Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits

It has been a week and still no window guys.  Guess they are in hiding.  My landlord hasn't been able to get them to come back here to finish the job.  I sure hope he didn't pay them in advance.

I am loving the fact that Duane is back working at the restaurant where one of the perks is a meal each day he works.  The other evening he shared a meal of Chicken Alfredo.  It was delicious.  The man knows how to cook.  This from someone who, as a teenager, thought peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches were the height of gourmet cooking.  (Shudder.)

So what does a quilter do when she can't get to her sewing machine?  She cuts out more quilt pieces, of course.  Spent some time yesterday cutting some of the scraps left over from other projects into squares for a scrap quilt.  Or maybe two quilts.  I have lots of scraps. 

Over the weekend I dehydrated 10 lbs. of potatoes and 5 lbs. of onions.  I decided to make my own packaged scalloped potato mix instead of ordering those boxed scalloped potatoes from the store.  I just put 3 cups of dehydrated potato slices into freezer bags and added one recipe of the basic sauce mix in a sandwich bag, on top of the potato slices, and sealed the freezer bag.  So now when I want scalloped potatoes, all I have to do is grab a bag of mix from the pantry, dump it into a crock pot, add water and butter and ta-da...scalloped potatoes for supper.  I can always add a jar of my home canned ham cubes or bacon or shredded cheese about an hour before serving.  The recipe is here.

Is anyone besides me already tired of political ads and politics 24/7 on most of the news outlets?  Good grief!  We have a year and a half to go until the next presidential election.  Give it a rest for a little while before we have total politics burn-out.  And as a side note, someone needs to tell Bernie et al, there is no such thing as free lunch.  Someone has to pay the bills for their 'Free Medicare For All' ideas.  A good sized chunk of money is taken from my Social Security every month to cover my Medicare.  I'm not complaining.  I have decent coverage.  But it is not free.  Nothing is.  (Soapbox kicked back into the corner now.)

Not much else going on here in my little corner of the world.  Outside it is cool and rainy.  Inside it is warm and cozy.  I have lots to do to keep me busy.  Life is good.  :)

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Light in the Tunnel Was a Freight Train...

headed my way.

The window guys did manage to install the two remaining windows in my living room on Tuesday.  Wednesday morning they did some work on the outside of the building.  I haven't seen them since. I wouldn't mind so much except for the fact that they moved furniture again - a couple of pieces into my bedroom and the rest taking up most of the floor space in my living room.  I can't get to the new windows to open them to let in the lovely spring air.  I can't get to my sewing table because one of my shelving units now sits in front of it.  They did cover my sewing table that holds several quilt tops I am working on, but they neglected to cover my sewing machine.  I wonder if I can get the dust out of it so it isn't ruined.  Sigh.

I called my landlord but he had no better luck in getting them back here to put up the trim around the windows and straighten things up.  I thought about going all mad-as-a-hornet old lady on them, but realized that if they didn't care enough to move things so a woman with mobility issues could easily walk in her living room, I doubted they would get the point.  I have come to the conclusion that good manners and common sense are basically a thing of the past.

So now that I have griped enough, the rest of the week has been productive.  I have 10 lbs. of sliced potatoes in the dehydrators.  Tomorrow I will dry 5 lbs. of onions. 

Earlier I had dehydrated the cranberry pulp left over from making cranberry juice, so I dug that out and turned it into powder.  I now have nearly two pints of cranberry powder.  I know it can be used for flavoring like in cranberry/banana bread, but I wonder if it could be mixed with something like lemonade and honey as a tea and used in place of the cranberry juice that I keep on hand for urinary infections.  I remember that years ago I bought cranberry powder at a pet store, on the advice of my vet, to treat a cat with a urinary infection.  I may have to experiment with it.

My kids always get me something nice for Mother's Day and my birthday in June.  This year I have something specific in mind.  I can no longer drive or even go out without help.  So I talked with my youngest daughter Jeri, and she is going to take me to a huge thrift store nearby.  I love rummaging about in thrift stores and particularly want to add to my collection of reading material along with browsing among the kitchen stuff.  David called today and I talked with him about a trip to Sam's Club to stock up on some of the things I can't order with my grocery delivery service or are cheaper at Sam's.  He thought that was a great idea.  Jill doesn't know it yet, but she will be taking me to the fabric store.  I need fabric for the backs of quilts, quilt batting and a few miscellaneous sewing notions.  Duane can't drive yet because of the effects of his stroke, so we won't be going anywhere, but once in a while he brings me food from the restaurant where he is working, so I will let him off the hook!  Today he showed up with a half a pizza, so I didn't have to cook supper.  Last Sunday he brought me some sliced turkey, ham and roast beef along with a big bowl of mixed fresh fruit.  I'd say that was more than enough of a gift.  :)

So that's what is going on in my little corner of the world.  Even with a couple of irritations, life is still pretty darned good!

