Procrastinating…

So instead of cleaning my side of the office (aka: there must be a desk under this somehwere), I am procrastinating.  Occasionally I’ll see a post from other bloggers where they list all the gaziollions of people/places they are being read, or the bizarre things people type into the search engine that lead them to their blog.  I don’t have a gazillion readers, and don’t usually bother looking at that sort of thing.  My desk is VERY succesful in helping me create new ways to procrastinate, so I peaked to see what you could write on google et all that brings up this site.  And the list, in no particular order, is:

chickens (Why when there must be 4,999,999,999 other chicken sites)
weak legs in chickens (???)
border collie dogs (love,love,love them!)
big nice booty sleeping (? I’m blushing)
using apricot nectar to make jam (I do think it adds a little something, too)
silver diner coffee mug (shhh! that was a special gift from our server!)
pixie hair model (???)
border collie  (already there once- this must be a sign…)

and finally…

it is good to plant coffee along with rubber tree (thanks for the tip!)

Okay- I’m really, really going to get back to work now….after I wake up my big nice sleeping booty!

Great Escape 2012…30 years and going strong

There may be the tiniest discrepancy between what the Great Escape is and what I’ve put it out as to Grumpy.  For instance, for the past decade or so, I might have allowed Grumpy to believe that we are camping in pathetic tents, while Mother Nature howls and rain splashes our gear.  That might have been the case with the first Escape, but I’ve learned since then to choose wisely.  No more tents for me; not on a chilly October night in New England!

This year we were lucky enough to stay in Christa’s house.  It’s lovely- a snug little cabin in the woods.  Christa McAuliffe camped here as a girl.  There is a display which includes photos and her scout uniform.  The building is heated, with a modern kithcen and bath as well as a working fireplace.  A big improvement over the leaky tents!

All of our meals were served in the Dining Hall.  Served, as in someone else did the cooking and cleaning.  Oh yeah!

There is a huge fireplace at one end of the dining hall, kind of a gathering place to sing, socialize or just cozy up for a cat nap.

The activities are varied.  You could choose to enjoy a 7 hour trail hike.  My friend Barb did this.  In the RAIN!  She even suggested that I might want to join them.  Silly Barb.  She should know better.  You could also plan a morning of canoeing on the lake.  Ann was planning to go canoeing.  Sadly, it was sooo rainy all weekend that they canceled canoeing (I don’t think Ann was very sad at all).

I chose to participate in a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, as it was presented by Mel, another old friend.  She led a brief (thank you!) foraging hike in the wet woods followed by a traditional tea party.  We learned the various things to avoid (poison ivy,etc) and what to watch for: we mainly found wood sorrel, wintergreen and indian cucumbers.  I’ve never even heard of indian cucumbers before.  They have star shaped leaves(Mel is holding one in the photo), and a tiny white grub shaped crunchy bit attached to the root.  Sounds appealing, right?  I did try them, they taste like what you’d get if a cucumber and a daikon radish got married and had babies. Not bad, and while I won’t be serving them at my next royal banquet, if I were ever lost in a boggy wet woodland, then I would probably not starve.

The educational classes included (but not limited to) stained glass (been there, done that), jewelry making (put together some nice earrings), and various classes where you make things you didn’t even know you needed out of duct tape/old calendars/ bits of dryer lint, etc.  Once class that I missed out on was quilling.  It looked interesting and my friend Ann really enjoyed this one.  Here is a photo of the things she put together.  Not sure when I need to use quilling in my life, but it looks cool.

On Saturday there was a bit of entertainment.  In addition to the usual (auctions, skits) there was an amazing display of synchronized swimming.  I’m not sure how they managed to pull that off indoors, but where there’s a will…

Finally, I tip my hat to the ladies who cook.  They managed to put out food that was healthy, tasty and at each meal they provided vegetarian/gluten free/ nut free options galore.  I don’t go in for those choices myself, but it was a big undertaking.  In addition to the meals, they put out snacks (I try to skip those) and desserts (I did allow myself one- and only one!).   While these little “campfire cupcakes” were really cute, I was just taken instead by vanilla.  That one, right there(3rd from the right), that’s mine!

One other thing they had there- morning, noon and night- my dear old (at least among non-alcoholic) beverage of choice:Sigh.  What a lovely welcome,  and a lovely weekend as well.  Just between us, that is.  As far as Grumpy knows, it was an all-out torential rainstorm all weekend, and we camped in the thick of it.  ;-)

“Más vale tarde que nunca” and Green Tomato Mincemeat

I grew up in an increasingly bilingual area of Southern California. I had 6 years of Spanish classes in public school.  I was profoundly unilingual.  My friends would speak to me in Spanish, and I could follow most of what was spoken.  I did well on tests, so my grades weren’t a problem. To translate my own words into Spanish while conversing was pure Hell.  My teacher, in the Brea-Olinda Unified School District, finally gave up on my language barrier and decided to focus on my relaxed attitude towards attendance.  She decided that if I could learn just that one phrase and use it upon entering the classroom she would forgive my tardiness, no matter how much of the class I had missed.  I learned it immediatly, and never forgot those magic words.

Más vale tarde que nunca.  It was 2 weeks ago today when I last wrote anything. I was exhausted.  I promised to write about our memorable weekend journey within a day or so.  I didn’t appreciate how exhausting the next 2 weeks would be.  I started a new job.  Since the “new” job is at the hospital I worked at from 1992-2003, it feels like coming home.  Long days, and still a shift or two to fill at the “old” job.  Besides work I am still coping with the lingering effects of whooping cough.  Then, out of nowhere my  computer flashes the “blue screen of death”.  Hour after hour spent on the phone with people who promised to rescucitate the poor thing.  People from America, India and Sri Lanka.  None of whom could bring it back to life.  I knew this would be the case, deep down inside.  It seemed so wasteful to just go out and buy a new one.  So not in the budget as well.  Now, I’m just glad to be back online.

Más vale tarde que nunca.  I will write about that weekend…later.  First, I want to write about time off.  Today, I have the third of 5 days off…..in a row.  This is my reward for working all manner of hours during the first 4 days of the week.  Day one was a blur.  I had sooo many things to do.  I was in the middle of at least 4 tasks, and running in circles, when I noticed the green tomatoes.  My poor, bedraggled garden, had been neglected for weeks.  In the meantime it grew a nice crop of green tomatoes.  It dawned on me that we would soon have a freeze.  Sometimes, nature dictates change.  This day, nature would change my priorities and my schedule.  All else must be put on a back burner, I was harvesting my green tomatoes.  I don’t care to wait for them to ripen, they are never as good as ripe off the vine.  I can’t eat that many fried green tomatoes either.  A good crop of green tomatoes equals: green tomato mincemeat.

