Almost 29 years ago, when Hubby and I were first married, we purchased a set of flatware. It was inexpensive. It was plain, because, I think, it was what we could agree on. Over the years a spoon or two made their way into the garbage disposal. Hubby was able to fix at least one of them, because he is handy that way.
All was good until a couple of months ago when we started having a fork issue. It seemed like whenever we needed a fork we were out of both dinner and salad forks. Hubby said it was because we were using them for the cat food. We stopped doing that, but the problem persisted. I finally decided to get to the bottom of the situation. I rounded up all the flatware I could find and washed it, then sorted it into the drawer. The result was as follows: Five dinner forks, five salad forks, seven butter knives, seven tea spoons, eight soup spoons, and six iced tea spoons.
So after 29 years I am wondering, where did all the flatware go? By my count, I am missing 10 pieces of flatware. This past year was a bit chaotic, I admit, but did that cause us to lose our minds and throw away forks with our dinner scraps? Why are six, count them six, forks missing?
If there were more spoons missing, I would understand. Eldest is always making herself tall cups of iced coffee and wandering off with it, usually with a spoon in the cup. But it is mostly forks that are MIA.
We are seriously thinking of scraping the lot and buying a new set of flatware. Everyone keeps grabbing our fancy flatware when they can’t find a fork, and I would rather it be saved for special occasions. I have to be honest, though. I really don’t want to buy more until I figure out how the rest went missing.
Have your forks, or spoons, or knives, gone missing? Or is it just us?
In the last few days I have a couple of interactions with my fellow human beings which left me puzzled. Actually, puzzled and annoyed.
I was leaving the library on Friday just as a family of four was arriving. As I pushed the door open and walked outside, there they were, so I paused to hold the door for them. They all happily traipsed in, leaving me to stand there holding the door the entire time. Not one of the four, adults included, reached out a hand to hold the door so I cold get on with my day. Finally, all four got in the building and I could let go of the door and be sure it wasn’t going to hit anybody on the bum. Sigh.
I went to church yesterday. My church is large. The sanctuary holds about 500 people. On any given Sunday there are 150-200 people attending, so it gives us plenty of room to spread out. I always sit on the left hand side, which is the less crowded side. A lot of people like to sit on the right because that is the same side as the minister’s pulpit. Yesterday I arrived and picked a row that was empty and slid in to about the middle. Both the row behind me and the two rows in front of me were empty. A minute or so later a couple came in and decided to sit in the row in front of me. They slid in until they were EXACTLY in front of me. They then turned around to wish me a good morning. Sigh. Just then my cousin arrived and we scooted down a bit so I didn’t have to try to see the minister between the heads of the only two people sitting in the row in front of me. The weird thing is they did the exact same thing to me the last time I was at church. Seriously, they have the whole row. Why would they sit right in front of me????
People puzzle me!
We are having one of our hard winds today. Gusts are supposed to be in the 65-70 mile an hour range. Every once in a while we get a good gust and it feels like the whole house is going to come off its foundation and fly away!
Of course it is Saturday. Of course, we were planning on doing some work at Mom in law’s house, which required the garage door be open. Her house is on top of a hill so the wind will be even harder up there, as impossible as that seems. We definitely do not want to have the garage door open. So we have changed our plans and are instead going to start taking all the household hazardous waste to the local drop off site. There is all kinds of good stuff we have unearthed from the basement. We can take just 15 gallons at a time and we have enough for several trips. Oh goody!
My hair isn’t looking so good today. But, with this wind, no one else’s will either. See, there I go making lemonade out of lemons!
Hope you have a good weekend!
Update: At of 3:30 this afternoon the wind is dying down, finally! We made two trips to drop off all kinds of good stuff, including a large can of Black Flag that had DDT in it! We think we will just need one more trip, after the final clean up is done and we have rounded up the last of the paint and stuff that needs to be taken away. Every step forward is a step in the right direction!!!
I remember, after my grandmother died, that we kept getting mail for her for another year or two. It was a bother, for sure, but it was nice, too. After everything was taken care of for her estate, I didn’t mind the occasional reminder of Nanny. Of course, I thought of her almost every day. But seeing her name on that envelope, well, it was a nice reminder of her human existence here on earth.
I am still getting a ton of mail for Bother Dear, so that doesn’t really catch my attention. But when I opened my email today, there was one from Brother Dear. Of course, it was just trying to get me to open it and click on the link, but I know better than to do that. But it was still weirdly nice to see that email there, from Bother Dear. It felt like a little shout out from him. I have been getting those little shout outs quite a bit lately. The big one I will be telling you about soon. But I still liked seeing the little one today. Hello back to you, Brother Dear!
