Thursday, April 2, 2020

Family Affair

I emailed my Dad a while ago telling him that I was in danger of running out of Throwback Thursday photos. Dad has been into photography for years, so I figured he'd have tons of pictures I could share - and many I'd rather not share.  I thought it would take him ages to sift through his collection. I was stunned when, 8 minutes after I sent the email, I had 18 photos in my inbox.  

This is the first:

Photo courtesy of Mom and Dad
That's me, on the left. I'm 3-ish and my sister is 1-ish.  Our matching dresses were made by Mom. 

Dad didn't actually take this picture.  My parents hired a photographer to come to the house for professional portraits.  They must have been talented to catch us both smiling at the same time.  Particularly since my sister remembers bumping her head on the coffee table just before the photographer arrived.  She's sure Mom had to apply makeup to cover the bump for the photos.  Mom doesn't remember this, though we both agree this sounds exactly like something that would happen to my sister.

My sister was quite enthusiastic about her appearance.  "I love this  photo, always have. I'm so cute."

She was less enthusiastic about mine. "What's wrong with your hair? And I know you never liked picture taking but why are you trying to give the photographer the finger?" 

I admit, I didn't notice my almost-extended middle finger until she pointed it out.  And I thought the hair comment was rather funny considering she looks like she shares the same stylist as Eddie Munster, 


Image result for eddie munster

or perhaps Squiggy.

Image result for squiggy

Still, as she said, she's cute - right down to the elbow dimples.  As am I, though on closer inspection I see what she means about my hair.  The bangs are strangely wispy.  Probably because my stylist - Mom - had cut them with her sewing scissors just before the photo.  She would use scotch tape as a guide when cutting so that they'd end up straight.  That they aren't quite also supports the idea that she had to drop everything and apply emergency make-up for my sister.



Wednesday, April 1, 2020

It's Curtains For You!


Social media indicates that people are using their time at home much more productively than I am.  They are learning to play the theremin. They are constructing tree forts from dryer lint and twigs. People are finding seriously creative ways to keep busy while they stay at home.

Me?  Not so much.

On Monday I was finally shamed to motivated to increase my productivity.  I decided to start easy - no theremin for me.   I washed my bedroom curtains.  As you can see in the photo above, they did not do well in the wash.  Chunks of backing disintegrated. I had no idea how gauze-like the fabric on the front was until I hung them back up and saw the light shining through where the backing is missing.  So much for black-out curtains!

I suppose I could try to mend them, but I've decided that I no longer need to use my time off wisely.  No more "projects" for me.  

At lease the curtains aren't so dusty!




Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Iron Chef?

When I started writing about meal planning back in January, I got the following in an email from a friend:

"I used to menu plan, and occasionally I still do, but it’s like Iron Chef here most days .... hmmm what can I make with kale, a can of retried beans, 3 pickles and a potato....?"

This made me laugh. I still wonder what she made with those items.  

Meals around here have become much like that.  It's not that there's a shortage of food.  We're well stocked, but I'm trying to make sure that nothing goes to waste, so...

... the veggie broth I made on Saturday went into sweet potato soup on Sunday.  I could have frozen the rest of the broth, but the freezer is at capacity, and there wasn't enough sweet potato soup for lunch on Monday, so...

Recipe from Rino's Kitchen cookbook.  I didn't quite get the amounts right, but still a great recipe.

...I used the rest of the broth to make red lentil soup for lunch on Monday.  This will be lunch for a couple of days, but...

This photo brought to you by Bag-O-Lentils.  You now who your friends are with Bag-O-Lentils

...there was a small amount of sweet potato soup left over.  Since it was rather spicy, I added about 1/3 can of coconut milk, which made enough for two "starter" servings for supper last night.  Which was great, but...

...now there is a partial can of coconut milk in the fridge.  I've decided that this will go into chicken curry on Wednesday.  I'll probably try this recipe, but...

I only have 28oz cans of tomatoes, so...

I'll have to figure out what to make with the remaining tomatoes, and...

...so on, and so on, and so on.

As you can see, there's meal planning happening, it's just not happening too far in advance.



(*Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.)

Monday, March 30, 2020

Something About Marvin 10




I just realized that I neglected to post a picture of Marvin last Monday!  I guess this not-working thing is messing with me more than I thought.

My sister chose this picture.  She thinks it looks like Marvin is trying to be a helpful "laundry fairy".  Something like the elves in "The Elves and the Shoemaker" I suppose. In her story, Marvin was struggling to fold those striped socks when I snuck up behind him.  The look on his face is one of displeasure, as now that he's been discovered he can no longer be the secret laundry fairy.  

