Saturday, July 30, 2022

Joys and Prepping for More Joys

We have gotten into a rut around here and, at the same time, things at TheHub's office have really amped up. We anticipate a few weeks of chaos for him, while he works long(er) hours and the weekends.  I will amuse myself and try to make things pleasant for him here. (This means no nagging on my part) As a way of making it though the rough weeks we decided to go ahead and make plans for some getaways once the mad rush is over. Fingers crossed some of them work out!

Saturday: TheHub and I woke early and headed out of an exploration mission. We drove to Mentone, about 2 hours NE of us to check it out for a future weekend visit. While we were there we ate at The Wildflower Cafe, which the owners term a Cracker Barrel for hippies. We had a delicious lunch (tomato pie and peanut butter pie) then drove around looking at the sights around the small artsy town. 
Once we had seen about everything to see there we headed to Pisgah (another extremely small town) and Gorhams Bluff. It is a beautiful B&B on a bluff high above the Tennessee river. Right now our plans are to take a couple of days r&r sometime midweek in December, and do nothing but read and enjoy the views. 
Next up on our adventure was the small town of Ider. We went, we saw, and decided we do not really need to go back there unless it to stop at the Amish market there.
On our way back home we met Son2 and DIL2 for an early dinner, then came home and started checking our calendars for times we can revisit Mentone (in the fall) and Gorhams Bluff.

Sunday: Instead of watching our church service online, I watched my dear friend's Mom's funeral. It was held at our church Saturday, but was available to watch afterward. Because covid is rampant here right now, she and her siblings agreed they only wanted family there. It was a lovely service celebrating her life.
We had a pretty normal Sunday for the rest of the day and ended it cooking a steak which we split, and having an early dinner before we settled in to watch a movie. We really did enjoy The Negotiator 

Monday: It was actually kind of a boring slow day, and I spent a large part of it reading. Since I love to read it was not a day I felt was wasted. At about 11 pm I decided it was time to paint. I had done a rough sketch of a picture I thought might be a good addition to the foyer for Halloween, and managed to get the background like I wanted it as well as about half of the central character done.

Tuesday: This was another day that I did not get major things done, but I did manage to hit Publix for some last day cherry picking. What I like best about going to Publix mid day on Tuesdays  is that I can swim, rinse off, pull my wet hair back, and go with zero makeup and a sundress. Most places I at least gussie up a little bit, but knowing the stores where I shop and their off hours helps tremendously when I don't really want to get "fixed".

Wednesday: I learned why it is critical to wear a swimsuit cover-up even though the pool is in my own backyard. I have suits I swim laps in that are not like anything I would wear in public. I was planning on doing some watering before I swam and did have on a cove-up. I had just begun soaking the plants when the lower gate opened. In walked the pool guy, who comes on Thursdays.  He had some unexpected plans for Friday and was trying to get everything done early. I did not mind him being a day early, but wish I had a heads up. I normally wait until he gets through before I go out to swim. I had a nice long swim then a visit with my sister.
TheHub called right as my sister was leaving and told me not to bother cooking. He wanted to go out to eat as a mid week break. I am never going to argue about not cooking.

Thursday: I spent most of the gorgeous, perfect for a long swim day waiting for the guy who cuts the lawn to come. Since he usually comes mid morning it is no big deal to wait, however, Thursday he did not show up until 3:45.  All I ask is a heads up because I could have done my laps 7 or 8 times before he got here. There was a huge upside to the day. I talked with Sluggy and that is a bright spot to any day.

Friday: This was a red letter day. I have finally worked up to swimming almost 1/2 a mile when I do laps. It might not sound like a lot but it is roughly 8 full laps in an Olympic pool. My goal is to be swimming a mile by the end of the week. It may or may not happen but it is my goal. If you decide to swim laps I strongly encourage you to have a portable lap counter as well as waterproof headphones. It makes the time pass faster, plus you can break out dancing in the pool.
Friday night Son2 and DIL2 were on this side of town and stopped by with their dinner to eat and talk to us. We love that they feel free to come here any time they want to.

Have a great week and look for your joys. Large or small they are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Day or Night

Once again Anne @Tuesday 4 has posed some questions. This week they are about daylight and nighttime. Join in and let us know how you handle darkness and light.

