Saturday, January 30, 2016

Week 6 1-31-2016

There won't be a posting this week.  My Precious Tiki went to Kitty-Heaven on 1-24-16, and I needed time to cry.  

Thank you for your cards and emails.  Even though I prefer alone time so that I can mourn, it's nice to know there are those who care that you're mourning.

I need more prayers now, because my Brother, Sonny, was involved in a serious auto accident yesterday afternoon, and he's suffered severe head trauma.  He's in a coma in ICU at Mercy Hospital, and we won't know the outcome for awhile.  

I'll be sending email updates as I receive them.  For now, all we can do is pray.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week 5 1-24-16

Duh!  I'm sure I posted this, but Blogger says it's a draft - so here goes.  Only two months late.  Remember, I'm new at this.

My favorite motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, had the perfect quote for my week: You must magnify your skills or modify your goals.

I definitely needed to magnify my time management skills this week.  I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I planned.  My week was full of Tears over my kitty, Tiki.  The doctor came again to check for a bladder infection, as she was doing her Tinkle in her bed instead of her potty box, and she was very lethargic.  He found that she has an infected tooth, and possibly a bladder infection.  He also gave her some steroids to help her pain and joints.  I feel like a mother with a new baby.  I go check on her every half hour or hour to see if she needs food or clean water (she leaves bits of food in it), check for wet (why don't they have Kitty Depends?), scrape her potty box (she uses it part of the time now), wash her smelly backside, or administer medication (thyroid twice a day, antibiotics twice a day, steroids once a day).  Of course, I have a daily load of laundry to keep a supply of fresh pads and blankets.

Trimming and Thinning:  I was able to maintain my exercise schedule, however, and I'm even starting to enjoy the daily routine of stretching out my joints, etc.  I can't believe I said that. 

Taking Care of My Health: Also, keeping up with my tea, apples, greens, and yellow or orange.  I missed my apple and yellow one day, so I doubled up the next day.  I know this is cheating, but don't I at least get credit for trying to rectify my boo-boo?

And how's this for a short cut - tea, greens and apples in the salad, carrots (orange) in the soup.  Voila!  All in one meal. I even worked in purple (grapes) and white (potatoes and onions), but we'll get to that down the road.

I know there aren't enough carrots to count, but I'll be eating soup again tonight.  I made enough to feed the neighborhood, but I didn't invite them because I'd still be washing dishes when it was time for Downton Abbey.  I don't know why I always cook as if company's coming.



Tea Book:  Winter Tea 1 is finished.  I wanted to share a Tidbit about the beet sandwiches.
This is an excerpt from the book:


Note:  Here’s the story behind the name of the beet sandwiches.  Our chosen brother, Peter, is from England, and he mentioned that when his family had a picnic, his mother always made beetroot rolls.  I Goggled “beetroot rolls” and found photos of all kinds of gorgeous concoctions.  I sent the link to Peter and asked which kind his mother made.  He said, “Oh, they were simply rolls, butter and sliced beetroot”.  We Yanks call beetroot simply “beets”.  I thought that sounded a little strange and unappetizing, but I tried it and found that it’s one of those simple combinations that work well together, like bread, butter and tomato, or bread, cream cheese and cucumber.  So I replaced the rolls with bread to make them more “tea” like and christened them Dorothy Enid Beetroot Tea Sandwiches in honor of Peter’s mother. 


I also want to share a bit of Tasting from the book, in case you want to try my Apricot-Orange Scones.

APRICOT-ORANGE SCONES
(I read a few scone recipes and came up with this)

3 cups of flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) firm butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots (cut to about the size of a raisin)
Orange zest from one orange
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp orange extract
Buttermilk and sugar for topping (optional)

Heat the oven to 425°.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Using a pastry blender, two knives, a fork, or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry mixture until it’s all incorporated and begins to look like coarse meal.  Stir in the apricots and orange zest.

Make a well in the middle.  Add the orange extract to the buttermilk and pour it into the well, all at once.  Stir the mixture until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it to 1/2” high.  Using a 2-1/2” circle cutter, cut scones and place them on lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheets.

If desired, brush the tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  If using a different-sized cutter, alter baking time.  Serve with Orange Butter and Apricot jam.

Note:  Scones may also be cut into wedges by patting the dough into a circle.  This will eliminate re-rolling the scraps, which can make the scones tough from rehandling the dough. 






