Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Spring in January

What you do with leftover pork chop.

Minnesota has entered spring in January. I think winter may be over. We will be in the mid fifties today. Mind boggling. It is easier on my old horses, this is true.

I'm going to load up on pain med and try to clean my house for my Saturday company. It comes down to dusting and vacuuming. I'm so relieved I do not have to cook! We have had different variations of pasta three out of five days for quite awhile lately. I just haven't had it in me. I will make grilled ahi tuna tonight, an easy thing to do and it's not pasta. Not that I mind having pasta.

Wish me luck on the cleaning front. My son's wife has not been here since 2018 and I would like the place to be presentable. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

I Lived Through It


I am recovered from the stress of a medical appointment yesterday. It was ok, I survived. I got what I wanted accomplished, along with a little confidence boost. She commented on my being young, then looked at my chart and saw my age and I just heard an "oh". I said yes, too young for this! I think it's how I dress. Not like a kid, but probably a little different. So that was nice. She is very pretty, that may have something to do with how much Mark likes her!

Onto even more mundanity....my unbreakable schedule of Monday laundry was broken because of the medical appointment. So today is pretend Monday. My son and his wife are bringing lunch Saturday for a late birthday celebration for me. I'm happy they are bringing it so I don't have to worry about something vegan for her. We saw him at Thanksgiving but it's about a year and a half since we've seen her. The loss of her mother in August has been extremely difficult for her, actually her whole family. I'm sure it will be ok though on Saturday. Gatto will keep her entertained. Speaking of Gatto....there is another kitty coming onto the front porch. It and Gatto stare at one another through the screens of the connecting screened porch. They touch noses through the screen door. It shows up every evening. Mark told me he sees it throughout the day. It looks well fed so I wonder if it's someone's outside cat. We don't need another cat.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

When You Have a Doppleganger

Like looking in a mirror.

We have another unseasonably warm, dreary day. I did make bread yesterday, although I did need to talk myself into it. The weather isn't helping in the motivation department. It's curl up and read a book weather. I am motivated in that direction.

I have an appointment with Mark's Nurse Practitioner on Monday. He has pressured me to see her, I finally gave in. I need a prescription refilled, so I will benefit at least in that. Mark had a Christmas letter from a former classmate (his entire class for his year was 30!) who wrote about her son's miserable Magical Medical Tour. Over 100 different appointments with primary and specialists with nearly identical results as I had. His labs are good. There is nothing wrong with you. It's all in your head. You know the drill. After a few years he finally found someone who looked deeper and found he has had longterm Lyme disease. He is finally getting better. So, here I go again. Mark adores his primary, not kidding, she almost walks on water. I must be nice. Who knows, she may truly be a saint. 

Friday, January 26, 2024

Exciting Stuff

Nothing but Cats

 The Black McCool has taken over the house. He is a large fellow and he seems to know it. Gatto gives him space.

I have told myself I will make bread today. Enough of this ennui, I can mix dough. I also found out why the creme fraiche I've recently made doesn't thicken much. It seems most cream is now ultra pasteurized, which keeps it from working well in things like ricotta, etc. The ultra pasteurized has a longer shelf life. Now I have to find the regular stuff. Sigh. The magnitude of my troubles just keeps growing. Ah, well.....

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Special Delivery

What would I do without cat photos?

I started my day yesterday with a pleasant phone call from my friend in Denmark. This is where technology shines, she can simply call me from her car on the way home from work and I get the call through my computer, as that was where I was. Reading blogs. I must say, it brightened my whole day! Technology is how we met, on blogger in 2008, in person in 2010. I'm so very happy we did.

We are now having mild weather and according to the meteorologist it may stay this way for the rest of the winter. Odd, but helpful with propane usage. We haven't had plowable snow yet.

I hope something brightens your day.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Food or Not Food

I'm listening to this book and am really interested in what he has to say.

