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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Love Those Fries

On Tuesday there was one little thing I had to do involving Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Since I cannot/should not/allergic to eat beef, I just gaze wistfully at this business as I drive by. I resist the siren call.

Yesterday, I needed to know something and the person who knew worked there. I waited and finally could not resist. Yep, I went to the car with a small fry and two catsup cups.

We sat in the car and ate fries after we dipped them in catsup. I had the catsup cups in a small metal tray, and we put fries in the tray to make it easier to eat. It was like heaven. We just ate and did not talk. Lunch was sparse. So, this was fine. Neither of us were famished at dinner.

By the way, small fries order from this place was almost too much for two French fry lovers. I may need an intervention to keep me away from the place and the fries. However, since the fries were almost $3, I will be able to resist just fine.

I like the fact he is spontaneous and willing to be happy sharing a small fry. It was like sitting in the car eating an ice cream cone in the summer.

Have you had these fries? Do you ever find that things you should not eat are the things that draw you? Do you give in?

Tuesday & Piggly Wiggly is Closing

The Tuesday lunch and the whole day just about did me in. I could not sleep Monday night, so I set the alarm for 8:30 am to wash my hair which I should have done Monday night. Somehow, the alarm was set to soft instead of loud and went off for an hour before I heard it. Even with an extra hour's sleep, I was not motivated to get up. When exbf arrived, I was sitting on my bed with wet hair and not dressed to leave the house.

I spent 30 minutes becoming presentable. Even though my hair was still damp, I left, ready to go to the lunch.

First, we went to Harbor Freight where I got 2 sets of bungee cords, one for each of us at the cost of $0.43 for each set. Well, the cords were free, but the $0.49 utility knife cost me $0.49 - 20% + tax = $0.43. Now, I can commence with the chipmunk trap.

My hair was mostly dry, so I came home, used the curling iron a bit, fixed my hair and we left for the church. We try to get there early to get a close handicapped parking place. I put on my makeup in the car, and we talked. Finally, I went in and found someone to take a wheelchair out and get him.

Lunch was chicken and dumplings, a side of peas, and a piece of celery, piece of carrot and pickle spear, unsweetened tea.. I declined the peas and asked them to put them on his plate. He was so happy to have the extra peas. He also ate either some of my carrot or celery. I brought home celery and carrot in a napkin to add to food I cook.

The guys with stringed instruments played and sang while we ate. Nice.

The interim minister announced that any of the food bags we wanted were in the back of the church. Plus, we could take sweet potatoes. All this was left from the last event where they give food with no means test. Naturally, I got the food bag and more sweet potatoes, maybe 3 pounds.

Since Piggly Wiggly is closing, I had him take me out there. This a store I never visit because besides being in the opposite direction of all the other stores, they only have two electric carts, and it spooks me to get off the highway into their parking lot.

People who live out that way in the country and have to come into town to shop use this store. They will sorely miss PW because they will have to drive about 5 miles further. Those employees will no longer have a job.

While I was in PW, I saw a lone office chair with a sign "$5 cash" and dragged it along since it had wheels. A manager helped me by dragging it out to exbf to see if it fit him. He is uncomfortable in every chair I have. He struggles to get up. Finally, I bought a lawn chair that I keep here for the house. It is still uncomfortable, but the best I have in terms of his comfort.

He grumbled about the chair but I bought it and someone loaded it into the back of his vehicle. Then and only then, did he tell me how awful it was. grrrr Speak up sooner.

In PW I bought Dominoes powdered sugar for $0.75, a good price and a pack of soup mix and a pack of Concord potato garnish stuff. You slice potatoes lengthwise, sprinkle this stuff on them and bake. There is only a tsp of oil on pounds of potatoes. However, I never bake pounds.

We went to WM to check on status of a TV. While there, I sold the chair for $10 to an employee. No, I did not feel guilty since exbf was using his gas and time.

Remember the soup on sale at Publix? I made one of the pouches for him and put a handful of meat in it, a full portion. I had one taste. He loved it. Then, I baked him a Raspberry Turnover, bought on sale at Publix and sent another baked turnover home with him. He loved the one he ate, too. His dinner was about $1.25, soup and turnover. Best of all, it was so easy to prepare.

Have you ever shopped in a Piggly Wiggly? Piggly Wiggly was the first modern style store with people getting their own merchandise instead of handing a list to the proprietor. Grocery carts were first used and every item was priced. The first Piggly Wiggly was opened in Memphis, TN, where I grew up. The founder built a beautiful home out of pink marble. People called it The Pink Palace. Now, it is a museum.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Universe Responded

As I mulled over the trap for the chipmunks, I tried to think of all scenarios. If squirrels jump in, they can jump out, but in doing so they might turn the trap over. If raccoons get nosy, they won't jump in but will probably dump the trap.

I could tie the trap to something like the legs of a sturdy table sitting in the yard. Or, I could wire it to something. I don't have sturdy string, and I am not sure if I have that much wire.

As I wished for bungee cords, I knew all mine were used, broken, rotten, gone.

The ad for Harbor Freight arrived Tuesday, and there it was--free bungee cords with a purchase. Aha!

If I tie the bucket to the table legs and have the bucket under the table,  rain won't raise the level of the water.

My boombox will not pick up the signal for the radio station that plays Christmas music unto New Year's Day. Maybe they quit the day after Christmas. When I bought the wire on Saturday, it was 30 cents/ft, but it was marked down to 6 cents/foot. The universe is kind.

Or maybe "Luck favors the prepared."

Not a universe thing here-->Today, exbf and I went by HF. Before I went in, I asked him if he needed anything. He could think of nothing. So, I got him/us a set of bungee cords. They probably are not good ones, but for this they will work. I want them to drown, not swim to the side of the pool and escape!

As exbf was leaving, he said, "Oh, when you asked if I needed anything, I forgot I need scissors. Didn't you get some the other day?" Well, yes I did, two pair, but could not find them, so I gave him mine which I opened two days ago.

It was a good day with blue, cloudless skies and temperature in mid 60s.

Maybe the universe hearing and answering was just synchronicity. Jung explained it as the occurrence of two seeming related events not causal events. Maybe that is how the universe answers. ???

Urspo will surely straighten out all this.

Do you ever think of something and it appears? Or, does something you need happen along at just the right moment?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Doings

One sentence about her. Since I did not expect J to show up like she said she would, I was not all surprised or upset. Okay, enough of that.

This was all in one trip today. So, I am exhausted. Everything is close together, so I probably drove 7 miles.

At the bank I went inside to straighten out my checking account. I had not written down 3 checks, so I got that taken care of, and, yes, I did have enough to pay J and to get the prescription. Better to be cautious than just hope I had money.

Thankfully, there was money because I needed gas for the car. Plus, I needed that one Cella chocolate covered cherry. I did not eat it, so it is in the freezer firming up.

I looked at TV at Walmart. I have a teeny bit of the $135. + tax to get a 32" TCL brand TV with built in ROKU. At the WM  pharmacy I got the prescription I thought I could not afford yesterday. While at the pharmacy, I had to call the doctor for a refill he did not give me and had another prescription refilled. Rather than waiting, I will go back another day.

The Chick-fil-coupon was calling for me to use it, so I did, and drank a Coke from home. Yum.

A letter came yesterday from my car insurance company that said something about a refund check. Yes, I want it. But, it was not in the envelope and there was no indication if it had been mailed or would be mailed. However, it was definitely not in the envelope. After a call--I should get it soon as the letter was mailed out the day before the check.

I stopped by to place to ads for things I am selling. Tomorrow, exbf will put in two ads under his name. I plan to place ads at a call-in program on the radio tomorrow.

My boombox will not pick up the station that plays Christmas music non-stop from Thanksgiving thru Christmas. So, I went to Lowe's and got 12 feet of copper wire to stick out the window. I thought up high near the window would work, but, no, the guy said stick it outside the window. Lovely!

Finally, I went to Publix to buy the milk I must drink. When I am in Publix, I always look at the sale racks and the freezer section that holds frozen items reduced. I found tomorrow's dinner when exbf comes. We are going to a church lunch. What we are having for dinner tomorrow evening:

Tabatchnick brand
Barley and Mushroom Soup
2 servings in two separate pouches
2 for $2.50, so $1.25 for the one box with two servings
no sugar or salt
barley, carrots, mushrooms, corn, celery, onions and various seasoning

It sounds delicious. I might add some brown rice if I cook rice. I will add chicken for him. I might split one of the pouches with him, depending on what else I have to go with this and what he says. He may want all of it. If this is good, I may go back and get the other boxes of this left on the freezer shelf.

For $1.25 I think this is a good price for dinner for two and maybe for four servings. I love it when I don't have to cook when he comes, especially when I have not cooked or planned.

Now, I am home and exhausted! I have to wash dishes and wash my hair...ugh. and hang up clothes and do more laundry. Well, that is the plan.

I offered to take J to the lunch, to two food banks, and take her home. We will see.

The chocolate covered cherry should have firmed up by now.


Your turn
Do you ever seem to just go from place to place all day long and become exhausted in the end? Has anyone ever heard of TCL brand TV? Do you know anything of it's reputation? Does the soup seem good? Have you ever heard of this brand or eaten it? Does the wire have to be outside the house?

Doctor Visit

On Wednesday I was told to come back in 48-72 hours to check the finger that was abscessed. I knew I was not going back Friday, so decided to go on Saturday. Since I slept all day Saturday, that did not happen.

Today, Sunday, the doctor was very concerned as he came in the door. He looked at it closely and was asking me how this happened. He had ordered an anti-fungal after the lab report and the women were supposed to call me and tell me. So, he said he would call it in. I went to WM and no one had called it in. sigh

Then, I realized I did not have enough cash to pay for it. I was unsure of the bank balance, so I was not writing a check. I don't need to start taking it until Friday, so it is okay I don't have the meds.

