Friday, October 31, 2008


Hope you are having a great day! Love you!

Between the flu shot and all my errand running today, I'm tired and achy.

Errands included a stop at Sherwin Williams to have them mix up the paint for the hallways. Then a stop at Lowe's for two more heaters for the house. I bought one to use in the guest room. We will use it in the living room when we don't have guests. Also bought a heater for our bathroom. Now we won't have to break ice before we use the toilet. Then a stop at Wal-Mart for this and that. Back to Sherwin Williams to pick up the paint before heading back home.

We had lots of trick or treaters. So many that I had to turn off the light after an hour and a half. I didn't give out candy but instead gave out Halloween pencils, notepads, stampers, stickers and small packages of Goldfish.

Plans for the weekend obviously include painting the ceilings, walls, trim and wainscotting in the hallways upstairs and downstairs. Larry did most of the edging this evening. Rolling the ceiling and walls won't take long. It's painting all the woodwork that is going to be time consuming.

I'm hoping to get upstairs and work in my studio this weekend. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm, so maybe some yard work in the afternoon.

Time to turn the clocks back this weekend. While the time change in the fall isn't as bad as the one in the spring, it still messes me up. I'll be dragging all next week.

What's Cookin'?
Nothing! Frozen pizza was dinner tonight.

Tomorrow is the start of November. Time to get serious about the Christmas shopping...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good bye, Charlie!

Had a doctor's appointment today. The annual "shed 'em and spread 'em". I haven't been to the doctor since we moved here, so this appointment was with a new doctor. I believe I'm going to like her. For a couple of months, I have had a skin tag just inside my left nostril. Not only is it annoying as hell, it looks like I have a booger hanging in my nose all the time. There were times I thought about giving it a name. I mentioned that while I was talking to her about removing it. She told me that she would remove it, but she wasn't sure if she would be able to get it numb enough and that it was "going to hurt like hell." She did get it numb and snipped that little "booger" right off. Then she said, "Goodbye, Charlie." We were giggling like teenagers.

She also told me that since I was not doing HRT that I had to "use it or lose it." Therefore, lots of sex. I know I am going to like this lady!

I wasn't going to get a flu shot this year because the only person I'm around is Larry. The doctor said that the flu has already started in North Carolina and it is a particularly nasty strain this year. "And you go to Wal-Mart, don't you? Those cart handles are the worst." Say no more... I'm going to start carrying alcohols wipes.

What's Cookin'?
The sugar cookies are baked. There are pumpkins, ghosts and black cats waiting to be frosted tomorrow. I think this may be my sugar cookie recipe. Still have one more recipe I want to try.

For dinner tonight, I reached in the freezer for a Birdseye Viola! Chicken Primevera. The kitchen challenge today was focaccia bread. No challenge at all. The recipe I used was simple and tastes very good. I found it on recipezaar. You can find a link to the recipe under the links section on the right side of this page.

Busy day tomorrow. I'm making a trip to Wal-Mart (with my alcohol wipes!) and you never know who this weirdo magnet will attract.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Harvest Time

In anticipation of the forecasted freeze this week, I harvested all my herbs Sunday. I finally got them hung up to dry today. There is a lot of rosemary and lavender and small amounts of oregano, marjoram, sage, thyme and tarragon. They are all bundled and hanging in the windows of the sun porch off Larry's office.

I walked around the yard a couple of times today looking for fallen pecans and only gathered a handful. Most of them have already fallen and been gathered. There are about thirty pounds of pecans waiting for me to crack. While the trees in the back yard produced a lot of pecans, the two trees in the side yard didn't have a lot of nuts. Or so I thought. While I was planting iris in the new garden on that side of the house Sunday, I kept digging up pecans that the squirrels have buried. I suppose they will be digging up all the tulips, daffodils and iris I've planted looking for their hidden treasures.

I've been living in the south for almost a year now. And sometimes, I still can not understand the locals. On a quick trip to the store today, I had the opportunity to listen to a conversation between two of the clerks. I know they were talking English, but I have no idea what they were saying. Not only do they talk fast and slur words together, they drop letters or complete words all together. Law, will I eer unerstan?

What's Cookin'?
The Refrigerator Oatmeal Cookies were baked and delivered to Ta for his birthday today.

I've been trying to find a "signature" sugar cookie. I want a dough that is easy to put together and is easy to handle. The cookies should be soft and puffy as well as taste good plain or frosted. I've tried several different recipes, but have not been able to find just the right one. This afternoon I put together a recipe called Butter Cutouts. They are in the fridge chilling and I will roll, cut and bake them tomorrow. I've got some Halloween cookie cutters I will use as I want to give them to the neighbor kids for trick or treat. I'll let you know if this is "The One."