Not everyone likes mincemeat  My own family won’t eat it with raisins ( I don’t know what’s wrong with them, either.  If I hadn’t been there at the welcome, I’d wonder myself whose kids they were).

I do apologize for the lack of “production” photos, and specific measurements.  I wasn’t thinking about writing this down when I started.  Just in a green tomato frenzy, I suppose.  This mincemeat starts with chopped green tomatoes (about 9 cups), and maybe 4- 5 cups of chopped peeled apples.  I put both in a heavy dutch oven.  Then added 1 peeled, chopped orange and 1 large chopped lemon (peels and all).  It might have been easier to remove the seeds from lemon before than to try picking them out after- there’s your warning.  Now add 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup suet or oil (I used vegetable oil), 1 pound light brown sugar, 1 heaping teason each of cinnamon, ground allspice and ground cloves.  Since my family won’t eat the raisins, I snuck in 2 cups of dried cranberries and 1 cup dried cherries.  Heat the mixture at a simmer for about 45 minutes.  It will still have a lot of texture, but I prefer that over the mushiness of some canned mincemeats.   This is the one photo I managed to take once I remembered that I like to do that sort of thing.

After you’ve cooked it down a bit, transfer into pint jars and process by boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  This yeilded 7 pints plus a little left over for nibbling.

And nibbling…and nibbling…

Sometimes you need to escape, and sometimes you need the Great Escape

There is a retreat held in New England every fall called the Great Escape.  It was started as a weekend event for Girl Scout leaders (it’s now open to all adults, even those who aren’t girls or scouts).  Woman would all meet to share stories, teach each other skills and just “escape”.  When I became a Girl Scout leader, about a decade (ok- more) ago, I told Grumpy about the “Great Escape”.  I didn’t tell him what it was called, however.  Just that it was some “required” event where we had to go for the weekend to get the training needed to be leaders.  He patted my shoulder, said he was glad it was a “mom” thing, he appreciated how devoted a mother I was to put up with these requirements for my girls.

The first event I went to was on Cape Cod.  Picture warm sunny beaches.  It wasn’t like that.  It is a beautiful camp built around a big lake.  Only, in the fall, it’s not always warm and sunny.  In fact, that year, we camped in a hurricane.  Yeah, really.  We were in “platform tents”; a raised platform, with a canvas tent stretched over the frame.  Friday night wasn’t so bad, just a little rainy and windy.  Saturday was really wet.  And windy.  We were huddled in the dining hall learning basket weaving, doing silk screening and drinking wine.  Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, they don’t usually allow ( ;-) )wine at girl scout camps, but it was a Hurricane!  The day was long.  I don’t remember how we filled all those hours, really.  A lot of laughing, and a lot of pouring.  At one point my friend, and fellow leader, Sue went out into the hurricane under the guise of searching for plants that she might use in a terrarium.  She was feeling pent up and wanted some outdoors time.  I helped her for a bit, but left her to sort things on her own.  NOT a good idea, as you should always have a “buddy” when you’re roaming the woods.  She was adamant, however, about needing to be on her own.  She did find some plants that day.  One of them was wintergreen.  This can be found all over the woods of New England.  The other plant she found was “a pretty little thing”.  That’s how she described it.  I laughed and laughed when she tried to hand it to me.  It was poison ivy.  Yup, really!  As at all of these retreats, the evening ended in front of a fire, with at least one guitar and a lot of voices raised in song.

I do remember two events from later that night.  First, I apologize to my friend Barb for what I’m about to tell you.  She may or may not have been celebrating that evening with her friend Jack (as in Mr Daniel’s).  She was all tucked in and snoring softly at about 2 in the morning.  I was tossing and turning, almost asleep in spite of the high winds.  Suddenly, Barb sat up screaming.  Like in the movies screaming.  She couldn’t even speak clearly at first, but eventually we figured out that she saw something in our tent, and felt it run under her cot.  I’m a loving and supportive friend.  I laughed so hard I snorted.  Some creature, in a wet, windy hurricane was out for a stroll and crawled under the cot of the snoring lady.  To this day, that’s Barb’s story.  We try to stay in the lodges or cabins with Barb now.

The next thing that happened, was my fault.  On account of all that tossing and turning I do.  The hurricane made the platform wet and slippery.  I woke from a sound sleep after dreaming I was falling.  When I opened my eyes, I was totally confused.  I didn’t know where I  was at first, and was disoriented.  My cot had slid off the platform, and was dangling over a crevice, one leg of the cot stuck inside the tent and I was more out than in myself.  I was getting soaked in the rain, and scrambling for all I was worth not to fall completely out.  My tent mates were woken for a second time to my hollering for help.  They dragged me and my cot back into the tent.  For some reason, I lay there soaking wet and laughed until I snorted again.  I seem to do a lot of snorting at these things!

That trip, the first of my “Escapes”, was certainly memorable.  I’ll try get around to telling you about this year’s retreat tomorrow.  G’nite all!

It’s barely Fall, and I can feel Winter sneaking in…

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
Edith Sitwell

This year is going to be one long cold winter.  I can just feel it.  I’m preparing already.  I can appreciate spring cleaning, but it’s even more important in the fall.  Don’t get me wrong- I’m no cleaning Nazi.  I like to let it build a little so you actually notice the difference when I clean.  But, with winter coming, I like to start out with a nice clean house before we hermetically seal ourselves in for the long haul.

I go one room at a time, cleaning out, washing up and always moving furniture.  I take no chances on getting my effort noticed.  The need to clean came on at a bad time.  I had just done a “big” shopping trip and there were a lot of fresh things to cook.  On Monday, I realized that I wasn’t leaving time for “fancy” dishes, and wasn’t cooking all those meats fast enough.  I checked the date, made some plans and was left with a fresh pork shoulder that I wouldn’t have time to deal with before Tuesday (the OMG sell-by date).  I rinsed it and put it into a slow cooker.  That would buy me a little time.  I told asked Grumpy to please add water as needed over the next day.  Tuesday wasn’t looking like a “pork shoulder” night either, so I pulled the meat off the bones and put it in the fridge.  Wednesday I got home from work after midnight (oh yeah- those shifts hurt).  Today, I coffee’d up and racked my brain for inspiration.  Then it came to me: I’d make carnitas burritos.*** I wasn’t expecting anything special, and didn’t measure or take photos.  I’m really, really sorry.  I’ll try to remember as I go along here.