To make Orange Butter, simply combine two sticks of softened butter, four tablespoons of powdered sugar, and the zest from two oranges.  Buy the apricot jam at the market unless you have an apricot tree so you can make your own.  Apricots are difficult to find and cost a king's ransom.



This butter might be nice on cooked carrots, too, or baked sweet potatoes.

As for Winter Tea 2, I got no further than the menu and the location.  For savories:  Corned beef or pastrami tea sandwiches and shrimp salad tea sandwiches, caramel scones with pecan cream cheese spread, and for sweets, snowball cookies (also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies) and date bars.   I haven't decided whether to have it by the fireplace in the family room for two or in the living room for four or eight.  I'll start working on the scone recipe and the little niggle will guide me.  If I use holly dishes, I can serve four.  If I use metallic gold and ivory bridge sets, I can serve up to sixteen.  Oh, well. I'll know when I need to know.

Tasting:  I found time to test a recipe for mushroom soup to rival Ms. Gilmore's Tea Room.  I like the taste of what I made, but not the color.  I hate to tell you what I wanted to call it.  Oh, what the heck!  You already know my warped sense of humor.  I thought it should be called Cream of Stopped Up Toilet Soup.  I had that problem this week, so I know that color well.  

You'll probably never eat mushroom soup again, but here goes:


CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

8 oz white button mushrooms
8 oz baby Portobello mushrooms
6 Tbs butter (or more)
1/3 cup flour
1 qt chicken broth
1/4 tsp Herbs de Provence
1 cup whipping cream
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Clean the mushrooms and cut a few middle slices out of the small ones for garnish.  Chop the rest.

Melt the butter and sauté the garnish slices.  Remove to a paper towel to drain and add the chopped mushrooms.  Sauté until golden, adding more butter if necessary.

Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms; cook and stir a few minutes to cook the flour.

Add the chicken broth and herbs.  Simmer ten minutes.

Whirl the mixture in a blender in batches.  It will be hot and the pressure will cause the lid to fly off unless you hold it on with a folded kitchen towel.  On low, start at “pulse” and work your way up to the highest speed and then switch over to high.    Do each batch the same way.  Do not fill the blender more than halfway each time.

Return to skillet or pan.  Add whipping cream and reheat, stirring constantly.  Add salt and pepper, if desired.  The salt will depend on the chicken broth you use.  Garnish.


Note:  I added the Herbs de Provence from a grinder (a gift from my Cooking Club friend, Carol), so I don’t have an accurate measure.  Also, you can add your own herbs, if you wish.  Thyme, rosemary, sage would work well.

And FYI, when I was searching for the correct name for button mushrooms, I  verified that they're crimini mushrooms, but so are baby Portabellas.  Who knew?



I didn't come up with a new salad for our eating greens goal, but I did find a way to use spinach which you might like.

I found this recipe somewhere (unknown), and it was supposed to be the recipe from Les Deux Magots (a Parisian restaurant).  If you haven't been to this restaurant, you must try it if you get to Paris.  It's a favorite of tourists (my friends, Bev and Bill have been there many times and give it high marks).  Bev says that even though it looks like the name is The Two Maggots, it's really named after two brothers named Magot.  Anyway, I made it and liked it, so here it is:
LES DEUX MAGOTS QUICHE
(Not)

1 unbaked pie crust
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups milk
1 Tbs oil
1 medium onion, minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
6 oz package of baby spinach
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 Tbs flour
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400°.

Bake pie crust 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned.  Remove from oven; reduce heat to 325°.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the mushrooms and onions about 5 minutes. 

Add the spinach and sauté until wilted.  If there is moisture in the pan, drain it off.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, bacon, vegetables and seasoning. 

In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the cheese; add to the egg mixture. 

Pour into crust and bake 45-55 minutes, until set.  Cool 20 minutes before cutting.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Note:  My twist – Use part Cheddar and part Swiss or Havarti.  Give the spinach leaves a rough shred.  Use 1/2 and 1/2 instead of milk.


But being the nosy person I am, I Googled "Les Deux Magots quiche" and there were lots of images from Foodies, and the quiche didn't look anything like mine.  I found an "inspired by" recipe which looks interesting, so I'll make it next year (remind me).  Click on the recipe and take a look.  I like this girl.  She chose the same border as mine for her blog, except that she used brown instead of red (her blog is Sugar and Spice, so I guess that prompted the brown).

