Monthly Archives: November 2013

Strange But Good~Lentils and Sweet Potato

I haven’t had the chance to participate in Strange But Good lately and I’ve missed it! Sponsored by Laura at Sprint 2 The Table, Strange But Good is great fun and I feel I fit right in with the other strange eaters you’ll find there.  It’s nice to know I’m among friends!

Sprint 2 the Table

I am a great fan of quick and easy.  When I can’t have quick, I’ll take easy. Part of this is quick, both parts easy.  In spite of the crock pot time, I think this still qualifies for Couldn’t Be Quicker.

We had come home from an appointment and I had lots of projects to work on.  I started by making a crock pot of lentils.

Lentils in crock pot

I chop an onion, any size will do.  I add probably 2-3 teaspoons of chopped garlic from a jar.  I then add one cup of rinsed lentils.  I cover with water to about 2 inches above the lentils.  This is my small crock pot which is great for smaller portions.  I’ve been getting into doing that because of my fridge issues which doesn’t allow me to freeze if I make a big batch.  Not sure how long it took.  I was busy and just checked back periodically.  I’d say it was about 3 hours on high.  I did need to add a little water at one point.

Lentils finished


The finished product.  They smelled So good while they were cooking.  Smelled like I was really working hard, but…Not…This makes a lot of lentils.  I have plenty left for another meal or two.

I then scrubbed up a big sweet potato.  I microwaved it for 8 minutes which seems to be perfect if it’s a nice big tater.

Lentils and Sweet Potato


Not the prettiest picture ever but boy was it good.  After the photo, I actually cut the sweet potato into bite size pieces and added more lentils, about three-quarters of a cup total.  Topped of course with pecorino Romano cheese…my favorite.

I had been thinking about this for a while and I was really glad when it turned out being as tasty as I thought.  It was extremely filling too.   Also pretty cheap.  I don’t remember what the sweet potatoes cost.  I need to pay better attention. But the lentils cost $1.38 for the bag.  I cooked half the bag and only ate about a third of what I cooked.  That’s about 23 cents worth of lentils.  I think for the New Year (Yikes! Am I actually talking about plans for the New Year?! Oh, NO!!) I’m going to try to figure the cost of my meals.  Just because I need a project, right?!

Be sure to check out everything over at Sprint 2 The Table.  These Strange people work hard at being Strange and you’ll like what you find there.

Happy Friday!


Week In Review~November 11

First of all, I’d like to wish all of our wonderful veterans a Happy Veteran’s Day. Remember all that they’ve done for us.  I have the honor of being married to a Veteran.  Ralph is the best.

So here we are back at Monday, Week In Review. Sponsored by Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Let’s see what we can come up with.

I’m not sure where to go with this week’s review.  I already told of the most important accomplishments this week in my post on Thursday, The Art of Letting Go.  In a way, that post was an accomplishment.  I was very happy with that.  I appreciated all of the supportive comments I received.

I have been working hard. The ten bags donated were added to with the three more bags I made on Friday.  Granted they are smaller bags but they are designated to get out of here accompanied by two more bags of books.

I did have an emotional moment on Friday.  While working on my porch, my little haven where I now sit typing away, I found something I had forgotten about.  It was a large zip lock bag.  The kind I’m coming to love because I can sort things into them and still see what’s there.  This particular bag had been weeded down, sorted and weeded down again from a large plastic storage bin.  This was the last of what was left.  I had tucked it behind some of the boxes that I now had to go through.  I unzipped it.  I went through it.  I savored the memories. I took them into my heart…and I placed it all in a trash bag.  I had to stop for a while after that.  At that point Ralph told me my best friend had called while I was outside putting things in my car.  I called her and I was able to confess to her what I had done.  It made me feel a little better.

I’ve been doing that all along.  When I donate or toss out something that I feel guilty about, I talk to her.  I get it out of my system and then I move on.  She’s pretty handy to have around.  She helps me see things clearly.  I appreciate that.

I’d say that I spent three full days working hard at this new talent I’ve developed-this art of letting go.  As I’ve said, it’s still not easy sometimes.  But I’m feeling better about it.

