Monday, May 30, 2022

Unplanning Plans

Well so much for a meal plan! I did not really cook much at all this week, not by design, but just because that is the way things worked out. There are a lot of things I fail to do and I mentally beat myself to pieces. Screwing up a dinner plan is just not one of those things. As long as I am not contributing to food waste, change is alright!

What I originally planned:
1. Veggie dinner with squash and other stuff (TBD)
2. Grilled tuna steaks, salad, new potatoes
3. Turkey sandwiches, possibly a Hot Brown with a side of coleslaw
4. Pork tacos, salsa, corn on the cob (or none) side salad
5.  Pizza in a bowl, mixed greens
6. Steak, potatoes (or none) tossed salad
7. Out to eat or take out

What really happened:
Monday: The pack of pulled pork I thought I pulled out of the freezer, turned out to be cooked chicken. So much for pork tacos. Luckily I had a small pack of frozen taco seasoned ground beef. 
Taco salad

Tuesday: I volunteered at IP and got home much later than I expected. It was also primary day here so TheHub and I decided to go vote at the same time. Glad he was there because I forgot my glasses and could not read the ballot. Since we were halfway there, after voting we went to The Electric.  
Wedge salad or classic flatbreads

Wednesday: I had to use some of the sliced turkey TheHub had bought while doing his recreational shopping at Publix
Hot Brown sandwich, coleslaw

Thursday: Veggie night here. Not that I can find fresh vegetables at the produce stand life tastes much better.
Squash, green beans, okra tomato & onion medley, Keto blackberry crumble

Friday: TheHub stopped by Winn Dixie on his way home. During the summer holidays they cook baby back ribs and sell them by the slab. He brought one home and I only had to add a bit to make a meal.
BBQ ribs, corn on the cob (or none), coleslaw

Saturday: We worked outside until just before dark and neither of us felt like cooking. We hopped into the car and drove to Jack's for a quick take out meal.
Chicken with fries and coleslaw, or grilled chicken sandwich. (Swapping the bun for a keto friendly bun and adding some spring greens made this an acceptable dinner)

Sunday: It was another workday in the back yard. Hard, hot and dirty, but we are getting there.We both came in, in the early evening, showered then decided we were too tired to cook. Our old bodies are not as spry as they once were. Instead we went to a little Persian restaurant near our house and picked up something to bring home and eat.
Spinach pies, or chicken koubideh (so delicious)

And because I am ever the optimist (for the week):
1. Hamburgers with fixings, chips or keto cheese curls (not particularly good but crunchy)
2, Chicken divan, cucumber onion and tomato salad
4. Veggie meal TBD
5. Greek chicken, greek green beans, tomato slices
6. Grilled steak, tossed salad, dinner rolls or keto rolls
7. Take out or dining out

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

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Another Week In The Books

Whew and there goes May! How did that happen? The 21st week of the year has come and gone and we are on our way to week 22. I am not trying to speed up time because it goes fast enough without my egging it on, but I am very excited since there are just 13 days until Son3 and DIL3 get here, then just two days before we drive to the beach and meet Son1, DIL1 and most importantly, Pip for a mini beach vacation. I can wait, but I wish I didn't have to!

Saturday: TheHub and I woke early and ran some quick errands. Our first stop was at the produce stand. Besides delicious tomatoes I got a bucket of perfect strawberries. The day was gorgeous and we should have worked out in the yard all day once we returned home. Instead we watched Alabama softball, then we went outside. We flunked pool vacuuming, but while we were trying unsuccessfully to get it hooked up we saw a precious baby bunny. I have not seen a baby for several years. 

Sunday: We watched more softball and then headed outside to do a little more straightening, planting and more pool failing. We did decide on some pavers to use in a secluded area of the front yard. Sunday evening we had our neighbors over for drinks and conversation on the upper patio. We had only been sitting outside about 15 minutes when the rains came and we ran to the screened porch (which was a big mess!)

Monday:  I had very little joy in the morning, but I did get the bedrooms upstairs ready for guests when Son1 and family and Son3 and bride will be here in June. Then the phone rang and who was on the other line but Sluggy! What a great and bright spot to an ordinary day!

Tuesday:  This was my volunteer day at Independence Place for the week. I know I say it every time I post about them but I never find as much joy as I do when I go there. Tuesday when I walked in I had one of the participants, Tricia, tell me she loves it when I am there. Be still my heart! I stayed there much later than I intended to but I did get all the gazelles painted and got the rhino's face painted. 
TheHub called me when I was on my way home to see if I had voted yet. I had not so we went together, then headed out to grab some dinner.

Wednesday: I am sure something happened, but I have no idea what it was. The day was very rainy, so I did not get to work outside. I alternated between working upstairs and the laundry room. I did talk with Son3 who was taking care of DIL3. She had been at a workshop out of town and came home feeling a bit under the weather.

