Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Hollywood Thoughts

Annie@Tuesday 4
  had some questions for us today about Hollywood. Though I do enjoy movies I have never been particularly star struck, and look at what they do for a living as just a job. Being famous does not influence me one way or another, and I sure as heck do not need to know their opinions on much of anything. Well, unless they are really good cooks and share recipes!

This week Annie writes, "According to the late Jordan Maxwell, Hollywood is named for the fact that the holly was used for magic wands by the Druids.  This is where the term, 'Hollywood Magic' comes from.  People are under its spell!  Another story says that H.J. Whitley, the father of Hollywood, saw a Chinese man hauling wood on the hills overlooking the future site and asked him what he was doing.  'I holly wood' he said, meaning hauling wood.  It occurred to Whitley that holly wood was a great name for his new town."

1  During WW2 Marilyn Monroe was an aircraft factory inspector.  She was no dumb blonde but had an above average IQ.  Do you know some Hollywood or record industry trivia? 
The only thing I know is what I read once about Hedy Lamarr. She supposedly invented a radio system to jam torpedos during WW2, but it was not fitted onto Navy ships until the 60's

2. Would you share with us the funniest movie you have ever seen? 
When I was younger I loved the screwball movie"What's Up Doc" I like just about anything with Madeline Kahn.         
How about the most dramatic?
Gotta be Madame X with Lana Turner. It was on TV back when there used to be a late movie. My sister and I watched it and both cried like babies at the end. 

3. Has a movie ever really moved you or changed the way you see things? Probably but nothing I can recall right at this moment, and I am not in the mood to really think too much about it right now.

4. Do you have movie nights at your house with special snacks, treats  etc.?  If not movies, was there something else around which you created a  special family night?
Once the pandemic began we started having movie nights almost every night, but there were no special treats or snacks. Both of us know what we like to snack on, and where to find them. Though occasionally if one of us made popcorn we would share it with the other.

If you feel like it, come on in and play along!

Monday, March 28, 2022

Plans Happen and Change

It was another week of plans and another week of not really sticking to the plan. I figure since I am the chief cook and bottle washer, changing plans does not inconvenience anyone else so it really is no big deal. It would be different if someone else had to run out and pick up groceries for me, or rearrange their schedule to accommodate my changes. Since it is up to me, I feel no remorse when I decide I really want something different at the spur of the moment. I am fickle and change my mind all the time. Except for TheHub! I still really like him.

This is what I had planned for the week:
1.White bbq chicken, caulitato salad, chilled asparagus, baked beans 
2. Grilled tuna steaks, asparagus, mushroom risotto or caulirice , spring greens
3. Large dinner salad, rolls or keto rolls
4. Butter chicken, rice or caulirice, asparagus or Brussels sprouts, tossed salad
5. Chicken curry, rice or caulirice, something green
6. Out to eat
7. Cauliflower"Mac and cheese", collards, black-eyed peas, squash

This is what we really ate:
Monday: It was a beautiful day, perfect for cooking outside.
Grilled tuna steak, asparagus, spring greens, mashed potatoes (or none)

Tuesday: Then came the storms and an inside meal was necessary.
Cauliflower Mac and cheese or real Mac and cheese, collards

Wednesday: And just like that, the rain stopped!
 Out to eat at The Electric: sandwich for TheHub, wedge salad for me

Thursday: I was supposed to be busy cleaning so I put this in the crockpot mid-morning. It cooked while I read.
Chicken curry over rice or cauliflower rice, mixed greens

Friday: TheHub and I went out when he got home form work and ran 2 errands, stopping at Publix. We decided to pick up a chicken to go with coleslaw I had made earlier. 
Rotisserie chicken, coleslaw, potato salad (purchased specifically for TheHub)

Saturday: It was a beautiful day that called for more outdoor cooking. 
Grilled hamburgers and chips or grilled cheeseburger salad

Sunday: Another perfect weather day screamed fire up the grill!
Steak, mashed potatoes (or none), asparagus, tomato cucumber onion salad

And now to this week:
1.White bbq chicken, potato salad, caulitato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, something dessertish.
2. Ketofied chicken yakisoba, some sort of green veggie side dish (Thanks Hawaii Planner)
3. Salmon filets w/ butter dill sauce, asparagus, sliced tomatoes, cucumber slices 
4. BLT salad dinner
5. Pulled pork, leftover baked beans, leftover potato salad, leftover caulitato salad
6. Out to eat
7. Tacos/ taco salad

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Who Needs The Bun?