I said next year because I celebrate the birthdays of my women relatives who have made their transitions.  My Auntie Kack came to California to visit my cousin (her step-daughter), and they came to my house for lunch.  I made quiche and Auntie Kack loved it.  I gave her the recipe, and she made it often.  So each year I celebrate her birthday on January 21 by making quiche and next year I'll make the "inspired" recipe.

I was supposed to go to the 417 Magazine dinner on Tuesday with Steg and Sally, but it was cancelled because icy roads were expected.  The weather seems to be okay for next Tuesday, so we'll have Foodie photos next week instead.  

Our weather has been very considerate this winter, so we can't complain.

First snowfall, January 9, didn't even cover the grass


Second snowfall, January 20, was a total wimp


Third snowfall, January 21, we got up to this


but the snowplows came the next day


and my dear neighbor, Bud, cleared my drive with his snow-blower

so I could get out to buy beef and chicken baby food to disguise the steroid medicine, and while I was out, I did a little -

Thrifting:  I hadn't even opened Craigslist for over a week, but that little niggle came, and I found these sweet little green dishes.  Each set is a cup and saucer, small plate, and napkin ring.  There are twelve sets plus the salt and pepper shakers, and I paid $10.



He called them lime green, but they're leaning toward mint, and certainly not the pea green they seem to be here.

I met the guy in a supermarket parking lot and found a

Tidbit:  I have no idea what this is supposed to be - maybe a redneck wind chime?



Tales:  Not even close.  I was too stressed over my Tiki to concentrate on a non-fiction book, but I find crocheting helps, so I did accomplish some work with 

Thread:  I really want to finish off the black thread, so I started a doily (really? a black doily?).  The pattern calls for size 40 thread to make an 18" doily.  The smaller the number, the thicker the thread, and mine is size 10.  My doily might turn out to be a table topper, as I'm working on row 17 and there are 31 rows.



Things That Grow:  My amaryllis is having babies.  It's going to be quadruplets.  Truly a gift which keeps on giving.


My Miscellaneous T (Teaching) didn't work out due to nasty weather, and I didn't want to leave Tiki that long to go to the library.  However, I did teach myself how to do a hyperlink (with help from my library class I took online).  That's where you click on the word "recipe" and up pops the blog which contains the recipe.  I also learned (with Help from Word) how to do 400° instead of 400 degrees.  

Tidying:  A mere figment of my imagination.  We'll just forget this until things settle down around here.  

Tidbit:  Remember the egg cooker I showed you?  My brother, Sonny, bought one, which is a different brand, for a friend of his.  The friend has poor eyesight, so Sonny downloaded the manual, increased the font size, and printed it.  He happened to spot a part which said, "Do not use the egg cooker when it is in the appliance garage".  I told you things don't always translate properly from Chinese to English, although in my case this might work, as most of my appliances ARE in the garage instead of the cabinet.

You must be sick of me by now, so let's decide on next week's goals.  Keep up your exercise, tea, apples, green leafy vegetables, and yellow or orange fruit or vegetable.  No new food assignments until next week.

Tasting:  I'll be doing lots of tasting.  Tuesday night is the cancelled 417 Magazine dinner. Wednesday night is dinner with the Glenstone Diners at Cracker Barrel.  Thursday we're doing a potluck lunch for the birthday of one of our Cooking Club members, Mim.  I'm doing the entree, probably chicken shepherd's pie, which will also mean cranberry sauce.  Carol is bringing the salad and Bev is making the cake from a new technique which will surprise and delight you.

Thread:  I'll work on that black doily(?) and see if I can't say goodbye to that black thread once and for all.

Tales:  I really need to read my library books, which are due back on February 2.  

Things That Grow:  If the garage warms up a little, I need to plant those indoor-starter seeds.

Trying New Gadgets:  Surely I can find time to try at least one new gadget.

Time for Others:  Katie Sue might need help making valentines for the Senior homes.

Tip:  Don't forget to make a wish on the Full Wolf Moon.

STAY WELL, BE HAPPY, EAT GOOD FOOD, DRINK TEA











Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week 4, January 17, 2016

Thoughts and Quotes:  The least lack of discipline starts to erode our self-esteem.  Jim Rohn (The late Jim Rohn, my favorite motivational teacher.  How I miss him.)

And he's correct.  I've been beating myself up because I didn't get any door frames washed this week.

