, tossed salad
3. Peas, okra, cornbread, coleslaw
4. Hamburgers and fixings, tomato onion and cucumber salad
5. Grilled lamb chops, caulimash or regular mashed potatoes, broccoli
6. Seared scallops, tossed salad, baked potato (or none) rolls or keto rolls
7. Take out

And this is what really happened
Monday: We had enough okra from the garden to had a serving of air fryer okra each. I also a half bag of peas frozen.
Lady peas, okra, sliced tomatoes, sliced cakes

Tuesday: One thing you can take to the bank__I do take out very well!
Take out from Blue Pacific (because we love Thai)

Wednesday: I had a kind of lazy day and did a lot of piddling around. Since I had done little I pretty much was required by some moral code to keep from being a total sloth, to get my tail in the kitchen and cook, I fully intended to make chicken Florentine, but I had no spinach so I had to do a quick punt.
Chicken and broccoli over rice

Thursday: I had absolutely no intention of making this meal but a huge bag of okra was placed on TheHub's desk Wednesday afternoon by one of his co-workers.  I truly do appreciate her generosity and am trying to make every bit of food count. So I made some for dinner and froze a big pack of it. This winter it will be a very appreciated addition to a dinner.
Okra, corn on the cob, tomato slices

Friday:  We decided to go to the lake for part of the Labor Day weekend. I have said before when we go late on Friday I like to take something that only needs a quick reheating. A one pot dish is a bonus.
Crack slaw

Saturday: On his way home from work on Friday TheHub stopped at a grocery store near his office and picked up 2 slabs of ribs they cook nearly every spring and summer holiday. Saturday morning we woke early and drove to Clanton, about 20 minutes from the lake place. We were looking for a screened door for the porch. Struck out on that! But we did come home with mums, 3 shirts for me, house slippers for TheHub and 2 fried pies from Peach Park (Clanton's tourist trap for everything peach, plus local produce, ice cream, cobblers, and of course fried pies. We got one apple and one peach. Yum!)
BBQ ribs, tossed salad, baked beans, and fried pie ala mode

Sunday: I knew we would be getting back from the lake sometime Sunday and like we normally do, we were later than we had planned. Fortunately Friday while I was making crack slaw, I whipped up something for Sunday night. After I warmed it up for our dinner I realized I had enough to freeze for another meal. I love it when that happens!
Sloppy Joe's, pickles

So I did not hit the 50 percent mark! Life goes on and we were fed. Now on to a new plan for a new week, which there is a snowball in Hell's chance I will actually cook I may or may not follow.

1. Grilled scallops, tossed salad, potatoes of some kind
2. Bbq ribs, caulitato salad, green beans(/)
3. Grilled lamb chops, mashed potatoes, tossed salad
4. Tomato pie, wedge salad
5. Grilled burgers with fixings
6. Take out
7. Take out

Have a great week on plan, off plan, or with no plan at all!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020


And now brings the end of the 35th week of 2020, the year that is lasting forever! (Or just seems like it is) My aim, as usual, is to record my daily joys to read on New Year's Eve and hopefully be reminded that every single day has something joyous, though some days you have to look really hard to find it.

                             Train passengers singing brings me great joy. Hope it does you too!

Wednesday: Jumped through another hoop dealing with Mom's estate. I had to change her car title to my name so we could legally sell it to the new owner. After over 4 weeks of waiting I finally received the new title in my name and was able to meet the new owner and turn all the paper work over to her. Wiping my hands clean of one more thing!

Thursday: I woke insanely early at 4:45. It was still dark and I was wide awake so I made a cup of coffee and sat at the kitchen window to watch the lake awaken. Before dawn the lake is a gorgeous silver then right before the sun rises it becomes this glorious shade of apricot mirroring the sky. It lasts about 3 minutes before it turns  a tangerine shade, which  lasts for about two minutes, then right as the sun peeks over the hills the entire lake is golden for about another two minutes, I did not have my camera so this is just the apricot phase taken from my phone. It is still beautiful but not quite as apricoty as it is to the human eye. There is a huge joy watching the changes and if the mosquitos did not find me so delicious I would have taken pictures of the entire sequence. I managed one shot then made a hasty retreat from the deck back into the safe haven I call the kitchen.

Friday: I finished the second book I was reading then sat around twiddling my thumbs and doing a few chores. The main joy was TheHub who called and said he was headed back to the lake at a little after 2.  It was nice to have some wheels to go somewhere else. We drove around and did a little exploring before finding a new to us place to pick up some take out for an early dinner

Saturday: On our way home from the lake we did several errands, laughed and talked about everything and nothing. Drives to and from the lake give us some uninterrupted conversation time, which is a true joy. After completing all the errands and buying enough food to restock the lake kitchen, we grabbed a couple of hotdogs. Any night I don't have to cook is joyous.