Thursday: Talked to Son3 right off the bat and DIL has Covid again. Got some stuff around the house done, read some blogs and decided I needed to reach out to one down in the dumps blogger. So I talked with Sluggy which was the biggest joy of the day. 
I know I mentioned before that TheHub and I are pretty bad at getting some of the pool things done (not for the lack of trying, but we are obviously trying the wrong things). Sometimes you have to admit defeat. Ian, the pool guy, came and got it halfway done and is coming back Monday to make sure the water is safe for swimming. 

Friday: The test results were back for Son3 and he tested negative. Good enough!  Plus the rains were gone, the day was gorgeous and even cool. I think we only had a high of 81. Woo hoo!
I messed around the house doing some chores but did more planning than actual doing. 
In the afternoon I ran to Aldi where I actually found one of their Aisle of Stuff ad items I thought might work for the upper patio. I don't think I have ever found any of their specials before, except for candles. The only downside was that I could not load it to even pay for it by myself. About the time I got a call from TheHub who was on his way home earlier than normal. He told me to wait there and he would come help me. We got it balanced on a cart, paid for it, then loaded it into the car. After I get the patio set up like I hope it will be I will try and post a picture of it.
We both drove home separately and both ran a small errand before having a quick dinner at home, then running out to do a few things. It turned out to be a very nice day, even if I was a bit of a morning time slacker. Now on to a Memorial Day weekend.

Look for your joys, large or small. They are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Friday, May 27, 2022

Embarrassment X 5

I thought I would share a few moments from my life that were not exactly my best days. All of these are things that embarrassed me and all were pretty much self inflicted. Except for number 3 and that was totally out of my control.

1. My kindergarten Christmas program was a night time production complete with costumes, sets music and spotlights. The teacher cast each student and I was terribly disappointed to be a toy soldier. I really wanted to be an angel or a doll. Nope I got to be a stinking toy soldier. 
The night of the performance came and I was ready with age appropriate stage makeup and my costume. The soldiers were all in line waiting to go onstage when I had to go to the restroom. One of the helpers (not my teacher) would not let me go and told me to just hold it. She must not have been terribly familiar with 5 year old bladders because after waiting an eternity to go one stage, and doing the "I gotta go " dance, holding it was no longer an option. We have a photo taken while we were on stage. All of the little drummer boys looks so cute, and then there is me with a tell tale wet leg. To this day I do not ever want to be on a stage and I intensely dislike the song "The Little Drummer Boy"

2.When I was in the first grade all girls had to wear dresses or skirts to school every day. Mom made all of my clothes and I went to school each day in a cute dress. Most of them were fitted to the waist, buttoned up in the back and had a sash that was tied in a bow. Though I did not wear a crinoline underneath it, I still wore a petticoat that fluffed the skirt out a little. 
As a kid I was a little bit of a tomboy and at recess I preferred to play tag or hide and go seek rather than playing jump rope. At least once a week during the game I would be running from whoever was it, when they would grab the skirt of my dress to "catch" me. Riiiiiiiip! The skirt would come apart from the bodice
and I would have to leave the playground to go to the office for a repair. I have no idea how many times during that year I finished the rest of the day with my dress held together by safety pins. It was the beginning of my lifetime as a fashionista__Not!
3. In the 4th grade my best friend's little brother had a birthday party on the local Bozo show.  She was too old to be on the show and I was there because my mother made me go with her, so she would not be the only older kid there. Sadly when I was in the 4th grade I was as tall as I am today, and even though we were the same age I was about 6 inches taller that her. As if that were not humiliating enough, Bozo picked me to be Butchie Boy. I had to march around the circus tent waving a stupid flag. Until that moment I had no idea Bozo was a sadist!
My only consolation was that the show was aimed at a very young audience and none of my school friends would see me. Except the next day in class the guy who sat next to me leaned over and said "Hey Butchie". Wouldn't you know he would have to have 2 younger sisters who watched it every day and that particular day he saw the opening march. If I could have disappeared into a crack in the floor I would have.

4. I was a good student in high school but sometimes I just would not do assigned reading on time, particularly if it was a book I was not interested in. One of my English teachers had particular sets of chapters to be read each week. My theory was why read it in sections when I could just read the entire book the weekend before the test. I read fast even as a teen and I would much rather cram read, especially if I did not like it. This particular book "Lord Jim" did not inspire any advance reading, and one day in class when the book should have been read, we had a pop test on the assigned chapters. Crap! Not only had I not read all the chapters I had not even bought the book, so my chances of bluffing were severely limited, especially since there was only one question__Describe the incident at Bangkok.
Where to begin? I spun a lovely incident report about an orderly running  down a pier with a man in a wheelchair, whom  he then dumped into the sea. The man was fished out of the drink by Thai sailors and he paid them handsomely (I remember using that word specifically __like that would help) to track down the orderly and bring him to justice. Lots of shenanigans  including 2 floozies and a mime on stilts happened before they caught the orderly finally bringing him before the now soaking wet man in the wheelchair. (In my invented novel the chapter ended there and justice was found in the next chapter)
The next day the teacher declared she had something to share with the class, and read what I had written. She was filled with praise for it and I was grinning from ear to ear, possibly even beaming thinking I had pulled a rabbit out of a hat.
Then she looked at me with a dead pan face asking what really good story telling would get you on a pop test. She held up the paper so everyone could see the grade_A Big Fat Red Zero! Not only did I flunk the quiz about as badly as one can flunk anything, but I got a big lesson in humility.

