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Thursday, February 27, 2014

My First Time...No not that

my first salad dressing

Since I have lost five pounds (6 lbs) in the last week...everyone clap... and needed salad dressing, I was careful but disappointed in the selections in the store. There was too much sodium in all the ones on the shelf that I would eat. I left the store without dressing.

The doctor has never told me not to eat sodium or lower my consumption of sodium, but it seems like the best route. When I was 12, I tried not to use much salt, leaving it off food my family salted. Of course, then or now, I will eat all the salt I want on chip or French fries. When I was 35, I renewed my efforts at low salt.
At last, I was going to make salad dressing.  This is something I have thought about for years. I planned to use oil and apple cider vinegar at the rate of 3 to 1. So, I set about and made it backwards--1 to 3. Now, I had to adjust it. It started out in a half pint jar. Then, I had to pour it in a larger jar. Wow, that mixing oil and vinegar in the right proportion was You know how it is once you get off track.
Okay, I sprinkled some Italian Seasoning in the mixture, Exbf did not like it. He did not spit it (I took it out for him to taste), just let his tongue hang out of his mouth, making weird noises. I watched him slobber and left disgusted.  Back in the house, I put honey, and some yellow mustard and one packet of sugar. I forgot to put celery seed...ah.
For dinner he got something creamy from the refrigerator. My dressing, salad greens, and chicken on top were fine for me.
That is a very uncomplicated recipe using things I have right here. The only sodium was in the bit of mustard. I had two yellow mustards open, so did not open the Dijon or another.
Now that it has set for 24 hours, it is just a bit better, but I liked it all along. It has negligible sodium in each serving. I have over a cup of this stuff. I wonder if it has to be used up to keep from killing anyone. Probably not. Maybe I will put it over chicken for a marinade and then bake it. After 72 hours, it is even better.

Baby Kale Blend: red chard, cauliflower, red cabbage, baby kale, carrots, broccoli. This is a new Marketside product.

If I don't respond for the next couple of days, know I will be busy. You can listen to and watch this and know I am inspired. Click on bottom right. Lower the volume as there is loud jangly music to start.
Your turn
What do you use in salad dressing? I will not go buy anything right now, maybe never. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

$1 Crockpot

tiny, $1 at a yard sale
At a yard sale about three years ago, I saw a crockpot for $1. I sort of thought I might use one during the day, so I looked at it. The woman who was selling it said she used it once. It was immaculate.
The little crockpot that would only hold about three cups came home with me and hung out in the kitchen. Finally, I put some apple and water in to make applesauce.  Sugar and cinnamon made the kitchen smell good.
This little bitty monster spit and hissed and spewed the applesauce, even on the lowest setting. I washed the little monster and put it away. While looking in the laundry room today, I decided to pack it up so it would not get broken. It is in a box with packing, waiting for me to give it a second chance.
If I had put a cup or dollar bill to show the size...well, never mind, it is packed. I just need ideas.
Your turn
Is this thing supposed to hiss and spit and sputter and spew all over the place on low setting? Do you have one of these? What do you use it for? Do you like it? I imagine using it to keep something hot where there is a crowd.

A "Collection" ???

rakes through the years
Wasting anything bothers me. As I had my volunteer leaf rakers ask about rakes I had that they could use, I had to go down to the basement and look.  I knew there were rakes in the bowels of my repository of tools and projects.
You may think I have hoarded broken rakes. I don't see it that way. These all have use left in them and, they are used. AND, three were used lately. At least one can be repaired. Besides, I have room for them and keep them in one place.
The metal rake on the right has a broken wooden handle that can be repaired, replaced. I think. The next rake, the little green one in the middle is small but very usable. The plastic on the left is snaggle-tooth. As I watched, someone misused it. That person laughed when it broke. That person never set foot in my yard again. The industrial rake, the one with the yellow handle is my pride and joy. I bought it about 15 years ago for something like $35. That was back when I could afford it. I want that to be the last rake I ever need to buy.
So, there they sit, rakes waiting on people to wield them. The rake with the broken handle may be a project. It is raining, so they need to be returned to shelter. The yellow one is on the porch.
I wonder how old the little metal ones are. My son is 46 and used the little ones. So I suppose the little ones are 46 years old, at least. We had them before he was born. They appeal to me like many old tools from my past do.
Your turn
Do you still have metal rakes like the two smaller ones? Do you get rid of rakes? Or, do you keep them as spares, knowing maybe more than one person will be using them? Maybe you have no need for rakes but have something you keep around when you buy a new one?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Elephant in the Yard

Can you see it raked in the leaves?

The rakers (free job) were due at 3:45 but came at 4:30. The eighth and sixth grader complained, ran, chased, argued, fought and raked little. At 4:45 the eighth grade girl demanded to be taken home because if she did not take her home she would get and F in Science and it would be all her mother's fault. Finally, I asked sweetly how long she had known she had the project. Six weeks....hmmm
Then, the sixth grade boy joyfully announced he had made an elephant. The mother argued. I told him to please not mess it up so I could take a picture of it. He was so pleased when I took the picture. After they left, I realized the child thought I would take his picture. I will next time he rakes.
My yard has huge lumps of leaves and tiny piles of leaves...sigh. And, six inches of grass for four months  killed some of the grass, lots of the grass.
Probably 1/10 of the yard is done!
Your turn
Can you see the elephant? Do you ever get help that is exhausting and no help in the end? 

