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!

Waiting

Is there anything worse than waiting?

Oh sure, as an adult you wait patiently because that is how you are brought up to conform to society. As a child, you “can’t wait” for the last day of school, Christmas vacation,summer…you catch my drift?

Zosia had her second blood work done today and the waiting is rough.It brings my mind back to me waiting for various things throughout my life to date.The mind just keeps going, thinking of all possible scenarios and you wonder about the prayers you sent up.

I know no one ever said it would be easy.

Sometimes I wish they would have.

  

Hard to go

It’s getting to a point where my job is my job and that’s great.

My baby Zusher isn’t well.

I am trying to see with the first call from the lead vet, and waiting for the information for the second reading of the labs from a Philly vet, in order to take her for her second opinion.
If we get good new, for which I am praying, that would be great. If not and hospice is the term for Zush, I probable will leave the job to savor every day I have with the girls.

It all is in the hand’s of God and his hands on the heads of the vets.

Still praying for the girls….ALWAYS.
8bdb075343fd18ecbd2c615c8c6aa973

And so we begin…

IMG_5387

My Zusher started her medicine yesterday afternoon to help keep her bottom dry. I have to get natural peanut butter around it, which, if you don’t know, is the only kind a dog should eat due to preservatives in the processed kind that can kill a dog. It took some getting used to, having peanut butter rather than liverwurst around a pill, but I think she is getting used to it a little.

I have mailed a copy of her lab work up to my buddy Kath in the city, so hopefully we can get a city vet’s read on the levels and see what she has to say. I called the lead vet in the practice that I take the girls to here and he’s due to call me Monday with his interpretation of the labs. On deck this week, also, is a second opinion appointment for my girl.

Although Zush may not be my “blood” child, I am praying she has my resilience and will fight like I did. I’ll be right where I am all along – right beside her.

Waiting Patiently 

….for Zush’s blood work to come back.

Fortunately,we went to the vet yesterday and we got to rule out organ failure,thank God. After losing Zusher’s buddy Lola to kidney failure last week, well, suffice it to say we loved Lola, and she was a buddy.

Now, we wait to see if our girl is joining the incontinence  club or just has a bad UTI.We are praying that things stabilize for her.

Every day God gives me with my girls and Jim is a blessing. They are my life.

  

Joys of the last Jersey ‘Maters

  
Decided to treat myself and make a Cooper sharp on rye bread grilled cheese sandwich complete with garden Jersey tomatoes.

It is hard to believe that I first started writing about our tomato harvest with a blog post about a tomato sandwich which really rocked. Here I am a few months later, lamenting the upcoming end of the season with a grilled cheese and tomato on rye.

I often watch Food Network and know there are chefs like Eric Greenspan who make the signature dishes dealing with gourmet grill cheese. God bless ’em, getting people to pay big bucks for a designer sandwich.

Me? I am a transplanted Jersey girl. Once these tomatoes are gone, there are no flavor filled ones like these. I’ll be on the wagon until next summer.

Season 1 is over

You can tell by the amount of morning gulls on the Tarmac. They allegedly got the word that the 9:30 ferry was lining up.

It is crazy to see the change between the Fourth of July week, and now, although those without kids come charging through. Then you get the ones who NEED to get to their Florida home:why? Hurricanes not coming quick enough for you this summer?

Now my bud is back next to me so I hope things are better today. It’s amazing when you have someone who knows what crap you are experiencing…helluva sisterhood with my pal Katie…love her! 

 

See Ya!

  
This sign is along the green area where I walk my girls every day. I always question the fact where it says subject to fine, because there never seems to any law enforcement types around to enforce this law. 

When we walk, in addition to bags for the dogs, I bring one for tourist litter. Beer cans, tasty kake wrappers, McDonald’s half eaten sandwiches and their wrappers, 5 hour energy bottles… I could go on and on.

So yes, summer dollars are dependent on summer tourists. In an ideal life, they would have some consideration for the people who live here.

Don’t let the door hit you guys on the way out…..

