Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And I Heard Paul Robeson Singing.

Dere's an ol' man called de Mississippi
Dat's de ol' man dat I'd like to be!
What does he care if de world's got troubles?
What does he care if de land ain't free?

Ol' man river,
Dat ol' man river
He mus'know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes'keeps rollin'
He keeps on rollin' along.

He don' plant taters,
He don't plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants'em
is soon forgotten,
But ol'man river,
He jes keeps rollin'along.

You an'me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin' an' racket wid pain,
Tote dat barge!
Lif' dat bale!
Git a little drunk
An' you land in jail.

Ah gits weary
An' sick of tryin'
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But ol' man river,
He jes'keeps rolling' along.

Colored folks work on de Mississippi,
Colored folks work while de white folks play,
Pullin' dose boats from de dawn to sunset,
Gittin' no rest till de judgement day.

Don't look up
An' don't look down,
You don' dast make
De white boss frown.
Bend your knees
An'bow your head,
An' pull date rope
Until you' dead.

Let me go 'way from the Mississippi,
Let me go 'way from de white man boss;
Show me dat stream called de river Jordan,
Dat's de ol' stream dat I long to cross.

O' man river,
Dat ol' man river,
He mus'know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin'
He jes' keeps rollin'
He keeps on rollin' along.

Long ol' river forever keeps rollin' on...

He don' plant tater,
He don' plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
but ol' man river,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.

Long ol' river keeps hearing dat song.
You an' me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin an' racked wid pain.
Tote dat barge!
Lif' dat bale!
Git a little drunk
An' you land in jail.

Ah, gits weary
An' sick of tryin'
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But ol' man river,
He jes'keeps rollin' along!

I had to go to Iowa on Tuesday to set back up the 2 machines for the road construction job. It was a glorious day. I passed over the river and I could hear the song in my head.

Beverage: chocolate Hazelnut Tea


Something For Everyone on Easter.

From Carole.

Beverage: Chocolate Hazelnut Tea



This is the earliest I can remember being topless. It's currently 75 on March 31st. It's rather windy however. It's going to be interesting taking the recycling home tonight.

Beverage: Water


Saturday, March 27, 2010

You Want To

Doesn't she just gleam? I was waiting, last night, for Pam to show up and we were going to Steak 'n Shake for dinner. The sun was brilliant and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I've taken to combing her every day for she has mats near her tail. They aren't visible until you really start searching for them. She takes to the combing for a bit and then gets annoyed when I work on the mats. We have, however, removed at least 2 small ones, just by daily combing. She gets upset and leaves my presence, sitting out of reach and glaring at me. Okay, time for me to move on.

So, I came into the office to blog about butter (See below). She followed me in and sat down on the rug in the sunshine. There was some growling because Mija had already claimed part of the rug and sunshine for herself. Mija left and here was the big black cat sitting on the rug, in the sunshine, her fur just gleaming.

You want to touch her. I know you do. Trust me. It is as soft as it looks.

Beverage: Assam Tea


Gray watch - month 7

It's top of the shoulder length now. It's at that annoying stage where I can pull it back into a pony tail but some of the layers aren't quite there. And I don't like it gathered around my neck all the time. The remnants of the last dye job are, most certainly, at the end and, if I can ever afford a haircut, would be gone. I am liking this length because it's something different.

Some mornings, when I stagger into the bathroom upon awakening, I wonder what it would be like to have it back to that dark chocolate brown of my, oh say, 30's. At times, I miss that color, deep and rich. It would take 2 hours and a $7.00 box of hair color, on sale at Target with a coupon, and I'd have it back.

But I remember that is not who I am now. I'm not a dark-haired 30 year-old woman. I have gray hair and if I am going to be true to myself in other ways, it begins with accepting the gray on my head.

Beverage: Assam Tea


(p.s. Yes, that is a World of Warcraft calendar on the wall behind me. I took this in my work office and that's the calendar I have up.)

The Case for Spring.

Spring came in, one week ago, in a dramatic fashion. An inch of snow and a bit of sleet and more snow. But, as I mentioned in last week's post, to the right is all that was left by Monday morning when I went to work. While the temperatures have not been the warmest this week, they have been warm enough to remind us that spring is, in fact, here.

The other harbinger is the return of Bugs.
I know you thought I was referencing the insectoid kind. No, I was referring to the rabbit who parked himself below the fir trees on the north side of the house. I had not seen him in a couple of months and, on Wednesday, Mija seemed to be fascinated by something out the north window.

This isn't the best photo. He was grooming himself and being twitchy, as rabbits are wont to do. But, he's back in the same spot. It will be interesting to see if he stays here and realizes that these cats don't go outside.

Easter Bunny? Probably a distant cousin.

Beverage: Assam tea


Friday, March 26, 2010

So When Did They Start Doing This?

Yes, it's a stick of butter. I was making "Ultimate Brownies" over the weekend and needed 2/3rd cup of butter or margarine. I don't cook with margarine anymore. If I'm going to consume fats, I might as well consume real ones, not "fake" ones.

I remember making butter in grade school. You get cow's milk of a high butterfat content. Usually Brown Swiss, Jersey or Guernsey was used. Holsteins give the most by volume but it's not usually high in butterfat. Put the milk, a quart was used, into a mason jar with a snug fitting lid, and shake. Generally, a child sat in a chair at the front of the classroom and shook the jar for 30 minutes. They passed the task off to the next child. The shaking of the jar congealed the butterfat into solid butter. This process took hours. I'm thinking it took us the better part of a class day. You could not stop the process once you started so kids who got the lunch hour got to eat late and in the classroom. Someone was assigned as their "lunch buddy" and they got to bring the lunches back to the classroom and eat with them. I remember doing this 3, maybe 4 times while in grade school and once at home.

Butter varies in color. It's dependent upon what the cow consumes. Spring, summer and fall cows who forage will produce butterfat that is deeper yellow than cows fed a grain or hay diet in the winter. The beta-carotene in grass gives the butterfat the resulting yellow color. For uniformity sake, food coloring is added to commercial butter so one box from one herd doesn't look any different from another herd. Salt is also added. Real butter is not salty. Depending upon the cow's diet, however, it can have an earthy or, we used to call it, grassy taste.

