Shay’s Giving Out The Candy

I think that Shay likes Halloween better than anyone. Our big neighborhood little-kids Halloween parade took place right next to our house. Shay stood in the window and watched as hundreds of costumed kids and their dressed up parents streamed by.

We had our first trick or treaters when our friends the Howells stopped by after the parade. Shay was certain the kids came to see her and not for the candy.

Since I didn’t want to remain tied to the front door I put the candy out on a table in front of the ring door bell camera. Shay stood at the glass door willing tweens who were going down the street to the big trick or treater street, skipping our house because our walk way was too long.

Our friend Wright came by and I got a photo of him for Carter, since she was his babysitter. He knew that hanging at our house was cutting into his candy gathering so he set off. Rain is on the way causing a sense of urgency to the kids.

It is now fully dark, but Shay stands at attention awaiting more kids. I too hope some more will come and defy the “please take two” note. I am ready to give all the candy to the next group that stops and turn off all the lights and hide in my room. This is going to cause great dismay for Shay. She waits all year for random kids to come visit her. She obviously loves Halloween as much as any Woody, Buzz Lightyear or Dorothy.

Making a List, Off and On Again

In this world we are broken up into either/or groups. You are either an extrovert of an introvert, a morning person or a night owl, coffee or tea. In reality, you can be both, or one sometimes and the other another time. The exception is I am always an extrovert, but I know plenty of people who straddle the middle line.

I am a middle line straddler when it comes to making lists. I know people who have lists for everything. My husband is one of those people. He has an ongoing master list of things that need to get done around the house. They are not necessarily things he needs to do, but includes things for me and for professionals I need to find and manage. He doesn’t share this master list with me all at once, but parses out suggestions to me when he feels it is safe. I take his suggestions and draw them out based on money, trouble and time, not in that order.

I used to always make lists, back in my filo fax days of keeping a paper calendar, paper address book and paper to do list all in one little leather notebook. Anything I wanted to know about my life was in that little book. Then I got an electronic “filo fax” way before the internet or smart phones. It was convenient because it didn’t get any bigger. Eventually everything went to my phone as my phone got smarter.

The phone is great for my calendar, and my contacts, but not as good for lists because I don’t see them right in front of me. I like that I can make a list on my phone and go back months later and find it, but it doesn’t prompt me to work on that list. Yes, I know there is an app for that, but I am tiring of learning new apps.

Today my friend Christina said she puts everything on a list otherwise it doesn’t get done. For example she even puts “check email” on her list. That would certainly give me satisfaction for crossing things off as I did things.

I realized that for the last few months I have stopped keeping lists because I didn’t feel like I had that much to do, consequently I wasn’t getting that much done. I have found myself thinking of all the things I should have done right before I go to bed, but forgetting about them until bed the next night. This system is not working.

So during Mah Jongg I made a short list of a few things I have been needing to do. After everyone left I got right to working on that list and so far have completed 80% of it before six at night. This is a huge victory.

I think I am going to have to adopt Russ’ master list habit and just start keeping track of everything I need to do and looking at it regularly. Maybe “look at list” needs to be on the list. It will have to be electronic because everything else in my life is, but I think if I make a habit of looking at it every morning I can be more productive. No more straddling the middle line of list making for me.

House Imperfections

When you live in an old house you learn to deal with repairs. For the record I consider my house a used house as it just under 70 years old. I grew up in a truly old house, made up of two barns both multiple hundreds of years old.

In my current house the handle on my front storm door has been acting finicky. Russ attempted to fix it on Sunday, only to leave me for the week without a handle at all. I can still open and shut the door as long as I don’t push the latch in.

For someone who only lived in new house this might be considered a pain, but compared to my childhood house it seems mild. My childhood home could not really ever be locked. There were multiple doors that were just too far out of square for any lock to work on them. Many windows never opened and or could not be locked.

I never remember there ever being a key to our house. When we used to go on vacation we just left the house and hoped no one came to visit. If they did they would have had no trouble walking in and making themselves at home.

As Russ is in LA, I hope staying away from fires, It is up to me to study You tube videos about fixing door hardware. I ma not sure this is going to help get the door fixed. Given my history of living in an imperfect house I might just settle for a rope through the hole in the door hardware.

Climate Change Halloween

When I grew up in Connecticut you practically didn’t need a Halloween costume because by the time you went trick or treating in the dark of night, thanks to earlier daylight savings time and regular climate, it was freezing cold. The weather meant that you almost always wore your winter jacket covering any possible costume.

