October 13, 2019

So much to share; so little time

I am failing woefully at posting consistently...hence the title.

Last weekend we took the kids (Man-Child and Bonus-Girl {The Husband's daughter}) to Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia for their birthdays.  At this point, it is just easier to give memories rather than actual "gifts."

Originally, this was The Husband's trip but, at that last minute, I decided to join them.  I had a doctor's appointment early that Friday morning - knowing this, I now know I should have packed the night before....

In my defense, we couldn't get into the VRBO until 2:00 pm, so I figured I'd have plenty of time after the appointment.  And I *did* have enough time, but I also neglected to make a list and to take the weather forecast seriously.

Usually, I pack according to a list so nothing gets forgotten.

Turns out, I forgot my pajamas, robe and slippers.  Fortunately, I remembered that BEFORE we actually got to the house.  If you know anything about Smith Mountain Lake it is in the middle of nowhere.  We ended up stopping at the only option in town - the Dollar General - to cobble together some pajamas and socks.  It was reminiscent of the last time we visited my mother-in-law - same scenario, middle of nowhere PA - and The Husband had forgotten to pack HIS pajamas - Dollar General to the rescue.  

Also before making it to the house we stopped at Food Lion and picked up a few supplies to get us through the weekend, including some baking supplies as I planned on making Man-Child's and Bonus-Girl's favorites - Praline Cake and Key Lime Pie.

I did have the presence of mind while packing to include ingredients I had on hand, so that meant I only had to buy a handful of ingredients when we got there.

As usual, I snagged VERY few pictures of the house or the people *sigh*.  But I fell in love with kitchen island - which isn't "staged" you'll notice - as all of our stuff is all over it.


The owners have renovated extensively, and are apparently still "in progress" with the kitchen as they haven't changed the white cabinets yet.  And yes, that island is as long and wide as it appears; I absolutely adore everything about it.

I was apprehensive about baking in someone else's kitchen with their equipment which didn't include a stand mixer...and I will admit, it was a little stressful, but I pulled it off somehow.  And the kids were both very happy with the results.



The Husband was happy as he was able to do lots of fishing on the dock in the back of the house.  This house overlooks the lake - kind of - there were a LOT of trees between the house and the lake.


I was happy to spend a lot of time out on the back/side porch all weekend.  But remember how I mentioned that I neglected to take the forecast seriously?  When we arrived Friday afternoon, the temperature was hovering in the 90's and was super humid.  But when Saturday dawned, the temperatures had plunged dramatically.


And guess what else I forgot to pack?  If you guessed a jacket or, at the very least, a shirt with long sleeves, you get a gold star.  Luckily, the Boy Scout The Husband had packed a couple of jackets, so I confiscated one and looked like a poor, little urchin for the remainder of the trip.

There was one hiccup to the trip, on Saturday afternoon we stopped at this boutique that was holding some kind of - I don't even know what to call it - there were other vendors set up outside, there was a band (that left before we got there), a catering truck, etc. in this giant field in front of the store.  After Bonus-Girl and I crawled all over the store we met up with the guys who had wandered outside while we shopped.  We decided it was time to head back to the house and as we were walking back to the car, Bonus-Girl tripped over a half of a cinder block that was randomly sitting at the edge of the field and went down HARD onto the gravel drive.  Needless to say, we had to pick gravel out of her palms and her legs will be host to some pretty large and colorful bruises for a while.  Turns out, that lone piece of cinder block had been placed there by the band to hold down their extension cords - and they neglected to remove it.

But, for the most part, the birthday trip was a big success.

Oh, and about that door that I was so hopeful about?  We are back to square one.  I nearly had a seizure when I saw the estimate.  I had one number in my head that I think is a very reasonable number.  The number the company had in their head - that I think is COMPLETELY unreasonable - which was easily triple (or more) of the number in my head.  

Yes, I was disappointed.  But I will forge on.  Eventually, I'll get that darn door...hopefully before I die.

October 1, 2019

A play and the door saga continues...

This past Sunday, my friend two doors down and I attended a play that the local community theater staged.  As you know, I ADORE our local community theater.  We went to see Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee.

Based on the theater's description, I was expecting a funny play - apparently, I missed the last line in the description...

Come to the party, but don’t play the drinking games. The lights are on late at George and Martha’s, as two couples in a quiet college town turn a nightcap into an all-out, all-night fight. Peek through their windows and uncover the devastating truth behind the illusions.

Truly, I knew absolutely NOTHING about this play going in and it was funny and, unexpectedly, also INTENSE.  We enjoyed it immensely but both agreed it was INTENSE.

Here's a link that gives a bit more info about the play - but be warned, if you read the entire article there are spoilers, as in it basically tells you the entire play including the ending, so skip it if this sounds like a show you might like to see.  You can comfortably read the overview though.

And yes, even though it was INTENSE, I would recommend that you see it if your local theater group is planning to stage it.  Especially if your theater group is as good as ours.

A bonus - looking ahead into the season, there are at least two more plays that we would love to see - including It's a Wonderful Life.  Sadly, those tickets are mostly gone even though it starts a good two months from now...apparently, the Christmas shows get snapped up at the beginning of the season.

***

The door saga continues - (the beginning and part two) BUT we may be coming to an end on that particular year and a half old drama.

The Husband mentioned that he had heard about a company that would do the door.  Needless to say, I was skeptical because all of the inquiries we have made have been pretty much ignored.  I get it.  A door is not a big money maker for most general contractors.  I sent the company a message and they actually called the same day.

Of course, I did not answer the call because I don't answer numbers I don't know.  I had meant to enter The Husband's cell phone but, of course, entered mine by mistake.  Once I retrieved the voicemail, I handed the number over to The Husband.  And here is where the miracle occurred.

He called them yesterday morning.  And they actually showed up at my house yesterday afternoon (THE SAME DAY!) to discuss the door!  I was FLOORED when The Husband shared this with me.  They left a book of doors they offer - that happens to have the door I want - and told him that we need to fill out a form online and they will give us an estimate ASAP.

So, fingers crossed that I may have a new door before the two year mark of this ridiculousness comes to pass.

September 14, 2019

A weepy, hot mess...

The title sums up my day yesterday perfectly.

I knew going in that it was going to be a weepy day as one of my friends (a "legacy" employee from the company prior [and, I've just realized that post never really explained the whole story - which may never be told here to anyone's satisfaction] through to the transition) was retiring yesterday.  That in itself wouldn't be too bad (I thought) but yesterday was also my other friend's birthday...you know, the one that isn't here on this earth anymore.

What never occurred to me was that these two events culminating on the same day would turn me into someone who found herself sobbing in the bathroom several times in one day.  And yet - here we are.

Although my friend died almost a year and a half ago, there is not one day that goes by that I don't think of her.  My sweet friend two doors down is the same and this morning texted me because she knew I would be hurting today, just as she was.

