Friday, April 30, 2021




I am...


Reading:  Well, actually re-reading a favorite book.  Hild, by Nicola Griffith.  I’m hoping that someday she writes a sequel to this—it was planned as a trilogy.

Listening to:  Birds singing.  Doves. 

Loving:  Planning my trip to Massachusetts with Mom in June.  It now has an official name “Mom and Lisa’s Wicked Big Adventure”.  We will be gone 9 days.  Spending part in Boston, a day in Gloucester whale-watching, and part on the South Shore (which is where my family is from), staying in Plymouth.

Thinking:  about today’s hangout with Mom.  We are going to Petroglyphs National Monument.  Specifically we are going to Boca Negra Canyon.  There’s about 200 petroglyphs there, I hope to get some good pictures.  The weather looks to be gorgeous.

Feeling:  less stressed than yesterday.  Work is crazy right now.  Crazy.  I needed a day off.

  Spring!  Everything is greening up, and we put in our little patio container garden a couple of days ago.  We have a Midnight Snack tomato, Sweet Heat pepper, rosemary, sage, and crookneck squash.  Plus a pretty for the patio table.

Grateful for:  Hubs.  He keeps me grounded.

Weather:  High of 73 and sunny all days.  Hooray!  We’ve had a cool spring this year, comparatively.  I’m ready for some sunshine after the stormy days we’ve had the last few days.  But, hey, it rained, so YAY!

Enjoying:  Sitting out on the patio writing this, keeping one eye on the hummingbird feeder.  Mom saw one the other day, and my feeder looks ¾ empty, so they must be about.

A quote I want to share:   “My favorite weather is bird chirping weather.” – Terri Guillemets

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Saturday 9--All I Ever Need is You


Join us every Saturday, right here.

1) The lyrics tell us that some men search for silver, some for gold. Are you wearing either silver or gold right now?

White gold.  We didn’t have a lot of money when we first married, so I had a simple white gold wedding band.  Later, things got better, and hubs bought me a white gold and diamond engagement ring and wedding band.  I wear the simple band on my right 4th finger, and the diamonds on my left.  That’s it for jewelry—I’m not a fan, generally.

2) This song was a top 20 hit in the United States but sold much better in Canada. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of our neighbor to the North?

The three weeks I spent with my ex and my 2 year old daughter camping our way through Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon on our move from Missoula, Montana to Eagle River, Alaska.  It was an amazing trip—we drove up the Icefields Parkway, went to Banff, Stewart BC/Hyder AK, and so many other amazing places.  I have such wonderful memories of that trip.  This Mississippi girl never dreamed she’d see such sights!  I particularly remember Lake Louise.  We took a break from camping in Banff, and stayed a night at the Chateau Lake Louise.  The lake was such a beautiful color. 

Image Credit

3) It's performed by one of pop's most successful duos, Sonny and Cher. Can you name another duo that made hit records?

Simon and Garfunkel.  I’ve always loved their music—have their greatest hits album in rotation on Amazon music.  Here’s a particular favorite.

4) In addition to their recording career, Sonny and Cher were TV stars. In a recurring sketch on their variety show, Cher played a "v-a-m-p: VAMP!" These characters were always sexy and seductive. Do you consider yourself a good flirt?

Not so much.  I don’t like being “fake”, and that’s how flirting feels to me—like I’m being somebody I’m not.

5) Sonny dropped out of high school in Inglewood, CA. Cher dropped out of high school in Fresno. What's the last year of education you completed?

I just completed by second Masters degree—a dual Master in Business Administration/Healthcare Management.  I am done.  Swear.  So, 12 + 2 (Associates in Nursing) + 1 (Bachelors in Nursing) + 1 (Masters in Nursing Education) + 2 (MBA) = 18 years.  Honestly, if someone would pay for it, I’d probably go for my PhD, but nobody is jumping up and down to fund me, so I’m done.  I love learning, what can I say?

6) Sonny first became Mayor of Palm Springs, and then represented the district in Congress. The city erected a statue in Sonny's memory. Tell us about a statue or monument in your town.

The veterans memorial in our town is one of our favorite places to picnic.  It’s hidden away, behind the library, and shares space with a xeriscaping demonstration park.  The memorial has a gorgeous fountain that is set among some shade trees.  It’s surrounded by a lovely sunken lawn, and is a cool and cozy place to picnic in the heat of summer.

