Category Archives: Life ‘n’ Stuff

Like Magic!

I made the ice cream we talked about here and it is amazing! The consistency is exactly like premium ice cream that you buy at the grocery store. And it’s so simple. Why did I not know about this before? I’m looking back at half a lifetime of missed opportunities. I could have made this with my kids, if only I had known.

I tried the Cinnamon Bun flavor first. I did make sort of a little mistake but it turned out wonderful anyway. I used the butter that I already had, which happened to be “lightly salted.” It didn’t ruin the ice cream but I could definitely taste a little saltiness, which is a taste you don’t normally expect in ice cream. I actually did like it but some people might not so this is a detail you might want to watch for when making it.

The recipe says “pour into a two quart container” but it only filled the two quart container about half full so this recipe actually only makes about a quart of ice cream. (Maybe I was too impatient and should whip the cream longer?) Of course that didn’t last long at all.

The store where I bought groceries only had quart size containers of heavy whipping cream so I had enough left to make more ice cream. For the second batch I used French vanilla cappuccino mix to flavor it. It’s good too but it leaves a coffee aftertaste that I, personally, find a little unpleasant.

I’m going to try to restrain myself and not make this too often. Ice cream, though we know it’s not really good for us, seems so wholesome and innocent, but making it yourself, with the heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk, sort of hammers home the fact that it is really pretty fattening stuff. (Darn it) But I will make it again. (many times) I want to experiment and see what other interesting, not-available-in-stores, flavors I can come up with.

UPDATE:Here are those recipes again:
Cinnamon ice cream and more
Coffee Ice Cream

Miles to Go…

There is a little screen on the instrument panel of my new F150 that displays various kinds of helpful information that you can scroll through using a button on the steering wheel. Nifty, huh? One of my favorites is “Miles to Empty”. When I first saw this I was mildly excited about it. You see, I have really bad Quarter Tank Paranoia. If I am driving a vehicle and the gas gauge shows even a hair below a quarter of a tank of gas I cannot – CANNOT, you understand – continue without seeking out the nearest gas station and filling up. Never mind that I know at that point that it can go another 100 miles or even more; it’s down to a quarter tank so I must buy gas immediately.

Well, anyway… the F150 has the usual, traditional gas gauge – it’s rather small and hard to read; the space between the marks is not much more than the thickness of the indicator “needle” – but it also has this neat feature on the screen, that tells you approximately how many miles you have to go before you run out of gas. So I decided that when I got to a quarter of a tank I would just scroll to this information and pay attention to that and not the traditional gauge and that when it got down to 50 miles to go I would fill up. Well, I was about a quarter mile from home, which is about 5 miles from the nearest gas station, when it reached that point and instead of continuing to count down the miles it switched to a LOW FUEL warning.

Of course, you must know how much that bothered me. To me, “LOW FUEL” means “OMG! YOU’RE ALMOST OUT OF GAS! YOU HAVE TO FIND A GAS STATION IMMEDIATELY!” even though I knew it still had a comfortable 50 miles to go. So the next time I went out I filled up at the nearest gas station and was rewarded with a satisfying 479 MILES TO EMPTY. I love a happy ending, don’t you?

Spring Thoughts

Ah, spring… that lovely time of year when it’s 40 degrees in the morning and 80 in the afternoon. Yeah, I know… “layering”. I hate layering. I can never really make it work for me. Another thing about this time of year is that it seems so cold inside the house in the morning and stays cold but then I go outside and it’s actually nice and I think, “How can it feel warmer outside than inside when it’s 70° inside and only 60° outside?”

But I like spring because I like spring flowers but, perhaps even more, I like spring because it means summer is not too far away. Yes, summer. While everyone else is complaining about the heat I’ll be… well, complaining about the heat sometimes too but mostly being happy that it’s not cold. Happy that I can get up in the morning and put on a light and lovely cotton dress and wear it all day instead of having to layer or to wear one thing in the morning and change into something else in the afternoon.

So now I can start the summer sewing! I was working on a long sleeved blouse last week and I only have to do buttons and buttonholes now. I already started a pair of pants (or trousers or slacks or whatever you prefer) The weather is still very changeable so I think I will get to wear these a few times before it gets too warm for them.

