2020-Day 1

Well we did NOT move the rocks today.  No excuses, just didn’t want to.

I did make my usual cornbread, black-eyed peas and collard greens.  I put the greens in the soup and they really are sturdy enough to hold up to a long cook.  Luckily I rembembered before bed last night to soak the peas so I was ahead of the game this morning.

My brother is currently on his way over for dinner (New Year and his Birthday), sadly he gets the same thing from me every year.  At least its tasty.

We did a puzzle today.  We have been on a kick and have done 7 puzzles since the end of October.  Part of that is the down time without electronic devises.  Having removed most social media from our phones because we are either too busy studying, or just wanted to re-capture the 5 mintues of scrolling here and there and there and there unil it added up to several hours a day has given us more puzzle time.  Its a great way to spend the little bit of time we have together and talk and do something that doesn’t involve a phone, iPad or television.  Besides I LOVE PUZZLES.

Today’s puzzle, on the new fancy puzzle board Lori bought was easier then we thought.  All of these book covers just became puzzles within puzzles.  We finished it in less than a day and was a fun way to kick off the year.  Thing is, we are missing a piece.  This happened in our tiny home in a small amount of time.  [shrug]  Lori, made a piece to fit in (cause she is funny like that).

Great start to a new year!  Welcome 2020.


Well I can say NaBloPoMo is a bust.  I did not blog yesterday.  Granted I have enough musings to fill a couple of blogs but will try and keep this relatively short.

I was up early and got the turkey out to sit for an hour.  It just cooks better if its not icebox cold.  In the meantime I started some bacon for my deviled eggs.  I made several kind of eggs but the bacon and jalapeno are the favorites and were all eaten.

I made the deviled egg filling and assembled the eggs.  Put the turkey in the pre-heated oven about 8:00 a.m. and then started to assemble my massive Charcuterie board.  The board only held a portion of my ingredients and I actually left off several things because there was just too much.  I left off smoked salmon, and all of the fresh veggies like carrots and cucumbers.  Oh well, it was still amazing and WELL received.



My turkey was out of the oven by 11:00 and I made gravy.  I had enough drippings and bone broth I had on the stove to make two batches.  This was my only catastrophe of the day.  I made the first batch and while it was still basically bubbling hot in the skillet I tried to pour it into the container I was taking it in.  (At least I tried this over the sink.)  It of course spilled over the side and onto my hand which let go of the container as my other hand continued to pour my hot gravy down the sink.


I made the next batch and poured it into the pan my bone broth had been in and then poured that into the container for travel.  Needless to say it was Such Good Gravy and we will had enough.  Maybe because of all the meet and cheese we ate before dinner.

Besides the turkey, the gravy, the charcuterie board two pies and the deviled eggs I loaded up all of the gingerbread houses and decorating gear into my car for the drive down to family in Irvine.

We spent a lovely day with family.  Eating WAY TOO MUCH and enjoying all of it.  We played a very aggressive game of pictionary of which my team lost, badly.  Ate dinner and then broke out the gingerbread houses.

A lot of lessons were learned from these houses.  Next year, cause this IS gonna happen again, maybe we get houses that are already put together.  Or since the putting together and failing at that was such a source of fun we will put them together at the beginning of the day and decorate them after dinner.

Emily won, she worked right through dessert and put the most love into her house.  There were lots of other great houses but most importantly the event was a hit.  We had dessert (more food) once most of us were done with the houses.  Cleaned up the mess and moved them all for a group photo.


So by the time I got all of that re-loaded and home, only taking the food out of the car last night, I knew as I couldn’t even stay awake for  15 minutes that the blog of the day for November was a lost cause.  At least I got through most of the month and will finish strong.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Prep, and more prep

This morning I made an apple pie, steamed my eggs for deviled eggs and prepped my turkey for tomorrow morning.  Then I got ready for a long commute to work.  Not only is it one of the busiest days on the roads here, but it also rained today.  Unless you live in Los Angeles, you may not understand this horrible combo.

I left for work before 1pm, giving myself over an hour and a half to get the 25 miles.  I made it in plenty of time, it did take just over an hour and it is so much easier if there is no rush or stress.  The average speed was about 35 MPH.  Actually not bad and I was thrilled.

After todays prep, tomorrow morning what I have left is to roast the turkey, make gravy, assemble the deviled eggs and put together my kick butt Charcuterie board.  Then pack it all up along with the gingerbread kits and drive to meet family for the day.

I do think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!  Not just the day, but the lead up and prep as well.


Tomorrow we will be loading up the turkey, two kinds of gravy, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, charcuterie board, two pies, eleven gingerbread house kits, decorating items for those, games and my camera.   I am so glad I took Friday off of work.

