Sunday, August 27, 2017


Photo by Annisa Lam (former member of Stock.exchng)
Licensed photo DO NOT COPY

Currently I am keeping the following in my thoughts &  prayers:

-----That no further doctor's visit's are needed for a loved one.
-----A sibling that is extremely ill. :-(
-----The ongoing situation with North Korea.
-----I need to be in better physical shape and beat the symptoms of several thyroid problems. I am trying to rid myself of Chronic Fatigue, send Hashimoto's Disease into remission and lose gained weight. That my appointment in a couple of months goes well...and upcoming blood tests.
-----Someone I used to know that committed crime and is now incarcerated. I am hoping that they come forward with any truths that may help victims and that they decide to go down the path of rehabilitation. I think that in this situation it would be great if the victims could somehow see that rehabilitation was occurring.


This post is in no particular order. Prayer/thought requests just go to the top as I hear more about what is going on. If you can think of a way to help these people, PLEASE do so. This post will be second-from-the-top during the midst of an emergency (such as an Amber Alert).

Note: I would not advise linking to this will wind up with a broken link each time I have to change the post-dating to keep this a Vigil at the Top.

At JPUSA. Summer 2011.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Back to The Never Cooked With List

Licensed photo. "Farmhouse Fireplace." Taken by Roger Kirby. 

Well, I haven't been keeping up with my ingredient wish list for a while...high time I got back to it. :-)

-----Barley Malt Syrup. The best way to use it is along with other natural sweeteners...I do not know which sweeteners I will use it with yet.
-----Bay scallops...or any scallops. Some of the people on "Hell's Kitchen" make cooking them seem like Rocket Science. They ARE finally starting to get close to affordable and that is cool!
-----Bean sprouts. I have eaten them but I have not cooked with them.
-----Black sesame seeds
-----Cashew butter. I have now had it on toast but not used it as an ingredient. Not strongly nutty...even a little think it is going to add up to oily but it doesn't. Aldi's now carries cashew butter.
-----Chevre (goat's cheese). I can't remember what but I have now used this blended into several dishes. We liked the cheese to be herbed.
-----Chipotle Tabasco
-----Curry powder. Now used in all sorts of ways.
-----Dark sesame oil
-----Dry mustard. I keep it on hand regularly now.
-----Enoki mushrooms.Mild.Crunch. Used for soups and stir fries.
-----Fried squash blossoms. I have a bottle of canned pumpkin blossoms in the cupboard that I need to figure out what to do with.
-----Garlic Tobaseco
-----Gray Salt
-----Ground Szechuan Peppercorns
-----Halloumi cheese
-----Haricot Vert. French green beans. We have cooked with this and now want to start growing them.
-----Hoisin sauce
-----Hotel Bar Butter. Part of New York cuisine for over a century. I think I first heard of it when reading "Julie& Julia."
-----Kelp. It is supposed to increase thyroid function...I have several thyroid problems.

Post-in-progress. :-)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

-----I haven't made this Zucchini Pie in a while.
-----"Sherm's Pepsi Up Float." I am going to try this. A simple recipe that sounds fun....I don't know if it will be great...the "Up" is 7-UP...we will have fun trying it. We will have ours without the Cool whip and cherry on top first. Of course, we will be having Cool Whip and cherries on top later. :-)
-----Bourbon-Bacon Slaw. Hmmm.
-----Spinach-Mashed Potato Stuffed Mushrooms? Well, I have never experienced vegan butter.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Of course, it's one of those movies with a bet...there's always a bet. A lot of the supporting actors are abnormally bad actors. Still, the plot is moving along.

On this month's menu, thus far.....

-----Creamy Lemon Chicken Picatta Meatballs

-----Husband and Kids might LOVE this Peanut Butter Cup Spread for their bagels!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Last year's words of wisdom from Preschooler:
"If he was here, I would call the police on this pretend phone."
-on the Devil
Also said:
"Respect your Mom and Dad. If you do not respect your parents, God will not give you any respect."

Listening To.....