A month ago, my blood pressure was 103/58. When I had my blood pressure taken Wednesday and today, Sunday, it was 130 + over 70+. The nurse said, yes, the finger infection and inflammation could make my blood pressure go up. Plus, temp was elevated. I feel great.

I HAD LOST FIVE POUNDS SINCE LAST WEDNESDAY. Holidays are the easiest time of the year for me to lose weight. I only eat holiday stuff. Yes, that includes candy and pie. However, I do not nibble on other things. I feel inspired and motivated.

Sunday, I have been puttering. I am giving J all my whole wheat pasta since I cannot have it anymore. I had it in canning jars, so I am putting it all in gallon ziplock bags for her. I really hate I cannot eat whole wheat anymore. She may not even like it.

I managed to put my 6 large boxes of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats that were on sale on the shelves she cleaned off. It is not that I cannot do anything, I just cannot do it all and not even much of the sorting. They had been sitting in plastic bags in a box for several weeks.

Eleven Christmas Child boxes are being emptied. I will put all the same thing in one storage bag--crayons together, pencils and erasers together, etc. Next year, filling the boxes will be a snap. Plus, I returned something for the boxes I had bought but did not open.

After that, I will wash a few dishes, including the crock. Cleaning the bathroom sink and commode are on the list, too. Maybe if I write it down, I will feel obligated to do it and not put it off. Okay, it's all done.

Were you aware that a badly infected finger could cause such a rise in blood pressure?  If J does not come back, is there any blogger near who would like this expensive whole grain pasta, all shapes?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Crazy Friday That Spilled into Saturday

Before Thanksgiving J and I made plans for her to come here Friday morning and help me. She worked well for the first two hours, even though she took five smoke breaks in a smidge over two hours.

She was starving, so I made her a pbj sandwich. That fixed her for a bit. Then, she declared she just wanted to walk to bf's work. I cajoled her into working.

Then, we went to turn in Christmas Child boxes at Chic-fil-A. They told me on Monday I could bring them in on Friday and then refused to take them...sigh. So, we got chicken sandwiches with the free coupons I had and drank cold Cokes from home. She said she felt so much better.

At some point her bf called and said to bring his debit card and phone to his work north of town. We were south of town. So, we went there. She went inside the office and got him because she had to see him. He came to the car fussing at her. I was disgusted and said I had to go and told her to close the door and started slowly backing away.

He screamed at her to get out of the car. She got out with me backing and told her she could not come back to my house, to just stay with him at work. I got out of the car and told him she had the kitchen blocked where I could not get into the kitchen or to sink and I could not pick it up myself.

He started screaming and yelling at me, telling me he was going to call the police right now if I did not leave. He said I could not come to his job and harass him. Yeah, he is in parking lot doing all the screaming. He said no one would help me because I was so.... or something...cannot even remember. I do not recall saying no one would help me. He just stood there jabbing his finger in my face, saying how he was going to have me arrested. He is crazy. I did not raise my voice once or tell him what a useless human being he was.

I appealed to J to come back and she did after he kept telling her no. That encounter really shot my already tired nerves and body.

Then, I had to go back south of town. They are living beyond their means and he is using his debit card to buy lunch!

One the upside--she got two bookcases emptied and moved. One already had food in it in the kitchen. The other was moved into the den and accumulated stuff, not sure what. So, when we/she got them both situated in the kitchen, she put food in both. Some of the items are just empty canning jars. I now have a place to put my crockpot when it is not being used instead of it sitting in the way on the counter!

I feel so sorry for her. We sat outside for a bit while she smoked. The day was very pleasant and she seemed so different than the frazzled, frightened person she was with him. I had her empty about two gallons of dirt into another pot. I found potatoes sprouting on Wednesday and again on Friday. When the sprouts turn green, I will plant them.

He called and told her to wait at the road in front of my house so he did not have to see me because he did not want to get into it with me. I told her where he could hear that he would be in my yard and would be starting it, not me, and that I would call the police to him for disturbing the peace and cursing and threatening me.

He is a loud talker. He was angry he had to see me and even angrier that he had to come to back yard to get stuff because he had worked all day. Well, so had she. He pulled the wagon of stuff and spilled it and was cursing her for not helping keep the load on. She should have watched, but didn't. All the way to the car he was berating her. She just kept walking in front of him and the wagon. I was humiliated for her.

I was pleased with what she did and had no money in the bank to pay her because I bought the printer. She laughed and said she could take it back. Before he came to get her, I took her to store and bought her some cigarettes. I had that much money, I hope. He called screaming because we were not at my house, for her to get back right NOW. Well, I was showing her the Christmas lights downtown. She had wistfully said, "Oh, I have to get him to go home this way to show him how pretty it is." Then he called screaming. At that point he called about us not being home.

That night, I hurt all over because of fibro and felt mentally stressed. I had cooked Wednesday, gone to Thanksgiving Dinner, and sat in WM for hours to get the cheap printer. I could not sleep until 8 am Saturday morning and awoke at 5:15 on Saturday evening. Saturday night I was up for a long time. But, since I was still exhausted, I did sleep well and am not sleeping Sunday, too.

I know he told his work boss that I came up there causing trouble, but I will be able to talk with the guy and tell him how it was. I know this was disjointed, but I sort of forgot all of the drama.

We have a good time. She saw Jello with fruit in it in the refrigerator and was laughing and was saying how she almost ate it when she put the cokes in. We got it out and ate it, sat and laughed because it was so good. I fed her kisses when she was down and depressed. I will keep chocolate from now on the cheer her up and energize

I wish murder or maiming were not so against the law.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving Black Friday at WalMart

After the church Thanksgiving dinner, exbf dropped me off at my house. I went to bathroom and sat a minute, then decided I needed Cream Cheese. I headed to WM. They were setting up for Black Friday. I got and paid for the cream cheese.

I wandered for an hour, watching people put up displays as I tried to move on and get out of their way. Finally, an employee told me there was a flyer at the front of the store with all the deals listed and it had been there for a few days. Well, that just shows you how uninterested I am in all this hullaballoo.

After I looked over the ad, I went around and looked at some of the items. Before that, I had looked at the small electronics and found interesting items. That proved useful as frantic people were looking for the Google version of Alexis. I gave lots of

As it was nearing 4 pm, I saw a printer and was talking to a teen waiting by it. She said there was a $19 printer down a few feet. She asked me to get one for her, too, in case she did not make it down to the one I wanted.  So, from about 4:10 until 6 pm, I sat in the electric cart in front of the stack of printers, waiting, waiting, waiting. I needed to go to the bathroom as I had drunk a bottle of water and a Coke. I was to the desperate point where I get chills on my arms and face because I have to go so badly.

I really wanted this printer!

Near 3 pm a woman who was a WM driver started talking as we both looked at things. We would cross paths often. She saw me stalking the printers and came at the right time to make sure I got one since I was in the electric cart and was saying I hoped no one walked on me and it got one. Well, until about 6 pm, not a soul was interested except me. Okay, this was on an end of a display out in the aisle, so I could only see my side and the end, not the other side.

She rushed back and helped me along with another woman to get my printer and the one for the teen. The whole place let out a uniform roar as the getting ensued.  The WM driver was going to go with me to bathroom and guard my printer while I went to family bathroom. She thought I was going to leave it outside. However, I had already decided to drive the cart in the bathroom or haul in the printer. She waited with my purse and printer.

Instead of trying to get into the regular register lines or the temporary lines, I headed to electronics, the nearest cash register, and found one person ahead of me. At 6:11, my job was done. The whole store was in chaos with people not able to move at all for the crush of grocery buggies and people. I must say, all the little children were at home or contained in the buggies.

The only way I got out whole was my plan that worked perfectly. I drove along the walls of WM. I never met anyone that caused me to cut the power to wait or slow down. NO ONE was at the wall aisles. I got out of there easily and looked at the sea of people and carts. The only place that slowed me was getting into the area to enter and exit the store. No one was entering.

So, that was my first Black Friday sale. I could never have made it by standing at the door and trying to endure the mad dash. Everyone, mostly, was stationed by what they wanted. Couples and friends were dividing up and getting items both wanted. The printers were stacked over 6 feet high in about 6 stacks. Before I could leave with my two, they were waist high all around.

I left with a printer (HP) and the cream cheese that had been in my cart for over five hours. I have not opened it, but I hope it is good still.

Well, this is out of order, but.... The woman trucker was determined to protect me and my stuff. When the teen came to me and got the printer, thanking me, the woman yelled at her and tried to take it back before I could intervene and say I was getting one for her.

Still, I have never camped out for a Black Friday Sale anywhere. I don't see one in my future.

Did you shop in a store on Friday or Saturday for BFS?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Great Thanksgiving, Thanks to Aubrey

Thanksgiving Day was a glorious day as the temps with mid 60s with blue skies, almost cloudless. The weather didn't call for a coat, boots, or umbrella. In November that is an usual condition for Alabama.

Thursday morning, I went by the church to figure out where the handicapped parking was located and to find other possible spots where exbf could park to get in the easiest in case there was no wheelchair available. When he followed my directions, my heart sunk as we went beside all the close places with cars parked there, and turned the corner. I saw all the handicapped places were taken. But one. So, we parked at the place closest to the door. 

When I had my makeup on, I asked the closest child on the sidewalk if she could please find someone to bring a wheelchair out for us. This child was posted outside to help people. I did not ask a child walking by.  Soon, a man with a wheelchair brought it to my side. I sent him to exbf's side of the car.

We were soon seated and children came to get our drink for us. Somehow, two different people brought us each a glass of tea. Well, then I did not have to ask for a refill. The tea was delicious. I hate bad tea spoiling a meal.