5. I am not by nature a very graceful person. I always have a bruise on my shoulder where I have run into something, and have been known to stumble over absolutely nothing. But usually, I manage to correct myself and do not fall.
Several years ago we were walking through the church parking lot after the service was over. I had on a new pair of shoes, and the pavement was slightly damp. A wet surface, new shoes, and my usual graceful walk was a recipe for disaster. Somehow or another, mid step, I managed to start to fall and for about 10 feet I was doing the windmill arm thing while trying to regain my balance. It proved to be an effort in futility and I proceeded to fall face first, sliding another 5 or so feet before stopping. One of our friends was in front of me and saw the entire thing, probably because I almost slid into him. 
To this day he occasionally reminds me of it, and of course I laugh at his first reaction. 
He squatted down a bit, put his hands together chest high with his elbows out, swung both arms straight out to the side and yelled "Safe". 
And you might ask what TheHub and sons who were walking with me did. Nothing__ after they saw I was not hurt they were too busy laughing their heads off to help.
My mother should have named me Grace.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Hot Brown, Keto Style

TheHub had bought an over abundance of sliced turkey on one of his recreational Publix shopping trips. He loves turkey sandwiches, but he only eats them sometimes on the weekends, and that amount of turkey would ruin before he ate enough sandwiches to consume it all.  
When I was meal planning for the week I kept trying to come up with a plan to use it in a weeknight meal. No one can ever accuse me of linear thinking! I was watching a recap of the Preakness race, which made me think of the Kentucky Derby, which made me think of the one and only time we ever went to a horse race which was the Derby, which made me think of mint juleps, which made me think of our meals in Louisville, which made me think of  Derby foods, which made think of a Hot Brown. Which was a long and convoluted path to using deli turkey.

Turkey, shaved or sliced (amount is strictly up to your personal tastes )
Keto cheese sauce
Tomato slices (one per sandwich)
Bacon (one per sandwich)
Toasted bread (one slice per open faced sandwich)

Keto cheese sauce 
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cream
1 tablespoon water (more as needed)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the almond flour stirring to make a roux. Slowly stir in the cream and the water and cook over a low heat until the mixture is as smooth as an almond flour sauce can be (not like a regular flour sauce). Add the seasonings and the grated cheese bits at a timer , stirring constantly, until it is melted and smooth. I added a little more water because I wanted a looser sauce, but you do you and make it like you want. 

Meanwhile, warm the turkey (microwave is great for this) and put it on the toast. Follow with the cheese sauce, then the bacon slice, finishing with the tomato. 

And that is it for a really tasty, easy dinner. TheHub had two open face sandwiches with a side of coleslaw. Because I am doing keto I had just turkey, no bread, with the sauce, bacon and tomato, and a huge serving of slaw. It was delicious even without the toast.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Life and Plans

I plan a menu for the week, and then change my mind. Such is life!

What was planned:
1. veggie dinner, squash, okra, sliced tomatoes, cornbread
2. meatloaf, green beans, new potatoes (or none) coleslaw 
3. salad dinner 
4. grilled chicken, cucumber tomato onion salad, green beans, saffron rice
5. grilled hamburger patties  or steak, tossed salad
6. grilled tuna steaks, salad, dinner rolls, new potatoes
7. out to eat or takeout

What we really ate:
Monday: Day one and I went off plan.  TheHub did not want to have just a salad so a special shout out to Dunkin' Doughnuts for this inspiration.  
Grilled cheese with pesto and tomato, regular or keto bread, coleslaw

Tuesday: It was a do little day but I had thawed some frozen ground chuck.
Meatloaf, greek green beans, coleslaw

Wednesday: One of us wanted one thing and the other wanted some different. Variations on a theme of the same foods worked fine.
BLT's or a mixed greens salad with bacon, tomatoes and avocado 

Thursday: I stayed later volunteering than I meant to, then TheHub also came home late. 
Taziki’s takeout, Mediterranean salad (me) veggie gyro and pasta salad (TheHub)

Friday: Because we went out Thursday night for takeout, we decided to eat at home
Squash casserole, stewed okra tomatoes and onions

Saturday; Sometimes I don't handle frustration well (especially when it is avoidable) .
Instead of cooking I just threw something on the grill and called it done
Hamburger with all the fixings.

