Animals, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Dogs, family, Food, Friends, Life, Thinking, Writing

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

Let’s see how fast I can write this…. Yesterday was a full day. I wrote to my new pen pal (my latest issue of Poets and Writers had an article about a woman who put together a site to help potential pen pals get together during the pandemic so I went to the site and signed up). Well one of two pen pals. I have on in Great Britain that I need to write to yet. The one I wrote to yesterday is in Maryland. I plan to stop by the post office and get an international stamp either on the way home today or some time tomorrow. I may hit the Dollar Store for some stationary too. If anyone wants the site let me know and I will be happy to share.

For those of you wondering the chipotle pork chops turned out rather well. I would’ve preferred that the spices got into the meat more (the recipe calls for thick steaks and the spices are essentially a rub). I cooked them in a cast iron pan. I think that always adds to the flavor as well. I am curious to see what next month’s recipe is.

We had company yesterday as well. A friend from my Younker’s days stopped by for a few hours. She and I caught up on things. She didn’t know that both Moose and Dante were gone. She’s been through a lot of crap too. But it was good to sit and talk. And give her the tour. She’d never seen the garage before and she always loves going around my office and the bedroom asking about the story behind various things. The girls enjoyed her visit as well. They got extra love and play time!

I can hear Essie snoring in the living room. She wouldn’t eat breakfast nor has she gone out to go potty. Stella, fortunately, has done both. She also stayed in here when I first started this to get her morning scratches.

I’ve been awake since 3:30am. Atleast that was the last time I looked at the clock. I seemed to wake up every hour or so starting around 11pm or so. No idea why. But I get out at 2pm and I have tomorrow off. The question is should I talk to Dad tonight or tomorrow night? I guess I’ll wait and see how I feel when I get home.

I better wrap this up. I still need to warm up my car. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, family, Food, Life, Nature, Photography, Thinking

Dinner

The sun is fighting to be seen through the clouds. Strong winds are helping move the clouds around or even disperse them. I can see more and more blue sky. It is still a bitter cold out though.

I need to shower, do laundry and work on my writing today. It feels like all I did yesterday was anticipate going to Pearl’s. The sad thing was once we I got there I was ready to go. I started feeling like I was getting a cold the other day. At dinner I felt achy and my nose was running. When I don’t feel good I get very quiet. So Chris kept up what little conversation we had. There was hand holding and a lot of looking around, not just at the people but at all the stuff in, on and along the walls. Pearl’s is a New Orleans themed restaurant and has Mardi Gras as well as New Orleans things all over everywhere. I especially liked our waiter. He wasn’t there all the time just hovering but he was there enough to make sure we had everything we needed when we needed it. He did forget Chris’s cup of gumbo but made up for that by buying him a bowl of gumbo to take home (Chris had decided to upgrade the size and take it home for later to eat). The food was excellent as always. They have discontinued the sampler platter but we made up our own. I picked a good time for our meal as it was happy hour so a lot of what we got was specially priced. I had hoped to do dessert (I had my heart set on bananas foster) but I was just too full from the meal (I actually ate most of my plantation dinner as well as the appetizers which is unusual for me). On the way home we made a couple of stops (one was to get the missing ingredients for tonight’s dinner, chipotle pork chops, I’ll share how that turns out tomorrow) then we hunkered in for the night.

We set out some mouse traps last night (these are not mice that I feed the snake… but I have) for the mice that have come into the house from the cold. The little bastards (pardon my language) managed to get the peanut butter licked off the traps without setting them off! For those of you who think that I am being cruel I don’t mind sharing the house with them but when they start destroying things and we find their excrement in places like the silverware drawer I have issue and they must go.

I slept later than my normal late time so all I have for photos are of the girls. I’ll work on getting some decent shots to share today. Thanks for reading and thank you for all the support! Stay safe!

anxiety, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Emotions, family, Life, Motorcycles, Nature, Tattoos, Thinking, Writing

Prioritizing

Yesterday was a success. I didn’t get everything done but I got the important things done. I got the time with my family (both at home and on the phone), I exercised and I got the article first draft written. Once I finish this I will go over the rough draft and polish it up then send it in. Today I feel relatively sedate. But I can feel panic trying to creep in. I really wish it would go away.

