Wednesday, February 24, 2016

We find by losing. We hold fast by letting
go. We become something new by
ceasing to be something old. This seems
to be close to the heart of that mystery.
I know no more now than I ever did
about the far side of death as the last
letting-go of all, but now I know that
I do not need to know, and that I do
not need to be afraid of not knowing.
God knows. That is all that matters.

Frederick Buechner 

Good morning everyone. Coffee is ready and tasting good. It's raining out there this morning, and they are predicting wind and rain all day. Not too cold out, though. Later this morning I am headed out to Spanish class. I did end up playing hooky yesterday, but I won't miss Spanish. I love this class. Besides, I have to buy my pudding parfait for tomorrow. 

Today is the anniversary of Miss Minga's death, and yesterday I just broke down.  I'm missing my little girl so much.  The other day I could have sworn I heard her sneeze.  She's letting me know that she is still with me.  That offers me some comfort, but when I look down and she is not sleeping at my feet, the tears start to flow.

I've been out of sorts lately.  Sinus problems.  My nose is constantly stuffy, but rather than come out when I blow, the gook goes down my throat and has caused the worst case of post nasal drip.  I have so much mucus that I am coughing up all day.  It makes my throat itch which causes another round of itching.  And the cycle goes on.  I just want to feel normal again.

Otherwise, nothing much happening here. Life is good.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday Morning This and That

The woman just ahead of you at the supermarket checkout has all the delectable groceries you didn't even know they carried.

Mignon McLaughlin,

Good morning everyone. I'm up early today. Couldn't sleep anymore. Actually woke at 5 and tried for an hour to get back to sleep, but it only kept eluding me. So, here I am.  We've been brutally cold here in Brooklyn.  This weekend we went below zero and with the wind chills it was 20 degrees below.  I have been in since Friday. 

Today I have to get out. Thank goodness it's a LITTLE warmer out because I've things to do. Have to walk over to the subway station this morning to put some money on my metrocard. Snow and Ice later so I want to get it done early, and school starts tomorrow. Fortunately, it is going to warm up and change to rain during the night. I also have to take a walk over to the supermarket. Ate the last of my fruit yesterday and I need some fresh veggies and a few other items. I also hope it's not too cold. I'd like to shop around for some new gloves. Lost one of my good ones on Thursday so I hope to be able to replace them. 

Hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day.  I told hubby.  I didn't want flowers and I haven't been into candy for awhile so not to bother buying me any. But I had heard on the health segment of the news the other day the benefits of one small square of dark chocolate every day. So this was my Valentines gift--an awesome set of watercolors and some dark chocolate.  For dinner I made us a nice Shepherd's Pie.  So yummy.

Ground beef
Frozen mixed veggies
Tomato paste
1 beef bouillon with one cup water
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Mashed potatoes
Salt free butter
Low fat milk
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper
Egg yolk

Saute onions in olive oil.  Add crumbled beef and once all is browned add rest of ingredients.  Simmer until water dries down and mixture thickens.

Meanwhile, boil potatoes and mash.  When all is finished add beef mixture to baking dish and top with potatoes. Bake 30 minutes.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hobo Stew

Winter is the slow-down
Winter is the search for self
Winter gives the silence you need to listen
Winter goes gray so you can see your own colors...
Terri Guillemets

Good morning friends and family. Listening to the weather now and it sounds as if we are in for a very cold week to come. Brrr!!!! Well, no school until next week so aside from Weight Watchers and church, there is nothing for me to be running about for so I'll just stay in my warm apartment.

All my issues were taken care of yesterday, and it was a surprise. I did speak to USPS in the morning, and they agreed to re-deliver....or should I say deliver....but was told it wouldn't be done until today. So you can imagine my surprise early evening when the bell rang, and my package was delivered.

And then later I received an email from PayPal that they had decided in my favor. Well, I should hope so. It was obvious that Cambrian Host was not a legit business. Not a thing about them on Google. Perhaps PayPal will be a little less careless next time they release someone's money to someone with a fly by night email address.

Hobo Stew for dinner. It is one of those soups that you use whatever is available. It's one of those soups they cooked over a campfire. Usually the one staple is ground beef. Here is what I used.

