Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day!!!!!

I want to wish all you Dads out there a great day, whether working on the house, playing with grandkids or watching a baseball game.  Without you, we wouldn't be here.  While you're at it, take the time to teach those grandkids everything you can.  Just imagine how much fun it will be when they takes those worms into the house and show them to Mom!!
There's a big Father's Day Breakfast at the Elks Lodge this morning, but you'll be happy to know I didn't volunteer.  I'm a little gun shy after the workout at the fair.

Instead, I decided to make fat bombs.  Yup, that's what they are called in Ketoland.  They didn't really sound like something I would like to eat.  I'm still having trouble with my brain while I'm eating a piece of bacon every morning.

Here's the recipe in case you want to try it.  It's pretty simple ... 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, not quite one cup of peanut butter (preferably the no sugar added kind) and 1/4 cup Swerve, along with a dash of vanilla.  Beat it up relentlessly with your mixer and place in the fridge.

An hour later (maybe two), using a small cookie scoop, place them on a pan covered in parchment paper.  Stick in toothpicks to make it easier for the next step and place them in the freezer.
Next up, melt semi sweet chocolate chips in a bowl in your microwave.  Why doesn't this look like chocolate?  Because all I could find was peanut butter chips.  When melted, stir in one tablespoon (maybe a tad bit more) of oil ... I used avocado oil because it's also what I had.  

Using the toothpick as a holder, dip and roll them in the melted "chocolate".  Back in the freezer they go.
Once done, take out the toothpicks and store in a zip lock bag in the freezer.  When you need something sweet and amazingly delicious resembling a huge piece of candy, take one out and enjoy.  I have to say these are so rich that one is almost too much.  Half of one completely removed my sweet tooth craving.
Here's the weird part.  I won't tell you what the calories are, but as you can imagine, it's pretty high in fat.  I've been eating this way for about 50 days and I've lost a little over 9 pounds.  How could that be??  Maybe it's all the vegetables and salads along with the meat.  Maybe it's not eating bread, potatoes, rice or sugar.  I do know that I'm never hungry any more and don't crave the sweets nearly as much as I used to.

It took some time to get over the loss of bread, but now I don't mind at all.  It's much easier to say no to bread than candy!!  I've even gotten to a place where the littlest bit of aftertaste from Swerve has disappeared.  If all you do is replace sugar with Swerve, I think you would be ahead of the game. 

The bad news is I haven't found a replacement for ice cream.  I did, but the thought of eating almost pure heavy cream is a little unsettling to me.  Besides, with fat bombs, who needs ice cream??


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Third Times A Charm

For the third day in a row, I wandered outside in the cool of the morning to watch the sunrise.  I was rewarded this time by a beautiful sight.  I'm surprised at the difference between 106 degrees and 91.  It's been absolutely COOL.  80 would be better, but I'm not complaining.  I'll wait until I get to Arizona for that!!
On one of those "I don't want to go outside" days, I decided to whip up that sugar free jello ... for the third time.  I'm still finding pieces of stuck-like-glue jello on the walls from the first time.  The second time, the new recipe said to add half a cup of Swerve, my very expensive sugar-free sugar.  

It was so sweet it was sickening, and barely edible, not to mention a solid block of concrete I had to cut with a knife.  I didn't let the jello set quite long enough before blending.

The third time was a charm ..... I let the jello sit a little longer, didn't beat it to death with my mixer and added only 1/4 cup swerve.  It's delicious!!!!!  Honestly, I can't believe I've gone this long without real sugar, not to mention BREAD.    
In between contemplating what concoction I would whip up for dinner, I attempted to load this huge recliner in my Jeep.  I discovered quite by accident that the back comes off.  After dragging it out to the garage, it sat for an hour while I tried to figure a way to lift this TOO heavy beast up three feet.

Necessity is the mother of invention.  I grabbed a box of old tax papers (a least they were good for something), got one end up on that and was finally able to flip it over and into the back.  Trouble was, it was upside down and would flatten the cushions considerably.  RATS!  I drug it out.

I'm not sure how it happened, but the second time, it ended up in exactly the same position, in spite of my attempts to make sure I did it differently.  I studied the situation intently - place it here, flip it this way.

The third time was a charm as I was actually able to hoist it up far enough to man-handle it inside, right side up.  What you see is the back piece, which I just stuffed next to the bottom.  I'm not sure how it's going to ride going down the road, what with it being a rocker recliner.  I'll have to stick something in there to keep it from rocking.  It's going to the Arizona house.
In the quest for an RV cover, my bid arrived adding $600 to the cost just in case they have to dig deeper to natural soil.  I checked out a second company and received a bid of $8,000 with NO installation.  It's a do-it-yourself version.  Maybe the third time will be a charm.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Parts and Pieces

At long last I received this missing piece from Tiffin.  It fits on the bottom of the left hand rear view mirror arm.  It seems the U S Post Office had a natural disaster or severe weather and could not deliver it on time.  It was out for delivery in my town according to the tracking number, when that natural disaster hit.  Funny, it never hit MY house!!