I know that the ache in my heart will possibly fade with time; but will never go away entirely.  I miss her so very much.

The other night, the "legacy" employee's wife threw a retirement party for him.  Which looked like a family reunion to us other "legacy" employees as people from the old company - current and retired, mixed with a few of the new company employees, all came together.  At one point, my friend was prompted to make a speech.  He said many things, including how much he loved (most) of us and how much he would miss the people and then he said (forgive me as I quote him), "The one thing I won't miss is FUCKING xxxxx!"  This was proclaimed as his new boss (not a legacy employee) stood in front of him.  Not that there was anything he could do about it at this point.

Here's the thing, the new company isn't so bad - it's just different.  But I think the problem most legacy employees have is that everything - and I mean EVERYTHING - about the old company is verboten.  Even things that worked - but that is a post for another day, perhaps.  It also appears that the parent company can't just leave us to get the job done - they want to micro-manage everything to death, which is one of the many reasons my friend decided to retire early.

I think what was so hard about losing this particular employee - besides the fact that he is a friend - is that is just another little piece of our "family" fading away.  And that's what the new company and the new co-workers just don't get; and probably never will.

We were a family, of sorts.  That legacy employee that retired?  He'd been with the company for over thirty years, I've worked; and socialized, with him for eighteen years.  He literally watched Man-Child grow up since first grade.

On our floor, we only have a handful of the "legacy newbies" (those of us with fifteen to twenty years under our belts) left - and, I suppose, it's safe to say - we aren't the newbies anymore.

September 6, 2019

I Know Everything ...a book review

Are you looking for a fast-paced, intense read?  If so, I Know Everything by Matthew Farrell is the book for you!

A small excerpt from Amazon's description...

"A psychiatrist grapples with his own sanity as murder evidence mounts against him."

A renowned psychiatrist's wife dies in what appears to be a car accident.  But after a series of findings it turns out, it wasn't an accident.  It was murder.  The question remains, who did it?

This is a page turner.  The twists are many and unexpected.

At 329 pages, it shouldn't be considered a "short" read but I enjoyed it so much, I finished it in two days.

A few blurbs about the book:

"I Know Everything takes off like a shot, with a shot, and the pulse-pounding pace never lets up.  Fans of John Sandford and Lawrence Block will flock to Matthew Farrell!? - Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times best selling author.

"Dark and constantly surprising, this is a must-read for fans of twisted, intelligent thrillers." - Mark Edwards, best selling author of The Magpies.

"A page-turner from beginning to end.  Take a deep breath, and hang on - this relentless thriller will keep you guessing until the very last masterful twist." - Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts.

None of these blurbs are wrong.  I don't think I've ever read anything by Matthew Farrell before (I really should start keeping a list of what I've already read!) and I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by him.

August 31, 2019

The "I'm Just Winging It" Gardener's Use of Cardboard.

I have to admit, I was kind of surprised about the questions raised from my last post.  But then I realized, to the uninitiated it could be confusing.

You need to realize that any knowledge I might have is through trial and error over the years, thus the "I'm Just Winging It" in the title.  And throughout those years, I've learned that I despise weeds/weeding and invasive plants - both of which are trying to take over my yard and flower beds.  And that I have many flower beds; including a GIANT one in the back of the house.

So slowly, but surely, I am using cardboard to help cut down on the weeds and prevent the invasive plants from returning after I have tried to eradicate them (this method does NOT help when the invasive plants just pop up in the middle of the yard, which The Husband deals with by running them over with the lawn mower).  Not all of the beds have been done - mainly because I'm still in the process of removing/thinning plants and trying to get the beds exactly the way I want them.

A lot of people use landscape fabric/paper in their beds - I used to do it all the time.  If you choose to use it, I am not vilifying you, but earthworms aerate the soil and the landscape fabric/paper prevents that from happening.  Also, cardboard (plain brown; not printed or shiny, minus packing tape) will eventually break down.  See this article for more information.  In my experience it seems like the landscape fabric just hangs around forever (a slight exaggeration on my part) just getting rattier and rattier.  From what I understand, you can also use thick sections of newspaper - but it seems to me that this method would break down far quicker than cardboard meaning you would have to re-do it more often.  No, I do not know if that is factually accurate - but it makes sense to me.

Generally, I will cut the cardboard boxes flat and then lay the cardboard around the existing plants, covering all bare areas and then cover the whole thing with dark mulch (my preference - you could also use pine needles/straw or a different colored mulch, why you would want to do that is beyond me though, but it's your yard).  This will deter any weeds, etc. from growing.  Eventually, you will need to re-apply the cardboard and cover with mulch, etc.

This really does help cut down on your weeding time.  Especially, if you also utilize Preen, which prevents weeds from germinating in the first place, which they will when birds or whatever drops the seeds on top of the mulch and cardboard.

So there you go...start hoarding those Amazon boxes.

In other yard news - we lost three ornamental plum trees to Black Knot fungus.  It is such a shame because they were so pretty in the Spring.  By the time we noticed the fungus, it was too late.  I think our wet winter contributed to the problem.  Yesterday, the tree guys came by and cut them down.  It was actually kind of amazing because of the technology they utilized.  They were in and out in about 30 minutes - and that included chipping the trees and clean up.

Today, the stump grinding guy showed up.  And that was really amazing because he had this very large machine that he directed via remote control.  And again, he was in and out in about 30 minutes, including clean up.

After some discussion, The Husband and I have decided not to replace the trees for a couple of reasons.  Two of the trees obscured the front of the house and hid most of the front landscaping, including the Japanese maple.  The other one, on the other side of the driveway never even registered with us that it was ours.  Also, The Husband pointed out that their removal would make his job of mowing that much easier.

August 25, 2019

A Place at the Table; a book review (and, today was the day!)

I have literally just finished A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White and ran to the computer to tell you about it.

I absolutely inhaled this book.  Well, to be honest, I sat on it for a bit.  I picked it up when Man-Child and I were at the beach a few weeks ago, but was busy with two other books.  I finally started reading this one a few days ago and have enjoyed every minute of it.

Author of The Help (which I also love), Katherine Stockett's blurb had this to say "Susan Rebecca White is a wonderful writer."  And she's not wrong.

The basic premise of this book is that "three outcasts longing for home come together at Manhattan's Cafe Audrex, a chic gathering place for New York's cultural illuminati."

From the back of the book, "In her most accomplished novel yet, Susan Rebecca White braids together the stories of these three unforgettable characters who must learn that when you embrace the thing that makes you different, you become whole."

I'm actually kind of surprised that I haven't stumbled over this author before now.  But now that I have, I know I will be reading more of her work.