Oleomargarine is solid fat. It is white in color. I remember when it came onto the market. Stores would advertise this new fat that holds up to the high heat of frying and leaves baked goods moist. They also advertised "Colored" Oleo. As this was around the time of the Civil Rights Movement, I could not understand why, as we wanted to not use pejoratives when describing each other, stores would heavily advertise margarine that seemed aimed at a certain segment of the population. I'm grateful that my mother, very kindly said, "That's in reference to the addition of food coloring. Oleo without food coloring is white and people don't like that." Ohhhhhhhh.

In Home Economics, we learned that one stick is a half cup of shortening. My mother insisted that we know how to cook. We started on Jell-O and moved up to chocolate chip cookies and then on to deviled eggs and potato salad before being allowed to make hamburgers and pot roast. I remember when the tablespoon marks were put on a stick of butter. For years, you couldn't buy butter in quarters. You bought the pound, took it home and quartered it yourself. It was hugely convenient to have it wrapped in sticks. It certainly made for easier baking.

Measuring 2/3rd of a cup of shortening has always been a hit or miss affair. A third of a cup is 5 and a third tablespoons. That third has always been up to the cook to eyeball. I need 2/3rds which means either two sticks will be cut in pieces or I'll have to figure out, once I cut the one, how to utilize the remaining 2 2/3rds chunk left. I got out my knife and prepared to slice. That's when I noticed the printing on the package. Wow. Finally, after all these years, someone has decided to help us and eliminate the eyeballing. I still wound up with two chunks of butter sliced off two sticks, but I know exactly how much is left and I used it for other things. This is a great day.

Yes, I'm fully aware that, perhaps, this has been printed on butter sticks for several years now. But I'll swear that the butter I used over Christmas did not have this measurement on the label. When you have reached the age where you sometimes have to take off your bifocals to read, a graphic line like this is major news.

Beverage: Water


Thursday, March 25, 2010


And yes, to answer the unasked and unanswered question, I fixed the router on my own. I called Jon and described what it was doing, which was, essentially, nothing. Did he think it had died? Probably, was his reply.

Now, AT&T has provided my DSL service since I set it up. I haven't received anything from anyone in this market who can provide the same level of service I currently receive at the price I currently pay. At the time I got DSL service, the router came with the service. Yes, I had to pay for it, but I wasn't thrust into the router aisle at Frye's and told to find something. I was sent a piece of equipment that worked with my Mac the first time I plugged it in.

So, the thing to do is call AT&T, talk to tech support and have them tell me what I'm thinking all along, is the problem; the router is dead. Drag out a phone bill. It took me 10 minutes to read through everything on the phone bill to find a phone number. This vexes me #6. They put their customer service number in small print, in amongst a pile of text where you're not likely to read because there is so much of it. They refer you to the web site. I suppose this is more cost effective but the problem lies with the fact that I can't access the web. Hello? Believe me, when I got a live person on the line from Customer Service, I told them that was one of the stupidest things ever.

I had no idea how old the router was. The tech guy whom I talked to was helpful and quite apologetic. "I'm sorry. The router is 4 years old and it's out of warranty." I almost laughed. I'm sure he's had people who want something for nothing, regardless of the age of their equipment. I'm not one of those.

On Tuesday, I took the router to the AT&T store where they hoped it was just the power cord. It wasn't. I bought a new router (Thank heavens for having fixed some credit so there was enough to purchase a new router.), took it home and set it up all by myself, without a panicked call to any of my friends for advice on what I'm doing wrong. Tuesday evening, I was back online.

I need to take a moment and thank my friend, Doo, who gave me a suggestion which resulted in the saving of all the photos on one of my digital camera cards. He suggested cleaning the card's contacts with denatured alcohol. All I had was rubbing alcohol but that did the trick. He also mentioned that cards have a shelf-life of around 1000 uses. As much as I used that card, I could see it might be bordering on the end of its useful life.

As I can't afford a bigger card right yet, I have gone to a smaller card. But, in reality, I'm downloading the photos I take on a regular basis. If I go anywhere on a vacation, I'm going to need a bigger card. A trip is not in the foreseeable future so I don't have to figure out how to pay for it right now.

I'm patting myself on the back for handling what I can, figuring it out and taking care of it, on my own. The other side is knowing when I don't know what to do and not being afraid to ask. It's only taken 53 years.

Beverage: Earl Grey tea


It Means What?

My router died on Monday so I used the time to finish a magazine and start this book, which is my next read. It's quite light reading, maybe that's good at my advanced age. I enjoyed chuckling through the first chapter.

Then I stumbled upon the following statement:

"You know you're old when you've thrown your back trying to open a can of pilchards."


What the heck is a "can of pilchards"?

My big, black cat was named for Bob the Builder's cat. I knew nothing of this PBS cartoon until I had the opportunity to adopt this cat. I had seen a couple of graphics that showed Bob with a long-haired black cat standing by him. "Oh, okay." This sentence implies there's something more here.

So, a check of Wikipedia for "pilchard" and it's another name for sardine.

Sardines, or pilchards, are a group of several types of small, oily fish related to herrings, family Clupeidae.[1] Sardines were named after the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, where they were once in abundance.[2]

The terms sardine and pilchard are not precise, and the usual meanings vary by region. Britain's Sea Fish Industry Authority for example classifies sardines as young pilchards.[3] One system of measurement suggests that fish shorter in length than 6 inches (15 cm) are sardines, and larger ones pilchards.[4] The FAO/WHO Codex standard for canned sardines cites 21 species that may be classed as sardines;[5] FishBase, a comprehensive database of information about fish, lists at least six species called just “pilchard,” over a dozen called just “sardine,” and many more with the two basic names qualified by various adjectives.

I just have to laugh. It's somewhat fitting, isn't it? Name a cat after a fish. Her royal highness does like tuna water.

Plus, Bob the Builder originated in Britain. We don't call sardines pilchards. That's a very British term. Makes perfect sense why they would name a cat "Pilchard".

I looked today on the Bob the Builder site and there wasn't a cat to be found, or at least that I could see. That's kind of sad. I would liked to have seen the representation of my cat.

You know I'm going to think of sardines now when this feline decides she wants to lie in my lap. There is nothing "sardined" about 17 pounds of fur lying across my legs with her head on my arm preventing me from adequately killing mean baddies in my game. Yet, when she looks up at me....

