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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Deer Crossing

Here is a VIDEO  so funny that will make you spit your drink. There is another new post today, right under this one.

I Tried It; I Liked it!

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened "milk" is the star right now. It will never cure a craving for milk. It is sort of watery like skim milk. I hate skim milk. I won't put this over dry cereal because I don't eat dry cereal as a rule. The only use will be for adding a mashed banana and drinking it. 

My children would come to drink my "banana milk" when they caught me drinking it. You have to sneak and eat sometimes with kids! If they were outside, and I decided to drink milk, they would somehow know and come rushing in and want my milk. They could have milk, but the silly kids wanted mine!

I have no delusions that this new "milk" will satisfy any milk craving or provide milk nutrition. It just won't! I have had Almond milk before, but I am not sure where. Maybe it was when the people hand out samples in the grocery, giving me maybe an ounce. The samples I have had were intolerably sweet. Also, I don't know the brand.

Maybe this will be a vehicle for chocolate.

Still, this is not what I want! I know I said I like it, but that was compared to sweetened milk substitutes. I can only tolerate this, but I was happy to find it. This only has 30 calories per 8 oz serving, much less than other choices.

Also, I have a gluten-free wrap. This should be better than the wheat-free bread. I will let you know when I try it.

Your turn
Have you tried almond milk? Sweetened or unsweetened? In your opinion, is another brand better? Did you kids want a drink of your milk? Your Coke? Your anything? Did you have to sneak to have a treat?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

No Cataract Surgery This Tuesday

Monday I was thinking of all I have to do this week. Cataract surgery was cancelled. When I had to cancel before, I carefully planned when I would be free and could get someone to take me to surgery. I left nothing to chance for this Tuesday!

Today, things started going to hell in a handbasket, all because I really started planning the week.

I started thinking about my week ahead and surgery. I have an appointment in Birmingham on Wednesday and one here on Thursday. Then, it occurred to me that I could not drive until 24 hours after anesthesia and the day would be Wednesday and I would not be here...ack.

My choice was cancelling the oncologist visit on Wednesday or having the cataracts out on Tuesday and follow-up on Wednesday. I had to cancel the oncologist appointment once. I don't have to have the cataracts out on Tuesday. Soooo, once again, I am cancelling cataract surgery. Thankfully, the nurse was understanding.

Once I cancelled, I rescheduled and called my ride. She cannot take me on that date. Sooo, I called and asked on an answering machine to have a different date, a week beforehand. I was exhausted.

Dominique was especially happy to see me. Well, she was happy to see me and food. She has been moping about. I think she is bored. Saturday, some dirt was dug up by a friend and thrown in the pen where she digs holes. There were balls of little roots in the dirt, about the size of a football. Today, she had dug them out of the hole and mauled them, probably looking for minute bits of food in the form of bugs or worms.

Maybe the fact there was a protein food source all day made her seem less lethargic. I know that eating meat is the only thing some days that makes me feel better. It's almost 8 pm and I have not had a bite to eat, at all day, just water.

No matter whether I eat or not, I am groggy feeling and have a headache. The shaking has mostly stopped. The headache is less horrid.

I am going to make bbq chicken out of the crockpot chicken. Coleslaw is on the menu. Maybe the gross wheat-free bread will be improved by lots of bbq chicken and coleslaw to make a sandwich with green beans on the side. I had all this ready and planned for today, but sluggy's menus made me extra hungry way too early. Later, I will have banana and later some oats. Did you know chocolate chips are good in oats?

Update before publishing: The bbq sauce must have had vinegar in it because my eardrums are in such pain! That is the beginning of my throat swelling shut according to the ENT and allergist. My throat  has never closed in the years I have had this. Maybe this is the beginning of making my own bbq sauce and canning it.

Your turn
Do you ever make appointments on top of appointments or other obligations? Do sluggy's menus ever make you ravenous?

Monday, August 29, 2016

Still Getting Rid of Fruit Flies: A New Way

When I passed the tiny bowl of vinegar and Dawn, I noticed it was dry. Later. As I lay down to talk on the phone, one landed on my nose. ack! I slapped it to try to kill it. That hurt. They all, all two, went away.

After I hung up the phone, I gasped because a fruit fly went all the way to my throat as I breathed in. I gasped and coughed until I suppose it finally went down. Hopefully, I am not allergic to fruit fly protein. I have always had a fear of swallowing a bug. It has happened when I was outdoors, but never safe inside.

Pears are ripening at a rapid rate. I just hope there are no swarms.

Singers at night often swallow huge bugs, so I am grateful it was only a fruit fly! I cannot imagine swallowing any larger flying insect!

Don't try this at home.

Your turn
Have you ever swallowed a bug flying around? Okay, have you ever deliberately swallowed/eaten a bug?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Grandma Cheap Cheap

I found a new channel, new to me, that I love. Grandma Cheap Cheap has many ideas. She is a down-to-earth Southern cook with many recipe videos. I chose this VIDEO because as she looks at her panty before rearranging it, she says, "I don't even know what that is."

Your turn
Do you like her style? Her recipes?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Oats Overview Information

OATS Overview Information

Oat is a plant. People use the seed (oat), leaves and stem (oat straw), and bran (the outer layer of whole oats) to make medicine.

Oat bran and whole oats are used for high blood pressure; high cholesterol; diabetes; and digestion problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diarrhea, and constipation. They are also used for preventing heart disease, gallstones, colon cancer, and stomach cancer.

People use oats for joint pain (rheumatism), fatigue, a fatigue-related condition called neurasthenia syndrome, withdrawal from nicotine and narcotics, and lowering high uric acid levels that can cause gout. Oats are also used for anxiety, excitation and stress; as well as for weak bladder and kidney ailments. Other uses include connective tissue disorders, skin diseases, fat redistribution syndrome associated with HIV treatment, and as a tonic.

Oat straw is used for the flu, swine (H1N1) flu, coughs, bladder disorders, joint pain, eye ailments, frostbite, gout, and a skin infection called impetigo.

Topically, oats are used for skin conditions including itchiness, dryness, oiliness, weeping eczema, and contact dermatitis. Oats are also applied to the skin for chicken pox, osteoarthritis, liver disorders, and added to foot baths for chronically cold or tired feet.

