Saturday, December 3, 2022

Lunchbox



No one reads this but me but for the record my mind sometimes not only goes down the rabbit holes but sometimes into complete outer space.  So follow the train if you can...

I like baking shows & the Brits kind of fascinate me.  I mean, I just did an entire post on it...but it also lead me down another trail.

One of the shows had the bakers make "Bedfordshire Clangers" which are "hand pies".  There is surprisingly little on Google about them but from the show it shows a definition as: 

"Clangers are a traditional Bedfordshire Hand Pie. 2/3 savory, 1/3 sweet with a flaky crust".

Basically, it's one long pie with meat & veggies on one end & dessert on the other.  It sounds very efficient.  One guy says he puts one in hs lunch box every day.  

For some reason it makes me think of my dad.  He was a cowboy all his life.  The only, short times, that he had a job where he had to be somewhere at a specific time were when he waas in the army in WWII & when he worked in a mine, in Arizona in the 1960s.  And every day, my mom made his lunch to take to work.  It saved money & then of course there was nowhere to go from work anyway.  Mom would put a sandwich & chips & cookie & fruit...or a thermos with soup & corn bread.  And she'd put it in a lunchbox like the one above although Daddy's was a little more beat up.  We used to run to see what was left over when he came home.

As I worked, I went through stages of taking my lunch & eating out.  I certainly would have saved more money eating in.  And as my lunch hour over the years went to 1/2 hour, I ate in more.  

When not working at the mine, Daddy would be out sometimes at lunch & in his saddle bag he almost always had a sleeve of saltines & a can of Vienna sausage, or what he called "those little fellows in a can".  

I miss my Mom & Daddy.  

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Bakery Judge



I've decided on my next retirement job.  I want to be a bakery judge.  In Hawaii where it's always warm.

I'm streaming a 10 year old show called 'Britain's Best Bakery' where 2 "expert" judges go from bakery to bakery eating.  Sounds like a heck of a job to me.

And I'm already tired of winter so I need to move to Hawaii.  And extra 5k a month should help me live comfortably.  😀

We have bakeries in America of course but these Brit bakeries seem like a bigger deal.  I go sometimes to a cupcake store.  There is a lunch place that has more choices.  But I can't think of one in town that anyone gets up at 3am to bake breads & cakes & pastries every day.  I've seen patissere's in hotels in Las Vegas & NY but seriously by the time we get back & I'm ready to make a choice, they are always closed. 😕.   In Las Vegas, there is a little food court thing in Harrah's that has "treats", my niece's favorite thing.  We usually both pick out something yummy looking & split it.  As with most of life, the look is normally better than the taste.  

But these Brit bakeries look yum!!  After 10 years and a full plandemic, I hope it's still the same now.



It's Chicken!!


 

As I've gotten older I find that there are a lot of things that I used to crave that I absolutely don't anymore.  Pizza, McDonalds,Burger King--basically, ick.  I also used to love Chick Fil A when they were just in the mall & always thought if I had one in my neighborhood I'd eat there a lot.  Now I do have one, rarely eat there. The one thing that I still absolutely love is Schlotzskys but even that's a couple of times a year.  They're all the way across town.

My mom loved fried chicken, mainly because my dad didn't like it so if she was in Lubbock, we always ended up with fried chicken one way or the other.  At the time it was KFC, Church's, Gandy's.  

The thought of KFC turns my stomach.  I can think of 3 or 4 locations that are still open here but I never see any customers there.  I don't know how they're still open.

Church's is a company based out of south Texas that does more traditional fried chicken & I like them better than the others. In fact, I was craving a piece of chicken today.  I ordered 2 breasts so I'd have left overs but they were so over cooked & greasy that I only ate part of one. And today sealed the deal.  I can't imagine ever craving them again after today.

Gandy's was a restaurant & they had good sides & rolls but near their end they stopped cleaning & eventually just died on the vine.  Their old building sat for years & deteriorated. I figured they'd have to implode it to get the nasty out.  A local company finally bought it & rehabbed it & opened it as a breakfast & lunch place.  I miss their rolls.   This was mom's favorite before they turned into a trainwreck.