Keep smiling and keep prepping.  :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

There is light at the end of the tunnel...

and also in my living room.

The windows guys showed up bright and early this morning.  They don't know how lucky they are that I had already had my first cup of coffee.

They are busy tearing things apart and hopefully, they will be just as good at putting them back together again.  On the up side, it is not below freezing outside this time.  The plywood that was covering one window opening is gone before I painted flowers all over it as I had threatened to do.

I will return when things get back to what passes for normal here in my little corner of the world.  :)

Friday, April 19, 2019

Just a Bit of a Ramble

It has been one of those weeks when nothing of any great value gets done, but lots of little chores are accomplished.

First off, Bella the Rat Terrier stayed with me for three extra days, not that I'm complaining, mind you!  Apparently the restaurant where Duane is working was so happy to have him back at work that they scheduled him for more days than he thought they would.  So Vicki's Doggie Day Care Service was called upon to help out.  And when there is a pup to pet and belly rub and spoil, not much else gets done, especially when said dog is afraid of the thunder when a storm rolled through on Wednesday morning.  If I sat at my desk, she was under it with her chin on my foot.  If I sat in my recliner, she was on my lap, snuggling and trembling.  I don't think she got more than two feet away from me all morning.  But once the storm passed, she laid claim to my green fuzzy blanket and snoozed until Duane picked her up later in the day.  She went home Wednesday evening in order to be there when her owner arrived on Thursday.  I miss her.

I have four large jars of bread and butter pickles in my pantry.  I can not eat an entire jar of pickles and chances are pretty good that if I put a large opened jar of pickles in the fridge, I will either lose it or forget about it.  So I re-can them into half pint jars.  This was the plan until I discovered I am low on canning lids.  Canning lids are not in the catalog I use for ordering groceries, but I have found a couple of places where I can order them in bulk, so that is on my 'to do' list for next month. 

I re-can several food items that I buy in bulk - usually in #10 cans - that are cheaper to buy than individual cans.  There was a time when I would get 25 lb. boxes of tomatoes from the Farmer's Market and make my own pasta sauce, tomato sauce and ketchup, but these days, age and arthritis have slowed down that process.  Re-canning makes it possible to get some foods at a good price and put them up in smaller batches that work better for a single person living alone.  I have done the same thing with cheese sauce and nacho cheese sauce, both of which turn out just fine.  Pickles turn out just a wee bit softer than the original, but that doesn't bother me at all. 

Most grocery stores have a shelf of bulk foods.  Mine includes instant mashed potatoes in a 3.5 lb. carton.  I will buy two or three cartons and divide the contents into single servings, stored in zip lock bags.  If I want flavored mashed potatoes, I just add a little garlic powder or onion powder or parsley flakes when I make it.

There was a time when I thought it was a sin to serve anything that wasn't totally made from scratch.  But that was when I had a huge garden and when I milked my own cow and raised my own chickens.  And when I was decades younger.  I have since changed my mind.

I know how to make chocolate or butterscotch pudding from scratch, but I prefer to add milk to a mix and whisk it for a couple of minutes instead of standing at my stove and cooking the pudding.  Sometimes I would rather use a Hamburger Helper mix for a quick meal rather than making a casserole from scratch.  Same with stuffing or the mashed potatoes.  Those of us with mobility issues often look for methods of doing things that don't hurt.  But it seems we need permission to use convenience foods because our mothers and grandmother cooked everything from scratch.  Sometimes I use store bought mixes and sometimes I make my own.  But if they will make life a little bit more bearable, it is OK.

And that is enough rambling for one day.

This is me...wishing all of you a blessed Easter.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Survive and Thrive

In my travels through the Internet, I found that FEMA had once recommended that citizens keep a three day supply of food and water in their homes.  Then their recommendation was six weeks worth of supplies.  The latest FEMA warning I read says that six months worth of food and water is recommended and they talk about power outages lasting that long.  Do they know something we don't?