7) Cher is often described as outspoken. Ask her for her opinion on anything from politics to plastic surgery, and you will get a frank answer. Does "outspoken"  apply to you, as well?

I can be.  I learned, over time, to think before engaging my mouth.  But sometimes, well, let’s just say I can be a little less than diplomatic.

8) In 1971, when this song was popular, Sears sold a portable manual typewriter. Described at the time as, "lightweight for travelers," it weighed 10 lbs. Today the average laptop weighs half that. Do you own a typewriter?

Nope.  3 laptops, 1 desktop, a couple of tablets, and phones, but no typewriter.

9) Random question -- Which has gotten you out of more scrapes: your smarts, or your charm?

Definitely my smarts.  I can BE charming, but it’s not my default setting.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

New Tunes from an Old Favorite with a New Name

 I love folk music, Americana, bluegrass, whatever you want to call with stories, mandolin, fiddle, guitar.  That sort of thing.  My favorite band for quite a while now is Mandolin Orange.  Well, WAS Mandolin Orange.  Andrew Marlin, Emily Franz and their band have decided to change their name to Watchhouse.  Here's part of what of they have to say about it:

"This past year has been the first time we’ve stayed still since we were 21, and the pause gave us the opportunity to sit with ourselves and set intentions. We have long been burdened by the dichotomy between our band name and the music we strive to create—if you’ve heard the songs, you know they are personal. Now that we can see a future where music is a shared experience again, we're defining the space we share with you on a stage or in your headphones, and making it one that welcomes our creativity and anyone who wants to listen."

They've written and performed a new song as Watchhouse--and I like it.  It's got a little bit of psychedelic feel but with the Americana bones.  Check it out....

I, for one, am looking forward to the upcoming album and whatever direction they go...

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday 9--Don't Rain on My Parade

Saturday 9: Don't Rain on My Parade (1968)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Is rain expected where you are today? 

Weirdly yes.  Water is always good here in the high desert.  We have a 54% chance of rain around 8pm tonight.  I hope it DOES rain.  Our rainy season is later in the year.  We get much of our 8 or so inches a year during the Southwestern Monsoon season, June through September.  I always get a kick out of the fact that it’s called a “monsoon season” since it’s NOTHING like what I imagine a real monsoon to be.  But hey, water from the sky is always a blessing.

2) In this song, Barbra Streisand warns everyone to not spoil her optimistic mood. What is something you're feeling really good about today?

Getting some stuff done around the house this weekend.  I set a plan yesterday, and so far I’m on track.  Yesterday we put up the new umbrella outside and cut up the box it came in, and 1 load of laundry.  Today my plan was for another load of laundry (in), clean and hang the hummingbird feeder (soaking now), clean and disinfect the 3 litter boxes and refill with new litter (saving for later when it’s warmer), and hang 2 pictures in my bathroom.  I’m feeling pretty optimistic that all of this will get accomplished.

3) She sings that life is candy and the sun is a ball of butter. Which have you consumed more recently, candy or butter?

Butter.  I’m not a fan of candy (although I love Lindt Red Chile dark chocolate squares on occasion).

4) This song is from the musical Funny Girl. It's based on the true story of Fanny Brice, who starred on Broadway, in movies and on the radio between 1910 and 1951. At the beginning of her career, no one thought she would succeed because of her unconventional looks, but she forged ahead, saying, "I make things happen for me." Are you focused, like Fanny? 

Overly focused.  My OCD meds help a lot.  It’s great for work, but it really bogs down my personal life.

5) When the stage version of Funny Girl was in pre-production, the part of Fanny was offered to actress Anne Bancroft, but she felt the songs were too difficult for her. Singer Eydie Gorme dropped out when told her husband, Steve Lawrence, could not play the male lead. Carol Burnett said she'd love to do it, but also admitted she thought she was wrong for the role. Running out of time and options, producer Ray Stark decided to give lesser-known Barbra Streisand a try ... and the rest, as they say, is history. Has there ever been a time in your life when you were glad things didn't work out as you'd originally planned?

Getting married young and not going to college after high school.  I doubt I’d have ever gone to nursing school had I not gone down that path.  The marriage didn’t last, but my nursing degree is forever.  I ended up with 2 master’s degrees, so I think I kicked the education thing in the butt, lol.

6) Funny Girl was the top grossing movie of 1968. #2 was 2001: A Space Odyssey. Given the choice, would you rather watch a musical or a sci-fi flick?