I don’t ever do a major “spring cleaning” but I’m having serious thoughts about closet cleaning. It’s so hard though. There’s only so much you can do with six feet of space. Outside, I need to work on the flower beds. I feel like I should have started that already but until the last few days the weather has not been such as to inspire me to spend time outside.

Sooner Than Expected

I had one of my LED light bulbs burn out this morning. Not completely, it was just very dim. I can’t remember exactly when I put it in but I know it was very recently so I’m thinking it was just a defective one. Or maybe it was the brand: Great Value from Walmart. We have another LED bulb (from Lowe’s) that we’ve been using for a lot longer and it’s still working.

I had a couple more on hand for replacements (also Great Value) so we’ll see how long this one lasts. It’s not as bright though, a 10 watt (60 watt equiv.) and the one that burned out was a 13 watt. I wish I had more of the brighter ones because this is the light over the sink and I feel like I need a brighter light there. Anyway, note to self: Don’t buy any more LEDs from Walmart.

I can relax now… Maybe?

I have been feeling slightly overwhelmed by a long series of Important Things of the sort that make being grown-up not as much fun as we thought it was going to be when we were kids. Oh, nothing bad, just routine things like doing taxes and things associated with buying and registering a new vehicle, and it just seems like I’ve had too many of these things to do lately.

It might be a little hard to explain our Tag Agencies to people in other states. They are privately owned and, having lived in several other states I know that they are way, way better than the typical DMV that other states have. This is one of the things that Oklahoma does right. There are usually no more than half a dozen people waiting in line and I rarely have to wait more than 15 minutes. But, being privately owned they have some flexibility in the matter of days and hours open and services offered. Very few Tag Agencies do Pikepasses.

I would say that Pikepass is another thing that Oklahoma does right but I suppose other states have similar systems. Pikepass is a convenience that I do not want to do without but getting one or updating your account involves a ridiculous amount of hassle. I was going to take care of it online but my online account disappeared somehow. I know I signed up for an online account, forgot my password of course, so I clicked on the forgotten password link and it told me that there was no account associated with my email address. Options: I could email them, chewing them out about my lost account, which I thought would feel very satisfying even if it accomplished nothing. I could sign up for an account again as if I had never had one. I could print out their PDF and fill it out and snail-mail it to get the new Pikepass sticker via snail mail. Or I could go to one of the Tag Agencies that do Pikepasses and get one the same day.

We talked about it, decided on the last option and we waited until last Friday because we were going to go to the Home and Garden show that day and could stop by the Tag Agency on the way home. So, about 2:30 in the afternoon we walked into a Tag Agency, told them what we wanted and filled out a paper, argued with them a bit because it seems I was supposed to have a pin number that I knew nothing about… Also, the woman there indicated that she could only give us a Pikepass because my husband was there, as if we were still living in the 19th century. WTF people? I know this is Oklahoma and we’re a bit backward in some areas but seriously? He works; I do nonsense like this. This is my job and it’s very unusual that he would be available to come with me to do stuff like this.

So anyway, we got the paper filled out and signed and then she told us that it would be about two and half hours before she could give us the Pikepass sticker. Seriously? Two and a half hours? You have the damned stickers right there. Just give us one and tell us it will be a few hours before it’s activated. We live quite some distance from that Tag Agency. The one nearest us does not do Pikepasses. So we decided that I would go back Monday and pick it up and I spent the whole weekend dreading the trip. Both of the most direct routes there are a little bit scary. One way has a long, steep hill with several curves and people driving up and down it way too fast and expecting me to drive equally too fast. The other way goes past a quarry with huge dump trucks going back and forth loaded down with gravel that often bounces off and cracks windshields and dings shiny new paint.

I chose the hill. Everything went fine. I survived the hill and got the sticker with no problems. So all the big annoying things are done. Could I please just relax for a few days now? Probably not because I’m going to keep thinking, “What else do I need to do? What am I forgetting?” until the next big thing comes up. I heard a useful neologism last night. I’m generally not a fan of neologisms but I like this one: kidult. (kid/adult) I think most us spend half our lives wanting to be an adult and then trying to act like a proper adult but we hit our 50s and suddenly realize it’s no use. The kid’s not going away. “Adult” is just a veneer. We are all kidults.

