From My Closet to Yours

13 Feb

One of the more disagreeable aspects of being medically retired is the forced retirement of my clothing hoard…and hoard it is!  Even sadder, this hoard is made up of items I never had an opportunity to wear and now I either don’t have anywhere to wear them or they don’t fit (and this point I don’t think I will ever be those sizes again!).

My step-mother watches morning TV and phoned to tell me about a new(ish) selling venue for clothing called Tradesy.  I checked it out and moved all the items I was trying to sell to the new venue.  If you’re not a itty-bitty tiny thing (these are sizes Large and 1X), and you love to be sparkly and have a fun sense of style, you might want to take a peek in my Tradesy closet at https://www.tradesy.com/member/kat-c/2206425/.

Here are some of the goodies for sale…

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Cooking Kat Style

11 Feb

I haven’t cooked for myself (and posted the results here on the blog) for some time.

I admit, I am not a good cook, or even a mediocre one.  I can pretty much mess up any recipe, and there are only a handful of things I cook without a recipe.  One of them is not pork chops.

But I love pork chops!  So tonight I grilled some porkloin chops on my Cuisinart indoor grill (only masochists grill outdoors in Florida; the local population of blood sucking mosquitos can go feed themselve somewhere else!).

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I steamed some tender asparagus and whipped up a lo-cal margarita.

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You can find the recipe for these Chesapeake Bay Pork Chops here.

As you can see, I only made four chops and the recipe is for eight, but how can too much marinade be a problem?  I doubled the garlic (‘cuz I love garlic), guestimated the liquids, and use bottled lime juice and dry basil.  If I ever decide to have an herb garden, then I will use fresh; until then, dry it is.  The chops marinated in the frig overnight because, although I took the chops out of the freeze the day before, I didn’t give them another thought until around 4 p.m., and didn’t want to eat between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. so they could marinate 4-6 hours.  Again, how can too much marinade be a bad thing?  When I make them again, I’m going to following the recommendation to add some of the Old Bay spice while the chops are grilling.  I’m sure I’ll love the extra kick!Snoopy

Slim Down for the New Year

30 Dec

I wish I could say this meant I have lost weight, but no.  Beastly, life-saving drugs and inactivity resulting from a myriad of health concerns have actually increased the poundage.  More to love, right?

As anyone who actually follows my blog knows, postings have been rare, few and far between.  Since I no longer have apprentices, I have deleted all the posts relating to pagan culture, as well as the more frivilous posts, and will be concentrating on the art of creating art (and maybe getting out of all my recently created revolving debt thereby).  That means more posts of my mundane life and less of my spiritual life.  And look for a major shift from copper to silver in my boutique!

In terms of blog poundage, I’ve trimmed a total of 581 posts and I’m feeling lightweight and ready to take on whatever the New Year brings!FemBox

Every Twenty Years

11 Dec

There are so many things I have no interest in doing it’s a major miracle when they get done, which seems to be around every 20 years or so.

Like getting someone in to completely clean all the dryer lint from inside the dryer, inside the silvery accordion hose behind it, and (most problematic) from the pipe that runs up between the walls to exit on the roof 30 feet above.  I can (and do) clean the interior of the dryer from the front, but I lost my super hero powers that once allowed me to drag the machines from against the wall, leap over them in a single bound with vacuüm cleaner and screwdriver firmly in hand (actually, that would be one in each hand), open and clean the back interior of the dryer and the silvery flexible accordion hose, after which I would reassemble everything and leap back over the machines (one hand being free after tossing over the screwdriver where it immediately rolled under the washer) and shove them into place.  Being extraordinarily sweaty, a long shower and longer nap followed.

I faithfully performed this dangerous and daunting task until I bought a front loading washer and dryer set, which sit atop storage drawers that raise the machines to nosebleedingly new heights.  Not even my supernatural leaping prowess could get me over those suckers!  So for twenty years I dutifully cleaned the lint screen and vacuumed the front of the dryer, and was content (and exhausted).