My Half Done Day and an Elephant in the Yard

And then I managed to erase the whole thing. Good night all!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Free Cell Service

Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial: (800) FREE 411, or (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now.
Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial: (800) FREE 411, or (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now.
Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial: (800) FREE 411, or (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now.
There is a problem I have had for years--the telephone book. Actually, it is not the telephone book. It is the lack of it in the car. When I only had a home phone, the phone book, phone, and I were all in the same location.
Now that I use my cell phone in the car, the phone book is in a different location. I tried carrying one in the car. That did not work at all. Friends use 411 and incur charges that I will not incur. Today, I was looking up something on Snopes and ran across the following valuable information.
This number is programmed under "info" in my cellphone.  It works.  I tested it. The only drawback is I had to listen to two ads. Since I have more time than money, I can deal with two ads. Can you? Usually, I am sitting somewhere, waiting for something to happen when I decide I could make a phone call. By making the phone call when I am doing nothing. I don't have to use my home time. I have heard of this number for free "Information" service before, but then failed to figure out what the number was when I could program it into my phone.
I might even be willing to deal with this on a programmable home phone. At least I would not have to get up and go get the phone book. Or, I would not have to have a phone book lying around on a table near me or falling on the floor.
Mental musing: The phone book is where it has always been--in the kitchen drawer that is near the home phone jack. Now, why would it be so hard and odd to move the phone book to a drawer near where I sit and use the cell phone? Because that is not the way I have done it. The phone book has always been, so silly. Actually, the drawer in the table near me is too small.
Okay, here is the information I promised you:
"Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial: (800) FREE 411, or (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now. "
Your turn
Do you have this number programmed into your cell phone? If you do or don't, how do you feel about listening to two 10 second ads in exchange for convenience and the service of free information?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Project

one half of my laundry room shelf storage
45" x 36" x 12"
I know I am lucky to have a laundry room with actual doors. I know I am lucky to have this shelf storage. I use it plus the identical size space to the left of these two doors. It is so crowded because I have not removed everything from all these shelves in over 20 years, I have tossed things that stayed here so long that the propellant just went away. But, if I don't need wasp spray for 3 years, it is not like I just kept something too long and wasted it, hoarded it, or bought something useless.  Plus, I buy things to accomplish the completion of various projects. Sometimes, I have been seduced into buying a product I really don't need or never used after the first time. Yes, I am guilty. However, those things rarely have happened during the last few years.

Now, I am accountable.

See that "tin can" on the bottom right section? I have had that since the 1970's. It stores anything for hanging a picture--picture hanging wire, hooks to hold various weights, stray little nails. It's a Crisco can. Remember those useful "tin" cans?

Now, I am accountable.

My collection of spray paint lives here. If I put it in the basement, it gets really grody. Things rust down there, too. Well, some things do. I just like grabbing a clean can of paint instead of having to clean the can.

Now, I am accountable.

The plan? Get three boxes to place on the washer and dryer that are to the left. One box is throw away. The other is take outdoors and test or wherever I need to ascertain whether it is still useful or not. The third is the keeper box.  I cannot stand long enough with all the reaching back and forth. I want to get this done in maybe two sessions. Then, I can clean the shelves.

Now, I am accountable.

The rest of the plan? Use half or less for things I really want on these shelves, things that survive the purge. I want to be brutal in my sorting session without throwing away anything with any future use. Then, I will use the rest of the shelves for another plan. I will tell you all about that later. First things first.

Now, I am accountable.

Do you want to know what I have in there as much as I and sort and find treasures and trash? My abundance of storage and lack of pain-free days has led to a backlog, I fear.

Now, I am accountable.

Your turn
Do you have lots of storage space and had the abundance lead you to be rather lax in throwing out things? Do you tend to use what is on the front of a shelf and let the back just stay put unless you need something back there? Do you ever need to see just which of those paint spray cans has anything left that is usable? Are you lacking storage space or have plenty like I do. (Plenty of shelf space in the laundry/storage room is what I mean.)

Alabama Tax-free Holiday for Emergency Supplies

Duck Brand Duct Tape, 1.88" x 45 yds, 3" Core

In Alabama this weekend we have a tax-free holiday for purchasing emergency supplies without the 4% sales tax. Your state might have a similar sales tax program.

During this time, individuals will be able to purchase weather-related merchandise tax-free, including:
  • Batteries: AAA, AA, C, D, 6-volt, 9-volt and cellphone batteries
  • Radio: Self-powered or battery-powered radios, two-way ra­dios, weatherband or NOAA weather radios
  • Self-powered light sources: Battery-powered flashlights, lanterns and emergency glow sticks
  • Sheeting: Plastic sheeting, drop cloths or other flexible and waterproof sheeting
  • Anchor systems: Ground anchor systems, such as bungee cords or rope, or tie-down kits
  • Hardware supplies: Duct tape, plywood, window film or other materials specifically designed to protect window coverings
  • Food and storage: Non-electric food storage coolers or water storage containers, non-electric can openers, artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs and reusable ice
  • First aid and safety: First-aid kits, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fuel
Maybe you are not in Alabama. Those close enough can drive across state lines to purchase.

Your state maybe have the same holiday but not on this weekend.

I won't be buying lots of supplies, but there are things on the list I need, like a roll of duct tape. So, I might spend $5. Not much, but it helps.

Your turn
Are you in Alabama and taking advantage of this holiday? Does your state have a sales tax holiday for emergency supplies? What would you buy?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

In the Middle of the Night

I won't go walking in my sleep. I If I did, I would just hurt myself. Instead, the River of My Dreams is Coke bursting in the freezer! Usually, the whole Coke spews and coats all surfaces of the freezer and every item in there. It is such a mess. Tonight is not fun, but not so upsetting.