They offered to get both our plates and bring them to us. However, I wanted to go so my food would not touch. I am just kidding. I prefer white meat and he does not want gravy. Plus, if there is something I just won't eat, why get it?

A young guy was sent to carry plates for us. I got green beans, sweet potatoes, turkey and dressing with gravy over it.  I got his without gravy. Then, I went out the door of the serving line. After a while, I noticed other people around us had rolls and cranberry sauces. I had exited the wrong door and missed stuff. Two women heard me and brought us the rest of our food. I should have exited the third door in the serving line area.

Children and adults came by very often to see if we needed anything. I think at this point the servers/helpers outnumbered the guests.

The cutest little boy and a little girl came between us and asked me something. Because of the noise or something, I could not understand all the little boy said. I thought he said bread and turnip greens. I thought he was going to give me something on my plate. Finally, I realized he was going to give me something not for my plate.

The little girl came around me and plopped a loaf of bread on the table. The little boy moved in between us and plopped two turnips on the table. One was huge, larger than any turnip I have ever seen. The other was very small.  As he clunked them on the table, dirt flew everywhere. I thanked him and her profusely.

Then, I started laughing profusely at the innocence of a little boy who just did not see yard dirt. I was laughing so hard and exbf was chuckling. Some of the women wandering around to help saw the dirt and apologized. I assured them many times that the dirt of the table made my day. One woman was laughing and said, "A little boy does not see dirt on the table." ...or the table. Folks, it was a lot of dirt, clods falling off, not just dust! But, it was all fine with me.

Somehow, that incident made me so happy. He came back again and offered turnips. I did not have the heart to turn him down. THEN, he came back with a mess of greens in a plastic bag. I took those, too. I would have given back the turnips to an adult to return to the pile, but exbf said he would eat them. And, I have no idea how to cook them. ???

The same little girl came and offered us more bread. I did tell her I had bread. Oh, I just now thought of why they kept giving us stuff. I had folded up a bag and put in my purse because I have been places where things are given, and I have to carry his, too, and rustle up an old WM bag, asking someone in the kitchen. So, we had visible nothing and they kept bringing it. I had wondered why.

At any rate, we rewarded them with warm and numerous 'thank yous' each time they came up. We quit eating to turn to them. Maybe they just like the reception from us.

He thanked Aubrey by name because she had a name tag on. About the tenth time she passed our table, she was carrying a small turnip. I asked her if I could take her picture. We gave her another turnip and the child smiled for ear to ear. She was so precious. I think the two youngest children were at our table a lot. The older child, about ten, who got the guy with a wheel chair for him, came by with friends her age to see if we needed tea several times.

As he was being wheeled out and since he had the key, I did not try to keep up and was thanking women at the door. The little boy who was so cute came and stood very close to me with his little head up, looking right at me. I told the woman with whom I was speaking how well he had done and how sweet he was. She smiled at him and said he did do well.

The little boy sort of looked like my son at the age, dark hair and big eyes. I think maybe the child was four.

I was smiling for hours after that.

We came to my house and I gave him half a pan of dressing with egg, turkey and two cans of soup in it. He got a can of cranberry sauce, candy, 2 chocolate chip cookies, all sorts of stuff. Then, other meals were frozen in individual packets: taco casserole, meat loaf. There was other food I cannot remember. Oh, six baked sweet potatoes and two huge Russets.

It was a good Thanksgiving.

Your turn
How do you cook turnips? I do not want an internet link, just the way you cook them. Is there any way to take the turnip taste away? I want it to taste more like cake or cookies. How was your Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday: Pooped

However, I am not disheartened. My finger feels so much better. I have done too much and there is more to do. AND, my TV went out as soon as the tire was fixed.

The second hen is done. The dressing is mixed and waiting on cranberries, meat, and celery to go inside. I am using cranberries I dehydrated, fresh celery, and meat from the first and second hen. Then, it has to bake.

I used two boxes of Stove Top Stuffing--cornbread variety and turkey variety, two cans of Campbell's soup--cream of celery and cream of chicken. Because my finger is disgusting, I did not want to be breaking up cornbread. the doctor heard me say something about that to the two nurses. He raised his voice and told me not to get food in the finger because it could get worse. I had not planned to make this, just regular dressing. But, he likes this and it will not involve chopping so much celery or breaking of cornbread.

Exbf will get a pan of this, a can of cranberry sauce, some whole sauce I made. He hates the gravy, so I can make that later for me.

My TV was working one minute and the next it was not. Sooo, no parade, no Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, no news. J said she would try reprogramming it. I hope I do not need a new antenna. Want to place bets? I say I need a new antenna. I have used a $100 antenna for around four years, maybe more. I suppose I got my money's worth.

Walmart was a madhouse, a madhouse, I tell you. I had to go get two prescriptions for my finger. Otherwise, I would never have gone.

Now, I have to go wash my hair. Maybe I will cut my bangs.

Did anyone brave a grocery store today?

Tire Report and Sugar Report

As I related yesterday, the tire was flat last night. I called the tire guy and he sent someone over to see about it. Thirty minutes later, they found the culprit, a brand new screw. Well, it was newly picked up by my tire. It was not a flat-head screw. The head was rounded and not worn off at all, just worn shiny.

My spare did not fit at all. It was put on there last year, and I drove home on it at night and then to tire place the next morning. So, they took my tire back to the shop, repaired it and brought it back and mounted it. This cost me $30, a real deal considering two trips involving two people both times and two ten mile trips.

My first call to them was at 9:20 and I had a repaired tire on my car by 10:22. (I looked at the phone record.) I was pleased with the timeliness of their service. Usually, shops are very busy before holidays or closed.

A study from the 1960s indicated a connection between sugar and cancer. It's about time someone revealed that this information has been covered up for years by a sugar research.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Change of Cooking Plans

The plan was to cook one of the hens either Thursday or later. Then, I realized I had to put the third hen in the refrigerator and it was thawing. So, about 8 am I put it in the crock pot which I had to wash first.

It is hard to wash dishes and do anything and keep index finger away from dish water and away from food. However, I am soaking it in salt water, and it seems to be getting better. I really don't want to get potato dirt on the finger. It has enough to deal with without dirt from who-knows-where.

It is 9:30 pm and hen is done and needs meat removed from bones. Cranberry sauce is cooked. That leaves the two types of potatoes to bake tomorrow.

I delivered ten of the twenty Christmas boxes this morning. Now, I have another eight to do, ten if I have enough stuff for the boxes.

This afternoon, after delivering the boxes. I bought items to fix the hose. I cannot give it up. It will be cheaper to fix it. Besides I need two hoses. I got a splitter since I will need water for chickens and "garden," such as it is.

The bank visit was a trial. That will be a story for another day. WM was the last visit. My heart sunk when I saw the front passenger-side tire. Exbf had told me to watch it and have the air checked because it looked a bit low. Today, it had 23 lbs. instead of 32 lbs. So, the guy aired it up for me. I drove to my tire guy and his employee could find nothing wrong. Well, the tire felt wonky about a mile from his place, but I thought it was my imagination and paranoia making the car wobble.

I forgot where I went, but when I looked at the tire, my heart sunk. It is sitting in the driveway with the rim sitting on the tire. I have a spare but cannot put it on and know no one else who will and can. Well, I know people who can, but they work and it is a holiday coming up. I never have car trouble unless it is a holiday or the day before when I try to find help. I am right on track.

I am freezing. My very nice neighbor will not help me get heater in covered. He was only willing to stack things six feet high right next to it on three sides. That is how my friend died--stack of newspapers fell on his space heater. When I told him the bottom was going to be unsteady and the heavy boxes would be on top, he said, "How about I put the heavy boxes on the bottom?" Nope, never mind.

He said he did not have time to do it the way that would be safe. Yet he had another 45 minutes to stand and talk and tell me how to live my life.

This will really screw up my Thanksgiving if things play out the way they are heading. I sure hope the tire place is open, that they can at least have someone put on my spare. Keep your fingers crossed!  This is going to be expensive, something I am not prepared to handle. sigh

My finger still hurts, but the green area is smaller. Yes, it is green right up next to the cuticle. Sorry for the parting image.

I think I will take a nap.

Do you ever have something happen every holiday or certain occasion? My mother was ill every holiday or time we went to visit, just to visit. She finally figured out that the ammonia was giving her pneumonia-like problems. So, she just stayed in bed hacking while we were there.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Getting Behind

It might be too late to turn in the Christmas Child boxes. I hope not. I worked hard on these 20 boxes and spent little but got lots of quality stuff to put in them. Lots of people go to Dollar Tree and get junk. I bought things all year long for ten-cents or a quarter. You can get a tshirt for 50 cents. Granted, these are WM tshirts, but they are decent.

My thumb is still sore on the right hand, but compared to the infected index finger on the left hand, it is wonderful. I feel like the Cook from Canterbury Tales Prologue with a festering sore. It has kept me from cooking and slowed me down on dishwashing. It throbs so I can feel it in my ear. I cannot find a needle to prick it for the life of me. No, I am not kidding about the festering sore. I am going to dr Wednesday for bloodwork, so if it is not better, I will show them.  I know it is gross. Deal with it.

Still no heat. Friend would not help. Well, he wanted to leave things where the house could burn down! Or, leave something stacked to fall over and start a fire. I need things removed from house and cannot pay anyone to help...lazy people.

My chest is getting better and worse by turn. It just depends on how cold I get and for how long. Mostly, I am moving toward recovery and don't feel ill, achy all over.

I forgot to go out and take the cardboard from the potatoes yesterday, so I cannot forgot to remove it on Tuesday. I found another sprouting potato that rolled away and was hiding. Since tomorrow I need to add more dirt to the potato, I will add this potato to another layer. Plus, I also found a red potato sprouting on the kitchen floor.