Now on to some mechanical issues.  I decided on Tuesday that I needed to try to do something about my non-functioning dryer.  It is covered under my contract with the electric company, but I was certain it was dead.  My only thought had been to just remove it from the contract to save the money.  Then I decide, what the heck…it won’t cost me anything to have them look at it and if it’s dead, it’ll still be dead after he looks at it.  The repair man got here and I lead him to the dungeon and then left him alone.

About ten minutes later, he comes up the steps and knocks on the door.  I’m sure he’s going to tell me no luck.  Before he can talk I say, “I know…it’s old.”  He says, “Yeah it’s old which is why I don’t have the fuse I need to fix it.  I’ll order it, it’ll be delivered by UPS and then we’ll call and set up another appointment.” I thank him and turn around to Ralph. “It’s NOT DEAD!”  Ralph says, “Yes, I heard, Dear.”  I was so excited.  So although I think after today, I’m officially out of clean underwear, I know it will be working soon.  Can’t tell you how excited I am.  Hopefully, I’ll only have to dry a few more loads of laundry over at Gail’s house.  Yes…best friends are good to have.

I didn’t accomplish that much over the weekend.  Saturday found me at Weight Watchers, as always and I stayed the same.  After my gain while we were away, I think my body had found its level.  Some people were telling me I’d lost too much so I guess this is where my body wants to be.  I’m still working to get back on track.  I’m feeling very out of control at night and I need to get back the control I had before the trip.

This is scattered but that’s truly the type of week I’ve had.  I feel good about it and good about the week to come.  Hopefully a new car issue that showed its face on Friday will be simple when I take it to the mechanic today.  We’ll see and we’ll work with it.

Be sure to check out all of the other Reviewers over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.

Happy Monday!


Snapshot Saturday~November 9

I love Snapshot Saturday for so many reasons. One reason is that it got me up and going to take some pictures of the Fall leaves.  I have been very remiss in doing that.  They’re almost gone, but knowing that I needed something for Snapshot Saturday got me moving.  Be sure to check out the other great photos over at West Metro Mommy Reads our lovely hostess Melinda’s Blog.


I have truly been enjoying all of the Autumn beauty, but not capturing it except in my memory.  Here are two that I did take the time to capture today.

two trees


tree with white bush


All in my neighbor’s side yard.  So beautiful.  I think I’ll go out and take some more!

Happy Snapshot Saturday!!

The Art of Letting Go

Interesting and totally unrelated to the title of this post or the point of it, WordPress has just informed me that 3 years ago today I signed up with them.  Interesting also that it took them a Month before I was actually able to access my site, which is why my first post did not come until December.  There were a few things that got in the way back then.  A Lot of things which I suppose in a way has everything to do with this post.

You’ve heard me talking a great deal about all of the cleaning out that must be done in order for us to move to New Mexico.  It is Not a tall tale.  There is a huge load of stuff.  Maybe I’ve been a pack rat all these years and never realized it.  I suppose I hid it well…an orderly pack rat.  When Ralph and I got together, it was magnified because, well he had a lot of stuff.  When his stuff and my stuff got together we hit a situation of critical mass.  There’s a mass of stuff and it’s getting Critical!

But I feel I’ve developed a new talent I never knew I had…The Art of Letting Go.  I have moved a number of times in my life.  None of the moves were ever very far. Most of them in and around the same ten-mile area.  My Dad used to joke that when the house got dirty…I’d move.  Not quite the case, there always seemed to be a good reason.  I do remember thinking on the occasion of these various moves that each time, I got rid of things, weeding out what was not necessary.  As I type this, I can only imagine the horror if I had Not done that along the way.  I would Never get out of here.

However, over the years I suppose it has been cooking in my head all this time…The urge to have less, to get rid of things I don’t need, that I haven’t used for years.  I am feeling very strong in all of this right now.  Hoping to hang on to that strength.

In the past few days, I have collected 10 bags of clothes/shoes/handbags that have gone or will go today to the local thrift store.  When I dropped off bags yesterday, I had to walk into the store to deposit them.  I was Hugely tempted to take a stroll around the shop to see what was there.  I Did Not (I was also parked in a Fire Lane so that helped!)  When I was running other errands, I drove right by the Goodwill store.  I Drove Right By.  Yes, I am feeling strong.