We have become a nation of selfish, lazy people.  I wish I had a dime for every time someone has remarked that they wouldn't go to all the work of preserving their own food because they can just buy what they want at the store.  And I might add, pay a whopping price for organic, non GMO food.

People don't know how to do much of anything any more.  Why bother learning the old skills when you can just hire someone else to do the work.  Or push a button on the microwave.  Or Google to find out whatever you want to know.  This got me to thinking about how my grandparents were able to cope in their world without electricity and running water.

At Grandma's farm in northern Minnesota, water was obtained by pumping it into buckets at the hand pump outside the back door and hauling it into the house.  A bucket of drinking water with a dipper in it was kept on a stool in the kitchen by the back door.  If hot water was needed, it was heated in big pots on a wood burning stove.

Meals were cooked and bread was baked in that same wood burning stove in the kitchen.  That meant that Grandma and her daughters needed to know how much wood to use in order to cook food or bake bread but not burn it.  Someone also needed to know how to cut down trees, how to season the wood so it would burn properly and how to cut it up into pieces that would fit in the stove's burn compartment, as well as how to cut kindling to get the fire started.

Grandma didn't have an electric refrigerator, even after the family finally got electricity in the house.  She had a wooden, tin lined ice box.  One door opened to shelves that held the food and another compartment held blocks of ice.  There was a tray below that held the water from the melting ice.

 In the country there were no ice delivery services as there were in the cities.  To get the blocks of ice, in the dead of winter, Grandpa and his sons hitched up a hay wagon to their team of horses and went to a nearby frozen  lake.  They used hand saws to cut through the thick ice and cut the ice into blocks.  They loaded the blocks onto the wagon and drove the team back home.

 A large hole had been dug in the side of the hill behind the house.  It was like a small cave with steps leading down into it and wooden beams shoring up the ceiling and walls.  There was a wooden door installed at ground level that when closed acted like a trap door.  This was their root cellar where potatoes, cabbages, carrots and rutabagas were kept.  It was in this root cellar the blocks of ice were hauled and packed in thick straw, where they remained frozen all summer for use in the ice box.

In the summer, Grandpa and the boys would load a small wood stove onto a wagon.  Grandma would get together food for a few days, canning jars and canning supplies and off the family would go to the blueberry bogs north of their home.  There the kids would pick blueberries and Grandma would can them up in jars using the wood stove for heat.  They slept on quilts under the wagon at night and worked during the day until Grandma had filled all her jars with canned blueberries, usually enough to last a year.  Then they would pack up and go home.

I remember walking to the barn with my Uncle Kenneth when he went to milk the cows by the light of a kerosene lantern.  The fresh milk was run through a hand cranked cream separator, the milk running out a spout into a bucket on one side and the cream on another side.  Grandma would churn much of the cream into butter.

The family kept a huge garden and Grandma canned most of the vegetables, but she stored some of them in the root cellar to have fresh over the winter.  She washed clothes in a wash tub using a washboard and handmade lye soap.  Her clothes dryer was a rope strung between two trees and a bag full of clothespins.  She and her daughters sewed their own clothes as well as shirts for the boys.  They saved chicken feathers to stuff pillows with.  They stuffed mattresses with straw.  They sold eggs and butter to pay for what they couldn't make themselves.  During the Depression, some of the girls taught in rural schools and some of the boys rode freight trains west to earn money on wheat thrashing crews or picking potatoes in Idaho, all of them sending money home to help the family.

Grandma, Grandpa and their nine children not only survived, but thrived because they knew how to do things.  The family had greater importance in their eyes than families seem to today.  I have a hard time envisioning kids today working as hard as my Dad and his siblings did, without complaint, to see that the family had what they needed.  Given the same living conditions, and that's pretty much what we will have if the lights go out for an extended period of time, I have to wonder just how many these days would be able to cope.

Friday, April 12, 2019

This is Bella...

Bella is an 8 year old Rat Terrier.  Duane is taking care of her while his friend is on vacation.  And now I get to take care of her over the weekend while Duane is at work.  He will bring her home at night, but I get to play with her during the day here at Doggie Day Care.

