A little info about this week's song selection: When my sister and I were teens our family would go to the beach several times a summer and we always stayed at the same place. About two blocks up the street was a small convenience store with an attached game room (pool table, air hockey and a few arcade games) along with a jukebox. During the middle of the day, it was just too hot to be on the beach so we would throw a shirt and shorts over our suits and hightail it to the game room, which is where a lot of kids our age would hang out . The juke box had a very limited selection of music so just about every single person who came in played one of a handful of decent songs. Rescue Me by Fontella Bass was by far the most played, and I never think of the beach that I don't mentally hear this song.
As I have been doing since Jan.1, I record the joys I find daily, with the intent of reading them all on New Year's Eve. During a post covid normal year, I would expect to be dazzled by some moments when we did some wonderful things. This year I am certain the joys are more subdued, but they are there, every single day.
Wednesday: It was a mostly dull day, but I did get a lot of things done that I needed to get done before we went to the beach. Sometimes there is a true joy in taking care of business before leaving town just so it does not have to be thought of again.
Thursday: We finally left to go to the beach___at 6 p.m. Nothing like taking vacation time then working all day. Anyway we made it to the beach by 10:30 and watched the moon over the water for a while before heading to bed while listening to the sounds of the waves. The master bedroom of the condo faces the gulf so you go to sleep listening to the surf, then wake looking out the sliding glass door to see nothing but emerald green water and sky. It is glorious.
Friday: TheHub sat at the table with his computer and phone and worked remotely all day. Meanwhile I enjoyed the day, and what a gorgeous day it was! True to his working routine he did take an hour lunch break and we ran to the store and fish market. There is a true joy finding absolutely fresh fish, and a bigger joy buying it from a place with very strict Covid policies in place. They only allowed both of us in because the store was empty, but their new normal is only one person per family, masked, hands sanitized upon entering, and a maximum of 6 customers total. Well done Buddy's.
Saturday: The day was rainy and overcast, which was not a bad thing since we planned on watching the football game anyway (Roll Tide). The game was great and afterward the rains stopped and the sun returned. It was gorgeous then.
Sunday: Another beautiful day! I not only got some much needed time in the sunshine, but we took a little excursions to Pier Park and found several Christmas presents there. Sadly, TheHub decided we would not stay any longer because he wanted/needed to get back to his beloved job so we left at about 7 and got home about 11:30. It was a pretty night for the drive though, and we encountered almost no traffic.
Monday: I was a slug. Not a total slug but still a slug. I got very little done, and just did not really want to do anything. I did run by my sister's house to see how it looks with Mom's things in it. Like my house even though our tastes are very different from Mom's they incorporated nicely without overwhelming the integrity of our personal styles. Her living room looks amazing now! Mom's gorgeous rugs have transformed the living rooms in three different houses!
Later TheHub and I exchanged anniversary cards then went out to pick up something for dinner. Normally we get all gussied up and go to Highland's Bar and Grill for a very nice dinner. Because it's 2020 we drove to Whataburger for a burger, fries and shake. Do we know how to celebrate or what?
Tuesday: I actively decided to take a couple of days off keto so all I am going to say is White Chocolate Twix.
Hope you have a wonderful week and can fine joy in things large and small.
I have been following Annie at Tuesday's 4. This week's questions dig a little deeper with our reading habits. Hop over there and follow along!
1.Kindle or hard cover/paperback? Kindle
2. Have you read a series like Harry Potter? Yes
If so which series?
"Harry Potter' J.K. Rowling: Wizards, and muggles, good vs. evilBrilliant writing and a great story line with fully developed characters
"TheHunger Games" Suzanne Collins: Dystopian novel about a yearly game to end all games. Wonderful character development, good story line, easy read.
"Fire and Ice Series": George R. R. Martin: Great fantasy story loosely based on the War of the Roses, along with other assorted characters from European history. It is very, very wordy
"The Lord of the Rings Trilogy": J.R.R. Tolkein Excellent tales of a quest to return a magical ring that everyone wants! Basic good vs. evil complete with fairies, and dwarves. Fun read, but again a little wordy
"The Bourne books "Robert Ludlum: Nice continuing saga of a former agent who has amnesia and has to piece his former life together.
"Divergent" Veronica Roth: Y/A coming of age series where people are grouped together based on abilities.
"Alphabet Mystery Books" Sue Grafton: Mystery following P.I. Kinsey Millhone's investigations.
A is for Alibi -Y is for Yesterday
"The Gunslinger" Stephen King: Books following the trials of an unlikely trio brought together through time and space to an alternate universe. Some of the books were good and some a complete waste of time.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"Stieg Larsson: Trilogy about Lisbeth Salandar a darkly gritty woman with a chip on her shoulder and a kick ass attitude.
"Clan of the Cave Bear" Jean M. Auel: Interesting books about the journeys of a Cro- Magnon woman raised by Neanderthals
There are more but I just can't think of them right now and it is about 2 a.m. while I am typing. This is enough for the moment.
What did you think of the stories? These are series I have read in their entirety (Except for fire and ice because G.R.R. Martin had to go and be on set with the HBO series instead of finishing his novel writing), and if I read them I liked them. Otherwise I would not have continued on to book two.
Would you recommend them? I would, but it would be a selective recommendation. Some of them are just not for everyone.
Do you have a library, book shelves etc… in your home? We have a room that functions as a dedicated library right now. I would guess we have about 1000 titles there in every genre imaginable. Both of us are avid readers.
Is there a book you just really disliked ? "(I refuse to even type the title here)" Richard C.
Why did you dislike it? It was a book I picked up for a quarter and had no idea what it was going to be about . It turned out to be about Sanataria and ritual sacrifice of children. I hated it and found it so disturbing that I would not even put it in Goodwill. I destroyed it so no one else would have to read it.
And so am I!. . . It breaks my heart that we came home Sunday night. The weather was gorgeous and I have never seen the beach that crowded in late October. It was like a mid-summer beach trip with slightly cooler weather.
