A Fondue “Fun Do” Evening and Productive Sunday

Sunday night, George fixed an amazing set up for Fondue! The meats included chicken, steak, and kielbasa. Veggies were broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms. We each had 4 fondue forks. It was best if we each used 3 quite honestly. There were 3 of us and so anywhere from 9 to 12 sticks at once. Having only 9 worked better than 12! lol.

The sauces left to right: “Granda sauce” which is really ketchup and Worcestershire sauce mixed, mustard and horse radish, barbecue sauce, creamy horseradish sauce, and curry sauce. My favorites are the curry and the creamy horseradish.

I dip my kielbasa in the mustard and horseradish mix. The chicken and veggies are best in the curry sauce, and the steak is awesome in the creamy horseradish – which is usually sour cream and horseradish I believe.

It’s broth that we cook it in. Usually he has a beef or chicken (or combo) with scallions floating in. Very simple and easy. Just broth, raw meat, veggies, and it’s a very low fat way to get to protein and veggies in without a lot of carbs. The sauces are important but you can also go light on the sauce. These sauces weren’t too horribly fattening anyway. The creamy horseradish probably the worst.

This is often a New Year’s Eve meal for us. If we have all day and don’t have to work we start early around 2 or 3 with the cheese fondue (with special gourmet cheeses melted with white wine) with cubed lightly toasted French bread and apple chunks. Broccoli also can be good in it. Then about 6 or 7 we do the meat fondue. Then about 10 or so we’d have champagne, and dark chocolate fondue (Hershey’s syrup and a flavored liquor of your choice- like Cointreau for example. My favorite is to drizzle it on cheese cake bites – but usually we dip in strawberries and bananas.

I was worried that Mom wouldn’t take to this very well but she did great. At 77 and with macular degeneration, she was still able to see if things were cooked properly and could get the meat on the fork. We all lost meat off our sticks a time or two, lol.

So you DO have to be careful with the raw meat. Make sure that people use the long forks only for the raw meat cooked in the pot and the regular forks for actually eating it after it’s done. And no regular forks can go in the fondue pot. That way no one gets bacteria and no one’s fork goes back into the pot after eating with it spreading germs.

Relaxing but Productive Sunday

Well, I slept in til 7:11 yesterday as I had mentioned in yesterday’s blog. So going to bed last night was not easy. I played candy crush until my eyes got heavy. This morning I missed my alarm somehow and the back up alarm didn’t go off. My third back up (George) woke me up 45 min later. So running a bit late but was able to recoup some of the time by not making coffee (George did), hurrying in the shower, and only reading one chapter of the Bible instead of two – the only way I got away with that is it was a really long one chapter! lol

I was able to get all my notes consolidated. Not really sure I’m happy with using Evernote for it, but for now it will work. I want to get a few things into “Numbers” which is an excel sheet – for organizing some of my thoughts for blogging and vlogging, but that is for a snow day I guess. Right now Evernote works great. Just “free fields” of typing and the free version works across two devices.

Felt good to get all these little pieces of paper off my desk. It’s all those little papers you write down when you have thoughts and don’t want to forget them in the mornings when the mind is awake but fresh. About 15 of those notes had accumulated plus a bunch of things I wanted to do research on and such. So all that cleared up.

Hurricane Ida

Mom and watched Hurricane coverage yesterday. We watched Reed Timmer as he drove around in the eye wall (yes, he is labeled as crazy and used to hearing that as he is daring). He was wearing a helmet in the car. He was driving around trying to find the best place to be for protection. Roofs were being blown off in front of him, signs being blown out, tin roofs blowing by him, and telephone poles snapping beside him. The wall turned north and he decided to follow it and then the coverage started going out and then dinner was ready. But that was crazy. I used my cell phone to capture a few seconds and posted on instagram. But you can find him on Facebook and on YouTube (both at different times of the hurricane) and see what we saw. I follow him because he also does live tornado intercepts. He keeps me on the edge of my seat. I read his biography, earlier in the year. He gets an adrenaline rush from all this. He sells some footage. He tapes exclusive segments for various stations. He often got out of the car to tape some segments to sell later. There were more exciting parts than what I caught on video with my cell- but you can follow him if you want! He is a meteorologist and a very knowledgeable one too. But too daring for me.

Fall Phone background

You can also find this on Canva. I am starting to change over to “fall”. I ordered a cheap but cute fall phone cover -it’s actually a pearly leopard design. And also some plastic placemats as mine are cloth and we are very messy! So since we are eating at the table every night with Mom here! I’ll use the other ones in the sun room and the new ones in the dining room. They are reversible but a cute design. I’ll take pics when they come in.

