Friday, December 30, 2016

Attitude Re-Organization

This is ME.  I did a "tendency" quiz and my "tendency" is to Rebel.  Never to do what is expected of me or even what is best for me.  I see this in me at work.  I am told what to do--and I find a way to do it that is "different" from what is expected.  Or I find someone else to do it......I am laughing at this but my co-workers find it very annoying.

Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.
They choose to act from a sense of choice, of freedom. Rebels wake up and think, “What do I want to do today?” They resist control, even self-control, and usually enjoy flouting rules and expectations.
Rebels place a high value on authenticity and self-determination, and bring an unshackled spirit to what they do. Rebels work toward their own goals, in their own way, and while they refuse to do what they’re “supposed” to do, they can accomplish their own aims.
But Rebels often frustrate others because they can’t be asked or told to do anything. They don’t care if “people are counting on you,” “you said you’d do it,” “your parents will be upset,” “it’s against the rules,” “this is the deadline,” or “it’s rude.” In fact, asking or telling Rebels to do something often makes them do just the opposite.
The people around Rebels must guard against accidentally igniting their spirit of opposition—particularly challenging for the parents of Rebel children.
In fact, Rebels sometimes frustrate even themselves, because they can’t tell themselves what to do. 

I got an email this morning asking if it would be possible, this Winter, for me to drive to a friend's house/studio so we could draw together.  I just sat and looked at the email and wondered who my friend thought she was writing to?  Me drive, in the Winter, to Georgetown?  There is no way that this would EVER happen.  No matter how badly I wanted to go.  I wouldn't drive there in summer.  It involves a highway and country roads.

I have been away from work for 10 days now.  Staying up very late watching Longmire on Netflix or watching episodes of Storage Wars.  Wasting time.  Not reading books.

I baked cookies yesterday--at 9 pm.  Used my new Tablespoon ice cream scoop thing.  It was amazingly easy to get 36 same exact sized cookies.  Life Changing.

Well, this Rebel is going out to lunch with G who has just finished snow blowing the driveway.  It snowed yesterday.  Then rained.  Then snowed again with thunder.  Exciting and very pretty.  White fluffy stuff.  The Weatherman got it right.  Amazing.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

This Year's Ornament--Bees

Never got past the initial prototype.  I didn't have the felt I needed.  JoAnn's didn't have good colors or a large selection.  They did have wonderful bee eye buttons.  Then I found this painting.

Now I am ready to take some bees.  More black and tan than black and bright gold.

We have eaten most of the meatballs.  Have only 5 pierogi left.  Still have Bundt cake.  Never made any cookies.  Should make some cookies.

It's snowing lightly.  Riley and G are back from their daily walk.  The house is cold.  The lights are on as in Winter it is never really "bright" in here.  I have a book I could read.  Bees I could sew.  The hooked rugs to repair.  The charity quilt to quilt.

Plenty of things to do.  I am wearing a cashmere turtleneck from Bean.  Cost a few dollars as it had several holes in it.  I've had it a long time.  Wearing it for the first time today with a cotton turtleneck under.  Itchy around the neck without the cotton layer.  Off White.  The grey cashmere sweater I wear every day was dirty and was hand washed yesterday.  Still damp.  I wash my cashmere in Trader Joe's Citrus Bodywash Liquid.  With a squirt of hair conditioner in the same product line.  I used the shampoo from this line to wash sweaters until they stopped making it.  A TJ's employee said she thought the shampoo and body wash were exactly the same.

Treat cashmere just like my hair.  Something gentle that rinses out to squeaky clean.

I may need to add a thin down vest to my indoor clothing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

End Of The Year Image Clean Out

I am deleting all the images I used this year in posts.  And I, well I have been saying this for awhile, intend to try using my camera again.  Using the new, with each update, iPhoto is a real trial for me. It's been nearly 2 years since I stopped taking pictures.  Wasn't fun.

The carpenter will be calling us in January ??? with a date for the start of the renovation of two bathrooms and the kitchen.  Got to start using the IRA money this year.  I am ambivalent about this. I do WANT the new bathrooms.  I am not so certain regarding the new kitchen which involves removing a wall.  But I do have pictures of the kitchen I like.  And, in a joyful serendipity, measurements for the island and the pantry in the pictures.  G would say "it is meant to be".