Tonight, I must make meatballs before the meat turns. I was going to make two kinds, but now, one kind is all I have the mind to make. Plus, it is almost 11 pm and I am cold and Modern Family will be on at midnight.

Even though I most likely will not cook a hen, I do want to cook the sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and cranberry sauce tomorrow. We will see.

My focus last night and part of today is getting all the boxes packed for Christmas Child. Right now, toasted and buttered bagels is my  focus.  My life is so exciting! However, I was ill last Thanksgiving, so I love this calm.

Where are you in the cooking for Tday process?

Cost of Thanksgiving the Year You Were Born + Getting Ready

This Thanksgiving I will not be buying a turkey or a turkey breast. I was given another hen. That makes three!  I wonder if I can get three hens in a turkey bag. It seems chicken and dumpling is in my future sometime in the next ten days. I will freeze what I cannot eat, make broth, freeze it and make the chicken and dumplings later.

The two I got earlier will go together in the turkey bag and into the oven. The hen I just got will go into the crock pot for the chicken and dumplings.

I was also a recipient of three more pounds of sweet potatoes and three pounds of white potatoes. This was from the church that requires no means test.

This was a crazy time to cook the ground beef for exbf. I got almost five pounds and have made four helpings of meat loaf, four helpings of the taco casserole that ends up more like soup. I still have the other third of the ground beef for something else. He will take this home, all frozen in pint freezer bags. Since we will eat Thanksgiving dinner out, I will be cooking hens later. He can eat a Thanksgiving dinner at my house the next week and take home leftovers, too.

This cost of Thanksgiving article does not start on my birth year, just the year after. In 70 years the price of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 has certainly risen. I wonder if the cost to my parents seemed as hard to come by as the price for this year will be difficult for some people. I think it was less than $6 for the year after I was born. For 2016 the price was almost $50. Cost of Thanksgiving

I love the pictures of ordinary people preparing their Thanksgiving meal or sitting down to eat.

How much was Thanksgiving Dinner the year you were born?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Recipe: Cheeseburger Casserole

I added a new blog today. It is The Low Carb Diabetic.  The Cheeseburger Casserole is what caught my attention. Besides recipes and encouragement to go low carb, the blogroll has many other diabetes blogs.

When I put things in favorites,I forget them. This time, I decided to put the information in a place I can keep track of it. Hopefully, this blog will help many of us. If you do not have diabetes, I am quite sure you have a spouse, other relative, or someone who could benefit from the information and recipes. At least, we can all aspire to eating more healthily.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

More about kale

Kale is delicious. I use no salt or any seasoning.  However, I recently became aware of some cautions about eating kale. This article further explains health benefits. This article is very long, but well worth the time.

People worry about citrus fruit being available, especially for children. Kale is a better source of Vitamin C than oranges. Before citrus fruits were widely available in this country, people ate more kale and still got their nutrients. Of course, harsh or long winters precluded growing greens that are nutritious. .

Enough Food

On Thursday afternoon, I went to the best food bank around. At this one, you get to choose everything you take home. One item off this shelf, one pastry item from these two shelves, one dairy, two breads, three meats, two breads, one produce. The numbers and items change each month. So, amongst all the items in different places/shelves, you absolutely get the choice to take what you want from what is available, the number they allow.

Some days, I get three produce items, maybe four meats. most come from Publix. They have two side by side refrigerator freezers.

The first thing she asked me was if I wanted garlic. Yes, I do. It's elephant garlic. So, I can plant some of this, too. I got a gallon of milk and could have had eggnog or half gallon of chocolate milk.
 Okay, so here is the complete list I chose:

garlic bulb
gallon 2% milk
pouch of tahini (w/ garlic, lemon juice, and salt--ready for beans to make hummus)
loaf of sliced bakery bread
dozen small bagels with cinnamon and raisins from bakery
dozen huge chocolate chip cookies from bakery
two frozen hens (total ten or more meals)
2 lbs ground pork (ten or more meals)
large plastic box of chopped baby kale, 5 ozs. (2 servings. I ate 1/3, will eat 2 more times)
huge glass jar of Nestea unsweetened instant tea. 
12 oz glass jar of peanut butter.
two 8-oz. containers of PomPom pomegranate arils
Chex Mix, savory, 8.75 oz, There was nothing on this shelf I wanted, so I got this for exbf. I don't eat this kind of snack.

I put this all away and then wrote this list from memory. Then, I looked at the sizes.I know this is not all there was.

I have not decided whether I will put both the hens in a turkey bag and cook at once or if I will just put one at a time in the crock pot. If a person is careful, there is enough meat to last a month. Maybe one meal a week could be meatless. Then, there is the peanut butter for protein for lunch.

So, that would be 20 meals with meat, four meatless=24 meals out of 30. Maybe the meat could be stretched a bit more in some recipes that have pasta or rice.

Several years ago, I had arils in a broccoli salad from Berkley Bob's. A friend who worked there brought me lots of salads. It was delicious. There was no crunch to the arils. When I have bought arils, they were crunchy, too crunchy for my taste. How do I make them un-crunchy? By the way, I am crunching them, just not enjoying the crunch.

They did have canned food. However, I got what I preferred. I rarely choose a can. Sometimes, there are boxes of produce--fruits and vegetables at this food bank. Could you have imagined a food bank would have so much fresh and nutritious food to offer? Plus, you get to choose?

Friday, November 17, 2017

JC Penney Closing and Giving Away Items


I quickly read the article and think you can order freebies if you are not nearby. If you check this site , you can get your free item. This looks like a good way to get another gift or stocking stuffer.

No, I do not feel better, just worse. It seems this is in head and chest, but I may get over it without going to the doctor.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Don't buy a shredder. Do this.

I suppose I am ill since I am staggering around when I am not sleeping. The last post I was whining a lot.

For years I have wanted a shredder. I think I had one and it burned out or something. However, I have found other means of shredding paper.

Two years ago, I found a $50 fire pit for $29. I have never used it, but it is not something that will melt away. I may sell it or not. I am afraid of starting a paper fire in the back yard. I know the screen top will keep the fire inside, but the floating fiery paper scares me. What if one floats away despite my best intentions. In the meantime, I get things shredded free.

Open fires and burn barrels are illegal in this town. However, if it called a fire pit, backyard fires are okay. All the houses around here are wood, so a fire could be devastating. Of course, a fire pit used properly is covered with a screen.

The senior center allows seniors to shred paper for free. I did this about a dozen times until I could not longer bend and stuff things into it without pain then for the rest of the day.

My bank shreds things for me. Mostly, I just give them pertinent information from envelopes and forms I get--letters, bills, statements. Every few months, I give them a small packet of statements from them. I take a good sized envelope and stuff it full of tiny bits of paper with my name or ss# or account number on them. I cuts down on the volume of the shredding by doing this.

Some entity in town sponsors a free shredding event. You can bring one bag of stuff to shred. I missed the last one and am prepared for the one after Christmas, first of the year. You drive up, hand them the bag, and leave.

Maybe you work in an office that has a shredder you can use once in a while without taking advantage.

I am not suggesting you wrongly use resources at work. We were welcomed to shred personal papers.

I worked at a place where several businesses shared a shredder. It was about the size of two chest freezers and could handle big shredding jobs. It could handle a two inch book. It just growled a little more.

So, I no longer want or need a shredder.

Your turn
What other way do you have to shred things for free? Are you brave enough to burn things?.

Anything Else?

Monday, I cut my right thumb on the first knuckle on the side near my index finger. I did not realize anything was wrong until Tuesday. Well, I knew I barely nicked my thumb, but it did not hurt until Tuesday. By then, it was infected. This is the hand that has the broken bone that still hurts.

All day Tuesday and since, my left nostril has been runny along with my left eye. Now, my eye hurts in the outer corner and there is a place on inside of nostril that is sore and hurts a lot.

Wednesday, I moved my head slowly and barely to the left. It felt like someone stabbed me in my shoulder blade. I could not move my neck to right or left without pain. Now, the pain is up my neck on the left side.

Brushing my teeth, typing, looking for traffic by turning right or left hurts. Washing dishes is excruciating. Mixing a meat loaf, putting on or off my pants is not fun. Steering the car is dicey. Plus, I sneeze at the most inopportune time. I suppose I will wear plastic gloves to form the meat balls I have started and quit because my thumb hurt.

I certainly will wear gloves even to handle the bulbs. Yeah, I don't want dirt on my thumb.

All this sort of eclipses the back hurting.

I am going to lie back down and try not to think of this by lying very still. And, I will consider how hard it is going to be to wash my hair which is beyond needing washing. Most of these pains are not much, but all together, I can do nothing, nothing I tell you, without pain.

I ate a cookie, but that did not help. I might even whine a bit while my eyes are closed.

More Bulbs: Food and Flowers

Today, I had to return something to Lowe's and got a store credit. Red onions were reduced 75% to $1, so I purchased one bag, 120 of those. Garlic was reduced also, so I have a bag of those. Plus, I will have tulips again this spring since they were reduced, too. .

I really need to find someone and sell about half these 240 onions I now have. Maybe a trade? Or, maybe I will share just a few and try to plant all the rest.

While I was at Lowe's I was talking about the hosta that just disappeared and wondered if the chipmunk ate them. The person told me everything loves hosta. I had about a half dozen hosta that were almost three feet across. Some were smaller. That bed was very bare in the end! I only have one hosta left, and it is in a pot. However, two others in pots just disappeared as the roots were eaten. The person assured me only daffodils were safe from everything.

From now on, all citrus peels go around my potatoes, garlic, onions, and flower bulbs. I may have to bury/plant all these in deep pots and cover the tops with hardware cloth. There is orange spray for the yard that will drive them out! Moles and voles hate orange, so maybe chipmunks do, too.

