Monday, July 28, 2014

BURNT UP SALVAGING SAUSAGES


My husband and I are getting older. And with that comes a bit of forgetfulness. We have been eating out a lot, for a number of different reasons.  So we decided to spend the past weekend eating at home, instead. One of our favorite things to have during the summer months, is a recipe I got for Italian Sausages, years ago. It requires a yellow, orange, red and green pepper. One large Vidalia onion. Canned or store bought stewed tomatoes. And a big pan to dump it all in. Usually when the veggies are cooking I add the sausages to the mix so the flavors blend. For some reason my hubby got in on the act as I was making this, this time. He suggested we cook the sausages in their own pan and add them to the pepper mix later. I wasn't crazy about the idea, but said okay, I'd try it. WHY, I don't know? So... I put the pepper concoction on the stove to cook down. About a half an hour later... I turned the heat on the peppers to a simmer and I took out another pan to put the sausages in and turned them on medium. Then... I went to watch the evening news with my hubby. I don't know if the news was boring or if we were just tired.... but sleep overtook us. We both dozed off with the stuff cooking on the stove. I'm not sure how much time had passed... but suddenly a funny smell woke me up... as my hubby continued to snore away. It took me a few moments to realize something was burning. (This panicked me because I had lived through a stove fire, a few years back.) So I jumped up... and rushed into the kitchen... to see those sausages... burnt almost to a crisp. I didn't think I could salvage any part of them. I was so mad at myself. We had looked forward to this meal all day. Disgusted I took them out of the pan, but quickly realized if I split them in half... there might be some meat on them to eat. What little there was... I smothered with the veggies, and we had dinner. The burnt parts I cut up in small pieces to put down the garbage disposer. But my hubby tried one piece. and insisted I try one too. And believe it or not, they weren't half bad. Either that, or we were still hungry from the slim pickin's on our plates. Vegans we are not. Whatever the reason... we snacked on these very burnt pieces of Italian Sausages. I told my hubby NEXT time the sausages will go in the BIG pan with all the peppers. And he agreed. "No more burnt meat." And hopefully, next time we cook here at home.... we'll manage to stay awake... so the stove doesn't catch on fire. Have you ever had a catastrophe in the kitchen? 



Monday, July 21, 2014

PILLOW TALK


The pillows that cradle my head each night when I go to sleep are five years old. You are supposed to change them out once a year because those creepy crawly dust mites can infiltrate the entire pillow and begin causing problems. But... my pillows fit the contour of my head like a good hat... and give me a peaceful night's rest. So I've kept them, refusing to discard them, at all costs. One of the biggest problems I have... is when I spend the night somewhere... other than home. I am not a happy camper. I have trouble adapting to the pillows there and can't sleep... usually because they are too soft. I hate soft pillows. And feather pillows. They make me miserable. Beyond miserable. I feel like I'm being smothered by fabric. I toss and I turn flat against the bed. I like my head to be elevated, at least two pillows high. I want them to be somewhat firm. But not too much. I realize getting new pillows is probably a good idea, after all this time... But the thought of surrendering my headgear, is a bit daunting. What if I can't find something to replace the ones I have?  Especially the comfort they bring me. There are so many choices available. What if I pick the wrong one?


 How do you test drive a new pillow. You can't really try it out, like a mattress and box springs, can you? How do you deal with this dilemma?  When was the last time you replaced your pillows?




