Thursday 23 February 2023

New Louise Penny

 I just finished reading the new Louise Penny book entitled A World of Curiosities . I whipped through it in a couple of days ( it’s on a limited borrowing time because it’s new and there is a wait list ). 

I enjoyed it very much, set in Three Pines, rather than some country elsewhere. I honestly thought I had it figured out in chapter twelve, which made me feel both smug and a bit disappointed that Penny should give up a clue that early and that easily. However, I was wrong, thankfully. 

I liked how Penny went back into the history between Armond Gamache and his right hand man, Jean- Guy Beauvoir. 

The only thing that made me a bit hesitant to give this book top marks was how closely Penny comes to writing about the topics du jour. I hope and pray she doesn’t sacrifice her integrity by deliberately creating her works around pre decided hooks in order to score points.  And that’s all I’ll say about that lest I ruffle some feathers.

On a different note entirely, our  weather took a rather wintry turn last night with quite a lot of snow and some freezing rain. Other areas received more freezing rain than we did but buses were canceled regardless.

Those buns that I made were excellent and I froze the leftovers. I have no clue what to make tonight for supper. I have a bag of frozen shrimp that could be sautéed with some garlic. There’s always rice, maybe some of my green beans frozen from the summer? Sometimes I just hate having to come up with supper ideas. I think it’s because I don’t want to eat the same thing over and over. Husband wouldn’t mind but I would tire of it. 

I went to a hospital ( not too far away this time) to receive my first infusion of Zometa ( zolendronic acid) which helps your bones lest all your calcium leaches out giving you Swiss cheese bones ( a side effect of anti- hormone therapy ). It’s also good for those with osteoporosis, which I do have. Of course this is not without its own side effects but I did my reading and asked around. I feel fine today, so that’s a good thing.

Let me know if any of you have also read the new Penny mystery. I would recommend it to any fans out there. 

Sunday 19 February 2023

Sun., Feb. 19, 2023

 This cat has no issues with water. I caught him sitting on the faux cement “ pillar” on the porch, drinking the melted snow water from the divot on the top. 

Had I not seen this I may have wondered why he came in so wet!

Why do puddles always taste better than the fresh water we provide for our animals? 

Look what I kind of made!

These are rolls / buns for tomorrow’s pulled pork. I got help from my very old, but still functioning bread maker. 

When I’m done this blog post, I’m going to eat the smallest one to make sure they’re ok.  Which reminds me, I always ate the broken, misshaped, slightly burnt cookies, etc. so the family could have the nice ones. Did any other moms used to do that? Do any of you use a bread maker for other edibles besides bread? Do some of you actually bake bread or rolls “ from scratch”??? You have my admiration!

Saturday 11 February 2023

Saturday, the sun is shining

 This is going to be a "nothing" post. Which is a good thing! Today is finally sunny and I will take a walk around the little village in a bit. 

I took Scooter-the-cat-with-no-tail to the vet the other week. He has had an issue with his chin, looking "dusty, dirty" first, and then scabby and then loss of hair. We looked it up and thought 'feline acne' and tried some home treatment but it didn't seem to work so off to the vet he went. The vet's office is STILL saying we can't come into the building and you literally have to speak to someone through a crank out window on the sidewalk. Personally, I find this overkill, but I'm sure there are others who are still fine with it. A hundred and something dollars later I left with a cat in a cage and a small bottle of Prednisone (nasty-ass medication for humans, but hopefully not too bad for him in these small doses), a bottle of anti-bacterial soap (not likely to happen) and a bottom end injected with a long-dose antibiotic. (his bottom end, not mine). 

We've been putting his pill into a little softened up chunk of cheese so he will take it. I'm not a good pill popper of cats and Scooter is not a good patient. He is incredibly squirmy and strong when he wants to be. He's not a violent cat, in that he won't hiss at us, or try to deliberately hurt us, but he's impossible to deal with. With no tail, he's the shape of a furry football and he squirms like a larva. So cheese pills it has been. He seems fine now with the pills all done, he's eating and acting normally but his chin still looks like a bald, pink, lumpy mess with a few billy goat-like hairs coming through. 

Over Christmas, we had a decorative bunch of bells hanging from the doorknob to the porch on a fake leather strap. I suppose it's to make a jaunty sound when someone enters your home. Husband thought it would be fun to teach Murphy (the other cat, now fat, and stripey) to ring the bell to be let out. It worked, remarkably well and quickly. So much so, that like a fool, I bought another set of bells (dollar store) to hang on the doorknob to the other porch. Well, let me say I deeply regret all of it. We are slaves to the bells and he is abusing his bell power. Yes, I've removed the bells when it just is too much, but it's also such a cool thing that his cat has learned to ring the bell, that we always end up putting them back on the doorknobs. 

Abuse of power lies in the fact that he rings the bells to the back porch and when I get up to let him out, he veers instead toward the kitchen to show me his food bowl. I've been removing his bowl through the day, as his girth is now such that I refer to him as "Wide Load". Or even if there is food there, he needs me to jiggle the bowl to even out the 'dent' in the middle. Smart and manipulative.

I've been trying to cut back greatly on grocery buying, working my way through things in the pantry and deep freeze. We've had shepherd's pie, chili, a pseudo sweet and sour chicken stir fry with rice, canned soup and toast... Now that lettuce doesn't require a second mortgage to purchase, I'm including some salads with our meals, too. 

I had brought out my bread maker which I had not used in ages, thinking I should make my own bread (well, have the machine make my own bread) in order to save a bit on the ridiculous cost of bread. It was working well, but now a bit too well, as bread is something husband can't resist, so I think I may tuck it away again for a bit. 

Have you ever had issues with tiny little moths in your kitchen? I discovered in horror about a year ago, that the bird seed I had been storing in the mudroom was hatching out these little beasties and then they were flying around in the house. They eat wheat products. I then discovered that they'd gotten into the kitchen drawer where I keep my flour, sugar, and other baking supplies. I did a drastic clean out and put things into jars and sealed bags after that. I thought I had nipped the problem in the bud, but I've seen the little buggers again lately. I run after them like a manic, trying to clap my hands on them mid-flight. But I have yet to find the source. It makes me feel like an icky house keeper. I'm paranoid about sealing up things. I fold over the inner cereal bag and clamp it shut whenever I use cereal. I even cleaned out the toaster, thinking maybe the crumbs from the many pieces of toast were a food source. Ughhhh!! I do not, by the way, store bird seed in the house anymore. (and for those mystery solvers out there, I've cleaned the bread maker and always wipe the counters of crumbs).

Two days ago I did my first supply teaching day in a VERY long time. It was in a kindergarten class that I used to supply in last year, so I knew some of the kids, as they were in junior kindergarten last year, and are now in senior kindergarten (It was a JK / SK class). I also knew the ECE (early childhood education) person in that class. It was so nice to be back at it! It was a bus cancellation day due to fog, freezing rain that never quite transpired, so it wasn't the full class of 28 students, but instead only 15, which made it nice as well. I have booked myself 2 and a half supply days this coming week as well and I'm very pleased. It feels great to do what's comfortable and familiar and normal.

That's all I have. Hope everyone has a productive /restful / enjoyable / healthy weekend - whatever you require.