Easter Memory……

I don’t recall if I posted about this before; if so, it’s been a while. I’m sure I have mentioned in the past that I don’t eat eggs. There’s no allergy involved; I simply don’t like them. I know I ate them as a kid because all kids do and I don’t know when I determined I didn’t like them.Anyway, I grew up with the tradition of dying Easter eggs although we didn’t go in for the extra decorating. And as is tradition, leftover eggs that didn’t get inadvertently stepped on were later consumed in some form or the other.

Moving forward to when son was old enough to get into the egg hunting mode, I may or may not have gone the traditional route once, but maybe not as he was not a boiled egg eater (strictly scrambled) and there wasn’t anyone else to eat them. Plastic Easter eggs filled with different candies were the perfect choice not to mention easy to pack away and be re-used at least a couple of times. The memory jogged though was one Easter when we were at my parents. The eggs had been carefully hidden in the front yard and as son was again the only “hunter” it was merely a matter of remembering how many had been hidden and where in case he needed a little assistance. My parents and I went onto the driveway, me with my mug of coffee, son with his Easter basket, and “Papaw” ready to assist in the hunt. Son was either four or five years old and as he prepared to step onto the grass, he turned to me and Mother and said, “Mom, you and Granny stay here. Papaw and I will get the eggs because this is man’s work.”

Daddy did look slightly chagrined as I tried to keep a straight face. All the eggs were found fairly quickly.

Aromas of Slow Cooking….

I have posted before about we enjoy our Instapot, although I don’t actually use it. This is like when we had the bread machine and it was Hubby who could manage it. We haven’t tried the Instapot in the slow cooker mode as we have a nice slow cooker that we don’t want to feel neglected. It’s been a while since we did a roast and Sunday was the day. One of the advantages of Instapot is you can sear, then cook all in the same pot. With a slow cooker, that’s still a two-pot action and with a 3-pound-plus roast, you do have to be careful with the turning to ensure all parts of it are seared. Once you make everything happen though, it does take a few hours for the aroma to kick in. At that point, you now have another few hours until it’s ready to eat. In the case where you set it up to have the dish cook while you are out of the house and to be greeted with this wonderful smell, that’s both comforting and practical. When you’re in the house during the process though, waiting for enough time to elapse can bring on the urge for eating. That of course applies with any long-cooking dish no matter the technique used. The difference between being in the slow cooker and say a stove top situation it does seem to be easier to taste – and hmm, a little bit later maybe I should taste again. After all, maybe the seasoning isn’t quite right yet and another spoonful is needed. The one other thing about either the Instapot or slow cooker is I always add in too much liquid, especially if I will be out of the house. I envision a ruined meal no matter how often I read the recipe that calls for less liquid. On the other hand, having extra delicious sauce means it can be the base for a soup.

“Lost a Week”…..

Or so it seems since I haven’t posted. Things have obviously not slowed down at all and at least some of it has been for fun. Not for diving unfortunately and if Mother Nature doesn’t let up on the wind, I might not make it out in March. I am keeping fingers crossed though. That’s what happened as I saved today hoping to go. Hubby had to take his student to Jules and they did have something special – a sea horse! I haven’t seen many in all the time I’ve been diving and never one around here. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some hammerheads have been hanging around in different spots. None on the more popular reefs yet so we’ll see if they head on their journey or other people have a chance to spot them. Our bud Richie Kohler and Katy were in  last week doing all really deep which is why I didn’t go with them. They did come up last Saturday along with some of their friends – one of whom we also know and two of our friends joined in. Richie had fond memories of the Redland Hotel and wanted to enjoy it again. There were nine of us which worked out pretty well other than running late for a couple of reasons. Anyway, the food was excellent and great conversation, plus the “extra” couple we met have the potential to be future companions.

On an entirely different subject, I’m making at least some headway with my father’s estate in the sense of gathering information and getting various instructions. There are certain aspects that cannot be done electronically and thus extra time will be required. I really hope to have everything done by my birthday in August – or at least have everything that involves others done. His taxes for last year and the estate taxes will mostly involve me and the lady I’ll be working with. The woman who did his taxes in 2020 is seasonal and she has referred me to one of the only staff who is year-round.


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day….