Now for the interesting part ... how the heck do I get it to stay on?  I slid it into place and it promptly fell off.  I guess some silicon will be required.  Anyone have any other ideas??
While lounging around the house, I decided I might as well look into the RV cover I want to have installed in Tucson.  After a 45 minutes conversation with the first company, who read me the riot act when it came to the fill dirt I had brought in to make a parking spot big enough, I almost gave up.  

When he told me he looked my property up on his computer and that my parking area was 12 feet onto the neighbor's property, I was ready to call Uncle and hang up.  There are stakes there ... metal, (not wood which he said would be unacceptable) to show the property lines.  

I told him I wanted 16' x 40' by 14' tall.  "That tree will be in the way ... it will have to go!"  It just went on and on until I said I thought I would just give it up.  His tune changed a little to something like "maybe my boss can make it work".  Yeah right!  According to him, he WAS the boss until he retired and sold the business to the NEW boss, who he continues to work for.

When he got around to the price of things, I almost had a heart attack.  The grand total came to $14,000.  I was looking in the $6,000 range, maybe $8,000.  I'm currently looking at other companies, although surprisingly, there's not much to choose from.
Luckily the weather went from 106 down to 91.  What a difference!!  So lets try cooking something for dinner.  How about pork cutlets?  Here's how my mind works.  I'd love them to have a nice crispy crust with panko and parmesan cheese.  I'm skipping all bread, so how about just parmesan?

Since I'm not knowledgeable in the frying department, I figured the cheese would stick if I dipped it in egg.  Yes??   That would be a no!!  It kind of stuck to one, but the other two ended up sans cheese, it all being stuck to the pan.  I should have put them on the bbq instead.
So today I'm heading to the grocery store.  Maybe a nice can of tuna will be in my wheelhouse.  After all, salads ARE really good in hot weather.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

More Rest Required ...... FABRIC!!!

There's that squirrel again, always lurking in the background.  The good thing about working so many hours for that week is I didn't have time to hit one single quilt shop.  Actually, the ONE single quilt shop in my area.

Here's another picture of me hard at work with my lovely plastic make-your-hands-sweat gloves.  I have to say however, that by the end of the week, my hands were soft as could be!!  I did double and triple duty, as did everyone else, at the cash register, changing gloves dozens of times lest the Dungeon Master tell me for the hundredth time that I just contaminated my hands.
Funny, she never told THESE guys they required gloves!!  Food service and all that.  I finally told her loudly and in no uncertain terms I was really getting tired of hearing she had food service training.  It worked!!  I didn't hear her mention it again.
Okay, that's the last of the breakfast burrito pictures.  I'm happy to report I'm a very stable person and my stable is definitely intact and healthy.  
I made a quick trip to my local quilt store, only to find they didn't have hardly anything at all.  That's definitely a plus.  I only got what I needed to finish the present quilt, spending a measly $31.  Now if I can just remember what I was DOING with this quilt.  

Directions are not always very clear and sometimes take great concentration to figure out.  Once you do, it's always nice to finish it all at once and not take a weeks break.  I had to start all over again and figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing.

In between sewing and resting, I spent a couple of hours steam cleaning the floors of all the puppy prints and leftover bits of food.  They seem to enjoy taking a big mouthful of that home cooked deliciousness and spitting it out on the floor before consuming it.  I put a mat down, but they just took a couple steps further to be sure it landed on the wood, not the mat.

Another 106 degree day was followed by a 66 degree night.  It should cool down to the mid 90's this week.  Interestingly enough, it's hotter here than in Tucson.  I hope that trend continues, as I'll be heading out before too long.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Summer Has Arrived!!!

Lucky for the kids and animals at the Merced County Fair, our summer didn't arrive until yesterday.  Good grief Charlie Brown ..... it was 106 in my neck of the woods.  To make it even worse, it was 95 degrees in San Francisco/Oakland area, right on the ocean.

It's time for me to switch into major frugal "electrical" mode.  I started off perfectly by forgetting I left the AC on yesterday.  That will cause an ouchy spike in my bill.
In between sleeping on the couch, which I seem to be doing a lot of, I ran down to Lowes to pick up my new rug.  I really tried to revive the old one, but couldn't get the wet dog smell to go away.  I'll call a carpet cleaning company and see if they can fix it.  

As you can see, Cooper doesn't get six feet from me.  He thinks I'm going to leave again!!
All that heat made it hard to head on down to the Magic Kingdom.  The good news is we have solar panels, so they run the AC day and night.  Unfortunately, that makes the Knights lower the drawbridge early, letting the hoards in before their allotted time so they don't melt.  
You cannot imagine the fights that break out over who sits where.  We make the peasants sit in a long line of chairs until the allotted 4:30 when the bell rings and there is a mad dash for the tables.  Yes, they have fallen down and gotten hurt.  What can I say, it's BINGO!!

The Castle Lawyer played hooky and left me to my own devices.  All went well, even though the King and most of the Knights were off galavanting around the country, until almost the end of the night.  One peasant came to say she only received $150 as a payout instead of $250.  

