Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Call Me Mrs. Fix-It

I'm slowly becoming Mrs. Fix-It in our home. It's not that Hotel Man (AKA DH) doesn't know how to do home repairs. It's because I'm the one who is home 95% of the time so it only makes sense that I should become friends with my tool box.

I have six outlets in my kitchen (not counting the ones for the appliances). Out of those six outlets there is one I use nearly every day for my toaster, one that I use frequently for plugging in my electric grill, and the one in the photo below that gets used every single day. I can't go a day without coffee.
Sunday morning I made coffee. Then I used the outlet to make a crock pot of Beef Barley soup. Sunday night I used the outlet to grind the coffee beans.

On Monday morning I came into the kitchen to turn the coffee pot on . . . NOTHING! I plugged it into the top outlet . . . NOTHING! I moved the coffee pot to where the toaster is and made coffee there. What a pain in the butt!

Last night Hotel Man suggested checking the fuse box. I did that. No fuses were tripped. I was going to call an electrician today to have him come fix the problem.

This morning I took my laptop computer and tested every outlet in the kitchen. In the process I learned that the outlet on the island (the one I use for the grill) wasn't working either. How strange. Just for fun I pushed the Reset button on the outlet by the sink. Then I tested the coffee pot outlet. It worked! So did the island outlet. I don't know how or why it worked, but it did!

Next up is the upstairs toilet. It's not flushing properly. I have the page bookmarked in my Home How-To book. I just need to do it.

Tell me about your fix-it projects.

PS - The job hunt is moving ahead. I have an interview at Joann's this coming Thursday.
Sweet P

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Job Hunting, Organizing and Welcome Spaces

I have decided it's time for me to find a new job. I'd love to be able to work from home, but right now the income is needed. I will still try to start a home-based business but for now I'm job hunting. This morning I filled out applications for Joann's, Barnes & Noble, Hannaford (my local grocery store) and my local quilt shop.

The quilt shop would be my number one choice. I have a good chance of getting a job there. The owner and I get along well. I bring a lot of marketing and administrative experience that can free him and his mom (the owners) up to move the business forward. I'd be ecstatic to spend the day cutting fabric for them.

Deb at Creative Soul is hosting an Autumn Clean Sweep Challenge. I took her up on it since I'm also working on the Need This Challenge. My basement has been bothering me for weeks and weeks. Since we are currently unable to finish the basement as we hoped to when we first moved in, the basement has become the dumping ground. I couldn't take it anymore. This is what it looked like:
I brought my computer downstairs, cranked up Jesus Christ Superstar on my I-Tunes and went to work. I was able to break down a few boxes and I have a couple of items that I'm ready to take to the thrift shop. The rest of the sorting will have to wait for DH to be home on a Saturday. I think we need to buy some Rubbermaid Totes and cheap shelving. I can't stand having all the moving boxes still around.
Deb talked about sprucing up our Welcome Spaces. Since we live in a condo complex I can't do anything outside. But while I was cleaning the basement I did find my Autumn wreath and it is now proudly hanging on my front door.
Thanks for the push Deb! Tomorrow I plan to clean my studio. It needs it!
Sweet P

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Steak and Sports

Life at Coffee Time at Home has been slow the last two weeks. A week of travel and a week of recovery are behind me and I think I can get life back to normal here.

To prove that on Friday night I made Seared Steak with Orange Salsa and Traders Joe's Wild Rice Medley. It was yummy. I think the next time I make it I'll use a little less pepper than the recipe calls for. I would also use mandarin oranges rather than regular oranges. The recipe came from The Sonoma Diet cookbook.
Then I made Cape Cod Oatmeal cookies. I don't know why they are called Cape Cod Oatmeal cookies. I suppose you could add dried cranberries if you wanted to and I may do that the next time I make them.
This was my view from my spot on the couch between 1 and 4 PM today. The Patriots on the big TV (too bad they lost). The Ryder Cup on the little TV (hooray! The US won!).
To my right on the pull down table was my computer showing the Game Day screen of the Red Sox - Toronto game. Just behind that window was my StatTracker showing the scores for our family fantasy football league.
Just in case you're wondering all I did was watch sports today check out Coffee Time Stitches. You can see what I finished while watching all those games.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Comfort Food and Trader Joes

Do you live far away from where you grew up? If so, do you have favorite childhood foods that you can't buy where you live now? I do. There are two childhood foods I can't find here in New England. Actually I've never been able to find them outside of Minnesota. Every time I go to MN I have to stock up on these two products.