Let's see what I accomplished though:

Thinning and Trimming:  My Sit and Be Fit exercises are getting easier.  I did my goal of five this week.

Taking Care of my Health:  Still eating those apples and leafy greens.  I'm actually starting to look forward to my apple a day.

Tasting:  You're in luck.  You won't be bombarded with Foodie Photos this week.  The Glenstone Diners went to Neighborhood Pizza, the winner of many awards.

 

And I forgot to take photos of our food.  No big loss, however, because the best thing about the place was this cute guy:



Then Martha and I went to F-D Grill and we both had fried shrimp.   Delicious, but not photo worthy.

My third Tasting event was to be Terri's (my chosen niece) birthday at Ms. Gilmore's Tea Room which would have provided lots of great photos, but my favorite T, my kitty Tiki, gave me a fright and I had to stay home and wait for the vet.  Thankfully, I've discovered a vet who makes house calls.  His name is Dr. Hessman and he's very sweet with kitties.  Tiki was sneezing and sneezing and sometimes wheezing when I got all excited, but before the doctor arrived, she was fine.  Seems she probably had something caught in her sinus and cleared it herself.  However, it was good he came because I needed to increase her thyroid medicine, and he gave me some edible gel for older cats which helps joints, digestion, heart, and who knows what all.

There are lots of photos on the tea room Facebook page, and I'll be going there in the future, I'm sure.  I've never had better cream of mushroom soup anywhere.

Togs:  Are ready for this?  Someone gave me these pants, and I found this tee in my closet which I bought at a thrift store to wear around the house or to run to the store:


I'm afraid that if I wear this, I'll be in one of those emails about Walmart shoppers.


This isn't quite so bad:


I could wear this next fall.  The pants are actually very nice and like new.

Things that grow:  I bought several packets of seeds and have them ready to start some plants inside.  I've never been successful in the past, but maybe I can think of a new method.  This will be my final try at getting a jump on Mother Nature.

Tidying:  Complete failure.  I'm hanging my head in shame.

Tea Book:  I finished the first Winter tea.  I changed the menu somewhat to:
                  Tea sandwiches:  Beet with butter and roast beef with horseradish-mayo
                  Scones:  Apricot-Orange with orange butter and apricot jam
                  Sweets:  Cherry Spritz and Chocolate-mint chip cookies

Here's a look at the table





And the food



This is the first Winter tea for my book and it's all about winter flowers.  Now the work begins, because I still have to write it up, input the recipes, make the plan, etc.  I invited a couple of friends and we agreed that beet sandwiches are good (I'll tell you all about that in the book) and that my made up scone recipe is a winner.

Tidbits:  Last week I promised you photos of another T - Joey's Christmas (winter) tree.  I took the photos with the sun coming right into the room, so they aren't the greatest.  The room is rather small, so I couldn't get a good photo of the tree from top to bottom.  You'll get the idea, though, and I'm sure you'll agree that this is one beautiful room.














When you stand in the room, you feel as if you've truly found Winter Wonderland.  

So what should we do next week? 

Taking Care of my Health: An apple a day is almost a habit by now, and greens are getting easier.  I think it's time to add an orange or yellow fruit or vegetable each day.  If you're following along, don't you feel that it's getting easier to eat things which are good for us?

Thinning and Trimming:  I'm not ready for the torture lady yet, so I'll just do another five Sit and Be Fits.

Tasting:  Time to get serious about some new salad recipes.  Tossed salad is getting boring. 

I believe I'll start trying to duplicate the cream of mushroom soup I missed at Ms. Gilmore's Tea Room.  The cook won't part with her recipe.

Also, it's time for another 417 Magazine dinner, so I'll have some Foodie Photos.  The guest chef is from Gilardi's.  I've never been to his restaurant, but I hear it's all fresh and delicious.

Tea Book:  I'll do the write up and recipes for Winter Tea 1 shown above.  The hard part is finished.  Then I'll start on Winter Tea 2. 

Thread:  Time to work on one of my projects or maybe just figure out what to do with the thread leftover from the black shawl. 

Tales:  I have two books from the library I haven't even started.  It's supposed to be cold and maybe even snowy this week, so maybe I'll have some down time and just sit and read and pet Tiki.

While we're on the subject, I'd like to recommend an eBook I read this week.  It's called, Look at My Happy Rainbow, My Journey as a Male Kindergarten Teacher.  The author is Matthew Halpern.  It's a short and thoroughly enjoyable read.  If you can't download an eBook, it also comes in paperback.  It has 88 reviews and a 5-star rating at Amazon.