Sunday: My cousin  and her husband stopped by on their way to the airport. It was great to see them even for the few minutes we visited. She is an excellent artist and had drawn a picture of Mom that she found on my Facebook page. It is actually my all time favorite photo of Mom.  My uncle, Mom's 94 year old brother, made a custom frame for the drawing. He does excellent work and made a walnut frame with a seagull inlay at the top of the frame, which is appropriate since the picture is one of Mom at the beach.
I also met another cousin and her husband at Mom's house. Mom had several pieces of furniture that belonged to my grandmother. Many of them are almost a century old and we wanted them to stay in the family, but neither my sister, Son2  nor I wanted them and it would be too costly to ship them to either Son1 or Son3.  They took a chest and a rocking chair, along with a lot of other things from Mom's. There is serious joy in letting go and passing things on.

Monday: It was a slow unhurried day with some drenching rain, along with sun, heat, and extreme humidity. There is immense joy in having a screened porch to sit on and enjoy the rain, and then having a/c to move into when the heat and humidity rear their ugly heads.

Tuesday: One of my dearest friends lost her husband a few weeks ago. Funerals in times of covid are horrid. You don't get to have the normal physical support of friends who would be there 10 minutes after they got word of the tragedy. Instead you have to rely on text, cards and flowers, along with food brought and left on the garage counter to keep contact at a minimum. I missed our conversations but had to let any phone call be on her terms. Today she felt like talking and we got to talk about how she is feeling and then we talked about some happier things. There was serious joy talking to her, even if it was sharing her grief.

I hope each of you look and find joy every day. It is out there, but sometimes it is a sneaky little $*!+.

1. Took care of replacing the alarm system at the lake place
2. Rearranged the living room (kinda because the piano has to live in the same place it always lives and I had just recently moved the couch)

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tuesday 4 September

I am bored with covid and I am bored of staying in. I am still not going to go out and about other than an occasional run to the grocery store so I am looking for things (other than things like housework or yard work) to keep me connected with others while mostly self isolating. I found Tuesday 4 while I was visiting  Martha's blog, Seaside Simplicity. I decided I needed to play along and they very graciously are letting me.

                                                           But first a song, of course!

1.What memories does September bring back to you of school, autumn, songs, movies? Would you share with us?
September is the month I was born, so my earliest memories would have been birthday things. Then it became the start to each year for school. September meant a new binder, pencils, crayons and shoes. Clothes? As needed only, and since Mom made everything we wore there was no back to school shopping for us. Obviously the song I posted here was the first one I thought of. I was dating a really nice guy during my freshman year at college. In May I left and went home to a different city from where he lived. I would hum/ sing (mostly hummed because I really did not know the words)  this song over and over for a week or so after I left, until he called and said he would like to come for a visit. 
Though he is not a household name, some of you might recognize his nickname. I call him TheHub. 

2. September is the first of what are called the "ber" months. and the end of summer and beginning of autumn. Which do you enjoy more, summer or autumn and why?
When  I was a kid I enjoyed summer more and even when my sons were young I loved summer because they were free of the routines that bound us to home. 
Later fall became my favorite season. The weather is cooler but never cold here, there is much less humidity plus it is football season. Roll Tide, Roll!

3.Have you ever gone apple or pumpkin picking or gone into a corn maze? What was that like? 
There are a couple of pumpkin patches around here where I could go but why? I can buy a pumpkins within a mile of my house. I live in Alabama and even though there are some (very few) apple orchards, the apples that grow well here are not spectacular, so no I never have gone.  Ditto with a no on a corn maze.

4.Are fall weekends different for you than summer weekends? What do you enjoy in autumn?
Fall weekends mean college football games. In a normal fall TheHub and Son2 go to all the home games and I stay home and watch them on TV. This year they are doing things a little differently. The powers that be decided to only fill 20 % of the stadium seats. We had to option to purchase some (still unsure how they are deciding who gets tickets and who doesn't) but if you opted to not purchase them it would not affect your season tickets in the 2021 season and you would retain your same seats.  After several phone calls back and forth TheHub and Son2 decided they had rather wait until next year. Now if about 80 thousand other people will decide to forego their tickets the stadium will be good to go.
I also love Honeycrisp apples, chai, soup and some fall art festivals, which I am pretty sure will not be taking place this year.