As luck would have it, an event scheduled earlier in the year was re-scheduled and they either didn’t have a choice about dates or picked this evening without realizing it was Saint Patrick’s Day. We have to cover it for the paper and even though it is at a place with a really nice restaurant that part is only open Fri-Sat this time of year. In light of what time we’ll be done, we won’t be able to get anywhere to eat until a little late and it’s not as if we have Irish pubs around. Although a couple of places are doing special dinners, they’re likely to be really crowded by the time we arrive. We decided to swap our usual Thursday pasta night and did that last night to save the lamp chops and mashed potatoes for tonight. We’ll prep everything before we go and it will be pretty quick once we get home. Granted, I normally do a nice Shepard’s pie, but things have been really hectic this week and I simply didn’t have the energy to juggle that.  I think there’s one or maybe two Guinness in the fridge and a Smithwick and I did go get a bottle of Jameson as we are almost out. Not sure yet if will go on the rocks or in Irish coffee.

A friend whom I lost track of was about as Irish as can be – Boston, former cop, and played the bag pipes. We met my first summer ROTC camp which was at Fort Riley and we overlapped for two summers. He was great fun and played the pipes well. In one of those ironic placements, his ROTC assignment was in Alcorn, MS – about as far culturally from Boston as one could be. He did have some adjustments to make for sure. I hope he’s doing well and having a great time tonight.


Good Food With a Little Whimsy……

Yesterday was another of a couple of extra tasks thrown in when we already had multiple tasks to handle. The additional began to verge on “juggling” instead of handling, although the extra did mostly include fun.

I read about, then was told about Royd’s being open; something new for Redland, the historic agriculture area where markets pop up periodically. The individual who wrote them up in the weekly Redland View said he’d been keeping an eye on the place because he was curious as to what was going on. A family – still not sure if it’s just husband and wife or if there are two generations involved – have one of the farms and decided they wanted something more to share with people. Royd’s has a set of swinging saloon doors of The Gateway with the store front of The Jail and R l Everglades General Mechandise to the right and City Drugstore to the left; in the Western Store style. It’s actually open on three sides, but has overhead covered with picnic tables inside and the area set up with the mechanical bull. The kitchen truck (might be two) are outside and servers take orders and bring the food. It’s a breakfast and predominantly lunch place closing at 5:00 Wed-Thurs; 7:00 Fri-Sun and opening each day at 8:00. It’s a blend of American and Cuban dishes with sandwiches and full entrees plus desserts. And like most places in Redland, milkshakes are a big draw.

I had the hamburger and brought most of the fries home to Hubby and resisted ice cream. Well, I resisted asking about it because I thought the temptation might be too much. There is also supposed to be a petting zoo or at least animals to see on weekend. I’ll find out more about that when I talk with one of the principles on Monday.

Not Exactly Catching Up……

This is one of the times when the absolute “musts” due to deadlines are being done and other things are staying high on the priority list with no let-up for probably another week. It is simply the “nature of the beast” because several events/obligations were previously scheduled and other important items were put on hold as I dealt with everything surrounding the trips to Louisiana. There are limited tasks others can assist with and while some of that will improve in the future, it doesn’t apply right now.

Okay, with that said, I have been up since 4:00 this morning and may very well try to lie down for a bit before dinner. No doubt that will cause the phone to ring or a text to come in, but maybe not. Speaking of dinner, it’s grilled pork chops and leftover clean-up for sides plus salad. Nothing is complicated nor time-consuming which helps. I managed to polish off one leftover for lunch so refrigerator space is becoming manageable again. I did forget we are dining out Thursday as we have an art swap to do. This involves about an hour and a half of somewhat chaotic swapping art in an exhibit, getting drinks for people, having some individuals who are coming for the social aspect and others merely to pop in and out. Hanging the exhibit might go fairly quickly although that is never a guarantee. Then it’s dinner which probably will go fairly quickly as they now close at 9:00 and won’t be urging us to linger. The “forgetting” part means I bought groceries I will have to freeze which is okay as we had also cleaned that out somewhat.


Repeat Louisiana Trip, Day 5…..

Didn’t get the catfish after all; just one of those things. Had a mix-up in some paperwork and had to go back by the lawyer’s office which then threw me off in timing and knew the place would be packed. Estate issue will be more complicated than I hoped, but it can’t be helped. Also different than what I dealt with in Maine with that one; each state has their own way of doing things.

On the up side, the weather did warm up nicely during the day and it was all sunshine. Did meet my girlfriend for dinner; Two Johns is still a nice tradition for us. She lost her mother last year, so discussed those things. She is also retired now; well back working a few days. Her second grandchild – little boy this time – is 8 months old; cute video of his 3 year old sister with him. I explained I still plan to make an annual trip to be able to see ,my aunt, cousins, and old friends. I might swap from the fall though as there have been  times when football games have caused disconnects with getting together.