Yesterday I spent more time out of the house than I planned. Chris needed a few more things to make us potato soup so I said I would go to the store. I decided to take the long way “around the block” (the same route I use to take Rogue out for a ride (my motorcycle)) before going to the store. Angus (my Subie) has just been going the short distance for home to work all the time and I try to run him through his paces once a week or so to keep the engine happy. When I got to the store I ended up chatting with seemingly everyone employees and customers alike. I also picked up my schedule for next week. I need to take to the manager because despite me having left him a note about my appointment on Friday morning at 11am he has scheduled me at 11am to work. And that appointment is for my tattoo of Moose’s paw. I have waited 3 weeks and I’m not rescheduling it. I know he will fix my schedule but I am still annoyed that it even happened. What will probably happen is that I will come on after I am done. I have door duty that day so we’ll see. (We now have to have a greeter at the door because it is mandatory to have a mask on when you come in to shop. The nice thing is it sounds like it is an extra $5 an hour when you are the greeter. I am a greeter twice this upcoming week. That will be a nice addition to my check!)

The day has dawned a bit overcast. It is still a bitter cold so I haven’t got the trickle charger hooked up on the motorcycle. Sigh. Call me a wuss. When my hands get too cold though they hurt and I’m pretty sure that they would get very very cold outside trying to get everything hooked up. I still might try before work. We’ll see how the final draft goes. Speaking of which I need to wrap this up and get that written. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Food, Friends, Holiday, Life, Love, Nature, Thinking, Writing

Being Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. That got me thinking last night as I was falling asleep, remember what you are thankful for. I always try to find atleast one thing to be thankful for when I go to sleep at night. Some days there are a lot so I have to pick and choose. Some days I struggle to find one thing (it is usually that I got home safe to my family or that I have my family to come home to). Last night I had a cornucopia of choices. We were as busy as we’d been during the summer rush with the tourists. I was all over the store helping customers. The first part of my shift I was at the courtesy counter paired with one of my fave coworkers. We were singing and dancing and laughing a lot. The second half of my shift things really picked up and I was having fun with everyone. Despite being busy I still had energy so I came home and took care of the kids, cleaned the mouse cage, washed dishes, cleaned the rugs in the kitchen, swept and cleaned the floors in the kitchen as well as vacuumed. I also managed to get myself two articles to write (one is due today and the other Saturday). Trash also got taken out. Mind you I did strain my back by the end of the night and it was after midnight before we went to bed (my poor patient puppies) but so much got done that I don’t have anything that needs to be done around the house except making the pies (I am making an apple pie and pumpkin pie… the apple is from scratch including the crust but the pumpkin is out of a can since I didn’t get any pumpkins for Halloween this year but the crust will be from scratch) and stuffing for the turkey. So I can work on my articles and talk to family via whatever medium (Chris’s family will be either Skype or Discord, Dad ill be Facetime and Mom will be just talking on the phone). I guess the point of this long paragraph is that I have a lot to be grateful for.

I have an amazing family and equally amazing friends. I have probably one of the best jobs/workplaces ever. I was able to replace my car and get something that I never would’ve been able to without the Jeep having issues (I set aside a chunk of money to go toward the engine repair and that ended up going towards a down payment). I have three awesome dogs and have been blessed over the years to be Mom to so many pets. I am able to use my writing skills to earn enough money to pay bills (not just fun money). I have the best husband I could ask for. I wouldn’t have half of what I do or be the person I am without him. He has taught me so much over our life together and been there for me through so much.

I also have all of you reading this. I am very grateful for all of you because you read my work and share your thoughts and suggestions not just on my writing but on my life as well. I am blessed to have all of you! Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great day and stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, family, Food, Holiday, Life, Nature, Photography, Thinking

Enjoying Life

I had too much fun at work. As a result I was exhausted when I got home. Lol. There was three of us in the deli and Linda and I were just laughing the whole time. She and I always have fun when we work together. She refers to us as “the dream team.”

When I got home Chris was putting the turkey in brine for a day to soak. When he gets home tonight he will put it in the smoker pretty much over night. Then it will go into the oven to finish baking. Meanwhile I will need to make an apple pie and pumpkin pie while the oven is free. Ooooo…. I almost forgot I have to make stuffing as well. I need to the bread heels from the freezer that I have been saving. Or… or I could try something new. I need to make a grocery list. I forgot to get the kids hot dogs last night.