As much as I like the look of the above--it would be a storage nightmare.  The basket on the floor?

As to the carpenter--- he said he would call 2 years ago.............. and didn't.  Overwhelmed with jobs.

I stayed up late on two evenings watching PBS's performance of the War of The Roses.  I must have studied this particular series of events in high school and college (I had a History major for one year) and even in English where we read a great deal of Shakespeare.  But it was all new to me.  The first two parts in one very late night and the last Richard III last night.  I am intending to go in search of more info on the lineage of the departed.  Like who was married to whom.  So many Henrys and so many Elizabeths.  This is information I probably would have learned if I had done the reading in school.

I am still working on my folding and sorting.  The towels, tee shirts, undies are all sorted and folded and lined up in jolly nice straight rows in the drawers of both G and myself.  The pants and pjs and heavier tops are folded and arranged in neat piles on the top shelf of the closet.  Small piles.  Thinned out to include only those clothes I actually love wearing.  The bags for Goodwill are full.

I got new measuring cups and spoons for Christmas so I cleared out those drawers and added the no longer needed things to the Goodwill bag.  My daughter wasn't happy when I put my very first set of cups into the bag.  She felt I should be keeping them.  I told her I was going to hold them in my cupped hands, thank them for their service to me for so many years and then let them go.  She was un-moved in her objections.  This is why she is not going to be the executor of our estate.

And this is why I am doing this drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf, sort and removal..... myself.

I have to pace myself as it is emotionally tiring.  And the folding takes up quite a bit of time as well. Today I had to get rid of a favorite frying pan--the teflon was scratched.  My favorite pan.  I used it before any of the others.

The process reminds me of emptying my father's house after his death--- and the day long talking to him as I cleared out closets and cupboards.  Why did you keep this? Oh, you loved this sweater.  Really?? You needed 12 of the same pair of jeans? Why so many belt buckles?

Now I see more of him in me each day I sort and eliminate.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Now That Christmas Is Past

Riley is enjoying walks in the woods, chasing squirrels eating seeds that have fallen out of the feeders, and sniffing the tracks animals have made in the yard, in the dark cold night.  This is Maine and the "wild things roam".

We had a delightful day yesterday.  Phone call from our son out in Vancouver and G was telling him a funny story and the connection must have cut off.  G was still talking.  Son was trying to call us back. Finally gave up after 15 minutes--figuring dad was still himself.  And he was.

Daughter arrived bearing gifts.  And we had a lovely gift exchange--I had made her homemade Larabar type treats using the only nut she will eat--cashews.  Three different flavors.  One was "breakfast-y" as she had requested.  Cashews, oat meal, dried cranberries and a splash of vanilla. I also made up a batch of a "French" version of muesli.  Has chocolate chips in it.  Oatmeal, coconut flakes, cashews, coconut oil and maple syrup.  The chocolate is added after it cools.

I wondered if it was what she had eaten for the 6 years we lived in Germany.  So, she got a very small serving in a tiny bowl with milk and promptly ate it all.  Not the same but she thought it was delicious.  Now that was a Christmas Miracle if there ever was one.

We ate our usual Christmas Burritos for dinner followed by the very boozy Bundt.  Then we played games.  Daughter has a very large collection of games.  We played a variation of Bingo and then a very intense variation of Tic Tack Toe.  By then we were all sleepy.  We had always played Scrabble on Christmas Day but now it seems we will be playing assorted games.

So, a delightful day.  Today Riley had his walk and a visit to the vet for a checkup.  He's lost 6 pounds since starting a low fat diet and taking Pepcid AC twice a day.  His blood work continues to improve.  Another check and blood test at the end of January.

G and I are going out into the World today.  Perhaps to eat lunch.  It's already looking dark at 3 pm.
My days away from work seem to zip past.  They dragged slowly at work.  G and I will soon be down to two meals a day.  A late breakfast and then something which looks like lunch but is eaten in the dark.  It's what we do.