My Friday the 13th

Honestly, I hadn’t even noticed that it was Friday the 13th until the middle of the afternoon when we were having an annoying time trying to do something and for some reason I looked at my phone and suddenly realized that it was Friday the 13th and for just a second I thought, “Well, that figures,” but overall it was a pretty good day and nothing truly “unlucky” happened.

We went to the Tulsa Home and Garden Show, as we do every year. I really enjoy walking around and looking at stuff, though I wish there was more variety. You see a lot of the same things over and over again and do not see some of the more innovative and interesting products that I sometimes see on HGTV and wish I could see in person. Last year it seemed like there were a ridiculous number of tornado shelter or “safe room” companies so this year we decided to count them. There were 14 but we’re sure that was a lot fewer than last year because last year there was at least one on every aisle and this year you could go up and down several aisles without seeing one. We went first thing in the morning and took about two and half hours to walk through it all, which seems like a surprisingly short time to spend in such a huge place.

A few days earlier we had talked about maybe going to an Indian restaurant sometime (We had never been to one.) I had searched and found two in Tulsa. After the Home and Garden Show it seemed like a good opportunity to try one. We headed for Kolam Innovative Indian Cuisine but drove back and forth around the area where it was supposed to be and didn’t see it. Finally we noticed a little place called Himalayas at the exact address where Kolam was supposed to be. So we stopped there since it was at least the right kind of cuisine. The place was small and plain, not at all what you would expect for something that advertises itself as “Tulsa’s Finest Indian Restaurant,” and it was buffet only. I was, at first, disappointed because I had looked at the menu on the Kolam website and had picked out a couple of dishes that I had planned to narrow down to one when I got there. But everything was wonderful. I ate too much, wanted to eat more and I want to go there again.

On the way home we decided to stop at the Tag Agency and get a Pikepass for our new truck so we wouldn’t have wait who knows how long to have one mailed to us. (The Tag Agency in the nearby small town doesn’t do Pikepasses.) The Pikepass system is one of the few things that Oklahoma does right but it is also one of the many things that Oklahoma does wrong. We still do not have our Pikepass and this was where I had my “Friday the 13th” moment. I will have more bad things to say about Oklahoma’s state government after I see how this goes.

It’s a Good Day

The sun is shining. Well, off and on, but hey, sunshine! Haven’t seen that in a while. I actually got a good haircut yesterday, which is a bigger deal for me than you might think because usually when I get my hair cut it’s not quite right somehow. And I finished a sewing project that I had been putting off for a while. Like the t-shirt says, “life is good.”

Speaking of t-shirts, I want one of these so bad but I’m probably not going to get it. I have only one hour left to decide. I hate these limited time only offers. I need days, at least, to decide and these usually don’t show up in my Facebook feed until a day or less before time is up. I don’t need any clothes. I don’t know if I could even stuff one more t-shirt into my t-shirt drawer. And there are other shirts that I want more. I guess I’ll just call this one momentarily hilarious and pass it by. Strange thing though… at the top of the page it says “One hour left” but the countdown at the bottom of the page shows over 6 days. Hmmmm… I don’t know if I can resist temptation for 6 whole days if that’s right.

A few more things…

“Fillyjonk” posted a link to this in the comments on an earlier post: Pattern Behavior. Some of the captions are funny, others, not so much, but I find myself scrolling through looking at the patterns and forgetting to even read the captions. A Dress A Day has been doing entertaining little Pattern Stories for years.

This No Bake Chocolate Oat Cookies recipe might come in handy if you need cookies in the summertime and don’t want to bake.

Finally, and sadly, 10 Best Mr. Spock Quotes. I remember all of these.

A Quick Observation

Have you ever noticed that “getting the last word” on the Internet is not quite the same as getting the last word in the “real world”? It seems like everyone wants to have the last word but in cyberspace if you post the last comment you always wonder, or at least I do, “Did anyone even read that?”

This ‘n’ That

I don’t know who created this but it is perfect for me right now.

