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Friday, June 29, 2012

105 Degrees and Another Intruder

Yes, it is 105 degrees and suiting me just fine.Weather like this with 20% humidity is refreshing compared to our usual heat. If it is 80 degrees out and the humidity is 65%, I die. The more likely 95 degrees with 50-60% humidity is worse than the high temperatures and low humidity of today. It is like I am wrapped in plastic and my skin is suffocating when it is hot and humid. You see, I have a great sweat mechanism. No, I am not glowing or dewy. I sweat! When the humidity is so high, my cooling process, sweating, is thwarted. In this weather, I can cool down.  The 1 mph breeze really helps. I know; friends think I have lost my mind.
 I have dried three loads of clothes today. It is about 4:30 pm and yet another will go on the line when I post this. I may try for five loads today. Things are really drying hard. I mean, the are not soft. That's okay.

Now, for the intruder. This may be the world of insects, too. But, this stinging whatever is too close for comfort. It did get a nice cooling mist when I misted a few things like I do twice a day.  What is it?
Do you see the wasp nest or something hanging on the bottom right of the basket, next to the white pole. . Tonight it dies. Sorry. I am allergic to stings of all sorts.

Your turn
Do you enjoy torrid weather as much as I do? Of course, balmy would be better, about 70 degrees. Do you feel like your skin is suffocating in hot and humid weather?

101 Degrees Yesterday

Cooling off the right way
Thursday, yesterday, saw 101 degrees in my town. Hens certainly love watermelon on a hot day. Untfortunately, I could not afford a watermelon. Someone had eaten just a bit from this half and it was available as I scavenged for hen food. Louise's comb stays floppy, like she is dehydrated. She really needs a bath since she has such a dirty head! Pepper is still too afraid of me to stay near to get her picture taken.

Your turn
How hot is it where you are? Do your hens love watermelon?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Totally Off the Subject

This is one of the most amazing, breath-taking videos I have seen. It falls under cheap entertainment.  I went to Self Sustained Living and found my way to another blog and found this video.  About half way through, there is a surprise. I want to surprise you, so no hints.Are you as filled with awe as I? Yes, I know there are similar am easily impressed?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hanger Land

clean, wet hangers

Actually, these are some of my extra hangers, not all by any means. As you can see, some are the plastic hangers from Walmart, bought for a special purpose. No, I am not getting rid of any of these. They now live in a box. This day, I took them outside for a washing and a bit of sunshine.

Why do I have so many hangers?
When I did craft shows, often I was in a mall. One day, lots of hangers were piled in a store that was being remodeled. I bought about three or four times this many for $20, I think. I relegated wire hangers to the basement to be used for other things.

Why did I buy so many?

Short answer--because they were there. However, I knew I would use these forever because of the industrial quality and heft. I made many patterns for items I sold. Plus, I drafted patterns for people and kept the pattern. All patterns were hung on hangers in a closet. Some of the more often used patterns were transferred to huge pieces of cardstock-weight material from a cutting room of a local factory.  Later, I found out many professionals use hangers for their patterns. Most of the hangers on the line are pant hangers.

In the beginning and over the years, the rubber on some of the skirt hangers has lost its grip. The hanger spring is tight enough, just won't hold onto heavier items. It is something about the gripping surface. So, a few have left here.

A few of the tired-grippy ones have been disassembled when I need a clip or hook for something.
Since I have one short clothes line, I have actually hung  towels on  hangers and then hooked them to the line to dry.I can hang so many towels on the line this way. Sometimes, I dry panties one to a hanger, also. It saves using the dryer. Besides, if it looks like it will rain and does, it is easier to get hangers off the line than to take off clothespins. Oh, on a windy day, I use one or two clothespins to attach the hook of the hanger to the line.

The blouse hangers have the notch that keeps straps on. Some of the plastic store-bought ones don't. Inside the house, I have even used blouse hangers for drying panties--slip the top of the panty or the leg over the notch for straps. Two pair dry on one hanger.  It works.

At the same mall, I bought two round display racks. One has been my "closet" for over 30 years. So, these hangers never seemed in the way. They just lived on the rack with clothes on them or bare. No, I don't hoard hangers. I just keep these hangers and donate or give away the odd hanger that comes here from a store. I even tried to foist some off on exbf lately. He was not biting. Several years ago, he took quite a few and brought me the metal hangers for my projects. No more. He needs no more. So, I am left with abundance.

So, an I hoarding hangers? (I can hear all the clucking at me and my hangers.)Not really, many of my clothes are stacked now when I want to hang them. So, when I have even one closet, more of these will be full. Besides, I will still use them for patterns. And, I will break a few as the months go by. The back of the kitchen door has some sort of over the door hanger with five rods. Some of my pant hangers hold my reusable cloth and mesh bags. For a yard sale, I hang items from the hangers for display purposes. That way, things aren't in a jumble. Some things are just plain out of reach of children.

Your turn
Have you ever found store displays or hangers or other items dirt cheap or free when a store closes or remodels?  One day, a rack headed to the dumpster continued, even though I asked for it. The person pushing the rack said, "I don't care if you have it, but I was told to take it to the dumpster. And, that is what I am going to do. If you want to take it from the dumpster, I don't care. But, it goes to the dumpster!" So, she put it by the dumpster, and I pushed it to my station wagon!  Yeah, I know you have stories! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Cat Home: Molly-->Arabella-->Molly

Molly is trying to come to me to investigate the camera

I wanted a cat when I saw the cutie kitten. But, I decided for myriad reasons that I could not keep her. My friend, Tony, took her immediately when I asked him. I named her Molly, but my daughter had a good reason to beg me to change the name, and I did so on the spot. So, Molly became Arabella. Tony heard the name story. I asked about her one day and went to see her. He said he could not find a good name for her, so he renamed her Molly. 

She is still trying to get away from him.

Molly often comes to my house, although I did not know who she was. She stalks the hens. However, she has done this so many times that I think it is more an "awe" at their size that probably keeps her from attacking.

Molly has a friend at Tony's house, Sofia. She was not around for the picture-taking.  Both are indoor/outdoor cats.

This was the first kitten/cat I ever gave away. I usually keep any animal I bring home. She has a good life. I was not physically or financially able to care for her, so it was best for both of us.

Your turn
Doesn't she look healthy and happy? Have you ever had to give up an animal because of your own circumstances, knowing the animal would be better off elsewhere?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How I Saved $70 With One Phone Call

When I cannot get answers or satisfaction, I have a solution. When the automated man keeps telling me he cannot understand me when I punch buttons, I fall back to this tactic. By the way, on a cell phone you can look at the screen and see what buttons/numbers you just entered. Right? When I enter my phone number correctly three times, and am told I entered my number incorrectly, I am soooo annoyed.

