Saturday, December 4, 2021

Corralling Autumn Leaves

I thoroughly appreciate condo living, especially the part about not having to be in charge of yard work. However, today I had the opportunity to help someone else take care of some fall cleanup and found myself enjoying the task.

The front yard was covered with a deep layer of sycamore leaves. I started by using a rake to brush the leaves off the bushes by the front porch, went over to the side of the house and did the same thing, then started raking the everything towards the curb, from which the trash department will come and take them away.

It was satisfying to see the grass appear as the leaves went away, but eventually the deep pile got too heavy for me to move. I handed my rake off, and someone with a leaf blower finished things up. The entire task took almost an hour, and unfortunately some new leaves had already fallen before everything was put away. The perfect patch of green grass wasn't perfect any more. But it wasn't my problem.

 Five years ago today: Dining Room For A Crowd

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Everything's Fake But The Advice At The End

I received this email today, but I'm not concerned at all:

 Grееtìɴɡѕ! I һɑνе tᴏ ѕһаrе bɑԁ ɴеwѕ wítհ уσս. Aррrσхἰᴍаtеlу а ḟеw ᴍσᴨtհѕ ɑɡο, I ɡаíɴеԁ аϲᴄеѕѕ tσ уᴏսᴦ ďеνíϲеѕ, wհἱᴄհ уоս սѕе ḟοr íɴtеrɴеt brοwѕìɴɡ. Aḟtеᴦ tһаt, I һɑνе ѕtɑᴦtеď tᴦасᴋíᴨɡ уᴏսᴦ íɴtеᴦᴨеt ɑϲtἰνἱtìеѕ. Hеrе ìѕ tհе ѕеԛսеᴨᴄе σḟ еνеᴨtѕ: Sσᴍе tìᴍе аɡο, I ρսrᴄһɑѕеԁ ɑϲᴄеѕѕ tᴏ еᴍаἰl асϲᴏսᴨtѕ ḟᴦᴏᴍ һасᴋеᴦѕ (ᴨσwаďауѕ, ἱt ìѕ ԛսítе ѕíᴍрlе tο bսу ἰt οᴨlìɴе). I һɑѵе еаѕílу ᴍɑᴨɑɡеď tᴏ lσɡ ἱᴨ tᴏ уᴏսᴦ еᴍɑἱl ассоսᴨt. Oᴨе wееᴋ lаtеᴦ, I һɑѵе ɑlᴦеɑԁу ìɴѕtɑllеԁ tհе Tᴦσјɑɴ νíᴦսѕ оɴ tһе Oρеrаtἰɴɡ Sуѕtеᴍѕ οḟ аll tһе ďеѵíϲеѕ уσս սѕе tο асᴄеѕѕ уᴏսr еᴍаìl. It wɑѕ ɴᴏt հаrԁ аt ɑll (ѕἰɴᴄе уᴏս wеrе ḟоllσwìɴɡ tһе lἱɴкѕ ḟᴦσᴍ уоսᴦ ἰɴbσх еᴍаìlѕ). All ἰᴨɡеɴἱᴏսѕ ἱѕ ѕἱᴍрlе. :) Tհìѕ ѕоḟtwɑᴦе рᴦоѵíďеѕ ᴍе wἱtһ ɑᴄϲеѕѕ tσ ɑll уᴏսᴦ ďеѵìᴄеѕ' сοɴtrᴏllеrѕ (е.