Tidying:  Again, no promises, but I'll make an effort to get to those door frames.  Really! 
I mean it.  Boy, do I hate housework!

A miscellaneous T:  Teaching.  I need to go to the library for a one-on-one lesson to see why I prepare my post in Arial and it comes out in something else - maybe Calibri.  No amount of editing will cure the problem.  Any ideas?  Anyone?  Help!


Okay, Gang.  Let's work on our apples, greens, and orange or yellow fruit or vegetable. We can do this.  Aren't you feeling virtuous?  And pretty soon you'll start feeling healthier.  

HAVE A GREAT WEEK - STAY WARM





















Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week 3, January 10, 2016

Goals certainly make the time fly.  I'm happy with my results, but I sure didn't get much "deep couch sitting".

Thinning and Trimming:
I did Sit and Be Fit 3 times and Classical Stretch 2 times.  Sit and Be Fit is not always sitting.  You have the option, but if I'm physically able to stand and be fit, I'll feel like I'm cheating if I sit instead.  Much of the program really is sitting, but not all.  

As for the Classical Stretch - ha!  She wants me to lie on my back on the floor, lift my leg up in the air, grab my ankle with both hands and lift my foot up over my head.  Dream on!  I couldn't do that when I was a child - I sure as heck can't do it now.

Taking Care of my Health:
I had no trouble eating my apples and greens.  My greens were usually a tossed salad, so I must get more creative with salads next week.  Below are a couple of suggestions for apples, in case you're getting bored with them.


Oatmeal, apples, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon


Waldorf Salad




Time for Others: 
Katie Sue and I made twenty 2016 Christmas cards for her nursing/retirement homes. We'll have the 150 she needs before long.






Tea Book:
I tried a new scone recipe for a Winter tea.  Still working on this.  It's going to be yummy.  




Thread:
I finished my black shawl and now what do I do with leftover black cotton thread?  The pattern requires you to work with three strands at once, so I had to buy three balls, even though I probably used less than half of each one.  Hmmmm!  Have to think about this.



Tidying:
I finished washing my doors and realized I actually have eighteen.  I forgot about the door to the furnace/water heater/closet room.  I didn't do the outsides of the exterior doors. Too cold.  We had our first snowfall on the 9th, snowing off and on all day, but by evening it stopped and nothing lasted. 

Trying New Gadgets:
I tried my Von Shef egg boiler and I believe it will be a keeper.  The instructions lost a lot in translation from Chinese to English, but since I bought it from Amazon, I got the information I needed from the reviews and the question and answer section.  And while we're on that subject, give a round of applause to the people who take time to write reviews and answer questions.  A true example of neighbors helping neighbors, even though we're only connected by computers.

The eggs don't actually boil - they steam.  You can only do seven at a time, but it takes only minutes, and they're so easy to peel without all those little clingy pieces of shell which tear off part of the egg white.  By the time you peel seven, you could have more cooked. So no problem - it can work for making deviled eggs, egg salad or potato salad for a group.




First Attempt

The best part is that it also makes poached (steamed) eggs, and they slide right out in a perfect circle and look very pretty.  No bits of egg white swirling around in boiling water. The clean up is a snap.  The cooking time is determined by the amount of water you use. A little marked measuring cup comes with the cooker, but there are variables, such as how big the egg, the egg temperature when you start, how many eggs.  I'm still working on my timing, but the feral cats are grateful for my errors, so there you go. 




I like this goal system.  I've been meaning to make that shawl for several years.

Some other T's this week:

Tasting: 
I cooked a tri-tip from the freezer, intending to buy another while they were on sale. I missed the sale, but there will be others.  I'd only heard of tri-tips in California when my cousin bought them to cut up for shish kabob.  Our local Harter House market chain sells them all the time and will season them free with white Santa Maria seasoning which is garlic and herb, or Pappy's which is a red sort of barbecue seasoning.  They even give out instruction sheets on how to cook them.  See below.

