Tuesday, December 31, 2019


The mantra around this house is if it CAN happen, it WILL happen .... to me.  I thought it couldn't get any worse than all four fire alarms going off at the very same time with no ability to turn them off.  I was again ..... wait for it ..... WRONG!

Maintenance items for the motorhome weight on my mind constantly.  If a trip is coming up, I just can't sit still until I've done everything possible to be sure it's a safe one.  Sometimes that gets me in trouble.

Yesterday, it warmed up enough to check the air in the tires.  First off, that scares me.  One of our construction employees (actually the son) aired up some huge tires that exploded in his face.  Just imagine the broken bones.  So when I pull out my little air compressor, I'm super careful.

I checked the air and filled them all except one.  It's the inside dually whose valve stem is at an angle making it difficult to attach the gauge.  Seems like I let OUT more air than I put in.  I finally gave up, figuring I'd have it checked down the road by someone a little more proficient than I.
When I went to return the compressor to the garage, the door went UP just fine, but it refused to go DOWN.  If only I had remembered the track spray.  I didn't.  Instead, I finally grabbed the little orange cord.  YIKES!!!  The door began to fall!!

No problem, I grabbed the rake, wrapped the tines around the rope and let the door slowly down to the floor.  I should have quit there.

Okay, here's the part where you can laugh!  I grabbed my ladder, climbed up and attempted to pull the door open, hoping to reset the latch.  It refused my every attempt.  So now I'm stuck up on the ladder holding on to the door for dear life to keep it from slamming to the ground.  I discovered WAY too late that the cord wasn't long enough for me to keep hold while my feet were on the ground.  I had visions of standing on the ladder all night long.

Amazingly, I had my phone in my pocket.  Who can I call??  HELP!!  I'M STUCK!!!  How embarrassing!  That's what I said when I called my neighbor, hoping her husband might be home.  He was not, but she sent her not quite tall enough son over instead.  He was able to hold the door open with my rake until I got down and we slowly lowered it to the floor.  Good grief!!!!
Now to find someone to FIX it!  I remembered seeing Garage Door Man while doing bookkeeping for an apartment building.  In an amazing minute of luck, I sent him a text message, whereupon he stated he would be here this morning at 10:00 to fix my door.  Hallelujah!!!!

I spent the rest of the evening relaxing in my new slippers, relieved that the door would be fixed and the tires had air. Yes, that's Cooper's moose, who is never far away.
I think I need a new mantra!!  Or a handy MAN!!  Or SOMEONE to get me out of trouble when I try to fix things!!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Climbing Back Up On The Diet Wagon

I snagged this sentiment from the internet.  It's exactly what happened to my wagon in the last two weeks, and I'm paying for it big time.  It's a good thing I bought the gigantic sized bottle of Tums.
In an effort to climb BACK up on the wagon, I went through the freezer and fridge yesterday, getting rid of everything on my "do not eat list" except the three remaining marshmallows.  It would be a sin to throw those away!!

I spent the morning finishing up this quilt, whose squares are now all sewn together.  I checked out the border material twice and read the instructions three times before tossing it all on the table.  I just don't seem to be in "finishing" mode.  Possibly it's because I only got 4 hours sleep.  Sometimes those nightmares can be a little crazy.
Lucky for me, or maybe not because they spell work, my waterproof boots showed up yesterday.  Yes, the inside is just as fluffy as the outside top and they are WARM city!  They arrived just in time for the break in the weather so I could start washing the rig.  I might as well be stylish in my grungiest jeans and torn t-shirt top.
I'm probably going to be sorry, but I did NOT climb up on the roof to clean off all the white gunk.  It's just been too cold, windy and icy to take a chance.  
One side done ... woohoo!!  Not that it matters, because it rained again last night.  I'm sure all my zebra stripes are back in place in the same spots I spent an hour cleaning.  I'm definitely hoping to get it washed and waxed in Yuma this year.
Later in the afternoon I finished the back and the other side.  The front is going to wait for a couple more days so I don't have to wash it twice, not that it matters because rain is predicted for the day I leave.  At least I will have an excuse for how terribly dirty it is!!