Clock this Biologically….

So after doing time in Purgatory,aka my 10-6 shift, they decided to throw me a bone and put me on a 7-3 shift.

Of course, in anticipation of the return to regular hours, I couldn’t sleep, and finally fell asleep around 2:30.The alarms went off at 5am,and up I go to get the girls on the way.

We are in now, and the ferry traffic is picking up.the best part of all of this?

I get to leave at 3pm! 

 

Rain Dance

We have gone a month and a half without any significant rain. Lawns of those who aren’t down here full time look like straw.

And then there’s today. We may just be privy to the rain that normally hits our neighbors on the coast. God knows we need it.

Which leads to my day today..any guesses to the amount of refund/cancellation calls I’ll get?

Film at 11. 

 

Hurry Up and Wait…

Ah, the joys of relocation.

This time last year I was lamenting the fact that we had to get up tomorrow morning at 2am and make sure we were packed up to head back to the city. To add insult to injury, after we would unpack the car and walk the girls, we’d have, maybe, a half hour to lay down before I’d have to leave for work.

How times have changed.

I am watching folks in the neighbor hood throw their trash away in their cans, close their windows, pack their cars and kids up and head up Delsea Drive or the Garden State Parkway. It’s a step backward into the area I have come to love during the weekday, the area called QUIET.

Sure, It doesn’t hurt that I have two days off until I have to go back to the bakery, but, hey, it’s the first official weekend holiday of summer. I am not going to bed at 9:30. I am having an adult beverage.I can sleep in tomorrow.

Whoo-hoo!

IMG_3320

Can’t have it both ways.

Today and a day or two ago, people started talking to me about the weather getting warmer.Oh yes, I would agree with them that we have crawled up from 8 degrees to 19.People aren’t talking about that though:they are referring to spring.

I am getting a little misty-eyed at the thought of more folks coming down here to ” Mayberry” or “Amity”, as I have been to call Shangri-la here.I know the economy depends on it.I will be extremely happy that I won’t have to pack up to leave on Sunday night and sit in bumper to bumper traffic.I will not like one thing, though, and that is noise.I really don’t have cause to complain here, because next to towns on the Coastline, we are actually kind of quiet.When the season begins, though,it gets somewhat louder and people start speeding through town.

It’s not enough to have me run back to the big city, but I’ll be so happy when October comes and things get back to normal.

IMG_5168Alaskabay2

Snowbunnies

Pretty sad to say when you were actually out walking in 30 degree weather and enjoying it.

I watch the weather channel and heave a mighty sigh when I see what the Northeastern part of the United States, especially Boston, is going through.We actually had a pleasant day, where I went out with a shovel and tried to move snow around before the Siberian chill hits.I managed to make my 10,000 fit bit steps early and am still trying to do a few more, in anticipation of NOT going out tomorrow.

It is really crazy,as the Siberian chill is due to hit here tomorrow and Friday, and Saturday it is due to rain here and be 46.I longingly think back to the time when winter was winter and you knew it: you weren’t playing twirl the radio dial as fast as you can to see what the next hour’s weather will bring.
IMG_5213snz21815
IMG_5212snk21815

The girls had fun walking with me.They get a wee bit confused when I stay inside and they have to go in the yard for the bathroom.They miss the exercise we get together.I miss the exercise together. The wind chill, though, keeps my feet firmly planted on the ground.

Stay warm and be safe! Watch the ice!

How many retired people does it take?

I went to a Property Owners’ Association meeting tonight which was preceded by a dinner at the hall.As we are down here full-time,it only makes sense to attend the meetings and see what exactly is going on.

What is humorous here is that there are a lot of folks like me who were city employees who have since retired or worked for another business in the city and couldn’t wait to get down here to enjoy life.When I got into the hall tonight I met up with two of my neighbors who had retired the year before I did.Talk about being greeted with open arms! The only thing that Jim and I noticed is that if you don’t exercise down here, folks walk around with a significant belly, or rather, one considerably larger than when we first met them.

