Friday, November 9, 2018

Winter Wonderland and Vegetable Soup

Well, OK...So it is only maybe an inch of snow on the ground, but still...

The lovely lady who cleans my apartment didn't show up Wednesday as scheduled.  She called to tell me she was a bit under the weather.  So this morning she called again to tell me she was still down with some sort of respiratory problem and we decided she should just skip this week and get back on schedule next week.  The last thing I need is to be exposed to some bug going around.  I'm glad she had the good sense to call me rather than just showing up.  The poor thing sounded just awful on the phone.  I hope she gets to feeling better soon.

So now that my Friday is free, I am soon off to the kitchen to do some serious slicing and dicing.  My grocery order yesterday included the ingredients for a big stockpot full of vegetable soup.  Today I will prep the vegetables and tomorrow, combine them and can the soup.

I don't use a recipe as such, but just toss in what I like.  There are 6 one pound bags of frozen, mixed vegetables, two pounds of carrots, one bunch of celery, one small cabbage, about four pounds of potatoes and two large cans of crushed tomatoes.  These I cover with water and toss in a few beef bouillon cubes along with onion powder, garlic powder, celery seed and dried parsley. 

This makes a good soup base that can be eaten as is or if I want a more hardy soup, I just add some of my home canned beef or pork for a meal.  This is good thickened served over biscuits, too.  It has become a staple in my pantry.

So even though it is cold outside, it is a day of beautiful sunshine.  Even the  city streets are pretty with a new covering of snow.  Enjoy your day as I am enjoying mine.  :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Sigh of Relief

The midterms are over.  The mudslinging ads are done.  Here in Minnesota it was all about health care.  The left told us if we had a pre-existing condition we would die if the right was voted in.  And the right was all about calling the left liars.  The left pretty much won here, which is no great surprise.  And life still goes on and will probably continue regardless.

I had a few days of catching up on chores that had been neglected and a few days of staying in my jammies and reading and napping and crocheting.  So now I am ready to get back into my normal routine. 

I have ordered enough vegetables for huge batch of soup to be canned.  They will arrive Thursday, so I will prep them Thursday afternoon and can the soup either Friday or Saturday.  When I get ready to use it, I just add a jar of canned meat and a bit of seasoning.  It can be eaten as soup or thickened over dumplings or biscuits.

I haven't seen much of my two oldest.  Daughter Jill came down with pneumonia, but is recovering nicely.  Son Duane was feeling under the weather and then broke out in a rash on his forehead.  Turns out he had shingles, which caused him to stay home a week because shingles is contagious.  He stayed away from me, too.  He went back to work today.

Feels like winter is just around the corner with colder temps and just enough snow in the surrounding area to cause a bunch of fender benders this morning.  Happens every year.  We forget over the summer how to drive on icy roads.  But we relearn fast.  :)

So it is off to the kitchen to fix a bit of supper and then settle in for an evening of crocheting and movie watching.  I swear, this afghan I'm working on for Boston is taking forever to finish.  With 144 granny squares in it, I shouldn't be surprised it is taking so long.  I'll show it to you when it is done, but that may be awhile.

It is good to be back.  :)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Taking Some Time Off

I need a break.  I don't watch TV but get my news from several Internet sources.  This doesn't insulate me from all the negative political ads and all the other political nonsense floating around these days.  I am sick to death of it all.

Some lunatic sends bombs, real or fake, to Dems, it is Trump's fault.
Trump wants to stop an invasion from the south, he is an unfeeling monster.
When our President puts Americans first, the left loses its mind.
I swear to God, if a Democrat gets a hangnail, Trump will be blamed.

I think the proverbial straw was when I read that because I enjoy a glass of milk with my chocolate chip cookies, I most definitely am a racist.  See the column by Patrice Lewis on WND.

I have several projects going, the most important of which is working on the afghans for my grands.  There is bread to bake and quilt tops to finish sewing and some canning and dehydrating to do.  I have found several audio books on YouTube that I will listen to while working.  I have set up Pandora to play selections of country and bluegrass music.

The politicians can continue to chew each other up and spit each other out, but they will do it without me watching them do it.

I'm done.

So right now I m off to my kitchen to wash a few dishes and stir up a cherry cheesecake dessert.  I'll see you all right after the midterm elections.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

First Solo Flight

My grandson, Zach, who is at college studying aviation, took his first solo flight yesterday.

His mother says he did four takeoffs and landings.  She also said she was glad he didn't tell her until it was over!

Congratulations, Zach.
You done good!
Love, Grandma

Monday, October 22, 2018

What Else...

do I store besides food and water.  That question was asked of me by one of my commenters.  I have been thinking about it over the weekend and have come up with a list.

Before I get into that, I want to mention that there are countless websites full of opinions on what to store for an SHTF situation.  I have seen videos where people have entire rooms dedicated to preps and have everything under the sun stored 'just in case.'  Some store extras to use for barter.  Others order ready-to-eat meals or #10 cans of freeze dried food.