But, you know… I don’t know why I feel that way because I really only have a few things going on and none of them are a really huge fat hairy deal and there’s nothing that’s, “OMG! Do this immediately!” but… I don’t know… there are just all these things that I need to be sure and not forget and little things I need to do soon(ish) and things I want to do but I’m putting off for no particular reason except that I want to do them but not right now but I still keep thinking about them anyway and it’s just more than I want to have to think about and yes, I know this is one stupidly long sentence but that’s what my brain is like right now so I’m going to leave it this way. Oh, and also… I’m getting really freaking tired of cold, gray weather.

But, moving on…

I had one of these when I was a little kid but not exactly like these of course. I can’t remember what it was. A dog maybe? Mine was just cheap plastic but it’s amazing how much fun such a simple little toy can be to a little kid. It was easy to understand how it worked but I found it kind of fascinating.

Aren’t these beautiful?! Ever since I saw this sad old hand-crank sewing machine I have sort of wanted one. I say “sort of” only because I don’t know where I would put it if I had it. I have nowhere to display it like it deserves to be and nowhere at all that it wouldn’t be in the way. If I were to find one in an antique shop for a really good price though, I might not be able to resist temptation. I don’t necessarily even want a fully restored one, just one that is somewhat functional and not in too bad a condition.

Sew Cranky is another hand-crank sewing machine site. I do love a clever website name. This one makes me smile. And even more.

I love these glass tables. Actually, the tables themselves are really not my style but I love what they do to the room.

And finally… Apology Notes. It would be really hard to stay mad at #12.

Furry Alarm Clock

I’m a morning person. I am usually up by 6:30 but this morning the bed was feeling especially good and I had no urge get out of it. But then I heard a pitiful meowing in the hallway. The world was coming to an end and I had to get up and fix it. He usually wants to go back outside at that time of morning so, knowing it was cold outside, with several inches of snow and a layer of ice underneath that, I was having gleefully evil thoughts of letting him outside and making him stay there for an hour or two.

So I got up and got dressed and found my two furry friends standing around looking like something was wrong or like they wanted something but they didn’t want out and there was already food and water in their dishes. In no more than a minute they just went and laid down in their favorite spots and went to sleep. They didn’t want out; they didn’t want food; they didn’t even particularly want petting. They just wanted me out of bed. Some friends.

Here’s the guilty party himself:

And… I would say “his partner in crime” but she’s been unusually good this morning.

The Big Blue Valentines Day Gift

Most of our past car buying experiences have gone something like this: We tell the salesperson what we are looking for and add that we are not terribly picky about color except that we absolutely do not want white, black, silver, or gray. So the salesman shows us something in a nice color that has way more bells and whistles than we are willing to pay for. Then he shows us a less expensive model but it’s in one of our do-not-want colors. We buy it anyway because they don’t have anything in a nice color that’s in our price range.

But this time we decided to be “difficult”. You know what being difficult gets you? It gets you a lot of stress, a lot of waiting, a lot of failure to communicate on the part of the car dealership and, eventually, a dark blue, extended cab, 4X4 F-150. Our first choice was the “Flame Blue” (Actually, my first choice would have been yellow but F-150s don’t come in that color anymore.) but this darker blue – they call it “Blue Jean” is nice. It’s acceptable and I’m happy with it. And, aside from the color, this truck is kind of awesome.

We didn’t plan on it being a Valentines Day gift but it just happened that we finally got it two days before Valentines Day so we both agreed that this is it. Actually it’s perfect. I wasn’t asked this year but I had planned, when the question, “What do you want for Valentines Day?” came up, to say, “Something non-fattening.” And that’s exactly what I got.

The Truth About “Superfoods”

Here’s an interesting and useful article: A Closer Look at Dr. Oz’s 15 Superfoods. You’ll notice that many of the health claims made for these foods are at least partly true. It’s just that Dr. Oz and the many other people pushing the idea of “superfoods” have turned it up to 11 when it really needs to be turned down to about 5. And, you know, that seems to be a problem with much of what you see these days both online and in the the “real world” – everything is turned up to 11.

I know that’s not exactly an original thought; everyone says that. But it just seems like it keeps getting worse. There are so many people wanting attention and yes, I want attention too. I want 1,000 page views a day and 50 comments on every post. But I can’t bring myself to turn up the drama like some people do. I’m not even sure it would work for me if I tried.