Part of yesterday’s purge was going through boxes of packed books in my bedroom.  I produced 5 bags of books to contribute to the town library.  I ended up with one empty box which doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment but it is.  Moving those boxes out allowed me access to one of my dressers that I hadn’t looked in for a while. Almost Everything in that dresser went into the bags for the thrift store.  Some things were extremely hard to part with, but I did it. Both of my dressers are now empty and ready to be sold.  Now I just have to purge the tops of them.

I’m getting there.  I have some things planned for Mr. Garbage Man tomorrow.   I’ve been giving him a workout lately.  I don’t think he minds or at least he hasn’t left any nasty notes on my door.

I still have lots to do around here but a another big job still remains. I am resigned to the fact that I am going to my sister’s house where Most of my books are stored.  I know there are books in there that I do not need to keep.  I have been through them at least twice before weeding them out.  When I started typing this I was going to say that I wanted to reduce it by half.  I’m not sure if I will be able to do that.  I’m thinking I may be able to reduce by one-third.  We’ll see how it goes and since I’m so bad at fractions, I may never really know.  I’ll just be able to judge by how many bags I carry down the steps and out to the car. But I will reduce them.

No pictures because who wants to look at a bunch of bags.  I hope you’ll trust me to be honest about this.

Am I serious about this?  I Am.  Will I accomplish it?  I Will.  I have to in order to get what I want.  I want to be in New Mexico.  If I have to get in my car with just my purse, my computer, my travel coffee mug and whatever book I happen to be reading at the time…I will.

I’ve never thought of myself an artist, but I have learned the Art of Letting Go.

Happy Thursday!



WIAW~November 6~So It’s Fall

I love the Fall.  Ralph is all enthused about the colors.  I need to get outside with my camera to get some photos before it all goes away. But in the meantime…let’s do Fall foods.  My foods don’t really seem Fall-ish to me.  Haven’t started soups yet.  I need to get on that. But we always have What I Ate Wednesday, the crazy good link up started by Jenn at Peas & Crayons.  Don’t forget to check it out when you finish here!

What I Ate Wednesday: FALL into Good Habits

My food is a little all over the place this week, so try to stick with me.

Oh, the things you find when you start to clean out cabinets…

This wonderful Fall mug.

fall mug


And this great bowl…

breakfast face


Filled with my go to breakfast of bran flakes, Fiber One and vanilla soy milk.  This is my first time trying vanilla soy milk.  Doesn’t taste that different from plain.  Tasty nonetheless!



One of my crazy one dish meals of crock pot lentils, quinoa and green beans topped with Romano cheese. Actually photographed on my lap while I sat on the bed watching TV.  Too much info?  It was delicious…that’s the info you need!

spinach salad


A tasty spinach, feta, egg and various veggie salad at a diner we don’t often go to.  I really enjoyed this.

overnight oats and apples


Overnight oats topped with crock pot apples.  A half cup of oats, third of a cup of fat-free vanilla yogurt, half cup of vanilla soy milk and lots of cinnamon.  I like to heat mine in the microwave.  One minute, then put the apples on top and another 30 seconds. Perfect for me!  Need to make more crock pot apples.  I always finish them off too quickly!

meadows breakfast


Last but not least is breakfast at one of our favorite diners after Ralph’s doctor’s appointment. Tomatoes, green peppers, onions, mushrooms and asparagus omelette.  So good.  A side of cottage cheese…a flashback to last week!

That’s WIAW for me for this week.  I do hope to do some more actual cooking in the coming week.  I NEED soup.   Be sure to check out what everybody else has on their plate over at Peas & Crayons.  You’re sure to find something you like!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

Week In Review~November 4~Hrumph Edition

I did promise to keep better track of my comings and goings, goings and comings last week when I wrote Week In Review.  I have to confess that I failed miserably, but that doesn’t keep me from showing up for the WIR party hostessed by the lovely Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  I’m here and ready…well as ready as I can be today.  To the Review!

Monday started with the cold realization that Ralph has lost his car keys.  He had a dentist’s appointment.  I was still in my jammies attacking some project or other.  It’s twenty-five minutes to Dentist time and he says, “You’ll have to take me because I can’t find my keys.” Hrumph…Ok. I get dressed and take him there.  The errands he was to run BEFORE going to the dentist’s office are now mine.  Hrumph…I tell him to call me when he’s finished and I’ll come back.