********************************************************************************************************
Roasted Tri-Tip the Harter House Way


1 2-1/2 lb tri-tip, with fat on one side
Santa Maria seasoning (available at Harter House)

Oven Roasted
Heat oven to 350

Place tri-tip on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up, no water, and no cover, do not turn

Roast 1 hour and 15 minutes

Barbecue
Bring charcoal to high heat

Sear tri-tip 15 minutes with fat side down

Push coals to one side, cook tri-tip with fat side up away from the coals, for 1 hour

Can also be cooked on gas barbecue

Adjust cooking time according to weight

Let tri-tip rest five minutes before cutting

Starting at point end, cut across the grain into thin strips



*********************************************************************************

I'd also like to share a new soup recipe.  When I was setting tables in the library community room for the tea, Dana from the Children's Department came in and asked if it would be okay to eat in the small adjoining kitchen, as the employee lunch room was full.  I told her that would be no problem, as we were only working in the community room.  After a bit, a wonderful aroma came from the kitchen, and I went to the door and told her that whatever she was eating, I wanted the recipe.  She wrote it out for me, said that she didn't know the name of the recipe, so I christened it Library Soup.  I already made it and loved it.  Here's the recipe:

******************************************************************************************************

 LIBRARY SOUP
(Dana from the Children’s Section)

1 can each:
Whole kernel corn, drained
Kidney beans, drained
Seasoned black beans, drained
Rotel with lime and cilantro
Chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, cubed

Mix together in Crockpot and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high/regular for 4-5 hours.

Serve with tortilla chips and grated Monterey Jack cheese.

Note:  I used 2 cans of broth for more liquid, and used pinto beans instead of kidney beans.  I love this soup and will make it often.


********************************************************************************

Things that Grow:
Here's the beautiful amaryllis which Carol gave me for Christmas.  Watching it unfold was lots of fun, and now it's getting new leaves.  


And an additional T.  Another Thank You.
When my brother, Sonny, read in last week's posting about how I missed New Year in Vienna, he went online and bought me this DVD:


The bad news is that it's the prior year's program, which I already recorded and saved.

My recorded programs are on U-verse, and if I ever change to another service, they'll go away.  Having lived in Southern California for most of my life, I was well acquainted with Zubin Mehta as he was the conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra for many years.  So the good news is that if I had chosen a DVD to purchase, this is the one I'd have chosen.  The 2016 DVD won't be out until February, according to the PBS website.

How sweet was that?!  And to think I hated all my little brothers when we were growing up. Now they're my best friends.  

Okay.  Ready for next week's goals?

Tasting:
My blood brothers, Sonny and Bill, and our chosen brother, Peter, have decided to eat our way up one side of Glenstone in Springfield and down the other.  We're starting at the north end and on the east side.  First up is Neighborhood Pizza.  We'll be doing this twice a month, so I'll be boring you with photos as I'm a dedicated Foodie.

I'm having lunch with my neighbor, Martha, at F-D Grill (F-D stands for Fish Daddy, so I guess the owner is a big time fisherman).  The food is wonderful and addictive. Sorry, there will be more photos.

And there's the birthday lunch for my chosen niece, Terri, with Terri's mother, Joey, and her blood aunt, Kathy.  Photos?  Of course!

With all that Tasting, I feel compelled to continue with my Thinning and Trimming exercises next week.  My goal will be five times, and maybe I'll try some of the other programs.

Togs:
Time to put together another outfit of some sort from my closets.

Things that Grow:
Nixa, Missouri, is in Zone 6.  Time to start pansies, dusty miller, snapdragons and delphiniums (and some other things I've never heard of) from seed, indoors and under lights.

This is a definite maybe.  Where can I get the seeds right away?  Where do I put the container?  I don't have grow lights.  What happens when the plants start to grow, and my kitty, Tiki, takes time to smell (and eat) them? 

I see that I can also start onions, leeks, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower indoors by month end, so should I order the seeds?  Same problems as above.  

Tidying:
I'll start working on washing door frames, but no guarantees.  I have a busy week.

Tea Book: 
This will be my main goal next week.  I want to finish the first Winter tea for my book. Stay tuned. 

Tidbits:
Joey has the most beautiful Christmas tree in the world, and her entire room is decorated to match the tree.  It's more of a Winter theme than a Christmas theme, and she agreed to leave everything up until I can get photos to share.  

If you don't like my goals, try some of your own and tell me your results in the comments. Nothing like a published goal to get you moving.  Start with eating an apple a day.  Easy-peasy.

Tips: 
If you haven't changed the batteries in your smoke alarms, now is a good time.  Then just remember to do it for the New Year and the 4th of July.

 Drink tea, eat apples, and green leafy vegetables.