Sunday, June 30, 2013

Schedule for Tomorrow

I thought I would give you government types a bit of a break tomorrow.  Lord knows, you must be working really hard, keeping track of our conversations, internet activity and movements.  So here is my schedule for tomorrow.

8:50 AM - leave my apartment and walk to bus stop
9:00 AM - enter bus
9:35 AM - transfer from one bus to another
(You might want to keep an eye on this.  Transfer may or may not occur, depending on the drivers schedule.)
9:50 AM - depart bus for grocery store
(This one may be a bit difficult for you as I pay cash for my purchases, so there will be no credit card transactions to consult to let you know what I buy.  To help you out with this, my grocery list includes cat food, carrots, frozen green beans, fresh strawberries and maybe a frozen turkey.  I haven't decided for sure about the turkey.  But I am sure if you study the information from all of the cameras inside the store, you can find out what I buy.)
10:50 AM - enter bus at bus stop outside store
11:00 AM - arrive at bus stop near my apartment  (Now, at this point, I may or may not stop to talk with a friend who has a small business close by.  You are screwed there, as she has no surveillance equipment in her shop, but I have no doubt that you can overcome that problem.)
11:20 AM - enter apartment building and check my mailbox  (If I have any mail, chances are pretty good that it will be junk mail.  I don't mind the grocery store ads or even the ones from the people who want to fix the crack in the windshield of the car that I do not own, but I am getting really irritated with the Cremation Society wanting me to sign up and pre pay.  I am not ready for their services as yet, so they can just leave me alone, thank you so much.)

The rest of my day will be taken up with household chores (My kitchen floor really needs a scrubbing and I have a basket of clothes to fold.) and I will be canning the carrots and green beans to use when I make my next batch of food for my dogs.  I probably will forget about my afternoon nap as I can not leave my pressure canner unattended.

However, here is a heads up for the evening.  I will most likely be checking Facebook to see if any of my children have posted new photos.  And I will be reading Drudge Report, so just get over it.

The rest of my evening will be taken up with some hand sewing on a quilt that I am working on, and I will most likely, between 8:00 PM and 9:30 PM be watching Masterpiece Mystery on PBS while I sew.

So there you have it.  Now that you know what my schedule is, you can go spy on someone else.  Have a good day.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Breakfast From Food Storage

I was in a hurry this morning.  I needed to finish a few things around the apartment before watching my granddaughters dance this afternoon via live feed from Nationals in Kansas City.  (Who am I kidding.  I am retired.  I don't have a schedule.  Just makes me sound important to pretend to have one.)  At any rate, I decided to go with quick and easy for breakfast, which turned out to be lunch as well.

I buy very few convenience foods, so the ones I have are usually homemade.  Today I had a hankering for biscuits and sausage gravy.

A few weeks ago I made some homemade Bisquick mix, so I used it to stir up a pan of biscuits.  They were good.  Not as good as my homemade from scratch biscuits, which are awesome, but good, none the less.  While the biscuits were baking, I got out a jar of homemade chicken gravy mix and got a couple cups of gravy heating on the stove.  When it had thickened, I added a half-pint jar of home canned crumbled sausage and let it simmer.  Some say that you should not can sausage that contains sage, but this sausage has sage in it, and it turned out really good.  In the time it took to bake the biscuits, breakfast was ready.

I love my food storage.  It makes life so much easier for me.  I now go to the grocery only to replenish what I have used or if there is something on sale that week that I want to buy.  Last winter when the snow was falling and the sidewalks were full of ice, I only had to go out to the store a couple of times, and that was by choice and not by necessity.  Sometimes folks laugh at me when I am busy canning hamburger or tomato sauce or peaches.  They can't figure out why I bother.  After all, those things are on the store shelves, so why go to all that work.

In the middle of winter when it is cold and windy, or in the summer when storms are predicted and people are standing in line to buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk, that is when I have the last laugh, because I am snug in my little apartment, happily doing whatever I want to do without having to run to the store.

Here are the recipes for my homemade convenience foods.  I have gleaned these recipes from the internet and have no idea of their original source.

