The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Ever played the game Farkle? Are you a risk-taker? In games only or also in life?

I am not a risk-taker at all. I like slow and steady and safe. What the heck is Farkle?

2. What’s your favorite thing about your yard or whatever outdoor space you may have?

Oh, the views we have of the hills and the lakes. It’s beautiful!

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3. Tell us about the most interesting building you’ve seen or been in.

I love castles and have been to so many in England and Germany. I cannot pick a favorite, but if you twisted my arm, I like the British Castles the best. The stone-work and usually lovely views.

4. In this current season of social distancing, what’s something you’ve come to realize you take for granted in more ordinary times? Do you think you’ll make a conscious effort to appreciate whatever that ‘it’ is once normal life resumes?

I think the ability to say, “Hey, I think I’ll jump in my car, go see my grandchildren and take everyone out to eat!”

Yes, when I can once again see my grandbabies (they are not really babies, but in my heart they are) I will never again take that for granted.

5. Share a favorite song with a springtime flower in the lyrics somewhere.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Although this self-isolation finds many people eating the wrong things, I decided that I would make this the “Weight Loss Isolation.” I am using the WW Green Plan and since our in-person meetings ended March 11th, I have had to do this using the online web-site and also the online WW Meetings. I plan, I plan and then I plan again. And it is working. Here is my Weekly Weigh-in.

Screenshot_20200512-071101_WW MobileI had begun to believe I could not do this. I am happy to say, that yes, it can be done!

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Just Another Quarantine Day

Ho-hum.

My week started with me going off to run errands. The usual, Post Office, Bank, Grocery Store, and Gas Station. Most cases were the usual things, and yes, I used protective gear everywhere I went. But I think it irks me when I see people blatantly ignoring the rules.

Maybe they think, who cares? Maybe they don’t care if they get the Virus? But wait, what if they are asymptomatic and they give the blasted thing to me, and then eventually Jack!

Case in point, we are supposed to wear at least a mask when in a public place. Grocery shopping is to be done by one family member. And the six feet of separation should be met at all times.

Well, the Post Office was fine. Local people and they are abiding the rules set out by our Governor. Bank, was a drive-through. Also good.

The Grocery Store, well, yes and no. I saw a young couple get out of their car, with Massachusetts plates. Neither of them had face coverings, or gloves or anything.

Now she was tall and skinny and had not dressed for this trip. Okay, I don’t mean to be snarky, but she had tight torn jeans on (I know they are the in style right now) and she had a jersey half shirt on.

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Each time she reached up to get a box of something on the shelf, well, let’s just say there was nothing left to the imagination!

They both wandered around like they were the only two people in the store, and it was tough to stay away from them.

I had a shortlist and I was able to pop around the store tossing things into my cart. They had everything I needed, which was a first.

Today a woman I know named Julie was at the checkout, and before I know it she had my groceries checked out and packed and I was out of the store and into the parking lot.

Getting home, I brought in the food and supplies and wiped them down and then hit the shower, Oh that felt so nice!

Best of all, my wonderful eggplant was in and I was able to stock up.

My favorite lunch is a small garden salad and roasted eggplant! I guess you know what I will be eating all week!

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Maribeth’s Stuffed Cabbage

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Maribeth’s Stuffed Cabbage

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit

Ingredients:
2 quarts water
1 large green cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 cups cooked rice
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces Italian Sausage
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 medium green pepper, finely chopped
1 celery stalk with leaves, finely chopped
4 cups tomato sauce (I like an Italian meat-sauce)
1/2 cup sour cream, plus more for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Using a paring knife, remove the center core of the cabbage.
  2. In a large nonreactive stockpot, bring 2 quarts water to a boil.
  3. Add cabbage and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until outer leaves are bright green and tender.
  4. Lift cabbage from water, and remove outer leaves. Return cabbage to boiling water, and repeat brief cooking and removal of leaves until all leaves are cooked. Reserve 2 cups of cabbage cooking water.
  5. Trim thick center vein from the bottom of each leaf. Reserve four large outer leaves to line the bottom of the pan.
  6. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until golden and tender, about 8 minutes.
  7. In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, rice, beef, sausage, salt, pepper, parsley flakes, green pepper, and celery. Stir to combine.
  8. Add mixture to one cabbage leaf. Fold sides of cabbage over the filling, and, starting with the stem end, roll the cabbage up. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.
  9. Line a 5-quart Dutch oven with reserved outside leaves. Transfer stuffed cabbage leaves to Dutch oven.
  10. In a large bowl, combine tomato puree and the reserved 2 cups of cabbage cooking water.
  11. Pour some of the tomato sauce over cabbage to almost cover. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a gentle simmer; cover.
  12. Place in the preheated oven Cook for 1 hour 20 minutes. Or until cabbage is very tender, adding additional tomato sauce as needed.
  13. Place sour cream in a small bowl, and ladle in about 3/4 cup of tomato sauce from the cooked stuffed cabbage rolls. Whisk to combine.
  14. Add sour cream mixture back to Dutch oven, and stir to combine. Serve with additional sour cream.