Beverage: Earl Grey Tea


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Something I Haven't Seen

This morning, I'm talking with my friend, Tonia. I'm supposed to go into the city, where she lives, tomorrow. But we are in the middle of what may be the last gasp of winter. (See the post below.) My windshield wipers are not working. Best assumption is that the motor for the wipers needs to be replaced. Preliminary estimate starts at $175, which, as you might suspect. I don't have. So, I must refrain from driving any place when wipers are necessary for vision. How do I get to work? It's a 2 mile drive which I can do by using side streets up to 3 blocks from the office. I drive slow. I pull over and wait if I can't see. I just need to get to the end of the month and pay day to see what I can not pay this month to get this fixed. Yes, life is, for me, a juggling act. There is some light at the end of the tunnel but it's going to be a struggle to get there. I feel getting the oil changed and the wipers fixed as we head into spring and the rainy season trumps paying certain bills.

But back to the reason for the post. I'm sitting in my home office which overlooks the back yard. I am not wearing my glasses. I had been lounging in bed, playing with Mija when the phone rang. I gaze out at the back yard festooned with snow, and my eye spots something on the neighbor's fence. I'm very certain it wasn't there last night. I put on my glasses and see this.

Large birds perched on the neighbor's fence are not usual in my neighborhood. I think it was 4 years ago, I had a hawk perch in the tree which would be to the right off this photo. It was late March then too.

Tonia and I chatted for a good 45 minutes, all the while the hawk just sat there, occasionally scratching or preening. After Tonia hung up, I got the camera and was able to snap a couple of photos.
It hung around for another 30 minutes after I finished my conversation and then took off. I don't know that my yard is a hawk-friendly environment although rabbits, as we've seen, live here, and Rascal used to catch chipmunks that lived under the neighbor's air conditioning unit. I had mice make an attempt to come into the house last year, but, once again, Rascal saw to their disinvitation. Maybe there is enough food for a raptor. I'd welcome the bird.

But just what kind of bird is it? There are a lot of red-tailed hawks in the Chicagoland area. They like to nest in or near open pit rock quarries. They are redder than this bird and have more brown on the chest. They are also larger. When the bird took off and flew over the house, it did not have the distinctive red tail of the Buteo jamaicensis, red-tailed hawk. I had a suspect, however.

Over 10 years ago, a pair of Cooper's Hawks made a nest in a tree next to the home of one of Carole's friends. It was a grand summer, watching them nest, and rear and send 2 young hawks into the world. We would stand on the roof above the entry porch with binoculars and watch as a parent would bring home a rabbit or some other food item and these two, rather ugly chicks would clamor for food.

I looked up Cooper's Hawk and I believe, based on the description on the page linked, that's what the above is. I think this is an adult although I don't know the gender. Scouting my yard as a possible housing location? As I said, I wouldn't mind.

I liked the Cornell University Ornithology Lab's web description much better than Wikipedia. Back in the 1990's, I was a member of their Project FeederWatch. Four months out of the year, you watched, for a week, the activity at your bird feeder, counting and identifying all the birds that used it. It was great fun and, as I was home during the day, I could devote a morning or an afternoon to just sitting and watching. When I went back to work, I didn't have the time to devote to this. The feeder fell apart and I have never rejoined the effort. There are times I think about it, particularly now as the birds who overwintered are joined by those who went south. But until I reestablish a feeder, I don't have many visible birds in the yard. I hear them, but I'm not good at identifying bird calls, except for that stupid robin who sings way too loud in the summer.

There was a link on the side to a program called eBird. In clicking on it, I discovered it's a way to submit bird sighting information to the Cornell Lab. A few clicks and typings later, I had submitted my sighting of this bird. I didn't see a way to transmit these photos, but I'm sure, if someone wants to see them, they will contact me.

I've always felt raptors were good luck. I love driving back to Iowa and seeing Red-tails, Cooper's, Northern Goshawks and Broad-winged Hawks and the occasional Bald Eagle along the road, either perched in nearby trees or sitting on the power poles scanning the ditches for meals. They are all majestic birds, beautiful in flight and provide a very necessary niche in our environment. Perhaps having a hawk eyeballing my back yard is a sign that life will, in fact, be better this year. I'll take it as a good omen.

Beverage: English Tea Time


Spring 2010

Saturday, March 20th is the vernal equinox. Spring officially arrived at 12:32 p.m.

I knew I shouldn't have moved the snow shovel to the basement.

Crocus and tulips are designed to weather this although snow can make them look so sad.

Shirley tulips.

By Monday, all this snow will be gone and next week, it will be near 60 again. It does remind me that I choose to live here and I do enjoy the vagaries of weather in the midwest.

Beverage: English Tea Time


Friday, March 19, 2010

Time to Get Out the Iron

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. It became something of a ritual when I started working again that I would mark the occasion by wearing a Hawaiian-style shirt every day for a week. At the time, I think I had maybe 5 shirts but that would be sufficient for a "week" of work days.

I like loud and bright. I mentioned in a post about fixing my socks that if the socks aren't what would be considered loud, I don't buy them. An exception has been made for socks my daughter has given me from Penneys. She gets great deals on Gold Toe socks and they are very sturdy so I happily wear them. Several Christmases ago, my sister gave me these wonderful teal-colored socks made from hemp. They, too, are sturdy and, even after what has to approach 100 washings, they are as soft as when I got them. Teal is a great color, too, not loud but it does go with most anything.

This is, however, not a post about socks. It's a post about shirts.

Back on Wednesday, I was standing in front of the row of short sleeved shirts hanging in my closet. Tomorrow, I will select 7 of my Hawaiian shirts to be ironed for wearing this next week. The bright colors are a mood lifter particularly as the weather is going to be back to normal and not the 60+ temperatures we've had all this week.

But I was looking at my collection of shirts. I need more bright colors. I could use more stripes or prints. I could use more bright blues. Red and green and black are covered. I look terrible in orange and purple, with the exception of the deep royal purple is not a color I like. I was wishing I could give away some of these shirts and replace them with brighter colors. That would involve shopping which I simply cannot do right now. It would be fun because the bright colors I'm looking for are out now, but I won't put myself further in debt to brighten my wardrobe.

I think this is all part of my inner desire to improve my attitude. I love color and a freshening of the wardrobe would improve my spirits. I will enjoy wearing my shirts next week, even if I have to toss it over a turtleneck.

