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Monday, January 18, 2016

Cold, Chickens, Carrots, Knees

The weather will be in the teens tonight. If you live north of Alabama, you probably have no sympathy at all. YES, you are probably smiling, maybe smirking, maybe bored. But, this cold has caused a few problems here.

Today, exbf came and we hooked up the chickens' water heater. This was a frigid job. The water heater stays in place all year, so we only had to string the extension cord in 32 degree F weather, lift the water, string the cord into the unit I made, and tape the opening.  It's a job that makes gloves sort of useless since it involves water, tape, and wet pieces.

I went out later to give carrot scrapings to the chickens. Both were in the overturned garbage can put in the pen for a warm place for them to sit. I am quite sure they are in their Rubbermaid box by now.

My chickens do not like the scrapings from carrots. They do like them cooked, so I suppose I will be cooking for them. I love them, so it's okay. They had a big bowl of cooked oatmeal this morning.

I need your help. Exbf needs two knee replacements in addition to the two hip replacements. When he left here, he could barely get up the one tiny step into the front yard. His knees were cold. As much as my knees hurt, I know his are 100 times worse. I know he needs heat (what he said) for his knees, but what? At home he can use a heating pad. I see salves advertised, but have you ever used any and what is your opinion of the worst or best.

Since I can barely help him, even going with him would not help. I called his neighbor who mows his lawn and asked him if he would go over and carry in the three bags of food I gave him. The neighbor is in bed after having a knee replacement, but he is going to send his wife and college-age daughter to carry things in for him since he uses two canes to walk.

This is the second time I have cooked carrots in with the chicken in a crockpot. The chicken was done well  before the carrots. I microwaved a can of green beans so we would have something besides cole slaw with the chicken. Once again, I sent him home with a jar of carrots, celery, and onion and more chicken. He can microwave the carrots!

I will move my citrus fruit and bananas in with me so they won't get too cold in the kitchen. The apples are on their own. There is not a cloud in the sky, so the temperature is supposed to drop to 17 degrees F from the present 24 degrees F.

Your turn
What would recommend for his knees other than surgery? The cold is a problem.  Will your chickens eat raw carrots?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Saturday Morning Nightmare

I was somewhere like a grocery store when all Hell broke loose. An alarm was going off. There were black-suited men supposed to be protecting someone--maybe the president? Everyone was looking for the alarm or alarms going off as this was a warning of a bomb or something. I was frantically searching. Everyone was frantically searching. Well, the suits were just lolling about against vegetable bins and such. Their lack of worry worried me!

Finally, I woke up to the clock alarm which had been going off for 7 minutes. I was right about the dream going on for a long time. The frantic dream search seemed to exhaust me. I pressed the snooze button three more times.

I am not sure what was going with my sleep but I was tired all morning. About 2 pm or so, I slept. I awoke for 30 minutes at 5:30 and finally awoke for good at 10:30 pm. ugh. Since I have to reverse this pattern by Monday, tomorrow will be rough.

This afternoon, I put a hen on to cook and boned it tonight and then put on potatoes in the crockpot along with chicken tenders.  Finally, I decided to put all the potatoes left into the crock pot plus the last of the cabbage. I am minding those now.

Today, I bought on price-matched 8 red grapefruit for a quarter each. They are beautiful, but I have not eaten one to see how they taste. Bananas were $0.29lb., so I got about 8 tiny ones.

Since the weatherman mentioned the "s" word for Sunday night/Monday morning, I am quite sure the stores were crazy tonight. I am glad I went this morning. It's is not even supposed to stick, but snow terrifies Southerners. Of course, everyone remembers the blizzard of  March1993. I was snowed in for a week.

Your turn
If you are in the South and the "s" word has been mentioned by the meteorologist in your area, have you seen any panic buying in the grocery stores? Have you ever cooked vegetables in the chicken broth left in the pan/pot? have you had a nightmare lately?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ten Most Toxic Items at Dollar Stores

Many people on a budget use dollar stores to buy items in an attempt to keep their budget under control. However, the toxins present in many items could lessen your child's IQ and damage body organs. The Dollar Tree is popular for cost cutting.