Enjoy!

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Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. A special day for all the Mothers out there, myself included.

Here I am with my sister, Melodie and our mother Rosamond. I’ve always loved her name. So beautiful.

2436793586_43be7f53e5_hThis was taken in the Spring of 2008. The Cherry Blossoms were blooming in New Haven, Connecticut. What a beautiful day that was.

1Then I became a Mum on December 20th. A much wanted and extremely loved and adored daughter, Mandy entered my life. I remember that day, feeling like no one had ever had a baby as I did. She was (and still is) so beautiful and wonderful!

It’s funny how one loves their baby before they see their face, and when they do, it’s like they have always known those eyes, that smile, and those expressions.

25Me and Mandy. This is one of my favorite pictures. Oddly enough, it was taken in a ladies’ room because it had great lighting and a wonderful background.

img053aAmanda, Me, and Katie. Me and my girls. I have always loved being a Mum. These two just filled my heart.

49081853731_5546d5b2c3Now I am an Oma! Savannah Rose came into my world almost eight years ago. I didn’t know it could be like this!  The very first time I held her in my arms was magic! She is amazing and my heart grew and continues to grow as this young lady continues to steal my heart!

Savannah is sweet and kind, she is loving and gentle. She loves to dress up and pretend, and swim and dance. She loves Fairy Princesses. She is my little Princess.

49645785926_cd466b2ae9_bThen one day Mandy came running down the stairs waving a home pregnancy test! And we learned this little one was on the way. I was so excited, and it’s strange because a palm reader said I would have another grandchild and it would be a boy! She sure was right!

Quinn is also amazing. He is so different from his sister and I just love it! We play Spiderman, build Legos, and play planes. We color and he is poetry in motion. He likes guy stuff and roughhousing. Yet at the same time, he can become sweet and caring.

Let’s face it, I have been blessed all the way around. I had two beautiful daughters of my own, And two fabulous grandchildren too!

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Me & My Birds

Last year I fell in love with the birds. One day I was sitting quietly when I heard a thud on my bedroom window. I raced in, looked down, and saw this guy lying on his side underneath my window.

20190423_102124This guy is a Northern Flicker. I raced down to see if he was okay and started crying because it appeared he was very dead.

Then he winked at me! He was alive!

After rehabbing “Woodie”, as I nicknamed him, he flew off full of vim and vigor. As time has gone on, he has returned many times. Especially if I am outside and he hears me.

Since then, I got out all my bird feeders and filled them with Suet and Seed Blocks. At first, there were just a few who flew in, but soon I think Woodie told all his friends, and my feeders were full, as was my heart.

Here are pictures of some of my favorite birds.

Cardinal 13My beautiful male Cardinal.

P2170010 (4)This the beautiful Mrs. Cardinal. The two have lived in my yard for a long time.

P1160022 (2)Our Hairy Woodpecker Male last winter.

PB140005The much smaller Downy Woodpecker. This is the female.

P6280014 (3)This is our male Baltimore Oriole.

P5070039 copyI took this picture of the Oriole today. He was around a lot. As I have said, I think they are filling up before the storm.

PB140006 (2)Our Blue Jay and the Hairy Woodpecker having tweets over the Suet Feeder.

The Hairy Woodpecker today was unafraid of Jack and I working in the yard. I was able to get fairly close and then use my zoom lens.

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And this guy flew into my air conditioner a few years ago.

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At first, we thought it was a Coopers Hawk. We have since learned that it was a Juvenile Redtail Hawk.

IMG_0433 (3)He was simply magnificent and he has stayed in the area keeping us fairly free from mice. Some people have cats for this job. We have a Hawk. Funny though, we don’t see him as often as I would like.