Oregon is raising its smoking age to 21.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What I'm watching now as I sort through papers, magazines, etc. #SpringCleaning
Liking the characters somewhat...but really not liking that the hero is in a relationship, staying there while liking someone else and looking down on the intelligence of his current partner. :-( GRUMBLE.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Willy Nilly Friday Five

Around Roanoke

This rose bush has at least 27 open flowers. :-)

A coffee cup that I won as part of a gift package at a friend's birthday party recently. I currently use it to drink my Celestial Seasoning Tension Tamer Tea...I love the scent and soothing of the peppermint. I knew that I would likely win the party game involving finding small safety pins in a bowl of rice...I just called on my calmness with which a mother handles things like changing diapers in an unexpected space (hope that makes sense).

The morning glories have started blooming. :-)

Excellent for slow-cooking drumsticks. This sauce is sold at our local Walmart.

A bouquet of roses and a peony from Husband. The last I counted, this particular rose bush had at least 84 open flowers!


Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
5 medium red potatoes, skin on, half-inch pieces
2 small Vidalia onions, large dice
6 cups chicken broth
1 green pepper diced
Black pepper
Himalayan sea salt
Small amount of powdered ginger
Garlic, optional
Corned beef and cabbage leftovers (ours included red potatoes)
Himilayan Sea Salt, if needed
Boil potatoes until soft. Drain water from potatoes. Add onions, chicken broth, green pepper and some seasoning. Add minced garlic if it is not already in your corned beef. Bring soup to a boil. Simmer until onions are softened. Skim all fat off corned beef and cabbage leftovers and add carefully to the pot. Heat through, adjust seasonings and add salt (if needed).


The previous night's brisket I used for the above soup. It included cabbage, onions, an inexpensive dark German beer, ginger, basil, freshly ground black pepper, salt, minced garlic and red potatoes.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

I am reading the book for the Clean Sweep ARC Reading Challenge.

Monday, May 01, 2017

You have to love a reading CHALLENGE!

clean sweep 2017
So, for the "Clean Sweep ARC Challenge" I will be going through and reading any unread books but I have also decided to go back and do a more thorough job on some feedback and/or reviews. What I am starting with is below.

I know I have read this one...but I bet I could offer a better review, promo, do more activities with the kids, etc.

American Emma Hanson came to England to study at Oxford, but joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force at the height of World War II. She is stationed at beautiful and historic Danesfield House west of London as part of the highly secretive Photographic Reconnaissance Unit.
Englishman Will Fleming is a handsome young artist who has been commissioned by the British government to record the changing landscape in paintings. His path intersects with Emma's when his real mission—tracking Nazi spies—leads him to Danesfield House, the target of a sinister plot.
Emma and Will become friends, but neither can reveal the true nature of their assignment. Can their relationship grow amid such secrecy? And can Will save Danesfield House—and Emma and her coworkers—before it's too late?

Retold from a turn-of-the-century (1897) tale collected in Calhoun, Alabama. This story about a pesky trickster rabbit and a little girl working her garden, has delightfully illustrated spreads throughout.

In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.

---The movie is on Amazon Prime and I am in the progress of watching a bit-at-a-time.

Stormwater management as art? Absolutely. Rain is a resource that should be valued and celebrated, not merely treated as an urban design problem—and yet, traditional stormwater treatment methods often range from ugly to forgettable. Artful Rainwater Design shows that it’s possible to effectively manage runoff while also creating inviting, attractive landscapes.
This beautifully illustrated, comprehensive guide explains how to design creative, yet practical, landscapes that treat on-site stormwater management as an opportunity to enhance site design. Artful Rainwater Design has three main parts: first, the book outlines five amenity-focused goals that might be highlighted in a project: education, recreation, safety, public relations, and aesthetic appeal. Next, it focuses on techniques for ecologically sustainable stormwater management that complement the amenity goals. Finally, it features diverse case studies that show how designers around the country are implementing principles of artful rainwater design.
Artful Rainwater Design is a must-have resource for landscape architects, urban designers, civil engineers, and architects who won’t let stormwater regulations cramp their style, and who understand that for a design to truly be sustainable, people must appreciate and love it. It is a tool for creating landscapes that celebrate rain for the life-giving resource it is—and contribute to more sustainable, healthy, and even fun, built environments.

