Thursday, February 28, 2019

Breakfast of Champions And Vegetable Soup

So Wednesday I ordered some chicken and a salad to be delivered.  I was lazy.  My kitchen was clean.  I wanted it to stay that way.  Anyhow, about that time Number One Son shows up with one of my favorite foods - onion rings from the little Mom and Pop restaurant on the corner.  It has been years since I treated myself to a plate of their onion rings.  They are wonderful!  There were so many in the carry-out box that I could only eat about half, and half the chicken.

So this morning, following directions from my son, I heated my oven to 400 degrees and put the leftovers in for about 4 minutes.  Perfect.  Breakfast of champions!!

So here is what have been up to today.  And tomorrow.  And maybe Saturday.

My grocery order was delivered today, including 10 lbs. of potatoes, 4 bunches of celery, 2 lbs. of onions, 8 lbs. of carrots, 1 cabbage and 4 bags each of frozen green beans, peas and corn.The fresh vegetables all need to be sliced, diced and chopped.  The frozen vegetables are thawing in the fridge.  Into my big roaster and largest stock pot they will go, along with several quarts of home canned tomatoes and maybe a pint or two of the tomatoes I canned a couple of years ago, with bell peppers and onions in them.  I will add beef bouillon cubes, parsley and black pepper. The whole shebang will be heated to a boil and then simmered for an hour or so.  Then into jars it all goes and will be run through my pressure canner.

I use this mixture as vegetable soup.  Or I add home canned beef cubes for vegetable beef soup.  Or I thicken it for beef stew.  It is basically the same recipe, minus the tomatoes, that I use for chicken vegetable soup.  Both are my go-to home canned foods for a quick yet nourishing meal.

Be back when I have worked my way out from under this pile of vegetables.  :)   

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I Thought I'd Heard It All...

but I was wrong.  Our legislature - the one in Washington - voted that it is perfectly fine to kill a baby that lived through a botched abortion.

How do these people sleep at night?  I have nightmares at the very thought of killing a baby.  When did this become acceptable in the United States of America?

The left fusses and stews and carries on about children of illegal aliens being separated from their parents at the border but have no problem with slaughtering a helpless, innocent infant.  I just don't understand. 

There was a time when I thought we as a nation could come together and solve at least some of the problems that face us.  Now I am not so sure.  A friend sent me the link to this article.   It is part of an interview with former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova, a well respected lawyer who served as special counsel to investigate the Teamsters and as counsel to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.  He made his remarks on the Feb. 21 edition of The Laura Ingraham Podcast.  The following is a quote from the article, as he says it better than I ever could.

“We are in a civil war in this country," diGenova told Ingraham.

“There’s two standards of justice, one for Democrats one for Republicans," he said. "The press is all Democrat, all liberal, all progressive, all left. They hate Republicans, they hate Trump."

"So the suggestion that there’s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future is over," said the former federal prosecutor. "It’s not going to be."

"It’s going to be total war," he said. "And as I say to my friends, I do two things – I vote and I buy guns.”

I see every day how the left is working overtime to bring down our duly elected president.  They put way more time and effort trying to achieve that goal than they do in caring for those they are supposed to represent.

And now they want to kill babies.

I think Mr. diGenova is spot on.  I no longer think it is a matter of 'if.'  It is a matter of 'when.'

Sunday, February 24, 2019

My Get Up and Go Got Up Went

Saturday was a lazy day.  A little reading, a little napping, some video watching on subjects that are of interest to me.  Sunday was more of the same.  I did enough work to keep from being slovenly, but that was about it.  I suppose I should feel a bit guilty for being such a lazy slug, but I don't.  I enjoyed every minute of it.

Duane had a lazy streak going today, too.  When I suggested ordering a pizza and splitting it, he was all for it.  So we did.  To do penance, he is going  to cook a couple of nights this week and I will make fried chicken for us one night.  It is more fun to cook for two than it is for one.

Duane posted this picture on Facebook a couple of days ago.

He said that piece of equipment taped to his chest was his new best friend.

