Friday, January 26, 2024

The Importance of Mindset

Some friends have tried convincing me that speaking affirmations help guarantee success. I’ve always preferred action such as the saying, Fake it Till You Make it. A unique source may change my mind.

This morning I drove my husband to our concurrent dental appointments. To our happy surprise both checkups went extremely well. Before leaving, the pleased dentist said, “2024 is going to be the year for you.”

Her Asian heritage could lead to a joke about fortune cookies. However, she and her awesome staff gave off such fantastic vibes I plan to recite Dr. Bui’s well wishes daily.

Do you have an opinion about positive thinking? What is your greatest upcoming wish?


Banana Muffin Win

I made up the batter for my husband’s favorite muffins. Altering the normal instructions in a minor way left them grossly undercooked. But via the title, you can tell they turned out fine with extra oven time.

Do you think refrigerating the batter overnight changed the baking time? Is this single deviation that important?

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Fog on the River

I saw many cool scenes like this;
photographing them is not
in my skill set...


Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Numerous Flights & My Latest Kitchen Failure

Hearing a raucous sound outside my house, I knew this couldn’t be children on a playground despite the instant comparison. We live a mile or so from the nearest school and temperatures ranged far, far below freezing that day. The volume increased more and more. At last the individual honks could be heard.

The previous day I saw large Canada geese flocks heading south. This has to have been the biggest yet. Those birds no longer migrate from Ohio so they must have had enough of the cold. I don’t blame them.

My latest failure happened in the kitchen. A YouTuber we respect shares store-bought food breakdowns and recipes he deems either budget friendly or healthy. We were excited to try his version of egg foo young. Well, I didn’t detect anything but bland eggs, mushy vegetables, and salt. And the mess… well, you can see for yourself.

The gravy would not thicken with my cornstarch slurry,
then boiled over; other surfaces and pans were equally a mess. Ugh...

I think frozen peas would have been fine but not the cubed carrots. And I should have used a cast iron pan for consistent heat plus more oil for the desired fluffy texture. Some turned out undercooked, others rather burnt, and the mixture lacked enough eggs. Oh, well. Today my husband ate some crappy leftovers, declaring it fine. I’d rather stick to the easily ordered oily restaurant kind. It’s not like we eat this more than a few times per year.

Did you know these Chinese style omelets were created by 1900’s era Cantonese immigrants for American palettes? Are you a fan of any ethnic foods tailored to your regional tastes or do you prefer more authentic cuisine?


Sunday, January 21, 2024

The Sweet and the Tangy

I’m happy to report that Dandelion has not avoided me since she came out of hiding yesterday afternoon. I will not attempt peering into her ears for a few days. She really is a sweet kitty.

As for the tang in my title, I discovered an easy recipe on the inside of a Philadelphia cream cheese box for mini lemon-ginger cheesecakes. One ingredient I didn’t recognize is lemon curd.

These folks charge $12.95(US) per jar!
A quick search answered my question and uncovered a recipe for making instead of buying it. Believing homemade is best I also do not plan to purchase ginger snap cookies for the cheesecake bottom “crusts”.

I cooked up the curd yesterday and ate some in my morning yogurt, also homemade. lol Yum! I plan to freeze and vacuum seal most of the curd since my husband bought ingredients for banana chocolate whole wheat muffins.

He baked them in the 2000’s and I’d take some to my office. I still joke that the guys stampeding from the factory floor put me in danger; they were that popular a treat.

Funny enough, I’ll be freezing and sealing some upcoming muffins plus both my lemon juice and zest had been processed from fresh fruit, then frozen and sealed. It’s so rewarding being able to preserve bargain food purchases.

A key to using my FoodSaver is freezing the food stuffs first. Before learning this I ruined some packages via liquid breaking the seal in progress. So far nothing has gotten irredeemably freezer burned.

Besides meats, fruits, and vegetables, baked goods should be pre-frozen. I once crushed room temperature corn muffins. Hitting the seal button early would have prevented this. ~rolls eyes~ Thawed, my muffin pucks at least tasted fine.

Is it silly that I enjoy running my FoodSaver? Should we offer some of those banana chocolate muffins to neighbors?


Saturday, January 20, 2024

The Good, the Bad, and the Sweet

This morning our cat Dandelion delighted me by coming out of her comfort zone, joining me in an another room. It was so sweet seeing her enjoy a good scalp massage despite the mess her fur left on my clothing. While unrelated, a bag of store-bought cherries also made me happy.