Tomorrow will be busy but not. I will need to do my baking but I also want to just spend time around the house. The snow we got yesterday and last night will probably be gone by the weekend. I need to, sadly, put the blankets in my car for the dogs. I really like how cool and sporty the interior looks. I really hate to cover it up. But I don’t want it looking nasty before it’s time. It is probably a lot more durable than some of the other cars I’ve had but still. Moose has his new appointment at 11:45am next Thursday so Angus needs to be dog proofed before then. I am curious to see what the dogs think of him. Stella goes to the window and barks every morning when she is looking for Chris because she sees the new car. I can also sneak up on the dogs because Angus is so quiet.

I need to start getting ready for work. I did get some photos taken while it was snowing. I am working on trying to capture the falling snow in the photos. Sometimes it work and sometimes not. I used both cameras. The birds are getting more comfortable with seeing me point something at them. The small bird was outside the living room window and let me use my phone to get a few shots. I hope everyone has a great day! Stay safe and thanks for reading!

Cooking/Baking, Emotions, family, Food, Friends, Gardening, Learning, Life, Nature

Sorting Through

What a mess yesterday’s blog turned out to be! It said I posted it in the morning on the laptop without photos. But on my phone app it said that nothing had posted… despite 8 views. So when I got home I monkeyed with it some more on the phone app and apparently it officially posted last night. Sigh… Oh and I have to delete a lot more photos than I want to share. For example, I deleted about 12 photos but it only let me add two to the post last night.

I am dropping my Jeep off some time today. It was supposed to be earlier this morning but I slept until 9am (don’t be too impressed, I was in and out of the bathroom til late and then I was wide awake from 6:30am til 7:30am). Hang on… that was my mechanic. I don’t have to drop the Jeep of til around 2pm. Yay! I had hoped to take back a batch of bottles before I dropped off the Jeep.

The sky looked so hopeful when we got up. Clouds but a lot of blue sky poking through. Then our great blazing maple trees just outside the door. It’s like having a clump of sunbeams just hanging out. Sometimes the yellow is almost too bright to look at. But right now it has darkened enough that I had to turn on the office light.

I am happy to say that I really don’t have anything that I have to do today. I cleaned so well for company (and we have been able to keep it up) last week that there is nothing to do around the house. I might double check the plants for watering. I watered everyone the other day but it has been so cold and the furnace has been on so much that the house is really dry. Some of the plants are ok with that but others need to be watered more than once a week. I also need to get more information on my orchid. I can’t tell when or if she needs more water (she gets ice cubes verses liquid water).

One of my coworkers in the deli is learning to cook. We are both excited about it. I have been giving him little hacks and I am bringing him my ever popular bread recipe from my Winnie the Pooh cookbook. He’s very smart and enjoys cooking so it is fun to share stuff like that. We had a lot of fun last night with all of us. I seem to be fitting in really well.

Despite how cold it is out the air smells really good. Like when you got outside on a Spring day and the sun is out and you can smell the earth, flowers just Nature. It made me feel good. I think I will wrap this up and try to take back some bottles (we get 10 cents for every bottle we return so that is a HUGE help for groceries and such). Thank you for reaching out and commenting! As always thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Food, Learning, Life, Thinking, Writing

Trying New Things

Well this will be interesting… I guess the new template for the blog dropped today. Needless to say I have never taken the time to see what it’s all about since they told us about it back in June or so. So if this looks weird when I am done you know why. Lol.

Stella has been a bit of a pain since last night. After we went to bed every little while she would find something to bark at. She was constantly barking the hour that Chris got home. Then she was a mess when he came to bed smacking Moose and I with her tail. Ironically she is in my office with me right now sleeping at my feet. With her ball. Moose has gone back into the living room to sleep on the couch.

Yesterday’s work started with me freezing my butt off in the cooler to stock the grocery cases. Because no one thought to mention I should bring a jacket (I didn’t really find out that I was in grocery til that morning) I ended up buying one of the Torch Lake zip up hoodies (we mostly sell them for the tourists but I like it). Then I was courtesy counter the rest of my shift. This was the second day in a row there. The day before we had a call off. Annoyingly I am picking things up there so I am pretty good at it. So we’ll see how often I get put there.