Anyway, I dialed the number and chose the option "if you want to cancel service." At this option, there is no menu. A real, live person answers. I live 6 blocks from our new cell tower that was installed after the tornado 14 months ago. My dropped call rate is about 15 times each day. When a call is dropped a dozen times in a 20 minute conversation, I am livid and  sometimes don't even try to continue the call by calling back for the twelfth time.  I had other complaints about service and the automated man, The retention lady took almost $70 off my bill. I was stunned. I actually just wanted them to fix the automated man's "hearing." I wonder if that will ever happen?

However, I have called to inquire about better rates. I have another deal in the works. Shockingly, I was offered $200! This week, I will make the switch.

This article explains how to save money with certain calls to the right people. I have done all the author says to get discounts. My car insurance doubled last year because of my lack of attention. If it does not go down at my next renewal, I will sadly leave my insurance carrier of the last 20 years. And, I will happily have half the car insurance cost to pay!

Your turn
Can you share some discounts you have gotten by making one phone call? Asking for a better rate? Complaining about a legitimate problem? Threatening to go elsewhere?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cow Appreciation Day

Okay, peeps, it's back. Download your cow costume for Chick-fil-A's free chicken sandwich. Remember me in the cow "costume"? I did not mean for the picture to be on top...old news. But, it refuses to go elsewhere. Okay, now the picture is moved.  Thanks Blogger. No problem. I love working for what I get. Or, don't get from Blogger. The two indents in the beginning just won't go away. 

You don't have to use their black spots, and if you cannot print the head thing, don't worry. Even the sign if handmade would get a free sandwich. Call and ask how much of their downloaded stuff you need.  Ha, Lena does not know she is going to do this with me.

Your turn
Who's in! If you send me a picture of you or anyone in their cow costume for this event, I will put it on my blog.

Lone Survivor: Yellow Iris

This week

Last year, I saw a friend/acquaintance of 30 years. She worked in a place where I often saw her. We became acquainted through a foundation she created. She was that kind of friend, a little closer than an acquaintance.

She was sitting on a bench at Walmart, holding tightly to her purse which was sitting in the cart full of items, all paid for. When I went over and spoke, she brightened, and I sat down. She greeted me warmly and asked me who I was, hastening to explain she was blind.

It seemed she had moved in with her daughter after falling twice. I told her how I admired her yellow iris all down the property line that separated her from a church parking lot. Mowers had taken them down over the years, she said. Yes, I noticed there were few.

When I asked permission to dig a few bulbs, she just asked that I not take them all. I promised.

last year

Above is all I had to work with. I had my trusty shovel and went to work. You know how my back, shoulder and knee need surgery? You see the iris are at the base of a tree? Remember roots? I was killing myself when one of the church members headed my way, all tight-lipped. We both spoke cheery "hellos" while preparing to take each other

I was determined to state my case and not take any lip at all. No sirree! I was not going to suffer the indignity of being dressed down, even wrongly. Especially wrongly.  "Maureen (not her name) told me I could take a few of her bulbs when I saw her in Walmart. It's too hot to be digging, wouldn't you say?" The woman relaxed immediately and agreed and headed back to the church after a bit more small talk, just like she only came over to say "hello." I never for a moment got defensive, letting her think I knew I was a suspect in flower-napping.  Besides, I would be stupid to choose Wednesday night, right at Bible Study time with a dozen or more cars already there.

I brought my bulbs home in a small plastic bag and put them outside the door on the ground. Of course, I forgot them right there. The hens found the bag and were relentless in their scratching and pecking. In all honesty, I think I may have thrown crumbs on the bag a couple of times. After that, the hens got the rhizomes and scratched them so they had them thrown all over the yard. I gathered the precious rhizomes again. Of course, who knew they had a thing for throwing rhizomes? I gave up. Did you know they can scratch/kick/scratch one over ten feet? Of course, I had cut all but an inch from the tops.

After digging and a little chopping

About three weeks ago, I was shocked to find in the middle of the yard a rhizome with two little triangular green peeps less that 1/4 inch long. HA! I snatched it up and put dirt in the nearest plastic pot. I plopped the rhizome on it's side and covered with more dirt, about three inches. When I watered it well, it was showing a bit, just right. And did it ever grow!

This one is a beginning if a bed/patch of yellow iris. Yep, it's sad, but beautiful. I need to walk the side yard and poke around in the flower bed to see if any other rhizomes are surviving. I tried to explain what a rhizome looked like to exbf who was still clueless. Finally, I told him it would be white and lumpy, sort of like a root, but blunt.

I wish I had iris in every color, but I only have lavender and this one yellow.
Curiously, the hens have never scratched up the few lavender iris. Wonder why? Loose ones are like toys?

Your turn
Have your hens ever turned your rhizomes into a game? Have they been obsessive about thwarting your gardening attempts?.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Am Writing a Book and House Update

My book
About 15 years ago, I started writing short stories. Okay, I wrote two and got great feedback. However, I never followed through with the resolve to write a book, including the two short stories as chapters. I was working, going to school, dealing with fibromyalgia and a million other things. Mostly, I am shy, not a good trait for a writer. Since I have met Fred, my friend who published a book last year, he has encouraged me to write more. I forgot the second book I promised to write. My sociology professor said I should write a book about my marriage, dissolution of the marriage, and the horrendous aftermath for myself and my children. I will do that, too. Not now.

Thursday night, I allowed Fred to read my best short story or the one of which I am the proudest. He was smiling such a big smile as he read. He said it was very good or something like that. His  enthusiasm was the best commentary. He was so thrilled with my main character, a teen. In an email he stated--"You have great potential by just the little I read at dinner."

Saturday night, after my fever broke, I did the impossible--I wrote 1500 words. I write short chapters because each chapter is a short story right now. As I go along, I plan to weave them into a narrative. Actually, each chapter is a whole story, standing alone.  Maybe I can be the next Eudora Welty and just write short stories?  If I can continue to write four days each week and complete 1500 words each of those four days, I will have 60,000 words in ten weeks. Fred said 60,000 was the minimum his publishing house will take for a book. That will be a completed novel in less than three months. Fred says getting a publisher to buy the book and doing all the edits will take longer.

The chapters are usually complete on first writing. I rarely go back for additions, but I can. I am not saying they are perfect, just edited and ready to be read. No doubt, I will make many additions and maybe combine chapters.

