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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

a really good movie... and a gift?





 

This is an old movie, but one we love...  and this speech given was great.  There are so many movies out there that are so-so, but this is one of the greats (IMO anyway).

You've probably seen it, most people have, but it's one that we've watched more than once when we can't find anything else. 


And I mentioned 'the gift' in this post's title. Well, we believe it was a gift from one of our feral cats (probably Miracle since she spends a lot of time hanging out by the front door and this was found by our front door this morning).


a dead baby snake


Cats have been known to bring home 'kills' and leave them for their people. The ferals have brought home many things over the years, usually toys (kids or pets)... and occasionally a squirrel tail. We tend to find them in the yard out back. But seldom do they leave them right at the front door. This is why we suspect Miracle. Perhaps she is thanking us for getting her through her difficult time this past winter...


Miracle


That's it for this Tuesday post. Hope you are all enjoying the week so far.  I tried a new recipe Sunday called 'whiskey glazed carrots'. Served it with potatoes and garlic/brown sugar glazed pork chops. It turned out to be a keeper!


Hugs (virtual), 

Rian

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Eclipse 2024 !




 

We sat on the front lawn here in Dallas and watched the eclipse. It was awesome! There were a few clouds that came and went, but all in all, we got to see the total eclipse. It got really dark and our streetlights came on. Also the solar hummingbird mobile hanging in the tree suddenly lit up! We took off our eclipse glasses and looked around in the dark saying, Wow, this is really strange... 

I have to admit that I wasn't that hyped up about the event. We've seen other partial ones before. But DH's brother and his wife wanted to come up here from Houston since Dallas was on 'the path'. (People kept saying that this was a historical event, and I'd think... so was the pandemic and that was enough historical for me). But it would give us a chance to get together, so we were all for it. I will say now that we were pretty impressed with what we saw and it is something that I will always remember. The 2 pictures were taken by DH's nephew.

Oh, and here are 2 'funny eclipse' pics that people posted on Facebook:




and


Our company left today to go back home, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to post. We went out to eat several times while they were here,  and I took a few pictures of our meals (which were wonderful).








These hamburgers were both different and both had a fried egg inside (delicious). The fried chicken house salad was wonderful. And the Poblano cheese grits were to die for! (of course I love grits!)

and one more pic of one of our ferals hiding in the high grass in our back (which they love, and DH lets grow for them at Easter, but will cut soon).




Hope you all are having a good week!


Hugs (virtual),

Rian





Friday, April 5, 2024

just a FYI...

This post will be short... as we're busy cleaning and cooking for family coming in to visit and see the eclipse Monday. Just wanted to let everyone know that if I don't post or comment for the next few days, you will know why.

We have seen partial eclipse before... but this total one should be something to see (if it's not cloudy). Apparently Texas is right in line for it. 

We did have a nice Easter dinner at our youngest son's house last Sunday.  I made Chicken Tetrazinni (with a little wine) and DIL made a salad, Brussel sprouts, and a veggie stuffing. For dessert we had little Easter bunny cakes and cheesecake with our coffee. Forgive me if I already said this on my Easter post - but since it disappeared, I can't check.

But I will share with you this.  Our youngest granddaughter loves bugs! (not all bugs - for some reason she doesn't care for crickets or June bugs). But she loves doodle bugs (pill bugs? rollypollies?). When she was over here the Monday after Easter, she and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. Well, lo and behold, she thought she found Rolly Polly Heaven... as they were all over the place. And of course she needed to pick up as many as she could. Besides her dog and cat, she also has aquariums full of fish, snails, and of course Rolly Pollies! (Yes, she loves snails too).

Here's a video of what she collected.



(I always forget to say that you can view videos on full screen by clicking on  the little square. Then, to get out of it, you click escape! You may already know this, but I didn't for a long time.)

That's it for today's exciting post! Will be back sometime next week!

You don't have to bother to comment... I mean, ...really.


Hugs (virtual),

Rian 


Monday, April 1, 2024

Rabbit! Rabbit! White Rabbit! ... and April Fool!



Rabbit! Rabbit! White Rabbit!
... and April Fool!!


Hugs (virtual),

Rian

(...and April Fool got me as when I posted this for some reason I lost my Easter post with all its comments and replies???)


 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Bare with me...

Just to warn you, I'm in a strange place... (not geographically - which by the way apparently isn't taught in school anymore?... at least my granddaughter says she's not familiar with 'geography').

My monkey mind is jumping all over the place today. But it's good (I think).

