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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sweet Potato Slips Plans

This Sunday morning, I decided to start sweet potato slips. I cut two sweet potatoes in half and stuck three toothpicks in each half in order to suspend them over a glass or jar of water. They are in the kitchen window so I will not forget to add water each day to keep the cut end under water.

I've never done this before. When the slips form, they will be planted in containers, so I need to round up the five-gallon buckets. I won't wash them until they day before I use them.

Last December, rather late for me, I went to the sweet potato farm and only purchased forty-pounds of sweet potatoes--one box. Remember, one year I bought 160 pounds and did not have too many and had little waste. Well, this past year, they were starting to go bad the day I brought them home. I think only four were ever baked, maybe six. The rest were soon tossed.

The other day, I found a canvas bag with about eight sweet potatoes. Today, I used two and tossed the rest, all rotten in the bag. One was stuck to the bag, so I will have to soak it outdoors before washing it. Gross! That would have been smelly in a bit as the weather warms.

I just wish I knew how to post pictures using paint.net. This week is the week I learn.

My aunt, Nell, had a sweet potato vine in her kitchen that covered most of a wall. It must have been twenty-feet long. We were not allowed near it for fear one of us would break it. I was about eleven the last time I saw it as we moved away. She even managed to move it successfully to another house without breaking the plant vines.

Nell did not want us to call her "Aunt Nell," so she is the only aunt that did not have the title before her name. It seemed normal when I was very small, but then I wondered about it by the time I went to school. She was my mother's only sister.

Dominique is out there, CROWING! She is not very good at it and not very loud or she would have to go.

Your turn
Have you ever grown your own slips to grow sweet potatoes? Or, did you purchase them? Has anyone ever grown a sweet potato vine in the kitchen? Nell grew hers in the dining room. Did you have a relative that did not want a title in front of the first name?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Storms Dissipated and Scary Dog

Today has been a pleasant but cloudy and drizzly day. Since winds of 60 mph were forecast, what's a dreary day? The line of red on the radar headed this way gave way to a green band of showers before it arrived. Red is bad, stormy weather; green is a bit of gentle rain. So, going out to feed Dominique got me a bit wet. Since I was taking a nap, I am not aware of winds happening. There was nothing in the yard to indicate the weather was rough. I had the window ac on, so heard nothing.

There was a dog in the side yard and coming from the backyard, scary looking, when I wanted to feed Dominique. The dog had a huge head and no ears. It refused to move when I yelled and waved my arms. It just stared. I was afraid to go out to Dominique, so called Animal Control. I have already had two different dogs charge me in my own yard, so dogs get a report!

It came from the back yard and was by the side door. So, I know Dominique was frightened. We have leash laws! People have been bitten in this neighborhood by all sorts of dogs. Besides, I step in dog gifts and do not like that.

Dominique grabbed the KFC chicken breast and shook it to get a bite. She was frantically working on it when I left. She loves KFC. Actually, she just loves chicken to eat. Ooops, forgot to give her green stuff. So, another trip in the drizzle. She had safflower, oats, and banana, so she will appreciate greens. And, I forgot to give her fresh water. She has water, but it needs to be changed.

Last night, my back hurt so that I just lay down after one swipe on the counter next to the stove. So, I suppose I should get back at it. Plus, the crock pot is dirty still, and there is a huge chicken that needs to go into it tonight. Maybe I will cook apples, dip out the apples, and cook the chicken in the apple juice like I did last time, then add more food as I take some out. I foresee a five day cooking marathon with the crock pot going the whole time.

I really need a pellet pistol! I would wear it at my waist!

BTW, we had a dog that roamed, but there were no laws. Besides, she never barked at anyone who was not in our yard or walking in front of our yard. I know, I know.

Not much happening here. But, I killed a mosquito that landed on my arm.

YOUR TURN
Some of you may be in the line of storms. How did it go at your place? Bad weather or drizzle? Wind?  Do you have dogs come into your yard and try to bite you? How do you handle that? I cannot shoot anything more than a pellet gun in the city. Who wants chicken cooked in the fresh apple juice that has cinnamon in it?

Friday, March 24, 2017

No Free Dinner, Just Cheap and Major Cleanup

Friday, J came and started the cleaning off the counters. She became ill like she was going to throw up so left early. Since the kitchen is half done and in rough shape, I did not want to shuffle things to cook. I am ill and didn't feel like thinking or looking in the refrigerator! After searching my purse, I found a coupon for $10 at KFC. Now, I had to pay $6 for this, so not such a great deal.

