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!

Taste and Smell

Oh well, it’s ok. Everything is organized to go back to work since the laundry is done and everything ironed that needed it. The only thing I ignored was doing my vitamins up in the little days of the week thingie! But I just did Monday just now and will do the rest this evening. Everything was cleaned that I wanted to work on.

It was another good day yesterday. Two days of getting an extra hour or two of sleep does a body good. This getting up in the 4 a.m. hour wears me out now. I keep edging closer and closer to 5 now since the Pandemic as schools are out and so are some people, making my drive 25 to 30 minutes instead of the average of 45.

Yesterday we went to the store and I bought a few things that was on my list. George went Thurs night I believe to get what he needed for our weekend meals. But I just needed a few things for me and I told him I’d rather go because I can walk through and see my choices.

I’m not really sure why I have needed to have crunchy and salty things available. I snack on those things a lot. I’m trying to do healthier versions as opposed to buying fritos. I just needed those – first the chili ones and then the regular ones. Since then I’m trying to do healthier versions of corn chips – if that is such a thing. Sun Chips are not as bad and multi grain crackers which I use instead of bread. However, I manage to get some bread in a week. I wish you could buy bread with like 4 slices in it, lol. For the person that would like to eat one sandwich a week. lol. Frozen bread is just “not where it’s at!” But I need to eat some greens and I’m tired of frozen entrees as it’s hard to find anything under 600mg of salt. And I’m tired of the same ones that are. I could just about gag on those frozen square or rectangle chicken chunks they put in there. Ugh…Cardboard and no taste other than yukkie! And most of the frozen things have a lot of carbs.

Anyway after the store – George went to meet his long time buddies from Gibson at a sushi restaurant not far away for lunch. It was a guy pow wow. So it’s good for him to get out and see his old buddies and catch up. I was happy to remain home – watch my shows. I ate a sandwich, and sweet potato plantain crackers as a side, followed by sliced banana dipped in peanut butter and drizzled in honey. What can I say? I was hungry and am enjoying it when I have a craving for something like I did that sandwich and banana yesterday.

I think since the diverticulitis thing – or whatever that was – where I had a fever, abdominal pain, followed by a painful rash on my stomach in the same area – and so forth – I’ve just not had much of an appetite. Someone asked me recently if I’ve lost my sense of smell and can I taste things. I definitely have taste. But I’m trying to decide if it’s diminished. How can one tell? I cannot see a difference in the relativity of it. Some taste versus a lot of taste. They were (a nurse friend I know) wondering if I’d had the ‘Rona. As she said whenever people start describing odd symptoms – it usually is. I told her I could definitely taste. But I’m wondering if it is as strong so I’ve tried to pay attention. Everything is definitely more subdued which may be what is making me not have a hunger to eat certain foods anymore, but to go toward something salty and crunchy.

As for smell, I was stumped when she asked that question b/c I was trying to remember the last time I smelled anything and I couldn’t. It’s not anything I’ve noticed really other than someone at the office said “I can’t believe you can’t smell that odor”. I know in early January I could smell as the smoke exhaust fumes from the tow motor next door where they were doing construction was sending me over the edge. But since then even strong paint fumes, I couldn’t smell that others could from further away. I don’t think I can smell much of anything any more but I definitely can smell as since then I’ve tried to notice. And I can smell some but not as strong as I once could. Just things that make you go hmmmm.

So I think I have taste and smell but maybe not as strong as it was. I can eat b/c I like to eat and I can feel when I’m hungry. It’s hard to explain. I haven’t had the desires or callings you feel for certain foods really. It’s been more about what does my stomach want than what does Sonya want. It’s been potatoes and crackers and then expanded into other arenas just by memory of the fact that I should be eating those foods and making sure I can still eat them. Luckily with success I’ve been able to. I think taste has not been something that has driven me to want foods like it used to.

So yeah, that has been on my mind lately. And I’m trying to notice the taste/smell functions. Sometimes things change and you don’t notice if it is drastic. But the important thing is – is that yes I can taste and yes I can smell. I just don’t think it’s as strong and I think that may be why I’m not craving things if the tastes are not really there like they were. It may be why the salty crunch of food is important to me. And the texture. Like potatoes. And the salt.

So in trying to notice more….The bologna with ham, mayo, and cheese and bread which chips on board tasted good to me yesterday – oh drats I forgot to add the spinach leaves to it. lol Oh well. I couldn’t really taste the banana much though and the peanut butter taste was slight. Definitely could taste the sweet potato plantain. And coffee. I can taste coffee but it’s more about the warmth now. But I can taste bad coffee really well, ha!

