Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday morning indulgence...

Krispy Kreme donuts

It's Sunday morning and I'm sitting here reading blogs and drinking coffee while enjoying a Krispy Kreme donut. Yes, DH went out and bought donuts this weekend. We don't do this often. In fact, I'm not crazy about donuts in general. But hot freshly made Krispy Kreme glaze donuts that melt in your mouth are a whole different ball game. So... occasionally, maybe once a month or so, I give in to his donut craving. Since "moderation in all things" is our general philosophy, I go along with this indulgence ever so often.

Now since today is Sunday and we have family coming into town for a visit this week, there's a lot to do. DH is making a batch of his wonderful red beans and rice (which I dearly love) and will also make some of his family famous sweet tea (made with lots of sugar, lemon, and mint). I plan to stuff some artichokes to put in the freezer for later in the week and make a buttermilk pie on Tuesday.

We started straightening and cleaning up around here a few days ago. If anyone remembers, we had my oldest son and his family staying with us for the last 6 weeks as they readied themselves for the move to Hawaii. So although most of the boxes and paraphernalia has left, they did have to leave a bit here (in rooms or in the attic). So  it's just a matter of re-organizing a bit.  But I've noticed as we age, all this takes a little longer than it used to - so we do a little each day (used to be able to clean the whole house in one day - not possible any more).

Anyway, this will be a continuing post as I'm going to stop here and get back to work. Hope to add more on my next break... 

It is now 1:00 and "break time".... 

Actually some of my working time was spent talking to my daughter in San Antonio as well as talking to my sister-in-law in Houston on the phone. Apparently it's HOT everywhere... in the triple digits. We're only 89, so I guess we are fairly cool today. 

Finished my stuffed artichokes...

Cheating here. I didn't take a picture of the ones I made today as I needed to wrap them up and freeze them. This was an old pic of some I made some time back (but they look pretty much the same).

Have to post a pic of Tux as he took possession of an old basket that we had put away and took out again yesterday.  The cats are like kids and when they get tired of something, we put it away for a while. Then when we pull it out, it's like... "oh, something new. I get to be first in it".


And I'm going to leave with a picture my son took at my daughter's place in the hill country of Texas. I have plenty of pictures from her porch, but this one was taken in the evening... and I like the lighting... so I thought I'd share.

Have a wonderful week! It may be a bit before I get a chance to read blogs or post again. But I WILL  be back.



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bell peppers, Okra, and cats...

4 peppers on one plant... one is way off to right

I'm very happy with the production of my bell pepper plant which is supposed to be a red bell pepper plant. This one plant has 4 peppers growing. I harvested the first crop green as I forgot they were supposed to be red. Then I started thinking that 'aren't all bell peppers green, then yellow, orange, and finally red'? So I looked it up. Apparently this is true. This is what I found:

and also:

This last one may be hard to read, but you can try to enlarge it or google it. Anyway, I found it interesting. And I'm going to hold out and see if my now green peppers do make this transition. 

 And here's a pic of my basil... pretty much going to seed now:

and someone was talking about okra on their blog... about it liking dry weather... think this might have been Henny Penny's blog. But I love okra. However, I've never tried to grow it. I use it in my chicken and sausage gumbo and I buy it *dried* for snacking.  It's the only dried product that I like. I've tried a few others like green beans and carrots... but didn't like those. Here's a pic of the brand I buy... "My Snacks".

As you can see, Julie was not sure about sharing her spot with the Okra...
And I had to take a pic of Tux and Ghost laying by the Aga so they wouldn't feel left out.

Tux and Ghost

DH and I have some errands to run this morning... one of which is my annual Oncologist appointment. This one will be different as my Oncologist for the last 17 years moved to Oregon to be closer to family... so I've a new doctor this time whom (who or whom?) I haven't met yet. I'm going to stop this post here so that I can continue later this afternoon and give you my opinion. Wish me luck!

OK... back from appointment and errands. Do like the new doctor. We talked for a bit after the initial exam, and he seemed interested... talked about family,  a little about medical family history, but also about family surnames, history of surnames, ancestry, etc. Also gave me my "good to go" for another year. Hurray! 