The Coke has been moved. See the word "Coke"? That was not visible as it was on the top side.  I turned the can to find the liquid froze as it came out. Otherwise, every surface in there would be brown.

Last night about 7 pm, I wanted a Coke. So, since I had not put the ice tray in the freezer, I just put the Coke there for about a half hour. Then, I needed a nap. It was calling my name. But, I wanted, NEEDED to watch the news and weather. Okay, maybe I would awake in time. So, off to bed I went and tried to go to sleep with cold feet.

After sleeping until 9:30 pm, I had to go to the bathroom. And, I still had cold feet. Well, no wonder, I only had my wool blanket over my feet! When the weather was 54 at night, I had to remove two heavy blankets. Three are still there on the bed, but I only managed to get one over my feet when it was 34 F degrees last night. After I went to bathroom and decided to sleep more instead of staying up for the news and weather, I covered my feet with another blanket. It felt like a furnace was turned on my feet.

At 12:30 am, I felt I had enough sleep. About 2 am, I remembered the Coke and found the small mess made in the freezer. So, I put it in the sink and put another in the freezer. Why do I do this to myself? Why don't I have more than one ice tray? I do have more than one ice tray, but the freezer became so crowded that I had to hold my mouth just right to get even one in there. Right now, I can get all 10 or so in there.

So, it is the middle of the night, what do I do?
I am finishing a load of wash I started yesterday afternoon.
Watched some of the Olympics skiing events.
Ate chocolate chips.
Ate a bowlful of cooked cabbage.
Started my three meds, taking the premarin.
Ate more chocolate chips.

I piddled, doing really necessary things:
Pick up the three two glasses and the Coke can from yesterday afternoon, sitting here on the table waiting to go to the kitchen.
Put away a few of the dishes in the dishwasher.
Looked out the window for a bit.
Opened the door and went out on the porch and looked around.
Brushed my teeth.
Put clothes in the dryer.
Hung a few things in the bathroom after I took down the dry things hanging in there.
Put in another load of clothes.

What I will do now:
Cook bacon and scrambled eggs and have milk and orange juice. I won't need breakfast then just before I leave at 6:30 am.
Wash a few dishes in the sink. There are lots, but I will only wash a
When the house is warm enough, I will wash my hair in the bathroom sink, like I have done all my life.

I will look at my seeds!

It's funny, but reading back over that, I have done a lot in two or so hours. That's work!

Your turn
Do you ever get up in the middle of the night and do a day's work to make up for sleeping when you desperately needed sleep? Or, did you ever just complete one large, necessary chore? What kind of things do you do?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wendy Was Right

wick holder is removable

that was easy
When I posted this clever recycled item, I asked, "Does anyone know how to push the wick back in?" Wendy suggested the part that held the wick could be removed. That was correct. Thanks Wendy.
Notice the BP can recycled. 

See how long the wick was after
I tried to put it back in last year?
That was such a simple thing.
Your turn
Do you ever shake your head when such an easy solution is at hand and you don't get it? When was the last or most memorable time when you asked for help for a simple problem when the solution was escaping you? Did you feel your cheeks burn like I did?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Signs of Spring and We Pay for It

7 " tall daffodils

Last week, right after the snow melted, look what I found! Daffodils peeking through. They were breaking through the ground before we entered February. Blooming daffodils are always a good sight.....soon. Right now, it looks like blooms will be here before long.

Robins were flitting about.

Patsy Cline and Thelma worked
diligently in the front yard this afternoon.
Just a bit later than this picture was taken, I was going to the lumber yard. Both hens were within 3 feet of the road in the driveway behind my car. I picked up a stick about a foot long. The plan was to throw it over their heads, between them and the road. This way, they learn the road is a scary place they should not go. Oh, no! I threw it behind them and scared them. However, I suppose their previous road experiences taught them not to go into the road. Instead of going away from the stick, they ran to the side and in the opposite direction.
No more than 30 seconds later, I back out. Thelma ran for her the same direction she fled moments before. Once again, she ran for her life with Patsy Cline following close behind. I had to laugh. Poor chickens. They think I am out to hurt them.
As you can see, they are very busy, having settled down to bug scratching and pecking. They get busy on these warm and sunny days.
Daffodils grow everywhere around my yard.

The  79 F degree afternoon was balmy.

I am discarding things. It is pretty weather to just get rid of it!

Dogwood buds are swelling.

forsythia buds
blurry, but it is too dark now
to take a picture

It is sandal weather and I have been wearing  mine for over a week.

It was so hot outside today. I baked a turkey and heated up the oven. We had cabbage and sweet potato along with the turkey breast and water. We had no dessert.

We pay for summerish weather. If it is unseasonably warm in the winter, the threat of tornadoes will be over us! I am bracing myself for wind tonight, maybe straight winds and maybe tornado.

Your turn
How is the weather where you are? Is spring around the corner where you are?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Health and Doctors

As most of you know, I have health problems. I am not a very good patient because I just refuse to accept some diagnoses and take medicine that is suggested or prescribed.

I am not concerned in this post about the orthopedic problems--torn meniscus in each knee, torn rotator cuff in both shoulders, last vertebrae in my spine is sitting on bone, two herniated discs, L5 is out of place. It will take a 6-inch incision in my back and spine.  I am concerned and do want surgery, but there is no pill to pop, so they are not anything concerning this post. No, I take no pain meds because they won't give me anything strong. So, to avoid whimpering and shaking from extreme pain, I just take it easy. Oh, forgot--I almost had my right hand ripped off and ex husband refused to let me have surgery because he did not want any ugly scar on my body. Then, a bank employee smashed my hand when I reached into the drive-up window. That was never fixed.