I have avoided processed food, or as it's correctly called, I found out, ultra-processed food, for a long time. It's not hard since I cook what we eat, but I'm finding how pervasive it is. I looked at the container of ricotta, a staple for me. Imagine my shock when I saw a list of not food ingredients! There is a difference between processed and ultra-processed food, all food is processed in some way. But an item made from milk, salt and an acidic having a list of not this ingredients surprised me. OK, I can accept I cannot avoid it entirely, but ricotta is simple to make and actually better homemade than purchased, so I can avoid that. I have always looked at my DIL's vegan diet as basically unhealthy. When a product is manufactured from one thing and manipulated into another, one must wonder. I know it's a moral choice. I could be vegetarian or pescatarian, which she was, but not vegan, really because of my abhorrence of manufactured items intended for consumption. I may be stepping on some toes, please don't be angry with me. I do understand the dilemma. I simply wonder how aware people are? That, I guess is what I think about. How aware people are of what they are eating.

It's an interesting book. He is a scientist and an MD. He doesn't lecture or condemn, he talks about his own issues with food. He has humor. I have learned much I didn't know. Awareness is the issue. People should make informed choices. People should have choices.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Carrying On

I haven't been interested in cooking lately. I've made food, but without interest, and frankly it's been meh. Yesterday afternoon I cooked some Italian sausage and made a sauce from tomatoes and basil from last years garden, along with red pepper flakes. This was a lighter sauce, it simmered only about one hour. I can't say I have my mojo back but it's more than I have done in quite awhile.

We start a warm spell today, it goes all the way into February. It's strange weather, but I suppose we have to accept there is no "normal" anymore. In so many ways.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

On a Lighter Note....

An uninvited dinner guest.

He took a look at Mark's overflowing plate and thought the gentlemanly thing would be to share. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024


I am mushy brained today, I didn't sleep much last night. I was looking through 2010 for something and came upon this post. A breeder and vet, she lost her mind over a young trainer. Her sister had stopped by and said this person was in a mental health care center, completely removed from reality. Her visit prompted the post. 


Wednesday, January 17, 2024


Late afternoon I looked up and saw the fading sunlight from the west window adorning the cat perch.

 It has been cold, so there has been sun.
I hope everyone has managed to stay safe and warm during this unpredictable weather across the country.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Still Cold

I found enough ambition yesterday to make a pot of soup and do my usual Monday laundry. Oh, and I vacuumed the kitchen. Am I hearing the angels sing?

It has been below zero for a couple of days and will remain so today until afternoon. The two boy kitties have been spending most of their time in the house, they know warmth when they feel it. Otherwise there's no news fit to print. We are officially boring.

Sunday, January 14, 2024


He is a cat magnet.

 Gatto appreciates the belly Mark got after radiation!
It's cold and sunny today. We will stay below zero today and tomorrow. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

The Life of a House Cat

What weird people do in the middle of the night, like taking a photo of a sleeping cat.

The iPhone has a very good camera, I could see nothing when I held it up, I had to rely on the yellow square telling me it was focused on something. And then, a usable photo. He was not even disturbed.

It's 3 degrees F this morning. We are expecting about three inches of snow today and more tomorrow. Then it gets colder. Which likely means sunshine, the bright spot in it all. No pun intended. 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Yippee Skipee

Look at this, we have SUN!

Of course, it's sunny because it's 7 F out there. The equines don't care, they have hay to bury their noses in. Expensive eating machines.

Yesterday turned out ok. I became less grumpy as the day wore on. I finished Maid and a new book became available at the same time. Serendipity? I finished watching the series Archie Leach on Brit box and found it pretty good. My son called late afternoon and we had a uplifting (ha!) talk about the state of the country. He had Covid and got very sick. He is now recovered. His wife now has it. It's back with force. Mark bought me vegetable beef soup for lunch and a nice bottle of zero alcohol sparkling wine and rotisserie chicken for dinner. All was well.