My house
Despite what some commenters here have implied about my lack of appropriate action, I have achieved a measure of success by my tenacity and by contacting others. Since I have whined so much, I thought I would give you the good news, too. Things are not as dire as they were. I cannot reveal more since things are still not certain. But, my anxiety has gone down a notch. I am not safe yet, nor solvent, so the financial struggle remains. As I was getting the phone turned back on this past week, the guy came to cut off my utilities! I can only divert so much money outward before I start losing needed services! I have not been crying wolf! Since plans are in flux, all could fail! But, that is not in my plans for me.

Your turn
Is anyone writing a book? Short stories? Are you published anywhere for anything? Now is the time to toot your own horn.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fire Ant Attack

While I was viewing the big yellow and red chicken, I came across this mound. My foot was one inch from it. It is a fire ant mound.

Having lived in the South all my life and having been nearly covered with and bitten by fire ants, I never stop and stand unless I look down. That day, I was so engrossed with the junk/antiques behind the fence that I forgot to be on guard.

When I was ten-years-old, I, along with my nine-year-old brother, and seven-year-old sister went to the woods to pick plums so Mama could make jam. As I stood and picked plums, I felt nothing. Then, all of a sudden I was being bitten from my panties to my foot on one leg and from my knee down on the other leg. I ran screaming, tossing my bucket of plums, trying to get home. I jumped from the bank into a ditch, stepping onto something that cut a gash in my bare foot.

As I ran screaming along the asphalt road, headed for Mama, my younger and much smaller brother chased me down, grabbed me and hung onto me until he had me on the pavement, and then took his bare hands and scraped them off me. When he had them all off and had been stung himself, we both ran home. Of course, I was still screaming and crying. My little sister followed, horrified by the whole ordeal.

How did fire ants cover my whole leg and to the thigh on the other leg without me knowing it? Fire ants cover a person or animal and a signal is given so they all bite at once, holding on and stinging over and over.

If you hear me say I fear ants, this is why. My mother was horrified. We all knew the dangers and had gotten an ant or two on us over the years. I was very ill for several days and in misery. For the next five or six years, my little toe on one foot became inflamed. I had had many bites on that toe during the fire ant attack.

When I was about fifteen, Daddy told me to wash the dishes because I would not mind Mama. There were ants all over them. Daddy was threatening to get the belt if I did not wash the dishes. I don't know whether he would have or not. I was crying too hard to care if he beat me to death. I would never have gone near the sink or kitchen.  My brother who saved me from more fire ant bites and who had never washed a dish in his life, went to the sink and rinsed all the ants off and killed them on the counters. He spent an hour rinsing and looking for ants and stopped them where they came into the kitchen. All this time, Daddy was muttering, Mama was trying to calm him, and I was just crying. When all ants were gone, THEN, I washed the dishes. By the way, no one ever suggested I wash the dishes if ants were present.

People have received fair warning that if fire ants ever go up my clothing at a picnic or wherever, I come out of my clothing! Right then! Now!

 I took a rock and broke off the top of the mound. Usually, a small stick will break up the mound. This mound had been rained on, so it was too hard for the stick I found.

Above, the ants are running, not many, but I wanted to get away before they found me. Yes, they would have found me.

When I was in grad school, I was talking to a professor as we walked together and parted ways. She commented on the "cute little mounds or dirt," wondering what they were. I told her--fire ants, dangerous, will kill small animals and small children. She was from the North and gave me that look that we reserve for the ignorant, the pathetic ones who believe in "haints." (ghosts)

As I kept reassuring her and my words of caution grew stronger, she caught on--I was teasing her. She thought!

Finally, I told her to stand on one of the mounds if she wanted to be sure. I assured her I would not help get the ants off her because they really frightened me.

She said she was going to ask someone else. How arrogant! If you visit the South and believe we are ignorant, beware. Fire Ants are no myth. You may have no faith in god, but you had best believe what fire ants can do. Whew, sounds like a tent meeting could be starting. But, there could be fire ants in the area. I am out!

I know you all believe me, but the "Brazilian" Fire Ant is discussed here. Right now, I just imagine they are on my feet. Yikes. They are in my yard. I just hope they never get my hens. Oh, bird populations decline when imported fire ants are abundant. Plus, they can kill plants, including young trees. And, they can nest in homes.

A local, prominent attorney was found dead beside his tractor. An autopsy revealed nothing. Finally, someone remembered a rash on his ankle. Further testing revealed that he had a dozen fire ant stings. He was obviously highly allergic to the sting. His whole family was tested. It turns out they are allergic to stings from fire ants, bees, and wasps. Now, his grandchildren have epipens or something injectable  in the school. Instructions are to use the pen first, call an ambulance, and then call the parents who will go to the hospital.

I never, ever stop walking or sit without examining where my feet are placed. Or my behind.
Your turn
Have you ever been bitten by fire ants?  What is your experience with them? Are you a believer or skeptic? LOL

Monday, June 18, 2012

High Soy Rations Torture Prisoners

Edit: I did not post this as an expose of the maltreatment of prisoners. I think several people think I am a bleeding-heart who wants prisoners treated better. No, we all deserve better food.  It is to emphasize the harm that soy can cause. Read the link at the bottom for a prisoner-less post of information. You may certinly comment with your disagreements.
I feel passionately about soy dangers. But, I am not going to argue my points on another post that believes the opposite of what I believe and just as passionately.

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High Soy Rations Torture Prisoners: Nutrition Expert Asks Obama to Intervene

Washington DC, November 18, 2008—The president of an influential nutrition education organization has called for President-Elect Barack Obama to intervene in a prison feeding program that is poisoning inmates in the Illinois prison system.

In an open letter to Obama, Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, urged the president-elect “to focus on a grave injustice taking place in the prisons of your home state, namely, a prison diet that is slowly killing the inmates assigned to the Illinois Department of  Corrections. This is a diet based largely on soy protein powder and soy flour. As you stated on last night’s 60 Minutes Program, America does not condone torture. I think you would agree that what is happening in the Illinois prisons is a form of torture.”

Soy protein and soy flour are toxic, especially in large amounts. The US Food and Drug Administration lists over 200 studies in its database showing the toxicity of soy. Numerous studies show that soy consumption leads to nutrient deficiencies, digestive disorders, endocrine disruption and thyroid problems.

