Five Favorites: Part Deux

Five Favorites Moxie Wife Joining up with some other ladies to exchange a diet of delights as we share the five favorite things that’ve recently caught our attention. Low key fun all around, and a great way to discover some interesting things.

1. Aussi Instant Freeze Spray

Aussi Instant Freeze Hairspray

My go-to hair spray–this stuff is amazing. They call it Instant Freeze, and they’re not kidding.
I really think it could suspend me off the ground. Just sayin’…

2. Knitting Socks

New socks for Sophia 001

I knit. All the time. I carry knitting in my purse. Socks are the most useful things, and they fit. Easily.
I made these for my daughter last year.

3. Papal Conclave

Papal Conclave

The waiting is the hardest part.

3. Rolling Stone Magazine

Rolling Stone Johnny Depp Cover

People sometimes ask me how I manage to stay abreast of pop culture without watching television. This is it.
Bonus picture of Johnny Depp!

4. Brocante Home

Brocante Home header

Cute and oh-so-very-British! Housekeeping superstars, unite!
Charming vintage pictures and tips, all served up by a lovely lady, Alison.

5. Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

I saw the very first episodes of Little House on the Prairie on television, and then I found the books. Even better!
(Believe me, the TV series may be interesting, but it’s not for aficionados)
Always inspiring, never objectionable.

People Watching


rubber_gloves (Photo credit: How can I recycle this)

It was the child that caught my attention. (Let’s call her Bonita, ‘cause she was just that cute). Dancing around the end of the aisle without a care in the world, brown braided pigtails bobbing as the soles of her shoes flashed in time to her footsteps. Clearly oblivious that others were watching. Adult others. Also clearly oblivious was Bonita’s mom, who was checking the end cap display of French-fried onion rings for untried nuances to her stand-by green bean casserole. Her quest for culinary enrichment had momentarily blinded her to the fact that Bonita’s new obsession was a dirty rubber band that she found under the same end cap. Joy unparalleled! Stretching it on her fingers and discovering the fascinating powers of its elasticity was clearly a discovery that, for Bonita, was unrivaled by anything of Newton and Einstein.

Thunk. The can hit the floor. “Oh my God! What are you touching?!”

Why is watching people so entertaining?

Red Letter Day

Well, not really, since this isn’t a newspaper, but you get the idea.

Miscellaneous 006After another bout (albeit shorter than usual) of discouragement and almost-but-not-quite depression, I’ve once again joined the ranks of the living, and had a banner day. I decided to go out and get the thread I needed to do all the mending. While this sounds pretty dull, it required a trip across town. Once I was there, I serendipitously discovered something I wanted, but hadn’t really been deliberately looking for: a new doormat! And such a pretty one! It looks really nice on the doorstep.

And I got some new yarn for sock knitting. I’ve got plenty of yarn, there’s no doubt of that. But while I know it’s around somewhere, I can’t determine which box it’s in. So, until it’s discovered, I just bought some more. After all, it’s not like it’s going to go bad!

After leaving Joann Fabrics, I discovered there was a Half Price Books nearby, where I naturally stopped. Finding what I’ve been looking for was not the result, but I did find things I wasn’t really looking for. (Not too hard to do, n’est-ce pas?)

Then, after leaving Half Price Books, I noted that Kopps Frozen Custard had none other than KEY LIME PIE as a flavor of the day! Triple Hip, Hip Hooray! Leaving Kopps with a scoop of deliciousness in a dish, I then spotted an Office Depot. I happened in and found some old school index card divider sets and a large card tray (the kind that holds about a thousand cards). Since I use a lot of index cards for a wide variety of things, but had long since given up on finding these trays (I thought they were hopelessly out of date), I literally danced up to the register.

Miscellaneous 007Lest you think that all this awesomeness must surely be enough, upon returning home, I reached into the ball of yarn to start it out to cast on the next pair of socks, and, lo and behold, for the very first time in my entire life, pulled out a single strand of yarn, instead of an entire blob (poetically called “yarn barfing”)!

Miscellaneous 017And if all this wasn’t enough, I voted in the Wisconsin primary, like the good citizen I am!

The Weekly Yumster: 30 December 2011

Milwaukee 014Reporting from Milwaukee this week, we found ourselves at the amazingly wonderful and well-nigh irresistible Peter Sciortino Italian Bakery. They haven’t changed a bit since I was last there, over ten years ago. Thank God, because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.Milwaukee 011

Sciortino’s carries the full complement of Italian baked goods, from delicate cookies and hearty yeast breads, to luscious cannoli. Everything is super, and the place looks and smells delicious. I got a dozen cookies and figured that would be more Milwaukee 012than enough to be satisfactory.

What I don’t remember from the last time I was here was a display of gelato—a dozen delectable flavors in all. Sooooo hard to decide… Peach mango won the Milwaukee 013day—though any would have been excellent.