I spent the rest of the day watching football.  I tell you, it's an exciting life I lead!!  Today I will try to figure out how to print those who's-who handouts (including pictures) for our little rally in Indio.  If you hear me screaming in frustration, just cover your ears!!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

A Comedy Of Errors ......

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.  Ever have one of THOSE days?  I have them quite often, but yesterday got a gold star.  How could something so small and unforgettable cause so much havoc?

I was up at my usual early hour, fed the dogs and began the process of heating the house.  On the menu for the next three days was pot roast.  This time I decided to use my big crock pot so I could smell that lovely beef cooking all day.

But first ..... it needed a nice browning on the stove.  I turned my pan on high and laid in the two huge chunks, slathered in spices.  It was doing quite nicely, so I didn't even bother to turn on the exhaust fan.  BIG mistake.

All of a sudden, with absolutely no sign of smoke or even a whisper of steam, the alarms started screeching!  ALL FOUR OF THEM!  Good grief ... that's just what I needed this morning.  I grabbed my inside ladder and climbed up with a cutting board in hand.  My plan was to swish the air around so they would stop.  No such luck.

One of them in a completely different back room was also screeching.  How could that be?
Maybe I can shut them off somehow.  I grabbed my keys, ran out into the 31 degree weather to the garage, where I wrestled with my tallest ladder, trying to get it out the door.  Finally inside with it set up and me on my tippy toes, I pushed every button on the alarm.  NOTHING.  

I took out the battery.  NOTHING.  In the meantime, the dogs are frantic.  If Miss Jessie wasn't deaf before, she certainly is now, with me following right behind.  WHAT THE HECK?  Why won't they turn off?

I moved to the second location and tried that one.  Come to find out, they are all hard wired and there is no OFF button.  I was quickly running the names of all my friends through my brain, trying to think who I might call to help me.   I expected the Fire Department to show up at any moment.

FINALLY, I'm sure it was fifteen minutes later, they quit.  I was frazzled!  I hauled the ladder back out to the garage and locked it up.  The second I came back inside, I heard it.  BEEP!

You've GOT  to be kidding me.  BEEP!  Of course it took another fifteen minutes to figure out which of four alarms it was.  Back out to the garage I went for the tall ladder, slinging it around and out the door.  I love my twelve foot ceilings, but not right now.  

I tried every 9 volt battery I could find.  NONE of them worked.  BEEP!  I trucked out into the cold again to the RV where I scrounged around and found ONE little battery.  Amazingly, it worked.  I hauled the ladder back to the garage one last time, locked everything up tight and collapsed on the couch.  I really wasn't sure that pot roast was worth all this trouble!!
That's when I discovered all the little piles of dirt in the house.  Where did THAT come from?  It seems when I was cleaning out the gutters, a lot of dirt got stuck to the ladder, in spite of my washing it off.  It was just waiting for the right time to deposit itself all over my floors and rugs.  I spent another 20 minutes vacuuming, all the while wishing I had never bought that roast.

In the end, it turned out perfectly, but I'm not sure it was worth all that trouble.  Just to end the day on a high note, the Chance house sent me this picture.  Look familiar they asked?  April Fools ... it's cold, but it hasn't snowed, even though I got a winter weather warning on my phone.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed I make it down South without hitting any of the white stuff.  That might just be enough to make me go back to bed!!!

I'm having pot roast for breakfast this morning .... just because I can!!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Somebody Turn The Heat Up Please?

My my my how a day can change.  Heavens to Betsy, someone turned the heat off.  Not only are we dealing with snow, California is now is the deep freeze.  Thirty one at my house, fogged in and frozen.  Can someone please turn the heat up?
It was all of 61 in my living room when I got up, requiring the immediate activation of the fireplace.  It's okay, because in no time, I'll be snuggling under a quilt with the puppies.