So yeah, kindof a weird side spin here, but this has been on my mind to try and notice if my taste and smell senses are off at all. So far I think they are off a bit since January and February’s issues, but not gone.

So after eating I came back here to my office, drank a couple of cups of coffee and began working on the iMovie. I guess I’m about a 1/4 of the way through. I should have it finished over the weekend for sure. George went to the beer store nearby and bought me this….

I like Kolsh, so this was kinda funny.

I didn’t drink it yet. But maybe tonight. He also brought me a fun cocktail which I’ve enjoyed the citrus cocktails lately. I must have needed some vitamin C. And I could taste it! And it was really good. I could also taste the mint sprig. So see. I do have taste! It was very refreshing. Oh wow, it’s time for me to get ready and go. Geez! Louise! Time goes so fast when I’m blogging and vlogging!

Sunsets, Masks, DIY Cleaning Solutions, and Office Decor

What a great day of “therapy” it has been. I’ve cleaned on the house, done laundry, rearranged my office walls. Everything is always ok in the house. It’s outside the walls that go awry. Well work is fine. But the rest of the world needs some help. My day at home was all one could ever ask for and it’s not over yet and there’s still tomorrow.

To relax during commercials in the evenings, sometimes I will take a glance at my Web Cam online app. I like people watching and weather watching mainly. Lately I’ve been wanting to see if people in other countries are wearing masks. They are. Anyway, look at this pic of a rainbow, sunset, storm that I caught in Cheyenne, WY. (Mona, do you know where this is?).

It’s the oddest place to have a webcam but there is the best weather scenes there in the background. I pop in occasionally to see some nice sunsets or interesting storms.

We had more interesting sunsets here as well. I’ve been known to be in a middle of a movie, look out and sprout from my chair to go catch a sunset yelling “it’s almost too late, I bet it’s too late, where’s my camera?” lol

Of course, at this time of night, even though we have a limited view of the sunset, I’ve enjoyed a moment of just savoring the skies and the breeze. I love the breezes the Lord has sent to us lately. It’s as if he is saying “I know you all are going through a hard time but I’m going to keep you amused with Saharan Dessert Sand sunsets and nice warm breezes for your faces to feel – for those of you that get out to enjoy my little loving rewards that I have provided for you”.

And George has provided good meals of late. I loved the bites of venison and chicken kabobs. He even made a kebob for the dogs to split. Of course he removed the bites for them. ha.

I kinda cheated though as I needed some protein and some “love” and I had ordered this for lunch Friday.

Sadly I ate both Logan’s rolls it came with during the day, along with the rice. Oh dear. So I wasn’t very hungry coming home. I had used a gift card since there is not one where we BOTH can go. There is one close to work so he told me to go ahead and use it. Well I love their salmon and chicken and steak at Logan’s. So I ordered this and picked it up and ate it in my car. I enjoyed my time away from my desk and watched the news since I’m not allowing myself to be on social media.

So I could not eat much of my dinner that George fixed and I felt bad. But…he was able to eat it for lunch today. So that was good.

Our new masks came in.

I have a little mask laundrymat going on in my bathroom. I have Dawn dedicated to mask washing and a little bowl I use to soak them in. Usually overnight, but I had so many to wash lately that I would soak them at least for an hour or two and hang them to dry. I first hang them in the shower.

I have these spots that are made for sponges to hang. I don’t use sponges, so it works out great. When I get out of the shower and I hang the ones that have been soaking to dry there as you see above. And then after they get through dripping they go to the towel rack.

The towel rack happens to hang over over the toilet paper. I don’t like my toilet paper wet. So that’s why they first have to drip dry in the shower. There is a vent on the floor that blows air onto them on the towel rack and finishes them off – then they go to the door knob of the bathroom to be put in either my work bag or George’s work box, lol! So a little system which works well as I come and go from the bathroom. This is all so absurd. Like, last year, can you imagine thinking about having to go through this. I never thought that we’d be going through a real Pandemic. I thought it was only for the movies. Or if so, for a brief period. It seems forever though doesn’t it. I know it won’t be, but for now, it feels like forever. We are starting to wonder if we will be able to travel in August as some of the states are starting to shut borders or are at least considering it. Countries definitely are closing up tight again. So time to batten down the hatches again. I’ve decided I’ll be ok with it. I mean you have to come to terms with it right? Otherwise it will drive you crazy. God says we have to find our contentment in whatever situation. So I’m trying!