Anyway, I couldn’t sleep so came on to the airport and of course the coffee guy isn’t even open yet. I have hopes by 5:30 though. Unlike MIA there are vending machines which means Coke Zero is a caffeine option if necessary. Okay, enough for now and am hoping no delays in flights.

Repeat Louisiana Trip, Day 4……

Am continuing with various tasks. Estate issues come with complications no matter what. I won’t get into specifics as they aren’t pertinent to the blog. (I will renew my annual promise to update our wills; perhaps I’ll even do so this time). My good friend is available for dinner in Bossier tonight and I’ll relocate this afternoon. One more trip to the post office and the lawyer’s office, then I’ll go to Cotton’s for lunch. I’ve done many take-outs from there. That was Daddy’s favorite when it became too awkward for him to go out in his wheelchair. He preferred the catfish and fried shrimp combo. He would eat the hush puppies too, ignore the french fries and give me the coleslaw.

Dinner tonight will of course be the exact opposite at Two Johns Steakhouse as I have written about before. I hope it hasn’t changed since the last time. That was actually two years ago as my friend wasn’t in town when I was here in October nor did I try to get in touch on the trip a few weeks ago; that was simply too hectic.

This will be a short post in order for me to pop down for one more coffee and complete two or three things on my to-do list. Hubby is finishing up a class today and he’s currently scheduled to be off to be able to pick me up tomorrow. I will try to remember the place closest to security is probably the one open rather than the one by the gate. I had to back-track last time to grab a coffee before boarding.


Repeat Louisiana Trip Day 3……

Emotional content alert. Yesterday was the visitation and funeral. Although we did not know most of the church and Gideon people, two individuals who had been neighbors came to pay their respects. One non-family individual was special to my sister and I as we all went to school together a very long time ago when we lived in the small town of Sibley, just a few miles south of Minden. The most touching was our cousin who drove down from Tennessee and was starting back after the funeral. He’s the youngest of the five children of my aunt. None of them knew he was coming either and my aunt was of course happy to see him even for a short while. In some ways, this was difficult for her too, as there are only two of the siblings/spouses still with us; her and my mother’s older sister.

My sister did a great job with the eulogy and managed it without stopping to cry. I was unaware of one of the stories she told – well, two. Daddy and his three brothers had the distinction of being the first group of siblings to all complete high school in the rural area they grew up in. Part of that was the local school only went to 8th grade. In order to go to high school, that was the next town over. Commuting with only usually one truck per family – which would have been needed  at home – was not really an option. For Daddy and my uncles, living and working at the boarding house was the way.

The weather had cleared as predicted with temperature in the low 50s; the wind sharp. The graveside part was fairly brief. We said good-by to the relatives. The step-siblings and families were exhausted from the weeks leading up to the day. We decided on not gathering for dinner so it was my sister and I to have that final time at the Mexican restaurant.

Repeat Louisiana Trip, Day 2…..

Hard to believe just two full days. Weather was terrible yesterday and I had a lot of driving to do. Temperature never got above 37, and was mostly 34 with dips to 32. Fortunately, that wasn’t sustained and there was enough traffic to keep any slick spots away. I started out at 8:30 for an extra  task that caused me to drive back to the airport, then down south to see aunt and cousins. I knew we wouldn’t get to talk at the funeral and I did have to ask cousin who is judge a couple of estate questions. The rain never let up, merely shifted from light to a bit heavier. It could have been worse, but was tiring to deal with. Sis wanted to do dinner early as she was tired from revising eulogy and taking care of some other stuff. We went to Roma again and since neither of us had an umbrella, I let her off and was able to park not far from the door. She had her first limoncello cake and truly enjoyed it. I keep forgetting to ask since I think they have someone local who does their desserts.

I thought I would sleep last night, but it was wake up every two hours although I did go back to sleep pretty quickly. I finally gave up at 4:00. Had a Facebook message from cousin in Texas; knew there was someone I’d forgotten to notify. It does get a bit jumbled. Today will be long; family time at the church at 12:00; visitation at 1:00; funeral at 2:00, graveside after. Not sure who all will be available for dinner tonight. We’re going to his favorite Mexican restaurant – well, his favorite here anyway. Good news is rain has passed as predicted and temp will get to low 50s by time for cemetery. He will actually be buried next to Mother in the same way my stepmother was buried next to her first husband.