chochiyo_sama: (Default)
When I was at the Clinic, my doctor had the desk set up an appointment with the physical therapist to deal with my rotator cuff issues.  They told me it was Wednesday at 10:45 and gave me a little print out that I slid into my bag and promptly forgot about.  

So, I got up and took a pleasant shower, letting the hot water pound on my sore shoulder, loosening it up a little.  I drove to Kasson in a moderately heavy rain, a trip that takes nearly an hour.  I was overjoyed to get a great parking space--the closest you can get to the door of the clinic without illegally parking in the turn-around space.  When I checked in at the desk, the lady couldn't find me listed.  Finally, she checked my future appointments and discovered that my actual appointment for physical therapy was for NEXT Wednesday.

So, I am a dumb ass, apparently.  LOL.

I had three prescription refills to pick up, so I went and took care of that.  I picked up a few random groceries--some sandwich meat from the deli, another package of Kaiser rolls, a can of raspberry pie filling for a recipe I want to try.  I bought a bag of miniature marshmallows as I have three more box mixes of brownies and I want to try adding marshmallows to the batter along with nuts and chocolate chips to see if that improves the quality.

I went through the drive through of Culvers and got a strawberry-mango cooler (which was very refreshing) and a grilled chicken sandwich.  

When I pulled into the parking lot, there was a rather scruffy looking guy sitting next to a bush in one of the green areas of the parking lot--he had a beautiful, large German shepherd dog sitting in front of him.  There was a monster-sized back pack behind him that he was leaning against and two or three white garbage bags of what appeared to be cans piled up beside him.  He was petting and scratching the dog which was gazing into his face with adoration.  

I instantly had a feeling of concern for the man and the dog.  The guy looked like he was somewhere in his mid-twenties, longish hair, not very clean.  Our eyes met, and I waved at him, and he gave me a peace sign.  There were a lot of other cars around, so I didn't do anything else--he didn't have a sign of any kind.  Usually if someone is sitting there like that, they have a sign that says something along the lines of "Hungry/Homeless--Please Help."  Nothing like that.

After I got out of the Culver's drive through, I drove by them again--the guy looked hot and more anxious than he had before.  There were no other cars at this time, and I gave serious thought to stopping and asking if he was okay--if he needed help.  Truthfully, I was more concerned about the dog than him--it was a big dog and very skinny.  I had considered buying dog food while I was in the store for the dog--but I  thought that might be stupid.  I don't know.  I don't know this guy's story.  

Ultimately, I didn't do anything, and I have felt vaguely guilty and sad about it ever since.  I wish I had just asked him if he was okay--if he needed anything.  I would have happily bought the dog some food--and him as well.  

He may have just been waiting for a ride after doing parking lot clean up for community service or something.  Hard to say.  I just feel like I didn't pass some kind of humanity test that I should have passed.

Anyhow--I came home.  Caleb came over and carried in my groceries.  He carried the heavy garbage out to the garbage bin, so that was a blessing.  It would have been hard for me to get it out of the house and into the bin.  It was very heavy. He hung out and chatted a while and had an ice cream bar.

When Caleb left, I put away the stuff and started going through a bunch of catalogs and junk mail that had been piling up on the table.  I made a sandwich for my supper--roast beef and cheese on a Kaiser roll with pickles, miracle whip, and catsup with some olives on the side.  They were really large, tasty green olives.  

I sewed a little before going to bed.  The cats were really annoying--they didn't want to leave me alone.  Little pests.  I suppose they missed their momma.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
I tidied up the living room, put away my clean dishes, and baked one of my box mixes of brownies so I would have a treat for Cynthia when she comes on Thursday.  Then I washed the dishes from the baking.  For a mix, the brownies were pretty good. I threw in a handful of chocolate chips to give them a little texture and extra "oomph."

I cleaned the litter boxes and swept the breezeway then settled down to work on the butterfly dresses again.  I had one of those single serve salads and some Cheetos for lunch.  The salad had chicken, green apple, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and some nuts in it and a green vinegar-tasting salad dressing. It was very good.  I really like those premade salads--they make a nice meal and have a good combination of flavors and textures.

Jim David came over and hauled my garbage and recycling bins back up to the house.  Mom and Tammy both called and chatted for a while.  I had some cherry jello and a Kaiser roll with butter on it for supper--I wasn't in the mood for anything too extreme today. 

That's about it--it was a quiet day.  I didn't do a ton of work, but I was satisfied with what I accomplished.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
 I had set the alarm for 8:30, so I could get a few things done before Cynthia arrived.  I caught up on my journal entries first as I was falling terribly behind.  I keep a prayer journal that I write in every night, and what I write in that reminds me of the events of the day so I can record them in my regular journal here.

I cleaned the toilet and the sink in the bathroom as I don't want Cynthia to have to clean my toilet--and since I was already in the cleaning spirit in there, I did the sink too.  She later did the floor and polished the mirror and took the rugs outside and shook them, so the bathroom is sparkling clean now.

Cynthia returned my bar pan and thanked me again for the pumpkin bars.  They didn't last long at her house.  I wasn't sure if my aunt wanted Cynthia today or next week, so I called her to find out.  It is next week, so she can have her house nice and clean for Rachelle's baby shower.  My aunt is a talker, so I had a hard time getting off the phone.  Cynthia got right to work, hauling out my garbage and recycling to the bins, shaking the small rugs, and vacuuming the area rugs and the upholstered furniture.

She wiped down the mats under the cats' dishes and swept and scrubbed the floors in every room.  She washed the washer and dryer in the laundry room--they were pretty grungy--I hadn't done anything with the since I moved in.  I have to do something about the inside of the washer--the former owners didn't use the water softener, so there is like a scum coating the inside of the porcelain parts of the washer.  I don't know if running a cycle with bleach or maybe vinegar would take care of it.  It just looks dirty.

Mom had run across the three ceramic butterflies that my grandmother had painted at my aunt Darla's ceramic studio years ago--when she died, no one wanted the butterflies, so I took them.  They are painted in pinks and purples.  She had sent them home with me a few days ago, and I had Cynthia hang them up in the bathroom on the wall over the toilet.  They look really cute there.  The bathroom is a real dull yellow.  I would like to paint it a very pale lavender.  My bathroom rugs are pink, but I don't want a pink bathroom.  Eventually the rugs will have to be replaced.

My cats refused to use the deep litter boxes with the covers on them, so I had Cynthia put them in the tote in the garage that I am saving for Tammy.   She can give one to Sadie for the SunMan (Sadie's cat) and keep the other for her upstairs.  These litter boxes are just great as the litter doesn't get kicked out all over everything, and in Tammy's case, they prevent the Chihuahuas from eating the cat poop.

She polished all the wood furniture with Orange Glow, which really makes the furniture shine, and spritzed the linen closet with a lavender linen spray that I got years ago at the Crown Plaza where I attended a teachers' workshop.  She carried a few things to the basement for me--just a handful of Barbie stuff--and moved all my cookbooks into the kitchen.  I have to locate a short bookcase that I can put in the kitchen under the windows in the corner so I can have my cookbooks handy.

She worked just under two hours.  Then we had roast beef and cheese sandwiches on Kaiser rolls and just chatted for a while.  She is such a good kid and a very hard worker. 

When she left, I sat in my recliner and enjoyed the sparkling, fresh beauty of my house.  It looks so nice when she is done.  I worked on the little butterfly dresses for a while, then Mom called and I talked to her for a while.  Both cats came out and took turns sitting on Momma's lap and getting snuggles.  They hide when Cynthia is here because she runs  the vacuum cleaner--they hate the vacuum cleaner. 

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  I watched some television and went to bed fairly early and watched a bunch of videos on YouTube before going to sleep.


chochiyo_sama: (Default)
I was up and dressed fairly early this morning as Cynthia was scheduled to come at 11 am.  I wanted to get the pumpkin bars frosted before she got here, and to finish writing up the to-do list for her.  I also managed to bag up some garbage and gather some recycling as well as do the dishes from the frosting of the bars.

My aunt called me before I did anything--except brush my teeth.  My uncle spent last night in the hospital, and they were considering letting him come home today when she called me.  Ultimately, they did send him home after filling him up with antibiotics and yogurt.  They also gave him a bunch of tests to see if he was well enough to be at home.  He thought they were trying to manipulate him into going into a nursing home, which he would rather die than do. 

