Really Rudolph?

Amazon just sent me an email saying based on my recent activity perhaps I might be interested in this –

img_2867Holy.  Should I buy one?  It’s only CDN $6.95.

I’m trying to think what kind of activity I was involved in for them to come to this conclusion.

Behold the roomy rudolf tea strainer in raspberry red.  Perhaps I searched for an item beginning with the letter R.

Although my sinuses are happy I’m drinking hot water laced with lemon and Truvia at the moment, normally I am just another coffee addict with no love for anything even vaguely similar to tea.

And this does not look like Rudolph.  It very suspiciously resembles a moose.

I’m afraid Amazon will just have to try harder to get me to part with seven bucks.

Snorting Eucalyptus

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The view from where I’m sitting.  Yeah, I know.  Gives a whole new meaning to “still life”  

Yes, snorting eucalyptus IS what I’ve been doing for the past twenty-four days, which WP was kind enough to remind me is also how long it’s been since my last post.  Even W noticed this strange silence in November, the month in which we are supposed to be writing our little hearts out.  I did the polite Canadian thing and kept my comments about the American election more or less to myself, except for sharing a few news stories on Facebook.  That’s been pretty hard.  Are y’all batshit crazy down there??  Well I know you’re not, and have faith that sanity will prevail.  You know, before we all die hating each other.

In the summer I was blaming my stuffed up sinuses and chronic cough on seasonal allergies, but I’m not sure what the heck is going on now.  Rather than complain (and rewire my brain for negativity) (seriously, that’s an actual thing) I tried allergy pills and nasal sprays and decongestants, and elevated my blood pressure in the process.  So I ditched all that stuff, but I still wanted to breathe, so now I’m using my little air purifier even though there’s already an air purifier on our furnace.  Our air is PURE, man.  And I’m shooting a eucalyptus based spray up my nasal passages more than the recommended four times a day.  It does not cause rebound congestion and it works very well, for about twenty minutes.  Then it doesn’t anymore.

My hematologist said my chest was wheezy, and suggested I go back to my GP for an inhaler.  So that’s next.  I’ve had pneumonia.  I don’t want it again.  I keep running out of tissues.  My life is hell.  No of course it isn’t.

Other than wheezy breath I’m healthy enough I guess, because the hematologist said to come back in a year.  Her pre-screener gave me longer than that. I think.  The first thing he said to me was “…so, you’re sixty-seven, you’ve got another ten or twenty years to go.  Because, you know, eighties….” I did not know what the proper response was to that statement but probably because of the blank look on my face he quickly changed the subject and went on to other things.  Weirdo.

And speaking of weird, W said if I had nothing to write about I could always talk about him.  Wow.  He should NOT be encouraging that.

I never had much of a love for Christmas when I was growing up (too much church and  too many crazy relatives) (although the food was good), but when I met W his enthusiasm for the holiday was infectious.  He still absolutely loves Christmas.   He puts up the outdoor lights in mid November.  This year he added two spotlights which sit on the front lawn and flash revolving red and blue lights all over our house.  And the snow. And maybe the sky.  When I’m sitting in the living room they also flash all over the ceiling and the walls.  I told him it’s a good thing neither of us is prone to epileptic seizures and God help our neighbours if they are.  He didn’t find that even remotely funny.

Maybe my eucalyptus spritz is hallucinogenic.  Because he loves the lights.  He found out they are now on sale so I suggested he go get a couple more and the sarcasm was completely lost on him.

I wonder when my brain got rewired for sarcasm.  There’s probably a doctor for that, hey?

In other news, I put shelf liner in my cupboards this week.  Our washing machine (age 22 years) died a noisy death and has been replaced by a newer but amazingly similar model (but this one is water efficient, so there’s that) which cost less than the price of repairing the old one.  W also loves a bargain.

And I love my ordinary little life with a husband who thinks it’s funny that I find him funny.  There’s always something to be thankful for.  Like eucalyptus being a scent that kind of grows on you.  That’s a big one for sure.

Holy Bat Day Fogman!

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Yeah, that’s not quite right.

It’s how words get muddled up in my mind just before they exit my mouth.  Immediately after thinking this impossible thing I contemplated being a super hero called Dense Fog Woman.  Here she comes to fog your brain. Yeah, also not great.

Weird to have such dense pea soup fog days in our arid little part of the world.  Of course we all want to go out driving in it.  Our grandson, who flew here and then drove to Calgary with grandpa to attend a wrestling seminar type thing on the weekend (I know, foggy details) is making attempt number two this morning to fly home.  The plane last night was turned back, unable to land in the ice fog.  So of course there were irate passengers annoyed with the inconvenience but think how much more annoyed they would be if the plane crashed.  What’s a few trips to and from the airport in the grand scheme of things really.  So we had a very late night and a ridiculously early morning.

I got three times the goodbye hugs, so I’m good with it.