Beverage: Chocolate Hazelnut tea


A Slight Impediment

As the weekend is going to be messy with an inch of snow predicted by tomorrow morning, I decided to do more baking. Plus, I'm down to my last dozen muffins.

I have all these cookbooks and pamphlets collected over the years so I thought it would be fun to go through them and see what I could make with what I have since another grocery excursion is out of the question for 2 more weeks. I've had this craving for chocolate cake, nothing fancy, just a plain old chocolate cake.

So, I grabbed a chocolate cookbook and a small stack of pamphlets, set them on the ottoman intending to page through them once I got a cup of tea. Yeah...right...
I got another stack of pamphlets and let her have those.

I need to finish washing dishes because I'm actually going to haul the crock pot up from the basement and try a chicken dish I discovered. I need a spot on the counter for the crock pot.

Beverage: Chocolate hazelnut tea


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yet Another Sign

The crocus are up. I swear, they were not this bold when I left this morning. With tomorrow's gorgeous weather, I expect them to be in full bloom. Then the first day of spring arrives, on Saturday with a prediction of rain turning to snow. I said something at the beginning of the month about March going out like a lion.

Beverage: Tea


One Box Left

Part of cleaning out the cupboard was to consume all the Jell-O I found. The next step has been to consume all the instant pudding I found. There wasn't as much of that as there was of the gelatin.

The first box was banana. The second box has been this pistachio. The last box is tapioca. I prefer to make Bob's Red Mill tapioca, which is a cook on the stove method. It makes a lovely tapioca pudding and I like to eat it warm, just after being made. The Jell-O brand will be cold although I could nuke it for warmth. I find tapioca to be one of those wonderful comfort foods, like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, and when you're having comfort food, to finish the meal off with comfort dessert, well, that make the meal more special.

I can't remember what year this was released to the general public. It is one of those items that my grandmother seized upon as being perfect for cooking. It also helped that a couple of recipes came out in 1974, right after the Watergate break-in, which used the pudding as a base ingredient.

Watergate Salad


  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. In a large bowl, mix together pudding mix, pineapple with juice, marshmallows, and nuts. Fold in whipped topping. Chill.
See? It's ridiculously easy.

This is the Watergate Cake.


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 (1.3 ounce) envelopes whipped topping mix
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut


  1. Mix cake mix, oil, eggs, soda drink, and 1 package pudding well, about 5 minutes. Fold in coconut and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Cool.
  3. To Make Icing: Combine dream whip, milk, and 1 package pudding. Beat until thick. Spread over cake. Sprinkle nuts and coconut on top.
Knowing that I don't care for pineapple or coconut, both ingredients were left out of the salad and the cake. It wasn't until I was making this for church events that I encountered the versions that contained pineapple and coconut. Some people would put the colored miniature marshmallows in their salad, particularly around Easter.

So I'm sitting at supper last night, eating my spaghetti and having my pistachio pudding and remembering the boxes of this that were in my grandmother's pantry. It was a staple of her cooking. It's much better if I put aerosol whipped cream on the top of it rather than eat it straight.

I was looking at my bundt pan when I put the Dutch oven away. My grandmother lived for bundt pan recipes and Watergate cake was something she always made. Heck, I made it, for years. I'm sure the recipe lingers, sans coconut, in my recipe box.

I'll make the tapioca pudding over the weekend and that will be it for instant pudding. I probably won't purchase any more instant pudding unless I need to take a cake some where and something in a cook book catches my eye. I won't say my tastes are more sophisticated. They are just different now.

Winter is poised to return over the weekend. What could be better than tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and tapioca pudding?

Beverage: Water


They Have Arrived

There were 2 robins in my backyard as I left the house for work this morning. As my friend, Ken says, who saw robins and a redwing blackbird on the way to work, if the birds think it's warm enough to be here, then spring is coming.

I'll take that.

Beverage: English Teatime


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This vexes me - #5.

See this? Resealable my...... I can use that word. Ladies don't use words like that. I was almost out of rice so I bought a medium-sized bag last Friday. I keep my rice on the counter in a glass container which can be made airtight. That way, it's easy to access. I find rice easy to cook and I can add so many things to it that it's a great side dish.

First problem. "Pull to Open" doesn't. I don't know how they sealed it, but even with perforations, I couldn't get the top to pull open. So, I took the scissors and cut by the perforations, exposing the part you're supposed to be able to reseal. HA!

Second problem. Opening up the bag along the "Pull to Open" exposes a seal that won't open. Seriously. Even Zip Locs seals open easier than whatever they put in the top of this bag. I remember the commercials for the initial announcement of the "zip loc" technology. People filled those bags with all sorts of stuff from liquid to dry, closed them and turned them upside down. "See? It doesn't leak." While you can still get cheap sandwich bags that have the "tuck in, fold over" technology, imagine if that's all that was available. That's what it used to be like. We take for granted that we can squeeze shut the tops of our plastic bags.

Third problem. I try and try to pull the two halves apart and one small spot gives. It's NOT where the squeeze shut apparatus is located. I've just made a hole in the bag itself. This has now defeated the purpose of a resealable top.

Fine. I get the scissors and cut open the top, pour as much as I need into the container and then, gasp, use an old-fashioned rubber band to secure the top of the bag. I have now implemented my own resealable top.

Not everything needs this kind of technology. I would submit that rice does not. In looking at the bags at the store, the size bigger and smaller than this did not have this resealing feature. If you're going smaller, it must be guessed that you will either secure it yourself or use it right away. If you're going large, you probably have a container into which it goes AND you'll be securing the bag yourself when you're done. It's just this size, roughly 8-10 pounds.

The bag is up on the shelf next to the couscous which is, ironically, in a zip loc bag.

Beverage: Water


Happy St. Patricks Day - A Lament

I've been a wee bit of a curmudgeon on Facebook today. I've seen a number of my young computer acquaintances post they are going out after work to "get smashed" for St. Patrick's Day because they took tomorrow off. They need a day specifically to get drunk? I must be missing something here.

I remember being cornered by a woman in the company for whom I was working at the time, who admonished me because I was not wearing any green on St. Patrick's Day. I am of Scottish, English, German and Czech extraction. There's no Irish. I have a connection to these other cultures but none, really, to Ireland. I believe, were I able to go back far enough, I would see there is Norse blood running through my veins as well, given that the Vikings made it a habit to attack the eastern side of Scotland. On that St. Patrick's Day in particular, I had been quite tired while getting dressed and had forgotten the date.