Next we stopped at Glorioso’s Italian Market. Though we only needed butter and eggs, it was SO HARD not to walk down each and every aisle, so varied an intriguing was the selection. However, lest we come home with pasta in unpronounceable shapes, and sauces of indeterminate usage, not to mention pocketbooks of flaccid emptiness, we quickly left. I’ll have to make a list first, next time.

All Night Long…

Apparently, disaster preparedness is prophylactic in nature; designed, variously, to prevent pain, prevent sleep, or prevent pregnancy.

Hmmm...Or that’s what this display at a gas station I went to yesterday might have you believe.

Turning down this aisle from a previous one that included the usual blend of snack foods whose ingredients fall into one of two general categories (sugar or salt), I couldn’t help but laugh. I pulled out my camera so I wouldn’t forget what has to be the oddest combination of items ever displayed in close proximity.

Noticing the strange juxtaposition, I immediately began to formulate theories as to how these various items came to be grouped as they were.

Could it be construed as, “If only you’d used a condom, you wouldn’t find yourself up all night vainly trying to sooth your crying baby’s teething pain?”

Or was is more hopeful than that? “Hey! Up all night? Soothe that crying baby and get some action At The Same Time!”

The most intriguing possibility was that using topical “numbing agents” was a sort of poor man’s erectile enhancement, and when coupled with condoms and caffeine, made for an impressively active all-nighter!

I guess if you’re going to be up all night, you have to make the most of it.


The Weekly Yum-ster: Food Pantry Smorgasbord

Food Bank For New York City

Image by Walmart Stores via Flickr

When life gives you lemons, they say, make lemonade. So when the food pantry gives you asparagus, make hollandaise! (Actually, I just steamed the asparagus, and served it with butter and parmesan cheese, with a side of Italian herb focaccia bread.) This is one of the ways that being given a quantity of free food forces one to get creative. You get what you get, so you make what you get!

I went to a weekly food drop-off today, for the first time, and what a haul. An hour or so in line netted me four pounds of asparagus, which, after being picked over, yielded a usable three pounds. Also about two pounds of Anaheim peppers. I have NO idea what to do with those, so I’m scouring the internet for ideas. This is one advantage of the internet—ready access to hundreds of ideas about food! We also got a number of other, more typical items, like bread and snack foods. Whatever. I can use it for Sophia’s work lunches. Nothing I would buy myself—and I guess if it’s in the food drop-off, maybe no one else did either.

I also got some mini pound cakes, which I used as a shortcake substitute with some peaches and vanilla yogurt for dessert. Very yummy. I may go again. It’s a better culinary adventure than I’ve seen in a while.

Getting Organized!

A Manchester pail closet, with a cinder sifter

Image via Wikipedia, of something no one should have to do: sift cinders!

Ever feel like you’re drowning—in possessions? Well, that’s happened to me. I have a little apartment, so maybe it’s not like an episode of Hoarders, but it’s not pretty. And ever since my daughter came home for the summer from college, it’s even less pretty!

I knew that things had gotten bad after last winter’s spate of depression, but once the apartment reaches a certain point of messiness, it’s hard to dig out. There’s just no place to shuffle things around. I envy people with a garage and a mudroom. I have no where to keep my houseplant supplies like fertilizer except in the coat closet. But then where do I keep the coats? I do have an outdoor closet that I keep pots and things in. I did just get that reorganized with some help from a friend.

But it has reached critical mass. I got rid of 10 fruit boxes of books, which I took to Lowry’s Books and More in Three Rivers, MI, and I took what Tom Lowry didn’t want to Paws & Claws in Howe, IN.

SidetrackedBut now it’s down to business. Well, down to business tomorrow, that is, since today is Sunday and I believe the level of work I’m talking about constitutes the kind of menial labor that is not encouraged for Sundays.

I use a combination approach to gettingSink Reflections things done. I really like these systems, they work, and it’s not quite so hard to get back on the wagon once I inevitably fall off, which usually happens every winter. I long for the winter where I stay on track! My first choice is Sidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise, which is great, and doesn’t require a computer, which I think is a nice tool, but what happens when you’re off line. I don’t like having to check my e-mail for housekeeping reminders. The next is a refinement of SHE, which is FlyLady. She does have a book, Sink Reflections, but her real niche is the web. I do like her approach.

And for all the paper, which is a bigger problem than it should be, I am going to try a program by Heidi DeCoux called the Fast-Filing Method. I used to be a good file organizer when I was a secretary, but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that the kind of files one keeps at home are far more complex than the kind of files used in an office.

I’ll keep you posted on how things are going. But I’m NOT going to do before and after pictures, because even I have some sense of pride, and Sophia would have a cow if I put pictures of the apartment, as it stands, on line.