In the second installment of William Shatner’s Zero-G series, Director Samuel Lord must identify a mole sabotaging the top-secret NASA project aboard the US space station Empyrean, while also fighting a fast-replicating virus that threatens humanity.
In the year 2050, the United States sends the FBI to govern its space station, The Empyrean. Under the command of suave, eighty-year-old director Samuel Lord, the “Zero-G” men are in charge of investigating terrorism, crime, corruption, and espionage, keeping an eye on the rival Chinese and Russian stations as well.
Lord and his team are assisting NASA in conducting a top-secret project in the agricultural center of the Empyrean. Using microscopic robots called nanites, they plan to construct a vine that can survive in space. The vine will grow structural material for an elevator that will reach from the Empyrean to Earth. Unfortunately, a Russian spy inadvertently causes the growth to rage out of control, not only threatening the Empyrean, but the Russian space station Red Giant.
Under the guidance of Director Samuel Lord, Zero-G must not only identify the spy, but help find a way to stop the fast-replicating vine…and a form of “space zombie” birthed by the nanites. The surprising solution takes Lord and a Russian pilot on a dangerous mission to Venus—where a shocking discovery awaits.

-----One that I started reading but never finished.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


So, apparently the cough I got yesterday after being around a bunch of people and what I call a "fake fever" feeling from my thyroid issues might be related this time around. I still have the slight cough today and I am getting started on what's left of a 24-hour readathon in the evening...I was apparently exhausted. #AdventuresOfTheAutoimmuneKind #StayTunedForReading

I am starting with re-starting "Metzger's Dog." I am at the beginning of the second chapter and it seems there will be humorous characters and interesting characters.
Things I am learning...
---The definition of "anteroom" is basically "waiting room."
---The definition of "truculent" is basically "eager or quick to argue or fight; aggressively defiant."
---Languages I didn't know of...Bemba, Tswana, Luo, Dinka

Final count...171 pages and I am very happy I got some done. :-) I did really good, considering we had a houseguest, and now I really need to sleep a few hours.
Oh, and my cough turned out to be allergies. :-) :-) :-)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday 9

1) Subways can be bright and noisy. Do you need it dark and quiet before you can fall asleep?
Usually. I can go to sleep with all sorts of noise if really I did yesterday when I took a nap while Husband watched the playing kids. Occasionally, I am afraid of the dark.

2) In this song, Petula encourages her lover to talk it out instead of walking out. Do you usually remain reasonable during a disagreement?
Yes, always. To the point that it might seem like I am not paying attention...I generally think deeply about the other person's viewpoint (even if they think I am refusing to listen).

3) Petula was a child star in England during WWII. Her BBC broadcasts were very popular with the British troops, who nicknamed her The Singing Sweetheart. Soldiers pasted her photo onto their tanks for luck as they went into battle. Do you have any little rituals or good luck charms that calm/comfort you when you're afraid?
Well. I make sure that we say that we all love each other before seperating....that's about it. I generally don't do anything with "luck" or verging on superstition.

4) Now 84, she recently told London's Daily Mail that she's surprised and thrilled to have found love again with a new man. Do you believe you'll ever be too old for romance?
My Husband and I have been together for a long time and romance is important to me. I don't think I would start another relationship if he were to pass...I don't think I am wrong about this. I have "moved on" after a few tragic/tragedy relationships...I hate the phrase "moved on" as far as a positive relationship.

5) Her family is far flung. She lives in London, her middle daughter is in Paris, her son is in Los Angeles and her oldest daughter lives in New York with Petula's two grandchildren. Who is your nearest friend or relative? Which one is farthest away?
Our nearest friend moved to our town to be near us. The closest relatives I miss are not that far away but finances or other factors have kept me from seeing them.

6) In 1967, when this song was popular, Rolling Stone published its first issue. John Lennon was on the cover. Publisher Jann Wenner reports that, either individually or as a group, the members of The Beatles have appeared on the most Rolling Stone covers. What's the first Beatle song that comes to mind?
"Come Together." I really like it as performed by Michael Jackson. The assassination of Lennon makes me sad because I feel he could have done much for World Peace. Inevitably, I am now watching a documentary on the day John Lennon died.

7) In 1967, Star Trek was in its second season on NBC. Who is your favorite Star Trek character?
Kirk, Kahn or the man in Star Trek Nemesis. The characters who were confident most of the time.

8) RANDOM QUESTION: When you slip into jeans or slacks, which foot do you put in first?
The right.