At any rate, he was feeling much better--still really tired--but his blood was down to the 6 level, so they were waiting on two units of blood to be sent down from the Cities.  I was shocked that they didn't have blood at the hospital.  I don't know what his blood type is, but he requires transfusions almost every week, so it's weird they don't keep it on hand at the hospital.

Cynthia arrived shortly after 11 am and worked here for nearly three hours.  It is incredible how much work we got done in that time.  I worked on the pantry--which was just full of mostly fragile stuff that got stuffed in there so it would not be broken.  Meanwhile, Cynthia hauled out the trash and recycling, scrubbed the microwave and stove top, and took down the hideous red curtains in the laundry/sewing/craft room  and replaced them with dainty white swags.  What an amazing difference that made!  The room is so much lighter and cheerier now that actual natural light can get in!  She swiffered all the doorways and windows to knock down spider webs then took the screens out of the breezeway windows and windexed those windows inside and out.  There was some kind of sticker still on the front door from when the door had been installed, so she scraped that off with a razor blade tool then windexed both sides of the window. 

She moved on to polishing all of the wood furniture in the living room and bedroom with Orange Glow.  When she finished that, we took a brief break and each ate one of the pumpkin bars.  We had to make sure they were fit to serve to her family!  I had discovered a lot of my framed pictures in the pantry, so she polished the  wood frames with Orange Glow and the glass with Windex and set them on  the shelf that Jim and DeAnn put up for me over the couch.  Those were all the wedding pictures of my siblings and my mom and dad.  Some other pictures of my nieces and nephews and both of my grandmothers went on the sideboard, and some really old pictures from my childhood went on the book shelf. 

Then Cynthia took everything out of the linen closet and I sniffed everything.  Something in that closet smelled like sweaty men's old clothes.  When everything was out of the closet, she scrubbed the shelves with an all-purpose cleaner that has a lemony smell, and anything that didn't smell fresh, I threw into the laundry room to wash.  I gave Cynthia two little throw pillows that were in the linen closet.  I would never use them, and she loves pillows like that.  We threw them in the dryer with a dryer sheet to freshen them up a bit, and they smelled lovely when they came out.

I did discover a couple of afghans that smelled very faintly of cat pee, so they are in the laundry room waiting for laundry day.

Now the linen closet is totally organized and neat and smells fresh. 

Cynthia carried three loads of stuff from the pantry to the basement where all my doll stuff is going to be.  After that, she vacuumed all the rugs, swept and scrubbed the floors, and watered my plants. 

I hadn't made any kind of hot dish or anything as I usually do this week, so I had no leftovers to offer her for lunch--but I did have all that sandwich meat and the Kaiser rolls, which sounded delightful to her, so she made herself a honey ham and Swiss cheese sandwich with pickles. We had a pleasant chat, then she loaded her pumpkin bars and pillows into her car and left--after I paid her, of course.  I had the same kind of sandwich for my lunch--it was delicious! 

Both cats had hidden in terror while Cynthia was here--especially when she was vacuuming, but once she was gone, they came out and demanded cuddles and loving, so I sat in my recliner and held them for at least a couple of hours. Then I sorted through some stuff and watched several episodes of the Big Bang Theory.  I also cleaned the cat boxes again.  I forgot to mention that one of the cats puked up a gargantuan pile of puke while I was eating my cheerios this morning.  This was just a monster pile of freshly eaten kibble, so I am assuming that someone gorged him/herself and then barfed it up again.

I got that cleaned up before Cynthia came.  She doesn't need to be cleaning up puke.

That's about it for today--I talked to my mother a couple of times and to my aunt once.

I heard from Susan, whom I used to work with at ROC.  She's the one that believed all the bullshit Jay spewed about me, even though she had known me for more than 20 years--until he pulled the same shit with her and fired her.  He was at least nice to me when he canned me. He made her leave immediately and threatened to call  the cops.  He wouldn't even let her go back to her office to get her purse.  He sent someone else to get it.  It was nuts.

Then suddenly, she wanted my help to get testimony from the kids and got a settlement from ROC large enough to buy a vacation home in Texas. 

The she claimed she had "always believed" me.  Liar.

Anyhow--Laurie, the woman whose daughter trashed my house and never paid a single bill, is still at ROC which is now Rosa Parks High School.  Her husband was horrible to me when I was trying to get that foul daughter of hers to reimburse me for all the money she cost me.  He called me a bitch and screamed at me that it was MY problem, not THEIRS.  Anyhow--guess who got arrested for bringing a sex slave from Asia into Minnesota and setting her up at a massage parlor which was actually a whore house?  This poor woman was basically a slave who was confined strictly to the massage parlor--that's where she lived as well as where she turned tricks for this monster. 

So, Karma.  It is a true bitch.

I am so tempted to troll Laurie's facebook and leave a really mean comment about what a lovely family she has--her daughter the thief and her husband the pimp.  But, I shall restrain myself and just laugh quietly about how I am in my own beautiful little house with a nice vehicle and they are probably all going to end up in a cell.  HAHAHAHA


Jul. 13th, 2017 10:13 am
chochiyo_sama: (Default)
Last Christmas, the kids at the Refuge gave me a cute pink water bottle that has a plastic straw built right into the cover.  I think it is called a "Contigo."  It's sort of like a tall sippy cup for adults.  The "nipple" part folds under to keep it clean and to prevent random strangers from roofie -ing your beverage while you are looking away, I guess.  Anyhow, I get thirsty in the night, so I usually fill it with ice then with water from my water cooler and take it to bed with me. 

So, I was in bed, watching TV.  I had already had a couple of sips from the Contigo.  I had one more and something came up through the straw--it felt like a piece of plastic--hard but flexible.  I felt it roll around in my mouth and pushed it forward with my tongue, thinking that a piece of the straw must have broken off.  I plucked it out of my mouth and was instantly aghast and disgusted.


I had just washed the contigo, so it either crawled into the straw when it was in the dish drainer or it was hanging out by the spout of the water cooler and fell in when I filled it with water or it was lounging on the refrigerator where the ice comes out of the ice maker and fell in.  I think it was already either dead or comatose due to hypothermia from the ice water.  But I squashed its guts out anyway and threw it into the waste basket.  Fucking earwigs.

I kill 2-5 of the bastards a day.

I discovered that there is quite a gap between the basement door and the kitchen floor, so I suspect they are coming up through there.  Next time I am out and about, I will look for some kind of stripping to put there, so the door is more flush with the floor. 

And I am setting out earwig drowning traps as well.  They all must DIE.
chochiyo_sama: (Default)
My cousin Jim and his daughter Cynthia came over this morning at about 9:45 and hung up my beautiful globe lamp.  I have had it since the early 1980s, and it looks like something from the Victorian era--not quite so ornate, maybe, but I love it and the two matching side lamps.  It didn't take them long to hang it up, and it looks just great!  It will look better when I can afford to get rid of my garage sale (well, actually it came from the on-line Buy and Sell) couch and replace it with something in my beloved earth tones.  After Jim hung up the lamp, Cynthia cleaned up all the plaster dust and crumbles. 

I didn't have any strong desire to bake, but I had promised Jim a pan of pumpkin bars if he came to hang up my lamp, so I baked them and did up the dishes.  I will frost them in the morning.  Today I was smart and left out the butter so it would be soft tomorrow for the frosting making.

I cleaned the litter boxes again--the cats seem to be pooping and peeing up a storm!  They love to sit on the edge of the bathroom sink and lap icy cold water directly from the faucet.  I suppose it is fresher and colder than what's in their bowls.

It's been a pretty quiet day--I didn't do too much.  I sat in the living room and admired my lamp hanging there so pretty and bright.  In the evening I watched that new science fiction show about the asteroid hitting the earth in 186 days.  The first episode was pretty good.  All the leading men are pretty handsome.  Of course, the government (in the show) is covering everything up and killing anyone who finds out anything about the situation.  Would that really happen?  Probably--but it is more likely, I think, that they would just ridicule anyone making such claims and ruin their lives that way.

