Saturday, January 25, 2020

Currently: Love That

One of the nicest things to happen this week was a visit to the vet with my border collie. This was our first appointment to establish care and get updated on  vaccines. I was pleasantly surprised by the attention to detail by the vet tech who assisted the doctor. First of all, the tech was super friendly with Abbie, and then went on to tell me he has an 11 year old border collie, which endeared him to me even more. This breed is special and to have a BC in your life means you are special! The vet tech stayed in the room with us when the doctor came and he was very efficient in perusing the 34 pages of medical history that I had emailed to them just an hour before we arrived. He was able to pick up on the highlights of my dog’s needs and didn’t miss a thing. LOVE THAT! The doctor was really great too but she paled in comparison to her great assistant, in my opinion. If only people doctors and assistants were as concerned. Seriously. 

The roofing crew came a week early to complete the roof project. Checking that off the list. The owner of the company came by late yesterday to take photos of the finished product and I gave him a big, fat check only made easy by his great smile and adorable dimples. Have I told you what a sucker I am for cute Mexican men? His is a family-owned business that he inherited from his father. One of the roofer crew is his cousin. When the crew broke for lunch, they had a portable bbq grill they used to heat up their lunches. LOVE THAT! I’m relieved to have it behind us now. My next project will be getting new blinds installed. I will put that on my list for next week. I can only hope the blind people are as sweet and hard working as the roofers. 

We made it to the library this week so I have two hardcover books to plow through over the next 3 weeks. This will compete for time I’ve been spending watching This Is Us on Hulu. I’ll use this paragraph to say I had a flare up of knee pain and spent most of Thursday just laying around so I could allow my knee to stop hurting. Not sure what is causing it but I am opting to start with what I know for sure causes inflammation for me ... too much sugar. Nonetheless, it was a great excuse to watch an entire season of This Is Us and got me into season 2. This goes along with my 2020 resolution to relax more. Not easy for me but I’m working hard to learn to relax.

The weather is definitely warming up here in southwest Arizona. We’re in the mid 70’s now. Last night we sat outside at our friends’ place to visit for an hour before dinner. I sat with my face to the sun and enjoyed the reason I wanted to move back here. 

For a week that started out with only 2 appointments, lots of other things happened and here we are ... Saturday already ... again. Today we’re going downtown to the Medjool Date Festival to walk around and just be outdoors for a while. Gonna take my camera and see if I can muster up some creativity. 

So, that’s about as “currently” as it gets. Hope you are enjoying where you are in life. I always love hearing from you in my comments or on FB. What’s happening in your world?

Love, Susan

Friday, January 17, 2020

Thrifting: Putting the Sunny in Sunny Side Up

While I was visiting my kids a couple weeks ago, I watched as they cooked with their stainless steel Cuisinart pans and flew away with a desire to have my own stainless steel pans. Since we moved to this house in Arizona, I have not been happy with the pans that were left behind for using on the glass top stove. First, I don’t love the stove but there is nothing wrong with it and I cannot justify changing it. When it does finally bite the dust, DUDE, I’M GOING WITH A GAS STOVE. It’s not that I cook all that much anymore but when I do, I prefer natural gas. Secondly, I have never trusted non-stick coated pans as far as what that teflon is doing to our brains. I'm not here to argue that point, you can Google it. Plus, you have to be so careful to use certain utensils so you don’t scratch them. Once they are scratched, I trust them even less. Who knows what is leaching from the material they use to make them. Full disclosure: I have been using them because they are here but I think about these things every time I put them out on the stove to cook. The non-stick pan will be going into the donation box today
I brought my cast iron skillets with me even though I can’t use them on the glass top. Someone recently told me they use their cast iron on glass top but I can’t stand the thought of scratching it up and having to live with that. I can, however, use cast iron in the oven. I often bake cornbread and oven-fried potatoes. Cast iron skillets are great for baking cakes and brownies. Pretty much anything you can bake in a pan can be baked in a skillet. I’ll never give them up, and who knows, I may end up with a gas stove someday

Yesterday, I found a beautiful American-made stainless steel frying pan with a glass lid at the thrift store I visit often. I paid $10.99 for it and felt like I was stealing! It is 3-ply, which means it is heavy and the heat is distributed evenly. The real test came this morning when I made pancakes and sunny-side up eggs for the hubs. I think I heard angels sing when I placed my spatula in to pick up the eggs. They didn’t stick a bit and he felt like he was getting an $8 breakfast (minus the bacon). This was not happening with the non-stick pans I have been using. After doing some research, I learned that the pan was priced fairly but the real tipping point for buying it was that it came with a glass lid. Nothing I’ve found online shows this particular brand sold with a glass lid, so I suppose it is possible the lid belonged to another brand. Don’t care. I wanna see those sunny side up eggs turning opaque so I know the exact moment to pull them up and get them married to a stack of cakes, ya know what I mean? Not everyone can cook perfect eggs but I'm working towards that end goal.
I get excited about the silliest things. How about you? 

love, susan

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


I intended to get this written yesterday but the day came and went in a flash. There was a movie and lunch with a friend, but before that I had to stop at the bank and then the tire store to put air in all 4 tires on my Mini Cooper. It had been sitting for about a month and I suspect the cold mornings sucked the air from each tire. Without further ado, here is what is happening Currently.

WEATHER!  The numbers this week are 71, 71, 73, 69, 68, 71 and 75! Next week they will be in the mid 70’s all week. It’s a little chilly in the mornings here but I’m not gonna whine too much. My friends I left behind in eastern Washington will not put up with my whining. 

