Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When did gaudy become beautiful?

Is it just me or is this ring beautiful?

I have noticed that as I get older everything I used to find gaudy I can now wear without batting an eye.

This is another piece I have had for years, but never wear. This morning I put it on and thought it was great. Just look how it matches my jacket.

I remember my mother buying it when I was a teenager. She gave it to me at least twenty years ago.

I am either looking pretty spiffy lately, or as I walk away people are saying, "Look at that gaudy old lady!"

Guess what? We are under a snow storm watch until Friday morning.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

There was a bit more Snow than I Thought

I never did hear just how much, but it must be over a foot.

Shortly after my first post this morning, I heard a noise and ran to my front window. I was met with the most spectacular sight -- my wonderful neighbor and his John Deere snow blower. I can't tell you what a beautiful sight that was.

I still had to shovel the sidewalks and in front of the garage. Luckily this snow was not wet and heavy.
I had to throw it up pretty high!
It was actually fun.

All of the neighbors came out one by one. Snow blowers buzzed and shovels tossed the white stuff in all directions.

Snow storms bring out a certain neighborly camaraderie. There is a lot of chatter about how much we got, what the yearly tally is and how much more is coming. All the guys with snow blowers used them to clear a path in the road. We live on a dead end road and it never gets plowed on the weekend. Thanks to my neighbors, I should be able to get out for work tomorrow.

I took a loaf of my English Muffin bread to my neighbor. His wife called me to tell me that they both really enjoyed it for breakfast after he finished working outside. It does not seem like much considering all the work he did, but I was happy that I could do at least a little something in return.

Wouldn't You Think in the last Century They Could Have Improved Patterns?

If any of you have ever sewn clothing, you will know what I am talking about. The flimsy pattern pieces that you have to deal with are enough to make anyone give up the hobby. Look at this mess!

Before I can even begin, I need to find all the pieces and cut them out. I think with today's technology, they could be cut out before they get to me. At the bare minimum the manufacturers could put all of the same pattern pieces on the same sheet so I would not have to play find-the-pattern-piece with six pages of this stuff!

Oh, well, that is not my biggest challenge today. Look at the view from my living room window at 7:00 a.m. Yes, another 8 inches or so. It's enough to make a grown woman cry.
See that UFO hoovering over the neighbor's house? Maybe they were sent to rescue me.

Beam me up, Scotty!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Carrot Cookies

I am still trying to use up the 4 lbs. of carrots I bought two weeks ago. I spent most of today baking and one of the things I made were these carrot cookies. They are a big soft cake like cookie. I took a plate over to my neighbor as a thanks for snow blowing my driveway. I hope he likes them because we are having another storm and the driveway is filling up fast today. It would be wonderful if I didn't have to shovel it all tomorrow!

One of the ingredients I used was crystallized ginger.

Crystallized Ginger is dried ginger root preserved with a heavy sugar coating. Eaten on its own it has a strong spicy sweet flavor. I would never toss a whole piece in my mouth. A teeny tiny piece is enough. So I chopped it quite finely to go in my cookies. I only used a 1/4 cup. Next time I will use twice that much because I can't really taste it in the cookies.

Crystallized ginger proponents claim it does everything from reducing hot flashes to curing indigestion. So who knows, these cookies may be just what the doctor ordered!

Here is my recipe:

Carrot Cookies

1.5 cups quick-cooking Quaker oatmeal
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar

2 cups grated carrot
1/4 to 1/2 cup crystallized ginger
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

8 oz. crushed pineapple UN DRAINED
walnuts, if desired. I used about a 1/2 cup and only put them in the last half of the batter because my husband does not like nuts.

Mix the first 9 ingredients in a large mixer bowl. Blend on low for 30 seconds.

Cut the butter in small pieces and toss into the mixing bowl. Mix for about one minute on low, scraping sides as needed. It will look like a crumble topping.

Add the eggs, one at at time,and the vanilla. Mix on low just until blended. Batter will be quite stiff.