Wow, that really went off track. This was supposed to be about food. If I could get the whole world to pay attention to me – if I could have my own TV show to tell everyone what to eat – my advice could be summed up with that ancient phrase, “All things in moderation.” Some foods are better for you than others but too much of anything can be bad, so eat just a little more of the good things and less of the bad things. But who would watch a show like that?

This ‘n’ That

* I’ve gone and done it! I started a sewing blog. Yeah, just what I need, another online thing to neglect but most of the sewing bloggers will not read this blog because it’s not exclusively about sewing. I might still post some sewing related stuff here.

A couple of problems already with the new blog: When I tried to create a blogroll it kept telling me to “correct the error in the form” but it didn’t tell me what error and I didn’t see anything wrong. All I know to do is try again later. The other problem is that photos I upload to Blogger appear on my phone and apparently cannot be deleted. (I took the photos with my camera, not my phone.) You know… Google has this motto, “We’re not evil” but they are into everything and everything is connected. They own Blogger now and gMail is on my phone so… Maybe this is just a sign that I’m over the hill but it’s all just a little bit creepy. Another thing is that anyone who sends mail to my gMail account appears in my contacts list on my phone so I have complete strangers in my contacts list. It tells me I can “hide” them but I can’t delete them. Good enough I suppose but I don’t want anyone in my contacts list – or any pictures – that I didn’t put there myself.

So anyway… I posted a question to the Google help forum but no one has answered yet. I guess I solve the photo problem by continuing to use Flickr instead of uploading photos to Blogger but it would be nice if everything would just do what I want it to do and not do anything I don’t want it to do.

* We are in the process of buying a new pickup. We’re getting another F150. We had our old one for over 18 years and it probably would have kept going for another 10, at least, but we thought it was time. Better to buy when there’s no urgency. That way you can tell the salesman to stuff it if he’s not being helpful. The salesman we are dealing with is very nice though, and not in that professionally “nice” salesman kind of way. He really is nice. Our truck won’t be at the dealership for about a week but they went ahead and took our trade-in and gave us a loaner to drive until our truck arrives. The loaner is a crew cab – really scary big truck. I quickly got used to it after driving it a little bit though and I can hardly wait to get ours. It’s so high tech I feel like I’m driving the starship Enterprise. Our truck will be just slightly smaller – a “super cab” which is just a little smaller than a crew cab, I think. Their terminology is a bit confusing.

Do you get emotionally attached to vehicles? Sort of like they’re one level below pets. You know… first human family members, then pets, then cars and trucks. Or maybe for some people it’s the other way around, especially here in Oklahoma. Family is just family but nothing comes between you and your dog or your truck? But anyway, 18 years is a long time to have something in your life. We’ve never had a pet that lived that long. The oldest was about 15 years I think. So it’s a little sad but I’m actually over it already. I’m thrilled about getting a new truck. It has an automatic transmission so not only am I happy, my left knee is ecstatic.

* It’s cool and windy today, after being nearly 80°F yesterday. But it’s still not bad, at least the temperature isn’t too bad – mid 40s – but I am getting very tired of the wind. For the most part I actually like Oklahoma weather. We rarely have the same kind of weather long enough to get tired of it (except maybe the heat and drought in mid to late summer) and it’s an endless source of entertainment, especially if complaining is your favorite sport.

Super Sweet Vanilla Butter Cookies (Beta Version)

I needed some cookies yesterday. Yes, needed. The grandkids were here and you absolutely need cookies when the grandkids come over. So anyway, instead of using one of the gazillion cookie recipes I have I decided to just throw some typical cookie ingredients together. (Inventing is fun and satisfying.) They turned out to be possibly the most awesome cookies ever. (With one little flaw that had nothing to do with taste)

2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

I mixed all that stuff together in the usual manner (I know; I’m terrible at writing recipes.) spooned lumps of cookie dough onto cookie sheets and baked at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes. As I said, they were awesome! Everybody loved them, especially the husband. They were very sweet so if you like less sweet cookies you might want to cut the sugar to just one cup. The problem? They spread out and turned out to be extremely thin. I would post a picture but they’re all gone. So, how do I make them thicker without changing the taste or texture?

