Well, I had gone to bed for a little nap since I didn’t sleep well the previous night and was just nodding off when there was a huge clap of thunder! I know…thunder…in Southern California! We never get any kind of weather to speak of, much less thunder.

Probably should preface this for you a bit. We did have a lovely rainy, overcast day yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. So when today dawned all sunny and bright, just thought, okay, back to typical So Cal weather. Well, not so much. The day has been filled with a little of everything and now thunder amidst the rolling clouds!

Salmon and Other Sirens of the Deep


, , , , ,

Seems I always have a can or three of my favorite oil-packed tuna in my pantry. Love tuna salad in almost any form as well as most casseroles. Think it’s my Midwestern upbringing. Yes, over thirty years in Southern California and I’m still a Wisconsin girl at heart.

The number of containers of canned tuna grows slightly in numbers every spring (often it’s on sale) but starting a number of years ago, it got some company in the form of canned, red sockeye salmon. Oh and let’s not forget the 6 oz. tin or two of crabmeat and Trader Joe’s smoked trout. Gosh, love that stuff !!!! (No affiliation at all BTW).

So, back to the canned salmon in the pantry. Never had canned salmon in the pantry till, as I said, a few years ago, when I saw it on sale and it jogged a childhood memory. My Mom ALWAYS had it on hand and it often resulted in salmon patties for dinner. OMG…isn’t it bad enough to flat out l.o.v.e. sockeye, but to go as far as canned salmon? Yum. Oh, I mean, yes.

In my search for slow cooker recipes over the last months (no, I’m no longer Catholic but some of its trappings have just hung around…like Lent and fish). Anyhow, I came across a number of recipes (though not slow cooker) that looked interesting enough to bookmark and share.

First, I’d like to point out 2 things about this first recipe. The cost of this particular dip noted by the author at the bottom of the recipe/post is from 2010. Currently I bought an 8 ounce tub of pre-made Philadelphia Cream Cheese Soft Salmon spread on sale for $3.99. Not very “salmon-y” tasting if you ask me, but still, I’ll eat it.

In reviewing the ingredients for the delicious Salmon Spread/Dip, I thought it’d be much more flavorful than the store-bought version. For this, I’d use the 8 ounce blocks that Philly comes in, not 12 ounces and just cut back on the salmon a bit, maybe to 1.5 cups of it. I’m torn on using Liquid Smoke. In the past, I’d read about negative health issues so I googled it. You can look into it further here.

To get the smoked flavor, I might throw in part of a pouch of smoked salmon from the grocery, like this:

Well that pic is certainly large enough…lol…will have to check WordPress for info on altering images. Sorry.

Anyway, I could probably easily eat a bowl of this spread/dip and by the spoonful, it just looks so good! Even thinking about it has me salivating. Lol.

And, yes that would leave nothing else to nibble on and put me way over my daily caloric limit! But, hey, it’s the holidays…I mean, it was “just” Easter wasn’t it?! Don’t judge. At least it’s fish. You can also make a similar dip with Trader Joe’s smoked trout in a tin or their crabmeat.

OMG to both. Seriously, what can be made with cream cheese that isn’t to die for?

I also found several chowders that also looked quite good:  first, is Smoked Salmon Chowder which uses smoked salmon. Now if you think the cash outlay to buy enough canned or fresh salmon might be too much, check this website (quite informative) out for smoking your own salmon and this for canning your own salmon.

Frankly, once I took into account all the equipment and labor involved, the store-bought salmon seemed pretty “cheap”! Yes, I’ve seen those videos where someone puts a DIY foil tray in the oven, grill or even in a fry pan. Trust me, they do not work for smoking a fish like salmon, nowhere near the same.

Another recipe that looked good is this one . But are we ever satisfied with what we have? No. And further “research” yielded this one which looks unbelievably yummy!

Delicious, no?

Well, I’ll end this missive on fish for now, but it will be continued later :). In the meantime, enjoy tinkering in the kitchen!

Oh, and big B-day hello to my childhood friend whom my Dad often called Susie-Q. Happy birthday dear one!

Rape of the Sabines…


, , ,

…by Frontier Communications this time, not the Romans.

Once again, I received my monthly bill from these charlatans for my internet (high-speed which I specifically did not request) and it’s $95.99! I’m stunned once again.

Just trying to write this is taking a Herculean amount of strength. Yes, I know that I sound like a wuss but I’ve had so many battles with assorted companies arising from my unauthorized (by me) stay in hospitals and nursing homes for the months of December and January that each new one wears me out more quickly. (More about getting older and your rights in a later post.)