When I got home from work, I shredded that (cold) pork into a mixing bowl. There was a good 3 cups or so.  I added some cumin (maybe 2 tsp) and some thyme (1 tsp dried).  Maybe 1 tsp of garlic salt.  It seemed to need cheese, so I shredded some pepper jack- about 4 ounces (the result was really hot- you might want to use plain jack if you don’t love the spice). Then, I wanted some creaminess so I through in 4 ounces of cream cheese.  Then, 1 can of Rotel (a puree of tomatoes and peppers with spices- great pantry item).  I heated it all up in the microwave just to warm it and make it easier to mix.  After stirring it together it was ready to go.  I scooped about 1/2 cup and spread it into a small flour tortilla.  You can use corn, but we ran out and flour is nice too.  Roll each filled tortilla up and place them in a baking pan.  After I filled the entire pan (and ran out of filling- love when that happens together!), I poured a can of enchilada sauce over the whole thing.  I don’t usually have that hanging around, but there was a can staring me in the face, just begging to be used.  I baked it at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Then I pulled it out of the oven, sprinkled some sharp cheddar over the top, and some mozzarella (still using up the leftovers).  A few more minutes in the oven to melt the cheese, and ready to serve.

Everybody loved it! Grumpy had 2 enchiladas, then asked for 2 more. This is a photo of his “second serving”, that’s why the plate is such a mess.  He thinks it’s worthy of being added to that never-ending list of regular meals.  I smiled, realized that the next time I had a fresh pork shoulder that needed cooking, I could simmer it in a crock pot for 36 hours, retrieve the meat and abandon it to cold storage for another 36 hours, gather all the ingredients and make a great “super fast” supper.  Or not.  ;-)

On the good side, since it was a little cooler out tonight we took a break from eating in the dining room.  Instead we all enjoyed these in our newly cleaned (and rearranged) living room with a big, warm fire in the fireplace.  It was so nice and cozy.  Winter doesn’t scare me; I’m ready!

On Whining and Wining

Warning- I’m about to whine.  Not wine (okay..I’m doing that too!).  I’m whining like a sick baby.  Remember when I got the “man flu”? Well…it’s still there. It’s been 4 weeks.  Ugh!  I had an xray on Thursday and it’s still pneumonia.  Another round of antibiotics.  I took all of 3 sick days.  That’s ridiculous.  I work in a hospital, so they know I’m not really contagious anymore.  Okay- whine over.

So, I haven’t been writing a lot.  Or at all.  Not much going on in that head.  I’m taking moxifloxicillin.  It makes you dizzy.  On top of that, NyQuil.  With wine.  Only when I’m at home, of course.  It doesn’t really make you better, but it makes being sick a lot more fun.

I’m also playing with my new dehydrator.  That is a lot of fun.  The other day, I cleaned out my fridge.  There were some peppers that were getting a little wrinkly.  And some celery that was looking a little floppy.  Sounds appealing, right?  I decided to slice up a lot of veggies, and dry them.  We ended up with the red peppers, celery, green onions, green beans, broccoli and carrots.  Once they were totally dry I added them to a jar with thyme, fennel seed (I just love fennel), bay leaves, bouillon and dried mixed beans.  Some day this winter that will be a nice pot of soup.

That wasn’t the only thing we dried.  On Friday I met one of my senior daughters and Grumpy at Northeastern University.  She’s at the college tour time (my other senior saw exactly one college, fell deeply in love and married it forever and ever.  Sadly, it’s in Charlotte, NC. Sniff).  Anyway…after Syd fell madly in love with Northeastern (we’ll have to wait and see if this love is reciprocated), I had this great idea.  Why didn’t Grumpy go fill the car with gas, while Syd and I took the subway to the Haymarket?  I had promised princess Avery that I’d buy strawberries.  They had beautiful berries there, and we bought 4 pounds for $3. That’s right- we are awesomely lucky with shopping (and to quote my dear friend Dr Mikhail: “sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good”).

When we got home I cleaned and sliced the berries.  Most of them fit into the dehydrator.  I meant to get a picture of all those strawberries inside the dehydrator.  I’m not sure what happened.  I remember so little about things sometimes.  I’m blaming the NyQuil.  Totally.  Anyway, there were about a quart of dried berries when they came out.  Not bad.  Then princess Avery discovered the jar.  This is what was left.  About a cup at the most.  Ugh.  She ate the equivalent of 2 pounds of strawberries.  Is that even healthy?

Not all of the strawberries fit, by the way, so with the rest I rewarded us for surviving another day by making my favorite cupcakes- the ones with the strawberry-buttercream  filling that I told you about in the post “Insomnia“.  Don’t they look amazing? You can make them with any type of cake, but it’s a really light buttercream frosting mixed with about an equal amount of finely diced fresh strawberries.  I pipe the frosting into the middle of the cupcakes, dust them with powdered sugar and put half a berry on top to cover up the evidence.  Go back up there and click on “insomnia”(yeah- the blue one) for the actual recipe.

So that’s what’s happening around here.  Time for NyQuil, moxifloxicillin and a little bit more wine.  G’nite all!

 

 

 

I LOVE everything about Fall; from Apples to Oatmeal!

I love fall. It’s apple picking, hayrides (okay- not my favorite part), fresh cold cider and hot cider donuts. It’s pumpkins and Mums. It’s clear blue skies.  Leaves turning, fires burning.  I love the smells.  And did I mention apple picking?  We’re going to go apple picking in about 4 weeks, and bring home a huge haul of apples.  I can’t wait. This time I’ll be ready.  Apple pies.  Apple sauce.  Apple butter.  Even…dried apples? 

Back in the hot days of July my Aunt Jo came to visit.  I brought home a half bushel of peaches and she helped me “find a happy place” for all those peaches.  We talked about preserving, and how my other Aunt (that would be you, Kay Diane Johnson!)  was so inspiring in the way she was able to hunt/forage/grow and preserve her family table all these years.  I’d also mentioned that I was  curious about dehydrating, as my dear SIL Theresa pretty much dehydrates anything that won’t run away (AND she had already sent me an amazing 4 Qt supply of freshly dehydrated corn on the cob!).  I wasn’t planning to buy one yet as  didn’t know if I’d use it enough to justify the expense. About a month later, I received a box in the mail.  Aunt Jo had a dehydrator at home, and she decided that as she hadn’t used it in years, she’d forward it to me!  WooHOO!  Thank you Aunt Jo!!!