Speaking of quilts, as I usually am, here's another one with all the squares complete.  Not really visible, but it's a lovely shade of dark chocolate brown and gray.  It's also very modern, not terribly suited to COWBOY.  To be honest, cowboy is rather hard to find nowadays in fabric AND human form.  
It was a hard day to stay out of the fridge, what with marshmallows and cookies still lurking around the freezer.  I got rid of absolutely everything I could and am trying to get back in the groove.  I don't know how five pounds could come back so fast in two weeks when it takes three months to get it off!!  Grumble grumble grumble!!

I went to town for a quick haircut, then stopped by the vacationing Diane's house.  I thought I was only watching the two puppies.  Turns out there are 21 fish in a pond in the back yard, not to mention three fish in the countertop aquarium.  No problem ....... except wait ..... there are also two birds!!

I promptly spilled the parakeet water everywhere before refilling them and spilling even more.  Poor things were cowering in the corner!!  The fish got a tad of stinky dry food, along with the puppies who also required sustenance.  Then puppies and I spent 30 minutes getting pets and love on the couch.  

That done, I headed home, just in time to get a text message about a package having been delivered on the porch.  I drove BACK to the house and luckily found it before any porch pirates did.  It's now sleeping quietly in the garage.  No big deal, I'm just happy to give the puppies some love while Mom's gone for four days.

Today I'm putting my Chef hat back on and firing up my slow cooker for a pot roast.  Yes I could use the Instant Pot, but I'd rather smell that wonderful meat cooking all day long.  My boots should be delivered today, which means it's washing the rig time on either Sunday or Monday in the rain.  Won't THAT be fun!!

Stay warm everyone, I hear it's freezing from California clear to the East Coast!! 

Friday, December 27, 2019

What? Another Holiday??

No, it's not New Years yet, it's BOXING DAY!!  I could have used that holiday BEFORE Christmas when I was looking for boxes to be used for gifts.  Instead, it's the day AFTER Christmas, when tradesmen went around collecting Christmas boxes full of money as thanks for good service throughout the year.  Who knew?  Certainly not me.

There's some discrepancy about the meaning among countries, but that explanation is good enough for me.
Here is the quilt I gave to Miss Shelbi for Christmas.  It's the perfect color and size for her room.  Sometimes things just work out wonderfully.
As much as I wanted to sit home on my getting-bigger-all-the-time butt, I forced myself to get up and get going.  The Jeep hasn't been washed for at least six months.  You can imagine all the road dirt!  They'll need a shovel in the car wash to get rid of it.  She's now clean and full of fuel at $3.29 a gallon.
That's when I got a text message that Diane and Shelbi were in Madera buying chains so they could get over the Grapevine pass into Southern California to Legoland.  I know these ladies well, and trust me, they have no idea which wheels require chains.  They bought FOUR.  I suggested they hit the coast route and stay AWAY from anything white.

Their phone told them to take Highway 58 through Tehachapi since the Grapevine closed down.  Oh girls ..... that's even WORSE!!!  PLEASE take the coastal route.  This is what 395 looked like, with the pass finally being shut down under two feet of snow.  Thankfully they heeded my advice and went West, making it into Legoland 10 hours later.
It was WAY too cold and windy to be up on top of the motorhome doing my yearly wash-the-roof job, so I packed a few more boxes out and called it a day.  Perfect, since it was Boxing Day.  I have to say though, no one came by with boxes full of money for me.

I started today off with a bang, just what I needed at 4:30 am.  I reached for my coffee cup and knocked my champagne glass over, resulting in a lovely shower of sparkling slivers, sure to cut my feet if I moved an inch.  There's nothing like the sound of a vacuum cleaner to wake you up.
In an effort to be sure I wash the rig, I ordered a pair of rubber boots to be delivered today.  Maybe if my feet are warm, I'll be more likely to get outside and get it done.  In the meantime, I'm dining on lovely leftovers, minus the bread, and counting the days till liftoff.