In foods, oats are used as a grain or cereal.

In manufacturing, oats are included in some bath products and soaps.

How does it work?

Oats might help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels and control appetite by causing a feeling of fullness. Oat bran might work by blocking the absorption from the gut of substances that contribute to heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Your turn
Okay, that all sounds interesting. I wonder how oats applied to the skin can help liver disorders. Does anyone have opinions on this article?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Flu Vaccination

Tuesday night, I received a "flu shot" for the first time in two years. The pharmacist and doctor both said the vaccination is not as effective if a person is sick. Even sinus congestion or an earache can hinder the effectiveness and consequently the protection conveyed.  I had never heard this. Have you? There are times I had the flu vaccination while ill. However, no one informed me!

This is the first time in over two years that I have not had a sore throat, major ear ache, sinus infection, or chest congestion. Giving up all the foods I have has certainly cut down on my need for meds. I no longer take anything for acid reflux, allergies, congestion. I only take a Zyrtec and med for thyroid. Yes, Zyrtec is for allergy, but I had other things I took, too. Maybe this fall, I may have to add meds back. We will see.

I don't think I have ever had the flu. But, when I turned 65, I thought maybe it would be prudent to be protected since age might affect me as far as contracting the flu.

Maybe the protection I appear to have is genetic. No one in my family on mother's or father's side died in the influenza Pandemic of 1918-20. Plus, lung issues have killed no one since. We die from cancer. Did any of your family die during the 1917  worldwide flu outbreak? Could my family's history be genetic protection from influenza?

There is  a new technique. A round bandaid is put on the arm first. Then, the needle is pushed through the very thin middle of the bandaid. It's not a regular bandaid, but a special type just for vaccinations. Have you ever had one of these used for an injection?

As the pharmacist was preparing to inject me, I asked him if mercury were in the vaccination. He said there were no preservatives at all, "I like my vaccinations preservative-free."  I wonder if they are used for other types of injections and not just vaccines. ???

My arm was swollen yesterday and still is very hot. I guess I am okay even though my equilibrium is off. I appear as drunk as a bicycle.

We will not entertain the pros or cons of vaccinations. Those on both sides will never agree, so pardon my bossiness. I do know there are problems because I still have a huge dimple on my right arm where the vaccination site had to be lanced when I was a baby. And, my younger daughter had to be hospitalized for dehydration when she threw up for four days. My older daughter and I had a pretty bad life-threatening reaction to our tetanus vaccination! The doctors told us to never have another tetanus shot. I refuse to take a booster for tetanus because it terrifies me. Still, I am getting other vaccinations.

Your turn
Have you ever heard that any illness, no matter how slight will make the flue shot less effective? Do you think that the fact I have never gotten the flu has anything to do with genetics? Did your family lose members to the 1918 flu epidemic?  Are you aware of the new way of giving injections through the bandaid which is applied before the injection? Have you gotten your "flu shot" this year?

Fruit Fly Trap and Mosquito Repellent

I think having fruit around just guarantees a person will have fruit flies. Well, having lots of ripening fruit, which I have lots of right now and ripening--pears--assures   I do have a few fruit  flies. I have something else that has little black wings. My favorite way to get rid of them is to use a vacuum cleaner. It is so satisfying to wave the vac wand and suck them up! When I had a fly infestation and put up a fly strip, the fruit flies stuck to it, too.

This setup is not unsightly like a fly strip and does not require me to drag the vacuum into the kitchen and wave the wand around.  I did try the trick with vinegar in a jar and plastic wrap over the top. I poked holes, but my fruit flies could not find their way inside! Stupid fruit flies!

Now, I take a small bowl and put a few drops of Dawn in it and add half an inch of vinegar. Fruit flied are attracted to the vinegar and the Dawn kills them. When the bowl is full of fruit flies, or they are all over the bottom of the bowl, I dump it into the commode and start over. The vinegar and Dawn cannot be anything but good for the commode.

For some reason, I have mosquitoes in the house. It is puzzling and very annoying. They love to bite me on my arms just above my elbow on the back of my arm. When I go to sleep, I am covered to the neck by a sheet, so they don't bite. But, at any other time, they bite me day and night and drive me mad.

Last night, early in the evening I put Vick's Salve on the outside of my arms above my elbows. It worked! I told exbf about this because mosquitoes eat him up outdoors at my house. "Hell NO! THAT would be worse than repellent!" he screamed into the phone. Now, he never curses and never yells at me. He hates mosquito repellent. I plan to just put a streak, a thin streak down his arm. The odor will be enough. He was bitten on the face four times in his long struggle to the car.I will just put a little smear on his arms and a bit on his cheeks and chin.

Vicks Salve will work to put it on clothing,  But,  I think I will put in on a rag and ties it around my arm if I need more odor.  If I were working outdoors and had on work clothes, I would smear a little here and there on my clothing.

I really hate using mosquito repellant as I feel it is not safe. Smelling like Vicks is not a problem when faced with being bitten by mosquitoes. Plus, if you are bitten, Vicks takes the sting and itch out of them!

If this does not work for him, I will make something from garlic to smear on him.

Your turn
What is your favorite trick for getting rid of fruit flies? How do you keep mosquitoes from biting you?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tuesday Lunch

Tuesday, I went to the Tuesday lunch. I didn't get enough sleep but got ready and went there without having had my usual glass of milk and banana. I may be out of bananas, but I thought I had two.

Usually, I go early so I can get a close parking place. That leaves me sitting at a table full of desserts, one at each place. Everyone who comes there goes around and swaps out desserts to get their favorite. My motto: "Life is short; eat dessert first." I usually do! The chocolate cake was calling my name, but today I ignored it. Through the wait, I also ignored the headache and had a glass of water.

When I heard what was for lunch, I was happy, but I should not have eaten one bite. The chicken nuggets were breaded; the green beans had ham in them; squash casserole had cheese; roll looked delicious. I ate the chicken nuggets and tried to scrape off the breading. I left the ham on the plate. There was no cheese on my portion of the squash casserole! I mindlessly ate the miniscule roll. There was one bite left when I realized I was eating it. There was one thick, glorious slice of tomato... yum.

A guy asked me how many hens I had now and how many eggs I got. Dominique is not laying again. I told him she was going to freezer camp. The whole table roared and repeated it to each other.