Sunday: Reorganizing the freezer equals a "found" meal.
Steak, mixed green salad

Potential meals for this week:
1. Veggie dinner with squash and other stuff (TBD)
2. Grilled tuna steaks, salad, new potatoes
3. Turkey sandwiches, possibly a Hot Brown with a side of coleslaw
4. Pork tacos, salsa, corn on the cob (or none) side salad
5.  Pizza in a bowl, mixed greens
6. Steak, potatoes (or none) tossed salad
7. Out to eat or take out

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Digging Dirt and Digging FaceTime

Wow, the 20th week of the year is over and I have not gotten a whole lot of my 2022 to do list done. I am easily distracted and right now things outside are distracting me badly. I guess it is because the weather has been stunning__hot, but beautiful, and the last two years were a bust for any meaningful yard work. We are paying for the past neglect in spades! (Both literally and figuratively)

Saturday: TheHub and I ran out and about during the morning, came home and grabbed a late lunch then headed back out for a while. We had several gardening chores to do but kept hearing thunder all around us, so we waited for a potential storm that never happened. Bummer! 
After waiting the non-existent storm out, we decided do a few things outside. Because I live in Alabama, that means going out and battling mosquitos, noseeums, and red ants while planting. Ick! The upside was that the container plants were thriving and we had our first harvest; a cherry tomato I ate in the yard, and the first yellow squash of the season. The raised bed plantings were doing very well, but they are still quite a way from being table ready 
One package of cucumber seed has done nothing, and the ground cherries are also not popping their heads through the soil. Maybe they will in time, but most likely not

Sunday: The day was another beautiful day and TheHub and I did a little running around before working in the yard. Actually he worked much harder than I did because he was the one digging the holes to plant hydrangeas.
Since the weather was so gorgeous, I decided to cook burgers on the grill, and they tasted just like summertime!
Pip Facetimed us. There is nothing I love more!

Monday: The weather was gorgeous again, but honestly we could have used some rain. The upside of a beautiful sunny day is that the clothes dry pretty quickly, even on a rack on the porch. I was still waiting for the dryer repair person to get back in touch with me when the part came in. I suppose I could have gone ahead and bought a new dryer, but I do not want one with a computer board and it seems they all come that way now. Mine is old and has manual settings which suits me fine. I am pretty basic and do not need any bells and whistles to dry my clothes.
I worked in the back yard a bit and things are looking better each day.
Pip did the FaceTime thing again and she and I decided that I would start writing a continuing story and would send her an installment every day.
That night what do you think I did? If you guessed I began to write a story about Pixies, you would be correct.

Tuesday: I sent Pip an early morning message (She is two hours behind me, so it was not early at all when I sent it) for her to read before school, saying after she got home I would send the first installment. I got a message back almost immediately asking me to send it anyway. She was froggy when I talked with her Monday, and evidently got worse as the night progressed. 
I sent it, she read it, and then we began a day of FaceTime visits. Son1 works from home and needed to work so I got to be her virtual babysitter. We drew the main characters of the story, Nina and LouLou (Pip got to pick the names) then she created a Pixie village out of cardboard boxed, stones and furniture she made from cardboard. She also made Pixie paper dolls to live in said village. I love a child's imagination and creativity.
We had so much interaction I had to take charging breaks for my phone 2 different times during the day. I got nothing done, but did the thing I love most!

Wednesday: Pip was still sick and at home, so we continued the story and FaceTime calls back and forth.
It was another beautiful day and I spent a ton of time on the porch, rocking and virtually visiting with my most favorite girl in the world. I am very thankful I have to flexibility to be there when she needs me, even if it is from afar.
In the early evening my favorite handyman came to look at several projects I have. I have hired .him when I need things done for over ten years. He does wonderful work, no matter what it is.

Thursday: This was my volunteer day at Independence Place. We concentrated on making lioness masks for their play. I am so lucky to be able to help them because it is one of my most favorite places with some of my favorite people. There is something so wonderful being around the participants and seeing them living their lives fully.
When I left I saw a message from Pip asking if we could include some magical creatures in the story I am writing for her. She had drawn a corgicorn she wanted incorporated into the story. That would be a corgi with a unicorn horn, just in case you were wondering. I guess I was mistaken for assuming  we already had magical creatures with the Pixies. But Thursday evening when I was writing the day's part of the story, LouLou had become the proud owner of a teeny, tiny pet corgicorn.

Friday: I stayed home all day because the repairman called to say he was coming with the part. Of course he did not come until late afternoon,  but that's ok because I have a working dryer. Woo hoo! 

Look for your joys no matter how small, because they are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tuesday 4

This week's 'Tuesday 4
is a hodgepodge of questions. 

1. Did you have a favorite cartoon program or character as a young person, or even today?
I loved Rocky and Bullwinkle and also The Bullwinkle show, though I did not ever see them as nighttime programs.  It was only when they were Saturday morning cartoons that I first watched them.  I guess sarcasm was my preferred language even as a kid. 
The best thing about Saturday morning was watching early cartoons while Mom and Dad slept (It was the only day of the week they were not up and at 'em). My sister and I would sit on the den floor, glued to the TV until they woke. I feel sorry for kids today who do not get the experience of that magical Saturday morning ritual.