 I guess it isn't enough that he has had diabetes for years and that he recently had a stroke.  While in the hospital the doctors discovered that his heart isn't pumping exactly like it should.  So last Wednesday he had an appointment with a heart specialist.  They ran tests and gave him that heart monitor to wear for two weeks.  He hasn't got the test results yet and I expect they will know more when the two weeks is up.  He is taking it in stride - "one day at a time."  His sense of humor is still alive and well.  After all the snow we have had lately, he posted this meme on Facebook.

I'm not sure, but it might have something to do with the fact that his Mother and sisters are all not much over 5 feet tall.  :)

We had more snow over the weekend.  Here we got 3-4 inches, but the southern end of the state got closer to a foot of snow.  The wind has been howling.  It doesn't have much effect here in town, but I hear reports that roads, including some of the freeways going through rural areas, are closed.  The wind produced white-out conditions until they had to pull the plows off the roads.  Last I heard, the National Guard was out rescuing those who got caught in the storm.  We have had so much snow and cold this year that somebody posted a notice that all ice fishing houses needed to be pulled off the lakes this year by the 4th of July, just before the fireworks.  :)

Me...I am ordering vast amounts of fresh and frozen vegetables to make vegetable soup to can this coming weekend.  Might as well keep busy.  I hear more snow is on the way this week.

And I moved back here from a warmer climate because? 

Oh yeah.  I remember.  This is where my kids and grands are.  And they are the only reason the move was worth it!

Friday, February 22, 2019

This and That

It is one of those days where there are several minor chores to accomplish before the weekend.  I like my weekends free to crochet or sew or indulge in other hobbies, so I try to get things done before.

We had 8 - 9 inches of snow and more is on the way for Saturday.  Youngest Son just called me.  He said he has been telling the snow removal crews he manages that he already knows how to shovel snow and doesn't need the practice.  But he has shoveled snow this week anyway.  I asked him if I could stop praying for snow now, and he said absolutely not.  His youngest needs braces on his teeth, so David says he needs all the hours he can get!!

Have you ever had something happen that set your antenna to vibrating?  Just a little thing.  My landlord hired a handyman who fixed my kitchen lights.  The next day he came knocking on my door, asking if I needed help with things like taking out the trash or moving heavy furniture.  I declined the offer.  When I mentioned it to David, he thought I should call my landlord about it.  I decided to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.  He might just be a kind hearted soul trying to help an old lady.  Or not.  I don't know.  This is where being protected is important.  So many politicians are working overtime to take away our Second Amendment rights.

Right now it is legal for one person to sell another person a gun without having to obtain a permit to buy firearms.  Either a permit from the sheriff's office or a conceal-carry permit are required to purchase from a store.  Our state legislature is looking to change that so even sales between individuals would be unlawful without permits.  I have also heard rumors that they want to limit the amount of ammunition a person can buy.  Of course, this just makes it harder for honest citizens to protect themselves.  The criminals don't care.  If they followed the laws, they wouldn't be criminals.

I had dehydrated lots of bell peppers and celery, but found the skins on the peppers and the celery both remained tough when re-hydrated.  So I used my little electric coffee grinder and ground them all into powder, along with some dried tomatoes.  I am finding I like being able to add the powder to my cooking for the flavor, without having the tough bits in the dish.  I may make powders from other vegetables for that reason.

This afternoon I am to be pampered.  My home health care nurse is going to give me a pedicure.  I have never had a pedicure.  I have always trimmed my own toenails until recently when arthritis made it difficult to bend enough to reach my toes.  I think it will be nice to gt rid of these gnarly looking nails.  I swear, if God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.  :)

I am in the middle of making out my grocery order for Monday.  So far I have listed a bunch of vegetables, both fresh and frozen, to use in making vegetable soup to can.  I only have a couple of quarts left on my shelves.  It is good as a soup or, when canned beef cubes are added, makes a great vegetable beef soup.  Last night I heated up some and added beef cubes and a couple of packets of beef gravy mix.  That made a delicious beef stew that was easy, quick and required little attention from me other than a quick stir now and then.  It was wonderful with a slice of fresh, homemade bread.  Duane thought so, too, as he went home with a big bowl of the stew and some bread.