Dominique was so happy with the leftovers from several plates.

I finally picked several grape leaves, one for the pickles I made. I think I will make pickles for the Fair. I need to look to see if there are any grapes on the vines sprawled all over. A handful of scuppernongs would be great.

A young man with brain damage finally talked to me today after I frightened him several months ago. I had pie at my place and was standing, talking. He had the saucer and was removing it to take to his table. I did not realize he had brain damage and said, "EH, EH, EH. Put it down! It's mine." I was only kidding by sounding so harsh, so my faux pas embarrassed me when he turned white and I realized he had a problem. Since then, I have made it a point to say, "Hello." Today, he approached me and made small talk. I guess he observed me for a few months and decided I was not too scary. We all protect our chosen dessert and tell people we chose that dessert, so go get their own.

I voted for mayor and city council today. When I went to the place where I always vote, half a block from my house, I was not on their roll. When I got to the courthouse where I am now assigned to vote, it was difficult for me to walk so far again. Usually, voting is joining the lines with a marker. Today, I had to bubble in with a pen. Done! And, I proudly wear the "I Voted" sticker.

Even though I went to two polling locations and to lunch, I was never more than four blocks from my house.

Even though I can vote by absentee ballot, there is something about going to the polls that I would miss. Granted, I have never had more than ten people in front of me. If I had to wait in the lines I sometimes see on TV, I would be voting by absentee ballot.

I am going to call my gastroenterologist because my intestines are not right yet. I spent a long time in the bathroom after lunch, the kind of session that leaves a person weak. A nap was in order even though I had plans to go back out and get chores done in town. Needless to say, I was hungry once again before I lay down.

Tomorrow, I have so many things to do that I need to make a list. Most of the chores are here at home and some are phone calls.

Since I ate lunch, my ear hurts a bit, and I am itching. So, I ate something I should not...sigh.

Your turn
Did anyone else vote today? Do you vote by absentee ballot? Do you like the experience of going to vote?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

One Lone Cucumber Becomes Refrigerator Pickles

Three tomatoes and a cucumber came my way. I ate one of the tomatoes grown in a local field. It tasted like a supermarket tomato in the winter. It won't be so exciting slicing the other two, knowing there will be no fresh tomato sweetness and summer freshness.

On to the cucumber. I sliced it into a pint jar, added strips of bell pepper and slices of yellow squash, added a clove of garlic, and red pepper flakes, dash of salt. Then, I almost covered it with vinegar and filled it with water to cover the cucumber.  There is no way I will eat these, but they will last until exbf gets here to enjoy them. (Actually, I cannot eat vinegar--doctor's orders.) He won't eat them in one sitting, so they will probably be around for a month or more.

On a whim, I used some of the vinegar to "wash out" a small jar of sweet pickle relish. That vinegar was part of the vinegar used in the refrigerator pickles. Plus, there is a half jar of pimiento that I won't use because I cannot put it in cheese or chicken a la king.

When you slice the cucumbers for pickles, make sure you trim off about a quarter of an inch on the blossom end. In the blossom end is an enzyme that makes the pickles soft to eat. If you leave it in the cucumber, the pickles won't be crisp. I forgot where I read this, but I will always do this and put a grape leaf in the jar. Maybe I will put a Vidalia onion, sliced in with this.

Tomorrow, I will get a grape leaf from my grape vine and put it into the jar. It is supposed to keep the pickles crisp.

Using this "recipe" or method, veggies I cannot or won't eat are saved. Plus, I can add other vegetables as I get them. I have never canned pickles, but I have done this for about 40 years with some variations.

He may take them home if he wants. Otherwise, they will live in my refrigerator.

Today, I feel so wobbly and weak and feeble minded! Plus, I have a headache. I ran the electric cart into too many things and almost hit people in Walmart. Thankfully, I kept the car under better control. I am still famished and shaky.

Your turn
Do you ever just put stuff in a jar with vinegar and other stuff and call it pickles?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunday, I Was So Hungry, I Cried!

Usually, I just go get a glass of milk, a chunk of cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple, chicken sandwich, banana, chunk of chicken, cottage cheese and applesauce, bowl of oats and glass of milk, Greek yogurt and blueberries. Those are things for snacks, and I don't have them all every day.

With all the food categories I have had to give up, little of these snacks are left for me. So, I cried. I cried because I was shaking and hungry and I cried because I may never be able to eat these foods again. I will probably cry when I see the allergist.

Well, crying it is not making my stomach full. So, tomorrow I will cook a huge pot of brown rice, cook more potatoes with carrots and onions, grind some brown rice powder from uncooked rice, buy eggs. This expensive hen just eats now and lays nothing, so I just will have to buy eggs!

If I can eat two eggs each morning, I am rarely headache-inducing-hungry like I have been for the last week or so. Those two eggs last me most of the morning. Of course, I usually have a glass of milk, too! $5 will get me enough eggs for almost a week.

While I won't be baking bread, I am going to use oats and brown rice flour to make maybe a peach cobbler, not sure. By the way, I choke on the bread from the $10.98 loaf. That is the last of that brand I will buy.  It is so expensive I cannot justify eating more than two slices a day.

Exbf said he would be eating lots more fruit! Well, all that costs money and is still not a balanced diet. I sure do love milk and dairy products! While I can make a meal on vegetables, my body is not happy. It want ice cream!

Seriously, this is not just wanting some food. It is a shakiness and deep hunger. I could  make Jello. Or not! See, I have sweet stuff that does not have dairy that still doesn't sound good enough to excite me.

I do eat salads and greens.

Tonight, I threw away a boneless ham that I accidentally ate two bites from my plate. I threw out the 32 ounces of yogurt. There is still Kraft cheese for spaghetti. It will stay here. Exbf came and I forgot to give him the ham and he would not want the yogurt. That is all I have wasted. I had told him not to come this week, so I can't even feed it to him and send the rest home.

When I looked at Publix for wheat-free cookies, they had dairy in them.

I wanted some chocolate on Saturday. Hershey bars have dairy products in them. Lindt had no dairy, but it was the bitterest kind and way too expensive. Today, I took spoon of peanut butter and mixed in cocoa. It was okay, but not chocolatey enough. I will try again tomorrow.

