Gettin’ potted …


Having cats in the house can make raising potted plants a bit challenging.

IMG_0152My cats liked to eat and/or play with house plants. Their favorite targets were peace lilies and violets but any old kind of plant would do in a pinch. They did not, however, mess with ficus, which is why I have two 7-foot-tall beauties, grown from sprouts. Any other kind of plant, though, was fair game.

IMG_0159Both Ollie and Emily passed in the last couple of years. I adored them (even when they were being evil) and miss them terribly.

The house felt kind of empty without them (I’m just not ready for more lovable furry creatures) so I decided to get a peace lily. That led to a finger leaf philodendren, which led to a croton, then a spider plant.

I think it’s beginning to get out of hand 

IMG_0154They’re all here in my home office, keeping me company on the days I work at home—and not making a single mess anywhere.

No more drifts of fuzzy hair under the furniture, no spills around the water bowl, no water bowl. Ah, the joys of no litter box.

On the flip side, there’s also no snuggling or purring or leg rubbing.

Hmmm.

Advertisements

Shades of gray


I recently passed the 5th module in my quest for CCP (Certified Compensation Professional) via WorldatWork’s certification program. Past the halfway mark, with the toughest ones out-of-the-way, I can focus on the fun stuff like job analysis, documentation, and evaluation. Yippee!

I am not being sarcastic. I enjoy this stuff. Really.

What I don’t enjoy is cleaning house. Which is obvious to anyone who steps in the door.

Dust is my friend, dust is my friend, dust is my friend …

Last summer—in a moment of insanity—I bought new bedroom furniture. The insane part wasn’t buying the furniture because I’d had the same stuff for about 30 years and new furniture was way overdue.

The craziness was buying mahogany furniture with a black stain. Every, and I mean every, fleck of dust shows on every surface.

This stuff starts showing dust on the end of the dresser I just dusted by the time I get to the other end. And, I always know when my cat, Emily, walked across it because she leaves a trail of paw prints.

I could have bought the same set in white but was afraid it would show dirt too easily given Emily’s penchant for walking all over furniture.

Silly me.

So, in the spirit of “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em” I’ve decided I can live with shades of gray.

I draw the line, though, when it starts looking like it’s been sprinkled with baby powder. Dirty snow is not a good look.

 

 

 

Much ado about …


Life can be overwhelming at times.

At other times, though, it’s just plain crazy.

For example, in the last few months I’ve avoided cleaning my house. Yep, I know that’s not a good idea but I hate cleaning house. I’d rather go to the dentist than clean house and even though my dentist is a pretty nice fellow, he’s not someone I want to see more than twice a year, Which, come to think of it, is about how often I clean my house.

I didn’t used to be so adverse to house cleaning. When my daughter was younger and living at home, I cleaned like a fiend on a regular basis. By regular, I mean more than once a week. But these days it’s just me and the cat and, trust me, she doesn’t care. In fact, she hates the vacuum almost as much as I do and hides whenever she hears it coming.

So, for the record, my not cleaning is doing a good deed for Emily (the cat).

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Psst, anybody know where I can find a cheap maid service?

 

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. 🙂