Sunday, November 8, 2015

Brick Wall

Sometimes I hit a brick wall when it comes to finding interesting things to write about.  I look at all the other blogs I read...the ones who have homesteads and tell about all the things they are doing.  They are building greenhouses and outdoor kitchens and taking care of chickens and goats and pigs.  They have dogs and cats who do amusing things.  And then I look around at my three rooms and wonder what on earth can I find that is worth writing about.

And then after a lady I consider a blogging friend left a comment on another post, wondering if I was OK because I hadn't posted for a while, I got to thinking that I was just being silly.  I may not have the chickens or pets or outdoor kitchens, but I do more than just sit here and stare at the walls.  I once knew a woman a little older than me who spent her days in a recliner set three feet away from her TV.  Most  days she didn't bother to get dressed, but sat there in her robe and slippers - all day - every day.

Now I rather like my life that is pretty much free of drama.  A quiet life suits me.  But not that quiet!  The things that happen in my life may not be as exciting as the things that others write about, but I'll bet dollars to donuts (I wonder where that expression came from.) that there are others who have lifestyles like mine.  And just maybe they would like to know how someone in the same situation fills their days.  I know I have often wondered what the day to day lives of my grandmothers were like.  All I have to tell me are a very few letters written long ago.  At least when my grandchildren are old enough to wonder, they won't have to ask.

So with that in mind, I will tell you that evenings this week I have spent time crocheting granny squares for a rug to use in my bedroom.  I make granny squares because they are easy and require very little counting of stitches.  I have tried crocheting afghans or rugs that are made in rows, but I usually screw them up, either dropping stitches at the end of a row or winding up with too many stitches in a row.   When I make the squares to sew together, I can watch something interesting on YouTube at the same time.  This week it was episodes of Antiques Roadshow, United Kingdom version.  I love listening to the British talk.

This morning I got a phone call from Nicki, who is in Texas.  She is taking classes to become an Army Medic.  She told me all about what she is learning and about her schedule for completing the course.   What she wouldn't tell me is the date she will be home for Christmas.  She is planning to just walk in and surprise us, the stinker!  She is excited about her classes and very glad to be done with Basic.  She graduates from this training in March and then will find out where she will be stationed.  It was so good to hear her voice.

This afternoon Number One Son popped in, laptop in hand.  He can pick up WiFi in his apartment, but the signal is much stronger here, so he came to catch up on computer stuff.  I talked him into staying for supper of homemade chicken nuggets and squash.  It didn't take much persuasion on my part and I probably didn't need to use the bribe of a pan of brownies, but it was fun for me to make goodies for his lunch next week.

I made out my grocery order for next week.  The store has a sale on boneless beef roast, so I am ordering 15 lbs.  Son said he would stop at the store and get me another 25 lbs. of beef.  I know that $3.99 a lb. isn't cheap, but hamburger here is running about $5.00 a lb., so I decided to take advantage of the sale before the price went even higher.  I shop only the sales now, with just a few other items like milk and butter added.  I have reached my goal of having a years worth of food put back, and because I use from my pantry on a regular basis, I mostly just need to replace what I use from time to time.  That's a good feeling, knowing that my family will be able to eat when things get tough.

I am sort of wishing that the presidential election was to be held this month instead of a year from now.  Not that I think it will matter much who is elected, but that I am already tired of the posturing and the sniping at one another and the accompanying lies.  I am afraid that our country is already so far gone that it will take a miracle to bring it back where it needs to be.  It would be nice, though, if there were more emphasis on dealing with the problems we face and less on poll numbers.  Sigh.

Here in the North, fall is fading fast.  Temperatures are close to freezing at night - cool during daylight hours.  Not too long ago I heard a flock of geese, honking like mad, heading south.  The weather guessers here predict a cold, snowy winter, a warm winter, and all points in between.  Me... I don't care.  I can fort up and stay busy all winter if necessary.  Sounds like a plan.  :)


  1. I like to knit instead of crochet, but I don't do it very often anymore. I've made a number of sweaters and afghans that never come out right. One afghan I made a couple of years ago for a sick friend started out right, but looked like a fan when I got finished, the end was much wider than the beginning. If I could crochet without killing my thumb, your granny squares sound like a good idea, Vicki. It's good to hear from you. I enjoy your scribbling. Blessings.