I like how these cherries look like Valentine hearts...
I will ignore any remarks about the crevices ~grin~

Unfortunately I also noticed Dandelion’s terribly dirty inner ears and used an ear cleaning solution which she did not like one bit. While she didn’t run from me or struggle much, I should have left well enough alone after swabbing one ear instead of going for a second cotton ball. She bolted under the couch we’d shared earlier and hasn’t come out since.

At least treating her ears removed a fair amount of gunk; I can only hope she’ll forgive and forget. It’s always me that notices and treats these types of things. ~sigh~ As soon as my husband sits down to watch television he’ll no doubt have Dandelion on his lap in minutes.

As for my clothes, I used leftover sticky fly paper to clean my sweater. It worked quite well.

Finding the stuff reminded me how Terra somehow got a piece stuck to her underbelly as a kitten. I didn’t panic and she calmly let me cut her free. Ah, memories.

Isn’t it funny how playing the mean role translates to raising both pets and young kids? Wouldn’t it be nice if either comprehended loving good intentions?

If you want to see how gross my hairy black sweater looked after petting Dani, keep scrolling down…








Thursday, January 18, 2024

My Favorite Fast Food Revisited – & – My Fascination with Water Taken to a Silly Level

Let me start by stating that Taco Bell serves my most craved fast food. As a kid I liked their named Mexican pizza, however inauthentic its name. These days I stick with the beef burrito supreme because the so-called pizza always seemed just a soggy mess. I guess that didn’t bother my childhood self.

Today, following my husband’s request for Taco Bell’s new steak grilled cheese burrito I decided to bring home a burrito supreme for later and a Mexican pizza. I thought our air fryer might crisp up the item.

And did it ever (!); three minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit turned my late lunch into what might well be a new favorite junk food treat. Sad to say, his pick proved a disappointment. He did enjoy the chicken grilled cheese burrito the last time and plans to order it again in future.

Now I’ll show you my goofy desktop water feature. Since all my tropical fish died I’ve been loath to get more. I hope to eventually start keeping aquatic plants in my smaller aquarium. Meanwhile, this old chipped plastic storage bowl entertains me while typing.

Did you know Taco Bell was named after its founder, entrepreneur Glen Bell? And can you imagine why I and so many others are mesmerized with the random nature of both running water and flames?

As a bonus, here is a clip of my serial chewer, Polly. She only seems to do this for attention. Like our cats are so neglected. ~rolls eyes~ I definitely use electrical cord protectors on her favorite targets.


Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Luckier Than We Knew; An Auto Update

This morning my husband shared a website regarding a class action lawsuit against General Motors over defective BECM units, or Battery Energy Control Modules. Our used GM ‘certified’ model utilized this small yet vital part. While I experienced minor propulsion hesitation on surface (suburban) streets other owners/renters weren’t so fortunate.

Some dangerous accidents occurred at freeway speeds. Between 2016 and 2019 many less traumatized folks waited weeks or months (!) for repairs due to a lack of replacement parts and skilled technicians. Even worse, General Motors reneged on their promise to reimburse alternate transport costs while continuing production and certifying used vehicles. Sad to report, I’m reading such ongoing frustration here.

Lucky us, our dealership collision/repair center accessed the improved BECM unit and we picked up our repaired 2017 Volt today. We think this failure took several years because the previous owner never ran the hybrid vehicle on battery power. I’m so happy this fix came at no added financial cost and the failure should never recur.

Can you believe our good fortune? Do you think current supply chain issues, etc. are causing other Volt owners delays?


Saturday, January 13, 2024

Blue Meanie Blues

While driving my husband last Thursday I saw a dashboard warning light on our beloved 2017 Chevrolet Volt, nicknamed the Blue Meanie, but said nothing until an alarm sounded. We went on with our lunch plans hoping it was a glitch. Alas, our OnStar service’s remote diagnostic showed the electric hybrid’s battery recharging module faulty.

I really embraced the Yellow Submarine esthetic...
At home the air started to smell like a hot oven. Suspicious, I backed Blue Meanie out of the garage and discovered heat emanating through the left front fender next to the charging port. Lifting the hood, I could only hope the hot spots cooled down.
That mysterious tank circled in red held hot fluid...

