Chicken Water And Craft Fairs

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Colder weather has arrived here in Minnesota, and you know what that means.


I made a batch of chicken soup from a grocery-store rotisserie chicken carcass. It was a two day process.

The first day, the chicken was stewed 8-10 hours in the crockpot with garlic, onions, and miscellaneous veg (I actually only had celery). That made the stock.

Day 2, I pulled out all the bones, skin, and old veggies. Then, after going shopping, I put fresh onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in the crock, along with the chicken meat, broth, and plenty of spices. I let that stew for another 8-10 hours.

And voila! After two days of cooking, I had a big batch of chicken water. I mean soup. The blandest soup ever made.

It was very audacious of me to think I could have any sort of culinary success without a tried-and-true recipe.

Anyway, if cold weather means soup, then soup means crackers, and crackers mean cheeses. I love cheeses. After making the grocery store veg run, I made a cheese run.

cheese and crackers


The other thing cold weather means is Christmas craft fairs. My niece, S2, e-mailed and asked me if I’d like to participate in the craft fair her kids’ school is putting on.

At first I said no, since I’m retired and it kind of sounded like work. But then No.2 Sis (S2’s mother) pointed out that I have a whole room of my apartment stuffed with craft supplies, and I could possibly turn some of those supplies into cash.

Hmm, was that brilliant or what? I started thinking of the room of “The Vault” instead of “The Studio.”

So I signed up for the craft fair at Nativity of Mary School in Bloomington, Minnesota, which will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 9th. And yes, this is a shameless plug.

So far, I’ve made 90 Christmas cards, 40 pairs of earrings, and 3 necklaces. I’ve got almost 2 weeks left, so I’m sure I can get those numbers higher.

My goal is to run out of Christmas paper for card-making.

I’m sure I have too many craft supplies to run out of most of the other card and jewelry components. And remember, this is what I have left after a considerable amount of down-sizing! It’s a little embarrassing.





hand-made Christmas cards


Stay tuned…



Tumbling Around The World

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My first trip to Europe was during The Second Great Depression, in the late 1990’s. The depression wasn’t a European financial depression, but a personal, emotional depression. A story for another time.

I went to England with No.1 Sis and No.2 Sis. We were sharing a small hotel room in Birmingham. The room had two beds, a double and a single.

I was sitting on the edge of the double bed, and No.2 Sis was standing with her back to me, facing the single bed.

No.2 suddenly lost her balance and started to fall into my lap. I tried to catch her (okay, maybe I pushed her) and she fell head-first, bottom-up onto the single bed.

Meanwhile, the force of the catch/push knocked me backward on the bed, forcing my feet high into the air.

No.1 Sis applauded. She asked how long had we been working on our tumbling act, and could we do an encore?

Just a couple of days ago, I was sitting on No.2 Sis’ couch. She was facing me when she picked something up near my feet.

As her center of gravity shifted, she started falling head-first into my lap. I put my hand flat on her face, and pushed her upright. No tumbling today.



While in the U.S., I bought three blocks of sharp cheddar cheese. It cost me less than $10. We brought them back to Costa Rica.

I can’t even find sharp cheddar in Costa Rica, but this much cheese would’ve cost around $50.

I’m still eating mostly like an American, and it’s expensive. At least the Tasty Gates of Hell are inaccessible to me.

Stay tuned…



The Magic Veg Pot

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Dr. Paul, my naturopath, told me he hates vegetables just as I do. He told me to roast the veg in a terracotta pot, and they taste so good, they’re like candy.

The terracotta pots I looked at on-line seemed so expensive! I was thrilled when I found a $25 glazed pot at the Renaissance Festival that the potter’s saleswoman said could be used for steaming or roasting veg.

I tried it the other night. I chopped up some broccoli, tossed it in olive oil, and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I roasted it in the magic veg pot for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.

It was awful. Maybe the broccoli was too old.

I got some fresh cauliflower the next night and tried again. This time I put half the veg in the magic pot, and half in a pie tin to see if there was a difference in taste. They tasted exactly alike. And the cauliflower still tasted like, I dunno, cauliflower. No candy. How very disappointing.

cauliflower and cheeses

There’s only one way to save this cauliflower. Cheeses.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I made $8 extra in September by selling one stamp set. Woohoo!





Friday Night Fever

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Friday night, and I’m grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. This is why I didn’t get married, so I wasn’t stuck in the kitchen. Well, that and nobody asked. I consider it a bullet dodged.

But as a single women in the prime of her….fifties…I should be at the disco on a Friday night. I should be in my best polyester dress, dancing the “Bump” and the “Hustle”, letting guys in tight white suits buy me cocktails. Um, do discos exist anymore? And is it okay if I wear handsome, but sensible shoes?

I saw the naturopath, Dr. Paul, this afternoon to check on my detox diet. He decided it was time to start adding things in, one at a time, to see how I react to them. I suggested butter. And donuts. Buttered donuts. He thought not. I offered to leg wrestle him for it, but he declined (chicken). We settled on cheeses, which made me very happy. You know I love cheeses!

I’m to binge on cheese for a day and then go two days without it. I’ll then need to take note of any changes in how I feel. I decided my day of the cheese binge would start immediately and go into Saturday. Half a bag of curds later, I still feel great! Well, it kind of feels like someone is pulling all the skin on my head into a tight knot between my eyes. My burning, watery eyes. And my nose is running. But really, I feel great, nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.

Sigh. It’s not looking good for cheeses.

After I detox some more, I get to try eggs. If eggs are out….Damn. Now I’m afraid to even try the buttered donuts.

Stay tuned…