What I do recognize:

Half my thyroid was removed because of a growth behind it, so I take thyroid replacement in order to suppress my production of thyroid hormone. The growth behind (NOT ON) my thyroid was the type that eventually becomes cancerous. So, I will readily agree to this medicine. That is one pill.

I have been taking hrt for 25 years and will until my pulse stops. I know all the risks, but I do know the benefits--no hot flashes, I can remember things, like who I am and where I am and why I started this conversation. It is called quality of life that hrt gives me. One pill.

For my GERD, I take one pill. I am grateful for this relief.  One pill.

So, I take (prescribed ) three pills each day.

I take one 1 mg melatonin for sleep, pseudoephedrine for sinus problems occasionally, and allergy tablet once in a while.

I have fibromyalgia, but there seems nothing to do for that and the chronic fatigue syndrome other than an anti-depressant, which I refuse to take. Besides, the doctor said more sleep would mean less pain. I take the melatonin for sleep!

What meds I don't need that most people my age (67) do need: high blood pressure;  blood sugar problems (no diabetes here); no heart problems; other than cataracts, I have no eye problems, no arthritis. I am not bragging, just informing for this post.

About a month ago, I quit hurting so much. I had ten times the energy but not fully restored. I remarked to exbf as I worked at things more diligently. Then, the crushing load came back down on me.

I had an epiphany last night. I saw one headline about pain and gluten. I had not had any bread for three weeks when the pain lifted because I could not get to the freezer to get out bread bought cheaply. Well, I thought there was bread in there but bought 5 loaves to put in there if and when he removed the older bread. Within a few days of resuming regular bread consumption, I was distraught with the load of pain and exhaustion I tried to carry around.

Could gluten be the problem with some of the pain in my body? the exhaustion? Hmmm I wonder why no one else mentioned the possibility? Maybe I don't have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

During those two weeks of release from pain and exhaustion, I did have wheat, just not everyday. Maybe the chocolate in the Tasty Kake neutralized the wheat? Just being silly with that.

I could be wrong!

Your turn
Have you ever had to sort of figure out things for yourself rather than depend on a doctor to just prescribe a pill? I could be wrong, but there was some reason that I was so much better for weeks.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

$9 in Coke Rewards (Free Cokes)

3 x $3 Coke coupons

I have learned to check often on mycoke.rewards to see what is being offered for coke rewards codes. Usually, 240 points are required for a free 12-pack of Cokes. This particular day, 160 points were required for a free 12-pack. Luckily, I had enough points for three 12-pack cartons of Coke.
Less than two weeks later, I received the three coupons above. Since I had three 24-packs, these three coupons are tucked in my purse. That must be some sort of record for speed in receiving a Coke reward.
My grandchildren sometimes find a "Free 12-pack" coupon in with a birthday gift I mail to NYC. It always good to keep little goodies stashed to use for a gift or as a little extra something when mailing gifts.  Coke coupons fall in the category of gifts, just like batteries will this year.
Ooops! Maybe not! My grandson prefers Pepsi if he can get that and only drinks Cokes at his house if that is all there is. Daughter and granddaughter are cutting back on Coke consumption. Maybe these are all mine.
Occasionally, Cokes are $9 for 3 12-packs at different stores. They may be be free if I buy them that week. Since there is no hurry to buy these and I actually have two 24-packs left (used one up) in the kitchen, I can wait until the week Cokes are the cheapest. Win me!
At any rate, this is a better deal than using more points to claim the reward.
Your turn
Did you see this special deal for a Coke coupon for fewer than usual Coke points? 

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Valentine

Today at 4:39 AM

"Dear Lucky one, warm greetings and we wish to inform you that You have
been donated with 1000,000.00GBP from Chris and Col en charity scheme.
However you are required to acknowledge this mail for further procedures in
regards to
You may verify the source of funds; scotland-glasgow-west-18801698
we are presently in India to visit our charity home.
Thanks and congrats.
Chris $ colleen"


I was going to post this on Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Crockpot Debut

Chicken and Spanish Rice
1 hour into cooking

 The chicken and Spanish Rice looks delicious and smells delicious.  I had to move things to get the huge, lovely Crockpot in place. Thank you kind friend for this surprise.  It has to sit very close to the microwave because it needs to reach an outlet. And, the other side of the microwave is hugged by the dehydrator!

At 7 p.m. I was leaving and tasted this. It was delicious. An hour later and it was so thick I could cut it. I should not have put an extra 1/2 cup parboiled brown rice in the pot. So, I will only use one cup of rice. Plus, the Progresso was not enough tomato.

At 8 p.m.  I turned it off and ate a huge helping. Then, I turned it on and added Rold Gold diced tomatoes without sodium and another can of water.

I will not confuse you with the recipe that was too thick and did not have enough tomatoes.

The recipe I will use next time:

1 cup Uncle Ben's Parboiled brown rice
about 2 lbs chicken tenders (any cut of chicken or even ground beef)
1/2  chopped onion (or more)
1 whole bell pepper, diced (used too little with 1/2)
1 can Progresso Recipe Cooking Starters cooking sauce (or any tomato product)
1 Progresso can water
2 cans Rold Gold diced tomatoes
1 can Rold Gold can water

I cooked this for 5 hours on high.

There is no salt in this. I can tell it. However, the extra tomatoes and the extra bell pepper will make it very tasteful for me. Others may need more salt. Salt is not my favorite thing unless it is on potato chips or French fries. And, I don't eat those often.

