Beauty and the Beast 

We went to the movies today. Very rare around here. I loved it. 

Google is always playing with my pictures. This is a nice one from our walk the other day. 

This is my ladybug who is living in the bathroom.  When it’s warm enough I will let her outside but for now I am enjoying watching her. 


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March 20 – first day of Spring

It was a nice mild day today.  Tonight after dinner we went for a short walk around the block.  The snow is getting softer but it will take many warm days to get rid of it all.

Right after lunch, we went to the Auburn Mall to get pedicures.  I was ready for some Spring feet.  Speaking of lunch, I made some Black Bean Tofu Hash and made a “taco” salad with it.  We love this meatless meal.

I made a batch of Cauliflower Dirty Rice last night.  It is really a good recipe.  I used a bit less broth in it this time since the first time it was a bit too juicy.  In fact, we ate the leftovers in a bowl and it was reminiscent of gumbo.

Tonight we had some simple grilled salmon with some sauteed greens and split a baked sweet potato.  I ate a small bowl of yogurt, but other than that the day was dairy free.  I am experimenting this week to see if perhaps dairy has been a stumbling block to my weight loss.  My scale has been moving down the past few days so I may be on to something.


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Another year older and you know the rest…

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My birthday was on Thursday.  It was a nice sunny day and we went out to lunch at Ted’s Montana Grill.  I had a wonderful salad with salmon.  They  cook the salmon medium and it is fantastic!

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Stella left us with almost 15 inches of snow.  By the end of the day on Tuesday rain and sleet fell on top so that by the time we got outside the snow was like concrete.  It’s still there and as cold as it is I don’t see much hope that it will melt before the next storm coming tonight into tomorrow.

We did get out for St. Patrick’s Day dinner though.  Food was great even though we went to an Italian restaurant. We were looking for a place to go early and get home early and we found just that.

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I am trying a new method of posting and I’m not sure how it works. I guess I just hit the Publish button and find out!


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Waiting for Stella

So that’s what this storm has been named – Stella.  Today was actually gorgeous weather and we left before lunch to run our errands.  Our first stop was at Mooyah where we had burgers.  We ordered them as they come but took the bread off and just ate the insides.

I must admit that bun is HUGE.  We also shared an order of sweet potato fries.  I think the fries must be dipped in something but as Don said it won’t kill us.

We went to BJ’s and then to Trader Joe’s.  Our last stop was CVS to buy a battery.  While we were getting into the car I noticed the pear trees were starting to bud.  What a shame.  After tomorrow’s snow will we see any blooms or fruit this year?

So tonight is the lull before the storm so to speak.  I think it’s due to start early in the morning.  We are now in the area that has a blizzard warning with totals of 18-24 inches.

Praying that we don’t lose our power.


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Winter’s back!

It was 5 degrees this a.m. with a feels like temperature in the minus twenties.  There is still a bit of snow remaining from last week, but nothing compared to what is on the way.

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This will be Tuesday so tomorrow is a prep day.  I need to make a good list of things we need to do.  Don has a dentist appointment Tuesday morning that he needs to reschedule.  I am going to go all out with storm preparation including drawing a tub of water in case we lose our power.

We will move Don’s car to the parking lot and hope we can get out of the house to dig my car out on Wednesday.

I did get a new bumper sticker in the mail.  I am going to put this one on my car. laugh

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Making yogurt

This morning I have a gallon of yogurt straining on top of my stove.  I’d had several unsuccessful batches or too small batches so I wanted to make new yogurt and record exactly what I did so that if it worked I’d have a process for future batches.  I did follow some instructions from a blogger but I will not share that link because it was probably the most annoying blog post I’ve ever come across.  Over 30 pictures with many of them being almost repetitious and that wasted so much time.

First, I “sterilized” my pot. Even though it was clean, many people suggest you do this to make sure there is no bacteria present that could interfere with the bacteria needed to make the yogurt.  I put in a couple of cups of water and hit “Steam”, reducing the time to 5 minutes.  While this was going on I went and took shower and got dressed.

I added a gallon of Cooper’s Hilltop Farm milk and pressed the Yogurt button.  Then did the Adjust so that the “boil” function started.  I took a look at the clock and it was 9:45.  At 10:40 the IP beeped that the boil was complete.  I checked the temperature and it as 181°.  The blog I was reading (and several others I’ve read) said that if you want extra thick yogurt you should raise the temperature to 185° and let it sit at that temperature for 5-10 minutes.  After this step, I stirred the milk and turned the pot off.

I’d left the milk in the inner pot but took the pot itself out of the Instant Pot to just sit on the stove top to cool.  It took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes for it to cool to 110°.  I have only cooled to 115° at times, but I followed the instructions I was using explicitly.  I added 1/4 cup of Fage Total 0 (which is what I had in my fridge) and set the pot to incubate for 8 hours.  I often have “yogurt” after 5 to 6 hours,  but I left it at 8 knowing I could stop it when I decided it was ready.