I hope all is well with everyone reading this.  It's been a hard year for us all.  We need to rest, take good care of ourselves, help others when we can and think positive thoughts.  I am working on my Kondo Method folding and organizing.  Letting go.  Being grateful.  Feeling joy.

Friday, December 23, 2016

It's Almost Christmas

I have been a "day late" this week.  Thought today was Thursday and it's been Friday.  Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  Riley has been dragging his toys all over the house---so we'll be reminded that he should get a present.  Or presents.  He's getting a new rabbit.  With a squeaker.  And a table for his bowls as the Vet thinks eating low may be causing some of the reflux.  And I am thinking something chewy would be welcome.  Chewy and squeaky.

I spent the day up in the sewing room closet looking for fabrics to use with a wonderful charm pack that a dear friend sent me.  I even found some "insulated pot holder batting" so hands won't get burned.

I prepared the cheese filling for my daughter's pierogi.  And made four batches of the noodle dough. I even managed to set up the Atlas pasta roller thing all by myself.  Using Bob's AP flour has made such a difference in the making of the pasta sheets.  Easy.  Used to be a gigantic struggle.  So easy, I may make my own pasta for manicotti.  Tomorrow I'll make the potato filling and the sauerkraut filling.  I had intended to try the meat filling recipe we got from G's cousins in Wisconsin--but not happening.

G and I had homemade meatballs and marinara for supper.  It's so easy to make now that I BAKE the meatballs instead of browning them in a pan.  So much mess and it was just tedious.  Now I make the meatballs (adding a great deal of water to the mixture---who knew that was the secret to tender meatballs) plop them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and let them bake for 30 or 40 minutes (or longer) and then pop them into the cast iron casserole with marinara (LOVE Trader Joe's low fat) and back into the oven for another 45 minutes to an hour.  I made meatballs quite often over the summer when I couldn't eat much of anything.  A bowl of meatballs was a frequent meal.

I did little to no shopping this Christmas.  Once the children were in college--I sort of lost interest in Christmas gift shopping.  Now that they are adults and even middle aged--they have the means and opportunity to buy what they want whenever they want.  As do I.

And I haven't felt really well most of the year---well, honestly, the entire year.  Not feeling well.......that's a real downer.  Today, it's hard to breath.  Too many trips up and down the stairs.

The Christmas Boozy Bundt Cake has been made and drenched in a sauce of butter, booze and sugar. It looks amazing.  No cookies yet--but there's still time.  It is the 12 days of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Now This Is A Fat Tree--The Way I Like Them

This tree looks like it gloriously fills up a room.  Love it.

The sun is shining.  Our daughter has car trouble and it will involve two cars, a tow truck and the Honda repair shop.  A saga.  G will need to drive to her work and bring her home this evening.

We are all set with AAA and Honda for a smooth transfer.  She will have the use of my car until hers is repaired--and it's a holiday--so she could have my car for awhile.

Not the way I wanted to have fewer cars in our garage--but it's workable.

I just put some Southern pork ribs in the oven with brown sugar, garlic and cayenne pepper--also 1.5 cups of cider vinegar.  Makes for some delicious pulled pork.  We'll have it with potato gnocchi and sauerkraut browned with onions and caraway seeds.  The recipe says the food is done in 2.5 hours but I find it's better at 3.5 or 4 hours.  The first two hours with the lid on and the remainder with the lid off.  I like my pork to have a "crispy" edge.

Since the pork is in the oven--cookies will be put on hold.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ice & Snow & Cold

We had snow.  Then it rained.  Then it went below zero.  Now we are living in a glacier it seems. Everything white, cold and frozen solid. Nothing remotely "fluffy".  Going out to get the newspaper is dangerous (falling) the driveway looks more like a skating rink. So I sit and wait--- breakfast doesn't seem correct without the paper.  Finally G wakes up and goes out for the paper.  I told him to drive to the end of of the driveway but he walked.

Work was slow but not as cold (inside the greenhouse) as it was Saturday.

One more day and I am retired and not working.  It can't happen soon enough.

Sigh.  Now to decide which cookies to make tomorrow.  This is a BIG decision.

