Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Memories

Growing up, Sundays were always a day of worship and a day of rest.  Sunday school and church services were mandatory.  There were Bible verses to be memorized during the week and then recited in class and sermons to be listened to afterward.  The preachers then didn't give a hoot about your "feeeelings."  They weren't even close to being politically correct.  They preached Hellfire and Brimstone.  They didn't worry about offending anyone. If you didn't repent and give up your wicked ways, you were going directly to Hell.  There were no gray areas.  I think I liked that.  At least you left the church service knowing exactly where you stood.

Arriving home from church, we were greeted by wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen.  Before church, Mother would put a pot roast or a chicken or a pork roast in a pan, surround it with potatoes, carrots and onions and let it slow bake in the oven while we were gone.  I noticed that if the preacher was particularly long-winded and his sermon went past the noon hour, Mother would get fidgety, worried that her Sunday dinner would dry out in the oven before she got home.  I don't ever remember that happening.  Sunday dinners were always the highlight of the week as far as meals went.

Sunday afternoons were a time for family.  We didn't always do things together, but we were still together as a family.  On rainy Sundays I could be found in my bedroom, reading Bobsey Twins books or the latest Nancy Drew mystery.  Or sometimes I would just sit listening to the radio and knitting or crocheting.   Or maybe embroidering a pretty picture on one of those flour sack dishtowels.  My little sister was more interested in dolls so she would be in the playhouse my Dad built for her, having a tea party with the neighbor girls.  Or we might spend the afternoon putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  There was always a card table set up with a half finished puzzle on it.

I never understood Mother's reasoning, but she believed that regular playing cards were evil.  So in the evenings we might play some Mother approved card games like Rook or Uno or Old Maid.  Sometimes Dad would get out one of the board games and we would play Scrabble or Yahtzee or Sorry or Clue (The professor in the library with a candlestick.)  :)

Sunny summer Sunday afternoons were a good time to go for a ride.  We didn't usually have a destination in mind.  We might stop at one of the one room schoolhouses in the area and play on the swings and teeter-totters.  Or we might go for a swim at the lake.  Sometimes Dad would just drive a meandering path until we came to one of the small towns in the area where he would find a place that sold ice cream cones.

Sometimes on a Sunday afternoon we would have company come.  Could be friends from town or my aunt and uncle and cousins.  Dad might set up the badminton net for the kids or maybe get out the croquet set.  Most often he would fill the ice cream maker with the ingredients and ice, and set the kids out on the back steps to work the crank until we had real, homemade ice cream.  The best was when he added sliced peaches or strawberries to the mixture.  We would enjoy the ice cream with a pitcher of ice cold lemonade and either gingersnaps or sugar cookies out on the front porch.

Now you might say that I grew up in a Mayberry kind of world, and you might be close to right.  It was a time, 60 years ago, when we enjoyed the more simple things in life.  It wasn't perfect by any means, but we were raised by parents who taught us right from wrong and who took the time to be with us, whether it was going for a Sunday ride or to church or playing a game of Scrabble.  I look at my grands and see that even though their world is much different than mine was, they are still being raised with some of the Mayberry values.  Gives me hope for their futures.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sat in my rocker this morning...

 watching out the windows, waiting for the blizzard the weather people have been forecasting for the past few days.  You know how they are, at least how they are in snow country.  They get all wound up at the thought of a snow storm and act like it is the storm of the century.

Giving credit where credit is due, folks living 70 - 90 miles south of here have 10 to 12 inches of snow on the ground so far, so the forecasters got that part right.  But my little suburb was lucky to see maybe half a dozen snowflakes.  Not exactly the makings of the horrible Friday morning commute they have been warning us about.

There are many who are disappointed the storm missed us.  I'm sure those who ski or ride snowmobiles would like to see some snow.  The little we had is gone after a week of 50-plus temps. complaints here.  I have kids and their spouses and a couple of grands who have to drive to and from work no matter what the weather and I am happier knowing they are driving on dry roads.

In a normal year, we are up to our backsides in snow by now.  That being said, here is what my oldest  daughter was doing last week.

"Golfing in February.  Awesome."

She has a great sense of humor and makes me laugh.  Laughter is the very best medicine.  :)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Round 2

Symptoms started last evening.  When I woke up this morning there was no doubt that the flu had returned.  I am not alone.  Chickenmom has also had a relapse, as have several others.  I will return when I feel less like something you would scrape off the bottom of your shoe and more like my old self.  Be careful out there.  This stuff will sneak up on you and kick your behind, given half a chance.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sometimes Dumb Stuff Happens When You Are Sick

My regular readers know that due to physical limitations, I use a grocery delivery service.  They call every other Monday to take my order and deliver my groceries on Thursday that week.  I make out my grocery list well in advance of the call.  And this time, well in advance of the flu bug slapping me upside the head.

