Short and Sassy

I graduated from high school in 1977.This means, like a lot of girls who saw the 1976 Winter Olympics, I wanted a Dorothy Hamill haircut. Alas, it was not meant to be, because I was told my hair wouldn’t lay right.

Well, I had to go in and get my roots done today, and although I normally, for about 15 years, wore short hair, I grew it long last year.I was retired.I figured, why not? Well, I was done with growing that hair back in October.My haircut today, though, kept the style I had of my last haircut, but tapered in the back reminded me of the Dorothy Hamill haircut from the Innsbruck games.
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The dogs knew who I was. I have to say I looked and thought who was that? It’s, as Jim says, the first “nice” haircut I had in a while.

Now, just to keep it that way!

It Sure Ain’t Truvy’s…

If you remember the movie or saw the play “Steel Magnolias “,then you have an idea of a beauty salon in a small town.

The “Cuttin’Edge” is the salon I go to, and it is actually within walking range of our house here in “Amity”.The gossip is true small town gossip, with a lot of flyers for fundraising beef and beers posted around .

  
People talk about trips they wish they could take, spouses they have lost , new children being born,and the occasional divorce gossip now and then.There is something in coming to a small town salon that you can’t find in the city:a sense of belonging.

Company’s coming

Trying to get the house cleaned, do some wash,walk the girls , do a little baking…we are going out tonight!  

I tripled the biscotti dough to make enough for everyone.They just came out of the oven now. I found a big Tupperware container to store them in, although by the time I distribute them, I might need a smaller container.

  
 
It’s a nice day here, but getting windy. I am meeting up tonight with a former co-worker and her husband for dinner. It’s going to be nice to talk after all these years.

Enjoy your weekend!

January 

   
 
What a delightful day we had today. 

The weather actually flirted with 40 and the winds were non-existent.The girls and I walked a lot to take advantage of the weather. It was my time of year:almost spring temperatures and no tourists! Granted both girls were on leashes, but we walked right down the middle of the street.

I managed to do some pitching of old stuff, walking it over to donation bin. It’s amazing how getting rid of stuff makes you want to do more.

Friday is tomorrow so housecleaning on the agenda, and a little baking too. Enjoy the lack of “Snowzilla.”

Cluck!

   
 
Here are some shots from our oven roasted chicken dinner tonight. I made some mashed potatoes, for something different, some organic mixed vegetables and some cranberries.

When we first got down here and I started the jobs with the bakery and ferry, I just couldn’t get the energy to muster together a decent meal like this,especially after the type of day I would have had,I really , although my mother always would say “Self praise stinks.”,am a decent cook. It is the joy of being retired that allows me to enjoy making a good meal.

Running Hot or Cold

  We were warmer a little yesterday, so the 15 mph winds were bringing me back to reality today.January winds always seem to take a bite out of you.

I had the girls out, and as it has been getting colder through the day, I came to the decision of what’s for dinner.The last one came out pretty well, and I’ll throw some sides for later.What is it about an aroma of roasting chicken? It makes me think of the ultimate comfort meal. We all will have warmed up and relaxed after it!

What’s your idea of an ultimate winter comfort meal? Share with me, please in the comments.

 
It turned out to be a pretty good day weather wise, so a home and hearth warming meal seems to cap the perfect day!

Weather or Not

Global warming gave me a gorgeous spring day today in the middle of winter. 

    
   
I was going to crank out more biscotti today, but the bay and my girls were urging me out. The snow has begun to melt, although I still have the fear of falling on the ice.It seems I just envision me on my back with two metal rods coming out of my knees.

It was great to actually get to the bay and see a regular bay;that is, one without ice and snow.It was bizarre to see an unusually high tide this morning, though.

We went up to the bay twice,as a matter of fact.It was quite enjoyable. In fact, after I post this, we’ll go out again and take advantage of this glorious day.

Me TV

Pretty sad when you have cable with hundreds of stations and there’s nothing to watch that you feel is worthwhile.How many times can you watch the same movie over and over? Some of the shows are nothing more than glorified Jerry Springer.

I went low on the remote to a channel called Me TV. They play mostly reruns from 70’s and 80’s and right now I am watching M*A*S*H, which I used to love to watch with my folks. I had found this station when I found Columbo reruns, and was tickled pink.