Sci-fi, definitely.  There are musicals I love, like My Fair Lady and Sound of Music, but I’m not a fan of the whole genre as a rule.  Sci-fi on the other hand, I like it all. 

7) Streisand's favorite color is burgundy because it reminds her of when, as a little girl, she received a hand-knitted sweater as a gift and wearing it made her feel special. What color is your favorite sweater?

It’s a blue Marmot polar fleece pullover that was my Dad’s.  I love it.

8) In 1960, she began performing in New York clubs but she had a hard time getting work because she was only 18 and most nightclubs wouldn't hire a girl not yet old enough to drink. Do you remember your first legal alcoholic beverage? What did you have?

I have not a clue.  Probably a beer.

9) Random question: How many people know the real you?

Not many.  I keep all my skeletons firmly locked in their closet.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Blogging from A to Z--K is for Kind

Which is what I'm going to be to myself for missing 2 days worth of posting.  Work has been a killer these last couple of days.  That's all I've got.  I'll regroup tomorrow.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge--J is for Jargon

Jargon.  I love this word.  Don't love what it is so much.  Definition from Merriam-Webster:  the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group.  Imagine being part of a profession that has SO.MUCH.JARGON that you have to take a class in it and you will be an RN, an MD, or some other medical-adjacent professional (coders, documentation specialists, administrators, the list is endless).  You will become proficient in medical Latin and learn obscure abbreviations (at least I did, back when we RNs still handwrote our notes, things are better now).  

Here's a crazy example of some of the more basic terms I had to learn back in the dark ages of 1990:

Image credit

The hilarious thing is, when I take notes on anything, I use the with and without and change abbreviations.  Seriously.  It's ingrained that deep.  Now that we use an electronic medical record, with and without have been replaced by w/ (with) and w/o (without).  The symbol for change is now termed "delta".  

My job as a utilization review analyst is even more esoteric than bedside nursing.  We have a whole set of jargon that is unique.  It drives my husband crazy, and makes my mother go to sleep, when I try to talk about my work, because it's pretty hard to explain without the jargon.  Almost impossible, in fact.  So I find myself trying to having to define every 3rd word or something.  

Hubs used to get really irritated about jargon, and then he went to university to become an elementary educator.  Wow.  They really have quite a bit of jargon too.  Now, he's resigned.

What kind of jargon do YOU use?

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday Stealing--Morning Meme

Play here.

1. You have just been hired to clean your own home, what is your first complaint?  You decorate with pet hair?! How quaint.  Seriously, I could run the Roomba and vacuum every day and it would barely make a dent.  At least that’s the way it feels. 

2. Are you able to ignore a ringing telephone?  I’m better at it than I used to be.  The maddening car warranty scammers definitely got me there.

3. How often do you allow a ringing phone to go to voice mail?  I have a cell, and a google voice number that rings to my cell for work.  I have the work one labeled so I know when it’s a work call.  Those I always answer, unless it’s after hours.  Otherwise, if you are in my contacts, I’ll answer, but if you’re not, off to voicemail you go.

4. Do you answer your cell phone, out in public, every time it rings? Or do you silence it and get back to it when you’re in a more private area?  Most of the time, I have my phone on vibrate.  If we’re doing something fun like being at the zoo or out for a walk, I check it (because, Mom), and THEN silence it.

5. How often would you say you’re on your home phone? Your cell phone?  No home phone.  On my cell, a fair amount, generally texting or looking stuff up.  I like having the what amounts to a library in my pocket.

6. Do you like talking on the phone or do you view it as a necessary communication tool?  I like talking to my family.  I prefer texting everyone else.  

7. When did you last go for a bike ride?  Years.

8. Do you own a bike?  Nope

9. Given the most popular New Year’s resolution of losing weight, would you consider putting bicycle riding as one of your exercise options? Why or why not?  Nope.  Cars.

10. If you had to name a smell that always makes you nostalgic, what would it be? What sorts of memories does the smell evoke?  Gardenias and honeysuckle.  They grew under my bedroom window when I was a kid in Mississippi.  They make me thing of home.

Image credit

11. What did you do over the weekend? No detail is too small. This is your journal, so tell us about the mundane tasks in your life.  Took naps, had a nice long soak in the tub. Loaded the dishwasher.  Cleaned the kitchen.  Took out the trash.  Walked Maddie up the arroyo a couple of times.  Watched Dr. Strange (one of my favorite Marvel movies).  Had Birria Tacos for the first time.  OMG, am going to be making these at home.  Super tasty.  Here’s a quick video.

