Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hello friends and neighbors!

I don't have anything blog-worthy, but here I sit anyhow.  It's hot today, has been all this week; but before you know it, we'll be watching for snow.  It's been a lot cooler this summer than last, though, as I'm reminded when I look at our electric bill.  They compare the last 12 months to the previous year, and most of them have averaged cooler temperatures, and our bill has been less both those months.  I also keep the thermostat higher lately so the A/C doesn't run so much.  We never had whole-house A/C until we got this trailer house, so I don't even know how hot or cool most people keep their homes.  For five years or so, I'd set it anywhere from 74 to 76.  For the past couple months, I've been easing it up to 78 or even 80, and doing fine for the most part.  It isn't as though I'm doing hard labor in here:  More often than not, I'm reading as I sit almost directly under the ceiling fan.  I stay plenty cool.

Since I got the Instant Pot, I don't know when I've used a slow cooker, except for carrying food to group dinners so it will stay warm.  I decided to re-familiarize myself with using a slow cooker.  We need to go to the store, but not until tomorrow; I looked at recipes until I found one I had all the ingredients for, cheesy chicken and rice.  It was supposed to have a box of prepared Zatarain Rice added at the end, but I only had ordinary white rice.  I did have three chicken breasts and the cream of chicken soup called for.  It got nicely done, but both Cliff and I thought it was somewhat lacking in taste; perhaps if I'd had the proper rice, it would have tasted better.  It wasn't bad, just boring.  

Apparently this is a great year for watermelon:  A neighbor across the road has given us several, and the two bigger ones must have weighed 30 pounds or more.  A lady at the Baptist Church said her garden has gone crazy with watermelons too.  I'm still attending two churches every Sunday and actually, loving every minute of my association with both.  It's sad to see so many of these small-town churches shrinking like they are, but people just don't feel the need to go to church any more.  It's a busy world these days, though, with both the husband and wife usually working all week; I can see why they need to spend time at home when they're not working.  And so many are unbelievers these days; I surely wouldn't expect someone who's an atheist to attend church.  

Things just aren't as cut and dried as they once were.  Nothing is simple any more.  Maybe it never was; maybe it just seems simple to us when we're children.

I'm reading "The Liar's Club" currently.  It's a non-fiction work written by Mary Karr about being raised in a dysfunctional family.  In the introduction, she writes, "... I chose to write 'The Liar's Club' as memoir instead of fiction:  When Fortune hands you such characters, why bother to make stuff up?"  Oh yes, it's very interesting.  For our trip to visit my sister, we listened to an audiobook, "Explosive Eighteen" by Janet Evanovich.  I don't recall if I've read anything of hers before; it's pretty light reading.  I didn't care for the way it ended... she just sort of tied everything up in the last couple of pages. all at once.  There are lots of chuckles though, and the lady reading the book is great!  She does the voices for everybody, and sounds convincing, even when she's talking for the male characters.  Many times if a woman is reading the book we listen to, Cliff can't make her out very well and we have to give up on it after a few paragraphs.  

We are really enjoying Ken Burns' documentary on PBS this week, "Country Music".  

We have a parade to take part at Higginsville this Saturday, and the next Saturday is our little town's parade.  That will probably be it for this year.  I can almost feel autumn breathing down my neck!

This is a diffuser.  You set it on a burner on the stove, and whatever is in the pan you set on it won't stick.  It's amazing.  The handle of this one used to be brown, but you see, I store it in the oven with the skillets.  One day it sort of slipped over to the side of the oven and I didn't see it when I took out the skillets.  I don't recall what I was baking, but Cliff and I kept thinking something smelled hot.  I said, "It sort of smells like someone is burning wood chips, like when you barbecue or smoke meat."  Yeah, I was smelling the wooden handle.  I used this today when I was making rice pudding, which ALWAYS sticks without a diffuser.  

I do hope all my readers are doing well.  I'll leave a chuckle for you:

Yours truly,


Margaret said...

You have a great list of activities and are reading and watching some interesting stuff. Life is never boring with good books and shows to keep us entertained.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's been wonderful here and like you I saw I spend less for at the electric than I did last year. It has been cooler. Really surprising for August. It's usually our hottest month of the year. I use my slow cooker all the time but then I don't have an instant either. When it comes to chicken dishes I usually add a few bouillon cubs for extra flavor. They always seem to do the trick. I do chicken and rice in mine all the time, but never had the cheesy kind. Always good to see you and yours are doing ok. You always have some kind of news to tell and I'm glad to see it.

Dianna said...

I have never seen a diffuser before! What a great invention; I usually use a makeshift foil ring but I have to be careful not to tip over my pot! I also haven't been using my slow cooker as much since I got an Instant Pot. It will be one of the great inventions of this century, I'm sure!

Margie's Musings said...

I am alone so I don't cook anymore. So I don't have an instant pot. They must be nice for a quick meal though.

The Feminine Energy said...

*hahaha* I loved that joke, Donna! It gave me a good chuckle!

Yes, foods in the crockpot always seem bland to me. I read one time that it's because of the long cooking time... it kills spices. They say you should add the spices the last hour of cooking.

I've been thinking about this same subject of church attendance. Everybody used to attend church on Sunday when I was growing up, including my mom & dad & me. Now hardly anybody goes. I think it's because folks don't believe much in God anymore. Sad.

I remember those diffusers. I used to have one but I have no idea what happened to it.

Love, Andrea