Malt-O-Meal is a hot cereal that has a smooth consistency and is super yummy. There are three flavors: original, chocolate and maple & brown sugar. I just checked the search engine on the web site and it says my grocery may carry it, but I've never seen it. It also says Wal-Mart carries it, but I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. Anyway, my favorite flavor is chocolate. If I have mini marshmallows on hand I put a few of them on top and swirl them into the hot cereal. Breakfast this morning was so yummy!
The other food I have to buy when I'm home in Minnesota is Creamette macaroni rings. When these little rings are cooked they make the best tuna salad. The salad "holds" together perfectly. It's easy to scoop up the salad with a spoon or stab a forkful and slide it into your mouth. I have tried other macaroni ring products, but nothing compares to using Creamette macaroni rings.

Here is my basic recipe for Tuna Salad. It's so easy to make.
7 ounces macaroni rings, cooked as directed on the box
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 - 6 ounce cans tuna, drained
1/4 cup onions, finely diced
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and chill. Sometimes I add other herbs like parsley or dill to the salad.

I could eat this salad every day during the summer.

A new Trader Joe's opened up that is on my way home from the airport. I've heard a lot of people talk about Trader Joe's and thought I would check it out last night. I don't know what I missed, but I don't understand what makes the store so special. I didn't see a lot of products I can't get at my local grocery store. The prices were comparable to what I pay for food. What did I miss?

Anyway, tell me what your childhood food was and can you still make it.
Sweet P

Sunday, September 7, 2008

NFL/Birthday Brunch

The NFL Football Season is here! OK, it started Thursday night. Our team, the New England Patriots, have their first game this afternoon. And it's my DIL's birthday. In honor of the special occasion (and the fact that Hanna has moved on) I made brunch this morning.

On the menu was a bacon, smoked mozzarella, potato frittata, chocolate covered donuts,
Apple Bundles from the Pampered Chef Delightful Desserts,
courtesy of Kristen at Dine and Dish. These were super yummy!
Later we will have strawberry cheesecake (DIL's favorite dessert) and pretzels with chocolate. Carolyn posted these a few weeks ago and I thought they would be a wonderful football snack. I made them with Hershey Caramel Kisses and plain M&Ms. I'm sure they will delightfully sinful.
Do you have special food you make for football Sunday's? Come on and share them. I'm always looking for something to make on football Sunday.

Happy football! Go Patriots!
Sweet P

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Where am I?

I've been busy getting ready for a weekend of travel followed by getting ready for a week visiting my parents.

This past weekend we went to Washington, DC for a friend's wedding. We left on Friday afternoon to arrive in DC in time for the rehearsal dinner. On Saturday morning we visited the Air and Space Museum. The wedding was Saturday night. The photo to the right is me in my new red dress. I've never owned or wore a red dress in my life. Let me tell you it was a lot fun! This is my new favorite outfit. I only wish I had more places to wear it.

On Sunday morning we flew back to Boston and then went to the Deutsche Bank Golf Championship. We go every year and were a little disappointed that our friend got married, but that's life and we'll be back to our normal schedule next year.

We got home late last night and I'm trying to get caught up on everything.

Next week I'm going to visit my parents in Minnesota. I haven't seen my dad since he went into the nursing home two years ago and it's time for a visit.

Later this week I'll do a drawing for the first round of the Need This? Challenge. You still have plenty of time to join! I need to start decluttering our basement. It's getting out of control!

I hope you have a great week and thanks for stopping by!
Sweet P