I live in Southern California, therefore I have a lawn guy. I understand this may not be as common in other parts of the US, especially where it gets cold in the winter and lawns and landscaping go dormant. But in the land of eternal sunshine, growth may slow down in the winter but it never stops. Many years ago, Hubby and I got tired of having so much of every weekend devoted to the yard. What can I say, gardening does not top our list of hobbies. When a crew of two or three lawn guys shows up they are armed with the proper equipment and are in and out in about 15 minutes. When Hubby did it with the not so proper equipment, and, I admit, very little help from me, it was a two or more hour project. Saturdays turned into Hubby doing the yard and me doing everything else. To make our marriage happier, we got a lawn guy.
At this point, I think we have gone through seven or eight lawn guys. Some have left of their own accord. Others have just driven us nuts, forcing us to fire them. We have had everything from the tall blond hippy lawn guy (he was great!) to the lawn guys born in a foreign land (usually great). It seems to be hit or miss. There are always plenty of lawn guys to pick from. Hubby usually just starts talking to the neighbors, observes their lawn guys in action, and picks the most promising one. Like I said, sometimes it works out, sometimes not so much.
The first lawn guy we had to fire was one we inherited when a previous lawn guy sold his business to the new guy. The problem is this new lawn guy thought, because some months had five Saturdays (the day he did our lawn) and some had four, and we paid the same monthly price no matter what, he could take days off. OK, that seems reasonable except for a few things. First, it rains some Saturdays and I don’t get my lawn done, but I still pay the same price. Second, he never told us when he was going to take off. Third, he never took off in the winter when growth slowed down. He always took off in the summer when my lawn was on growth hormones. The final straw was when we were having a July 4th party and our lawn guy didn’t show up on the appointed day, right before the party. When he next appeared and we asked where he had been, he said he figured we would know he was going to the river for the long weekend. Guess we were supposed to be psychic. He wasn’t, however, and was deeply shocked when we kicked him to the curb.
Another lawn guy (again someone we inherited…do you see a theme here?) decided to be helpful and put the sprinklers on our grass when he left because it looked a little dry. The problem was we were on vacation. And it was the hottest day we had all summer. By the time our neighbors noticed what was going on and turned off the sprinklers, they had been going for hours in the hot sum. The overspray hitting the windshield of the car in the driveway had left such hard water deposits that we couldn’t see out to drive the car and had to practically chisel the windshield free. He was also kicked to the curb.
We just inherited another lawn guy, so we are a little concerned. With no notice from our previous guy, he apparently sold the lawn part of his business to his cousin Reynaldo. We learned this when we handed Reynaldo a check for the month made out to Martin. There is a language barrier we are dealing with, and Hubby couldn’t get Reynaldo to give us his last name for future checks. Sigh. So far the yard is looking great. We shall see how this all goes….
Please don’t judge me, but I was looking at people.com the other day when I came across one of those ads for other sites at the bottom of the page. It had a photo of a baked potato with the caption “surprising slowcooker recipes.” I thought the photo implied that baked potatoes could be cooked in a crock pot and I was intrigued, so I clicked on it. Guess what, according to the recipe (if you can call it that) from food.com, you can make baked potatoes in the crock pot. Seriously, this blew my mind!
I don’t know about you, but I inevitably want to cook something that requires an oven just as summer hits. Lets bake cookies, make lasagna, and bake potatoes with the air conditioner struggling to keep up. It tends to lead to comments from Hubby, like “why do you always want to start baking just as it gets hot?” So the idea that I could “bake” potatoes in my crock pot was very exciting and opened up a whole new way of making easy dinners. If the potatoes are done all I would have to do is open a can of chili, sauté up some mushrooms and onions, or even nuke a package of frozen broccoli and cheese sauce to top the potatoes, add a salad, and dinner would be done. This idea is so simple and wonderful that I am getting over excited and may need to go lie down.
The “recipe” is below.
Stab potatoes a few times with a fork and wrap each in foil. Fill crock pot with potatoes. Cover with lid and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 4 hours depending on the size of your potatoes. DO NOT add water. The person who submitted the recipe said it doesn’t hurt to leave them in for the full four hours, even if they are done sooner and that she has cooked five to six large potatoes on low for 8-10 hours and they came out perfectly.
I can’t wait to try this.
