Fleece to meet you

The weather has turned colder here. Cold for us, which means I’ve had to rearrange my dresser and closet to stow the warm weather clothes and keep the warmer clothes handy.

Sadly, there was space in the closet as last year, I had donated or trashed some items at the end of the season.

Which meant shopping.

With all the pre-Black Friday sales.

Crazy, man, just crazy.

But then I realized I could order online. I weighed my options of free in-store pick up with going out where there are, you know, people.

And decided that shipping fee was worth the price.

So just as the first fall cold hit the household, my fleece pants and shirts arrived. There is nothing better than clothes that feel like you’re wrapped in a blanket.

Especially when you’re sick.

Alas, now I’m back at work and in my fancy work clothes, but I know they’re at home waiting, and so is a nice bowl of simmered-all-day chili.

Stay warm out there people.

Until next time.

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Tis the Season

Here in the US, it is Thanksgiving Eve. The beginning of the holiday season where we should all pause to be thankful for our blessings.

So in the spirit of the season, thank you for spending time with me and allowing me, however briefly to be part of your life.

I won’t be posting until Monday as I take time off to celebrate with my family and cherished friends. And remember those who aren’t with us.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Nuts to you

Growing up in America, most of us know that margarine containers rarely contained margarine. They were used to store leftovers. Which made finding the margarine a bit of a game. It also seems that those containers rarely had missing lids/bottoms like the new, sleeker incarnation.

Another shared struggle, most Americans of a certain age shared was the cookie tin. Cookie tins always contained sewing notions. I’ve proudly carried on the tradition with a dragon’s horde of buttons. In fact, until I became an adult and saw such tins at Costco, I didn’t actually think cookies came in tins. Live and learn.

But let’s talk about another oddity and see how many of us share it. There is this habit to put out nuts (in the shell) in a bowl during the holidays. Usually, it’s a mixed selection of walnuts, pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts. A silver nutcracker is added to the mix and you kind of help yourself. I’ve continued the tradition but limit the selection to my favorites—hazelnuts and almonds.

And lastly, let’s talk ribbon candy. Yes, these sweeties appeared during the holidays and were the only candy left out, in the open, for anyone to eat. The bright colors were so tempting and cheery. And, frankly, I didn’t like them. Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t eat them, but sometimes you got a flavor you liked and other times it had to be spat out because it was hideous. At the end of the season, the remaining candies had melted together so that only the desperate would try to chisel off a piece (with a flavor not even Willie Wonka dared to create).

So, anyone else encounter the last two traditions?

Until next time.

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Yes, I did it.

We were at Costco the other day and tried this raspberry syrup.

It was amazing. So I made pumpkin spice pancakes and used it. Delicious.

But then I kinda got to thinking…

What is syrup but flavored sugar? And so I decided to try an experiment. I made a batch of ice tea using raspberry tea bags and ordinary tea bags.

Then added the syrup.

No, I didn’t pour half a bottle in, just about 1/4 cup into 3 quarts of tea. Yes, I do drink my tea straight, unless I’m sick, but that’s another blog, so I didn’t want to go too sweet.

Really what I wanted was an amped up raspberry flavor.

Instead it was elevated but not amped up. So I’ll be tweaking the recipe a bit over the week to find the perfect balance of raspberry without becoming too sticky sweet.

Until next time.

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Hanging Around

And so it came to pass that I realized I had thrown away the rails to the closet doors. Which meant a Home Depot run was in my future. Normally this is a good thing, but with most runs to HoDes, once just isn’t enough.

I checked out the stock online then asked an associate about my only choice for closet rails.

Universal, he said.

Universal my foot. Someone’s pants are on fire.

It took me half a day to install one side of the rails and find out they don’t quite fit. Like I’d have to gouge out the wood floor or sand an 1/8 of an inch off the doors, kind of doesn’t fit.

Neither of those things was going to happen.

So checked on amazon. In the words of Kelly Bundy, “Topeka, I found it.”

The same style of rails that I’d taken down. When they arrived, I had to remove all the old ‘new’ hardware and install the original then hang the rails, and voila!

Closet doors hung in less than 30 minutes. The hubbinator came in to wrangle them into place.

Okay, I do have to make a few adjustments but other than that, it’s perfect. Lesson learned, stick with what you have.

Until next time.

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100 years ago today

World War 1 ended. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Sadly, it did not.

And while in the US, we take today to honor those still living who fought to preserve our freedom, the world and we also remember those who have fallen.

As our TV is rife with movies and documentaries on the Second World War, take a moment out to learn more about WW1.

America’s Museum devoted to the first World War:


Britain’s website, designed for school-age children, but still an awesome resource:


Take a glance at the art legacy crafted by ordinary soldiers:


And these haunting sculptures designed to honor the fallen of WW1 (google them to see them at night):


Pause for a moment today and remember.

And as always, thank you for your service.


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Did you know…

There is one very popular Christmas song that actually isn’t a Christmas song.

It was written in the 1850s and first performed by a Sunday school class at Thanksgiving. The song was so popular that the church performed it again at Christmas, and the rest is history.

If you listen clearly, the lyrics are all about the writer’s longing for a white Christmas like he experienced in Massachusetts and wasn’t experiencing in his new home of Georgia.

That song is Jingle Bells.

Here is my favorite version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p07T4dlw2cc

Why am I thinking Christmas Carols when we haven’t reached Veteran’s Day? Because we have a station that has started playing Carols on November 1st. And yes, I’m listening.

Until next time.

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