Here is a good news/bad news article. Here is an article that is from 2010, but I am quite sure the food facts are still true.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Holy Trinity of Spices--Cajun

While I was growing up, my parents were not heavy users of savory spices. We had plenty of spices and flavors for sweets. They used the Holy Trinity of Spices--bell pepper, celery, and onions. These three flavors went into spaghetti, probably our favorite dish. I remember all three of these in soups and many dishes. Consequently, I use them today. Even if I open a can or jar of spaghetti, I often add these flavors.

This past fall, I dehydrated celery, onions, and bell pepper. Using them in any dish just involves opening three jars and dipping or shaking out what I need.

My parents did use olive oil and garlic. So do I. Daddy preferred everything fried, so there was his flavor! Daddy also dictated, and I do mean dictated, the flavor of savory food. If he did not like it, it was not allowed in the house. Since he did not particularly like sweets, Mama was free to use what she pleased.

The one savory spice I have added is Summer Savory. When I made beef/vegetable stew/soup, I could add no other spice except for Summer Savory and the whole house smelled like soup!

Back to the Holy Trinity--these are supposed to be the mainstay for Cajun Cooking. Other than eating crawdads or okra, we were not into Cajun food or spices at all. Let me add that I never ate a crawfish after I was about four-years-old. I never recall eating okra because the taste and appearance of slime really made me gag.

Sometimes when folk talk about their spices and their heavy use, I feel sort of inadequate, maybe intimidated by folk who are maybe more sophisticated. But, I realize after cooking and having others eat my offerings, my food is delicious, just not with the same spices they choose to use and not from a jar.

After all, jarred, commercial spices were living food just as my choices of spicy, homemade, home dehydrated whole foods are living foods. I prefer not to use garlic salt, garlic powder, or celery seeds. The one exception with celery seeds is using them in chicken salad, tuna salad and most cold savory salads. I do use garlic when I have it.

This spring, I will be growing some spices I have tried before and some I have not--basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano. I was not successful this last year with basil and oregano because I did not care for them. Basil is easy. I could roll in a bed of basil. That is how much I love it. I bought dried basil in the glass jar, and the flavor was nasty! I wonder what was the difference.

The difference in my cooking is that I prefer the whole food to season. Since storing onions, celery, and bell peppers leads to waste, I will use the home-dehydrated flavors instead of going out, buying celery and watch most or a even a small part of it go to waste.

I must say that I do enjoy seasonings I don't use. So, don't think I am fussy about new tastes.

More Holy Trinities

lemon juice, garlic, and oregano

Garlic, basil, and tomato

corn, beans, chilies

scallions, ginger, garlic

Cumin, garlic, and cilantro

There are variations on the Holy Trinities, so don't get excited if it looks wrong.

Your turn
Do you use the fresh ingredients for Holy Trinity for seasoning? Or, do you prefer more of the jarred spices? What is your favorite Holy Trinity of seasonings?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Publix Promise

Last week, I went to Publix to get a goat cheese  log with blueberry vanilla "coating."
The calories in this treat were less than the calories in cheesecake or ice cream. The deli item had a $5.99 price tag on it. However, I ended up spending over $7. I mentioned it to the cashier and to the customer service person. They said that must have been a Wednesday price. Too tired to throw a fit if necessary, I left.

I was especially tired that day and was off my game. When I arrived home, I decided to call them. The woman said she would give me $1 off my next order if I brought back the receipt..

Ads came out today, and I spent $35 on food. Since I "needed" another Blueberry Vanilla Goat Cheese log, I went to Publix to see their ads.

After they rang up my ground pork and the goat cheese, I asked how much the goat cheese was. The cashier looked at the receipt--"$6.99." I told them to look at the package. "$5.99."

Another guy stepped forward and told me they would honor the "Publix Promise." I was a bit stunned and asked what that was. "We will give the item free if it rings up wrong."