Yesterday I had afternoon tea at Barbara’s Victorian Tea House and Gift Shop in Rancho Cucamonga. Having tea is so much fun. So many different things to eat, and at a slower pace. Having tea isn’t just a meal, it is an experience, and at Barbara’s both the food and the experience are very enjoyable.
Barbara’s is located in a historic Victorian home, located in what was the town of Etiwanda, which is now part of Ranch Cucamonga. While it is surrounded by modern homes now, It was easy to imagine this home sitting in a vineyard, or perhaps surrounded by alfalfa fields back at the turn of the last century.
My two friends and I were given a table in the foyer of the home. When we arrived it was already set with beautiful china, just waiting for our arrival.
A cake stand was sitting in the middle, just waiting with loads of good things to eat. There are two tea menus you can choose from. The queen tea and the princess tea. When I made reservations I opted for the Princess Tea. It included four assorted tea sandwiches, soup, fruit, scone, dessert, and, of course, tea, lots of tea. Believe me, there was plenty to eat and we even took a little bit home.
When we arrived and were seated, Barbara explained how our afternoon would go. First would be the hot soup, then the scone, then the fruit, then sandwiches, and finally, dessert. She handed us the tea menu and asked us to pick out two teas to go with our food as well as a dessert tea to end with. We soon had a small bowl of Barbara’s cream of potato soup, made from her secret recipe. It was certainly delicious, and I wished I could have a much larger bowl of it, but if I had I wouldn’t have been able to eat the rest of the goodies on the menu.
Our scone came next and it was delivered hot from the oven. It came with cream and apple butter to smear on the scone if you liked. I am bot sure what flavor of scone we were served, but I know it had some dried cranberries in it as well as spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. The warm scone was delicious with both the mock Devonshire cream and the apple butter it was served with.
Next came the sandwiches. There was a traditional cucumber and cream cheese, chicken salad, tomato and cheese, and egg salad. I particularly enjoyed the egg salad.
At this point we were all getting full, but we still had dessert to enjoy. It included a small lemon square and a chocolate covered strawberry. For our dessert tea we chose the almond pecan tea, which smelled and tasted delicious. We ended up staying at Barbara’s until three, just talking and enjoying each other’s company and the hot fragrant tea. Oh, that every afternoon could be spent that way!
My friends and I at our tea. The lady on the left was my mother’s very best friend and I am so lucky to still have her in my life at the wonderful age of 92! Even better, while we were having tea, we found out latter that her first great grandchild was being born. All the things you see behind us are gift items for sale at Barbara’s.
Reservations are required at Barbara’s. It is located at 7491 Etiwanda Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga. Barbara’s phone number is 909-899-1700. The Princess tea, which I described here, was $23, plus tax and an 18% gratuity, which is added to all bills.
I ran across this post in my “draft” folder. I forgot to share this recipe with you back in the summer. But summer will come again, that time of year when giant zucchini make their way from gardens all around you and suddenly appear on your kitchen counter. What to do with a zucchini you could use as a weapon? Stuff it!
I forgot to take a photo before we began to enjoy dinner. I am not the world’s greatest food photographer either….but I swear it tasted yummy!
The recipe below is a general one. Customize according to your tastes and what you have in your cupboard.
1 large onion
1 lb ground meat
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1 1/2 to 2 cups of sauce such as spaghetti sauce, beef gravy, onion soup, etc… (I used a package of Campbell’s Slow Cooking sauce, Tavern Style Pot Roast)
Chop up onion and put in same pan as the ground meat. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Add sauce and breadcrumb to meat mixture and stir.
Meanwhile, cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scrap seeds out using a spoon. Leave about a half an inch thick shell. Put the zucchini halves in a baking dish, cutting off ends as needed to make the zucchini fit in the dish. Spoon the meat mixture into the zucchini shells. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour in a 375 degree oven. I used a fork to check the doneness of the zucchini. (My giant squash needed a little over an hour to get to a pleasantly cooked but firm state, so plan accordingly.) Sprinkle with cheese and put back into the oven for a minute or two to allow the cheese to melt. Cut off a big hunk and enjoy with some garlic bread.
Forgive my bad pun, but when Eldest Daughter and I went out shopping the other day. I saw this egret just hanging out in the landscaping next to the road. It was a nice warm day and we bet he (or she) was looking for lizards. Eldest took a photo for me with her new smart phone. Isn’t it handy that my daughters can now take nice photos of whatever I want, even if I don’t have a camera with me??? Meanwhile, I sometimes feel like I live in a zoo….