A Potpourri Of NOT Much Happening Around Here

You know, my little sugarplums, that I enjoy writing posts here, right? I tell you about what’s going on in my life. But that premise is based on the idea that something interesting is going on in my life.

And sometimes THERE AIN’T MUCH HAPPENING HERE.

However I feel like writing & using emojis. Muse is getting antsy waiting for it to NOT be January, so here’s what I have to tell you, interesting or not.

THE WEIRD CONVERSATION

While I was shopping in Kroger as I was standing in front of the cheese case a woman wearing a mask walked up to me to ask a question.  She pulled down her mask [🤨] and asked me: “do you know what uncured ham is?”

It sounded vaguely familiar, like something from my childhood but I couldn’t tell her what it was.  This didn’t stop her from sharing her woe about not finding it, an ingredient in some special sandwich, the recipe for which she waved before me as if it was a magic wand that’d spark my memory.

When I assured her I did NOT know anything useful about uncured ham, but maybe someone at the meat counter did, she wandered away, visibly disheartened.

I felt like I’d failed a pop quiz.

THE GOOD NEWS

The 30-foot tall dead tree in our neighbor’s yard, a tree that has loomed ominously over our screened-in porch for 5 years, fell down NOT on our house.  Instead it keeled over into the wooded ravine behind our houses.

There said tree shall remain for eternity… with my blessing [😇].

THE REMODELING MEETING

We finalized remodeling plans for our 2 bathrooms.  Having already had the kitchen and the primary bathroom and the laundry room remodeled by this company, it was easy to pick out the cabinets.  We’re rather familiar with them [🙄].

The cabinets won’t be here until May;  NOT sure I believe that, but I’ll try to be positive.  The rest of the decisions about tile and sinks and knobs and wall color are yet to come when we closer to the project start date and the interior designer is ready to work with me.

I’m jazzed because that’s the fun part, oh yes it is.

THE PHOTO PROJECT UPDATE

Last April I started taking a monthly photo of our backyard + a little of the neighbor’s backyard;  the previous photos are here.  They are to document the changes of the seasons.  I snap them while standing in the same place on our deck.

While this is NOT my usual higgledy-piggledy photo style [😁], it’s a fun harmless project that might prove something… yet to be decided.

These photos are the next installment.

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

JANUARY

~ ~ 💚 ~ ~

Talking Turkey: One Sorry Not Sorry, One Grumble Avoided

Late afternoon sunlight as seen through trees with leaves turned golden in autumn.

Today is Tuesday. 🗓

This means that if you live in the United States [and if you celebrate Turkey Day] then tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day Eve followed by Thanksgiving Day on Thursday.

I’m not sure if I could’ve made the previous paragraph more convoluted, but probably.  I was trying to be clear and informative, logical even.

Just talking turkey, you know. 😉

It’ll be the two of us celebrating Thanksgiving together this year, most years actually.  We’ve a turkey breast currently in the freezer that I’ll start thawing in the refrigerator soon.  And we’ve the ingredients to make some of the fixings that traditionally go with a turkey dinner.

The usual suspects waiting to be part of Thanksgiving dinner.

YEP to mashed potatoes and stuffing and cranberry sauce and gravy, but NOPE to green bean casserole and yams with little marshmallows.  You may consider those last two sides part of the traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner, but I don’t like them so we’re not gonna have ’em.

Sorry not sorry, don’t even try to convince me otherwise. 🤨

All that’s left for me to do is to go to the bakery to pick up some pies, cherry and pumpkin this year, then get home safely.  Starting today and for the next few days I try to stay away from grocery stores, parking lots around said, and people within.

I’ve learned that Thanksgiving week is one doozy of a chaotic shopping experience in grocery stores.  Generally speaking the shoppers be frenzied, with long lists in hand.  The best thing I can do is stay far away, giving everyone the space they need to shop, while I go home not grumbling about people.

Well, at least not grumbling about the ones in the stores. 🛒

Blue sky with rusty orange leaves, the epitome of an autumn palette.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What don’t you like about the traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner? What do you like?

Do you have a sorry not sorry about Thanksgiving, or this week in general?

Tell all in the comments below. 

Adapting With A Smile: Getting The Groceries, Trying The Recipes

Welp, it has finally happened even though I said I’d never do this.

You see, we’ve started using online ordering for our groceries, then we go, together, to pick up our order outside the store.

There’s no charge for this now and it does seem like a healthier way for us to get groceries.  Plus not to put too fine of a point on it, we have the time– and allow me to clue you in, it can take time to do this.

On our last adventure our assigned pickup time was for a 5:00-6:00 p.m.  We arrived at 5:03 p.m., got in a line with about 20 cars in front of us, and left the parking lot with our groceries in the trunk of the car at 6:58 p.m.

Yes, almost 2 hours in line to get food, safely.

Ain’t life a pip? 

• • •

The knocked over sign said: PICKUP LINE STARTS HERE  We laughed at the folly of it all, having been in line for an hour before getting to this *beginning* spot. From the look of the damage to the sign someone before us may not have seen the humor in that sign at that point in line.

• • •

We did have a weirdly good time waiting in line together.  

We started watching shoppers, most of whom didn’t have masks, going in and out of the store.  We started making up back stories about them OR criticizing how they handled their groceries once they got to their vehicles.

Case in point, a woman wearing surgical gloves came out of the store pushing a cart, walked to her car, opened the trunk, put her groceries into the trunk, walked over to the trash container, removed her gloves properly.

Then USING HER UNGLOVED HANDS she opened the flap on the trash container, disposing of the gloves therein.  She walked back to her car trunk, shut the trunk, got into the car, and drove away– using her hands that had touched the trash container to do so.