ɡ., уσսr ᴍíсrорհᴏᴨе, νíԁеο сɑᴍеᴦа, аɴď ĸеуbᴏаᴦď). I հаѵе ԁᴏwɴlᴏɑďеԁ ɑll уσսr ἱɴḟοᴦᴍɑtìσɴ, ďɑtа, рһоtᴏѕ, wеb brᴏwѕἰɴɡ հìѕtοᴦу tο ᴍу ѕеᴦνеᴦѕ. I һɑѵе ɑᴄϲеѕѕ tо аll уᴏսr ᴍеѕѕеᴨɡеrѕ, ѕσсìɑl ɴеtwогĸѕ, еᴍɑἱlѕ, сհɑt һἱѕtοᴦу, аᴨď сοɴtаᴄtѕ lìѕt. Mу νἱᴦսѕ сᴏɴtíɴսᴏսѕlу rеḟrеѕһеѕ tհе ѕíɡᴨаtսrеѕ (ìt ìѕ ďᴦìѵеᴦ-bɑѕеď) аᴨԁ һеɴϲе rеᴍɑíᴨѕ ἰᴨνἱѕíblе ḟσᴦ аɴtἱѵἰᴦսѕ ѕоḟtwаrе. Lìĸеwìѕе, I ɡսеѕѕ bу ɴᴏw уοս սɴԁerѕtаɴď wհу I հаνе ѕtауеԁ սᴨďеtесtеď սᴨtἱl tһἰѕ lеttеᴦ. Wհìlе ɡɑtһеrἰɴɡ ἱᴨḟσrᴍɑtἱоᴨ аbᴏսt уσս, I հаνе ԁἱѕϲοѵеrеԁ tհɑt уοս ɑrе а bἱɡ ḟɑᴨ σḟ ɑďսlt wеbѕìtеѕ. Yᴏս lονе νíѕἰtíɴɡ ρоᴦɴ wеbѕítеѕ аɴď wɑtсһìᴨɡ ехсἰtìᴨɡ ѵìďеᴏѕ wһἱlе еᴨďսᴦἰɴɡ аɴ еɴᴏrᴍᴏսѕ ɑᴍοսɴt οḟ рlеɑѕսᴦе. Wеll, I һаνе ᴍɑᴨаɡеԁ tо ᴦесοrԁ ɑ ɴսᴍbеr ᴏḟ уσսr ԁìᴦtу ѕϲеɴеѕ аᴨď ᴍоɴtаɡеď а ḟеw νἱďеσѕ, wһíᴄհ ѕһᴏw һоw уοս ᴍɑѕtսrbɑtе ɑɴď rеасһ σrɡɑѕᴍѕ. Iḟ уσս һɑѵе ԁоսbtѕ, I сɑɴ ᴍаᴋе ɑ ḟеw сlἰϲĸѕ οḟ ᴍу ᴍσսѕе, ɑɴԁ ɑll уοսr νἰԁеσѕ wíll bе ѕһаᴦеď wἰtһ уоսr ḟrìеɴďѕ, соllеаɡսеѕ, ɑɴԁ ᴦеlɑtἰѵеѕ. I аlѕо հɑѵе ᴨσ ἰѕѕսе ɑt ɑll wἱtһ ᴍаĸἱᴨɡ tհеᴍ ɑѵаἰlɑblе ḟоᴦ рսblìᴄ ɑϲсеѕѕ. I ɡսеѕѕ уοս ԁоᴨ't wɑᴨt tհаt tᴏ һɑρреᴨ. Cᴏɴѕἰďеᴦἰᴨɡ tհе ѕρеϲἰḟἱϲìtу οḟ tհе νἱԁеоѕ уᴏս lἰĸе tο wɑtϲհ (уоս ρеrḟесtlу кᴨᴏw wհɑt I ᴍеɑɴ), ἰt wíll ϲаսѕе а ᴦеɑl ϲаtаѕtrᴏρհе ḟоr уоս. Lеt'ѕ ѕеttlе ít tհἱѕ wау: Yᴏս tᴦаɴѕḟеᴦ $1800 USD tо ᴍе (íᴨ Bἰtсᴏìɴ еԛսíѵɑlеɴt ɑϲϲσᴦԁἰɴɡ tᴏ tһе ехϲһɑɴɡе ᴦɑtе ɑt tһе ᴍᴏᴍеᴨt οḟ ḟսᴨďѕ tᴦаᴨѕḟеᴦ), аɴď οɴϲе tһе trɑɴѕḟеr íѕ ᴦеϲеìѵеď, I wἱll ԁеlеtе ɑll tһἱѕ ԁírtу ѕtսḟḟ rἰɡһt ɑwɑу. Aḟtеᴦ tհаt, wе wíll ḟσrɡеt аbσսt еɑсһ σtһеᴦ. I ɑlѕσ рrоᴍἱѕе tο ԁеɑϲtἰѵɑtе аᴨď ďеlеtе аll tհе һаᴦᴍḟսl ѕσḟtwɑrе ḟrᴏᴍ уᴏսᴦ ԁеνἱϲеѕ. Tᴦսѕt ᴍе. I кеер ᴍу wοᴦď. Tհɑt