I have to look at  my checkbook before I go to the grocery. sigh I need an extra paycheck to cope with the food purchases I need to make. But, that's not happening. If I have enough money for tonight, maybe tomorrow I will go haunt Publix for suitable foods that may satisfy some of my cravings. 

There was not enough money in my account to buy even a banana, so maybe I will just eat some of that toilet paper! GAH!

Your turn
Have you ever cried because you were hungry and shaking? This is not the blood sugar type of shaky.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Of All the Nerve!

I was telling a guy about the tp deal. He said, "Will you give me some?" Do I have to tell you my answer to that question?

"Well, will you sell it to me for what you paid" Again, a negative in an irritated tone from me. and "Then, I will have shopped for nothing, wasted my time, and it may not be that price or they may be out!

"Where do you keep it?"

"I will tell you where to get it and help you get the right price, and will even go with you."

So far, I have purchased ten packages of 12=24 rolls.

This is the guy who will only mow my yard for one unacceptable price. So, Hell NO, he cannot have or buy my tp.

He is coming by tonight to remove the old microwave and bring the new one in from the car. I will hide the tp! He saw I had about a dozen packages of batteries and asked for two. I gave them to him. THEN, he mentioned several times one day that he needed batteries. So, I hid them. If he knew I had about 20 packages of 16, he would beg for more or maybe just take them.

Okay, I need a nap. Then, I will hide my tp. I am not selfish, just don't like his idea that he cannot do me a favor and then carry things off.

Your turn
Do you ever have people ask for things you have in abundance? Do people ever whine about their needs when they KNOW you have stocked up? Do you get strong and repeated hints?

Friday, August 19, 2016

I Did it Again, But Better

My post at 11 pm on Thursday night, the previous post, Great TP Bargain, tells how I got a great deal on tp.

At 2 pm Friday morning, I did it again. However, this time even though the tp came to $3.24, there was a $1 coupon sticker on the package, making each package $2.24. I bought 4 packages of 12=24.

That means 12 double rolls, and I purchased 4 packages. 4x24 rolls=96 rolls.

4x$2.24=$8.96 for 96 rolls. Did I do all the math correctly? I am bleary-eyed, needing sleep.

The $2.24 price for 12=24 rolls is great in my opinion. Maybe you get it much cheaper. I believe I paid less than 20 cents for each roll. This looks like my personal best.

The same items cost me $12.94 yesterday without coupons on the package.

The regular price each day would have been $26.94 without the sale or coupons.

Your turn
What is your best price on tp? Is the Northern on sale in your area? Correct my math, please!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Great TP Bargain

Toilet Paper is two for the price of one at RiteAid. I now use a combination of tp and washcloths. Therefore, tp must be dirt cheap. I purchased Northern, the stretch kind, toilet paper where you buy a 12=24 pack and you get one free. I now have the back of the commode about four-feet high with the four packages I bought. For $6.47x2=$12.94 I brought home 48=96 rolls of toilet paper.

Tonight, at 1 am and after Modern Family is over, I am going back for more toilet paper. I am not sure if I will get four of the 12=24 packs or just two. I need to take a coupon that will lower the price appreciably.

Oh, I must get carrots for a project.

Your turn
Does your area have this great TP deal? Have you found another brand that regularly has good sales and coupons? What other bargains are out there in your area?

I am NOT Happy!

I can eat nothing mammalian. If an animal suckles its young, its products are off limits to me.
Things I cannot eat are:

*beef, pork, and lamb. Of course, that includes wild game. I had already eliminated beef and felt so much better. IBS disappeared.

*Dairy products. cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt or sour cream. No milk. I am going to miss goat and sheep cheese and cream cheese. Of course, it all comes from mammals.

*Citrus fruit. It is good that it is not Cutie season.

*Anything fermented. No pickles. No vinegar.

*Wheat. Did you know there is wheat in chocolate chip cookies? I thought maybe the chocolate would counteract the wheat. No? I will just eat chocolate chips!

I found a frozen loaf of bread at Publix for $9.99 that had no wheat. I swallowed hard and paid the price--$10.98 with tax. No, I won't be baking bread. I could only get half the loaf in the freezer. The rest went in freezer bags in the refrigerator, two pieces in a bag. The slices are very small and dry, not tasty or appealing in any way. At this price, I will only eat two slices each day, if that much.

Already, I am a label-reader, but now, I read for more than calories, fat, soy.

Citrus disappeared in March. Milk went two weeks ago. Cheese went yesterday. Plus, I threw out the yogurt and cottage cheese. I sent bread and buns home with exbf yesterday.

Even though I lost five pounds in ten days, I don't like this life. But, if it keeps me from dying from lesions in my esophagus, I suppose I will suck it up, put on my big girl panties and try not to whine much.

Your turn
Do you have foods you cannot eat on doctor's orders?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Elberta Peaches

Elberta is the variety, not Alberta.

The woman who had the Elberta peaches tried to convince me the variety she had left were just as good. She had chilled samples on a toothpick. It is hard to compare between peaches kept in 90 degree weather with chilled peaches. I declined the chance to buy the other variety.

This is the second post for today.

Lunch at a New Place; Dinner Fail

There was one place for lunch on Tuesday at a church. Now, there are three churches that have lunch on Tuesday.

Tuesday, exbf and I went to one of the new ones. Lunch was boneless, skinless chicken breasts/chicken fingers, one or the other, with dry mushroom soup mix sprinkled over them. Green beans and whole kernel corn and a thin slice of buttered bread completed the plate. Neither the beans or the corn was over-salted or over-seasoned. There was a choice of sweetened or unsweetened tea or water. Dessert was cookies, or peanut butter fudge or pound cake in a sandwich bag. Altogether, it was a great lunch.

There weren't many people there because some people took a to-go plate. Well, some got ten to-go plates. I asked if we could each have  a plate to-go and got one apiece. Those ended up being dinner.

For dinner I put about a dozen potatoes in the crockpot, on high, one layer. On top I put yellow squash and zucchini. After two hours it seemed barely warm. What happened? Consequently, dinner was a replay of lunch. He did not mind at all.