Each week I make some sort of meal plan and each week I deviate from it, but that is just how I roll. Whenever I get locked into something I really and truly start feeling suffocated. I guess that is why I have never felt compelled to go on one of those international tours. I can't think of anything worse than having my day preplanned for me. I think I like the idea of planning much more than the actual plan. With food it does make me look through the foods I have in storage and see what. needs to be used quickly to keep from wasting it,
So this is what I planned:
1. Leftover chili over cauliflower rice or beans, coleslaw, keto cornbread
2. Corned beef and cabbage, with potatoes (or none)
3. Taco salad
4. (If needed) Whatever is languishing in the refrigerator that needs to be consumed before the getaway.
5. Fresh seafood
6. Fresh seafood
7. Take out fresh seafood,
This is what actually happened:
Monday:I was all about using stuff in the refrigerator.
Leftover chili over beans or caulirice
Tuesday; Again it was time to use things that were about to ruin or were leftover
Wednesday I had been to the produce stand on Tuesday and bought what might well be the last local summer produce.
Peas or leftover caulitato salad, air fried okra, or boiled okra, tomato and cucumber slices.
Thursday: We got away headed to the beach much later than I anticipated (thanks to TheHub's job) We were only about 30 miles out of town and I was starving because I had not eaten all day. We pulled into Jack's en route.
Friday: It was a gorgeous beach day. Mid day I went to the seafood market closest to the condo and bought a couple of meals worth of food, plus steamed shrimp and smoked tuna dip.
Sunday: We stayed at the condo until about 7 p.m. then decided to come on home. (Actually TheHub decided to come on home. I wanted to stay but his mistress he calls his job, is much more seductive than me.) We just ate in the car.
Pimento cheese sandwich
Now this weeks @#$% meal plan.(insert your favorite expletive here):
1 Monday is our anniversary so we will do some sort of takeout.
2. Corned beef and cabbage
3. Philly cheesesteak casserole, tossed salad
4, Halloween we traditionally have hot dogs, but this year Halloween is also on a ball game night, so maybe a takeout chicken dinner. Who knows? Could be either.
5. Veggie meal (depends on what is available at the produce stand)
6. Low country shrimp boil, coleslaw
7. White bbq chicken, caulitato salad
I was in a very pissy mood when I planned this weeks meals. Both the meals and the attitude are subject to and probably will change.
Have a great week on plan, off plan or with no plan.
This song is called "Pumpkin" and is about Seabiscuits companion horse, Pumpkin. Sorry it was either this or Jay and the Techniques, because other than the little kid 5 little pumpkins this was the only pumpkinish song I remembered. I actually did not think I would find it on Youtube. Finally my nerdism pays off.
I was preparing for our beach weekend and had just about decided I would say to heck with keto for the trip. Then I remembered how bad the leg cramps can be when you overdo, and if I went off I definitely would overdo the carbs. Instead I decided I would bake me a few "treats" just to help me resist some of the things that will probably be there.
I know this will come as no surprise to regular readers, but one of the first things TheHub likes to do when we get to the beach is go to the grocery store. I have a very concise list of things to buy, like milk and eggs. But he will go with me and it is a whole new recreational shopping venue for him. No telling what will wind up in the buggy (southernism for grocery carts), so I am prepared to hopefully avoid temptation.
I had a can of pumpkin that was nearing past its best use by date, so I felt obligated to use it. Honestly is was not what I wanted since I am not a pumpkin fanatic, but I had everything on hand to whip them up, so why not?
Low Carb Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
For the muffin;
1 egg white
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/3 cup Lakanto golden sugar substitute
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 plus 2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons confectioners Swerve, or Lakanto powered sweetener (If you can find it__I can't)
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350
Beat the whole eggs until they are completely combined and a light yellow. Add the egg white, melted butter and coconut oil, the pumpkin puree, and the sugar substitute. and mix well. Add the vanilla and the pumpkin pie spice and mix very well.
In a small bowl combine the coconut flour, baking soda, cream of tarter and salt. Mix it well then add it to the pumpkin mixture. Stir, stir and stir. The coconut flour absorbs moisture so the muffin mix will be fairly dry feeling. If you are using a metal muffin pan use muffin liners. If using a silicon pan just spray them well with cooking spray. Fill them to the top and you have to pat the muffin mix down a little because it feels very crumbly.
Mix the topping ingredients until they are smooth then. dollop 1/12 of the topping on each of the muffins. Use a toothpick to swirl the topping through the top of the muffin. It's messy and looks really bad before it is bakes,. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove form the oven and let them cool before removing them from the pan.
I made them and tasted 1/2 of one just to see what they were like. They are a perfectly fine Keto muffin, but you just have to refrain from comparing them with a wheat flour based muffin. The taste is perfectly fine, but the texture is different. It is not a bad texture, just different.
I had also heard everyone proclaiming that the monk fruit based sweetener did not have the cooling effect that Swerve does. It might not be as pronounced, but I feel it still is on the coolish side.
On a scale to 1-10 I might rank this as a 7. It was fine and should satisfy cravings for something sweet, but like all keto desserts (except a couple of pies) it is just not quite the same. But the payoff is that each muffin has approximately 2.5 net carbs and that make the texture change a whole lot more palatable.
Will I make this again? Possibly, but like I said, I am not a pumpkin lover, so it will not be my go-to keto muffin.
Pink Floyd's "Time" The actual song begins at about 2:13
When I started this post for the week I was stunned. Only 10 more weeks are left in this year! How is that possible? How does a year that has been so difficult still manage to pass so quickly? So I am definitely in the downside of the year and have had 42 weeks worth of joys.
I am tempted to look back over the posts to see what I have experienced this year, but I do think I will refrain until NYE. I believe it will be good for my soul and even though time is passing much faster than I thought it would, I am still looking for joy every single day.