  
Seriously though, what is it with cable programming? I guess I’d be better off looking for shows on Netflix or even You Tube to watch. It makes me sad, remembering basic television watching when I was younger. I mean, there is actually a station called Decades that plays show from the past and historical programming. For a former history major like me, it’s great. I mean, sure, I watch the Smithsonian and other channels, but paying all that money to Comcast, well, it’d be nice to get something worthwhile to watch.

Chicken Parm You Taste So Good.

I had a marketing class or two in college,so I can appreciate a good jingle when I hear one…

Which leads me to Peyton Manning, the winning quarterback for the Denver Broncos football team.

I really prefer college football, and frustratingly used to follow the Philadelphia Eagles.I won’t lie to you: I was a fair-weather fan.

The Nationwide Insurance commercials made me pay attention to Peyton Manning. Sure, I knew of him, and his brother Eli and the family history.

The catchiness of the commercials made me “like” him. Next to Tom Brady, in my opinion, Peyton is a regular guy; in my opinion, he is more of an All-American guy. Tom Brady has his model second wife and kids. His team lost tonight: I am sure he’s going home and his pocketbook won’t be hurting.

It’s time for someone else.

Congratulations to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on a job well done. On to Super Bowl 50.

   
   

Stormy Weather

So while everyone else in the area had a zillion inches of snow, we had snow, but we had the extra added bonus of….

A POWER OUTTAGE!

There’s nothing like being a baby boomer and waking up to realize how dependent you let yourself become on modern conveniences. The power out and you need that morning coffee? Oops, that Keurig isn’t running. Your stove? Electronic ignition. Fortunately, we had battery operated candles, thanks to my sister Julie,to accent our flashlights.

  
Here’s hoping to some smooth sailing ahead!

Jonas ( sure hope they aren’t talking brothers!)

  
No, fortunately Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore is not in my front yard, but his buddy Jen Carfagno is-40 miles up the road in Atlantic City.

This winter storm, named Jonas, has knocked out our power constantly. The wind is 40 mph and the gusts are downright scary- they have been clocked up to 60 mph.Due to the full moon, high tides down here are a big scare due to the possibility of coastal flooding.

Never a dull moment! Stay safe folks!

Armageddon,no Snowageddon

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So I went with my neighbor to the market today, and the above shot was only part of the melee at the bakery section. I seriously shudder to think what the rest of the market looked like,as the “Snowaggedon”, as opposed to Armageddon was coming.Never mind that if you actually paid attention to the weather forecast, you would have learned that yes, we would get snow,but it would be warm enough to turn from snow to sleet to rain.

WHY WAS EVERYONE IN THE MARKET? RAIN, FOLKS,RAIN……..

We had strip steak for dinner, to celebrate the snow that will be short-lived,and get ready for the nor’easter that will be in our midst.

If you are out there where there is actually snow, well, be safe. If you are down here with me in the nor’easter, be safe.

Let’s just all make it through the weekend in one piece, ok!

The Calm Before the Storm

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The next step in getting us and the neighbors ready, as if you couldn’t get a guess by the above picture, was cookies.The neighbors got some hot oatmeal raisin cookies from yours truly. My m.o,when I make cookies, is usually parchment paper. Probably, during the weekend,I’ll work up a small batch of biscotti.

I don’t know what it is about baking as winter moves through,or as a storm progresses.Perhaps I am thinking back to happier times in the kitchen and trying to go back to when life was a little simpler.Perhaps it’s just a little voice in my head that goes back to the old “eggs,bread and milk” chorus of the city.

Sure, I try to make good meals,and cooking and baking I do enjoy.There’s something about baking that serves as balm to my soul during the winter.

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It Wasn’t Even A Dark and Snowy Night( yet)…

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Jim and I went to the local supermarket, where I spent my late spring/early summer working, and decided to rectify the ingredient staple list that was cruising on empty.

Did I mention everyone else was out buying eggs, bread and milk?
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With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel, the parking lot at the market was indeed mirroring” a hazy shady of winter.”I got in and picked up my sugar, vanilla and anise, along with a few other staples like coffee creamer, yogurt,eggs,sour cream and Yukon gold potatoes, and managed to escape none the worse for wear.

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So for all my friends who read this, please,make sure you have something to keep you cozy and warm, even if it comes in a bottle, and if you have pets, keep them inside, make sure you’re ready for this stretch of weather.

Stay Safe!

Eggs, Bread, Milk,…Biscotti?