ICK!

• • •

The shy sign said: PICKUP WAITING STARTS HERE We chuckled with mirth, but weren’t duped. We’d been in line for close to an hour and a half at this point. Clearly this sign saw what had happened to the previous sign and was taking precautions to stay safe.

• • •

Now that we’re dining in all the time we’ve been cooking and baking: carbohydrates are our friends.

In truth we’ve been having fun while trying new recipes and/or revisiting old ones.  In all cases we’ve adapted the recipes to work with what we have procured via said online ordering/pickup scenario discussed above.

Below is an alphabetized list of recipes we’ve made.  I’ve rated them and made a few notes about what we changed because of… oh you understand why.

Click on the title of the recipe to be taken to it online.

Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie [A+] – used ground beef instead of ground lamb

Baked Cheese Grits [A] – used half & half instead of whipping cream

Bisquick Velvet Crumb Cake [B-] – added nutmeg to batter, cinnamon to topping 

Brown Rice and Corn Cakes [A] – used onion powder instead of fresh chives, white flour instead of whole wheat

Classic Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies [A+] – didn’t change a thing!

Classic Strawberry Shortcakes [A] – added 1 tsp vanilla extract, a pinch of nutmeg

Easy Bisquick Chicken Pot Pie [C-] – made as is, not bad but old-fashioned and blah

Grandma’s Anything Goes Strata [B] – used all milk [no half & half], used cooked bulk breakfast sausage instead of deli meat, added 1/4 tsp brown mustard

Lemon Curd [A+] – no changes to ingredients, cooked using double boiler instead of directly on heat 

Martha Stewart Spiced Walnuts [B+] – used 1 tsp chili powder for 1/2 tsp coriander

~ The End ~

Shopping For Valentine’s Day Flowers, Chatting With A Fellow Shopper

Feeling the blues? Click on image above to go elsewhere to see and hear Little Milton & Bonnie Raitt sing Grits Ain’t Groceries.

A glimpse into my daily life demonstrating that random people talk to me– sometimes making me laugh out loud and to myself.

I’m in the floral department of the grocery store on Wednesday, late afternoon.

I’m shopping for a bouquet of flowers as one does when Valentine’s Day is on the horizon.

A random person, Observant Dude, a 40-something man walks into the floral department where I’m pushing my cart.  He looks at the displays and spies something I hadn’t noticed, being focused as I was on the price of mixed flower bouquets more than anything else.

Observant Dude stops in his tracks, looks amazed, then forsaking all other shoppers in the floral department he says to me: There’s cabbage in the floral department. Cabbage doesn’t belong with the flowers.

I look across the way to where he is pointing and see, nestled amongst the red roses, what appears to be bouquets of purple cabbage leaves wrapped in brown paper in a cone shape.

I start smiling because Observant Dude is correct. It looks like there’s cabbage in the Valentine’s Day flower display in the floral department in the grocery store.

Kind of quirky, but fun. On the surface of it.

• • •

At which point Observant Dude looks at me, totally baffled, and says in the most earnest voice I’ve heard in years: Who would get their loved ones a bouquet of cabbage? That wouldn’t be right.

I started laughing at Observant Dude’s sincere observation because you have to admit he had an excellent point.  Unless you’re a rabbit, bouquets of cabbage don’t generally express everlasting love.

True dat.

But here’s the thing, the kicker: what Observant Dude was looking at wasn’t cabbage at all.  Nope, it was a bouquet of hydrangeas, dark purple ones that he’d mistaken for cabbage, and while I could see what they really were, I didn’t feel it was my place to correct him.

Having just met and all.

So I nodded my head at Observant Dude and went on my way, smiling, because when you get down to it, who doesn’t like to hear an unsolicited heart-felt Valentine’s Day rant about something as mundane as cabbage, that wasn’t cabbage?

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, KIDS

~ ~ ❤️ ~ ~

The One In Which I Talk To Myself While Buying Beer & Am Overheard

This post has been published in black and white so that I won’t be accused of trying to influence your answer to the poll question below by using particular colors in this post. Nope, not doing that here.

• 🏈 • 🏈 • 🏈 •

I know that Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for gambling, but I know from experience that Super Bowl Sunday is a busy shopping day in grocery stores.

Keeping that in mind while I was at the grocery store yesterday, I decided to go ahead and buy food & drink for what will be our Super Bowl Sunday junk food feast.  It’ll be just the two of us so our snacking will lean toward healthy, but we gotta have something special.

It’s a law.

While in the store I decided to buy a six-pack of fancy beers, one of those create your own dealios, you know?  That’s when the store has a refrigerated section that offers a wide assortment [maybe 75?] of individual bottles of beer/ale/cider.  You pick the 6 you want, placing them in a generic cardboard carrier that when taken to the register rings a set price.

$9.99 to be exact.

Welp, I got totally swept away with the variety in front of me and found myself contemplating each bottle as if I’d never seen beer before.  I was smitten with the idea of having choices, and went with two local ales, two regional beers, and one national-brand ginger beer.  But I couldn’t decide about the last one bottle so I carefully reviewed all my choices, finally adding a bottle of international beer to the cardboard carrier.

As I did so, with a real sense of personal accomplishment, I said out loud: “And it’s Heineken for the win.”

At which point I heard a man, who I didn’t realize was standing behind me waiting for me to choose my bottles, say: “Yes it is, always.”

Of course I jumped about a foot in the air and started laughing, apologizing for taking so long– because really I’d been dawdling more than deciding— but this kind man just grinned and said: “No problem.”

Which in this situation was an appropriate response, so all’s well that end’s well.  Including, I do hope, football season this Sunday evening.