It's said that on St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish. What a lovely sentiment. But does that mean I have to succumb to overconsumption of beer? And where does tinting the beer green have anything to do with Irish culture?

I guess that's my biggest complaint about this pseudo-holiday. It's not about Irish culture. It's not about a celebration of corned beef and cabbage or Irish music. It's disintegrated into a socially acceptable day to become really, really drunk and be hung over the next day.

I knew a guy who tended bar on weekends when he wasn't working his day job. He hated St. Patrick's Day. The bar where he worked never had specials on March 17th. They discovered they didn't need to have anything "on sale" because the place would be packed regardless of a happy hour. He called the people who flooded the bar "amateurs". The regulars never showed up or came early and went home. People drinking in the bar on March 17th were not the people who would consider doing this for camaraderie. It was simply because getting drunk on St. Patty's Day was what one should be doing.

It does a disservice to the Irish to be so recognized and that's my lament.

Beverage: Huckleberry tea (I can't afford to stop at Caribou and get Irish Breakfast tea and I have none in the house.)


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Carole will tell you. I recycle. When the City of Wheaton announced that they were going to try recycling in certain neighborhoods, I called and wrote letters to the mayor and my representative asking that my neighborhood be chosen. The idea that I could not recycle my paper or certain plastics to reduce my refuse stream bothered me. There were times when I would recycle something accidentally, like the form to renew license plates which had to have been tucked inside something else. I used to have a stack of all sizes of boxes in the basement. We could ship or wrap just about anything because there was box the right size in the basement.

While I am still fanatical about recycling, indeed, I bring home the paper, plastic, bottles and cans from the office because we don't have recycling in our building, I don't save boxes anymore. We get enough stuff shipped to the office in varying sized boxes that I don't need to save 'elventy-twelve' different sizes. So, as I find them, I'm tossing them in the recycling container.

Except this one.

This is the box which contained the cocoa and peanut M&M's from Daniel in payment of the Orange Bowl bet. This box has been commandeered by the cats. Both of them use it. It is perfectly cat size and both of them love to lie down in it. That brightly colored item in the box is a 'mouse' missing its tail. Rascal loved to toss these things by their tail and that was always the first part to disintegrate. Mija and Pilchard love to chase it around the box.

When I come home or they are in a particularly playful mood, one of them runs and jumps into the box to sit and then lie down.

So, long after the M&M's and the hot cocoa are gone, I will have the box. As I said in an earlier post, it's a good box, a sturdy box. It's going to last for a very long time.

Beverage: Ginger Ale


Friday, March 12, 2010

It's alright. Mom's here.

We had the first thunderstorm of the year yesterday. There had been a rumble in the morning, a very brief boom that could have been construed as a train hurriedly stopping. Last night, however, a line of very heavy but fast moving storms rumbled through the area dropping lots of water and pea-sized hail.

And scaring my cats.

I am not kidding. It came through about 8:45. I thought I had seen flashes of lightning outside but I was engrossed in getting my WOW guild moving in one direction toward the event we were going to do so I didn't really pay that much attention. Suddenly, there was a flash, crack, boom and the sound of hail hitting the window sills. I know this will mean nothing to some of you, but we had entered the Construct wing of Naxxramas and were working on belchers and blobs. I'm pushing buttons and Pilchard comes running into the office, jumps up on the chair next to me and starts meowing. She's followed by Mija who stands next to me and meows. Pilchard actually tried to force her way into my lap.

It was very noisy, I have to admit. I got up and looked out the windows to see the hail and the sheets of rain. Very large drops where pounding the south side of the house which just upset the girls even more. I went back into the office, pulled Pilchard into my lap and started calming her down. Mija jumped up in the vacated chair so she could get some ear scratching. I told my guild mates I had to attend to the cats because of the storm.

It lasted about 10 minutes. Once it had passed, nerves were adequately soothed and Mija went back to sleeping on the bed while Pilchard curled up on the table in the office as she usually does when I game.

I felt rather important. My other cats either hid or didn't care when a heavy storm like that came through. They never came to me. The times I'd go to the basement because of the tornado sirens, I'd have to call and call and call them downstairs. I don't think that's going to be the case here. I think I'll be able to scoop them up and go to safety or they will follow me. I like that.

Beverage: Scottish Blend tea


Thursday, March 11, 2010

I can't find it.

In anticipation of a trip to the grocery, I was balancing my checkbook today. I have had a whole month of goodness, where every expenditure, every credit, every debit, every penny matched up. Of course this was too good to last.

The bank says I have $50 more than I say. Yes, it's a nice round number. I have searched and cannot find it.

Now, before you pat me nicely on the back and tell me I'm lucky, this is not good. As I have come to see, as the bank giveth, they taketh with equal measure. I cannot just write this in and think, "Whoopee! Delivery pizza tonight!" I need the numbers to match up or I will get behind again.

So, I have decided to assume my figure, which is the lower of the two, is correct. If, in fact, I do have, really, an extra $50 in the bank, I might as well keep it there as a cushion for those inevitable "oopes" that happen in life.

Now, off to the store for bananas and cheese and cereal and laundry detergent, among other things.

Beverage: Dr. Pepper


Not over here it hasn't.

I stumbled across this news item from AP...
Americans regained more of their shrunken wealth last quarter, mainly because the healing economy boosted stock portfolios. But the gain was less than in the previous two quarters.

The Federal Reserve reported Thursday that household net worth rose 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter to $54.2 trillion. It marked the third straight quarter of gains. Net worth had risen by a stronger 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2009 and by an even faster 5.5 percent in the third quarter.

I don't know whom they are talking to, but it isn't me.

Beverage: Water


So now what do I do?

I was doing dishes on Tuesday night and I could hear water dripping. I went into the basement but it was not down there. I opened up the cabinet under the sink and there is a leak under the sink. When I let the water out of the sink, it really drips.

So, on the agenda for this weekend is to remove everything under the sink, toss, clean and disinfect things. Then, I need to figure out where the leak actually is and do something about it. I think, based on what I could see at night under the sink, that it's coming from where the pipe meets that drain. I'm wondering, if I can get that area bone dry, if I can silicone caulk all the way around that joint and seal it. Will that work? I certainly cannot pay a plumber to come look at this.