Toss in the grated carrots, ginger and pineapple with juice. Mix on low just until combined. Don't over mix. Throw in the walnuts if you are using them and combine by hand.

Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a lightly greased baking sheet. I only put six cookies per 1/4 sheet pan baking sheet. They spread a lot. Bake about 12 minutes. I start to check at 10 minutes. When the edges are just slightly browned, remove from oven. Let cool one minute before removing from pan. Makes about 2.5 dozen cookies

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
approx. 2 tsp water.
Combine to make a drizzling consistency. Use just one tsp. of water at a time so you don't get it too loose.

Cookies weren't all I baked today. Look at these beautiful blueberries I froze last summer.I made three blueberry coffee cakes. I took one over to my father-in-law.
Right now I have two loaves of English Muffin Bread rising. They are just about ready to go into the oven.

Early this morning I went grocery shopping, so I am all set to stay inside the remainder of the weekend. I have BBQ pork ribs and twice baked potatoes in the oven right now. All I have to do is make the tossed salad.

After all this cooking and eating, I NEED to shovel tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

See this Driveway?

I just spent 35 minutes shoveling heavy, water laden snow from it.

Yes, not only am I the nurse, but I am also the Driveway Maintenance Woman and the Director of Sanitation (i.e. I haul out the garbage).

So right after working all day, I shoveled the driveway, then I put the garbage can out for tomorrow's pickup.


Yesterday I dropped DH off for an appointment. While he was there, I ran to a dollar store nearby and I found these green martini glasses:

They were only $1 each! ONE BUCK! I couldn't believe it. I bought six because it was all I could carry. I plan to go back and buy six more blue glasses. I really have to check out that store more often.

At the hotel where I work, we just purchased new bedding. We went to thin white comforters which are $120 each. We just put them on the beds last week.

Today the Executive Housekeeper came to the General Manager's office to show him a cigarette burn in one of the comforters. He told her to get rid of it.

$120 down the drain all because of one careless guest. If you wonder why hotel rooms are over $100/night, this is part of the reason!

Lucky for me, my office is right next to the Big Kahuna's. I jumped right up and asked if I could have the comforter. Really now, why throw it in the garbage, when I am sure I can make something out of it. He said I could take it.

Look how beautiful the pattern is on it:

I was thinking of making sofa covers, but I really need about three of them because I have two sofas to cover. So I may make dining room chair covers instead. You can be sure I will show you what I make when I do something with it.

I have to end this blog post now. My patient is getting hungry.


Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Weird how My Tastes Change

in everything from food to jewelry.

Yesterday I was going through some plastic storage boxes full of jewelry that I never wear and I came across this ring that my husband purchased for his mother while overseas in the V. war.

It's a cultured black pearl. His mother gave it to me years ago because she is not the type of person who would ever wear it.

I thought it was a nice gesture, and I tucked the ring away thinking I would never wear it either. To be perfectly blunt that thing was Ugly, with a capital "U"! I hoped my facial expression didn't give away when my true feelings when she opened that box.

Well, when I sipped it on yesterday, I thought it looked so contemporary, so sleek...just look at the high profile on this ring I I am loving it and am going to wear it to work today.

Then I came across this bracelet that some family member (I believe my dad's uncle) bought for my mother while in Greece over 40 years ago.
I have always loved this one, but it has a broken clasp. I really should get that fixed so I can wear and enjoy it.

I am happy to report that DH is feeling a lot better. It's amazing what one week can do!

He even felt good enough take an overnight trip on Saturday to spend some time with a few of my close relatives (Mom, Dad and favorite Aunt and Uncle).

We had a very nice Valentine's dinner. I had lobster tail, which I have not enjoyed in ions. I even tried a Lemon Drop Martini (vodka). I read a blog where the lady has Lemon Drop Martinis all the time and I have been wanting to try one. It was cold and frosty with a sugared rim so you got a touch of sweetness with each sip. Loved it! Now I have three drinks I like - Appletini, Cosmopolitan, and Lemon Drop--they are all vodka martinis.