Saturday night we decided to throw the meal plan and caution to the wind, and boy was there ever a ton of wind to toss it to! TheHub decided he would like a burger cooked on the grill for dinner. Even though it was very windy, the day was sunny and warmish (as long as the wind was not blowing). The only issue for me was the dreaded bun. I actually have some keto compliant buns in the freezer, but I was being nice that morning and made us French toast for breakfast. I very rarely eat breakfast, but occasionally I do like to share a morning meal with TheHub. I had already eaten my keto bread for the day prior to him deciding he wanted burgers. Bummer!

Instead I decided to turn my non-hamburger into a cheeseburger salad. This is not a recipe but more of a how to. You know what you like on or off a burger and should adjust this accordingly.

Put lettuce on your plate, the bigger plate and the more lettuce the better. I had no true lettuce but I did have a box of spring greens and filled the bottom of a dinner plate with it. Once I had it down as a base I diced a slice of sweet onion and sprinkled it all around the greens. I did the same with 4 dill pickle slices, and 1 tomato slice. Next I cut a slice of extra sharp cheddar in half, then cut each half and once again into smaller strips and sprinkled them around the greens. While the burger was cooking (TheHub summons his inner cave man and insists of doing the grilling. Like I am dumb enough to not let that happen) I blended about a tablespoon of mayo with a teaspoon of sugar free ketchup (Shameless plug for Heinz. It tastes like the real thing). I put the dressing over the greens, then squirted a bit of yellow mustard over it.

The grillmaster brought the burgers into the house and I chopped mine into bits, the spread it over the salad. The only thing left to do was pop the top of a Diet Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale* and dig in.

It was delicious and I never missed the bun.  If you are trying to cut back on bread, or cook a burger and forget to buy buns, give it a try! It was great!

*BTW if you have never had Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale and can find it, you owe it to yourself to give it a go. Intensely gingery does not even begin to describe it. It might be an acquired taste, but it is my favorite soft drink, and  though I am not a huge fan of soft drinks I allow myself one of these every 3 or 4 days.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Not What I Thought Would Happen

Week 12 came and went. I had a lot of plans for the week, but serious binge reading got in my way.  Add a case of lazy into the mix and you get a pretty good view of what I did. I have had better weeks in terms of production, but I am not sure I enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed this past week.

 Saturday: It was a wonderful day. We woke and had breakfast (or just coffee) then rode around a bit doing errands. It was a gorgeous day to be out running around. We came home, read a bit, and had surprise visitors. Son2 and DIL2 came over to drop some things off here and stayed for some coffee and conversation. 
After they left we dressed for the evening and went to hear Alfredo Rodriguez & Pedrito Martinez. If you ever get the opportunity to see them, by all means go. Rodriguez is an amazingly skilled pianist with Martinez on a Cuban percussion set. Individually they would be wonderful, but together they are an almost magical duo combining traditional Afro Cuban sounds with a touch of classical sounds.   


Sunday: We had a lazier day and were in March Madness mode. Even though Alabama did not make it through the first round, we still pick teams to be for and love watching it. March is the only time I care about or watch college basketball, though I will pretend to watch Alabama games with TheHub while I read. After Auburn lost, I decided I would have to be for St.Peter's and Arkansas for the rest of the tournament. I guess I will have to see how it plays out during the week.

Monday: Even though ThePig had their weekly special of 10 bucks off after spending 30, I did not need 30 dollars worth of anything, so I passed. Plus the Monday special was a box of Cheese-its and we didn't need or want those.  So instead of taking the day and working hard  to get ready for guests coming next week, I read.

Tuesday: If it is a random day of the week in Alabama and it is raining hard there must be some unwritten law that we need to have a tornado watch or warning. Tuesday was one of those days with thunderstorms, winds, rain, and possible tornados. We did at least turn the tv onto a local station to watch the storm's progression, and thankfully as usual, the storms passed without major damage to the state and none here at my house.

Wednesday: I finally (after 2 years) was able to revisit my happy place. I went to Independence Place to volunteer some time seeing all of the Wednesday participants and painting wildebeest masks for a play they will be doing next winter. There are no words to explain how happy I was to be there and see them. Hopefully situations (That "C" word that everyone is tired of talking about) will allow me to go weekly again.
TheHub and I were planning to go to see Alabama's softball team play here in town, but he had a late meeting that ran over. Instead, we just went out to eat at our new favorite local hangout.