  2. Fern...I used to knit as well, but found I wasn't very good at it. I have knit mittens, caps and scarves, but socks completely befuddled me. Even when switching to crochet, working a piece in rows usually wound up all wonky like your afghan. But the granny squares are pretty hard to mess up and they can be sewn together in a number of pretty patterns. I like the fact that they are relatively mindless and I can work on them and watch programs like Roadshow or maybe a movie in the evenings and not lose track of where I am on the crochet piece. That's important to someone like me who can walk from one room to the next and forget why enroute. :)

    Thanks for commenting. I have had the privilege of meeting so many nice people via this silly little blog and I appreciate each and every one.

  3. And you think you have nothing to say! lol Personally, I find your thoughts and life just as interesting as anyone else's.

  4. Thank you, Gorges...What a nice thing to say. Sometimes it is a stretch for I don't go anywhere except with family nor do I have the drama and excitement of others. So I enjoy all the excitement of other blogs (including the continuing saga of the Mighty Dachshund), and continue on with my quiet life. And it is enough.

  5. Wow, almost $5.00 a pound for hamburger where you are and I thought that the price here was high at $2.79 to $2.99 a pound. A local grocer did have a one day sale on Friday for $1.99 a pound so I bought about 30 pounds even though I really didn't need it as I already had nearly 75 pounds in the freezer, but I canned it all up as don't know when we'll see that price again.

    Even though you don't think you have much to say I enjoy reading each of your posts and know that you are still alive and kicking.

  6. Jim...I checked the sale ad for this week from the big box grocery closest to me (a suburb SW of Minneapolis), just to make sure I wasn't lying. 96 % lean ground beef is $5.49 a pound. That with more fat content usually runs $4.99 a pound. I canned up a bunch of hamburger when the price was less, but wish I had more. That's why when I saw boneless beef roast for $3.99 a pound, I ordered for delivery and asked Son to get me more as well. (I am limited on my grocery delivery service as to dollar amount every two weeks and needed some other sale items.) I will cube the beef and can that as well. Makes great stew and other dishes and wonderful hot beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy (remember those?). Prices here have gone way past outrageous.

    Thanks for the comment and encouragement. Sometimes I get stuck in a rut, and it is nice to know that others check in from time to time. :)

  7. So glad to see you are o.k. I usually link up to your postings through Frank and Fern's blog and had noticed it had been almost a week since you posted. I guess I was not the only one who was beginning to get somewhat concerned. By the way, I truly enjoy reading your blog. It is refreshing to read "real thoughts and common sense" instead of the nonsense we are bombarded with day in and day out. I love the fact that you are highly motivated to be ready for whatever comes your way. You are a thinker and a do-er, and I like that! Please keep blogging!

  8. CWfromIowa...Thank you so much for your kind words. Once in a while it seems difficult to find anything "blog worthy" to write about. Sometimes the highlight of my day is a clean kitchen floor, and I doubt anyone cares about that except me! :) I guess I need to stop comparing myself to those with exciting lives and concentrate on what I do in my quiet little suburban apartment.

    You are spot on about the nonsense with which we are continually bombarded. Common sense, especially in the areas of education and politics, seems to be a thing of the past. I think if I thought any of my grandkids were being raised as "special little snowflakes," I would likely blow a gasket. As far as being motivated to prepare for whatever comes my way, it is just how I was raised. In the fable of the ant and the grasshopper, my parents were the ants. With such an uncertain future, I just believe that it is important to pay attention and do whatever we can to be ready. Come back any time. The coffee pot is always on!!

  9. I enjoy reading your blog. I guess I am a lurker. I am a novice knitter, quilter and
    enjoy the photos you post of whatever you are working on. I must admit that lately
    I too have been sitting in my bathrobe in front of my computer, but that is because
    of pain. Working on getting it under control though. My #1 bucket list wish is to
    learn to can. JB I had to laugh, just now I had to prove I'm not a robot and was
    asked to identify all trains in the photos presented. My oldest son is a railroad
    engineer! I love trains!