The dehydrator is many years old, but looks like new. 

I tried it out, to make sure it works and gauge how long a batch of apples will take.  The first load was with locally grown apples from the market.  They are on sale for $.79 a pound, which is not bad for our area. These are fairly big Cortland’s.  I peeled, cored and sliced them, then dipped them in a solution of citric acid and water (1 tsp per gallon).  This is to keep them from turning too brown.  You can also use lemon juice or vinegar, or just let them brown.  There are about 5 pounds of apples in here.  It said they would take about 6-10 hours.  I think I sliced them a bit too thick.  And maybe I might have lifted the lid a few times to taste feel the apples.  About 12 hours later they were almost done.  I decided to shut it off and check in the morning.  Next morning, I ran it again for about 3 more hours.  NOW they are dry.  No doubt about it! Lots of apples. 

You know what else I like to make with apples in the fall?  Oatmeal.  My kids used to hate oatmeal.  Now they love it.  I make special oatmeal,  Instead of cooking it in water, I cook it in apple juice.  With a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon and diced apples.  I usually do it overnight in a low crockpot with slow cooking oats.  With these apples…I decided to try making my own oatmeal mix.

I used 1/2 cup quick cooking oats, with 1 big teaspoon of brown sugar (kind of heaping…I love to indulge them sometimes), 1/4 tsp cinnamon, tiny bit of salt (optional) and 3 dried apple slices.  Each packet contains this, and each makes one bowl.  You sprinkle it into the bowl, add 1 cup apple juice and microwave on high for one minute.  My PJ gave it 2 thumbs up- ate the whole bowl and will happily have it again for breakfast. 

Paying it Forward (From me to you…you to them…and so on)

So many people are out there writing blogs! Some of these are probably fabulous, and I’ve never seen them.  Some are fabulous and I already follow them.  Shaunna, of Tempting Thyme (www.temptingthyme.com) is one I do follow.  She recently invited all bloggers to play a game of “paying it forward”.  You can read about it here: http://temptingthyme.com/2012/09/09/from-me-to-you-paying-it-forward-giveaway/

It’s not the virtuous type of thing where you send out gifts in secret to people in need, etc with nothing in return.  Not that that’s good or bad; we enjoy doing this type of pay it forward periodically as it is important and right (and makes us feels so good/virtuous/safe from bad karma).  You actually get a gift yourself; but by paying it forward to 3 people you spread the joy.

I was one of the first 3 to reply, so that means that I will be recieving a lovely gift in the mail from Shaunna.  Frankly, I’m a greedy child still when it comes to getting mail.  I love to order things online.  In the days BK (before kids) I sent my tops out to a Chinese laundry in the North End of Boston because they wrapped all my things in tissue, then boxed them and tied with string.  Getting dressed meant opening up a “new” blouse each day.  So any game that means I get a hand made surprise in the mail is pretty high on the WOOOWHOO!!!scale.

HERE IS HOW IT WORKS: (First of all you have to reply to this post to participate.  You also must post about Paying it Forward on your blog, and…)  Give a gift to 3 people, and those 3 people give a gift to 3 more people……and so on and so on…that is 12 people being touched by this single blog post.  WOO HOO!  The first three people to comment on this post will receive a gift from me. It may be something that I am drooling over and wish to share with others, something to wear, something to eat or maybe just something I love! Whatever it is, it will get special thought and care just for you!

The fine print:
■Within a year (it’ll be sooner than later, I love to cross things off my to-do list), I’ll create something unique to share with the first three people to comment on this post.
■But, in order to receive your present you have to play along. Spread the love on your own blog promising to send a little special something to the first three people who comment on your post.
■You get 72 hours to re-post, or I’ll have to move on to the next person.

These are the rules set forth by somebody somewhere back in the links of links of links.  They are what they are, they are straight forward and simple so don’t even bother trying to change them.

Seems like fun, right???   Want to play along?   Did I mention that… you have to reply to this post to participate?!! When commenting, please make sure I have a way of getting ahold of you.  If not, the old saying stands true….you snooze you lose!

Good luck!

*********** UPDATE ***********************

It’s been crazy busy, and I’d put this post on the back burner.  Until this week, that is. I just recieved a really cute pendant in the mail from Shaunna at “TemptingThyme”. It arrived on a day when my Avery was expecting for a package.  She immediatly brought it to me, waited for me to open it and begged me to “share”.  I’m going to have to get those addresses and get my gifts sent!

Thank you very much Shaunna!

 

Homeland Security has Crabapples, and they WON’T Share!

The walk from North Station to my job is just over a mile.  At about the halfway point I pass the offices of Homeland Security.  They are impressive; tall, clean building and immaculately manicured walkways.  The walkway at the street level has grass of crayola green, and is lined with perfectly shaped crabapple trees.  Not only are they perfectly shaped, they grow purple fruit!  I’ve seen plenty of the red variety, and know of some trees that produce lots of golden yellow crabapples, but I’ve never seen purple before.

I decided last year that I would approach the guards to request picking privileges, rather than apply for official permission from this gi-normous agency.   It never seemed like the right time, however.  As the summer went into fall I saw the bounty from those trees drop onto the green carpet and get vacuumed away with the grass clippings.  What a waste!  I was determined that this year would be different.  I watched carefully until I felt they were just about ripe enough, then approached the guard.

It went like this:  “Hi there! So listen, every year I see these crabapples just fall to the ground and get sent out with the grass clippings. That’s sinful.  I’ve decided to take charge of the situation.  Here’s what we’ll do… I’m going to stop by after work, around 2:15, and pick all the fruit I can reach.  Do you have a step-stool? No? Well maybe I’ll just spread a sheet and shake those limbs a bit….Uh- yes, I do mean on the other side of the fence.  Don’t worry, that tiny fence won’t even slow me down.  I’ll just…What?…Well that doesn’t seem right.  This is ridiculous.  Listen friend…here’s what we’ll do…you help me pick these crabapples, I’ll take them home and bring you back some jelly.  Yes I will- I’ll give you my contact info.  We could be crabapple friends on facebook…that was a joke homie.  No, I know you’re not my homeboy…I said “homie”, that is short for homeland security-security guard. Kind of a long handle, you know?”

