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Friday, June 23, 2017

Storing small items in the kitchen

In the late 70s my mother gave me dozens of boxes of cupcake papers. I baked cupcakes, I used the papers for other things, shared them, and still have one box left. Finally, I mailed some to my daughter in the 90s. I may have given some to my son and his wife. The boxes were always getting in the way, falling over and opening by themselves. Finally, I was down to one box. I buy the tiny cupcake papers and those are annoying on the shelf, too. One day, several years ago I used a plastic, Miracle Whip, wide-mouth jar to store the larger papers. Then, I have added the smaller ones since there was plenty of room.

This was when Miracle Whip came in quarts not the 30 oz. containers!!!

The large box of cupcake papers fits in there along with little cellophane packages of the smaller ones. I rip off the cardboard top on the tiny ones used to fit on a peg in the store. Implementing  the plastic jar increases my useable storage space. Plus, I don't have to worry something is getting squashed and the shape ruined.

Toothpicks were another troublesome item. I always have to tape the little boxes together to keep them from distributing toothpicks all over the cabinet and counters. One day several years ago, I decided to corral them. I did! I put the various boxes and little plastic cylinders into an icing container. I rarely use icing, but when I do, I wash them out for storing something.

Since I don't use toothpicks to pick my teeth, I rarely used them and bought more for whatever. One day, little cylinders of toothpicks were on sale. This supply will last me the rest of my life since I only use toothpicks to test a cake or clean in a little crack.

Yes, I feel obligated to explain the excess of things I have.

Both these storage items have worked for the last 20 years. They did not have to be purchased. Both are sturdy enough to protect the contents from being crushed or escaping and romping where they should not. By writing "toothpicks" on the outside of the icing container, no one has to ask me what is inside or look in there if I have asked someone to get an item from that cabinet. In the clear plastic Miracle Whip jar, the contents are obvious.

OMG--I just realized my mother bought things in bulk. So, that is where I got this trait. She bought these for pennies on the dollar, a clearance, I think. She did not buy case lots of items, just bought things reduced to an unimaginably low price.

Your turn
Genius? lol Do you use items you would have thrown away for storage? What have you found to be perfect for storage without a purchase? Do you ever have epiphanies like I did about buying bargains in bulk and sharing? What is your favorite storage hack for small items?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

From a Rainy Day to Tornadoes

Thursday was annoying with continual rain. Finally, I decided to watch Dr. Oz. No, I am not because the weather stations all are looking for tornadoes. Yes, there were tornadoes around Birmingham. If you hear names like Fairfield on the news, that is one of the many cities that are butting Birmingham. This all happened 50 miles south of me.

This was just a tropical depression or something, never a hurricane, but it spawned tornadoes with 120 mph winds. I don't think Cindy came ashore that strong. Flooding happened in the same neighborhoods where it always floods. The annoying rain was not annoying anymore! Tomorrow, the weather will be the same but worse.

It was expected that Gulf Shores would get whipped around. Us, too. But, these tornadoes, while not unusual, were not what I expected here.

As soon as it quits raining, the yellow kitty will be trapped and turned in the be fixed at the animal shelter.

Update: Exbf said the tornadoes hit within three miles of him. He, also, is in metro Birmingham. He was only aware of sirens going off, but saw no bad weather.

It's time for The Gong Show. Remember that? This one cannot be as good as the one from the 1970s.

Has anyone gotten bad weather from Hurricane Cindy? Do you remember The Gong Show?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grocery List

Last week, I did not open the sale paper. I bought milk and bananas, I think.

I have had a few problems that slowed me down last week and the first of this week. But, the grocery sale papers came today, and I have already made my list. Prego spaghetti was $1.29. I got two. Kraft salad dressing was $1.25--got one. There are fruits and vegetables on sale, but I need to eat what I have.

Except for PictSweet vegetables. The bags that were $1.89 are now $1. Those frozen vegetables are the focus of this week's shopping dollars. Except for the fact I will get tomatoes from the Farmer's Market.

Something is shoved back in the refrigerator, so I must get it before it is moldy. I am determined to keep my clean refrigerator clean.  No lost food means no wasted food. Too much untended food leads to waste!

Just now, I told exbf not to come on Thursday. It will be rainy and maybe stormy down his way. Plus, rain would cause the drive to be hazardous. It will rain here all day tomorrow. He would get soaked getting into the house since he is so slow. Now, I am glad I did not buy red grapes for him at $0.89/lb. They are not my favorite. However, I do freeze them for him if he is not coming in time to eat them in their prime.

We were going to see Wonder Woman. Hopefully, it will still be here next week. I like the old, Lynda Carter, red outfit better than this new one.