Friday was the day I took this photo, an extreme close up of two jars of homemade relish.  Made in my home, by me.  The one on the left is my first attempt, chopping everything with a chopper, and the other one was more labour intensive because I chopped everything by hand.  A batch makes about three jars each.  My food chopper has a fine line between big chunks and mush.  I personally never manage to get stuff to the mush point because frankly I’m just not that ambitious.  So jar number two is supposed to look more uniformly relishy.  It’s made up word day here.  And since there is no discernible difference in how they look, food chopper wins this one and all future endeavours.

My sister gave me a little jar of  low glycemic no sugar added sweet pickle relish, along with the recipe, to try. (you can find it here ) It is delicious. She does all this wonderful canning and preserving and freezing from her garden and I always think it looks like fun and not that hard.  Halfway through the process I’m likely to change my mind about both those things.  But I always learn something.

About six years ago (the amount of time it takes me to forget why I don’t can stuff) I made some hamburger relish which was lovely and red and very tasty, and some apple chutney which was just weird.  Unless apple chutney is your go-to condiment and you have it with at least six meals a week, don’t make a dozen jars of it.  I lost count of how many times we said, after a meal was finished, oh, we should have had some of that relish stuff with this. Okay, truthfully, I’m the only one who said that.   I discovered no one in my family really cares for red relish.  Or maybe just MY red relish.  Those jars took up space on my shelves for a very long time.  And then they all at once mysteriously disappeared because I got tired of looking at them.

Anyway this stuff is really good and gave me a mad craving for hotdogs, so I had to venture out into the Friday fog to buy some.  It is Monday morning and they are all gone, along with half a jar of my amazing relish.  I’m kind of sick of both of them actually, but let’s not talk about that.

The fog advisory for here has been lifted.  I think it might be safe to go back to bed.  But not before I mention I made some marmalade too this weekend using two big oranges, half a lemon and some fake sugar.  It’s supposed to be a paleo recipe using honey, although I can’t imagine cave people sitting around a fire canning jam.

Okay, now I can.  I need to sleep.

 

Try This at Home

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Despite squirting minced onion juice directly into my right eye, I am having a pretty good day.

Recipes to me are mere guidelines, and unless I’m feeling particularly sad and vulnerable and morose and unsure of myself (man, why would anyone try to create something feeling like that?) I like to wing it and see what happens.  This drives recipe following people a little nuts.  But it’s kind of exciting and God knows I don’t live dangerously in any other way whatsoever.

Anyway I have avocados which will not last forever in my fridge and decided this morning to try making avocado ranch dressing, or dip, or a combination of the two.  Does anyone actually measure avocado?  Wouldn’t a normal person just take their chances and  use a whole one?  I don’t like to measure sour cream or mayo either because they get my measuring cups all gross, so I plopped a dollop of each into the bowl with the avocado.  I left out dill because I don’t have any.  For onion salt and garlic powder I figured the real thing minced would be even better.  Except for the part where putting onion chunks through the garlic press temporarily blinded me in one eye, I think that worked out well.  Then I added apple cider vinegar instead of white.  I don’t really know why, but why not, hey?  And finally salt and pepper and dried parsley. Also not measured because things like that should be to taste.

It all got mushed up together with the immersion blender (I used to call this the Braun mixer, but apparently other companies make them too and I like this slightly more sophisticated name which makes me sound like I know what I’m doing when it comes to kitchen utensils).

Dont worry, its highly unlikely this will be turning in to a cooking blog.  It’s a stage I’m going through, that’s all.

Daughter and granddaughter are coming over for W’s famous fish and chips this afternoon.  I will be contributing a salad, OR……avocado tartar sauce maybe.  Doesn’t that sound good??

Hope neither of them reads this before they get here…

What the Monkeys are Really Saying

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OH MY GOD!  I CANT LOOK!  Gah, gag, BARF!

Judgemental little shits.

They sit on a shelf above my stove and one day just relayed these statements to me by mental telepathy, which is pretty amazing when you think about it, with me being the only one of us to have a functioning brain, as far as I know.

Meal prep was very challenging when my sister and her family were here.  They were a mix of vegan, gluten-free, no dairy, limited grains, no grain-fed meat and restricted sugar.  My sister shared all kinds of great recipes and ideas and now I’m making my own salad dressings and using honey and maple syrup instead of refined sugar.  I know it’s still sugar, but you can seriously cut the amount.

Then the next weekend when my family came for Thanksgiving it was just a breeze making stuff that everyone could safely consume.  Even though I cooked it.

Honestly, I do concoct edible things.  I don’t know why W and the monkeys are trying to mess with my culinary self-esteem. He is now very wary about what I’m up to in the kitchen and avoids as if it’s poisoned anything containing…..

1. Zucchini or other unidentifiable green things

2.  Gluten free flour or any of those expensive nut flours

3.  Nut butters which are not peanut

4. Vegetables which appear suspiciously turnip-like and often actually are turnips even though I suggest they might be parsnips, which doesn’t really help.

