Thursday, December 1, 2016

Squirrels in the Attic 

I live in a house that was built in 1890. It is made of Heart Pine, a wood that no longer exists. Ever since I moved into the house, there has always been a contest over who owns the attic. The squirrels or us. I have spent many a night and morning in bed, listening to them roll pecans and acorns across the attic floor. It’s the chewing I hate the most though. Sometimes they sound like they’re going to come through the ceiling, into the house. Bill bought a squirrel chaser that give off an unpleasant frequency that was supposed to work. It doesn’t.

There are basically two squirrel entrances to the attic. One is in front of the house and one in the back. I am most grateful to the nasty and angry red wasps who moved into the front hole. Score 1 for the humans.

A few weeks ago, when the squirrels were chewing on the ceiling of the kitchen, I had a thick wire mesh nailed over the back hole. It took the squirrels exactly one day to chew through it. Score 1 for the them. On Tuesday, a big piece of oak was my next try. So far, the attic is silent. But I am not under the illusion that this will work permanently. It at least slows them down. Now it has become who can last the longest. I am in for the long term. Since the average squirrel lives about a year (females live a little longer), perhaps the next generation won’t look upon my house as a home and chewing post. My biggest fear is that they will chew through wires in the attic and set the house on fire. So now it’s score 2 for the humans. I am waiting for their response. Bring it on. I’ll beat my chest!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Asian Orange Chicken for Two

Cooked this recipe last night and it turned out to be very tasty.

Cook 1 cup of rice and set aside. California Basmati Rice is my choice.

In a sauce pan, combine the following ingredients to make a sauce:

1 ½ cups of water
2 tablespoons of orange juice or 1 fresh orange
Lemon juice from one lemon
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari sauce
1 tablespoon of orange zest
½ cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
½ teaspoon of garlic
2 tablespoons of green onions
Small amount of red pepper flakes

Bring to a boil and cook on lower heat for about 10 minutes . Remove from heat and set aside.

Slice a chicken breast horizontally to make two pieces. Dip them in salted and peppered flour and cook until done in a flat pan. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Pour the sauce into the flat pan and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and a small amount of cold water. Stir the mixture into the sauce. Reduce heat, add the chicken pieces, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Potato and Corn Chowder Soup

Combine the following in a cooking pot except for the heavy cream:

Diced Potatoes
Can of Corn
3 Tab. All purpose flour
1 Tsp. of Dried Thyme
1 Tsp. of Dried Oregano
½ Tsp. Garlic Powder
½ Tsp. Onion Powder
1 Quart or more of Chicken Stock
2 Tab. of Butter
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Bring to boil and cook until the potatoes are done. Then add ¼ cup of heavy cream and cook until it thickens.

Serve with bread or rolls.

This recipe can be made ahead of time and frozen until use.  All except the heavy cream.

This recipe can cook within 30 minutes.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Observations for Friday

I live in the south and there are acres and acres of lawns everywhere. Everyone must have a lawn here. Day after day, trucks pulling trailers with lawnmowers go by my house.  If you are in the business of selling trailers or lawnmowers, this is the place to be. Not a day goes by in the summer where I don’t hear a mower somewhere nearby. One of my favorite observations is when the lawns get cut on Sunday at the elementary school across the street. The riding lawnmowers here are super models. They can turn on a dime, and get up to at least 35 mph. And those guys cutting the lawn across the street go flat out.

So with all this attention to lawns and their care, how come people here park on the lawn? It mystifies me and I see it on a daily basis. They all have driveways. Why not use them?

If I poisoned the water in Raymond, and made people sick, just how long would it take for me to be arrested and put in jail? I’ll bet pretty quickly. So how come the people who poisoned the water in Flint, Michigan are still walking around free? Why hasn’t someone called the police?

The bank robbers at Wells Fargo are also walking around free. All the top executives should be facing criminal charges instead of the poor regular workers who were fired. Once again, big money has different laws than the rest of us. Why hasn’t the federal government arrested them?

Will we ever stop killing the Native Americans? Why isn’t the news reporting more on the stand off up north. This is a very serious problem. What would happen if we started digging up white people? Or desecrating white burial grounds?

5) How did the presidential election become a spectacle? I have to confess that news of Hurricane Matthew was welcome relief from it.

Last of all, but not least, there’s the Epi-Pen obscene profits for the pharmaceutical company who makes them. Has the last piece of humanity gone out the window? Have they no shame?

Monday, August 29, 2016

Baby in the Back Seat

Bill and I had a discussion about forgotten children left in the back seat of the family car to die. It seems to happen more and more. The agony of the parents is difficult to bear and it makes me cringe when I hear of it on the news. So why does this keep on happening? Well, Bill has a tendency to think in black and white, and in this instance, he hit the nail right on the head. In the old days, your child was always in the front seat, next to you. Even if they fall asleep and are quiet, it’s hard to ignore them since you have a visual cue that they are indeed  in the car with you. Now, with the baby being in the back seat because of new laws, this changes things. This new law has made some parents into criminals. So which is worse? A dead baby, or having to live with the fact that you killed your own child? Sometimes laws create more problems where they didn’t exist before. I think before this happens again, someone needs to stop this. Maybe when you buy a car seat, there should be some kind of alarm? Maybe that alarm should be an ap on your phone? Maybe tie a string to your finger and to the baby? Come on folks, can you give me a hand here? What works?  How can this be stopped?!!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sugar Ants (and no, I won’t use pesticides in my house)

If you live in Raymond, MS, you know what Sugar Ants are. They invade your kitchen and are almost impossible to get rid of. Heck, they’ll invade any part of your house if there is food there. My husband’s teenage daughters found that out when they left food plates on the floor. Anyway, this year they have been particularly bothersome. I hate seeing long lines of ants raiding my garbage can. So in self defense, I found a simple recipe to get rid of them.

Mix together: 1 cup of water, ½ cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of Borax. Take a cotton ball and saturate it with the solution. Place the cotton balls anywhere the ants are coming in. At first, you will see the ants swarm over the cotton ball. But wait. Within 24 hours, the ants disappear. They take the solution back to their nest and feed it to the others. This greatly reduces their numbers. So far, it’s been 3 days, and I haven’t seen any ants. So give it a try. You can buy Borax at the grocery store or dollar store.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Old People Sitting in the Dark

I must admit that I didn’t think about how dark it is without electricity until I saw the movie about Lincoln, staring Daniel Day Lewis. They filmed in natural light, so inside the house or building it was very dim and gloomy. Now, I’m not the type of person who turns out the light when I exit a room in my house. I keep the lights on. I want things warm and cheerful.

Since I came back to live in Raymond, MS, I have noticed that all the old people here live in the dark. Every time I visit someone, it’s like I’m back in the Lincoln movie. The first thing I ask when I visit is can I turn on some lights in here?  I can barely see you. One friend got new furniture and I didn’t even notice it until months later. Another friend has a beautiful home, but I wonder how she keeps it so clean. You gotta have the lights on to clean something, right? Or another friend who puts on her makeup in the dark. How can she do that!  Or another friend whose partner turns off the lights and air conditioning every time she leaves the house. I’m afraid that would be grounds for murder on a blazing hot August day. All I can do is shake my head and wonder why.