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      Thursday, January 15, 2009

04:52 PM - 01/15/2009

The topic: Dinner menus


I’m finding that if I have something in mind for dinner, something that I have all the ingredients for, that I tend not to graze during the day.  Because I know what’s for dinner.

It seems when I was growing up, there were certain meals we had every week.  There weren’t seven of them, but at least three or four.  The ones I can remember offhand are meatloaf, fried chicken and always on Sunday, we had roast beef.  There were the nights we had fish sticks or spaghetti or lasagne or just soup or some sort of canned thing.  But we always ate at home and we always ate well.

Nowadays, I’m tired of take-out food, don’t really care for a lot of it, there are some I could eat every day (Mexican or Taco Bell).  Of course, we could go out to eat, but I don’t always feel like prancing out the door at six at night to go sit down someplace, and wait for them to take my order, for them to bring my order, for them to clear the table and bring the check, then to pay for dinner.  And, occasionally, wait for change. And it’s rarely less than thirty bucks.  Just drinking water drops the bill, but lately, I’d rather not go out.

I’ve just recently rediscovered that I like to cook.  This may change in the summer, when it’s horribly, terribly hot.  I’ve got issues ($$$$) with running the A/C, just to cook a meal.  Who knows, maybe this will be the summer I start to barbeque.  Getting back to the subject at hand…..

What’s for dinner tonight?

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Preheat oven to 350°

1 pkg (12 count) corn tortillas
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cooked)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can diced chili peppers (hot, medium or mild)
1 minced onion
1 large can red enchilada sauce
1 lb cheddar cheese, grated
1 5oz can evaporated milk

Cut cooked chicken into bite size pieces.
Cut tortillas into small squares.
Combine soups, milk, enchilada sauce, chili peppers, onion for the sauce.

In 9 x 13 baking dish layer ingredients:

Bake for one hour, or can be microwaved if desired. Serve with salsa and/or sour cream.

I found that twelve tortillas is way too much.  Probably eight or nine would be fine.  And six chicken breasts, shredded, is a lot of chicken.  Here’s an idea.  Use the extra chicken and tortillas and make tacos the next night!

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11:49 AM - 01/15/2009

The topic: Hey, have you backed up your important stuff lately?


You know, your photographs, your email correspondance, your registration codes, your music, your little movies?  Stuff that you can’t easily replace if you can replace it at all?


Then do it.

Last year, I got a 1 terrabyte external drive.  I got this to back up all my photos, music and little movies I’d taken throughout the years with my digital cameras or my videocams.  My photos, music and movies are all on separate external hard drives.   At the end of last year, on a Friday, I finally cleaned up my office space and set up the new hard drive.  My intention was to fully backup all drives the following week.

That Sunday night, the POS WD 500GB external hard drive that had all of my movies on it crashed.  I sent it out for recovery, but so far they’ve only been able to recover thirty movies.  There were hundreds on it.  The best he can figure out is the drive got hot and just warped.  He’s doing it with software and when I get it back, I’ll hold on to it in hopes that some day, there will be something more affordable to have it done in what’s called a ‘clean room’. 

My intentions were good.  My timing was not.

So, once again, if you’ve got something you can’t reconstruct, something that will be gone forever should you have a hard drive crash, don’t put it off, back it up as soon as you can.

My baby kitty videos, my mom videos….gone. And it didn’t have to be that way.

Oh, and if you’ve got external hard drives?  Good idea to turn them off if you’re not using them.  ‘Cause they might get too hot and warp the hard drive. Like what happened to mine.

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11:31 AM - 01/15/2009

The topic: Washing the pee pads


In our laundry room, I use pee pads.  I’ve actually started to double up on them.  This started back with DeeJay when he would pee in front of the litter box.  The litter box is plastic, the urine would get under it and it was a nightmare to clean.  So much easier to just put pee pads there.

For a while, I used the disposable pads, but that was a problem when cats would come along and try to cover up the urine and pull at the pad and rip it to shreds. And once again, pee got under the litter box.

Washable pee pads took care of this.

But I never expected that washing the pee pads would be such a nightmare.  We’ve got a front loading washing machine, I love it dearly, but these pads never seemed to smell fresh after washing.  I’d started running them through two wash cycles.  A heavy duty cycle with Biz as a pre-wash and Oxyclean and Kirkland brand HE3 dry detergent in the first wash, with an extra rinse cycle thrown in for good measure, then a second cycle where I’d use vinegar.

I’ve always like Nature's Miracle products, they’ve got a fresh, light, clean scent. And using it on a regular basis seems to keep the cats from peeing in the same spots.  Well, the last time I ordered the stain and odor removal product, I ordered some Nature's Miracle Laundry Detergent out of curiousity.  And earlier this week it got here.

I had a full load of pee pads (I have a diaper thing I put them in).  I did one regular load with this product and I can’t believe how great it is!  After the first wash cycle, when I opened the washer door, it smelled good!  No icky smell, nothing to assault my tender olfactory senses.  Just clean.  I smelled “clean”.

One wash.  One cycle.  One capful and these pee pads just smelled great.

I’m hooked. 

I won’t use it for regular laundry, but for the pee pads and badly pissed on cat bedding?  As Sarah would say “you betcha!”

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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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