Are you afraid of the dark? As a kid I was terrified of the dark, had night terrors and would wake screaming at the top of my lungs. Luckily for my parents 
it only lasted a few months.(Dad in particular because he was the parent in charge when I screamed. Mom could sleep through a freight train rumbling through the house.) 
I left my nighttime fears behind as I got older and being in the dark does not bother me, unless it is pitch black. 
I went caving once and the lamps were turned off so we could see what absolute dark was. I was unnerved not because of the blackness, but because I am extremely claustrophobic and felt like the air was closing in on me.

Is night or day your favorite time? I am conflicted about answering this. I love the daylight, but creatively I come alive late at night. For instance I felt like painting today, prepped a canvas and did not start painting until about 11. It is currently 1:42 a.m. and I am sitting at the table with a halfway finished painting. I will put it aside until tomorrow night and finish it then.

 Do you have night lights in your home? We have a nightlight in our upstairs hall but we only turn it on if we have guests. We do leave one light in the den on all night. There is no real reason we do it now, but it started when the kids were young. We have always lived in a two story house with our bedroom on the main level. We left the light on in case they came downstairs in the middle of the night. I guess now it is just a habit. I might turn it off as I go to bed tonight. I also leave a light over the kitchen sink on 24/7. Again I am not sure why, but it is just something we have always done no matter what house we lived in. Come to think of it, my parents did the same thing so I guess it is just echoing what I grew up doing.

 How low do you set your air conditioning?  I keep the a/c set on 76 and never adjust it, but TheHub will occasionally turn it down. If he does, when I go to bed at night I will bump it back up. 

Do you keep any outdoor or indoor lights on all night? We typically turn our front outdoor lights off at about 10 unless we have guests. We have Edison lights on the back porch and the upper backyard patio that are on timers. They come on at dusk and go off around midnight.

Come on and play along!

Monday, July 25, 2022

It's Hot And I Don't Want To Be In The Kitchen

Weeks come, weeks go and I am fickle. Most of the time what I think I will want to eat/bake/cook on Monday when I chart my food course for the week, are at odds with how the day went or what I feel like doing when dinnertime actually rolls around. This week we did not really stay on our plan much at all. So what's new?

What was meant to be prepared:
1. Cobb salad, crackers
2 Turkey burger cheeseburger salad
3. Veggie meal (TBD)
4. Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad
5. Bbq chicken, basque peppers, caulitato salad
6. Takeout or out to eat
7. Sloppy Joe's, roasted radishes, coleslaw

What my lazy self actually made:
Monday: I like when TheHub actually requests a meal because it means I don't have to think at all.
Spaghetti bolognese,  tossed salad

Tuesday: It was just too hot to cook
 Cobb salad

Wednesday: TheHub had a meeting and did not know if he would be home for dinner or eating there. I was not cooking for a maybe meal. I just pulled what I had pre-made for dinner and called it enough for me. TheHub was on his own.
Caulitato salad

Thursday: It was veggie night at the O.K. Corral  
Squash casserole, okra, corn on the cob

Friday: Neither of us felt like cooking, but one of us (me) did not want to get gussied up tp go out to dinner. Take-out was the compromise.
Chicken, green beans, coleslaw, biscuit (or none) takeout from Jacks

Saturday: We took a little day trip so other than morning coffee, everything we consumed was bought at a restaurant. I don't usually eat a true meal at lunch and by the time we had lunch and dinner I was stuffed. 
Lunch was tomato pie (each of us) and a shared slice of peanut butter pie
Dinner was chicken and Brussels sprouts (me) or hamburger and pasta salad (TheHub)

Sunday: Publix had their Porterhouse steaks on sale at what used to be the regular price for steaks.(Ugh!) Since TheHub had been craving steak for a couple of weeks I bought them. The store had packaged them in sets of two for the sale.(intentionally to make you buy more???) That was fine with us. For a couple of years we have been splitting a steak because we do not eat meat in the same portions we did at one time, so one was thrown on the grill and the other in the freezer.
Grilled steak, tossed salad, dinner roll, chocolate  and strawberry crepes (take out from the Saturday lunch restaurant)

I asked TheHub if he wanted anything in particular for dinners, like I do each week. Most of the time I get either "nothing special", or a shrug and a sound that I translate as "I don't know". This week he was really chatty and four days of the plan are his requests. 