Good deal. Then, I mentioned the one that rang up wrong the week before, telling them it should be free, too. They looked puzzled, examined the receipt and agreed.

I left with 2 8-oz. logs of $11.98 worth of  deliciousness...FREE.

From now on, I will be buying $10 worth of groceries to get the free item if it is something I will use. Plus, I will use coupons. That usually makes the item almost free.

Plus, Wednesday is Senior day with 5% off for anyone 60 or older. I am. As a matter of fact, they were surprised when I asked for this perk, saying they did not think I was 60. Okay, maybe they were trying to flatter me, but I will take the compliment.

YAY me!

Your turn
Do you have Publix in your area? If so, do you shop there? Does you have a store with a similar policy?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Planting, Chitting, Herbs and Seeds

If you remember, I planted garlic in December. They immediately sprouted. The tender tops survived two nights in the mid 20s. Now, I am looking about for more things to plant.

Last night's potatoes had been here long enough to sprout just a bit. The remains with sprouted eyes are awaiting my care. Since I have nothing to lose, I will chit them to get more growth and plant them somewhere in the yard.

The carrot tops might sprout, so I will place them in a saucer or shallow bowl and keep about a 1/4-1/2 of water in those. If they sprout, they will go into sand.

I have been putting seed aside as I never plant them! Someone gave me seeds. I collected them and have almost a full gallon bag. When I sort them, maybe some will get planted. The program that helped with the garlic and flower bulbs will help me. Plus, Jose and his brother will help me a bit. Maybe I will get something going this year.

Herbs are on the horizon. Basil is the only herb I have ever had in my "garden."

While I don't plan on feeding myself, I hope to get more vegetables that I know what poisons have been applied.

Your turn
Have you planted anything yet? Gotten seeds? What do you plant? Is your garden large, small, or pots?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Car, Speaking Spanish, Dinner, Cold,

When I awoke on Sunday, The car was dead, dead, dead. The door locks would  not work. I called six people and only one responded. He would be home from the other side of Huntsville in three hours and could help me. In the meantime, he would call his wife's nephews to see if they were around to help me.

I heard nothing until 8 am Monday when he called and said he did not get home until 11 pm on Sunday. He said someone would be right over to help me. Then, Jose called and said he missed my call. So, I told him the problem. He was going to come right over since he was in town. Since someone was coming right over, I told him just to keep working on his job search. Then, when no one showed up, I called him to come to my house and jump off my car. He said he was just in town and why did I not have him come over then. Really, do I sound like I know what I am doing?

Exbf had arrived at 9:30 and just sat in the car per my instructions. Last night, we had planned to go straight to WM  to buy jumper cables. He has not owned any since I have know him. I don't know what happened to my jumper cables. When I bought this car, the other car sat and got moldy inside while waiting for the owner to pick it up. I did not get the jumper cable out and they got so moldy that I either left them in the car, gave them to the guy that moved the car, or threw them in the trash. It's longer and complicated, so trust me.

When Jose arrived, I had gone to sit in the car and talk with exbf. Jose said he would just leave since we were going somewhere. Noooo!

He tried to jump off the battery but said it was not happening. It was too dead or something.  He and his brother took the battery out and put it in exbf's trunk. I suggested they go along for the ride. They might have just left...needed to keep them captive.

Auto Zone said it was a good battery, just dead. AZ kept it to charge it. I suggested to Exbf that they deserved a Whopper. He agreed. We left, got a 50 cent Coke from a machine and used coupons at BK. We got four cans of drinks, two Whoppers, two Chicken Sandwiches for $10.

We arrived at AZ a bit early, got the battery and the guys installed it in my car. It runs, but the misfiring is worse than before. It still runs fine, but shakes me when at a light.

Tomorrow, I am taking my car to the garage and sitting to wait on it. No more overnight for my car!