2.  Can you whole heartedly give people a second chance or  do you find yourself still worried about trusting them?
I grew up with the best grudge holder in the entire world and I decided at a pretty young age that I did not want to live like that. It might take a bit more time than just hearing an apology, but after I mull it over a bit I am all about giving second chances.

3.  Are there things/activities you'd like to add to your life or do you feel have  enough to do, going on etc. to keep you satisfied?
I really would like to write more than I do, entertain more, laugh more, be around people I love more, travel more,
Like most Americans I should  get more exercise (anxiously waiting for the pool water to be ready for swimming) and I should keep house better than I do, but I find housework other than the necessities pretty boring.
But in all honesty I have a home, a husband who loves me in spite of how I am sometimes, good friends, great neighbors (mostly),  and I am pretty satisfied with my life.

4.  Can you live without your phone, TV, social media?  
I would love to be able to answer this with a huge yes, but I would be lying. I am not attached to my phone, in fact I often have no clue where in the house I left it. 
I am not a huge social media person  and only have a Facebook and Blogger account that I use. I do have an Instagram account that is only used when Son3 or Dil3 have a gig somewhere that is live streaming the performance through Instagram. It is the only reason I ever bothered to get one.
Facebook I use mainly to see pictures of my friends kids or grand kids. I don't read or care to read people's opinions about much of anything, so I don't. I guess the only things I ever read on FB are the articles Sean Dietrich writes, which are always shared by a couple of my friends.
Blogger? Well, I would not be writing this right now if not for the blogging social outlet. I have "met" some wonderful people through this medium and enjoy sharing bits and pieces of others lives through it, Occasionally though I get a little TMI!
TV?  Honestly TheHub and I watch it nearly every night. It is not used at all during the day, but after we eat we like to sit in the den and watch some episodic show. We just watched the final episode of Ozark, and will have to find another show to amuse ourselves. Any suggestions?

My favorite part of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show was always  Fractured Fairy Tales

Come on and play along!

Monday, May 16, 2022

It Was A Week Of Grand Galas, Not!

Well, summertime is here in all its hot, sunny glory. We have been working in the yard a lot lately and have not been really hungry in the evenings. Instead we are mostly thirsty and tired. 
I kind of liked having no plan this past week. I just looked through the freezer, found what I could make for dinner quickly and let it be what it was.  

What was planned for last week:
1. Tossed salad
2. No idea 
3. No idea
4. No idea
5. No idea
6. No idea
7. Take out or eat out

This is what really happened:
Monday: TheHub was not going to be home for dinner and there was no way I was cooking anything.
Tossed salad

Tuesday: I found a pack of frozen cooked cubed chicken in the refrigerator freezer and had a bell pepper that HAD to be used immediately.
Chicken cheesesteak, tossed salad, rolls or none

Wednesday: I found a bag of cooked, sliced pork tenderloin leftovers in the refrigerator freezer. Worked for me!
Pork tenderloin slices, green beans, tomato cucumber onion salad

Thursday: A bag of spaghetti sauce with cooked spaghetti noodles was lurking in the refrigerator freezer. It was just enough for one which worked well because I was not really hungry.
Spaghetti, salad (TheHub) tossed salad (me)

Friday: Date night!
The Electric, wedge for me, flatbreads for TheHub

Saturday: We both worked in the yard, were hot, sticky, itchy (mosquitos love me) and neither of us felt like cooking so instead we grabbed a rotisserie chicken from Publix.
Rotisserie chicken, coleslaw

Sunday: It was another hot sunny day working in the yard. Dinner was either going to be something thrown on the grill or blown off entirely.
Hamburger with all the fixings, (thank you Aldi for carrying keto buns), sautéed mushrooms

This is what may or may not happen:
1. veggie dinner, squash, okra, sliced tomatoes, cornbread
2. meatloaf, green beans, new potatoes (or none) coleslaw 
3. salad dinner 
4. grilled chicken, cucumber tomato onion salad, green beans, saffron rice
5. grilled hamburger patties  or steak, tossed salad
6. grilled tuna steaks, salad, dinner rolls, new potatoes
7. out to eat or takeout

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

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Gorgeous Every Day

Once again the 19th week  of the year flew by, but this week it was filled only with sunshine, blue skies, and fluffy while clouds. Though we are experiencing summer, the temperature is still very bearable. I call it perfect weather that I plan on enjoying as long as it lasts!

Saturday: TheHub and I had a smaller than usual Saturday errand list, so we ate breakfast and headed out. After we got home I had to do some research and he had to do some work out of our home office. The day was beautiful and we enjoyed it. 

