Been awhile ..


It’s been about three years since I last posted on this blog. It’s been a little over two years since my mom died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Just did’t feel like talking.

A new family member …

IMG_0738

Katie is a little over one year old, has yellow and white fur, and is smarter than I am (not much of a stretch really). She was a pound kitty and practically feral when I got her and I spent the first few months trying to entice her off a dining room chair. Now, she’s so lovey-dovey she’ll even sit in my lap and let me pet her—for about a minute.

She’s worse than a dog about following me around the house, however, and is very vocal when she thinks it’s time to refill her kibble bowl or clean her box. She really hates a messy litter box and since I hate cleaning it, she’s becoming something of a nag. Cute, but a nag nonetheless. She likes a lot of attention so I’m thinking about getting a puppy to keep her occupied so I can read, or nap, uninterrupted.

We’ll see how it goes.

A new house …

I moved to a new house a little over a year ago. I’d been at the condo/townhouse for about 15 years and wanted to have a yard again. Not sure why that was so important to me since I don’t like mowing and am not particularly fond of weeding either, but I do like looking out the window and seeing grass and trees instead of a parking lot or a swimming pool full of screaming kids.

And, I really was getting awfully fed up with the HOA police patrol always finding fault with my patio or fence or carport. I mean did those folks have nothing better to do than walk around the complex to see who’d sat a pot of flowers on their carport?

A new gig …

I recently retired and now have time to think about stuff and can get back to blogging. Well, it’s either that or cleaning house. I hate cleaning house. It’s right up there with going to the dentist or waiting for car repairs.

See, I’m getting back into the swing of this already.

 

 

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Ninety-seven days later …


Time flies

I could say I’ve been really busy as the reason for why it’s been a while since my last post but the reality is that I’ve just not had a lot to say. I get focused in other directions and forget that I even have a blog. There’s my guilt confession. I forgot about you blog. Oops!

Catching up

A lot has happened in the last three months. I’m now, officially, a year older.

Read some good books by some of my favorite authors – Suzanne Kearsley, Harriet Evans, Beth Hoffman, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Mary Kay Andrews.

Movies this summer have been a disappointment, though. I guess the highlight for me was the new Star Trek pic, but not much else has given me a reason to spend a small fortune to sit in big dark room with too many other people just to be entertained. Even the thought of popcorn couldn’t entice me to see most of what’s in the theaters this summer.

Family matters

Ollie

Ollie

I’ve mentioned my house mates, Ollie and Emmy, in a few other blogs. You may remember that they’ve been with me since 2001. Though Emmy is doing fine, Ollie had cancer and, rather than prolong his suffering, I had him put down in June.

We miss him. Well, maybe Emmy doesn’t. He was pretty much a bully and made her life miserable. I think she is actually pretty happy now. She has the run of the house and has become quite playful again.

Winding up

I’ll try to not forget about you again blog. With a little luck, I’ll be able to squeeze a few posts in between studying for the next CCP module exam and whatever else I can find to do to avoid studying.

Okay. I admit it. I am just lazy.

 

Life is weird sometimes …


Out of the blue

There you are, wandering along having a good day and, wham, right into your email inbox comes a message from someone in your past. Someone you never expected to hear from again. Ever.

So, what do you do? Do you respond? Do you want to reconnect with that person?

If not, why? Did he or she do you wrong?

If you do want to reconnect, why? Has time faded your memory of the reality of the past relationship? Was it a positive relationship? If so, why did it expire? Was it just an “all good things must come to and end” kind of deal?

Was it a personal relationship? Or, was it a business contact? A former coworker, teacher, mentor, neighbor, friend?

Whatever it was, there is a reason for why it ended, and it was probably a pretty good one.

So, why stir it up again?

What’s in it for you?

Is it just curiosity?

The chance to see how that person has changed? Is he/she still as interesting, as thought-provoking, as entertaining, as relevant?

Won’t know until you click “reply.” Go ahead. You know you want to.

Today’s question

Is there someone from your past that you’d like an opportunity to reconnect with? Who is it? Why do you want that chance? How will you use it if you get it?