The lessening of the amount of rice and adding more liquid will make it less chunky rice and tastier, needing less salt.


There is lots of chicken in there.
Dinner on Wednesday
Spanish Rice with Chicken
Green Beans
Three or four individual servings go into the freezer. The rest will be my lunch or dinner this week. Exbf will come here to help me, so that will probably our dinner with green beans and some other vegetable. I would never have bought the Progresso, but it was given to me.
It took a lot of nerve to plug in the Crockpot.
Even if I cook when he is here, that was a lot easier. If I had put less water, I fear it would have been scorched when I was gone.
Your turn
Do you ever cook Spanish Rice in the Crockpot? Or any way? What do you cook in a Crockpot? Desserts? Was I brave to plug that in and leave the house for a bit.  Yay for crockpots.


My blog is just about unusable. I have tried since Tuesday to start another post. Replying has been the only thing I could do, so I have spent hours trying to figure out what was happening to my computer and blog. I had to sneak in to get here today! I spent two hours and was not even trying to fix it, just sneak in.

If I have not responded, maybe I can later today if I don't get shut out again.


Last night I had such a sinus headache that for a bit, I honestly thought I was having a stroke. So did exbf. The nausea, dizziness/vertigo, blurred sight....all scary. I could actually feel the headache as it struck and moved around from my nose to behind left ear. I have the worst pain when ill with sinus problems, but this was the worst.

However, it is 63 F here today!

Your turn
Any ideas on the blog or computer? I think it is the blog mostly. Have you ever had such a blinding sinus headache? Remember, that is why I threw up last weekend.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Ice Cream Recipe Yes, I Eat Snow

ready to eat my snow ice cream

Oh joy! I made snow ice cream for the first time in years and years. I still have snow in the freezer, so maybe I can make more later if it is not too crunchy. My bowl is sitting on my lap on a towel so I can take a picture before my legs can thaw it. Can you see the tint of the vanilla?

When I was a child living in Jackson, MS and in Memphis, TN, we had little snow, not even enough to make snow ice cream once a year. But, Mama made it as often as she could. We were four absolutely thrilled children. So, this is special. It reminds me of all the ways she tried and did make life so wonderful. This is a taste of my childhood.

You can make the recipe to your taste, so this is only a guideline if you wish. One thing, the milk mixture must be cloyingly sweet. You must think there is too much vanilla,  also. It should taste like the mixture for homemade ice cream in the summer. But, no egg. I know you will taste Remember, snow will go into the ice cream to soften the taste. This recipe is what I ate in one sitting. It is never as good after being in the freezer. It could work for two people and only one small bowl.

Homemade Ice Cream recipe

1 1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup of sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Put the measuring cup of milk and sugar in the microwave and stir occasionally until the sugar is melted. Add vanilla and refrigerate.

When the mixture is cooled, Go get snow! The mixture does not have to be cold, but that is best. Mama may not have heated the mixture, but the sugar in mine is well dissolved. Maybe hers was, too.

outdoors, ready to bring it in.

Last night/this morning, 5 am, I took a metal bowl and a flattish utensil to gather snow. Then, I brought it in to use. I put the mixture into another stainless steel bowl and dipped snow in and pushed it down and mixed it often. When the results were stiff in the bowl (you will know) and the cream is no longer white, eat! You will be able to see the whiter snow that is not fully mixed. EAT!

I suppose I skimmed off  1 1/2 gallon snow. Use some common sense. Gather snow high enough that it is not yellow, even under freshly fallen snow. Don't gather snow with depression in the snow from animal feet. I will gather under trees as long as birds are not out. You can see the depressions of animal and bird feet even after new snow falls. Eating snow will not kill you.

See how fluffy?

This snow was so fluffy that I used lots more snow than is usually needed. Dip the snow from the gathering bowl into another bowl with the liquid mixture. (I used stainless steel mixing bowls because I think it stays colder.) Don't pour the liquid into all the snow. You might not need all the snow you brought in.

I am going to see if the snow in the freezer is still good and fluffy and not hard.

Oh, my in-laws in Rochester, NY,  thought it was gross to eat snow. They refused to eat the snow ice cream I made. Do you think eating snow is unhealthful?

Your turn
Do you eat snow ice cream? Do you make it like I do? Did you make any this year? This last snowfall?

Romance Books Winner

And the Winner is:

That's udy with a J

If I have your address, please send it to me again.

Thanks for all who entered.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ghost Chicken

Ghost Chicken
9:30 pm
While I was in the yard taking pictures, I wondered where my metal chicken was. It was too cold and the snow was too deep to go look. When I came in and was looking at the pictures on my computer, there was the chicken, metal chicken that holds a plant. I cannot believe that I could not see it. As I cropped, the chicken became larger and more visible. However, it also had less resolution. But, I do like the effect, especially after I decided it was a ghost chicken.
Not much pen floor left
2:30 pm
Patsy Cline and Thelma were standing in this portion of their pen. They are not chickens that like snow.  The rest of the pen had snow covering the ground. Remember two years ago when I had to carry them into the house and back out into their pen because they refused to leave the porch after spending the night in a cage indoors? Maybe I can find that post for newcomers.
They stayed in their pen all day because there was snow on the ground. I just locked the door so nothing would trap them in the pen with nowhere to go. At least on the outside they have a chance of flying into a tree or over the fence.
The water container did not freeze all day with one 40 watt bulb in the homemade water heater. 
As I went out this afternoon, I notice there was half an inch of icy water in the wagon. It rained here this morning. I decided this would be where I could scoop snow for snow ice cream.  I figured it would fill with snow, too. Nope, did not as I looked tonight.