In other news, before I sat down determined to finish this book today; I noticed that The Husband's voodoo seemed to be wearing off.  Hoping to strike before the rain came back, we headed outside bright and early and tackled the area near the front porch.  Of course, we had to stop in the middle to make a trip to the garden center, where I was vindicated when the helpful lady there informed my husband that she also uses cardboard to help cut down on the weeds (he's been telling me that I am crazy).  She also informed him that it was good for the worms.  Now, I don't know about that - but there you go.  And also, of course, I had to make another trip back since we didn't buy enough pine needles.  You will be pleased to note that I refrained from telling The Husband, "I told you so" in regards to the pine needles.  I did, however, tell him that in regards to the cardboard.

Currently, I have yet another batch of bread (hopefully) baking as I type.  I used bread flour and a different brand of yeast, this time around.  It seemed less sticky this time but I expected more of a rise, so we shall see.  Fingers crossed....

August 24, 2019

Maybe tomorrow?

Earlier this week, I was over the moon to see that our temperatures were supposed to drop into the high 70's this weekend.  I announced that this weekend would be a "work" weekend - which The Husband correctly deduced that I meant to rope him in and make him help me with a few projects that would definitely be easier to do in cooler temperatures.  Projects that he knew I couldn't do alone.  These are the times when he misses renting...because a homeowner's work is never done.

The options were endless...

We could clear out the unsightly area near the front porch.  We have a beautiful Japanese Maple that should be the star of that particular show; but, of course, someone (the last owners, perhaps) couldn't bear the sight of any empty space around it - so they threw in a couple of rose bushes, another random plant and some more morning glory. (sigh)

We could work on building the border around the side bed.  I've been itching to do this project ever since my last visit home where my friend's husband was working on a beautiful border wall; that has since been completed and is perfect!

Or we could, once again, tackle the garage.  We only made it so far since our last attempt.  Since then, while we haven't added to the mess, we certainly haven't made any forward motion.

Or, we could tackle those trees in the back...as I said, the list is endless.

This morning dawned nice and cool.  And full of rain.  It has rained practically non-stop all day.  Although he denied it, I'm absolutely convinced The Husband pulled some kind of voodoo to conjure up this rain.

I am holding out hope for tomorrow but not much.

Since my plans were rained out, I decided to take another swipe at making bread.  Yes, I had attempted to make some last week.  While the cake and the crumble were both an all around success; the bread failed horribly.  I could only surmise that I had too much going on and must have missed something.

Today I was completely focused.  And I still failed.  And I have no idea why.  I did everything exactly the way I did it the first time I successfully made it.  It vexes me to no end.

I am determined to master this deceptively simple recipe.  It's obvious that it can be done as evidenced here.  Maybe I'll try again tomorrow, if The Husband's voodoo continues to bring on the rain.

August 18, 2019

Bake and learn...

We are having some of my favorite people over for dinner tonight.  So, of course, yesterday morning found me mulling over what dessert to make - because we all know that's why they are coming...not for whatever scraps The Husband will manage to pull together.... ;-)

Eventually, I had it narrowed down to either a coconut cake (one of the children consistently asks if I have made this every time they come over, so it's safe to say it's his favorite) or a peach cobbler.

The coconut cake I have made before, obviously.  The peach cobbler?  Never.  I have not attempted a cobbler in any shape or form before at all.

Then, me being me, I decided that both desserts would not be too over the top because I can send some of each home with our friends and some home with Man-Child, should he decide to grace us with his presence today.  And whatever is left over The Husband and I can take to work to be devoured.  Plus, I've been trying to break out of my comfort zones when it comes to baking, thus the cobbler.

This time around, I decided to make the coconut cake as a sheet cake rather than a layered one.  I prefer the layered type but it can get messy.  I figured the sheet cake would contain the mess.

Here's the modified recipe I use for the coconut cake (original recipe found here).

Ingredients (Printable recipe here)

White cake (either homemade or boxed is fine)
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk*
1 14 oz can of cream of coconut*
1 16 oz package whipped topping, thawed*
1 8 oz package of flaked coconut

Prepare and bake white cake according to recipe/boxed mix directions.  Remove cake from the oven.  While still hot, use a long fork to poke holes all over the top.

Mix cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk; pour over the still hot cake.  Let cake cool completely, frost with whipped topping and garnish with the flaked coconut.

*If you decide to go with a sheet cake instead of layers, you can probably half all of these ingredients.  Of course, this did not occur to me until I had used a majority of the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk mixture.  So I fully expect this cake to be tooth-achingly sweet.  Something, I am sure, that won't bother the children!



For the peach cobbler, I went with a recipe that I'd found in the paper years and years ago - based on how yellowed the page was...it was simple and straightforward.  So, of course, I completely botched the first batch up!  This is also why I should really focus on one recipe at a time, particularly when making something new; oh well, live and learn.  Or in this case, bake and learn.

Fruit Cobbler (Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
3/4 cup of milk
2 cups of fruit - fresh, canned or frozen (sweetened to taste)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in a medium or large Pyrex baking dish.

Stir sugar and flour together in a bowl.  Stir in milk.  Pour over melted butter.  Do not stir.  Pour the fruit on top.  Bake for one hour.

Seems almost too easy, doesn't it?  First tip - when given the option of a medium or large Pyrex dish; opt for the medium.  Trust me.  Second tip - wear your reading glasses and pay actual attention to the fact that it says pour over melted butter.  How do I have the knowledge to offer this second tip?  Because in hindsight, I only put a 1/4 cup of milk into the flour and sugar mixture as I ended up spooning the mixture over the butter.  But I pressed on.  And utterly failed.

The baking dish was too large so the result was an ultra thin, semi-burned mixture.  So while it tasted okay, it was completely unacceptable.  The entire dish was tossed into the trash and the baking dish is still soaking in hopes that I can salvage it.

Of course, I was undeterred and tried again.  I have a feeling that this time I've nailed it.


The plan is to warm it and serve it with vanilla ice cream - yum!

This morning found me up extra early and what happens when I have too much time on my hands?  Well, I created this post and currently there are two loaves of no-knead bread rising, if that tells you anything...

August 10, 2019

I'm a multi-tasking genius...until I'm not.

As today dawned overcast and not too hot (yet), I decided this would be the perfect morning to attack the two, neglected beds that run along the back of the house.  And considering they are both in the shade in the morning, I determined that this absolutely needed to be done.  Particularly, since the last two weekends were spent out of town and nothing had been done.

I informed The Husband of my plan as he was walking out the door - why he hates for me to work in the yard is beyond me; possibly because he's afraid he may come home to find me laid out in yard with heat stroke.  At any rate, when he tried to talk me out of it I explained that I only meant to spend a couple of hours on it and call it a day.

Famous last words.

So he left, shaking his head and muttering under his breath, while I started the Roomba so at least the vacuuming would be done while I busy out in the yard.  Look at me...a multi-tasking genius!

As it often happens when I'm working in the yard, I lose all track of time and the task that I thought would take only a small amount of time turns out to be bigger task than I had first anticipated.

All in all, a good majority of the beds weren't too terribly bad considering I haven't looked at them or touched them since we moved in.  Until...