I occasionally buy a piece of chicken from Popeyes or the grocery & both are better.   I noticed this week  that there was a Popeye's down the street from me, across the street from a KFC & now it's an empty parking lot.  In the chicken war, did KFC win on that corner?😱

I appreciate the train wreck chicken today...glad Church's is out of my life.

Odd sidetrack...the Church's had a sign on their window that said something like "get paid after every shift".  I asked the woman working the window if she really got paid every day?  She said she didn't...and "that's for the kids".  But what an odd thing to me.  I've almost always in my adult life been paid every 2 weeks & budget accodingly.  For the 1 year I worked for "Legacy ATT" I was paid every Friday.  And now as a retiree I get paid technically once a month though I get a pension & social security about 2 weeks apart so really back to every 2 weeks.  Budgeting can be done but it takes a lot of mind rearranging more than anything.  But I think getting paid every day would be a complete disaster. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Gratitude



I've found the last few posts here have been grumpy posts & I need to spend more time with good stuff & stop griping all the time.  So here is a small list of things I'm grateful for post:

1. I had my house painted & siding & sofit & fascia boards fixed & it looks soooooo good.   My door had been a mint green & now it's dark orange.  I'm getting new windows on February 6.  I'm going to have a brand new house, practically.

Before

After


2.  Speaking of my house, I am so blessed to have it.  It's not a fancy house but it sure suits me.  It's big enough, it's warm, it's affordable.  I'm in a neighborhood full of rent houses but the house next door is for sale & I'd love it if someone would buy it to live in, maintain & love.  It has renters in it now.  I don't know if they go or stay with the sale.  They are nice enough people but everyone here pretty stays to themselves.  I'd hate to have to move at Christmas.  

3.  I love my little job.  15 hours a week & my boss & I laugh all day.  We're getting busier which makes the day fo faster & Kaye is making more money & I love it!!  She deserves it.

4.  It's silly but last month, Elon Musk a strange little billionaire, bought Twitter & there are rumors everywhere that it'll crash & I'm grateful it hasn't.  I watch videos on Facebook but don't participate in anything else.  I signed up for a new sodial media thing whose name I cannot even remember but if Twitter dies I won't even go over there.  It's not that important.  I like the "friends" I've met on Twitter & will miss them but if it goes, I go.  I try to not discuss politics on Twitter (but sometimes things sneak through) but I'd miss my Texas Tech friends, my old movie people & just some nice people I've met along the way.

5. I'm grateful that gas prices have gone down & the stock market has gone back up a little.  Earlier this year I just figured I'd have to live a couple of years left but with the upturn in the market I might be able to add a few months back.

6. I'm sleeping better.  I halved my Melatonin dosage & it has help considerably.  My body is weird!

7.  It's Texas Tech Basketball season.  It feeds my soul.

8. While I'm surrounded by renters, across the street I have Leslie & her sister Natalie who own the house & they have an about to be adopted little angel named Armani.  We've become friends & they are sweet.  I'm happy I have them!

9.  I'm grateful I'm off tomorrow & I don't have to set an alarm.  Woohoo!!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Political enemies? Not that I knew of...



I have--or had, I guess--a friend for at least 40 years.  We worked together closely & became good friends outside work.   I've cared about her & her husband & her son.  But for some reason, she's dropped me this last year.

So, a few things.

We don't agree on anything politically.  She & her husband are lunatic Democrats & I'm more conservative.  I'm not a Donald Trump person but Biden, Harris & Pelosi are pimples full of pus as far as I'm concerned.  But I have made it a point to NOT discuss politics to either of them.  I don't have an explanation but apparently if I don't agree with her political views I'm no longer worth knowing.  

And the sad thing is that I don't really care. Our relationship has always been pretty one sided.   She doesn't want to hear about my life but has to call to tell me her husband has a health issue or about her  grandchildren or (recently) about her old girl scould leader dying.  I've been at her house & wanted to go to Fort Worth or anywhere else, it's always no! NO NO NO!!  No compromise at all.  So I usually go alone & she sure doesn't really like that at all. 

Last time I heard from her was in September to share something off Facebook.   I haven't had FB in about a year.  Part of it was because of this person.  She commented on every post & if I posted something she didn't like she'd comment or message me.  And I always told her sorry we didn't agree but even an exchange like that has been over a year ago. 

