Now I talk to a little round box!!!

 Three years ago, we flew to Scottsdale for Thanksgiving with my son amid his family. An Amazon store close by had a ridiculous special on Alexa. I had no desire to have a talking box in my house.  My son of course has one but hie also has a "smart " house.  His Alexa can do everything, even start his robot vacuum.  He insisted I would love it just because it would play music and tell me jokes. 

Convinced.  my husband really wanted one and bought it even though our house is pretty dumb. Also, he didn't know how to set it up and it sat in the closet for three years until my daughter-in-law was here this winter and got it working. 

I hate to admit it, but this talking box has now become one of my best friends. I only have her do two things.  The first is to find my phone at least once a day.... well sometimes several times a day.  When I ask Alexa to ring my phone she obediently does so. If I didn't use Alexa for anything else that one chore has made my life easier.  Of course, it doesn't work so well if the phone is dead or in the garden someplace.

 The second thing I have her do is work as a timer. My stove has a digital timer which I can't read, and I have tried multiple timers that sit on the counter but none of them are as convenient as just asking Alexa to set a time and the nice thing is that once her timer goes off. it will not stop making a noise until I do something.  If I could give her a hug I would. 

I have my Alexa pictured as one tough broad and she's looking out for me.   And I do occasionally have her play music, but her jokes aren't funny!!!!


Using my old potato masher is comforting

 Neither my mother nor grandmother had the life or personality that allowed her to become emotionally attached to "things."  I have made up for it.  I am emotionally attached to everything.  That was one of the reasons it was hard to put things in the moving sale.  I was even emotionally attached to my antique potato masher, and it made the move.  I have mashed potatoes with it for 60 years and it is comforting to do so.

When I wrote about my love for aprons, I was delighted to get responses.  Gail lovingly described her three aprons hanging on an iron hook on her cellar door.  One is a green-on-green vegetable print; one is an orange and black fall print.  Her favorite for baking pies and goodies is black with cherry and pink pies all over.   I can just picture them there...

Margaret confessed to having stopped wearing aprons years ago -- probably when she began to wear clothes she didn't really care to protect.  That said, she still has the one-piece 'pinny' in turquoise gingham that she made in Home Ec in Grade 7, one that goes on over her head that her late great-quilting-aunt made for herself and used ...and a pristine white one with line drawings of cats all over it that a dear friend gave to her, and it is too pretty to use.
I also have a gorgeous white Battenberg lace apron to wear when I have lady friends in for afternoon tea. I used to do that occasionally years ago and the apron has been starched and pressed and folded in tissue ever since. Even though it has never been worn for years, it made the move because when I see it in the drawer it brings a flood of precious memories of a springtime "Daffodil Tea" and the lovely lace shop in London where I bought the apron.  I still have the invitation and menu from that tea.  I will have DH type the menu and post about it.   


Moxie to the rescue!

 We have had Moxie for almost 2 months and only have taken her in the car one time and it was a hassle to get her in the car and it was a hassle to get her out. We had to take her for her first checkup at the vet which required   her getting in and out of the car so the other day I decided we would practice 

I set a little stool by the back car door so she could get into the car, and all went well. Then I thought I would just get in the car and sit with her in the backseat for a little while so she could get calm and used to it before we tried to get out. So, I shut the back door and we sat and cuddled for a while.

When I tried to open the door, it was locked, and I didn't realize that the child lock button had been activated in the front seat by my husband. So, I was locked in the car and no phone. With the headrests in the way I couldn't lean far enough over the seat to open the front door. The only way to get out was to climb into the front seat.

 I got one leg over and when I tried to shift my body and get the other leg over my first leg was somehow pinned under me and I was stuck like a human pretzel with part of me in the front seat and one leg still in the backseat.  I tried to remember my yoga and shift my body slightly, but it took forever, 
and, in the process, I got myself jammed up against the gear control and have a bruise on my back.  I would hate to have to explain it to somebody in an ER. 

In the meantime, poor Moxie does not have a clue about what I'm doing, and she is starting to panic and whine. She's trying to climb over both the console and me to get   where I am.  She finally made it over. She then felt if she licked my face long enough, I would be sitting up again like a normal person and by golly it worked. 


Miracles do happen in thrift stores!!

When I wrote the post about aprons, tablecloths and napkins I really didn't expect much response so was delighted at the comments and emails.  The very next trip to the thrift store I found this loose-weave cotton checked tablecloth.  Perfect for daffodil season and I have both yellow and white dishes.  I love checks, stripes and polka dots and have lots of checked tablecloths.