Easy Peasy Beef Stew


We all have certain things that make us feel cared for, comforted. For many it’s certain foods that evoke happy memories of home and family. Which, when it comes right down to it, is what comfort food is all about isn’t it?

I know I do,  and I suspect that most of us probably do, have more than one comfort food. My comfort foods include my mom’s chicken pot pie, warm biscuits, spaghetti with meat sauce, pot roast, beef stew, and coconut pie. My mom’s coconut pie is a slice of heaven on earth, but that’s a story for another day.

I asked her once where she got her recipe for beef stew and she said she made it up. I think I was about 10 at the time and didn’t know it was even possible to make up a recipe. (I thought they had to come from a book that some kind of professional recipe-maker wrote.) I’ve learned since that most recipes are made up by moms.

Where was I? Oh, yeah …

It wasn’t until years later that I learned that, for most people, beef stew has a brown sauce. Mama’s beef stew has a red sauce. Think that sounds funny? Don’t laugh until you’ve tried it.

Here’s the recipe …

Beef_Stew_2Ingredients:

1 Pound of beef, cut into one inch chunks
2-3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
5-6 Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 Small can of early green peas
1 Small can of tomato sauce
1 Small onion, diced
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp instant granule beef bullion
1/4 Tsp garlic salt (or, salt to taste)
6 Cups water

Directions:

Pour olive oil into a dutch oven. Add beef chunks, diced onions, salt, and beef bullion granules. Brown beef and onions over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to brown evenly. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat after 5 minutes and cover.

Simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours (until beef is fully cooked, tender but not falling apart). Add carrots, potatoes, and tomato sauce. Continue to simmer until veggies are tender (usually about an hour). Add peas and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Serve with a salad and hot crusty rolls. (Apple sauce is a good side dish, too.)

Now, doesn’t that sound delicious?

Nothing to say. Nada. Zilch.


You may or may not have noticed that I’ve not been blogging lately. Either way, I guess the best explanation for my absence from the bloggosphere is to just fess up and admit that I’ve run out of things to say.

To get ideas, I spent the last hour or so reading posts from some of my favorite blogs. They’re fresh, funny, interesting, and full of bits of wit and wisdom and insight.

Me?

I got nothing.

No insight into the way of the world.

No ideas about how to live long and prosper.

Not even a wise crack about the presidential debates.

What to do?

Hmmm?

I know … fake it!

I’ve been on a quest.

I put my house (really a townhouse/condo) on the market about three and a half years ago.  I managed to get three offers and even two contracts but, alas, no sales. So, I decided a couple of months ago, finally, to finish unpacking and forget about selling for a few years.

Since that momentous decision, I’ve found all kinds of things I forgot I had. For example, an Oster Food Center that my mom gave me for Christmas about 25 years ago. She borrowed it from me about two months later and returned it about three years after that. Not being a domestic diva, I stuffed the big old box of food fanatic tools in the closet and forgot all about it until last week. Which is when I discovered that some of the pieces had gone astray, got melted, whatever. Anyway, it still works so my quest has been to find replacement parts.

Enter eBay. I can get a new turntable for the mixer part for about ten bucks. (Apparently, that part got too close to a stove at some point.) Not too much to spend to get this combination mixer/blender/chopper back to perfection. After pulling all the bits and pieces out of the box, though, I realized that the chopper bowl is missing.

Can’t help but wonder what happened to that. Is it stuck in some cabinet corner at my mom’s? I doubt it. She’s moved about a gazillion times in the last twenty years so I might as well look for that part on eBay as well.

Not so fast!

Both my sisters got the same gift from Mom that same Christmas. Last night’s chat with baby sis revealed that she has the chopper bowl and never uses it. So, it’s mine for the pick up. She also has the instruction booklet. Yeah! My daughter will be pleased.

You see, that’s what this quest is all about. Becky is really into domesticity. She makes pickles and jams. (Don’t worry. She’ll get over it eventually.) So, the almost vintage food center, once I have all the bits and pieces again, is going to her house. She can chop and mix and blend to her heart’s content.

And last, but not least, the food center can live long and prosper.

Yes, I really am this goofy. 🙂