Monday, while in a flu induced fog, I read off my list to the order taker, hung up the phone and went back to bed.  It did not register with me until my groceries were delivered that I had failed to remove from the list 12 lbs. of hamburger to use in canning a big batch of chili, several large green peppers to use in canning sweet and sour chicken and 6 lbs. of butter to add to the 4 lbs. in the fridge, also to be canned.  I suppose I could have put all of that into the freezer - except that the freezer is already full to the top.

So I spent today prepping the food.  Chicken breasts have been cut into bite sized pieces.  Peppers have been cleaned and cut into pieces along with onions.  Hamburger has been browned.  All are in plastic bags in the fridge.  Quart jars of home canned tomatoes and cans of kidney beans along with a jar of chili powder are waiting on the end of my kitchen table, as well as cans of pineapple chunks for the sweet and sour chicken.  Tomorrow morning the canning will begin.

And guess what.  I feel better now than I have since the flu bug showed up.  I think I must be one of those people who feels better when doing something than when just laying about.  Granted, I had to take several rest breaks, but even with that, it sure is nice to be back in the land of the living.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Jury is Still Out...

but the general opinion is that I will likely live after all.  Still feel somewhat crappy and I have learned the art of hibernation, but slowly I'm beginning to feel somewhat human again.  The biggest thing I have done since Monday is to open and heat jars of home canned soup.  My appetite is slowly returning and I added a sandwich to the menu this evening.  Thank you for the comments and concern.  With any kind of luck I shall be back to annoying the general public in another couple of days.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Flu Bug

Oldest Son had the flu this past week.  Missed a couple days of work.  He shared.  My own fault.  I asked him to come over to help me.  He is better.  I am not.  Headed back to bed.  This flu bug isn't lethal - just has given me that "run over by a bus" feeling.  I will be back as soon as possible to dazzle you with my brilliant posts.  But not today.  Probably not tomorrow either.  I can be found under my green fuzzy blanket, Kleenex and cough syrup and fruit juice at hand.  I really hate this.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Check List

Rugs vacuumed - check.
Meals prepared ahead for the weekend - check.
Laundry in progress - check.
Dishes washed and floor swept - check.

Sewing machine uncovered, threaded and a fresh needle inserted - check.

Remaining weekend of sewing little pieces of fabric to other little pieces of fabric well under way.  Other folks look at a weekend as a time to party.  This little old lady looks at the weekend as a time to create.  See you all next week - with pictures.

Have a great weekend doing what makes you happy.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday Ramble...

I think my get up and go has got up and left.  Can't seem to get motivated to do much of anything today.  Spent part of the morning wrapped in my green fuzzy blanket, Kindle in hand.  The rest of the morning was devoted to reading my favorite blogs and roaming about on the web.  There were several cups of coffee involved, so it wasn't completely wasted time.

Here in my little corner of Suburbia, Mother Nature seems to have developed a case of attention deficit disorder.  Earlier this week the temps were just at the freezing point which made streets and sidewalks interesting when the misty rain froze to their surfaces.  Early this morning the temperature hovered at +3 degrees, rising to +13 by noon.  Tomorrow temps in the +40 degree range are predicted.  And after that, the weatherman's guess is as good as mine.  When I look out my window I see a few patches of ice and no snow which is unusual for this time of year, even in my downtown location where streets are plowed and sidewalks shoveled.  I am not complaining.  Could be like "Joisey" where Chickenmom lives.  She says they are expecting at least a foot of the white stuff today.

I have been just scanning the headlines of the day to keep myself somewhat informed about what is going on in the world around me.  I find myself becoming irritated at the childish antics of our lawmakers.  Years back, when children squabbled and hurled insults at one another, their parents applied the palm of the hand to the seat of the pants and sent the miscreants to bed without supper.  I get an urge to do the same to those in Congress, considering they are more often than not acting like tantrum throwing toddlers.

Guess I have goofed off long enough.  Time to open a jar of ham and bean soup for lunch.  After that I think I can rouse myself enough to bake some cookies.  Chocolate chip and maybe peanut butter.  Chocolate chip cookies and a cold glass of milk makes the world look a bit brighter.  :)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Finishing Up

Saturday sort of wore me out, so I took Sunday off.  Turned into a  slug, I did.  Watched a couple of movies.  Did a bit of sewing on my quilt top.  Read several chapters of my latest murder mystery.  Drank coffee.  Took naps.  It was a lovely day.