There are 3 things that I learned that day:  #1- Not to bother wasting time with the security.  Next year I’m going straight to the top.  As soon as the elections are over I’ll send a request.  #2- Security guards at Homeland certainly do not profile.  I am not on anyone’s shortlist of suspects for any crime, ever (unless it’s a crime to shave a few pounds off on your license).  #3- Security guards at Homeland Security carry both a walkie talkie and a weapon.  It’s a good idea to move on if they reach for either one.

So I explained my dilemma to Grumpy, and asked if (A) he knew anyone at Homeland Security or (B) he would be willing to help me pick those golden crabapples,  He wouldn’t comment on who he might or might not know (he knows a lot of people), but he agreed to help me with my foraging. What a guy!

MAKING CRABAPPLE JELLY AND BUTTER:  These are the crabapples we started with.  I wanted more…but someone (ahem) got tired of picking!  Notice that I’ve included lots of “not-quite-ripe” ones.  They have more pectin in them, so I’ll probably get good gel without adding any.  They’re not very large and perfect, but there were no threatening guards!  Some of them are fairly unattractive, although I found this one to be kind of cute–>

You need to take away the stems and deflower any that still have a lot of brown blossom stuff at the other end.  I find it easier to slice them all in half, then pulling away the stem is easy.  You also get a good look inside to make sure they aren’t occupied.  Now you need to add some liquid and start simmering.  I prefer to add apple juice, as I can use less sugar later to make the jelly. This pot is a huge dutch oven (the size is worn off the bottom), I’d say about 20 cups.  I added just enough apple juice so that it was about 1/2 filled.  Cover, let simmer for about an hour.  Then strain, save the apples aside for later.  This is the juice that was strained off.  Bring it to a boil, and boil for about 5 minutes.  Slowly add the sugar (I had about 8 cups of juice and added about 6 cups of sugar).  Crabapples are VERY tart, but there is about 1 Qt of apple juice in here too.  Return to a boil, boil one minute and process in BWB ***.  You can add more sugar if you want it to be sweeter, and try clicking here for instructions on how to test to see if the pectin is gelling enough before you can it.  If you don’t test, and it fails to gel, you can always reprocess with added pectin.

Now for the “Butter”.  In the past I’ve made crabapple “butter” and my kids don’t want to eat it.  This year I called it “crabapple sauce” and they loved it- kids!  You can make this with the cooked remains of the jelly making.  I have tried food mills and other ways of getting the crabapple flesh out, the only one that works well for me is the ricer.  It’s tedious, but worthwhile. You just keep filling the ricer with more of the little apples, and squeeze it out over another big bowl.  When I’m done, I squeeze it again through a fine strainer.  Those little seeds and cores can make it unpleasant.  When you are done, you’ll have a smooth-as-silk basis for the butter.  I add sugar and cinnamon.  I didn’t measure, so add it a little at a time until it seems “there”.   Add enough liquid to make it a runny consistency (I added about 2 cups of apple juice). Bring it back to a boil, boil for about 5 minutes and process in a BWB.  Here is the finished product: on the right, with the rosy tint, are 4 pints and 3 1/2 pints of jelly.  On the left are 7 pints of crabapple “sauce”.

Complete instructions for canning available *** here from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

I’m actually still recovering.  I started writing this post before I got sick, and today had just enough energy left to get it done.  I’m still coughing up a storm, but breathing is a lot easier than on previous days. Thanks for reading folks!

Mom Flu IS Worse Than Man Flu

This is the worst! I don’t care what all you guys say- mom flu is worse.

Technically, it’s not “flu” that I have.  It’s officially (in doctor talk) “acute bronchitis with right side pneumonia”.  That translates to wheezing and a constant hacking, barking coughing that makes you see stars for the first day, then rapidly progresses to pulling muscles all over your body.  The worst part is the diapers.  Okay- technically they are “overnight pads”.  Anyone who has pushed out 4 kids, or one over 9 pounds, knows what I’m talking about.  Normally, I get through life just fine.  After 6 days and nights of this Hell, I’m just spent.  Tell me guys, when was the last time “man flu” put you in a diaper??? Yeah, I thought not.

This is, fortunately, not accurate.  Grumpy has stood up to the challenge.  He’s at home himself, and unable to lift anything due to an injury (he ripped something in his back lifting at work).  He has managed to make sandwiches, subs and even pack lunches for the kids while I’m recuperating.  I got an invite to come forage wild concord grapes in the next town over and tried to con him into going in my place…well I guess he has his limits.  I hope there will still be some grapes left when I recover.  But just writing this wore me out.  Back to bed…

OhhhMrrrGrrrd…I have the man flu!

I feel like such a wuss.  All those years of eye rolling, patiently picking up other peoples disgusting tissues and empty tea cups.  Backing away from the annoying hacking, sniffling and moans.  Now it’s my turn.  Ugh…. I hate this.  I woke up yesterday in the wrong body, and I don’t have the strength to move these limbs. Barking coughs make my brain knock around in there until I see stars.  This is awful.  I foolishly went to work. I spent the day doing mostly computer stuff, and clearing files.  And wiping everything around me with disinfectant, including me hands every few minutes.   I left a few minutes earlier than usual (I actually went in and started early).  As soon as I got home I raided the med cabinet and went to bed.  At 6 I wandered downstairs, got more medicine and told Grumpy “tag. You’re it.  Fajitas for dinner”.  Then I went back to bed.  I just got out of bed again and feel…sore.  But more alert.  I’m going to spend the day taking it easy, and indulging in my flu treatment.

I was planning to post about my foodie pen pal.  Somewhere I have a cute button you could click on…but I’m tired.  If you click on “foodie pen pal”, the blue one, you’ll get there.  I received a  lovely box filled with treats from this months pen pal Kathy.  In it were a bag of plantain chips (yummy! tried these before but they are a nice treat anytime.  I shared them of course).  There was a jar of fancy strawberry-rhubarb jam,a bottle of “Southern Style grill and cooking sauce” that looks like it will be a nice bbq.  What really caught my eye, and came in handy, was the honey.  I’m partial to raw honey, but never noticed one tasting much different from another around here.  The honey she sent was “orange blossum” honey from DePlanta’s honey in Lakeland Fl.  It has a different flavor from any honey I’ve tried.  Really nice.  Just right for my throat remedy.  Just in time.