That isn't my tree in the picture up top (it's not THAT short) but you might see a deer out on the lawn if you looked out one of my windows.  A real deer.  And a large group of real squirrels.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

It Is Snowing

A "greasy" snow.  Which, here in Maine, means icy under the snow so your feet and car tires slip and slide over the surface.  No purchase.  G drove me to work this morning and came to get me at 5.  I said I was certainly able to drive myself in the morning.  But was certain I would NOT be able to get myself safely back home.  I was 1000% thankful to not be driving tonight.

At work, I got to mop the floor again (really I do enjoy it) but this time I started earlier so I could do the entire floor.  Moving things so all the floor is mopped.  Not just mopping down the center of the aisles.  Business was slow..... the snow and road conditions.

I mentioned to G that I was sad to think of the Christmas Parties on this last Saturday before Christmas that were either cancelled or have few guests.  It was like this last year I think.  The Saturday's had bad weather.  I think Christmas Parties are the BEST!  Twinkly lights, the tree and looking at all the decorations on the tree.  My neighbor across the street had two wonderful Christmas Parties....and then the last few the weather cut the party short.  Guests would arrive only to say they were leaving again.  They wanted to get home before the driving got worse.  There we sat (the locals) with food, drink and no people.  Now, no parties.

I know, I could have a party.  But it isn't easy with my work schedule.  Maybe, one day.

My schedule for next week is two days.  Monday and Wednesday.  I won't be working Christmas Eve.  I can throw myself, whole-heartedly, into the pierogi making.  Not the day before.  Not the day after, but right on Christmas Eve.

Oh, and when I reached into the darkest back corner of the lowest kitchen cabinet--what to my reaching hand did I find?  A Bundt Pan.  I did have one.  Do have one.  Thank goodness I didn't go out and buy another.  This one was purchased in Germany.  Good memories of making lots of  pudding cakes and a "cowboy" something or other for hungry teenagers and their friends.  It's in either the Betty Crocker or the Better Homes cookbooks.  Well worn and lots of food smudged pages.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Yesterday's Pedicure

Your feet have lots of things to say regarding your health.  Or at least this diagram seems to think it has messages to deliver.  It would seem my problems are related to my eyes and my lungs.  Now if that doesn't cause one to stop and be gobsmacked--well, I don't know what would.  My pedicurist mentioned the problems of my toes and the balls of my feet.  She felt I need to have a professional look.  "things are not as they should be".

I still haven't made my chocolate bundt.  It is freezing cold here in Maine and I am wanting ice cream.  Go figure.  I ate my way thru quite a bit of vanilla ice cream and jars of hot fudge sauce last winter.  I am trying NOT to repeat those mistakes.

Riley is refusing to sleep with us in the cold bedroom wing of the house.  He is staying in the "relatively" warmer kitchen section--with his chin on the window sill and his eyes on the moon bright back yard.  Alive with the "wild things" that roam.

I have books to read but am not reading.  I have Christmas cards to write but I am not writing.  I have a closet to sort but I don't give a damn about it either.  I have today off and return to work tomorrow for a very long and very cold (I work in a glass greenhouse) day.   I am not looking forward to work. Knowing that tends to dissolve any good feelings I have about the day before.

I am also such a frugal person, that listening to the furnace go on and off---thinking of the money each cycle is costing me here in Maine with heating oil---sigh...... it's truly painful.  So inefficient. Expensive and not really warm.

One of the big wreaths in the front of the house has lost it's bow--blown off overnight.  G will not be wanting to go out there to put the bow back on.  G hates being cold more than the dog does.

I need to think about making something to eat.  The refrigerator is looking bare.  The freezer is full so I can thaw something out and "make" a meal.  But what?  I bought myself two tubs of Panera's broccoli cheese soup.  I mixed one with leftover mac and cheese and some leftover peas.  It was pretty good for lunch at work.  Now I am wondering what else I could mix into the soup for tomorrow's lunch.  I have a few potatoes, carrots, onions, eggs, swiss cheese, rice, dry black beans, 8 ounces of cream cheese, butter, bacon, bread crumbs, corn meal, canned mushrooms, frozen chicken breasts and frozen artichoke hearts. A reasonably good cook should be able to make something edible out of these things.  Or at least a plate of bacon and eggs.