The reality is that there was no sneaking.  Marvin blatantly hopped in the basket while I was folding laundry.  

Thankfully it was a load of dark clothing.  The black cat hair won't show up as much.  Our last cat was an orange-and-white, long-haired tabby.  We were covered in cat hair all the time.  We joked that our next cat would better match our mostly-black wardrobes.  Oddly, colour was the last thing we considered when we found Marvin.  His ability to blend with the laundry was just a happy accident.

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Snail


This little snail was right outside my front door.  A good reminder that I don't have to go far to find things to photograph.

It's also a good reminder that I don't have to go far to find things to eat should the grocery stores shut down.

Mmmm.  Escargot.

Hope I still have butter.





Saturday, March 28, 2020

Things

Hubby ran interference with Marvin this morning, so I was able to sleep in.  I actually had enough energy to do things.

Things like make cookies...


...and socca...


...and veggie broth.


Amazing what a good night's sleep can do!

(*Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Feline Friday


In the wee hours, this small, fuzzy monster woke me with a MEOW in the face.  He followed that with some throat-kneading and some arm-drooling.  He finally settled down - taking much of my side of the bed.  His early morning need for attention meant that I didn't get much sleep.  

As a result, I've had a very cat-like day.  I've done nothing but eat and nap on the sofa.  I'm rather liking it.  Maybe Feline Friday should be a thing.

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Corona Time


Spotted this while out walking.  A fitting description of what I am experiencing today - and not in that cold-beer-on-a-warm-beach way.  In my world, corona time looks like this:  
  • I knew it was Thursday when I got up.
  • I worked on a Throwback Thursday post.
  • I got distracted and wandered off.
  • I worked on a puzzle.
  • I had lunch.
  • I went for a walk with Hubby.
  • I looked at cookbooks, then decided I didn't really feel like baking.
  • I washed dishes.
  • I went for a "virtual" walk with a friend.  (We talked on our phones while we walked in  our socially-distant neighbourhoods.)
  • I came home.
  • I remembered it was Thursday.
  • I realized I hadn't finished my post.
  • I realized I no longer have the energy to complete that post.
  • I wrote this post instead.
I hope to get back to the original Throwback Thursday post tomorrow.  Just in time for Forgetful Friday.  

Is Forgetful Friday a thing?  It should be.  At least in corona time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Success!


Mission accomplished!  The clock on the phone has been successfully updated to daylight saving time!  Go me!  I think I deserve the rest of the day off. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hearts


Spotted this on my walk this morning.  Made me smile.  Hope it makes you smile too.  


Monday, March 23, 2020

So Many Possibilities

I'm home, and I have all this time on my hands.  What am I going to do?  I could write a book.  Or maybe I could learn another language.  Or maybe I'll finally take the time to switch the clock on my phone to daylight saving time. If I'm going to dream, I may as well dream big.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Looks Like Marvin


Now you can see why I am glad Marvin is tattooed.  Even the cat on our puzzle looks like Marvin.  

A friend gave us this puzzle for Christmas shortly before Marvin joined our home.  We didn't start it, as we weren't sure if Marvin and puzzle pieces would be a good mix.  We're about to find out.  Desperate times, kids.  Desperate times.   

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Extra-Bonus Marvin

No meal plan today.  Meal planning doesn't seem to be a priority when I know I'll be home to cook for the foreseeable future - I got laid off on Tuesday.  In retrospect, that may have had something to do with my wanting to hit people with a stick.  Still, I'm very happy to be home.

Instead, at my sister's recommendation, I'm posting an extra picture of Marvin.  She's the second person to suggest it.  Earlier in the week a friend messaged to tell me to keep posting cat pictures, as the world needs them now more than ever. 


My sister chose this picture because she thought Marvin:
  1. Looks like a ghost just jumped out in front of him.
  2. Looks like he just got a big hit off a line of catnip
  3. Looks like he needs to be exorcised.
What do you think?  1, 2 or 3?  Let me know in the comments below.

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  





Friday, March 20, 2020

Speak Softly and Carry a Social-Distancing Stick


Add caption

I shared this with my co-workers on Monday in an attempt to add some humour to a stressful day.  I told them, "If I can touch you with the stick, you are too close."

By Tuesday I was telling them, "If I can hit you with the stick, you are too close and deserve to be hit with a stick."  My co-workers suggested that perhaps I needed a walk.  They dared me to take the stick with me.  I did.  People were crossing the street to avoid me.  Good work stick!


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Flashback

A short post this week.  My sister thinks that's OK.  She's beautiful, intelligent, musically talented and a photographer.  What more is there to say?


