Saturday, May 21, 2011

Finally - a yard sale!... and a sunburn

The rain date for the yard sale was today.

I usually don't have high hopes for rain date yard sales.  People who showed up the week prior are not likely to show up again.

But this time around, it seemed like the rain last week was persistent enough that nobody really had any misconceptions about last Saturday as a yard sale day.  Today, I had quite a bit of traffic - all day - from about 7 am (start of the sale was 9 AM...) until I closed shop around 1 PM.

.. and I did have a lot of fun!

Let me tell you my secret for having fun at yard sales....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Too much to do, too little time - and then came the rain...

We had our annual neighborhood yard sale on Saturday.

There are a few boxes and shelves in my basement where I collect things all year.  That seems to be the only way I can find the "yard sale stuff" at yard sale time. 

I got up early in the morning and lugged all that stuff in the garage.  There was a slight chance of rain, so I figured that I'd be safe, if I held the sale in the garage.  After all, yard sale customers would not be deterred by a few sprinkles.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Two Half-Marathons - #2

I was expecting yesterday's race to be better than the last one.  After all, this was not my first half marathon...

Luckily, the the Team in Training (TNT) walking coach reminded me of the fact the "every race is different".  She was right.  I learned a ton of new stuff from this race.

Two Half-Marathons - #1

I ran completed 2 Half Marathons this month - my first 2 - and I figured that I should at least mention that accomplishment in my blog!

The half marathon I trained for with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (TNT) was yesterday. The first race was local, an inaugural race, that I wanted to support because it was local.  I figured that, if I wanted a local race, I needed to be participating in it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taste of Home: Kartoffelsalat (German Potato Salad)

There is nothing quite like discovering - at 12:45 am - that you forgot to make the potato salad you need for a pot-luck right after work the next day today. Did I mention that said my potato salad needs an overnight stay in the fridge for optimal flavor development? Oh well, sleep is overrated anyway.

While I am making potato salad, I might as well be blogging about it....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mad Cat!

By the way, that cat - Smokey - you know, the one that refused to be stuck in the carrier yesterday (because we had a silly tornado warning, yet again) - He's still mad!

Tornado Warnings

Thanks to several tornado warnings, we spent some time in the basement over the last few days.  I figured that I'd share some of the ominous pictures from yesterday's storm that were shared on a local TV station's facebook page.

Since I don't know how long the station will keep the pics up, I am posting screen shots here.  Note that I did not take these pictures.  The photographer's name has been preserved on the screen shot.  (As long as they are available, the original photos can be found here, here and here.)

40 bags in 40 days.....the final tally

It's been a while - and I may not have made 40 bags in 40 days, but.....I did make some progress in my house.

Most of the work was accomplished during spring break.  After that, my life got sort-of busy with the regular work, home and volunteer commitments I have.

But let's look at what I accomplished with my "the-glass-is-half-full" mind set:

Monday, April 18, 2011

I need your help decorating my living room!

I can't believe that it's been over 2 weeks since I posted anything.  I started a few posts, but never managed to finish anything.

I'll catch up to my life eventually.....

In the meantime, I was wondering, if I could ask a favor of you:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How I Caused an International Incident...

I worry! - A lot!

My kids can tell you that I worry about them the most.  If I come home, and one of the kids is not there, even though they were supposed to be – I don't just worry, I flip. 

Truth be told, my first instinct is to call 911.  I don’t -  because calling 911 when your kids are 5 minutes late  or went to the store without telling you – is insane, but just between you and me, that's what I'd like to do.

So instead, I text them (just to find out that they left their cell phone at home) then visit the neighbors (to the kids' utter emberrassment) and call everyone I know to inquire about their whereabouts. 
By the way, my kids are 17 and 20 – young adults - not 2 and 5…..

But I digress....

Recently, I have found something new to worry about - my parents.  They are getting up there in age and we've had several close calls in the last year.  Unfortunately, my parents live an ocean away from me - so I worry long distance.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eating in: Pizza

My son asked for pizza the other night.   I don't like ordering pizza. It's just too expensive - and I don't see what a meal that was invented to use up the leftovers in a kitchen should all a sudden cost $20 .

For me, it's back to basics - and leftovers....

This time I was trying a recipe I had found on King Arthur Flour a while back:

It was late when I started making it, but I told my son that it would only take about an hour to make, so it would not be much longer than what it would take for a delivery to get here.