There are rules involved with watching Bella.  No feeding her French Fries.  Or spaghetti.  We must toss her toy every fifteen minutes so she can play 'Fetch the Toy.'  Bella is allowed to lay on the back of the sofa so she can watch the world go by in the street below.  I must share my recliner with her at nap time.

Duane didn't bring any doggie treats with him, but I found that Bella dearly loves my home canned chicken cubes.  She is now my very bestest friend forever.

Poor Bella spent the first half hour this morning staring at my kitchen door, waiting for Duane to come back.  She is now on my lap, helping me write this post.

I think we're going to get along just fine.  :)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Ah, Spring.......

Duane posted these pictures on FB this morning.  They were taken just a few blocks from our apartments where he is house sitting and puppy sitting for a friend.

And these represent the prevailing attitude here today.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Getting Ready and More Mixes

We have a storm rolling in.  The clouds already look ugly and the temperature is dropping.  West of us are expecting blizzard conditions.  Here we are looking at rain, sleet and snow starting this evening and continuing until Friday.

So this morning I made sure my dirty dishes were washed, dried and put away.  My washer and dryer are running and will continue until my clothes basket is empty.  Nothing worse than a sink full of dirty dishes and a basket full of dirty clothes if the power goes out.  Several 5 gallon buckets are ready to fill from the bathtub before the water pressure goes away.  Thankfully I have plenty of home canned food on the shelves that can be eaten right out of the jars if need be.

So in between washer loads I have been working on making more mixes.  The following are ones that I use most often.  I expect that many of you are already familiar with them, but here they are anyway.

Homemade Bisquick Mix

9 Cups flour
1 3/4 Cups instant dry milk
1/3 /cup baking powder
4 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 Cups shortening

Whisk together the first four ingredients, blending well.  Add the shortening and cut it into the dry ingredients.  You don't want to see any lumps of shortening.  I use my hand held electric mixer for this step.

Store in an air tight container.  Shortening is used because it doesn't need to be refrigerated.  I make up several recipes at a time, keeping one in the cupboard to use and freezing the rest.  If I am going to make a mess, I want to do it only once within several months.  :)

To use:  Combine 1 Cup of mix with 1/4 cup water for biscuits and dumplings.  Bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned on top.

Admittedly, biscuits from scratch are better, but these work well when I want biscuits quickly or when I am making them to pour stew or gravy over. 

Beef Gravy Mix

1 1/3 Cups dry milk
3/4 Cup flour
3 Tablespoons beef bouillon powder
1/8 teaspoon thyme or 1/8 teaspoon celery powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon sage or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

(Note:  When this recipe and the next one call for choices, I put it all in.)

Mix well.  To use:  Whisk 1/2 cup of the mix into 1 Cup of cold water.  Stir constantly over medium heat until slightly thick.  2-3 minutes.

Chicken Gravy Mix

1 2/3 Cups dry milk
3/4 Cup flour
3 Tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon pepper or 1/4 teaspoon onion powder or 1/8 teaspoon paprika

Directions are the same as for the Beef Gravy Mix.

I dehydrate lots of different vegetables including potato slices.  I slice the potatoes thin using a mandolin slicer.  The slices are blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes, cooled down in very cold water, drained and then spread out in a single layer on the dehydrator trays.  I dry them at 135 degrees.  The time varies according to the kind of potato and the weather, mostly humidity.  I use the following recipe for using my dehydrated potatoes more than any other.

Scalloped Potato Basic Sauce

1/3 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons nonfat dry milk
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon onion powder or 1 Tablespoon crushed dried onions
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Makes sauce for one recipe of scalloped potatoes.

To use:  Place 3 Cups of the dehydrated potato slices in a medium sized casserole dish.  Sprinkle with sauce mix and dot with 3 Tablespoons of butter.  Stir in 3 Cups boiling water.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Cubed ham or bacon bits or cheese can be added for flavor.

Note:  I wasn't completely satisfied with the results from baking the scalloped potatoes in the oven, but find that they turn out well when cooked in a crock pot.

Stuffing in a Bag

3 Cups bread crumbs or small cubes
(Note:  I make my own by slicing bread into small cubes and drying it on cookie sheets in a 200 degree oven.).
1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 Tablespoons dried celery slices or 1 Tablespoon celery powder
(Note:  I found the celery pieces didn't rehydrate well.  I used my little coffee grinder to turn dehydrated celery into powder, so I get the taste of celery but not the hard pieces.)
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sage (I like more so I double the amount.)
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon

Combine all ingredients in a zip lock bag.