12. If it weren’t for my blog, I’d write a lot less, that’s for sure.

13. When was the last time you replied “because I said so”? Do you find yourself saying that a lot? Or do you prefer to tell people WHY you want them to do something for you.   I can’t recall saying that ever.  It was a big one of my Dad’s  “do as I say, not as I do”.  I always hated it, so made a point NOT to use it.

14. What is the worst gift you’ve ever received?  It’s hard to think of a bad gift.  I got a jacket from my parents once that my Dad picked out.  It’s one of those Asian silk baseball jackets with embroidery.  Beautiful thing.  And about 9 sizes too small.  But it wasn’t a “bad” gift.

15.  Tell us the worst gift you’ve ever given. What was the reaction of the recipient? 

 I’m a pretty thoughtful gift giver, no one has ever reacted badly that I can recall.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday 9--The Bones

Join the Saturday 9-ers here.

The Bones (2019)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) They lyrics compare a relationship to a house, saying that despite superficial problems like peeling paint or broken glass, the foundation can still be solid and strong. What home improvement project is next on your list?

Since we put our patio in 3 years ago, we have had a cantilevered umbrella to provide shade.  

Well, it gets windy as hell here, and in retrospect, the umbrella was probably not a good idea.  It’s flipped over backwards a couple of times, despite the 100 lbs of sand and water in the base.  We just opened it for the first time this year, and a vital piece inside the umbrella apparently broke off when it flipped over last year.  So, it’s time to put a patio cover (also called a pergola here) up.  We have a gentleman coming out Monday to give us an estimate.  It will be a traditional sort of New Mexican design, but with alumawood instead of the real thing.   Something like this:

2) Maren Morris sings that she knows she and her lover can face any storm. Are you afraid of thunder and lightning?

Nope, I grew up in a place where we had thunderstorms and lightning most every day (Mississippi).  Maddie, our dog, however, is terrified.

3) The video for this song shows Maren and her husband, singer/songwriter Ryan Hurd, on the beach in Maui. Would you rather go for a long walk along a beach or a hike in the woods?

Both would be good, since my day to day doesn’t involve either of those things.  If there are mountains though, I’m out.  My climbing mountains days are over.

4) "The Bones" won Morris and her collaborators (Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz) the 2020 CMA "Song of the Year" Award. Here's your chance to pat yourself on the back. What's something you have done well lately? (Go ahead. We want to hear about it!)

Managing my money.  I’ve been saving more for retirement, not spending outside my budget, and just generally doing better. 

5) The song was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song. For the awards show last month, Maren put a lot of work into her look, including lightening her hair and lipstick and reshaping her brows. She was surprised when saw on social media that people confused her with reality star Khloe Kardashian. How long does it take you to prepare to face the world (on an average day, not for an internationally telecast awards show)?

Ha.  I work at home, permanently and don’t have to zoom.  I roll out of bed, get coffee, throw on a robe, take the dog out, and go to work.  Sometimes, I never get out of my jammies.  Other times, I put on sweats and a t-shirt.  Either way, it’s about a minute.

6) Experimenting with hair and makeup comes naturally to Maren. Her parents have owned the same hair salon for decades. She and her sister played there as children and took turns working the reception desk when they were in high school. Do you have a hair appointment scheduled?

Yes, me and Mom got to Peridot Rose salon every 2 months.  She’s been cutting my hair since 2012, and is amazing!

7) Mom and Dad do not go out of their way to play Maren's songs in their salon. They don't want to "bombard" clients with her music, just because she's their daughter. But, if one of Maren's songs happens to come on, they are naturally very proud. Where were you the last time you had to listen to someone else's choice of music? (Bank, doctor's office, friend's car, etc.) Did you enjoy it, or did you wish you could change the station?

Walgreens.  Lawd, the music in there is awful. 

8) Maren says her favorite foods are tacos and tortillas. When did you most recently eat Mexican food?

Last week maybe?  But it’s a good idea for lunch today!

9) Random question: What do you call that thing in your living room? Is it a sofa, couch, or a davenport?


Blogging from A to Z April Challenge--I is for Ideas

Blogging is hard, ya'll.  

I'm really glad I decided to do this challenge, because unlike doing memes, I actually have to come up with my own ideas.  I can see where having an over-arching theme might give the whole thing more direction, and am definitely going to try that next year.  Some ideas for future themes--places I've been, food I've made/eaten with recipes, books I've read, house decorating, New Mexican stuff.  Wow, look how many ideas I just came up with in that few minutes.