The other problem I have to solve is why my windshield wipers won't work. (Try saying that 5 times fast.) It's not that they are intermittent, it's that they won't work, period. It was raining on the way to work this morning. I took the back roads and drove 30. There is only a quarter mile stretch where there's any traffic that I was more than a bit concerned about. But something has to be done.

I was supposed to go into the city Saturday to have lunch with Tonia but if I can't get the wipers working, I can't go. It's supposed to rain from now through Sunday evening. I have to get a few groceries but the store is just over the hill. In nice weather, I can walk there. That's not an issue. I have to run to the DMV to deal with a duplicate title for Carole's car but I can't do that without wipers.

If it's not pouring down rain when Rodney gets back from the job he's on at the moment, we're going to look at the fuses. Maybe it's something simple like a fuse. Again, I cannot afford to have to take the car in for a repair. There is no money for this. I need an oil change and I can't afford that.

So, I need to be careful in where I go until this is fixed or the weather is clear. It's really okay because I don't go anywhere as it is. I just do kind of need to have this fixed, however.

Beverage: Scottish Blend tea


Warmest Day of 2010 So Far.

Yesterday, it was 60 degrees and sunny. I was in shirt sleeves as I took the garbage to the curb. All the snow is gone from the front, south side and back of the yard. The north side of the house still had a few piles but those will be gone today with this heavy rain. The raid is soaking in, which is nice, and not coming into my basement.

I cleaned the litter boxes and left the back door open. I wanted the fresh breeze in the house and I kind of wanted to see what the girls would do. I came to the back door with a garbage bag and Pilchard quickly scrambled back inside the house. I sat down on the deck and Mija came outside. She walked around the deck, sniffing everything. Pilchard came out for a few seconds but ran back inside when I went to scratch her ears. All I had to do to get Mija inside was say, "Okay, back in the house" and inside she darted. Neither one went to the back door later to look out.

I like having them be house cats. I also liked how they were curious but only up to a point. I wonder if they can be "trained", like you ever really train a cat, to only come out onto the deck and not leave the deck? That way, I could have my summer Sunday morning breakfasts while reading the paper on the deck and know they won't be wandering off. I do think they enjoyed the sunshine and the fresh air.

After I took the garbage to the curb and came in for the evening, they were chasing each other and dashing all over the house as if the warm weather had somehow wound them up. They seemed very, very happy last night and there is nothing like a happy cat to put a smile on your face.

Beverage: Scottish Blend tea


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


There was major change at the office yesterday. One of us was let go. It was not me. Thankfully, I am still fully employed. But, we did have a frank discussion of the fact that the office continues to lose money, even as we try, very hard, to tighten our belts. Another of us could be let go, although the boss is trying not to do that.

We are down to the 5 most productive people. The stress level today is almost non-existent. While I do not wish for anyone to lose their job in this economic climate, the fact remains that the person we let go dug his own grave. Yesterday, when informed of the decision, his action was to blame everyone else and not himself for the loss.

Just a few suggestions to workers out there:
  • If you are tired, go to be earlier. Openly sleeping in your office does not endear you to your office mates.
  • When given a task that requires you to be out of the office doing something, go do it and come back. Don't stop at Starbucks for coffee and to read your newspaper. Worst of all, don't stop for coffee, then drive to a semi-secluded spot, recline your front seat and sleep.
  • Don't come in 15-20 minutes late, check on what's going on in the office, take a nap and then tell me "I'm stepping out for a bit" and be gone for another 45 minutes.
  • Find something on the Internet that holds your attention or read everything on your industry you can get your hands on. Your desk can be completely clear and clean and dusted but you should look busy.
  • Find more than one thing to discuss with your office workers. We quickly tired of sports talk all the time. We all have varied interests and if all you talk about is one topic, when our knowledge is exhausted, we don't care to listen to you prattle on, whether that's sports, cats, WOW, car repairs, etc.
  • And don't blame us if you get reprimanded. Even if you think it's unfair, look for any kernel of truth in the comment and work to get better. For years, we've been complaining about the same things. If it's the same comment and it's coming from more than just me, maybe there's something to it.
What we also discussed is how the boss is not averse to us putting our resumes out there. I've sent mine out sporadically, generally when I'm really frustrated with my job. The boss said we could use him as a reference and he said it did not bother him at all if we were looking and could find something better. "That's the reality of the work place now," he said. So we have his blessing to use office time when we're not working, to network and hunt the job sites.

I went home last night and hugged my girls. I generally scratch ears in the morning before going out the door and say, "Well, I'm off to keep my girls in cat food and kitty litter." I still have a job. I like my job. I feel, sort of, for the guy we let go. It's tough out there. I've had to take what is, essentially, a pay cut by not going into the field and staying in the office. But you do what you need to do.

This is an opportunity for the 5 of us left to look at other ways of streamlining costs. It could become very good for us.

Beverage: English Teatime tea


Monday, March 8, 2010

Fully at home and fully in my face.

I was out of cat food so I went to the grocery by the office. After many minutes struggling with math in my head, I decided that buying the 16 pound bag of cat food at $12.99 was a far better value than buying the 6 pound bag at $8.99 even though I really don't have a place to store the bigger bag. Sometimes, it's not about less cost. What good is 16 pounds of cat food if I have no place to store it? But, we'll figure that out.

I got Cheerios and salad greens and french fries. Tonight's supper was that lone chicken breast in a sandwich with fries. German mustard and a few sprigs of radicchio on the sandwich and I am set. Mug of nice hot tea that uses up the three bags sitting in the spoon rest. Life is good. Simple and good.

So, I'm trying to read a newspaper as I eat my fries. They are seasoned which I don't like the best. I misunderstood the print on the front of the bag. Yes, take a moment to step away and giggle, chortle, guffaw or otherwise laugh. But over baked and crispy, they are fine. Two bites into my sandwich and I have a friend.

Now, it has been years since I had a cat in my face while I eat. As health deteriorated, cats quit jumping up on the table to see what I was eating. It was always accompanied by a, "Get down! Cats don't eat x", even if, yes, cats do eat chicken. They just aren't allowed to eat MY chicken. You fool a cat that wants what you have. You have them smell your broccoli or your jello or your tea. They look at you funny because what they are smelling in front of them is not what the scent in the air is that is so enticing. But it's just enough of a distraction that they will happily wander away and let you eat in piece.

