Cleaning house physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Archive for August, 2014

Berries and Berninas

I picked more raspberries and also some blackberries.
And then the munching and freezing began.
I have been busy decluttering and cleaning the house. One thing I am specifically working towards is getting back to quilting. My poor Bernina has sat idle for a few years. But it is time to get back in the groove. So I bundled it up and took it in for a tune-up. Miko helped.
I’ll get it back next week and the fun will begin. Stay tuned for quilting stories.


Caturday – Stairway to Heaven

Ellie, my petite Siamese, is not feeling so good. Her interstitial cystitis has sapped her energy. One very noticeable change is that she struggles jumping up and down from the bed.

The solution is handy-dandy pet stairs.
It only took her one day to realize exactly how handy-dandy they are. Now she not only uses them for their intended purpose, but also as a queen of the mountain post.

The Problem … and Solution

Miko, the Balinese, is obsessed with the toilet paper.




I tried turning the roll so it unwinds in a different direction. Placing the roll on the counter. Squirting her with water when she paws at the roll. None of these purported solutions seemed to work. There was always a new ripped up roll of toilet paper. And as someone with Crohn’s Disease, I do not want to be without TP. (TMI? Just trying to point out the severity of this problem.)

Finally, I have a solution–as long as I remember to use it. This is the cover for a large spindle of blank CDs. A perfect fit and something that I already had.
Yay for repurposing!

Managing Your Vices

I was sitting at the car dealer, waiting for the car to get serviced. Looking up, I saw this.

Yup, Vice Manager. Which of course got me thinking about my own little vices. My vice is dark chocolate.

But what exactly is a vice? An immoral or evil habit or practice.

Hmmm, I don’t think that eating chocolate should be considered as an immoral or evil habit or practice. Maybe I need a new definition.

Criminal activity involving prostitution, pornography, or drugs. Hell no, that definition won’t work for me!

A fault, defect, or shortcoming. I would hate to think of chocolate as a defect. Of course eating chocolate (in excess) could be a shortcoming with regards to a healthy weight.

Aha, the Free Merriam-Webster dictionary has a definition of vice as a minor bad habit. Now I can live with that definition. Eating dark chocolate is a minor–but oh, so tasty–vice.

So now that I have acknowledged my vice, let’s get into details.

Dark chocolate! And if it is orange dark chocolate, the better. My favorite chocolate is Seattle Chocolates Orange Appeal (great play on words) Truffle Bar.

The managing of this vice is difficult. If I happen to have one of these chocolate bars, I must devour it immediately. Not much managing going on there.

My next favorite chocolate is the little Dove Promises – Dark Chocolate, of course.

Small bites of creamy dark chocolate that indeed deliver the promise of a quality taste experience. I have a bag of these at my desk, and usually indulge in one every afternoon. Perfection in size and taste, without over doing it. And only 42 calories each.

And that is how I manage my chocolate vice. What’s your vice–your minor bad habit? And how do you manage it?

I Got My Domestic On!

For some reason, I was feeling very domestic yesterday. If only I knew what brought this on, I could bottle it (or maybe put it in a pill), sell it, and become a billionaire!! If only…

Anyway, I did several loads of laundry, which included washing and changing all bedding. Sunni helped with the laundry.

My stomach was craving a fully cooked meal, not just little bits and pieces that I often eat. So I hightailed it off to the grocery store and picked up a tiny pork roast. I had grabbed fresh green beans and peaches at the farmers market. Thus this tasty Sunday dinner (and Monday and Tuesday too).

I dusted, vacuumed, and swept where needed. And the best part was taking a nap in the afternoon.

I gotta be domestic more often!

A Berry Good Day

Yesterday, I went raspberry picking.

Didn’t pick too many because it was getting hot. This was not a planned outing, just a spur of the moment thing. But a little box of berries was a good start.


I like to freeze them for use in smoothies or on cereal in the winter. First, I gently wash them by emerging them in cold water and light spraying. 20140824-102556-37556875.jpg
After draining, the little red gems are placed on paper towels to absorb the water.
Before going any further, it is time for a quick quality test. Raspberries on cereal.
After drying, I gently place them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. And because I don’t want any extra moisture in the berries when I freeze them, I do a quick dry with the hair dryer (weird, but effective).
Now they are ready for the freezer.
After they are frozen (a couple of hours), I place them in freezer bags.

That small box yielded 8 cups of frozen raspberries and enough fresh raspberries for four bowls of cereal.

Yum!!! Doing blueberries next.

Caturday – Staying Fit

Miko, the Balinese, plays a lot. She roars around the house chasing imaginary mice. She leaps at play birds and live flies.

She has recently taken up yoga. Here she is practicing Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing cat dog).