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      Sunday, June 16, 2019

06:50 AM - 06/16/2019

The topic: Today, I’m taking it easy


Yesterday was the busiest and most physical day since my surgery.

We went to breakfast early, Denny's, we both got value slams. With our AARP discount, the total bill for food was $8.50. Brian left a three dollar tip. (We had a little discussion when we left the house. He gives me money, it gets put in my wallet and when he needs money, he takes it out. We laugh about it, "I'm just holding it for you.") Yesterday morning, he took the two twenties he'd put there earlier in the week. When I grabbed my wallet to put it in my pocket, I asked him if he took that money.

"Yeah, I might need it for breakfast."

Really? Where are we going?


Hey, if we need forty bucks for a breakfast at Denny's, we're done with Denny's.

Anyway, the money has not reappeared in my wallet yet.

So, after breakfast, we headed over to Smart & Final to get groceries. It's been a while since I'd been there (last year) and I had been adding items to the shopping list. Unfortunately, these items came to mind while laying in bed Friday night and afraid that I'd forget them in the morning, with each remembrance, I'd get out of bed and go write it on the list. Made for a crappy sleep. (I haven't been sleeping well this past week, sleep for an hour or so, then am wide awake, but that's another story.)

I loved being in the store again. We need this and this and this...I had big plans for the day yesterday, preparing for the coming hot days. Since the weather this weekend is mild, I wanted to cook up a bunch of dinner meals, the casserole types that freeze well. Portion them out, wrap in foil, freeze them and then just pull one out in the morning, put it in a crock pot and let it reheat all day. I wanted to make lasagna and enchiladas to start with. So, I needed cheese. Monterey jack (for an enchilada casserole type recipe), pepper jack (for the enchiladas), a block of parmesan (for the lasagna). Oatmeal (my last box of oatmeal was so old it had bugs in it and I had to use the little plain oatmeal packets for my recipe) and bread crumbs (for meat loaf - Brian likes the oatmeal, I prefer the bread crumbs, so I use both, compromise is good for marriage...lol). Enchilada sauce. Sliced peppers. Black olives. Paprika (the paprika I had was smoked paprika and has a different flavor than plain paprika). So many things to get.

When we got home, Brian brought the groceries in and I put them away. Then I gave my legs a break and sat down for a while.

Boredom setting in, I did the permanent etching templates for the Curio and engraving blanks I'd started on a while ago. The new mats I ordered Thursday (after realizing I'd originally ordered embossing mats and not the cutting mats I actually needed) arrived on Friday, so I got those all figured out (I hope). Then I sat down, thinking all this cooking was going to be a lot of work and I'm tired and I checked the weather forecast, gee, nice all week, I don't need to do this today.

Nothing on television, don't feel like reading, nap ain't happening, not for lack of trying, so I got up and headed to the kitchen, thinking maybe I'll just get the cheeses all grated.

Well, I ended up making the lasagna. Cooked up the sauce (made a lot, the recipes all call for 9" x 13" baking dishes - add one cup of sauce for the first layer - one cup? that does not cover the bottom), grated the cheese, and before I knew it, I was done. Wow. I covered it in foil and put it in the fridge. I cleaned up the mess I'd made.

While I was finishing up the prep and starting on the cleaning, Brian walks in. "What's for lunch?" Not feeling particularly thrilled with the idea of figuring out "what's for lunch" when I had two counters full of stuff that needed cleaning, the sink full of dishes, I made it pretty clear that lunch wasn't on the menu at this point and his timing was pretty bad. He grabbed the bag of flavored tortilla chips from the top of the fridge and sat on the sofa, eating them. BON APPÉTIT!

I had a fair amount of sauce left over, so I cooked some spaghetti noodles and when they were done (way past al dente lol), I added them to the sauce. Usually I would just freeze the sauce and heat that up and cook noodles for the meal, but the idea here was to make something I could just put in the crockpot with minimal preparation for the full meal.

