Sunday, April 30, 2017

This rainy weather has really been getting to me.  I can’t go outside and play in the dirt, I can’t take the dog for a walk, nor can I just look outside and dream of the time when I will be out there, warm and sweaty from the exhaustion of gardening, with a smile on my face.

Yesterday I decided to look into my jar of “things to do on a rainy day”.  I pulled out “pedicure” and decided that was exactly what I needed to do.  It is almost spring and that means sandal time. I do not do flipflops because I detest them. I do have a spare pair that I take with me if I go do a professional pedicure. Don’t you hate it when you get a fresh pedicure and have to put your socks back on and the pedicure is then corduroy?

I got out my old hospital sponge bath basin and ran the hot water.  I sat on the counter and dipped my feet into the warm water.  I scrubbed down with this wonderful sugar scrub that I made which has sage and coconut oil in it.   My feet were “oohing and aahing”.  I had to wash them with soapy water to get all the oil off my feet. I scrubbed them down with a rough towel and they felt like velvet.

What is it with feet?  We travel miles and miles on them in our lives but hardly ever give them the queen for a day treatment.  I remember back when I was about thirty something and I realized that I would never have nice fingernails and so I decided to start dressing up my toes.

Once when we were at the beach a little girl said to me, “Oh, you have makeup on your toes.” That was so precious.  We all should put makeup on our toes.  Even guys.  Feet are just the most wonderful appendages.  We use them every day and do so take them for granted.

I have had two surgeries on my right foot.  The first was a neuroma between my second and third toe.  It took some time for that puppy to heal but it was nothing compared to the second operation on that foot. I had to have the neuroma removed again and then I had bunions on the inside and outside of my foot taken care of. (I have the prettiest right foot which I refer to as Frankenfoot.)  It took over six months just to get over the swelling of the darn foot. I had to wear these socks that I could barely get on, they were so tight.  My hands hurt so badly just getting them scrunched up to put on my foot.  And then I had to smush my poor scarred foot into the vise sock.

People ask me if I am going to get my other foot done and I can tell them plainly, “Only if I get shot in that foot with a shotgun.”  Or jackhammered.

The point I am trying to make is that we should have an “Appreciate your feet day”.  We all get foot massages, pedicures and do “legs up the wall” for ten minutes.  Maybe even just go swimming and get off of them for a while.  We could wear outrageous socks.  Get flags painted on our toenails.  Fly foot flags outside.

When I was in my younger days and did really stupid things (yes, I did) I could light a Zippo lighter with my toes.  I could also pinch someone really hard with my toes.  My feet must have taken revenge on me for doing stupid things with my toes.

I have three dear friends who are reflexologists.  These people are martyrs.  They tend to the most disgusting part of a person’s body to help make them well.  If you aren’t familiar with reflexology it is a science based on the theory that there are reflex points in the feet relative to areas of the body.  It can be painful but it is also quite effective.  There is something quite sensual about having your feet attended to.

And so, dear reader, I attended to my own feet yesterday and gave myself a pedicure.  I couldn’t decide on the color.  I went with teal first but when I opened the jar it was a little dry.  I dumped that and decided on a very pretty orange.  I once got a pedicure in Arizona and they did a Cincinnati Bengal theme on my toes.

I did a base coat, two coats of color and two top coats.  That should last me for about four weeks.  When I will give it up and go have them done professionally.

Life is good.  I have feet that work, even if they are very ugly.  I appreciate my feet.  Please appreciate yours.

Peace be with you.

Photo is of my Bengal  pedicure because I still can't find my photos from my intelligent smart phone.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

On Friday I met with friends and we went to the Goodwill store in Delavan.  I got a new purse, some ribbon and a queen-sized sheet which I hope will become the back of my newest quilt. We have been going to this Goodwill for years.  It is a huge store and has a ton of really good stuff. I have purchased items of clothing with the tags still on them.  The queen-sized sheet was still in its original package.  ($2.99 can beat it.?)

We had some excellent laughs as we found so many interesting things.  I found a very cute wooden sun mirror and picked it up for Nancy. She is making fairy gardens around her yard and I thought it would be a good choice of items. She got it.

I rummaged through a bunch of puzzles, toys and games and found the most hilarious game called Exploding Kittens.  It brought back memories of one of my best friend’s son.  He isn’t my FB friend so I am not spoiling the surprise.  I bought the game and sent it to him.  Years ago, we used to go out in our boats on the lake and tie up together.  We called it flotilla.  The kids would swim in the lake and the adults would indulge in refreshing beverages.  We sometimes brought and shared dinner out there.  If the kids got bored we played games.  One game was called, “101 things to do with a dead cat.”

Friend, Ellie, is a cat lover and hated when we played this.  I think she managed a few laughs though.

The Exploding Kittens game reminded me of this and Ellie’s son, Jay.  It brought back many memories of Jay and all the outrageous things he and my girls used to do.

Back to the Goodwill story.  I looked through all the t-shirts but didn’t find any good ones.  They do have a bunch of ladies World Series Cubs t-shirts if you are looking for one.  Several years ago, I got my husband a t-shirt at this store that read, “Armed and Hammered.”  He wore it until it was tatters.  I sewed it back together because it is such a great shirt.