To use:  Bring 1 1/2 Cups water to a boil with 1/4 Cup butter.  Stir in contents of the bag.  Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

I use many of my dehydrated vegetables for soup.  To avoid having to haul out several bags of vegetables every time I want to make soup, I put several pint jars of soup mix together at one time, and then it is just a matter of grabbing a jar, dumping into a crock pot, adding 2 quarts of water and letting it cook all day.  There are many recipes out there for soup.  I tend to follow a basic formula:
2 Cups of vegetables
2 Tablespoons of either beef or chicken bouillon

Sometimes I use dehydrated mixed vegetables.
Sometimes I use just potato cubes, carrot cubes and celery pieces. (Celery rehydrates well in the crock pot.)
Sometimes I put together vegetables that appeal to me at the time, including dried onions and cabbage.
If I want a beefy vegetable soup, I add either dried tomatoes or a couple Tablespoons of tomato powder and a Tablespoon of beef bouillon.
If I want chicken flavored soup I skip the tomatoes and use chicken bouillon.  A couple of bouillon cubes can be used instead of powdered bouillon.
If I want meat in the soup, I just add a pint of my home canned beef or chicken or pork cubes.  Or maybe ham or turkey.  Or whatever meat is leftover from supper the night before.  The combinations are endless.  And the soup is really good.  Beats the heck out of soup that comes in a can.

I saw it had started to snow about an hour ago.  That wasn't supposed to happen until tonight.  My green fuzzy blanket is folded over the arm of my recliner.  My Kindle is fully charged as is the battery in my laptop.  I'm ready for you, Mother Nature.  :)

Monday, April 8, 2019

Homemade Mixes

I am working on cutting back the amount of money I spend on groceries.  Over the years I have tried making my own convenience mixes and I spent the better part of today replenishing part of my stock.

This first recipe isn't a mix, but it is a substitute for one.  I love chocolate milk and have in the past bought Nestle's Quick or Ovaltine for that purpose.  Prices have gone up and I just can't justify paying that much for an indulgence.  So I made a batch of chocolate syrup, similar to Hershey's.

Chocolate Syrup

1/2 Cup dry cocoa
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 Cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Sift cocoa.  Whisk into water over medium heat.  Add sugar and stir to dissolve.  Bring to a rolling boil and stir constantly for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla.  Cool.  Store in fridge.  Will keep for several months.

I have stopped buying brown sugar.  I make my own, usually 4 cups at a time.  For every cup of granulated sugar I add 1 Tablespoon of molasses.  Using either a stand mixer or a hand held one, I stir the sugar and molasses together on a medium speed setting, scraping the sides of the bowl now and then, until they are completely combined.  I can't tell the difference between store bought brown sugar and my homemade.

I am getting low on laundry soap, so I made another batch.

Laundry Soap

1 bar Fels Naptha soap (I use whatever bars of soap I have on hand - 1 bath size bar or 2 smaller bars.)
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
(Washing Soda and Borax can be found in the laundry soap section of the grocery store.)

Finely grate the soap.  Stir in the Washing Soda and Borax and blend well.  Use 1 Tablespoon per washer load.

I dearly love a cup of cocoa in the evenings or sometimes I will have cocoa and toast for breakfast.  This isn't the Swiss Miss type of cocoa, but more like what Mother made by heating milk and adding cocoa powder and sugar.

Hot Cocoa Mix

5 Cups dry milk
3 Cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Cups cocoa powder
1 Cup dry coffee creamer (like Creamora)

Sift the ingredients together and mix until well blended.
To use, stir 1/3 Cup of the mix into a mug of hot water.
Toss in a few mini marshmallows for an extra treat.

I know that the Jiffy cornbread mixes are fairly inexpensive, but I like the taste of my homemade mix better.

Jiffy Cornbread Mix

4 Cups flour
4 cups yellow cornmeal
2 Cups dry milk
3/4 Cups sugar
1/4 Cup baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and blend well.

To use:  Beat 1 egg and 1 Cup of water together with a fork.  Stir in 2 1/3 Cups of the mix and 1/4 Cup melted butter.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.  This makes an 8 x 8 pan of cornbread or 12 corn muffins.  Good just buttered but even better with a little honey drizzled on.