Anyway, first, I want to share this comic with you:


I burst out laughing when I saw this as I've done this with DH... especially if he's snoring loudly and suddenly stops. And recently he admitted to doing the same with me... (ha!)


Now I have to share this product with you that my daughter discovered and sent the info to me. I finally found it and have to say that it is pretty great. I'm not an ice-cream fanatic (DH is) and I do like Dark Chocolate Dove Bars, but this may surpass them. It's called Salted Caramel Truffle Gelato by Talenti. Try it! I did... now I'm hooked. (Warning:$$$)




And Friday morning DH and I went to the Senior Center to walk. After walking, we went to the library and he perused puzzles while I picked up 2 books to take home. Then we headed over to the cafeteria for coffee. 

While there, one lady passed by and asked me if the book (which was laying on the table) was good. Told her I hadn't read it yet... just picked it up... so I didn't know. Then another couple came by as we were leaving and said hello and asked if they could sit there. Told them we were just leaving as we were only having coffee and the people coming in for lunch might need the table. We talked a minute and then left. None of this is that interesting, I realize, but it's one of the few encounters we've had. Everyone seems friendly enough, we've just not spent a lot of time there.


And lastly, I'm adding pics of my trug garden (which did awful last year). But so far this spring, it's doing well. 


From left to right: Kale, Romaine, and Collard Greens


And yes, I 'talk' to these plants also. I think they like it (but not sure about the dog behind the fence as he barks when he hears me).  But we took a taste test yesterday of these and decided they would do well in our salads. (I love salads - but only eat them at home - as once at a restaurant years ago I found a sliver of glass in my salad).

Enough! As I said at the start of this post, my monkey mind is jumping all over the place these days. Maybe it has to do with my recent B-12 injection? I usually get them every month, but this time I let it go 2 months (just forgot) and realized it when I began to feel extremely tired. Anyway, that was 2 days ago. Now I seem to be in high gear - and I'm a very low gear person normally. 

Still... if you're still with me, thanks for reading. It's Saturday so hope you have a lovely weekend! 


Hugs (virtually),

Rian








Monday, March 18, 2024

celebrating a bloom...

 



Cactus bloom - from 2 angles

This is the first 'home' bloom my Thanksgiving Cactus has given us. For the first few months after I bought her, I thought she hated me. She had many blooms on her when purchased, but once in my window lost all of them. 

She was put in the same window as my Hatch Pepper and Maidenhair fern and they seem happy. 

Then I was told that this type of cactus doesn't like attention. Humph..ph! I talk to my plants, wiggle their leaves, etc. Now I was being told not to even have eye contact with her. Really???  OK, I tried this... and nothing

Next I was told to put it in a dark place (like a closet) for several days. I did this, but felt very guilty. If this cactus didn't hate me before, surely she would hate me now. But I did it.... nothing. 

Also told that this cactus (still un-named) doesn't like much watering... and prefers to be watered from the bottom. Tried this... nothing.

But - just a few days ago I saw one tiny red spot on one of the leaves. This red spot started to get bigger. I took a chance and put her back in the closet for 2 days (hate doing this, but if this is what she needs?). 

When I took her out (and profusely apologized), put her back in the South window (this time one apart from the other plants and doesn't get as much light), her single bloom started to grow!

It has continued to develop until now I believe this is the mature bloom! I'm amazed, but don't know what to think. Is one single bloom telling me that she doesn't hate me (completely)?

What do you think? And BTW, I need a name for her. Any suggestions?


Hugs (virtual),

Rian

*And any advice concerning her care would be appreciated. 





Thursday, March 14, 2024

our young 'miracle cat'....



this is our miracle cat
looking in front window


This is the young cat that we thought we would lose over the winter. It's amazing how she's rallied. We'll never know for sure what happened to her as for a while she was all skin and bone and slept the days away. But I guess good food and a warm place to sleep helped  as she's looking good again. And the thing is... she seems to know that she's safe here as she sticks around pretty close.

There's another feral that came recently that looks a big ragged. He's older (but not an old cat) very thin, has wounds, and moves slowly. He comes to eat and hangs around the backyard a lot. The others don't seem to mind. I don't think they consider him a threat.

Next is just a picture I came across and thought was adorable:


Love this!


and a new picture for our bathroom:




... and I'll close today with the "No Soliciting" Sign we have by our front door.  Kay from Musings was talking about people ignoring No Soliciting signs - so I mentioned this one. It covers most of the bases and between it... and the Nest camera, we don't get a lot of people ringing our doorbell. So just thought I'd mention it.




