Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Past Week At My House...

We didn't have a harsh winter this year. We didn't have a lot of snow to deal with like last year. But we also haven't had the just disappeared behind gray clouds last October and hasn't been seen since. It's also been really cold. Sometimes my whole body just aches from it. So, I'm more than ready for springtime weather. However it's 39 degrees and rainy here. It even sleeted for five minutes this afternoon, and we had a dusting of snow on Sunday.

But I wasn't here for that. I was in North Carolina visiting my mother who is ill. I was there for 3 days before the weatherman realized I was down south and brought the cold, rainy weather there. But those three days were glorious, weather wise.

What a beautiful site! It was about 80 degrees outside. I'd forgotten what sunlight felt like on my skin! I took long walks in the morning, and all the trees, azaleas, and flowers were in bloom!

I'd almost forgotten that trees are suppose to have green leaves on them...

This is my great-nephew, Aaden. He turned 2 years old while I was there. Oh, to have the energy of a 2 year old again!

My niece Mary, (Aaden's Mommy), is a wonderful hostess. She made sure that dinner was made every night for the out-of-towners. This is the baked ziti she of my favorite meals.

On the last warm evening there, my brother John and his wife Georgia had us over for a cook-out. There is just something special about that first cook-out, after a long, winter. The food was fantastic, and their hospitality was much appreciated.

Yesterday my "Baby" turned 16 years old. Where did the time go??? His sisters came and took him out to dinner. It was one of the rare times he gets to be the center of attention. It's hard to compete with three females for center stage!

He was more thrilled than he looks...I think...

I hadn't seen my daughter Susan since January when she moved a couple of hours away. She has been adhering to a vegan lifestyle since August, and she looks fantastic!

We are heading to the Shenandoah Valley this weekend for a short trip. Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 18, 2011

This Past Week At My House...

This past week I have been busy cleaning out and organizing my kitchen cabinets. I have discovered that it's been a very long time since I organized, thrown out, or donated anything! This must be how hoarding starts. But I'm now a reformed baby hoarder.

Here is the cabinet with the plastic storage containers. I didn't take a before picture, but it was pretty unsightly.

Here is the cabinet that holds my dishes. I had about four different sets, but couldn't set a table for four with matching plates. Two of the plates I received as a wedding gift. Corelle, by Corning, sure does go the distance, as they are almost 32 years old! I donated most of the dishes, except the Corelle.

I shopped around and found a really good deal at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I bought 8 - 5 piece settings for $49.99, plus I had a $5.00 off coupon.

Here is a closer look at the pattern on the dishes. It's called Waverly Basket, by Oneida.

My glass cabinet was really a hodge/podge of a bunch of misfits. Lots of cups, some of the glasses were almost opague from the dishwasher. I actually threw out most of the glasses and donated most of the cups.

I actually can't find the pic of the new glasses, but I bought a set of 12 - 160z glasses for $8.00. My cups are the new ones from the new dish set.

This cabinet was probably the worse, and we didn't even really use it anymore. We used to keep medicine here when the children were young so they couldn't reach them. Over the years, we stopped that, never threw anything out, and it became a real mess. I didn't take a pic of the cabinet, but here is what came out of it...

I put two baskets in the cabinet. One holds all my vitamins and supplements (they used to be shoved between saucers and bowls, and the other basket hold over the counter medicine for the family.

The spice cabinet and the scary lower cabinet that holds everything that doesn't have a home are next!

This week I picked up a 200lb order of wheat. I mill my own flour and usually purchase it 50lbs at a time. When I called to order it this time I found out it was only $28.00 a bag. Down over $20.00 from 18 months ago. So this time I ordered big. It should last several years at least. I bag the wheat 5 lb at a time, into zip lock bags and store them in the freezer.

Last year we lost one of our Bradford Pear Trees to a freak gust of wind.

Yesterday the rest of the tree was taken down. We now need to grind the stump. Not sure if we are going to replant another tree or not. We've been trying to move away for two years, so not sure we want to invest in another tree. We'll see...hopefully we won't lose any more trees this year. I had no idea that Bradford Pears are famous for growing beautifully and then splitting in half...if I did, I never would have planted three of them in my front yard.

Bill sawed off this trunk, and it's now a 5 inch stump in the ground. I just hate the wide open space, and will miss all three trees blooming their white flowers this spring.

I found the cutest silicone cups this past week. You crack the eggs into them, and then put them in simmering water, and they float while neatly poaching the eggs.

Very easy and delicious!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have To Fry Some Chicken...

Well, this has been a week of crazy!! First our weather has been nuts. Cold, warm, sunny, rainy, we've had it all. Then it's the news; An El Salvadoran Diplomat wants Charlie Sheen to apologize for his remark that "He'd rather sell shoes in El Salvador, than fight his ex-wife for custody of the kids." Really? Does anyone even care what Charlie Sheen says? Can you seriously take an out of work actor, strung out on drugs and alcohol, seriously?

