Thursday, May 24, 2018

Embracing The Leftovers

Feel free to laugh, but recently I have discovered leftovers for lunch. Today I had leftover sliced beef, the other day I had chicken and last week after I bought a ten pack of burgers for three people, I had burgers minus the buns.

Understand, it's not that I turn up my nose at leftovers. We regularly have leftovers here, since two and a half people are present for meals and most recipes serve at least six. I generally buy family packs of steaks, chops and the like, knowing I can cook once and eat twice. Since my son only eats here half the time, I count it as such.

Nope. It's the lunch thing that messes up the equation. You see, even on a diet I'm a sandwich girl. I'll happily forgo carbs at breakfast or dinner if I can have a really good tuna fish sandwich. Or one made with grilled cheese or egg salad. I have even been known to design my errands around the location of my nearby Which Witch so that I could have their warm egg salad sub. On my non sandwich days I'm likely to have a lean cuisine or healthy choice meal, if only to even things out.

So what's changed? Partly, it's been that my no spend month has been prodding me to clear out the freezer and use stuff up. Partly I suppose it's that my son no longer eats lunch here daily and I know there is extra food to warm up. And of course it may be partly that my tastes have simply changed. It's summer, after all. Who knows. It's summer and maybe I don't want to deal with throwing the bread in the fridge 

Whatever the reason, I haven't completely gone over to the dark side. I am still using up those cans of tuna and occasionally making myself a fried egg sandwich. With, salad, fruit and V8, if course.

But once in awhile, I actually walk into the kitchen. I look at the fridge, check out its contents and yes,  throw some of those leftovers on my plate!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tuesday, At Home

Most of my readers know that I make every attempt to keep myself at home on Tuesday and Thursday or Friday. Sure, I may run out to do an exercise class or take my walk, but mainly those days are reserved for being at home.

I am never bored, never run out of things to do at home, and almost never unhappy. While I would not choose to be home multiple days for the most part, I can generally find plenty of  things to do in those circumstances.  Unless I am sick and hanging in that half light of in between-ness that I experienced during the cold that was worse than the flu period. 

I expect this is because I have a variety of hobbies that are home based or can at least be done at home, and because I've made my home work for me. I'm not talking remodels  or additions here, or even major decorating. I live modestly and comfortably in a 1960s rental house that will always need a little work and I like it that way. I get to travel,  eat out a great deal, get expensive art materials and travel to and help my kids. 

I'm talking about simple changes and repurposed rooms that make this house work for me now. Not the people I used to entertain all the time, not my kidlets, not the neighbor who comes to the front door.  This has meant mainly many small changes, including the repurposing  of those rooms. 

For example, instead of a living room and a dining room on opposite sides of the kitchen, we have a noisy TV room and a quiet room. Long time readers will remember the discussion of what to call this space which is constantly in flux. We settled on the fireplace room. The furniture doesn't match (I'm getting one of those recliners that helps you up in the fall), but it is crazy comfy. And yes, we keep the table with leafs down in the middle of the room. It serves as a landing space, decor central (note wrinkled patriotic quilt just put out), and more. I just asked my son if he thought I  should put said table in the corner and blue chair out in the middle of the room and his answer was no. Maybe next year when the fireplace is in use. We put my son's t-shirt quilt on the blue chair one day when the dog was feeling punky and now he won't let us take it away. He whines when it's ti me to lie down and it's not there!

Meanwhile, today, at home:

I spent a great deal of time reading and meditating in my little swing area, which is now completely covered by the grapevines (yes!) and tree canopy shown below. I think I have enough shade and rain cover that we can wait on making the heated girl cabin in the fall.

I practiced my free motion quilting for a half hour, all my hands could take. Someday, I'll be able to quilt that vintage quilt on my own in the pattern I want.
A spring yard picture
You all knew there had to be a picture of Wilson somewhere!
I started my online course on watercolors through Craftsy, I'll be reviewing that subscription soon.

I spent lunch exploring Airbnb properties on Padre Island for early September. Cottage or condo?

And I finished my day when I had lamb steaks cooked by my son, along with fresh spinach and a salad. It's always great when I'm not the one cooking!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Retirement Musings

I can't even say I overslept this morning. I was awake all right, but getting out of bed and dressed for church was another thing entirely. Fortunately a church down the road has a Tuesday morning service I can make allowing me to get communion-albeit still not on Sunday.......I was wimping out because it's a 50 degree day in the midst of eight degree ones and didn't want to go out in the "cold". Yep, that's me!  