Sunday: It was Mother's Day here in the States and I woke to a potted azalea sitting on the breakfast table. TheHub wakes much earlier than I do, so I immediately knew he had been to Publix while I was still sleeping. The one closest to our house has a beautiful plant and flower department, which is where he buys all flowers I receive. It is not only his recreational shopping joint, but also his personal gift shop.
We watched Alabama's softball game on tv then headed outside for the annual pool opening.
Son2 came and helped, making it a much easier job (Greatest Mother's Day present!) After we got it uncovered and skimmed we started getting the upper patio summer ready. Again it was one of the greatest presents I could have gotten.

Monday: The day was gorgeous again and I started hanging out laundry on the rack because my appliance repair man has still been a no show.  
I was able to work in the back yard and got quite a few things planted and pots moved around so they were a little more aesthetically pleasing. I actually lost track of time while I was outside when I got a wonderful phone call from Sluggy! It was the hilight of my day!
Unfortunately while I was talking to her I kept feeling something biting me. It was only after I hung up that I realized I had disturbed a fire ant bed and had several crawling up the back of my shirt stinging me.I hate those things! I wonder why someone has not become an anteater wrangler and charge folks to have his/her critters come and feast .

Tuesday: My Beloved Sister and I went to Independence Place. It is the first time she had ever been, and the participants were as welcoming to her as they always are to me. Going there and helping is the best part of my week. 
Tuesday while we worked on the construction for the play, we got the zebra painted and began to make the birds. It looks like I am going to be going there nearly every Tuesday this summer and hopefully we can have all the stage sets and costumes done by then.
Son2 is extremely creative and tells everyone around that he gets his creativity from his father (the accountant).
Have I ever mentioned how sarcastic all three of my sons are?

Wednesday: This was another drop dead gorgeous day. Other than hanging out clothes to dry and a few routine chores, I mostly enjoyed rocking and reading on the back porch. 

Thursday: We had another gorgeous day. I had a good time outside digging in the dirt. When I was looking at the yellow squash I counted 11 in various stages of growth. The tomatoes were looking pretty healthy and the green bean vines were growing like crazy. Everything else was beginning to grow. ( I am also still planting) 

Friday: The repair guy finally called and came out to do a little dryer repair. The good thing about having an old dryer is that it has served us well for years. The bad thing__parts are not as available as ones for newer models. The dryer is fixable, but the part has to be ordered and most likely will not be in until Wednesday. It is mostly not a big deal because the clothes rack I have will hold about a load and a half, but I really do need to wash my sheets, coverlet and mattress pad. I probably just need to bite the bullet and go to the laundromat.
It was date night and TheHub and I went to the Electric. I think it is becoming  our go-to spot for a casual dinner..  After we ate we dropped by Home Depot to gather a few needed supplies for our Saturday gardening needs. It was a joy to miss the Saturday morning crowds there!

Have a great week and look for your joys, not matter how small. They are always out there!

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Tuesday 4

This week  Annie's Tuesday 4 questions are about our favorite book.

1. What book or novel did you like the most or which do you wish to discuss?
Hands down, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

2. If you were making a movie of your favorite book who would you cast in the parts? 
I have mentally been casting this for a movie since I first read it either inn 1978 or 1979. Now the people I thought would be great as Ignatius are either departed or too old for the role. This is my list for casting in 2022
Josh Gad, Ignatius J Riley
Keith Powers,  Burma Jones
Sissy Spacek, Irene Riley
John Hawkes, Officer Mancuso
Mary Kay Place, Miss Trixie
Willa Holland, Myrna Minkoff

3. Did the author of your favorite book/story write anything else? Have you read them?
The book was published after his death.

4. If you had to create a playlist of music for the book, which songs would you choose?
The book is set in New Orleans in 1963, so_____
Big Chief, Professor Longhair(Opening scene as you pan down the street to spot a slovenly man with potato chip crumbs in his bushy mustache wearing a flannel shirt, overly large tweed trousers, a muffler and a green hunting cap standing beneath the clock at D.H. Holmes department store)
Basin Street Blues, Duke Ellington  (heard in the Night of Joy strip club)
Tipatina, Professor Longhair
All Shook Up (Levy Pants debacle)
Go to the Mardi Gras, Professor Longhair 
Fingertips, Stevie Wonder (During the most chaotic scene on the book)
In Dreams, Roy Orbison 
Blowin in the Wind, Peter Paul and Mary (Myrna)
Cast Your Fate to the Winds, Vince Guaraldi (This is what I would have playing at the very end scene and over the credits)

Secretly my chosen career would be finding music to go with films

Come on and play along!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Plans, Meh!

I don't know why I even bothered to plan meals for the past week since the only thing we ate that was on the plan was the leftover frozen spaghetti sauce meal. We had a week of comings and goings and either ate out or did the take out thing 5 times. It was ridiculous and I should be ashamed, but I am not. It was just the way the week went and my plans went with it.

