Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday Musings - 56-62








We had one of "those" days yesterday - you know, the kind of day full of sunshine, soft breezes and full of promise.  The days that make you do your laundry super early so you can hang it on the line.  The kind of days that even fools the birds into singing their spring songs.  It's a slippery slope, this time of year in the north-ish.  Need I add that today is NOTHING like yesterday?  No wonder northerners are a tough breed - they have to withstand Farch, that fickle season between winter and spring.  Pfft.

Back to purging.  I did not have that burst of energy that was supposed to propel me into the craft/office/sewing/seeding room.  It propelled me outside into the fake spring.  Even the dogs were all het up.  However, here is the latest in 'to-go' fashion... :)

1- How many of you have one or five of these?  Those large, rather graceless glass vases that are sent with a floral bouquet.  Unfortunately (or not) I only have one.  Which shows you how often I receive floral bouquets.  It is a sad reminder.  Out it goes.

2- I only took this because my mother thought I needed it (which means she did not - my mother is a Super Purger) .  I have not had the need for a round, electric frying pan.  Ever.  I know there is someone out there who will love it.

3- I have been clinging to this for a couple of years.  However, I have at least four other nifty organizers that are better suited to their use.  I tried this as a sheep first aid kit holder, but it was not drench/wormer/etc. container friendly.  With a deep sigh (and an inkling of regret) it is going.

4- I received this as a gift (and please forgive me if you are reading this) but I have no place for it.  I tend to be an anti-decorating person (other than my holiday decorations from a certain someone - MP - that I treasure and keep out until summer).  I know it will find a good home.

5- Another example of something I love but cannot use.  It is a beautiful spoon, but does not fit in my utensil holder and I have very limited drawer space.  Plus, my new motto is that, "if I haven't used it in a year (or three), I don't need it."  Another object that will find a good home.

6- I have two of these buffet warmers.  Want to know how many buffets I've had?  Nuff said.

7- This went out the door before I got a photo of it.  It has been re-gifted to a very dear friend.  It was a hand-thrown pot of Southwestern Indian origins and she loved it.  I didn't.

So - onward and upward.  I did manage to go through half of my stored apples.  I dehydrated them and the trimmings (there were buckets-full) made the sheep and llama very happy.  I have plans to make applesauce with the remaining apples this coming weekend.  I will have to say that my storage method works very well, for someone with no basement or root cellar.  I keep them in coolers in my craft/office/sewing/seeding room.   The heat has been turned off in that room, so it is nice and cool.  I keep the curtains pulled, so it is dark.  I did have to learn to keep the coolers cracked open just a bit so that the excess moisture has somewhere else to go.  Anyone else use this method?  Got a better one?  I'm all ears!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Oh, Henry!

Those ears!

He had been gnawing on that bone seconds before.

Puppy Love.
This past weekend, I took a quick trip north on the pretext of visiting a friend.  The true reason was to meet Henry, their granddog.  Oh, I love puppies and especially short, chunky-monkey puppies with giant bat ears and smooshy faces.  Needless to say, they checked my pockets when I left.

However, in my humble opinion, there is nothing - N.O.T.H.I.N.G - like an old dog.  And a wiggly girl dog.  And a little sausage-shaped dog.

Such a wonderful dog.

This is her slanty-eyed "I have control of your mind. 
You will give me a crunchy" look.

A little out of focus, but so is The Pepperoni.

Kramer, the Two Dimensional Cat, is
always present with the dogs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

It was downright scary!

Before - SCARY.

Before.  SCARIER!

After - less scary

After - a LOT less scary

After - organized!

I still have things that will be coming out of the laundry/tool/garden/brooder room.  But major headway was made and I can walk in without getting a serious case of claustrophobia.  The bag of seed starter soil will be making its way to the seed flats soon.  The storage bins on the brooder frame will be emptied (into other bins) and the brooder will be set up for the meat chicks, due to arrive in April.  I still need to go through my tools and hardware, but at least they are reasonably organized and I will not be spending way too much time searching for things.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Musings 49-55








I am feeling RIGHTEOUS this morning!  I spent most of the weekend - besides minimal errands and a workshop - purging my laundry/tool/garden/brooder room.  When I finished at 9:30 last night, I had the same lightness of being that I did when my sister cleaned my fridge.  I kept opening the door and turning on the light.  Accordingly, I got rid of a LOT of 'stuff', not all of which is represented above.

1- Okay, who needs three spot light bulbs?  Apparently, I thought I did.  I went through the chicken bin and unearthed a lot of stuff that I have not used in eons.

2- See #1.

3- What?  Not everyone needs a goat scratching pad that conveniently screws onto a surface?  Really?  I am SO surprised.  Notice it never made it out of the package.  What was I thinking?

4- Two-tiered metal basket.  I have used the bejeebers out of this.  Then Sylvie gave me a hand-woven onion basket and I never looked back. 

5- This little basket was part of my mother's laundry set that she passed on to me.  The little basket mirrors the big laundry basket and holds/held clothespins.  I made myself a clothespin bag and have been hanging onto this little guy for a couple of years for sentimental reasons.  The new me is not as sentimental...