Had a bit of a scare Saturday evening.  Oldest Son was cooking supper when he fainted dead away.  Scraped up his back some and hit his head on a chair on the way down.  Lori took him to the Emergency Room where they ran an EKG, a CT scan to make sure his brains weren't too badly scrambled and took X-Rays to make sure he hadn't done damage to his back.  The tests were all negative.  The doctors decided he was dehydrated and gave him some intravenous fluids.  A few hours later he was back home with a giant headache and very stiff back, but thankfully, all in one piece.  Lori promised me she would make him mind and not overdo, a difficult task considering he is at least as stubborn as his mother.  I don't care how old our children are, they are still our babies and we worry.  I am just thankful Lori was there to help.

This morning I pressure canned the ham cubes, winding up with 20 half pint jars.  The half pints are just the right size for one person to use for ham sandwiches or ham and scrambled eggs or in omelets.  The next time I can ham I will use pint jars.  That is a good amount of meat for scalloped potatoes and ham or in soup or casseroles.

I washed the jars of potatoes and carrots, wrote the contents and date on the lids and stocked them on the shelf.  I had filled 34 pint jars with half potato dices and half carrot dices.  My reasoning was that this would work well for smaller batches of soup or stew at times when I want a quick meal - just add broth, meat and seasonings.  There were more potatoes than carrots, so I canned 10 pints of potato dices to be used mostly for fried breakfast potatoes.  They are fully cooked after processing, so all I need to do is brown them in a frying pan and maybe toss in some onion or garlic.

The onions and cabbage went into the dehydrators late this afternoon.  They should be fully dried by morning.  I seem to go through a lot of onions, so that is something I order in quantity at least once every couple of months to dehydrate.  I keep a few fresh onions but drying them seems to be the best way for me to keep them on hand.

And that, I think, is enough for one day.  Time to fix a bit of supper, fire up the Kindle and read awhile.  It has been a good day.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Canning Season

Most folks who have a garden find themselves up to their hips in vegetables to can in the fall when it is time to harvest.  Because I don't have a garden, my canning season is whenever I find a good sale at the grocery store.

This week I ordered two of those boneless half hams.  They were 2 1/2 lbs. each.  I also got 20 lbs. of russet potatoes and 8 lbs. of carrots.  And I have about 15 lbs. of onions and one head of cabbage.

I spent the better part of Friday prepping the ham and potatoes and carrots.  The ham was cut into 1 inch cubes.  The potatoes and carrots were run through my food chopper and turned into 1/2 inch cubes.  Saturday morning I will run them through my pressure canner.

While the canner is doing its thing, I will chop the onions and shred the cabbage for the dehydrator.

I know that I have already put back enough canned and dried food for at least a year.  Oldest Son has been working with me on this prepping thing for the last few years, so I figure the amounts I need for his household and mine.

I had planned on sewing Friday and Saturday, but it is a matter of priorities.  Some say I am foolish to can and dehydrate so much, but the meat I canned two years ago that I ate for supper cost considerably less when I bought it than it does now.  And the ham I bought this week will likely cost more next year.  And even though things seem to be looking a bit brighter now, we still live in an uncertain world with more unrest here in the States than I can remember.  So, I keep on adding to the pantry whenever I can.  Just in case...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

It Is a Combination of Things

It seems that my muse opened the door to my apartment, took a hard right, galloped down the stairs and flung itself out into the street.  There must be a reason for that.  I have decided that there are several reasons why I can't seem to find anything to write about.

The most obvious is that it is February in Minnesota.  The sun has stayed hidden for days at a time.  It is cold.  Today the temp is holding at 13 degrees, falling close to zero at night.  Last week we enjoyed a heat wave in the mid-forty degree range.  St. Paul holds their Winter Carnival the last week of January and the first week of February.  They build a huge ice palace and have ice and snow sculpture contests.  Last week the sculptures were melting.  This week folks are dressed in snowmobile suits and felt lined boots.

I am just plain tired.  Not so much sleepy tired but more worn down.  I was tired of politics long before the election.  And now that the inauguration has come and gone, I am even more tired of the childish behavior of those on the left who are acting like spoiled toddlers throwing the mother of all temper tantrums.  You lost.  Deal with it.

And to top it all off, there was the March of the Pink Pussy Hats.  Really?  You think those stupid hats are going to make me take your causes seriously?  Especially when you add to the mix a gaggle of foul mouthed celebrities?  I don't think so.

Well, now that I have turned this post into a bit of a rant, I believe I shall go take a nap.  After which I will likely be back to my normal posts.

Sometimes it helps to just blow off some steam.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Just one of those days...

that I have nothing.  Talk among yourselves or read those folks in the sidebar.  I'll be back in a couple of days when, with any kind of luck, I will have something worthwhile to write about.  :)