ἱѕ а ḟɑíᴦ ԁеаl, аᴨď tһе ρrìϲе íѕ rеlɑtἱνеlу lσw, ᴄοᴨѕἰԁеᴦἱᴨɡ tһаt I һɑѵе bееɴ ϲһеᴄкíᴨɡ σսt уоսᴦ рrοḟἰlе ɑᴨď tᴦɑḟḟíϲ ḟσr ѕᴏᴍе tìᴍе bу ᴨσw. Iḟ уоս ԁοɴ't ĸᴨοw һᴏw tо ρսrсհаѕе ɑɴď tᴦаɴѕḟеr bítсоíɴѕ - уσս ϲɑᴨ սѕе ɑᴨу ᴍоԁегɴ ѕеаrсһ еɴɡἰɴе. Hеге íѕ ᴍу Bἰtϲᴏíᴨ wаllеt: cd1rkufzwgevw5078y4tg84riga5d9eaus3bkrydi Yσս һаνе lеѕѕ tհɑɴ 48 հοսrѕ ḟᴦᴏᴍ tһе ᴍᴏᴍеɴt уοս ореᴨеď tհἱѕ еᴍаìl (ρᴦеᴄíѕеlу twо ԁауѕ). Tһἱᴨɡѕ уσս ᴨееď tσ ɑνоἰď ḟrᴏᴍ ďоíɴɡ: *Dο ᴨσt rеρlу tσ ᴍе (I հаνе ϲrеɑtеԁ tһἰѕ еᴍɑíl ìᴨѕἱďе уσսᴦ íᴨbοх ɑᴨԁ ɡеᴨеrɑtеԁ tհе rеtսrᴨ аԁԁrеѕѕ). *Dᴏ ᴨσt tᴦу tσ ᴄσᴨtаϲt tհе ρσlíᴄе ɑɴď ᴏtһеᴦ ѕесսᴦἱtу ѕеᴦνἱсеѕ. Alѕо, ḟᴏᴦɡеt ɑbᴏսt tеllἰᴨɡ уοսᴦ ḟrἰеᴨԁѕ. Iḟ I ďἱѕсσѵеr tհаt (аѕ уοս ᴄɑᴨ ѕее, ἰt íѕ ɴᴏt ѕο һаᴦԁ, сᴏᴨѕíԁеᴦἱᴨɡ tһɑt I ϲοᴨtᴦоl аll уσսr ѕуѕtеᴍѕ) - уσսгrνìďеᴏ wìll bе ѕһɑrеď wἰtһ tһе ρսblìϲ ᴦìɡһt аwɑу. *Dσɴ't tᴦу tσ ḟíɴď ᴍе - ἰt ἱѕ рοíᴨtlеѕѕ. All ϲrуρtосսrᴦеᴨᴄу trɑᴨѕɑсtìоɴѕ аrе ɑɴοᴨуᴍοսѕ. *Dσɴ't trу tо ᴦеἱɴѕtаll tһе OS οɴ уᴏսr ďеνìсеѕ οr tһrοw tһеᴍ аwау. It ἱѕ рοἱɴtlеѕѕ аѕ wеll ѕἱᴨϲе аll tһе νíԁеοѕ հаѵе ɑlrеаďу bееɴ ѕаνеԁ ɑt ᴦеᴍоtе ѕеᴦνеᴦѕ. Tհìᴨɡѕ уσս ԁоᴨ't ᴨееԁ tο wσᴦrу аbοսt: *Tһɑt I wоᴨ't bе ɑblе tо ᴦеϲеἰѵе уᴏսᴦ ḟսɴď'ѕ trɑᴨѕḟеᴦ. - Dοɴ't wσᴦᴦу, I wìll ѕее ít ᴦìɡһt аwау οᴨᴄе уοս сᴏᴍрlеtе tհе tᴦɑᴨѕḟеᴦ ѕἰᴨϲе I ϲоᴨtἱɴսоսѕlу tᴦɑϲк аll уσսr аϲtíѵìtἰеѕ (ᴍу tᴦᴏјɑɴ ѵìᴦսѕ һɑѕ ɡᴏt ɑ ᴦеᴍоtе-ᴄσɴtrоl ḟеаtսᴦе, ѕоᴍеtհἰɴɡ lìᴋе TеаᴍVἱеwеᴦ). *Tհɑt I wíll ѕһаᴦе уᴏսᴦ ѵἱԁеᴏѕ ɑɴуwɑу аḟtеᴦ уσս ϲᴏᴍρlеtе tհе ḟսᴨԁ'ѕ tᴦɑɴѕḟеᴦ. - Tᴦսѕt ᴍе, I հɑѵе ɴо ροἰᴨt tο соɴtìɴսе ᴄᴦеɑtἱɴɡ tᴦᴏսblеѕ ἱᴨ уοսr lìḟе. Iḟ I wɑᴨtеď tһаt, I wᴏսlԁ ԁο ἱt а lσᴨɡ tἱᴍе ɑɡо! Eѵеᴦуtһἱɴɡ wἱll bе ďᴏɴе ìᴨ а ḟɑἱᴦ ᴍаᴨɴеr! Oᴨе ᴍοrе tհἱᴨɡ. Dᴏᴨ't ɡеt ϲɑսɡһt ìᴨ ѕἰᴍílаr ᴋἰᴨďѕ оḟ ѕítսаtἱοɴѕ аᴨуᴍоrе íᴨ tհе ḟսtսᴦе! Mу ɑԁѵἰсе: ᴋеер ᴄհаᴨɡἰɴɡ аll уσսᴦ раѕѕwогԁѕ ḟᴦеԛսеɴtlу.
Five years ago today: I Won The Bagel Lottery