Saturday, July 19, 2014

AN ANNIVERSARY, CLEANING UP AND PRIME RIB WITH CAKE


We went out to a restaurant by the lake, a day early, to celebrate our anniversary. The lunch crowd had just left and it looked like we had the place to ourselves. Just the way we like it. But... after we ordered our meal and were settling in to eat it.... there was suddenly a whole lot of banging coming from the kitchen. Maybe remodeling or perhaps something else? Whatever it was... it startled us. Then... there was a loud whirring sound, nearly on top of us... made by folks vacuuming the dining area. So much noise, that at times you couldn't hear yourself think. At first it was funny, and just a tad bit annoying. We thought they'd go away. However, they were persistent. They were doing such a thorough job cleaning the tables and floor, practically in our face... that it got ridiculous. I was going to invite them home, to work on our place... But suddenly a fly on the wall appeared. Apparently it wanted to hone in on our conversation as we dined.We weren't in the mood for a Ménage A Trois (though a glass of wine would have helped)... so I asked for a fly swatter to squash the fly, so we could eat in peace. Instead I got a chuckle from our waitress. Probably a faux pas on my part, asking for the swatter, do you think? Dead flies don't make good meal companions, I should have known. But neither do live ones flying around. Then... we quietly asked ourselves, why are we spending so much money for this meal out... when the intimacy of our window seat, is being ruined by the intrusion of a couple of seemingly nice ladies, just trying to do their jobs. Seems to us they could have been a tad bit more respectful of our rented space, until we finished the meal. Or perhaps it was our fault because we should have told them, upfront... it was a special occasion. (What do you think?) I will say the prime rib there was delicious... and the lemon berry cake for dessert, didn't disappoint. It was scrumptious... every single bite, though not made on site. 


So with another meal under our belt, we added another year to our marriage calendar. But... it wasn't the intimate dinner we had hoped for. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

NOT A VACATION

I AM TAKING A LITTLE 
 BREAK FROM BLOGGING
TO BABYSIT THE GRANDKIDS,
GO TO THE DOCTOR, 
ETC. ETC.
WILL SEE YOU AGAIN SOON.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA

Wherever you go. Whatever you do.
ENJOY YOUR 
FOURTH OF JULY
WEEKEND

PS) Be safe
 if you are in the 
path of the hurricane 
headed for the coast
this week.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

SPEED BUMPS & ROAD WORK & TICKETS


Orange barrels dot the landscape. There is alot of road work going on around here. Detours are everywhere, taking you to out of the way places. It takes a painstakingly long time to go from one side of town to the other. On ramps and off ramps to major highways are being redone. Lanes are being widened. Sidewalks and angled parking are being put in. One area of town is adding a roundabout. And near us they are rebuilding and repairing bridges. All of this has changed the traffic patterns and has made for a congested daily commute. People are frustrated. Cops have stepped up their game hoping to nab those not wearing their seat belts or speeding. Just the other day... one pulled me over, far away from the construction zones... for going 5 mph over the limit of 45, on a back country road. I understand the need for safety... but 5 mph over??? I've seen folks going much faster, believe me, on that same stretch of road. And I bet they've never seen those flashing lights, telling them they're in trouble. Even though, they should have. Come on. I'm an old lady. I meant no harm. I was on my way to Walmart. Give me a break. Fortunately... he did. My information was in order and I had no previous citations. So the nice police officer left me off with just a warning. Thank goodness for small favors. Ever since my uniform encounter, though... speed has been bumped off my radar. I have been creeping along, out there on the road... so much so... that cars are now passing me where they probably shouldn't... going faster than ever. Where are the cops? Next thing you know I'm going to get a ticket for going too slow, while all these other guys speed off to their destination. Have you ever gotten a ticket?