Eventually I felt comfortable pulling into the garage
without risking fire. While the hybrid vehicle can run
on gasoline alone we didn’t want to take chances and
called a tow truck the next day. Our OnStar
subscription also covers roadside assistance four times
a year, which is awesome, and scheduling was easy
via a smart phone app.

The friendly driver did a good job securing ‘her’ on his
flatbed and an email notified us when the dealership
repair shop took custody Friday afternoon for our
Monday morning appointment. Blessedly, my husband
gambled on paying for an extended warranty when we
got the car in 2019, so everything should be covered.

This whole experience with current technology, while
convenient, makes me wonder if I should seek out a
make and model from my youth. Perhaps my high
school auto shop class would keep it on the road in case
of catastrophe.

As it is, I might as well have signed up for “The Care
and Feeding of Your Wooly Mammoth”.

Isn’t it rather pathetic I consulted the car’s manual
before I could lift the hood? Doesn’t the engine
compartment look like one of Elon Musk’s science
fair projects?


Friday, January 12, 2024

A Movie Review – & – Mixed Signals

Having heard stellar reviews regarding “Godzilla Minus One”, this childhood fan planned attending solo; my husband hates reading subtitles. Our friend Scars, not really a movie fan, surprised me by offering to attend.
I found headlining actor Ry√Ľnosuke Kamiki
enthralling in more ways than one... Heh...

The film featured some of my favorite elements. A simple tale enhanced by historical reality, interesting character development, and lack of obvious computer generated imagery provided me great entertainment.

Unable to hang out afterward and talk, I’m unsure if Scars would agree as wholeheartedly. He needed to go home and treat increasing leg pain from his lifelong battle with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. That would certainly distract me from entertainment, not to mention the fact he’s facing another joint replacement surgery.

Before we parted he did, however, urge I attend a local self/public defense training course with a nationally renowned instructor he’d like me to meet. Flattered, I explained the prohibitive cost. He replied that this would be his gift for many past birthdays and Christmas’s we missed.

I decided leaving my comfort zone and the course itself would benefit me and, after talking to my husband, offered an agreement. In lieu of monetary compensation I would occasionally assist him and his father following surgery. Then last night Scars sent a text message that the simulated confrontations could be stressful. And his niece might attend, he added.

Would such an exemption make you offended or glad? Should I press for this new adventure?


Thursday, January 11, 2024

So Much Fun, Many Blessings, & One Reply

Well, first off I discovered that Strayer photographed a scene not unlike what I saw during a recent park excursion. Finding random connections with good people makes me happy.

A sidewalk to nowhere, for now?
This bizarre little park, located under both an automotive and train track bridge at either end, is obviously under construction. This time my smart phone didn’t lead me there. Rather, planning to revisit a nature preserve discovered early December I spotted its entrance while passing over the car bridge.

Pam from Through the Eyes of My Scattered Brain wondered if our white kitty Dandelion has blue eyes and might be deaf. Funny enough, she has pale blue peepers yet exhibits normal hearing ability. In fact I considered naming her Frankie. ~grin~ Her fur has gray smudges atop her head and at the end of her tale. That and the fact her eyes reflect pink makes me think she is leucistic, reducing her pigmentation.

Changing from my usual posts about nature and kitties I have to share the silly Sunday my husband and I shared. He has been experimenting with new software on very old hardware such as turning an old two-sided ‘flippy’ DVD of “Goodfellas” into a streaming video file so we don’t have to turn the disk over partway through the film.

Testing his results went from a brief viewing to me requesting we watch the entire flick. Then we turned to a program called “Ugly Americans” on that old hard drive. We laughed so much.

Can you believe our 1989 bond over dark humor is still going strong? Like us, does your sense of humor clash with most loved ones?


Thursday, January 4, 2024

A Queen on Her Heated Bed & Two Princesses in a Cozy Tent

The day before our cat Tilly passed away a pet heating pad arrived for her. I’m happy to have seen Jezebel enjoy the warmth until she passed away. Now it’s Dandelion’s turn.

I still cannot get over how pink she is under that white fur...

And this adorable unicorn tent is seeing more use. Terra is inside as I type but here’s a slightly older image of her with sister Polly.


These two have super pale skin beneath their black fur...

Aren’t animal coat varieties fascinating? Do you know some mammals (such as Dalmation dogs, leopards, and tigers) wear their fur pattern like a tattoo?