So my brain is not completely devoid of ideas, which is a good thing to know.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge--H is for Hello

Hello?  Remember regular phones? Back in the day, it was just a telephone on the wall, or a princess phone, or a desk phone.  It started out with a dial, then got buttons.  It was always plugged in.  We always answered the phone.  Later, answering machines came, and caller ID.  I always had a thing about answering the phone though.  I was not a call screener.

Then, along came the miracle of cell phones, and new and fun ways for scammers to get a hold of you.  I rarely say "Hello?" anymore.  Anyone who I am expecting to call me is in my contacts, so I know who you are and will answer accordingly.  My family has taken to texting.  I figure if you are wanting me, you'll leave a message.  I diligently put the numbers of businesses I call into my contacts, so I can reply.

Invariably, when I forget, and do answer, it's the car warranty scammers or the social security number scammers (your social security account has been hacked!)

Just say no to Hello, that's my motto.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge--G is for Ginger

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter G

Our girl Ginger was with us for 12 years, and it wasn't long enough.  She was a rescue, some sort of Shepard mix, and she was such a joy.  She crossed the Rainbow Bridge 2 years ago in March, the day after my Dad passed away.  She was goofy, and loving, and sweet, and a pain.  She loved springtime, and rolling around in the grass at the park after the sprinklers had been on.  It was joy.

Miss you sweet girl.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge--F is for Fish

I love fish.  LOVE it.  I'm not picky about the kind either--and for this post, I'm including crustaceans, shellfish, what have you in the general "fish" category.  My parents are from the South Shore of Boston, near Plymouth.  They grew up eating clams, lobster, cod, and herring.  When I was five, we moved to Mississippi.  There, my mother got a very interesting job with great benefits.  She was a histology technician in a marine research laboratory for the University of Southern Mississippi.  She worked in the parasitology department.  Every day, the lab would send out their trawler into the Gulf of Mexico, and bring back whatever.  Whatever included pounds of shrimp, redfish, flounder, and crabs.  Her department used the innards for their research, and the employees took home the "bounty"--fillets, shrimp, and so forth.  

I remember begging to go to McDonalds and saying "do we have to have shrimp AGAIN?"  OMG, what I would give to have all that free seafood now, living out here in the high desert of New Mexico.  

Living in Alaska, I got to experience dirt cheap king crab, amazing oysters, wild salmon dipped right out of the river, and halibut.  

I miss cheap (or free) fish.  But I suck it up and buy what I like, because it's worth it.  I found a great market in Albuquerque that has a top flight fish market.  I just don't have it every day anymore.

My favorite?  Shrimp and grits for sure.  So rich and creamy.  I adapted this recipe from a Blue Apron recipe from a few years ago.  I've changed it enough so it's mine.  Enjoy.

I order my stone-ground white corn grits from Amazon, my favorite is Palmetto Mills from South Carolina. They can also be had from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Do not use quick grits with this's designed for traditional grits only.   That being said, this isn’t a “traditional” shrimp and grits presentation.  No bacon.  Feel free to add if that’s your thing.

GRITS--1 cup grits, 3.5 chicken broth, 0.5 cup half-and-half. Pour chicken broth and milk into instant pot, hit saute more, let rest for one minute. Skim any floating grits hulls off, and whisk with metal whisk continuously until it boils, then 1 minute more. Place instant pot lid on, and hit porridge low. When cycle completes, natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release and stir in 3 tbsp butter, pepper to taste (a nice sharp cheddar is good too).

SHRIMP-- 10 medium shrimp peeled and cleaned, pat dry with paper towels, 1-1/2 tbsp sweet smoked paprika, 1/2 tbsp creole seasoning, and 1/2 tbsp NM red chile powder. Place shrimp in bowl, sprinkle seasonings and coat shrimp well. Heat healthy drizzle olive oil in large skillet on medium high the saute shrimp ONLY 1 minute on each side remove to plate. Slice 1 cup grape tomatoes in half, fine chop 1/3 onion and 3 garlic cloves. Throw onion and garlic in hot pan, saute, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add 3 tbsp butter, and grape tomatoes. Saute, using back of spoon to flatten and dejuice tomato halves. When all is soft, squeeze 2 lemon quarters in and add shrimp back. Heat for a minute or so, spoon over grits, garnish with chives or scallion greens, and ENJOY!  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Blogging A to Z April Challenge--E is for Earthquake

I've lived in a lot of places.  But not very many places with earthquakes.  In fact, I've only lived in one place where earthquakes are a "thing".  Alaska.  I lived north of Anchorage for 3 years, up in a hanging valley in the Chugach range.  It was a stunning place to live.  The first memorable earthquake I recall from my time there happened while I was at work.  In fact, it was the first earthquake I had ever experienced.