Back to the Everyday

I like holidays and vacations; I think most of us do; but sometimes I think one of the best things about major holidays and vacations is that they make us appreciate our routine, everyday lives. Much as I love the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year season, it’s a relief and a pleasure to get back to normal and enjoy just an ordinary day. It’s cold and gloomy outside but I don’t mind. I did what little shopping I had to do yesterday and I have nowhere to go today.

Speaking of “normal”, my weird cat is back to her normal level of weirdness (I know you were all beside yourselves worrying about that, right?) – eating six times an hour as long as there’s food in the dish and yowling like she’s dying whenever her humans are out of her sight. [sigh] Why do the prettiest ones always have personality issues? Actually, she doesn’t really yowl every time we’re out of her sight, just randomly at times, most often at 3:00 AM.

One Day After Yesterday

The Earth circles the sun continuously, with no starting point and no end point but we humans, who so love to measure things, decided to divide time into years and decided that each year would start approximately ten days after the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice. Of course, other humans have used different systems to measure the years, starting the year on different days.

Today is just one day after yesterday. Like every other day of the year, it has no meaning except the meaning we decide to give it. The idea of a “new beginning” is appealing – useful even. So today we begin again. We make big important resolutions and small, perhaps even silly ones.

I don’t formally make resolutions. I don’t get very excited about the new year. This is just the day I get to start a new calendar. But even I can’t entirely keep from thinking about “what I’m going to do this year,” what I want to accomplish, what I want to do differently. And it’s always pretty much the same – eat less, exercise more, spend more time outdoors, read more, sew more, clean out closets, get rid of some junk. Will I actually do those things? Probably not any more than I did last year but it’s good to think about it. But not too much. After all, today is still just one day after yesterday.

There Is No “Privilege”

Pardon me for getting serious for a moment. Adam Savage posted a link to this lengthy whine about “male nerd privilege” on Twitter. I have to confess, I tried, I really did, but I only managed to read about half of it before I decided, “I can’t take this nonsense anymore.” I am so very, very tired of “my suffering is worse than your suffering” screeds.

Listen boys and girls, suffering is always individual and very personal and is not necessarily proportional to the sufferers actual situation and the injustices suffered. What one person can easily shake off might be a deeply personal and hurtful attack to another and telling someone that “your suffering is nothing compared to mine” is just as hurtful as actual bullying.

Sadly, even with all our technology and sophistication, underneath it all we are still just educated apes. (Who was it who said that?) We form hierarchies and if we try to take away the hierarchies and make everyone equal we just form different hierarchies. We have alpha males and alpha females and the alphas and non alphas behave almost exactly like alphas and non alphas among our ape ancestors. More than 100 years of feminism and more than 200 years of democracy has not changed that and one thousand more years will still not likely change it very much. I don’t think that means we should just accept our ape nature though. We, as individuals, can behave like the higher beings we like to believe we are.

And we can start by holding our heads up and not whining quite so much no matter what our position in the hierarchy. We can show sympathy to other people who are suffering instead of belittling their feelings. We can refuse to play the game that keeps some people down while protecting those at the top.

And here’s one more thing. Each of us can choose not to suffer, not to be victims. To say, “just grow a thicker skin” sounds like exactly the opposite of what I said above. A lot of people would say it’s “blaming the victim” but it’s a fact that bullies pick on people who are the most fun to pick on so you can definitely help yourself by being less fun to pick on.

Bullies should definitely be severely punished when caught but punishing bullies will make other bullies more subtle and clever and harder to catch. It’s like fighting cockroaches and terrorists – there will always be more and you can’t ever stop fighting them. But the best way to help victims is to help them be tougher and the best help may come from other victims saying, “I understand; I feel your pain,” instead of, “Ha! you think you suffer? You don’t know suffering.”

The Day After

We had a pleasant little Christmas, as usual. Nothing exceptional to report but I might have things to say about some of my gifts later on. Right now I am in “What now?” mode. I’ve been “getting ready” for Christmas and thinking about Christmas for the last month and now all that’s done; it’s over and now it’s time to… what?

The Christmas tree looks a little sad and purposeless now, as it always does the day after Christmas. I want to take it down and put all the stuff away but at the same time I’m reluctant. It’s only one day after Christmas. When I was a kid we always left the Christmas tree up until New Year’s Day so part of me feels like that’s the way it’s supposed to be but another part of me is impatient to get it out of the way. I had planned to take it down Sunday but I might do it tomorrow.