Wednesday: I had not forgotten TheHub's birthday, I had just not realized Wednesday was the 14th until mid morning. So I texted him greetings then called him later to find what he wanted for his special birthday dinner. I would love to say I went all out with cake and candles and created a gala affair for the birthday, but in reality we just don't do them big, and had both decided we wanted no presents this year. So we had a simple dinner of his choosing, no cake because neither of us are eating sugar, and ended the evening with an episode of The Americans. We are currently in season five an to be honest I am getting tired of it, but still want to see it to the end. But honestly, how many close calls can 2 people have and still remain under the radar?
After the show he had a FaceTime visit with our favorite little girl, who called to tell him Happy Birthday and to show him her newest American Girl addition. She got a dog to go with her dolls which looks remarkably like her real dog. Her dog's name is Matzo so she named the lookalike toy dog Mitzo.
That single FaceTime visit made his day! Mine too!
Thursday: The day was a normal stay at home day, as they all pretty much are now. I did get a lot of cooking for the freezer done, as well as a couple of small projects finished. Then after dinner, I had a FaceTime call from my favorite person. This time she wanted for me to watch her make her toy dragon fly, which meant I watched her run through the house with one hand holding the dragon and the other holding her dad's phone. It is a little hard to watch and can make me a little dizzy sometimes, but she is my favorite girl and worth dizziness. Afterward I had to watch a bit of "Hocus Pocus" with her while she held the phone between her knees. It was another adventurous viewing and I like watching tv on the diagonal.(Not) I was secretly glad she only had about 15 minutes left in the movie, but I did hang in there with her, and left the call with a homework assignment. I was to watch "How to Train Your Dragon, Part 2 before Friday evening, so we could discuss it. You can bet I made that happen!
Friday: The morning was kind of gloomy, so I decided to listen to some jazz, but not just any jazz__Christmas jazz! Geeze, the holidays are just about on us so I figured I might as well get a jump on the spirit. Spotify satisfies my thirst in so many ways.
Saturday: Ball Game Day! Once again new started the day by watching/listening to "Game Day" on ESPN then moved on to the games. Even when we are out running around we have a game on the radio to keep up with it. The biggest bummer of the day? We went to a fairly new to us produce stand and it was not open. I hope everyone in their family is ok. They say they are there until first frost, so I hope nothing has happened to any of them.
Later in the day, our favorite little girl FaceTimed us again. She needed an audience to watch her fly her dragon, so naturally I watched. Some days it would help to take dramamine before talking with her.
By early evening Son2 and DIL2 came over to watch the game (Roll Tide) and have a birthday celebration for TheHub.
Sunday: We enjoyed online church then Webex Sunday school. Afterward we both did a couple of quick chores before settling down for a short Sunday nap. (chair for TheHub, love seat for me) There is something about falling asleep on a Sunday afternoon that is incredibly restful. It is the only day of the week we nap, and it feels so good. If our favorite girl in the world had not FaceTimed us we might still be asleep! More dragon flying and telling what she would like for her birthday was the main conversation!
Monday: Housework should not be joyful and it isn't, but walking into a house that finally has all of the things I brought home from Mom's in a designated place rather than sitting on the dining room table is joyful to me. (Except for the shoebox filled with candles and 3 strings of Christmas lights I brought home after I checked on the house Monday, and where are they? Oh yeah, on the dining room table!)
Tuesday: I had a few things I wanted to spray paint to transform them from Mom's taste to mine. Got them done and they look pretty good. Also I was able to go by the produce vendor and they were there. We have another week of summer produce!
The last joy is sentimental. I found my favorite childhood dress in the cedar chest at Mom's house and sent it to my favorite girl. The package arrived Tuesday and she took it out and planned her outfit around the dress for school pictures tomorrow. I also sent jewelry I had as a young girl and she is evidently going bejeweled also. I can't wait to see a picture of it. She has a unique sense of style.
This is right after the unboxing when she tried it on.
Today is Tuesday which means it is time to respond to Annie's 4 questions. This week it is all about reading and relaxing. Visit her there and play along!
Some of you may have noticed I post a lot of Nina Simone videos. I just happen to love her voice and have a lot of her music that I listen to all the time, so she is one of my go- to's
1. How do you relax in the evening after dinner? TheHub and I watch one episode from some series on either Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. This is our new Covid normal. Before that we went out a couple of times a week for coffee after dinner, or went to a movie.
2. Do you read in bed? Every night. the best thing I have found for nighttime reading is the iPad. I can turn it on the black screen with white text and it does not bother TheHub while he sleeps.
What kind of books do you read? In bed I only read fiction, but during the day I read I read non-fiction.
3. Do you have a list of books you look forward to reading? Always! At the moment I am reading Alice Hoffman's "Seventh Heaven". Next up is "In the Shadow of Alabama" followed by "The Astonishing Color of After"
4.What is the best book you've ever read and why? I am not sure this is the best book I have read, but it is my favorite. "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. It is a book filled with the most unlikely characters imaginable, but I love how he developed them and wove them through each other's lives. Sadly it was published after his death so we never got a chance to see what would be in his next novel.
As usual my meal plan and what happened were not in total synch. I still plan but am never married to it. Honestly I am fickle because if something I had planned does not sound good at the moment I am about to make dinner, I won't cook it. Well, that is unless something absolutely has to be cooked right that minute. Then I will just suck it up and cook what was planned even if it does not appeal to me at all.
I had been searching for some different to me keto recipes. If I make sure I have a decent variety I am less likely to jump off the wagon. When I found one for chop suey, it looked simple, sounded tasty and looked easy, to make, so I added it to the meal plan. Then, later in the week, TheHub turned on the tv to check the news, When he was flipping stations looking for it, I saw a brief clip from Flower Drum Song and remembered this song. It was kind of a natural for me to search for it and share it with y'all, because that is just the way my noggin works.
This is what I had planned: 1. Grilled tuna, broccoli, tossed salad, potatoes (or none)
2. Chop Suey over rice or cauliflower rice, daikon salad
And this is where real life interfered with my plan
Monday: After already posting my menu for the week, I happened to read The Hawaii Plan and followed a link to a recipe that looked delicious. I immediately thought about adding it to next week's menu plan. Then later in the day I was running to the post office to mail a little surprise to Pip. I had completely forgotten it was Columbus Day. Normally we eat spaghetti on Columbus Day, but I thought why not just make the recipe in the link posted at The Hawaii Plan, for something Italian(ish). I did take a shortcut and used Rao's marinara and just jazzed it up a little. Oh my goodness it was delicious and TheHub (non keto that he is) asked if we could add this to our regular rotation! Absolutely!