Unfortunately, I didn't read the full recipe before I made that promise...  This recipe calls for 2 (count them - 2) 90 minute rises. So this will take longer than your standard delivery time.

Needless to say, my kids were less than amused when I figured that out at 8 PM....

Luckily, King Arthur Flour has another pizza crust recipe:

We had the "now or later pizza" that night.

We had the other one the next day - and it was good!  It had a nice thick crust reminiscent of restaurant pizza.  And, if you like a pizza dough that tastes slightly yeasty, this is the pizza crust for you.

Sorry, no pictures.  The pizza was gone before I got a chance to take pictures.

Monday, March 21, 2011


This post was inspired by the post "Why Making Your Own French Baguette Is Empowering" on the Cook's Corner blog.

I have been wanting to make a decent baguette for years.  I can make a mean loaf of bread in the breadmaker, and I made a reasonably good roll following my Mom's recipe, but baking a baguette is one of those skills that still eludes me.

The above blog post got me closer than I have ever been by linking me to the King Arthur Flour baguette making blog entry as well as the recipe entry.

So I tried my hands at baguette, yet again.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hobbies: Reading

I love to read - always have.

As soon as I figured out in grade school that strings of letters made words, I was hooked.  I read everything I could get my hands on - and I mean everything!

Friday, March 18, 2011

40 bags in 40 days: Magazines - Check!

Done with the magazines!

Here is what I am left with:

A small stack of magazines to keep...

And a big box of magazines - to go!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Organized Home: Spicy Legos

I am still working on the 40 bags in 40 days challenge, but I am finding that I am organizing more than I am throwing away.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Use it - and lose it....

There is a part of me, that would like to hold on to things forever. I have been guilty of keeping "special" things put up so that nothing may happen to them.

A while back, I read a story about a woman, who kept a pair of lingerie (I believe) for a special occasion.  She never wore it, because no occasion was deemed special enough.  In the end, her husband found the item in the dresser - unused - after the woman died.  I don't remember, if it was an accident or cancer.  (I tried googling the story, but a search for "woman's special panties" or "dead woman's panties" does not yield anything appropriate for this blog....)  The husband ended up burying her in her special lingerie.

I could be that woman.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

40 bags in 40 days

I was reading other people's blogs the other day, and I came across this 40 bags in 40 days challenge from Clover Lane.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Signs of Spring! Finally!!!

The first spring flowers are in bloom.  Finally!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Taste of Home: Kartoffelsuppe (potato soup)

Turns out, I love cooking.  However, the best part of cooking is when other people eat - and like (!) the food you make. 

The other day I made Dampfnudel and brought them in to work.  There are a few typical side dishes that are served with Dampfnudel: Vanillesosse (vanilla sauce), Weinschaumcreme (zabaglione(?)) or potato soup.  Since I prefer savory dishes over sweet ones, I made the potato soup to go along with it.   After tasting it, several of my work colleagues asked for the soup recipe.

So today, it's nothing fancy, just a basic potato soup, that ended up being (almost) vegetarian, but does not have to be.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Internet Recipe Misadventures

When I am looking for  German recipe, my first stop usually is my trusted Dr. Oetker Kochbuch, a cookbook I brought with me from Germany in the 80s.  If I can't find it there, I search for it on the Internet. Usually, I compare and contrast several versions of the recipe before I attempt to cook the dish myself.

One of the German recipes I had been meaning to make was Schupfnudeln, a rolled noodle made from a potato-based dough.  Where I come from, they're actually called Buwespitzle - and I am not going to translate that word since my blog may be flagged as "adult", if I do....

At any rate, since Dr. Oetker failed me for this dish, I searched for - and found - a recipe on the Internet. It sounded simple enough, so I skipped the comparison step.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Picture Perfect: Training for the Circus?

This one is for my friend Laura from Simplifying in the South.  Not too long ago, she posted a picture as part of her "Random Thursday" collection.  I've been meaning to dig up this picture ever since.

One of these days. I will get my hands on a scanner, but in the meantime, it'll just be picture in picture.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Taste of Home: Koeniginpastetchen

Another one of my favorite foods growing up was Königin-Pastetchen with chicken fricasee.

Since I didn't know if I could find the pastries in the US, I imported them from Germany.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Poached eggs - in my favorite little pot

I made poached eggs this morning.  It's actually much simpler than the people who want to sell you the "necessary" gadgets would lead you to believe.  All you really need is a pot, some saltwater and an egg.