I was working in the ICU at Providence Alaska Medical Center.  I recall that I was sitting at the nurses station, charting, when all of a sudden I felt this weird buzzing inside me.  Then the whole building literally lurched left, then right.  The fluorescent lights hanging from the ceilings were swinging back and forth.  Everyone dove under the desk, but I just sat there, pretty much frozen.  All the ventilators and IV pumps started alarming, and regardless of the shaking of the building we all lurched our way to our patient's room and started checking on them.  It was so weird, how I felt it inside my body before it happened.

The second, and most scary one I remember occurred early in the morning.  Our house was situated on a flat lot cut into a ridge.  The "yard" went up very steeply behind us, on up to the road, and then up the mountain.  The back yard was full of every size of rock.  I'm standing at the kitchen sink, looking out the window, when I feel that buzzing, and the house lurches.  I'm watching rocks rolling down the hillside towards the car, which was parked behind the house.  Fortunately, there were a couple of trees there, and a berm (I'm sure designed for just that reason) that stopped the rocks from wiping out the car, and me, who is staring out the window transfixed by rolling boulders.

I am very happy that we don't have such natural disasters here in New Mexico.  High winds? Got 'em.  Blizzards?  Sure, and the snow melts the next day.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes?  Nope, not in this part of NM.  Yay!

Monday, April 5, 2021

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge--D is for Dad

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter D

I had a complicated relationship with my Dad.  But I never doubted that he loved me, and I always wanted to be like the best parts of him.  He passed away March 2, 2019, and I miss him every day.

I think this is the first picture of me and my Dad, somewhere on the South Shore, Massachusetts, 1962.

He loved his cars (and me).  Halifax, Massachusetts

High school graduation, Newport News, VA 1981

The last photo of us together, after this, he got pretty sick, and didn't want his picture taken.  Aiken, South Carolina, 2018

My father was a veteran of the U.S. Navy Submarine Service.  It was the basis for his successful career as a nuclear test engineer.  He was a sailor on the U. S. S. Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine.

Brant Rock, Massachusetts

Dad could be super goofy, it was one of my favorite things about him.

His prized Road Warrior, a 1939 Chevy Fat Boy.  He showed this car all over the southeast.

Dad loved loud shirts, lol!  This was one of the loudest.

He also loved motorcycles.  Fast anything.  Ocean Springs, Mississippi, 1969

My father fought prostate cancer for over 20 years.  He passed away in his favorite recliner, peacefully, with me, my brother, and my Mom at his side.  Keep it in the middle of the road, Dad, I'll love you always.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sunday Stealing--Etsy

Go ahead, you know you want to.  Play here.

1. What’s your favorite kind of cake? 

I am very intolerant of sugar, so I rarely eat cake, preferring pie, if I’m going to suffer for it.  But in my younger days, before the sugar thing became an issue, I loved, loved, loved a coconut cake like this one.

2. What’s your favorite cocktail?

Don’t drink, but I like tonics and flavored things.  The other day, Mom and I went to Vinaigrette after the botanical garden.  They have a great drink on their tonic menu that is called the Pepino.  Club soda, lime, mashed cucumber, and mint, I think.  It was so tasty and refreshing!

3. If you are alone for the evening, what do you fix yourself for dinner?

When I lived by myself, I rarely had anything cooked for dinner.  I was partial to PB&J sandwiches.  I ate my large meal and breakfast in the cafeteria at work.

4. What make was your first car? 

A Datsun B-210 that my Mom gave me.  Green.

5. What is your height?

Short.  5’2”

6. What was your least favorite toy as a child?

Legos.  Being the most uncreative person in the world, it was hugely frustrating.  I could never make anything that wasn’t basically just walls.

7. What’s your favorite cartoon character?

I loved the roadrunner. 

8. What’s your dream car?

I wouldn’t mind a Hyundai Santa Fe, loaded.  It would be an upgrade from our semi-loaded Hyundai Turbo.