She didn't send me a birthday wish.  Yesterday was her birthday.  I thought about is a couple of days.  And last night I sent her a happy birthday message.  I told her I hope she had a good birthday.  Her husband answered that she had a good day.  Nothing from her.  (They share a FB account.  And car.  And cell phone.  I think it's all strange but that's just me!).

I'm really sad to say that I'm not as upset about this as I thought I'd be.  Friendships change I guess.  And if I'm dropped because I don't agree politically (as I suspect) it's not a great loss I guess.  


Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022

 


Welp, made it through another Thanksgiving.  

For the past few years, I've hosted my friend Deborah (and my cousin a couple of times) and cooked almost everything.  But this year,I decided I did not want the chore or cost of a dinner.  We went to Saltgrass Steakhouse instead. They had a turkey & dressing special but luckily they were doing a full menu too so I had a New York Strip & baked potato instead.  It was yummy.

My friend insists on paying cash everywhere while I use my credit card. (Gotta get those points!!).  Our dinner was the same price but because we did not explain well, they took all the cash to pay the actual bill & charged me the best so my friend did not get her change.  Luckily, she didn't Karen out & confront the waiter.  She assumed he'd padded his tip.   She maryrs through it feeling she'd been ripped off & it was all a matter of bookkeeping.  I figured out what happened after I thought about it for awhile & texted her to tell her I figured it out. (She was at family's house, no call) but she texted & maryred again saying it's all good...& pretty sure she still thinks she's a victim here.  The truth is I owe her the difference in what I paid & what I should have paid.  Hopefully she'll figure it out & not blame the waiter or the restaurant for ripping her off.   Sadly, she tends to be a drama queen & figure everyone is out to get her.

And I was going to leave a $20 tip which confused the hell of her.  But it's Thanksgiving & even this young man was probably getting paid ok, I appreciated him working so I didn't have to.  Friend questions my tipping alot but I'm a generous tipper.  And I was going to let her leave her own tip but she reluctantly gave me $10 so she ended up paying half.

When I got home, I made my mom's fruit salad--apples,oranges,bananas,pecans & whipped cream.  And I had a cherry pie that my realtor gave me for Thanksgiving.  Mom usually made a cherry pie too.  Basically, this part of the day tasted like home. 

I heard from Steve & Hope & cousins Glynneth & Judy & friends Dal & Kaye & Joe & I have a job to go to in the morning & have contractors who showed up this week to work on my house & tomorrow is payday & I am watching Great British Baking &  had a great lunch with a good friend so I'm pretty blessed.   

It's all pretty good.

Monday, November 14, 2022

So My Friend Is Mad At Me



As a single woman, sometimes I need a contractor.  I can do a lot of things but sometimes I need professional help. And finding a contractor is a chore. Sometimes my job is not big enough.  Sometimes I have a job they don't do.  Mostly, they just don't show up.  Apparently, it's a contractor thing. 

I need some fascia boards replaced.  That was my goal.  I had a guy (in my phone as Marty the Snail) who tried to get the job but he kept putting me off, mostly because he didn't know what he was doing.  First he & his son were going to scrape the fascia & then we talked about replacing them.  He kept putting  me off & when I called him about it he said he needed help from a building contractor & they'd be by tomorrow.  I spent half of my day off waiting for them & then he called 2 hours after he was supposed to be there on Saturday because he knew I was off again.  I told him to forget it.  He was talking about replacing not just fascia but the siding on the house!!  I could afford the fascia, not redoing the whole house.  He argued but I told him I was done.  Today he sent me the names of a couple of contractors who could do the job.  He did not say it but he wanted to get some general contractor money off the referral.  I thanked him & told him I'd found someone else.

And I have.  I put a post on a social media app called Nextdoor asking for a contractor & a guy came by on Saturday, at the time he said he'd come.  He gave me an amazing price to do the fascia, repair any sofit, repair the siding & paint the entire house.  I have new windows ordered to be installed in February & I'm basically going to have one snazzy house.

