Keeping the Spirits Lifted

It was fun to get out yesterday. Just a gorgeous sunny warm day. A bit hot but not too bad and lower humidity than we normally have in the summer. We took a drive by the new Amazon building not too far from us- so big it should be called an airport! Here’s a clip as we drove by. I know the reason they are building near us is so they can be near me since I keep them in business! :-O

Our first actual stop was restocking on spirits! Ha, yes we have been low in spirits in several ways. Here is the store we go to on occasion in our area, Providence Wine and Spirits. See store – first photo at the top.

They are a bit different in that they have a gift area and they even sell Pasta from a long time Italian Restaurant in Nashville area, Coco’s.

We then went to Aldi. Going to the grocery stores always did bring delight in our family.

Side note: It was interesting that they no longer have anyone wiping down carts even with virus going full blown now. I think so many are just over it. And the numbers show as people let the guards down. We are hunkering down though. We did go to a grad party and that was our riskiest thing yet. But we really don’t want this thing and we really don’t want to take anything to our pregnant daughter in Texas and we don’t want to take anything to Mom. We will be seeing her soon as well. And as George says, if we get it, we could die. We would like to avoid that if we could.

But it doesn’t keep us out of the grocery stores for our necessities and we are both wearing our masks now as it is a requirement. Still there are some who refuse under the requirement. And one lady yesterday was on the phone “just a fussin'” about something at Aldi. We had to wait behind her. I thought oh my we are breathing in all her hot air and germs and I tried to stand off aside. Isn’t it funny the things we think now. I’m thinking as mad as she was flappin’ her gums that if she had COVID we were all going to get it. You want to stand up and say “no body exhale, just hold your breath til we come through ok?” LOL LOL LOL

Anyway regardless we had fun at Aldi. It had been a while.

And then we went to Houston’s Meat market. Had we ordered on line we could have got 10% off. But then you have to wait 4 hours to pick it up so we just got what was in the store. It’s a little store and kinda hard to stand 6 feet apart. But we all tried our best. We bought pork chops for dinner. I found my old recipe. I’m shocked at how worn it looks. It’s had a lifetime of use. Also found the BBQ Meatloaf recipe as well. Is that not awful looking?

But you know what it says? They must be some darn good ones to have been used that much. TRUE THAT! I think the recipe for pork chops needs to say 1.5 hours and check it. They are scorched looking at 2 hours but….they don’t taste scorched.

See, they looked burned. But mainly it was what was on the side. They were heavenly. And yes the beautiful casserole dish had to do a major soak. So yeah. 1.5 hours NEXT time.

I made a squash casserole with it also. YUM! And asparagus. And we had noodles left over so I made a pasta salad with simply olive oil, red wine vinegar, feta cheese, shredded carrots for crunch, garlic powder, onion powder and Penzey’s “Pasta Sprinkle”.

George is the usual one to cook. He loves it so. But it’s nice to give him a break. He needs it more in the summer as he spends a lot of time in the yard. I’m glad to do it. And last nights meal was pretty darn good if I can say so myself!

When the pork chops were put in the oven, George came in and fixed us a cocktail. He fixed us a Manhattan.

I picked the Rye Whiskey as I’m not much of a drinker beyond wine or beer or a refreshing herby or fruity drink – like a margarita, mojito, or something like that. I suggested a better one so it would be smoothe. I like to add an “e” on the end of “smooth” for dramatic effect when needed. I wanted smoothe! So we went for this one.

But our friends, Don and Lisa, made these for us in Tybee Island so it’s been a big hit. When the first round was gone in Tybee, as Lisa and I made dinner, I offered to refill the guys drinks as they conversed on the porch. I thought surely I can recreate these. I watched a video like I do everything these days when learning. And I didn’t have a measuring cup so I just guessed on the quantity.

Let’s just say the guys stuck to “sippin'” that one most of the night. And they STILL talk about my Manhattan! lol lol I guess it was a little too STIFF. Or should I add extra “FFFFF’s” for dramatic effect? It was a STIFFFFFFFFF one.