I don’t know why we didn’t plan our costumes around our down jackets. Michelin men were a thing back then. It would have made the perfect costume with a white down jacket. I was way above throwing a sheet over me and being a ghost. Of course there were no such thing as extra sheets in our house so I would have been in big trouble for cutting eye holes.

I had a lot of friends who went as bums, but it was the late sixties and everyone already dressed as bums in normal life, with rust and harvest gold colored clothing and Jean jackets. That was before jean jackets were a fashion staple.

Things have changed, one because I live in North Carolina where it is warmer to begin with and two because now daylight savings time does not change until after Halloween. The biggest change is global warming, this year being exceptional. It is so hot in my house right now I should turn the air conditioning back on, but I refuse to do it this close to Halloween just on principle.

Now, rather than figuring out a costume based on your jacket, you need to find one that involves your bathing suit. Please god. Wearing a bathing suit and eating a ton of candy doesn’t go together. At least in your down jacket you didn’t noticed that third snickers bar.

Thank goodness no one expects me to dress up. I could really scare some kids in my bathing suit.

My Mom’s Art Show

My award winning artist mother is having a big art show up at the farm. She is such a prolific painter that she has hundreds of works and is running out of space to store them. Rather than keep so many paintings when every wall in all her houses are full she would rather sell them. Her work is so under priced just so she knows they are going to good homes.

Her show will be three days, Friday November 15- Sunday the 17. I will be there all day on Saturday to help since the paintings will be showing in three buildings at the farm. My sisters are also coming to help.

It takes exactly an hour to get to the farm from Durham and all are welcome. If you would like to come to the show, please message me and I will give you the details about how to get there.

Acorn Squash Dinner

I went to Harris Teeter to get my flu shot today and pick up a few groceries. I had to waste a little time while my nice regular pharmacist got my shot ready. I went to the deli to buy some turkey. The line was very long.

I abandoned my spot in line and went over to the veggies and on my way to the cheese I passed the poultry section. I saw fresh whole turkey breasts were on sale. I looked at one and did the math. Five pounds of turkey with a breast bone for $11. One pound of deli turkey without a bone, $11.99. I put the turkey in my cart and continued shopping.

After paying for my groceries and getting my shot I went home and cooked the turkey breast. It took under two hours and I figured I had at least four pounds of meat that tasted much better than any deli meat. It was ready for my dinner concoction.

Acorn Squash- cut in half, with seeds scooped out.

2 tablespoons sour cherry preserves

6oz. Of turkey breast

2 balls of Burrata

Splash of good thick balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°

On a foil covered sheet pan, sprayed with Pam, place acorn squash cut side down. Place in oven and cook for at least and hour until the squash is tender.

Once done sprinkle liberally on cut side with salt and pepper. Put a spoonful of preserves in the cup of each squash half. Tear up turkey and put on top of preserves. Top with a ball of burrata and drizzle balsamic vinegar on cheese and sprinkle a little more salt and pepper.


No Sugar Fish For Us

After Russ had a very busy week at work and I had a very successful day at bridge we decided to go out for dinner tonight. Friday is such a popular night out that it makes it hard to find a table at a place and time we want to go. That being said, Russ picked a place in Chapel Hill that had been on his radar for a while, Fish Fusion.

We are sushi lovers and the reviews of this place in the old One location in Meadowmont made it sound like it was right up our alley. We had a choice of seats and chose to sit at the sushi bar since it was just the two of us.

Russ got a work phone call right as we were seated so he left the building. The waiter came to introduce himself to me and see if I wanted a drink. I immediately recognized him as a waiter who had served us breakfast two weeks ago in Durham. I asked how many restaurants he worked at and he said, “just two at a time.” Considering that makes him a professional, I didn’t remember the service as being exceptional before. This should have been an omen.

We looked at the mostly sushi menu and had a hard time with lots of menu items, especially the special rolls. Each one seemed to have something sweet incorporated into them. One had pineapple, another mango, a few had a “sweet glaze.” Sweet is not normally what we want in our sushi. Where was the spicy?

We ordered a couple of things to share, none of them very good. Even though we were trying to stay away from the sweet it somehow permeated each dish and not as an improvement.

We decided the Fusion was code for sugar and who likes sugar fish?

We can cross this place off our list as a place we will revisit. Russ commented that it is still a lot of work just to have a mediocre restaurant. It’s a tough business and food that is cooked at our house is almost always better. I guess no matter how good a day I have at bridge I still have to cook dinner.