This Old House

This old house, which really isn’t all that old, just a year or two older than me!

One of the things I decided to do, and have sort of done, is to have fun with this house.  Not to worry about convention and stereotypes.

Many of you may not know, but once upon a time, in a place far far away, and in a different life I worked in Interior Design.  I was great at creating environments for other people.  I could figure out what they wanted and deliver that to them.

I was no good at doing that for myself.  I think part of it was never knowing quite who I was or what I wanted to be.  Still not sure I’ve figured all that out.

So I decided when I started working on this house to just have fun with it.  And I have.  I really enjoy the space and the colors and whimsical eclectic feel of it.

So the other week I was in a thrift store and I saw this adorable wall shelf – I actually passed on it, then rethought and turned back for it. 

Two young millennial types were handling it, O M G. 

Finally they put it down and I snatched it.

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phew!

So look at this tag on the back, then notice the tiny Made in China sticker. 

I must say I get huge chuckles from this alone.

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But then again I also get pleasure now, seeing it on the wall in my dining room.

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Posted in Around my Home, Everyday Stuff | Tagged | 4 Comments

Bat Shit Crazy

So it is Sunday morning, and I am putzing around, watering the garden, taking out the compost, picking up gumballs etc in the yard.

Then Tom gets up, he indicated he wanted to walk with me this morning.  So I’ve been up a while, and am ready to go, but he  just got up.  Getting out the leashes cause the dogs to get him motivated.

We decide to drive over to an area where we are considering a house and see what it’s like there on a Sunday morning.  We do our walk, we stop at a coffee house get some coffees, and muffins and come home.

More putzing around and I notice a brown spot on the tree.  I thought it was a cicada, they are driving me crazy right now.

It was not a cicada.  Just look

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Now this was noon time, I know this little guy should not be where he is.  These are huge Sweet Gum trees, so there must be a cavity up there somewhere that this little guy escaped from. Luckily the trunks are in shade, although late evening might cause it to be in sun.  We’ll need to monitor.

What to do, What to do.

 

Well, we cut a branch from the tree and put it in front of the little bat to protect it, hopefully from predators.

 

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Did you ever wonder about that expression – BatShitCrazy?

Wonder no more, according to the UrbanDictionary,

A person who is batshit crazy is certifiably nuts.

Posted in Everyday Stuff | Tagged | 4 Comments

dragons

Astrid assumed all dragons should be killed, until she met one…

 

This was an opening line to a book review. It resounded with me. Especially in these trying times.

We, all of us, make assumptions. It's not until we reach out and confront that assumption that we can grow, and learn, and understand.

 

I think it would make a great t-shirt.

 

 

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What a Jerk!

I am a pescatarian. 

Most people don’t know what that means so I usually just say vegetarian.

A pescatarian, according to wiki, is a vegetarian that also eats fish, dairy, and eggs.  I pretty much agree with that.

This past weekend there was a Vegetarian Festival here in Richmond.  

It was a very good event, and lots of people attended.

Although Tom is still a carnivore, he follows my pescatarian habits whilst at home; Although he does occasionally go out and buy, cook, and eat meat at home.

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At the Veg Fest I had a fabulous chani masala, which is a garbanzo masala, with basmati rice, beets, and salad. This is an Indian/Hindu dish.  It was awesome.

 

 

Tom ordered from another food stall a Jerk Tofu wrap, it too was seriously yummy.

I make Teriyaki Tofu regularly, and decided to try Jerk Tofu based on Tom’s wrap at the food fest. This is my first Jerk.   

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I googled Jerk Tofu recipes

and decided to give this one a try, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So first step is to cut a dry the tofu, I cut mine a bit thinner than the recipe because I can dry the fillets faster.   Lay flat on a clean tea towel, Cover with another clean towel and add even weight.  Leave like this few hours.

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Once the fillets are reasonably dry, remove the wet towel, cover with another clean dry towel or paper-towel and let rest several hours or overnight in fridge. I elevated my fillets on a baking rack to speed the drying and I didn’t need to turn them.

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Go ahead and make the marinade –

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The marinade is very thick, and seriously salty.  I do Love all the spices: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and the dash of heat.

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I think next time I would not add the extra salt, and I would increase the black pepper and jalapeño, but that is to our particular taste.

After the tofu has sat in the fridge a few hours you place a layer of marinade in the bottom of a pan, and use the rest to cover the tofu fillets.  Let the marinade sit for several hours to overnight, turning every few hours.

Rather than frying I spray oiled a flat pan and baked the fillets at 300 f for about an hour, this gives the dryness to the exterior but doesn’t add any extra oil.