Thursday: Another day of lots of reading, another day of little (OK, virtually no) cleaning. And I still have houseguests coming Tuesday. You would think I would get off my tail and get the house ready, or at least get the sheets changed and the bathroom cleaned. Procrastination is strong in this one! But I do love to read!
Oh , and officially, The Great Pollination is in full force. Yellow is the first color I see when I look at the deck, porch, or my car.
We watched a couple of basketball games and got to see Arkansas knock off Gonzaga. So one of the teams I was routing for won.

Friday: Once again I found so much to do (read) instead of cleaning the house for company. My only hope is that they have vision issues and can't see all the crap. 
Did I mention how much I love the Libby app and downloadable library books? 
TheHub came home and we decided date night was stopping by Publix to pick up a rotisserie chicken to have for dinner. Well we grabbed a chicken along with a ton of groceries. We are a fun couple aren't we?
We got home in time to watch St.Peter's win, and to also listen to the last 2 innings of Alabama's softball game. 
It was a good day, and now I have a ton of housework facing me Saturday, or Sunday, possibly Monday or Tuesday morning at the very latest! 

Have a great week and be sure to look for those small joys. They are always out there!

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

What You Like

Annie @Tuesday 4  sends 4 questions each week, and if I remember it is Tuesday I try to play along. Join in if you would like to! This week is all about preferences.

Which do you prefer?

1. Picnic by the water or backyard BBQ?
I live in the south and any picnic by a lake is going to be beautiful and bug filled. A backyard bbq is easier, just as tasty, plus I have a screened porch which limits the number of uninvited guests.

2. Spring or Autumn? Got reasons?
I love autumn best because our winters are not severe, but our summers can be. Nothing beats months of hot humid weather like a drier coolish day that comes with fall. Plus spring makes me sneeze!

3. Cup of Tea or Cup of Coffee?   'splain it to us Lucy... if you don't mind!
Coffee, black and strong. Actually 3 cups which is my usual morning through early afternoon beverage of choice. I am not sure what there is to explain though. My parents were big coffee drinkers. When we were kids we had coffee milk (mostly warm milk with a tad of coffee and sugar) and cinnamon toast most Saturday mornings. I just grew up loving the taste of coffee.
I do enjoy a cup of hot tea occasionally during the evening, but only when the weather is cool.

4. A weekend at home or one spent out and about?
This depends on what is going on and where the out and about might be. We (pre-covid) usually went out at least one night a weekend, and did some running around, or went to some specific local entertainment on Saturdays. We are slowly getting back to life and have been eating out and gone to a few events on the weekend. I have missed doing things. At the same time though, I don't like the weekend to be so filled that we have no time to catch our breath.

Come on and join in. Let me know what your preferences are.

Monday, March 21, 2022


Well, that was an interesting food plan week. Looking back we stayed on the dinner plan less then 50% of the time, yet life went on and we were fed, as usual. I had planned one meal out, because I knew we had an event Tuesday evening, but I had completely forgotten about one Saturday night.  Then, rains forced the cancellation of grilled tuna. Life moves on and we eat anyway.

What was planned:
1. Corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes (or none)
2. Beef stew over rice or caulirice, mixed greens
3. Greek chicken, rice pilaf, asparagus, tossed salad
4. Grilled tuna steaks, asparagus, mashed potatoes or cauliflower mashed potatoes
5. Out to eat
6. Philly cheesesteak casserole, tossed salad or coleslaw
7.  White sauce bbq chicken, caulitato salad, baked beans (for TheHub only)

What we really ate:
Monday: I had some ground chuck in the fridge and several bell peppers. This meal pretty much planned itself.
Philly cheesesteak casserole, spring greens

Tuesday: We bought tickets to the fund raiser banquet of a non-profit we support
Bad banquet chicken, mashed potatoes, 4 shreds of undermined veggies, salad

Wednesday:I had found ground chuck on sale and bought about 10 pounds of it. Though I froze most of it, I made meatballs for a keto variation of my mom's meatball stew 
Meatball stew over rice or caulirice

Thursday: Happy St. Pat's
Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes (or none)

Friday:Neither of us were particularly hungry and I had everything on hand for this. Big garden salad

Saturday: We knew we had tickets for an Afro Cuban concert but had forgotten it was Saturday until I got an email reminder. Fortunately they had a wine and munchies hour before the event.
Pulled pork on dinner rolls, pineapple shrimp, corn salsa, chips, dips, veggies, churros

Sunday: I was actually pulling for Auburn to win their basketball game, and I am never for Auburn. Unfortunately for them, they played like Alabama. We had a pre-game meal so we would not miss any of the game. Turns out it would not have mattered if we did!
Steak, baked potato, spring greens