I do NOT have a pointy head - that's the
phone's shadow - it took me far too long
to figure that out!

I reached the end of this bed, where whatever these bushes are vexed me to no end.  Why?  Because, apparently, if these bushes aren't kept pruned it sends out runners.  Runners with very large and very deep roots.  And I wonder why my elbow is throbbing - possibly removing said runners?

In the midst of removing runners, I heard something in the house and assumed it was The Husband.  But when I looked around the corner, his car was not in the driveway.  I shrugged it off and went back to yanking and pruning.

Eventually, I needed a break.  I grabbed some water and headed for the back porch.  As I was sitting there, I heard movement in the house again.  I stood up and looked in the window - nothing.  And then I heard it again.  I couldn't figure out how someone had gotten into the house because I closed the garage door knowing I would not have it in full view while working.

I grabbed my phone, ready to hit 911 and opened the back door with my heart in my throat, fully prepared to run if I saw someone and what did I see?  The stupid Roomba STILL doing its business a full three and half hours after I started it.  I had completely forgot about my multi-tasking genius.  Why the thing was still going actually offended me, the floors weren't THAT dirty.

After about four hours - two more than I had intended - The Husband came home (probably because he had called and I didn't hear the phone) to make sure I was still alive.

There is still more to be done - but not weeding.  The mondo (?) grass needs dividing, the day lilies not only need dividing, but I need to find something to replace them as I am so over them.  They start out okay and I don't hate them but around this time of the summer they start looking so ratty that I loathe them.  There is still mulch to be purchased and applied.

On the plus side?  Not many blackberry shoots were out today (knock wood).  But I did find some lamb's ear popping up on the farthest point in the yard from where I removed the original ones. *sigh*

If it's not blackberry shoots, it's lamb's ear, or runners, or morning glories.  In other words, yard work is never done.  Kinda like housework and laundry.


July 19, 2019

The newest scam on the block...

Here's the deal...if my phone rings and I don't recognize the number (well actually, it's more of a scenario of, if I don't see a name I know) I won't answer it.  Shocking, I know.  This actually used to drive Man-Child utterly insane.  He insisted that I *should* answer it because, "What if it was an emergency?!"  I informed him that if it was an emergency they would leave a message.

And guess what?  Nine times out of ten, they never left a message.

He now understands why I won't answer the phone after he was inundated with over twenty or more calls in one day.  Listen to your mother, children, she may actually be on to something after all, despite the fact that you think she doesn't know a darn thing and is living in the dark ages.

So today when the phone rang - as usual, I hit Ignore and went about my business.  Only to be alerted a few seconds later that I had a voicemail.  Considering this isn't usually how this goes down, I listened to the voicemail.

Now, to be honest, I don't think I would have fallen for it - but just the day before I had heard about the latest scam on the radio - because, seriously?  The Social Security Administration is going to CANCEL my number because of suspicious activity - I don't think so.  And I certainly don't think they would call me to tell me about; mainly because how would they even know where to call me?  It's not like the SSA and I are in constant contact.  Heck, we don't even follow each other on Twitter!

At any rate, they called me again and left another voicemail, from a different phone number - of course.

When I mentioned this to The Husband, his eyebrows shot up in alarm.  I told him that it was a scam and how I knew it was one.  I then told him that he needed to tell his mother - although my mother-in-law is pretty savvy, this one might unnerve her considering she's living on Social Security. 

So here's your mission - we all have at least one or more people in our lives who might/could fall victim to this scam - or others - so pass on this information to those people in your life.


July 14, 2019

*wipes the construction dust off the computer*

Since I last called you all here together, you may have noticed a few changes.

I have just spent an inordinate amount of time trying to update/clean things up around here.  I should warn you - there may be a few more changes in the works as I'm not completely satisfied with this update...for the most part I like it, but it still needs a few tweaks here and there.  And since I am in this on my own (i.e., I'm figuring it out as I go) there may be a few hiccups.  Hiccups, which I hope, you will alert me to - broken links, etc.

On the back end, it looks pretty much the same to me.  But on the front end - your end - I think the changes are a bit more pronounced.

I have changed the template to a more simple, streamlined look.  I'm in the process of updating all labels so that you should be able to click on a link over there to the right under "the for now" working title of All the Categories Right at Your Fingertips and find all relevant posts in one spot.

After being a true empty-nester for how long now (?!) - I have finally updated the profile info - and you can see that one does not just regain ones sanity once the baby bird leaves the nest...apparently.  Eventually, I hope to get around to changing the profile picture...hopefully.

I opted for black text with a white background because, at least for me, that is easier on the eyes.  (At least, to me it appears black - but when I preview the post, it appears gray.  Hmmm.  What say you?)  I've also opted for a larger font - which will, hopefully, make it easier for everyone. 

Surprisingly, the hardest thing to accomplish was changing the favicon way up there at the top...despite the fact that I did a whole post on how to accomplish this task.  Feel free to follow that post if you like, if you are attempting to create one - but for me it did not work this go round for whatever unknown reason.  This time I created the icon in Powerpoint, saved it as a jpg file, uploaded it to Pixlr.com and was able to edit it to 16 x 16 and was finally able to upload the icon.  It took me days people, days, to get that to work...so frustrating.  The kicker?  I know (fingers crossed) that it shows on your end but on the back end?  Not working.  I'm trying to ignore that fact.

So, poke around, see what's working and what isn't and report back any and all findings and opinions, please.  In the meantime, I'll be over here playing behind the scenes.

July 9, 2019

If you don't have 16 hours to spare...but maybe 5-ish hours?

When we last left off, I had just finished binge reading book while mindlessly dropping pistachio shells into my drink...

I also forgot to mention that I took today and tomorrow off just because.  Occasionally, one just needs a four day weekend for no real reason at all; so I did.

Yesterday found me ready to wander out into the big bed in the back yard for just an hour.  Yeah, right.  That easily morphed into two and a half hours, thanks to (say it with me now!) "that damn blackberry bush" and a new-to-me weed that seems to be immune to Preen.  And I'm still not done.  But the rest will have to wait until next weekend, I'm afraid.

At any rate, today - the last day before I head back to work - I decided to make it a more relaxing kind of day...so I decided to tackle making bread...again.  Although, in retrospect, today the weather would have been kinder for outdoor work.

Oh well...too late now!

Long time readers may recall that many, many, many years ago I somehow was able to successfully create a perfect bread on my very first attempt.  Any and all subsequent attempts have been utter failures.

Today I searched out a quick and easy no-knead bread (because I didn't have or want to spend 16 hours or more on it) and came across an adaptation of the original recipe, which that link takes you back to my original blog post; as the original is now behind a paywall, I believe.

The recipe I used today can be found here...for how long, who knows?

Now to be fair, I did not watch the video, so I didn't use any of the "tricks" that were mentioned in the Cooking Notes/Comments section.  But I did do a couple of things that weren't mentioned in the recipe, I'll share them below. These couple of things were key I think to this bread turning out perfectly!

