Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Head Games

I took an on-line IQ test and did very well.  However, I'm wondering if I did well simply because this could be a marketing tool trying to suck me into a mind-training/challenge sort of service.   Because the thing is, I don't feel smarter than 95% of the population.  And I  know of plenty of people who know me who think I'm an idiot at times.  I know that I often feel stupid and confused at work.  My job absolutely calls for more intelligence than I have. And maybe I hang out with too many intelligent people (like my husband), because I always feel as though I'm just not at their level.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Knees and Meals

Lunch this week is another batch of Udon noodle soup.  This is a seafood version with bay scallops.  I also added mushrooms and tofu for extra protein.  Some of the ladies at work have a "lunch club," where one person cooks a big meal for the group one day per week.  There are five participants.  It means each person only has to cook once.  We do the same thing in our house, only TBG and I are the sole members.  Granted this means we eat the same lunch every day for the week, but it works out well.  There's the time saving factor, the frugality factor and the convenience.  I do make these things up relying on frozen products -- especially the veggies.  I also cook with nutrition in mind.  This week, we have a lot of onions -- and boy are onions healthy for you.  Lately I've also been trying to dial back on the carbs.  There are three servings of thick rice noodles -- which will be spread over ten meals.  All the ingredients are pretty low fat too.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sew Frustrating!

I spent a lot of time with my sewing machine this weekend.  It is an old Kenmore that is probably 30+ years old.  In addition to working with an old machine, there is the minor detail that I never took a sewing lesson, am not very good at it, and don't enjoy it in the least!  Unfortunately, I have a need for things like curtains and slip covers, and here are the fruits of my frustrated labor -- cushion covers for our trailer.  I fell in love with the bold pattern, had no idea how much material to buy or how I would use it until I started working on it.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Get in My Belly!

One of those important grocery shopping rules is to make a list and stick to it.  Not for me. I am a total impulse shopper.  I see what's good and also a deal, and I buy it.  Then I figure out what to make.  I am like the Fat Bastard (hey, I watched Austin Power's Gold Member Friday Night) of the super-market world.  This week I saw both shitake and oyster mushrooms for $2.49 and I had to have them.  The only thing I went in knowing for certain was that Lidia's Kitchen had me Jonesin' for some stuffed eggplant -- so that much I planned on.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

What's for Lunch

Lunch this week is a protein rich cold salad.  I've been buying frozen Bird's Eye protein mix veggies.  These are not just veggies, there are lentils and beans in the mix too.  For this huge batch, I picked the Italian and California blends.  There was a partial bag of the Italian blend in the fridge from a prior batch of lunch food, so that got  mixed in with a can of white beans and some sauteed mushrooms that had to be used.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Camp is Coming

Now is the time of year I start thinking about camp.   Last year we had to get rid of our fire pit at the end of the season because it had rusted through at the bottom.  Camp would not be camp without a fire and we realized that in our often soggy situation, we need to have our pit elevated.  A pit like this fits the bill because it's elevated and it has ventilation on the side.  We will drill holes in the bottom for drainage and use a steel plate that a neighbor made for our old pit to fit in the bottom too.  The best thing of all, is that this one was on clearance from last season.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Frozen Basil

I froze six large portions of basil at the end of the season last year, mixing in some EVOO.  Yesterday I pulled out the first packet to use. Yes, it's been that long since we've had pesto.  Two weeks back we went to an excellent restaurant, Lucias On the Lake, in Hamburg, NY.  Our meal was awesome and the appetizer was a delicious pesto you dipped in fresh bread.  That had me thinking that we had gone too long without pesto.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dog Chow

We raw-feed our dog.  It's a practice we've been following since we our prior dog was young.  While to folks unfamiliar with the concept of feeding a species-appropriate diet might find it gross, it's simple and it's real.  Dogs are omnivores and  can handle uncooked and unprocessed meat.  The challenge for us, is to find a source that provides a variety of meats at a reasonable price.  One place I've found is an awesome source of unique animal protein, is the neighborhood Asian market where I picked up a package of duck wings and a pig heart this morning.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Nightmare of Clutter

I missed a lot of blogging time last winter.  My work got crazy and I just had no time.  Unfortunately, what started as a dream job turned into a nightmare culminating in 12 hour work days.  A few actually stretched out longer than that.  Try as I might (and I tried hard), I could not get my work-load adjusted.  The result was that long days at a desk led to a repetitive stress injury -- in both my left and right arms.  I developed ulnar neuropathy along with some carpal tunnel thrown in.  The nerve irritation triggered problems in my neck, shoulder and upper back.  Early in December, I had to stop working for three weeks so that the nerves could calm down.  I worked part time until mid January, and am now back to full-time.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Custom & Making Due

I love our sectional sofa.  It is comfortable, and it's scaled appropriately for our small living room.  What I don't like, is that you can't buy off the shelf slipcovers for it.  When you own a Golden Retriever, shedding is a way of life.  In order to keep the couch in like-new condition and keep things comfortable for dog-allergic guests, we keep it covered on a day-to-day basis. The covers come off when we have guests. The canvas layer on the bottom is laundered when we have people over -- we strip the couch and throw everything into the washing machine! The top layer (actual furniture covers manipulated for the configuration) gets cleaned every two weeks.  We are using arm covers and pillows from an older sofa and bring out the pillows that came with it when we have guests.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Manly Stuff - the Valentine's Day Edition