He took home half-cooked food--three potatoes, four squash, one zucchini. They seemed very hot, just not done.  What happened? I put a cup of water, two Tbsp. of olive oil and a clove of garlic, diced. Tomatoes and blueberries were price-matched.

Maybe the density of the potatoes needed more time. I don't know. Do you? An hour later, they were done!

Your turn
Do you have a clue as to why the potatoes did not cook in two hours? Why did the zucchini and squash not cook in an hour? I only opened the crockpot once just long enough to throw in the squash and zucchini! Did I have too much in the crockpot?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Monkey Spears Wars

When I asked who had played "Apple Core" "Baltimore" "Who's Your Friend," "Anne in the Kitchen" asked me if I had ever played "Monkey Spears War." I had not and asked her to explain it. She did:

"Monkey spears are the dried remnants of a weed that grows very well here. They are about 2 1/2 inches long with a little barb on the end. It will not penetrate skin but hooks nicely into clothes. The rules were to have one official caller who would yell BEGIN. You had until she/he yelled stop to gather your weapons. Then you divided into teams and waited until the leader yelled WAR. You battles until everyone was out of weapons then you counted the number of monkey spears stuck in your clothes. The totals for each team were added and the team with the most "kills" won. It helped if you lived on a street with one lot that had not been built so the weeds would grow. When our neighbor finally built his house our source of ammo disappeared."

That night, I told exbf about the game. He became very excited as soon as I said "Monkey Spears Wars," saying that, yes, he had played the very game and knew what the weed was by sight but did not know the game.

No, did not know them by that name and never played that game. He only became excited when I described the weed.

Is it possible that this game is only played in Birmingham?  Maybe they lived on the same street. As soon as I see him, I will find out and report back here Tuesday afternoon.

The very night I wrote the post, The Andy Griffith Show had the episode where Opie and the other boys played "Apple Core." A bully was the one calling the game. Afterwards, he took an apple and broke out a street lamp. He dumped all the apples in Opie's arms and ran away. Of course, Barney showed up immediately after the other boys ran off.

By the way, Anne in the Kitchen is not the name of her blog, so you will arrive at the right place following the link.

Your turn
Have you ever heard of or played Monkey Spears War? If so, where did you play it as a child? Do kids still play it? Do you know what kind of weed it was? Do you remember the Andy Griffith episode where the bully played "Apple Core"?  Anne, In what neighborhood or on which street did you live?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Peaches and Variety

I remember the peaches of my youth. Mama and Daddy always bought certain things. I knew the name because they mentioned it often between themselves and to me.

For years, I have been sorely disappointed with most of the peaches I buy. When I finally hobbled back to the market, I bought peaches from one woman who assured me they were delicious and ripe. No, they were not delicious and not ripe. They were hard as a rock and a beautiful red and gold. They never ripened. Maybe they would be okay cooked, but I still did not have the peach experience I wanted.

About two weeks ago, I went to a different woman who volunteered she had several different varieties and showed me which were which. I had already spied the ones that looked right. She said they were Alberta. Or is it Elberta?

I paid $6 for 6 peaches. I thought it was an outrageous price but did not hesitate. Well, I did have a coupon. When I came home, I ate four of them at one sitting. Don't ever do that! I was stuffed.

Last week, I bought another basket of six and have eaten one each day for breakfast. There is one left. I am sad because the woman said they were gone this week.

Next year, I will be canning peaches, only Alberta/Elberta. My whole grocery budget for the month will lie in peaches. If I can find them anywhere else this year, I will can them in pints, maybe half-pints. That way, I won't be eating a whole quart in a day and a half.

If you have never had an Alberta/Elberta peach, you really need to try one. They are neither rock hard nor mushy as some ripe peaches are. They don't have really firm flesh, just a nice bite texture and great mouth feel. Of course, the flavor trumps all.

These have lasted for a week without going off at all. That counts for something when you want to leave them on the counter instead of refrigerating a peach to keep it edible. Of course, they come out of the basket and lie one layer on a platter.

My intention was to make a peach cobbler. Now, I would just as soon use store-canned peaches.

Your turn
Have you ever had Alberta?Elberta peaches? Are you ever aware of the variety you buy? Do you love the experience of eating a fresh peach never refrigerated? What is your favorite way to eat/prepare peaches.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

It Was Dirty, So I Bought a New One

That is only half true. My microwave is over 25 years old and runs fine. But, it is in rough shape inside. I let something boil over and did not clean it right away. You know how it is when you say you will clean it up as soon as you eat? Well, since the liquid was clear and I was having problems with everything--diabetes, cancer, back and such hurting, I forgot. The next time I used it, I managed to burn whatever it was.

I tried to wash and soak and scrub with everything in my arsenal and the burn refused to budge. I decided it would work even if there was a burn. The burn on the glass made my food smell. So, I replaced the round glass turntable with a dinner plate. That worked! Yes, I could find a replacement at a thrift store.

Sometime, exbf spilled coffee in the microwave, on the microwave, and on the counter. I did not say anything! You know I will wait and pull that out some

The inside needed a good wiping, usually all a microwave needs. But, the other day, it looked like something exploded and burned. The trouble is, I cover things before I nuke. I had been eyeing the $35 microwaves at WM, but did not have money. All the cheap ones sold fast.

The other day, as I prepared to use it, there were hundreds of fruit flies inside. I nuked them and then my potato. But, I have reached the end.

Buying a microwave was a big deal. I have lots of counters, but they disappeared when I added a cutting board with a crockpot that stays out since I use it all the time. The other crock pot  is put away. Rarely do I use both at the same time. 

Then, I put a huge dehydrator on the other side of the microwave. It has to stay out since I cannot pick it up. The microwave was always in the corner at an angle. The new microwave could not be too wide nor too deep. I do not want the microwave on the other side of the kitchen, so I deal with a crowded corner.

I  am still not sure about the new microwave.  When I get someone to pick up the old one and move it where I can sit down, I will try to clean it. I do think the bottom is rusty which is very strange.

If I can return the old microwave to an acceptable level of sterility/cleanliness, I may take the new one back. It does seem like a lost cause. Replacing something still working goes against my grain. But, I cannot stand to use something that grody with my food.

The microwave falls in the same category as plastic that has bubbled, still functional, but at what personal cost.

As I shopped, I found a penny one day and a dime the next. I lost 5 pounds in ten days!!!!