I pause every once in a while to look at the “new tools” to the left on my screen for the blog. Hmmmm… it seems ok. It will take a little bit of hit and miss but I think that this might be a better version, once I learn where everything is. I thought that I might go back to the original editor on here but now that I am messing around I think I will keep the new one. I wonder what the phone app will look like. I usually write on my laptop then use my phone to add photos etc. I’ll let you know.

I am trying not to psych myself out. I have things to do but not an overwhelming amount. It involves a lot of phone calls as I tried to do the other stuff over the rest of the week. Last night I cleaned out the mouse cage instead of saving it for today. The only non phone things I have to do are get gas for the mower (please let it start!), grab my paycheck and deposit it (easy enough since I will get gas at work and deposit my check via my phone app) and make treats. Oh and I am making lasagna for dinner tonight. I have a meeting to cover at 7pm via Zoom so that will have to be taken into consideration as to how late we eat. But all in all not too much work. Mentally I still feel overwhelmed because I want a day of rest where I don’t do anything but hang out with the family at the house.

While Dad and I were talking last night I found out that I have actually put down roots here. Now that I am an active part of the local community (not driving all the way to Traverse City to work) I feel more connected. Even the short period of time that I have been at the grocery store I have my regulars. As a matter of fact I guess one of the guys went to management to make sure they did not overwhelm me by sticking me by myself in the gas window on my first days. He wanted to make sure I was going to stay and then asked me if I was staying. So it’s nice to be a part of that. If I need something I can usually find someone to help instead of freaking out trying to think if there is some place (usually expensive) in Traverse that I can get something or get something fixed. We really do have all we need here in tiny little Rapid City.

I usually look in the lower right of my screen for my word count to see how long I have been going on but that seems to have disappeared with the new editor on here. So I may have gone on a bit more than normal. Sorry about that! I’d better get going though. I need to work on my classwork and make my phone calls. Hopefully I can get all that and make treats before Chris gets up. I’ll probably take the kids to go get the gas and my paycheck as it is a bit chilly this morning and I’m sure they would like the break from staying at the house all the time. Sigh…. sorry. I see I am rambling on again. Lol. Everyone take care and thank you so much for reading!

Both photos are from yesterday morning as I headed to the Jeep to go to work.
Cooking/Baking, family, Food, Gardening, Learning, Life, Writing

A Short Day Off

I am sitting here drinking my blueberry coffee trying to wake up.  Tomorrow is going to be even earlier but I will be out of work by 3pm.  No idea how busy or slow I will be since I will be training in the deli.

Yesterday was a good day to spend at home with the family.  Chris and I did some running for kibble and such (I am making lasagna on Thursday).  I did get my classwork done as well as laundry put  away.  Oh and I got my high tops cleaned up.  The rest of the stuff I will probably try to get done by Thursday.

Today is officially the first day of September.  For me the first day of fall.  I am sad to see Summer go.  I will miss it.  But Fall has Halloween in it so I won’t fuss too much.  The next few weeks are supposed to be dry for us so that means I need to keep an eye on the plants outside to make sure that they stay watered.  More tomatoes are beginning to redden so I want to make sure we get a good harvest.

I see by the clock that I need to wrap this up.  I still need to repack my work bag (it finally got washed) and relace my shoes before work.  I’m sorry this is a bit short and a bit blah.  I hope you all have a great day and stay safe!  Thanks for reading!

Animals, Books, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, Emotions, family, Holiday, Life, Nature, Photography, Reading, the World, Writing

Ahhhh… This Is What It Feels Like to Relax

Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day.  I got bills paid but when I tried to do the “free” car payment online it was $50 more than if I just sucked it up and dealt with traffic.  So I loaded up Moose and Stella and we went to the bank.  With Moose all but in my lap and Stella peering around my shoulder from the back seat the teller and I chatted for a bit about the times and dogs (it was video drive thru and there was no one behind me).  Once we got home (much swearing and the use of my phrase “damn tourists” repeated ad nauseum) we settled outside.  No I lie.  I wanted to bake the cupcakes for the kids birthdays before it got too hot (the one ac unit can’t keep up with all the heat and humidity this week).  Once those were done and cooling I did some thing unusual.  I grabbed my Minion quilt, my bag of books and writing, my camera bag and a few other things and we headed outside.  I laid out my quilt in the shade and set up shop.  Stella came and sat right next to me until I started to read my latest book The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma then she laid down beside me.  Moose and Essie were in and out.  As the sun moved so did we and we moved across the whole yard by the day’s end.  The kids spent most of the time out with me despite the heat (it didn’t feel so hot laying in the shade).  It was a relaxing day had by all.