I changed my purse over to cowboy leopard type look – it’s supposed to look like cowhide I guess. My purse from Marleylily (if I spelled that right). This weekend I’ll do the switchover to fall decor.

Better head off to work now. I will not be blogging tomorrow so I can go in early to kinda make up for Momma eye doc time one afternoon a month. I’ll also have to work longer some this week as she has a doc appt one day for her heart test.

Here’s the To Do List. I left check marks on things so you can see I actually made some progress! I even made our 30th anniversary plans. Pretty much only done by be. George didn’t really show a lot of interest in helping to plan ::sigh:: But we’ll go and eat. I was thinking since it was our 30th it should be something special – more than just eating out. I don’t really think he wants to spend the money though. I was thinking an overnight would be fun. He pretty much just left it to me to choose: an overnight with a less fancy dinner OR a nice fine dinner out and excursion by day. Well ok. A day excursion it is! How romantic does all that sound? It is what it is. We’ll go on a day outing and come home like always. We never do gifts so I guess we won’t do this one either. We have just about anything we want except I don’t have an RV, lol. So it doesn’t sound like 30 will be extra special anniversary as I had imagined- just an average anniversary, and it seems he has taken very little interest in it – at least in the planning. So I just planned it myself. We will go, eat, get it done, and come home. Simple. Done. And it will be just like all the rest of them. Just like it always is. Why be different at 30 years? You are what you are. The same. lol. Why should I feel any different on the 30th one?

That said I will be back mid-week. Lord willing and the Creeks don’t rise – and they might as Tropical Storm Ida is headed our way! We can get a couple of inches out of it – so maybe not too bad. But strong storms may be a threat with spin off tornadoes. The last tropical storm of any significance, brought us Maisy. I miss having a dog but now is not the time. Anyway, God will provide the timing too.

Right now we have to put our lives on hold a bit and focus on Mom, and without help from my sister, I might add. They are still estranged and so it’s up to us to be the Atlas that holds her universe together. And that is fine. I’ve learned to try to understand and forgive what is mine to forgive. God holds the rest. He may not be as kind as me in the issue but that will be up to him. I will not judge. I will say that we really could have used the help. But it was not to be. It’s all on our shoulders and we will honor her and get things done. And then we will get a dog. One day and go on about our dreams, whatever they are.

Ya’ll have a great day. See ya midweek!

Saturday’s Strange and Erratic Schedule

Friday, I had a pretty severe craving for a steak and baked potato. I don’t usually have cravings for things anymore. So when it hits, I usually allow the splurge. Although probably erroneous thinking at times, I think that giving in to a craving maybe something my body needs. So I went to Logan’s and got the smallest steak, 6 oz, that they had. It was Friday and most of the week for a couple of weeks, I had eaten at my desk. A little treat out was what my psyche needed. I just needed it to be the weekend already, with so much to do at home. I had made a lot of progress at work, starting out the week a little behind and very busy, but quickly caught up to where I should be.

Saturday was very busy. And I was anxious to get things done at home and be able to make some progress on my list, but we had a mix of appointments, visits, and a couple of fun stops. Here’s kinda how that went.

*Dropped Fancy off to Groomer’s (8:00)

*Nader’s Donut Shop (8:15 Sausage Biscuit and Apple Fritter for later). Went in and got it to go.)

*Paul and Judy’s Yard Sale (8:30 Sadly, our friends are moving to FL soon)

*Farmer’s Market (9:30 Fresh tomatoes – they didn’t have the kind of beans Mom wanted)

*Car Wash – (9:45 got Mom’s car washed at a dance team’s car wash event)

*Bone Density Test (10:15 – Yes it’s a Saturday appt – done and over with).

*Houstons Butcher Shop – (11:15 Needed some chicken for the freezer and theirs is reasonable. Got a hamburger to go with fresh ingredients and like home grilled -very thick and very good)

*Home to drop off chicken to freezer, eat burger (12:00 ish and Mom is getting concerned because they have not called for us to pick up Fancy from spa).

*George and I went back to Paul and Judy’s to get a musical item Paul talked George into buying for a good deal. (12:40 ish and thinking the spa will call soon)

*Catch 22 (1:00 for a beer while killing time waiting on Fancy – hoping they will call while we were there. They didn’t)

*Home again (2:15 ish and set into laundry and vacuuming the house and working on things in my office. Now I’m getting concerned about Fancy and called to check – went to voice mail! :-O)

*Back to Pick up Fancy (3:00 ish – Got the call finally – last time it was 10:30 a.m. when they finished is why we were worried.)