I prefer using my favorite little pot for this

Isn't it cute? 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Taste of Home: Dampfnudel - third attempt

No, you didn't miss anything. I am reporting the third attempt rather than the second... For some reason, they didn't turn out the second time.

The dough was too sticky, the Dampfnudel didn't rise in the pan and I ended up with this flat sorry excuse for a Dampfnudel that - to top it off - had an oversalted crust. And no, I did not take a picture...

So the curse had struck again! I have this talent for getting things right the first time around - and then never again. We joke about it at work, because it happens there, too. And if I were a singer, I'd definitely be a one hit wonder.....

But - just like at work - I don't give up easily. I am bound an determined to make a reasonably decent Dampfnudel! So - let's try this again - and good luck to me!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Taste of Home: Rotkraut (German red cabbage)

It's time for another adventure in cooking.  German red cabbage as described in my trusty Dr Oetker cookbook.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Taste of Home: Dampfnudel - first attempt

I attempted Dampfnudeln for the first time in my life...

I am told that the difficulty in making Dampfnudeln is to make sure that they don't fall down when you raise the lid of the pan.  Clearly, that is not an issue here. 

The taste was pretty decent, too.  The only problem was that the crust was not as dark as I'd like it to be.  Oh well, try - try again.... 

I'll let you know when I figure it out. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Taste of Home: Saure Scheiben (German Sour Potato Slices)

A little while back, this guy ate potatoes for 60 days straight to promote the health benefits of potatoes.  His name is Chris Voigt, I looked it up.  He blogged about it here.  He talked about eating potatoes "every possible way -- boiled, baked, mashed, grilled, roasted, juiced, blended, fried, etc." but, while he finished the stunt, it was reported that he apparently did get tired of eating potatoes in the end.

Growing up in Germany, we ate potatoes a lot.  When I read Chris definition of "every possible way" I was sort of amused.  There are so many more ways to fix potatoes than most people probably realize.  I bet that my mother could cook at least 30 days worth of different potato dishes - without repeating herself even once.

I'm old!!!

The other day, my son asked me, if I had a compass he could use.  That is, a compass to make circles with, not one of those things that points you north.

I did have one of those and directed him to where it was: In the basement, top right drawer of the desk. (Yes, I am the most organized disorganized person I know. My basement is part mess-o'-boxes - and part über-organization.)

When he came back upstairs, compass in hand, he was looking at it sort of puzzled and he asked: "Mom, is this compass so old that it's still from West Germany?"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fun Finds Friday: I am your neue Teacher....

While looking for something completely different, I came across this little gem..

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Valentine's Day card that makes me smile

I was not going to write about Valentine's Day at all.  As a single woman, it's not a day I find particularly exciting. But then I read Laura's blog and remembered that I do have a fun little Valentine's story.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Taste of Home: Spätzle!!!

The other day, the contestants in "Worst Cooks in America" made spätzle from scratch.  The show made me realize that my kids only knew spätzle from the packages that I would buy since I had cooked them from scratch in their lifetime - maybe once....

Turns our, spätzle are easy and quick to make. Unlike spaghetti or egg noodles, they're the noodles you'd want to actually make yourself.  The homemade version is much better than what you get in the dry package.

So, I decided to make spätzle  - to go along with the pork roast I made yesterday - for dinner tonight.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thank you, Honda!

It's been cold in Kentucky lately. We've had more snow than I remember getting - ever - and I am over it. I'm ready for spring. Apparently, so is my car.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who's Tom?

A few days ago, my stepdaughter called me to ask me about a few details of our quiche recipe. Yes, we do have a family quiche recipe!

Unfortunately, I had not made quiche in at least 5 years and had no clue where this recipe was .... and as I am writing this, I am realizing that this post really does sort of "fit" into the "search of space" aspect of this blog. Who knew... ?

At any rate, I told her that I had no idea where the recipe was, but that it could really be only at 2 or 3 different places - and I might as well look for it now.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cleary, time is a problem

I started this blog on 2009, because I was going to journal my journey from the ridiculously busy and disorganized person I felt I was at the time to this woman, who had it all under control... wouldn't that be nice....
Clearly, that did not happen in the last 2 years, because - as you can tell - I didn't manage to find the time for a single post. (Actually there was a draft I wrote on 7/16/09. All it said was "my life is hopelessly overstuffed" and this is still true to this day.)