  10. hi, v.
    don't stop. we enjoy it all. it is nice to read something normal!!
    although normal may be the exception anymore!

  11. Have to jump in with others and say I missed your posts. I,too, found you through Frank and Fern's blog. I,too, am in a four room apartment in a suburb of Vancouver BC. And, my constant companion is also four footed. I'm about a decade younger then you but am no longer able to work for pay outside the home. I also can and have a garden plot (6ft X 9ft) in a local community garden. Anyway, all to say, we have a lot in common.

    In case you'd like an idea for a post - I'd love to know some of your go-to menus for your canned goodies. Cooking for myself has been one of the hardest things to learn and to do. I was so used to cooking for a full house that it is really difficult some days to cook for just me. Keep on writing, please!! SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

  12. Anon (JB)...Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I so enjoy hearing from those who spend a little time here.

    I get the part about the robe. I pretty much lived in mine when I was ill last winter. Dealing with pain is not easy. I hope you can soon find relief.

    Canning is not that tough. The trick is to pay attention and follow instructions to the letter. There are many YouTube videos about canning. Some are excellent and some are not. The Ball Canning Book is a good reference, as is the National Center For Home Food Preservation website. Hope you can give canning a try. I sure like the results.

    Your comment about trains made me smile. I come from a long line of railroaders. My Dad especially loved trains. Small world. :)

  13. Hey, Deb...No, I'm not going to stop writing. Sometimes, though, I just get a bit stuck for a while. As far as "normal" goes, I'm not so sure about that. :) There are those who believe that I am obsessed with food and the preservation of same. They are right. I am, in the sense that I believe in being prepared, no matter what comes along. I have no way to garden or raise livestock, so I feel I need to can and dehydrate and stock up enough to last a good, long while.

    Then there are those who firmly believe I am a card carrying member of the Tin Foil Hat Brigade! Guess that is because I don't take words flowing from Washington as gospel. And that is not considered normal by most of the sleepy sheep who surround us. So I guess I will just continue to do what I consider normal, even if it goes against the grain now days! I seem to be in good company!

  14. SJ in Vancouver...Aren't Frank and Fern just great? I have learned so much from them, and about the time I begin to question my efforts in preparedness, they have a post that reminds me just why I do what I do.

    It is nice to have someone comment here who is also an apartment dweller. There are situations unique to our living arrangements that perhaps are hard to understand by others, like getting creative with storage issues. I wish there were a community garden locally, but there is not. And although I no longer have any four footed furry friends in my life (I just plain outlived them all.), I have always had a love of animals. We do have much in common. :)

    I love your suggestion for a blog post and I promise you that I will get busy working on it. I understand how hard it is to go from cooking for a family to cooking for just one. I often wind up with leftovers enough for several days. At those times my freezer is my friend.

    I so appreciate those who stop by and comment. Thank you.

  15. I also am a lurker. I enjoy your down home approach to life. We,too, are preppers. We don't have a garden, but like you we have a farmers market. Kind of small, but we know everyone. I would like to hear about other things you do to be prepared for emergencies. Like light sources or heat sources. Have you stocked up on meds? I was also wondering if you have the ability to access your rooftop for container gardening?

  16. Cindy...So glad you came by and left a comment. Aren't farmers markets great? I know it would be better to garden because eventually, in a really bad situation, I will run out of food. But I guess we do the best we can with what we have to work with.

    Thanks for the ideas for more posts. Soon I will write one that addresses the other things I do to prep. There is too much information to answer here. Although I can tell you that I have seen where people in cities make use of rooftops for gardening, and that is a wonderful idea. My building has no easy access to the roof, which is built on a slant and therefore not suitable for much of anything but as a roof. However, my building does have a communal deck and my landlord has suggested that I try growing a few things in buckets - tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, etc. I may give that a go come spring. I miss having a garden.