The only thing I'm not too sure about on this sign is the "have a blessed day"... and the reason for that is that in the South, SOMETIMES words like "Bless your heart" don't really mean that.

But I do thank you for reading and really like sharing my not exactly thrilling but what the heck retirement life with you. ; )


Hugs (virtual),

Rian



Sunday, March 10, 2024

Need to talk to a real person...


the dreaded DMV


Just a short rant: There are times when automative responses just don't work! My TDL is due for renewal this summer. So I got a letter saying that since I will be 79 this summer, I cannot renew online anymore.  You have to show up at the DMV with your old license and/or other forms of ID. This is no problem, but what I need to know is : Can I do this now or do I have to wait until it's closer to the expiration date. Every number you call is automated. Do they answer this question? No. 

And since I no longer drive... and haven't driven in the last 3 years, does it matter if I get my TDL renewed or just get an ID? All I want to do is have someone answer this question before I make an appointment, wait at the DMV, and then be told I have to come back when the expiration date is closer.

Maybe one of you know the answer?


Now...

I have nothing else to post except this old pic I came across recently that DH took years ago of me sleeping on the sofa with Gigi, one of our cats back then. She was a sweetheart. 




Hope you're having a good weekend! And if you know the answer to my TDL dilemma, please advise.


Hugs (virtual),

Rian





Thursday, March 7, 2024

Retiring doctors... and more food/garden pics



Those of us who have reached retirement age are aware that many of the doctors that we've had for the last 30 + years are also at retirement age. So far my Oncologist and my Breast Specialist from my BC days have both retired. Our PCP and my OB/GYN are certainly at retirement age... but will hopefully stay around for a few more years.

I know that new young doctors are well versed in the latest treatments, etc. but it's nice to have doctors that have known you for years. And although my PCP is a man (as is my Cardiologist), most of my doctors are women. And I won't make this a generality, but speaking from my own experience, women 'listen'.

I did/do have a man doctor (Spinal Specialist) that I've only been to see once several years ago that did 'listen well'. In fact he met me in the exam room and greeted me with words something like,  "I want you to tell me in your own words what is going on and what you think the problem is..." And then he sat there and listened. I really liked him.

Do you like your doctors? Is there one that you especially trust? Is there one that always calls you back or checks up on you? 


***********************************************


DH made stuffed peppers yesterday. They were really good. He stuffs red and green bell peppers with ground meat, Italian sausage, rice, toasted pecans, and seasonings. 




and I made wild blueberry mini-muffins:






And lastly, I planted my trug for the Spring. There's Kale, Romaine lettuce, and Collard Greens. Last year it got so hot so fast here in Texas that not very much grew. I did get a few tomatoes and green peppers, but very little. Hoping to do better this year.


March 2024 plantings


Oh, and my Hatch Pepper plant (inside) has 10 flowers on it. Hoping that will mean 10 little Hatch Peppers!

Wishing you all a good week. Spring does seem to be here. The Red Buds and Bradford Pears are in full bloom! 

And for those who are interested, our young 'miracle' cat seems to have recovered well. She is no longer bone skinny and listless... but seems to have perked up considerably. We are so pleased.

Hugs (virtual),
Rian




Saturday, March 2, 2024

a new recipe... and a cat pic!

Actually I 'revamped' an old recipe, but it turned out to be a keeper. There 's a story here. I had recently seen a frozen chicken pie at Central Market. It looked good, but was a bit expensive for a home dinner ($15).  Now I know this isn't bad at all if 3 of you are 'eating out' for dinner, but my daily home dinners for the 3 of us just don't cost that much (unless it's a special occasion). 

Anyway, I decided that I could make a chicken pie by simply using my sour cream chicken enchilada recipe (which we all love) and simply add some peas and corn... and put it in a pie shell instead of tortillas. And guess what? It worked well. Here's a pic:





I won't say we liked it better than the enchiladas... but it was a good runner up, and I will use it again. 

While I'm at it, I thought I'd also mention breakfast at our house (I may have mentioned it before, and if so, sorry for the repeat). But breakfast around here is almost always the same. Here's a pic:


granola, sourdough bread, and oatmeal


I make a small bowl of oatmeal with milk and add a handful of granola to it. Then I toast a slice of sourdough bread and lather it with real butter. This is our breakfast almost daily... although occasionally I do the egg and soldiers thing or pecan pancakes.

However, the other day I found this item at the store and thought DH and grandson would like it, so brought it home to try (not gluten-free so not for me). 


These were a big hit with the guys...