Me...I live in a three room apartment and use all three rooms.  My storage space is minimal at best, so I have to pare the lists down to the absolute necessities.  That being said...

I have a propane camp stove and a propane space heater should the gas to my building be shut off.  I have no place to store larger propane tanks, so I buy the small ones, pack them into boxes and keep them in the closet farthest from my exit door, which is also the coolest room.

Those with a medical condition need supplies.  I stock 4x4 sterile pads to cover wounds, antibiotic cream and ace bandages.  That is the minimum to properly care for my legs.

I don't buy first aid kits.  I have found that often when a kit is advertised as being say, 100 pieces, 80 of those are bandaids.  So instead I buy a variety of bandaids, a cream for burns, peroxide and alcohol wipes for cleansing an area needing treatment in addition to the above mentioned supplies..  I also have rolls of gauze.  I don't buy the tape sold with the medical supplies, for I have found it useless.  Masking tape or even duct tape works better.

I keep Vicks, Vaseline, lip balm, hand lotion, cough drops and vitamins on hand.  Also a diarrhea treatment and Pepto Bismol.  My Dad always swore by 7-Up or Ginger Ale for upset stomach, so I use those as well.

I keep extra dish soap and sponges along with Borax, washing soda and Fells Naphtha soap for making my own laundry soap.  Also bleach and bar soap.

I have been negligent in taking care of lighting needs should the power be out for an extended time, but my list of 'need to buy' includes at least three oil lamps and fuel (kerosene is too flammable to risk storing in my apartment - thus the oil) candles, flashlights and batteries.  I am also wondering if those solar lights that people use in their yards might work.  Wooden kitchen matches are a must for lighting stoves, lamps and candles.

I have a wicker picnic basket full of sewing supplies.  If a person has a hobby, now would be the time to collect materials.  I have lots of yarn and fabric.  And books.  I have a Kindle, but it would be pretty difficult to charge it without electricity unless I had a solar charger.  A selection of board games, playing cards, paper, colored pencils and markers are going into a box for a worst case scenario time if the grid goes down.  If I didn't have anything to occupy my time and mind, I would be a raving lunatic in no time at all.

And a selection of hard candies.  I know that sounds silly, but if things get bad for a long time, a Tootsie Roll Pop or a butterscotch disc might be the very thing to make us feel better.  A little treat never hurt anyone and it might just keep the kids from doing damage to one another.

I'm sure there are many more items one could stock up on, but that is about all I can cram into my small living space and still be able to get from one room to another without having to crawl over stuff.  :)

What items do you consider necessary to store?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Good Report

So today I had my yearly Dr. appointment.  Looks like I am going to be around a while longer to pester everyone.

Last year I had to argue with my Dr. about coming in every three months like he wanted me to.  I held out for a yearly visit unless I became ill.  Today, when we were finished, he said, "See you next year."  A years worth of prescriptions are being sent to the pharmacy like I requested.  All the levels he checks for are in the 'normal' range.  I am 20 lbs. lighter than a year ago, through no fault of my own.  :)

When a person reaches a certain age they are required to answer  questions about their mental health.  Judging by the questions, there must be many of my vintage who have no interests to keep them busy and who are suffering from depression.  I find that so sad.  My youngest son was there with me and while I was filling out one of those questionnaires,  he asked the nurse if there was a blank to fill in about being stubborn and ornery.  I love that kid and his sense of humor.  :)

Even though I was in the last place I cared to be, it has been a lovely day.  I got to spend time with my youngest and I enjoyed every minute of it.  He has a new car and he was showing me all the features it has.  There is a screen showing what is behind him when he backs up.  The screen is also his cell phone that he can access with a touch of the finger while driving.  When he stops at a stop sign, the engine  automatically shuts off and then restarts when he wants to go forward.  The seats heat up.  Good grief!  I asked him what he would do if suddenly all the gadgets failed.  Considering that his job requires extensive cell phone and computer use, he said he would probably enjoy the peace and quiet.

I think what is left of my day, having taken a nice long nap, will be spent quietly recovering from climbing stairs and answering questions.  But tomorrow, watch out.  There are cookies to be baked and bread to be made.   All things considered, life is still pretty darned good.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Off and Running like a Herd of Turtles

Having spent a relaxing weekend, it is time to get busy.

15 lbs. of hamburger are waiting to be jarred and processed.
4 lbs. each of broccoli and cauliflower and onions await the dehydrators.
10 lbs. of potatoes need to be peeled and sliced and dried

My bread machine has been dusted off and is ready to produce lovely loves of bread and some tasty rolls.  My gosh, but store bread has become expensive.  I don't like baking bread in the machine, but shape the dough into loaves and bake it in the oven, now that the heat of summer has past.  The only drawback is that I can make only one loaf at a time.  But I can live with that.  The machine makes it possible to have good bread for pennies and it does the stirring and kneading for me. 

So I am off, like a herd of turtles, to see what I can accomplish in the next couple of days.  As they say, 'Keep on prepping.'  Judging by what is going on in Portland with the antifa mob taking over the streets and all the craziness elsewhere, that seems to be pretty good advice.