Homemade Bisquick Mix

9 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/3 cup double-acting baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups shortening which does not require refrigeration

Whisk together the dry ingredients.  Cut in the shortening (I used a hand held electric mixer) until the mixture resembles cornmeal.  Store in an airtight container.

To make biscuits, stir together 3 parts Mix and 1 part water.  If too sticky, add more mix.  If too dry, add more water.  Gently knead about 10 times.  Cut biscuits, place on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.

Homemade Chicken Gravy Mix
Makes about 2 cups of mix.

1-1/3 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix well and store in an airtight container.

To use, whisk together 1 part Mix with 2 parts water.  Stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
Note:  I usually quadruple this recipe and store it in quart size canning jars.  I use it not only for gravy, but to thicken chicken stew or chicken pot pie, and often will use it in place of a can of cream soup in a casserole recipe.

Food storage - Makes all the sense in the world to me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Brother of Dancers

This Dance thing doesn't involve just my granddaughters.  It is a family affair.  Mom, Dad and little brother Jacob are at the competitions, and I think Jacob does well with it all.  But sometimes it just tires a fella out.

Dance at Nationals Update

I've got the live feed thing for the Nationals competition figured out.  I was able to watch, from my computer, Boston do her solo dance.

This is Boston with her dance teacher, Katie, right after Boston's performance.

Boston was awesome!  She nailed it!  I am so proud of both Boston and Maddie.  (Yes, Grandma is bragging.  It is what we Grandmas do.  It is our job.)

Maddie has one performance with a group on Friday and both have several dances Saturday and Sunday.  And you can bet that this Grandma will be spending the weekend at her computer, cheering both of them on!


Sometimes.....not always.....but sometimes I can be such a dunderhead.

My son, daughter-in-law and their three children are in Kansas City for Boston and Maddie's dance competition at Nationals.  Incidentally, the kids thought it was really cool that they drove in four states on their way to Kansas City.  Anyway, David called to let me know what time Maddie and Boston would be dancing last evening and this morning.  Maddie was first last evening.  And this is where the dunderhead part comes in.

Staci had left a link on Facebook so those interested could watch the girls dance on a live feed.  I found the site, got logged in and was really excited to watch my beautiful grandbaby dance.  I love to watch her dance.  She so clearly loves what she is doing.  But there was a monkey wrench thrown into the works.  This competition is so huge that there are three stages of performers going on at one time.  And the live feed that I had in front of me was not the stage where she was scheduled to dance.  I clicked on links, searched the entire website and finally found the feed for the stage where she was performing.....10 minutes after she and the two girls in her trio had completed their performance.  AAARRRGGGH!

Here is Maddie in the center, with the other girls who form the trio, just before they went on stage.  I know that Maddie will forgive me for being a dunderhead and missing her dance, because she loves her Grandma.  Her Dad tells me that the girls did an awesome job.

Boston's solo performance is scheduled for later this morning and I am ready.  I have bookmarked the page I need to open to see her dance, I have a fresh pot of coffee brewing and there are appropriate snacks at my elbow.  I'm not gonna miss this one!

Good luck, girls.  Knock their socks off!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I have gotten lazy.  I freely admit it after reasoning this morning that there was no other word for my behavior.

A couple of years ago I took the time to make my own dog food.  Then I got lazy and went back to buying the dry kind at the grocery.  Even the increase in the price of commercial dog food didn't deter me.  Until today.

I have two Yorkies.  They need to be fed.  I am nearly out of dry dog food.  To get more food, I need to put on shoes along with the rest of my clothes and take the bus to the store.  I have arthritis, which has been a bit worse than usual this spring.  The kind of arthritis I have causes joints to ache and my feet and ankles to swell.  My back tends to go out more often than I do.  This isn't a complaint, just a statement of fact.  Lots of people are in far more pain with problems much worse than mine.  This morning I couldn't get my fat foot into my left shoe.  No way.  Wasn't going to happen.  That's when I decided that I had gotten lazy.