And now on to this week's plans (in no particular order)
1.White bbq chicken, caulitato salad, chilled asparagus, baked beans 
2. Grilled tuna steaks, asparagus, mushroom risotto or caulirice , spring greens
3. Large dinner salad, rolls or keto rolls
4. Butter chicken, rice or caulirice, asparagus or Brussels sprouts, tossed salad
5. Chicken curry, rice or caulirice, something green
6. Out to eat
7. Cauliflower"Mac and cheese", collards, black-eyed peas, squash

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

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Joys Are Still Around

Now week 11 is all said and done and it is time to move on to a brand new week. This week was neither  good nor bad here. I wish I could say that for the rest of the world. I hope when it is New Year's Eve and I am reading all of these again, I will read about some halt to all of this. Wishing and hoping!

I am really taking liberties with my song choice this week. I have never heard any songs about the Ides of March or Caesar's demise. Instead I am choosing a song by the group The Ides Of March.

 Saturday: As usual we woke and had coffee together while TheHub ate breakfast. Not so usual was the smattering of snow on the ground. it melted quickly but was pretty for an hour of so. Now I am done with winter weather until late December '22. 
We had some running around to do before theAlabama softball game started. After a bit of ball game watching, we switched over  to Mrs. Maisel and now we have finished the fourth season. I enjoyed it and am glad to be done. TheHub and I agreed we will not start any new series for a while. Instead of watching a show on TV after dinner each evening we will both spend 30 minutes in spaces of our choosing doing some decluttering. If we want to watch something afterward it will be fine, but we will be picky about what we watch.

Sunday: The day was pretty but still on the cooler side. We watched a few basketball games ("We" watched,  but one of use read while pretending to watch.) then watched the bracket show to see what teams were selected and where they will go. I don't care about  basketball until it get to March Madness,  then I really do like it.
I had a phone call from Pip and we were talking about a birthday party she was going to. When I asked her if she was excited to be going, she told me yes but she was really excited about June. That is when they are coming here and this grandma's heart just about melted when she said that.
Later Sunday night we watched "Billions". I had talked with Son 3 in the morning and he told me Toney, his friend who was cast in the show, came by their place and told them the entire story arch. Son3 told me I had better be nice to him or he will spill the beans about what is supposed to happen for the rest of this season and the next.

Monday: I stayed home and worked all day. It was not a particular joy but I guess there is joy in getting some things done. One task I am doing is a complete inventory of our foods. I have an overstocked pantry, and freezer that is filled to the brim. While I was doing the pantry inventory I found a few things that need to be used as quickly as I can use them.
Now that we are on DST it was still daylight when TheHub came home, so we sat on the screened porch and for drinks and conversation. It was not cold out but it was windy and did require a light jacket. While we were talking we saw some movement and a little head peeking out from under Son3's old playhouse. Our friendly backyard groundhog made his first extended appearance, so I am guessing spring is officially here.

Tuesday: This was one of my favorite days of the year. My sister hates March and especially hates The Ides. Because I am such a sweet sister, I call her the first thing in the morning every March 15, lower my voice and slowly say, "Beware The Ides of March".  Then I hang up and wait for her to call me back, laughing. Since I have been doing this since we were in our 20's, she knows it is coming and it should not be funny but it makes us laugh every year. I thought about "forgetting" and then calling her later in the afternoon, but then thought why alter a perfectly fun tradition?
I talked to Sluggy which always brightens my day. I do love laughing with her.
Tuesday night we went to a fundraiser dinner for American Baseball Foundation. The name is a little deceiving because it functions like a 6 1/2 hour summer day camp teaching sports, and strengthening reading and math skills. The primary objective is to give a leg up to kids who need a little boost. We are happy to be able to support it.

Wednesday: I spent part of the day with my head in the pantry  organizing and inventorying our stash. We have a lot more than I thought and I found things I had completely forgotten about in the process. Other than doing that, laundry and a little vacuuming I did some reading. My book had to be returned Friday and I had barely begun reading it. The bad thing about borrowing a digital book from the library is that it will disappear whether you have finished or not. There are no late fees and if there is a waiting list you cannot renew. I knew there were two people waiting so I had to read quickly.

Thursday: I was feeling like the most unpopular person on the planet. I had called my sister in the morning, and my home phone had rung once (yep I wish I had not answered that call) but my cell was mysteriously silent. I had taken it out of my back pocket to grab my credit card when I bought groceries, but only looked at the back of the phone since my cards lives in a pocket attached to the back cover. I did not realize until 11 at night that my phone had been on silent mode since the banquet Tuesday night. I had missed a few calls and messages. 
"Hi, my name is Anne, and I'm a dumb ass".