So I have man-flu-brain today and can’t remember who I got this recipe from.  If anyone knows, or if I remember I’ll update with the name ….I found it! Here it is: it’s from http://catherineboley.blogspot.com/2009/08/preparing-for-winter.html (aka a little life) via one of my favorite sites:frugally sustainable.

I’m not well.  Here’s there recipe, I’m going back to bed!

Thinly slice one lemon
.  Peel and slice ginger; I like a bit less of this than the lemon. Place it all in a pint sized jar, pour honey over until it just barely covers.  Leave it in the refrigerator about a month before using, unless you are sick like me.  If that’s the case use it now.  Like me.  I feel so lousy.  Anyway, take a good tablespoon of the stuff (it will gel eventually in the fridge), put it into a huge mug (mine holds about 12 oz) and fill with hot water.  It helps to add a slug of bourbon,directly to the cup as well.  Up to you. I’m going back to bed anyway.  I’ll check back in when I’m human.

Summer Vacation With 10 kids….part 3 (and tre bionde)

Driving 800 miles in a car with 5 “kids” is no problem.  That doesn’t phase me at all.  We’ve never traveled without extra kids, it’s just how we are.  Once we arrived in K-Vegas, however, there were another 5 waiting for us.  Crazy!

The beginning of our vacation was more of a “Mommy’s Gone Wild” trip.  Lots of partying and dancing going on.  Now it was time to get down to the “Good Mommy” part of the trip. The kids were aged 12-17.   Thank you God for the 3 female high school seniors (they only came in blonde that year).  These girls are all close friends, 2 are licensed (and designated) drivers.  Two of them are also now my daughters (sorry Sue ~ but I’m keeping her!).   These big girls were easy to please.  A set of car keys, a credit card and an outlet mall kept them busy for a day.  This is the tribe showing off the new school clothes.

So there were 3 of us, and 10 of them.  We were seriously outnumbered.  How do you entertain 10 kids of at least 2 genders and various ages?  Tubing.  Not snow tubing.  Lake tubing.  Puckett played captain of her boat, while the kids went in groups of 3 out on a big tube tied by a very long leash to the back of the boat.  The game was: they try desperately to stay on the tube.  We try to knock all of them off into the lake.  Great game!  Speeding around the lake, bouncing over the wake of other boats and trying to knock off not one or two, but all three girls is a challenge.  Puckett, however, was up to the task.  Now don’t feel bad…they liked it.  Really!  When they weren’t on the tube they were all in the lake swimming  anyway.  Belew’s Lake has the warmest water you’ll find anywhere.  It was built by the power plant so they could use the water to cool the generators.  It’s ridiculously warm.  Even hotter than pee.  So they say….ahem…

Since the older girls are seniors we are expected to take them to at least 57 colleges so they can go on endless tours and eventually choose the best place to enjoy a 4 year party with a $200,000 cover charge pursue a higher education. We already went through this with #1 son.  It was ridiculous.  None of his friends were ready for college.  They were all extremely bright kids, top performers with good support.  They left home without their brains, I swear!  They spent so much time living the college life that they had no time for classes.  Well, guess what?  We’ve figured out a way to avoid all that.  Instead we took them to Krispy Kreme.  They can get gainful employment, cute (hats) uniforms and tasty fringe benefits.  The best part…between the 3 of them we’ll be saving a good half a million, not even including the money we’ll save with our donut discounts!  Oh yeah~ who needs a daughter in med school when I can snag a free Krispy Kreme???!!!

What I Did On My Summer Vacation…part 2…”The Benefits of Teenage Drivers” (or Running With Scissors- still happening)

Some people bring a parent along on vacations to help keep an eye on the kids.  We brought teenaged kids along to keep an eye on the grownups!  Who knew that only 15 years ago when we were bribing them to pee in the potty, and keep their clothes on in public, that they’d be our designated drivers someday?  Just for the record…we all kept our clothes on in public!

We pulled into K-Vegas around 7pm.  After the hello’s, the unpacking, the catching up, it was revealed that our dear Puckett was sitting and waiting for us at the Village Tavern.  The VT is a lovely place, great food and they have a huge pub room that is “breathing-is-only-possible-if-you-tip-your-chin-up” tight on Wednesdays as they have a “1/2 price wine” special every week.  When we got there we helped Puckett finish a bottle or so of Merlot.  I also met my new friend Carol, who Avery describes as “really pretty and “fancy”.  Avery is correct.  Puckett and Carol were attracting a lot of attention in that place, as full as it was.  There was a lot of wine on that table still waiting to be sipped when we arrived.  I can’t really remember if I drove home that night, or if we were rescued by my dear daughter-by-another-mother Bailey.  Have I mentioned  how nice it is to have a teenaged DD?

The next day was mostly playing in the pool, but we had to watch the clock because (my other new friend) Kathy had secured us tickets to a very fancy party! The PGA tournament was going on in Greensboro, and they were throwing a big shindig at the country club.  There was a really great band named Sleeping Booty.

There were lots of people, which isn’t surprising because they also had an Open Bar all night long!!!Who even does that? It was crazy fun though.  We danced like the pathetic white girls that we are, and loved every minute.

The next day, (and NO, I don’t know for sure who drove us home, but it could have been me.  I actually think it was…) we had to get up and head out in the morning.  My dear new friend Carol had obtained some swanky box seats at the PGA tournament for the 16th hole.  Now, I’m no big golf person.  It strikes me as being a bit slow going anyway, but when some nerdy guy walks around with a big sign telling you to hush up…I’m not having it!  These seats, however, were in a big, air conditioned, indoor room, right at the 16th hole.  I’m talking big round dining tables (with tablecloths), full on buffet and….you guessed it…OPEN BAR!!! And yes, I believe we did dive in face first.  It was still a golf tournament.  With an open bar, a full on buffet and some of the fanciest trailer potties I’ve seen in a long time…well who couldn’t enjoy all that?!!!

As I don’t usually have so much time away from the kids, I was seriously missing them already.  We all agreed that for the rest of the trip we would spend all…or most… of the time indulging enjoying our children.  After all, having teen drivers who are willing and able to pick up your drunk butt when you’ve been out carousing is not something to take for granted!

Tomorrow, assuming that someone kindly sends me photos ( I am sooo bad about remembering to take pics!) I’ll vent…rant…share some treasured moments with the tribe.  Including…my dear…darling…designated driver daughters!

What I Did On My Summer Vacation…part 1: GPS stinks!