Even the most ardent supporters of soy, such as Dr. Mark Messina, warn against consuming more than about 20 grams of soy protein per day. But the inmates in Illinois are getting upwards of 100 grams per day—beef and chicken by-product mixtures containing 60-70 percent soy, fake soy meats and cheese, even soy added to baked goods. The change from a diet based largely on beef to one based on soy happened in 2003, when Mr. Rod Blagojevich began his first term as governor.

According to Fallon Morell, the national office of the Weston A. Price Foundation has heard from dozens of inmates begging for help. Almost all suffer from serious digestive disorders, such as diarrhea or painful constipation, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome and sharp pains in the digestive tract. One reason for these problems is the high oxalic acid content of soy—no food is higher in oxalic acid than soy protein isolate, which can contain up to 630 milligrams per serving, at least six times higher than the amount found in typical diets.

Oxalic acid is associated with kidney stones, but the sharp crystal deposits can form in almost every tissue in the body--in the heart where they can stop electrical signals; in the bones where they can displace bone marrow cells, leading to anemia or immune deficiency; in the brain where they can impair the transmission of signals; and in the skin where they can cause fibromyalgia.

Other problems reported by the inmates include acne, hair loss, depression, lethargy, allergies, heart arrhythmias, passing out after soy consumption, frequent infections and constant feeling of cold. Many of these are symptoms of low thyroid function. The estrogen-like compounds in soy are known to depress thyroid function.

When the prisoners seek medical treatment, they are told that soy does not cause the problems they are experiencing. Even those who vomit or pass out immediately after eating soy cannot get an order for a soy-free diet. They are told: “If the soy disagrees with you, don’t eat it. Buy food from the commissary.” And since most of the inmates cannot afford to purchase food from the commissary, they are faced with a choice of serious health problems or starvation. Several have had sections of their colons removed when a simple return to a nutritious, soy-free diet would have solved the problem. One inmate who passes out whenever he consumes soy was given a pacemaker.

Several inmates have filed lawsuits. One inmate has been subjected to illegal and life-threatening retaliatory actions as a result of his filing two lawsuits claiming inadequate medical care. Pro bono legal help is urgently needed for these cases.

According to law, prisoners are entitled to “nutritionally adequate food” (Ramos v Lamm, 639.2d 559, 1980). According to Illinois law, “Infliction of unnecessary suffering on prisoner by failure to treat his medical needs is inconsistent with contemporary standards of decency and violates the Eighth Amendment” (Key Note 7. Criminal Law 1213).

The justification for the switch from beef to soy is to save money. But according to one court case, “A lack of financing is not a defense to a failure to satisfy minimum constitutional standards in prisons” (Duran v. Anaya, 642, Supp. 510 (DNM 1986), page 525, paragraph 6).

In fact, it is unlikely that the soy diet is saving the state of Illinois any money, because of greatly increased medical costs and the risk to the state of costly lawsuits. The state of Virginia provides grass-fed beef to inmates at no cost to the state. Low-risk prisoners raise the beef at Sky Meadows State Park. The surplus is sold to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, resulting in a net gain for the prison budget. All over the country prisons are instituting creative ways to save money while teaching inmates new skills, including gardening, animal husbandry, beekeeping, food processing, composting and recycling.

“It is said that a nation is judged on the way it treats its prisoners,” says Fallon Morell. “The American prison system is predicated on the premise that criminals can be rehabilitated. To feed prisoners a diet that can permanently ruin their health robs them of any opportunity for rehabilitation, renders them unfit for normal life when they are released, and will impose an unnecessary burden on the state’s medical services. “It constitutes a medical experiment and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and must be stopped.”

Fallon Morell ends her letter to the next U.S. President with a plea for action: “Mr. Obama, you can stop this cruel soy-feeding experiment with one phone call. I urge you to be that champion of fairness and justice that you promised during your campaign by making that call.”

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a non-profit nutrition education foundation dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. The Foundation is spearheading a national campaign to warn consumers about the dangers of modern soy foods. Please visit their website to learn more about the Foundation’s Soy Alert! campaign.

My words are not believed. So, maybe the "experts" can convince someone.

Do you have any of the symptoms in The Dangers of Soy are Real-Much Worse Than You Think ?

Your turn
So, what do you think?

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I look like him.

Ooops, I meant to post this Sunday!
I watched him create with his hands all my life. I watched him build our house--twice. He could use nothing and make something useful and valuable to our family. It seems like anything we needed, he could make. Any repairs to the house or car were done by him. Of course, he did use new materials, but it seemed he got deals or bartered for so many items.

Plus, others sought to buy what he made. He was a contractor who had work lined up for months because he took pride in his work. Wallpaper hanging was his business, but sheet rock work came along with that.

Whatever he did, he recounted to my mother in excruciating detail how he did what he did and why he did not do another thing. Often, he explained what he tried that did not work. Of course, I probably heard about 90% of these conversations since there were no electronic time wasters in our lives. He finally relented and purchased a TV when I was eight. Three days later, he took it back because he could not read while it was on. Too much racket." When I was fourteen, for some reason he did buy another. At any rate, it was not on much when he was around. So, when I was not reading, I was soaking up problem-solving skills. Mostly, I learned that problems could be solved.

He made many toys for us. We still have some of them to this day. I loved to go out and watch him make anything in the yard or in his shop. I still love to watch anything being made by hand.
Every night after he ate dinner, he took an hour or less nap and went out to his workshop and worked for several hours. He had an indefatigable spirit that only faded as he developed the later stages of cancer. Even through the emphysema that preceded the cancer, he did not slow down.

He often helped people who could not afford to have work done--plumbing, roofing. Usually, these were older women who had little means to pay for work. He stopped to help strangers on the road all the time. Those were less dangerous times back then.

He had no time for TV. When he stayed indoors, he read voraciously. He read everyday for at least an hour. Heaven help the person who interrupted him.
I learned some very good habits from him.  I learned some very bad habits to avoid along the way. And, I did avoid those habits.

Your turn
Were you priviliged to watch your father work around the house or in his shop? Or, is there anything about your father that stands out?


Saturday, June 16, 2012

It's About Time: Rambling Post

My favorite tool.
I paid ten-cents for it just to use
 to dig around in pots when I transplant things or put dirt into pots.
It looked new when I purchased it.
Exbf has brought it in the house to me several times.

It's about time I returned to some normalcy in my life. Right now, there is a lull in the stress since I know the removal of me from here is not happening soon, thanks to some plans by others, plans that will drag on. Physically and emotionally, I have been a wreck. But, I am trying to plant/germinate  things  I never did this year because I wanted nothing in the ground to leave here. Plus, with potentially no place to lay my head, I could not see why I should even germinate basil. It would be too sad to drag around plants, too pitiful. I will show you what I did next post.