Friday: I woke to storms and decided it would be a great morning to stay in bed and read. I finished my books, got up and dressed for the day, then returned calls I had missed. I did talk briefly with Sluggy as she and her beloved husband motored down the highway headed for Louisiana. 
TheHub came home early and we watched Notre Dame beat Alabama in the NCAA Tournament. Tomorrow I will be rooting for St Peter's. I love when an underdog upsets a highly ranked team. (Though Notre Dame beat Alabama, they were not highly seeded.)
And the cherry on top? I got to talk to Pip who was on her way to band practice. She is the vocalist for the band, "The Rocking Corgis," (a kid band) and really loves it.

And now I begin week 12. Can you believe time is speeding by so fast.
Go and look for your joys, however small. They are always out there!

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, March 14, 2022

Dinner! It Comes Around Daily

As usual the meal plan fell through. I should have grilled early in the week before the weather changed, but I didn't. It doesn't matter really. We ate and life proceeded on. We have the luxury of planning, changing plans and still knowing we will have some sort of meal around our kitchen table. For that I am extremely grateful!

This is what was originally planned for the week:
1. Leftovers (TheHub has a dinner meeting so it will just be me)
2. Lasagna in a bowl (I have leftover spaghetti sauce to use), some green vegetable
3. Broccoli Cheese soup (we are supposed to have some cooler nights) salad or sandwich
4. Pho, mixed greens salad
5. Steak, tossed salad, new potatoes or roasted radishes
6. Grilled tuna, asparagus, rice pilaf, tossed salad
7. Take out

This is what we really ate:
Monday: I was the only one here for dinner, so I grabbed some leftovers from the freezer, warmed them and ate while watching a movie via the laptop. (I only eat at the table and refuse to have a TV in the kitchen)
Leftover Conecuh sausage and cabbage

Tuesday: The temperature had dropped considerably and I wanted to get some more soup type dishes in before TheHub started complaining that it was too hot for soup.
Pho, tossed salad

Wednesday: Though I really wanted soup I decided it would be nice of me to have something more substantial for TheHub. It was supposed to be much colder Saturday night so soup moved to then.
Lasagna in a bowl, tossed salad

Thursday: TheHub got home early before I had even begun to think about dinner, and we ran out to do a quick errand. We picked up a partial dinner to go with the coleslaw I made previously.
Take out bbq , coleslaw from home

Friday: I had planned on cooking out but TheHub worked late, the rains came, and I had to change plans.
Hamburger patty, tater tots or roasted radishes, mixed greens

Saturday: for soup weather! Instead of having the salad along with the meal, I just doubled down on the green stuff.
Broccoli cheese soup

Sunday:  The day started off cold, warmed a bit, then cooled off again. I imagine Sunday was the last time we will eat this until sometime in late October or early November.
Chili over pinto beans or over cauliflower (It's a keto compromise but still tasty I intended to have coleslaw but got lazy and did not grate the cabbage. Life went on)

This week we should  be home  for dinners with the exception of one night during the workweek. That does not eliminate the possibility of an additional meal out on the weekend though.

These are the plans for this week.
1. Corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes (or none)
2. Beef stew over rice or caulirice, mixed greens
3. Greek chicken, rice pilaf, asparagus, tossed salad
4. Grilled tuna steaks, asparagus, mashed potatoes or cauliflower mashed potatoes
5. Out to eat
6. Philly cheesesteak casserole, tossed salad or coleslaw
7.  White sauce bbq chicken, caulitato salad, baked beans (for TheHub only)

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with non plan at all!

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Small Joys are Still Joyful

Another week of 2022 has passed and now the middle of March is closing in on us. Today would have been Mom's 91st birthday and I have really been thinking of her all week. I wish we were able to have cake and sing Happy Birthday to her one more time, but it is not possible,  I will just continue to think about her and all the birthdays we were able to celebrate with her. I distinctly remember her 30th birthday. 
We were very young and did not understand that turning 30 was very difficult for her. Without thinking any thoughts except for thoughts children have, we decided it would be a good idea to pick daffodils and take  bouquets to all of our closest neighbors, being sure to tell them they were for celebrating Mom's 30th. She was not terribly happy with us!
The upside of thinking about her is I now find myself thinking of the times before dementia claimed her,. Her last two years saw a completely different person than the Mom I knew all my life. Now when I remember her I think of when her slightly irreverent sense of humor would end with her boisterous laugh. I love her and miss her.