What me and my big mouth got myself into:
1. Lasagna in a bowl, tossed salad
2. Cobb salad
3. Sloppy Joe's, green beans.
4. Pasta salad, or Impasta salad (keto version)
5. Browned buttered noodles or keto noodles tossed with parmesan cheese, broccoli, tossed salad
6. Tomato pie, tossed salad
7. Take out or out to eat

And what is needed for this week. Not much!
Tomatoes, mixed greens, romaine, scallions, zucchini or spaghetti squash. palmiri noodles, feta cheese (for Greek vinaigrette ) 

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

Sunday, July 24, 2022

That's a Wrap

TheHub and I left the house early yesterday morning for a day trip and I completely forgot to post this week's joys.  Well, week 29 is in the books !

Saturday: TheHub and I ran our usual errands and gad abouting before coming home. TheHub worked in the yard and I did laundry. It was insanely hot, so tell me which of us is the smarter, the one worrying about weeding or the one folding clothes in the a/c. That evening we ate a salad, turned on the TV and watched the movie Stillwater. 

Sunday: Son2 and DIL2 were going to look at a house. They have decided theirs is a little smaller than they want as a forever home. They called and asked if we would like to see it, and hey, it was a small adventure since they live in a different part of town. After seeing the house we went out to eat with them and had lots of conversations while they listed the pros and cons. No idea if this is the right house for them, but I guess time will tell.

Monday: I had several things I wanted to make for the week. I am trying to prep on Mondays, cook anything I would be cooking in the oven all in the same day. It is more of a heat related reason than a time saving one, though I will admit it does save a little time the rest of the week.
Other than cooking and swimming it was a pretty uneventful day, but what a joy it is on a hot hot day to be able to swim.

Tuesday: My Beloved Sister came over and did her laps while I finished up a project I had been working on. She increased the amount of swimming by another 15 laps, so fo course later in the day when I swam I had to do the same. I suppose one of my greatest joys for the day was not allowing her to "beat" me. Yes we love each other dearly but we are a tad competitive when it comes to swimming.

Wednesday: I was lucky enough to get to volunteer at Independence Place. Just being there fills my entire being with joy. This time I worked on a "to scale" size elephant mask complete with a movable trunk. I was able to meet a new participant who had not been there on the previous days I have volunteered, and she is adorable to be around.

Thursday: I do not like to be in the pool when people who are doing work for us are around, so I waited for the pool guy to finish before swimming. He is usually there while I am having my morning coffee and it is not a big deal to wait. I waited, and waited, and waited some more. He finally came about 4:30 right before a storm hit. No big deal, I planned to swim after the rain had passed. Wrong!!!
TheHub pulled into the driveway in the middle of the deluge, right after neighborhood trees had fallen and the power had disappeared.
DIL2 was working near here and rather than trying to drive all the way to their house in the downpour she came here to ride it out. I do have a gas cooktop so I was able to make us dinner which we ate with  wonderful conversation while waiting for the storm to blow itself out. 
After things calmed, DIL2 drove home and we moved to the screened porch, where it was after storm cool.  In fact it cooled enough that we were able to sleep comfortably. 
A silly joy was finding our old portable DVD player that still held enough of a charge from our train trip in the fall to watch "The Help".
Our main joy was just being slightly inconvenienced. 

Friday: We woke and the power was restored pretty quickly. Hooray, that was a major joy. When I talked with Son1 Friday morning he had already heard about our stormy night and sent me a link to a portable, rechargeable power station. Normally I would mull over the purchase, but Amazon had a 90 dollar coupon attached, and with little thought I bought it. 
TheHub and I have been planning some extended car trips once he retires (I honestly don't think he ever will) and will use the power pack when traveling (maybe, and if not. we will have it the next time we have a power failure)
TheHub and I did a little running around, picked up dinner to bring home and settled in to watch the Braves win.

Look for your joys. They are always there, even if you have to search for them.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Tuesday, July 19, 2022


Ann at Tuesday4 has brought us questions called Inquiring Minds Wanna Know.
Prepare to be astonished__not!

1. What gets your blood to boiling?  
Being ignored or patronized by sales people who assume being a female means I am insignificant and don't know what I want.
Once I was buying a car. It was my car, not TheHubs so there was no reason for him to take a day off work to go car shopping with me. I had found what I wanted and the great negotiation began. I had a price I would pay and was not going to go a penny over it. What the salesman did not know was that I had the cash in my purse for a cash sale. We could not agree on a price when he said "Look little lady why don't I call your husband and talk to him. I told him I was not a little lady, the car was for me, and Hell would freeze over before I bought it from him.  Then I drove straight to another dealer in a different part of town, negotiated the trade-in and price of the car, paid and drove home in it. The only thing I regret is not driving up to the original dealership and waving at that asshat through the window. 