GPS is ridiculous.  We used to do just fine with an atlas.  Or a map.  If you wanted to get fancy, you could have AAA make you up a “triptik”, with play by play instructions that any imbecile could manage.  We have 2 of those GPS suckers, as well as a navigation feature on our “smart” phones.  You know what? They all operate on ghetto mode.  It doesn’t matter if you’re driving to Paris or the local corner market, they route us through the ghetto.  I had a fab  Christmas party that I tried to get to last winter; it was only about a mile from my job.  That GPS drove me all around the greater Boston area, including a place where the buildings were burned out/ boarded up and there were people drinking and dancing in the streets.  That was as close as I got to celebrating, I missed the party and gave up when I was still circling the city about 2 hours later.  Seriously!

But back to the trip…We left Boston at 2pm after I scooted out of work.  I had a google-planned trip all laid out (these plans were, of course, nowhere to be found once we left).  It was planned so that we’d go over the Tappan Zee bridge.  I don’t like bridges.  The only thing worse than bridges are tunnels that go underwater…but that came much later.  The Tappan Zee is a nice bridge, as bridges go.  It’s lovely, actually.  Our GPS doesn’t understand this.  It refused to take me to anything but the George Washington Bridge.  When I realized that this was the plan, I tried to thwart this evil tool.  I left the route and drove up to White Plains.  Twice.  From two different locations.  Each time the b@xt$d would reroute me until finally, in exhaustion, I gave up and went over the George Washington Bridge.  It’s not all bad.  It’s been standing a long time, and I’m sure it’s really safe…but when you approach from the NY side you don’t want to see the structure underneath.  It looks like it’s held together by some scrap lumber and duck tape.  Seriously.  Even the kids said “this can’t really be a legit bridge”.  Some parts look really ramshackle.  To be fair, it held up long enough to allow our passage, and as far as I know hasn’t collapsed.  Yet.  (***Okay…apologies to fans of NY or the GWB.  This is not the real bridge.  We were moving too fast to get a photo- this fine pic is from karen@obscureobservations.com).

We then drove through scenic NJ, and farm country in PA (with the kids all staring out the window on ” Amish alert”).  There was some drama with the weather.  We had a lot of radio “emergency announcements” about winds, hail, 40 days and build an Ark” stuff.  The first day ended at an extremely nice “La Quinta” in Chambersburg PA.  The GPS was unable to locate a ghetto in Chambersburg.  It either grew tired of the games, or just gave up and brought us safely to our temporary abode.  Strong work, GPS.  We forgive you.  Almost.

No, we havn’t fallen off the face of the Earth…

While I know that people aren’t losing sleep over my lack of production in the blog world…I’m feeling guilty for my lazy ways. We puled into town 6 days ago. The first few days and nights were crazy. We got caught up in the PGA tournament with golf events, parties and dances. It was 3 solid days of open bar. I didn’t know people still did that!
The rest of the time has been kid focused. Favorite part: Belews Creek. We’ve been swimming and tubing. I want to move there. Looks just like Maine,but the water is warm. Hot,actually. They built this lake and it cools the generator for the power plant. It’s hot enough to swim almost the whole year. It’s even hotter than pee. Really. Now don’t you just wish you were here? Well, I’m loving it. No net. I’ll post from phone again later…

Bye, Bye Birdie and Helllloooo K-Vegas!

These birds just grow up too fast! They get out of the shell and start stomping around like toddlers. You dip their beak in water, just once, and they have mastered the skill of drinking.  They know how to eat and are eating bird chow before they’re even dry.  Now, a week old and they are “flying” in small hops.  They don’t get far, but they are airborn.  Time for them to leave the nest.

We brought them to their real home, with Jack.  They came in a carboard box, with the lid taped together.  I wanted to get them here for their first look “outside”, so they always see his farm as home.

They’ll go into this room he built in his barn; joining the other keets he is rasiing. Those photos look a little red, because of the special warming light.  And because my camera is crap.  Maybe more that than  not! Later, they’ll join his older flock, living mostly off the land. I’ve been to Jack’s farm a few times, the Guinea hens have always kept their distance.  If they were anywhere near when I arrived they would beat feet over to tthe far side of the pasture as soon as they saw me.  This time, they came right up to the barn to check out the new kids.  It was crazy~ they were all sqwauking and babbling about it like…a bunch of old hens.  Funny how I never thought about that phase before. 

There was another eason I wanted to drop them off yesterday.  The kids are kind of attached.  They were talking about wanting to keep one.  Maybe Cheeko…or Tiago…definitely Elvis. 

We left this afternoon for a road trip.  It’s also a hen trip- as in no dad’s on this one. Just us old hens and our kids.  We’re heading on down to Kernersville! K-Vegas, don’t you know.  

I love a good road trip  (Woah- just gave myself a flashback to a road trip from Hell.  But that’s for another day).  Today is just fun- me and 5 kids on the road.  In a minivan.   No work.   No school.   No agenda.  That’s right! K-Vegas, here we come!

Boo Boo Bandaids for Their Injured Dignity

Yesterday I was a “sneaky itch” for fooling Grumpy with a zucchini filled “apple” pie.  Worse, he really liked that pie.  The recipe required a single pie crust.  Sometimes (always) I daydream, and doing things on autopilot, sometimes (a lot) I make mistakes.  I made my regular pie crust and forgot to halve it for a single crust.  I have some raspberries in the freezer, and an extra pie crust….that was all the excuse I needed to make another “Raspberry Pie” from The Minnesota Farm Woman(click here for the recipe).  The raspberries seem to give off a lot of juice as they thaw.  I thought to combine the lemon-water that I’d simmered all that squash in with the juice that dripped off the berries and make a batch of raspberry lemonade.  I just added some sugar to the pot of lemon-water, simmered it until completely dissolved.  You can go by your own preference on the sweetness.  I overdid a little, and decided to add the juice of one more lemon.  After adding a lot more water, I had almost 1/2 gallon of lemonade.  It was well received by the 2 fellas whose dignity was damaged by the apple pie fake-out.

A little lemonade goes a long was to soothing ruffled dignity.  A nice slice of pie doesn’t hurt either!

It’s Lucy in the sky and all kinds of apple pie*.

Today I rose at the crack of dawn to work yet another 12 hour shift.  I was resigned to the day, but then got lucky twice.  First, I had a really nice patient.  Second, I was not needed.  They sent me home a little after 11am.  This is really the luckiest part, because I’ll be leaving on Tuesday, right after work, on a road trip and I need a pedicure.  I still need to pack.  That means doing laundry. The house is really in need of a good cleaning and I really need a pedicure..  The dogs need a pedicure grooming.  And I really, really need that pedicure.