Suddenly, last week, I became uncomfortably anxious over the possibility that my dryer vent pipe was going to self-combust and burn down the house, a fear that proved to be quite justified.  It took the company I hired two tries (first from ground level to roof and then from roof to ground level, rinse and repeat) to clean the airway.  That was some serious lint build up!

When I was scheduling the dryer vent system shakedown, I realized it was also time to bite the A/C and furnace vent bullets, another task gone undone over the past 20 years.  Now I have freshly scrubbed air vents and no black dust clinging to the popcorn ceiling around each of my 9 vents, and the two intake vents are sparkling clean, too.  Wanting to protect my investment (and hoping for another 20 years of vent-free worry, I purchased the most expensive filter devised to do everything every lesser priced filter promised to do plus remove black candle soot.  I shall never see black dust on my ceiling ever again, free to burn all the crackling wooden wick candles my house can hold (and I can afford).

Last month I replaced my 20-year-old leaking frig, broken dishwasher, dying microwave and perfectly fine stove.  Over the past twenty years I used the stove so infrequently that, despite the burnt offerings inside the oven, the stove has another twenty years of life left.  So why replace it?  I wanted it to match the other appliances, of course.  Chances are, given the built-in obsolescence of all appliances made today, I can probably expect to get 6-10 years out of my new kitchen suite.  Ain’t that sweet?

I also accomplished another task never performed in my home, which was to wash the DVR remote control.  I accidentally fulfilled this task when I changed the bed-clothes in the master bedroom last week.  After putting the dirty linens in the washer and placing clean linens back on the bed, I could not find the remote.  It wasn’t until I’d looked under the bed (disturbing a thriving 20-year-old dust bunny colony) and on every undusted level surface in the master bedroom that the horrifying thought that it had to be in the washer seized and squeezed every muscle and nerve in my body.  The washer, having just completed the rinse cycle, yield mounds of sopping wet sheets and a comforter, completed with matching shams, and a sparkling clean remote nestled right in the middle.

I took out the drenched batteries and grabbed my hair dryer, hoping for the best.  My hopes, however, were quickly dashed and I now contemplated the humiliating but necessary service call that was my next task.  Apparently I am not the only person to have performed this every-20-year ritual and arrangements were made for a replacement within the next two days.  The tech did say that it might spontaneously start working again.  In contradiction of my doubts, it returned to perfect working order the next day.  I’m so thankful I won’t have to wash the remote for another 20 years.

My life is filled with other 20 year milestones that include waxing my car, cleaning the windows (inside and out), replacing the roof, dusting the plant shelves and all the fake plants, jars, stuffed animals and other bric-à-brac that were placed there when I purchased this, my first home, 20 years ago.

Who knew being a home owner would result in so much effort every 20 years?

Workroom Cleanup Continues

14 Aug

When I last posted about cleaning up my workroom, my work station was so overloaded that I’d begun overloading my computer desk.  Now my computer desk has been transformed into computer AND shipping central!

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Alas, my workstation remains more untidy than ever!

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This will be time consuming because it will require a lot of decision making about where to put all this crap!  Well, I’m comforted by the knowledge that my workroom is about 75% tidied, which is far from where I first started.  Progress is happening, people!

A Day at the Beach

2 Aug

I have had an on again, off again love-hate relationship with the beach my whole life.

During my earliest childhood years, I lived with my mother in California and we were constantly at the beach (totally free and very clean back in those days).  My mother made headline news when she (7-8 months pregnant with my sister) and another woman pulled a shark that got into the shallows on to dry sand.  His jaws are still hanging on a wall in the local Naval museum (don’t ask which base, they’re all a blur).

We camped on the beach and stole creatures out of tidal pools to dry on the roof and become home decor.  There were dune buggies and bonfires every night, and deep holes dug into the sand in the shape of hearts behind the dune furthest from the beach that were filled in each morning and dug afresh (and if you can’t guess how they were used, your childhood was severely lacking in social beach etiquette).