We have Eagles (which I worry about as a dachshund owner) and we have Crows and a single Raven.  There are Loons and Ducks and even Sea Gulls too.

I never saw myself becoming The Bird Lady, but there is such peace watching them, and feeding them.

Happy Saturday!

The Friday Five ~ May 8, 2020

The Friday FiveThe week sped by and this week, unlike the last few, found many things happening. Many ideas flowing through my brain. So here we are, this week’s Friday Five!

  1. Many people have been lamenting on their Covid-19 hair. There is hardly a natural blond left among us. Many people, like me, have discovered, much to their surprise, that their lovely light brown hair, is, in fact, nearly completely gray!
    My hair has also grown at least one and one-half inches (closer to 2) and I sort of like it a little longer. I confess, a month ago to becoming frustrated with my bangs and trimming them. The lucky thing for me is, when you have curly hair, your bangs pretty much look fine even if they are not perfectly cut. Also, despite my gray roots, curly hair allows you to hide the gray, so most days I don’t feel too bad about the whitening roots. I think I will keep the length but get rid of the white when I go back to my salon. (I am not sure when. They’re opening on the 11th of this month, but I do not feel safe or ready for this.)
  2. My eye is doing better. But here’s the thing. Each night I have to put this weird salve into them, and I have to tell you, after that you cannot see a blasted thing! Nor can I see when I wake in the night and stagger to the bathroom. It is so strange. By morning, for the most part, I can see through this vaseline haze, but not always.
  3. Like Friday morning. I needed to get a urine same from Anneliese. I got up, dressed for the day, and grabbed my jacket, and the little pan on a stick that I catch Anneliese’s urine in. I couldn’t see perfectly, but good enough. It was cold, so I put on my jacket, put a leash on Anneliese and out we went. There was a pallet with patio blocks on it, and of course, it was right by this, under an apple tree that Anneliese wanted to go.
    She squatted down and I put the pan under her, and she went. yay! Then it all went to hell. She turned quickly, the leash dragged into the urine, flipped up and suddenly I was splashed with urine. And so were my clothes. I did not lose the sample and quickly tucked it into a Ziploc bag. I came in, stripped out of my clothes, tossed them down the stairs to go into the laundry, and then went and showered! Ugh! You have not lived until you have been splashed by dog-pee!
  4. Because the trip out to my Vets is 25 miles each way, I try to do it as infrequently as I can. I got a card reminding me that Lili needed shots at the end of the month. I called and asked if I could bring Lili too, for her shots and to have her ear checked? Sure!
    So I put my two sick doggies and the Ziploc bag of wee-wee in the car and off we went.
    The end result is that Lili still has an ear infection and it was cleaned and part one of the antibiotic was put into her ear. Part two will go in next week.
    Anneliese still has her UTI. So she is back on the Bactrim and will take it for three weeks.
  5. The birds were all at the feeders today. (Thursday) The Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Baltimore Orielles, Chickadees, and Blue Jays. I saw Robins pulling up worms, my Raven flew into the yard and we had a Redtail Hawk come and perch on one of the apple trees as he scouted the field for mice. All this action leads me to believe that the snowstorm they are forecasting with very cold temperatures, is going to happen. Birds always know.

So there we go. This week’s Friday Five. All in all, not a bad week at all. Busy yes, but good. I hope this finds you all well and enjoying your Spring or Autumn.

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I Do Love Nature, I Really Do!

Wednesday was sort of a crazy day. I did manage to get a lot of things done, but it seemed like the Native Wildlife was keeping me on my toes.

During the day it was my birds. Several times during the day I could hear them squawking at me. Especially at the end of the day when I pulled in the bird feeders. There was a Redwing Blackbird who was just chewing me out!

My phone rang, just as the sunset and it was my neighbor warned me that the Mother and her two cubs were in the neighborhood (in fact, quite close by), and I should be careful with the dogs.

Lili would run from the Bears, I’m fairly sure. I think Arnie would too, but Anneliese, (who is blind as a bat) would smell it and bark like crazy.  actually would be afraid for her.

So, the feeders are in, the dogs are also in, and I am a wreck!

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All this from the woman who lives for the Sunday TV marathon of Northwoods Law, on Animal Planet. Most of the episodes have been shot in New Hampshire. A few here or there were filmed in Maine, but they only allowed filming for a couple of seasons and then ceased filming there due to controversies.