2.What does a really good day look like for you? 
If I wake up and have a couple of interrupted cups of coffee, it is a really good day
What makes you say, "That was a great day"?
I have pretty simple wants and needs so really great days can be anything from TheHub and I hanging around the house for the weekend to being in New York at a jazz club or play.

3. Are you continuing to grow mentally, spiritually, talent wise or are you  just marking time?
I try to grow and learn new things daily, but some days I seem to just mark time. Spiritual growth for me is just a byproduct of getting older. Talent wise? I am learning a different instrument (slowly but I am learning) and I try to draw several times a week. I am neither a talented nor talentless person, just someone who is trying.

4. Have you changed your hair style since high school?  Yep, not only style, but my hair has been every color that grows naturally on humans and has even briefly has been both purple, and pink. I actually would like to try blue hair some day, for a couple of days.
I have had hairstyles from long (mid back) straight parted down the middle hair, to a 2 inch pixie, and just about every style in between.  Currently I have what I call my covid hair.  It got longer during covid so I twisted it up and clipped it with a banana clip. It is easy to do and I kept doing it. It's cool, doesn't get in my face and honestly don't really care what it looks like. 
Life is too short to look the same all the time anyway.

So join in and let me know something about you I don't already know.
Come on and jump in! The water is fine!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Staying On Plan And A Buck Fifty Buys Coffee At McDonalds

When the week was over and I looked at what we ate compared to what we actually ate I was surprised to find I was not too far off plan. Sure there some minor alterations, but other than that I stayed fairly close to my original plan. And just what did I win for that? Yep, nothing!

What I originally planned:
Philly cheesesteak casserole, coleslaw
Italian sausage with peppers, onions ,squash, green beans and tomatoes
Raw veggies and cheese or dip
Grilled chicken, basque peppers, lettuce wedge
Turkey cheeseburger salad
Fettuccine Alfredo, green beans, salad
Out to eat or takeout 

What we really and truly ate;
Monday: I could have sworn I had Italian Sausage in the freezer, but I did not. Punt time.
Conecuh sausage, green bean, squash, pepper, and onion sauté, coleslaw

Tuesday: I knew TheHub had a dinner meeting and had made my dinner when I was prepping things Monday morning. All I had to do was open the refrigerator, pull it out, grab a fork and eat. 
Broccoli salad

Wednesday: I was still struggling to use peppers
Philly cheesesteak casserole, green beans, tomato basil and onion salad

Thursday: We are trying to have a couple of meatless meals each week. This was one of those
Fettuccine Alfredo, green beans, tossed salad (palmini linguini to keep it keto)

Friday: I did not feel like cooking and did not want to get dressed up to go out to dinner
Chicken Salad, tomato cucumber and onion salad (It also came with pimento cheese but I left it for TheHub's Saturday lunch) or The Friday special takeout form Tazikis

Saturday: It was hot, too hot to cook
Cobb salad, crackers or keto cornbread

Sunday: We met Son2 and DIL2 for a late lunch so neither of us were hungry for dinner
Menu plan: Leftover flatbreads or cottage cheese with a peach

What I plan going into this week:
1. Cobb salad, crackers
2 Turkey burger cheeseburger salad
3. Veggie meal (TBD)
4. Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad
5. Bbq chicken, basque peppers, caulitato salad
6. Takeout or out to eat
7. Sloppy Joe's, roasted radishes, coleslaw

As usual these are suggestions that sound good on Sunday night, but may sound awful the day I actually make the meal. Changes are always possible verging on probable.

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

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Small Joys For The Week

Another week in 2022 is complete. Does it seem to everyone else that this year is flying by or is it just me? Week 28 just flew by, in a flash. I know that there are still the same 24 hours in each and every day, but how do they pass so quickly? And I remember when waiting a weekend seemed to take forever. Now  it seems like I go to bed Monday night, and when I finally open my eyes it is Friday.  And so it goes, over and over.

Saturday: The hub was working at the office so I did our usual running around by myself.  OK official secret just between us, I may or may not have stopped at Dunkin Doughnuts for one of those brown sugar frothed iced coffees. I am not a big fan of iced coffee, but I will admit I did drink it all while I nibbled on a chocolate glazed doughnut. Joy? Well, eating tasty things is joyful. I came home and did a bit (very little bit) of cleaning before diving into a book. Once the rains/storms hit and we lost our cable, phone and internet, I took it as a message from the universe to read even more.