So her is the friend part. My friend wants the contractor's name so he can build little  "cat houses" in her backyard to house feral cats in the wintertime.  And I'm not giving it to her.  I don't want him to feel like he has to take a job where he's going to make little profit because I refer him.  And there was a problem with the last contractor I sent to her that she did not cause but she kind of got in the middle of.   And I'm selfish in that I'm tired of doing all the work to find someone & then because she doesn't take care of her home she takes up all of their time with piddle ass stuff & they don't have time for anyone else, mainly me.  She told me I hurt her feelings by not sharing the info.  But I stood my ground. She needs to invest the time in finding her own contractors.  I told her I found the guy on Nextdoor but she won't download the app because she's pretty sure everyone is looking for her private info & she doesn't want to remember another password.  

So, I was basically a bitch today.  In the old days I'd hate that but sometimes it's necessary.  But I'm taking her lunch tomorrow. And we are not talking again about contractor poaching.  

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Why Do People Think My Business Is Their Business?

Not my window


On Thursday I met wiht a guy who sells Anderson windows to discuss some new windows for my house.  We talked at first about doing 3 windows (1 in living room, 2 in my bedroom) but I ended up buying 9 total.  They will be here in the next few months.  They weren't cheap.  I'm not a person who likes debt & I haven't been in in debt for awhile but I financed them.  I could have taken money from 401k but I hate touching it--even though it's in the frigging toilet right now.   I am at the point that I can make the monthly payments.  And if someday I decide to pay off I can.  I'm paying quite a bit of interest but it's a trade off I can live with to keep my savings intact. I'm pretty excited.  They are going to be gorgeous.

Today, a guy named Marty came by to look at some facia boards that need to be replaced.  He's a nice guy who worked on my front porch last year & I asked him awhile ago to power wash my house & then replace the boards.  He's dragged his feet but we might be finally rolling.  He had some eye rolls about my windows & the company I went with which is the best in the business.  He knew someone to refer me to (probably a bird dog fee involved) & asked me a couple of times if I'd signed a contract.  I was polite but he needs to stay in his lane.  I was a little annoyed  If he'd asked one time, fine.  But then he needs to back off.  When he pays my bills he gets a say.  Not until.  #Not.His.Businesss



Thursday, October 13, 2022

Weight



This is going to be a weight reflection hodge podge.  I have too many thoughts to organize any other way right now.

My weight has been a lifelong struggle. I was a normal kid but started gaining in school.  I never knew a scale number but my high school graduation dress was a size 15.  And then I gained probably a college 50 instead of a freshman 15.  (I see kids across from campus walking along with big old Starbucks milk shake things & think they are going to have a freshman 40).  Then later I ballooned to my highest weight of 220 & I stayed there forever.  Then after my dad passed away, I don't know what happened exactly but I somehow lost about 70 pounds.  I was diagnosed with diabetes & that's probably where the loss started.  Anyway, luckily I've maintained my current weight (150-155) for the last 12 years so I think this may be where I'm supposed to be.  I know I'm smaller that I was & smaller than many but I still have a little tummy pooch that I hate. No doctors mention it...I'm pretty normal now I guess. But I'm under the impression or delusion that losing 20 more pounds will do something about the pooch.  But the truth is I don't try too hard to get rid of the 20s.  I've been hard on myself all of my life, as most women are, but my effort doesn't really reflect that these days.  I've pretty much accepted that this is me. 

The diabetes is mostly gone, thank God. Doctor & I  playing with medications now.  I would love for all of them to go away.

I remember weight guru Richard Simmons talking about growing up & going to a weight loss group (I don't think Weight Watchers) where if you gained that week you had to wear a little pig as a badge.  What a cruel world we live in some days.

I'm pretty sure I've done a weight post in the past.  It's on my mind alot.

I won't judge anyone for their weight but I have a friend that between she & husband they are close to 800 pounds & I worry about them.  My friend takes insulin which makes things worse.  I wish some things would change in their lives. 

And I see so many young girls, bigger than I ever was.  I wish I could tell them that it doesn't get better or easier. And to lose their weight while their young if they don't like it.  I'm not judging...just observing.

I've discovered a TV show called 'My 600 Pound Life' & wow...I really don't weigh much.  This Houston doctor performs gastric bypass surgery on large people.  Some works, some doesn't.  Way too many think it's just a magic pill that will solve all their problems.  Some just whine & refuse to get out of bed & everything fails.  Some go great guns. Frankly, most are pretty unlikeable & selfishly expect others to take care of them while giving up their lives.  And oddly a lot of little skinny guys have a thing for really big women.  Don't ask,dont' tell.  Oh, and nothing has ever been their fault.  I don't fully understand childhood trauma because I had the best parents ever but many of these people have had tough lives.  But many don't take any responsibilty for making their lives better.  They want to live in the past.   Oh, and they lie alot..."You gained 25 pounds...are you following the diet"?   "Sure doctor!!  Not one wrong thing has gone into my mouth" (while washing down the Snickers & pizza with a milkshake).