I am old and barren, so if the world was impacted by an asteroid, I guess I wouldn't worry about my survival much.  I would hope that the young ones I love would survive somehow.  And the cats.  The cats must survive.  And dogs  too.  My only regret would be not having my grave marker with the image of Bastet on it being around for generations to scandalize everyone!  Bwa ha ha!

Another day of no puke piles!  I am feeling so happy about this.  Both cats have been clingy--but I suspect this is because I was gone for two overnights.  They miss their momma when she isn't there to cuddle with at night.

I guess that's it for today.  Cynthia comes tomorrow and I have a significant list for her.  She is such a diligent little worker.  I only regret that I do not have any kind of hot dish to serve her.  I guess I do have three kinds of yummy sandwich meat--honey ham, roast beef, and hard salami.  And I have the Kaiser rolls which are really fresh and delicious.

We'll locate something, I am sure.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
The extent of my productivity today was gathering and bagging the garbage and recycling from my bedroom area and washing and drying the pink bathroom rugs.  I shelved the books Caleb returned, had meatballs, a Kaiser roll, and an oatmeal bar for lunch, and talked to Mom and Tammy on the phone.  I also had a brief conversation with my cousin Rhonda who asked me to come up with a baby shower game for her daughter's shower at the end of the month. 

I messed around on my computer for a while, looking up earwig control measures and baby shower games. I also spent about two hours watching the Joan Baez 75th Birthday Special on YouTube.  I can't believe how lovely she still is and sounds at age 75.  Jackson Browne was one of the special guests, and he looked like shit and sort of slurred his words as he sang.  I still love his music, but he's looking old.  (So am I.)

Mom called around 9:30 pm and said there was someone at her house who wanted to talk to me.  It was Dale Bishman, my dad's friend from high school who was our insurance agent forever before he retired.  He and his wife had stopped in to see Mom and he was wondering how I was doing in the new place.  He said they had driven by my house but had seen no signs of life--which was true, I was sitting in my bedroom (which is where my computer is) in the dark in my pajamas.  I was tired and decided to just crawl into bed with my laptop and my kitties and call it a day at about 8 pm.  I am usually up and about longer, but today was just one of those low energy, low production days.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
After a puke-free Fourth, I discovered a slimy puddle of puke on my desk chair in the craft/laundry room--the cloth one, of course.  It couldn't be the vinyl one that would have been an easy wipe up.  No.  It had to be on the fabric where I had to scrub it for 15 minutes to get it off--and having t o live with the knowledge that no matter how much I scrubbed it, there will be puke residue deep in the fiber for the rest of its life.

My aunt called and wanted to stop by so I could help her figure something out on her FaceBook account.  I tried, but I couldn't find what she was looking for.  She and her daughter and her granddaughters are going on a "Girls' Week" vacation soon, and one of them set up a private FaceBook thing to discuss it.  I couldn't find anything.  We tried to call my cousin Rhonda to see how she could get into it, but she didn't answer her phone or return the call--at least not to me.  She may have called her mother later. 

After my aunt left, I decided I would clean my litter boxes and actually replace the scoopable litter as I have used the same stuff since I moved in, just adding more as it got low.  I've noticed that it has been smelling more pissy lately, so it was time to go totally fresh.  I went into the kitchen to get a big black garbage bag to empty the boxes into, and felt something wet under my foot.  Yes.  A huge pile of chunky cat vomit--and I stepped right in it. Ugh.

So, I had to change my socks and clean up that nastiness. 

Then I cleaned the cat boxes and hauled the big bag of dirty litter out to the garbage bin--only to discover that there was still some garbage in the bottom of the bin.  Apparently the garbage man didn't fully empty my trash bin.  There was still a white kitchen bag at the bottom of the bin.  Why?  I hope it will get completely emptied next Monday.

Then my mother called.  I had expected to take her to her eye doctor appointment at 3 pm, but it turned out that her cousin had an eye appointment at 2:45, so they decided to go together.  I was glad as it was supposed to be 92 degrees this afternoon, which means that I would have been miserably hot waiting in the car in the parking lot.  I was so happy to have a day totally to myself! 

I was taking a break from housework, messing around with my computer, when my doorbell rang.  I thought it might be my aunt coming back to try finding that private group again.  Nope.  It was the three Dahlbeck girls, Emily and the twins, Brenna and Bailey.  These are the little girls I tutored while they were in Kindergarten and first grade for  the twins and second and third for Emily.  They are going into fourth and fifth next year. 

They had gone to the park across the street from my house for a picnic and decided to stop in and visit me.   I do love these little shits, but I do not especially want them turning my house into their club house.  They hung around for about two hours, then Christine, their step-grandma showed up in my driveway--apparently they didn't have permission to go visiting. They scattered like cockroaches when the lights are turned on.  Christine didn't come to the door, so I hope she isn't mad at me. If she is, it doesn't matter much.  But, I'd just as soon not have an uproar in the extended family with me in the middle of it all.

I gave the girls a bunch of fingernail polish I had acquired while I lived at my mother's house.  I never use it, and they might have fun with it.  I saw that they all had nail polish on, so I figured it was okay to give it to them.  I had six bottles, so each of them got two.  There was a little dispute over one bottle, but I told them that there was enough nail polish in each bottle to do a thousand paintings, so they could share all six bottles amongst themselves.  That seemed to settle them down.

I wouldn't mind their visits if they don't stay too long and if they don't pester my cats.  My cats are not used to being teased, and that seems to be their idea of "playing" with them.  I will have to educate them about proper cat treatment. 

When they left, I had a brief rest in the recliner and cuddled my poor, traumatized kitties. 

When we had all recovered, I went into the kitchen and mixed up a batch of pumpkin bars.  Cynthia is coming on Thursday, and I am going to send a pan of pumpkin bars home with her along with a note offering this batch as a token of my love and promising another batch as a reward if her dad will come and hang up my globe lamp for me.  When he comes, as I am sure he will as he is a good guy, I will see if he will also hang up the little coat hook bar in the breezeway and my two small shelves. 

My sister Kim called while I was mixing up the bars, and we talked for about two hours.  I finished the bars and turned the hamburger I had in the refrigerator into meatballs.  We have a family recipe called Porcupine Meatballs which is basically hamburger mixed with rice and covered with tomato soup.  I have been hungry for meatballs, but I made my own version of Porcupine Meatballs.  I mixed the hamburger with finely chopped onions, two eggs, and a cup of Minute rice.  Then, I formed them into balls and put them in my roaster.  I mixed two cans of cream of mushroom soup with a can of chicken broth and poured it over the top of the meatballs, put on the cover, and stuck it into oven. 

About this time, Mom tried to call me, so I got off the phone with Kim and talked to her for a little over an hour.  Mom was extremely happy as it looks like her eye doctor has found a way for her to avoid going to Rochester to have her eyes examined by them twice a year. 

When my timer went off, I took the meatballs out of the oven and ate three of them for a late supper, washed my dishes, and put the leftovers into the fridge.  I have enough meatballs to feed an army.  I will give some of them to my mom, and maybe Cynthia will have a couple as a snack when she is done cleaning for me tomorrow.  She enjoyed the lasagna last week.

That's about it for Wednesday--I started a list of chores for Cynthia--I am going to have her sweep out my garage and throw all the little strips of crap left over from the installation of the vertical blinds that the former owners left in the garage and break down the two TV boxes and put them in the recycling bin.  I think I will also have her take every single thing out of the linen closet and put things back in a more orderly way.  Things are just jammed in however they fit right now.  I may wash up a couple of the afghans in there too, as there is a smell in there that reminds me of sweaty man bodies.  Yuck.  I will have her scrub down the shelves with Clorox Clean Up water which should eliminate any odors. 

I am so thankful for Cynthia's help.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
I was quite grateful to discover there were no puke piles anywhere in the house today.  Yay! 

I took a shower and put on my new outfit in honor of Independence Day.  It was not patriotic in theme, though.  The capri pants are bright pink, and the shirt is pale pink with bright pink flamingos on it.  It was on sale really cheap in Woman Within, so I got it--even though it probably makes my ass look five miles wide.

I like bright pink.

It's such a cheerful color.