Keto Chicken Parm, steamed broccoli.
Tuesday: When we renewed our Cosco membership recently I found a 5 pound package of Conecuh sausage for 13 bucks and change. Since it is currently selling from 4.99-5.99 a pound, buying it was a no brainer. Early Tuesday I was splitting the pack and putting it in freezer bags for longer storage. It smelled so good that I changed my plan.
Sausage and kraut, spring greens mix
Wednesday: I forgot to plan a birthday meal for TheHub when I did the meal planning for the week. I called him in the morning morning to see what he wanted. I thought he might want a steak or something similar. Nope! He is about as low maintenance as I am.
Hamburger patty, saffron rice, broccoli, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers
Thursday: I was kind of worthless and got little accomplished, except for cooking for the freezer, which I really should not have done until I defrost the sucker. As usual, I did not think this through! Before I defrost the freezer I have to clean the laundry room which looks like a gypsy caravan stopped and camped for a few days before heading out leaving all their things behind. Until I get it tidied I have no room for the coolers to sit and hold the frozen food while I defrost.
Anyway part of this cooking spree was to use things that were just a few minuted before needing to be tossed.. When I looked in the crisper I saw a few veggies that had to be used right then. It sealed the deal for supper.
Friday: Friday was just a ho hum day. I did not leave home all day, except to run to Mom's to grab her mail. Wouldn't you know even when you have passed away the tax man still cometh. Yep, her property taxes are due. Since I live in the same town, mine are due too. Yuck! TheHub and I had our nightly date night and watched an episode of TheAmericans. Thanks to all the food prep on Thursday, dinner was virtually done.
Chili over beans or cauliflower rice.
Saturday: It was another ball game day here. It was made better by Son2 and DIL2 coming over to watch the Alabama game (Roll Tide) and have a birthday celebration meal for TheHub.
Grilled tuna steaks, caulitato salad, green beans, sliced tomatoes, crescent rolls (or none) and cake (or none)
Sunday: It was a traditional Sunday for our new normal. After online church, a few chores, and a nap we finished season 5 of The Americans. One more season and we are done. I have enjoyed it but it is getting tiring now. In the middle of the last episode, we paused the show for a quick one dish meal.
Chicken chop suey.
And now on to the new plan: Which is going to be much shorter this week because we are headed to Florida either Thursday or Friday. Hooray! The beach is calling my name! I plan on going to the fish market every day and getting fresh seafood for dinner. And of course I will grab some smoked tuna dip because we love it.
1. Leftover chili over cauliflower rice or beans, coleslaw, keto cornbread
2. Corned beef and cabbage, with potatoes (or none)
3. Taco salad
4. (If needed) Whatever is languishing in the refrigerator that needs to be consumed before the getaway.
"The Okra Song" by Hot Tamale. Who even knew there was such an animal!
Before I even begin this post let me vent about how much I dislike this new Blogger format. I have no idea why anyone would "fix" something in a less user friendly way. Though I had rather not do it I am seriously considering changing to word press. It should not be this difficult to post a picture where you want it. For the record, blogger won and I never did figure out how to have it on the left or right with the text on the other side. Enough venting!
Thursday afternoon when I was cleaning out the fridge I found the okra I had needed to be cooked right away, so it sort of sealed the deal on what the meal would be. I was also ready to eat some, and since I can't have cornmeal, I tried a ketoized version.
When you read the recipe you will notice it calls for a mess of okra. I am just guessing but I had maybe 1/2 pound. Shoot me! I am from the south and we don't measure or weigh produce. You go out to the garden and cut whatever is ready. Then you bring it in and stick it in the fridge, repeat for several days and then you have enough for a meal. A mess is enough to cook for your family (in my case 2 people so it would be a small mess.) If I had known ahead of time I was going to post this recipe I would have counted the dang things.
Keto Okra. A mess of okra, cross cut into slices bout 1/2 inch thick. 2 tablespoons almond flour 1/2 cup parmesan cheese salt if needed. I don't like salt and thought the parmesan was salty enough
Cut the okra and let it sit in a bowl for about 30 minutes. I stirred mine a couple of times. Normally I think the slime okra produces is horrendous but you need it for this recipe. After the okra is ready (notice how I did not use the term slimy again) mix the almond flour and parmesan cheese together, then pour it over the okra and (use your nice clean hands) toss to make sure all the pieces are covered. Set the air fryer to 380 and preheat it for four minutes. Remove the basket and spray the insert tray with pam. Put the okra in a single layer, then spritz with pam. Stick that puppy back in, and cook for about 14 minutes. Take it out and enjoy all its crunchy goodness!
It was surprisingly good. I had very low expectations, but even TheHub liked it. Crap that I found out how to make it right at the end of okra season. If not for bad timing I would have no timing at all. It's all good I guess, since I will probably still be on keto next summer. Give this a try. It is worth it!
Oh, this would also work on a baking sheet in a standard oven set to 375. Just be sure to spray the sheet with pam first and then spray the okra. Check after 14 minutes and if it is not crunchy continue baking a little longer.
Every week I write down the joys for each day with the plan to re-read them all on New Years Eve. These are the joys for the 41st week of the joy. Oh and I know I have used this song on one of my joy posts, but this cover by Dr.John came up in my Discover Weekly Spotify list and I loved it so I thought I would share it with you.
Wednesday: The day was not particularly fun but was not an awful day. I spent it going through my pantry and food storage, organizing, dating, and getting rid of anything out of date (OK, truthfully it had to be really out of date, like the can of water chestnuts that had gotten pushed back in the corner of the pantry and had expired in 2011. Things that expired in 2019, and I found about 4 of them, I kept and will use them in the coming weeks.) So now everything is up to date and organized so I will use those closest to the expiration dates first. There is a joy in completing a task, but the best and brightest joy of the day was FaceTime with my favorite little girl, who was much more talkative than usual. I think stalling bedtime was a big part her being so chatty.