Unless they are in your face.

I gave Mija the smell of a french fry and darned if she didn't grab it and scoot into the hallway next to the food bowl to eat it. She came right back and I offered another very small one, but she wasn't interested. I think one was her tolerance level. Pilchard dashed over to see if what Mija was getting was something she wanted. Nope. She had no interest in seasoned french fries.

My chicken sandwich on the other hand.

I refused to give either of them a sniff and moved Mija onto the floor. This had to be done several times until the sandwich was gone.

/sigh And so it begins. In reality, these two exhibit far less inclination to want whatever I'm eating than any other cats I've had. I can show them the hamburger and, yes, chicken or fish that I'm preparing and have them wander out of the kitchen happy. A french fry every 3 months is an okay treat because I know they are eating good quality cat food and drinking plenty of water.

It's actually kind of funny to have a 10 pound cat purring up a storm standing in your lap trying to intercept that chicken sandwich you've made for yourself.

Beverage: Tea


Mmmm mmmmm good and it's not soup.

I like cookbooks. I like to page through them when I have ingredients, looking for something I've never tried or an old chestnut I haven't made in ages.

I took chicken breasts out of the freezer not completely sure what I was going to make. I went through my recipe boxes and found Asian Garlic Chicken which sounded pretty good. I assembled all the ingredients the day before I would make this but when the time arrived to actually cook the chicken, Asian Garlic Chicken wasn't what I thought I wanted. In fact, none of the recipes in the box under the "Poultry" section appealed to me. I have thawed chicken breasts. I need to cook them. I can't be tossing food out.

So, I turned to my cookbook shelf. I did a scan of the shelves (yes I have multiple shelves of cookbooks) and the few stacked on top of the bookshelf and I spied this one. I don't remember where I got it, just as I don't remember where I got 90% of my cookbooks. There have got to be recipes for cooking chicken on the pages.

"Oven Fried Chicken with Honey Lemon Sauce". Serve this with rice and frozen veggies and it was incredible. I used up all my honey in the process so I can't make any more honey cornmeal muffins. That's okay because I'm nearly out of cornmeal, too.

Last night, I made "Fish Fillets with Curried Rice" from a recipe I've had for years. That made enough for 3 more meals. Plus there was extra rice. Now, I'd cooked up 4 chicken breasts but only had enough rice for two. Add a chicken breast to the extra curried rice and viola, lunch today. I still have one chicken breast to eat but I'm thinking it would make a very good sandwich. I just need to get some lettuce and fries.

It's nice when it all comes together. I'm good until probably Thursday with supper and lunch. That gives me time to do some grocery shopping.

Beverage: china black tea


A new book

I finished the book about luck. It was interesting. Essentially, the keys to changing your luck are:
  1. Have a network of friends. The more friends you have, the more you'll have people who know someone who can help when life goes sour.
  2. Chat up people next to you in lines or when you're waiting for something or if you're on a plane ride some place. It could pay dividends.
  3. A change of luck can be as simple as changing your outlook. Lucky people see the bad things in life as a challenge to be overcome, not as something that beats them down. It's a glass "half-full or half-empty" perspective.
  4. Lucky people are always on the look-out for opportunities. They look at every situation as a potential for increasing good luck.
The author recommended keeping a "Luck Journal" for a month. I'm to write down every lucky event that happens every day. In this fashion, I can prove to myself that luck is all around me. I started last Thursday. Friday and Saturday were quite "lucky". Yesterday, not so much. I can be accused of looking more for the other shoe to drop than what is going right so this month-long attempt at the bright side will, no doubt, have a good effect on me. I will keep you posted.

So it's on to my next read. I chose something lighter.

Beverage: China Black tea


Friday, March 5, 2010

Maybe I can put it away this weekend.

The spring weather has been glorious. It's always been intriguing to me that in October and November, when the temperature gets to 40 or 38, we haul out the winter jackets, the mittens and search for that scarf we know we had last year.

Yet put the same temperatures in March and I'm dragging my recycling and garbage to the curb sans coat, hat or gloves. It truly is a question of perception.

I came home on Wednesday in 40 degree weather and dropped my coat on the table in the living room. It was claimed.

There is a legend about St. Francis which I have always used to justify why some things aren't put away. The story goes that St. Francis, an animal lover, cut the sleeve off his favorite robe rather than disturb a sleeping cat. I had spilled soda down the front of that jacket coming home from Iowa so it had been washed on Tuesday and hung up in the bathroom to dry. If you have cats, you know they will lie on anything and clean clothes are at the top of their short list.

At some point, I would like to hang it up. I'm hoping that will come this weekend. Every time I go into the living room intending to hang up the coat, there's a cat on it. St. Francis was correct. We do not disturb the contented cat.

Beverage: China Black tea



On February 15th, one of the ladies who works in the Atlanta office of my company posted to Facebook that she had been with the company for 10 years, officially, that day. I started a month and 5 days ahead of her. It's hard to believe it has been 10 years.

A couple guys from other offices posted to her thread congratulating us. I suggested we deserved chocolate for sticking around this long. Chuck, from the South Carolina office, posted "I'll see what I can do."

I got a package yesterday in the mail. I had no idea what was sort of fat and being sent to me from the South Carolina office. Then I opened it.

Rodney came out of his office and gave me a very quizzical look as to why I was laughing so hard.

Chuck rocks. Yup. He does and no, I am not sharing.

Beverage: Huckleberry tea


Another part of history is disappearing.

I stumbled across this while reading various links...

"Check The Manual (Transmission): Stick Shift Cars Going Away

Usage In U.S. Drops Below 10%

By Kirk Seaman, AOL Car Correspondent.
The ability to drive a car equipped with a manual transmission is becoming a dying art. The sales numbers tell the story: In 1985, according to Ward’s Communications, 22.4% of all vehicles sold in the United States came with a manual transmission. By 2007, the number had plummeted to 7.7%.

A quick check of vehicles for sale on AOL Autos tells a similar story. Of the 4,391,747 vehicles recently listed for sale, only 241,560 -- or 5.5% -- came with a manual..."