I finally quit itching. I think that I had hives, but the did not appear to be hives as I normally have them. My whole fingers were swollen.

Your  turn,
Who is feeling the effects of Cindy? Rain? Worse? Have you ever tried PictSweet frozen vegetables?

Tuesday Free Lunch and Sugar in Catsup

Tueday's lunch was meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread, and chocolate chip cookies. Of course, I drink unsweetened tea. Usually, I eat more cookies than I should. Today, I ate two. Yay me!

One kid, ten years old, was all over the place. He would not listen to his mother and on his feet continually. His mother is very ineffectual. I have been at other dinners and lunches where she acts as childish as he does. Three years ago, they were fighting over a glass of tea, a tug of war of sorts. So, this is ongoing, not a one-time event. I suppose they will be around for two more dinners...sigh.

Since I only slept two hours Monday night, I had a six-hour nap. Now, at almost midnight, I am tired, so hopefully I will sleep well Tuesday tonight.

A chicken is thawing in the refrigerator, ready for the crockpot tomorrow. I need a chicken sandwich! Tomorrow, I hope to get the Vidalia onions in the dehydrator. There is one bell pepper to dehydrate, too. Plus, ground beef is thawing so I can make meat loaf for exbf to take home. It is horrible to make a meatloaf and not be able to eat any of it....sigh.  Yes, cooking is on the schedule for tomorrow, maybe too much!

Every meatloaf I have ever made had catsup in it, maybe up to a cupful and then catsup on top. Sometimes, the extra catsup is the result of having added too much oats. The meatloaf is dry and stiff, so I add more catsup--not a smart move.

After considering how much sugar is in catsup, I made his last meatloaf with tomato sauce. I tasted one bite and it was fine. I told him about the lack of catsup so he could be aware if the taste was too different. He said it was fine. Great, because it is healthier. Beef, egg, tomato sauce, old fashioned oats, onions, bell pepper, salt and pepper is all I use.

It is now Wednesday, time for a new grocery ad. This last week, I did not open the paper with ads or go online. That is how bad I have felt. I wrote this post on Tuesday night and did not post. Sleep took me away. So, now I am back on track to sleep more at night and less during the day. Good!

Your turn
Do you ever put catsup in your meatloaf, or are you one of those people who just put it on top of the meatloaf? Do you ever get your days and nights mixed up? How hard is it to get yourself straight?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Total Eclipse Surprise: Updated with maps

We probably all know a total eclipse will happen on August 21, 2017. The closest place for me to view it is a bit south of Nashville, TN, which 145 miles north of me on I-65. I intend to be there somehow! Here is the complete path.

In the mid 1980's I saw a partial eclipse. I think that was the timeframe. This will be my last chance to see a total eclipse. Come Hell or High Water, I will.

The surprise: exbf is going to take me. He just doesn't know it yet. I am quite sure if I asked him now, he would veto the idea. If he will drive up, I will drive back. Of course, we will go in his car.

When there was a partial eclipse, I made a pinhole camera to watch it. The guy I dated then was such a poop. He had absolutely no interest. He did not even share a smidgen of curiosity or want to listen to me or discuss anything. There are moments that show a person who is not a good match. His lack of any interest was one of those moments.

Who knows how exbf will react? Not me. But, I told him to take off work that day. I only ask him to ask off work to take me to a doctor appointment. When he casually asked me what this was for, I goofed up and smiled and said I would tell him later.

***Okay, I am adding this. I think he just thinks I was being ditzy. I did not realize today that my appointment with my doctor was just a visit. I could have sworn it was for a colonoscopy. We discussed this today, and how one day he is taking off for me is now unnecessary. Maybe he won't ask again about Sept. 21. I know, I will tell him it is my birthday present since Sept. 11 is my birthday. Usually, we go out to eat. ***

My plan: I will carefully decide what to fix to take to eat along the way and while there and on the trip back. He loves popcorn, red grapes, strawberries--all I have in mind so far. I hate red grapes, but if I only get one grape, it will be red. He likes chicken sandwiches, jerky, cheese. I will have to think on this and promise him his favorite things. Cold water and iced Diet Pepsi will be along. There will be more...promise.  At my house will be a divided plate with his dinner so he can just drive up, and I will bring it out to him. We do this sometimes when I have had him driving and out late rather than him hobbling in a waiting for me to heat up his dinner.

It will be so much fun. Well, unless he is a party pooper. He can do that.

Does anyone live south of Nashville and know of a good place right on the highway to watch the eclipse. My thought it to just pull off in a parking lot. There will be light pollution, but I am not trekking off to a mountain. IF the lights are set for a certain time, there will be no light pollution, but if they are light sensitive, the shopping center lights will come on in the middle of the day when it is dark.

I must get glasses to view the eclipse.