Finished up with that, sat back on the sofa, flipped through the channels, played a little Candy Crush Saga, then my mind went back into the kitchen. Okay, I can at least get the cheese grated for the enchiladas. But first, let's get the olives sliced. I get out all of the ingredients. Okay, Brian said he eats three enchiladas, I'll eat two, that makes five per meal. I can probably get fifteen in the pan, that will make three meals. I count out fifteen corn tortillas, put them on a plate, which I put into the microwave to store. I slipped the rest into a freezer bag and put them in the freezer (the last tortillas we got never got frozen, so food wasted). Pepper jack cheese grated. The last of the cheddar cheese block, grated. Mind says "what the hell, let's get this show on the road".  A big sheet of aluminum foil placed on the counter, a huge pile of mixed cheese (pepper jack and cheddar) at the top. The enchilada sauce I'd warmed up to dip the soft tortillas in, ready.

I got the pan to heat the oil to soften the tortillas (they need to be softened so they don't split when rolled). I had my little line going, fresh tortillas on the left, dip into hot oil, flip, heat the other side, place on paper towel to the right of me, put a paper towel over the greasy, soft, hot tortilla and start the process for the next tortilla. Now comes the fun part. And I mean that. I love doing this.

Warm enchilada sauce on my right, tortilla stack above that, foil in the center, baking pan on the left. Grab a tortilla, dip in sauce, put on the foil, grab some cheese, put at the bottom of the tortilla, then roll. Into the baking pan. Repeat fourteen more times. Fifteen fit! Eleven in a row and four at the sides. Pour what was left of the warmed enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, poured the rest of the can of sauce over, sprinkle a lot of the cheese mixture over that, and then drop all the olives over the top of that.

So, for dinner last night, I put the lasagna in the oven, a half hour after that had been cooking, I put the enchiladas in (burned my hand, damn it) to cook and it all worked out nicely.

My legs aren't really happy today, so an easy day. I'll split the meals up (I'll get at least enough for six dinners for the both of us). And maybe, use the potatoes I cooked in the crockpot on Friday to make potato salad. But today, I won't push it.


      Friday, June 14, 2019

07:44 AM - 06/14/2019

The topic: Woohoo!


The tomato seeds have germinated and have popped up through the soil!

Both the Indigo and beefsteak have begun their journey from seed to fruit. I'm excited. This hot weather we've had this week is probably the main reason. In previous years, when planted into the ground, they didn't come up this quickly. Or the bugs ate them before they had the chance.

Smartass Brian said "we'll be having homegrown tomatoes next week"...

Now, when the peppers pop through, I'll be doing cartwheels.

Yeah, no, that's not ever going to happen.

But this was a great start to my Friday.

I'm a farmer!  rotfl

And the avocado trees are just crazy full with fruit. Of course, we're having the drop off (when the immature fruit falls off because the tree can't sustain all that's there), but both trees are just crazy full. One of the things Brian and I have been going back and forth on is the watering schedule. I'm all "screw the lawn, water the trees".  He's "water the trees and the lawn."  I'm all "a green lawn is nice on bare feet, but we have that tree that drops those pods that will kill you if you step on them, so lawn doesn't matter...healthy avocados...that's where it's at".

He just pulled the last two fruits from last year's growing. So, it's gonna be a while before we have some from the yard.

Oh, yeah, and over on Facebook I saw a meme where someone's dad stocked up on snacks for the kid's visit home. One of the things dad was excited to have was a guacomole ball.  Yeah. Guacamole ball.  IOW, an avocado. 

We have two trees full of guacamole balls...I like it. 14110135

tomato plants    seeds    guacamole ball    avocado trees   

      Thursday, June 13, 2019

10:06 AM - 06/13/2019

The topic: I hate it when that happens


So, I've got a Silhouette Curio. It's for etching and engraving and stuff like that. It still does the same things the Cameo does, but it has more power to do other things.

I've been trying my hand at engraving. I last posted about that here, back in February. Now that I'm back on my feet, I'm getting back into it.

Well, I found a YouTube video that described how to make a template for the Curio, for engraving files, so the method described in my weblog entry (linked above) is actually a lot less labor intensive. I bought the plastic sheets and figured out a way to get more than one cutout on the plastic sheet. My first try I have eleven different cutouts on the same template, spaces for small etching blanks. You know, dog tags, circles, hearts, etc.