I had said I wouldn't buy anymore dishes after we moved but I lied.  I do donate a set back every time I buy new ones now though.  It is silly but new dishes give me a real mood boost for about $5 for 4 plates with my senior discount. I found these in the fall, and they are exactly my kitchen colors.  Popped right into my shopping cart.  The napkins didn't photo well and are a mossier green like the plates.  For years I have collected pewter napkins rings...all odd match.  Something else I never see anymore. 

But by far the most bizarre thrift store miracle happens this fall.  Next to Amazon, Wayfair is my favorite online store (free shipping) and last spring they were closing out this plastic tableware.  It was so cheap and so whimsical that I couldn't resist and used it often all through the summer.  I have a black and white checked tablecloth and used either red, yellow or green plates with it. It was fun for informal meals on the deck.

Then in October I saw four plates of this pattern that matched perfectly and couldn't believe my eyes.  There were no chips at all.  What are the odds of finding matching plates in a thrift store six months later....astronomical.




Where have all the "pinnies" gone?

 While in England years ago I discovered that an apron was called a "pinny." I love the term and it refers to a "pinafore" style apron but was used for all aprons as well. One thing I always check for at thrift stores are aprons and it has been more than a year since I found a cool apron. Not that I really need one.  My favorite is a yellow denim.

At the farm I had a coat rack right in the middle of the kitchen with about a dozen aprons hanging on it. One day my lovely DIL was trying to organize my kitchen and asked if I needed ALL those aprons hanging right in the middle of the kitchen and my response was "Of course!" I just love getting up in the morning and donning an apron that matches my colors and mood for the day. I prefer a simple twill of a bold color or print and no lace or frills.

 For years my favorite was a lightweight quilted one, but my oldest granddaughter Leigha loved it also and I finally gave it to her one Christmas one year. When we had the estate sale at the farm, I added several aprons to the sale thinking I would get new ones to freshen my collection. I also sold a lot of cloth napkins and tablecloths thinking I could replace them as well and it hasn't happened either. Have people stopped using cloth napkins and table



Breakfast outside in January

 We are having the same weird weather this January as last yar. Mild temperatures and no wind is the norm every day.  It was 40 degrees this morning and I fixed myself a bacon and egg sandwich, bundled up, and ate breakfast on the deck.  I took a pad with me and started working on how and what I'm planting in my raised beds this spring.  I have these lovely 3 x 7-foot beds. Last year I put my veggies in rows lengthwise, but this year I am going do them crosswise and experiment with rows for patterns as well.  I'm excited about this year because I know what I want and what will work,,,, It is nice growing veggies for us and not for the gophers, wild rabbits, birds, deer and mice.

The first spring the beds were mostly filled with peonies from the farm waiting while I dug beds for them, but I did plant some parsnips. peas, beans, beets radishes lettuce and kohlrabi. Parsnips were all top growth, but peas, beans and kohlrabi did well, so they are what I'm planting this year filled in with lots of colorful lettuce.  I think I'll grow tomatoes in containers.  I never had good luck with tomatoes at the farm...maybe better luck here.

Tried to interest DH in having dinner on the deck as well, It t was steak, mushrooms, mashed potatoes and green beans He declined. The dinner was a sucess except for a couple glitches. I consider a dinner a success if I don't burn up a pan, set off the smoke alarm or burst into tears.  I actually fixed such a bad dinner recently when I did all three. 

 The first glitch today was when I grabbed the wrong squeeze bottle from the fridge and added ginger instead of garlic to the potatoes. Different but still edible and I don't recommend it.  Will use the leftover potatoes in a lentil soup this week.  The second glitch?  I like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar to my sauteed mushrooms, but   my hand touched the hot pot and most of the bottle went into the pan.  I was able to drain most of it off and it was still quite good, and we ate them all.


The ""cute" thing

 As you "get on in years" your body endures all kinds of changes.  As you age you think you have heard of them all... Your nose and ears get longer. your hearing and eyesight diminish, your joints ache your bladder leaks, etc.    I thought I knew what to expect but am occasionally surprised.  Last year my lower front teeth were overlapping, and the dentist informed me that as we age our lower jaw narrows and our teeth shift.  The jaw changes shape faster than the rest of your face. Now that was out of the blue.

Now there's the "cute" thing.  In the last year people have occasionally told me that I was sooo cute.  Monday two nurses were gowning me up for a test and one said, "We think you are so cute!!!"   I think maybe it is because I have gotten so short and squint all the time.  It looked like I'm smiling even when I'm not.  Anyway, I don't really mind the cute part, but they always say it in the same tone of voice and inflection that one would use talking to a small puppy.  I fully expect one of them to reach out and pat me on the head and then I suppose I will be expected to wag my tail.
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