Sunday: Spectrum was still out and the skies were gray and threatening rain. TheHub went to the office for what was supposed to be a quick meeting that turned into about 5 hours of work. While he was gone I plopped down on the couch and read. When he got home we drove to The Electric and grabbed a late lunch before coming home for reading/naps/reading. 

Monday: The weather had cleared and I should have gone swimming but I did not. I'm not even sure why I didn't.  I talked with Sluggy (extreme joy) and planned on going for a swim immediately after, but I didn't. Instead I started messing around in the kitchen and did some advance cooking and prep. It makes the weekly meals easier, but I hate making that big of a kitchen mess so late in the day.

Tuesday: It was the perfect day to get caught up on the laundry, swim and have until about 9 pm to myself. TheHub had a dinner meeting and I had a salad I made Monday in the fridge waiting for my dinner. I also managed to score a few Amazon Prime Day deals. I had a couple of things I wanted and they were part of the lightning deals, so I snagged them.

Wednesday: My Beloved Sister came over and we swam laps. We swam as quickly as we could because thunderstorms were predicted. The storms never came__blast! We could have stayed in the pool longer!
My Amazon prime purchases arrived, woo hoo! Nothing like scoring a swimsuit inexpensively, and since I try to swim often, another will help. I like to have one on, one drying (takes a while__it's a humidity thing), and one completely dry. Some days I swim one time and some days twice, but I like a dry suit to put on each time.

Thursday: I woke and the day was overcast and gloomy, spitting rain. I can swim in the rain but thunder was rolling around me and I will not swim during a storm. Instead I kept checking the weather and hearing about the incoming storms until about 5 when evidently it stormed around me but never here. By that time I was ready to get dinner started, so I did not swim. I guess Friday will be a 2x's lap day.
A true joy of the storms that did not happen was a huge drop in the temperature. I think the high today was only in the mid-80's and when I was outside it felt like fall. That is a huge joy after all the excessive heat.

Friday: Well, the fall like weather did not last long, but lots of sun and heat made for a perfect pool day. My Beloved Sister came over and we swam laps, then had some hot tub time. It was great and I honestly do see a little toning in my arms. (Little, being the operative word here.)

Daily laps/exercise 
(For the record if I swim twice in one day I am counting the second time as a different day's exercise. Usually if I swim twice, it is once in the morning then again at night.  Using the elliptical just counts as a part of the day's swimming exercise. My exercise, my rules)
5 days

Projects completed
Upstairs bedrooms were cleaned, fresh linens and /or new comforter set (we did have a little comforter incident while the family was here), bathrooms scrubbed, linen closets reorganized, and  Pip's new room was girlified. Now we are ready for the next round of guests.

Creative projects completed:

Books Read
The Winter Guest
Tiger Wife

Oops forgot to do this earlier. Look for your joys. They are out there even if they are small joys.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, July 11, 2022


You all know what they say about where the road to good intentions leads. This was one of those weeks that my intentions and actions did not coincide. I had every intention  of beginning keto on Tuesday, but I didn't. I did not eat badly, but ___.
Anyway I regret declaring I was beginning it, when obviously I did not.

As soon as I typed the word "regret" I knew what song I would use for this post. I think Miss Otis Regrets has such a beautiful melody and I especially love Ellis Marsalis' touch on the piano. This is one of those songs I play often. Hope you enjoy. 

Stuff I planned on making:
1. July 4th meal: ribs, corn on the cob, coleslaw, watermelon
2. Greek chicken, green beans, rice pilaf or caulirice pilaf
3. Grilled steak, salad
4. Big salad meal
5. Veggie dinner TBD after I hit the produce stand
6. Out to eat
7. BLT's

Stuff I actually made (or bought):
Monday: The Fourth of July came and with it brought a traditional 4th meal.
BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, coleslaw, watermelon, ice cream bars

Tuesday: I made a quick run to the produce stand and this was the result.
Peas, okra, tomato slices, cucumber slices

Wednesday: I wanted to have a dinner that could be made and in the refrigerator. We planned a pre-dinner night swim and after swimming I hate to cook.
Huge chopped salad with cheese

Thursday: My sister and I swam laps, then just had a pool day. I did not even begin to feel like cooking so I didn't.
Meatloaf, okra, turnip greens, cornbread takeout from Fried Green Tomatoes