This past month, I started working with the bracelet blanks and made a template for the four different sizes I have. For some reason, the first one I tried etching was a little bit off, so it etched wrong. Ruined. I did some comparisons and the template in the software was off about 1/8" from the actual plastic cut template. It took some time to get everything lined up again. And what I decided to do was to take the plastic templates and have them on their own cutting mats, so I didn't have to switch anything out.

I ordered the mats, they got here earlier this week. I was looking forward to working on them today.

I get everything out, setting it up and I open up one of the brand new mats. NOOOOO!!! I ordered the wrong ones. It's not like I'll never use them, I will, but I'll probably never need to buy another one. I needed cutting mats, not embossing mats.

And if I'd paid attention to the difference when placing my order, I'd be working with the Curio right now.


Anyway, when I finally am able to do what I planned, I'll take pictures and give links.

curio    craftstuff   

      Wednesday, June 12, 2019

08:58 AM - 06/12/2019

The topic: More recent stuff


I got sidetracked the other day.

So, I'm all caught up on paperwork. I was caught up at the end of last month. Last week, last month's bank statement got here, we had a couple of payments and shipped some orders. New accounts set up, invoices generated, printed and filed, and last night, I reconciled last month's bank statement. And everything we've paid for so far this month has been entered into the software. 

Caught up.

Sunday, I finally planted seeds. Two types of tomatoes (Indigo and Beefsteak) and two types of bell peppers. They're in big tubs in the front yard. Brian put some fencing over them to keep the birds out. When they start to grow, he'll take them into the backyard. I don't think out front is safe, we have wild bunnies.

They were watered by the bank sprinklers yesterday and this morning, I went out and hand watered them. I hope they grow.

I've vacuumed already.

We went to CostCo on Monday. My first time shopping since last year. It wore me out. I'm sure the heat (103°) didn't help. We've had some hot days this week.

Yesterday we only did the half walk (did I mention I'm up to a little over a half a mile a day?).  I'm hoping to do over a mile by the end of the month. Activity helps with the pain, which is from stiffness more than anything else. Getting out of bed in the morning, standing up after sitting for any length of time...

Life is getting back to the normal of a couple of years ago. That's a good thing.


      Monday, June 10, 2019

07:45 AM - 06/10/2019

The topic: Monday stuff


Let's start with the fresh stuff.

This morning, the crows were really obnoxious with their stories. Come on, guys, it's early, I just got up, can we keep it down a little? Nope.

So, curious, I listen at the windows, trying to decide which door I'm going out. Definitely out back. I walk out onto the patio and listen. To the east side of the house. That's where the noise is coming from. I walk over that way and Noobie sees me, jumps up onto the retaining wall, scrunches down and gives me a hiss. Yeah, good morning to you. He watches me.

Birds are still cawing. I walk further and see Pancho back in the corner by the gate. Curiouser and curioser. I walk in his direction. What are the crows so upset about?

Aw, they've been teaching Junior to fly. And there's Junior. Sitting on a stack of mulch bags, against the house. They're probably three and a half feet to four feet high (Brian bought a ton of this last year when it was on sale and it's still not all spread). Okay. We have a situation here. My experience is that birds are pretty easy to handle, but I've never handled a crow and I certainly don't relish the idea of being dive bombed by mom and dad. I shoo the cats away. Just Pancho and Ronnie. 

I yell out the front door for Brian, who was hand watering the plants (it's supposed to be hot today, it hit 99.1° yesterday) that I need his help. I didn't want to bring the bird through the house, I'd rather take it out the side gate, which is locked. He came in, we both walked outside, he got the lock off and unhooked the wire at the top and I reached over and gently put my hands around the fledgling and cupped it to my chest. I walked through the gate and out into the yard. 

I stretched my arms out, the bird in my hands. It didn't do anything. I spoke to it, I spoke to its parents, who were still yelling their heads off in the backyard. I was standing next to another stack of mulch, this one taller than me. I looked around, where to put the bird. Nothing looked right. I guess the bird started feeling a little more safe by now and it stood up in my hands. I extended my arms to inches away from the top of the mulch and the little bird took the hint. It jumped over to the top and walked around.

I went back into the house, washed my hands and sat back down at the computer. Within ten minutes, the squawking had stopped. Flying lessons had resumed.

crow    birds   

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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