While TBG is not a super-macho man (kinda tough when he grew up with three sisters), he's a "man's man" sort of guy.  True, his best friends are women, again, since he grew up around girls -- but he's a boy through and through.  I think one of the things I like the most about him is that while he is Mr. Masculine, he's still very considerate and has no stupid gender-based pride.  He's also very much a kid -- and this is me extolling his virtues post-Valentine's Day.  The one thing I've always said about my mate, is that he's my barometer of character when judging others.  If you don't like Tommy, then there is something wrong with you and you are not to be trusted.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Throwing in the Towel(s)

We have had our "new" bathroom for almost a year now, and I decided it was time for a towel purge.  I believe you need to have three sets of towels for each person. One that is in rotation, one set for what's in the wash, then a contingency set if  you missed a week of laundry.  We also need a set to have on hand for a visiting family of four.  Keeping that in mind, I culled the old/embarrassing towels from our linen cupboard.  I had a sufficient enough surplus from our old bathroom to put together a guest set. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Sunday is the day to make a special breakfast.  This morning I made wheat pancakes along with an over-easy egg.  The pancakes were a "one-stop" affair. They had the meat mixed right in.  In addition, they had nuts & seeds, plus dried fruit.  For the batter, I used a small serving (4-6 pancake) portion of Krusteaze buttermilk pancake mix, then two more equal parts of whole wheat pastry flour.  The batter  was intended to be high-fiber and the Krusteaze was in the mix just to lighten it up a bit.  The sausage and eggs were natural/organic.

Each week, I put together a mixture of chopped nuts and seeds to toss over salads.  I used what we had left at the end of the week and will put together a new batch today.  This mixture had walnuts, pecans, almonds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts.  I added additional walnuts and pecans.  There was also a partial bag of dried cranberries which made it into the mix as well.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Change of Clothes - Learn from the Past

There are some ideas we can take from women of years gone by and apply them practically in our modern life.  In some cases, the old practice may be totally impractical, but the modern twist can make it a smart idea.
Wealthy women of the past changed clothes frequently.  According to this link on "The Manor House," a well-to-do Edwardian woman might switch outfits up to five times a day.  Fashion dictated what a lady wore based on meals, the time of day, visitors, excursions and events.  While that is somewhat ridiculous, one benefit of this was likely that she didn't have to have her clothes constantly laundered because they were worn for only short periods of time.  There is also some wisdom to tying your outfit to the event if it means preserving or protecting your better quality pieces.  Personally, I will never wear anything white if I plan to eat spaghetti!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fake on the Outside, Real on the Inside

"Neighbor Dave" was one of the people to took care of Teddy while we were on a cruise.  We opted to keep her home and have both ND and my sister look after her.  She's just more comfortable at home.  ND is a cop so he works long shifts, always on the second.  This meant he wouldn't be around at dinner time, so my sister would stop by and feed that.  She passes our house every night on her way home as it is.  ND came home from his shift and picked her up for a sleep-over at his house.  He fed her a late night snack and breakfast.  She got to sleep with him.  My sister dubbed her "slutty girl" because she was doing shameless overnights!  I found it endearing that she "unmade" our bed and slept on TBGs pillows when she was home.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


We have a new source for eggs.  A woman in my department raises cage-free chickens and they are feed naturally/organically.  A carton of 18 sets me back four bucks, but we have a deal now.  If I bring her a large Tim Horton's coffee every Friday morning, I get a dozen in exchange.  Or should I say "eggschange?"

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Got Rocks?

It seemed like blue stones were in order for my cruise.  While I would have liked to purchase a few Larimar or Turquoise pieces to wear on the trip, I refrained.  I spent almost three weeks on disability leave and have had to engage an attorney to fight the denial of my worker's comp claim, so frivolous purchases were not in order.  It is a good thing the trip was already paid for!

My alternative was to go to Michaels and buy some blue "rocks" on sale; and they are literally polished rocks/stones.  These are strung on elastic which made the set of three a bargain for under ten bucks.

Monday, January 30, 2017

My Fabulous Life of Opulence and Luxury - For Real!

So I really did have a luxury experience -- probably the most chi-chi thing we've ever done.  I've been blogging sparsely lately because of my injury/recovery and return to full time work, and then because we were on vacation.  I hate to post that I am not at home because it's not the best move from a security perspective -- so I'll admit it now, we were out of town all last week taking a fabulous cruise vacation in the Caribbean.  The trip was the result of a sales incentive that TBG mostly met.  We had to pay a small portion of the trip and cover tips and local activities.   Our portion of a 7 day cruise, along with airfare, ground transportation, meals and a classic beverage package was around $900.  We upgraded our booze package to a premium offering at $12 each per day.  We tipped close to $400 and then spent under $100 on shore transportation plus a few tacky souvenirs. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Marvelous Moonpies

Ooooh do I love Moon Pies. When I was a kid, they were Scooter Pies.  They stopped being made, then I guess Little Debbie and other companies picked up the idea later on.  Thank goodness!

If there are any MP fans out there, I want to share two ideas.  First, if you want to up the yum factor, nuke your MP for about 3 - 5 seconds.  What to do it one better?  Nuke for 5 - 7 seconds and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  For extra credit, add rainbow sprinkles!!!

If anyone out there tries this, I want to know what you think.  I'm off to make a MP Sundae now...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Table to Window

After the installation of a new window and the acquisition of  a new bed, something had to be done to at least do a little decorating.  I'm not ready to spend any money in this room.  The new bed was a sleep/orthopedic purchase, the head and foot board a small splurge.  My challenge was to reach a drape solution but not spend any money.