Friday: It was hot, miserably hot and who wants to heat up the kitchen when the outside is steamy?Thanks to the grill and air fryer for salvaging some semblance of cooking.
Cheeseburger salad, sweet potato fries

Saturday: TheHub worked at the office and I ran our usual Saturday morning doings. We both got home in time for a late lunch. I meant to swim but I kept hearing thunder in the distance. It did not stay distant very long and with the lightning we had high winds and a gully washer. So much for grilling out 
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

Sunday: It was hot and humid. Much to hot to cook inside 
Grilled steak, corn on the cob, tossed salad

This week our peppers and green beans are coming in like gang busters so meals have to be planned around them:
1 Philly cheesesteak casserole, coleslaw
2 Italian sausage with peppers, onions ,squash, green beans and tomatoes
3 Raw veggies and cheese or dip
4 Grilled chicken, basque peppers, lettuce wedge
5.Turkey cheeseburger salad
6 Fettuccine Alfredo, green beans, salad
7 Out to eat or takeout 

I am not using the K word though with very slight substitutions everything above is K compliant. Fingers crossed!

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

ps. The storm Saturday knocked out everything but electrical power. I can’t post comments from my phone but know I have read every blog from the past two days

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Joys In The Middle Of A Heat Alert

The 27th week of the year is sort of a joyful week for Birmingham. It is the opening week for the 2022 World Games. I do feel sorry for the various athletes who are from cooler climates, because it is hot as floogenes (term my mom used to describe extreme heat) 
We did not go to the opening ceremony Thursday night, and have no tickets to any events yet, but we are going to try and catch a couple. We had planned to go to some of the softball games and if the temps drop a bit we still might. I guess we will see what the weather does.

This is the official song for this year's games. I thought I would share it with you.

And now on to this weeks joys.
Saturday: It was a regular Saturday for us. We did a little running about before settling in at home. TheHub and I decided to start swimming laps together in the evening before dinner, followed by a few minutes in the hot tub. We got a little exercise then conversations while we sat on the porch to drip dry before coming back in the house. After a pretty lame dinner we watched an episode of The Lincoln Lawyer.

Sunday: We decided to treat ourselves to a real movie inside an actual theater. Of course we did not go at night when it would be crowded, and decided a 1 o'clock movie screamed having a popcorn lunch would be the perfect thing to do. We watched the movie "Elvis" and came out with mixed reviews. TheHub really did like it (even though he dozed off during the middle of it). I thought the story line and the acting was good (Tom Hanks was very good as the antagonist) but I did not like the editing and some of the cinematography. I wound up closing my eyes in several parts and just listening because the jerky scene filming and editing bothered me. 
When we got back home we swam, soaked, drip dried then sat on the screened porch as a pop up thunderstorm rolled in. I loved being outside but covered during a storm.

Monday: Seeing as it was the 4th of July and we are creatures of habit, Son2 and DIL2 came over in time to watch the Hot Dog Eating Championship. We watch it every year and every year we declare it is incredibly unpleasant  to watch, but we do it anyway. After we were thoroughly grossed out we started preparing lunch, which is amazingly simple if you do like we did and bought the ribs already smoked. We ate and had a lot of conversations before they returned to their home.
TheHub and I left the house and rode around a bit, came home, swam laps, soaked in the hot tub and drip dried. 
After dinner we did what we do every July 4th night and watched The Boston Pops. 

Tuesday: My Beloved Sister came over to swim and we wound up spending a good part of the day together. No one makes me laugh more than she does.

Wednesday: I waited for TheHub to get home so we could do laps together. He was still at work after 8 p.m. so I might reconsider waiting for him again. However, there is something almost magical about swimming at night.

Thursday: My sister came to swim and we spent a good portion of the afternoon in the pool swimming and laughing. When she left I read for a bit then decided I just did not feel like cooking so TheHub and I grabbed a takeout meal.
After dinner we watched the last 2 episodes of The Lincoln Lawyer. I enjoyed it, but we both vowed we are not going to get hooked on an episodic show until the fall. 

Friday: I had several things I ordered that were delivered including headphones that can be used while swimming. I can't wait to try them. 
One of the packages contained some summer weight slacks that were supposed to be cropped with a couple of inches of the ankle showing. I know I am not tall, but I am not short either. Those suckers are so long I am going to have to hem them so I won't step on them when I walk. Is the new norm for sizing someone who is 5' 10"?