 Saturday: In the wee hours of the morning I got a text from Son3 telling me DIL3 had been hit by a car while they were walking home from a friends birthday party.  She was taken by ambulance to the hospital, and after several hours they released her with just some  road rash and a badly sprained ankle. A couple of weeks hobbling around is a wonderful outcome.

The day was a drop dead gorgeous spring day. After working in the yard a bit, TheHub and I watched Alabama basketball lose to LSU. 
We had invited Son2 and DIL2 to join us for dinner at a restaurant in their area of town. They have a really cute large open air plaza with tables, benches, a Jumbotron and  has restaurants around the perimeter. It would have been perfect but there were a couple of hundred people sitting outside (Crowded beyond my current comfort zone), so we wound up inside the brew pub. It was still fun and we had a great visit with them.

Sunday: We woke to another beautiful day, got a few big jobs done around the house, then we sat outside on the porch reading until almost dark. While we read we talked off and on, and watched a lot of bird activity in the back yard.

Monday: The morning was incredibly beautiful and spring like. I piddled around the house (drank coffee, read and did a little laundry) until about 11, when I decided it was time to go to ThePig for the Monday free item. En route I called Sluggy who always makes me laugh, arrived, and sat in the parking lot talking and laughing. When I finished the conversation and went into the store everything changed. I had just walked in,  picked up  astromelia to add to vase of greenery left from the Valentine's Day roses when I heard pounding coming from the ceiling. I glanced out the window and found the predicted rain had arrived___ in the form of a gully washer. Obviously there was no need to hurry with my shopping, so I decided I would just explore the entire store while I was waiting for the rain to slack off.  30 minutes and some unanticipated impulse buys later the rain was gone for the day. Unfortunately it took the spring temperatures with it. It is pretty typical for March to have gorgeous days, then one little intrusive week where winter tries to make a comeback. 

Tuesday: The day was colder and overcast with intermittent showers. Even so looking out the windows in my kitchen still made me smile. The redbud trees
in the back yard were at their prime blooming state so I got to see the beautiful lilac colored blooms every time I glanced out back.

Also in the back yard on Tuesday, I got to see two new to me cats. I am not a cat guy at all, but welcome them to hop the fence and prowl around looking for chipmunk type critters. The yard must have been new to them also because they were exploring the entire place. The orange tabby even came up the stairs to the deck and peeked in the windows. She/he was enjoying nosing around until he/she caught on that I was watching her/him. Then it made a hasty departure.  He/she was a cute little thing__for a cat!
I was glad I did not have to go anywhere on the gloomy day and could concentrate on important things like talking to my sister, doing light (very light) housework and reading. 

Wednesday: The  cooler temperatures decided to stick around, and the morning was overcast and gloomy. My Beloved Sister called and asked if I was going to be around. It was great to have someone to eat and talk with for a change. When we were cleaning out Mom's house she found her old Barbie case. The case was ruined when her basement flooded this past summer, but she did salvage several old Barbie outfits from when we were kids. She brought them with her and the verdict is that most of them need a bit of "love" but some are already on the Barbies I bought for Pip and my rehab project when they visit. She stayed about 3 hours and it was wonderful.
When TheHub called to see if I needed anything from the store (dead giveaway that he was in need of some recreational shopping) I asked him to stop at Aldi near his office. He passes it every day on his way home and gas is now 4+ bucks a gallon. It makes economic sense that he will be the Aldi shopper unless I am doing a big grocery haul. However, even after he stopped and picked up the items I needed, he still wound up stopping at his beloved Publix for something he "forgot" to look for when he was in Aldi.
He passes Trader Joe's on his way home, so it is also now his shopping chore. Fortunately I rarely need anything from them because it is a dangerous place for recreational shopping.

Thursday: The day was gorgeous, but on the cooler side. I did get a few home projects out of the way, and now only have a ton of projects remaining! I had been playing phone tag with my cousin S all week and we finally caught each other at a time we could both talk. It is always good catching up with her.
TheHub stopped at Costco to gas his car on the way home. Since it was only 3.89 a gallon (about 30 cents cheaper than all the stations near us) when he got home, we took my car and topped off the tank. Gas prices seem to be going up daily and I wanted to get some before the price increased the next day. Since we were out, we decided to pick up something for supper. Alabama was playing Vandy in the SEC tournament and we wanted to be able to eat quickly before the game came on. Sometimes teams play very well together and sometimes they don't. This year is a don't year.  Oh well, there's always next year__and women's softball!