And have to close with a pic of one of the ferals in the backyard. This is the one we call Shadow:




He is a handsome sweet boy - and although always close by, he won't let us get too close.  But he's also shy with the other ferals. He will wait out back until the others have all eaten before coming up on the back porch to get his food. However, he isn't shy with the younger cats/kittens and will let them lie next to him in the yard.

That's my news for today. Nothing earth-shattering - just life as I know it. The weather went from 90 F one day to cold and windy the next, now it's 81 F and pretty outside. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Hugs (virtual),
Rian


Friday, March 1, 2024

Thursday, February 22, 2024

British Emporium visit... and other stuff


British Emporium Purchases

The British Emporium opened up a few months ago here by us. It's not a large store, but packed with British items that aren't in the normal grocery stores (Yes, it's $$$). But we love Walkers shortbread and to find it Gluten Free was a blessing (and it tastes great!). And their dark and milk chocolate with Irish Whiskey or Bailey's Irish Cream is pretty darn good too! As for the Shepherd's Pie Mix, I make this a lot, but usually just use brown gravy. Thought I'd try Colman's as my dad always loved Coleman's mustard. 


Funny story: I made blueberry muffins Monday... 24 mini-muffins  with plans to freeze them and use them for breakfast or snacks at tea time.

Well, I had an appointment to go to the dentist that afternoon, so I left the muffins cooling on the counter. When we returned, it seems that my youngest son and granddaughter had dropped by for an impromptu visit (President's day/no school). They were no longer at the house... but my muffins were reduced to almost half... with a note left by granddaughter saying "I was here!". 

Previously I was known as the grandma who makes the best tea cakes... and now she says I also make the best blueberry muffins! (Guess I am pleased to have that honor)


And lastly, I'm going to show you some Easter cards we found that I think are really cute: (one silly/one sweet)


cover of card on left
and
inside words on right


and


cover

inside words


I do really like Easter! It's my favorite holiday (a true celebration of Spring). Everything is turning green, plants and trees are starting to bloom, baby critters are being born, and live begins anew! I know it's  a celebration of the resurrection and to me (in my heart) this is  confirmation that life will always be renewed.  

Wishing you all a wonderful Spring!... even those of you that still have snow on the ground. The Groundhog predicted "an early Spring" (I want him to be right).


Hugs (virtually),

Rian

ps: For those of you who may not be aware, we had a little feral female (black & white) that we were afraid wasn't going to make it. She's probably a little less than a year old...but had suddenly gotten very thin (hip bones sticking out) and shaky. She slept every night under the heat lamps and was obviously getting weak. We thought to try to catch her, but she's feral and she will only let us so close.

Anyway, the good news is that these last 2 days, she's looking much better. Eating well and moving like she's getting stronger. I've been praying for her, but afraid possibly she had something that was not going to heal itself. We've experienced what we call 'miracle cats' before that got well despite all odds. We hope she is going to be another one.



Friday, February 16, 2024

monkey mind working overtime...

There are so many things going through my head these days... serious thoughts like how does one tell what one 'knows' for sure and what one 'chooses to believe'. Why am I thinking about this? Something I read or heard must have brought it on. People say that you should 'know' that this (whatever)  is truth. How do you know this? I may want to believe it, but do I 'know' it? NO.

So what do I know? I know I love my family. How do I know this? Well, I have 'experienced' this love. So, to know something do we have to have experienced it?

Then what is Faith? The dictionary says faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

or

strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

This is not to be an in depth discussion. It's just something that has been nagging at me. I 'choose to believe' some things that make my life easier, better, more fulfilling, less fearful, etc. I choose to 'trust these instincts'... but do I 'know' them to be truth? No. 

I sometimes wonder if we as humans can actually know for sure what is truth. Some of us put our faith in religion, some in science, some in ourselves, and some in nothing. I tend to choose religion, science, and myself... because it is a choice that works for me. What works for you?

Now... that subject concluded. Let's go on to lesser things.

Recently DH and I were reminiscing about silly pictures brought on by a Family Feud question that asked what you would do if your mother posted a naked pic of you on social media (I'm presuming a baby pic? since it was your mother?) Anyway, we laughed at the answers and then DH reminded me of a pic we got of his mother (taken by a family member) on a motorcycle with leather jacket, helmet, etc. when she was in her 90's. It was so 'not her' that we laugh about this pic even now. 

Anyhow, it reminded me of the pic my son took of me on a moped when we were in Oahu. Not nearly as funny as his mom's pic on the motorcycle in her 90's. But still funny to me.




Possibly I like the idea of me being more the 'moped' type... living free on an island... sounds nice, doesn't it? (in my dreams)

Anyway, this is my mish mash of a post today.