Thursday: Son2 sent me a picture of one of the participants at Independence Place dressed as Mr. Rogers. It did my heart good to see it. I miss volunteering there, but I understand the need to limit outside contacts as much as possible. I will be glad when some sort of normalcy returns and I can visit with them.
Friday: Have you ever been overjoyed just because you never have to deal with a particular person again! She is actually a pretty nice person, but she creates issues where none exist then tries to make those issues my problems. I don't know her socially but had dealing with her when she bought Mom's car and didn't take it to be registered within 20 days of purchase. Our state requires that, but they allow you an extra couple of weeks. Unfortunately she did not register it in July, when it was purchased, or August, or September, then called me in October because she was pulled over for not having a current tag in her name and had five days to get one or pay the fine. I had already amended her bill of sale twice, and was tired of it. Friday I told her this would be the last time I was willing to accommodate her procrastination. That was my supreme joy for the day. Done, done, and done!
Saturday: A fall Saturday down south means only one thing at our house: ball game time. What a great day for watching games. We watch a minute of a game then do chores but keep the game on and walk back and forth to check on it. I got sucked into watching/listening to the Texas/Oklahoma game and even though I did not have a dog in the hunt, I stopped everything to watch the last 5 minutes of regulation play and then watched all of the overtimes. I love a game where the score ping pongs like that! Later Son2 and DIL2 came over to watch the Alabama/Ole Miss game. Watching that ping pong score during was not so much fun!
Sunday: I slept until about 8:45, which is a rarity for me. I normally sleep about 5 hours a night so when I woke that morning I was tired from having so much sleep. Additionally I missed our online church service and our class was not having our usual Webex Sunday school meeting. The day was pretty uneventful until the afternoon. I had a FaceTime call from my favorite little girl. She was painting and wanted me to see all of her work. We were just about to sit down and eat a late lunch so I promised to call her back. Her Mom and Dad were waiting for the call back more than she was. While she and I talked and drew all kinds of fabulous drawings (butterflies, coral reefs, mermaids, fairies, dragons, dogs, and beach scenes) her mom took a nap and her dad went downstairs to do some office work. I think I was her FaceTime babysitter. No matter what I was, I love spending time with her, even if we are 2,500 miles apart.
Monday: Met up with my sister at Mom's house for some talk about some frustrations dealing with the house. I am tired of talking to idiots (not my sister but people we are having to deal with about various and sundry things) Makes me want to scream, but I do have a wonderful sister to be snarky with and ultimately laugh at the incompetence in the world. Do any of you join me in thinking anytime now someone doesn't do what they are supposed to do they blame it on covid? How in blazes does covid have anything to do with properly posting a home insurance payment to an account, especially when said payment was made over the phone through a credit card? (I have learned to have any transaction we have to do concerning Mom's house or estate, with the exception of utilities, to use a credit card so we have an automatic and official record of the transaction)
Tuesday: I was getting a package ready to mail to Son1's family and was sifting through all of Mom's old costume jewelry. We had already take-out all of her really good jewelry and were getting rid of the other. I found some earrings she used to wear when I was a little kid. They were her "going dancing" earrings and she wore them every time they went. I was glad they did not get tossed!
I hope you have a joy filled week. Look for it and you will find it!
I have been following Annie as she asks 4 questions each Tuesday. This week is not so much a theme, but just 4 random questions. this was more difficult for me than a theme based series of questions and I had to think a little harder for question number 3.
1. You have won a trip and can choose to go to Hawaii or Paris? I would probably go to Hawaii, but I would only choose it because Son1 and his family go there regularly and would coordinate my trip to coincide with theirs. We do not see them often and I would love to be somewhere at the same time they were. TheHub and I would have our own accommodations but would be available for pool duty with Pip (bliss for us) and babysitting for her at night so her mom and dad could have some adult dinners out. Summer or Winter? I think they go in late spring, so that is when I would go
2. Little dog or big dog which do you prefer? I have never had a small or large dog. I grew up with beagles and as an adult we only had beagle sized mutts, so I guess I am a medium size dog lover. Though, Son2's dog, Shelby, (who lived here for a while) is larger and I do love that dog.
3. Which TV/book/movie character do you identify with, and why? TV? Though she was not on a tv show I used to see her regularly on comedy specials, Rita Rudner. She is so sarcastic without sounding mean or cruel. Movie character? I don't remember the characters name but it was whoever Kristen Wiig played in Bridesmaids. She is flawed and awkward, but deep down a pretty nice person.Book Character? Myrna Minkoff, a minor character in A Confederacy of Dunces. She shoots straight from the hip, and is fascinated by a particularly unusual person who has no idea what an odd duck he really is.
4. What did you wish for last, like at your birthday or when throwing a coin into a fountain? For my birthday I wanted nothing. After going through everything at Mom's house I realized I have more than I need and want for nothing. My biggest wish is for a national return to civility. Christmas wish list? I just wish to have a peaceful Christmas, shared with people I love. Can I add a vaccine or treatment/cure for covid to my wish list? Something that you need to buy? Other than basic needs, food, toiletries and elastic for masks I don't think I need a thing. I have always been a fairly low maintenance gal, and now that covid changed the norm I have hit an all time low. Lipstick? What is it for anymore? I did order 3 cotton tees with 3/4 length sleeves to wear during the winter. I don't like to do housework or cook wearing long sleeves because the cuffs always gets damp when I wash my hands. (If I am cooking I wash my hands a ridiculous number of times.) Since it looks like I am going to be at home lot this winter I might as well have something functional to wear. I am kind of a function over form gal anyway.
p.s. I am getting in line with all of you who hate this new blogger format. WTH!