9. What’s your favorite pizza topping?

Mushrooms, black olives, and onions, equally.

10. What’s your favorite sports team?

I don’t really follow sports.  I did at one time, back in the day, and then it was the Colorado Avalanche (ice hockey)

11. What’s your favorite TV show?

Too many to list.  The highlights?  The Crown, Victoria, The Expanse, Debris, The Mandalorian, and Chopped, Law and Order (the original).  All over the place.

12. What is your favorite ice cream?

See number 1.  Sugar is not my friend, and I also have a raging lactose intolerance issue.  These are the results of a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in 2007.  It saved my life, so I live with it.  Anyhow, I can’t do regular ice cream, but the cashew milk stuff is amazing.

13. What is your favorite song?

I’m still obsessed with “Who?” by Caitlin Canty.  Here’s a rewatch of a great live version for those of you who haven’t see it (I’ve shared it here before).

14. What’s your least favorite chore?

All of them.  If I could afford it, I’d hire someone to do the cleaning.  But, without a doubt, dealing with the three litterboxes in my house (four cats) is the worst.

15. What was your first job?

My brother and I had a giant paper route when I was in high school.  He is 3 years younger, and delivered the afternoon edition, I did the morning.  I think that’s where I got my “morning-ness” from, as I had to get up at 4 Monday through Saturday.  We had about 1,000 customers, all apartment complexes.  On Sundays, Mom and Dad helped us with the pickup truck.  We made good money!  Dad acted as our “muscle” when we had collection problems, lol.  He was a very big guy—6’4, 260.  They always paid when he put on that “are you REALLY trying to rip my kids off?!” look.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge--Cooking

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter C

Welcome to today's edition of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.  I've made it to C!  As I've read more about this challenge, and read blogs, I've seen that folks do themes.  Welp, I've come to the party a bit late, and I'm going to be flabbergasted if I actually get a post everyday, so I'm going to keep it simple and just go without a theme this year.  So, enjoy the randomness!  

Cooking is something I've really been getting back into lately.  For years, I did all the cooking.  I'm a good cook, but I don't really LOVE it.  Then I met a man who DOES love it, and for years and years, he did all the cooking.  Wahooo! you say, right?!  I have OCD, and that played into my not wanting to cook.  You see, I knew I couldn't measure up to his innate talent in the kitchen, so I didn't want to even try.  In the last year, I've gotten treatment for my OCD, and those compulsions about being perfect have really decreased.  I feel free, and miraculously, cooking is back in my life.

My favorite cuisines to cook are Cajun/Creole/Southern (because I was raised on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi) and New Mexican (which is the home of my heart and NOT ever to be confused with Mexican).  

I'm also the resident cook of seafood in our house--hubs is a Puerto Rican who grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, and cooking fish, shrimp, oysters and so forth really isn't part of his repertoire.

Some of my favorite things I've made:

Green chile chicken stacked enchiladas.  That's how we eat them here in New Mexico.  Stacked, not rolled.

Calabacitas.  This is a New Mexican dish made with zucchini, yellow squash, onion, garlic, sweet corn, and cheese.  I had some grape tomatoes that were on the edge, so I threw them in there too.  This is PHENOMENAL in a quesadilla or enchilada, or just straight out of the pan.  It's my favorite summer dish.

Carne Adovada.  This is my favorite New Mexican meat dish.  It's pork shoulder braised in red chile sauce.  For about 4 hours.  Great stuffed in a sopaipilla (a puffed piece of fried dough), in enchiladas, or just on a plate, covered with a fried egg.

Seafood gumbo.  I have been eating this stuff since I was a kid.  It's a little pricier here in NM, but worth it, and freezes well.  I use head-on shrimp, and make my own seafood stock from the shells and heads.  This has shrimp, jumbo lump crabmeat, and lump crabmeat.  It is oh so good!  I made this for my Mom's 80th birthday in January.  

Shrimp and grits.  This is actually my interpretation of a Blue Apron dish from back in the day when I used to get Blue Apron meal boxes.  It's not uber-traditional shrimp and grits (no bacon), but I love it.  You can do this preparation with scallops, chicken, pasta, whatever.  It's rich and satisfying.

Now I'm hungry, lol.  