So perfectly that The Bread Snob (aka The Husband) has been raving about this bread...which came out of the oven right before he walked in after work.


Printable Recipe

Ingredients

3 cups bread flour (I used regular because that's what I had in the pantry)
1 packet (1/4 ounce) instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt (I thought that was too much so I used maybe half a teaspoon?)
1 1/2 cup of water
Oil as needed

Before anything I started the oven just to get it warm; this isn't mentioned in the original recipe, but based on other sites I read, I thought it might be helpful.  In my opinion, it was very helpful!  Particularly, since it's summertime in the South and the air conditioning means the house is cool.

Combine flour, yeast in a large bowl.  Add the (warm!) water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Here's where I turned the oven off - and let the dough rest for about four hours in the warm oven.

Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap (I oiled the wrap that would touch the dough, this was key, as it kept the wrap from sticking to the dough) and let rest for thirty minutes.  (Notice, this recipe does not require you to add flour to the working surface...that was the downfall on my last couple of attempts - it made the bread too flour-y.  Using a canola oil spray was genius!)

As soon as the dough was resting for the second time,  I put my dutch oven into the oven and let it heat to 450 degrees while the dough rested.

When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven.  Slide your hand under the dough and put it into the dutch oven; seam side up (I didn't have a seam for some reason?  Also, that oiled surface?  Made picking the sticky dough up so easy!).  Shake pan once or twice to distribute uneven dough.

Cover with the lid and bake for thirty minutes, remove lid and bake another 15-30 minutes; until the loaf is browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

SOOOOO good!

Enjoy!

If you try it, let me know what you think.  Also?  This success completely absolves me of the abject failure of the cake I made (and didn't blog about) on Saturday...

July 7, 2019

All the Missing Girls...a book review

It's been a while, a long while, since we've had one of these...almost a year; how did that happen?  As much as it saddens me to say, I really haven't been reading actual books lately - a fact I am trying to remedy.  I think the main reason for this is because I keep getting stuck in books that I don't really care for and in an effort to slog through, I find something else to do instead of just setting that book aside and finding another one.

I received this book as a Mother's Day present and was only able to finally get to it after putting off finishing another book that I didn't enjoy that much.

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda.

This has been the book that I've been looking to pull me out of my reading slump.  I started it a few days ago and have spent the majority of this afternoon finishing it.  At one point, I was so engrossed in the story that instead of tossing the shells from the pistachios I had been snacking on into the trash can on my left, I dumped them in my drink!

According to the author's bio; this is her first novel for adults.

From the synopsis on the back of the book:

"It's been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left Cooley Ridge.  Ten years since she broke up with Tyler, the man she thought she'd marry.  Ten years since her best friend Corinne disappeared, never to  be heard from again.

When the call comes that her father is ailing.  Nic is living in Philadelphia-light years away from her younger self.  She drops everything to care for her dad, but within days of her return another girl goes missing and Nic experiences a terrifying sense of deja-vu.

As Nic works to unravel what happened to the missing girl, shocking truths emerge about her neighbors, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago."

What I did not initially realize was that the story was being told backwards.  Yes, if I'd initially paid attention to the chapter titles, this would have been clear from the start; but all my life I generally ignore the chapter titles in a rush to get on with the story.  Lesson learned?  Knowing me; probably not.

As mentioned above, this book was riveting the further I went (particularly after I figured out that the timeline was going backwards!).  Only one point seemed to be left unanswered to me, but it was a point that could be answered many different ways by the reader; maybe that's what the author intended.  Or perhaps I just missed the answer in all the details.

This could have been one of those stories where you could see the culprit from the start; it is not one of those types of stories.  You are constantly questioning each of the characters and pondering possible motives.

This one deserves to be included in the list of Books I Love Enough to Tell You About (PSST, you can find all my book reviews there at the third link on my header).  If you read it, let me know what you think.  I will definitely be looking for other titles from this author.

July 4, 2019

Living with other people - part two...

So you remember the notebook that I posted about only two days ago?

The notebook that I use to keep score when Man-Child and I play cards or Scrabble.  The notebook I use for various games (Boggle, mainly) from the newspaper (yes, I still get a paper - don't look at me like that!  I'm personally trying to keep the industry from dying).  The notebook I use for various lists, reminders, etc. (I know I could use my phone for lists, etc. but I have found, for me, I prefer a handwritten list, don't ask me why, I don't know.).

I went looking for it this morning only to discover it was GONE.

Notebook - MIA

The Husband wasn't home for me to give him the third degree, unfortunately.  As I stewed over the lost notebook it dawned on me what must have happened. 

The Husband is a facilities person for several buildings and about every three months or so, he either gets up extra early or stays up extra late to run "light checks" to make sure all the outdoor lights are working at the various buildings and makes a note on the ones that need attention.

He ran a light check the day after I brought that notebook home; so it appears he absconded with the notebook without even noticing the strongly worded note on the front!  How?!  And, it's a new record.  A new notebook gone in under twenty-four hours.

When I asked him about it this evening, he admitted he took it.  And looked puzzled when I asked if he had noticed the note - he had not.  *sigh*

Why he took this notebook is a mystery - especially as we shared a car for the majority of  last week while mine was in the shop - I noticed that he had the last notebook I had brought home was in his car!

So my plan is reclaim my notebook and hide the darn thing.  Apparently, that's the only way I'll be able to keep one on hand.

July 2, 2019

Living with other people...

Living with other people means I find myself writing things like this on a random notepad...

The blog is the reason that I have to take such random pictures. 
In the event you can't read it, the text reads "This notepad is not to leave this
house under any circumstance. Love, Mom"

The names have been blocked out to protect the guilty.  The guilty, you may wonder, are both The Husband and Man-Child.  Why they are guilty, you may wonder, is because EVERY. SINGLE. notepad that I have brought home has disappeared; due to one or the other needing a sheet of paper - yes, you read that right; A SINGLE SHEET OF PAPER - so they decided that the entire notebook was needed, so they would take it and run.  Leaving me to scramble whenever *I* might need a single sheet of paper.

In sum, they seem to think that it is perfectly acceptable to abscond with household notebooks.  At this point, I'm ready to raid both of their cars and rescue the "hostages" that I've witnessed languishing in their automotive prisons.  The prisons where they have been ignored; once their initial usefulness expired.

June 27, 2019

Dead Car and Key Lime Pie - it all ties together, I promise.

Before we begin, fair warning.  It's a long one.  Go to the bathroom, grab a drink and a snack, take a nap, etc.

So yesterday was the day my car decided to leave me stranded in the grocery store parking lot.

It had been fine.  Haven't had any issues.  It drove from work to the store without a hiccup - until I got back into the car and it wouldn't start.  I figured my key fob battery had died.  Since I live in fear of that fob dying and me being stranded, I always keep extras with me so I was able to change the battery fairly quickly.  It didn't work.