Thursday, December 26, 2019


In the middle of the night, I thought it was just rain on the roof.  Nope ..... Santa had come down my chimney, through the glass fireplace door, right into the family room and filled those stockings with care.  Cooper went absolutely bananas for his little moose.

The squeaker was dead in a short three minutes, but it didn't matter.  You can SEE the intensity!!  I bet I threw that thing across the room over 100 times!  He literally never quit playing for an amazing eleven hours!!
This is Miss Jessie's happy face.  She was just as enamored with her new cloth chew bone.  The game is to try and take it away while she snarls and makes ugly faces, pretty much like a lot of children on Christmas morning!
I on the other hand, didn't see much of Santa, although he did bring me a new toothbrush.  Just what I needed!!  No really, I DID need a new toothbrush!!
Here's dinner from Christmas eve, that beautiful prime rib, along with a little Mudslide for good luck.    Mostly it was all about spending time with these two!!!  Diane (in back) and I worked together for eleven years at the County, where we were able to get her daughter Shelbi a position in the Courts system.  And THAT'S how we got this fabulous dinner!!
After lounging with the puppies all day, my arm sore from all the throwing of toys, I gathered up everything I needed to add crab to our dinner table.  When I saw FRESH CRAB at Costco, I picked one up on a whim.  

Turns out it was a good whim, because it actually paired very well with another glass of mudslide, roasted pork loin, scalloped potatoes and salad.  THIS time, Shelbi's son Braden joined us for dinner.
Shelbi made this roasted pork tenderloin in the oven while Diane and I made the sauce.  Sometimes it takes two.  The recipe is a secret, handed down in her ex-husband's family for years.  He refused to give it to her, but had forgotten someone had surreptitiously taken a picture.
So here it is for the world to see.  You know what?  It was REALLY good!!  Rather sweet, so I might cut back on the sugar, but definitely a keeper!!!  I'll be making this again for sure!  Just so you know, it wasn't me.  I took this picture of the "picture" so I would have the recipe!!
Full to the brim, I again came home with all the leftovers, as they are leaving in about 30 minutes for Legoland!  They get FOUR sleepovers, meaning they are staying there for four days.  Merry Christmas to Braden!!

Cooper finally crashed on the couch after one more hour of throwing the moose when I got home.  I can see the sugarplums dancing in his head, or maybe that's moose.
It's 39 degrees this morning and raining.  I expect it to snow any moment and actually received a warming from Tucson that snow just might fall there too.  That's fine .... get it out of your system Tucson, before I get there.

That does make it rather difficult to wash the rig, so I'll probably spend today packing a little more and being miserable on the couch because I ate too much!!  I hope your Christmas was even more wonderful than mine!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


I couldn't resist this picture.  This puppy looks like the reincarnation of our cow dog CHAMP.  He was a rambunctious boy like no other.  He liked nothing more than chasing cows, but only when you told him he could.  He spent more time looking at you for direction than he did the cows.  Just look at that face!!
All my kids wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  They were all very good, except Jessie who like any good kid, refused to pose for a picture, and Jonathan who bit me when I tried to put the Santa hat on him.
I planned on staying home Christmas eve, but discovered I had nothing for dinner except some leftover chicken and a piece of quiche.  It's funny that Christmas dinner items never made it to my grocery list.  Or maybe it did, I just couldn't find the list.

At any rate, my girlfriend from work who retired right after me, called to see if I was interested in dinner.  When her daughter mentioned to her boss she didn't want to spend a fortune going out to eat, he promptly ordered her a full prime rib dinner.  He could be my boss any time!!

It was delicious as the three of us laughed about the Elf on the Shelf antics going on in her house.  I don't know who invented the Elf, but he sure seems to work keeping kids "nice" for Santa.  Unfortunately the Elf that lives in my only nephew's house had a catastrophic event.  