Mark has CPE (continuing professional education) today. It's remote so he is holed up in his office. What I will do today remains unknown. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Maybe I Should Bay...Aroooo

Today is my birthday. I'm crabby. I don't think it's related, but......I have my cranky pants on. I think part of it is the book I'm listening to, Maid. The circumstances of the marginalized vs the psychotic wealth so admired by Americans makes me sad. I saw 3M is freezing pensions and yet the current CEO will retire with a 63 million dollar pension. I stay away from discussing these things because I try to shelter my own mental health. It doesn't always work. Anyway....I made it to be crabby one more year. Mark will pick up dinner and a bottle of sparkling zero alcohol wine and all will be well. Sometimes one just must be off and a birthday is as good as any other day for it.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Cats and Other Bits

Frieda gave the drawer a thorough inspection. She gave it her approval.

Too cool for you. But I'll take the comfort.

The two outside boys are back to their pre-Keetah days, spending most of their time inside. Eating and sleeping. Eating Frieda's expensive food. So delicious. They both love making bread and have some wicked claws, so that's a problem. I don't clip outside kitties claws, they need those hooks, but....ouch! The four of them will be nine this year. 

My back is starting to settle down into its normal dull ache. It's been about a month. Nursing a back becomes a dull way to live. I'm so grateful for the digital library. I started reading Maid, by Stephanie Land yesterday. I'm already interested. Tina Fey's book, Bossypants, was a very good comedic read. Or I should say, listen. I've been known to be a bossypants myself.

It's been so long since we have seen the sun I almost don't believe there is one. January is usually bright sun and frigid cold. Not so far this year on both counts. I know in winter sunshine and cold are connected, so I'm conflicted. The sun could just play a little peek-a-boo.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Thank You Chuck Berry

C'est la vie, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell....

 I didn't remember Chuck Berry wrote and sang this song. I tend to use those lyrics more than I should admit.

I'm now one of those old folks. It always shows in the hands. I took this photo to show a younger friend what happened to my hands since I was married till now. On the ring finger is my paternal grandmother's ring. The pinky finger is my wedding ring. I can barely get it onto the pinky above the knuckle. It barely clears the fingernail on the ring finger. Weight and arthritis (arthursitis according to my punning father) took their toll. When did all the crepe happen? My friend is 14 years younger, but at an age when things do change. We were talking about weight gain, body change, etc., you know...the usual. Things women have been trained from birth to fret about. Even me, who doesn't think she cares all that much. 

I'm slowly working on weight loss, the ever annoying journey we seem to be on, for my health. But if I am honest, and why not be honest, I will admit I'm tired of being called morbidly obese. Also, if I'm honest, I don't normally think about my weight much until someone brings it up. I've thought about this and have concluded it's because I don't have the "fat kid" shame so many have. I was a twig until I reached mid-forties. The medical establishment has made certain I am fully aware of my morbid obesity. Which is bad and not bad. It's not good for my health. The bad part is the undercurrent of judgement and shame. Medical professionals still see weight as a personal failure. A character flaw. Perceived lack of control over food and a tendency to sit around eating chocolates all day.

See where that song lyric that played through my head this morning led me. You just never know what will be triggered by an innocuous lyric, or thought. As we old folks say, you never can tell.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Me Again

A brief howdy-do. There is nothing much happening round the homestead. I started watching Archie Leach on Brit Box yesterday and I am enjoying it. I'm also listening to Tina Fey's book, Bossypants, read by her. The book was written in 2011, so not new. It's a fun listen.

We had a light dusting of snow overnight with about another inch predicted later today. Late next week it will finally look like Minnesota in January with some daytime highs at 0 F. January used to be the month I just had the horse trainer take off, it was usually too cold.

I got my new glasses yesterday and I'm meh about them. Not enough I won't wear them, but.....I have another pair I ordered that are the usual shape I get and will likely wear those in public. Inside glasses and outside glasses. That works.

Enjoy the day, no matter the glasses.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

I can unequivocally assure all this was not how we welcomed in the New Year!

More's the pity.

Casa Sandra was quiet both days. Mark spent all of yesterday working outside. I spent it nursing a painful back. I bought a bottle of zero alcohol sparkling rose and found it not too bad. I enjoyed it for two days! I have continued to take the strong warning against alcohol with Wellbutrin seriously. 

We got a very light dusting of snow on the 30th, so it almost looked like winter over the past two days. That was nice. Now....onward into another year.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Day One

Welcome 2024!

May this new year shine upon us all.