While we were sitting in the car and waiting for the last few minutes of the AZ charge, I bought up pronouncing "tire." Tommy said it for them. Jose said everyone he knew said, "tar" I explained the implications of talking that way. He was sort of insulted and baffled. We tried to explain that he could understand all the different regions and countries that spoke Spanish. And, that we could understand poor pronunciation and regional dialect because we were native speakers. He finally understood. I think.

Exbf and I went out in the country because I wanted to show him where I drove off the driveway and into the only area with a drainage ditch and boulders that scraped my underside of the car.

Coming home, I decided we needed a $1 small milkshake from Arby's. Delish!

The ground pork I thawed for meatloaf was nowhere to be seen in my newly cleaned refrigerator. It was in the freezer. The carrots, potatoes, and cabbage were not cooking fast enough in the crock pot. I took out a good portions and cut into smaller pieces and microwaved it. Done. A chicken breast, chopped and microwaved in some of the vegetable juice saved the day for me. Cherries were dessert before he ate dinner, waiting for me to cook.

Okay, this was much writing about nothing. But, it's all I can find in my very tired head. I stood too much, fretted just about enough, drove/sat too long.

Tomorrow, I will sit in the waiting room of the garage so I can figure out why my car misfires and wracks the car so hard. If I leave it, it might take two more days! This way, I can see when the put it inside the garage, when they actually do work on it. Tomorrow will be a lovely day. NOT!

I became so cold outdoors my fingers hurt, especially after I lost one glove. Exbf found it in his car on his side of the console. But, I had been without a glove for about four hours by the time he found it.

Your turn
Does car trouble just grind you into the ground? Anne, who is Gloria?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Spanish Speaker Corrects My English!

The two Mexican guys, both legal, still need help with finding a job. I can suggest places and help with the computer applications. So, I do. The one who speaks the most English told me where he was applying. I only understood the word "distributor." Finally, I asked him to spell the first word.


"Oh, tire." Finally, I understood. He said it once again and still it was unintelligible to me. I kept saying it for him. Finally, he laughed at me and told me I should know that it was not "ti-er." He told me I was wrong. I have only been exposed to and speaking English for 69+ years.

This is what Webster has to say:



You may think I speak with a Southern accent, but I guarantee you would know what I was saying.
English pronunciation is not ever consistent. I think it is a miracle people ever learn to speak English. My Spanish lacks a lot, but I have never argued with a native Spanish speaker!

Think about these words and how the gh is pronounced--cough, thought, through. He pronounced "through" as "trew."  The breath sound baffled him.

This man wants to advance in our society, but he needs to trust me about He is a US citizen, has driver's license, Social Security card and owns his house, land in the country. and car. Why would he not believe me? He has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I can understand a heavy Spanish accent, but one word baffled me.

I took TESOL classes at the university. (Teaching Speakers of Other Languages) At one point I tutored Japanese to speak English. They are well-educated and can read it but not pronounce English.

He lives next to the fruit and vegetable farm he managed for ten years. The owner retired but Jose can get peaches and other tree fruit growing nest to his property. He has permission to pick some. We will remain friends because I want Just kidding. He will have me as a willing tutor for a long time.

When I told him I would like fruit to can, he asked if I would teach him how to can. Now, if I could teach people to can in exchange for produce to can for myself, the deal would profit us both.

And, once again, my car will not start!

Your turn
Have you ever helped anyone with speaking English? Would you trade canning lessons for produce? Who cursed my car?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sales This Week at the Grocery

Written on Friday

I didn't buy everything I wrote on my list. Since the ad is good through Tuesday, I can get the other things on Tuesday.

I wanted a  5 lb. box of Halos, but they were out of Halos in the box. Halos in a 5 lb bag was $5.98, in a 5 lb. box--$3.98. Okay, got that Saturday. It seems the bags of Halos were still used for price-matching.

Everything on the list was or will be price-matched at WM.