The youngest got up in the middle of the night, turning all the lights on.  He forgot to turn them off.  Next morning, the Elf's legs were melted completely off.  Talk about devastated!!  If the Elf can't walk, how will he ever tell Santa about the good boy living there?  Tears ensued.  I couldn't stop laughing!  Now aren't you glad they didn't have that when WE were young?
Santa didn't need any elves to tell him Cooper, Jessie and Jonathan were good.  I think I see a new ball in Cooper's stocking and a red chew toy for Jessie.  Jonathan's chew toy scared him to death (birds don't like change in their house) so it sits on the floor untouched.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day with your family and a fabulous dinner, whether in your house or out with your RV friends.  I'll be on the couch with the kids, enjoying my quiche along with a little piece of leftover prime rib.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

I'm Making A List And Checking It Twice

To be honest, I have not one, but dozens of lists everywhere.  My lack of Christmas play memory as a kid has filtered over to old age.  If I don't write it down, I forget.  I keep three notepads on my coffee table, so while I'm watching those suspense-filled Hallmark Christmas movies, I can write down the thoughts that magically appear in my brain.

Many times a day, you will see me walking around double and triple checking those lists.  Especially when an RV rally is pending.  With nothing else exciting on the burner, I figured it was time to sanitize the RV drinking water tank.

First up, drain it.  That's the easy part.  Then I try to pour two cups of bleach into the fill hose on the left.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  On this lovely cold rainy occasion, the water in the hose would not come out allowing the bleach in.

I could hear it fill the hose, but couldn't stop fast enough to keep bleach from going everywhere.  I wiggled the hose back and forth, then tried again.  A little more went in.  Finally, with not even one cup in, I thrashed that hose like I was cracking a bullwhip!!  Hey ...... it worked!!!  I didn't get quite two cups in, but it was good enough in my book.

Over the next four hours I filled, dumped, filled, dumped again and finally filled it full.  I should have plenty of weight to keep me on the road in the predicted winds.  No worries about ice and snow.  If that happens, I'm staying HOME!
In between water dumps, I ran bleach water through all the faucets, whereupon I discovered most had no pressure.  I've got rather hard water here, so once in awhile I CLR the faucet gizmos.  It makes a world of difference.  For the same reason, I also do all the faucets in my house at the same time.
There's just something about the smell of CLR and bleach on your hands that keeps me away from the freezer and all those sweets I've collected.  It was a win-win!  Besides that, I was able to get quite a few things packed in the rig.  Every time I went out to check the water, I took a load with me.

I'm happy to say that since I played with the seals and leveled the rig, I haven't had any more water inside in spite of many rainy days.  Of course that doesn't keep me from having pans in place, just in case.  

I spent the rest of the day baking another lovely quiche for Christmas morning.  Yes, it's that good!  Pioneer Woman's quiche ... you can find the recipe on-line.  I leave out the artichokes and sometimes put in spinach instead.

Here's my latest discovery.  Remember that frozen crust I raved about?  First Street is the brand, from Smart and Final.  Last time I tried Pillsbury, and honestly, it tasted terrible ... like rancid oil.  So THIS time I decided to taste test yet another frozen crust by Marie Callender.  Who doesn't love HER food?

It tasted okay and the outside crust was tender and flakey.  However, the bottom center never did brown like First Street.  It's a close second and good enough that NONE of this will hit my cemetery.  
SO ... with the passing of the Winter Solstice (it's about time, I was getting tired of being in the dark) Christmas has arrived faster than the speed of light.  Where did the time go?

I'm wishing each and every one of you a Merry Christmas Eve.  I hope all your shopping is done and Santa brings you everything you want.  I asked for some WARM since it's 36 degrees this morning, making my house a lovely 62.  Brrrrrrr .........  Time to snuggle with the puppies in front of the fire and check my lists again.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Not Your Typical Christmas Play

I'm sure everyone has been to their children's or grandchildren's Christmas plays, whether at school or at church.  Not having kids or grands, I have not, although I remember them clearly from MY past.  There was nothing worse than getting up there and trying to remember all the words.

I may have mentioned before that our church met at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in town.  Boy that dates me!!  Before long, enough money had been accumulated to buy a large piece of property and begin building.