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Handy High Tech

Right now I drive a 2014 Honda CR-V. It does everything I need it to do, and I have no reason to trade it in for something else, but today when I had the opportunity to drive a current model year Honda Accord it was pretty cool to see how many more bells and whistles they put into vehicles now.

The car had a keyless start system (which I know is pretty common, but not something I've ever had). It was nice keep the fob out of my purse except when it was time to lock or unlock the car. The back-up camera was much fancier than the one I have now, with a wider angle and better resolution.

This car sensed what the road speed was, and if I went over that number a little speed limit sign popped up on the dashboard to remind me to slow down. Not only was there cruise control, but it sensed when traffic ahead of me was slowing down and modified itself. If I accidentally moved even slightly out of the center of the lane (which happened often until I got the hang of the vehicle) the dashboard would display a large warning. If I had wanted to, I could have plugged my phone in and have it integrate with the car system to get directions, do hands-free phone calls, or get texts. Thankfully, I didn't need to take advantage of the fancy tire pressure monitoring system, brake assist, or traction control, but it was all there if I needed it.

If new cars now have all these bells and whistles, I wonder how many more will be available when I actually get around to buying a new one?

Five years ago today: Pretty Poinsettias

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Traditional With A Twist

When Hubby Tony and I married in 1980 our house became the gathering place for Thanksgiving dinners. A year or two later my mom brought a Pyrex cake pan with a filled with a recipe she got from a co-worker. The Cranberry Jello (a two-layer concoction of red: cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple, walnuts, and white: whipped topping, cream cheese, and miniatures marshmallows) was a hit. After she died I became the designated maker, and now that the family is scattered around the country the recipe has been equally dispersed.

This year I had to make two changes to the recipe. Because of some nut allergies, 'safe' macadamias took the place of problematic walnuts. Those round macadamias were challenging to work with, because they kept rolling around the cutting board, but eventually I managed to chop them into small pieces. Miniature marshmallows were impossible to find, so Tony and I tore conventional sized marshmallows into appropriate-sized pieces. The pieces were messy to work with; they stuck to our fingers and each other, but mixed well enough into the other white ingredients.

The final dish was deemed a success. We may have started a new tradition.

Five years ago today: Thanksgiving Groaners

Monday, November 22, 2021

Refrigerator Cleaning Gratitude

Yesterday our refrigerator was looking pretty empty. Before I went to the store and brought home food to fill it up again I decided it would be a good time to give it a good cleaning.

It's been months since the last full interior cleaning. I would do the job more often, but it's kind of a big deal. The refrigerator fits snugly into a cubby between the cabinets and a wall. The door doesn't open wide enough to allow the shelves to come out unless the entire refrigerator is pulled out a couple of feet. Washing and rinsing the bulky shelves and bins in the sink is always a challenge, and I inevitably end up with water on the counter, floor, and myself.

I filled the sink with warm soapy water, then took out the shelves one by one, transferring items to the island as necessary. I washed and dried each shelf, returned them to the correct space, and restocked them with items. I did the same thing with the meat and crisper bins and the door racks.

While I moved the fruits and vegetables in and out of their bins I realized I was grateful to be able to have so many options available for fresh produce. As I rearranged the condiments on the door racks I appreciated the reminder that we are able to purchase specialty ingredients. The large number of soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, ketchup, and mustard packets were visible signs that Hubby Tony and I are lucky enough to be able to treat ourselves to meals out.

After the job was complete I dried up the cleaning mess and stood back to admire my work. The inside of the unit gleamed, and everything was neatly arranged inside. I pushed the refrigerator back into its cubby and called it a day. The freezer section (which is nicely full right now) could wait until another day.

Five years ago today: The Gift Of Not Giving A Thing

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Sunbeam Schemes

November  20, 2021 - 1:54 pm

The people who live here think I'm just a cute bedside table lamp. I hope they never figure out my secret evil sunbeam personality.


 Five years ago today: Killing Leaves

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold, And Not Too Busy

Not that I'm complaining, but this week Mother Nature can't make up her mind which month it is. The temperature has been more like mid-October than mid-November, with highs in the upper 60s F. That will change later today, when a cold front comes through and bumps those highs down to the upper 40s tomorrow.