Chicken tenders 3 pkgs. @$1.69/lb.
Bananas $0.29/lb (bought six small ones)
Baby carrots $0.98/lb. (did not buy)
Iceberg, Romaine, red and green leaf lettuce $0.98 (buy Tuesday)
Star Kist tuna $0.79 (bought only 2)
Kraft Cheese $2.79 (not a best price so bought only one)
2 lb. carrots (bought one bag)
Cherries $3.99/lb  (just bought a few)
Cabbage 1 head at $0.33/lb. (small and strange looking)

There were other good bargains in my paper ads and online, but I was not going to buy any so I did not put them on the list to post. Beef is entirely off my radar no matter how cheap.

I had plenty of salad greens in the refrigerator. By Tuesday I will need more and buy before the ad goes off. There were other bargains of real food, but nothing I eat or could afford. The meat cannot fit in my freezer, so why buy?  The only way the three packages of chicken tenders will fit in the freezer is by taking out the ground pork for the meat loaf.

On a whim I bought something I have never bought--bread crumbs, Panko Italian to be exact. I will use those on the tenders and cook in the oven. We will see how this goes. This is the only food item I bought that was not in an ad. 

Since I did not get the cabbage and carrots until late Friday, of course, they did not get cooked with potatoes as I planned. I have a bag of chicken breasts that need to be eaten first. So, no meat loaf. Plus, I forgot to take the ground pork for the meatloaf from the freezer.

The cabbage only cost $0.67 at $0.33/lb. Usually, I get cabbages that weigh 3+ lbs. This was puny and strange looking. The produce guy said the rain out West ruined the cabbage crop.

Right now, Saturday, I am so hot. But, it will be down to 19 by Sunday night.

Your turn
What kind of bargains did you find at the grocery this week? Do you use paper ads or the ads online?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Recipe--cornmeal biscuit

This recipe I found on another blog looks delicious! Have you ever made cornmeal biscuits? I have never even heard of them.

Christmas Gifts are Mailed

Whew! It's done. A friend carried in two boxes into the PO for me, so Texas and Brooklyn should be getting one each on Monday or Tuesday.

Car is Back and Not Completely Repaired

The wrecker picked up my car on Wednesday. I got my car back at 5 PM on Thursday. That seems like an awfully long time to replace a fuel pump. This place keeps nothing in stock, not even belts, so all has to be ordered. But, they do good work. The car is still not running right. I suggested I just take the car and bring it back another day. It seems it acts like it is going to stop when idling. Otherwise, going down the road it is like a new car, best it has ever driven.  Of course, Sea Foam and high octane gas help lots, I think.

The mechanic found a loose vacuum hose, probably the one the shade-tree mechanic could not completely remove. But, they shoved that on and it is still not right. I do remember it screwed on and the mechanic in the driveway could not get it unscrewed. The mechanic is supposed to have shoved it back tight. Maybe he should have screwed it on.

I don't know what to do. I am out $500 which I had to borrow.

Tomorrow, I am going out to personally check to see if all the vacuum hoses I can see are pushed in or screwed in, whatever they do. I wonder if they checked the spark plugs to see if those connectors or whatever are loose. Charlie can tell me what else to push back in.

Don't laugh! Sometimes I really do fix things with little effort. Oh, and any suggestions from any of you are welcome.

At least I now have milk and bananas, so am a little less tense and irritable. B y hurrying, I managed to hit CVS for melatonin. It took them 30 minutes to find the bottle I ordered. Someone put it out on the shelf even though they don't carry what I ordered.

At the other pharmacy I just drove up and left with my prescription.

WM had lovely milk! Two more prescriptions were picked up. And bananas! I will make my list from the sale ads and go back tomorrow for cabbage and carrots which will join potatoes in the crock pot. I am drooling over the thoughts of that dish. Dehydrated celery, onion, and bell pepper will season the whole pot. The pepper I grew, dehydrated and ground will work for the only other seasoning. Meat loaf from ground pork and oats will round out the meal.

Your turn
Any suggestions about the car?  Are you coming for dinner on Friday night?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Today, Wednesday,  when I was doing dishes, I glanced out the kitchen window. A robin was picking berries from the Cherry Laurel in which it landed. Actually, there were two dozen robins, male and female.  A blue jay landed in the same tree and looked at me, watching me for a while. Finally, it went to talk with blue jay friends nearby.