I had a nice chat with my sister Tammy on the phone.  She was working on her basement, which is full of Sadie's toys and her deceased mother-in-law's stuff.  She and Bert have rented a storage unit and are moving a lot of their stuff over there to get rid of clutter until they know whether or not they are selling their house and moving. 

Bert is swinging like a pendulum on the moving issue--some days he is gung ho to move and others you'd swear he'd sunk roots to China to hold him there.  It is a beautiful place.  But pretty isolated, and Tammy needs to make more human connections to ease her loneliness.  I have told her I would go take some art classes or college courses if I were her--there are lots of colleges within driving distance of her place.  I wish there were something like that close to me.  The nearest college is over an hour away.  There are a couple of community colleges nearby, but I don't know if they'd offer anything I would be interested in.  If they offered Spanish classes, I wouldn't mind taking a few more Spanish classes. 

I suppose I could get one of those Rosetta Stone programs and try to learn it on my own.  I think it is easier to learn, though, if you are in a class.  I had a lot of fun at my Spanish classes that I took through Mankato State years ago.

At about 1:30, I picked up my mother and took her to Owatonna where we picked up my sister Kim and got burgers at Wendy's.  Then we went to Mineral Springs Park and had a little picnic.  It is so beautiful there.  We hung out with Kim till about 4 pm,  then went back to Mom's where we watched two movies--Doris, starring Sally Field and Hidden Figures, about the black women mathematicians who worked for NASA in the 1960s.  I was a little shocked that NASA was so backwards regarding women and race in those days--you would think they would have valued the mind above any other consideration.

Mom made popcorn for supper, and I headed back to my house a little after 9 pm.  It was a quiet night.  Except for the neighbor kid shooting off loud fire crackers.  Stewie and Peaches are normally not freaked out by stuff like that, but those fire crackers made them very uneasy.  Ultimately, they both hid under the bed until the middle of the night.

That's about it for the Fourth of July. 

It would have been my Dad's birthday.  He would have been 86.  Hard to believe he's been gone so long already--and that in about a year and a half, I will be the age he was when he died.  I am not ready to be dead yet--there are so many things I want to do.

He did have a lot of good adventures in his life--he went on lots of trips and even got to Hawaii.  He never saw any part of Europe, but I don't know that he had any burning desire to go there, either. 
chochiyo_sama: (Default)

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper

8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms


Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce:

¼ cup butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp flour

½ cup chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream or half and half

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp pepper

½ tsp salt

1 cup spinach, chopped


In a large skillet, add olive oil and cook the chicken on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown on each side and cooked until no longer pink in center.  Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.  Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until tender.  Remove and set aside.


To make the sauce, add the butter and melt.  Add garlic and cook until tender.  Whisk in flour until it thickens.  Whisk in chicken broth, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper, and salt.  Add the spinach and let simmer until it starts to thicken and spinach wilts.  Add the chicken and mushrooms back to the sauce and serve over pasta if desired,



chochiyo_sama: (Default)
I didn't accomplish much--at least not much in my house.  I did catch up on my journal entries--I had been keeping notes so when I had time I could sit down and type everything up.  It is a little different when you are going "back in time," but at least everything has been documented. 

I did clean up five piles of cat vomit--two on the pink bathroom rug and three in  the living room on the hard wood floor.  At least it wasn't on the large area rugs which are a pain in the ass to clean.  The pink rug is small enough to throw in the washer once the puke pile is removed.


I spend too much time dealing with cat vomit.

I have been wanting to get back to writing daily again--so last night I signed up for Camp Nanowrimo--I have several ideas that have been floating around in my head, and I think having the Nano connection will be a good motivator.  I miss my friends at the IDBoF--but the place, which used to be a thriving internet community for book discussions and fun, is now a ghost town.  I miss those people.  Laurie has died.  Kvetch and GG have grown up, gone to college, and become real adults.  Only God knows what Brad is up to.  Last I heard, he and his wife were mourning their inability to have children and thinking of adoption.  I am thinking of them because they were my biggest fans and encouragers when I was writing regularly.  They would beg me for "more story" when I wasn't right on top of my daily goal--which was 1,500 words. The feedback was constant, honest, and intelligent as all of them--even the "kids" who were still in high school, were extremely intelligent and well read.  I miss that.

Ah, well.  Maybe I can find another writers' group on line that I can get involved with.

At least, starting on July 1, I am going to start writing 1,500 words a day again--now that I am retired, it should be a piece of cake. When I did it before, I was teaching full time and working like a dog. 

My goal for Friday is to continue working on my office area--it is the last place on the main floor that is still a cluttered mess.  There is a bunch of "paper" stuff that needs to be filed or tossed as well as a lot of pictures that need to be dealt with.  I have only sporadically and limitedly put pictures into albums for the last several years.  I have tons of pictures that are lying in boxes and tons more that exist only digitally.  I would like to get those all dealt with.  That may be my winter project. 

I should also take my car down to the gas station and fill the tank. It is almost to a quarter of a tank, and I have to take mom to two doctor's appointments next week.  Jack is taking her to Rochester on Friday as I just cannot walk all over the Mayo Clinic--and she can't see well enough to find her way around that huge place.  Jack used to guard prisoners who had to be taken to the Clinic or hospital there, so he knows his way around  there.  I wish I could wander around there--it is incredibly beautiful in places--lots of art and fountains--even a grand piano where a guy sits and plays throughout the day.

I have some boiled potatoes that I want to turn into potato salad today, and I have some blankets in the dryer that need to be folded and put into the linen closet.  I have a ton of stuff recorded on the DVR, including The Coneheads, which I need to watch and delete. I can probably do some of that while working in the office as I have a clear view of the Living Room TV from  the Office. 

There isn't much else from Thursday to report on. 

I am looking forward to getting back into my writing.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
I got up and hit the ground running.  I cleaned the litter boxes and baked the other recipe of banana muffins--the one with buttermilk in it.  I liked that batch much better--very moist and with a lovely texture.  Buttermilk is great stuff.  Unless you just drink it.  Then it is disgusting.

I peeled and boiled the last of my red potatoes as the fridge was freezing them.  I plan to make them into potato salad later.  Then I made a huge pan of lasagna for Jim and DeAnn and Josh (formerly known as Swayze) as they were coming around lunch time to do some work in my house for me.  I made a small pan for myself and to share with my mother.  I washed a lot of dishes as I cooked and took a lot of recycling and garbage out to the bins. 

Jim and DeAnn got delayed and didn't get here till about 2:30 pm,  I had baked the lasagna in a disposable aluminum pan, so I just put the cover on it after it cooked and sent it home with them.  Because it was later than expected, they had eaten lunch elsewhere.  I gave them three of each kind of muffin to take home too.  They were here for a few hours and did so much for me! 

They put my ceiling fan up in  the bedroom, which will make an enormous difference to me!  That took quite a while as it was kind of stormy off and on throughout the day which meant it was quite dark--and they bedroom light couldn't be on as the fixture was taken down in order to put the new fixture up.  DeAnn screwed the top section back onto my antique sideboard, and together, they hung up my big shelf over the couch in the living room.  They carried Grandma Harpel's old kitchen table down to the basement and brought back my lawn chair and big wash tub that I used to plant flowers in when I lived in West Concord.  Those things are in the area outside my breezeway.  They also found the temperature control thing in the refrigerator (I had searched for it in vain) and adjusted it so it won't freeze my vegetables any more. 

They were not able to hang my lamp as I do not own a stud finder and they were afraid to hang it without knowing for sure where the stud was.  Also, they were not sure that the hooks I bought were strong enough to hold the heavy glass lamp.  I looked at the hook holding my mother's glass globe lamp, and it looks smaller than the one I bought.  I bought the biggest one the store had, but I will look for another.

I think they left around 6:30.  They had brought Bailey, their huge black dog, along.  She was the sweetest thing!  She looked like a small black bear.  She just lay on the hard wood floor and watched the activity and drooled a little.  She had a little water from the cats' bowl, but never touched their food.  She is a very polite doggy.

I was really tired when they left and didn't do much after they left. 

