Saturday, September 24, 2016

I May Regret This...

I have decided to try something a bit different for this post. Any reader is welcome to ask me one question...The Happy Whisk did this around the subject of de-cluttering. I, however, will leave the subject open. Please keep inquiries civil and do remember that this is a public blog. Thanks.

Friday, September 16, 2016


The pets saw their doctor this week and I am happy to report that at fifteen and sixteen and a half, both are doing well. This is the kind of thing that has me over the moon these days. While I did nothing extraordinary today, the news of their labs and other things just perked me up. They are both sleeping as I write, curled into a soft knitted throw my Nana made for me long ago. She passed away this month in 1993 just after I had adopted my first cat companion and began the job that would eventually lead me to find my second and third cats, Angel, a seal point Siamese and Samantha, a Korat.

Ariel, adopted from a family, died prematurely of fatty liver syndrome at the age of three. We would often snuggle together in this throw on the bed in my first solo apartment, something Sam and Angel also enjoyed. The yarn is extremely soft and easy to burrow into and I always think of my grandmother when I see it. Despite her often stern demeanor, the woman loved me fiercely and I think she would be happy to know her lap blanket has seen so much use over the years. Jacob, my male black and white, is particularly fond of it.

As for me, my back has been irritable today despite stretching and other ministrations. More massage has been scheduled. I was really hoping to have been completely pain-free long before now, so feel a bit discouraged and concerned that this slow resolve may be what the future holds for this chronic situation. Because strengthening is tedious, I've taken to listening to music or watching something as I work. It helps the time pass more quickly and provides a little distraction from tightness and pain. This week, I plan on getting the bookshelves sorted and doing some research on books.

I've just started an interesting book entitled The Omnivorous Mind and will write more once it is read through. I've long been intrigued by how certain foods trigger or are associated with memories and specific points in our lives as well as the history and development of dishes, a couple of which I've discussed in previous posts. While I cannot claim the prowess of bloggers such as the Happy Whisk or others in the kitchen, I do enjoy attempting things even if they don't turn out as expected.

Wishing everyone a happy weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


The physical therapy continues. I am strengthening which is a slow process and then having massage for soft tissue issues. My back is compensating for work my legs once did, so greater involvement there than was first assumed, along with the injury to my low back from a long-ago crash. Bottom line: pain has decreased but there is more to be done to maintain this from now on.

The table top bike that I ordered came from China and the bolts used to put it together were too short, so it has been returned and I'll be looking for another. It can be used for both arms and legs and is a great way to increase heart rate. The felines have been to their veterinarian and are in good health despite advanced age, the place has been cleaned and my cleaner even wiped down the front and screen doors. A cabinet guy came to fix one of the drawers in my closet and measure for a new top drawer. I also cleared the closet of a large basket's worth of items and don't miss a thing.

 Those of you who have been reading here for a while know that I have been clearing my house of books, clothing and other items at regular intervals after having had water damage here twice in the last four years or so. At least one of you has been to my flat and minimalist that you are, you said you could not figure out where all the stuff was because the place was so neat. The answer to that is there were never bunches as I have always been rather minimalistic, but what remains are things a person dealing with final affairs would find a pain to tackle and I figure I might as well do that while still breathing.

I haven't gotten to my produce stand in a couple of weeks and found the relatively paltry offerings at Aldi disappointing though I did bring home a bag of organic apples for less than five dollars. Food should not be so expensive. I read something the other day about how the taxes on food hurt struggling families. Additionally, many individuals and families have yet to fully recover from the so-called Great Recession which began in 2008. I can believe those things based upon what I see here.

I hope all of you are doing well today.

Until next time...

Monday, September 5, 2016

One Tomato, Two Tomato, Three Tomato, Four...

For those of you curious about Tomato Soup Cake, my friend used a recipe she found online because she could not locate her mother's. Visit and put in Tomato Soup Cake. You'll find lots of information including recipe reviews and photos. Photo below courtesy of

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Today was laundry day, food prep, clearing out the refrigerator and re-organizing the freezer and pantry day. It helps to know what is in the house before the weekly shopping occurs.

So far, I've prepped pasta with gorgonzola cheese which I've found in need of a saucy cover up as this cheese is not a favorite, chopped salad, stir-fried some vegetables and added sweet and sour accompaniment to have with spring rolls and used up all of my beautiful yellow courgette in the pasta sauce. I also discovered a jarred korma sauce I'm planning to use with a large bag of mixed vegetables and some basmati rice later in the week.

For awhile now, I've wanted some baked rather than fried empanadas like the ones my mother made when I was a kid and thanks to a friend who pointed me in the direction of an Argentinian restaurant, I've finally found some. Growing up in Central America, these were a common food but one my mother baked particularly for parties. In this area, some restaurants fry them which I do not appreciate. My mother's were small, and basted with an egg wash which browned them nicely. The filling was usually a mince of beef, spices and peppers and the edges were crimped. Think savory turn-over and you're close.

It is fascinating to me how large a role food can play in one's childhood and how quickly one's memories and desires for certain tastes or smells can be re-ignited. I have no idea what pushed me toward this food after so many years. Interestingly, empanadas vary slightly from region to region. Those found here are generally fried and offer several different fillings including guava. The empanadas of Basque origin often contain a beef stew mixture and the ones I ate most frequently, whether out or at home were minced beef with an aroma that still makes me smile. Even the resident felines approve.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Until Next Time...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Catching Up...

Being marooned in one's flat due to a storm is not easy. The anxiety that comes with strong and increasing winds and almost never-ending rain is by itself hard to deal with. additionally, the feeling of being "cooped up" takes a toll. I'm just happy no water came within, I did not lose power or food and my mobile phone was impacted by an outage of only hours rather than days. I am by nature someone who enjoys my home and privacy, but to be compelled within by nature rather than my own desires? Not so much.

Today is the first time we've had a bit of blue sky and sun since last week and we have three full months to go before storm season ends. I hope this has been the worst of it. Thanks to all of you who have left comments for me recently. I did manage to have a chat with the smoker upstairs who was very pleasant and promised to keep her patio door open should she smoke indoors. The man from whom she rents and for whose family she works as a carer has died and she is to remain in the apartment while caring for his wife who lives in a house two streets over.

As for me, I was happy to get  errands done today and enjoy some fish tacos, the remnants of which were greedily lapped up by the resident felines. I have stretching and exercise to do yet.

Until Next Time...