Shortly afterwards, I went from the kitchen to the den and saw on the other side of the house cardinals in a tree along with woodpeckers. The cardinals+ didn't surprise me, but I don't recall seeing the others in winter.

Just before that was a murmuration of starlings from several yards on the street. The sound startled me before I saw the birds rise up as one.

It was the wrong time of day for the tiny birds. They flit about by the dozens, so cute.

I feel bad that my chickens are prisoners, never being able to go out into the grass. They should be almost as free as the birds in the trees. Of course, when they have been free lately, they die. There is a predator hiding in the brush. Until the brush is eradicated, they stay locked up or I sit with them.

And my car will not be ready until tomorrow afternoon. I don't think replacing the fuel filter should take so long.

The highs will be in 60s soon. It looks like I can wear sandals this weekend.  The Alabama peach crop will suffer if we don't get more cold hours.

Your turn
Are you seeing birds out of season? Whatever your weather, is it going to be unseasonably warm this weekend where you live?

Still I wait...about nothing in particular, just lots of stuff

This morning, I had a wrecker on the way as soon as they opened. They hauled it off on a rollback. I really like my car riding instead of having it towed with wheels on the ground. At least now  the car is with a mechanic.

I have a long list of places I need to go--CVS, WM, local pharmacy, PO, Lowe's, local business for a payment due, doctor appointment.

I don't have milk or bananas. That is a catastrophe. If I had known my car would not start after the Sunday repair, I would have chosen to do all the above instead of seeing Star Wars.

Even though the temperatures are below freezing, I turn off the heat at night and never get cold while in bed.

Somehow, my gloves were all scattered last year and never put back where they go. It is definitely glove weather, so I need to find all of them. Otherwise, my hands will suffer! I still cannot figure how they were scattered so since I have a little red gift bag from a business where they all lived inside a drawer. Maybe glove fairies played with them.

This morning, I emptied dried blackeyed peas into canning jars to store them. Now, I am beginning the task of rotating them into and out of the tiny refrigerator's freezer compartment. That way, bug eggs will be killed in the freezer and my food will be protected.

Since the temperature is above freezing, maybe I will hang out clothes. Maybe that is just too cold. I knew a woman long ago who had arthritis in her hands and could barely move her fingers. Her hands and fingers caused her pain year round. She said it was because she had to hang clothes all winter long and the frigid water and frigid clothing she hung on the line caused arthritis. I don't know. Is this true?

I have never been diagnosed with arthritis. However, at almost 70-years-old, I am told by friends my age I probably do have some arthritis, that everyone has arthritis when older. Is that true?

Since the low water pressure to the dishwasher causes it not to clean well, I have started using the "pots and pans" cycle. I can hear the dishwasher and it washes for much long on this cycle. Usually, it is pretty quiet while it runs. Well, even on this noisier cycle, I can still be in the kitchen and carry on a conversation.

Here I sit--anxious. Jose said he would take me around today. But, no, he went back home to have someone work on his car since his truck uses too much gas.....grrr. I understand but will give him gas money to drive me now in the truck. Exbf never says he will come and does not!

While I wait, I can curl my hair, load the dishwasher, and feed the chickens. I just want my car or a ride!

Your turn
Does keeping hands cold and damp in the winter cause arthritis in fingers and hands? Do you freeze beans for a few days to kill eggs before you store them on a shelf? Do you become anxious when waiting for someone who has a history of telling you he or she will be there soon and just never shows up at all?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Canning, Candy Canes, Car

Candy canes always get soft and sticky. Around June I try to get rid of candy not eaten around here. Even kids don't like candy canes once it gets icky. When I had lots of company, I kept bowls of ribbon candy and other hard candy out at Christmas for visitors to eat. It is too sugary for me, so it sits for months in the covered candy dishes.  Now, I don't have a lot of company, so there are never any candy dishes around. However, there are candy canes.