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
Mom called in the morning  around 9 am and wanted to know if I was planning to go into Owatonna and get the ceiling fan for my bedroom and when I was planning to go.  I said I was open to any time and that I did need to go and get one as Jim and DeAnn will be coming on Friday.  I told her to give me 20 minutes or so and I'd be there to pick her up.  I had started emptying the wastebaskets into a larger garbage bag but hadn't done much else yet.  I had watched and deleted Sunday's episode of Talking Dead and Monday's Dr. Phil which I had recorded on the DVR.  I like to record shows then watch them while fast forwarding through the commercials.  It saves time and I don't have to pollute my mind with all the advertisements.

Lily called while I was putting my shoes on.  I was a little worried she'd be mad as Tammy and Kim had come down last weekend and had sorta kinda planned to go to their house for a visit.  This never happened and they never called to tell her they decided against coming.  I probably should have just called myself, but I didn't think it was my responsibility.  Anyhow--she wasn't mad.  She just wanted to know what happened and told me that Rhonda (my cousin) had helped her clean out her closet and she had a bunch of stuff from my grandmother that she wanted  to offer to me.  She said it was tablecloths and doilies.  I told her I would definitely take a look.

She told me that Jerry's blood was at 7.8, so he would be getting another transfusion on Wednesday.  This is good as sometimes he needs two units of blood and this time he only needs one.  He is terminal, but lately, he has been doing better.  

Talking to Lily put me a bit behind, but I figure she needs my support with all the health issues Jerry has.  I took the time to put the recycling I had gathered earlier in the recycling box in the breezeway then headed to Mom's. I got my mail out of the mailbox on my way--I can reach it from the window of my car when I pull up, so that works swell.

On the way to Owatonna, I took Mom to the post office and to the bank as she needed cash.  We went to Fleet Farm first, and I bought a can of mixed nuts, a small bag of cashews for the salad I want to make, a large bag of raw pecans for baking, and a big bag of cinnamon bears.  They have the best and freshest candy in town.  Sadly, I did not find any Mallo cups.  Fleet Farm is the only place I have been able to find them for years.  Oh well.  I didn't need them.

I picked up a ceiling fan.  It cost slightly less than $70. I picked that one because it had the little "tulip" looking cups that you don't have to remove to replace a burnt out bulb.  The others all had "globe" type things over the bulbs, so you have to unscrew the globe, replace the bulb, and screw the globe back in again.  That would be difficult for me to do as I'd have to stand on a step stool, and that would be very difficult with my knees being like they are.  The tulip type cup would be much easier.  I bought  enough light bulbs for the initial installation and a set to replace them.  I am really looking forward to having that ceiling fan.  I sleep much better when there is moving air in the room.

Then we went to Walmart where I picked up the supplies to hang my big shelf over the couch and hanging hooks to hang my hanging globe lamp.  When Cynthia comes tomorrow, I will have her bring that in and wash it so it is ready to hang.  I also got the ingredients to make a big pan of lasagna and an aluminum foil oven protector for the bottom of my oven, in case the lasagna spills over when baking.  It is a messy dish to make.

A while back, Kim told me that the dog had chewed her vacuum cleaner cord and wrecked it.  She has been living without a vacuum cleaner for months and months and can't afford to buy a new one.  And of course, her two adult deadbeat sons refuse to work or do anything in the house, so the dog hair has piled into drifts all over her house.  I had a wild inspiration to buy her a cheap vacuum cleaner just to be able to suck up at least some of the dog hair--so I looked at the vacuum cleaners--there was a nice Dirt Devil Pet Max vacuum that was only $60.  It looked like it would be ideal for her needs.  I must have shamed mom a bit by deciding to get it for her as Mom offered  to go halfsies on it with me.  Mom also decided to get one for herself as her power nozzle on her expensive vacuum has something wrong with it so that it keeps snapping the belt. 

We dropped it off at Kim's house--she had taken Monday and Tuesday off for vacation days this week, so she was home.  We brought her a mushroom swiss burger from Culver's too.  She was mad that we spent our money on her again, but a person just can't live in squalor like that!  She deserves  to at least have a moderately clean house.

It does put me in a bit of a financial pinch as I need to come up with my car insurance money next month, but I will be okay.  I do have a little money in my savings account if I get desperate. 

We hung out there and visited for about an hour.  I was really tired and ready to go home and put my feet up!  I dropped Mom off at her house then went to pick up Cora to carry in my purchases.  There were two big boxes on my breezeway steps, so Cora carried those in too.  She had a lot of stuff to carry in--I felt like I should give her $10 instead of $5, but all I had was $20s except for that one $5.  She said it was okay--I told her I'd pay her $20 to give my car a thorough cleaning like she had done for the last couple of summers, and she was happy about that. 

After I took her home, I put all my groceries and other purchases away.  I was too tired to mess with my boxes, so I will have fun looking at them today after I finish my journal entry.  I was so tired; I couldn't even enjoy watching TV.  I hung out in my recliner and held Peaches for a while, then I decided I would just put on my pajamas and watch TV in bed.  I had left my pajamas on the foot of my bed, and when I picked them up, I discovered SOMEONE had puked on them.  Probably Peaches, who is my pukeasaurus cat.


I ended up going to bed super early because I was just TIRED.
chochiyo_sama: (Default)
 Yesterday was a much less productive day than the previous one.  However, I still managed to finish my laundry and fold and put it away.  I also put away almost all the dishes that I washed yesterday.  The cake plate and glass cookie tray will go on display on my sideboard when I get the top piece bolted back on.  I think I can do that myself--but I think I need someone to help me get it up on top and to hold it while I screw in the bolts. Cynthia is coming back on Thursday, so I hope I can get it done then. 

I ate the last of my macaroni salad and washed the current crop of dishes.  Then carried one of the metal wire shelf units into the bathroom.  Not sure if it is going to stay there or not, but it holds a lot of stuff there was no place for before.  There is an identical shelf still in the breezeway, but there isn't room for both of them in the bathroom.  It is just a little too big to really "work" in there, but I can put up with it.  For now, anyhow.  Both of them might end up in the basement.  Or in the breeze way. 

I texted DeAnn to see if she and Jim are actually coming down this week.  Jim will install my ceiling fan in the bedroom and hang up the large shelf on the wall behind the couch and hang up my hanging globe lamp.  I'd like to get some wall brackets and shelf boards for my bedroom to display some of my dolls, but the other things are more critical. 

Tammy gave me two ornamental corner shelves that belonged to Leatrice.  They are very pretty, and I think I will hang them in my bedroom.  There isn't a lot of space in the house where they would "fit in," but I think they will work fine in the bedroom.  I have two other small shelves that I'd like to hang up too--one will be over the Myrtle Randall bookshelf next to the painting of Bastet that Jessica brought to me from Egypt.  I will put the statuette of Bastet that Godiva gave me and the ashes of my deceased cats on that shelf, to be "watched over" by the cat goddess.  (The ashes are all encased in ornamental metal boxes.)

I had planned to make a meatloaf, but I just wasn't motivated to do it.  I ended up making a can of clam chowder for supper.  I don't think I am going to buy that any more as it had a little bit of a "tinny" taste to it. I retired to my bedroom at about 8:30 and watched YouTube videos and played Cat Connection until about midnight.  I love watching YouTube videos by "My Froggy Stuff" as she and her daughter do tons of really cool doll do-it-yourself things--clothes, furniture, rooms, food--you name it.  Sometimes I take notes so I can replicate their activities.  I also like watching the "urban explorer" videos where people go into abandoned houses and video them.  Some of these houses are absolutely gorgeous, though rotting away, and it is a shame that no one cares enough to salvage them.  Some are just dirty and creepy.  I am constantly amazed by the stuff people left behind.  In one video there was just a ton of vintage glassware and crockery. 

The urban explorers' motto is "take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints," but I think I would be "saving" those beautiful dishes--and sometimes there are poor, sad, abandoned little dolls!  They would ALL be coming home with me.  Dolls don't want to be left alone in a decaying house.  I am shocked that homeless people don't just move into some of these places--other than there being no electricity or running water, many of the houses have everything you could need in them--beds, clothes, dishes, games--everything.

That's about it for me for Monday. 

Today I need to make a list of stuff I want Cynthia to do while she is here on Thursday.  I think I am going to start getting my groceries on Thursday mornings so I can have her carry them in--then I don't have to bother Cora or Caleb to do it.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
I got so much done today! 