I need to plan dinner for tonight.  Hubs and I have been talking about making empanadas, but we couldn't find the wrappers.  I think that will be our project for today.  Interesting tidbit.  We make Puerto Rican empanadas, which are made with picadillo.  That's meat, onions, olives, and recaito, which is a Puerto Rican green sauce.  Here in New Mexico, empanadas are usually made with fruit, like apples, dates, raisins, are generally a Christmas thing.  I find it fascinating how Spanish culture and foods interprets itself across the world.  

Leave me comment, and your URL, I'm making a concerted effort to get around the blogosphere and check out new blogs.

Saturday 9--Love Story


Join the Saturday 9ers here.


Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The lyrics tell us about a romantic summer night on a balcony. Does your home have a balcony?

Nope, it’s a single-story house.

2) Taylor Swift sings that her father warns her boyfriend to stay away, but she sees him anyway. Tell us about a time you defied your parents.

I used to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night, bicycle over to my besties house and we’d ride down to the beach.  It was small-town Mississippi, there was literally no one about but us most of the time.   We were around 15.

3) The castle in this video looks European, but it's in Arrington, TN. Castle Gwynn is the site of the annual Tennessee Renaissance Fair. This May the festival will be back, and among the items food vendors are offering are Scotch eggs. When did you most recently eat eggs, and how were they prepared?

Just yesterday.  My favorite breakfast is a mushroom, onion, spinach and egg scramble.  I keep a bowl of pre-sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and onion in the fridge.  I warm up some of that, throw some fresh spinach in until it wilts, and crack 2 eggs over the whole thing and stir until they are cooked.  Top with a sprinkle of sharp cheese and voila.  Healthy and yummy!  Sometime I throw a bit of green chile in there too.  I am a total breakfast person.  My brain does not work without morning protein.

4) Love Story is also the story of Jenny and Oliver in a book by Erich Segal and a movie starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal. Are you familiar with either the book or the movie?

Never read the book or saw the movie, but I’m aware of it.  I met Ali MacGraw once in Santa Fe.  She was nice.

5) Taylor was born in Reading, PA. which is home to the Reading Railroad, one of the four railroads featured in Monopoly. Without looking it up, can you name the two most expensive Monopoly properties?

Nope.  I am not a fan of Monopoly.  We really enjoy dice games (Zombie Dice, Quixx, Catan Dice), card games (Exploding Kittens, Uno, Unstable Unicorns), and cooperative board games (Pandemic, Tigers and Eggs, Kingdominoes, Quirkle).   Compared to all these Monopoly is boring as hell, lol.

6) When she's not performing on stage, Taylor likes to keep it casual and prefers to wear cowboy boots. Tell us about your favorite footwear.

In the summer, I live in these Alegria Venice sandals or these Vans.  I love them both, they go with everything.  At least everything that I wear.  

In the winter, these Merrell clogs or my New Balance runners.

7) Taylor's brother, Austin Swift, is an actor and producer who studied photography at college. Think about the last picture you took. Did you use your phone, tablet or camera? (Feel free to share it, if you'd like.)

Well it’s not quite the last picture I took, but I’m super proud of it.  This was taken with our Canon camera in the Moorish Garden at the Albuquerque BioPark Botanical Garden.  Mom and I went last Friday.  The second picture was also taken at the Botanical Garden, but with my Samsung S9 phone, then I manipulated it with the Prism app.  It came out so good, I’m going to have it printed.

8) In 2008, the year this song was popular, the Emmy Award winning show Breaking Bad premiered. Were you a fan?

I loved the show, but it’s not re-watch material—that show went some pretty dark places.  It’s cool that it was set in Albuquerque.  The cast was just amazing.  We often see locations from the show in our travels around town (the high school, Garcia’s Kitchen, the El Pollo Loco).  It’s pretty cool.  Funny story—I moved out here before hubs to start work.  I really wanted to live in Albuquerque, and we were looking for house separately, online.  I started watching Breaking Bad, called my husband and said “Ummm, I really don’t want to live in Albuquerque, let’s find someplace a little … safer”.  He found that hilarious, and we found a house in Rio Rancho (between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, a quiet little bedroom community, with very low crime)

9) Random question: You and your best friend sit down to write the story of how/when you met. Do you think the stories would be almost the same or quite different? (In other words, will you two remember the event the same way?)

Well, my best friend is my husband.  And we remember it pretty much the same way.  We met on an online bulletin board (remember those) discussing politics and books.  I loved his sense of humor.  He thought I was smart.  He lived in North Carolina and I lived in Florida.  We dated for a year, driving back and forth.  He moved in with me and we lived together for a year.  Got married.  Ta-da!