I loved the beach, but was wary of the tidal current, which we called the rip tide and which I imagined was a giant frog (rip-it!) that grabbed your legs and pulled you under water (bless that six-year-old imagination).

I spent two different years of my later childhood living in Florida with my father and step-mother.  We lived on a canal (where I was certain the Creature from the Black Lagoon lived and was creeping across the backyard to my window at night when the dolphins came into the canals to splash and play) and, like every other family, we had a speed boat.  I don’t remember going to the beach to just fry in the sun or frolic in the waves, but I do remember trying to learn to water ski on inland lakes, ocean fishing (puffer fish are really cool!) and clamming along the coast.

As a young adult, I once spent every weekend of an entire summer at Second Beach in Newport, Rhode Island.  At the end of the summer I had turned from lily-white to a nice shade of ivory.  I far more enjoyed the little beach on the Newport bay that had a beautiful lawn, a meager six-foot stretch of sand, and water filled with phytoplankton that we would stir up into a phosphorescent light show at night while skinny dipping.  Star-lit and moon-lit walks in the dark along the edge of the surf was my prime beach time.

I have now lived in Florida as a mature adult for 21 years.  During that time I have been to the beach twice, once in Ft. Lauderdale where I lounged on a sea-side chaise under a huge umbrella and was brought drinks and food by cute cabana boys (I braved the sun once to dip myself in the water and hastily retreated) and once on a fishing trip with my best girl friends, including one baby.  Understand this:  We did not fish with hooks.  We didn’t actually want to catch (and thereby handle) any fish.  We loved casting and reeling, and of course we had to drink beer!  And we moved our fishing activities to inland lakes and rivers after Kelly ate a substantial amount of (hopefully) helpful pro-biotic sand and I had diaper duty.

So yesterday I went to the beach with my best friend ever.  Alice and I have the same complaints about the beach, such as burning to a crisp after 5 minutes in the sun wearing the heaviest sunscreen available is not fun, having sand go places it shouldn’t outa (and having more of those places as we age!) is not gonna happen, and after going into the clear blue waters of the Caribbean, neither of us is willing to put one toe in the scummy, brownish water of our Central Florida waterfronts where you can’t see Jaws until it’s too late.

Here is our idea of the perfect day at the beach.

  • Turn on Garmin and have him take us to New Smyrna.
  • Follow a sandy track to the tiny parking lot of our favorite seaside dive bar (and no, I’m not saying where because everyone would start going there and we want it all to ourselves!).
  • Sit at the outside bar, which is tucked under enough roof that the sun can’t get to you until late afternoon.
  • Order refreshing alcoholic beverages.
  • People-watch with a horrified obsession.
  • Look at the ocean.
  • Look at the sand.
  • Enjoy the cool ocean breeze.
  • Order some lunch.
  • Order more refreshing alcoholic beverages.
  • Flirt with old men who chat us up and want to pinch our asses (Alice declines gracefully saying they should probably start with a pat on the fanny).
  • Crack jokes with the bartenders.
  • Crack jokes with each other.
  • Order more refreshing alcoholic beverages.
  • Relax and let the alcohol burn off.
  • Get a cup of ice water and tell Garmin to take us back home.
  • Take a nice long soak in my roman tub (alone, dirty minds!) with wonderful smelling bath products and a refreshing alcoholic beverage.
  • Have a nice bit of nap (don’t get your hopes up:  alone again).

Paradise perfected!

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Ran Amok

24 Jul

I didn’t do any cleaning yesterday, so I did double duty today.  Almost everything is off the floor, and the floor has even been vacuumed.  I’ll have to take the steam cleaner to a few areas where there’s dried polymer clay, etc., but for now I’m exhilarated with my progress.

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Next I have to tackle my computer workspace, which is actually messier than before since I am working on some jewelry pieces.

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And my workspace, where all the stuff on the right of my computer workstation belongs, will get an overhaul.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

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No more running amok; for the rest of the day I will be walking calmly!

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