Then I began a barrage of phone calls to The Husband.  I called both cell phones multiple times all while cursing a blue streak.  Just last week, he had testily informed me that *I* never answer the phone when he calls; so you can imagine the thoughts I was having as the phone just rang and rang and rang; always going to voicemail.  They weren't pretty.

Then I tried another new battery in the fob - while still dialing one number and another and cursing.  That didn't work.  But, hallelujah, I was somehow able to get the windows down in the car which gave me some relief on the 90 degree day, but not much.

Eventually, he finally heard one of his phones ringing and answered.  I'd like to say that I greeted him warmly and was full of grace.

Sadly, I did not.

At any rate, he got the message loud and clear that I was stranded and that he needed to come help me immediately.  As I was sitting there trying vainly to talk the car into fixing itself, The Husband called to tell me that he had to stop to get jumper cables.  This bit of info did NOT need to be relayed to me at that very moment.  Especially since I was pretty sure he had stashed some cables somewhere in my car already.  Turns out, I was right about that.

He finally arrived and tried to jump the car; to no avail.  One guy drifted over to help.  And then another.  And then another, who walked up and said, "Are any of you guys mechanics?"  To which, they all replied no.  He, however, was a mechanic who works on airplanes.  I thought he would be my savior in this whole mess.  Actually, they all were; including The Husband, despite the fact that I called him fifteen million times before he answered.  It's nice to realize that there are still kind people in this world that are willing to help.

Eventually, the mechanic somehow got the car to start.  He warned us not to turn the car off for at least thirty minutes and all the men began to wander away as we called out our heartfelt thanks to those angels.  The Husband gave me the keys to his car to drive home and said he would follow in mine, just in case.

Not even ten minutes down the road my phone began to ring.  That darn car had died before he could even get it out of the parking lot.  *sigh*  So I turned around to pick him up.  My car guy was put on notice and said he'd check it out this morning.

So this became a "work from home" day for me today.  And, let me tell you, I am extremely grateful for the flexibility my boss gives me for occasions like this one.  Luckily, I knew it would be fairly slow as he, and several others, are out of the office this week.  As predicted, it was.  So I was able to get a few things done around the house and then I had a thought... more on that in a minute...

***

A week or so ago, my friend's husband (the ones that live two doors down) had helped The Husband with tuning up our lawn mower and then putting in a microwave.  To thank him for his help and her for loaning him to us for several hours, we had them over for dinner.  I knew from past conversations that he really likes key lime pie so I went in search of a recipe and found the world's easiest and best key lime pie recipe ever.  Well, to be fair, prior to that key lime pie I had only made one other before and it was okay.  But this recipe?  To die for.  And super easy.

***

So, back to that thought I had - I realized I had the majority of the ingredients on hand and asked The Husband to pick up one item for me and I decided to re-create the recipe (while keeping an eye on work email) WITH pictures (look at me thinking ahead like all the "real" bloggers do!) for you!

Well, I mean, unless you come knocking on my door you won't get to taste it, but you too will have this fabulous, easy recipe in your back pocket next time you need a dessert.

I found the recipe here.  If you are a foodie, a baker, or just someone who needs an idea of what to make for dinner, check out her site - it's chock full of recipes, desserts, etc.

I think one of the things that makes this pie so ridiculously good is the crust.  As she notes in her post, a homemade graham cracker crust is MUCH better than a store bought one.  I can not master a pie crust to save my life, so I was a little apprehensive.  Had I known just how easy a homemade graham cracker crust was, I would have been making them all the darn time.

Without further ado, here you go.

Graham cracker crust:

1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (I eyeballed it and figured a sleeve of crackers would do it. It did)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons of butter melted

Filling:

28 oz of sweetened condensed milk (basically, two 14 oz cans)
1/2 cup light sour cream (I used regular and it was fine, I'll try it with light next time.  And there will be a next time!)
3/4 cup key lime juice (Found in the alcohol aisle with all the other mixers.  If it matters, I used Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice)
Zest from 2 regular limes or 4 key limes

You will notice here that I did not include the recipe for the Whipped Cream topping.  That's because I was obsessing over the crust the first time I made it.  And I didn't bother this time either.  Mainly, because I can live without whipped cream and, honestly - this pie can stand on its own and doesn't need it, in my humble opinion.

Before anything, preheat the oven to 375.  Then we turn to the graham cracker crust.  First you need to create some crumbs.  You can use a food processor or just do what I did - drop the crackers into a ziplock bag and beat the hell out them with a meat tenderizer; or as I like to call it, a meat hammer.  You can really create some fine crumbs when you are taking your car frustrations out on those crackers.

Of course, I neglected to take a picture of the crumbs in the bag,
so you get a shot of the meat hammer instead.

Next, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together

Right before I added the melted butter

After thoroughly mixing up the crumbs, sugar and butter press the mixture into a pie pan and bake for 7 minutes.  Let it cool for 30 minutes.

On to the delicious filling...now we need to lower the oven temperature to 350.  Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest in a medium bowl.

Yum!

Pour over prepared crust


And bake for 10 minutes.  Let it cool and then refrigerate for at least three hours. And you end up with this deliciousness.

Can't wait to cut into this!

And guess who decided to stay for dinner?  Once he realized what was hanging out in the refrigerator?

Yes, the elusive Man-Child

The Husband was also pretty pleased - especially since he had SO anticipated that last sliver from the previous pie; only to be foiled by me.  It's actually kind of funny - he isn't a dessert eater and I am not one to partake often...but we both wanted that last piece of pie; I just beat him to it then.  Now, he has a chance to redeem himself.

As for the stupid car?  We think it may be the alternator.  *sigh*  I think we will have it towed to my car guy's place tomorrow.  It's a good thing we have some pie to ease the sting of this unexpected blow to our budget.

June 20, 2019

A Father's Day gift for the win...for all of us

Right before Father's Day I heard on the radio that several health organizations want to ban wire grill brushes because the bristles can break off, get stuck to the grill surface and get embedded in your food.

The case they mentioned on the radio had a woman suffering from awful neck pain - for months before they figured out what was going on!

Scary, right?  What's even more scary?  That this has been an issue for quite a while and that I have just now heard of it...most likely because I really don't pay attention to articles about food, etc. unless its a baking recipe that I might be interested in making.

So, considering the fact that The Husband really goes to town on his grill with a wire grill brush, this was at the top of my mind when considering Father's Day gifts for him.