I was reading a review of cookbooks and Bittman says he finds what he actually has in the fridge and looks into the recipe index at the back of the books and finds a recipe there that uses what he has--not what he would need to leave the house and buy.  Sounds like a plan.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Chocolate Bundt with Kahlua

But first I will need a Bundt Pan.  It seems improbable to have not owned one.  Perhaps I did, at some point, and things stuck?  And I gave it away?  I like the ridges and valleys coated in melted chocolate.
I love chocolate cake.  Always have and always will.

The dentist went well.  Better than well.  No pain.  There was numbing stuff on a stick before the shot. And the shot was a very lengthy process.  And it worked.  Pain free.

I did have some anxiety.  I did ask once or twice on what percentage of the time for the work had passed.  I like to know.  Helps me to judge how I am holding up.  Under duress.  My dentist, new for me, explained everything they were doing.  Said that the work for a crown was pretty straight forward and easier than for a filling.  That was true.  I worried for no reason.

Today, at work, I got to do one of my favorite tasks.  I just wish I hadn't been offered the work so close to closing time.  I could have gone slower and gotten a better result.  I got to mop the floor in the Garden Center where the front doors and cashiers are located.  It had gotten salty and dirty with the snow and traffic.  I also mopped the lunchroom and the adjacent public restrooms.  Under the table where no one mops.  But me.

Tomorrow is a busy day for me.  Haircut and a pedicure at my salon in the morning.  Then in the evening dinner out with my delightful new friend and sometime employer.  We are going to sample some Mexican food and have Margaritas.  I know we will talk too much and laugh just as much.  She's just returned from an art vacation in Spain.

I know I am supposed to be doing Christmas shopping and Christmas baking.  But I don't want to. G took me to the cookware store and told me to fill up the carry basket.  I did.  I should do that with everyone on my list.  Take them to a nice store they enjoy and let them buy things.  No wrapping.
Are you reading this dear son and daughter?  Go buy what you want--send me the bill.

I do have to remember the dog's presents.  Last year I forgot and he was actually very sad and made all of us feel badly about having presents to open.  Such sad eyes.  He even turned his back on us. It will be tricky to buy things that he can have with his delicate tummy problems.  The usual Marrow Bone will certainly make him sick.  A new squeaky toy.  A puzzle ball full of low fat treats.  Even a nice new collar or better yet a Thermopedic Bed.  He's probably really enjoy a heated bed.  But then G would like that as well.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dentist Today

I am getting fitted for a crown in 45 minutes.  My first.  I am feeling very frightened.
The appointment making person said the worst part was getting the shot to numb my jaw.
Somehow, that doesn't make me feel better.

In anticipation of today's crown fitting, I have been doing 100% of the chewing on my left side teeth. Getting used to not having my normal right side teeth available.  I am also getting rid of any sticky candy I may still have available.  Like Tootsie Rolls.

The sun is shining.  It's very cold.  All of yesterday's snow has a crunchy, glittering in the sunshine look.  Very pretty.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Snow Day

It started snowing last night.  And now it's pretty much covering everything.  G is out with the snowblower.  I have already called work to say I will be late.  They replied that they haven't had even ONE shopper as yet (10:30).

G is on the phone--something is wrong with the snowblower (which was just majorly repaired-$$$) and it seems the auger isn't working.  If the auger doesn't work--the snow doesn't get blown.

I may be even later to work than I first estimated.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Wanting or Needing?

Today's Sunday Lifestyle Pages had several articles on recycling, reusing and making our own clothing. The authors also discussed wanting and needing LESS.  I recall someone asking "how many pairs of pants can you wear"  meaning, I think, how many do you actually need.

I don't know about any of you, but I tend to wear the same two or three or four things all the time.  I only wear the second choice while the first choice is in the wash. On a few terrible occasions I have gotten wet or dirty twice in one day and had to wear things I would never wear otherwise-third choice items.  On those terrible days--I should just have packed up everything for Goodwill.

Third choice items are usually itchy, scratchy or ill fitting in one place or another. Yesterday I had on third choice socks and let me tell you--I was downright miserable and my feet hurt.