My dad was one of the major builders of the Methodist church.  Us kids just got in the way by crawling through all the underground pipes, getting stuck and requiring extraction.  Talk about getting in trouble!  I STILL remember THAT spanking and the ensuing claustrophobia that has never left me.

My acting career ended quickly after completely forgetting my ONE line in the church play.  "I just got my hair dyed ... what do you think?"  The ladies at the table finally said the line for me.  It was stage fright at it's best.

So when I was invited to this Christmas play with all the kids, I had to go and cheer them on.  They began with a couple of Christmas songs before beginning the story of an adoption.  Gosh ... that's different, just like they said it would be.

In between each of eight scenes, they all jumped up on stage and sang at least two songs.  Let me tell you they sang at the top of their lungs and screamed those accent words so loud the lady in the audience next to me jumped!!
So here's the story.  Brad was sent from an orphanage to stay with the Baileys over Christmas.  He hated everyone and everything.  Mr. Bailey wanted to adopt him.  Mrs. Bailey didn't really want FIVE kids to raise, but having been adopted herself, she finally relented.  There was a big snowball fight and LOTS more singing before they all lived happily ever after.

In case you were wondering, the two little boys at the right didn't sing a word, but they got up there every single time and stood in line until the break when they sat down.  Too darn cute!!  We clapped between every act of the play and after every song.  You should have seen the smiles on the kids.  Amazingly, they didn't forget not one single line, unlike me!!

Afterwards, they made up a reception line and every person attending shook hands with every single budding actor and actress.  Honestly, I don't know how they remembered their lines, let along the words to the twelve songs they sang, only three of which were ones you often hear.

Miss Stephanie (the pastor's wife) on the far right did an amazing job, even if she was pulling her hair out by the handful the day before.  Just in case you were wondering, the quick five minute sermon after was about how we were all adopted by Jesus.

So there you have it ... the best children's play I've been to.  There was even milk and cookies for everyone.  I'm still smiling thinking about all the songs those kids sang and how well they performed.

By the way, the Pastor and his wife have five kids of their own, several born in the Ukraine where you have to take all your own bedding, medicines and care items with you when you deliver your baby.  They have nothing in their hospital but a metal bed.  Interesting, yeah??

Sunday, December 22, 2019


That's the sound of my food intake coming to a screeching halt!!!  It was all fun and games eating those chocolate covered ritz crackers, the bakery cookies and the marshmallows, until I stepped on the scales.  I'm afraid I said some BAD words.  Hopefully Santa wasn't listening.

It didn't help that I fell for the old taste testing scam at Costco.  Every year at this time they have tamales.  They are SO good with one tiny bite!  Take them home and try to eat a whole one and you are in deep trouble!  It was the thought of LIMITED TIME ONLY for those cheese and green chili ones (my favorite) that snagged me.

Unfortunately, the one I heated up at home after buying 24 of them in a package, wasn't cooked through.  I nuked it twice.  It turned out to be a gummy mess.  Woohoo ... only 23 more to eat.

I also got sucked in by the crab!  I haven't had any in years, since traveling the Oregon coast.  I was so excited, I even forgot to take a before picture.  I quickly cleaned it and stuffed it in the freezer, awaiting Christmas dinner.  Maybe just a quick taste.  

I'm a crab snob.  My ex-father-in-law was a crab fisherman.  We had mountains of crab, cooked to perfection.  This one seems to have been cooked to perfection TWICE.  It's okay though, all that butter I'm going to drench it in should help considerably.
Here's another SCREECH I received on the porch.  Already feeling bad from eating all those cookies and marshmallows, I figured it couldn't get any worse if I ate some of these beauties.  Then I read the warning label on the box.

This may just be a California thing, but P65 requires labels warning of chemicals in products that may cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm.  What chemicals?  Who in the world is going to eat these after reading THAT!!
Aren't they pretty?  Tasty little morsels of cancer.  Good grief Charlie Brown!!!
And so as I sorted through all the cookies and candy I had in the fridge, I sadly placed them all in a box for donation.  That darn scale scared me to death when it read I had put FOUR pounds back on in a short two weeks.  With Christmas, New Years and an RV rally coming up, I'm going to be in trouble big time if I don't stop eating sweets!!