After doing research, I decided to buy him a grill stone and a wooden scraper; so that he could decide which he liked best.  Along with a gallon of olive oil...because, obviously, this is something that needs to be purchased for every occasion, as he refuses to buy it for himself - and will nickel and dime us to death buying tiny bottles; despite the fact that he uses olive oil at least once - if not three or four times a day. *sigh*

This evening was the first night that he's grilled something since Father's Day.  He decided to try out the grill stone first.  His opinion?  He LOVED it.  He claims that it really cleaned the grates back to their original finish, although he noted it left an ashy residue.  According to the packaging, it is chemical free and non-toxic.  But he made a point of removing the ashy residue before cooking anything.   He also asked about the price point because the more you use the stone, the more it wears away.  The price point is such that this is a sustainable way to maintain the grill and avoid wire bristles stuck in our throats.  So the grill stone is considered a "keeper."

So we shall sit back and wait to see what he thinks of the wooden scraper - all while not having to worry about wire bristles being stuck in our throats.

As usual, all products were purchased by me and all opinions are mine - or, in this case, The Husband's and relayed by me.

June 14, 2019

Do I know how to waste a beautiful afternoon? Why yes. Yes I do.

As I once mentioned, apparently years ago, we now have "summer hours" at our company, which - as explained by the extremely complicated math, in the linked post - means that I was foot loose (HA! Hopefully you'll make the connection soon!) and fancy free at 11 am this morning.

You would think, what with all this free time, on a gorgeous, not too hot afternoon, it would have been the perfect afternoon to spend picking weeds (it would have, but I did not - why labor in the beautiful weather? My future self will kick me for this, I just know it) or some other fabulous pursuit.  It would have also been the perfect day to sit on the back porch and read; something I also did not do.

No...today I determined was the PERFECT day to spend inside on a ridiculous task...creating a prototype of a toe cover.

What is a toe cover you are asking?  And why did I need a prototype?

Because I used to be able to walk into any Target and pick up these particular toe covers (which are worn with shoes when you aren't wearing socks or nylons with closed toe shoes)...



These toe covers?  Have disappeared from store shelves across the land.  I wish I was kidding.  These things are perfect.  Rarely do they peek out from your shoes - unlike their unfortunate cousin, the "liner sock."  Also, they don't slip off and flap around in your shoe like their unfortunate cousin.  No, these suckers stay on your toes, don't show (usually) and keep your feet dry inside your shoes.  In a word?  PERFECTION!

But, as I stated, have disappeared.  Yes, I've searched Amazon with a billion different key words for the past TWO years; all to no avail.  Which is why I needed to work on a prototype today.  So I spent the majority of the afternoon hand stitching a prototype - which no picture, because it looks like a hastily stitched hot mess because I was too lazy to drag out my machine; and I can assure you it was NOT hastily stitched - in vain hopes of creating something that might fill this void in my life.

After slaving over this "tiny" project for a couple of hours - in a fit of pique - I searched Amazon one last time only to find?

Are you freaking kidding me!?  Fingers crossed that they are exactly like the original ones

Needless to say - I quickly ordered two sets (six pairs total) and have kept the prototype and the pattern...just in case they disappear again.  Because, I am happy to report, the prototype?  It works - at least in the initial trial run.  And it's good to have that knowledge in my back pocket in the event these things go missing again.

June 5, 2019

And this is why you keep following blogs you love that have gone MIA...

Today - after a long, day that included overtime (which honestly?  I didn't have much to do today; did he REALLY have to wait until it was fifteen minutes before quitting time?) - my day was made!

Remember when I talked about old school blogging not too long ago?  Well, today - after two LONG years - one of those old school bloggers has popped back up on my radar!  And you know what?  She still knows how to spin a tale.

Hop over and have a visit.

Meanwhile, I'll be sitting over here with crossed fingers that she'll stick around...and that maybe a few others will pop back up.

June 1, 2019

A fairly unproductive day...until it wasn't

Today dawned bright and beautiful.  The recent (unseasonable) heat wave finally broke and we had a glorious day of blue skies, white fluffy clouds and almost zero humidity.  Who could ask for anything else?

After changing the sheets this morning, the rest of the day was misspent...as in we didn't really accomplish anything of importance.  That garage?  Ignored.  Today was THE perfect day to work on the garage; not too hot, not too cold, not rainy - yet totally ignored.

The beds that probably need weeding?  Ignored.  The bathrooms that needed cleaning?  Ignored.

Instead we spent the day doing random things like going to the local nursery to inquire what they would recommend for thwarting weeds in the juniper - sadly, their advice was, basically, weeding. *sigh*  Their advice for replacing the day lilies?  Nor much better.

We also went to lunch at a local restaurant - which to be honest, was a *just feed me NOW* kind of place and not worth noting; BUT I ran into a retired co-worker...and let me just say this, EVERY SINGLE retired co-worker looks SO relaxed and happy.  *Checks the calendar to see when I can retire* *sigh* Not for a while yet, and I say this while actually, mostly, enjoying my job!

Man-Child stopped in for dinner a visit - and that was a pleasant surprise...until The Husband said, "Oh yeah!  I knew he was coming and I forgot to mention it."

After Man-Child left, I put on my pj's and wandered into the back yard...the lovely thing about my back yard is that for the most part no one can see what's going on back there in the late spring/summer months.

I wandered out to the big bed to see what was going on - not much - except for a few random blackberry shoots - which I quickly dispatched...eventually that thing has to give up the ghost, right?!  No, most likely not in my life time.

Then I decided to hang out in the hammock.  What I didn't factor in?  It rained quite hard last night...and this hammock is in the shade.

Hence this post to Instagram...


With the following captions...


So I changed and discovered that those bathrooms DID need to be cleaned...so I cleaned them - future me will be SO pleased!

As to how The Husband is reacting to the paper towel ban?  His first response was, "Obviously, I can't leave the house because it gives you too much time to stew over things!!"

Has he met me?!  I stew over things all day, every day!

This evening he presented me with a gross dish cloth and said, "THIS is what you are asking for?"  

"Of course!" was my response.  That gross dish cloth can be washed.  He worried that I'd be "over burdened" with extra laundry...and we all know how much I hate laundry - but this is something I think I can tolerate.

May 25, 2019

Adulthood - where some days it's nothing but aggravation and unexpectedly shelling out money

That title?  It is the lesson Man-Child has learned in spades in the past few weeks.

He had his oil changed and the car people so "helpfully" informed him that he needs four tires and that his shocks need changing to the tune of way more money than he has to spend.  "Why were they even looking at those things?  I just wanted to have my oil changed!" he fumed.

His father calmed him down by saying the shocks could wait and so could three of those tires - but he needed to replace the one immediately.  Has he done so, as of today?  That would be no.

Then he went to change the registration from us to him.  His dad did something wrong when transferring the title, so they told him he had to fill out another form, have it notarized and come back, which he did.  Only to be told that he was missing the "explanation" for what had happened; this despite the fact that what happened was clearly evident in the paperwork that he did have.  The upshot?  The Husband has to write up an explanation of what he did wrong; have it notarized and then Man-Child has to go back to the DMV; totally aggravating.

