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


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.


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.