The fact that I was stuck in large facilities meant I had to use a wheelchair to get around and had no access to the internet. I also had little access to a phone (there was one and only one, at the nurse’s station when they weren’t using it). Worse yet, none of the facilities took phone messages or even a phone number from calls you may have received.

The outcome of those “incarcerations” was the inability to get my mail from the Post Office which resulted in the Frontier internet connection to my home being cut off for non-payment! (NOTE:  bottomline, if you have to call 911 for help getting up when you’ve fallen, don’t let the paramedics send you off in an ambulance unless there’s some serious damage. More on this in another post and it’s important.)

Anyway, the town I live in, had it’s communications provider switched from Verizon (the only company where I live) to Frontier late last summer. Boy, if I thought Verizon, which I had for 10 years, was difficult, Frontier makes them look easy-peasy by comparison.

Red Frontier Image

Photo Source.

If you read Yelp reviews for Frontier, it’s terrifying. Now I’ve found out why. They lie through their teeth. I was quoted $20 per month for internet only. When they finally deigned to install it (only took them 2.5 weeks), I was billed $58+/month because the special offer had ended! Plus, I was apparently billed for a router I never even saw much less received (mine’s still the one imprinted with Verizon’s logo). What makes it all so annoying is that their bills don’t detail/itemize the charges so you have to call and deal with voicemail hell. How deceptive is that? Just thinking about that company makes me see red.

Well, while writing this post, I became so frustrated thinking about Frontier and my bill, that I stopped writing the post and researched what else was available for internet where I live. The result is that I’m now going to try a company called Giggle. Yes, what an idiotic name for an internet provider, but maybe I’ll be happy with them. Keep your fingers crossed. Will keep Frontier for a little bit just in case but am so looking forward to calling and telling them to shove it “where the sun don’t shine” (as the saying goes), so wish me luck.



, , , ,

Just finished watching “Everything Must Go”. It stars Will Farrell. Not a big WF fan at all BTW. Not something I’d ever seek out to view but surprisingly relevant for my mood today.

Gave up both storage units last week. One was my whole life or I should say, had my whole life in it. The stuff that I took with me when I left the house I shared with the dolt I’m no longer married to.

Anyways, the storage units had all the photos, artwork, antiques, family stuff, my entire yarn and knitting book stash, craft supplies and so on. Gone to some stranger. I no longer could afford the rent on them, so the storage company sold them.

It’s so amazing. Time. And death and loss. I picked up the phone today and as I looked at the window where you see the caller’s name I thought I saw “Mom” for a split second. Yes, I still long to talk to her and even have written to her (not to be published) and will soon see her. Would have thought it’d be my father, but no, it’s my Mom I miss the most.

Sure, the experience of loss is often shelved as you proceed to go on living. If it couldn’t be, you’d be a morose sack of shit to be quite blunt. But it resurfaces when you least expect it. Even 17 years later.

And that was even before I saw today’s movie. Maybe one should expect it.

I no longer have to think about where to put all the stuff. All that’s left is the junk that’s in this rental house and garage here at Grey House.

Most of that’s paperwork, saved under the guise of divorce and the possibly of needing it for some vague reason. Well, that and there are a lot of clothes from “a life I no longer have” yet I hang on to them for some reason.

Maybe this is how it begins. The leaving. The walking off the planet as it were. You just get tired when there’s no reason for rejuvenation.

Life simply loses it’s luster when you’re totally alone. No one to share anything with. Why care? Why bother?

No one to talk to. No one to reminisce with.


I hope you never experience this.

The following photo is more to cheer me up more than for you, sorry.

Corgi-Teacup on head

Photo Source. Pinterest, royal time-sucker.

Love it, so cute. Listening to Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You”.

Bait & Switch Frontier Style



Since the new telecommunications entity in this town is no longer the disliked but benign Verizon, it is now and has been for about 8 months…Frontier communications. OMG. What a BEAST! They cut off my internet while I was in the hospital and nursing homes for December and January, so I had to re-start it. For the service, I was quoted $20.00 per month for internet by the  Frontier salesman. Well, I got the February bill for internet only (no landline) and it was $138.94.

How do they do this???????

I’m totally dumbfounded.

Oh, and I’d take a photo of the bill but discovered more things taken by Presentation, the Philipino thief that 24 Hour Homecare last sent to me was my camera, case and tripod! Wow. Don’t ever trust such services. They make a big deal about how they do all kinds of background and security checks on the people they send out but obviously they don’t or if they really do, they miss whole a lot.