The first thing I did was fill my pill caddy. I am good on all my prescriptions, so I don't have to order any refills. Then I got dressed and dragged my dirty clothes into the laundry room and got that started.  I finished washing everything but the last load is going to wait till tomorrow to be dried. I am just too tired tonight.

My sister Tammy had brought me down a big box of dishes--some were her old set of Corelle that she doesn't use any more and some were some beautiful vintage glassware from her deceased mother-in-law which no one wanted.  The Corelle was a 12-place setting of dinner plates, cereal bowls, dessert plates, and coffee mugs.  There was a lovely pressed glass cake plate with a pedestal base, a small vintage green etched glass cookie plate with a glass handle, and three glass measuring bowl/cups in different sizes.  These looked very old.  The larger two would be ideal for making pancakes or bars and the smallest of the three is a wider than normal 1-cup measuring cup.  I wish I knew how to post pictures on here--I would love to show them!

Anyhow, I unpacked that box and washed everything that was in it as all of the stuff had been in storage in her basement--and Leatrice's stuff was all kind of scummy.  As her dementia increased, her ability to keep herself and her home and dishes clean decreased. Everything looked like it had been washed in cold, greasy water.  It shined up beautifully in hot soapy water.  Everything is drying in my dish drainer and on a towel on the counter now.  In the morning, I will find spots for everything in my cupboards.

When that was done, I cleared everything off the round table the Shouses had left for me in the kitchen and called Caleb to see if he would be willing to come over and swap that table for the one I bought for $10 on the Buy and Sell.  It is a small rectangular table which I think will be much more effective at meeting my needs than the small round one which is actually meant to be an outdoor patio table.

He said he was just about to go mow Mom's yard, and I said he should go ahead and do that first since it was looking like rain.  Mom was gone to a play at the Community Theater in Owatonna with her friend Nola, but I told Caleb she really wanted it mowed and to go ahead and mow it anyhow.  I told him I would pay him the $20 for mowing and she could repay me later.  So, about 45 minutes later, he came over and swapped out the two tables.  He set the chairs that I bought to sorta match my great-grandfather's dining room table which I intend to get refinished soon around the small formerly round table--I lowered the parts that kicked up to make it round--and set my huge plant on it in front of the north window in the living room.  It looks good there.  That's where Great Grandpa Randall's table will eventually go.  The plant won't sit on that table though.  It might get ousted to the breezeway when that day comes.

I sat and chatted with Caleb for a while about his college visit to Winona State, which is my alma mater.  He really liked the campus and the atmosphere of the town and how pretty the city of Winona is.  Both of his parents are Mankato State alumni, and personally, I don't care for Mankato State--it is a much grungier town and there is no shortage of drunken brawls there.  Winona has parties too--but it is much more subdued there--or at least it was.  And in Winona, you have the Mississippi River on the east side of town and the beautiful Lake Winona on the west side.  I loved living in Winona.  I sometimes still think about moving back there. 

When he left, I cleaned the litter boxes then wiped down the "new" table and put everything back on it.  I keep my CD player and my little star shelf full of CDs on it along with my tea caddy and box of sugar cubes, my little stackable 1-cup teapot and teacup in the shape of an orange, my butter dish, the plastic canvas napkin holder that my great aunt made for me years ago, the paper plate with my bananas sitting on it, my peanut butter jar full of pencils, pens, and a pair of scissors, and my little vintage children's breakfast service which is a rolly polly clown that has a toast plate for a base, and on top of that is a cereal bowl and a milk cup that make the clown's fat belly, an egg cup attached to a tiny flat plate that makes the clown's neck rufle and his head, and it is topped off with a small salt shaker which is decorated to look like the clown's conical hat.  I got it at a garage sale in a suburb of Milwaukee years ago when my aunt and uncle lived there.  I paid $5 for it, and I love it so much!

It is so good to have all my pretty and beloved things around me again where I can see them every day!

I took up the cat dishes and rubber mats they sit on and washed everything up so it was all fresh then refilled everything and put them back where they belong.  Then I was tired and hungry, but didn't feel like cooking, so I made a bowl of buttered popcorn and sat in the recliner and ate it while watching the last part of Guardians of the Galaxy on TV.  I love Groot. 

Then I decided I had had enough excitement for one day, so I put on my pajamas and crawled into bed.  My sister Tammy called me and we talked for nearly an hour, then I called Mom to see how she like the play--she loved it.  It was Funny Girl.  Apparently the lead actress was a fantastic singer, so it was a hit.

Now I am just finishing off this entry before I hit the hay.  I am beat, and I have a lot of stuff I need to do tomorrow, so I want a good night's sleep tonight.

I forgot to mention that my friend DeAnn texted me this morning and told me that her husband thought this would be a good week for him to come down and put a ceiling fan in my bedroom--I just need to go and buy one.  I told her that would be great and asked what day would work for them.  I am pretty open all week.  But  I will have to go and buy a ceiling fan and some of those anchor things for hanging up my big shelf over the couch in the living room and some hooks to hang up my hanging lamp too.  If Jim will do those things and screw the top piece onto the vintage sideboard, I would be soooo happy.  Pretty much everything that I need done that I can't do myself would be taken care of.

That's about it for me for today.  I am dragging, I am sooo tired.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
Tammy and Kim had stayed overnight with Mom on Friday night, but I slept at my own house--there were not enough beds for me to have my own bed.  Kim offered to sleep on the couch so I could stay over, but I said no.  I have a perfectly good bed at my own house just across town. 

In the morning, Mom called and said they were making pancakes. By the time I got there, they were all done eating and the pancakes and sausages were cold.  :(  I ate them anyway.  But I was disappointed that they didn't wait for me to get there. 

We had planned to go have our toes done in the afternoon, but Tammy was worried about the weather as she drove the pickup and pulled the trailer--in a driving rainstorm, it would be hard to drive it.  Also, Kim has some kind of fungus on her big toe nail and doesn't want to get her toes done until it clears up.  One of Tammy's friends wanted her to pick up some vegan cheese from my sister Joni who has learned to make vegan cheese and meat.  She has been selling it at the farmers' market and doing very well on it.  She made $500 this weekend on just her vegan stuff.  They had no veggies ready to sell this time around--usually she makes a lot of salsa too.  Last weekend, she sold 70 pints of salsa at $5 a pint.  It is damn fine salsa, too.

I drove the four of us to Joni's place so Tammy could get the cheese and see Joni's baby goats.  The triplets are still really little as they are miniature goats.  The first baby is a full-size goat, so he is getting big.  He still thinks he is a lap dog and wants Joni to hold him.  He is so adorable. I enjoyed playing with Peppy, her Jack Russell terrier.  He is such a cute little shit--so friendly and playful. Every time I see him, he seems to remember me and think I am his very bestest friend ever.

Joni and Jeff wanted to go to the parade in Owatonna--it was some kind of band festival, so we headed home to Ellendale again.  We had the pasta salad I made for lunch and the strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert.  It was so delicious.  We just hung out and talked until Tammy left after 1 pm.  Kim stayed until about 5 pm.  We tried to get her to stay another night, but she said she had way too much to do. 

I stayed at Mom's until about 8:30 pm, just so she wouldn't feel all alone after having people with her for so long.  There was a really heavy rainstorm around 7 pm.  The rain just came down in sheets--it lasted for about 45 minutes.  I didn't do much when I got home--I watched a little TV and snuggled with my kitties.  I made sure they had plenty of food and water before I went to bed.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
 Yesterday I was up and out of the house by 9 am.  I stopped at my mom's to drop off a bag of chocolate chip cookies that I had baked on Tuesday.  Then, I had to fill up my car with gas as I had plans to drive to Northfield and meet with DeAnn at Perkins.  It is sort of a half-way point between my house and hers in Hastings.  I had planned to stop in Owatonna to get my hair cut as it is all long and shaggy and annoying.  But for some reason, I became convinced that it was later than it really was and skipped the hair cutting to go directly to Northfield.  Once I was there, I realized that I was a full hour early!

I used my time to look up pasta salad recipes on my cell phone.  I copied out three that looked really promising.  I have decided that summer is an ideal time to experiment with a variety of salads--especially since it has been so ungodly hot lately!