And now I am off to the kitchen.  Chocolate chip cookies have been promised to kids, so I had better get busy.  These snow days seem to bring out the Suzy Homemaker in me.  They aren't much good for anything else.  :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Yep...It's Snowing

This morning Duane's sister picked him up to take him to a doctor's appointment.  Before he left, Duane took these pictures from the corner of the block where our building is located.

From my window, it looks to be maybe 6 inches of the fluffy white stuff on the ground.  It is still snowing at 1 pm.  Judging by the radar on the National Weather Website, the worst is past us but there is still more to come.  If this snowfall doesn't break our record for snow in February, the storm headed our way for the weekend will.

Me...I am indoors in my cozy kitchen.  Loaves of bread, buns and cinnamon rolls are rising, getting ready to be baked.  There is a pot of vegetable beef soup simmering on the back burner.  The snow is actually kind of pretty.  I am just grateful I don't have to be out in it! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Interesting Week

Today started out at -2 degrees F.  Tomorrow will be warmer with 4 - 8 inches of snow, depending on which weather report you listen to.  Thursday is to be sunny, Friday cloudy and then it gets interesting.  Rain and snow is predicted for Saturday with more snow on Sunday. 

If things go true to form, the grocery stores will be jam-packed with panicked shoppers stocking up on bread, milk and whatever else they think they need to survive the weekend.  I just don't understand why folks would rather fight the crowds in stores than get ready ahead of time.

For example - I will run out of milk today.  I usually have two gallons delivered every other week.  It is my own fault I ordered only one gallon this time.  My bad.  But I have lots of instant powdered milk on hand.  So this evening I will make up three quarts of milk and put it in the fridge to chill.  I am not fond of drinking powdered milk, but chilled with a few drops of vanilla added to each quart, it is palatable.  And I will have milk to cook with or bake with.

By tomorrow evening I will be out of bread.  So tomorrow morning I will bake a couple of loaves, some hamburger buns and a pan of cinnamon rolls.  (And yes, Duane, you can fill up a plate of rolls to take home with you!) I have all the ingredients stocked.  I will cheat and use my bread machine, but should the ice storm headed our way knock out the electricity, I have the knowledge to bake bread the old fashioned way, stirring and kneading by hand.  I wonder how many of the younger generation have bothered to learn this skill.  Or of my generation, for that matter.

Suppose for one storm related reason or another, I can not use my kitchen stove or oven.  I have a propane camp stove that will work to heat all sorts of food.  And most importantly, heat water for coffee!!  My shelves are filled with jars of home canned meats, potatoes, vegetables, fruits and soups.  And some pickles and relishes and jam for variety.  Even if I can't cook, the food is fully cooked from the canning process and can be eaten straight from the jar, if necessary.

This is NOT a post to say that I am better than you because I prep and you don't.  Not at all.  It is merely a reminder that life can be easier and more safe if a person plans ahead.  I learned from my parents who learned from their parents.  My grandparents had no weather forecasts other than the signs of nature.  They couldn't just run to the corner store because the corner store was miles away and required first hitching a team of horses to a wagon and later, travelling in a Model T type of car over roads that were bumpy and rutted in the best of weather and impassable in the worst.  So they stored supplies.  They canned vegetables from their garden.  They butchered their meat and salted it down or cured it or canned it.  And they saw to it that their family of nine children was fed no matter the weather.

Grandma and Grandpa weren't preppers, especially those with all the gear and bug-out bags and the like.  They were ordinary people who knew how to survive.  We could do well to learn from them.

Thursday, February 14, 2019


I tend to get sidetracked easily.  I start out to do one thing and often find myself off in another direction.  Sigh.

Last week my kitchen lights went off and stayed off.  The handyman finally fixed them Tuesday.  So I have been busy catching up on the kitchen stuff that is difficult when the lights are out.

Then I started out going through my fabric stash looking to see if I had enough of one color for the back of a quilt.  I found myself surrounded by fabric scraps and an idea for a nifty scrap quilt.  Now that I have light above my kitchen table, I can start cutting the pieces.

My grocery order was delivered today.  I postponed ordering vegetables for the soup I plan to can, but will get them in two weeks.  I hope to fill in some of the open spaces on the shelves.  I did order 4 lbs. of butter and will order 4 more next time to can.