Whatever you do be sure to look for joy. It is there even if you have to search for it.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

This is mainly for me, so I can see what I did (or didn't do) when I re-read these posts on NYE. Since the year is on the downslope I thought I would chart progress (or lack of progress) for the rest of the year.

Daily laps/ exercise:
6 days
Home projects completed:
Creative projects completed:
Books read:
The Last Chance Library
Joan is OK
The Overnight Guest
Summary: I swam and read.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022


Since yesterday felt like a Sunday, and I was busy eating bbq and swimming (and reading) I completely forgot about a menu plan. So by now one of the meal plan meals has already been consumed and I am left pondering where I will go from here. It is 2,000,000 degrees with 1,000% humidity and I am required by the law of swimsuit wearing to go back to a keto way of life. I am totally uninspired so the menu plan is pretty lame. Heat brings out the lame in me!

This was planned for last week:
1. Leftover peas, squash, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, cornbread
2. Grilled burgers and fixings, sweet potato fries
3. Greek chicken, rice pilaf, Greek green beans, tossed salad
4. Steak, tossed salad, rolls
5. Braised duck breast, mashed potatoes, spring greens, possibly asparagus
6. Huge salad dinner, rolls
7. Toasted cheese sandwiches, slaw

This is what really did happen:
Monday: I found leftover peas lolling about in the fridge, and had the rest available for a quick meal.
Peas, squash, tomato slices, watermelon

Tuesday: More leftovers!
Chicken, dressing (southernism for stuffing that is baked rather than stuffed in the bird), green beans

Wednesday: TheHub wanted to eat out and it took no arm twisting to get me to agree.
The Electric's El Paso salad

Thursday: I had really been craving this so I made it for dinner.
Tomato pie, chopped romaine

Friday: TheHub and I decided to do a little running around Friday night. Instead of grabbing a quick meal at a restaurant we ate a super quick meal at home.
Hot dogs, coleslaw

Saturday: We did do a few errands then came home and puttered a bit before swimming later in the evening.  Neither of us were really hungry and both had the same thing.
Corn on the cob, tomato slices, watermelon and cantaloupe.

Sunday: We did a couple of things including having a "date" then swimming followed by dinner.
Grilled burger patty, saffron rice, tomato and cucumber slices.

Which brings us to this weeks plan, which might or might not happen:
1. July 4th meal: ribs, corn on the cob, coleslaw, watermelon
2. Greek chicken, green beans, rice pilaf or caulirice pilaf
3. Grilled steak, salad
4. Big salad meal
5. Veggie dinner TBD after I hit the produce stand
6. Out to eat
7. BLT's

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


Saturday, July 2, 2022

Joys And Maybe A Tear Or Two

We have just completed the 26th week of the year and now we are on the downhill side of 2022. I am not sure if y'all can believe it but for me the year has flown.
The past week started on a bittersweet note. I was thrilled to have Pip and Co. here but I knew that it was ending. I made the decision to enjoy every minute they were here instead of mourning their leaving. I am not sure I could have asked for a better visit, and I understand Pip has already been having FaceTime visits with her new friend, my neighbor, M.
Now it is our turn to start planning our next visit to Portland. When I asked Pip what month she thought we should come she told me July, August,  and September. Sounds good to me!
And I did save being sad until they were officially gone.

Saturday: Everyone was tired, but there was still a lot of swimming to do. DIL1 read and sunned, then found the perfect place to sit./stand in the pool with her book. Son1 hit the water several times and Pip was ready to swim any time anyone was there to swim with her. 
That night we went to Son2 and DIL2's beautiful home to have dinner with them. It was so festive and delicious!

Sunday: The morning was a flurry of activity with Son1 and DIL1 getting everything packed and ready for their return flight. We planned on leaving for the airport at noon  for a 1:50 flight until they got a message that their flight was delayed 25 minutes. Then another 25 minute delay, then another. . .
We finally got them to the airport at 3 for a 4 pm departure. Once they were checked in they were told it would be another 45 minute delay. Obviously they missed their connecting flight as well as the second flight the airline booked them on. They finally got out of Dallas after nine and made it to Oregon around midnight. Like Son1 said: he didn't mind the flight being delayed almost 4 hours but he wished he had known it at noon because they would have all gone swimming again.
TheHub and I came home from driving them to the airport and crashed!