Here are the recipes I am going to try--just in case you all feel the urge to experiment too:

Broccoli Pasta Salad

7 sweet mini peppers
1 head broccoli
1/3 cup dried cranberries
4 cups cooked bow tie pasta (1/2 of a 12 ounce box)
1 cup 3 Cheese Ranch Dressing
salt and pepper to taste
slivered almonds

1.  Cook and rinse pasta.
2.  Dice peppers
3.  Chop broccoli
4. Add peppers, broccoli, cranberries, and pasta.  Pour dressing over ingredients.
5.  Refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Salad will keep two days.

Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Dressing

8 ounces bow tie pasta
4 cups spinach leaves
1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1/3 cup cashews
1 4-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped


1/3 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup olive, vegetable, or canola oil

1.  Cook pasta; drain and rinse.
2.  Prepare dressing in a jar--combine all ingredients, cover and shake.  Refrigerate until ready to use
3.  In large bowl, toss together pasta, spinach, craisins, nuts, mandarin oranges, and cilantro.
4.  Pour dressing over salad just before tossing and serving.

Avocado Pasta Salad

8 ounces rotini or bow tie pasta
1 cup cherry tomatoes
8 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 avocado, diced
1 tsp lime juice


1 ripe avocado
1/2 fresh lime, juiced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Place all dressing ingredients in blender and process until smooth
2.  Cook, rinse and drain pasta.
3.  Toss diced avocado with lime juice.
4.  Combine ingredients in bowl, gently toss with dressing.
5. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

All of these recipes sound really yummy to me.

I was pretty hungry, so I had a raisin bran muffin while waiting for DeAnn.  It was delicious.  Somewhere, I have a good recipe for raisin bran muffins.  I need to find that and make some.  I love a good bran muffin. 

In my box of books that my aunt gave me was one called Year In, Year Out by A. A. Milne.  I had brought that along to read in case I got there first.  So, I read a few pages of that.  I think it is a collection of some of his favorite articles which had been published in newspapers and magazines.  It's humorous and pretty innocent compared to today's standard fare.

DeAnn arrives shortly after 11, and we had a nice chat.  I had eggs over easy with toast, hash browns, and steak medallions.  It was very good--I love eating breakfast at a restaurant.  We chatted about many things--mainly about her beginning a master's program to advance in her job and my progress on the house.  I had brought her a gift of a large zip lock bag of cookies.  There really isn't anything more delicious than a fresh batch of home made chocolate chip cookies!

We had a lovely visit.  On my way home again, I realized it was after 3:30!  By the time I got to Owatonna it was after 4 pm.  I had thought about stopping for groceries, but traffic was crazy and the parking lot was packed.  I decided I would go in the morning instead.  So, I went home and did very little.  I watched some TV and went to bed fairly early as I wanted to be up and out early enough to get groceries and be home before 11:30 am, when Cynthia Butler was coming over to help me clean.

I was up at least six times in the night to pee.  I don't know why as I didn't have that much to drink yesterday--I had two glasses of Diet Coke at Perkins and a medium sweet tea from McDonald's on the way home.  I wouldn't think that would make me pee a million times!

My alarm went off at 7:30 am, and while I was in the bathroom, my mother called.  I have no idea why--unless it was to see if I had been serious about picking her up at 8 am to go get groceries.  She talked for about 20 minutes, so I got a later start than I had planned.  We were still in Owatonna well before 9 am.  I got almost everything I needed to make all three of those salads.  I forgot cilantro and cashews, and I could not find 3 Cheese Ranch Dressing.  I got regular ranch and some fresh Parmesan cheese.  I will have to look up the recipe again and see what other types of cheese are included in that dressing.  I will have to fake it, I guess.

Mom and I got breakfast biscuits with sausage, egg and cheese and orange juice at Hardees.  Those were delicious sandwiches.  Much tastier than the McDonald's sausage, egg and cheese biscuits. 

I dropped Mom off at her house.  She had hauled a bunch of stuff out of the basement and put it in her garage.  We got that loaded into my car, and then I went home.  I was home by 10:45. 

Peaches had puked a gigantic puke puddle in my office--she managed to puke on the tote I had used to put stuff that needed to go into the office in, both the journals (1984 and 1985) and the cat grooming brush inside the bag, and the area rug.  The brush had grooves in the handle that were encased with dried up puke, so I tossed it.  It didn't work that well anyhow.  I managed to wipe the covers of the journals off pretty well, threw the tote into the laundry, and scrubbed the puke off the area rug.  It was so gross. 

When Cynthia arrived at 11:30, I had her carry in all the stuff from my car.  Then she moved some books from a double rowed book shelf to an empty book shelf while I put away my groceries.  She swept and scrubbed all my floors, dusted the furniture, vacuumed the upholstered furniture, put felt pads on the legs of most of the furniture, cleaned the appliances in the kitchen, and hauled some stuff to the basement for me.  I cleaned the cat boxes, bagged up my kitchen garbage, and hauled my garbage and recycling out to the appropriate cans.  (They are right outside my breezeway door, so all I have to do is step outside the door and drop the bags in the can.)  She put my reusable grocery bags and a bag of stuff that I have to drop off at Susan's the next time I am in West Concord into my car.  I sorted out the stuff Mom had sent home with me, and Cynthia put it where I asked her to.  She did a very thorough and lovely job.

She stayed two hours.  I asked her how much she charged for her cleaning service--she has a few regular customers and is doing this work instead of getting a summer job.  She just turned sixteen and has a driver's license, so I don't even have to go get her and take her home again!  She said she gets $12 an hour.  I told her she was charging too little--most cleaning ladies get at least $20 an hour around here!  I gave her $30, a bulletin board I didn't need or want, an old white board I used to use when I was teaching, three cans of mini Ravioli, which I used to love when I was in college, which now tastes HORRIBLE to me, and a Dilly Bar out of my freezer.  She was thrilled with all of these items--especially the Dilly Bar.

My house looks so clean and pretty now--what took her two hours would probably have taken me six or more!  I arranged with her to come to my house every Thursday at 11:30--I will probably not need her for two hours every time, but it would be great if I could have her do some things like weed the flower garden, wash the windows, help me organize some things, haul boxes to the basement, or other things that a young healthy girl with strong knees can do that I can't.

I had thought I would make at least one of those salads this afternoon--but it turned out that I was really tired.  I thought I would sit in my recliner and have a short nap and then do it, but I had one phone call after another, so I never napped and never made any salads.  It's okay though--I will make something tomorrow.  I bought some hamburger too--perhaps I will make meatloaf.  I have been hungry for meatloaf for a long time.

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
I baked a batch of chocolate chips cookies yesterday--the counters are a little high, but I coped with them.  I cannot afford to replace them with lower counters, so I have to adapt.  The lady for whom the house was built was a tiny little thing, so I don't understand why the counters and cupboards are so high.  Conversely, the toilet is so low that I am practically sitting on the floor!  Crazy!

Anyhow, the oven works great.  I bagged up 18 cookies for my mother and a dozen for my aunt and uncle.  I also gave them a good sized container of the macaroni salad I made the other day.  My uncle is terminally ill, so I want to be able to help them a little.  My aunt is like my grandmother was--an eternal 5 year old.  But there isn't any malice in her--just a complete lack of maturity.  She came over to pick up the cookies and the salad on her way to the post office.  While she was here, she carried in the waste basket full of stuff that my mother had packed as she found more of my things at her house as well as a blue shopping bag that held a box of crackers and a box of Cheerios. There is very little left at my mother's house--there are a few pictures still hanging on the wall in my old bedroom there that have to be brought over and the shed in the back yard still has a lot of my boxes of Barbie accessories in it. 

I have asked Kim's boys to come and move that stuff directly into my basement.  They said they would, but I haven't seen anything of them yet.  I think it can all be moved in two trips--maybe three.  Once I get the stuff over here, I will go through everything.  I may attempt to sell some of it--but most of it will get put into my Barbie community that I have dreamed of making all my life. 

In the storage under the stairs in Mom's basement there are still two sewing machines and a few boxes of holiday things that belong to me.  I won't be able to get at those until Mom pulls out her holiday stuff.  I don't care.  I don't need them at this time. 