I have been crocheting like a mad woman evenings.  I am determined to finish the last two afghans by spring.  I am getting tired of yarn and want to move on to playing with fabric.  When the afghans are finished, the sewing machine will get a good cleaning and oiling and then off to the races on quilts.   In between canning and dehydrating, that is.  The way things are going in the Swamp, I have a hunch we all had better be prepared for anything.

Can you believe that 'Green New Deal?'  Let's see.  They want to eliminate gas, oil, coal - all fossil fuels.  We all will need electric cars.  Planes will go the way of the dinosaur, which begs the question... How does one get to places across the oceans.  Even ships need fuel.  And I won't even get into the discussion about farting cows.  What is really scary is that most of the Dems who are in the running for President are buying into it. 

The lunatics are running the asylum.  I'm just too old to go protest anything.  Phone calls, emails, letters and petitions are a waste of time.  Unless it involves power or more money in their bank accounts, they just don't care.  The only thing I can do is try to vote them out of office.  And gripe.  Here.  To you all.  Which is 'preaching to the choir!'

And keep prepping. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019


Duane went to physical therapy.  He has gone three times a week since he came home from the hospital after his stroke in December.  Each time, the therapist pokes his hand with something sharp to see if any of the feeling in it has returned.

Yesterday, for the first time, he said he could detect a little bit of feeling in his hand.

When you are recovering from a stroke, that is huge.

He still has a long way to go, but we are so very encouraged by this.

To all of you who have been sending good thoughts our way and to those who have been holding my son in prayer, a very heartfelt thank you.  There is power in prayer and God does hear and answer.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Murphy Lives at my House

First we had the window drama that is yet to be resolved.  There haven't been any days warm enough for the crew to finish the job.  It doesn't look real promising as the wind chill factor this morning was -25.  And more snow is on the way for Sunday and again on Tuesday. 

Then there have been problems with the furnace in the building.  The landlord has had repairmen out working on the problem.  This building is old - built in the late 1800's.  He told me the duct-work is a nightmare of a maze, my apartment being at the very end of this mess.  There is only so much they can do without shutting down the furnace and at the temps we have had lately, that is not a good option.  Duane's apartment next door to mine stays in the mid-70's range while mine is at 63 degrees when I wake up in the morning.  The space heater helps and I have lots of heavy sweaters and sweatshirts, so I am not exactly freezing to death, but Murphy strikes again.

My kitchen is located between my living room and bedroom.  There is one window facing a brick wall next door, so not a whole lot of light from outside comes in.  There are two florescent lights in the kitchen that provide more than adequate lighting.  Yesterday when I flipped the switch, both lights remained dark.  Murphy, you devil, you!

My landlord sent his handyman here to change the bulbs in both lights.  Nothing.  Turns out there is another part to the lights that needs replacing.  They will fix that sometime today.

When the handyman was finished, he went down to his truck to get some rags to wipe up the mess of dirt and melted snow he had dragged in.  He had been shoveling snow before coming here.  He came back a short time later, asking to use some of my paper towels, as his damp rags were now frozen solid.  All I could do was laugh.  Welcome to Minnesota in February.  And Murphy, you are an evil genius.

Here is my point with all of this foolishness.  None of it is within my control.  I have two choices.  I can get all mad and upset and raise my blood pressure to dizzying levels.  Or I can see the humor of it all and relax.  The windows will, at some point, get installed.  The furnace will get fixed.  So will my kitchen lights.  So I might as well get on with whatever I decide to do today and enjoy what I can. 

I find that my go-to meal of home canned food when either time is limited or something like a dark kitchen happens, is either vegetable beef or chicken vegetable soup canned in quart jars..  I have it as soup for lunch and then thicken it for beef stew or chicken ala king over biscuits for supper.  I have one whole chicken in the freezer.  So my grocery  order will include two more chickens, a couple of beef roasts and vegetables to make more of each, as I am getting low on both.

If nothing else, this last couple of weeks have been a lesson on how to cope when Murphy shows up and makes himself comfortable.  This is a far cry from the problems we would have should the grid go down, but it gets me to thinking about what I really need to do, just in case.