That was enough for one day.  I have a few other mixes to make, but that will keep until next week, as I have other projects going that need to be finished.  I store all my mixes in canning jars, well labeled, so I don't accidentally try to wash a load of clothes with cornbread mix.  Don>t ask.  :)

I like to have convenience foods like mixes on hand, but don't like paying the prices in the stores.  And by making my own mixes, I know what is in them.  Win - win!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

You haven't heard from me because...

most of this week I have been a lazy bum.

Thursday I had an appointment with my doctor.  Medicare wouldn't pay for part of my oxygen unless I saw my doctor, face to face.  So I did.  I suspected he would use this visit to do the usual blood tests that come with a visit and I was right.  So I found out I am healthier than I was 6 months ago.  I have lost 36 lbs. within the past two years.  I was able to drop one of the meds I take daily.  The swelling in my feet is reduced.  I still need the oxygen, but hey...you can't have everything at my age.  But I don't have to go back for a year.  That works for me.

The best part of the day was having time with my youngest daughter who took me to my appointment.  There was enough waiting time for conversation and that was a good thing. 

When I have a day that includes stairs and walking hallways and in and out of a car, it takes a bit to recover.  Friday was mostly spent reading and napping.  I pretty much stayed away from my computer.  Sometimes I just need to get away from Crazyland in the political world.  I usually follow the news so it was lovely to ignore it all for a day.

Granddaughter Boston called me.  She is spending her Spring Break week checking out colleges with her parents.  She told me all about the ones she had visited and so far really likes a smaller school not far from her home.  She is looking to take classes in business and finance.  She will be a high school Senior next fall and I'm glad she is getting a head start on making her choices. 

Son David and family stopped in on their way home from visiting another college.  They came bearing ice cream.  It was really good, but the most fun was getting caught up on what the three grands had been doing.  And hugs.  Hugs are good.

When they called to see if I wanted them to pick up anything for me on their way to my apartment, I had Maddie Mae's afghan spread all over the kitchen table.  I had been sewing all the granny squares together and had to gather them all up and hide them so Maddie wouldn't see them.  The kids usually don't check this blog unless there is something their Dad tells them about, so I can post a picture soon. 

Not much else going on here in my little corner of the world.  I saw that nasty word 'snow' in the forecast for next week.  I have David's permission to stop praying for snow now because his customers are clamoring for the spring clean-up work his company does every year.  I hope this forecast is wrong.  It is time for lilacs - not snow! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Things Are Looking Up

God never closes a door but what He opens a window.

Duane stopped in a little while ago to tell me he found a job.

Duane spent many years cooking in restaurants.  He saw an add for a bar and grill that needed a cook.  He applied and got the job.  It helped that he knows the manager.  He knows the manager because he has worked for him before.  Both of my boys have worked in this establishment at one time or another over the years.  The manager told Duane that he was about to call Duane's brother to get Duane's number, to ask if he would like to work there again.

This is a nice place.  I have had dinner there with my kids and grands several times.  It has been in business longer than I can remember and is a place where you can take your young children for a meal.  And it is only a block away from our building.

One of the perks is that Duane gets one meal every day he works.  They make the best pizza in town.  I have been promised some of that pizza now and then.  :)

I am really happy for him.  He has been working since he was in High School and not being able to work was wearing on him.  He is nearly finished with Occupational Therapy and is going to Cardiac Therapy two or three times a week, but that will not interfere with his work schedule.  He no longer needs to worry about transportation or driving on snowy, icy roads to get to a job. 

Life is again pretty darned good!!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Long Ago April

Many years ago, this mother of four youngsters was working in one end of her house when she heard an awful crashing, banging sound come from the other end.  It was followed by children's voices yelling, "Mom!  Come quick!  Jill fell down the basement stairs!"

I rushed to the basement door, peered down to see my oldest daughter sprawled at the bottom of the stairs, covered in blood.

Flying down the stairs, I reached my daughter, only to be met with a chorus of, "April Fool, Mom!!"

My ketchup covered daughter was laughing, as were her siblings.  They had tossed a couple of kitchen kettles down the stairs for the noise and had positioned Jill at the bottom, looking like a bloody discarded rag doll.

I let them live, although at the time this was debatable.  They all grew up to be fine adults.  But I always wished that each of them would someday have a child who would come up with a similar April Fool joke.  :)