6- Thistle bird feeder - I have three.  Why?

7- Didn't these disappear with the telex machine?  I have not had hair long enough to wrap around these babies for years.  I remember the days when I longed to be Jean Shrimpton (look it up, whippersnappers) and tried sleeping with my hair rolled around orange juice cans.  Oh, the sad and painful price of vanity.  There was no way on God's Green Earth that I was ever going to remotely resemble any one of the feminine idols of my day.  Some things never change.  At least Jean Shrimpton never twerked. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Breakfast of Champions?

Lovely, ain't it?

Alluding to my month-long-extremely-limited-can-she-do-it detox diet, I have, remarkably, stuck to it like white on rice.  Which I can't eat, by the way.  I am rather amazed.  Then, again, this is the year of the new me, so maybe I should cut myself some slack.  I do have some willpower, after all - just not where potato chips, ice cream, kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, dogs, cats, anything with four legs or two and feathers, bright, shiny objects are concerned.

I am limited to meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.  For two out of three meals a day, I can manage it.  However, breakfast has been a bear.  I can't eat eggs every morning - well, I could but I shouldn't and I don't have time to fix an eggy-type of breakfast Monday-Friday.  I have been living on granola (no), oatmeal (no) or GF whole grain toast (no) daily.  This past weekend, my sister (the lovely Cynthia) stayed with me for an overnighter and brought with her a recipe for a breakfast smoothie that seems to have saved me.

Ingredients:  avocado, banana, berries, ground flax seed, a handful of greens (kale/spinach/chard), coconut milk, grapefruit juice.  I blanched slightly at the list (avocado? greens?) but she whipped up a batch and it was MARVELOUS!  I had some bananas cut up and frozen and the berries were frozen, so it produced a thick, creamy drink that was so good!  It is now my go-to breakfast for the rest of the month - except for weekends, when I have time for an egg or two.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Brown Bag Luncher's Best Friend

My new BFF.
I don't usually tout products, but hoo-boy, do I LOVE my new salad dressing shaker by OXO!  I am more of one to use mason jars for everything.  I love me my mason jars.  However, every time I tried to store and use salad dressing in one, it would leak like the dickens - over me, over my desk, over VIP (very important papers).  No matter what type of lid I used, it was a mess.

Enter the OXO salad dressing shaker!  I did my research and read the reviews.  The design made sense to me and it has the added benefit of measuring marks on the vessel.  I whipped up a batch of my new favorite Italian Vinaigrette and .... no spills!

Apparently, the only drawback is that thick dressings - like Ranch - tend to clog up the pouring apparatus.  Since I am presently on a very limited detox diet, Ranch dressing is not on the menu and, ergo, not a problem.  I ended up buying two, since I like to mix it up with my dressings (isn't my life fascinating????)  If anyone is looking for a salad dressing shaker, I would highly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Day After Monday Musings 43-48







Better late than never, right?  It was an 'interesting' long weekend and, not surprisingly, jam-packed.  I did scoot a few other things out the door, but I count those as bonus.  Let's look at this week's shedding.

1-Black fleece vest.  Another instance of not trying it on before purchasing (anyone else out there that refuses to subject themselves to fitting room lighting?) and I don't even have the internet to blame as I got this at a live store.  Let's just say that, when donned and zipped up, I resemble a Victorian Baroness in a corset.  You know, boobs lifted to under the chin.  Charming - not.

2-Little bitty salt/pepper shakers.  Remnants of my long lamented catering business waaaaay back when.  I used to specialize in picnic baskets and packed s/p shakers in amongst the goodies.  I loved that job.  BUT, there's no room for nostalgia (if it's not involving yarn) this year. 

3-More paring down of the DVD library.  I love animation but I love Midsomer Murders more, so room must be made.

4-It was tough to decide to part with these nice, warm glove/mitts, but my fingers are degenerating to the point where the only way to keep them warm and functioning is having them ensconced in felted mittens.  As soon as those icy digits are divided into individual units, they freeze solid.

5-Old office swag - I don't even want to think about them.

6-Since I really can't help myself, I added three new cookbooks to my collection so, in the interest of my divesting goal, three more had to go.

7-Such a good idea!  For someone else.  I had longed for a cordless vacuum because cords on vacuums (and anything else) drive me to distraction.  This vacuum had great reviews - heavy on the "work so well in homes with pets" that I was sold.  Those home with pets must have had gerbils, because this poor thing filled up after 15 minutes of light vacuuming.  It went to a perfect home with my sister, who has just moved into a new apartment in the City.  With no pets.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


In my short *cough* lifetime, I have had few reasons to celebrate Valentine's Day.  If I wasn't tangled up with someone who was completely dense in the romantic celebration area, I was not tangled up with anyone.  I always thought it was rather heartless of all the flower/candy/underwear promoters to not take into account the feelings of those of us who were without a romantic partner.  It made "leper" come to mind.

Well, I have changed my tune.  I am celebrating ME this Valentine's Day.  I love me.  Most of the time.  I am glad I have me.  I can always talk to me (and I do, often, much to the alarm of innocent bystanders).  I can count on me.  I always remember my birthday (even though I try hard to forget it lately). 