After he called his dad and vented to him; he called me to vent to me.  Which is when I relayed what happened when we first moved here.  The DMV spelled The Husband's first name wrong.  Well, technically, it's a name that can be spelled both ways but the version they went with does not match his birth certificate.  When he pointed out the error, he was told - and I quote - "It would be easier for you to go to the courthouse and have your name legally changed."

As an aside, can I tell you the absolute grief this has caused at various times for the past twenty two years?

And then, this morning - The Husband received a call from Man-Child.  His car key snapped off the fob.  His only key.

Another tidbit about this particular key - it's already been broken once before in the past two years or so.  Heads up Honda; you might want to take a critical look at the design of your keys.

I drove out to his place to pick him and the pieces up, as it were, to take him to the dealership.  Where the first guy we spoke to informed us that we would have to have the car towed to the dealership to have this dealt with; luckily, the older guy was within earshot and was able to help us come up with a solution - to the tune of $60.  Which was WAY better than towing the car and having to spend however many gazillions of dollars to fix the key only for them to tell us that, oh by the way, his whatzit is bad and needs to be replaced and also the widget has died.

Around about this point, I looked at Man-Child and said, "This is adulthood.  Aggravation.  But you can't let it ruin your day.  Besides, be glad that key broke today; if it had snapped tomorrow, you would have been out of luck as they would have been closed."  He agreed and we went to lunch at one of his favorite places.

When I asked him how he planned to spend his afternoon, he told me that it wouldn't include driving the car; because he just knew that all four tires would explode.  Fair point.  Some days, it does seem like that.

Now, hopefully, he'll get that one tire changed before he has to call me from the side of the road...

May 23, 2019

Can you say FIVE day weekend? And a bunch of other stuff.

The company I work for generously gives us both Friday and Monday off for Memorial Day.  Wisely, I decided to take one of my vacation days today to give myself a week of vacation.

I really want to complain - at length - about a co-worker.  But, I can't in the event someone finds this post and puts the pieces together.  So I won't.  Just know this - this person is incompetent and in over their head; it's only a matter of time before something explodes.

I know, if it were me, I would not want to be in that position - and no matter what they were paying me would not be enough to keep me in a job where I knew I was failing.

So, having gotten that much out, I can move on to other subjects.

Of which I have none.  Oh, wait!  Yes, I do.

At any rate, I am headed into a five day weekend and hoping to get some more things done around here.  I would love to get Man-Child here to finish weeding through the detritus in his old room and to take everything else away.  He is dragging his feet on this process.  I think what he would prefer is that we keep everything here - this is not going to happen - it will all go, one way or another.

Remember the front door debacle?  Yes, the one that has been going on for almost a year now - this morning found me down at the local building supply company (which is only open during the week - WHY?!  People like me NEED you to be open on weekends!  At the very least, on Saturdays).  While they don't install doors, they can give me a recommendation.  They will also come and measure - now, if I order the door from them I know I will pay way more than I want.  But I also know that if they measure and order and the door doesn't fit, they will have to eat that cost.  The Husband kind of balked at the price but he also agreed that he doesn't really trust the other big box store to get it right either.  So The Husband and I are currently in "negotiations" mainly because we don't need a new door (in his opinion); and theoretically. he's correct.  But, in my opinion, we do need a new door because our living room is a black, depressing hole - and who wants to live like that?  Not me.

After having lunch with The Husband - a treat on a weekday, as we work too far apart for this to occur on a regular basis - he asked what I had planned for the afternoon.  Considering that the day, up to then, had been mild and cloudy I reckoned that I would attack the weeds in the juniper - to be honest this juniper vexes me almost as much as that damned blackberry bush, which I am still fighting but (knock wood) that I seem to be slowly conquering (as long as I stay on top of it).

We actually have two beds (maybe three, but that side of the yard barely registers on my To Do list as it gets very little sun and isn't that visible) of juniper.  One is up against the house - along with some random plants - and this particular bed doesn't bother me as much as the one on the slope near the road.  Why?  Because this bed - which quite possibly also has snakes and other vermin lurking underneath, doesn't require me to wade into it much.  For the most part, I can deal with the weeds from the sidewalk.

And the bed down near the road?  It would require me to wade ALL the way into it.  And The Husband had informed me that he had actually witnessed a snake sliding into it.  So, despite the fact that the bed on that slope desperately needed weeding, I just couldn't make myself go there; despite my heavy, rubber rain boots.  So, I attacked the "easier" bed.  What I wasn't anticipating?

That the clouds would part and that the humidity would rise.  And that there were more weeds in that bed than I initially thought.  *sigh*

While in the middle of this task, The Husband came home from work and realized that I was afraid of that other bed and very thoughtfully arranged for someone to come in to deal with the bed down by the road next week.  He had promised to do it for me but has somehow pinched a nerve in his back and is pretty much down for the count for any heavy labor at the moment.

So all I have to do now is close my eyes when looking at that stupid bed for the next week.  I truly wish I knew someone with a backhoe because I would bribe them to come over and rip out all of that juniper.

Considering it's supposed to get hot and sunny this weekend, I'm thinking I'm done with weeding for this weekend.

I know there was something else I wanted to mention...*thinking*  *hmmm, nothing ringing a bell...*

Oh!

Have you heard of Erase Your Face?  Basically, it's a cleansing cloth that removes your makeup with only water and are chemical free (they say - apparently, it has something to do with the the amount of fibers) and is completely reusable.  I've been hearing about these for a while and have been skeptical.  But I ran across them at Bed Bath & Beyond a few weeks ago.  Seeing as they were only around ten dollars, I figured I'd give them a try.

Surprisingly, they work!  Now, I do have to say, with mascara (not waterproof) you have to REALLY rub your eyes - and being a woman of a certain age this is NOT something I want to do.  So generally, I use cold cream to gently remove the mascara and then use the cloth.

So, how do I know they work?  My litmus test...

White towels.

Whenever I dry my face after using the cloth - the towels remain white.  When I use my normal face wash inevitably a bit of makeup residue would transfer to the white towels - which honestly?  Would irritate me to no end.  I bought a product to remove makeup; but yet the product didn't remove ALL the makeup - and?  Nine times out of ten I had to use cold cream anyway.

If you've been wondering about this product, try it and let me know what you think.

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Usual disclaimer, this is not a sponsored post.  I bought it, tried it and liked it.

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In the latest edition, What is Blooming in Gigi's Yard Now - this week we find Asiatic Lilies!


So very pretty.  Sadly, they are pretty short lived - kind of like that peony.  Next up are the day lilies.  Which, to be honest, I'm kinda MEH about.  Sure, they look great for a hot second and then they are scraggly.  And, they really need to be divided - but I'm thinking I'd rather remove them and replace with another perennial (because let's be honest, I am NOT going to baby annuals), flowering something.  Any ideas?

Now, to paraphrase my last sign off...off to pop some ibuprofen, in anticipation of the sore muscles tomorrow from all that weeding.