Then there is the teen who did a 220 foot leap off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, apparently on a dare from other classmates while on a field trip. Miraculously, the teen will live to see another field trip. Hopefully he will also learn Not to bow to peer pressure, even if someone triple dog dares you.

Then there is the middle age woman, who feeling down that her week of weighing and measuring her food portions, and doing a total of 20 miles in her walk/jog regimen, only resulted in a .4lb weight loss. She decides that fried chicken will help...

If you have never tried House of Autry Chicken Breader, then you are missing some good chicken!! It is the perfect seasoning. I read that the oldest living woman, who will be 115 years old in August, requested fried chicken for lunch. It can't be that bad for you if she is eating it...unless she waited till she was 114 years old to eat her chicken fried. Oh well, it was delicious, even if I don't make it to 115 years old.

I had one piece (with the skin, because what would be the point?) a 1/4 cup of Parmesan risotto, and a 1 cup serving of steamed broccoli.

I have a weekly dinner with my friend Marie on Thursday evenings. We've been meeting weekly now for 5 or 6 years. It started out as afternoon coffee, then as her schedule changed, it turned into dinner. I really enjoy them, and it gives Bill and Billy a chance to go out on their father/son night.

Marie and I went to a Mexican restaurant called La Tolteca. Being mindful of my weight loss goals, I ordered their grilled vegetarian platter...

It's enough for three people, and my vegan daughter Susan is not living with me anymore (I used to bring her home half the serving), and that's my excuse for eating all of it in one sitting.

Since Marie may read this, it was also served with a side of refried beans, lettuce, guacamole, and sour cream. It also comes with three, white flour tortillas, which I did not eat. Kudos for me...

I still did my daily long workouts. Losing weight and eating healthy are noble pursuits. But sometimes you just have to fry some chicken! Have a nice weekend!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Morning And A Cup Of Coffee

Have you ever dragged your body out of bed, and all you want is a cup of coffee? Well, that's me today. My husband is teaching his Monday class, I'm all alone, the coffee pot is all ready, because he always makes my coffee...but it is programmed to brew at a certain hour. I've tried to override it, unplug and restart, reprogram, all to no avail. All I want is a cup of coffee!!!

Very soon this town will have something that I've previously had to travel many miles to get...a meal at Cracker Barrel!!! That's right, I'm finally going to live in a town where I can have the Cracker Barrel Week Night Specials, without leaving the state.

My daughter Julie has been sick with the flu since last Thursday. Seeing how sick she's been has made me rethink my "I don't need a flu shot" stance. She's been scary sick. Thankfully, Cassidy has had her flu shot for the year.

I made some homemade chicken noodle soup to take to Julie. I've read it can actually help you to heal of upper respiratory illnesses.

I also made some oatmeal rolls to go with the soup. I made these with white flour instead of wheat. They turned out really soft and light.

Bill's contribution to making his Julie Bear feel better, was flowers...

I think when someone is ill, it's important to minister to them in a tangible way. How many times has someone been sick, and you think about them, and pray for them, but then don't call them?

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives, that we forget to reach out to others, in ways that let them see our love for them. When we serve others, we are serving our Lord...

Oh, the coffee just started brewing!!!! Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Queen Cat Is Displeased With The Noncat Colony

Typically, I do not care what season it is. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, it's all the same to me. The weather is always the same inside the Noncat Colony. So how do I explain the fact that my Noncats are being slow to perform their functions inside the Colony...winter doldrums?

Simply put, all the Noncats under my control are getting on my nerves. They have become unproductive this winter, and they are not doing their chores in a timely manner. I am having to spend time I could use grooming and napping, to pester these Noncats to do their jobs.

I was trying to get a lazy Noncat out of bed to do a regular feeding, and this subordinate grabbed me into a "Cuddle Moment." That was the moment my nerves started jangling, and they haven't stopped yet.

I'm now forced to hide around corners, and stalk my Noncats, instead of make sure they are completing their tasks in the Colony.

Hey Noncat! Quit standing there and go scoop my private box...

My regular feeding times, and my ritual feeding exercises, have become very sloppy; with no attention paid to detail. These are not difficult tasks. To show my displeasure with their poor service, I removed both bowls from the Royal Charger they sit upon. I wanted the Noncat to start from the beginning, and place the Queen Cat's food bowls on the Royal Charger...

Come on Noncat!!! It's not that difficult. Put the food bowls upon the Royal Charger, and then serve the food...

I DO NOT drink my water from a bowl on the floor!! Unacceptable!

Now clean up this mess!!!

I can knock this water bowl over all day long if I have to...What's the matter with you Noncats!!

Finally, I had to take this meal sitting on the Royal Charger...A Queen has got to eat! But there shall be a price to pay for this infraction!

Mmmmm did someone say Kitty, kitty...

I've got your kitty, kitty, right here!

Noncats can be replaced...remember that!