Blog Shift and Artichokes


, , , ,



Veggie Dip

It became apparent to me earlier last summer that I was losing interest in the general subject matter on my blog. I no longer had a dog and my life had become smaller and smaller as walking became harder and harder, so I felt I had nothing to write about. Sorry for my prior extended absences.

What has been consuming my life is aging and everything involved in it. In case you missed the post with my age (I finally admitted it), I’m 66 and will be 67 in May. What I’ve been finding is that there’s very little written for those of us who are aging and the “challenges” we will face. No one seems to have any kind of major info….

So I decided to write about the things I run into as I hit them. “Hit them” is the operative phrase here, because pretty often it’s a shock. The other thing I’m going to write about are the interesting recipes I’ve come across that don’t require a lot of physical work or effort to make. You can stop laughing now…I was referring to carrying big pots of water, food etc. across the kitchen to the stove and back.

As you may or may not know/realize, since the emergency surgery and three or four weeks time I spent in the I.C.U. almost 2.5 years ago, my balance has really deteriorated. I’m now “chained” to my walker as it were.  The whole idea of filling my 5 quart Dutch oven up with water to cook one or three artichokes (looovve them to pieces) or anything else, only to have to move the big (5 qt.) pot of water (cold or hot) between the sink and stove is just really unsafe at this point.

A while back, I had a very nice homecare person, named Antonia in to help me for a few hours. Got a lot done but sadly the artichoke (on sale over Thanksgiving) I’d been lusting after all summer only got halfway cooked before she had to leave. I tried leaving the it in the hot water hoping it’d finish cooking but no such luck. They’re tough little buggers.

So, using my 2 cup measure, I drained it (again, no moving big pots of water around the kitchen) and wrapped it in plastic resolving to figure it out in the days that followed. They last quite well when bagged and refrigerated.

(Oh, and did you know the way to check if your artichoke is ready? You take a tongs and grab hold of one of the leaves in the middle. If the leaf releases from the veg easily, voila, done. If not, cook some more. Usually takes about 40 or more minutes and you really can’t overcook them. Well, maybe 2+ hours would….)

So, I googled “can artichokes be microwaved?” and got all kinds of info that will now make my life and hopefully yours easier (and safer). What follows are just a few sites addressing this! Here are just a few:
Ten Minute Microwave Steamed Artichokes
(This article is really interesting because it talks about how to eat the stems! Some of the stores in my area actually advertise in very early summer having chokes with long stems because they are very similar to the heart of the artichoke. Who knew?)
How to Microwave Artichokes
Ways to Cook Artichokes

So getting older may be an evil none of us can avoid, but hopefully you, like me, will realize there are a number of ways around some of the problems. Oh, and for sitting through this long post, here’s my recipe (yes, I finally measured the ingredients vs. eyeballing them!) for a dip that’s fantastic with almost any form of raw veg as well as a great dip for the artichoke leaves and other cooked veggies. I’ve used this recipe for the last 35 years with virtually no alterations. It keeps (in my experience) for over a week in the fridge or until the whey in the sour cream has separated into a watery layer on top (just stir back in or pour off if you’re so inclined).

Dip for Artichokes

1 c. or more of Knudson’s sour cream (16 ounces or 2 cups shown below)
1-1.5 t. Lemon Pepper (not an expensive one)
1+/- t. Beau Monde by Spice Islands
1+/-t. Bon Appetit

Alternate measurements or to taste:

2 c. of Knudson’s sour cream (16 ounces or 2 cups shown below)
2+ t. Lemon Pepper
2+ t. Beau Monde by Spice Islands
2+ t. Bon Appetit also by Spice Islands

Sprinkle on the surface of the sour cream in a fairly solid track. First one direction vertically (or horizontally, doesn’t matter) and same with the other in the opposite direction. See photos.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Begin by topping with Lemon Pepper (as above). I used McCormick’s. You use the most of this “spice”. In other words a bit more than what’s seen here. And yes, this is a 16 ounce container of Knudson sour cream.


Lemon Pepper with Bon Appetite over it


Now with Beau Monde over that.



Mix well and chill to blend for about 1 hour. If you don’t let the spice “crystals” bloom, the dip will be crunchy if used immediately.


-Buy a cheap brand of lemon pepper vs. one by Spice Islands or any of the high end pricy ones. Easier to find and they taste better. My opinion. (This note applies to the spice mix Celery Salt also. I’ve tried the higher priced ones and the flavor doesn’t blend into itself well. Each element in the mix fights the other rather than becoming a homogenous flavoring. Again, my opinion.)

-You can always add more spice to the dip if it doesn’t suit you. Just let the spices meld again.

Dip and enjoy!