First, though, I went home.  I walked right into my kitchen and saw….a huge green zucchini.  My friend Jan brought me some beautiful cucumbers and zucchinis from her garden…2 weeks ago.  We have one big squash left.  Some of the kids (and Grumpy) believe that they don’t like squash.  I hide the squash.  Sometimes in the spaghetti sauce.  A little more obvious is in Ratatouille.  I also made some zucchini boats: hollow out the zucchini and treat it like a long pizza crust- anything goes.  As I stood there, on the brink of achieving domestic greatness by completing my laundry-packing-cleaning list, I remembered that somewhere, on one of the oh-so-many blogs that I really enjoy, there was a mention of zucchini-apple pie.  It’s a fake out- a zucchini pie the sells itself as apple.  I had to try this.

I was unable to track down the original blog.  This happens far too often; but whoever you are-you angel of zucchini cleverness, I would like to credit you properly and will update with the link if provided.  I searched online, and found one that sounded great at Food.com. Click here to see the recipe.

Start with a basic single pie crust.  I wasn’t thinking straight, and I made a double crust.  I seem to do this a lot.  While the dough is chilling, you peel, seed and slice the squash (I’m getting too tired to type zucchini, so from here on it will be officially be known as “squash”).  Simmer it in a saucepan with 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup water.  I also threw in some zest, to give it a little more lemonyness (yes it is too a word).  Then I just tossed in the rest of the lemon too because I really love lemons.  I simmered until they were translucent.  Then, strain.  I didn’t want to waste the lemon water, so I set it aside for later (I’ll get to that part later…or tomorrow).

Roll out your pie crust, or grab a premade one from the store if you absolutely must.  Then, toss together some sugar, flour and cinnamon (I left out the nutmeg, I just wasn’t feeling it).   Now mix in the squash, and pour the whole thing into the pie shell.  At this point Grumpy walked into the kitchen and didn’t even notice that it wasn’t his usual apple pie.  Snicker…..  Now you mix up the crumb topping.  This is my new toy.  I stopped by the crack house in Acton, MA.  It’s official called “kitchen outlet” or some such thing, but for me it’s a crack house.  I saw this baby and broke out in a sweat.  It’s amazing… anyway, I used it to shred the butter for the pie crust and for the topping.  Love, love, love it~  So here is the pie  after baking… And this is where I really wish I had a better camera!  It’s also time for someone to invent a camera with smell technology… But below here is my dear squash-hating PJ.  He stepped up to the plate for the very first slice of “apple pie”… and he loves it!  Grumpy joined him for a big slice, and declared it “a really good apple pie”.  I told him it wasn’t apple…and when I said there was (dreaded) squash inside he mumbled “sneaky itch” or some such term of endearment.  Meanwhile, I haven’t cleaned, laundered or packed.  I will be up for hours at this rate.  Oh my poor tired feet.  They really need a pedicure!!!*from “Julie’s in the Drug Squad” by The Clash

FOWL PLAY!

Cody, one of the hatchling keets died on Wednesday.  It came as a big shock for all.  He was one of our favorites.  He was our “Ugly Duckling”.  Out of seven keets, there were 6 “pearl grey” type.  This is one of the more common breeds, and they are actually a spotty/stripey brownish bird.  Cody was a Coral Blue.  He looked like another bird entirely.  About 1/2 the size of Cheeko(the biggest), he was downy soft with a pale blue-silver color.  He was a bit more timid and cautious.  Even though 2 of the birds were much weaker when they were born, they quickly grew strong and outsized little Cody.   They would race around like crazy keystone cops, crashing into each other and pig-piling when they were worn out.  He was running around like the little brother, not quite in the same league but trying to keep up.  I don’t even have any good photos of him.  This is the best, and you can barely make him out in the pile.  He’s the soft fluffy fellow, second from the top in the bed (the “bed” is a sock filled with rice.  I warm it for them and they like to snuggle it when they’re sleepy).  We’re not sure what happened.  My Grumpy suspects “fowl play”.  In the rough housing kind of way.  I’m afraid he may be correct.  I don’t think they meant any harm, but those little guys are oblivious when they play.  They routinely run over each other.  It may just have been too much for Cody.  The kids said, in hindsight, that we should have separated him from the others.  I disagree.  These birds are amazingly family oriented.  One bird won’t survive on his own, and certainly not a smaller, frailer bird.  They need to become a family.  I only wish he could have been part of this one.

So now we have 6 little crazy creatures.  They are a little high strung.  We’re trying to get them used to us.  Which is kind of funny since we are the first contact they had with the outside-the-shell world.  You’d think they were teenagers in their hurry to forget who hatched them!  They are already trying to flap their wings and fly.  They are built like weebles, with big pudgy butts and tiny little wings.  In spite of that, they do manage to get a little lift off, even if it’s only for a nanosecond.                                                 We had them out of their box today so we could give it a clean out.  The box needed it, and I think the kids needed to play with the “big bullies” a bit.  It’s time to remember that they are really still babies, not Cody killers.  Those babies were running all over the bathroom.  They were searching the corners and cracks, already instinctively looking for bugs.  One of them lucked out and found a tiny spider.  Either I need to spend more time cleaning or let them spend more time out of their box :-)

It’s been an amazing experience already, and one that I’d gladly do again.  The kids are really into this now.  They are looking forward to a time when they can hatch themselves some Guineas, and chickens as well.  Possibly ducks.  In the meantime,  they’ve learned.  Not just the facts that Avery seems to have at her fingertips about all things guinea related.  They’ve learned about responsibility, the precarious nature of life and that sometimes things occur that “can’t possibly happen”.

50 Shades of Brown

You know that joke...Woman: “I love you my darling…you are what makes my life worth living”…Man: ” Is that you talking, or the wine?”…Woman: “It is me talking…to the wine”.   That is how I feel about coffee. 

Well, also about wine.  But today I’m inspired to hijack repost some ecards about coffee from one of my favorite sites : Little White Lion.  This site is actually a group of writers and they are literally responsible for about a gazillion little tiny coffee-snort stains on my shirts.  I really shouldn’t read their stuff while I’m drinking!And here are a few more while we’re at it…

And just look at that…someone brought me a cup.  Sigh… :-)

And today I received another…the truest of truths and worth revisiting and updating this topic.