I read somewhere that putting a penny in a vase was good for flowers.  While I'm generally not an expert on flowers, it's been one week since Mother's Day, and here are my tulips, still standing upright.  

Also healthy and standing upright are my fairy garden plants, growing so quickly they may need to be trimmed back. I've removed all the Easter stuff and am getting ready to give her a patriotic theme. I always figure that if I put up Americana decor now I can leave it til at least the second week in July.  My plan is to paint a  miniature light house and then make paper and fabric decorations.

Changing the topic a bit, am I the only one who finds that oatmeal is simply not as filling as other stuff that's  breakfast food? I mean, I use Great Grains that has flax seed and such, have berries and such on top and I still need a mid morning snack sooner rather than later. I alternate oatmeal with eggs and sausage, whole grain waffles and the occasional bagel and lox. And no, yogurt will not work for me. Eww!

Often when I find a new blog or web page, I tend to go down the rabbit hole. I start reading backwards and just keep on going. This week I've been exploring Judith's blog, and Donna's blog. Please check them out and I'll be putting them on the ole sidebar soon. I also found a creative blog, and have already bookmarked way too many projects. If I ever get to a third of, the recipes/projects/places to go/things to do it will be a shocker. But then again, that's the challenge of it all, ya know?  
Purple yarn donation that I'm turning into a scarf for the meals on wheels people. Surely one of their clients will enjoy purple next fall ?

Now, since this weekend has given me a couple "cool" days, I'm gonna use the oven instead of the slow cooker and make a cross rib roast. With redskin mashed potatoes. The kind of cooking that doesn't happen all that often round here. At least when I'm doing the cooking!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday This n' That

My daughter has an open plan ranch with a breakfast bar/pass through above the sink. Because she has two beagles and also fosters, she has a good quality wooden gate across her wide kitchen entry way. The kind that is attached to the wall and locks.  

Right now, shes fostering this adorable little monkey.  Two days ago, she took out some raw chicken breasts to marinate. She left them in a glass sheet on the counter when she had to walk away briefly and get plastic wrap from another room. When she walked back in the kitchen to cover the breasts and put them in the fridge, said dog was standing on the counter next to the food. He had jumped up on a breakfast bar stool, jumped onto the pass through, somehow avoided landing in the sink and was paws down on the counter. It may be time for doggie training camp!

In other news of the week in brief:

1.  While I'm still not sure I'm getting quite as full an aerobic workout as I might, all the other aspects of said chair workout is going swimimmingly according to my body signals. Admittedly I'll still chomping at the bit for the rec center to get the heated therapy pool fixed.

2.  Almost all of my outside the house interactions and social events this week were volunteer or activist related. Always happy when I'm being challenged, spending time with friends and making a difference. Never mind the food and wine.

3.  After spending May mainly close to home and close to the ground, I looked at my June calender today and realized I have every weekend committed as well as more than a few weekday get togethers and dinners. I may have to cut back!

4. We've had some rain this week and things are blooming and glowing. I cancelled two get togethers so that I could simply relax, wallow even, in the lushness of the yard for a few days.

5.  My reset and reorganize chore for this week was my bedroom. I did some rearranging. I decided  I needed matching dresser and night table quilts and chose that fabric. And my closet is completely purged. Possibly overly so. I'll let the bags sit for a week and then check them

6.  I was given some yarn remnants. I found an easy yet unique and warm pattern and have started turning them into scarves. An easy thing to work on at meetings and in class and by starting now I should have a pile for the homeless shelters and meals on wheels users by next fall.

7. This week we had Korean ribs from Trader Joe's. We also had burgers, steak, barbecue chicken, fish fillets and breakfast. Tonight, slow cooked country ribs.  Definitely a carnivore week here!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Best Laid Plans

My exercise routine is slowly, slowly, slowly working itself out. I was shocked to find that two of the best seated routines that I found online are obviously meant for those folks who have been sitting in meetings- kind of like a half hour workout before lunch kind of thing. High-energy but without esoteric moves, if you will. 