I cleaned the litterboxes yesterday and swept the breezeway.  The cats refuse to use the cool new litterboxes I bought them where kicking all their litter all over the floor would be prevented.  I suspect they thing those boxes are crates like the ones I used to move them, and they hate being in the crate.  They love their new home and have no desire to be moved out of it.  

There was also some garbage and recycling that had to be dealt with.

It was unmercifully hot again yesterday.  Even with the air conditioner on, I got hot in the kitchen with the oven going and washing dishes in hot water.  After I finished in the kitchen, I went and sat in my recliner for a while.  I tried to watch the Sessions crap on TV, but I can't stand looking at his smarmy racist mug.  I will read the transcripts on line later.  I ended up having a little nap and a long kitty cuddle in the recliner and then reading the last of The Stone Bull.  It was pretty predictable.  One thing that I noticed that bugged me about the way the author wrote the story was that she told the story in the first person as the character of Jenny.  We never experienced anything actively as Jenny experienced it.  It was always Jenny huddled by the fire trembling and telling us passively what had happened to her hours before and how devastating or painful or frightening it was.  I found it annoying. 

Today I am meeting my friend DeAnn at the Perkins in Northfield.  I have to stop and get gas on my way.  I would like to leave early enough to stop and get my hair cut too, as I look like a small shaggy dog has taken up residence on my head.  I don't think I am going to be able to get that done.  I have to get gas though, or I won't have enough to make it there and back again.

If it isn't storming, I am going to stop and pick up a few groceries on the way home.  Lily, my aunt, wants me to make another batch of my macaroni salad for her as my cousin and his wife are coming to do a lot of yard work for her this weekend, and she wants to have something cool and tasty to serve them.  I don't really have a recipe for this salad.  I made it up when I was in college, and I just chop things up and throw them in until it looks and tastes "right."

I start with macaroni--it can be shells or rings or twists or elbow.  Then I cut up medium cheddar cheese, dill pickles, mushrooms, black olives, and celery until it looks like I have the right proportions.  I throw in half a bag of baby peas (frozen) and two large cans of chunk chicken breast.  I season it with Lowrie's Season Salt and stir it up with a lot of Miracle Whip Dressing.  In the past, I have used onions and green olives too--but Jack's family doesn't eat onions, and I didn't care for the green olives in it so much.  I am sure a person could add green or red pepper or other fresh veggies too, but I never have.

There were quite a few heavy storms with hail and even tornadoes yesterday and last night--but nothing near me.  It rained and thundered in the night a bit, but nothing severe.  There is a possibility of more severe weather today--I hope it holds off until I get home. 

There waT

chochiyo_sama: (Default)
 Yesterday, I took my car to Harland's in Owatonna and had the oil changed and the windshield wipers replaced.  It cost me $85.15. I was a little annoyed as my appointment was for noon--which I thought was a little odd.  Usually places don't work during the lunch hour, but I didn't question it.  I was there about ten minutes early, and the guy told me that my appointment wasn't until 12:30.  I thought I must have heard him wrong, and said I'd just hang out and wait since I didn't have much time to do anything else.  So, as I was sitting in the waiting area reading my book, another guy came in who said his appointment was noon.  Again they told him that the guys were all going to lunch at noon and his appointment wasn't until later.  He got pissed and had a little fit. 

So,  I figured someone who didn't know what he was doing had made our appointments. Ah well.  The chairs in their waiting area are really uncomfortable, but I got a lot read in the book I brought with.  It is one of the many books my aunt gave me last summer when she cleaned out her basement book stash.  It's an oldie--The Stone Bull by Phyllis Whitney.  I used to read a lot of books by her and Victoria Holt when I was in high school.  Now, it seems pretty stilted, but I read a wide range of genres, so I'm content.  I should finish it today if I have time to read.

After that, I went to Verizon to see about having my phone fixed.  A while back it fell down into the recliner at Mom's, and when I pulled it out, the screen had several big scratches on it.  I've been paying $11 a month for insurance on this phone since I bought it, so I decided it was time to get it fixed. 

It turned out that it was just the screen protector of the phone case that was scratched, so I bought a new phone protector.  I also bought another charger to keep at Mom's in case my phone runs out of charge there.  They had some deal going where you got a discount if you bought three items, so I bought a blue tooth ear piece--I used to have one years ago, and it was so nice to have my hands free.  I almost bought an IPAD.  I have wanted one for a while, and this month they are having a sale where you can get one for $260.  I was tempted, but I have care insurance due soon and I need to be sure I have enough money to cover everything.  The sale keeps going until July, so I'll see if I can afford it then.

I wanted to get a few groceries then, but while I was in Verizon a huge storm front moved it--the sky turned black, the wind howled, and rain was coming down in sheets and sideways.  I drove to the store and sat in the parking lot for a while, waiting for the weather to calm down, which it never did.  I decided, "Screw it; I can get groceries another day." 

Jack and Kari had taken Caleb to look at the campus at Winona State--my alma mater, and Cora had stayed at Mom's house.  I wondered if they had eaten lunch, and called to see if Mom wanted me to pick up a pizza at the Little Cesar's drive through.  She thought that sounded good, so I picked up their $6 special pizza and some bread sticks.  The pizza was really greasy and gave me a nasty case of acid reflux in the middle of the night, so I won't be buying that again!

I hung out with them until Jack picked Cora up.  Mom had two packed up two big containers of my stuff that she found while cleaning--mostly garbage that could and should have been thrown out, but Jack put it in my car.  I stayed at Mom's reading and watching TV with her until after 8 pm.  Then I went home.  I didn't haul that stuff in yet as I didn't want to deal with it.  Most of it is going directly into the garbage can.

I read a little more before going to bed, but didn't accomplish much other than that.


chochiyo_sama: (Default)
I don't have a bath tub in my new house--only a large shower. It is a lovely shower, but I hate taking showers--I prefer a bath. But this morning, I took my first shower in my new home. I bought a shower chair to sit on as my knees will not support standing to shower. It worked out mostly okay--but I am definitely going to look into having the shower replaced with a bath tub. I can't wash my feet or my bottom in that shower. I can't go around without being able to get fully clean!

Also, the floor of the shower is extremely slippery. I was in constant fear that I was going to fall when I stood to try to wash the places I couldn't reach while sitting on the shower chair.

At least I am adequately clean.

I have to take my car to Harland's today to have the oil changed and the wind shield wipers replaced. It is storming like a banshee in Owatonna right now, and I just heard thunder here. Great. My windshield wipers are in horrible shape--and of course the place where they are the worst is right in front of the driver's side. Well, one more trip with limited visibility and then I will have nice new ones.

Yesterday I got my laundry washed and dried. I am hoping to fold it and put it away before I go to Owatonna. I also made my "famous" macaroni salad--I had all the ingredients except celery, and my aunt had called to chat while she and my uncle were driving to Owatonna. She mentioned that she was going to pick up some groceries, and I asked if she'd pick me up a stalk of celery. She said sure.

So, after I got all my laundry going, I started cutting up the cheese, pickles, olives, and mushrooms and boiled the macaroni. I was almost done with the chopping when my aunt showed up with the celery. She also put my three glass bowls up on top of the high cupboard for me as I couldn't reach to do it. I tried to use my little two-step stepstool, but my knees were just too unstable. I was afraid I would fall.

My salad turned out just delicious, as always. I boxed up some for my mother and some for my brother--he loves that salad, and I still have a large container left for myself--at least 5 servings.

I spent most of the rest of the day watching the episodes of The Son which I had recorded on the DVR and deleting them.  They have really changed the story from the  book.  I guess that is normal for Hollywood, but it seems so silly--you love the book and want to make a show of it, then you change everything completely.  So dumb.

Not much else going on in my life at the moment. 

Tammy is coming down either Thursday or Friday and staying overnight.  Kim will come down on Friday after work and will stay overnight at Mom's too.  We are considering going to have pedicures on Saturday.  I could sure use one.  My toes are a mess.

Well, I have to fold and put away some clothes before I go to Harland's, so I better get at it.  I am hoping to type up my updates in the morning again, like I did before my old computer died. 

This one isn't as satisfactory as my old one, but I will get used to it, I suppose.


chochiyo_sama: (Default)

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