FAVORITE MOMENTS I got to Facetime with my son and grandson on Saturday. The little guy is really developing a personality and I am thrilled to get to see his face “live”. I wish I could convey to my kids how quickly the time is going to go by ... but they’ll find out for themselves. When I was holding him a couple of weeks ago, I closed my eyes and tried to recall holding my own son 30+ years ago. There’s nothing quite like holding a baby.

MOVIES I’ve been watching a few things on Netflix. Grace and Frankie has a new season out tomorrow so you’ll know where to find me. 

  • The Irishman (loved it)
  • Up in the Air (watched this many times, still love it)
  • Dolemite is My Name (OMG Eddie Murphy! Lots of profanity.)
  • Burlesque (loved the costumes and music)
PODCASTS I’ve had Ronan Farrow’s “The Catch and Kill” podcast on my roll for a long time but had not listened to it until last week. It’s about the Harvey Weinstein story. I then listened to an interview that Dax Shepard (Armchair Expert) did with Ronan Farrow and I’m now a fan. Smart dude, that Ronan. I’ve been turning on podcasts first thing in the morning while the coffee is brewing. The hubs seems to be enjoying this brand of talk radio and I’m secretly hoping it will broaden his horizons from the normal political b.s. he listens to. I recently added another podcast called Bulletproof Radio that an old work friend suggested. It is a medical/health related podcast that is a bit meatier than I tend to listen to. BUT, I keep all these suggestions for later when I might be open to hearing them.

BOOKS I just finished listening to The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer. I am reading/listening to Maybe You Should See a Therapist by Lori Gottlieb. Other books I’ve read since I last blogged are Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. All good books!

QUOTE From “Little Women” 

“Watch and pray, dear, never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault.”

Well, that’s about it for Currently. I need to close and get myself moving today. Hope you have your best day ever! Love, susan

Sunday, January 12, 2020


We’re only a couple Sundays into the new year and I think I got this relaxing thing down. Today, I took two naps. I’m serious about this “taking it easy on Sundays” thing. Every time I had a slight thought that was about to guilt me into doing some chore I didn’t want to do, I reminded myself “Hey, it’s Sunday”.  

The weather has been colder than usual here and it kind of takes it out of me. I had ice on my window one morning last week. Imagine my surprise. I only got out to walk Remi once last week. As I write this, I am going to resolve to do better this coming week. I do have a pair of thin gloves I could dust off for morning walks. No excuses.

Tomorrow, I have a date with a friend to go see “Little Women” and then lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant. We go back to the oral surgeon on Wednesday for a recheck. And, I have plenty of things to do this week that will make time fly by.

In the meantime, I’m going to savor how it felt to do nothing today. I’m really late to the party when it comes to down time. I have to admit I relish the idea of getting some books read this year, taking time to brush my dogs, and maybe make a new recipe on Sundays. Or, not.

I’m going to try to get back to posting “Currently” on Mondays. I’ll write a little about the books I’m reading, podcasts I’m listening to, and whatever else I’ve been doing.

Thanks for dropping in. Did you get a nap this weekend?

Love, susan

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Green Eggs and Skip the Ham

Since I’ve been at my kids’ place for the better part of 14 days, I have been eating well. They recently came home with a newborn and are in the process of adoption. I didn’t come here today to talk about him though. I’m here to talk about home cooking and what a joy it has been to be here while my kids get through the busy days of parenthood. I had forgotten how much the world revolves around little people when they first come home. Holy cow.

My son and his wife have always enjoyed cooking at home but since baby has arrived, I have been surprised by their continued commitment to cook all meals from scratch and keep it creative. We have been eating 3 beautiful meals a day. My job is to fill/unload the dishwasher. We eat so much that we run the dishwasher twice a day! Everything is made with fresh food and all the dishes lean heavily on the vegan side. My daughter-in-law is severely lactose intolerant so there is rarely any dairy in the fridge whatsoever. Hardly a day has gone by that we haven’t had something that wasn’t made better by adding a slice of avocado or a dollop of guacamole.

Typically, my kids sit down on Sunday and write out a dinner menu and then make a shopping list from that. They both have an app they each have access to so when one or the other thinks of something to add to the list, they can both see it. I’ve been invited to go shopping a couple of times and I jump at the chance to go along. It has been interesting and I’ve learned a few things that I’ll be incorporating into my own shopping sprees.
  • Only buy what I’m going to use this week.
  • I don’t need to put every vegetable in a plastic bag at the store.
  • Sprouts has a nice bulk section in Denver so I’ll bet they do in Yuma also.
  • You can take your own clean containers to fill up in bulk section and the cashier will subtract the weight of the container (called “taring”). (They use Weck glass containers, which are quite heavy)
  • Last night’s dinner can usually be worked over into something fabulous for breakfast if you keep an open mind.
  • Freeze leftovers for those days I just don’t want to cook.
Some of my favorite meals have been burrito bowls, Spanish rice, tacos filled with various food items from previous dinners, avocado toast with a fried egg, hash made with potatoes and beans, onions, peppers. We’ve had gnocchi twice now with a lovely homemade marinara. Nothing they have made has been difficult. I believe it is a matter of having the right tools and the right ingredients on hand. And, a really good cook book.  I’ve never been one to use a cookbook but I think I may invest in one good book to start with.

For the month of January, my kids are going meatless. This, for me, is an easy one. I love all things beans and could live on eggs, peanut butter, and hummus. I will only be here a couple more days but I’m already looking forward to seeing what’s on my plate for breakfast tomorrow.

Do you cook a lot from scratch? What is your favorite go-to meal to make?

Love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...