If anyone knows of a way you have used to fend off these chipmunks or kill them, let me know. If you just read it on the internet, I probably have read that, too.

Keep your fingers crossed that I will have onions, potatoes, and garlic for spring. I would hope for tulips, but that will not kill me to have those eaten.

Your turn
Do you have things eaten by chipmunks? What do you do to deter them or how do you kill them?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Potatoes and Onions and Garlic

For the first time, exbf saw my little potato plants. He was duly impressed. I keep my watering can by the pot and water them every other day if it does not rain. At night I cover the pot and uncover it every morning. I told him I traded chickens for potatoes to tend.

He was not coming right behind me, so I asked him what he was doing, sort of muddling around on his two canes. He was searching for a safe place to pee. Unless someone looks through the knot hole in the fence, he is safe. I need to get him a bucket so I can spread the urine, either for fertilizer or for scaring raccoons away.

Right now, I have a flattened cardboard box to cover the potato plant with a pipe to hold it down against wind. Soon, I will take one of the oven racks and attach white material to it so I will not have to remove the cover every day. Sun and rain can reach the plants. The setup will be like a row cover, only a pot cover. Tomorrow, I need to add more dirt to cover the potato plants.

Someone told me potatoes can stand almost anything except frost. I suppose that is true. The cloth will keep the freezing winds from their tender leaves. It is the freezing wind that kills.

While I was peeling Russets last night, I noticed minute sprouts forming. So, I cut three and put them in a dark cabinet to sprout more. Maybe I can plant these if things go right.

Today, he took me to Lowe's to return something. That was a fail. However, I always sneak away to the plants. Since it was warm enough even with no socks and just a thin sweater, I was in no hurry to come back to him. He puts the seat back and sleeps, anyway.

Flower bulbs were 75% off. As I continued to the other side of the display, I found that food bulbs were also 75% off. I purchased a bag of yellow onions, 120 plants for only $1, including tax, originally $3.75.

At that price, if I get three big yellow onions, I will break even. So, now I need to find a place in full sun to plant 120 plants or give some away.

I may buy garlic to plant tomorrow. I would love to have some tulips this spring. Remember the year I posted tulip pictures in every other post?

Your turn
Does anyone plant potatoes, onion or garlic this time of year? Remember, I live in north central Alabama. Any hints? Do yellow or white onions grow best?

I think my blog is broken

The blog post, Giveaway, is showing when I posted another after that on Tuesday. I am hoping this new post will knock the Giveaway post out of the way. Here goes.

Oh, good. Now you can read the blog post just before this.

1, 2, 3, 4 Free Things on Sunday

I posted this on Sunday and only about ten people viewed it in 24 hours. The giveaway post still showed up on other people blog rolls. I have no idea what is wrong with Blogger. Even when I reverted the giveaway post to draft, it still showed up. Okay, I am hoping more people view this. I hope it shows up when you click on my blog on a blogroll. Let me know.

1--Friday, I received a flyer with the Publix Thanksgiving tasting event. I needed apples, and the apples from Publix are superb. I also took a tiny sample of the ever-present potato cheddar bacon soup at the deli. Between the one-day samples and the soup, I had lunch.

These were all recipes for Thanksgiving. Samples were available.

*Greek Style Chicken Breast Dip
This was available ready made. I would have just eaten it with a spoon from the deli container. My sample had two large chunks of chicken breast.

*Sriracha Shrimp Fondue
Did not go near this station. No shrimp or sriracha for me.

*Spiced Tree Nuts
It was like pulling hen's teeth to get the person to tell me what tree nuts he had--pecans and walnuts. These were delicious. But, why did he insist they were "tree nuts"? My six pecans were yummy.

*Caramel Pecan Crunch Decadent Dessert
Good, but I would have skipped this. It was too sweet for me.

*Publix Premium Egg Nog Ice Cream

*Warm Pumpkin Mallow Dip
Great, lots of real pumpkin in the recipe.

With the three ounce sample of the aforementioned potato/cheddar/chicken soup at the deli area, I needed no lunch.

2--Each week, I check online to see if the coupon inserts are worth paying $2 for the paper. I had not checked yet. However, when I went to the car after going to Publix, there was a yellow bag underneath my windshield. It held nine coupon inserts. The same friend that met me and gave me inserts for so long and then left them on top of the car at Walmart, had left more inserts while I was parked at Publix. Today, there was no paper in my yard from a neighbor down the street. So, this worked out fine for me.

This friend was a young 18-yr-old when I was mid-30s, and I showed her how to use coupons and the basics. She was impressed with the savings. She is a nurse now, 30 +years later and has a daughter that she says is better than she is at finding bargains using coupons. I did not help her to benefit 30 years later, but it has worked out that way. She still uses coupons.

After going through the nine inserts, I found several coupons I will use. All these things will go on sale for Thanksgiving, so all I have to do is match these coupons to the best sale.

3--On the way to WM I passed something in the middle lane, the turn lane, also known as
"the suicide lane." It appeared to be s small, round, metal aluminum tub, so I turned around and went back, parking right in front of it in a bank entrance. It looked sort of gross, so I wondered if it were nasty, well, too nasty for my trunk. No, it was not, it only had wet leaves in it. I slung them out, stuck it in the trunk and congratulated myself on my find.

It looked old. The pan was about 6" deep, 16" across at the top and about 14" across at the bottom and had a hole to hang it, aluminum. I have a larger one I bought for $1 at a yard sale. It was so new the label was still on it.  If this one does not leak, I can wash it to use to put produce in to bring in. If it has a leak, I will make the hole larger and plant something in it. The whole pan looks like it was beaten. The bottom is very rounded from some sort of pounding, so it does not sit flat. I really like it. And, it was free.

4--Oh, and I got more free sweet potatoes, about three pounds.

How have you done on the "free" front lately? Do you or have you ever picked up something from the side of the road or the middle of the road?

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Go Right HERE to see all the goodies sluggy has in her new giveaway. You just know there is chocolate.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day

My mother was a veteran. She was a WAC in WWII. I have many male relatives who were veterans, but my mother is the only female who was a veteran.

Today is my little brother's birthday. He would have been seventy-years-old.

I saw a bunny at the corner of the yard at about dusk. The appearance of a rabbit makes me happy as I hope the sight of one means fewer raccoons come around here.

Today, when I went out to uncover the potato, there were about ten or more birds in the chickens' chain link dog pen. The birds were going wild, trying to get out since I was sort of near them. I just stood and watched. I could hear a dove, but the birds looked like mocking birds. They moved so fast back and forth, slamming into the chain link. I wanted to let them out, but as I moved closer, they bashed them selves harder into the chain link. Finally, only as they landed on the wire did they manage to get out. Flying straight into the chain link did not help them get through. Only when they landed did they manage to escape.

I never did see the dove. Tomorrow, maybe I can locate it. For years I had a pair of doves live in my yard. They did not move far as I can hear them often.

Last night, I covered the potato plant with a piece of cardboard and had to go out early to uncover it. Since it was 30 degrees here last night, I am glad I ventured out with a flashlight. Now, I have to go out again to cover it. The plant seems to be thriving. YAY! It seems to get dark, not only sooner at night, but faster. There seems to be no gradual sunset. That could only be my perception. Maybe sunset starts about 1 pm.

Birmingham, AL had the oldest and largest Veteran's Day Parade in the world. There were events here in my town, but I didn't leave the yard

Your turn
Are you a veteran? Did you attend any events today?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Recipe Found, Free Cone etc

Okay, I found the recipe. A blogger I read stepped forward for me. Cheapchick had posted the recipe and a picture. Thank you. I cannot wait to try this.

If you fill a Christmas Child shoebox, the DQ in my town will give you a free ice cream cone. I have no idea if this is available in all their locations. Their cones are expensive--$2. Of course, I prefer the free sandwich that Chic-fil-A gives for a filled box.

Frost is expected in some areas tonight. It has been pitch dark for an hour, but I need to go take care of the potato plant and cover it. The plant is about four inches tall but still has tiny leaves. The leaves are growing larger, but they still are not full size like the should be and will be.

Today, I got my hair back. My hair had not left, but it was surely a mess. The last thing J did was to trim my hair, just the bottom. I cut my bangs and finally put color on it. I had messed up the last two colorings, so this time I did it right. Once, I washed the color off after only ten minutes. The time before, I missed places. now, I feel decent for the holidays. Of course, the color and bang trimming will have to be done twice before the end of the year. My bangs grow faster than the rest of my hair. My stylist said so. I feel ready now.

Since I cannot bend too much and not for very long, today, I did some more cleaning of the refrigerator shelves. Well, I dragged out things to toss or to put where I can see it. The wiping of the shelves will be another occasion. I cannot do it all at once anymore. I spent two minutes today.

I did one more thing in the yard today. It is so minor but is shaping things up. I had two of the little nursery three packs that had dirt in them sitting on a table. They were dumped into another larger pot of dirt. All this will go into the trench from the water line installation that still is a dip in the yard. I only have one more large pot to empty and repair. Then, all my pots are ready for next year.

If I had the energy. I would wash the little three cells to use for starting seeds in the spring. But, they will have to go in the trash.

My neighbor dragged the hose back from the trash. I think I can salvage it for another year. I had him drag one of the trash cans back into the chicken yard so I can get the paper plates and such picked up. I need to get ready for chicks.

Things happen slowly around here. And, this is my Friday night. How about yours?

Your turn
Are you going to fill Christmas Child boxes this year? If you color your hair, do you ever miss places, leave color on for the wrong length of time, or wait too long to apply color. Have you gotten your pots and garden stuff ready for the winter? Have you ever been ready to toss something but snatched it back at the last moment to rescue it and give it one more year, one more chance? Have you found that with injury and/or age you move more slowly and accomplish less?

Help me find this recipe post on someone's blog!