It was nice to be at the meeting to be with folks and get welcomed into your new lifestyle.It really reinforces that the time was right to start the next chapter in your life.

IMG_4096waves

Got to get some eggs, bread and milk…

Argh!

The first “retirement” snow.

We are just due to have a small amount here at Undisclosed location, and the city is due to have two to four inches.

I had to laugh because I had the Weather Channel on and if I saw it this forecast while in the city, I’d run out for eggs, bread, milk and toilet paper.

I’m retired now, so what am I going to do?

Go out and get some kidney beans so I can make a crock pot of chili for tomorrow’s dinner.

The times, they are a changin’……..

And so to bed..

The difference between a 55th birthday and 25th?

No bells, no whistles, a nice quiet night.The mere fact of being able to get to bed in about 30 minutes is sounding like heaven. I am not complaining, mind you.I am just happy that I have reached a point in my life where quiet is not only good,it’s appreciated.

Tomorrow starts the rest of the festivities leading up to retirement on the 2nd of January.That’s when the real fun begins.

Be it ever so humble

We are working our way up the food chain.

We moved.

We moved things into a storage locker.

We moved into the house.

Time to get boxes out of the closets, empty them, and put some things into the attic until we need them.

It was a good way to spend a rainy Saturday.There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment to know that some things never have to be packed or unpacked again.The sense that you have finally found a right spot or space for things to be stored in, neatly.Sure there are things that actually will need storage within the house, such as a book shelf and the like.

It’s starting to really feel like home.

Yay!

Below is a picture for my friend B, who looks for pictures I usually post for the weekend showing the girls “going home”.Well, B? This picture is the one of the girls, going through the front door at home.

IMG_3827girlsathome

Quiet October Sunday

We can’t believe it’s the beginning of October already.

We are doing things around the house,working on landscaping,moving some things around but, OCTOBER.

Jim keeps asking me if I am nervous about leaving a job I have had for thirty years and I am not. I think he is nervous for the both of us,but we both agree it is time.We just can’t believe how quickly the time has flown.We talk about up coming holiday weekends,and it makes you take a step back to think you WON’T have a three-day weekend next year, because you may not be working, or if you are, it may not be a job giving you that day as a holiday.

Despite the reflection we are at peace.

Life is good.**for now**

IMG_2224autumncmlh

Storms-a-comin’

IMG_350712yoZushswimsil

Zush went swimming this afternoon.This followed a trip to our friend Max, and his Mom, Nora, and Dad Mario.It was a pleasant visit and the girls were good, so thanks to the humidity, we took them to the beach.Zush got in the water and cooled off and soothed her aching skin and sore joints. Kasia, Jim and I watched her from the beach…until we saw…

IMG_3514storm clouds

They are calling for thunder showers and boy did the sky show it. Being over by the water, it was truly reminiscent of “The Perfect Storm.”

Now we are all safe and sound in the house after a wonderful afternoon with friends and family.

Have a good weekend! Be safe!

Trying…

The lack of sleep we had on Sunday night/Monday morning has still not released me from its’ grip…that really stinks!

The weather has decided to go back to summer, so of course the humidity adds with wearing us all down,and what’s funny is that even going to bed early, well, it’s like I always say: “I’ll never get that time back again.” We keep kicking though, and can not wait until the end of the week when we get a chance to decompress.

What time I do have free during this week, though, I am getting ready to have my nephew Matt and Kat, his wife, down to Undisclosed Deux. They had been down once in the old house, and we are really looking forward to seeing them this weekend.It’s amazing when you think you have a stocked up house, looking at it with a visitor’s eye, well, it’s lie, whoa…major shopping to do.

Here’s hoping you all have a good week. As for us? We’re going to sleep!**wink**

IMG_3338pinkhibisc

Relief

It has been a mighty long week this week.

The time to come down here to Undisclosed has never been more appreciated. I was talking to someone today and they asked me if I am scared to retire. There are so many ways to take that. As I am still working now, I come down with Jimmy and the girls on the weekend and we have been doing it for five years now.