I should clarify further.  I buy multiples of things I love.  Like 7 white linen short sleeved camp shirts. I would have to get dirty 7 times before having to go to a second choice shirt.  I have 7 because I HAVE had to go to second choice on occasion and I absolutely hated it.  All those second choice shirts are either gone or have been moved to the linen fabric box--to be used to make things--like pillow cases or little quilted things.

Winter linen shirts have long sleeves.  And they are white also.  A few have stripes.  I felt I needed variety but I don't wear them very often.  I have pastel colored linen from the days I worked at the library and weighed 240 pounds.  Too large for me to wear now--so they are in the fabric closet.

All my winter pants are the same pant.  LLBean corduroy.  Different colors.  Different vintages. I tend to prefer wearing the mossy green ones.  Tend not to enjoy wearing the black ones.  They all cost between $5 and twenty cents. Or LLBean perfect knit pant.  I bought armloads of them at 20 cents each when I worked part time.  Oddly enough--I can't find more than four pair- and I've spent hours looking.

This summer, I trolled Goodwill and now have the same black or brown linen pants, capri length, LLBean.  Multiples.  Love them.  Hate when Winter comes.  Summer is my happiest season.

I actually could and should just remove everything else from the closet.  I got that Kondo book from the library.  About getting rid of the things that don't "spark joy".

There are days in January when I wear my pajamas all day with a sweater. My pajamas always spark joy.  The sweater not so much.  I should buy or find a better one.

Well, that's it for today.  I have yet to get the lights on the little short tree.  No football game today. I may go to the grocery store or we may just order take out.

The eat one thing and wait 2 hours plan is working great.  I haven't had any acid reflux.  I have no idea why I haven't had any but.......I'll go with it.  Perhaps it's  the combination of foods???

Friday, December 09, 2016

Lost & Found

Not the red and white striped LLBean top.

But an Irish cotton shirt (J. Peterman), pale red, worn, soft, patched and loved.  Missing for quite a few years.  Found on a hanger in my closet as I was holding up items and seeing if they "sparked joy".  There was the shirt.  Missing for over 10 years I think.

And I reached for it.  Touched it to make sure it was real.   Ran my hands over the surface of it, the patched areas I had stitched.  And I placed it in the exact center of the closet.

So I can check to see if it's still there every time I open the doors. Strange but true.

At Goodwill, after dinner, we dropped off the bag of sparkless shirts I had removed from the closet and I found and purchased a moss green and navy LLBean stripe top just like the red and white one I can't find.  I had looked at it on several visits and said no.  Tonight I said yes and it just felt "right". It sparked joy.

There are moments in my life when it seems like I am learning lessons the hard way. Never quite understanding the meaning or significance of things that happen.  Not seeing what is right there in front of me. Searching for something I don't really need anymore.  Finding things I thought I had lost long ago.

Lost & found.

Letting go.  Saying yes.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Thursday.  Day off.  Day I usually walk with my walking buddy.  But we aren't .  She says it's too cold.  So I did a bit of trimming on the bottom of the tree.  Now I can see the stand.  A new, sturdy one.  No danger of the tree tipping over like last year--when I had to tie it to the fireplace wall--with garden tomato ties.

Today we are (I am) going to put the tiny white lights on the tree and make "magic" happen.  Turn a normal green evergreen tree into a Christmas Tree.

I've gotten two Christmas Cards already.  Four if we count the card from our investment banker and the newspaper delivery person.  I am "on the fence" regarding a handmade card.  I found a beautiful commercial card and really want to send it out.  Need to decide.

I also have to move my little sewing workshop over to the couch in front of the television.  So I can watch and stitch my little bees and my little snowmen.  I am on the fence regarding the buttons on the snowman.  Do I want cutesie hearts or just normal mismatched black buttons.  Most of my childhood snowmen had rocks for buttons.  I put these little things on the tops of gifts--instead of bows.