The house if full of food, fantastic, delicious food but I’m tired of eating. Right now I feel like I might not want to eat again for two or three days. But we have all this food… I made the Sweet Potato Cheesecake. It’s really really good but, I ate a piece, one of my sons ate a piece, my daughter-in-law, ate a piece; they went home and didn’t take any of it with them, and now nobody else wants any except me. I still have over half of it left. To eat. All by myself. It’s good but I really don’t want to eat it all by myself. And I’m really afraid it’s going to dry out before I get around to it and I’ll have to throw some away. There’s also apple pie and fruitcake and cookies and ham and some other stuff.

Anyway… a couple of things about the sweet potato cheesecake, in case anyone out there wants to try it. I made it in a spring-form pan instead of a 9″ X 13″ pan. I used a 9 inch, as recommended even though I thought that seemed too small. (I have a set of 3) I was right. It was almost too small. I think the 10 inch size would have worked better. I used two medium sweet potatoes (peeled, diced and microwaved) not canned. (My immediate reaction when I saw the recipe called for canned was something like this: “Canned? Really? Is there even such a thing? Oh yeah, I think maybe I’ve seen that. Ewww.) Also, I don’t know (if I ever make it again) if I will put marshmallows on top again. I’m not terribly fond of marshmallows. They’re okay if they melt, like when I put them on baked sweet potatoes and heat them in the oven for a few minutes, but I toasted these under the broiler, as recommended and they didn’t melt hardly at all. So, I might do something different. If I make it again.

Gift Wrap

Someone on Facebook expressed a strong dislike for wrapping Christmas presents. That surprised me a little bit. I know it shouldn’t. It’s obvious that not everyone would but it just never occurred to me that some people might not enjoy it. I’m not very good at it but it’s about the third or fourth most fun thing about Christmas. So, what about you? Love it, hate it, or somewhere in between?

I also wanted to mention, but never got around to it, that gift wrap is becoming more attractive again. I mentioned the gift wrap ugliness/attractiveness cycle during some previous holiday season. For a decade almost all of the gift wrap you can find is ugly and then it starts getting more attractive until one year you look around and think, “Wow, there’s some really pretty gift wrap this year!” and then it starts to decline again. Last year I managed to find some that was not totally hideous and this year, a few rolls that I actually like. I like the new double sided rolls, or at least I like the idea. I only found one that I liked both sides of. (I know, I know! Shut up.)

I might need to buy more. I’m almost done with wrapping gifts and almost out of gift wrap and wondering if I have enough or if I will have to go buy more and end up with nearly a full roll to start next year.

Thanksgiving Week This ‘n’ That

I’m not in the mood for the Internet. Actually, it’s not that I’m not in the mood for the Internet at all; it’s just that I’m more in the mood for other things, mostly sewing and reading. And then there’s Thanksgiving and the day after, the infamous Black Friday. Today I need to go to the store and I’m in a bit of a panic about what to get and about remembering everything I need for the whole week so I won’t have to go back out on the day before Thanksgiving, or worse, the day after. Although, the grocery stores shouldn’t be too bad on Black Friday? Also, I’ve noticed in previous years when we drove past Walmart later in the afternoon on Black Friday that the parking lot is almost deserted so I guess all the craziness happens early in the morning then everyone goes home and passes out or something.

Anyway, I’m not saying no blogging this week but maybe not every day. I will definitely – well, I will try to – find a nice music video for Mid-Week Music Break and I will try to come up with some quotes for Friday. I bookmarked several articles that I wanted to rant or preach about but I don’t know if I will ever get around to those. But maybe. I am being a lame blogger. Sorry. Here are a few links.

11 Unsettling World Mysteries – Well, they are interesting but they don’t really “unsettle” me. I’m not even sure I believe all of them even happened, particularly #’s 1 and 7.

And how about some recipes? (My online recipe collecting is getting totally out of hand)

French toast stuffed with Philadelphia Bacon Cream Cheese Spread

Family Friendly Sweet Potato Casserole – That name seems rather odd. Since when are sweet potatoes not family friendly?

Another sweet potato recipe. This one has cranberries.

Cheddar Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf Meatballs

Salted Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cheesecake