Now, my ac in the wall finally died. After 35 years, it gave up. I have expected this for the last 20 years. Finding money to replace it even with a used or cheap ac is not in the stars. So, my chronic bronchitis is acting up. I may never move I mean--never move around and make myself hot and all coughy. If you smoke around your children, stop. I do believe that living with a chain smoking father left me with this legacy. By the way, even smoke on your clothing can affect your children--it's called third hand smoke.

That means I will just eat all the wrong foods and gain weight. So, there is a goal--keep off what I have lost. Ice cream may be nice and cold, but it is not the solution!

Did I tell you I am starting to write again? I have a book partly in my head and partly on paper/computer? My friend, Fred, has inspired me and encouraged me.

Look for an ebook giveaway on my blog this next week. Anyone in the world can enter!

The last potato plant died, so exbf will dig up the potatoes from my pink box on Wednesday. Now, tomatoes cannot be planted there, right? I do want cayenne peppers and pumpkin. Can those live where potatoes were planted? The herbs will all go into pots.

One day, I will show you a picture of my new old table. I had lots of round tables in the basement for when I held parties in the yard. Everyone had a table and chair--no balancing food on laps. I made long tablecloths, down to the ground! I decided to sell all the tables. I did sell my favorite but don't regret it. One I will not sell because exbf fixed it and I need a work table outdoors. You have seen the others in photos.

After all this rambling, I guess I will stop.

Your turn
Did I babble too much? LOL Has anything ever just robbed you of the will to plant things?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Are You Eating Chicken Grown in China's Pollution?

You very well could be.

I picked up garlic in the grocery store and casually read the information on the package. It was garlic from China. Yes, I put it back. I have always feared food produced in China, even before the dog food and baby formula fiascoes.

Even more recently, the US had approved the importation of chicken from China. It will be in supermarkets soon if it is not already on the shelve. This scares me.

This article Don't Eat the Broccoli in China is frightening. It is frightening to think of a whole nation (China) that can be poisoned with arsenic-tainted food. It is even more frightening that our laws deem is okay to serve these same foods to our families. Granted, we may not be importing broccoli from China, yet. 

From the People's Daily Online in 2010: (English version of Chinese newspaper)

"BEIJING - The nation has notched up a victory against the United States (my italics) after a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruled in China's favor in a dispute over the ban on imports of Chinese chicken, sources with the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday."

Read the rest of the story in the Chinese newspaper in the link below.

Since when does the WTO get to force polluted poultry on the US? A Chinese "victory against the US"? That does not sound friendly at all.

Suddenly $8/lb for chicken does not sound too expensive!

Does anyone have any information on where this polluted chicken is sold. The very fact that China has the world's highest cancer rate and the most polluted soil concerns me. I won't give up chicken at this time, but I could eat less in order to afford safe chicken. My lot won't support hens for slaughter. Otherwise, I would be in the poultry business.

Your turn
How much does this concern you? Are you growing your own food for consumption to avoid danger as well as to reduce your food bills? What other concerns about your food from China are on your mind? So, you grow your own food. You are safe? How much of an obligation do you feel for the children who go to school with your children, grandchildren, your adult relatives, strangers on the street? Doesn't everyone deserve to know?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Free Entertainment--the metal chicken

about ten-feet tall

On the way to the doctor on Tuesday, I passed this chicken and paid a visit on the way back, about 6:30. Of course the shop was closed. At first, I thought this was a chicken wagon, something for amusement or a parade. But, look at the right side of the picture. You can see the chicken's leg go to the ground behind the wheel. The two sets of wheels just sit there. They are attached to nothing, least of all the chicken or each other. I spent about 45 minutes here, peering through the tall chain link fence. I won't tell you what is there. You can see for yourself with no more talking from me. None of these pictures were cropped. The chicken was outside the fence, but for most of the rest, I had to stick my camera lens through the fence.

Shell sign

Cingular sign
Days Inn sign

chairs on the porch roof--to deter theft?

This sink is majorly chained to the homemade table/counter.
That's right!

I love to wander around a place like this. It was cheap entertainment and put a little zip in my day. I am sure I would have stayed longer if I could have gotten inside the building and inside the fence. Okay, I find my amusement where I can! 

Your turn
Do you get pleasure from this kind of venue? I can look and never buy. What is your favorite free place to go and have a look?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Food Day and How I Goofed: Four Times

free Oreos DoubleStuff, now-unstuffed Oreos
Goof #1
Did you ever have a day start off with good intentions as far as eating healthful food? How did I get off track and start eating Oreos. I hate Oreos. I should have given them away.  Actually, I hate the inside, the Crisco loaded with sugar. I don't use any or have any cute or precious twist and dunk action going on at this house. I take a knife and rudely scrape the white death out until I have all the pieces separated like I prefer them. Some people almost faint and declare I am desecrating the Oreos.

I won't even give that sweet stuff to the hens. I love my hens too much.

When I had them all like I wanted them on the plate above, I went to the kitchen for milk. I shrieked. Exbf was slightly concerned. He has come running too many times only to discover I saw an ant on the counter. Or, like today, I was out of milk. He went and bought me a gallon. Yes, I paid for it, but he would have if I had not had money.

When he arrived earlier, I announced I was going to scramble me two eggs for breakfast. Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and ripped-up Oreos, apparently.

Last evening, I had gotten a little bit of produce for the hens.

free tomato from hen's produce box
free peach from hen'sproduce  box
free mulberries from my neighbor's tree that overhangs my fence
free huge egg from Thelma; egg almost 3 inches long

For lunch we had free hot dogs on free hamburger buns and the above free peach and  a pile of carrots. I bought the carrots.

Goof #2
My energy was going fast later in the afternoon. On Tuesday, I took out a 12-pound something that I suspected might be a turkey. Sometimes food banks give surprises. Sometimes they give Oreos and hotdogs and sometimes turkeys. This was a 12 lb boneless turkey!

I should have put it in the refrigerator compartment sooner than Tuesday night. I should have put it in the sink in water sooner than noon on Wednesday. I should have washed all the dishes in the sink last night.....ah me. what a goof.

Goof #3
I was cutting the plastic from the turkey very carefully and not making much progress. I did not want to have turkey juice all over, even though there was no food on the counter and no serving dishes. I had put away all the dishes that had been hand-washed. So, what did I do?