Between the crap happening in the city, and traveling back and forth. I am not scared at all; merely tired.

I am crazy enough to like off-season, to love the fact that the bay actually will freeze over when the temperature drops low enough. Most importantly, I love the peace and quiet.

It’s time……….

20121222-201346.jpg

180 more days…

…and I,hopefully, will see 55.

Where did the time go?

When will it get here?

I get torn,especially when this past month, I had Matt Miziorko get married and Greg Miziorko graduate college and get accepted to graduate school.

Then, in the next breath, I think about getting in the office tomorrow and the job of public transportation and its’ navigation, irate taxpayers, and summer weather.The three in tandem are not my favorite trio.

One of my best buddies, Kate, threw me a birthday,rather,a half birthday party around thirty-three years ago.Egad, as I remember it like it was yesterday.She made me feel good, because having a birthday on the shortest day of the year always sucked. You were cheated in sunlight.Not that her birthday was too much better than mine because hers is in February. Boy, they were good times.

Here’s to many more!

blog-firework-dream

Tuesday malaise

012

Everyone managed to get through last weekend with out me.

My furniture was delivered and lawn was worked on and, sad to say, I wasn’t there to see it. I
intend to make up for it this weekend because Jim and I both have friday off.It is quite a
dreary Tuesday and we are glad, as the new lawn certainly needs the rain. It would be nice to see
some ground cover when we make it down.

I have two new ferns, along with the hydrangea that I get to plant this weekend. I am itching to
start my brand new garden.The kitchen is calling me and I am ready to do some “relaxed” cooking.

Is it Thursday yet?

Spring takes a holiday

…at least for two days. After 60 degree temperatures on Saturday, today the morning temperature was 34 degrees, with a chance of snow coming tomorrow…..

REALLY?

Spring is supposed to be a time for rebirth, not remission into the frozen state.You get the false sense of probably getting spring/summer clothes out, yet this morning I was scouting out some polar fleece.I laugh at local coffee shops promoting iced coffee, as those who were frozen, like me, needed the warmth of the coffee cup alone to warm our hands up.

OK Spring-I will put on warning.

Get your act together.ok? A few months of 50-60 degree weather would greatly be appreciated.

20130512-073444.jpg

Nobody here but us chickens

The office is running on 1/2 capacity today, as those who aren’t here quite as long as I am, along with the new hires, are out on training leave. I have to admit I do miss it, as the brotherhood of we who taxpayers hate**joking** is a large one, and when we would get together, boy, did we have stories to tell.

Instead I am here working until five and then running home so I can get out to my flip fitness class that I missed for the past two weeks.I think my body has gone through revolting, waiting for me to get it back there.It’ll be good to be back with my buddies, having a laugh and sweating in the process.
The local library is also having a program on tonight about juicing,I think, and organic farming. Jim and I will try to meet there when I am done and see if we could catch it.

Time for playing is long over;time to resume kicking butt is back!

003

A laugh riot

IlovemyjobIlovemyjobIlovemyjobIlovemyjobIlovemyjob…..

Especially when it is almost a full moon, and you are left trying to do the job for other agencies who find it easier to
pass the buck. People come up to me and ask for forms that my unit has absolutely nothing to do with, and then look at me
as though I have three noses when I tell them where they need to go or who they need to call regarding the form.

Last I looked there was no S for Superman on my chest.

It’s incredible how people think they can get through with one stop shopping when it comes to paperwork. It just isn’t
done in this day and age. In fact, if I was able to have it happen to me, I’d probably think I was dead-that’s how inconceivable
I’d find it.

All I have to hang my hat on are three little words.

Ten more months…………

Blue skies for some

Today was the dermatologist visit.