Next DH and I took off for a kitchen shop that sells Vietnamese Cinnamon - which I use in several recipes.

While there I also bought a pre-seasoned Lodge cast iron frying pan. I've been meaning to get one and see how these pre-seasoned ones work. I have 2 old cast iron pans in the garage, but they are rusted... (and I know that they can be cleaned and seasoned, but I've given up on those). I have several recipes that are supposed to be made in a cast iron pan that I've been making in regular pyrex or ceramic. But I do want to try them in cast iron. Will post my experimenting.

Guess that's about it for today. It's only Wednesday, so have a wonderful rest of the week! 


Sunday, July 23, 2017

nothing to blog about...

Norman's birthday breakfast

I have nothing to blog about... no emergency surgery, no AC problems, no house-hold malfunctions, etc. Wow! It's kind of nice. 

So coming up with something to post has been difficult this week. 
I decided that I'd ask a few questions instead. Feel free to answer if you'd like, but I have no expectations, so it's fine if you're not inclined.

Since many of the bloggers I read and perhaps that read my posts are retirees or if not already retired, are thinking about it in the next few years... I'm curious about a few things.

1. Before retirement, what was/is the main thing (important to you) that retirement offered? 
2. And (if already) retired, did you get it?

With me, it was "freedom"... knowing that I owned my own time. 

And did I get it? Yes, for the most part. And I say this because even though we are free to do what we want when we want, there are things that we are not financially free to do... like travel around the world, etc. But although we have done a little bit of that in the past, it's not high up on our bucket lists, so a non-problem.

3. Was there one (or several things) about retirement that you hadn't thought about (pre-retirement) or weren't prepared for?

I guess here I would have to say that the "there's always tomorrow" attitude that comes after retirement has a good and a bad side. Yes, there is always tomorrow (or at least we hope there is), but... because of this, sometimes I think I got more done when I had to squeeze it in within my work schedule. Now I procrastinate more - because I can.

4. Are you enjoying your retirement now? And if not, why?

For me, the answer is definitely "yes!" as DH and I now have time to spend together. Some of my family and friends never had this chance, so I do appreciate this opportunity.


5. What have you 'learned' since retirement that you hadn't thought much about before?

This is a more difficult one to answer as it covers so much. And perhaps it's not so much as *learned*, but *become more aware of*...

I think that I've learned that if confused as to what to do, just remember to *be kind*.
that saying *no* isn't always a bad thing.

I'm sure there's more that I could come up with in time, but for now, that's it. 

Have a great weekend! 

And remember to be kind!!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hawaii, AC trouble, a birthday, and old pics...

beach in Hawaii

Well, our oldest grandson is off this week to Air Force Boot Camp (or Basics) for the next 6 weeks... and our oldest son left Thursday to join family in Hawaii (their new home). This is one of the first pics he sent us while driving around on his first day there. Actually it's one of several, but I really liked the secluded look of this beach as well as the clear green water. I'm neither a swimmer nor a sun worshiper, but I do love to walk on secluded beaches. There's something about the smell of the air and the atmosphere.

And these next ones were taken at the place they're renting now...

Here in Texas DH and I are surviving the heat with our downstairs AC out. Actually it went out Thursday afternoon and the repairman just left a few minutes ago (Saturday afternoon). Yes, it is up and working again... and we are richer for the cool air, but poorer in our pocketbook. But then, that is life, yes? (and surviving in Texas without AC is difficult - if not impossible)

AND... the springs on the garage door broke this week (repairman fixed that Friday) and we also have a lovely leak coming from the upstairs ceiling through to the computer room... (Plumber called and should be here early next week). 

And it's DH's Birthday today! He's had lots of texts, phone calls, and messages from family and friends... and we hope to go out tomorrow to celebrate. We thought about going out to dinner tonight, but it's really too hot... so we're going to stay in and enjoy our cool air!