I cut a bit harder, pulling the knife upward and flicked turkey juice INTO my MOUTH. I had placed a bowl of soapy water to one side so I could wash my hands well and not touch faucets or the soap container. I washed my hands with my tongue out and then washed my tongue. Guess what? Dawn tastes terrible. Then, I spit into the other side of the sink where the turkey was not.

I have already taken 7 days of Cipro and just got 10 more days to take, so maybe all the antibiotics will kill the turkey germs. Ack!

When I got the tough white plastic off, there was a springy netting that had to be removed. Ack! What a job. I put it in a turkey cooking bag. It was so heavy that exbf stayed in the kitchen and insisted he put it in the oven. The turkey went into the barely warm oven and the time started at 5 pm. Exbf wants to leave around 5:30, no later than 6:30.

Can you see the problem? The 12 pound turkey is supposed to take from 3-3 1/2 hours. He got very upset, saying he would have left after his bath if he had know this. He started getting his things together at 6:30. I packed him his salad fixings: bagged greens, whole tomato, zucchini slices, carrots sticks. Then, I gave him his washed, pitted, and bagged peach, an apple, and two hot dogs. I had put the potatoes from my "garden" on to cook on top of the stove. Soooo, he had none to take home.

He left in a huff and a hurry. I went to bed after I turned the potatoes down low. At 8 pm, when he called to say he was home, I took the turkey out and turned up the potatoes. Now, his portion, the dark meat, is frozen in 4 1-qt bags. Each bag holds enough for 2-3  days, depending on how he eats it. My portion, the white meat,  in in a huge bowl, waiting for me to freeze most of it. Turkey skin is cut in pieces for hens. Broth is waiting to pour over the food hens like least. Turkey scraps are in a bowl.

My main gripe when he left? I had peeled new potatoes he had harvested. I peeled them only for him! He hates skin, no matter how many times I tell him potato skin is good for him. By the way, I weighed the potatoes--2 1/2 lbs of potatoes volunteered in my box.

Goof #4
This starts way back in the narrative. I was literally exhausted, knees buckling from pain in back. I did everything to the turkey bag except one thing--I did not poke the six holes. So, when I got up from my hour rest, the bag was bulging and parts of the bag with broth/juice were hanging outside the shallow broiler pan I use. I got it out and placed in on a burner, noticing that part of the baggy part looked black. I was just praying it would not burst all over the oven, the door, the drawer beneath, the floor and my feet. Nope it held on.

Then, I noticed the burner under the potatoes was way too close to the hanging bag edge. After I turned off the potato burner, the oven, and slit the bag,  collapsed in the den. In a few minutes, I returned to remove the turkey and divide it into all the places it needed to go.

The bag of broth was delicious. I pulled the bag sagging on the outside/back of the pan. It was all black and scorched. I ruined a lovely broth. It's only a bit scorched, but not good tasting, so the hens get it. Vidalia onion that I dehydrated, along with frozen celery, salt and pepper made it delicious!

Do you think my day got off to a bad start because I ate the devil-spawned Oreos?  Never mind, I am going to have more Oreos and milk right now.

Your turn
Do you ever just get caught on a wheel that never seems to turn straight? My bad timing and exhaustion were all the blame. But, please, I don't need so much cooking drama all at once. I guess raw turkey in the mouth was the worst part. It's almost midnight. I might turn into a pumpkin if I edit this.  Good night.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Corrected Recipe

I corrected the recipe for the dish for the International Dinner. I had used two cans of black beans instead of one can. Otherwise, it would have been a very skimpy dish. The edit is in red.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Things That Go Bump, Screech, Thump

Since the raccoon scare, I don't want to let my hens out much. I caught my neighbor's cat in the raccoon trap. I had to struggle to get her out. the lock is dinged and too tight. The snake is leaving the eggs alone. I still think I have a raccoon and snake!

Finally, I let the hens out about 4 pm for a bit of grass time. I was wary because I heard something in the basement around 2:30 pm. The hens were grateful but rather cool to me. I picked up a few things in the yard and put them in the trash, righted my little red wagon after draining it of water and leaned it where it won't fill again.

As I came into the kitchen to wash dishes in the sink, I looked out and the hens were in the swing--all three of them! Why not look for worms after the rain? I put it all out of my mind and came to sit a bit.

The trees exploded with cacophony,  the warnings and flight of birds. "Do birds get upset at raccoons?" I asked myself. Okay, I went out to help the frantic birds. Usually there is a cat in the bushes, a cat that could never get to the nests so high in the trees. Nevertheless, the birds go crazy. I shoooo the cat away.

Upon stepping onto the porch, I saw two male cardinals and another bird flopping in the edge of the yard in the monkey grass. All three were dragging a wing as they vocalized along with the birds in the trees. All three flew away as I descended the steps. I walked around the yard, looking for the cause of the alarm. Finally, the birds became quiet. I can only assume a cat beyond my fence was upsetting the birds.

Tonight, Louise was adamant about NOT going into the pen, not being lured by my feeding her. She sat on an overturned container resting on two chairs. I turned the container diagonally so she would not have the flat bottom for sitting. Then, she got on the porch railing. She had the most stubborn look on her face. I held a container of dehydrated corn up to her. She ignored it, something I have never seen her do.  After tossing her off the railing and into the yard several times, I just carried her to the pen! I was all sweaty by then and had chicken feathers stuck to my damp arm.

After dark, I heard a different noise from the basement--raccoon rambling around? Snake making something slip?

My only consolation--there is no door from the basement into the house. I have to go outside the house and go down the basement steps. Otherwise, my hair would have gone white 20 years earlier than it did.

Do you ever. . .
hear things in the basement, attic? hear the trees explode with alarms from dozens of birds?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bread Machines and Sewing Machines: Reselling

fresh loaf

At one time I had all the ingredients for home made bread. I used a $3, secondhand bread machine.  Since then, I find bread machines everywhere I go, it seems. I clean them up, test them, eat the bread, and put them up for sale while I am enjoying the bread. I sold one yesterday (Actually, I wrote this two weeks ago) for $16. 

Most bread machines I find are barely used, if ever. Some look like maybe one loaf was baked. I always bake at least one loaf to determine if the machine really works. One bread machine made bread, had the dough setting, made butter, made jam! That cost me $2.50 and I sold it for $25.

Yes, I know all about the Zen of bread making and kneading. I am happy with the Zen of canning and sewing. Kneading causes me pain, so knock it off. I am perfectly happy to let the bread machine do it's little thing. No, I don't want it to knead so I can bake in the oven. Knock it off.

