December 23, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here and getting colder by the day, brrrrr. By December 26th the high may be only 3 degrees above zero. Yuck! But it's nice and cozy inside, and filled with the scents and sights of Christmas and Yuletide!

Today I made a crock pot full of my easy-peasy Beef Burgundy, made with a soup can full of sweet red wine (to rinse out the soup can, of course), and four other ingredients: beef (this pot I used beef already sliced in the package for beef stroganoff, and then cut the long thin strips into bite sizes), a can of Golden Mushroom soup, an 8 ounce package of whole button mushrooms cut into halves and thirds (depending on cap size), and a packet plus a little extra of a second packet of dried onion soup/dip mix. I also added a generous helping of ground pepper, dried thyme and dried - and aged (a year and three months, yikes!) of whole basil leaves that I ground up in between my fingers. Then the pot cooked on the "low" heat setting for 4 hours, with only one stir half-way through. The scent permeated the house and even managed to waft out to the street - wowsers - guess I need to get some additional insulation in these 1956 walls! My mouth was watering by the time I made up my first dish (over on-purpose a bit dry mashed potatoes) and gobbled it down, then had half a second dish as well! Now I want a nap.

I have my dark chocolate covered Queen Anne brand cherries (a Christmas must!), Beringer White Zinfandel wine, plenty of new fuel for my gel fuel fireplace and a host of Christmas movies to watch. Best of all, Solstice is done and we had a bit of sunlight day, late this afternoon. Every day, although it is not noticeable right now, it will get lighter a few minutes earlier and the Sun will sink below the horizon a few minutes later each day until the Summer Solstice on June 21. The worst is over, except for the bitter cold of January and February. I think I will go visit my friend Isis in Las Vegas in March - that always perks me right up :)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all, and may the Season's blessings shower you with good fortune for all of 2018.

Jan

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Online Window Shopping at Gump's!

No secrets here - I haven't exactly been well lately but I'm still alive and kicking.  I see a heart specialist (a male) on the 8th and I'm not pleased about that.  I am looking for a female specialist.  Male doctors do not know how to treat female patients; well, I shouldn't stereotype, should I.  So, I'll just say that most male doctors tend to treat female patients like penis-less men.  That just isn't going to work with me and, in fact, medically it's been proven that treatments that work on men are not necessarily the best for the female of our species.

And so,  I have plans, darlings, plans.  I have a treatment regime about 95% set for myself based on experimental results I've read about recently if it turns out I have the condition that my primary care doc seems to think I have (I'm not at all sure I have what she thinks).  I just have to figure out the right dosage and I won't need any of their frigging uber-expensive poisons that really won't help my condition at all, just mask the symptoms a little bit (if and when those symptoms actually begin to appear on a regular basis). Don't worry about me darlings, I ain't planning on checking out any time soon.  You can take that to the bank.  Or you can put that in a pipe and smoke it, your choice :) 

Okay, enough of that stuff.  Yesterday I received a new catalog from Gump's and I drooled my way through it.  Such beautiful - and pricey things!  There are a couple of terracotta castes of Tang Dynasty horses that I just adore, but the smaller one (16" tall) is $199!  The larger one (25" tall) is a whopping $329.  Sigh.  I don't know what it is about Tang Dynasty horses, but they get me every time.  I have my "look for less" versions but oh, to be able to just plunk down money whenever I wanted on somehing I want, just for the hell of it, and not have to worry about budgets and a new roof.

So, to entertain myself today and because it's too hot and humid to work outside, I'm visiting Gump's online sale.  I always find cute things there and get great ideas for relatively inexpensive gifts and accents.  Here's what I like right now:




Isn't this adorable!  It's on sale for $19.99 - quail key hook.  Cast of brass, it has a verdigris finish that highlights each detail. Mounting hardware included.  8 1/2"L x 4 1/2"H.

Now I know the crafy of you out there can probably make these for less, but I'm lazy and not so crafty anyway, that's why I go for stuff like this when I can find it at what I consider a reasonable price:




Six mossy orbs (basket not included) made from preserved moss - the real thing -- for $18.99.  You receive  Small: 2 1/2" diam.; Medium: 4" diam.; and Large: 6" diam.  Set of 6 (three small, two medium and one large).

If you're like me, you WILL need one of these:




It's a hide-a-key and so cute!  A secret compartment inside this rustic sculpture is the perfect place to conceal your house key. Tuck it among garden greenery for a charming and functional accent.  Made of cast iron, 4 1/2"L.  On sale for $14.99.  There is also a froggy on sale.


This item isn't on sale but I love it -- such a unique shape and design; it sort of reminds me of a honeycomb, but also a hornet's nest (eek!), and a pine cone, too:




It's $15.00 every day price.  Handcrafted textured white ceramic vase displays your favorite flowers with modern elegance.  Approximately 4" diam. x 3"H. 


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