I still believe that a working sense of humor goes a long way to make life bearable.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Some Days are a Delight

So this morning my phone rang.  It was Oldest Son.  He has a key to my apartment.  He uses it every couple of days to check up on Mom.  He thinks I don't know he checks up on Mom, but I know.  And I feel more secure because of it.

Anyway, when Duane called, he said he had used his key earlier.  I was back in the bathroom, using the nebulizer which is noisy, so I didn't see or hear him.  He told me to check my refrigerator.  Seems he had been grocery shopping.  The store where he shops has an ongoing deal in the meat department.  The package a variety of meats in separate packages, selling them for $5 each - buy 4 and get 1 free.  He left half a dozen sausages in my fridge, bought using the store's sale.  I cooked three for breakfast and still have enough for another meal.  It was a nice surprise and the sausages are really good.

When I checked the weather report this morning, I found more snow headed our way.  Some time back David asked me to pray for snow.  His job in the winter involves managing snow removal crews and earlier, we had very little snow.  That has changed.  We have had snow nearly every other day lately.  There is more snow forecast, along with wind and plummeting temps.  So I emailed David, "Can I stop praying for snow now?"

Shortly after sending the email, my phone rang.  The first thing I heard was, "Don't you dare stop praying for snow!  This week alone has paid for Jacob's hockey."

I wouldn't want David's job.  When there is snow, he gets very little sleep.  Customers call him all hours of the day and night.  They tell him there is snow on their sidewalks.  He says that's because it is snowing.  His crews go in and remove the snow when the snow stops.  And when the snow stops, customers call 5 minutes later, complaining that nobody is at their place of business to plow yet.  David is convinced that common sense has left the building.

Anyway, it seems I need to continue to pray for snow for the sake of my son and his family.  :)

On another topic, Fiona over at 'Confessions of a Crazed Cattlewoman' has a post today dealing with the insanity of late term abortion.  She talks about it much better than I could and I would wish that you all would read what she has to say.

Me...I'm waiting for the next round of snow to begin.  In the meantime, I think my green fuzzy blanket may get a workout, as will my Kindle.  It is that kind of day.  Or maybe another surprise will come calling.  Who knows!  Even the life of a chubby grandma can occasionally be an adventure.  :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What is Happiness

Depends on your point of view.

For some it is a fancy sports car or a shiny new truck.
For others it is a big house with the interior fashionably decorated.
Some are happy with cruises or vacations to exotic places.
Still others are completely happy with counting their money as it accumulates in the bank.

Me...I have sort of a different take on happiness.

This morning happiness was watching big flakes of snow fall, turning the dirty city streets into a white wonderland.

This afternoon happiness was a phone call from granddaughter Maddie Mae, telling me about her 4.0 grade average and that she ranked 5th in academics out of her class of over 400.  I asked her what she wanted to study when she goes to college in a few years, and she said something in the field of psychology.  I told her then maybe she could find out what made her Grandma tick.  She laughed and said, "Grandma, you are so funny."

This evening happiness was a nice mug of hot chocolate.

Happiness is when I shared a meal of stew and biscuits with my son.

Happiness is looking at my shelves full of home canned food, knowing my family will be fed should the time come when we need it.

Most of all, happiness is the realization that I am content with what I have.  I woke up this morning and that is a bonus.  I have a roof over my head.  Many don't.  I have food to eat and clean water to drink.  So many don't know where their next meal is coming from.  I have family who love me.  That is a gift from God.

I feel sorry for those who need money or power or luxury in order to be happy.  They really don't know what they are missing.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Recommended Reading

I just have nothing today.

Spent the morning with the cleaning lady and a nurse.  Spent the afternoon going over what I need to get canned, finding the recipes and making out grocery lists for the next few grocery orders.  More bacon and hamburger and chili are at the top of the list, followed by vegetable soup, pork and beans  and my favorite coleslaw/relish recipe. 

This evening finds me working on Maddie's afghan.  At the rate I am going, she will be married with half a dozen kids before it is finished.  And I haven't even started on the last one for Jacob.  Good thing he is only 11.  Might get it done before he graduates.  :)

I did manage to read a couple of my favorite blogs today.  Rev. Paul over at "Way Up North" has a good article you will find interesting.  He has a way of getting to the heart of the matter.

I will be back when I have something worthwhile to say.