Listening to the weather channel,well, back in the city I would have been in Shop Rite getting my eggs, bread and milk,…maybe toilet paper too.

Down here at Undisclosed, the pantry is pretty good, so I go and decide to bake, of course, the biscotti.One problem. I usually double the recipe.Well, I didn’t realize my sugar was running short.It was really a comical event.I was scraping every grain of sugar out of the sugar bowl.Well, it goes without saying that won’t happen again.Usually I am pretty good with keeping extra butter in the freezer.I guess my staple count needs updating, as far as the baking elements go.

Here’s a picture of part of the end result, to be shared with the neighbors.
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Mom…it feels like a lifetime

Today marks four years since Mom passed and I have to offer what I had written in last years post. The meaning is even deeper, as is the heartache.

I miss her every day.It’s a hole in my heart that I know might be healed over by the time I pass away.I find her in little things, and especially, while in the process of moving, I unpacked her sweater and sat with it on today.I made waffle batter this morning in one of her mixing bowls. Tomorrow I am going to look for a book to put her handwritten recipes in. I know she is at peace,and that is the only thing that makes the pain of loss a little bearable.

I keep a picture of her on the table by my bed, and see her every morning.It’s a shot of her before she fell into dementia.On the computer I see pictures of her in her hospital bed when she was in hospice.Today we got the new issue of AARP magazine and they had, on the cover,pictures of everyone who had Alzheimer’s/Dementia and they were people who had passed within the year.

I cherish the memory while God still blesses me with one, and cherish every day I am on two feet. I figure the best way I can honor her legacy is to keep going as best as I can.

Doesn’t stop her from missing me, though.

Laying Low

Last night was a bad night.

I don’t know if it was change in temperature or what, but I was hurting and had trouble sleeping. I managed to get a few hours in, but it didn’t take much to have me take the day off, uh,kind of.

I have the Fit Bit Zip on, but Jim has the girls out for a walk now. We have wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h., so I am floating around the house, occasionally sitting with some ice to quiet my aches. It really is weird, as I am used to walking them, and have to admit I feel like a little withdrawal. Hopefully I can keep things together and warm my body up and get back in the swing of things tomorrow.

It’s funny when you are like me and always considered myself a winter person.I guess the law of age and averages kick in to try to convince your body that cold weather likes to be mean once in awhile.

  

Lament for A Chicken

If you read yesterday’s post, you know I made an oven-stuffer roaster, and it was quite tasty, thank you very much.

There’s only one thing that is irking me…
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It’s snowing today.

Damn.

I was originally going to make the chicken today and decided against it.The house smelled wonderful and was toasty warm. Story of my life; a day late and dollar short.The answer to my dilemma today? Either the biscotti recipe is going to get pulled out, or some oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookies…something to celebrate the first snowfall of the year!

A Chicken Maiden Voyage

I used to bake chicken once in a while, especially when I was single.

I can honestly say I have not made one at home in almost 13 1/2 years. Really. It’s been that long because when rotisserie is reasonable in the supermarket, well, I factor in what it would cost to make it at home and usually get the one from the market.

Our local Acme had oven stuffer roasters on sale so I thought, why not.It’s been a while and I would make it as it gets cooler.Well, although it was fifty degrees today, at twilight…
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…you could see the front moving in.

Fortunately thanks to my interest in following the weather, plus all the surgical scars I have that react to barometric pressure changes, I felt the oven stuffer’s number was up back around 2PM.

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Zush and I walked the neighborhood while Jim took Kasia to a state park beach to run.Hopefully Daddy and daughter will be home for dinner.

Gifts from the Sea

My Zush has been a little lame on one paw so this week we have been walking down and around for potty walks. 

I had to go down and talk to my neighbor,and she was going to walk to the beach,so I decided I ‘d walk her part of the way.

I was then rewarded by six pieces of beach glass on the sand and all of a sudden, I found this

  
It’s a whelk shell in tact, and it was there rightin front of me. 

 
Finds are pretty good when there is no one around. Sometimes you can feel when someone’s presence put it there for you. I offer thanks whenever I am blessed with one.

Beautiful Night

There is one reason that I relish the evenings here rather than in the city.I actually got the chance to see stars in the sky.

Sure, when you are in a major metropolitan city, there is a lot of “light” pollution, and very seldom do you actually get to see more than a star or two.Trust me, I speak of 54 years of experience.