Friday: The day was not coolish, in fact it was about 70 and slightly overcast___until it wasn't.  I had a few business things My Beloved Sister and I had to take care of. Nothing much we could do except to jump in a get it done. 
The temperatures stayed springlike and the day dry until about 8:30 when the winds picked up and the hard rains started. TheHub and I ran to The Pig between downpours to pick up a couple of things we wanted for the weekend that we can only find at The Pig. Instead of waiting until Saturday and getting cold, we just got wet, 
We got back home when the rain had slacked and socked in to watch Mrs. Maisel while we listened to the wind howl and the rain pelting the porch roof.  By the time I went to sleep, the temps had dropped over 40 degrees and the rain had changed to snow.  What? This is Alabama and that is not supposed to happen!

Look or your joys this week no matter how small.  They are always out there.

May all your weed be wildflowers,

Monday, March 7, 2022

Planning with Gratitude

And we have now concluded another week of eating. After reading and seeing the news reports of what the folks in The Ukraine are going through, I am not going to complain about our meals, lack of following a plan, or what we actually ate. Instead I  give extreme thanks for my overstocked freezer and pantry, and the ability to rustle up dinner free from worry..

This was planned for last week:
Pancakes, sausage, baked apples
Steak, baked potato, tossed salad
Grilled tuna, rice pilaf, asparagus
Greek chicken, saffron rice, broccoli
Tossed salad, sandwich or soup
Cauliflower au gratin, tomato onion and cucumber salad, pickled okra
Take out

And this is what we really ate:
Monday: It was a beautiful night which just screamed "Cook on the grill" 
Steak, baked potato, spring green salad

Tuesday: Keto? Now way. It was Fat Tuesday!
Pancakes, bacon

Wednesday:  I had planned a fish meal for the first day of Lent. Since it was so gorgoeoiu  out, I cooked it on the grill.
Tuna steaks, rice pilaf or cauliflower rice pilaf, asparagus. mixed greens

Thursday: Pressed my luck and made soup on a warm night. It was still delicipous.
Creamy taco soup, tossed salad

Friday:It was another beautiful day/night and we decided to run grab a quick bite at a local sandwich shop. 
The Electric: wedge salad or humongous bologna sandwich

Saturday: We worked around the house then decided it would be great if DIL2 and Son2 could join us for what we thought would be an early dinner. We laughed because at 5:30 every place in Trussville was already packed. I guess the Saturday eat out crowd there eats much earlier than in our area
Ferrus Brew Pub : Another blooming wedge salad(only thing keto) or assorted Pub food offerings

Sunday: The week was still just drop dead gorgeous, so dinner was grilled again. Grilled Hamburger patty, hash browns (or none), asparagus, cucumber tomato and onion salad

Thinking about this upcoming week, I planned a menu that requires no shopping. even though I imagine I will go to ThePig to get the free (with additional purchase) carton of eggs and pack of shredded cheese.
1. Leftovers (TheHub has a dinner meeting so it will just be me)
2. Lasagne in a bowl (I have leftover spaghetti sauce to use), some green vegetable
3. Broccoli Cheese soup (we are supposed to have some cooler nights) salad or sandwich
4. Pho, mixed greens salad
5. Steak, tossed salad, new potatoes or roasted radishes
6. Grilled tuna, asparagus, rice pilaf, tossed salad
7. Take out

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

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Week 9 Joys

Week 9 of 2022 is in the books and for the first time I feel better about the pandemic just as I get to be filled with sadness and dread concerning the world stage and Putin’s invasion. I really did focus on things that made me happy this week, as I continue to hope and pray for peace.

My SIL was gone for the day before I even woke. I had a hard time getting to sleep Friday night, did not go to bed before 3 and wound up sleeping in until about 9:20.  She left about 9 to go visit cousins in  Tuscaloosa. 
TheHub and I got dressed for the day and decided to do some exploring. Our first stop was a new to us olive oil store. After wandering around it for a minute I told TheHub I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. It was a perfect (albeit a tad pricy) stop for me. I left with 3 bottles of flavored oils, one really bold EV oil, black truffle salt and a delicious olive tapenade. 
We left that store and ran a few more places before coming home for a quick change and a drive to Tuscaloosa to meet relatives for dinner.
We were a few minutes early so we drove through the campus. It is amazing how much  and how quickly a campus changes. If you had told my 17 year old college freshman self it would look like this one day, I would have said you were lying. Only The Quad still looks the same!
After our drive down memory lane we met TheHub's brother, SIL, and his sister (our houseguest) at Dillard's Chophouse for an early dinner (or late lunch for me, P. and C. ). We had a great time, fabulous food and managed to be back in Birmingham by 8 o'clock. We decided to have a repeat performance in a month or so in a different town.