At 5 hours it still appeared to be very runny and I was a bit nervous.  I checked at 6 hours and there seemed to be a bit of whey separating so I left it longer.  Actually, I forgot about it and it was at 7½ hours by the time I remembered.  At this point there a good amount of whey and taking a spoon from the yogurt I could see the good consistency that I was hoping for.  So I covered the pot and put it into the refrigerator.

This morning I had some really good yogurt.  It’s been draining now for about 4 hours and I am going to put it into jars now.  I am going to save the whey and see if I can use it as a starter next time.  And I am going to use some of the whey as liquid in a recipe I plan on making later today.


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Windy Thursday

Today would have been nice if it had not been so windy. We made the rounds. Ocean State Job Lot, Pet Smart, and lunch at Mandarin. After lunch we went to the farm for milk and eggs. I need to make yogurt. My last was not the best.

We have snow tomorrow and I have tiny bulbs popping out. I doubt they will survive.

I used a Prisma filter on this one. I am ready for warmth and flowers. No more snow!


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Wednesday in Worcester

Saw this SUV stopped at a traffic light on our way back home this afternoon.  Don had an 11 o’clock appointment with the retina specialists.  The scans of his eye showed a lot of improvement since the last visit.  In fact, most all of the fluid that the doctor was trying to reduce was gone.  So he says three more aggressive treatments and then he will extend the time between injections.  He says he needs to be sure that the reduction in the fluid is permanent and he certainly knows best.  Don says his vision has improved to some extent.  The doctor has told him it likely will never be the same as it was before the bleed in his eye but it can be prevented from getting worse.

Nothing much else is happening here.  We had lunch at Ruby Tuesday.  We were rather late after the noontime rush and the restaurant has half empty. The hostess sat us in a booth next to a couple with two young children who were shrieking and making me generally ready to run out the door.  I asked the waitress if we could move and we did move leaving a booth between us.  We could still hear the kids though and it made me wonder why that woman sat us right next to them.  Did she think older people would be better seated near young children for some odd reason?  I’m not sure but it did annoy me.

And then the waitress got our order all wrong.  I figured we would be charged incorrectly and I was right about that too.  So I complained and had the bill corrected.  All in all, it was not the most pleasant lunch-time experience.

Tomorrow our housekeepers will be here and we will go out to lunch again.  Twice in one week is a bit of a stretch.  We generally go for Chinese food every other Thursday and I’m sure we will head that way again.  I still miss Thursday sushi at my desk at work.  (But not that much!)365-78


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Terrific Tuesday

Terrific may be a stretch, but it was a pretty good day.  I made a chicken salad with green grapes and walnuts for our lunch.  We have leftovers, too!  That is always a win!

It’s been gray and rainy during the day so we’ve stayed inside.  I did get two months’ worth of bank statements balanced.  So it was a rainy day but not a total wash out.

This morning I took this picture of my little one-eyed cat.  When she’s asleep you don’t realize she’s different from any other cat.

The cats are so funny.  Sakaura comes and sleeps next to me for I don’t know how long.  She’s there when I go to sleep but by the time I wake she’s up and waiting for Don to feed her.  Georgia eats her breakfast and immediately heads for my bed to nap for most of the morning.  Some days I don’t disturb her but others I do make the bed and she’s not happy about that!  They do make life interesting!


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Anxious for Spring

A ladybug in the house must mean it’s warming up outside. At least I hope that is what it means.  I think ladybugs are also considered to bring good luck.  At any rate, I’d never smash one.  This tiny creature was crawling on the foggy bathroom mirror one day this week.

So after a long period of maintaining the exact same weight forever, I am on a mission to drop a few pounds.  So I am going to track my food using My Fitness Pal.  I am not eating a 1200 calorie a day diet. I am trying to make sure I have a proper balance of nutrients.

I enjoyed the “On This Date” pictures so much from last February where I was following a meal plan and photographing my meals.  I need to incorporate more of that in my life.  I actually do have a meal plan for this week.  And I took a couple of pictures.

This is a “taco salad” I made using some Black Bean Tofu Hast over some lettuce, with chopped avocado, shredded cheese, and salsa on top.  It was good but could have used a bit of sour cream.

Tonight I made a stir fry.  This is a picture of it just going into the pan.

I have shrimp and a bag of Trader Joe’s stir fry veggies with a bit of sesame oil.  I added some Thai Peanut Sauce from a recipe I made and topped it with some chopped peanuts.  Served it over a half cup of brown rice.

I am making some chicken salad to eat for lunch tomorrow and again on Thursday.  And I am making eggplant lasagna for dinner tomorrow night and Thursday night.  On Wednesday Don has an appointment with the retina specialist at 11 so we will eat at Ruby Tuesday after that and that will mean a light dinner.  I have some grain-free waffles in the freezer that I’ll heat up for dinner.  That takes us until Friday, and I’ll decide later what I want to do that day.  I am happy to have the rest of the week planned.


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