Ground beef
Frozen mixed veggies
String beans
White potato
1 large sweet potato
Green, red, and yellow peppers
Beef bouillon (2 cubes)
1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Cajun Seasoning
Red pepper flakes
Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Saute garlic, onion, peppers and celery. Add beef. Once browned sprinkle meat with about a tablespoon of flour. Cook a couple minutes more. Add 2 cups water, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, bouillon, and seasonings. Bring to boil then simmer for about a half hour. Add potatoes and veggies and more water if necessary. cook until done. Hubby has it with white rice. I have it plain.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday Rant. Well, Sort of.

No one can escape stress, but you can learn to cope with it.
Practice positive thinking. . . seize control in small ways.

Adele Scheele  

Good morning everyone. It's going to be another cold one. Not anything planned today either. Have to be careful. I could get used to this. But, it's not as if I stay in doing nothing, I do keep myself busy so I don't sit around moping so I guess it's okay to have a few indoor days. Before I know it I'll be running around every day. In fact, starting next week. So I might as well take advantage of my 'me' time now.

 First I had the issue with PayPal. This is why I am leery of PayPal. I will not put my debit card number on the computer, but I do like to order things online from time to time. So rather than open myself up for theft, I purchased a PayPal card with $25 on it. When that is gone I re-up. Well, I haven't purchased anything via PayPal since mid 2015 and had $15.60 left on my card. Today I get an email that they processed my order of $15 for something I ordered today from Cambrian host. Never heard of them and I think they are a scam. I looked online and found no company by that name. So, I filed a complaint with PayPal and now have to wait while they investigate. They say they have my complaint and are now waiting for a response from the seller. Don't think they will hear anything because I doubt the company exists. Now this was $15. I shudder when I think they could have cleaned out my bank account. Word to the wise. Don't give PayPal debit or credit card numbers. Always use a PayPal gift card.

Later I had an issue with a package I was waiting anxiously for all day yesterday. Don't know why UPS suddenly transfers some packages to the nearest post office rather than complete delivery themselves, but they do. So, All day I track my package of acrylic painting paper, which I wanted to use this morning, and it says it was delivered to local USPS and is out for delivery. Then, a little after 8 pm I want to get my jammies on so I check and the tracking notice says "Package delivered and ready for pick up." PIck up????? First of all, I don't pay for Prime to have to run out and pick up my packages. I was home all day. My bell didn't ring once. Why should I have to either walk all that distance in the cold or pay bus fare to pick it up because someone who is getting paid to deliver it didn't even bother trying. Heck, when I called the online USPS number I cannot even arrange for re-delivery because there is NO delivery attempt notice. I am furious. Just watching the clock til the hands hit 8 am.
Otherwise, I plan a nice day. Making some Hobo Stew for dinner. Recipe to come later. I do have some smaller canvas to paint on so I guess I will try that out. And I am reading a great book about Ireland and its Pagan roots. Fascinating. Lots of mythology and I do love my mythology.

Have a good one.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Morning This and That

Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things,
but just look what they can do when they stick together.

Vesta M. Kelly

Good morning everyone. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Snow is in the air, and it's just about to start to fall. They're forecasting snow for the next three days. Not much at all. Just enough to make it a little slippery, That's okay. Wasn't planning on doing anything anyway, and we've plenty to eat.

I was going to head out to the nutrition class but hubby said he didn't understand why I'd want to go back where I wasn't wanted, and after some thought, I agree.  It's obvious the teacher is very uncomfortable with me in the class, and that wouldn't bother me because I am really doing nothing wrong, but the fact is, it makes me uncomfortable, too.  Besides, today's call is about the health benefits of blueberries, and there is nothing she can tell me that I don't already know.  Nonetheless, when I do return for my classes next week I do plan on stopping in the office.  After all, I did pay for this, and she is teaching wrong information.  Do you think I should just let it go?

Speaking of school, I'm really happy to report that two of the spring lectures I went to went over so well they are now going to be a part of the curriculum, and I signed up for both.  "Justice: What's the Right Thing to do?' is a continuation of "The Morality of Murder".  And, "The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity" is a continuation of "A Parting of the Ways".  Can't wait for them to begin.