Using a quart jar, I put 20 candy canes inside, some crook up, some crook down, still in the cellophane. That left 4 candy canes. After I took off the cellophane  those last four and broke them into 1.5" pieces, I had only half-filled a half-pint jar. This way, I can use the canes in recipes or share with friends or children before the are icky. Or, I can have a tiny piece once in a while.

The car won't run. The mechanic won't come back. Well, he is not answering the phone. Another friend insists I use his shade-tree mechanic friend. I told the guy I cannot pay his friend or buy parts. He insists I wait until I have money so his friend can do the work. I am furious. I only want this guy friend to remove boxes from my car, not find a mechanic. Calling a tow truck is the only thing I want now. The guy STILL insists I use his friend! I can only borrow another friend's cc to pay for this whole thing! It's like he goes deaf when I say that.

What I did was to talk to the owner of the shop where I will take my car. He was very enthusiastic about the Sea Foam, explaining in detail what the mechanic in my yard said about cleaning the engine.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sea Foam for the Car

My car would not start on the morning of New Year's Eve. Sunday, I was in WM trying to buy a gas cap and HEET. A man heard what I was saying and offered to come to my house and repair it. He and his family had no money and came to WM just to look around.

Several years ago, this car would just stop in the road, stop going up hill, not start at all after sitting all night or after being left in a parking lot for an hour. This only happened when I was low on gas. My back hurt so on the 23rd I decided I would get gas on NYE when out. I had lost my gas cap about two months ago and never remembered to get another when I could afford one

I rightly assumed that there was trash in the fuel line and condensation caused water. He had me buy a product called Sea Foam. This video explains what this stranger did. Oh, the guy said he was a mechanic and ran a garage. When a person has no money or friends to look at a car, sometimes a person has to trust. His wife and kids came with him and sat in their car for two hours while he worked. 

The car ran Sunday night after he worked on it. Then, I started it about 5 pm to show exbf how easily it starts and how nice the engine sounds. Well, two hours later, it would not start! I called the guy and now he says it is a short somewhere. He told me but I forgot. He is coming by tomorrow to do something else.

When I asked how much this would cost as we were in WM, he said whatever I wanted to give him. I gave him $40 and he gave me back $20, so I don't think he is all bad. Since I was looking at a $60 or more tow bill, I felt he earned it.

Many people have said Sea Foam is good and good for cars.

I was not able to mail packages, not able to pick up my repaired purse from the cobbler, not able to do lots of things. I could if the car had started after exbf and I had gone to see Star Wars. We went to an early movie so he could get home early and I could do chores in the car.

Star Wars was wonderful! I love Harrison Ford. I saw the first Star Wars and the last. Well, I heard this was the last one.

Your turn
Have you heard of Sea Foam? Have an opinion of it? Ask your husband.  Have you seen Star Wars?

Let me Recommend

I think it was last year that I praised watermelon candy canes from Brach. WM had hundreds of them marked down--12 for a quarter. This year, there was not one watermelon candy cane. Bummer!

This year, a clerk recommended cherry candy canes. I bought a box for a quarter. Let me tell you these are scrumptious. Have you had cherry candy canes? I should not be eating so much sugar, and I should not eat them before bed because my teeth are coated with sugar.

I have never been crazy about peppermint candy canes, but would eat a tiny one as an obligatory part of the Christmas experience. But, I never really liked them. I don't even like peppermint! Plus. candy canes are too sugary.

While I was digging around in the trunk today, looking for HEET, I was pleasantly surprised by things I had forgotten I had in the trunk. More about that in another post.

Tomorrow, Christmas presents are set to be mailed. Well, if the car still works, I can mail them.

Your turn
Did you try watermelon candy canes? Have you tried the cherry candy canes? Did you like either? Have you ever eaten something you did not really like because it was expected? Did you really think you would like it after 50+ years of not caring for it?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Why Don't I Have Flour?

A blueberry cobbler seemed like a great idea. But, there was no flour in my flour canister. I had to think hard about where my extra flour was stored. Then, it hit me: in the freezer that died last spring.