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Our New Hampshire Fish and Game Wardens are a good bunch. They not only work their regular job for our State, but back in the days of being social, the Wardens would appear at Camping, Hunting, and Fishing Events.

In any case, you have to know that I do love nature and I love creatures, but not the scary ones and not in my back yard.

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The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  Question day this week lands on Cinco de Mayo. Are/were tacos on your Tuesday night menu? Hardshell, soft shell or just gimme all the tacos? Are you even a fan of Mexican food? Do you like your salsa mild, spicy, or somewhere in between? Margaritas-Frozen, on the rocks, or no thank you? Have you ever been to Mexico

I love Mexican food, but right now, it has no place on my menu (for me). I plan to make Jack hardshell tacos, with refried beans, spicy salsa, and guacamole.
I have been to Mexico three times and have gotten sick all three times. So, it is no longer on my list of destinations.

2. What’s something you may do this month?

I hope I am able to buy some baby plants. Tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, and summer squash. I would love a little garden to tend during this Pandemic.

3. Tell us what’s happening in your state or town as far as restaurants, salons, parks, beaches, businesses opening up. How do you feel about it? Are you out and about or hunkered down? Do you wear a mask?

First, yes I always wear a mask. I also wear gloves and I change gloves often. Our State is opening very slowly. Hair salons can open with a long list of regulations. Our beaches are still closed, but that isn’t too bad because it is still cold up here.
I am still hunkered down. When I go out I still wear protective gear and wash, wash, wash my poor dried up hands. I think they’re moving too fast.
That being said, New Hampshire is very much a tourist destination. People from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts have summer homes up here. As they return, our numbers are soaring.

4. Mother nature, everybody and their mother, mom jeans, like mother like daughter, soccer mom, mother hen, mother lode, necessity is the mother of invention, stay-at-home mom…pick one and tell us how it applies to your life right now.

It’s getting pretty around here, so I will pick Mother Nature. Once we get through “Mud-Season” New Hampshire is quite lovely. In another two weeks, our fruit trees should be blossoming.

5. April showers bring May flowers…what’s blooming in your yard or garden today?

Forsythia.

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But there are tiny buds on our Apple, Peach, and pear trees. Soon…

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m tired. I’m really tired.

tired

Not just physically tired, but some days I am just weary. In the last few days, I have felt this quite a bit. It’s an effort just to keep everything going.

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The Power of Suggestion

I had a bunch of urgent errands to do on Monday. What this meant was, that I got up, put on some easily washable clothes, and prepared to go out and face the world.

With mask and gloves, I went to get the mail, and also to the grocery store. I just needed to get fresh vegetables and a few other little things. Then it was off to the eye doctor.

I had the lens removed today from my injured eye. It did not feel great, but it was not nearly as bad as it had been when I first went to him last week.

I was sent home with gooey ointment and will to see him in 10 days for a recheck.

On my way home I was thinking of the wonderful shower I would be taking upon arrival.

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I don’t know about any of you, but when I have been out in this germy world, I come home and immediately strip down, run through the house and take a shower.

As I thought about this I began to think about my face. Ever since Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx told everyone to wash their hands and not to touch their face, suddenly that is all my hands want to do!

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I’ve never been a big make-up wearer, and so the hand to face thing was never a problem for me until the good doctors told me NOT to touch it! Now all my hands want to do it itch or brush aside something on my face. It all means touching my face!

As I drove I thought about the things I love to feel on my face. I love to feel Dove soap, as it slips around and washes my face. I love the smell and the softness of it.

I love to feel the saltiness of the Ocean and taste it on my lips. Both are so calming.

But nothing ever made me want to constantly touch my face until now. I know, it’s the power of suggestion!

So, for now, I need to stop thinking about my eye and my face and all that other crap and focus on something else. Did I mention I just downloaded the Prequel to the Homeland Series?Homeland: Carrie’s Run: A Homeland Novel (Homeland Novels Book 1)” and “Homeland: Saul’s Game: A Homeland Novel (Homeland Novels Book 2)”.

Now that my eye is on the mend I can get back to reading!

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Happy Birthday, Jack

Today is the 82nd birthday of my husband Jack. It’s quite a milestone for him and for us. We met many years ago and were friends for a long time. We saw each other through many difficult times in life, and eventually, when we figured it all out, we got married and started our life together. That was over thirty years ago. How the time has flown.

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Today we celebrate Jack’s birth and here is hoping for not only a happy day but a healthy and wonderful year ahead!