Tonight's dinner was Monday's leftovers. Homemade chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes. Yum! I used the Basil Rubbed Roasted Chicken carcass from Sunday night's dinner to make stock. Then my Kitchen Challenge for Monday was to make homemade egg noodles. I threw away the first batch as I added too much water and knew that adding more flour to make them stiff would make the noodles tough. With the second batch, I was careful when adding the water. The dough worked up well. Of course, the true test is in the eating. Oh my! They were soooo gooood!

Stay tuned to see what mundane-ness occurs tomorrow...

RECIPE - Oatmeal Refrigerator Cookies

1 c. butter flavored shortening
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Cream together shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each; add vanilla. Thoroughly stir together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture a small amount at a time. Stir in oats and nuts. Shape dough into two 8 inch rolls. Wrap each roll into waxed paper or clear plastic wrap. Chill thoroughly. Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies should look soft and puffy when done. Remove the cookies from the oven and tap the cookie sheet so the cookies flatten. Allow the cookies to remain on the cookie sheet for another minute, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

RECIPE - Cream of Tomato Soup

1 large or 2 small cans tomatoes (Stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic work well.)
2 slices onion
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbl. butter
2 Tbl. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. milk

Combine first six ingredients in a 2 qt. saucepan. Simmer 10 minutes; seive. ( I remove bay leaf and put mixture in blender and pulse two or three times as we like it a bit chunky.) Melt butter; blend in flour. Stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened. Slowly add hot tomato mixture stirring constantly. Serves 6.

If you use the tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, sprinkle with parmesan cheese after placing in bowls.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hard freeze coming!

Brrr! Chilly fall day in North Carolina today. The chill was made even colder by the blowing wind. It reminded me of Kansas. Many of the leaves that were clinging to their trees gave it up today.

It would be nice to say that it was cozy and warm in the house but I can't say that as we have NO heat. It is not just a matter of not having turned the heat on yet. I mean we HAVE NO HEAT! Larry took out all the radiators and the boiler in preparation for the installation of central heat and air. WHAT WAS HE THINKING! Then the sale of the house fell through thus no $$$ for the heating/cooling system. We are currently heating the house with two space heaters - one in our bedroom which also helps heat the living room and one in the kitchen. We are wearing lots of layers of clothing.

Today was the first sighting of the "Leaf Suckers". That's what I call our local public works employees whose job it is to suck the raked leaves from the curbs with a huge vaccuum attached to a truck. Every year they hire new workers as it is a temporary job. It was obvious the driver was new as he worked twenty minutes trying to get the truck backed up to a small pile of leaves the other two workers had raked to the corner. He finally gave it up and drove around two blocks to come at it from a different direction. Typical of the "odd" behavior of the natives.

Speaking of odd behavior - Sunday Larry and I watched two guys each rolling two skinny tires with big rims. They had to navigate around the corner then up the hill next to our house. Larry looked at me and spoke the same thing I was thinking, "Do you think they stole them?" Imagine two cars sitting on their axles. One is the car from which the tires were taken, the other the car the which tires are going. If it hadn't looked so obvious, I would have followed them as I wanted to watch them manage the tires on the steep downhill slope of the next three blocks.

Larry and I got out today and voted. What a great thing this early voting! Next Tuesday we will not have to fight the crowds and just sit back and watch the results.

Today is Geof and Carolyn's anniversary. Happy Anniversary to them!

Cameron, one of our young neighbors, had to holler his daily reminder of how many days left until "Trick or Treat."

Darn! I lost my eBay bid on a lot of 32 aprons. There were some cool aprons there.

What's Cooking?
Today I made a batch of Oatmeal Refrigerator Cookies. They were a special request from Jartavious, another young neighbor. He wants some for his birthday tomorrow but I couldn't put nuts in them as nuts get stuck in the big hole he has in one of his molars. "No, thanks. I don't need to see it." Since the recipe makes two rolls, I put one roll in the fridge to bake tomorrow. The other roll went into the freezer for use at a later date. Maybe for Christmas cookie plates?

Dinner tonight was homemade cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Yummy, warm comfort food.

I'm carefully tending a sourdough starter. It has been fermenting since Sunday. This is my second attempt. The first attempt failed as the starter is supposed to be kept in a warm place. Kind of hard to do when the average temperature in my kitchen hovers somewhere around 62F. I put the starter on a top shelf in one of my cabinets and put Larry's shop light next to it. I'm anxious to make some sourdough bread.