I got some cool photos (I will download them from the camera and put some in this post) yesterday as well.  I found myself playing with the light.  I think I paid more attention to it because we were in the shade most of the time.  Especially when sunset neared.  The lighting got really cool then.

The only downside to yesterday was the loud music and fireworks.  The music I could deal with.  When the fireworks started they were sparse so Essie was going around the yard barking at them (she does this when the locals are shooting too close to the house).  But as the displays ramped up (we seemed to have them on all sides) Stella started to really freak out.  Essie and Moose were uneasy but coping because I had background noises going and I was nonplussed with the noise.  Stella began pacing around the house, a sure sign that she is freaking out.  So I pulled out the anxiety meds and snuck them into a cupcake for each.  That seemed to help but Stella would wake up (I decided to hunker in bed and read so we’d all be together) with some of the louder fireworks and just stare to make sure all was ok.  Things wrapped up around midnight or so.

I got a few books yesterday.  Well one is actually a pamphlet but you get the idea.  The pamphlet and one books are on Michigan butterflies.  We have so many different varieties this year I wanted to know more.  So I can sit outside with my bird book and butterfly books and see what we have this year.  The third book is actually a memoir.  It is part of my learning about the surfing culture books that I have on my Amazon list.  It looks so good and I really want to start it but I am making myself finish The Fishermen first.  I am halfway done and it is a very good book.  I get lost in the story (and it’s in Nigeria) every time I pick up the book.  But I really really want to read the new one!  Barbarian Days A Surfing Life by William Finnegan looks so good!  And I have a first novel coming in a few weeks from a new writer I discovered John Fram.  So I will be busy reading.  I am hoping this will compel me to get more writing done.  We’ll see.  It seems to have worked today!  This is a long one!

I will stop for now and download some of the photos from yesterday.  Thanks so much for reading this long post!  Have a great day and stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Dogs, family, Life, Nature, Photography, Thinking, Writing

Feeling Better, Being Busy

Thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday.  I am still playing catch up with everything.  I took a break form everything yesterday.  Mostly.  I did no social media or phone (Mom will be upset as a I turned the phone off).  I rested and read more Terry Pratchett.  That being said I still did dishes (three times… no four.  If I let dishes sit we get ants), trash went out, laundry got put away, plants got watered, front yard got mowed.  I had planned to do the back yard as well but I got an email from the paper asking me to cover a meeting last minute so I showered and attended the meeting.

I’m not sure what today holds.  Poor Chris was up around 9am.  For the day.  He only has to get through tonight and he has the rest of the week off.  He has more than earned it.  It will be fun to see how far he can get with the project bike this week.  I have been taking photos as he progresses.  I’m not sure what we will do with them but we’ll see.  I have a few ideas.   One thing I do need to do is read more in my camera book.  I am getting frustrated with not being able to get the rich colors of our sunsets and when I try to photograph the moon it turns out fuzzy.  Not crisp like it looks in the view finder.  Soooo I’m sure there is something to do about it that I don’t know.

The sky is cloudy today but it is still warm.  After all the full sun intense heat of yesterday this is a welcome reprieve.  I will need to get out and do my thing out on the deck instead of staying inside.  I can pile all my books and such in a bag and head out there once I finish this.

I hope to make the new puppy treat recipe today.  I still haven’t made any for the kids.  They have not seemed to mind much.  Atleast I have all the ingredients.  I will let you know what they think of it.  These will be the first ones since Moose was diagnosed with kidney disease.  Speaking of which he goes in on the 10th of July for a recheck.

I am in need of sitting down and figuring out what I need to do with my writing as well.  The newspaper is a nice steady but there are other projects that I am missing out on due to procrastination.  So a list needs to be made and priorities need to be made.  And followed through on.  And on that determined note I will sign off and get things moving here.  Thanks for reading!  Stay safe!