Since son was here going through possessions and getting things boxed and packed to move, I started going through boxes of old pics. Came across these... which are some of my favorites of our 3 kids when they were small.

These were taken in our first home in Texas...

As you can see, cats were part of our lives then too...

Now these 3 are all grown up with lives and kids of their own:

our 3 taken some years ago

Guess that's my 'share' for the day.

Also... at the moment I'm reading an odd little book called "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" by Phaedra Patrick. It's an interesting little tale of an elderly man who a year after his wife passes, decides to finally go through her things and finds a gold charm bracelet that leads him on an unexpected adventure into his wife's past... and opens him up to a whole new lease on life. I'm not finished reading it, but so far its been an enjoyable read. 

Enjoy your week! (and try to stay cool...)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

lots of catching up to do...

lots of catching up to do...

This summer is halfway into July and I've not posted very often. Sorry about that. From a daily journal-er to a once a week blogger is a bit sad, but there are times when life gets so busy that there is little time to fit in all the things one would like to do. Besides, sometimes a little divergence is good, yes?

My plans to do both watercolor and pottery classes this summer went out the door with my unexpected emergency appendectomy. By the time I got my doctor's OK to drive, I had already missed 3 classes of watercolor and 4 of pottery - and as summer classes are already shortened,  it didn't seem advisable to continue them. 

And our oldest son's plans to move to Hawaii with his family meant their moving out of their house at the end of May and into ours for a while this summer until grandson was graduated and safely off to basics or US Air Force boot camp (which is coming up very soon)... this has changed our normal routine.  But I have to admit we've enjoyed having this time with them. Once your children get married and busy with their jobs and families, birthdays and holidays are the only real time you get to spend with them. So these little unexpected times are to be treasured.

I have continued to work on my watercolor - on my own mostly, but I have watched a few you tube videos also. Not sure how well it's going, but like everything else, doing a little every day should be a good thing.

just practicing with colors over old sketches

Julie, our silly little black and white cat, has become a bath fanatic. She loves it when she can sit on the side of the tub and get soaking wet. If you tell her that you're going to take a bath, she immediately runs and sits on the tub... waiting. Loves me to squeeze the washrag all over her head and body. Such an odd little cat. 

Julie enjoying the bath water...


The kids came over last week to go out to dinner and back to the house for birthday cake. Since this week was my birthday and next week is DH's, we try to celebrate the two birthdays together. We're both 72 this year. He got to choose the cake... which was an Italian Cream cake.  It's his and my youngest son's favorite. Mine is Chocolate mousse... but believe me, I didn't need more chocolate.  Oldest son and his kids are Chocoholics... so we have more cookies, cakes, and candies in the house this summer! (DH is in high heaven - as I never have this much 'trash' around). But what the heck... 

birthday flowers - must remain in bathroom as Julie will chew on them...

Another thing that is going on is that while our son is going through all their stuff and trying to get it all packed away and shipped, I have started going through boxes and boxes of family pictures that have accumulated over the last 50 years (it's not actually 50 until January, but close enough...). What I'm trying to do is divide them up between the 3 kids... and those that should go to other family members (like cousins) and friends.

While doing it of course we are taking a stroll down memory lane... laughing at  some, trying to remember where or when for some, and of course some bring tears as so many in the pictures are no longer with us (like my mom, dad, sister, brother, nephew, aunts, uncles, and a few friends, etc.) But the pictures do bring back memories of happy times when we were all together. So I guess it's 'bitter-sweet'.

Well, I promised to make meatballs and spaghetti today for Sunday dinner, so I'd better get to it. Hope your weekend was fun and will try to get back to the computer later today to read blogs and make comments.

Oh... also my dear friend took me out to lunch this past Thursday for my birthday. She gave me a bag of 'goodies' ... as well as brought me some new books to read. And over the years I've made her several little dog sculptures. Yesterday she sent me a picture of the ones she has on her desk. I'd forgotten which ones she had.

But perhaps it's time to make her another...

Oh, Ghost wanted to say goodbye... or hello? (actually it's not Ghost, but it certainly could be).