Never mind the fact that they kept me waiting forty-five minutes,knowing that my nerves were shot from worrying about the result.Then, as I sit in the examining room,I hear the resident and the nursing assistant and the doctor conversing about my biopsy results. Two seemed to concur that they couldn’t be found-oh, what a comforting feeling..NOT.The resident was then told by the dermatologist that my biopsy results were sent to a neighboring university hospital that rhymes with Men.It seems that if you are a HMO patient, that’s where your samples are allegedly sent.Uh, ok.sure…

The stitches came out and then the resident brought the dermatologist in.Well, I figured I’d ask the million dollar question: what were my biopsy results.The dermatologist? ” Cancer all gone.”

What am I? TWO?

Suffice it to say I will not be taking him at his word but will be writing to request a copy of the biopsy results be sent to yours truly.Once I can read it, only THEN I’ll believe it.

blue skies 22414

Who says it can’t happen?

Ok, so we had the formula down pretty well.

Eggs,
Bread,
Milk…

Day off?

The city, in its’ wisdom, has decided non-essential personnel, such as yours truly, need to stay home tomorrow so the roads and streets can be worked on. That news was almost as good as the old days when you sat by the radio and your Mom had it tuned to the news station. You had a big smile on your face when your number was announced on a snowy morning. You had a day off.

As I type this I have a big smile on my face.

You really can feel like a kid again, thanks to a snow day.

waiting….again..**sigh**

So I have one more day to go before my biopsy tomorrow.

You would think with the amount of cancers I have fought, I’d be old
hat at this. But I am not..you NEVER get used to hearing the words,
you never shake the fear of going for biopsies,you never lose the
angst while sitting on the end of the chair waiting for results.

I realized twenty years ago that cancer would always have a part in my
life.I have resigned myself to that fact. It’s just that it wears you down.

Crazy Night

We are all cooped up in the cottage and Kasia is going nuts. Obviously there is an animal out there that she wants to check out.

We have the Phillies on the radio, Zush is gently snoring, and Jim and I are on the computer.

It is funny, how with us not having a home right now, we have crammed enough stuff in here but it is far from homey.Jim is standing watching his PC and I am tucked away in a corner.

When sleep finally comes tonight, you can rest assured we will be dreaming of a finished home.

001

Life in a tent…lol

We are sitting out in our screened in tent trying to catch some breeze. It is a
little drizzly here, so any fresh air we can get is appreciated.

The wood was delivered on Friday, so we really didn’t see too much new this weekend
with the exception of some clean fill added.I am sure over this next week the view
from the tent will probably be different…lol.

The bigger joke is that we WERE debating going home early, but we figured everyone and
their mom is leaving early due to the weather, so we can sit in traffic now OR wait and sit later.

All of life’s decision’s should be so enough, eh? LOL

20130530-190015.jpg

Ah, August….

For all its heat spikes and the like, I love August, as it gives promise to the fall.

In prior postings you know I had many life changing events in August..a couple of good Phillies seasons…started a job 28, almost 29 years ago which I still have…went on childhood vacations every year with my family during the end of August..God sent my Dad on his final vacation August 24,sixteen years ago,which was fitting as our vacation week he always took was the last week in August…and Jim and I were married on August 31st, almost 11 years ago.

I am thankful for all I have experienced in August, for they have matured me in a way that nothing else would. I have come out of it realistic, albeit slightly hopeful.I have a light heart when windows are actually opened and I hear the crickets outside, and when I am at Undisclosed I and II, I look up at a beautiful summer sky filled with stars like promises,just waiting to come to me.

Enjoy the month, faithful reader, and may it be kind to us all.

20130322-184512.jpg

It’s almost over…

July, that is.

Undisclosed location(old) and hopefully the foundation will be starting on Undisclosed (new).

As I type this I look out the window and realize how badly I need to reestablish my own roots with Jim and the girls at the new spot. Losing Rochelle was like setting me free without an anchor and since then, I really feel lost. I can assure you that is not a good feeling.

August will be coming.

Colors of summer will be richer and moving toward fall. Hopefully the foundation will be laid and the frame will be up on Undisclosed(new).

My mother always talked about wishing your life away and perhaps she was right. I don’t look at it that way: I look at it as starting the next chapter of my life, for which I am full of hope.

By the way, below is a last look at the Old Undisclosed.

001