Your turn
Have you ever agonized over replacing something still working?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Farmer's Market Breakfast

When I got up Thursday morning about 8:30, I did not eat until 11 am.  These are the best peaches, so I had one for breakfast. One of the cooked potatoes, microwaved, with Greek yogurt was next. Then, I broke a piece of bread off a bun and ate that. I was stuffed. I drank 16 oz of water.

Before I went to my weekly doctor appointment, I hit the Farmer's Market. There was nothing I wanted. I suppose that Saturday is the day to go for the best produce. Only a half dozen vendors show up during the week.

The fried pies were tempting looking and huge, so I had a peach fried pie on the way to the doctor visit. It was quite large compared to the fried pies most people sell for the same price--$2.

On Wednesday, I took a potato out to have for breakfast, and just ate it as it was--cold and unadorned. There are still about two dozen potatoes waiting, uncooked. Today, I am going to put the chicken broth back into the crockpot and put another batch of potatoes in to cook.

At Walmart I price-matched sixteen ounces of grape tomatoes for $.88 instead of paying $2.78 Walmart asked. Blueberries were $1.48 for sixteen ounces.

A frail, elderly woman was studying the grapes, priced $1.98/lb. She took a long time and finally apologized to me for blocking me. I told her not to worry. I got a bag of green grapes and told her I was going to pay $0.88/lb for them. When she asked how, I told her about price-matching. She said she did not know how to do it. So, I told her to follow me. I paid for my grapes and moved forward. She said to the clerk, "I want to get these like she did." He smiled and rang up her $1.50 worth of green grapes.

It really makes me feel great to help people save money. I go around pointing out deals to people all the time if they have it in their cart or  they are looking at it and I know it is cheaper elsewhere  and eligible for a price-match. I suppose I look like a nut.

I will wash, dry and freeze some of these grapes, and then go back next Tuesday before the Sprouts ad expires and get more.  Dinner will be salad with chicken and grape tomatoes on it. Tonight, grapes  will be my snack along with pistachios.

Including the $2 fried pie, I will have eaten today for $5. Well, since the potato and peach were paid for with the produce coupons, I suppose I am out about $3.50.

Breakfast tomorrow will be a potato and a peach! I am looking forward to the meal.

Your turn
Have you ever eaten a cold potato out of hand as though it were an apple?  Is anyone finding green grapes for $.88/lb? What are your best deals this week or lately? Does it seem a little weird for me to be going around and telling people how they can price match?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Have You Played "Apple Core, Baltimore"?

This is a mean game we played when I was young. The first requirement is that someone is eating an apple. That is how you get the apple core. If more than one person is eating apples, so much the better.

A person who is down to the apple core yells,

Everyone tries to be the first to answer,

The person with the apple core says,

If you are not the person to say "Baltimore," you better scramble.

The person who responded "Baltimore" names a friend in the group.

Then, the person with the apple core throws the apple core at the person named as a friend.

I thought about this as I considered how my hen would love the apples cores from my apples.

I don't think I ever ran away.

We did not have phones back in those days, so we chunked apple cores at people.

Your turn
Have you ever played this game? If not, you can teach it to your children.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Market Day and Free Food

Tuesday morning, I went to pick pears again. I could only stand to pick a little over a gallon! I am still aching and exhausted from the last picking adventure! I still hurt. Score!

Today, I left about 1 pm to go to the market that closes at 2 pm. Very few people were there. Thinking they left early, I was sad. However, only a third of the booths were ever manned today.

One guy peeled a slice of pear and handed it to me. Since I hate fresh pears, it was all I could do to swallow it with the texture.....yuck. He had a pile of cores where he had given samples, so I asked him if I could have it for my chicken. He loaded up about ten pounds of bruised apples that he could not sell because of little rotten spots. Ha! I will take care of those tonight and give the chickens the rest. Score!

Last week, I bought new potatoes from him. They are the best potatoes ever. Today a basket was $5. I had a $6 coupon and asked him to give me a dollars' worth of apples. He dumped a whole basket of apples into the potatoes! Score!

A woman had the most beautiful large peaches, so I got a $6 basket of those. I do believe there were only six peaches. Well, there will be no more fresh local peaches after a few weeks. Yes, only six peaches, $1 each.

The only way I can afford all this good produce is the coupons given to people over 60 who are low income. I signed up for exbf, too, but he barely qualified. He gave me his to spend. I felt bad about his giving them to me. But, I do give him things, including produce, to eat. He gives me much more than I give him! This is $30 for each person for the season.  Score!

This is not $30 each month! It is just once each year. If you live in Alabama, you can find out about the program at a senior center.

That is free pears, free bruised apples, free apples, plus the potatoes and peaches I bought.

Lots of the summer crops are done and the farmers are waiting for other crops to come in. I really wanted tomatoes, but will have to get there earlier, I suppose.

Your turn
What have you gotten this week or lately at your market? Any free fruit or vegetables in your life?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

School Lunches for My Children

With all the talk about what constitutes a healthy school lunch, I thought back to my children's lunches. If they hated the lunch that day, I made a lunch for them. Sometimes, they just wanted what I was going to send for them. They never had to buy a lunch or to take a lunch. However, some days the only option was peanut butter and jelly with a fruit and something for snack time.

When I grilled hamburgers for dinner, I grilled and prepared hamburgers for my children to take to school the next day. It was cute because they were excited from the moment they knew I was grilling burgers, looking forward to lunch at school the next day. They even went to bed excited at the prospects.  I took the burgers indoors and put the condiments and cheese or pickles on the burgers as each child preferred. I wanted to prepare them and refrigerate them soon as possible. All three reported their lunch was a hit with the other small diners who wanted the same thing.

When my son was in the upper elementary grades, a rumor about the beef stew put him off. "Everyone" said it was dog food. He had proof it was dog food because it smelled like dog food! None of my protestations and explanations could convince him. Nothing would do from then on except a prepared lunch from home. Logic and facts were lost on him during this crisis.

My son had a friend who loved sauerkraut so much that he traded away all his food for sauerkraut. He even traded his milk and dessert, usually cookies. Since a few strands of sauerkraut are more than enough for me, I was appalled. My son said he always had dibs on the cookies since they were best friends.