The only thing I kept were these amazing marshmallows.  I cut them into thirds, just like that steak.
So today, I'm off to a children's Christmas play put on at a very small local church.  I met the entire family, including the Pastor, at the Pumpkin Patch.  The kids are all amazingly polite, helpful and did absolutely everything I asked.  How could I turn them down?  And what better place to donate all those goodies.  They did mention their play would be "different".  This should be an interesting date.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Did Someone Say PIE?

It's rather sad that going to Costco is the adventure of your day.  Despite the lure of 75% off everything in the stores, I've been sticking close to home.  There's just too much stuff out there I really don't need.  With willpower like mine, it's better to be bored in the house!

Then again, Costco is almost as dangerous as the Mall.  Look at these pies.  Have you ever seen so many in one sitting?  They are stacked FIVE deep!!  Do they really sell all this stuff?
How about APPLE?  By my count, there are 200 apple pies sitting here.  Lucky for me, I had eaten a big breakfast, followed up by a large box of goodies from the bakery in Idaho, owned by my nephew's wife.
Nothing kills the thought of pumpkin or apple pie more than a huge chocolate-mint chubby,
followed up by not one, but TWO chocolate dipped marshmallows.  Basically, I was on the verge of a sugar coma, which I later regretted!!
At any rate, I checked out Costco's meat counter.  Here's what I found.  If it's PRIME, it is so stated, not only on the label, but on the wall behind.  Here are two lovely pieces of New York steak.  Check out the white fat marbling.  THIS would be a tasty steak to eat, and tender to boot.

Then look at the price.  $13.99 a pound.  That makes this package $30.78.  A little steep for my budget, even if I cut it into four pieces.  However, if beef were really my thing, I would buy this.  Trouble is, I've just had too much beef over my lifetime to really want any more steaks.
As for Costco's hamburger, it was choice and only 85% lean, meaning there would be cups of grease to throw away.  Prime hamburger is hard to find.  For those that asked, here's the recipe for my meatloaf.

1-1/2 pounds hamburger
1 egg
Half an onion grated (or chopped up fine)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (or bread crumbs)
1 tblsp parsley
Every spice you can find in your cabinet
including salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder
and just a tiny dash of smoked paprika
One big glug of barbecue sauce, which I also
pour over the top after patting it down in a pan.  
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes

So here's my next question.  Is chicken graded?  Sometimes I get really good tender chicken, and sometimes I get something akin to leather, so tough even the pressure cooker can't make it better.  And what about turkey?  Inquiring minds want to know!!

Oh look ....... CRAB!!!!!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Return Return Return

This is me sitting in front of the fireplace trying to get warm.  It's dark because well, it's dark outside.  At 4:30 in the morning there is nothing going on anyway, so no need to turn the lights on.  It's my puppy time, as well as when I remember everything I forgot to do the day before, like pay those bills.
Return Return Return is all that's going through my mind today as I remember all the stuff I have to send back to Amazon.  I totally and completely LOVE their two day delivery.  Sadly, it takes seven days or MORE to get that refund from the dumb things I purchase.

The latest and greatest is egg bite molds.  Those are the things Starbucks sells for a small fortune.  They are great for breakfast, or so I hear.  With my newest Instant Pot, I should be able to cook at least a dozen at a time.

I was quite taken aback when I received them with a huge sticker on top ... MADE IN CHINA.  I probably could have gotten past that part, except they were so small, you couldn't even crack an egg into the mold without it running over.  Then there's the cancer I'm sure to get down the road from using them, because who knows what they are really made of.  I don't have time for this .... Return Return Return.
As I sat by the fireplace one morning, my feet were so cold I decided a nice pair of cushy slippers would be wonderful.  The Amazon bug bit me again.  It's Christmas, right ... so they were on sale.  What could be better?