Each week I make a food plan and occasionally I actually cook close to what I planned. Not usually but occasionally. I think I was a little over 50 percent successful this week, but no matter what happens, we eat (too much) and life goes along its merry way.
Seared scallops, asparagus, mashed potatoes or caulirice
This is what actually happened:
Monday:Monday started out with a bang and I got so much work done early, then I crashed and from about 2 o'clock on I was a worthless human. Fortunately I had remembered to take some chicken out of the freezer before I became a total sloth.
Cajun chicken over rice or over nothing, stewed tomatoes with onions and okra, green beans
Tuesday: The evening was was gorgeous. It was perfect for grilling the steak I had lingering in the refrigerator . Son 2 and DIL2 ate with us Saturday and I had thawed 3 steaks. TheHub and I always share just one, but I thought they would each like their own. Son2 came into the kitchen as I was getting them ready for the grill and said they were too big for each of them to have one apiece. So I didn't cook it and now I am glad for my thawing error. It was delicious!
Wednesday: I bought produce from a local truck farm on Saturday and had some things that needed to be cooked or processed for the freezer. I chose cooking since we love veggie meals. After we finished TheHub was in mourning because the season for delicious fresh summer produce is just about over.
Thursday: We dropped our Costco membership over 2 years ago, because we just never used it. Now TheHub was ready to rejoin. I was ambivalent about it, but because there was no real reason not to, we went online to re-up. Next thing I knew we were in the car on the way to Costco. I will admit I found a few things I used to buy there still in their inventory. I also found a couple of keto bargains there__Rao's marinara sauce was about 2.50 a jar cheaper.. Of course I bought some pecans (but honestly I will buy some local ones if I don't get down to my SIL's farm, because nothing tastes better than fresh pecans)
and a large bottle of olive oil. I will probably give some of it to my sister.
I am going to be really nerdy and keep a total of what we saved on each purchase by buying it there just to see how long it takes to recoup the membership cost. After we reach that I will keep a list of the savings to see just how much, if any we saved. A small codicil: If TheHub goes rogue and buys crap we don't need I am counting that as stupid money, and will not use it in my total. I am only counting things we use regularly that I would buy normally.
When we were finished shopping it was later at night and I claimed I did not feel like cooking. ( I had forgotten I had a pot of veggie soup in the crockpot.) Instead we decided to pick up something on the way home.
Wings Stop korean wings, mild wings (one of us likes heat less than the other__wuss!) parmesan french fries (or none) mixed spring greens (another Costco find and it was a great deal)
Friday: The night was rainy and there was no reason for us to go anywhere, so we decided to hang out at home (Oh yeah, Covid! We always hang out at home) Dinner was a no brainer since it was already made and just required warming.
Veggie soup AKA Stuff salvaged from the fridge that was about to ruin. No keto cornbread was made. The world continued to spin.
Saturday: Game Day here! We turn on the tv at 9 so we can watch (really listen to ) ESPN Game Day
while we did some chores.Then at 11 we start intermittent watching. That means we watch a couple of plays, get up and do something, come back and watch a couple more plays, repeat until the game is over__unless it is a really good game, and then we might actually watch the last quarter. Bama played at 6:30 so we did a pizza take out.
Marco's deluxe pizza or pizza bowl (which is keto friendly)
Sunday: The day was fairly ordinary, but not cool enough to have the planned chili. I still had an ace up my sleeve, in the fridge.
Carnitas over rice (or none), steamed asparagus, spring greens with tomatoes
I did none of the baking I had planned for the week. It was ok but by Friday I was getting a little itchy to have something like a keto cookie. I can only blame myself because I did have time to make some, I just didn't do it. So this week has some baking I need to do, badly before I self sabotage.
As usual these are only suggestions and can change based on my mood, lack of interest, or the way the wind is blowing.
Have a good week on plan, off plan or with no plan at all!
* Let me explain that TheHub is not a picky eater and as long as he has some bread, potatoes, rice or noodles with his food he never complains that I am cooking keto compliant foods. He really does like the keto cornbread also, so I don't have to make two separate "breads"
I will admit that I am interested in curious about the people who share their lives on the blogs I read or those who have no blogs but come here, read mine, and leave comments. I know a bit about the comings and goings of all of you, and yes, I know curiosity killed the cat and all of that. Still, I am asking each of you to satisfy my curiosity.
Sam at Sam, Coffee, Money &Thyme has been experimenting posting pictures of herself on her blog. I think it is admirable, but I am not sure I am ready to do the same. However I have been looking through old photos at Mom's and found a few pictures of me I have never seen before.
I am posting a new to me baby pic of myself and including a childhood memory that came to the forefront of my memories while we were looking through all the old pictures. What I am asking all of you to do is post a baby or childhood picture and add childhood memory so I can get to know you a little better.
If you are willing to play along link your post in the comment box, or if you are smart enough to figure out how to post a pic there all the better, and I will bow to your brilliance!
When I was beginning first grade (back in the dark ages when you went to private kindergarten before starting first grade in a public school) the schools held a get acquainted day as soon as school was out for the summer. They invited all prospective first graders and their parents (which really meant their moms back then) to come to the lunchroom at the school, meet the principal and the first grade teachers, and have a little cup of ice cream. I do not think I had ever eaten a cup of ice cream before. Some of you may remember them, They were a little round cardboard cup with a cardboard lid which had a small tab to pull to get the cover off.
WHEN YOU OPENED IT THERE WAS A COMPLETELY SMOOTH, UNTOUCHED CUP OF ICE CREAM THAT YOU HAD TO SHARE WITH NO ONE!
This was my first experience with Nirvana! But the story only gets better. Mom and Dad were house hunting, and unsure exactly what school I would wind up attending. I got to go to two meet and greets so I had my very own ice cream 2 times in a row. I remember going home and ragging my sister because I got something she didn't. Not only did she not get any, she had never had any either. If you would like to call me a brat here, feel free to, because I was.
Karma is swift and brutal though. Some weeks later we moved to our new house, and had just gotten settled and I had met my new very best friend when my sister had to undergo heart surgery. At the time it was a delicate operation and she was a very very tiny 4 year old.