I saw a recipe on a blog I read. The person had made pizza crust without yeast. I always think I can remember where I saw things, on which blog. Obviously, I cannot. Did you see this yesterday or the day before? Or, I could have been just reading through the blog to a week ago or more.

Thursday morning, I awoke at 3:45 very hungry. My stomach actually hurt. So, I had about a half cup of milk. That did not help. I ate a whole Red Delicious Apple. That caused the pain to stop. But, now I was feeling overfull and I ate cold stuff and was not at all sleepy. So, I was awake for about another four or five hours until I became tired, not sleepy, just tired. So, I took a nap.

I just never awake in the middle of the night hungry. Maybe it is because I had a very strange Thursday evening as far as food goes. I ate about 3/4 cup of leftover spaghetti sauce with only Parmesan cheese on it, sort of like soup. Then, I split a bun and had cheese on it under the grill. Then, for some strange reason I wanted tomato soup about an hour later. I usually eat about one can of tomato soup each year.

Friday afternoon, I saw this huge cup of leftover soup and thought it was spaghetti sauce, so I decided to butter and grill the other bun by slicing it like a loaf of bread, butter it, put it under the broiler and having it with spaghetti. I put it in the oven and discovered I did not have spaghetti sauce, just more tomato soup. Bummer!

I had blueberry jam on the toasted bun with a glass of milk. As much as I had wanted the tomato soup on Thursday, I did not want it on Friday. I ate it anyway. I was not a happy camper at lunch. Tonight, I had ham, lettuce, tomato and cheese on a bun. Then, I stuffed myself on a banana and an apple, chopped up together with a bit of Miracle Whip.

Exbf will not come tomorrow as we planned. Since his next day off is Tuesday and there is a lunch, I just told him not to come. Plus, I had not cooked for tomorrow. I was only going to put carrots and potatoes in the crock pot and later add cabbage.

I could still do that and we could have some of this center cut of ham. But, I wanted to bake lots of sweet potatoes and give him a half dozen or more to take home. It was a certainty I was not going to get it all done. So, he can stay home. I will sleep late and then bake sweet potatoes. He can rest, too. He probably needs it.

So, this was not at all interesting, but it happened.

Your turn
Do you ever awake in the middle of the night famished? With severe hunger pains? Have you happily looked forward to a leftover you saw in the refrigerator and discovered it is something else? I knew someone who thought he was getting pudding from the refrigerator and discovered upon a big spoonful it was congealed fat!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Reading the Grocery Ads

For the last several weeks, I have not read the grocery ads that come out on Wednesday until the weekends or even the next Tuesday, the last day for those prices. Today, I brought the paper right in the house and read the ads, mentally noting what I need that is on sale this week. Well, nothing.

Not having price-matching has not been a real downer like I thought it would. For one thing, the price of milk problem pretty much ended when I had to buy the expensive a2milk. Milk may be free elsewhere, but to avoid problems, I just buy the expensive $4.29 milk. Since it goes 2/$6 ever so often, I just stock up then.

Once price matching ended, Walmart had white grapes for about $2/lb. Other prices seem to have fallen there. Plus, Publix has beautiful, cheaply priced Delicious apples. I am not distressed any longer about the abolition of price matching.

There were still good sales this week, but nothing I needed or cannot wait to get the best price later. I need butter, I want cream cheese. Cabbage is cheap enough. I will get excited when the cream cheese is on sale but will not go overboard. Otherwise, there is nothing I need in the meantime. I don't even need cream cheese. It's a vague want. I did buy one box of Stove Top Stuffing that was on sale for $1 just in case for some reason I don't feel like making dressing at Thanksgiving.

I do need boneless, skinless chicken breasts. It seems they are the same price everywhere--$1.99/lb. That makes me think there should be a lower price coming along soon. Of course, if it is not a local store, I will not be able to buy at that price.

The price of celery at this time of the year pulls me. I cannot cut enough celery to dehydrate because of the broken bone in my hand. I may set exbf to slicing celery. He never minds doing things involving a knife when I need it. I will check before I buy five heads of I still have dehydrated celery from last year, so there is really no need to buy it for the dressing.

Onions, dehydrated last year are just about gone. So, I may buy sweet onions or white onions to dehydrate when they are on sale. I did look for those in the ads. I can only slice onions outdoors, so it will have to be a pretty day. Vidalias are tolerable when diced indoors.

There is plenty of ground pork here and I am slowing eating a center cut slice of ham. It is sooo salty that I only eat a tiny piece at one time.

I need no spices, no matter the price! I rarely buy cake or brownie mixes, but I have a few and that is enough for now. I even gave some spices to J as she was moving.

A friend gave me pecans and promised me more. Another person gave me about ten pounds of sweet potatoes, so I may not make my trip to the sweet potato farm. Of course, I usually buy forty pounds out there. We will see. I love free produce! It is the best price ever.

Reading and studying the ads this week was interesting, but nothing has shown up that I want or at the price I want to pay. Basically, I am looking for the things I use all the time. Plus, I will look for items to dehydrate, especially onions and celery on sale. Then, there are the seasonal items or things used in holiday cooking--cream cheese, eggnog, more cranberries to cook, freeze or dehydrate.  I will have to have one small container of Cool Whip.

Your turn
Do you study the grocery ads each week? Do you shop at multiple stores? This time of the year are you planning on stocking up at the best prices of the year? What do you look for? Do you stock up before Easter and other holidays?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Week in Review So Far and Forward

Colored leaves? No, the oak is shedding brown leaves as the green ones hang on until they are brown. There are no bright yellow leaves coating my car this year, just brown bits stuck to the car. And, the rain has them plastered to the ground. Brown carpet anyone?

Monday, I was stressed and tired after dealing with J. I set my alarm to go to one of the lunches I love on a Tuesday. That was my one thing on the list of things to do on Tuesday.  J sounded pleased to go, no hesitancy when I asked her if she wanted to go.

Monday night, I folded three loads of towels and such, about 50 washcloths. The sitting up, even on the bed, hurt my back. But, it was so rewarding to see clean and folded laundry. I set the alarm for 8 am. I awoke at 12:03 pm! I set the alarm, but I did not set the alarm switch.  I was fit to be tied. I missed the lunch!

I only had one thing left of the list after she cancelled going with me to get things for her--going to lunch and by myself. Monday about 3 pm, J called and said she felt like crap and would not be able to go in the morning (Tuesday). In a very stern voice, I asked her exactly how she knew she would feel in 18 hours. I asked her what the real reason was. Her pitiful, weak, sick voice went away. In a very harsh tone she said, "Okay, I just don't want to go." I countered with, "Not even for free sheet set, pillows, and blanket plus food?"

She explained that it was so much easier having all their bills in one payment each payday. It is easier than having to pay a bunch of bills. She went on and on about her economy of paying one bill. I told her bundling is more expensive, always, that I had done that with my communication needs, like phone and internet, and tv, that mine was NOW all under $100 BY NOT BUNDLING,and I still had a smart phone to use away from the house for making money. (now, that will happen in two weeks.)

She was amazed and recovered quickly, saying her bf was going to give up their phone since they could use the hotel phone for free. Her relatives are long distance, plus she needs to call parole officer several times a month. When I reminded her she could not use the motel phone for long distance calls without paying for the calls, she just sounded confused. Obviously, she does not know that phone service can be set up not to accept long distance calls.

So, the list below meant nothing. I wasted my time on a plan and was so tired and disgusted with her I forgot to set the alarm!

This was the plan for Tuesday:

sign up at one food bank
go to place that will give her some of this stuff she needs
go to one of the lunches (0nly thing for me!)
go back to 1st food bank to get bedding where we will be in line by signing in
get food for both of us
get sheets if not gotten at first one
try to stuff all our freezer stuff in my half-full freezer
put the rest of her refrigerated stuff in one of my crispers
take her to free clinic (more later in post)

Then, she canceled the day.

She made $20 washing my friend's truck and cleaning trash from the inside. He wants her to do the same for his car. She will not keep in touch to make money.  I imagine she has gone back to drugs. But, it is apparently easier to rent pillows and other bedding than to take help and time to get it free.

At the free clinic, she can obtain the free extraction of her teeth. I read about $299 dentures. No, she will not do that, just say how ashamed she is of her teeth and lack of some teeth rotted and broken to the gum line.

When she was working, she was eligible for food stamps. No, too tired, it's my day off, bf is home today, bf will be home for lunch soon, I am about to start, I just started, host wants me to sweep house today, host is talking to me, cannot find nauseum. Now, she is not eligible because she is an adult with no children in her care and is not working!

It is cold in here, 46 degrees outside, and rainy. I need to hang clothes on hangers to dry and cook something warm.

I  am thrilled beyond belief that I have not been ill or needed antibiotic most of September, all of October, and so far in November! Sometimes, I get an earache, but it is because I forgot to take one of the meds I need. Now, the goal is to be well for Thanksgiving. Last year, I had a plan to go to friend's house but just felt to ill.

Looking over the food, I only need a turkey or turkey breast. Are you set?

Butterball Cost and Mavis' Granola Bar Recipe

Thursday, I will tell you why today did not happen as planned yesterday.

The only thing I did Tuesday was run to WM to see if sugar and other things were as cheap at my Walmart as they are at Kim's WM. They aren't. But, I got cornmeal to make cornbread for dressing. I also purchased Devil's Food instant Jello Pudding. I may have Chocolate Pie for Thanksgiving.

Today, I found more of the cookies from the UK. One is a very crumbly cookie that could sub for a pie crust. I have it; it was free. I like chocolate pie. The crust won't need much sugar or butter.  I will put in much less than that crust calls for.

I saw turkey breasts and checked the price. All the Butterball boneless turkey breasts are 3 lbs. and cost $10.98. Hopefully, a different brand will be cheaper.