And a funny cartoon that hit home with us... as I'm always cold in the house... even if the thermostat is set in the 70's.




It's Friday! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! And as always, thanks for reading my gibberish. 


Hugs (virtual),

Rian



Saturday, February 10, 2024

Saturday morning Brunch...


Outside The Fifth

Inside The Fifth


DH and I went out to Brunch this morning! This is something we don't do much as I'm not much good early in the morning. I don't think I come fully awake and functional until 9:30 or 10 am. Anyway, that said, we don't go out for breakfast much. I usually make tea/coffee and toasted sourdough bread with lots of real butter.... sometimes even an egg and soldiers, and maybe occasionally pecan pancakes... but not till around 9am.

However, this restaurant, "The Fifth" is close to us and has Brunch every Saturday and Sunday. It's called Brunch and there's a specific Brunch Menu... but it's served all day on the weekends.  We made reservations for 11 am.

Something else that's interesting about this restaurant is that although it's not that large, it has 3 sections: an outside patio (that is enclosed when it's raining or cold), a main floor area, and a raised area that is all large booths. If you look closely in the Inside the Fifth pic, you can almost see the raised area on the left. 

DH and I sat in the raised area and we ordered Poblano Cheddar Grits, the Brunch Burger, and coffee. The Poblano Cheddar grits were awesome... and the Brunch Burger was the best burger I've ever tasted. 



I forgot to take pics, so these are all off the site... and the Brunch Burger was served with herbed hash browns (not the french fries shown in this pic) and were delicious. Here I found another pic that may be more accurate for the Brunch Burger. 



What was special about this place (besides everything being made from scratch - and all real sugar or real butter, etc.) was the care they go to make everything just as you want it... asking  questions and more than happy to make it your way. 

So, obviously,  we were pleased with this place and will definitely return. I'm sure everyone has their own requirements as to what makes a good restaurant. I have 2 :  good coffee and good grits! The Fifth has both... 

And just a FYI, this place seems to accommodate an eclectic crowd. While we were there, several booths were taken up (including ours) with the gray haired set, several tables with families, and several with the young crowd. Interesting, yes?

Well, thanks for reading. Just wanted to share our new restaurant adventure. Enjoy your weekend! (it's raining here)


Hugs (virtual),

Rian

Sunday, February 4, 2024

a lot about nothing...


Nothing much to write about today... cooking things left over in refrig or pantry before going shopping again this week. 

So, I took out one remaining russet potato, one remaining sweet potato, about 6 carrots, and a small bunch of broccoli.  Will bake the potatoes, make a small carrot souffle with the carrots, steam the broccoli with a little brown butter and garlic herb powder, and cook some pork chops with butter, brown sugar, and garlic. That should do.

The only difficult part is cutting the recipe for carrot souffle into a little less than a third... since I only had 6 carrots and not the 2 lbs the recipe calls for. But it should be OK. We'll see.



small carrot souffle

I find cooking challenging these days as since my BC diagnosis years ago, I mainly cook 'fresh'... very little canned or frozen. But adding DH and Grandson into the picture, I have to consider what they like as well as my food sensitivities. Luckily none of us eat a lot of red meat. I occasionally cook a roast, but not often. Mostly we eat chicken, pork chops, lots of salads and veggies, and I love Salmon, but the guys won't eat it. 

They do like Stouffers Lasagna and Marie Calendars pot pies (neither of which I can eat because of my being gluten free). But that's OK as I have my own GF stock. And I can 'make' almost any home-made recipe GF by using GF four or pasta... and usually they don't notice a difference. 

*On a different note, I go for my next hearing aid testing this week. This time they test my hearing 'with the hearing aids in'... (at least that's what I understood). I've had them for almost 3 weeks. They seem to work fine. I'm still adjusting them on occasion... like when inside a restaurant, etc.

Starting to notice that perhaps I need to set the left and right ones differently. Will have to talk to her about that. And have to remember to take them out before showering, brushing your hair, or using hair spray. Also have to be careful about pulling my glasses or mask off when outside - as the hearing aids can come off with them.

Yes, 'remembering' is the important thing... and this ol' gal isn't great at remembering these days.  But hopefully I will do better as time goes on.

That's it. Nothing much to share today... just a quiet Sunday and a creative left-over Sunday dinner.


... and a few funnies:



and 


this is what it's like with our outside ferals... 
they don't miss much


Thanks for reading... and wishing you a wonderful week to come!


Hugs (virtual),

Rian