9) As you considered #8, did you mime pulling on your pants?
No, but I did mentally picture the process.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday Thirteen

LICENSED photo by Carlos Sillero
-----Yellow Split Pea Soup.Vegetarian. Cheerful color to lend cheer to a dreary, cold day. #simplyrecipes
-----Veggie Shepherd's Pie with Split Peas. KIWI Magazine.
-----Greek Yellow Split Pea Soup with Red Onion and Lemon
-----Vegetarian Yellow Split Pea Soup
-----Pumpkin and Yellow Split Pea Soup

Sedum is up here and there in our yards. This plant is sometimes called "Live Forever." Like my Wandering Jew cuttings, I should be able to put it in water and grow it solely that way. Live Forever?
---My purple hyacinth are blooming and the pink are up. These are part of a living boquet that Husband gave me last Easter.
---The forsythia have been blooming for about a week now. In another week or so blooming will be done and we will prune 1/3 of all the branches.
#WelcomeSpring #SpringPlantingSOON

Kudos to our Kindergartner for helping me play the leprechaun peeing in the toilet prank on Daddy. He mixed up the green water and contributed the feet.
Mommy: Should we put the footprints on the toilet?
Kindergartner:That would be kind of creepy.
Mommy: We don't do creepy?
Kindergartner: Oh. Yeah, we do.

4. Ginger Chicken Fried Rice. Easy and on next month's menus.

Our Preschooler enjoyed painting with a rolling marble.
Our Kindergartner enjoyed painting with a rolling marble.

I very much appreciated this thoughtful and sentimental gift...the bottle plus two glasses etched with paisley. Amaretto and Cherry Coca-Cola smells and tastes wonderful.

Hearty Lentils and Beans was a dinner and leftovers earlier this month.
The jalapeños on top were for me only. A bit of homemade Sriracha Salt and a bit of cumin. I used milk and butter to substitute for heavy cream. Husband liked this.

Baked Cucumber Chips (pictured after a little over an hour in the oven). These were interesting and will be another lunch sack item. Definitely use parchment paper...I don't have parchment paper and achieved different degrees of doneness when these were pulled out. Kindergartner loves garlic salt and that is what I sprinkled on.
I found a way for the kids to be fond of cucumbers. :-) :-) :-)

Pickle juice and vodka. This was an interesting taste, made use of the pickle juice and sort of grew on me. The drink smells good.
---Dry vermouth can be added with the vodka. This can also be made with gin.
---Some people garnish. Some people experiment with the pickles used.

-----Alton Brown's Pepper Vodka recipe. From "Good Eats."
-----Horseradish-Black Pepper Vodka
-----Tex Mex Pepper Vodka Infusion. This takes 2-4 days.
-----Chicken Thighs in Ghost Pepper Vodka and Coconut Milk
-----Cheese Ravioli with Ghost Pepper Vodka Sauce. Apparently, not spicy like it sounds.
-----Pepper-Vodka-Soaked Cherry Tomatoes with Seasoned Sea Salt. I am not entirely picturing how this would taste.

Becker's Mongolian Beef from "The Joy of Cooking." 60th Anniversary Edition. Takes a while to make...sauce done by hand, cooking the rice, slicing the beef properly, cutting about 27 green onions into matchsticks. Home-made is definitely well worth it. Other than one pet restaurant of ours, this is the BEST Mongolian Beef I have ever tasted.
Tip: Put the beef in the freezer until just about frozen...then take out to cut. This will make the beef more manageable.
What 27 matchsticked green onions looks like. This was a rotisserie chicken container.
I did the chopping with this Damascus Steel knife that I got as a birthday present. The first what I consider "real" kitchen knife that I own. PRETTY and sharp!

"Stained glass" ornament that Kindergartner painted for me a while back. He asked to buy this craft for one of his school presentations and it seemed really important to turned out he also wanted to surprise me with a gift because he knows I like butterflies. #SweetLittleBoy

My son's favorite species of shark is currently the Goblin Shark. What would you name this one?


Sunday, March 12, 2017

So, the clock change is giving me a bit of insomnia...that along with drinking too much water, having too much in the back of my mind and needing to be up to take medicine at the right time. Anyway, I stayed up and watched "Forces of Nature." That got me thinking (about Love, of course). I would recommend you watch it and fast-forward through if there is a part you find objectionable(not what you think) and the ending is not what I thought. I was actually surprised at the ending at first but then realized there was more than one character that the story needed to stay true to or develop happiness...yes, I like the ending.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Facebook begins testing reactions and 'dislike' in Messenger.
I think I don't really like this unless it is perhaps controlled by the person in, some statuses have the dislike option but not others. I already see people making plenty of use of the 'angry' reaction when that doesn't seem appropriate. Facebook seems to be a highly emotional, and sometimes irrational, place anymore...sigh.