As I stood on the side porch, I turned to the right, toward the back yard. This is a beautiful sight in the yard. The low hanging limbs give me some indication of what might be happening to limbs hanging over power lines, limbs laden with snow. 
looking straight ahead as I stand on side porch
This is the picture where I cropped out the Ghost Chicken. See it? To the right of the shepherd's hook?  The wagon does not have enough snow to scoop and make snow ice cream. See the table at the left? That has more than 4 inches of snow, plenty for me to eat. 
looking straight ahead off the porch and up a bit
The flood light to the left illuminated the heavy snow on this hickory tree limb. The less brilliant tree on the right is the tree in the other pictures.
It is like a fairy land out doors. There are 5 inches of snow in several places, more than we usually see. It's still snowing.
I know you snow people think this is nothing special. But, to me it is. It will be fading fast tomorrow as it will be 45 tomorrow, 54 on Friday, and 62 on Saturday.
Tomorrow, I will post my snow cream recipe. Well, my laptop is fading fast, so I may be without a laptop tomorrow. It took me 3 or four hours to recover my blog today!
Your turn
Do you get so little snow that it excites you still? I know I will be sick of it by Friday.

Abundance of Inserts + raccoons + ceiling down

over 150 newspaper coupon inserts

same stack, different angle

These are two different inserts, so there is no way I could use all the few that I wanted. These stacks were much straighter when I received them. See the strap? That strap was around part of these, just like they came from a printer.

I gave many of these away. People responded mostly positively. One guy said he did not want any. Then, he looked over my shoulder and acted sort of funny. He stammered and said, "Maybe you should ask her." His wife said to him, "NEVER turn down coupons." She took the three inserts and said to me, "I will meet you here next Saturday night."

Somehow, I made a mistake and sent coupons to people who did not say they wanted them. Maybe I did not send to people who wanted them. Sorry for the goof. At least it cost no one but me!

I have faced five stressful days with another raccoon breaking through the ceiling, frightening me, and then I spent a cold, frightening night in the den with no sleep. I dared not go to bed. She fell through the ceiling but caught herself and climbed back up.

Just a little update here: When the raccoon broke through and the ceiling section fell, I screamed a long, very loud, and shrill scream. I was terrified the raccoon would attack me or go to some corner and hide and be here living with me. If anyone had been awake at 1:30 am, I could have been heard. Thankfully, no one called the police.

Than Charlie came to help, was very abusive talking, yelling about how he was fixing it. yelling about my not having what he needed. I figured he would tell me what he needed and I would purchase it. He said he had screws and brought 2 inch sheet rock screws instead of the 3-4 inch screws I said he needed.

THEN, he wandered over to a man working next door and was bumming screws from him. I have told him to quit bothering neighbors of mine. So, that was a big fight. People, I know the people on this street, and I will not be imposing myself on them.  Besides, before you know it, Charlie has crossed all sorts of boundaries with other people.

I offered to sew up his ripped work coat that had stuffing falling out. He threw the coat at me and told me to fix it now and quit watching him. Really, you have to watch him! He did not put the ceiling piece back straight, just screwed it up crooked where more insulation and dust and dirt can sift out. So, I offered but did not say I was going to mend it right now.

He yelled because I dropped the only two needles I had. They slipped out of the package, something that has never happened to me before. It could be all the yelling at me. at that point, I did not get up and go get the other three packages of needles in the other room. The two needles slid down the side of the chair where I will have to move the chair and slid into a lot of coupons. Sooo, it will be an ordeal to get them.

The ceiling is 7 ft here in the den even though the ceiling is 10 ft in the original house. Charlie is about 5' 8" and refused to use a ladder or even a foot stool. So, he could not really reach the ceiling but insisted he could. That made the job harder and made him complain. He could barely push on the drill and left three screws just barely in the ceiling because he said it was really hard wood. So, he yelled lots about how hard it was, too hard for him, and getting a foot closer would be of no use.

At Walmart, I paid $0.53 for a properly colored scrap that I knew I did not have in order to mend his coat and make it look nice. Before he left, he demanded the scrap and we argued about that. He is a man that makes you take stands. Otherwise, he pushes harder next time.

All last week I was fighting a sore throat and sinus problems, but the  stress threw me over into a worse condition. So, it is freezing. I am walking in snow to get to the hens, and feverish with an earache and sore throat.

No, I cannot afford to fix the ceiling properly. No, the raccoon cannot be closed out unless the ceiling comes down. This is a complicated, many times altered old house. I know there is no way to keep them out except at great cost and reconstruction. Not going to happen. Do not suggest getting help from a church. They do not care.

I just heard the weather. Trees to the west in MS are losing limbs to icy rain. And, it is headed this direction! UGH. The weather is 34F and will drop tomorrow afternoon, so we could lose power to falling limbs. I hope not.

Your turn
Have you ever been given sooo many inserts? How is the weather where you are? And, include your vague location. Have you ever had a friend that you felt you had to always push back to keep him or her from running right over you?


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Getting Lucky


As of now, 3:30 a.m., My county in Alabama is the most affected by ice in the state. And, my city is the area in the county with the most ice on streets and highways.

No, I did not mean that kind of lucky. Besides, I was being sarcastic.