*Fix popcorn for Mom and I (4:00 ish as rain rolls in and I’m tired and dinner is 3 hours away. Watch Hurricane coverage).

*Hang out in office (5:00 p.m. and also do some more laundry, plan next week’s wardrobe, reload my weekly vitamin container, clean up a bit, download iTunes songs I’d saved the names of to add to my iTunes.)

*Dinner (7:00)

*Watch Flip Wilson (7:30 watched the DVD pick after playing a game of elimination. Don’t tell anyone but I snoozed.)

*Texted with friends (8:30 One friend has two family members sick with “the dreaded” and another who lives in the neighborhood heard a loud boom or gun fire and wondered if we did too – No I didn’t hear it, Yes George did).

*Bed (9:00 ish – Laid in bed and watched the pet videos, OCD stocking of fridges, and other funnies on Tik Tok til my eyes were so heavy they couldn’t stay open.)

Normally when I type in bullet fashion, I’m tired. But I had a good night’s sleep! Here’s some pics!

Fancy was one excited girl to get picked up. Her report card said she did good. She said hello to everyone in the lobby. And she gave me a hug in the car. We made it home just in time for the rain which mostly missed us.

George’s Cornish Hens
Cornbread Salad

So there you have it. A very busy Saturday. And you know what we are doing today? GOING NOWHERE! I was expecting to have had 1/2 of the day yesterday to get a few things done. While I made progress in sections, it was not as productive as I’d imagined. So I’m going to see if I can progress today.

Already this morning I’ve changed the sheets. I’m partially finished with cleaning up of my office. I am hoping to consolidate some notes. I am really feeling scattered as I have notes I’ve taken for about two months, maybe three – blog ideas, Christmas ideas, things to research, vlog ideas. And it’s driving me crazy having so many pieces of paper. So I’m converting it to Evernote and/or creating spreadsheets on the Mac so it’ll be across all devices. I think I started this project once not to get it finished. I have to look on my computer and see. It’s frustrating to start and stop so many projects and then try to figure out where you are when you pick up again. But I’m going nuts until I get this DONE so I can relax my thoughts and quit moving this stack around my office! lol.

As you get into your upper 50’s it’s especially important to write things down, I find. I won’t remember it later if I don’t. These lists keep me going. They keep me energized, in forward motion, and make life more fun. I like to plan and think things through. That said I’m not as complete with that as George is. He has a lot of lists that he likes to make too. A lot of what he focuses on is: our dinners, our excursions, and yard work. He also focuses on the finances and his hobbies of music and reading! Ya’ll know me and my hobbies!

I slept til 7:11 this morning. It’s 9:20 and I’m thinking I’m still not awake yet after 2 cups of coffee. So I’m going to go grab breakfast, a shower, devo, do more laundry, ironing, and then working on consolidating those lists.

Ok so I’ll do a blog tomorrow morning – that is the plan.

Are you having a good weekend? What is up with you? And what is your weather like there? Hoping none of my blog readers are in the path of this big monster below. We are supposed to get rain from it Tuesday/Wednesday.

Ok off to work (at home) and play! And tonight we have Fondue for dinner!

Staging Your Day for Contentment and Happiness

I have a bad habit of taking quotes like this and picking it apart, agreeing or disagreeing. I guess it’s the conversations you have with yourself, invisible arguments with no one, LOL! While I do agree one must be comfortable with the details of their life before being happy, I also think that one has to feel spiritually connected as well, and satisfied that one is meeting our Father’s goals and doing His will. Scriptures indicate joy and peace as a fruit of the Spirit. Even with the mess going on everywhere in the world, it’s comforting to know that we can still maintain a level of joy and peace. The devil tries to overcome us and keep us with fear and anxiety to keep us stirred. Only God can bring a level of protection over man, our fear, and layer on the fruits of his spirits. And nothing can keep us from our God, not even death.