I was shipped to my grandmother's house for the two weeks she was in the hospital and for the first week she was home. She not only got all of my parents attention (plus my aunt's and my grandparents who swapped out time watching me to go be at the hospital with Mom, or to do whatever they could do to help when she came home) but with the exception of the day of surgery and the first day post op, she got ice cream in a little cup every single day! Revenge is best served cold, with a small flat wooden ice cream spoon(?).
And the leads to another memory of being at Grandmother's house. Dad had arranged with my grandparents to give me 50 cents a day while I was there, with the promise that Grandmother would take me shopping for something special right before I was to go back home. I guess they were trying to keep me from missing them and thought the promise of a toy that was not a birthday or Christmas present would be so novel that I would not be homesick.
I was nowhere near homesick. My favorite cousin stayed with me the entire time and I always had fun playing with her. She was just a few months older than me and we spent the night with each other all the time anyway, so having her with me for the duration was nothing but fun.
It was finally the last day of my stay and Grandmother took us shopping. I knew exactly what I was getting__a Barbie and a Solo in the Spotlight dress.
I had been eyeballing it for weeks prior to my stay and had just enough money for both of those things. We got to the store and I picked out a Barbie with blonde hair and was holding the gorgeous black dress in my hands, when my grandmother said these words that changed my world.
"You got a new Barbie but S has been with you the whole time. I think you need to buy her a Barbie too."
They say the Lord loves a cheerful giver__I'm sure he had very little love for me that day. I am glad she got a Barbie too and we spent many hours playing with them, but I never did get that Solo in the Spotlight dress, because just like me, Barbie had only homemade clothes.
Many years later Son 3 was on a travel ball team. If you have ever had a kid play travel ball you know it is an all day affair. He was playing in a farthest suburb of Birmingham, too far to go home for the 2 hour break, but I was hot and tired of baseball so I drove to a nearby small town. While I was exploring Main Street I found a curiosity shop and went in to see what was what it was all about. I found stacks of paper doll books, which I had not seen since I was a kid (I loved paper dolls) , so I was looking through them and lo and behold there was a Barbie paper doll book . I flipped through the book to see what dresses were in it and there in full color was "Solo in the Spotlight' I bought the book, came home, cut out the doll and the outfit, mounted it then framed it and, to this day, Barbie dressed in that slinky black frock lives on my downstairs den wall.
I just wanted to let all of you know that Sluggy had a gall bladder attack Tuesday afternoon and wound up having emergency surgery. She is not feeling to chipper right now and wanted to let everyone know she will be away from her blog for a bit.
I know everyone wishes her well and hopes for a speedy recovery. Please share this with anyone you know who follows Sluggy.
If you have been reading my blog you know I keep a list of the joys I find each day. At the end of the year I plan on sitting down and re-reading these weekly posts so I can remember just how joyful life can be, and what I might have missed if I did not actively look for it. Even the worst day or days have something joyful if I really look for it. It is there! Every. Single. Day.
Wednesday: A woman whose aunt lives up the street from Mom's house came to the estate sale and bought quite a lot, but asked us if we would put a few things aside so she could wait a couple of dayss before buying/taking them. We agreed because we knew we would not have the house emptied by then. Fast forward, after nearly two months of her arranging to get them, me going down to wait for her and her being a no show or texting me her excuses for not coming, she finally called and picked up her things. At last the stuff is gone.
When I returned home things changed rapidly. I was freezing and felt less than stellar. So I made a light lunch which turned out to be a bad move. This is a weird joy, but I was very happy to have the ability to see things on demand. I tuned in to The Alienist, curled up in the recliner with a thick blanket, and watched, napped the afternoon away
Leftovers caused extreme joy because TheHub could warm them up while I remained n the den. On my brief walk to the kitchen to grab a ginger ale, the smell of food made me nauseous.
Thursday: Got a lot of the laundry room reorganized. House work itself is not a joy, but the room is large and was crammed with everything imaginable. Getting things in a much more controlled state is fabulous, plus I made a space for Mom's sewing machine. It is an old Singer in a cabinet and is the best machine I have ever sewn on. When we were young my aunt and grandmother would come to our house because Mom had the best machine, and they would have a sewing marathon. My grandmother would cut out clothes for the four girls, Mom would sew and my aunt would press all the seams. The only downside is all four of us would have several matching outfits at the end of the day. The real loser in the 4 matching outfits was my sister. She was the youngest of the four of us and we were stair stepped. She got everyone's hand me downs so she had to wear the exact same outfits for four years in a row.
Friday: Yee Haw! The movers came and we were so happy. Mom had three hand tied rugs that are gorgeous and we had decided she would want them to stay with us. Since Son2 and my sister and I all live in town it made sense that they would go to our homes. The rugs look great in their new respective homes as do all the bits and pieces of furniture.
I had been a little worried about how her things would look in my house with my existing furniture. I am very happy that it looks pretty dang good.
Saturday: Ball game day! TheHub and I worked and ran a few errands before getting ready for most of the day of ball games. Then mid afternoon Son2 and DIL2 came over to watch them with us. My biggest joy though was Shelby, the dog. When they were leaving they called Shelby to come with them. She walked into the foyer and stood there with her tail between her legs, refusing to go any farther. It secretly makes me happy that she loves us enough that she does not want to leave.
Sunday: Evidently I forgot to add Sunday until a commenter mentioned it. Thanks Heather! We woke and attended our church streaming service, then had a Webex Sunday school class before heading to the lake. It was gorgeous on the drive down and back, and the lake itself is always beautiful.
Monday: I was home alone most of the day and spent the brunt of the day in the kitchen making things for the freezer. Not meals, mind you! Just things to have on hand that can be warmed quickly to make staying on keto much easier. Occasionally the call of bread gets strong and it is nice to have keto compliant rolls, muffins or cornbread already made. And did I mention cookies? Then right after dinner I had a package delivery. When I was looking at keto cookies a few days prior, I found a recipe using white chocolate peanut butter cups that were sugar free! I had never heard of such animal before, but off course I ordered them immediately. Of course after looking at their website I ordered more items also. They came and TheHub and I both tried one (well he tried two). If you are on keto and need something delicious (albeit kind of costly) look up Choc Zero .