Charcuterie Board

Can’t really say it  “shaar·koo·tr·ee” but I’ve been planning, prepping and BUYING for days to make a kick-butt charcuterie board.  When I usually put together something like this for dinner I usually just call it a picnic.

Inspiration started in Italy this last year.  I mean who doesn’t love olives, cheese, prosciutto and nuts.   The internet has been super helpful this week.  I have continued to add things to the pile to go on this board for Thursday.

The thing is, now I have far more things then I have board real estate for.  The price of buying a pre-made board at this point would have been way cheaper….even to get a super fancy and high end board, but damn I’m having fun.

Lori and I picked up a tray this last weekend for me to build this thing on and I have a list going and little bowls for olives and such.  Today I went to the deli and bought the cured meats for this masterpiece.  The joy I have gotten out of this so far has got to outweigh the price difference because I have been having a blast.  By the size of this board none of us will need Thanksgiving dinner, final pictures on Thursday after I put it together and transport it.  But none of the bowls are gonna fit on there.


Ready, Set, Decorate

Being a week from December you may think I mean Christmas.  But in fact I am still all about the gingerbread house decorating we are doing on Thanksgiving.  We will be in a house full of creative people and this should be a blast.

This morning I drug out my two decorating tool boxes and cleaned them out.  Putting cake items away and filling them with decorating bags, tips, colors and sprinkles.  I will bring these along with the kits on Thursday.


After playing with all the tools and cleaning up yellow spilled dye inside the box I did the laundry, changed the sheets and then we left for massages.  The once a month massages are such a treat and I’m already looking forward to the one next month.

We swung into Whole Foods and picked up my turkey.  I had ordered it spatchcocked but they hadn’t done it yet so that took a few minutes to do.  I didn’t bother to try and get any of my fresh items there today, the place was crazy.  Besides, there are “to-do’s” every day this week leading up to Thanksgiving.  Luckily Trader Joes and Sprouts are both near my gym so I plan on hitting up both of those tomorrow.

Granted I start thinking about what else I can get for these gingerbread houses and need to stop that, we have ENOUGH already!  Nobody needs a box of triple gingersnap cookies for the perfect roof shingles. (Adding to list)

Saturday was for the yard

Not the whole day, I slept in until 8:00.  I had to work at the office yesterday getting home about midnight, so I guess 8:00 wasn’t too late.  Needing to use up some ripe bananas I made a loaf of banana, walnut and cranberry bread.  We had it for second breakfast mid morning, then headed out to run a couple of errands

Lori had read yesterday’s blog before I woke up, so she was on board for running to Michael’s.  We picked up some tiny frosting tips and a ton of sprinkles, sparkles and candies for the gingerbread decorating event.  We even stopped and picked up another kit so Coral could have her own.  She may only be three and a half but being the only child we wanted to be sure she was included.

We were home by noon and Lori spent the rest of the day working.  I pulled out a huge Agave that had gone to seed and about forty babies that were under it.  I also pulled out two large sections of Aloes that had multiplied to an extreme.

Once both yard waste bins were full I went to Lowes and picked up 8 bags of gravel.  We need to have some delivered but I really just wanted to cover up what I had dug out so it didn’t end of up being a large kitty sand box.  Eight bags were not enough and I went back for four more and got them all spread out.

The yard waste bins are already on the street for Wednesday’s pick up, but rain this week is already showing weeds.  So more weeding is now needed.

Since I was already dirty, I went and washed both of our cars and filled them up with gas for the upcoming week.  Leaving tomorrow free for a massage in the middle of the day, work out today’s heavy lifting!

Thanksgiving shopping week

I am very excited for Thanksgiving.  I’ve been planning and purchasing all week.  I even picked up a couple of games and for after dinner, along with ten gingerbread house kits.  There are ten of us for Thanksgiving and after thanksgiving dinner we will ring in the Christmas season with a friendly compitition.

The kits come with some royal icing and candies and I have a ton of materials left in with my cake decorating tools.  That doesn’t mean I dont want to swing by michaels for a few frosting tips for everyone to share.  Or is that just an excuse to buy more frosting tips???

I plan to get all of my shopping done before the weekend is over so any last minute things I come up with I can get in the mornings before work but mostly avoid the stores all together.  As it is now I only need the fresh items having wrapped up everything else this week.

It was one of those weeks that after the gym each day I was doing some kind of shopping, trader joes, sprouts, costco, bed bath & beyond for those kits.  Perhaps I’ll get away with only Whole Foods Sunday to get the turkey I ordered.