As much as we tried to convince her she was incorrect, you know how those gambling peasants are.  She was having none of it.  I told her if I was off in my cash register at the end of the night by $100, I would give it to her, knowing that wasn't going to happen.  We actually triple count those payouts.

I finally asked her to go get her money and show me.  Well what do you know, there was another $100 bill right there in the stack.  That made $250.  Truthfully, I was so tired, I COULD have paid something out wrong, but that's why I count everything so many times.  

At long last (it seemed like 10 or 12 hours) it was time to head home.  I hit the sack with the puppies and was out like a light!!

It's going to be like a grilled cheese melting on the fire day today ... 105 predicted, then hopefully it will cool down to the mid 90's.  I think I'll make an air conditioned truck trip to the big town of Modesto, where all the stores have AC to keep me cool ... that is if I don't fall asleep on the couch again!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


I guess I was a lot more tired than I thought.  I had plans yesterday to get things done, but I ended up on the couch most of the day ..... sleeping!!  I think I worked a few too many hours, a total of 93 in 7 days.

Here's the morning crew!!  That's the Sheriff in the back and left to right ... Danny, me, Ed and Fred.  What a crew to draw to!!  We all arrived at 4:30-5:00 in the morning to cut up everything for the day. Baked potatoes, bacon and linguica ends for breakfast burritos and peppers and onions for linguica sandwiches.
This group was fun from start to finish, with jokes, ribbing and GREAT food!!  The Sheriff was always mixing up something for us to try.  They cut the ends off the linguica (so it would fit the buns), then cut them almost in half long ways so they would lay flat on the grill.  It helps that Danny was a meat cutter all his life.  Don't tell him I used his knife to cut a wrapped burrito in half!!

I have a new spice for you to try.  It's called Cajun Seasoning by McCormick.  Vern put it in almost every burrito concoction.  It enhanced the flavor so much and only gave a hint of heat in the back of your mouth.  Gosh that was good!!!  A little fajita sauce mixed in with the eggs didn't hurt either.  Sound weird?  That's what I thought, until I tried it.  Add a little garlic herb mixture and you've got a total of 114 burritos out the door on one morning!!

The hardest part was training new recruits every few hours when the next bunch came in the door.  These two guys were out of control!!  I left before the ticket line got filled up, which I'm sure put the kibosh on their activities.  All of these guys are part of the dirty thirty that do everything around the Lodge.  It's unique that two of the crew are retired commercial airline pilots.  You can probably imagine the conversations!
I didn't have time to check out anything at the fair, but I did walk by the ponies every evening on my way to my truck.  I'm sure they put on as many miles as I did!  By the way, that ended up being an average of 7 miles walking per day, even though I rarely left the building.
Yesterday I was up at 4:00, but fell asleep on the couch about 6:30.  I woke up in time to get my truck smogged, along with picking up some chicken to cook for the puppies.  I discovered you can't cook a big chicken twice in a row on those little propane canisters.  It takes TWO!!

More sleeping occurred here and there until it was time to crash.  By then the temperature outside was 105 degrees and I was roasting, feeling much like that linguica on the grill!!

I'll probably spend even MORE time on the couch this morning, as it's Magic Kingdom time tonight.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Let Sleeping Goats Lie

The best part of the fair is at 4:30-5:00 in the morning when it's all quiet and everyone is sleeping.  It's also not 98 degrees.  The goats and sheep reside right across from our booth.  Not wanting to wake anyone up, I snuck across the walkway to get a couple of pictures.
Cattle don't snuggle up at night.  Neither do horses.  It was funny to see all the goats and sheep cuddled together to keep warm.  It wasn't a cold night, but they've all been shaved to present the best picture.  I tiptoed so as not to wake them.
It was so early, even the cattle were still snoozing.
This is the nice, peaceful calm before the storm.  In no time, this ring was a madhouse as the sale began.  Here's how it works at this fair.  The local meat market providers buy up all the animals at market price.  They are then resold to anyone who wants to bid on them ... usually friends and family of the kid it belonged to.  That money is your donation.  The animal goes to .... well, you know where .... and the kid gets all the money. 
Surprisingly, there isn't much in the way of ice cream at this fair.  We do have a small milk barn that serves up ice cream bars, milk and chocolate milk.  Lucky for me, they had a little milkshake too.  Nothing to write home about, but it was refreshing on that 103 degree day.
Our fair was always in July in the past in the heat of the summer.  It was so hot animals died right and left in spite of all the fans in every building.  Since then, they moved it to the cooler (??) month of June.

Here's one of OUR products.  Linguica is usually covered with bell peppers and onions.  This was a "hold the peppers" order.  Yes, it's huge, which it should be considering it's $12.00.  I'm not a fan of greasy meat ... I stuck with the hot dogs!!  Not much better, but a little!!
Saturday, I blew it the entire day.  This is an ooey gooey cinnamon roll.  I couldn't help myself.  Here's a hint though ... eat it all in one sitting.  Once it cools off, it becomes a brick.
I've got one more day of fair tales, but for now, I'm crashing.  Almost anyway.  I have to get my truck smogged this morning at 9:00, then catch up on puppy food.  The rest of the day I suspect I'll be caught sleeping on the couch!!!