Yesterday the priest was talking about Lent during the mass, and it got me to thinking that it's been many a year that I'd given up anything for Lent.  So, I started thinking about what I could give up and nothing came to mind.  Everything I eat nowadays is healthy foods that my body needs....aside from the pasta below.  And then he said, "This year, instead of giving something up, why don't you look for something you can do instead? Why not say a prayer each day?" And they gave us a Devotional book to use during Lent. I also have plenty of clothes I can gather together and donate to the poor.

 Our Saturday night pasta--Baked Rigatoni with Hot Sausage.

1 package Premio hot sausage
Red, green, and yellow sweet peppers
Fire roasted diced tomatoes (1can)
Garlic powder
Marinara sauce
1 package rigatoni
Olive oil 

Slice sausage into bite size pieces and brown. Add onions and peppers and cook until softened. Add diced tomatoes and garlic powder and simmer. 

Meanwhile cook rigatoni until just about done. Drain and rinse. Add to pan. Stir in sausage mixture and marinara sauce. Bake until rigatoni is done.

Have a good one.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thursday This and That

How beautiful thy frosty morn,
When brilliants gem each feathery thorn!
How fair thy cloudless noon!
And through the leafless trees, at night,
With more than Summer's soften'd light,
Shines thy resplendent moon.
Bernard Barton

Good morning everyone. Did I just hear right? A round of snow tomorrow morning? I definitely have to do my food shopping in the morning. Hope it amounts to nothing. I do have the bus across the street, but lately I've gotten to walking. It's doing me so good...or, at least I think so. I'll find out when I get on the scale this morning.

I've even taken up dancing lately.I'll find out when I get on the scale this morning. Never have been able to my adult years. Did win a dance contest when I was a freshman in high school, but somewhere along the way I lost my rhythm. So now, when I'm watching television and any kind of music comes on, I get up and dance a little.
When I bought this plant it looked like this....

Now it looks like this....

And we've got another one growing.

Peppers.  Bought a package of those small sweet peppers in different colors and planted some seeds. Didn't really think they would grow, but look at this.

 Have a good one.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday Ramble

February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.

Sara Coleridge

Good morning everyone, and a wonderful one it is. Had a good night's rest and feeling pretty good. And as soon as I get rid of these morning kinks, I'll be ready to go. It's going to be a rainy day so I've planned on an inside day. Going to do a little painting, reading. A simple day ahead after yesterday. 
Left the house at 9:10 and got back about 11:15. That means I walked over two hours....and believe me I feel it. Remind me not to listen to Ralph anymore. When I told him I was going to stop at the post office first he told me I should go to the one on 57th and 7th rather than my usual because it is closer. Yeah right. First of all it wasn't on 57th at all. It was on 55th, and it was an all uphill trek. Sunset Park is a series of hills. And then when I left, I had an even steeper hill to climb as I headed down to 5th Avenue, the shopping area...although after 6th the hill went into a rather steep incline and it was downhill the rest of the way. Went through a few 99 cent stores, stopped at the Pioneer Supermarket to check it out, then headed over to my usual Met Food. After checking out Pioneer, not going to gripe about Met anymore. At least they have decent meat and produce.
Had I gone to my usual post office it would have been downhill all the way there and home. But, I needed this exercise and I'm not complaining. Just not going to take his advice anymore. LOL!!!

I've even planned a simple meal. Boneless chicken simmered in butter, lemon, and garlic, seasoned with rosemary and freshly ground pepper.. I bought a fresh veggie mix of brocolli, cauliflower and carrots for my side. With weigh in tomorrow, no starch for me. Ralph can have his rice and beans. 
Have a good one.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

On the wind in February 
Snowflakes float still, 
Half inclined to turn to rain, 
Nipping, dripping, chill. 

Christina Georgina Rossetti 

Good morning everyone. What lovely weather we have been having lately. So warm and comfortable. Love this. This morning I'm off to the post office and then have a few places to stop. I finished up my fruit yesterday so I need to replenish. I've also fallen in love with Peppridge Farm Light Oatmeal bread and am down to my last few slices. It not only tastes great but its perfect for Weight Watchers. Only 3 smart points for two slices.