Monday, June 23, 2014

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS & COINCIDENCE


A few months ago... I had a taxing day. The hubby was out of town and the younger daughter was texting me from Alaska, non-stop,  complaining about her lot in life... Meanwhile, I was left to fend for myself on the home front.  My hubby gets a free meal and complimentary drinks on the house... when he's on the road for business. That makes me a tad bit jealous and this particular night I wanted to be pampered too.  I needed to sit somewhere and just relax. So... I went out to eat at a nicer place than usual, knowing he'd probably be mad at me for doing it. But figuring... sometimes a girl has to do, what a girl has to do.  I scoured the menu for something good to eat, finally settling for a chicken and crabmeat dish that wasn't particularly cheap. Then... I ordered a Bellini Tea. I passed the time, texting my daughter. Usually I'm quite observant. But... due to where my table was located... I didn't have a view of the room I was in... to see the people that surrounded me. The meal was served. I ate it. I wasn't particularly impressed. So... I  ordered dessert. A piece of white chocolate, raspberry cheesecake.  When the waitress brought it to the table I nearly swooned. It looked delicious, and I can attest to the fact, every single bite was heavenly. I sat there a little while longer enjoying the afterglow of this delight. I knew that I had quite a large bill to pay, for the luxury of this meal, and waited patiently for the waitress to bring my tab... thinking perhaps, I should have gone somewhere else to eat. When she approached the table she was smiling. I smiled back. Then... it all went south on my part. She looked at me and said, "Your check has been picked up by a very nice person. I can't tell you who it is. They prefer to remain anonymous. But... they want you to have a very nice day." Her words didn't translate. I was in shock. I was gobsmacked. I thought she was kidding. Not one word came out of my mouth, not even a thank-you. I'm ashamed to say... I literally sat there just staring at her, dumbfounded. She said, "You are free to leave anytime." And walked away. I fumbled with the cash in my hand trying to decide what to do. My first instinct was to put the money I owed on the table. But... I didn't. Instead, I left the waitress a tip, only. I stood up... looked around the room, then seeing nobody looking back... I left, trembling. I sat in my car for the next ten minutes and began to cry. Who would do such a thing? And why pick me? What did they want? I didn't deserve this kind of gesture. For days afterwards it haunted me, and I was in a quandary about it. I know I should have felt touched, and lucky. But I didn't. I felt like a victim. I felt guilty. I had the money to pay. I wasn't a charity case. Someone less fortunate should have been the recipient. Not the reaction the person paying for my meal probably expected me to have, right? They wanted to make me happy and I wasn't. Do you think it was a strange reaction?? In retrospect it probably was, wasn't it? And I still don't know why I responded that way. But I did. Now let's fast forward a couple weeks later. Let me preface this by saying... my parents and I live... five hundred miles apart. They are on a fixed income. My dad had a stroke last autumn, and now uses a walker to help him stand and get around. So, my mom and him, usually don't like to venture too far from home. But... one day they were restless and decided to drive out of town for dinner. They went to a nice buffet style restaurant. They had a delicious meal, a nice conversation and were friendly, smiling at the people around them.  One man in particular caught my mom's eye. He stopped at their table to say goodbye, even though my parents didn't know him. He told them to have a nice day. My mom said, "Thank you. You have a nice day." When it came time for my folks to settle the bill, the waitress came over to the table and said, "Your check has been picked up by a very nice person. I can't tell you who it is. They prefer to remain anonymous." I KID YOU NOT. The same deed. The same words I had heard. Talk about a coincidence. WHAT are the odds of that happening in two different states... halfway across the country... within a month's time??? Needless to say, my parents were also surprised by the nice gesture, but they managed to say, "Thank You" to the waitress. And thought that... perhaps the gentleman that said hello to them... was their benefactor. Perhaps he was. I will never know who treated me. I still regret not saying thank you, at the time.  What's the old saying, "You never look a gift horse in the mouth." However, since then, I have learned to be extremely grateful for what happened to me, that day. With my husband about to lose his job... and us to be on a limited income, with just Social Security in the next few months... I realize the significance of the selfless act this stranger performed. And I've learned to not feel so guilty about it. It was the gesture, not the monetary value of the deed, however, that's important. I should have enjoyed the moment, reveled in it and not fretted so much over it. A kind stranger, made a new memory for me. One, I will always treasure for the lessons it taught me. In the days that followed these experiences... my mom and I have done a number of different things, in our own way,... to PAY IT FORWARD to others, hoping to bring a smile to someone else's face.  I wanted to share this story with you and say that RANDOM ACTS of KINDNESS, big or small, can change a person's life. Find a way in your heart, to PASS it ON. PAY IT FORWARD.