My amaryllis collection (rather like a box of mistakes and throw aways) is now potted up.  I'll have flowers in February but that's okay with me.  Some of these overwatered mistakes have no roots others(saved last year) have huge roots thanks to my letting them summer in the vegetable garden.  I am giving them a second chance at "life".  I am not allowed to put up signs at work that say "don't water these".  So they get watered.  And watered.  And watered.  And on the three days I work, I repot them in dry soil.  I'm just doing it to make myself feel better.  Some--the ones that are rootless and squishy-- are gifts to my compost pile.

Today is the Dawn of a New Dietary Rule.  Drum Roll, Please.

 Two hours between the ingesting of any new food and the food before.  So I had breakfast toast.  Waited 2 hours for reflux--none (safe).  Then I had Noosa honey yogurt.  Waited 2 hours.  No reflux.  (safe)  Then (just now) I had a square of Spelt Corn Bread.  Waiting.......  Yesterday I had the same line up without waiting periods. ONLY I had Split Pea Soup with the corn bread and there wasn't 2 hours between foods..  Wicked bad reflux.  Like battery acid.  At this point in time my money is on the split pea soup being the problem.  But it's early to call the Spelt Corn Bread a winner unless I want to have to do a recount.  I set my oven timer so the two hour wait is accurate.

G is taking me to a Cooking Store today to select my Christmas Presents from him.  That way I get exactly what I want.  He says if I wait much longer to go to the store--they won't have what I want and he'll have to back order it and--well, then I get my gift in February like last year (no where near Valentines Day, either).

I went thru the closet again.  The red stripe top is still missing.  I held up clothing and asked "does this spark joy?" and now have a big bag to drop off at Goodwill. Yes, I have THAT book.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Every Recipe Begins With--Chop An Onion

At least all of mine do.  Yesterday, before going off the work--a white knuckle drive in the first snow of the season--I assembled Split Pea Soup in the old crockpot.  Not the new one.  The older models always seem to work better than the new replacements.

The recipe off the internet mentioned 8 to 10 hours.  Eight if you like your split peas "al dente" I guess.  So, I returned my bowl of soup to the cooker, added ½ cup more water and waited 2 hours.  Perfect @10 hours, but by then I had eaten something else and instead packed up my soup in jars.

Now, after writing this--I will go looking for another recipe to make in my crockpot--using what I have here in the house.  Have rice, frozen artichoke hearts, frozen red peppers, onions, celery, some small red skinned potatoes and a very large butternut squash.  Black beans are also available--Black bean bisque is always nice.  I also have everything wheat free to make tuna casserole.  Only need potato chips.  I used to love lentil soup.  Ate it all the time.  Now it bothers me with acid reflux.  What is going on????

I have been needing 2 or 3 Benadryl a day (so far) to get thru a day without sneezing or having a running nose.  Also the allergy eye drops so I don't rub my eyes when they itch.

I have to go into the attic to get my winter boots.  Yesterday's walk to the car equalled cold wet socks. I had on crocs.  Crocs have holes in them.  Holes that fill up with snow.

I also have to solve a mystery.  On Monday I went thru my long sleeve shirt drawer and removed a small stack of shirts that "do not spark joy" and gifted them to a young mother who has just returned to work.  We worked together 10 years ago.  She didn't have clothing suitable for Winter.  Now she does.  I allowed her to hug me but refused the kiss.

Now the mystery.  While sorting the drawer, I actually remember two red striped LLBean tops.  Now I only have one.  The young woman doesn't have it.  I have searched and searched.  A co-worker says she couldn't find a pillow case.  Searched the drawer way too many times--no luck.  Then tried again a day later and it was on top of the pile.  This morning I opened the shirt drawer--wasn't on top.  I then sorted through the corduroy pants pile.  Not there either.  I will look upstairs.  See if the top managed to get all the way up there.

I've stopped watching PBS News Hour.  It's too much stuff to have to worry about.  I have also stopped reading the first section of the newspapers (other than the headlines) and stopped watching--even for a few moments--the cable news channels.   News overload and I can do nothing to change any of it, it would seem.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Today's Message

I work for a family owned business.  We do nice things for customers.  Repotting your new plant into a new pot or the old one you brought with you.  Standing up 12,000 trees until you find the "perfect" one.  Drawing a diagram of the layers in a terrarium for someone making a tiny fairy garden for some sweet little girl.  Filling the little 12 inch window box you place on top of the mailbox--seasonally.  Today it was greens, pinecones and berries.  How many years have you been coming in to us for the filling?  Is it 5 or 10?