I am buying me flowers (actually - and I hope me can understand and forgive me - I have inherited a lovely bouquet from my boss, who is on her way to Florida...)  I am going to make a special dinner for me (even with all of the onerous restrictions of my present detox - dessert is out).  I am taking myself for a walk.  With the dogs, who will help me celebrate the me-ness of me (for a price - crunchy treats, anyone?)

It might catch on...xoxoxo

Friday, February 12, 2016

Remember that box, way back in December?

Love it!

Needless to say I did NOT wait until now to open it.  I waited until my birthday.  Really.  My dear sisters gave me the only present I wanted -- a Lehman's Large Wooden Sauerkraut Stomper!  I am so glad they humor me.  And so is my neighbor, who is still trying to get the blueberry stains out of his.  He did say he didn't mind, but he looked a little pale when I gave it back to him last fall....

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Bedouin Beauty

Lovey of Arabia
She is such a dear.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Musings 36-42



1 - How many useful one gallon jars of various materials does one homesteader need?  Probably not six.  I refuse to throw this out, so am working on finding it a new home.

2 - In my own defense, at the time it sounded like an awesome idea.  I had visions of dispatching hordes of stinging insects and pesky flies with a flick of the wrist.  I mean, who doesn't want to experience the thrill of frying mosquitoes?  No?

3 - With a heavy heart and great trepidation, I have waded into the knitting/craft area in order to meet my quota.  It seemed only fair.  Plus it is the area of highest concentration of 'stuff'.  Still... I did find that I have more than one knit-from-the-heart-type books.

4 - Loved the look of this vintage knitting book, even if the tot on the front both makes me cringe and feel cold at the same time.  And we complain about mini-skirts? 

5 - I have knitted not one sock from the book, on the road or not.

6 - After careful deliberation, I have decided that I will NOT learn how to make soap.  A person has to draw the line somewhere.

7 - This big stack of magazines went to a new home, along with two other larger stacks that I did not list.  I wavered for years - paging through every now and then, an article catching my eye.  So I saved every one.  This weekend, I pulled on my BGPs and piled them all in a box and put them on Freecycle.  They were gone in a day.  Poof! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hugger or Non-Hugger?

My parents were not physically demonstrative when I was a kid.  Nor when I was a teenager - which, quite frankly, I totally get, as I was not lovable as a teenager.  I was a total pain in the beehind.  This makes me wonder why I am such a complete and utter hugger.  Maybe it was because of the Rosarios, a classmate's Italian family that forced you to be buffeted through a chorus line of hugs and kisses both coming in and going out of their front door (and again, at random, while in their house).  As a child, it was both terrifying and thrilling.  There was a whole lotta demonstrative-ness in that house.

I have developed into a serial hugger.  It makes no difference whether you are the huggable type or not.  Of course, should someone screech and jump back as I approach, I will pick up on that and desist.  Reluctantly.  A relatively new friend is rather stiff and formal and, initially, took my hugs as an assault.  I am chipping away the aloof exterior, one hug at a time.  I noticed this weekend that she was not as ramrod stiff as she usually is, sagging slightly in my grasp.  It could, I suppose, been out of sheer terror.  :)

I remember my BIL giving my dad a huge hug.  Lawsy, I wish I had had a camera at that moment.  My father, stiff as a board, in the embrace of his SIL, rapidly patting him on the shoulder while his eyes darted from side to side, seeking an avenue of escape.

Before you think I am some sappy nutjob who flings herself on everyone she meets, hugging her way through the crowd, this is not the case.  There are definitely some people upon whom I would not bestow a hug.  Politicians, for instance.  Most of the people on my street.  No one in my office.  No one in my office building.  Law enforcement officers.  People who mistreat animals, children and senior citizens.

Everyone else?  Brace yourself.

What say you?  Hugger or Non?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Musings 29-35

Am I the only one who collects hats that she doesn't ever wear?  I love hats - to look at.  I never change hats, tending to cling to an old favorite until it is so completely disreputable that it falls off my head.  Or my sister gets hold of it and throws it away....  Anyhoo, in order:

1-2 - I loved the tiny bunny pin on sight.  It is about the size of a nickel, made from wood and elicits a 'squee' response whenever worn.  Which was once.  I am passing the squee along.  Ergo with the moose key ring.  Loved it.  Never used it.  That darn magpie thing again.

3 - I love the classic style of this hat.  However, as noted above, I own a completely disreputable straw cowgirl hat that I will never part with and would feel like a real heel, should I trade it in for something more fetching.  I figure I can squeeze about another five years out of the thing before it disintegrates.

4 - One of those charity swag things.  You know, give x-amount of dollars to us and we give you a hat.  This was supposed to be a one-size-fits-all chapeau which did not.  Apparently, Melon Heads have a classification of their own.  (I blame it on all the brains inside.  Snort.)

5 - A pink John Deere hat?  Me?  Whatever was I thinking!?!

6 - I have no idea where this little holiday loaf pan came from.  But it is going somewhere else, finally.  (Notice Scrappy's tail sailing by...)

7 - Another bright, shiny object that was out of sight/out of mind.  Now out of here.