We are hoping that DH will be able to drive again next week so I can turn in my chauffeur license. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Know it's Selfish, but I can't Help it

DH wanted me to thank all of you for the get well wishes.

We went to the Dr. today. He took more x-rays and then explained the different levels of his shoulder injury. His is right in the middle and the doctor told him they could do surgery now or wait a couple of months to see if it heals on it's own. The decision was DH's.

Well, my dear husband has never had a major operation and he is in no hurry to have one. So he chose to wait it out.

There is nothing that can be done other than pain pills for the broken rib or the shoulder. So it looks like my nursing skills will be put to use for quite a few more weeks. The Dr. said it could be up to 4 months.

God help me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Weekend to Relax and Read.......Wasn't

You know you always hear your life can change in an instant?

Well, my weekend did.

I was planning to be a couch potato and read for most of the weekend. But the only time I saw the couch was to help DH sit down on it.

My poor husband fell off a ladder while removing snow from the roof on Saturday morning. After two hours in the ER, I brought him home with a diagnosis of a fractured rib and a separation of something in the shoulder....I don't know much about medical things...all I know is the poor man is in a lot of pain and can't do much of anything.

So I am his nurse for the next few weeks. I have no idea for how long. I have to take him to an orthopedic doctor within the next three days.

The moment he fell, my weekend plans changed. It's amazing how much help he was. Now I have to do EVERYTHING.......even shop for groceries! :) Most of you know that he usually does that.

So I have been to 3 grocery stores in just over 24 hours, bundled up and took two bags of garbage outside, carted the evil ladder back to the garage, filled little cups with pain pills, prepared the lazy boy for his bed (he can't lie down), etc. etc. I have also been cooking up a storm so he will have plenty of food while I am at work and dinner will only need to be reheated all week. I have not touched the book since I was waiting for him to come out of the x-ray room.

While shopping, I bought a 2 lb. bag of carrots. When I got home, I discovered I already had a 2 lb. bag. So carrots were used in just about everything I cooked.

These beauties went into a totally-from-scratch carrot cake with cream cheese coconut frosting that I made yesterday.

Today I made turkey rollups, honey glazed carrots, beef veggie soup/stew, and a beef roast with carrots and potatoes.
That should be plenty for the work week.

I did get to do a bit of sewing early Saturday morning before the fall.

I don't know how DH will be able to stand doing nothing for the next few weeks. He is like me and rarely sits doing nothing. He is already quite bored.

Hopefully the ortho doctor will be able to tell us more this week. We are hoping that he does not need surgery on the shoulder. How many weeks does it take for a fractured rib to heal? I guess I should google that, but right now I have to go clean up the kitchen.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Fast Weekend with Little Accomplished

I did do a slight bit of organizing today. I have too many old magazines again. We took an overnight trip yesterday and I took a stack of them with me to read on the drive. If I found anything I wanted to keep, I tore that page out.
Then I tossed the remainder of the magazine in the garbage.

When I got home this afternoon, I filed away the pages I tore out.

I need to toss out a lot more, but that's a start. I will work on it this week.

I made some chicken noodle soup for dinner tonight.

I decided to brown the cut up chicken breasts right in the soup pot so I could get some fond. (I can't believe I already found an opportunity to use our new word!) Some people just throw the raw chicken in the boiling pot or use precooked chicken, but I think the broth tastes much better if you have a little something to deglaze before you add the chicken stock.

I also used this tiny little pasta.
I love different pasta varieties. This one is a nice size to scoop up with a spoon.

I bet a lot of you were busy making super bowl appetizers this weekend. We don't get all that jazzed over the Super Bowl. I think DH is watching it right now, but he's by himself and has no munchies. I will hit the channel changer every now and then to try to catch a commercial. I couldn't care less about the actual game. If I bought a square in one of those Super Bowl pools, I might watch the end of each quarter just to see if I won. But I didn't, so I won't.

I can't believe it's already time to go back to work. Next weekend I will have to stay home so I can get some much needed cleaning done.

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