My pretty tulips finally shed their petals and I found these lilies at the grocery store. I think a lot of you might think it's funny (or sort of strange) that I mention in most every post about one trip or another to my grocery store. It's sort of a two fold situation. Number one is that I'm restless and I feel that getting out each day is something that gives me fresh air and a clear mind. Sometimes when I'm doing my grocery shopping, I might think we are a little low on something perhaps like dog food or paper towels. Then I think, "Nah...I'll come back in a day or two". So strange. It gives me something to plan on. This is more of a winter/cold weather habit. In the warmer months I get my fix just working or sitting outdoors.
Another aspect: a long time ago it was so interesting to see my in-laws plan their food shopping around the newspaper store inserts. I know my parents did the same before they left the city shortly before I was born. Certain stores---mostly the 'Mom & Pop' types were known to have the best meat, fish or bakery. So to make it even more involved, people would make separate trips to these individual stores do get the best price and finest choices. I can still do that but so many of our huge stores have the best of the best. The store I currently shop at has a food area that has an array of pizza made to order, fresh squeezed fruit and smoothies, a bakery that serves up bread right out of the oven, an area with cheeses from all over the world, a bar that serves anything from wine to elaborate mixed drinks and...a grand piano and player. In a grocery store! It may be 'over the top' but I really love all of it, especially the three aisles of international foods with signs that lead you down the pretty little walks with names such as Singapore, Brazil, Tokyo, San Juan...so fun!
For someone who loves creative cooking, being in stores like all of these may be similar to what a knitter or person who loves to crochet feels like in a yarn shop. Or a reader in a great bookstore (and I fall under that category as well!). It's mesmerizing and has our creative minds churning. Ever feel that?
I have several plants I brought in to try to keep over the winter. I've always had a lot of luck with geraniums. These are the annual type and although there is a perennial, these are doing well. I love their scent as well as a few blooms near a sunny window. I also have a little Norfolk Island Pine I bought three years ago. It's probably only grown 2 inches in all of this time but I haven't the heart to toss it. I have two Boston ferns that should be put out of their misery but I feel a sense of responsibility to help them through until warm sunny days outdoors. So I have this whole corner of my family room filled with greenery. It's actually very pretty and 'alive!'
First pair of frivolous boots for 2016
I made a trip to Marshall's yesterday. I mentioned The Husband has been home a lot working on his paper to be presented in Vancouver. Loads of work. Today was his eighth day here in the home office in the last ten day. Can you say T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R-N-E-S-S? I can't say it's terribly annoying, he rarely comes up for air. Yet sometimes he makes me see red with remarks like, "What's for lunch?" "We're out of juice". "Is this all you do all day?" So yeah, it's not a walk in the park. Retirement looms ahead...God help us! I may get a job.
Much like I escaped to Target last Monday, yesterday I had no appointments or lunches with friends, visits with the pope or jaunts with Emily, so I did the little trip to Marshall's as I needed soap. Yes, soap.
Can I sing the praises of these hand pump soaps? For around $4.99 to $5.99, you can get about 24 oz. of soap to keep in your bath or kitchen. We go through it like crazy and you can't beat the prices, even if you were to buy economy size refills for high end brands such as Soft Soap. I stock up every 2 months or so and always enjoy the scents. They switch brands around a lot so it's a little frustrating to consistently find something you've loved. Still---a tremendous value and the ingredients are usually much more natural and plant based than most on the market.
Not playing Show and Tell here, I just love a good deal and think it's cool to pass it on. I found this darling of a bunny for $9.99. Her right leg is a little wonky but so is my left arm. Maybe she fell off a chair. I may give it to a certain little girl but we'll see. The Husband thinks I'm going to creep her out and give her nightmares when she sees all those bunnies I've accumulated over the years. All those beady eyes and long ears everywhere you look. Anyway, I have so many fun ideas for an Easter gift. Being a grandma is so much fun. I try to curb on the spoiling...love is what's important. Signs of our love that last forever don't hurt either. ;-D
I also found these mugs at $1.99 a piece. Wow! I love the way they are sort of wavy like something pulled off a potter's wheel before becoming perfect. I remember when I had a ton of mismatched mugs; different colors and sizes, a few that said things like Las Vegas or Chicago Blackhawks, and I thought I really needed matching mugs to be a grown up. So I had them, they came with my last set of dishes. Well, time went on and I slowly wanted to see some color, something different, variety. Now I have these and a couple of florals that you see at the likes of Anthropologie. Just a few matching but something to grab for my morning coffee or tea fix that suits my mood. I think that's most important, go with your own flow. :)
We had huge warnings for a winter storm and it did start quite heavily this morning. It was however, a big mix of rain and snow. The winds were huge and created what we call 'White Outs'. The snow blows so heavily you can't see either way, walking or driving. I went out to shovel twice, simply trying to stay ahead of any huge accumulation but it was mostly slushy. The wind was wicked though, the heavy wet flakes hitting my face like little needles. This is why we are having slippery roads, many car accidents and spin outs. Right now the horrible snow has moved under and around Lake Michigan and into Indiana and Michigan...I wonder how close it is to our lakehouse. Say a prayer for Northwest Indiana..it looks bad. Abby came here after work and I love that. Wet towels on the floor, her books and bags and laptop dropped randomly in the living room. Forages through the refrigerator that come up empty depending on her mood for junk or something healthy. Always fun.
5 slices of bacon, cooked and drained
2 types of lettuce--I used romaine and iceberg---3 cups each
2 pieces scallions (green onion) chopped
4 oz. slivered almonds
3 T Sesame seeds
2 T butter
1 small can Chow Mien noodles
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c white vinegar
1 t. each S&P
2 T Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary...your choice
Quite simply... in a large bowl, mix lettuce and add scallions. Set aside. In a small saute pan heat the butter over low and cook the almonds and sesame seeds until just starting to brown. Add to bowl with lettuce and mix quickly so lettuce doesn't wilt. Add bacon (crumbled) and chow mien noodles, toss. Make dressing. Shake well and add to salad just before serving. Best at room temperature.
I may make this as part of my Easter dinner and I know it will be a mainstay this summer not only for our al fresco dinners at the lake but for company as well. We truly loved it! Thanks, Peggy. And Rita. Whoever you are.
Finally, I want to announce the winner of the book, Romantic Prairie Style. I was very surprised by how so many of you do have it...myself, too. I ended up with an extra because I've never learned to read the fine print. Still, I was so happy to give a follower my extra book and this goes to Kerry at Sea Washed Living. Send me an email with your address, my friend!
I'm off to the 'Less Windy-er' city tomorrow for an appointment with a skin specialist. My eczema is beyond bad and this guy has done a lot of research in this area of dermatology, that makes him a hero to me already. I truly have my fingers crossed that it won't be the same routine of oral steroids and topical ointments. I wish I could just have a needle stuck in my arm to make it all go away but life wasn't meant to be easy. I do mean to have The Husband take me to a nice, warm, heavenly place for lunch no matter the outcome. That'll give us something to smile about.
That's it for today. See all of you soon!