You know, more than anything, I think George loves my participation in planning our meals. I’ve noticed that he seems to really like my input and so I’ve tried to do more of it. We have taken a lot of joy during this Pandemic at planning our upcoming meals. Often we open the freezer and do a Geeky type of inventory and make lists of what all we could have.

It’s kind of a hobby to fill the freezer up and then work really hard at eating it all up before the next cow and pig we purchase. And George has a huge lot of recipes, also Geeked out in an Excel Recipe spreadsheet and organized by type and references the cookbook and page number. Oh yes. We are both Geeky in the things we do.

Here’s George’s plans, with my help. We will wait a bit to plan Week two upcoming here, but all our choices are in the side bar.

I personally like to have a variety of meats and not too much of the same in a row. I really like my chicken and fish and less of the reds these days as I think it’s better for you. And I’m a stickler for wanting my greens and veggies now. Really have worked hard to cut out the pasta. But I am keeping the taters and beans when it comes to carbs! Natural foods are better than enriched flour but sadly I’ve succumbed to bread a bit more.

Just this morning we had biscuits from Houston’s meat market. They have a lot there in addition to meat. They have a small store kinda like a campground store. Just enough to be able to have sides with your meat for the evening etc. But they also have a little cafe with a few tables and you can get plate lunches and sandwiches. It’s these cute little individually owned stores that make life wonderful. There should be more of them. No pics. Too many people and it’s awkward to take pics of everyone, lol.

I did laundry and worked on the kitchen and took some things down for storage.

I also have some VERY good news. I decided to bring up the flooring. We had a good day and I thought maybe it was a good time to bring it up. It’s usually never a good time to bring up spending huge amounts of $$. But, I asked WHEN it might be good to look at flooring and the costs and when it might be feasible to redo our floors. Adding in that the longer we wait the more of the house we’ll be needing to upgrade because later trying to match it might not be so easy.

I showed him a pic of the look I wanted. I really like the look of a grey floor. We had grey carpet in our old house and it was so relaxing looking. Grey blends with beige and just about any colors when it’s uniform throughout like this. Any room can be whatever decor you want and it lightens the room in a relaxing and refreshing way.

He also has his own ideas, but we will go and price this before long and he says either late in the year or as I suggested after the first of the year as we are still paying for major re-plumbing. Which probably means February as the baby is due in January and we can’t schedule anything. And I probably will be working whatever weekends we are not in Texas or traveling. January will be hard time to get it.

But, you know me! I’m as excited as I can be just having a tentative date. Who knows maybe we can do it sooner. But no pressure. I know he wants to get this other paid off first. Best to do 12 months same as cash on one thing at a time.

Of course if we end up moving that will be a non issue point I guess. But I was told by Kate not to move that they would be coming home before too long. I just know they are happy down there. But we have Momma up here. She may go with us to Texas but she might not want to. So that would be an issue of how to make sure she is taken care of, but I’d want her to go with us. I just have a feeling they will come home so the baby can be with the grandparents and they can have baby sitters. We can all help them get set up and re-situated when the time comes. Right now though, it’s probably best to stay put with the virus anyway – for them. On our end, we feel like getting in the car and hauling our stuff and just going down there right now. lol Of course we couldn’t do that. It would take a lot to get us down there. I mean new jobs, and selling our houses (plural if Mom goes). All that would not be an easy feat. Nothing is guaranteed, so I want to move on getting the flooring. Even if we do sell our house it’ll be a plus and add value. But like I always say, I’d like to enjoy it since I’ve waited for it for so long. No more blue linoleum. Soon. Very soon! Hearing those words were like the heavens opened up and angels came down and began singing a righteous and glorious tune that I will call “Sonya’s Song of Old Blue Be Gone”.

It was a marvelous day yesterday. We enjoyed our day so much! And today is a day of rest and fun and a few chores, and getting ready for the work week.

So what all did you do interesting this weekend? Cooking anything new? Any old favorites? What are you doing to keep moving and shaking? What are you doing to keep YOUR spirits up!