Sunday: We enjoyed visiting with my SIL over breakfast before she left. I am glad she feels comfortable coming here and staying with us. The day was pretty dreary so TheHub and I stayed home, read, and finished season 2 of Mrs. Maisel.

Monday: Fingers crossed that Monday was the last day I have to have any sort of meeting about Mom's estate. 
Other than that is was a really good day, and the upside of having to go to the meeting was the cookie shop that was right next door. Yes, I bought cookies and I ate them! And they were good!
On my way home I stopped at ThePig to pick up the weekly free items, but this time I had to spend 25 to get both 5 bucks off the total and to score the 32 ounce free Heinz. 
After dinner we watched Billions.

Tuesday: The day was gorgeous and it was Fat Tuesday. I indulged all day. Keto be damned.  We did the traditional pancake dinner then watched Alabama get pounded by Texas A&M. After the beat down we watched Mrs. Maisel.

Wednesday: I was supposed to have lunch with my sister and one of our friends, but her Mother had fallen during the night and she was going to have to take her for X-rays and a scan. Instead I did a little bit of housework but mostly enjoyed the drop dead gorgeous day. A special treat was the asparagus fern which I put in the back bathroom and promptly forgot about survived my winter neglect and even though I did not water it once, it still is alive. Now I have to baby it so it can thrive again. I am pretty sure I heard it say “bout time you remembered me b!”@/“

Thursday: Another gorgeous, beautiful day happened. I had coffee on the deck watching birds courting and listening to birds serenades.
I had been watching videos of doll restoration. Pip is coming in June and I thought it might be fun for us to do a doll project while she is here. As a kid I loved playing with Barbie and decided I would check out thrift stores to find a gnarly one we could rehab. I struck out at the first store, but hit the jackpot with my second try. Vapor had a bin filled with them for .99 each. I bought 5 so I can figure out how to root the hair before she gets here.  BTW it is  a pain in the tookas to comb the snarls out of  the hair from a well played with Barbie. Thanks to YouTube tutorials the dolls are clean, with soft clean Barbie hair that has no tangles. 
We ate dinner early so we could watch Alabama’s women’s basketball game. They played well and beat Georgia

Friday: It was another gorgeous 80 degree day. I spent the morning putting Barbie heads into boiling water. It seems that is the way to straighten their hair so it can be cut and styled. That is for another day though. 
I had a wonderful phone conversation with Sluggy who always makes me laugh. What a joy to have made friends via the blog.
TheHub came home early and we went to the Electric for dinner before the crowds hit, then it was home to watch Alabama’s women’s basketball be destroyed by Tennessee.

Go find your joys! They are out there and while you are looking for joy, do not forget to remember The Ukraine and what the people there are going through. My heart aches thinking about it. Peace!

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Friday, March 4, 2022

Winner Dinner

After dropping the ball for Fat Tuesday, I had to got back quickly into the keto lifestyle. But, and there is always a big but, I wanted something really flavorful. (And easy, did I mention easy?) I know the meal I chose was pushing my luck because THeHub only likes to eat soup when the temps are pretty cool and spring has sprung with a vengeance (and pollen).

Creamy Taco Soup (This is more of a "how to" than a real recipe because I did not measure anything. All the spices are just estimates of what I used)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground chuck
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium bell pepper chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon powered cilantro
salt to taste
1 can Rotel tomatoes
cream cheese (I used about 6 ounces, but could have used 4 and it would have been fine)
unsalted beef broth (what I use because I am not a big salt fan, if you like salt use salted)
1 tablespoon lime juice (fresh would have been better but I only had a bottle of key lime juice)
couple of shakes of hot sauce (optional)

To the oil in the bottom of a soup pot, add the ground beef onions, garlic and bell pepper. Cook stirring continually until the beef is lightly browned and the veggies are soft. Drain any grease from the pan and add the spices. When they are well mixed add the Rotel tomatoes and the cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese melts, then add the beef broth. I used less than the full quart, probably about 3/4 of the carton and added a little water just because I did not want it to taste "beefy". Simmer on low for about 15 minutes. Before serving stir in the lime and hot sauce. I garnished mine with a few grape tomatoes, a few slices of a mini avocado, and a few shreds of cheese. TheHub had his over saffron rice which made it a very filling dish for him.

This was not a particularly pretty soup but it was delicious and I will make it again, but it will probably be sometime next fall! You know, it one of those outdoor temperature things to appease those who can only eat soup if it is cool,