We came in from dinner tonight and the sky was actually glittering like diamonds, complete with last quarter, or crescent,moon. You could only look up and know that there was Divine Intervention in the design of that sky. Oh sure, we get our share of snowy, rainy and cloudy nights, but boy, look out when the stars appear. Hollywood, on any award night, pales by comparison.

Red Shoes Dancing the Blues

  
When I woke up yesterday morning,I was shocked.

Granted, I pick up a People magazine once a week, or watch the E channel, but as they say, the family kept it quiet.

The death of David Bowie is a loss for the music world. It also hits a timeline in most of us 40 and overs lifetimes.Some of us never had a chance to see Bowie at the local theater when they came in town. Most of us knew of him through the radio, or MTV videos for those younger than us.Duets he did with Freddie Mercury and Queen,”Under Pressure” were one of my favorite performances.I love when he did Dancing in the Streets with Mick Jagger. Remembering the music brings me back to my youth, to a carefree time in life. I remember Space Oddity..I had never heard anything like that before.

  
R.I.P. Ziggy Stardust… You will be missed!

Chilly today and tomorrow?

We have officially gotten to the point where the weather has said good-bye to the 50 degree global warming weather, and we are in the 20’s and 30’s, and looking down the barrel of the gun of the even cooler weather down here. The wind says hello…ALOT.

I washed our sheets today and it is the unfortunate time to put the polar fleece sheets on the bed.We each grew up in row homes, then made our way to twin homes, and the home we are now in is a single, raised off the ground.When the wind comes down the street, well, it says hello. The problem with the polar fleece sheets is you really go through a lot of moisturizer in order to make sure you are comfortable through the night. The good “Bad” thing about it is that when it is a really cold morning, you really don’t want to get out of bed, because you are nice and warm.Also, as we are in that arthritic stage, keeping the body aches warm make you feel pretty good, at least as far as we are concerned.

I grew up with flannel sheets, and I really don’t think Jim had them until we got married, and flannel sheets are good. Friends say to me that I don’t see HOW you can ever sleep on polar fleece because it’s too warm. I usually go back to the old axiom of,” That’s why they make chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Everyone gets what they want.”

…with the exception of folks who like coffee ice cream…lol.

Why I Never Will Root From Pro Football Teams Again

I just finished watching the Minnesota Vikings lose to the Seattle Seahawks by one point.

ONE POINT.

I was always leery about watching Penn State football on national television, as it had seemed when I had the opportunity to watch them they lost. Whenever I would listen on radio, they won.I religiously would catch games on radio.

So my “home team ” fizzled out and I was actually excited about watching the playoffs. I didn’t care who won, really, except for Seattle.

Ugh.

Suffice it to say, I’ll no longer root for a team….. unless I want them to lose.

  

Saturday Night

I am actually watching playoff football.

My Philadelphia Eagles have crashed and burned, so I am watching Houston vs. Kansas City. Kansas City has the former Philadelphia coach, and there are a couple of former players that went over with him. Houston’s team is coached by Bill O’Brien.I was following the series on the Houston Texans that was shown on HBO. He also took Joe Paterno’s job when he was let go by the Pennsylvania State University in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

It is frustrating when you basically have no team to follow.I mean,even though you no longer are living where your home team is from, be it baseball,football or whatever, I understand the agony of having your team crash and burn:it isn’t pretty…

There’s always next season,right? 

 

Eggs? Bread? Milk?….

There has been no snow alert, but something in my recent swing of watching Cutthroat Kitchen and the Food Network has made me decide to set myself up for baking.

In addition, I am preparing for my return to work, and there is something in getting ready that screamed baking to me.In a recent post that I had the vanilla biscotti recipe listed, well, I figure I might throw another batch or two together to keep in Tupperware for a quick morning or afternoon fix.I have a tendency, when I do this recipe, to give some to our neighbors, who are greatly appreciative of them, so there’ll be some for them, and some to stash away.

I find myself laughing as I type this, because I am no longer in the big city, but old habits die hard.Maybe it’s the old girl scout in me.Perhaps it’s the fact that I know it’s not even mid-January yet.

Snow.

I know you’re coming.

So at the risk of repeating myself, here’s my vanilla biscotti recipe that I found on the Food Website.Enjoy!