After a conversation that included RuPaul, pureed hotdogs and euchre, we concluded that this photo must have been taken at Christmas in about 1988.

We also realized that there must be a similar photo of me taking a picture of her out there somewhere.  

It actually took two photos to figure all this out.  The second was this cropped group photo. 


Even after all our discussion we were unable to determine what had happened to my hair.






Wednesday, March 18, 2020

All Plans Off!


My whining paid off!  Look what I found in my mailbox today.  Guess I'm going to ditch today's meal plan and make the soup I didn't make on Sunday.  I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again - I have awesome friends!  They wouldn't even take toilet paper in exchange!

And speaking of ditching the meal plan, I can see that happening a lot.  I was laid off yesterday, so there's not quite the same need to plan in advance.  Maybe I'll try weekly meal suggestions instead.  It worked quite well the last time I tried it.  I'll list possible meals, then decide on the day what to make.  I have the feeling I won't have to worry about the temptation of fast food in the not-too-distant future.



Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A 2020 St. Patrick's Day Wish


Yesterday was was hard as we prepared to shut down my workplace. Today isn't shaping up to be much better.  Not much to say as a result.

So, I leave you with my new, 2020-appropriate, St. Patrick's Day wish:

May your immune system be strong
And your toilet rolls be full.  
May all your worries
Be void and null.
Send a toast to your loved ones
Now all kept afar
Stay healthy, stay safe
   Wherever you are.  

I wrote this on the fly.  I'm sure I could do better, but instead, I'm going to ask you to give it a whirl.  Share your best St. Patrick's Day Wish in the comments.

Virtual hugs to you all.




Monday, March 16, 2020

Something About Marvin 9

My sister chose the photo for today.  She says it looks like Marvin fell asleep reading and now he is having happy dreams about what he read.

Marvin is the only one in our house with a tattoo.  This is a good thing.  Not that I have a problem with tattoos.  I'd get one myself if I could decide what I wanted.  No, it's because I realize that I'd have trouble identifying Marvin in a clowder of black cats.  They all look so much alike!  And you know that even if all the cats were named Marvin, not one of them would respond to the name.

Isn't clowder a great word?  

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Sunday, March 15, 2020

That Didn't Last Long!


Yesterday, I shared our meal plan then went to make dinner.  I realized almost immediately that  I was short an ingredient for the planned 5-ingredient tomato soup: red lentils.  You know I'm not going to find those anywhere anytime soon!  Besides, I already did my panic shopping, and considering what I spent, I don't think I'm allowed near the grocery store for a good long while.  Good thing my panic included the large bag of carrots.  Carrot-ginger soup for the win!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Confusing Times

Last week's plan held up until Wednesday when we decided that neither of us really wanted to cook.  Instead, I walked down to our local curry restaurant on my lunch break and placed an order to pick up on my way home. The place was deserted both times.  Sigh.  I'm glad I was able to support them, and I got dinner with enough leftovers for lunch the next day.  Bonus.

We delayed Red's fish with fennel until Thursday as a result.  I'm glad we waited for a night when I was cooking.  The recipe did not go well.  It was edible, it just required a whole lot of adjustment to make it work.  I ended up scooping out the fennel and microwaving it separately, as everything else was cooked and the fennel was definitely not.


This week you will see an addition to the meal planning board.  I've added Friday to our meal plan.  And some extra glitter. At least for the time being.  I must admit that I've been experiencing some anxiety about being out, so we decided eat at home instead of going out as we usually do.  We picked up a steak to barbecue, and I used some of the endless broccoli in stuffed potatoes.  And there's still broccoli left.

I also planned lunches for Saturday and Sunday, but you'll see that they are no longer on the board.  We actually walked to three of our favourite local eateries today (Saturday) for a bowl of ramen, a pint of stout and a dish of ice cream.  We'll figure out tomorrow tomorrow.







Friday, March 13, 2020

Helplessness Help


COVID-19 has replaced the weather as the small-talk topic of choice.  I already struggle with small-talk, so I'm finding this new trend to be particularly exhausting.  As a distraction, I popped over to one of my favourite food sites for relief.

Seriously,  the Kitchn is a wonderful place to spend some time.  I highly recommend it.  Even when the one the first things I spotted was an article about coronavirus.

Though it wasn't what I was looking for, I read the article to the end. I'm glad I did. It gave me a simple solution to the helplessness I think many of us are feeling: donate to your local food bank.

I have already done so, and, if you are able, I hope you will too.  Our food bank accepts online monetary donations. Perfect for us stressed-out introverts. I was able to act out of kindness instead of fear, I got a tax receipt and I didn't have to leave the house. 