I made the Spelt Rolls.  The recipe was vegan but I am not so I used regular white sugar.  They are fluffy.  Look exactly like regular dinner rolls.  Spelt has gluten but is not wheat.  They tasted funny. And I got indigestion.  But it went away after I ate white rice and peas.  I had two more with butter with my lunch salad today.  No indigestion.

G came to pick up the tree I picked out.  It was awful.  So we looked at trees to replace it.  We finally picked one out.  It's here at home and it's too small, too narrow and there are no spaces for ornaments. It's a lights only tree.  We may return it.  But there is nothing else to buy.  It has a nice little shape.  But it doesn't touch the ceiling.  I like the tree to touch the ceiling.  This is such a disappointment that I am near tears typing this.  The ONLY part of Christmas I love is the tree.  I love it so much I don't take it down until January.  I would leave it up longer but G doesn't love the tree as much as I do.

I am very tired.  Reading Nevada Barr's Boar Island.  One quarter in and it's dull.  Even boring. The characters are impossible to be interested in.  And it's set in Maine.  I should be tickled by all the "Maine-er-isms".

I read Woman in Cabin 10.  But first I read the author's first book.  In The Deep Dark Woods or something like that.  That first book was fantastic.  The Woman In Cabin 10?  Not so much.  Needed a really good proof reader and some re-writes.  This is what happens when a new author puts out a really great first book.   The book company rushes to print book two--to make sales.  And the book isn't ready--it still needs work.  Now the author will have trouble getting anyone to read book three (if and when she writes it)

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Wheat Intolerance--Bread? Spelt flour to the rescue.

I have a bag of spelt flour.  And this morning a search for bread recipes.  I now have three that look promising.  A Soda Bread with seed topping.  Vegan Spelt Rolls.  And a No Knead Loaf that rises 24 hours and bakes in the cast iron Le Creuset.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner breads.

I had shredded wheat cereal for breakfast (the only cereal with 2 ingredients and lowfat no sugar).  And I now have acid reflux.  I share this with Riley.  His food is giving him acid reflux as well.  We have changed out Riley's food to lower and lower % of fat.  He's now at 3% or less.  The Vet says his very shiny (beautiful) black coat will be a thing of the past on this diet.  Still taking Pepcid.  But only 20mg twice a day.  Not 40mg twice as it was for two weeks.  He lost 3 pounds in the two weeks.  Inflammation for sure.  Sometimes I take one of his Pepcid.  It helps.

I am also sneezing quite a lot.  At home mostly.  G vacuumed the house yesterday and I felt better. We may need to remove the wall to wall carpets.  Install wood floors.  Get rid of pillows. The couches won't be cozy nests of soft pillows (and dust mites) any more.  I don't want to.

We ate out on G's birthday.  Lovely Italian place.  Red wine.  Pasta.  Bread.  Dessert.  G gained 2 pounds overnight (salt content of food) and I had acid reflux and itchy eyebrows.  We won't be doing that again.  Eating used to be fun.  Entertaining.  Now it just makes us both miserable.  Actually it makes all three of us miserable.

Today was supposed to be wet and rainy.  It's not.  So my walking buddy cancelled for no reason.

I managed to hand appliqué little 4 patch blocks over two of the rail fence blocks (in that leftover charity quilt) that look like swastikas from afar.  The third is relentless.  No matter what I try--the dreaded "s" is still visible.  I am now going up into the attic bedroom to try and find some plain white fabric.  The white might drag the "eye" away.

In my humble opinion--rail fence blocks should be made with three differing widths of fabric. Or not made at all.

For anyone following along--the Six Seeded Soda Bread recipe is adapted from River Cottage Every Day by 101 Cookbooks  The Honey Spelt Loaf is from Food &Wine Lionel Vatinet.  And Vegan Spelt Rolls (10 rolls baked in a 8" round cake pan) are from Minimalist Baker at