What we were supposed to eat last week:
1.Veggie meal (TBD based on what the produce stand has)
2. Mexican street corn salad, guacamole and tortilla chips
3. Grilled burgers and fixings, coleslaw
4. Grilled chicken, caulitato salad, sliced tomatoes
5. Philly chicken cheese"steak" sandwiches, coleslaw
6. Out to eat
7. Leftover spaghetti sauce (frozen last Monday) over bucatini, mixed greens

What we really and truly ate:
Monday: Out to eat, fish sandwich or mushroom "burger"
Tuesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce, dinner rolls, mixed greens (leftovers from the freezer)
Wednesday: Veggie dinner (Picked up from Bluff Park Diner)
Thursday: Taco truck take out , nachos
Friday: Out to eat at The Electric, wedge salad
Saturday: Hamburger patty, tossed salad ( Wow I actually cooked, kind of)
Sunday: Captain D's take out grilled fish, green beans, coleslaw

What I am planning for this week?
1. TheHub has a dinner meeting and it will just be me, tossed salad
Tuesday- Sunday I plan on spending a lot of time working in the yard, so I am making no plans. Whatever happens, happens. I have a well stocked freezer and a lot of fresh veggies so dinners will be whatever I remember to thaw and can throw together quickly.
2. No idea 
3. No idea
4. No idea
5. No idea
6. No idea
7. Take out

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

Now outdoors is calling to me and I am off to plant stuff!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Sorry 'Bout That

 If you have noticed me not commenting on blogs I normally comment on, I am not sure what is going on with Blogger and me. My comments
appear about 50 percent of the time, the rest get lost somewhere between here and there. 

Anyhow, I am reading all of them and posting what should be a comment as regularly as is my usual commenting, but some seemingly turn to vapor.


Saturday, May 7, 2022

Unofficial Summertime Joys

I live in the south and our summer does not pay any attention at all to the solstice so summer begins much earlier than the official summer. It lasts a lot longer too!
This year summer arrived on Saturday which coincided with the first day of the eighteenth week of the year. 
The 18th week of the year is now in the books, and with it took all sweaters, hoodies, and socks. Now it is seriously shorts and flip flops weather, at least for around the house  wearing weather.

 Saturday: I woke to a message that one of our friends had departed this realm last night. The Divine Ms. E will be greatly missed.
TheHub and I went to the annual plant sale at Aldridge Gardens. They always have such gorgeous plants in a spectacular setting. We pickup up some plants (too many) and while I was there I ran into an old high school friend I had not seen since I was 17. It was nice catching up with him.
After a quick stop at the grocery store, TheHub and I ran by Jacks to pick up lunch, then came home. I had some research I had to do while he messed with the various devices we have for music delivery.
It was supposed to rain and did threaten to storm a time or two but nothing came of it, so we were able to grill our dinner, and have some porch sitting time.  Nice!

Sunday: TheHub and I returned to Sunday school for the first time in two years. It was wonderful to be back live and in person.
After church we hustled home to get ready for the rest of the day. We have season tickets to our local traveling Broadway production and went to the matinee showing of "An Officer and A Gentleman"  I don't have to ever see it again, but it was enjoyable. I personally would not call it a musical as much as it was a play with music, specifically 80's hits that kind of, sort of "fit" the story line.
Son2 and DIL2 also have tickets at the same time and agreed to have dinner with us at a local place, The Purple Onion.
After dinner we came home to do some rockin' out. .I was in the rocking chair on the porch so that counts, right?

Monday: My Beloved Sister, my cousin S and her husband P went to Decatur to meet my Uncle Bob, his son R, another cousin S, and her husband D. We met at Bob Gibson's BBQ  which was a great and delicious place to eat, plus it is on the list of 100 places you must eat in Alabama. Another one crossed off the list!
We had a great time eating, laughing and staying way too long before heading back to Birmingham. Even the car ride was fun sharing funny tales that happened to us both long ago and recent funny events.
My sister and I had to do a little banking when we got back to town, and of course after a road trip and banking the only thing left to complete the trip is chocolate, right?
We came into my house to eat our brownie and as MBS was leaving to go home my neighbor from across the street came out to tell us about a police chase that literally ended in my driveway. It was the first neighborhood excitement since over 25 years ago when a couple of hot air balloons missed the golf course below us and landed in the street, and I was not at home to see it!
 (A neighbor took this photo but it was after 2 police cars,  EMT and fire truck left)

Because I had taken a road trip and got home about the same time TheHub did we decided to just grab something for dinner. I was not hungry because of the afore mentioned chocolate though I blamed it on the huge salad at lunch.
We decided to go to a fast food place and actually eat inside. They offer mushroom burgers, so I ate the mushroom and grilled onions leaving the bun. After leaving there TheHub decided he wanted some ice cream and we drove to a local shop to get some. Yes I will confess the Graham Central Station screamed at me and I did get a scoop in a cup, while TheHub got his favorite, Peanut Butter Sundae.
It was dark when we returned to the house, and as I was waddling walking to the door I saw the first lightning bug ( a firefly to those not from the south) of the season.