New Camera on the Horizon and Enchilada Casserole

Good morning! Got my coffee here, getting me going. Nothing like the first few hot glorious sips of your morning coffee! The afternoon one not bad but…I look forward to this part of the morning every day! Drinking Starbuck’s this morning. Not sure which type – possibly the Colombian.

Photo by fotografierende on

Thanks to those that watched the video (see previous post) And I have 22 subscribers up from 17 I think. So I thank you all for that. The views, the likes, and the subscriptions help with the “algorithm” that brings it to the top or keeps it stuffed down to the bottom since there is a lot of competition out there. The fun part is to enjoy the journey. And I love every step of making the videos.

I’m already entertaining the thought of a new camera set up. Even have a certain one in mind. But I’ll wait til 1) I have enough blow money saved up and 2) til we can start getting out there and going on excursions. However, it did occur to me that while we are NOT going on excursions that I could be learning the camera settings. I am intimidated by camera settings. I am not one that enjoys reading instructions either. I don’t know why but when it comes to learning, I’d rather be shown and take notes. And now there’s YouTube. And a lot of people are using the nice digital Canon cameras. I would really like to be able to take quality pics and videos. It will really make a difference when we go on vacation. I briefly considered buying the camera before our trip to Texas and got really excited. But I think I am a little short on the cash as I’ll want accessories and stuff. And an expensive camera is not something you buy on a whim, and it’s not Christmas or my birthday. I think it’s important to work for something and save for it and it makes you appreciate it more. It’s a hobby – not flooring after all. I think we need flooring worse but we’d do 12 months same as cash for that. lol

I need to do a little more research on them to see which one is the exact one for me. But it is something that is getting closer! I might also add a little twist of making myself have a certain number of subscribers first, but having a better camera and better videos may bring more subscribers, so….maybe that is not something I should have as a stipulation.

So this past Sunday, I made an Enchilada Casserole. George and I decided it would be in our “keeper recipes” and something we immediately wanted to make for everyone! lol.

It was also a recipe we did together. George fried the tortillas for me and sliced up the avocado I chopped, sautéd, and layered. For some reason it reminded us of George’s Dad (Granda) who so lovingly made his tacos for everyone.

You must start out with a pretty casserole dish from the Pioneer Woman! You get a set of 2 sizes at Walmart for practically not much. I think it was under 30 dollars for the set.

A layer of fried corn tortillas on the bottom – didn’t call for casserole to be greased since I guess this puts out enough oil, lol.

The grass-fed beef was amazing in this – 2 lbs. I used anaheim peppers (3 of them) and a medium onion and cooked it all together along with some garlic. And add your tomato sauce to it. Only I forgot to add the sauce so I did it in the next step. lol. It worked out.

You do a layer of tortillas (6 of them) and then put in half the meat mixture. Then you put another layer of tortillas (6 of them) and the rest of the meat.

Then you pour on the cream of chicken soup and if you forgot the tomato sauce add it here. And add a 1/2 soup can of milk and shredded Mexican Style cheese. I used the whole package and I believe it was 2 cups.

Then it baked at 350 for about 30 minutes until the cheese was all bubbly.

I recommend having a fresh sliced avocado available or fresh tomatoes and what I wished we had was some shredded lettuce and sour cream. We served with black beans, but it would also be good with refried beans or western style pintos.

We loved this! Although this dish is good anytime… I think this dish would be good at Christmas time or Thanksgiving when everyone is tired of ham and turkey and traditional holiday fair. It would also make a good “vacation” casserole if you have a condo or cabin with a kitchen. It didn’t take a lot of effort to make this. Even the tortillas fry up about 30 seconds on each side.

It’s a keeper recipe and will now be one of the favorites. We may try some variations just for fun – like using enchilada sauce instead of tomato sauce but as George said “it was really darn good with the plain tomato sauce”

And of course we are now in Season 2 of Bloodline. Only I fell asleep on the 2nd show. I guess I was tired and relaxed.

I had some other things I was going to blog about but I guess that will have to wait. It’s payroll day and I need to get going.

Hope you all have a good one and if you didn’t get to see the video, see the previous post.

Take care! More tomorrow.