This granola bar recipe sounds great, so I got miniature chocolate chips. I will let you know how it tastes. Mavis vouches for it, so I am sold.

There were no coupons for any of this, sadly.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Mealtime Pet Peeve

This is a biggie for me. I was watching The Chew as I cleaned out my purse. Mario, I think, had made a baked potato casserole with a crunchy topping, baked in the over. There was bacon in the topping, so you know it was delicious.

As they each dipped a helping onto a plate, I was alert. This is the source of my pet peeve. They dipped through the top and all the way to the bottom of the very deep casserole.

I have gone to Thanksgiving dinners with a sweet potato casserole on the buffet table where we filled our plates. There is always one person who just scrapes off the topping with little underneath. Well, maybe that's okay. However, the person will inevitably manage to slice off a piece of the topping that is about 4" x 6"! Now, on a 9" x 13" casserole, that is approximately 1/6 of the casserole topping. The person leaves behind about 90% of the underneath. If there are 12 people present, often more at this one house, only a few people get any of the topping.

When someone rightly calls out the offender, the offender is all innocent: The topping was crunchy and hard to cut. My response in my head: Then why did you start your chopping half way down and did manage to cut a huge piece when you could have successfully chopped off less to begin with?

At a meeting, a woman took almost half of the topping of a 9"x9" sweet potato casserole. There were 8 people at the potluck Christmas meeting. She was the same woman I watched stick her hand up to her wrist in a bucket of chicken and stir it around in a search for the piece she wanted. At still another meeting, she handled cold cuts, all of them, trying to get a few pieces for herself. I pointed out there were forks for serving. She seemed surprised there were forks. I usually ask for something if I cannot see anything to serve food. I mean, who wants to eat cold cuts when she has handled the whole plate full, almost every slice? I quit going because she was always first to the sideboard/counter.

However, cutting off the topping and scooping it without the corresponding filling underneath is going to make me burst a blood vessel trying to be quiet. One time, the host did not stay quiet, but blurted out loudly, "Who took all the topping and left none for anyone else?" A quick look around solved that quandary.

Children can be "helped" or directed. But, adults?

Oh, feel free to scrape off all the marshmallows from the sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. You can have mine.

Your turn
Does getting all the topping from casseroles bother you? Okay, what are your other pet peeves you will observe during this season of casseroles, desserts, and strangers or friends? Food pet peeves?

Pretty Potato Plant

My potato plant is emerging nicely from the soil. It finally put out leaves....again. Remember, all the leaves fell off the green sprouts before I planted it. I know that once leaves emerge from the soil, the potato plant needs to be partially covered again. However, the leaves are only about 1/4 inch diameter. The leaves that emerged from the sprouts were about a half inch diameter.

Unless someone has a better idea, I am not going to cover them with dirt yet. I used potting soil for this potato. I have a bag of yard soil to use, too. Are either of these better or detrimental for my purposes? Help!

I am pleased as punch that these have not been discovered by the ground squirrels or chipmunks, whichever the little stripe-y monsters are called. Maybe they don't like potatoes. Cats around here are falling down on the job.

Tomorrow, I will get J to move large rocks around the plants. Hopefully, the rocks will keep warmth in the pot when it gets cooler. Since the pot is in front of the rock wall of the basement, they should stay warm there.

When I went outside to take a picture which I cannot post, I moved one more pot, just a tiny one. It will all be done eventually.

Your turn
Is the potting soil or garden soil better for the potato? Any reason not to use either?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

SHE RENTS SHEETS! and What I Found

I am seventy-one-years old and did not know you can rents sheets. Where have I been?

Too late for me to do anything about it, I learned she needs pillows and sheets so she won't have to rent them again. They pay $20 a week for two pillows, set of sheets, and one blanket. That is just outrageous.

When they rented the room, they spent the night there. I wondered if they slept on the mattress. ewww. But, I did not ask.

Today, I called her. I have two pillows they can have. They were pillows I bought in about 1977 or a bit later, not sure. I think I used them until a few years ago. They are flat, need washing and have drool stains. I am going to wash these for her and dry them and hang in the sun to finish drying.

She can borrow the old top sheet that covers my plant, and I will wash that, too.

But, I gave her ideas for living with no bedding at all, or at least no pillows. Fold up some of the really large pieces of fabric I gave her. Sleep in more clothes. Cover herself with some of the really large pieces of fabric and her coats. It ain't pretty, but it also saves $20 each week.

She told me that in jail she had used rolls of tp for a pillow or folded up her towel. So, she has seen the ugly.

They were so eager to have "their own place" that they put down a $20 for bedding to do so. Did they not consider all this as they made plans for 13 months to move out?????

The plan come here Tuesday morning. Actually, have her bf to drop her off at the library and wait about an hour until I am ready. THEN:

sign up at one food bank
go to place that will give her some of this stuff she needs
go to one of the lunches
go back to 1st food bank where we will be in line by signing in
get food for both of us
get sheets if not gotten at first one
try to stuff all our freezer stuff in my half-full freezer
put the rest of refrigerated stuff in one of my crispers
take her to free clinic (more later in post)

Whew! I will be dead.

The surprise is that she will help me around here for the help I have given her. There is always something to do that I cannot manage. Besides, bf cannot get her until 5:30.

While she was pulling out the electric skillet, she pulled out a vintage popcorn maker--Mirro, aluminum. I will sell that. There is also a deviled egg plate, new. I bought it because it was dirt cheap on clearance and Easter cute! There is another vintage serving piece, a bunny or something, holding corn on a plate with three round serving dishes around that. Maybe it is a burro. It looks perfect for cinco de mayo. Maybe I forgot what it looks

When I talked to her today, she surprised me. Yesterday, I had corn meal I was not using and knew it would spoil. I asked her if she could use it. She was thrilled, saying now she could make cornbread. She asked if it was possible to make it in a crockpot. I knew it could be done but had no recipe. Today, she said she made cornbread in the crockpot and it was perfect.

She is a good cook. At least, she lets nothing deter her and is willing to try different things to make a meal. She is going to open a can of beans and eat it with cornbread. Bf cannot stand beans but will eat the juice over the cornbread. He prefers grocery shopping for what he wants at the moment.

I think she has native intelligence. But, gumption is missing some times. I know it is her rotten meth teeth that partly hold her back because she said Saturday that she is so ashamed of her appearance. I have made suggestions about that. But, Tuesday, I am going to make her go in the free clinic, get papers to fill out, and watch her do it whether she wants to or not. You have to qualify to go to the free clinic. The first visit takes about two weeks to come about.

I am going to encourage her to buy a set of sheets with the $20. Years ago, someone said a set of sheets was $10 at Dollar General. I am not willing to do much driving and searching. DG is about four blocks from my house. Well, I suppose there is a DG close by most places. Well, we can go to the thrift store, first. She may not find any to be gotten for free.

Lest you assume I am pushy, let me assure you I am. When I taught GED, I called people long after they dropped out of my class "just to see how you are doing and did you get your GED?" One brother and sister did get a GED and told me it was because I kept encouraging them. She thanked me profusely for continuing to show I cared. Oh, I told these people I called/haunted that they did not have to come to my class if they preferred another teacher. No ego involved, just genuine concern.

Read the post just before this about--Are Old People Sleeping Wrong? I posted this just a few hours after posting it.

Your turn
Did you know a person could rents sheets, blankets?

Are Old People Sleeping Wrong?

This is sort of the title of a very interesting concepts. We have historically slept in two shifts each night. I have a friend who really worries about his sleeping habits. Maybe all of us who get up in the middle of the night are sleeping like our ancestors did.

Now, I did not always get up for a bit in the middle of the might. I don't always now. A blogger has a great POST about sleep.

Your turn
How do you sleep? Straight through? Two sleep shifts? Nap in the afternoon?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Too Warm for November and Yellow Cat and The Problem

Publix was on my list of places to go today. I bought hair color for $2 off if I bought two boxes. I did. It's not much of a saving, but every little bit helps. Dole pineapple was $.99 for the large can. Once at home, I could not resist having a pineapple sandwich with Miracle Whip. YUM

According to the weatherman, it was over 80 today. There have been a few trees that dramatically changed in the last few days from green to a brilliant yellow. My trees are hanging in there with green fading to yellow. Years ago, I came  outside to a shower of yellow oak leaves falling after a mist or fog to dampen my car.  My white car was yellow. As I approached the car, I could barely  see a yellow cat sitting on the hood of the car. The car covered with leaves and the yellow cat were indistinguishable. I could not get the camera out fast enough, so I missed a good shot.

Today, J came a little before 8:30 to help me to pay back the last $5 of gas money for the trip last week. Most of these things were the ends of jobs I had already paid her to do. I had cut my bangs, so she trimmed the length. She only cut a half inch, but it felt like three inches. And, it feels and looks good.

She had left grass in the lawnmower bagger, so I had her wash it out, and sit it to drain. I hope she actually got the grass out as she said she did. She left the table in the wrong place last time. She left a five-gallon bucket with bits of construction wood and limbs in it right were it could be seen from the road, but sitting in the back yard. I hate things like that. Keep anything unsightly in the back if it must be left in sight at all.

I had her drag the hose to the curb as it is so kinked and hard I can not longer squeeze the dozen kinks out to get water. When I was the only person who handled my hose, I checked for kinks every time I dragged it back into the basement.

As usual, I had to stand and watch every move she made inside because she cannot make rational decisions, she would break things, and I needed to show her what she could have. I gave her four coffee cups that she was happy to get since they have to drink out of tall coffee thermos things. Two of the cups

While we were out, I took her to the Little Free Pantry and sat in the car while she got things she needed. When I offered to drive her there other times or offered to sit while she went into a food bank, she would say, "We have too much food!" I commented that no one could have too much food.  This is all non-perishable.  Now, she gets it because they cook in the little crock pot and he usually takes a sandwich for lunch.