Tuesday: My Beloved Sister and I met at Mom's because we go there all the time to do whatever needs to be done. It's odd to go in there now. With the rugs and nearly all of the furniture gone the house echos as you walk through it, All of it except my sister's childhood room. We have used it as the catch all room for things we have no idea what to do with but know we don't want to get rid of. We sat on folding chairs (the only chairs left there) and went through a box that contained pictures, letters, bulletins, announcements and anything else Mom thought was important. We both laughed and teared up looking through each and every piece of memorabilia. It was a nice way to spend some time and we did get rid of a garbage bag filled with things that meant nothing to either of us. I am pretty sure I do not need even one of the 10 or so
high school graduation announcements we found.
And a lesser joy, but joy just the same was going to CVS. I had gone to pick up a couple of items and noticed Reese's peanut butter cups in a bag on an endcap for 1.99. These are the full size single cups and I bought 5 bags. I scored inexpensive Halloween candy and I got a bag for TheHub so he can satisfy his non keto sweet tooth and leave my Choc Zero alone. (I don't mind sharing but he never stops at just one__or two.)
And now I move on to the next week of the year. I will continue to look for the joys I find each day. Some are harder to find than others, but there is something joyous in each day. Look, listen and feel each day to find your own joy. Peace
For the past few weeks I have been following Annie @Tuesday's Place. She poses 4 questions each week. This week it is all about changes Fall brings.
Are you decorating your home for fall? Thanksgiving? Show us some photos if you don't mind!
Right now I am in the process of incorporating furniture and items from Mom's house into mine so seasonal decorating is about as far from anything I want to do as possible. I will throw some outside Halloween decor up before the actual day, but we are having no guests in our house and I am not feeling the need to decorate inside just for us.
After Halloween I will change over the front of the house to a fall/Thanksgiving theme__maybe. Or I may just take the Halloween decor down and wait for Christmas.
Are trees changing in your area yet? Do you mind showing a fall photo from your area?
The leaves are not changing yet, but may have lost a little of their vivid green color, with the exception of the muscadine vines. The leaves on them are yellowing and falling.
If I knew where a fall picture from past years was I would be happy to share with you, but right now I can't think of where one might be. There are none on my phone picture roll.
Do you like to use scents in your home? What kind do you use and what scents do you enjoy in your home?
I burn a candle in my kitchen most days and tend to burn something sort of seasonal. In the summer I like citrus scents, in the fall I tend to burn coffee or chocolate scented candles. During the winter I like to burn candles that smell like baked goods or burning spruce. Springtime is the only time I use a floral candle. Kudzu is my absolute favorite. It smells like a cross between a flower and grapes. It is kind of hard to find and when I do I buy more than one.
Fall's weather usually turns a bit chilly. Sometimes we change how we eat by seasons. Can you share a nice recipe for a good fall meal with us?
This is my grandmothers apple roll recipe which is more of a "how-to" than it is a recipe. She could never tell you the amounts because she learned from watching her mother, so I would watch her make it and take mental notes. Understand there was no measuring going on and everything was a handful of this and a pinch or two of that. We grew up eating it when I was a kid, and I make it rarely now but it is always delicious. And now that I am remembering it and how good it is, I am going to make one some day soon.
Grandmothers Apple Roll
1 piecrust recipe
peeled sliced tart apples (I use Granny Smith but have used York or Winesap) 3 cups maybe? (I just eyeball it)
sugar (1/3 to 1/2 cup?)
cinnamon (teaspoon maybe)
cloves (about 1/8 teaspoon)
allspice (1/8 teaspoon) (Grandmother did not use allspice, but I like it and added it to mine)
1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter
Roll the piecrust into an oblong shape. Through trial and error I have found it is best to do this on a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper that has been floured. Place (mound) the peeled, sliced apples on the piecrust leaving about 1 inch on one side and two inches on the other free of any apple slices. Make sure you have about 2 inches of just piecrust at the top and bottom of the oblong also.
Sprinkle the sugar on top of the apples, then mix all the spices together and sprinkle them over the sugar. Cut the butter into small bits and dot the entire mound of apples with it.
Now beginning with the 1 inch side begin to roll the piecrust like a jelly roll until you get to the two inch side. Run your fingers under water then take those same wet fingers and run them down the 2 inch side of the piecrust and fold it over to create a seal. Pinch the crust on the top and bottom together using the same wet finger trick, then fold them over the roll to meet the two inch sealed side. Use damp fingers one more time to seal the top and bottom to the rolled pastry.
Carefully place the apple roll seam side down on a buttered 9x13 baking dish. Brush the entire outside with melted butter then cut 3 short diagonal slices in the very top of the crust . (I have no idea if three is required or not but it is what Grandmother did so it is what I do)
Bake at 350 until it the crust is set and has a tiny bit of color but is not truly browned. Sprinkle the entire roll with sugar ( a generous amount 1/4 cup maybe). This next part is for the truly brave. I have been known to just add the sugar and let it finish baking, but sometimes I do the rest. I had the advantage of watching Grandmother so I know how it is supposed to work. It is hard to explain the magic without the visuals. Sprinkle about a tablespoon and a half of flour over the sugar, the oh so slowly pour about 1/2 cup of warm water over the top. Pop it back in the over and continue to cook, but you have to open the oven door every few minutes, stir the liquid at the bottom of the pan and spoon it over the roll. Continue until it has finished baking. You want to let it sit a bit before serving. It is delicious with ice cream or by itself.
One of my cousins printed what she called Grandmother's recipe, but it used biscuit dough. I have a feeling Grandmother sent a bogus recipe to her mom so it would be close not nowhere near as good as the way she actually made it. This particular cousin was a foreigner (South Carolinian rather than an Alabamian) so she had no way to observe the makings of this like the rest of us did!