I am shocked that parents are judged for what they send to school for kids' lunches. I read that lunches are confiscated for not being nutritionally balanced and parents are reported. Whaaaat?  I knew what my child had for breakfast and would have for snacks and dinner, so no one else would be aware of their daily consumption or nutrition. I actually planned their meals around the peanut butter sandwich. And, bologna is not a nutritional powerhouse. One meal is no indication of a whole day of eating.  Besides, having a nutritional lunch on a child's tray is not an indication of what nutrition the child actually consumed.

Plus, kids around the country without money are given a cheese sandwich and milk, so how can the school get away with giving a lunch that is not approved if packed by a parent?

The first school day after Thanksgiving, I packed my youngest in kindergarten a turkey breast sandwich with lettuce and MW. She also had grapes and something for snack time. She got in the car with her paper bag and asked me sadly why I only gave her cookies for lunch. NO one noticed my child had cookies for lunch. She had a place for her lunch but from then on, I put her name on it in very large letters. She was a very good child, so I suppose the rowdy ones got the attention.

My children were very vocal and demanded to know what was for lunch at school each morning. They never complained about what I was going to pack. After a while, they had me trained.

Your turn
Did your children want a packed lunch when they hated the school lunch for the day? How did you handle lunches--buy always, pack one always, or according to the offered lunch? Did they have favorites at school or what they wanted to take?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Senior Discounts

These discounts. can save seniors a bit of money. The age for "seniors" is sometimes as low as 50.

Wandering Day and Night

Near me is a boutique area where all the businesses are locally owned. About 5:30 pm one day, I noticed many young people, some teens and some twenty-ish. Couples walked. Groups of friends walked. Over the next few days, I observed that they all had phones, looking at them, usually not talking to companions.

These people were in the shopping area, in the park, at the train depot, behind the museum...all walking around, ambling, actually.  They are out as early as 5 pm and as late as the early morning hours--3 am.

Finally, it hit me--Pokemon Go.  At first, I was sad for them.

Then, I realized these young people were out in high heat and humidity, with heat index at 100 degrees still and humidity of over 90%. While they were not exerting a lot of energy, they were not motionless in front of a computer or game system.

A group of young people tried to get into a Sam's club and assured the door person they did not want to shop, just wanted to look for Pokémon things. The person refused to allow them to enter. I asked what would happen if they said they really wanted to go to the pharmacy or the place to order glasses. He said, "Hell no, not after they said what they wanted first. If they had not confessed their mission first, they would be admitted."

I was in WM and a large group of teens were all looking at their phones and looking around. Yes, they were in the way, only playing Pokémon Go. They are oblivious to the world around them.  It seems these Pokemons are hidden everywhere. The trainers (humans) catch them and train them to do battle. ???

A woman in WM had just taken her ten-year-old to the park to play Pokemon. She told me the light posts all have outlets so people just plugged in their phones and waited for them to charge. People play until their phones are dead.

I was impressed at their dedication in this sweltering heat. Period. I just noticed that the system puts in the accent mark into the word "Pokémon." When I wrote it as one word, "PokemonGo," spellcheck had the correct form, two words as one of the options to correct the spelling. So, this game name is recognized but other, older and more common words are not recognized. Hmmm.

Your turn
Do you play Pokémon Go? Are there people everywhere you go playing this game? What is your take on this?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Pear Picking in the Torrid Heat

10 am Sunday--I left the house.

In this heat and with my physical limitations, this was a short session. I think I got 3 gallons in a box and smallish paper bag. Later, I will weigh them--probably ten pounds. Later, I will pick more.

A friend said he would come help and get some for himself. Now, I won't tell him where they are since he did not answer the phone! Jerk! He will ask for some of mine. Nope!

This morning, I searched for a pear preserve recipe. Later, I will look for a spiced pear recipe. The spiced pears have less sugar, so most will be spiced pears. I told the young couple I would give them some pear preserves.

The recipe for pear preserves said they did not have to be put in a water bath canner...hmmm. I think I will wbc them anyway. The old recipe I have used in the past came from a 1941 recipe book. Most of the recipes on the internet had 10 ingredients. The one I will use has three ingredients: pears, sugar, lemon juice. Maybe both of them have water as an ingredient, not sure.

Last winter, I had spiced pears for the first time on the plate with a dinner at a church.  They were not a dessert and barely sweet.  I think a lite simple syrup will work on those. Maybe I will use Red Hots in a  few jars of pears.

The largest pear I found was almost as large as a hard ball and the smallest was golf ball sized. Most were smaller than a tennis ball. Quite a few conked me on the head. The ones I picked before the tornado took out my pear tree on public land were all larger than a soft ball. I dodged those! Last year, this same tree had tennis ball pears. I wonder what happened. ??? Not enough rain?

Just an aside--I hate pears. I like the canned ones in the store. Pears are the only fruit I prefer canned. I know it is strange, but the texture of a fresh pear just gags me. Pear preserves and spiced pears make me happy.

11:00 am
Okay, I quit sweating and can breathe, so I am going to hydrate myself, get pears from the car. Then, I will rest a bit and go get another ten +/-  pounds.

My hands are trembling. My shoulders hurt from reaching up! I am drenched with sweat. However, I picked half a large grocery bag full. I am sure I have five gallons.

These will have to sit a few days to ripen a bit before cutting and canning, so I have time to prepare jars. I am not giving away a canning jar to the people with the tree in their rent yard. They will get jelly jars. If they can get me another ten gallons, they will get sealed canning jars that I may never see again.

I think I have found the recipe I am going to use, but would welcome any recipe you recommend. I have a few days to decide the one I will use. I just have to get Red Hots. Fruit Fresh and sugar are here.

Your turn
Do you like pears in a can from the store, fresh out of hand, pear preserves, spiced pears, pears in Red Hots? What is your favorite recipe if you can pears?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Yogurt Substitution Guide

Friday, August 5, 2016

Power Blend--New Product AND Food Waste

As I was choosing the bag of salad I was going to buy, I came across a new product.

"Superfood--Brussels sprouts, Napa Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Broccoli, Carrots, and Kale" Right on the package, that's what it said. And, I was intrigued.