I learned to drive on a tractor and then when dad got us one of the first "mini" van models released to the public. All of our cars in the last 1960's and early 1970's were stick shift models. Dad said the automatics had him worried. He didn't trust something that claimed to shift for you.

I go off to college and marry a guy who doesn't know how to drive a stick. All the cars we owned in the first 10 years of our marriage were automatics. I would long for the days of shifting. It is a point of honor if you know how to drive a stick shift.

When we got a second car, that car had a stick shift. I loved it. My ex never drove it except once, in the church parking lot. When it came time to replace it, I got a Jeep which has a stick shift.

"The reasons for this situation are many. First, driver’s education classes simply aren’t teaching students how to drive a manual. We spoke with Eric Tunell at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, perhaps the most well-known and highly regarded performance driving schools in the country, to get his perspective.

'With the teen drivers who attend our programs, their family car doesn’t have a manual transmission, so they don’t need to learn,' he explained. 'We also find that parents are mainly concerned with the safety of their teen driver and a manual is one more thing to distract them from focusing on driving.'

Another reason is fuel economy. In the past, manual transmissions got better fuel economy than automatics. Improvements in automatic transmission design, however, has helped them equal the fuel economy numbers of manuals, or at least come very close.

Modern traffic conditions have also helped contribute to the manual’s demise. In today’s stop-and-start traffic, the constant clutch-and-shift action is tiring. Combine that with the creaking knees of the aging baby boomer population and it’s no wonder manual transmissions are going the way of the dodo."

I think about replacing the Jeep and I can't imagine NOT having a stick shift. I feel I am more actively involved in the mechanics of driving because my car's not doing everything for me. I am more aware of what's going on around me because slowing my car means applying the brake AND downshifting. Is it a pain to continually shift to 2nd or 3rd and back to 1st when driving out of the city in rush hour? Sure it is, but I figure I'm exercising my legs.

I also feel that a person who drives a stick shift can drive out of any situation. Need someone to move that truck? I can do it. I know a lot of new trucks have automatic transmissions in there, but many do not. While I would be hard pressed to back up a truck with a trailer, I can drive pretty much anything because I can drive a stick shift.

Yet times change and we should adapt with the times. If I'm the only 89 year-old in the US driving a stick shift, well, somehow I think that fits right into my odd-ball personality.

Beverage: Huckleberry tea


Oh dear. This is not good.

I came into the office today with my camera in tow. I received something in the mail I'm going to blog about later and needed to take a photo of it. Jon put the card from my camera in his reader and nothing showed up. So, I put the card back in the camera and now the camera tells me there is no card.

I have photos on this card. I took a bunch of photos last night but didn't upload them as I was going to bring the camera into the office today. So now what? I guess I assume all those photos are lost and the card is no good?

Fortunately, I have other cards. They are smaller than this one. I'll just have to upload more frequently.

Beverage: Huckleberry tea


Thursday, March 4, 2010

The things you do for the cats.

I made tuna and noodle casserole last night for supper. It's quick and easy and makes enough that I have lunch for today and tomorrow.

Of course, Mija comes into the kitchen with me and wants to know what I'm doing. Shakespeare used to say absolutely nothing. All he would do is stretch up against you, extend his claws and hook them into your closest pant leg. Wearing shorts? Didn't matter to him. Mija just meows, loudly, although she will stand up against my legs as Shakespeare did. She does this if she doesn't think I have acknowledged her presence.

So I open the can of tuna and divided the juice into two saucers. Suddenly, there's a big black cat in the kitchen too and she's meowing. I gave them their saucers of tuna juice. All went quiet.

Once the juice was consumed, both left the kitchen to bathe their faces and to go lie down. Tuna is not a full-time meal for a cat. It's not well-balanced. It's just a treat to be consumed occasionally. I did have to laugh. I ate my casserole and made tea and there was no cat following me into the kitchen. Both were sound asleep.

Beverage: Earl Grey tea


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In like a lamb

At 5 p.m. today, it was 39 degrees.

I have a love/hate feeling about this time of winter. I love the melting, the feeling that spring is coming and winter is ending. I love the smell of the air and the earth. I love the impossibly clear days and nights when standing on the deck looking up at the stars actually means you'll see stars and not clouds. I love the return of sunlight at 5 when I'm dragging the garbage out to the curb. I love finding buds on trees and small green shoots next to the south side of the house.

I hate the color of the snow, that black, dirty, awful color. I hate finding anything and everything that was lost in the snow. I just tossed a glove in the garbage tonight. It appears that it went through a snow blower and was just left in my drive. I hate the loss of the brilliant white from a new snowfall. I hate losing the bracing taste of cold days and the feeling that I'm filling my lungs with clean air. I hate dragging in the mud of a ground slowly losing its thaw.

But it is time. It's March, month number 3. It's a new year and a new spring, a time for anticipating new beginnings, clearing away the debris of a winter passed and heading bright-eyed into a spring ripe with opportunities.

And I remember that exactly one week ago, I was standing at a BP in Center Point, Iowa, shivering because it was -30 below with the wind, feeling the stinging of wind-driven snow on my face as I filled the car with gas. I thought about that as I stood at a BP in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on the way home from work in 39 degree weather without my coat and watching as the piles from the past weekend made rivulets in the parking lot. What a difference 7 days has made.

I do wonder, however, if March is coming in this mildly, I probably shouldn't put the sweaters or the boots or the winter coat or the snow shovel away just yet.

Beverage: Coke


Hot Cocoa

I made a mug of Daniel's hot cocoa last night.

It was an interesting evening because I brought the box in and then went to the basement to hang up the load of wash I did the day previous. While I was down there, I noticed, on the top shelf of this shelf unit near the wash lines, a bottle of Amaretto. I will swear that all the times previous when I've been looking for that, I haven't been able to find it. There it was, clear as day. I was actually wishing that I had 7Up to make amaretto and 7. And I dug out a recipe for MahiMahi with an amaretto sauce. Now, I don't have any MahiMahi but I have other white fish that should be just as good.

I followed the directions he provided for making the cocoa and added amaretto. I am not sharing. I'm sorry. You go find your own cocoa. This is mine. I have some cherry liqueur and some cinnamon schnapps on the shelf. As I'll drink hot cocoa all year 'round, I think I'm set for raiding beverages for a couple of months, at least.


Beverage: Assam tea