This mix was Hodgson's Mill, $3.95. It was herb and cheese something. It tasted like focaccia bread! I dipped it in olive oil when I ate it--pure heaven.  I sliced off the mounded part that always occurs and ate it hot with butter, first thing.

After a discount on the bread mix, $2 or $2.50 for the machine, less than $4 for the mix. I suppose I made $10. I want to get rid of some items for little, not hold out for a larger price. The man was fascinated that I asked $16 instead of $15 and wanted to know why. I just said, "That seemed like the right price."

The bread machine I keep for myself is still packed in the box it was sold in. It was never taken out when I bought it. I paid the exorbitant price of $4 for it. I watched the man unseal the factory tape.

Oh, this machine had three manuals for bread machines plus about 20 pages of bread recipes, all 20 pages printed from the Internet. I gave the man the manual and recipe book for the machine I sold him. I kept the other recipe book and printouts for me.

I also buy sewing machines and cabinets and sell them. But, I have not bought a sewing machine in several years. One machine and cabinet cost me $5. I placed an ad that said I wanted $30, that I had not adjusted or cleaned it, but it sewed. I also stated that if it did not sell and I had the chance to clean and adjust it, the price would be $40. The phone rang off the hook. The cabinet was solid wood, a little Queen Anne cabinet. It is prettier than my machine cabinet with my first machine, but I want my cabinet, not the cabinet that belonged to someone else.

By the way, I can adjust and thread any of the older machines, any model without a manual. Friends call me over to help with their inherited machines.  I have not tried many newer machines, but given time, I am sure I could figure it Besides, all that information is online.

Sewing machines and bread machines sell like hotcakes. I could sell dozens with one ad!

Your turn
Have you ever bought a used bread machine? Used sewing machine? Were either of them purchased for resale? Do you ever buy things, specific things for resale?  You know I am always looking for a good story!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Rhubarb Seeds Arrived

Going to bed

Beth of Red Barn Farm sent me the rhubarb seeds she promised. Yippee! I have been feeling puny since they arrived. But, I was going to put them in soil to germinate and post a picture of soil and thank her. So, thanks, Beth! When I feel unpuny, they will start germinating.

I still have a fever and it feels like I am peeing hot coals and razor blades. I have to drink more. I will fill my water bottle and take it to bed.  Now, to get the energy to go  get it! I took the picture from here and used the zoom against my better judgment. It worked okay.

If the raccoon goes after the hens again, they are on their own while I am in bed. Since the raccoon is one of the "cat food raccoons" that neighbors think it's cute to feed, maybe he never had dinner run away before.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Potato Harvest

2.5 lbs
One of several potato plants died. They came up in the compost area. The hens ruined about six plants until I had exbf fence it off. Today, while I slept, he did lots for me. He ate part of these for his dinner.


He laughed and called some of the potatoes "peataters." Now, since neither of us have ever called a potato a "tater," I was confused. He said they were potatoes the size of a pea. Oh, my feverish brain got it. He wanted me to take this picture to show how tiny they were. He said he had never seen a potato that size. We found one in the basket even smaller than the one pictured.

I am not sure why some potato plants died and others did not. One plant has a top that is about 18" high. Per my instructions, he bent it and buried it with more of the dirt from the other side of the box. Actually, it is not dirt; it's leaves and pine straw that covered them in the compost receptacle. .

So, I slept through potato harvest. I called the gynecologist and got meds for bladder infection and yeast infection, so you can imagine how horrid I feel. I have never just gone to bed when exbf has come here and gone to sleep for hours! He knew I was really feeling ill, so he carried on. Yes, he made a peanut butter sandwich when he needed it! For lunch we had had the rest of Tuesday's Mexican dish. He declared it "okay" and finished off another helping.

Since we spent 1.5 hours in Walmart getting two prescriptions, I did not have time or energy to cook. Walmart only got/filled one prescription, so I had to call the doctor's office again and wait all over. Plus, a drawer had to be counted down because I did not get the extra for which I wrote the check.....grrr.

Dinner was bagged salad with additions: red and green bell peppers, green onion tops, lots of shredded carrots, shredded cheese, and the only meat thawed--bacon. Plus, he had a small bowl of new potatoes.  I looked in the refrigerator and butter did not present itself, so I told him to eat them without butter. I just did not feel like bending over. He said the potatoes were so delicious that they needed nothing for seasoning. AND, he peeled the tiniest of the potatoes. He peeled all of them because he does not like new potato peelings. Ack! That is the best part!

This is the first time since I met him that he did not take dinner home for the next day. Usually, he gets even more than that. He understood.

Now, I have to feed the hens and lock them up. We saw no raccoon today and no snake. At least I got one egg!  So, maybe the snake left along with the raccoon. Keep your fingers crossed! Because we spent so long in Walmart, we did not get the snake trap built.

Your turn
Are you getting volunteer potatoes in your yard? Volunteer anything? Do you peel new potatoes? Does anyone peel new potatoes? How did your garden grow today?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Raccoon Attack--MIDDAY!

five feet from me and starting to rear up

I was sitting here and had just heard the machine spin its last--2:00 pm. I was ready to hang clothes on the line. The most horrendous cackling and alarming arose from my hens, just outside the backdoor. They were not 30 feet from me. My heart leapt in my throat and the adrenalin kicked in. At the window I saw a raccoon digging furiously at the hole where the hens were taking a dust bath.
The light colors are buried feathers

They had all fled and were really making a racket. I was so afraid one had been injured. The hens were running all about. They stayed together. Pepper seemed to be accepted for the first time by Louise!

As I went silently for my camera, I kicked something. When I returned, the raccoon was gone because he heard me. I ran out in my nightgown and found the hens, fearful and skittish, still cackling and giving the alarm/predator signal.
blurry because my hands were shaking
Since the raccoon was out in the daytime, I decided the hens would remain locked up until I can catch the raccoon. Thelma, Louis, and Pepper wanted nothing to do with me or crumbs from a hamburger bun. Getting them into the pen was difficult.

A pocketful of corn was my next thought to get them into their pen. Poor things were afraid of my hoe. My staff might turn into a serpent, you know. I was carrying a hoe since I have heard that raccoons will attack a human if the human seems to stand in the way of food. Why don't I have a gun? Damn the zombies. Raccoons are my enemy.  I took my cell in case I were attacked. Whew! Adrenalin was pumping. Camera was in hand and turned on.

My hands are still shaking 45 minutes later!