Remember, KFC gravy always makes me feel better, so off I went, since I am sooo sick...all since last night. For $6 spent last year for the coupon, I got chicken breast, green beans, slaw, mashed potatoes and gravy, extra gravy, biscuit, plus senior tea. Usually, I cannot eat all this if I get the extra stuff. Today, I did! Well, I did bring the biscuit home. I suppose that will be dessert later. Tomorrow, Dominique will get the bones with some meat and all the skin.

Weeks ago, I bought a box of Chocolate Malt-O-Meal...think that is the name. Well, it appealed to me because it was chocolate. Finally, it did not look good to me. I wanted to give it to neighbor who carries out trash to road. But, I would hate to open the box and offer him an opened box. The plan was to open it while he watched, make the cereal, try it and give him the box if I did not like it.

Bad plan. He never would want to hang around that long. And, I would hate to love it and tell him he could not have it. Today, I mentioned the plan to J. She said for us to try it now. So, we did with a half glass of milk. She loved it and I hated it, so she got to take it home.

For breakfast, I had a banana and water. Lunch was 1/4 cup of chocolate M-O-M and milk. So, no wonder I could eat all I did at KFC. It's 10:30 pm, biscuit time. I love them plain!

Four days of food talk is just about enough! I have things to do tomorrow, so I need to feel better. At this point, I am calling the kitchen counter clean up a success. I need to clean off the dustiness and then clean the little stains. Things were put up high even though I cannot reach them without a stool. She took home an unopened box of salt and about a dozen other foods.

On the counters I have had pretty decorative glass jars with pastas, rice, peas, and other foods. I dumped the brown rice and gave J the penne pasta. Since it was sealed in a glass jar, I am quite sure it is fine. I think I might get rid of storage on the counter. Maybe I will just put several of the jars on a tray so it looks more contained. At the present I am unhappy with my food in jars on the counter.

All the decorative glass containers came from a very nice thrift store in Huntsville. They were cheap enough, like a quarter or a dollar. I'm not sure that I want to get rid of the pretty jars even if they don't stay on the counter. Such a dilemma!

Several years ago, I posted the organization and cleanout of the cabinet next to the stove. Well, it is a mess again. All this I can handle by myself. If not, she will be enlisted only after I clean out stuff from the whole kitchen, including the table. When I hurt, I just put things on the table. That will end!

Your turn
Have you ever had chocolate Malt O Meal? Do you like it? Do you keep foodstuff on the counter in their containers or in a decorative container? Have you ever gotten the kitchen counters in such a state that you could not stand the clutter anymore? This is only a lately happening for me.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Free Dinner Wednesday

On Wednesday, I had to go to the orthopedist in Huntsville. When I got through, I met up with a friend who gave me a meal in a go-box to take with me.

Baked chicken breast, one medium roasted red potato, salad, a croissant, and a small square of chocolate cake that was mostly chocolate icing. There are no complaints about the frosting/icing since I would take all icing if offered. If I can keep this going with the free meals, I may never have to cook again.

Of course, Dominique gets the leftovers. There is plenty of meat left on the bones, plus the skin. Some salad got underneath the chicken. She gets grass and weeds, too, along with her staple--a serving of oats.

I don't know if I said so, but on Tuesday, Dominique got a huge plate from the Tuesday free lunch. I ate everything but the bone and fat from the pork chop and skin from the sweet potato. J left most of her meal. Since she left so much, I did not have to ask other people for scraps.

It is now time for dinner on Thursday evening, and there is no free dinner forthcoming. Have I been spoiled? Next Tuesday, there will be another delicious lunch!

This morning, Thursday, I baked 13 chicken legs in a turkey bag. These are for exbf.  They are frozen and ready for him to take home when he comes.  While I wanted to cook them on the grill, I did not want to cook on the grill. Legs are so greasy. After they baked, I took off the skin and set the legs in a colander to get a bit more fat off them. He will appreciate that little touch.

I uncovered a bag of cooked, frozen chicken breasts while I put the legs away. So, one of those will be part of my dinner. Maybe a salad, too. It will be wonderful to get all the food from the freezer eaten. I think the uncooked chunks of beef and lamb are gone. There is only ground pork and ground beef, I think.

Your turn
Do like the frosting or the cake better? When I was losing weight, I just ate frosting off my piece of cake. I figured I would just eat what I really loved, not everything in front of me in order to not gain and still enjoy chocolate.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Free Medical OTC Supplies

While we were at the free lunch on Tuesday, J asked me, "what are those people doing?" I looked. We went to the three tables. At the first was information on nutrition and meal planning. I graciously accepted what the woman gave me, even though I probably know all of it. She also gave us a nice, sturdy tote bag and two snack bars.