I always use all purpose flour in five-pound bags. Last Monday I gave away a tiny bag of flour given to me because it was self-rising. That was a bad move. I really could have used it! Now, I was going to have to purchase more flour. Fortunately, I remembered I had a huge box of Bisquick.

Since I don't bake as much as I have in the past, I decided to see if the tablespoon of flour in the canister was still good. Nope. It was rancid. The flour canister had to be washed and dried. I now have more flour. I DON'T have freezer room to put in five pounds of flour! I do this to kill the eggs that come in flour so they won't hatch in the airtight canister.

My only recourse is to somehow get more food out of the freezer or put the flour in pint jars to freeze a bit at a time. This is all disheartening! I never realized how much I used and depended on my freezer.

The cheap chest type freezer is small. But, more than that, I cannot lift food out of there to search the bottom for what I need. grrr

I received a $50 coupon from Lowe's since I bought the washer, but really cannot go into debt for any more.

There is no flour here because it was all thrown in the trash. The End.

Your turn
Has the lack of a major appliance thrown you for a loop? Made things more difficult?

75% Clearance!!!

Every year I prepare for this clearance sale. I look for it. After Christmas items are first marked down to 50% off at WM. On New Years Day the clearance is 75% off. YAY

Glad Ziploc quart storage bags with Christmas designs, 48 in a box, are the same price as the regular quart storage bags--$4.46. At 75% off the Christmas designs are $1.11, not a bad price. I bought 8.

Glad Ziploc gallon storage bags were also $4.46, 38 in a box. They were also 75% off, making the box of 38 also $1.11. I bought 5.

This is a $57.98 value for $14.43.

Saved 75%. Of course, I did.

Snack crackers with a holiday design were also 75% off. I got the last two boxes of Wheat Thins, my favorite cracker. Originally they were $2; clearance price was $0.50. I spent $1 on two boxes of Wheat Thins.

Saved 75%

A $4 value in Wheat Thins cost me $1.

I paid $15.43 for merchandise worth $61.98.

You're right. I am giddy. Hopefully, I have enough bags to last until next Christmas and beyond. When I give exbf food to take home, I try to use these bags instead of Tupperware or breakable glass. He cannot stand much to wash dishes, either. Right now, we probably both use too much plastic. But, it is necessary for the present. Or, you can come wash my dishes.

I gave my friend a box of the quart bags and a box of the Wheat Thins for taking me to WM + $2 for gas.

Your turn
Do you find these items on Christmas clearance at WM? Maybe there are still some left. What items on Christmas clearance have you gotten?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Yummy Dinner and Goat Cheese

Last night was all about dinner. It had been a long time since I had this combination--ham, blackeyed peas, turnip greens, and macaroni and cheese.  The mac and cheese is gone and rarely eaten with this dinner. Now it is time to bake sweet potatoes. Soon I will also have my New Year blackeyed peas for good luck.

Last night, I managed to eat a whole log of goat cheese with crackers. The log had been covered in blueberries and came from Publix.  It was a splurge for the night. There were chips but no pimiento and cheese since I could not get to the grocery store. The cheese went well with crackers, of course.

Blackeyed peas were $1.52/lb at Walmart. That seems like an exorbitant price! Of course, I did not have to pay that price because I have bags of the peas bought on sale earlier last year.

As I was choosing crackers, I found Wheat Thins, Lightly Salted. The lightly salted crackers had something like 40 mg sodium while the Original Wheat Thins had something like 180 mg. The taste did not fight with the goat cheese and blueberry.  I only buy Wheat Thins about three times a year, but these will be my choice next time. Have you had them?

Last night was verrrry quiet around here. There were no neighbors illegally shooting fireworks! I did not hear any legal fireworks. I wonder if a legal fireworks display was at Smith Lake.

Back to the Rose Bowl Parade!

Your turn
Did you have company or any sort of festivities on NYE? Have you tried the Lightly Salted Wheat Thins? Do you eat blackeyed peas for good luck on the first day of the year?