I started the process about 11am, and by 8pm, the tofu cutlets were cooked and all the bits n pieces to assemble our wraps were ready.

I used large whole wheat tortillas, cut in half just cuz they are easier to handle and then you can pick and choose how much you eat.  In fact half a wrap was more than enough.

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To create the wrap I put first, on half the half tortilla, a bed of lettuce, then a few slices of avocado, some mild chili peppers, and some marinated cucumber onion salad I had already in the fridge.  I topped that with 2 slices of jerk tofu, and added a drizzle of barbecue sauce.

They were very good, in fact Tom declared my wraps better than the vendors.

Posted in Cooking, Everyday Stuff | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Humidity

We arrived here in Richmond May 30'ish 2016.

 

I recall people talking about the heat, and the humidity.

I was incredulous…what were these people talking about?

 

Currently, here in RVA

Well we've been here a year now, and I guess I am acclimatizing,

I actually think it is a bit humid today, and a trifle hot.

 

 

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year one

One year ago today we arrived at our house here in Richmond Virginia – that's after having lived nearly 11 years in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.

 

We actually left Mexico on 26 May; Tom, me, and three dogs – it was a long seven days. Days full of adventures – some good some bad.

 

 

So one full year in Richmond – what's it been like?


There've been a lot of changes and a lot of new experiences; a lot of angst, sadness, and happiness, it's been a mixed bag. But I think I like it. I've mostly settled in, become involved in a few new projects, the house is in pretty good shape. I have a small garden that is giving us lots of salad right now, and herbs, but that will also soon also give us squash, peas, beans, and more. I have a car, and now also a motorcycle.

The dogs seem to have adjusted to the cold – as have I, more or less. I do ok with the spring, summer, and fall cold, but not with the winter cold. It's just too much.

Richmond is expensive. This is difficult for me, the cost of things. I've lived my life being financially cautious, which worked to our advantage…we both were able to retire at young ages.


I'm adjusting. I do still miss my Merida life, my friends, my comfort. Richmond, actually the USofA still scares me. I really must stop listening to and reading the news.


I so enjoy the beauty of Richmond, the outdoors, the river, also the architecture and cleanliness. I enjoy the walks with the dogs along the river.

I enjoy the dining options. The craft breweries and brews. The free music at many of these same breweries, and to at many of the bars, and restaurants. Heck even several local museums have regular free music and concerts. Fabulous array of free music options. And festivals, goodness gracious the Festivals: Food Festivals, Cultural Festivals, Art Festival, Outdoor Festivals, Festivals for everything…


Oh, and don't even get me started on driving and the roads. I walked in Merida, mostly because driving was such a chore. The roads were/are horrible, the traffic insane, the driving abilities of others is horrifying.

Here in Richmond the roads are smooth, groomed almost. People drive according to prescribed rules, mostly. Drivers concede to pedestrians, mostly. I don't mind driving here at all.


When I left Merida I said I'd give it a year. I think I'll stay, at least for now.

 

Posted in eve, Everyday Life, Richmond Life, rva | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Birdland, not the jazz fusion kind

As long as I can remember I have enjoyed looking at birds. I guess I am a novice amateur bird watcher.

I've gone on bird watching expeditions. I design my home gardens to attract both birds and butterflies, and enjoy tremendously sitting in my garden and watching them come and go.

I even keep an incomplete and rudimentary bird sighting list.

I heve some basic binoculars, and I have a pretty good binocular. And I have several bird identifying books.

So far in my Richmond garden I have placed bird feeders, and a birdbath. I haven't done much with regards to specific plantings.

Regardless of my lack of trying I have quite a lot of regulars; cardenals, mocking birds, robins, starlings, warblers, grackles, and a wide variety of sparrows and finches. I have not even started on id'ing the migratory birds.

Just recently I got off my duff and identified some mid size brownish birds I was unfamiliar with. Brown Thrashers: a first for me.

The Brown Thrashers are great fun to watch. They are archaeologists, constantly digging. They pound down so hard they lift their bodies off the ground. I am enjoying them very much.
yesterday I was sitting on the back porch and Tom was trimming one of the bushes. I noticed two little sparrows jumping in and out of the bush and had to stop him. We looked in the bush and there, close to the top, now practically exposed was their nest with 4 little mouths begging for food. Needless to say we discontinued the trimming and are hoping the little Chipping Sparrow babies make it.
 

One of these days I hope to identify all the variety of finches and sparrows.

I really like sitting in my garden and watching birds.

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