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

Monday, July 17, 2017

Views from the Shezebo 2017

Hola!

It was gorgeous today, so the grass out front didn't get cut after all.  I hoofed it to the Pick 'n Save and then back home, got all my rays for the day, wow.  I spent hours in my Shezebo, reading and just relaxing and snoozing (I confess).  Here are some photos from the inside looking out.  This is what I see:


My feet say "Hellooooo!!!"


This is my view looking directly across from mt seat (I removed my feet).  The yellow table was the one I created last year from an old TV stand purchased in the early 1970s.  I spray painted it the sunny yellow and added the wheels for easy mobility.  More about that chair (and its twin, the one I'm sitting in) tomorrow, OY!


Pan to the right (you can see peeking out my enshrouded poor roll of sod - see yesterday's post...)  In the background is the back of the yard, it faces east and is anchored on the left by several clustered arborvitae and three large hostas, and the raised garden bed that runs most of the length of the east fence line.


And panning to the left of the second photo, a matching chair.  They're old, they take a ton of scrubbing even to make half-way presentable, and one of these years, I'll get around to spray painting them with plastic paint :)  In the background you can see one end of the north garden bed that contains a massive multi-trunk arborvitae and the concrete birdbath.  That's the new fence that was installed last November.  Because of the cost, I could only afford to do that one side.  The east fence line will wait until next year.


Here's my seat in the shade.  Across the south side of the Shezebo behind is a queen size white sheet, and on either side turning the corners are two curtain panels I purchased last year.  As soon as I can find reasonably priced yellow flat sheets that don't come in a set I will hang them instead.  This time of year, the Sun beats in from that south side and even though the Shezebo DOES provide much needed shade, it's not 100% shade all the time, depending upon the angle of the Sun.  The perfection, though, is the bug-free environment, especially since yours truly is a MOSQUITO MAGNET!  No problemo while I'm inside my Shezebo, aaaaaaahhhhhhh!


There's the view toward the southeast corner of my lot.  You may notice a roof-like structure running from the garage to the top of the fence along the east fence line.  That's my extra storage area and it's HUGE!  It's at least 10 feet wide and the length of the 2.5 car garage, all poured concrete.  Thanks to the prior owner who installed it, the rain and snow don't get in and it's a good space to store the Weber grill, the patio table and chairs, miscellaneous things that can withstand the cold and damp and assorted tools (there are hanging racks installed - thanks, prior owner!) and also to grill under, with the double doors that open wide to the back yard open if it's raining out.  It also allows me to rent out half of my garage for car storage, since I don't drive and do not own a car myself.  The space would otherwise pretty much go to waste.  Always nice to get that extra $100 a month.


The final pic of the day, a rather blurry close-up of the hooky thingy at the top of my Shezebo (inside).  As you can see, it is NOT CENTERED!  Now what woman, I ask you, would ever design something with a hook meant to hold a chain that holds something else not perfectly centered in the space?  I therefore know my Shezebo was designed by a man, for a woman would NEVAH do such a silly thing!

I haven't attempted to hang anything form the hooky thingy (like a battery-operated lantern) because I know it would drive me bonkers seeing it off center.  Arrrrrgggghhhhh!

Tomorrow, the sad saga of the put-together-backwards chairs.  Yes, it's true.


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