At the next table, the free clinic was taking blood pressure, pulse, testing for blood sugar, and something else. I skipped that table. J took information for herself for the free clinic.

The last and third table gave me full-sized OTCs:
*Zyrtec children's allergy grape syrup, 4 ounces. Adults can use it, too. I do use the Zyrtec tablets.
* Bandaid bandages, box of 20, two sizes, decorative. Yes, Bandaid brand!
*Imodium, 24 caplets. I hope not to need this.
*Enema, saline, one bottle, 4.5 ounces. I will avoid this.
*Tylenol adults, cold and mucus severe, liquid 8 ounces.
*Hydrogen peroxide, 3%, 8 ounces.

When I told them I did not need the free clinic, so I could just give these back, they insisted the things were for anyone. J does need the free clinic! Even though this free lunch is not for just the disadvantaged, I have noticed many more attend. But, so do the church members attend in greater numbers than before.

So, yesterday was doubly free--two meals and all of the above.

Your turn
Does your church ever allow clinics to come to educate people about nutrition, free clinic, and give out free OTC? Isn't this a great program?

Tuesday--Free Lunch, Free Dinner, Free Snacks!

Today, J and I went to a church dinner. We got there a bit early and she painted her nails with some polish I gave her since she had none. We talked and noticed nothing around the car as we sat.

When it was time to go in, I was shocked. Not one soul or car was there. She checked her calendar and found we were there on the wrong day. I drove away and suddenly remembered another church had a lunch today. We turned around and went to the other church.

The dinner was spectacular and dinner will be, too. I brought home a go-plate. We had pork chops that were so tender and tasty. Sweet potatoes were baked in foil. I believe they were my favorite variety--Beauregard. Corn and a slice of bread with garlic butter finished the meal. They always have cookies in a snack bag for dessert. Unsweetened tea makes me happy every time.

We went to WM where I had one thing to get. Then, she went with me to Belk to bring shoes to me. I tried on lots of shoes and found nothing. Then, we went to purses where I did find something with her help, just not what I wanted. She does not have a purse at all. Since she will be helping me, I offered to buy here a $20 purse and she could work it off. I was not being mean, but that was the price of mine after several markdowns. It is not leather but looks better than my raggedy purse which was free and new a few years ago.

We came back here, sat and watched Dominique and enjoyed the warm weather with a gentle breeze. Since I had promised J Southern Living magazines, we came inside. Well, I thought the stack was 8 inches high. No, there were four stacks that were each a foot high. She only took about 1/3 of the magazines. When she is through with them, we will haul them to a food bank, a doctor's office, and various places. I only kept about 6, one of which belongs to my son. I had magazines of all sorts that I had forgotten about. They were out of sight in a closet, not cluttering my living space.

I wish I had the money I spent on magazines. Of course, they were cheaper than movies and more uplifting than going out--what friends did. By the way, I got rid of ten years of Victoria about fifteen years ago and never bought another one. This is just about the fifth time I have gotten rid of magazines. I want to keep them until a few years pass and all of a sudden, I don't want them, then I get rid of more.

Now, it is time to heat the take-out dinner and enjoy that once again. Snacks were cookies. Since I have had a banana, I will have strawberries, and an apple to round out my meal and snack later on tonight. Maybe I will have kale with the meal, too.

Dominique gave me two eggs today. Yesterday, she obviously laid one late. Then, there was today's egg.

My free things to do happened today. Two meals. Wow, and I did not mess up a dish. We had a very pleasant, low key, inexpensive girl's day out.

Your turn
Do you have too many magazines? Do you get rid of them often? Was the weather beautiful so you could sit outdoors in sandals and a short sleeve? Anyone get a free lunch today or lately?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Aloe

Finally, I bought an aloe plant. Did I overpay at $5? It seems that at WM and Lowe's aloe go fast.  I don't know anyone with an aloe to share a bit so I can have my own plant. Hopefully, I won't be allergic to it. Before I burn myself, I will apply a bit to skin that is not burned. The last thing I need is a burn with something I am allergic to applied to the burn!

Your turn

Is there anything special I need to know to keep it alive? I have googled the care of aloe, but need info from someone who has successfully kept an aloe alive. Can I put it in a window where it will get full sun some days, full but at an oblique angle?