I plan to walk the entire way, back and forth. Have to take advantage of this fantastic weather while it's here. No telling what next week will bring. This has been such a strange winter. Spring one day, snow the next. Waiting now to see if Staten Island Chuck sees his shadow.

I was very disappointed yesterday to see my most un-favorite teacher doing this class today. Personally I think she is very close-minded and is not as knowledgeable on health issues as she would like us to believe, and I  think she senses that I see through her. She does her best to ignore me every time she sees my hand up. LOL!!! But, this isn't a history class where you can feed misinformation to people. This is a health class and feeding misinformation can really harm someone so when I see her wrong I call her on it. For example, the topic was healthy snacks and dealing with eye problems. Now my sight is very important to me, and with a quadruple whammy--cataracts, glaucoma suspect, AMD (dry kind), and dry eyes--I take everything very seriously. For awhile now, I have belonged to several Macular Degeneration groups which keep me abreast of all the latest and my only line of defense as been AREDS 2, a vitamin formulation which is said can possibly slow the progression. If there is a chance, I'll try it.

Well, only a few days ago the results of a new study came in, and it was found that some people have a genetic makeup that the zinc found in the vitamin can cause, in a small number of people, the disease to progress faster. Now yes, it is a small number of people, but one doesn't know if they are in that group unless they take a special genetics test. So, if you don't take the test, it's best to be safe than sorry and look for vitamins without the zinc. I saw in the handout that she was not only going to push these vitamins, but also deter people against the genetics test. So, I raised my hand

She tried turning her head away from me as she always does, but she was too late. I related what I had learned in a nice way specifying that it is only a few days old so as not to embarrass her, but her response was a bored 'okay, let's get back to our lesson.' and she proceeded to teach the very opposite of what I had said instead of saying something like, 'in lieu of this recent information more research is needed"

My friend started to laugh and whispered to me, "She feels so threatened by you. It's so funny and obvious." 
Have a good one.

Monday, February 1, 2016

A small bird twitters on a leafless spray,
Across the snow-waste breaks a gleam of gold:
What token can I give my friend to-day
But February blossoms, pure and cold?
Frail gifts from Nature's half-reluctant hand...
I see the signs of spring about the land...
[T]hese chill snowdrops, fresh from wintry bowers,
Are the forerunners of a world of flowers.

Sarah Doudney, "Snowdrops 

Good morning everyone and welcome to February. It's going to be another gorgeous early springlike day here. Fantastic weather, and I'm looking forward to getting out in it. I was so proud of myself yesterday. Walked both ways to church. Going there was all uphill. Great exercise. Did some shopping before church and was planning to take the bus home because I had some heavy bags, but as soon as I walked out of church I saw my bus and knew I wouldn't make it so rather than wait 20 minutes for the next one I decided to walk. Boy was I glad to see my building.

Perhaps this springlike weather is what our ancestors felt when they celebrated this day as the first day of spring....Inbolg which means “in the belly”. It was a time centered on the first signs of spring and the lambing season. It was later to be Christianized as St Brigid’s day in honor of the beloved Irish saint.

Just listening to the news. Another slashing on the subway. So glad I don't have to ride it anymore but I worry so for those that do.What is going on in this city? It's getting worse and worse, but our mayor wears rosy colored glasses. Subway crime is up, shootings and murders are up, rapes are up, yet he claims the city is safer. Today he's out campaigning in Iowa. As the city goes to pot, our mayor is galavanting around the city....and the world. Can't forget his trip to Rome to meet the Pope.

Friday when I went to the bank they were having some sort of party. Horns, tiaras, hats, leis, the whole thing. The teller told me no special thing, just a Friday party. They do that once in awhile. I wanted to yell out Happy New Year. That's what it felt like. So, anyway they handed us customers fortune cookies. I forgot about my two until I started cleaning my purse out. These were too cute.

Ralph: Wise men take advice from fortune cookies because pies are too flaky. LOL!!!

Mine: Po says, 'A broken fortune cookie lies before you. Eat and Enjoy.'