I'll tell you ... any other pair would probably have been better.   They were perfect in length, but half the width of my foot.  RATS!!!  Return return return!  Now I have to make a SECOND trip to the UPS Store to send them back.
With all the talk about SELECT meat, I forgot to let you know how that $5.99 prime hamburger turned out. I made a meatloaf with it, baked in the oven for 40 minutes.  It was the best meatloaf I've had in ages!!  OH MY GOSH!!  It actually had the taste and texture of meat in year's past.  

You can bet I'll be buying more of THIS in the future, mostly because I really can't afford the $12-a-pound fillet mignon which is in the SELECT section, so probably isn't worth the price anyway.  The best part?  I didn't have to head out to my cemetery and dig a hole for the two cups of grease that usually result from baking.  That's a big WIN in my book.
I'm off to Costco this morning.  I'm going to ask them where THEIR meat comes from and what grade they sell.  This should be fun!!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Where's The Beef???

Having been born and raised on a cattle ranch in the high desert, I'm pretty familiar with everything beef.  I know I've told this story before, but any time one passed over the rainbow (for whatever reason), everything came to a screeching halt as we proceeded to save those dollars, at that time maybe $130 in the entire cow.

Everything was wrapped and placed directly in the freezer.  On rare occasions, the beef was transported to the local butcher shop to be hung and aged to perfection.  Aging tenderizes the meat.  There's a fine line between tenderized and ewwww I'm not eating THAT!
Aged beef is what you get at Chris Ruths, or better yet, Gallaghers in New York City.  The higher the price, the better the steak, meaning it's been aged much longer and has lots of fat called marbling.

So here's where your cuts of meat come from.  Personally, I don't eat anything north of the neck.  Brisket was always the cheapest piece of meat, followed closely by flank steak.  Nowadays it runs with the big boys closer to sirloin.  I've no idea why, because it's still a tough piece of meat.

Lately, EVERYTHING I've gotten at the grocery store (Save Mart in my neck of the woods) has been tough.  Not only that, but it has the flavor of the sole of my boots after walking all day in the back pasture.  I finally decided to ask why.

In the days of old when things were much simpler, meat was classified as Prime or Choice.  Prime, like this T-bone, having lots of marbling giving it more flavor and tenderness.  Choice was everything that did not make the prime grade.  

The USDA "grades" every carcass for your eating pleasure.  To be honest, prime meat was that which stood in the feed lot for months at a time eating grain.  Choice came right off the pasture, what I call GREEN meat.

It seems to me I've been getting a lot of "green" meat lately, so I stopped in at the meat counter to ask the question .... just what grade of meat do you sell here?  He looked at me kind of funny.  "Born on a cattle ranch" I stated.  I repeated the question.
The very expensive stuff in the glass case (not wrapped) is PRIME.  I never buy it because it's too expensive.  What about the rest that you sell in your very long meat case?  That's SELECT he said.  Wait .... WHAT?  That's worse than choice!!

So here's the nitty gritty.  Meat is now graded as prime, choice, select, standard, commercial and you-don't-want-to-know.  All this time the meat I've been buying isn't even CHOICE .... it's SELECT or OMG STANDARD!!   No wonder it's tough and tasteless!!  Okay then ..... I purchased a pound of prime hamburger for $5.99.

So there you have it .... all that meat you've been buying at the store and paying anywhere from $4.00 to $8.00 a pound probably hasn't been aged at all, nor has it come from the grain-fed feedlot.  No wonder it has no flavor.  It's the THIRD or FOURTH rung on the ladder.

So what do you think you are getting when it's on sale for $1.99 a pound?????   Yeah, that's what I thought too.  It may be expensive and I may have to make three meals out of that steak, but from now on, I'm buying the prime meat.  Even better if it's on sale.

The answer to the age old question "where's the beef?" is IT'S THE MOST EXPENSIVE STUFF IN THE GLASS MEAT COUNTER.

So there you have it ..... meat unwrapped!!