Your turn
Is the weather icy or turning worse? Have you seen these pretty M&Ms? A bag was my Valentine's this year, not a sad thing, just a

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bread Store Surprise

For now and the freezer
Occasionally, I buy bread from the Thrift Bread Store and freeze it. These four loaves of bread, package of buns, cheddar Cheese Sauce Mix, and Tasty Kakes cost $7.16. The chocolate Tasty Kakes were a quarter. The bread products were $1.19. The Cheese sauce was $1.09. I won't buy Cheese Sauce here again because I can get it elsewhere for $1.
Bread products I bought have no hfcs, no preservatives and are all 100% whole wheat. I wonder where I hid the cupcakes from myself.
I was expressing amazement to the clerk that the store was so empty of products. The worker told me that it was because of the storm the week before. All the bread was purchased and the grocery stores took all the bread products the trucks had. She had to call the plant and tell them the thrift store had no merchandise. She was sent bread fresh from the bakers. All these loaves had Feb 11, 2014. I purchased them on Feb 4th!!! Everything was super fresh in the Thrift Bread Store. They went into the freezer as soon as I brought it home.
Then, I got bad news.
 I love this old sign outside the store.

I also love the old store, "Thrift" sign, handmade signs. Am I getting old? This is way beyond sentimental, right? Loving a bread store?

new store
This is the brand-spanking-new store. The "Thrift" is left out of the name! That seemed so quaint and odd to me. I mean, they have used bread, donated bread to sell? It amused me.
The new store is on the worst intersection in town. I just hate it and will turn early to avoid this intersection. Okay, when I took exbf by to show him the new location, I realized I could enter this little shopping center one block before the intersection, entering the parking lot from the side street. At the old one, I took my life in my hands entering and exiting the tiny spaces for four cars at the front of the old store, right smack dab on the road.  PLUS, the new store is  two miles closer than the old store. The old store really enlarged my shopping loop. So, I will try to be happy about losing the old location.
At any rate, I have the freezer stocked with bread. Since I cannot get to the other freezer, I was unaware of the two loaves already in that freezer! Well, I suspected they were there, but wanted bread now. Exbf had not gotten any out for me in three weeks, and I refuse to pay full price.
The bread from the big freezer was transferred to the refrigerator freezer in the kitchen. My bread never gets too old in the freezer or freezer burned because not only do I use it in order it was baked, I put it in plastic bags. Two-gallon freezer bags hold two loaves of bread. This day, I had to store the bread one loaf to a bag, sort of catty cornered.
I bought a different size loaf, so today only one would fit. When I get a loaf from the freezer, I mash all the air from the freezer bag, close the Ziploc zipper, roll up the bag and put it on the freezer door, ready to reuse for bread. Since only bread goes into the two-gallon freezer bags, I have no qualms about reusing them over and over without washing. That way, I can afford the Ziploc bags which I think are essential to storing bread in the freezer and having  the bread emerging fresh tasting.
By buying bread at the thrift store and freezing it, I can save 50% to 66% on the price of bread.
Your turn
Do you have a bread store where you can buy bread for less? Do you regularly take advantage of it? Do you have a freezer to take advantage of the savings?

Walgreen Sunday For Me

10 Degree x $0.50
Saving $5 in Walgreens
??? savings over price elsewhere

In my normal large volume of junk mail, finally one piece is actually worth something. I received a card from Walgreens, saying something about getting prescriptions with Medicare Part D at the same possibly $0 copay. Instructions said to come in and discuss it with the pharmacist. I have never had a $0 copay, so I was skeptical. On the card was a coupon for $5 off next $10 non-prescription purchase. 
I went in, browsed a bit and found a bin of Degree for Women and Men in a bin marked $1. I cannot with certainty say how much this 1.6 oz. costs, but I do know it is more than $1. This is the brand and type my daughter uses--sheer powder. So, we both can use this at $0.50 each. I didn't have my coupons, but I can still use the coupons and reduce this cost per container to less than fifty cents.
Then, the pharmacist and I talked. It appears I can get the reduced prices on prescriptions even though I don't have Medicare Part D. I have one prescription that I have not moved to Walmart, so I may try that one and see if Walgreens' plan is as good as they say.

This bin was in the middle of the Valentine aisle, I think. Your Walgreen may not have the same clearance/special. But, it is worth a look. Oh, there were also containers of men's Degree stick deodorant. Oh, I said

So, saving $5 was good for me. Getting cheap deodorant was good for me, also.

Your turn
Did you find this deodorant bin in Walgreens? Have you gotten prescriptions at Walgreens and had a $0 or a very low copay? Who got the same card I did?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Kicking Addictions

I just did not like having to have something. Then, there was the all-important health issue that drove me to quit.

So, you have many reasons to quit smoking or drinking caffeine or (fill in the blank). You want to improve your health or live longer, save money, or just don't want to be in the grips of any addiction? This advice will work for many vices, not all. If you are addicted to meth or heroin, this advice will not help.

Tom, my boss and friend had to leave meetings, cut them short, skimp on training sessions and succumb to his smoking habit quite a few times each day. After I had known him for four years, he decided to quit smoking. We only saw each other ten months out of the year, so I was not aware of his summer progress. One day in the fall after school started, he had to go smoke. I was stunned because he had told me he was quitting six months earlier.

Tom explained his process: Every morning, the first thing he did was put his feet on the floor and light a cigarette. He explained that his feet had to be on the floor to avoid going back to sleep with a cigarette in his mouth. He said he was so eager to smoke that he reached for the cigarettes and lighter as he was sitting up. Every morning when he started quitting, he smoked. He noted the time he smoked the first day. Let's say 5:18 am. The next day he had to wait until after 5:18 to have the first cigarette of the day. He waited longer if he could but did not try to wait hours, just minutes to have the first cigarette of the day. The second day his first cigarette was at 5:20. The third day at 5:21. He continued his very slow progress, minutes at a time. He was able to wait more minutes each day, sometimes less. So, slowly but surely, he started his smoking day later and later, spending more hours not smoking.