Hubby Tony and I decided to take advantage of the warmth and visit the Missouri Botanical Garden. Although there was very little in bloom, the Japanese Garden still had some beautiful color.

We arrived shortly after the gardens opened at 9 am. On our way out of the visitor's center we noticed a sign for a docent-led walking tour at 10 and decided to take advantage of it. Tony and I made one lap around the grounds on our own before heading back to he visitor's center. Unlike some of our other trips to the garden, the weather today was perfect for strolling. And probably because most plants are past their blooming stage there were very few people there.

Back in the visitor's center the tour guide was standing right next to the sign. No one else showed up, so for the next hour we got a personalized tour. The docent pointed out some of his favorite areas and shared interesting tidbits about the garden's history. At the end of the tour he encouraged us to come back for the Garden Glow (a holiday nighttime illuminated stroll) or any of the member events.

Five years ago today: Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Food Prepared And Served Quickly

Did you know that today was National Fast Food Day? Hubby Tony and I celebrated by eating lunch at  Five Guys

He ordered a hot dog. I got a veggie sandwich. We split some peanuts and an order of fries. And a chocolate peanut butter milkshake 😊.

After the tasty but unhealthy meal we both made sure we got plenty of exercise and had a healthy dinner.

Carlos via Flickr

Five years ago today: It's A Real Challenge

Sunday, November 14, 2021

I Would Never Make It As A Food Blogger

Last night Hubby Tony and I were invited to a neighbor's driveway for a potluck. I was excited to receive the invitation a couple of weeks ago. Even though we've lived in our condo for almost two years, thanks to Covid the only people I've really met are the ones in our building.

The invitation said to bring a favorite dish or dessert, and whatever we wanted to drink. I wanted to make something easy which wouldn't need to stay warm, because I figured the food would be served outside. After spending some time poking around the internet for ideas I decided that Potato Salad Bites (small potatoes hollowed out and refilled with potato salad) would do the trick.

There were a lot of interpretations of the recipe but I used a Betty Crocker one as my inspiration. The first step is to roast potatoes. Next you cut them in half, scoop out the insides, mix that with potato salad ingredients, then stuff the mixture back into the skins. I changed up the recipe slightly by adding the recommended chopped up green onions into the mixture instead of using them as a topping.

The project took longer than I anticipated, mainly because the potatoes needed extra time to bake. I scurried around putting the finishing touches on the dish, then scurried around putting the finishing touches on myself. When it was time to leave I put on my heavy winter coat and grabbed the tray from the refrigerator.

It was already brisk at 4 pm when we walked around the corner. The hostess had a couple of fire pits in the driveway; each had a large pile of wood next to it. A row of tables was arranged down the middle of the garage, and the cabinets on the side of the garage held more dishes. I put my tray down and explained what it was. 

I should have brought a little sign with the name of the dish, because when the food was served people commented on how 'cute' the bites looked, but no one knew what they were. I explained again. Someone ate a one and commented on how good it was. Later, when I went back for dessert I overheard one woman telling another "I don't know why made them, but you have to try these little potatoes". I identified myself as the maker, and briefly explained the recipe.

Tony and I had to leave early because we had a second commitment. Out of the 24 bites I brought there were only four left. I transferred them to another plate so I could take my platter home. It wasn't until I was walking into my place that I realized that I forgot to take a photo of my dish, a requisite of any foodie post.

Five years ago today: Good Luck And A Lush Lawn

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thank You For Your Service......But Not You

Today is Veteran's Day, a Federal holiday that honors military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. When Hubby Tony was still working he had the day off, and we would work hard to come up with some type of adventure. Now that he's retired and on endless vacation there was less pressure to make today memorable. We both had a list of things we wanted to accomplish, so after breakfast we went our separate ways.

I started in the kitchen, getting the pumpkin that decorated our door for Halloween ready for roasting. After I cleaned up that mess I decided to go get my hair cut at a nearby walk-in hair salon. The salon offers the option of checking in online. I found out there was a 12 minute wait-just enough time for me to get my shoes on, get in the car, and drive the mile to the location.

When I walked in I noticed the monitor that listed the people who had checked in had four names on it. I was second on the list.. There were three beauticians working, and just about the time I sat down and got comfortable one of them called my name. As we walked to her station I mentioned how busy the salon was, and learned that they were giving veterans a free haircut today.

My simple haircut took ten minutes. As I was at the cash register checking out I noticed that there were four new people checked in. I  wonder how many of them would not be paying?

Five years ago today: Display Anew