I'm watching one right now & just figured out 1/2 hour in that this person's is a man, not a woman.  Whatever that means these days.  I don't know their pronouns but everyone calls him a he. But he carries a purse.  And he can be he....I don't really care.  I was just surprised. And I'm rooting for him.

I have several friends that went through the surgery though only one I'd think of as really large.  During the little bypass wave that went on at work I looked into it but I was not heavy enough.  I was upset then but am really glad I never did it.  Almost all of my friends that did have the surgery have gained their weight back.  It's obviously not a magic solution.  

One thing a person who has never had a weight problem won't understand is that now that I weigh less, I get to shop on the 1st floor in the department stores.  They put the fat girl clothes in a corner on the 2nd floor, like they are hiding the fat girls so no one will have to see them.  Clothes are better now but designers still design for stick figures.

To lose weight walking, I'd need to walk 11000 steps a day.  I read that yesterday.  Some days I get to 5000.  I need a goal of 1 more step today than yesterday.  I should be up to 11000 in 2038.

The 600 pound doc says that carbonation expands the stomach.  Another goal...no carbonation.

One thing I hate about dieting & weight loss is that I think about it all the time. What I weigh, what I'll be eating on every meal.   I hate it. 

Every post I have made about weight has had a pig picture.  Why are we so hard on ourselves?

I'm 65 now.  And never ever really beating myself up again about the weight.  I do the best I can.






 


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Best Thumbprint Cookies



THUMBPRINT COOKIES


    Basic Cookie Dough

  • 1 stick butte, softened, cut into
  •  small pieces

  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1 cup flour

  • Granulated sugar
CHOOSE A DOUGH, FILLING & TOPPING
COOKIEFILLINGTOPPING
CARAMELMicrowave 10 caramel candies and 2 tbsp (30 mL) milk on HIGH 1-1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth.Sprinkle with powdered sugar
CANDY CANEMicrowave ½ cup (125 mL) semi-sweet or white chocolate morsels on HIGH 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds or until melted.Sprinkle with crushed candy canes or peppermint candies.
HAZELNUT PECAN¼ cup (50 mL) chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella®)Top with one pecan half.
SNOWFLAKEMicrowave ½ cup (125 mL) white chocolate morsels on HIGH 1 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or until melted.Sprinkle with blue sugar crystals.
RASPBERRY JAM¼ cup (50 mL) raspberry jam (or any jam of your choice)Sprinkle with powdered sugar
CHOCOLATE CHERRYMicrowave ½ cup (125 mL) semi-sweet chocolate morsels on HIGH 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds or until melted.Top with one maraschino cherry (patted dry) and drizzle with additional melted chocolate.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a Cookie Sheet with a Reversible Silicone Baking Mat with the small circles facing up.

  2. Process the butter and brown sugar in a Manual Food Processor until creamy. Add egg yolk and vanilla; process until combined.

  3. Add salt and flour; process until soft dough forms. 

  4. Using Small Scoop, drop 18 level scoops of dough onto small circles on baking mat. Press the back of scoop into the dough to make wells, dipping back of scoop in sugar to prevent sticking. Bake 9-11 minutes (15-17 minutes for Stoneware) or until the edges begin to brown.

  5. Prepare filling and topping (see chart).  

  6. Remove the Cookie Sheet from the oven and transfer the cookies to a Stackable Cooling Rack.

  7. Fill and top cookies. Let stand until filling and topping have set. 

Yield: 18 cookies


Cook's Tips:

Baker’s Tip: To make 36 cookies, double the dough,

 filling and topping ingredients. Prepare dough as

 directed in Steps 1-3 using a mixing bowl and

 electric mixer. Bake cookies in two batches.


Make ahead…decorate later! Store cookies covered

 until you’re ready to decorate. Add different fillings

 & toppings for a party cookie platter.