Monday, February 27, 2017

-----Pickle Infused Vodka
Artichoke Pesto
---I am wondering what the texture would be like.
---Freeze for up to 6 months.
---The recipe was inspired by piccata-style dishes.
---We have a food processor. Unfortunately, when it was getting put together, one piece got put on prematurely and now I have to wait until I find a special tool for removing that piece (vintage). The recipe mentions making 4 or 5 cups of pesto at a time in a large food processor...that would be nice since the small quantities of store-bought pesto run out so QUICKLY.

Friday, February 24, 2017

-----Hungarian Mushroom Soup with Fresh Dill
So yummy!
This was No Churn Vanilla and Chocolate Creme Cookie Ice Cream that I made with the kids last Summer. The cookies were the generic Great Value(Walmart)...we used maybe 3/4 the amount one might use in the No Churn Oreo Ice Cream recipe I adapted. Of course, this was immensely better than store-bought. :-)

This weird picture is ice cream hardening in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Another great use for those sturdy Blue Bunny containers with the stay fresh seal. The kids helped crush the finer cookie pieces with a rolling pin...crushing things is fun.

Perhaps we will try these:
-----No Churn Chinese Five Spice Ice Cream
-----Fresh Peach Ice Cream (no churn)
-----No Churn Strawberry Cheesecake Granola Streusel Ice Cream
-----Balsamic Plum Ice Cream. No churn. Dairy-free.
-----No-Churn Black Sesame Ice Cream. Only 3 ingredients.

-----No-Churn Cinnamon Ice Cream
-----Fig, Vietnamese Cinnamon and Coffee Ice Cream

Friday, February 17, 2017

One of our next planned (homeschool) reads for Preschooler. The growth of an apple tree and a family of robins throughout the year. Pollination is summed up nicely. This books gives a basic idea of how to make an apple there is a recipe that I am excited about trying with the kids. I have very little experience with pie-making...I intend to fix that but have only myself and the internet to teach me.

-----Spiced Apple Pie
-----Almond and Apple Pie
-----Double Crust Apple Pie

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Just Out of the Oven...

I was having a day where most everything I did turned into, I decided to keep dinner simple tonight...Seasoned Oven-Roasted Chicken. This was yummy. I would recommend making sure to use thicker chicken breasts to avoid drying out (I achieved varying degrees of juiciness).
I will have to explore all the variations in the recipe comments. :-)

Recipes I am considering:
-----Homemade Tartar Sauce. Includes grated onion and I love capers. I just don't know what kind of fish we will be putting with it...not much selection around here. I am hoping I can pick up some nice fish fillets on a roadtrip.
-----Asiago Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Soup
-----Crustless Rhubarb-Custard Pie
-----Garlic Roasted Cauliflower with Toasted Asiago Bread Crumbs
-----Easy Alfredo Sausage and Potato Gnocchi Bake
-----Cauliflower Hash Brown Egg Cups

Looking for:
-----A good Chicken Burger recipe.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Pink Saturday

It is hard for me to find pink in my house...beyond my daughter's loads of pink clothing (her favorite color). This is Daughter's piggy bank...a present from her great-grandmother.

So, it looks like there is nothing much on that shelf...but I have started Spring Cleaning early. This dental pick with mirror and light was part of some blogging opportunity several years ago. Back to the bathroom it goes.

Candles from Great-Grandmother who is a big fan of cakes and celebrations. I need to have a cake and a celebration.

Ornaments that have both very sentimental memories and, more recently, troubling memories...the two are not related. Usually these are on a shelf all year but the troublesome parts of life have kept them off the tree last year. Our tree is always kept up late for certain visitors...late like February-April, depending on who is, today I made the move of ignoring certain things and on the tree they went.

CD that Kindergartener painted for an etching project with Daddy...reminding them of it later. Candle holder from college and some tealights...cue romantic dinner plans and maybe Valentine's, too.

And now there is just this Nativity that I received back when my Mother passed. It is reminiscent of another piece that she had which I am looking into restoring. I am happy with my progression from a pink item to a blue to dust.

:-) 2009-06-11 daily 0.5 2009-06-11 daily 0.5