Tuesday: There was nothing remotely exciting about the day but it was a lovely day to hang a load of clothes to dry since the repairman has not been here to look at the dryer yet. It was also possibly a good day to sit on the deck and read!

Wednesday: This was my most blessed day of the week. I was able to volunteer at Independence Place and see some of my favorite people! 
Son2 is prepping for a play they will perform in February. It might seem like a long time out for most of you, but if he can have all the staging, sets, and costumes made far in advance, he can concentrate time with the participants learning their lines, songs, and stage placement. 
Wednesday we painted a zebra, three gazelles, and a cheetah, as well as making lions manes for masks. We got all of the hardscape for the stage cut out to be painted, and the backdrop at least planned. His goal is to have it all finished by the end of the summer, so they will have from September- January to work on the dialogue, while continuing to do their regular daily routines.
TheHub got home for work as I was pulling in from volunteering. Did I cook? Nope we ran b y a nearby meat and three to grab our veggie dinner.

Thursday: I stayed home all day waiting for the dryer repairman. He was a no show and I would like to say that I got all kinds of things done. Instead I worked the great migration where summer duds leave their winter storage, and winter clothes return upstairs to rest until fall. 
We are having summer weather so it was not done one day too soon. Things are put away clean, nice, and tidy, but most of my summer clothes are 100% cotton, which means they need to be ironed. I am so glad I learned to hang them in the closet wrinkled, then iron on demand or I would have spent the entire day standing in the laundry room.
It was Cinco de Mayo and we intended to go pick up something from Taco Bell. (And yes, we knew it was a lame "celebration") When we got to the speaker to order (after about a 20 minute wait) we were told their system was down and they could take no more orders. Would have been nice to know that before the wait.
So instead of Taco Bell, we drove about a couple of blocks to a food truck we had never been to before. We waited for about 5 minutes, then had a bag of deliciousness to bring home. I am so glad Taco Bell was a bust!

Friday: Nothing much happened during the day except more laundry to hang while waiting for the dryer repairman. I did start a new book that took a bit for me to get interested in but by the time I was about halfway through, I decided I really did like it.
TheHub came home from work and we went to our new neighborhood joint for dinner. As much as I hate to admit it one of my biggest joys for the week was either eating out or doing take out 5 times during the week. The bonus was I only had to run the dishwasher one time!

Whatever you do, look for the joys you find this week. They are always out there, no matter how small.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, May 2, 2022

Plans? What Plans?

I am very glad I am not one of those who takes myself or my plans too seriously. If I were so inclined, I am pretty sure I would always be teed off. My main goal with meal planning is to use what I have on hand and minimize food waste. As long as that is happening I am fine with the end results. After all, we never go hungry unless it is by choice. Somedays meals are better than others, but even the ho hum ones are ok.

Other than occasionally burning something to a crisp, I can only think of a couple of meals I have ever made that could not be salvaged. To save you all from an experiment gone horribly wrong, don't ever try to glaze meatballs with a honey, instant coffee, mustard sauce. If it sounds horrid to you, that is because it was, and went straight to the garbage can
Want to share details of your worst cooking disaster?

Obviously I have never planned anything like that since we were young marrieds! Maybe that is why we have been married so long?

What I had planned:
 Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad
 Veggie dinner (squash, okra, air fried green tomatoes, coleslaw)
 Chicken divan, rice, tomato onion cucumber salad
 Grilled tuna, salad, rice or not (jury is still out)
 Eat out or take out
 Garlic butter chicken tenders, tossed salad,
 Leftovers or takeout, salad or coleslaw

What we really ate:
Monday: I had thawed the ground chuck and Italian sausage last week and browned it, so it had to be eaten
Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad, dinner rolls

Tuesday: Trying to use up things from the refrigerator freezer
Chicken divan, sliced tomatoes, ( no rice because I forgot about it)

Wednesday: Absolute summer food deliciousness
Squash casserole, air fried okra and green tomatoes

Thursday: Forgot it was the first round of the NFL Draft. TheHub wanted a ball game meal. Easy!
Sloppy Joes, cuke tomato onion salad, chips

Friday: Date nights have made a comeback!
Dinner at The Electric, delicious flatbreads, salad

Saturday: The rains held off and it was the perfect night for cooking outside.
Grilled tuna steaks, salad, saffron rice

Sunday: Had the opportunity to have dinner with DIL2 and Son2.
Dinner at The Purple Onion, assorted stuff

Possibilities for this week
1.Veggie meal (TBD based on what the produce stand has)
2. Mexican street corn salad, guacamole and tortilla chips
3. Grilled burgers and fixings, coleslaw
4. Grilled chicken, caulitato salad, sliced tomatoes
5. Philly chicken cheese"steak" sandwiches, coleslaw
6. Out to eat
7. Leftover spaghetti sauce (frozen last Monday) over bucatini, mixed greens

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