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Griffins


 "1978!  You're old!"

Yup.  That was my sister's first response to this photo.  I must admit I'm surprised she didn't comment on my hair.  That's what I noticed first.  My poor fried, permed hair.  What I wouldn't do for curls back then!

And what on earth made me decide to put a hoodie under my football jersey?  I look like I'm smuggling inner tubes. And how did my sister manage to put a hoodie under a snug baseball t-shirt and still look svelte?  

Sorry, I got a bit off track there.

Anyway, I suggested that we find something else to share, as we had already discussed my aged status in our first post

After much reminiscing, we determined that this picture was taken on the occasion of her attending her first football night-game in the fall of 1980. My sister was in grade 9 and I was in grade 11. This means it was taken shortly after the hickey incident.

There are no surviving photos of the hickey incident.  Too bad, because they would be hilarious.  At least from my point of view.  I merely observed the incident.  My sister and a friend were the ones who suffered self-inflicted hickeys.

They were having a contest to see who could hold a cup on their face the longest without using their hands. This involved a fair amount of suction.  They were both quite good at this, and they eventually got bored.  In their impatience to end their game they yanked the cups off their faces. Huge, mouth-circling, chin-covering hickeys were the result. What a way to start grade 9!

In chatting about the picture, my sister wondered why she looked overly excited .  Maybe it's because the hickey had finally disappeared.









Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Arugulalala


This is what drew me out of the house on our snowy Saturday.  Arugula seeds!  Which are now arugula sprouts.  Which, I'm cautiously optimistic, will soon be arugula microgreens.  Fingers crossed. 



Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Self Inflicted Snow Day

On Saturday I woke at 6:30am to a very bright bedroom.  I was excited.  The sun was coming up!  Spring was finally here!

I opened the curtains to this:


Hubby and I declared a snow day.  There was nothing we needed to do and nowhere we needed to go.  We didn't even shovel the driveway. Sunday's forecast called for sunny skies and warmer temperatures.  We knew the driveway would look after itself.  

Other than one quick outing for a few non-essentials, we lounged around the house doing nothing in particular.  It was good to have a reason to stay at home that didn't involve a fever!




Monday, March 9, 2020

Something About Marvin 8


Once again I sent my sister a few pictures and let her choose one to share.  The photo above was her first choice.  I'm told it was a hard decision.

She chose it because she thought Marvin looked bashful and sleepy.  In reality he is staring intently at something in our yard.  I have no idea what that something was.  I heard him peeping and meeping on his climber, so I went to see what was up.  The last time he got agitated like that there was another cat in the yard, though that time the peeping escalated into full-scale yowling and hissing before the other cat left.  This time there didn't seem to be anything there.  I even checked other windows to see if I was missing something, but whatever it was was gone. Or maybe Marvin could see something that my limited human eyesight could not.

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Open to Question


There are a lot of questions in this week's plan.  I'm not sure how far meals will stretch leftover-wise.  I may need to rely on items from the freezer for our lunches, but I have the feeling the cabbage and tofu and the lentil stew will go further than I'm anticipating.  

I like it when questions have such yummy answers!

You will notice I'm  finally making the salmon cakes I had planned waaaayyyy back in JANUARY.  Thankfully the majority of the ingredients are shelf-stable.  The the cakes freeze well too, so double win!

There was a good sale on broccoli this week, so I bought lots.  The stalks and some of the florets went into last Thursday's unplanned broccoli soup, some will be roasted and served as a side with salmon cakes (and cherry tomatoes - there are still cherry tomatoes!).  The rest will become something for dinner on Thursday.  I haven't decided what yet.  Maybe I'll stir-fry it with some carrots and chicken. Maybe I'll stuff it into baked potatoes.  Maybe I'll make a frittata.  Maybe I'll make broccoli mac and cheese.  Or maybe by then the broccoli will be a slimy puddle in the bottom of my fridge.  I hope not, because all those things sound wonderful.  It's going to be hard to decide what to make.

(*Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.)


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Back-up Plan

It's a good thing I had a back-up plan in mind for last week, because my meal plan started to unravel before I left the grocery store.  The advertised mushrooms - the key ingredient for Mediterranean Baked Mushrooms - were not worth buying.  Thankfully, I knew we could work around it, and I didn't have to try to rethink our meals while coughing on everything in the produce aisle.

I still bought the cherry tomatoes and the spinach called for in the recipe, since I needed them for Monday's Chickpea, Tomato and Spinach Curry.  That meant we had lots of tomatoes and spinach leftover, so Wednesday's baked mushrooms became 5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta from Two Peas & Their Pod.  We served it with a side of cherry tomatoes and dinner was done.