SERVINGS
36
YIELD
3 dozen biscotti
UNITS
US
6 tablespoons butter
2⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 -2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18″ x 13″) baking sheet.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs; the batter may look slightly curdled. At low-speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.
Plop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Shape it into a log that’s about 14″ long x 2 ½” wide x ¾” thick. Straighten the log, and smooth its top and sides; a wet spatula or wet bowl scraper works well here. Note: For extra-long, bistro-style biscotti, pat the dough into a lightly greased 12″ x 5 1/2″ biscotti pan.
Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool on the pan anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes; just work it into the schedule of whatever else you’re doing in the kitchen. Using a spray bottle filled with room-temperature water, lightly but thoroughly spritz the log, making sure to cover the sides as well as the top. Softening the crust just this little bit will make slicing the biscotti much easier.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F Wait another 5 minutes, then use a serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1″-2″” slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal—for fewer, longer biscotti. As you’re slicing, be sure to cut straight up and down, perpendicular to the pan; if you cut unevenly, biscotti may be thicker at the top than the bottom, and they’ll topple over during their second bake.
Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, till they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden. They’ll still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center, if you break off a piece; but they’ll continue to dry out as they cool. Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.
Variations: Add up to 2 cups nuts, dried fruit (dried, not fresh), or chips to the dough, along with the flour. Adjust the spice to suit the add-in, if desired; e.g., add 1 teaspoon cinnamon with 1 cup chopped dried apple and 1 cup diced pecans. Or substitute hazelnut, butter-rum, or your favorite flavor for the vanilla. A classic Italian anise biscotti is made with 1/2 teaspoon anise extract (or 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon anise oil, to taste), and 1 tablespoon fennel seeds.

Enjoy!

Officially Addicted, thanks to iPad and Netflix…

…to Cutthroat Kitchen, which is a product of the Food Network.

I really enjoy the show. There is rarely a time that I miss it, and imagine my shock when I was looking over Netflix and seeing the first two seasons of Cutthroat kitchen.So taking advantage of doing things in the house today, like roasting a turkey breast, I have been doing a marathon of Cutthroat Kitchen.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a chef by any means, nor am I a good cook. A decent cook, maybe, but good is not a word that I feel would appropriately describe me.Watching this show with the professional chefs and even the occasional home chef, I get to learn the little tricks from them, and see the mistakes that they make.

Perhaps some day, I’d be more comfortable cooking and feel that I am “good”. but for now, I am a disciple of Alton Brown and Cutthroat Kitchen.

Fit Bit Zip, circa 2016

For a year plus, I have done my fit bit zip, and with the exception of illness or surgery, I have worked it every day.

For 2016, I have decided to start recording what I am eating on the Fit Bit program. I used to do behavior modification and had success when I recorded my food.

Health gets taken for granted by a lot of people. I am going to make the effort to get healthier to enjoy my retirement.

Life is too short! 

 

Though the Weather Outside is…

…January.

The temperature when I woke up was 16 degrees.If that doesn’t scream January in the East, well, I don’t know what does.

The girls and I went out, albeit a little later than normal, but I layered up,and the wind wasn’t too bad.

Now I have to bundle up again for the last walk of the night.I am hoping the winds are kind.

  

Milestone

Down here in “Amity”, as I like to call it, I went to a 90th birthday party today for a good friend of mine.

Vivian has been so kind to me for the past six years I have known her. She collects the money at the pancake breakfast. Always,Vivian has a kind word for everyone. 

 
She’s the one with the grey hair and pearls. She try to help fellow knitter and crocheters as best as she can.She is always amazing to talk to in a coversation. One day when I grow up, I want to be just like her!

   
    
 
Here are some shots that before hand, would have had Martha Stewart smiling.

Happy birthday Vivian! I love you!

Quiet Night

  We had managed to get home in time me to see the ball drop in Times Square last night.Sad to say in our late 50’s, it doesn’t take much to get us in bed early.

Today I went with my friend Juls to go see Lucy her horse and Layla her foal. Both horses are beautiful and until you get close to a horse, you really can’t understand the beauty of the animals. Truly they are magnificent creatures.

Good thing we are short on space, because I’d want one.

Happy 2016!Thanks for reading.

First Night

I am writing this post while waiting to hear “Acoustic Stew” at the Cumberland County Courthouse.

We are here with our friends, Julie and Tim, as we have on prior New Years Eve’s here in Carlisle.the festivities are widely varied , from dancing dogs( yes, I admit I saw them and enjoyed it!) to Elvis and Genesis impersonators.

In all, a wonderful way to ring in the new year!20130104-230125.jpg