So I had researched the cleaning “homegrown” style – a few weeks ago when I feared we may not be able to buy cleaning items. Also was trying to find a solution to the plexiglass shower doors we have that has a permanent array of soap scum that will not budge. It is totally my fault at not being able to keep up with it. And then realizing “oh crap a good scrub doesn’t even take it off”. If it were glass I think there would not be a problem but it sticks to this plexi material like concrete. It’s not coming off. It’s why I bought the shower curtain to go outside of it. Geez.

Note the “gold potty” there. At least some good things have happened this year. I have a totally white potty now! 😉

But….I am noticing that Dawn, vinegar, and water is gradually making a difference over time. And then I use the Daily Tilex spray to keep the current day’s soap scum at bay. I needed a better spray bottle so I ordered a couple from Amazon (they had the labels included, ha) and mixed the two mixtures above.

But the other mixture: Vinegar, Water, Lime and Rosemary (Lime juice b/c I did not have lemon peel, lol) I made for general use. I have cleaned SO MANY THINGS with this general cleaning mixture. I think I like it with the lime juice. I will try lemon next time. You can’t use Dawn in that mixture b/c some things you don’t need the soap suds situation going on. I cleaned crevices here and there and it immediately cleans! I am so impressed. It is FAR better than any other general cleaner I’ve used EVER. Take a peak.

My sink is as spotless as if I’d used bleach and baking soda which is my usual go to for our porcelain sink.

While cleaning I gathered help from George who could give our window some muscle. Got the window cleaned and that makes me happy.

George is making a Lamb Roast for dinner tonight. So excited. I love lamb.

He made simple syrup for the lamb.

He went outside and gathered some mint as we grow some. I also asked him to get enough for some cocktails with mint in them. He said he would fix mojito’s as he had made enough simple syrup for that too! So he did. It was kinda funny. Neither of us use lemon or lime juice on a regular basis. But today we both depleted the lime juice, lol. Mine with my cleaning mixtures and his with the mojitos. Do you know how many times this happens? We are always getting in each other’s way, but it’s all good. All’s well that ends well.

I enjoyed my Mojito. His is soooo fresh. Nothing like you would get at a restaurant. It was wonderful.

I also enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee BEFORE my Mojito. I needed something to encourage me to fix up my office after the letter board came in. It’s amazing how one little thing can make you try to rearrange your whole office. I rearranged it only to put it back again pretty much the way it was. lol I guess somethings you just perfect the first time around.

So this was a no go b/c I liked the table where it was before I moved it here:

So we are going with this:

Because I really like looking at this:

I did add the rest of the “travel” pics to the wall above the iMac. And I added the sailing ship to my table. Since I watch sailing shows and love to travel and in love with the sailing life (Will never happen for me at this point, but maybe a simple sail or a passage sometime).

So it’s not a “lovely” filming pic from when I film from my office but it’s “MY filming pic view”. And I guess I will be ok with that. It looks better and I totally love the message board. I think the phrase “Everything will be alright” is probably one of my favorite phrases. The white roses underneath is a nice touch that I stole from the mantle in the den. Now the den needs something, lol.

George helped me get my white board moved.

So Here ya go. All that and when I film you may not even be able to read the letter board, lol.

Sorry no make up here just testing things out. Ha! You can see I still have brown tinges in my hair. I will soon be cutting it out. But I’m trying to let it grow. I really am enjoying the hair going longer now that I have the new hair dryer round brush thingy!

My hair has more body using that and also not having color in my hair. I’m also getting used to the grey coming in and kinda like the highlights of gray agains my skin. God’s natural highlights. He knows what he is doing.

And still I say that George’s mojito is wonderful. lol

I have enjoyed my day today. And George also helped me to video the last piece of what I need to work on the next video.

So I’m ready to start working on that tomorrow! I’ll be downloading the music. I picked it out already. And I have some ideas going for the next one. So….these are getting easier to do. I hope I can get it down to a rhythm soon. My goal is to do one every two weeks but I think I can only manage to commit to every three right now. So maybe by the first of the year I’ll have it down. Til then I’ll just be “playing”.

But I’m happy with what I did in here today in the office.

I will leave you with a couple of pics. I wrote this list out for fun today. I love George’s “Another Dam List” pad. It’s on our fridge. But I just made one out for you all for fun. I wrote it while drinking coffee this morning and this was my plan for the day. I have done all but “read”. I’ll get to that soon.

And then while cleaning up, I just noticed this below and it just gave me a good a good moment. Good chi, which to me means a good “energy”.

It’ makes me just want to cook! If I only had a new floor that wasn’t blue and new countertops – ha!

Oh well, maybe one day I’ll be in the mood to cook again. I have to like my atmosphere before it likes me.

Anyway, ya’ll have a good day – I’m told dinner is ready and I must go!