That took care of the spinach, but there were still tomatoes lingering in the fridge.  No worries.  I figured we could have a few on the  side with our soup and sandwich on Thursday, and then we could snack on the rest until they were gone.

Except...

By Wednesday I was feeling much better and was ready to get back in the kitchen.  I ditched Thursday's plan for defrosted soup and grilled cheese for a different soup and sandwich combo.  Broccoli soup with bacon, alfalfa sprout and cherry tomato jam sandwiches.  

I had never heard of cherry tomato jam before, but figured it had to be a thing, so I consulted Google and found this recipe from Chatelaine . I chose it because I had the ingredients on hand.  It was yummy, and jam-i-fying the tomatoes kept them from rolling off my sandwich.  The 1/4 batch I made used up most of the remaining cherry tomatoes. Bonus! It gave us enough for two sandwiches with leftovers for toast the next day.  Double bonus!




If you choose to make this, be aware that I did sub a pinch of sweet smoked paprika for the sriracha.  Also, the breezy instructions to "Cook over medium, stirring often, until saucy, 16 to 20 min." are a bit misleading.  The 16 to 20 minutes was pretty accurate, but you really need to babysit this while it is on the stove.  "Stirring often" became "stand over the stove breaking up tomatoes with your spoon as you go".  I also needed to add splashes of water from time to time to keep it from sticking.  Perhaps I should have halved the cherry tomatoes.  The recipe doesn't call for it, but there is a handy video with a neat trick for halving cherry tomatoes after the recipe.  Maybe that was a hint.  If so, I missed it.  

(*Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.)

Friday, March 6, 2020

Distressed


Yes, yes.  I know I shared this picture last week, but a friend sent me the following in an email.  It was too good not to share!

"Alarmed? Nah. Distressed? Maybe a little."

Bwahah!  I'm still laughing.  I have the best friends.  Thanks "kitty b"!







Thursday, March 5, 2020

Instead

Today I had planned to share a picture of my sister and me. My sister and I?  My sister and myself? I suppose it doesn't matter, since I'm not sharing the picture!

We had lots fun reminiscing, but I'm saving our thoughts and the picture for another day. My head has been too stuffed up from the plague to organize our ramblings into a coherent post.

In the mean time, I offered my sister four pictures to choose from for this week's Throwback Thursday.  She chose this one:



My sister saw the picture and thought I had given Marvin the plague!  Nope.  Marvin is quite well.  In fact, he's probably better than he was in the picture.  I forgot to tell my sister that this was an old photo.  It was taken last year shortly after Marvin had to have an abscess drained.  You can't see it because of the way he is is lounging, but half his face is bald.

She also felt that, since he was sick, I should let Marvin play with the buttons on my sweater.  I guess she thought it would bring him some comfort.  Who knows?  He's a cat.  If I offered him the buttons he'd likely ignore them.  Besides, I don't think good mommies let their kids (or cats) put buttons in their mouths, though I could be wrong.  My sister would know better on this one.  She's managed to successfully raise two children to adulthood.  My only experience is with fur babies. 

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  



Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Lilacs


The lilacs on my tissue box are a much-needed reminder that spring will soon be here!  

So will allergy season. 

I'm going to need more tissues.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

So Much Snot

Too much information?


As of this morning I have used 636 tissues.  I feel as if I have destroyed a small forest with my nose.  No wonder it is so red.

Perhaps handkerchiefs would be a better option, if not for my nose, at least for the environment, but where am I going to get 636 handkerchiefs?  And who is going to wash them?  I'm certainly not up to it.  Perhaps if handkerchiefs catch on as a environmentally-friendly alternative to tissues, someone will start a hanky-service.  You know?  Like a diaper-service but for noses rather than bottoms.  

I'm not about to start such a business, but should you decide to run with it, you have my blessing.  I'll take my cut in the form of hankies, say 53 dozen?





Monday, March 2, 2020

Something About Marvin 7


I have an old cotton cardigan that only gets worn around the house.  It is extremely comfortable, so it got a lot of wear last week as I lounged around on the sofa.  I love this sweater.

Marvin likes it too.  He is particularly fond of the buttons.  He likes to bite and chew on them.  It can't be good for the sweater or for Marvin, so I do everything I can to discourage this behavior.  Sometimes I try distracting him.  Sometimes I evict him from my lap.  Last week, I tucked my blanket in the sweater's neckline like a giant bib. 

You can see the look of confusion and determination in Marvin's eyes.  He doesn't know where the buttons went, but he's doing his best to find them.

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.