Staging Contentment

That said above, I work hard to have little things – little daily details in life that bring me joy – at work, at home, and even in the car. At work the things that I stage to bring me joy are:

  • Food – having what I need right there, and having options, including snacks, healthy options, and maybe chocolate 🙂
  • Drinks – again having options – water, tea, coffee, and my greens and fruits
  • Gum, mints
  • Sayings, reminders, my daily calendar
  • Plants – even if they are fake
  • Family pictures around me
  • Ability to play music if I need – requiring ear buds
  • My daily calendar that brings encouragement
  • A nice computer setting background and theme – changes weekly lol
  • A working computer, functionality of the office equipment, back up office supplies so no running out
  • Working out of the way and beyond to avoid surprises but they still happen anyway, lol.
  • My window – which I’m having to close the blinds as it’s 80 degrees if I don’t

At home, hmmmm, that is so broad it’s hard to narrow down the details that bring contentment as so much does. But we are talking about staging your details to bring contentment. We do it without thinking about the fact that we are doing so.

  • Coffee – having coffee available makes me happy
  • Setting a routine makes me comfortable and happy
  • Having lots of food options in the freezer and pantry
  • Having control over the calendar and my time
  • Being able to schedule some down time and protect it like a fragile bird – lol.
  • Organization and function in the home
  • Decor and aesthetics
  • Greenery in each room lifts the mood – even if it’s a fake plant that doesn’t look fake
  • Positive sayings or Nic Naks that bring joy when you look at them
  • Family pictures
  • Loving Pets and Pets to Love
  • Favorite quilts in bedrooms and sitting rooms
  • Functional Washer and Dryer and other appliances
  • Easy to access items
  • No clutter
  • A To Do List – I’ll never be bored EVER!
  • Lots of drink options here too, including iced tea, wine, beer, mixed drinks if I want, after dinner drink – no not all at once. One a day – maybe two if dinner is late. It’s five o’clock somewhere and then it’s six o’clock! lol

In the car:

  • Car phone plug/cord, phone holder, gum, hand sanitizer, cup holder, drink, Alexa to go, audible, sunglasses – the obvious!

How detailed do we want to go here? I could go on at how I stage things to bring me joy through the day. The joy of everyday living! A comfortable bed, Vicks Vaporub at bedside for stuffy nose, sleep spray for a sleepless night – the staging is endless. Our every need met. We are rich in so many ways and spoil ourselves. So little in detail but yet aids in the contentment and comforts of our being.

Three shampoos in the bathroom – always – one a herbal essence, one a Suave Rosemary mint, the other is allowed to change to try new ones. These little things bring me joy. ;-). Certain types of cleaning supplies one gets used to that bring glee when you smell it or when it works. These little things bring happiness. Clean bed linens and towels and clean underwear. Blessing the nest! Ok I’ll stop!

Other than that I really don’t have much for you in two days time. So I simply chat about “staging your happy”. Hey it works for me. I hope it works for you!

Good Food, Good Times, Good Joy

We get GREAT JOY out of our menu planning board. Much conversation goes around it. I fixed spaghetti Wednesday night. Mainly wanted to give George a break as he worked in the yard this week, as we had a really rainy period from days last week making it hard to keep things under control.

Salad I fixed on spaghetti night with some fresh greens, celery, carrots, cheese, and splurging with garlic and onion croutons.

I even made garlic, cheese bread. I used up some hot dog buns as Mom and George like their white bread. I used a whole grain muffin for mine. Still bad with the butter and cheese. Mom likes bread almost every meal. I would be as big as a barn. I cannot do that.

You know what though? I’m craving bacon! Might have to fix some Sunday. I think we are having to lay low b/c of the rampant “illness” in our community. So maybe Sunday morning we will have time.

I had dinner with a friend at Memo’s in Mount Juliet last night. She got fajitas and they looked great. I got the 3 enchilada meal and although good, left kinda hungry. Three small folder over tacos of a sort, not much meat, not much of anything really – not even beans and rice. I could have added them (beans and rice) separately for $3 each. Was just not enough for an $11 plate of food. Quite pitiful. Not enough to compete with the restaurants around. Sadly, I’ll likely not be back there. Just didn’t meet the expectations. Taste was not anything special either. The others are better. I didn’t want it to be that way, but it just is. I could have easily made this at home. I had to eat more chips and salsa to fill up. Oh well. But I did enjoy the conversation with my friend Christie. We caught up a bit. Two hours worth of chatting.

Meanwhile in Texas

Someone else got to try spaghetti today -he was not sure at first but liked it! Once he got it in his mouth. lol

Keep your chin up out there. You have the power to make life how you want it – if only in the little details! Sometimes we can’t control the big things like we want, but we can control the little things and little details to make our days better. I’m sure I missed a LOT above – just the few things I thought of while sipping my morning nectar (coffee). We really are blessed in so many ways aren’t we?

What details of your day bring you joy? How do you stage YOUR day for contentment?