5.  Healthy alternatives.  He would prefer the unhealthy version, thank you very much.

Well all this is making me hungry for honey nut cheerios.  With skim milk, because that makes it perfectly okay.  Right monkeys?

I have something to say to you guys.  Please keep your opinion to yourself.  Turn around if you can’t look.  Don’t eat if it’s going to make you barf.  And leave me alone or I’m moving you all to the basement.

Kids In the Hall

Yesterday I finished the hallway.  It’s a little weird how happy I am about that.  Only one picture allowed (new hall rules) so it’s my collage picture of some ancestors at various stages in their lives.
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Because there is less light here the colour looks more orange and the white really stands out.

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Ok, I expect that’s about all the time you would like to spend in my hallway admiring walls and doors. And a surprisingly clean floor.  Let’s go around the corner.

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And turn left.  And then back up and turn right.  You know, so you don’t get lost.  New shelf rules too.  Two or less items per.  I just noticed one has three things.  Oh well.

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The colour behind the couch is called “tea dance”.  It’s looking a little more pink here than it does in real life.  And notice how different my “melted marshmallow” looks in bright morning light.

imageI’m not sure what this suspended slab of stone or concrete under the fireplace is called, because don’t mantles go above, not below?  Anyway, it was ugly and I always kept it completely covered in stuff.  It’s a perfect place for candles.  And other assorted junk.  And did I mention ugly?  Well now it’s covered in a grey textured paint which looks and feels like rough stone.  And I no longer feel the need to pile loads of crap on top of it.

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My daughter made me take away those little elephants. She is ruthless.

And finally, my art corner.  Sadly neglected for now but not forever.

image imageBecause there has to be a mess somewhere.

I should have cut the grass today, but it was just too hot.  These days you have to get out there between thunderstorms. And despite all the rain, the heat manages to keep the grass looking half dead, especially in the front where it kind of matters.  Anyway, I had a nap instead.  Painting wears me right out and it sometimes takes days to recover from all my hard work.  Ha!  No, I don’t really believe that either.

I think we might be half way finished!  This is another picture from the kitchen because I forgot to add it last post.

imageIn case you were worried I might have chucked out the stove.

Back at it tomorrow.  Two bedroom ceilings on the agenda.  Or more naps. Hard choices to be made.

Take It Away

After the back entranceway transformation with all the baskets, the kitchen was up next for an update. The worn floor should be replaced, but frankly, I don’t care.  We replaced it once already years ago.  And the cupboards are old and kind of horrible on the inside, but here’s what I figure. Someone will buy this place and rip out the cupboards and the floor and be all pleased with themselves when it’s done.  So I won’t deprive the future owners of that pleasure and expense.  I just wanted the blue and sand and beachy theme gone and the ceiling white again with no stains and no gawd awful fluorescent light buzzing over my head.  Here’s how the cupboards looked before, going up to the ceiling.
imageAnd here’s how they look like they don’t do that anymore.
imageThat bit of white at the top really brightened things up.  There is a different mess on the counter in the second picture and the window frame is also now white.

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I thought the backsplash tiles were white but here they are going from half-assed white to blinding white.

The colour we decided on for the walls is called melted marshmallow. It’s sort of peachy.  So yeah, I have gone from beachy to peachy.  This colour is now on the kitchen and living room walls and will soon be down the hallway because I just taped six doorways and all the baseboards there. I never counted how many doors there are in the hallway before but that’s a lot of doors.  They were all wood and now they are all white.  The hallway is no longer gloomy.  This is the linen closet door where I started.  Because I like to start at the end and work my way to the beginning.

imageBut back to the kitchen.

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Because the walls were blue at the bottom and sandy yellow at the top they begged for this type of work in progress art by my creative daughter.  I’m kind of sorry we painted over it.  And even though the paint included primer, the line where the blue stopped was hell to get rid of.  So there are at least three coats of paint here, and this corner in particular where there is less light is a lovely warm almost orange.  Other places the colour looks much more pale.  So even though this colour is all over the place, it looks like different shades in different lights.

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imageThere is a story behind the newly spray painted spoon and fork which I’m sure I have shared elsewhere.  This wall looked a little off balance to me before I added that plate on the left. Then all I could think of was hey diddle diddle the dish ran away with the spoon.  But look at that other wall with just ONE thing hanging there!  I’ve come a long way, baby.
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This last one is in the living room by the front door where the colour is beautifully soft.

The best decluttering idea ever, which I’m so happy my daughter shared with me, is to remove absolutely every bit of decor that’s movable from every room in the house.  Then once a room is all fresh and clean and painted, carefully choose only things you love dearly and would be sad about if they were gone to add the finishing touches. Less is more.  And move all that weird shit you bought on impulse out to the garage.

Okay, wake up!  I’m done for now.  I will share my living room/art room journey next.

Or I might tell you about my dermatologist appointment because that’s where I’m headed this afternoon.  The excitement rarely ends around here.