As I sat grumbling about the fact that I just wasn't going to be going anywhere barefoot today I got to thinking that if I hadn't gotten so lazy and stopped making my own dog food, I wouldn't be sitting here grumbling about the fact that I couldn't go anywhere today.  After all, I am forever preaching about being prepared, and I am at least in the food department.  Time to put my money where my mouth is.

I dug into my stores and got out a bag of rice.  Next I went to my canned goods shelves and got two quarts of home canned sliced carrots along with four pint jars of diced pork butt.  I had experimented with canning pork butt when it was on sale and was less than thrilled with the results, but I'll bet the dogs will love it.  I can't stand to waste anything.  Also grabbed a jar of turkey broth.  Dumped the broth and some water into a pot.  Added the rice and cooked it until it was done and fluffy.  I think the broth will add to the flavor and make the dogs happy.  When the rice had cooled down some I tossed it into a big bowl and added the carrots and pork.  Got in there with my hands and mixed the whole works together.  Hands are the very best kitchen tools ever made.

By this time Lily and Jessie Jane were dancing around my feet.  They sure did like the smells coming from this big bowl.  Time to see if they liked the taste as well as the smells.  Put about a half a cup in each of two small bowls and set the bowls on the floor.  I'm not really sure if they ate the dog food or just inhaled it, but it was a rousing success.

So now I have a couple of quart bags of dog food in the fridge for their meals in the next few days and another eight bags in the freezer.  I don't know why it took me so long to get back to making their food.  (Yes, I do.  I got lazy.)  It is much better for them than the stuff that I was buying.  I am not sure of the ages of my Yorkies as I got them when they were already older, but I am guessing they are between 10 and 12 years.  Maybe if I continue giving them good homemade food, I just might be able to enjoy them for many more years.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Good Morning...or Not

So.....I wake up early this morning, not to the sounds of cute little birds singing outside my window, but to wave after wave of sirens going by.  I have no idea what is going on.  I can't see anything unusual from my windows, nor do I smell any smoke.  I guess that is a good thing.  I won't have to evacuate.

The sounds of the sirens have awakened my little nine-pound bundle of energy named Lilly, the Yorkie.  She doesn't bark at sirens.  But she is awake and she wants the dog biscuit she gets upon my awakening each morning.  And she wants it now!  She has me well trained.  I tell her that in doggy years she is at the very least, a seventy year old woman who should be asleep at this hour, rather than yipping at my bedroom door.  She ignores me.  So to keep her from annoying my neighbors, I get up.

On my way to the treat jar in the kitchen, I slip and slide in a pool of hair ball cat puke.  Thank you so very much, Kizzie the cat.  Kizzie has been leaving me similar gifts this week.  I know that this is fairly normal for a cat to hack up a hair ball now and then, but I really hope she is finished with this for a while.

By the time I clean off the bottom of my foot and wipe up the mess on the floor, Lilly is in a frenzy of what I call the Yorkie Dance Team Cookie Dance.  Her sister, Jessie Jane, having been awakened by all the commotion, has joined in the dance.  The only good thing I can say is that Jessie does her Cookie Dance silently.  I don't think I have ever heard her bark.  I will never understand why they get so excited about a tiny bit of rock hard, foul smelling dog biscuit.  But they do.  Every morning.

My little old lady pooches settle back down in their beds for a nap, which will last pretty much the whole morning.  Kizzie takes her place in the chair by the window to keep an eye on the world outside.  I am left here............. without a calming cigarette.

The legislature in my state has decided to double the tax on cigarettes to help pay for a  fancy new football stadium.  And because I am ornery enough to refuse to contribute one thin dime towards a stadium being built for a bunch of over paid jocks that I will never see play in said stadium because I can't afford the price of a ticket, I will buy no more cigarettes.  I don't know which is worse - the withdrawl that I am going through or listening to the self-righteous non-smokers pontificate about how healthier I will be because I can't afford cigarettes any more.

I don't know about you, but I am really tired of government "helping" me.  I have known for quite some time that quitting smoking was in my near future.  But I resent the hell out of government forcing me to quit by jacking up the price of a pack.  I think that this would have been much easier for me if I had the choice of making that decision on my own, in my own time.  I probably would have, left to my own choices in the matter, been much less grumpy. is your day going so far?