Archive | September, 2020

Taming the Bottom Sheet

30 Sep

Every once in a while, my Mum’s oddities make sense.

The Squire is, to put it mildly, a very restless sleeper. He used to accuse me of stealing the covers, but in my defense I was only grabbing back what was mine in the first place. One year we went on a cruise and our cabin had twin bunks. When we got up in the morning, all I had to do was fluff up my pillow and smooth out the top sheet, and I was good to go. His bed, on the other hand, looked – by his own admission – as if he’d been wrestling bears.

And nothing much as changed! We have a fitted bottom sheet on our bed (does anybody still call them contour sheets?) and he still manages to have it half off the bed in the morning. If we were still using the flat sheets that were the only choice when you and I were young, Maggy, I really would have had to pull everything off and start over.

Last week I went up to Joann’s and bought some mitten clips and a packet of 1-inch elastic and made some anchors. I cut the elastic into four equal lengths, sewed a clip at each end, and then attached them to the top and bottom of the sheet, pulled the elastic under the mattress and hooked it on the sides of the sheet, and voila! the bloody sheet stays tight all night.

Normally, the clips are $3.49 a pair, but I managed to snag some at $20 for two dozen, and with a 40% coupon, they were reasonable enough. Even at full price they were slightly under $2 a pair, which beats the regular price all hollow!

The Word for Which We Have All Been Searching

29 Sep

Cockwomble: (Noun) A person, usually male, prone to making outrageously stupid statements and/or inappropriate behaviour while generally having a very high opinion of their own wisdom and importance.

Oh, Scotland! The English language is forever in your debt.

Live and Learn

24 Sep

I fixed Polenta Puttanesca for dinner today, and while the Puttanesca part went well, the polenta presented a bit of a problem.

The secret is to add the cornmeal to the pot very slowly. Normally, I let the cornmeal fall into the boiling water from my flour sifter, while I stir with my other hand. Today, I didn’t do that; I just dribbled the cornmeal directly from the measuring cup, which – of course – led to lumpy mess. I tried mashing the lumps against the side of the pot with the back of the spoon, breaking them up with a fork, and whipping the entire business with a wire whisk. I even put it into the electric mixer.

No joy.

“Aha! I will ladle the lumps into my potato ricer. That will break up the lumps and push them through the holes.” No such luck. Maybe it was because I used the finest of the three discs, but all of the lumps stayed behind, and I was left with a solid plate of cornmeal between the disc and the the plunger. I stirred in a bit of butter and some hot water, which helped, and once we poured the tomato sauce over it, neither of us noticed.

stock photo

Clean as a Whistle

23 Sep

With the help of my hair dryer and a skinny screwdriver, I managed to pop the plastic off the bottom of my saucepan. The largest piece came off immediately, but I had to use a bit of “Body English” on the sides.

A bit of steel wool will clean off the bottom and we’re home free.

Dumb Stunts

23 Sep

I was hustling around the kitchen, juggling pots and plates, trying to get dinner on the table. I sat this pan on a hot pad on the counter and noticed it wasn’t quite level, but figured I’d straighten it out “in a minute”.

This is what I discovered when I cleared the table after we ate.

I have no idea how – or if – I am going to get the gunk off the bottom of the saucepan. Aaargh!

In Case There Was Any Doubt

22 Sep

According to the Pentagon, those are not U.S. military aircraft, but rather MiG-29s. A member of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, confirmed that, and noted that an assault rifle in the photo is also from Russia. 


Serves You Right!

20 Sep

Well, That Was Exciting

19 Sep

I hadn’t even finished my breakfast yesterday when The Squire called me into the bathroom. “Does one side of my face look odd to you?

Indeed it did! The right side was droopy, his mouth didn’t open properly, and he said he couldn’t focus his eyes. Honestly, I thought he’d had a stroke. A-n-n-n-d we’re off to the ER. He was admitted pretty promptly, but I wasn’t allowed to stay because of the virus. I could sit in my car or go back home. I gave them my phone number and came on back to the house, where I occupied myself sending out frantic emails to everybody we know. After loads of testing, including blood work and CT sans, the doctors decided he has Bell’s Palsy. Whew! That’s a relief. Steroids and time should clear up the problem.

One nice thing about being a Nervous Nellie is that you end up with a lot of nice surprises, but I’m sure it must be hard on my friends.

And, on an entirely different note, the hospital said The Squire is pre-diabetic. That’s interesting.

It Kind’a Got Out of Hand

16 Sep

Today was one of those blue and gold days that come along in early fall, blessedly cool at night and just exactly warm enough during the day. The sort of day that calls for taking a walk – or making bread. My car is in the shop and The Squire was at church, so I chose to make bread.

I have a favorite oatmeal and Honey recipe, and since we were just about out of bread I decided to make a double batch. Math was never my strong suit, but even I can normally do “two times”, but not today. I had so much excess liquid that I ended adding another cup of flour and half a cup of oatmeal. So – we have three loaves instead of two. There’s no problem with that, but I had to dig around for another bread pan.

And without further ado:

Honey Oatmeal Bread – 1-1/2 pound size

1-1/2 cup water

1-1/2 tablespoons oil or butter (I use butter)

4 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup oatmeal, quick or regular

3-1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus 2 tablespoons gluten if desired

1 package yeast, or 2-1/4 teaspoons

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or loaves register 190 internally, or sound hollow when tapped.

Double at your own risk!

The Last Mrs. Parrish

14 Sep

A friend at work recommended this book. It was written by two friends of hers, and it was a choice of Reese Witherspoon’s book club. When I asked her what is was about, she just smiled and said “Everybody gets what they deserve.”

And they did. I’m not going to give away the plot, but – everybody gets what they deserve. and it wasn’t until the last eight pages that it all came together.

See if your library has a copy.