I managed to get away from the Goodwill store spending only $40.  I’m trying to get rid of stuff at my age.  I got a package of good pencils for only a quarter.  (I do the quiptogram in the newspaper and you have got to have a good eraser for this, and no, I don’t do it in ink but I do the crossword in ink.)  I also got four in-the-package glue sticks for only $2.00.  The ribbons I got were 50 cents each and one package had about 8 rolls for $1.99.

We ventured on down the highway to one of my favorite restaurants, Daddy Maxwell’s.  It looks like an igloo and is decorated with the inanest stuff.  They have Christmas lights over the windows with fluffy clouds of garland.  On this they put stuffed animals, Dr. Seuss creatures and really kitschy stuff like that. I love the place.  Look it up on line as I couldn’t snarf a photo.

The best part about Daddy’s is that you can get a beer.  We all got Spotted Cows.  Nancy and I got the fish tacos and Garnet got a grill tomato and cheese sandwich.  We shared deep fried cheese curds.

Somewhere during this luncheon Nancy told us the sillies joke about someone going to see a shrink.    This reminded me of a great old joke.  A man goes to see a psychiatrist wrapped in Saran wrap and the shrink says, “I can clearly see your nuts.”  We were laughing so hard Nancy got a stitch pain. I was almost crying at my own silly joke.  So then Garnet pops up with this one.  She is standing next to two guys at the Goodwill and overhears one of them ask the other, “have you smelled moth balls?” He answers, “yes,” so Garnet chimes in, “how did you get their little legs apart?”  I almost peed my pants.

Luckily, we were the only customers in that room at the time because we were laughing so loud and with such gusto.  I noticed that when new customers came in they put them in the other dining room.

Daddy Maxwell’s is known for its homemade pies and cakes.  They had carrot cake and cherry pie that day.  Decisions, decisions…  I opted for the carrot cake and Nancy and I shared it. It was not nearly as wonderful as my carrot but it was a good second. They made it with cream cheese frosting.  I make mine with Caramel.

Since Nancy drove (we call her van the Septran bus because it is huge and can carry seven people.) Garnet and I paid her lunch bill.  It came to eight dollars each.  Garnet gave me the eight bucks and I went and paid my bill and half of Nancy’s. I was still braindead from all the laughter. So Garnet pays her bill and the confused waitress asks who pays the other half of Nancy’s bill.  Garnet calls me over and says, “I gave you the eight dollars.”  I felt like an idiot!  We gave the waitress a very good tip.

On the way home, we stopped for beer and to use the restroom.  I had the most fun day I have had in a very long time.  I hope the other girlfriends who backed out on this trip will make it for the next one.

Photo above is not at Daddy Maxwell's but is a bunch of my favorite girlfriends in the world.

Peace be with you.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Image result for chicken and dumplings

I am so very tired of my own cooking that yesterday I decided to cook something my mom and aunts used to make but I had only made once and wasn't very impressed with the results.  I made Chicken and Dumplings.  I opted to not go with the Bisquick method of making dumplings as that was the recipe I used years ago.

I got out my grandma's old cookbook, and sure enough, there was a recipe. The only herb or spice called for besides salt and pepper was parsley.  Being the herb freak that I am I had to do something about this.

We save all our chicken bones, wing tips and skin and made chicken broth when we run out.  I cook it all day, cool it down and make it into ice cubes and freeze it for use. When I made this stuff I put in onions, garlic, celery, carrots and lots of herbs.  It is delicious.

I decided to go with this method of herb madness for my recipe.  The hubster was taking a nap while I did this and when he got up he asked, "what are you cooking?  It smells great!."

I had told him that morning that I was making C & Ds.  I reiterated.

I posted on FB that I had done this and got several replies of "yum, yum", and one request for the recipe.  I have typed that up as best as I could.  I will tell you this. I added two cubes of my homemade chicken broth and some dried onion flakes and garlic flakes. That is the only difference.

Chicken and Dumplings    

One whole chicken cut up or your favorite pieces

1/3 cup chopped onion       1/3 cup chopped celery       1/3 cup chopped carrots
1 garlic clove minced          Saute all this stuff in a large cooking vessel.  Take off heat.

Add the chicken.  Cover the chicken with water.
Add some crushed sage, thyme, parsley and salt and pepper.

Cook on low heat for 1 ½ to 2 hours depending on how you like your chicken.
12 minutes before serving…

1 ½ cups flour, 3 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt.  Sift this three times. Add ¾ cup milk and a tsp minced parsley.

Open up the pot and be sure it is close to boiling.  Dip spoon into the broth and then lift a spoonful of the dumpling mixture into the pot.  Dipping the spoon insures that the dumpling comes off the spoon.  Repeat until all the dumplings are in the pot.  Turn the heat down, cover and cook for 12 minutes.  You can thicken the gravy leftover if you wish but I like mine thin.

I have to say that I will probably make this again.  I don't anticipate changes because it was quite delicious if I say so myself.

Photo was not taken but supplied through Google Images.

Peace be with you.