Yesterday, I felt miserable when exbf was here. Since I had chicken cooked in the crockpot, I decided BBQ chicken on a bun sounded great. I was going to take the Superfood and make slaw from it. However, I just dumped a generous portion on the sandwich. It was great and added some more nutrition to the bread and meat. The broccoli and carrots were in long strips while the cabbage, kohlrabi, and kale were extremely small pieces like about a quarter of an inch. Until I became so miserable feeling, I was going to make slaw. However, exbf said it was fine like it was.

For dinner, he had a salad from another mix of greens with a generous helping of the superfood on top along with chicken, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and dressing.  I will probably buy the "Superfood" again.

I ate no dinner and slept for 12 hours after he left. This morning, I had a salad from a bag of mixed greens with tuna mixed with Miracle Whip and sweet pickle relish. In a bit I will have my second breakfast, banana with peanut butter.

Last week, I used the Miracle Whip and left it on the counter for 6 hours. My only excuse is the pain and distraction of the burn on my arm.  Sadly, there was 1/3 of the jar left. Finally, I bought another jar at $3.48. Then, I learned it was $2.50 elsewhere, so it was price-matched! Yes, it was still a waste, but fortunately a little less costly.

Yesterday, I was at my weekly doctor appointment and the nurse saw the uncovered burn, saying she could tell how deep it was originally and how it must have hurt.  I don't suppose there is a good place to be burned, but this is annoying. It is two inches above the bend of my elbow and diagonal.  The stretchy bandage was in the crook of my elbow and caused a rash where I sweated. Plus, the bandage was applied loosely causing it to slide down with any motion, and I was told not to get it too tight when I changed the dressing.

Finally, I decided an occasional bandaid might be in order. In the heat, the bandaid just slid off! However, after being in cool WM for an hour, the bandaid held once again. That was strange. Yesterday, I decided it was sufficiently healed to leave it uncovered for some of the time. Ten minutes later, I scratched it and opened a slash about an inch long, causing it to bleed. GAH!

The stretchy bandaid continually got caught in my sleeve which caused it to move. But, when I left off any covering, the burn stuck to my lower arm when I bent my arm any. This is minor compared to injuries others have. I will forever have a lot more empathy for people with injuries and coverings, especially in the summer. 

Your turn
Have you seen this new SuperFood/Power Blend in the produce section? Have you had any food waste lately?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ugly Tomato Rescue and Free Watermelon

When I visited the Farmer's Market, I went for potatoes and tomatoes. The potato guy was packing up to leave, but he said the guy across the way had red, new potatoes. As I walked over, two women were thanking him for free tomatoes.

He had two left. One was sooo  ugly. I asked him how I could get free tomatoes. He said the last two were not pretty. I assured him that did not matter, so he bagged them for me. Finally, he mumbled that he had been giving away tomatoes to people who bought something. That sort of embarrassed me.

I assured him that his neighbor told me to come over for potatoes. He packed up lots of potatoes, and I was on my way.  For $2, I was taking home much food! The potatoes weighed 4 lbs! He kept peeling an apple and feeding it to me so I would buy apples. He peeled the apple thick and started to throw it away along with the remainder of the apple. I sort of shrieked that my chicken would eat the apple remains, so he dumped the rest of the apple in with the tomatoes.

I passed  a table where the vendor had left half a watermelon. Putting my bag of tomatoes and bag of potatoes on the table beside the watermelon, I loudly proclaimed the watermelon as mine for my chickens.

At the other end of the market, the guy with lemonade had left. So, I talked to two guys, vendors, and bought three nice tomatoes for $1. He told me to pick what I wanted and he would price them.

Back home, I took the watermelon to Dominique. Usually, she won't approach the food until I put it down. She came right over and wanted to put her head in the bag to get the watermelon.

The ugly tomato must have weighed two pounds and had several "lobes" on it. The other tomato was dead ripe. That night, I noticed the better, smaller tomato was leaking. I only got a piece maybe the size of an egg from it.  While I was at it, I washed the other tomato and sliced off the "lobes" and put them in a bowl.

When a tomato is sad and overripe and starting to leak, just cut off the better part. Actually, don't wait until it leaks. You know when a tomato is going bad. Cutting off the parts you don't want to eat will salvage the tomato. Otherwise, it will continue to deteriorate and be inedible. The other three tomatoes will be eaten tomorrow along with the chunked off ugly tomato.

Today, Dominique loved the leaky tomato and the rest of the ugly tomato that was trimmed off.  Since I forgot to give her apple today, she will get that tomorrow along with her oats.

$3 was my total. Enough potatoes for 2 weeks, 3 good tomatoes, free ugly tomatoes, and free watermelon for my chickens was the haul.

Tomorrow is another market day!

Your turn
I know some of you go to farmer's markets that sell local food. Raise your hand. What do you buy? Do you get free food or misshapen, overripe fruit at the end of the day? Any produce for your chickens?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pucker Up

It's National Lipstick Day. Ooops, that was July 29. Yahoo led me astray.

I put lipstick on once each day if I think about it and rarely refresh it. More often, I refresh it for the feel rather than looks. How about you? What are your feelings about lipstick?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Different Way to Cut Corn off the Cob

After deciding to make corn cob jelly, I watched some videos of people who had different ways to Cut corn off the cob.  This guy has got it down! I could never handle this method, but maybe I could find someone who could lend muscles.

This method for shucking corn is really easy. Exbf always shucked corn for me no matter how many I had. Of course, I usually had no more than two dozen ears.

As I watched videos, I was struck by the terms people used. It was almost as they had never seen corn before. I really don't think these terms are regionalisms.

Shucking corn was called "peeling corn." Yes, we peel the husks back, but we don't say we are going to "peel corn."

Kernels were "corn seeds." I know that is technically true, but she did not use "kernels" like everyone else did.

Corn silk was called "the little hairs on the corn seeds."

Your turn
How do you shuck your corn?   Have you ever used these terms rather than "shuck," "kernels," and "silk"?

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

Picture an ice cream sandwich here>>>

August 2, 2016 is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. Celebrate appropriately.

You don't have to convince me to get an ice cream sandwich. I could buy ice cream and cookies and make my own. I could buy a whole box of ice cream sandwiches. Maybe I will just buy one at a service station.

Your turn
What will you do to celebrate?