Will you be in the path of the total eclipse anywhere in the US? Will you be able to drive to see it? Are you at all excited or interested?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Yellow kitty and Fleas

The little yellow kitten has decided the items on my back porch make a nice perch from which to view the world. Since it is a little wild, you know it has fleas. I have found two fleas on me and have gotten quite a few other flea bites. It is time to spray the back porch, all the things there and the door mat!

Fleas just love me. When I had a chair with a cushion on the back porch, the cats appropriated it and got fleas on the cushion so that I did not dare sit or even walk near it. I removed the cushion and sprayed the wooden chair with flea spray. About that time, I started trapping cats. Most of the cats that come here now belong to someone.

You may not remember, but a few months ago, I heard plaintive meowing. Finally, I opened the door and a gray and white cat sat there, wanting to come in. I put my foot in her way and declined her entrance. She sat, meowing for a long time. Anytime I was/am in the yard, he follows me, meowing every step. I finally saw that cat at my neighbor's house and we talked about it.

I thought all along it belonged to him. Well, it was hanging out at my house for several months and at his only a few weeks. He put a plate of food out for the gray and white cat they call Tic Tac. The cat goes with me when I feed Dominique and meows the whole way, so I suppose it smells the meat and hopes someday I will feed him, too. NOPE, won't happen. Actually, it meows anytime I am not in the house and walking to mailbox or car.

It seems I have less ground squirrels, so I tolerate the cats instead of chasing them away. I cannot tolerate fleas! The Benadryl cream keeps them from itching so I scratch until I draw blood.

Fleas are selective. I know a doctor who moved into a new house with a newborn baby. The baby was covered with fleas and flea bites. Not one of the other three children, he or his wife ever had a bite. They evacuated the house to have it treated.

That is my chore right now--spray for fleas. RAID Flea--Carpet and Room kills the eggs, too. If the eggs are not killed, there will shortly be a new infestation. No. I will not use bombs.

I had finished this post when I went out to feed Dominique. I heard rustling in the tree I pass near her pen. It was too late for squirrels and too early for raccoons. Dodging the rustling in the tree, I was surprised to see the little yellow kitty climbing down the tree and dropping from about 8 feet to the ground. She ran like the wind to hide in a weedy place. My heart rate did accelerate. I suppose she lives here. I wonder if she was trying to access the pen's cage from the top.

Your turn
Do fleas love you or a certain member of your family? Do stray or feral cats ever bring fleas to your porch? Have you ever had a cat adopt you?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Kitty and Still Groggy and Pickle Making

As I opened the back door, there was a great commotion on the back porch and a streak of something, just motion. It was difficult to ascertain size or color, just a blur. So, I put my hand on bookcase on the porch and moved it a bit, just enough to get a reaction. A little yellow kitten ran off the porch and under the house.

This week, I can inquire if anyone has a cat with kittens. Most likely, this one is feral or stray. If so, it is destined to go to the animal shelter. Once before, the neighborhood was filled with cats that annoyed everyone! I managed to trap eight cats, one with kittens. My neighbor with five cats has all his altered, so I wonder.

Something got into the trash can I keep next to/outside the chicken pen. Now, I may have found the culprit or at least the baby of the culprit. Trash was all over the yard! The kitten could have gotten through the chain link fence. Maybe this is why I have not gotten an egg in two weeks!

I took a Benadryl at about 2 am and here and 3:30 pm, I am still groggy. For some reason, I have had swollen knots on my hands and fingers. Then, the veins on the back of one hand stood out so that I wondered what was happening. After two days of the knots and itching in other places on hands, I gave up and took the Benadryl.

Consequently, when the alarm went off at eight, I decided I needed sleep more than to go anywhere. At 11 am, I got in the car and drove to the food giveaway that is not income based, no means test.

It's not like I don't know the Benadryl makes me groggy for 24 hours! In my defense, I was desperate. So, today, I got the same thing in a cream. Within seconds of applying, the itching stopped and the little knots went away. The cause of this is has me bumfuzzled. I thought it was contact dermatitis, but have changed my mind about that theory.

In spite of being in this perpetual fog, I do have things to do. The main thing is slicing the glut of cucumbers given to me, adding to jar with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. I will never touch them, but will give exbf these when he is here. I promised J a jar of them as cucumber is her favorite vegetable. I was looking at the packets to make pickles when I was at WM. Do those packets sold with the canning jars work? I even have pickling vinegar. It's foggy vinegar, so I suppose it is still okay. Anyone know? Anyone ever used pickling vinegar?

It's too hot to do so, but I need to remove odds and ends from the car so it does not get trashy again.

Your turn
Does Benadryl make you overly groggy? Have you made pickles with the packets sold near the canning jars?