I take care of the errands, go home for a few minutes and decide if I’m going to be less frustrated about this (which I wasn’t sure I could be at that time) I needed to just be peaceful for a bit.  At home I grabbed the book I was reading, headed back to the dentist’s office and read in the parking lot for about a half hour.  When his text came that he was ready to be picked up, I just said “I’m in the parking lot” and I could be in a cheerier mood.  Reading always settles me down.  We came home and he looked for his keys.

Tuesday took me to the hairdresser for a much needed cut. I hadn’t gotten it cut while we were away.  I didn’t want to chance going to a different stylist until I have to.  While she’s cutting my hair, Gina tells me she has some news…she’ll be moving to another branch of the salon which is being built.  Ok, where’s that…about 35 minutes away.  Hrumph…  I love the way she cuts my hair but I’m not sure I want to drive that far for a haircut. My two friends also go to her so maybe we’ll make a road trip out of it.  We’ll see.  Love my cut and I came home to “naturalize” my hair.  I’m quite a sight now!  Ralph looked for his keys.

Wednesday we had Ralph’s 3 month check up with the family doctor.  She told us that everything looks so good on his recent blood work that she doesn’t need to see him for 6 months now.  Great news…no Hrumph here.  We had lunch at one of our favorite diners and headed home.  I finally got Ralph to empty his suitcases from the trip and he looked for his keys.

Thursday is a mystery.  I did make the realization that there is something wrong with my car.  Sounds like the right rear tire wants to fall off when I hit a bump.  Make plans to stop to see the mechanic on Friday.  I know I was working on various small projects, cleaning out a box here, a drawer there. Ralph looked for his keys.

Friday I take the car to the mechanic.  Luckily, it’s about 3 blocks from our house.  He tells me to leave it, he’ll check it and I should come back in an hour.  I come back and he hasn’t had a chance.  Hrumph…I come back in another hour and he’s checked it and I need shocks in the back and a swing bar, whatever that is.  Ok to drive it for the weekend which was good.  I did get my exercise in.  I’ll take it back on Monday.  Ralph looked for his keys.

Saturday was Weight Watchers of course.  I stayed the same.  Which was a gift because I was having a lot of trouble staying on track throughout the week.  Saturday night, my sister Ele and I went to a Day of the Dead celebration.  It was very nice. I can’t wait until I get to celebrate in New Mexico.  People go crazy out there.  Ralph looked for his keys.

Sunday was great because we got to celebrate Ralph’s sister Kathy’s 70th birthday.  She knew that some of us would be there, but most of her grandchildren were there too, which she didn’t expect.  It was great fun.


This was Kathy’s birthday cake.  I thought it was so adorable.

Now we’re ready for a new week.  I have lots of projects planned and lots of things to accomplish.  I’m off now to deposit my car at the mechanic’s shop.  Ralph will be looking for his keys!

Be sure to check out the other Reviewers over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  You don’t want to miss the fun!

Happy Monday!

Snapshot Saturday~November 2

I’m writing this post on Friday and I am Very proud of myself.  It is November 1 and I just turned the page on the calendar.  Usually it happens around the 15th of the month.  Sometimes later.  I would say that this is a good start!

Of course, it’s Saturday and it means Saturday Snapshot hostessed by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.  Be sure to check out the other great photos there when you’re finished here at BCDC.  It’s a fun way to get to know some other great bloggers.


Since I’ve been back from New Mexico I sometimes have a hard time looking at the photos I took there.  I find myself down in the dumps because I want to be there and I’m not.  I remember the day I took this photo and how beautiful the day was.  I think it shows in the photo.

There is a coffee shop that we go to frequently (very frequently…) called Java The Hut.  It’s a tiny place within a group of shops called The Hub.  The people that we’ve met and come to know at Java are like family.  They welcome us warmly and are sorry to see us go.

One of the best part of The Hub is the beautiful landscaping.  The photo of the agave and morning-glory that I used last Saturday is from there.  This is another of the great shots I got of the beautiful local flora.

Java grass

I love the colors in this photo and how the sun plays on the long grass fronds.  It reminds me of the warm days we spent there.  The warmth coming from the sun and from the people there.

I don’t quite know what’s going on with WordPress today.  My typing is getting out of line from how I’m used to so I guess we’ll just go with it.  Be sure to check out the other Saturday Snapshot participants.  You’ll be glad you did.

Happy Snapshot Saturday!