I had told her she could have my electric skillet, but she could not locate the cord. I do not want to give it to her, have her disappear, and me have the cord. So, I told her to put it back. She rammed and shoved, hitting breakable items. She fumed, pouted, snorted, and declared it was too hard as she threw up her hands over and over and she was frustrated. So, I had her to leave it on the stove, right in my way. grrrr I know I can find it, but it will hurt me.

My friend picked her up at noon to clean for him, and she had him drop her off where her bf works at 2 pm..  I forgot to warn him she shuts down for bf. Her excuse today--"well, it is a holiday."

I had gone to Publix and to doctor and was in WM parking lot when she called me. Her bf was on his lunch and needed to drive her over 10 miles home, wait while she fixed his lunch, and then go back to work 10 miles back. She wanted stuff left in my house NOW! Then, she exploded and said she supposed she would just lose her stuff at my house. Finally, could bf pick it up after work. NONONO I was halfway home by then and was so disgusted and tired.

So, she had me just wait at home for her...grrrr. WAIT? !!! In order to get him back to work on time, they went out to eat using the $20 she made from my friend.  She came by here and got her hugs bags of food and items from my cabinets, he drove her over ten miles home and came back to work. Between Subway subs and Cokes and cigarettes, she has nothing to show for her work today. She had asked me to buy cigarettes today since she only had five left. I did not because my check comes on Monday. He was angry at her, so she offered up her money that they need. He got his fast food that he loves, and she was drained of her money.

They are getting a new place in the same building in which they live. Instead of one room and a bath, they are going to pay $50 more for a place with bedroom and living room/kitchen and bath.  I raised my voice, incredulous at what I was hearing. She said it would be so much better until they could get a better place. It is hard to watch this long slow slide downward.

Oh, his boss caught him watching you tube when he was supposed to be detailing. So, now he must leave his phone in the car.  He is a screwup.

Since there was no cell phone or you tube when I was young, I have been trying to figure out what ways people got into trouble on the job back in the 60s. Can you think of anything? Remember any time wasters on the job?

She is wanting a cat or dog. They can barely take care of themselves, and she is allergic to cats. hmmmm

These are actions and attitudes of many of the Food Stamp recipients. So, while I wonder some days what they are doing and thinking, I have an ever-present example here to drive me nuts and further baffle me. However, I do need her cheap help.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Almost Frugal Lunch and SAD Light

Today, exbf and I had a mostly frugal lunch. I bought one of the $2.98 salads from WM, and we halved it. Half the salad was plenty. We had slices of free Granny Smith apples and a half piece each of cheese toast I made on Texas toast. We were full, and only The salad was bought today.

The salads are in a bowl with a fork. Ingredients are Romaine, chicken, cheese, and Caesar dressing. Each bowl has 230 calories and 16 grams of protein. These are a healthy splurge. And, I know exactly how much I have eaten.

I asked him what he wanted for lunch. A lunch of two sandwiches for $4 was discussed as was a grilled cheese. I finally decided what we ate. Two people eating for $3 is good. I know it could have been better.

For dinner I threw potatoes and carrots in the crock pot and those cooked while I napped. He had two of the frozen, skinless chicken legs I had frozen for him. Those along with carrots and potatoes were dinner. He left full and happy. Strangely, there were not the numbers of potatoes and carrots I had planned. I was tired and decided to come back in a few minutes. I never did; I took a nap.

Altogether, it was a rather frugal day for eating. I did buy loose carrots for dinner and beyond. Plus, there were pretty cabbages for future cooking. I got a cabbage along with carrots and the cheap salad--$8.01. That makes $14 so far this week.

I sent him home with two packages of cooked and frozen legs, two in each package and one with bbq sauce. Three good-sized potatoes and two carrots from the crock pot will be eaten with the two package of chicken. I thought I put in four more potatoes and two more carrots for him. I was tired after lunch when I put on the vegetables. I suppose I cannot count when I am

The candy I bought to replace what I ate was appreciated. He did not even question what I had gotten. I will give him a Milky Way for good measure.  In this case, it is the thought plus chocolate that counts. I even gave him the little purple bag.

One of the potato sprouts has turned sort of brown. The other sprouts have leaves smaller than 1/4 inch.

One pot or piece of whatever, I am finishing the job J did not finish. She left the bagger absolutely full of grass. It will sour. Eventually, the life of the bag will be shortened. Is it any wonder I don't want to pay her full price for a job done poorly? I have given her mini lectures/suggestions on the best way to do a job for future employers. AND, she wants me to give her a recommendation.

I really hate it gets dark so early, and I will really hate DST in the Fall. The next time I go to my doctor, I am going to ask for one of the lights for SAD. I can live without it, but I think I will feel better with it. I feel blah, not at all depressed.

Your turn
Does anyone have a suggestion for the strength of the lights for Seasonal Affective Disorder? I have heard there are better and lesser ones. Should I snip off the brown sprout?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Day of the Dead Free Food and Stuff

Taco Bell was giving out free tacos. I could only think of one thing.

The grocery ads came out yesterday. There was nothing that appealed to me. However, Red Delicious apples were cheap at Publix, so I bought three nice ones for only $1.05. Amazingly, green grapes were ~$2 at Walmart and Publix, so price-matching has not been missed thus far. I only buy single apples, never bags. I always end up spending a fortune on apples since bags have bruised and old ones.

This Spring, I gave J a tiny crock pot. It only spit and sputtered as it boiled away. It is only one-quart but cost me $1 at a yard sale. I think it is about $12 bought new. She reported she put one chicken breast and rice in the little crock pot for their dinner. She actually knows how to cook. He would buy a burger and fries. They moved into a motel room that cost them $249/week. He makes $500 every two weeks.  She said this was just to get out of their host's house on time. I talked to their host last night. He said he asked them every day or so where they were going to move and reminded them of their deadline. There is an electric skillet I do not want. She only has to come by and dig it out of the lower cabinet.

Best news--Every day I look at the potato plant. Wednesday, I noticed that there seemed to be little ruffly things that appeared to be leaves forming on the bare potato sprouts that are above ground. Today, they are actually minute leaves. It appears these potato sprouts will live. This week the temperature will be around 80, so they will be able to grow a bit.

Today, I folded the sheet back so they could get air and more light. Since it is a gloomy, cloudy, rainy day, they did not get a bit of sunshine. If I even get marble-sized potatoes, I will count this a success. This weekend, there will be a "greenhouse" for them so my sheet won't rot in the weather. I will surprise you with the description since I cannot post a picture.

Last night, I was talking to a friend in WM. She said her son just left and did I see him. He was one of those funny and annoying kids in middle school. I would not even call him "bad.
," just annoying. He was the type kid who knows when to draw back instead of getting sent to the office. He has been in and out of trouble, made babies with two girls, lost jobs, spent time in jail. But, he finally grew up, grew a beard, married one of the mothers, and appears to be on the path to being a productive citizen. At twenty-five, he finally "settled down." He had apologized to me after he graduated. I did not know his mother until years after I met him. ...warm fuzzies, here.

I turned on the ac today for at least another week. It was so stuffy for the last few days that I could not sleep.

Exbf is coming tomorrow. Since I did not feel well yesterday and today (from stuffy house and lack of sleep), I need to do things tonight.

Unexpected Halloween Night

At Walmart on Halloween night, many children were in costume and with their parents, either before or after Trick or Treating. Many adults were in costume, too. It was quite a sight.

I came around a corner and there were two children, a little boy about three of four and a little girl about five or six.  I said, "Oh, there is Batman!" The little boy whirled around with a huge smile. He was grinning from ear to ear and started talking, telling me he was Batman. Over and over. He was pulling at his cape, pulling something from underneath, telling me excitedly that he was "nego Batman." Well, it sounded like nego. I said, "Lego?" and he repeated it over and over. He was soooo excited.

He talked when his sister tried to talk and would not give her a chance, making her stammer and start over. He did not listen to me telling him to let her talk. I put my right hand on top of his head and looked right into his upturned face and he still talked. I took my left hand and put my finger close to his face and shushed him. That caused him to stop and grin from ear to ear again. I hoped his father would not mind my finger in his face. But, I was talking softly and looked at the father's face who did not seem to mind.

The little girl was dressed in a long-sleeve t-shirt, black pants, and brown boots. She said she was going to be a black cat when her mother put her hair up in cat ears.  She looked a bit disappointed, but I told her that would be a great costume, so she looked much happier.

The little boy asked me what my costume was going to be. I told him I did not have one. He looked at me, wrapped his arms around me and said, "I love you!" I almost cried. The little girl said she wanted to hug me. I hugged them as they hugged me. The little boy was the height his head was plastered to my breast. The little girl put her arms around my neck and leaned her head on my neck and shoulder.

These were not quick hugs!

The little boy started over with digging at his cape behind, talking about his "Nego" Batman. Finally, I helped him pull up his cape and look. He actually had on a furry Lego Batman something, costume or pajamas. It had a hood and he had a Batman cape on, too. I think they put on two costume parts. He could not say his Ls. Although, he could save "love."

I told the little boy my son liked Halloween, too. He came back and very seriously asked me if my little boy loved Batman.  He was so happy to hear he did. Of course, I got many more hugs.

Later, I found them again, and asked the parents if I could take the children's pictures in their Halloween attire. The children were soooo excited and the parents smiled broadly.

Then, the children started hugging me again and telling me they loved me. I commented to the mother that they were such affectionate children. She commented that they were her "snuggle bugs" especially the little boy.

They were concerned I did not have a costume and hugged me more. Finally, I said I had a costume but could not walk to go out and Trick or Treat. That elicited more hugging and "I love you" from both, especially the little boy.

That is just about the best Halloween I have had in years.