The day I talked to him after school started, he said he had to wait until 2:14 pm for his first cigarette of the day. He said when the day came that his first cigarette of the day was just before bedtime, he would have successfully and painlessly quit. As far as I know, he never started smoking again.

This goes against everything we know about the first day of a new habit or the first day of quitting a habit. We all get up in the morning, weak of body after our fast. We have set our minds to forcing our body and mind to do our will. How many people have quit smoking multiple times only to fall back in our old habit within hours?

I was having anxiety attacks, I thought. I suffered, I was trying to go to grad school, work, drive 2 hours to campus, and generally care for myself, my car, my house, and study. Caffeine fortified me. Caffeine cleared my head when I was muddled. Caffeine caused my heart rate to hover right around 110 all the time. I was alert. I excelled in school. Finally, my heart was racing and irregular.

Then, the day came that the pounding in my chest frightened me. The decision to give up caffeine was easy. But, how? I would almost go to sleep driving if I needed caffeine. I had a real problem. But, I remembered how Tom quit smoking and never went back.

I planned this carefully. I started my quitting on a day when I did not have papers due soon. I did not have a heavy driving schedule. Starting on the perfect day was part of my success.

When I awoke each morning, I had a routine: go to bathroom, start a bath, get a Coke out of the refrigerator, get in the steaming tub, lie back and drink my Coke. It was a ritual I enjoyed and needed.

The day I started quitting there were Diet Cokes and Caffeine Free Diet Cokes in the refrigerator. That first day I had my Coke first thing in the morning. Then, I had one around noon, another at 3 pm or thereabouts. Another was necessary around 7 or so. Often, I would have another at midnight.

Yes, that Coke at midnight caused me to awake many times during the night to go to the bathroom. Often, I would have chest pains along with the elevated heart rate. So, I knew it was time for a change. I was wearing out my heart!

The first day, I had all but the last Coke at 7 pm. Now, I was drinking from 2 liter Cokes, so there was not just a glass of Coke imbibed. The last drink of the first day was a Diet Coke. There were no headaches or jitters.

The second day, I had all the Coke I wanted until it was time for the late afternoon/dinner Coke. The rest of the day I drank Diet Coke Caffeine Free. No problems

The third day, I opened my last Coke at around noon. I drank Diet Coke Caffeine Free Coke for the rest of the day. No regrets.

The fourth day, I had only a morning Coke, the last with caffeine. Diet Coke Caffeine Free satisfied me the rest of the fourth day. I was free. No headaches plagued me.

The fifth day, I only had Diet Coke Caffeine Free. It was several years before I even had the occasional Coke with caffeine.

Now, I should give up Coke altogether.

Everyone assured me before I started giving up Coke I would be plagued with headaches because of the volume of Coke I consumed, all full of caffeine.

I have always drunk tea without sugar or any artificial sweetener. I actually like the taste of tea. However, a few years before I gave up Coke, I gave up caffeinated tea. I use Lipton Decaffeinated Instant Tea now. Yes, I know, but it is an acquired taste. When I divorced, I could not drink all the tea I brewed, cannot stand refrigerated tea, and will not drink tea left out on the counter. So, I make it a glass at a time.

I try not to eat so much chocolate that my heart races as before.  Chocolate is where I get my caffeine these days.

You can adapt Tom's and now my method of beating addiction. You may have noticed that he did without at the beginning of the day, and did without at the end of my day. You can adapt it to most addictions.

Your turn
Do you have a habit that you think can be adapted to this method of quitting habits? What addiction plagues you? Which addictions have you quit?

Raffle Blanket--to Help a Friend

I cannot do much, but I can help to advertise for a friend in need. Go here for the raffle.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Warm, Cozy Bed and Raccoon

Enough leaves?

Today, for the first time in three weeks, exbf came up and helped me do things. He does not refill the hens' boxes each week. Sometimes, he just puts more leaves and pine straw on top of the old.
The bottom Rubbermaid box is where they lay. Sleeping happens upstairs. When the laying box is this full of straw and leaves, I have to feel around for eggs. I really think Thelma and Patsy Cline hide the eggs. If they laid eggs and left, they still would roll around and down to the side of the box. However, the eggs are so deep that I actually cannot see an egg, maybe just 1/2 inch of egg.
At any rate they will snuggle down into the leaves and pine straw and make themselves comfortable on a cold night. They have never had a roost.
Last Wednesday about 4:45, I could see the day was losing light. It was beyond the time that the hens would be out. Usually, they come near the back door, then move to the area in front of their pen, then into the pen. Finally, they jump on the table and sit and look at the dying day. Then, they jump up to the top box.
This night, they were at the back door just standing there, like they needed me. I talked to them and went toward their pen. As I rounded the corner of the house, I say a very large cat...was that a cat? No, it was a raccoon running out of their pen. I kept walking and then hens followed, making frightened noises, like they were questioning me. They stopped about ten feet from their pen and looked around. I moved between their door and the raccoon sitting on the fence watching us. As I moved between the raccoon and door, the hens ran quickly into their pen. I slammed the door and left. sigh....
I need to set the trap.
Tonight for the hens it's "clean sheet night."
Your turn
Do your hens roost or sit the sleep? Do you use what you have for their pens or do you buy "bedding" for them.