Adding that to my leg strengthening program, doing silver sneakers when I can and making an effort to get lots of steps around the house will hopefully keep me until the repair of my heated pool. My extra steps around the house usually come from my being terribly inefficient. You know, taking a glass from the bedroom to the kitchen and then walking to another room for another glass......

Meanwhile......the goal today and yesterday and even tomorrow was for me to be at home. I even took knitting off the calender yesterday. This time of year and early fall are the times I most love the garden  and the patio and I was so looking forward to sitting on the swing and reading, relaxing, and perhaps sewing. Yes, by the weekend I'll probably be more than antsy, but its working for now. 

Today, I've  done exactly that. Exercised at home, played in the yard with dogs, worked on some rearranging of a room, rescheduled my fall trip because I may not be going alone and pulled  frozen fish for dinner.

Yesterday, not so much. With grace and coordination beyond all imagination, I got goopy gunk (aka stitch witchery) all over my good iron. Now, I need my iron folks. I need it clean and I need it smooth. Perfectly smooth.  I never iron clothing, and my husband's shirts were sent to the laundry since memory, no matter the cost. But once I became a quilter? My iron and I have an  almost symbiotic relationship.  

Which is why I spent an hour and a half in the middle of my relaxing day on the search for a not-cheap tube of quality iron cleaner, which I eventually found. The good (or perhaps not good  considering the month) news was that said store was right next to my favorite consignment store.  

So in addition to the goo remover, I ended up with this top and the maxi skirt peeking out underneath. For five dollars each.  Which made me feel much better. As did the steaks and corn my son  cooked on the gas grill. One of the many advantages of multi generational living is having the younger generation cook. And cook he does, very well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Retirement Health.....Changes and Updates!

Yesterday I had an MRI. Of my pelvis. It really wasn't too bad. What with a cloth over my face and classical music in the headphones. But oh, the sound my friends, the sound! This is nothing to panic about. I have a fibroid in my ovary of all places and have been having quarterly sonograms for years to track it. This time I went with the MRI to get more info since I have a family history of ovarian ca. If it starts hurting, I dont even know how one gets rid of an ovarian fibroid, lol.

Apparently my science knowledge is worse than I thought. I joked about someone having the opportunity to win a Nobel prize for inventing an MRI machine and was informed by my daughter that it's an electromagnetic thing and unless the laws of physics  changed, it was not going to happen. At least I had a good idea for minute there.

Meanwhile, after discussion with my doctor, we discerned that I had my first pneumonia shot prior to 60......AND that I had never had the follow up booster. So sometime in the near future I'm off to fulfill said obligation. Something I'm not seriously objecting to after my "cold that was worse than the flu where I could not breathe or stop coughing" experience.

If that wasn't enough, about a year and a half ago (after more than one blog post asking reader opinions), I finely had my shingles shot. Did you know that there is now a better, more effective and reliable shot? The CDC recommends everyone over 50 now have this shot, including those who previously had the other shot. So this will need to be put on my schedule as well!!!

Dont get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I am fully in favor of modern medicine, its miracles and improvements. Remember, I have a husband who died from Hep C a little over ten years ago and now there is a cure. An expensive cure but a cure none the less. So I respect the changes modern medicine makes. Especially in the area of prevention.

It can, however,  be a little frustrating to fulfill the checklist. And realize that the checklist has not just changed, but remains a moving target.

And on that note  I'm off to train someone on my volunteer gig, do lunch and a craft for my homeless women and then come home and experiment with my new self designed, mainly sitting exercise routine.

What does your Tuesday include?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day.....

To all mothers, would be mothers, acting mothers, and those who have mothers! Did I miss anyone?

Today has been a calm and relaxing day. I've enjoyed my alone time while everyone else has been off to the retail and restaurant wars. I went to church and to coffee hour, and then I grabbed that pound of shrimp and some miniature goodies. I also picked up a mini quiche to try.  
Someone gave me this lovely polish pottery wine glass. I don't do wine post menopause but it's too pretty not to use, so.....water.

My lovely children got me flowers, a red lobster gift card for lunch out, and Clark's sandals, my favorite. We'll do family dinner another time and meanwhile I've spent the day relaxing, watching a little TV and reading curled up next to some puppies! 

The perfect Sunday.

Embracing The Leftovers

Feel free to laugh, but recently I have discovered leftovers for lunch. Today I had leftover sliced beef, the other day I had chicken and la...