Monday: I would like to say I was up and at 'em early Monday morning but I stayed in bed until 10 reading, and it was wonderful. I got out of bed and had a couple of cups of coffee, then read a lot more. Other than washing sheets I did little, and really did enjoy doing little. 
After dinner TheHub and I started watching a series someone at work had mentioned was worth watching. After 2 episodes we were hooked on The Lincoln Lawyer

Tuesday: It was time for me to get back to some sort of normal routine, but other than running by the grocery store for a couple of necessities, doing some laundry,  and a few chores you have to do each day, I was all about reading.
We had another meal of leftovers and watched The Lincoln Lawyer.
While we were watching the show we had a much needed hard rain, which was a true joy since things were getting brittle.

Wednesday: TheHub called mid day to see if I wanted to go out to dinner. Though only one blog friend has any idea what my face looks like, I can assure you, even though it is not the most gorgeous face to ever grace the world, it does not look like the face of an idiot. If you ask me if I want to go out instead of cooking when it is approximately 2,000 degrees outside, the answer will always be yes. Actually if it means not cooking the answer will always be yes, no matter what the outside temperature is.
After we ate we drove by the lake (big pond) and watched the ducks, geese and swans for a minute before returning home just ahead of another rain. The rain was another huge joy!

Thursday:  We ate summer on a plate! That was enough joy for one day, but was compounded by a beautiful bouquet of flowers for the 4th TheHub brought me when he came home from work.

Friday: I was having a hard time with any self motivation so I made a decision. I do not leave my bedroom before throwing on some clothes, when I realized if I put on my swimsuit and coverup I would be halfway there to swimming laps. (Swimming is a much needed exercise for both my mind and body. I love to swim  and can zone out while doing it, but it is amazing how easy it is for me to keep putting it off. )  It is my hope this new routine will take some of the hesitation out of it . I was in the water shortly after finishing my coffee. Now if I will just continue every day.
TheHub and I decided to do some of our usual Saturday running around Friday evening as the sun was going down instead of waiting until Saturday morning. I called it a beat the heat move!

I hope each of you will look for your joys this week. They are always there, even if you have to look a bit to find them.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Friday, July 1, 2022

Tomato Pie With A Surprise

As most of you who read me semi regularly know, I live in the south.  And because I live here there are a couple of things we eat regularly; tomatoes and pimento cheese. I am pretty sure if I did not eat/love them I would have to surrender my southern card and give up okra, sweet tea and cornbread for life. 
A pimento cheese sandwich on white bread with a thick slice of sun ripened tomato is delicious. so try to imagine a dinner meal with the same deliciousness baked in a pie shell___Nirvana!


This is going to be a how to rather than a recipe because there are several ways to go about it.

1 pie crust (pre-baked to a very light brown. Be sure to poke holes with a fork over the bottom before baking. If you have a great pie crust recipe*, make it.  Or it you had rather, just buy one already made. Either the one in the aluminum pan or the Pillsbury type that you put into your own pie plate works )
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and blotted dry, then blotted dry again (and even a third time if they are still wet)
 2 cups(ish) pimento cheese . You can purchase your pimento cheese but make sure it is a drier variety. Mrs. Strattons absolutely will not work. Palmetto might, but better yet buy it from a deli  or sandwich shop. If you have a Newk's near you, theirs would work very well. But  it is very quick and easy to make. I did mince a little red onion and added it to the pimento cheese just for a little more flavor.

Pre bake the pie crust and let it cool. Arrange the dried tomato slices over the bottom of the crust, stacking them no more than 2 slices high. Dollop the pimento cheese over the tomatoes then spread gently so no tomato bits are showing and the cheese mix is touching the edges of the pie crust.
Pop it into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes Remove from the oven and let it cool until it can be easily sliced. 

This, with some chopped romaine and a light oil and vinegar dressing was the perfect summer meal

It was so good. The only change I would make to this would be to have some fresh basil "ribbons" on each slice.
This would work for a vegetarian meal and with slight alterations using vegetable shortening for the crust,  vegan cheese, and veggie mayonnaise could easily be made vegan.

*Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cp lard
5-7 tablespoons cold water (I live in a very humid summertime climate so I start with 5 and add more drops at a time as needed)

Mix the salt and flour, cut the cold butter into small slices, cut the lard into small bits. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the fats into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal (Work fast so the butter will not melt) Add the cold water (I use ice in the water to keep it super chilled) and work it into the mix until the dough is sm both and pliable, being careful not to overwork it. Split it into half and make two balls. On a floured surface roll it out into about a 10 inch circle. (I did not have quite half the dough when I rolled mine out, so I did not have enough of an edge to make the really pretty fluted edge. We lived!