I threw a strawberry in front of the opening and noticed the raccoon got it. When I baited the trap with chicken, I threw a tiny piece of chicken under the house. I never yell at raccoons or chase them because I want them to feel safe where they are. I also throw a bit of food down to entice them. The raccoon got the bit of chicken, too. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

I had to get a pocket full of the corn I dehydrated to interest the hens in any food! Once I had them secure in their pen, Pepper brushed against Louise. Louise jumped two feet in the other direction and did not bother giving Pepper a peck. Louise just squawked.

Then, I had to get into the basement while I was shaking, hoping I did not trip and fall down the steps! Trap retrieved, I set it and baited it with a strawberry and a piece of cooked chicken.

As I went up the steps to give the raccoon a chance to take the bait, I decided to see if I could capture a picture if I sat quietly on the steps. Oh shit! I sat in dried shit! But, I sat tight and got the picture you see at the head of the post.

Keep you posted!

About the snake--I did get an egg for the first time in over a week! Every day, I do get broken eggshells. The chickens are not guilty. I am waiting for exbf to get here tomorrow to make the snake trap. I am afraid my hands won't be strong enough and I will lose a finger.

Your turn
Who has seen a raccoon out at midday? I have seen them early in the morning or late at dusk. Aack! Need some excitement? Come on by.

The Pretty Elderberry and the Ugly Trash

Elderberry volunteer
For the last ten years, this has come up at the foundation of my house. I have it cut to the ground, but it comes back. So, this year, I will have elderberry jelly.

10-12 feet tall

What you are looking at below is the underside of my car hood. See the windshield wipers. The area below them under the hood is filled with leaves, trash, and one 18-inch limb! I took a Dollar General bag and put it over my hand to pull crud out. Lena vacuumed. Charlie tells me I have been suffocating my car. 

there are vents beneath the rotten leaf mold and new leaves

I feel sick looking at this.

For 25 years, my pretty, little, princess feet never walked in the rain or dust or mud to get into the car. I had a an enclosed garage or an attached carport. Then, I had to tear down the carport. Suddenly, not only did my feet get wet and dusty and muddy, my car exterior suffered. 

Keeping a car in a garage or at least under a carport certainly prevents buildup like this. Do you clean all this crud from the vent under your hood? I suppose a car lasts longer when it is not suffocated. Charlie said I was suffocating my engine. I suppose a car won't need repair or replacing when it is not suffocated! .
Your turn
Do you make elderberry jelly? Do you take better car of your car than I obviously have?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Recipe and International Dinner

A Mexican Flair

Have you ever received a last minute invitation? Have you ever been so broke you felt you could not produce a fitting dish? Have the food choices been prescribed ahead of time, so you had to work within parameters set up by someone else? All these conditions are where I found myself today.

Charlie had been talking for weeks about making something for an international dinner that his friend, Tammy, was having. I have heard about how Charlie's Italian mom is giving him the recipe and that the ingredients are out of season.

Last night, I remarked that I wish I had been invited. He said, "You want to come?" Yes!  "Then, consider yourself invited. I will send you and invitation to make it official." Then, he turned to Tammy and said "Linda wants to come." I was a little mortified. But, it was okay. That is the last minute part.

On Wednesday, I have to try to avoid paying $134 for a ticket--for not having a tag light. I did not know I had no tag light! I replaced it the next day. But, my "court date" is tomorrow. You would think I killed someone or embezzled millions. Between fear of that and other money issues (not having much), I did not feel like I could spend much.

The third part--it had to be an international food. Hmmmm. I looked in the cabinet and found free things. I mean I paid NOTHING for the items. They were free.

1 can Ranch Style black beans with liquid
1 can Low Sodium black beans:edit to add this ingredient
1 package Knorr Fiesta Sides Taco Rice
1 8-oz can shoepeg corn, drained
1/2 Bell Pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 bunch green onions, use half green stems
1/2 cup Kraft Five Blend Italian Cheese

The Knorr mix was supposed to have 1.5 cups water added. I added the can of beans and one can of water. I diced all the red pepper I had and about half the green pepper. All this was microwaved for 12 minutes. It was a bit watery and the rice was not quite done. It sat for ten minutes, and as I suspected, the water was absorbed and the rice was done. I refrigerated this.

When I heated it before the dinner, I added a three inch tall can of drained shoepeg corn and the green onions and sprinkled the top with cheese. I forgot to brown the free hamburger and add! No problem. The casserole was a success.

peppers from the chicken produce--free

contains: salt, onion, olive oil, garlic powder,and spice

Rice and Pasta Blend
with Cheese in a Taco Flavored Sauce

The only can of corn I had--free
So, it is Italian blend cheese! Get over it!
The cheese was $1 on sale and with coupon.

Free today at the grocery store

When I went to the grocery store where there are only three electric carts, one was in use; one refused to move; the other seemed sluggish. As I moved around the store in the sluggish one, contemplating buying different things and not really being able to afford it, I finally had decided on the Mexican dish I made, so I put green onions in my cart. I got one banana because the fruit flies think I shop for them when I bring bananas home.

Then, far from the store entrance the cart just quit. I was dismayed, horrified and sat for five minutes with my elbows on the handlebars and my head in my hands. I fought tears. I fought hard. I am not a pretty crier. Just as I turned and was struggling to rise, the manager came around the corner. I called him over and told him my predicament.  I told him I was fighting tears and feeling very depressed over two out of three carts not working so early in the morning. He called someone and went to look for the  other cart--not in the parking lot.

Sure enough someone was using it. The person he called showed up with a wheel chair! I refused because I don't want to go there, yet, not for many years. Plus, wandering and pondering would seem like a waste of the employee's time. I would not be able to think.  She was so sweet and said she did not mind.

The manager told her to carry my two selections to the cash register for me. I told him I just wanted to go home because I was so discouraged and still felt like I was going to cry, that I was not buying anything and apologized. He told her to bag them up and he would give them to me. I objected. He insisted.

When I got into the car, having had to walk all the way there in tremendous pain, I tried to focus on something besides crying once I started driving. I did have other things I needed, but I will have to try again another day.

The casserole was a success when I tasted it, and I do not like Mexican food. I felt like Julia Child with Mexican. I took a one-hour nap or rest, not sure.

Free dishes made from what I have on hand makes me happy!  I don't mean this food was free because I had it, I mean it was FREE. I was not trying to get free onions! I said the dish was free. Maybe I used 25 cents worth of cheese.

Your turn
Have you had to really work to afford the dish you needed to make? Baking was beyond my abilities today.  Have you had to scour your food stores to find just the right thing? Remember, having something to cook was not the dilemma--cooking/taking something international AND EASY was the dilemma.