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Posts Tagged ‘#RV’

We got back from our first RV trip of the year on Sat. July 4th. We went up to Green Bay, WI for 9 nights. It was nice but in some ways didn’t seem like vacation since we had to take Mom into consideration on everything we did. The first 4 days went good, we took her gambling (which we haven’t done since December in Tunica, MS) and she was ok. Then that Monday night she fell out of bed TWICE! She’s never done that before at home or in the RV. I sleep with her in the RV to keep an eye on her. After that I didn’t sleep all night. She got all black and blue and I was afraid she’d break something. The first time it happened, she got back up in bed no problem. The 2nd time, she said “I can’t!” when I tried to get her up. Finally, she got back up and was back to sleep in 90 seconds.
Amber & Elvis (in the bed) in the RV.

Amber & Elvis (in the bed) in the RV.

This is the first time we’ve gone anywhere in the RV where nothing went wrong! I was afraid to say it at the time but since we’ve returned home, I’ve been brave enough to say it. It’s hard to believe that something major (or minor) didn’t break down with it the whole time! It would be wonderful if this started a new trend and we could relax on vacations instead of wondering when the RV would act up…
Greg & the dogs on the picnic table in Green Bay.

Greg & the dogs on the picnic table in Green Bay.

Within a few days of coming home, Mom’s hearing aid kept filling up with gunk. I had to clean it out a few times a day. Then a week ago I saw her ear canal looked shut so I used a bobby pin and pulled out what looked like white dead skin. <gag> When I gave her a bath last week, I noticed a bunch of crusty orange stuff on her ear and going down her neck. I had seen it the day before and thought it was food. My bad. It usually IS food… Then when I changed her sheets, I noticed orange-ish brown stains on her pillowcase. So I figured out she had some kind of ear infection. She sees her ENT doctor once a year and that would be the end of Sept. but this couldn’t wait. Her doc is so booked up that he has 2 offices and only goes to the location by us once a week. He’s also triple booked and they couldn’t get us in at either location for weeks. So they offered to let her go to his partner Dr. Hughes. We’ve never even seen him before but were very appreciative that they could fit her in. Sidenote: Dr. Hughes looks just like Kip from The Millers. “The Millers” is this fabulously funny sitcom. There are very few sitcoms I like at all but this one is hilarious. So I got her in last Thurs. July 9th. It took a few hours since she had to see Idea (the hearing aid person aka audiologist). I am torn about Idea for a first name. If I was her husband, I’d never get over saying, “I have an Idea!” and then laughing at my own joke.
Ivy in our backyard. Dog Run sign is new from estate sale.

Ivy in our backyard. Dog Run sign is new from estate sale.

So I’m one of those people who google symptoms and self diagnose. Can’t help it. I’m wrong probably half the time but don’t always give myself a good scare with it so that’s something. I had googled Mom’s “discharge” (even the word is disgusting—how’d you like THAT for a first name?!) and it said “glue ear”. I was pretty confident and told the doctor. He didn’t say anything. So towards the end of the appt., I wanted to pat myself on the back so said, “Was I right about the glue ear?” Uh, no. Apparently, I need to hold my tongue. That is what someone with an intact eardrum gets. Mom has a hole  in her eardrum. Which I did not know or didn’t remember. I knew she did 4 decades ago and had surgery to put a patch on it then. So he said when you have a hole in your eardrum, you get drainage. I told him she’d never had it before. He said he was surprised she hadn’t. He prescribed drops containing antibiotics and a steroid. So I’ve been busy putting 4 drops in her right ear twice a day. At bedtime and after I get her up and onto the toilet. Her right ear is her “good ear” if you can believe it so she can’t hear ANYTHING out of it now. Plus she has to leave her hearing aid out until she goes back to see the doctor for a follow up. That’s right, I’m taking her back on July 23rd. The fun never ends.
We've had milk cans for yrs. Hubby just got tractor seat in WI. Now he painted both.

We’ve had milk cans for yrs. Hubby just got tractor seat in WI. Now he painted both.

Making lemon pie out of a bad situation (because lemonade is so overdone), we actually got to go to lunch after the doctor’s appt.!! It was Greg’s day off and we hadn’t eaten out yet this year. Mom was all dressed up in her good clothes and freshly bathed and it was just the perfect time. We never got to go our for hers or Greg’s birthday or our anniversary. We just had to take it as it comes and jump at the chance. We went to Boston Fish Market. Greg and I had a tuna sandwich with fries. Not canned tuna, a tuna fillet. Mom had fried fish and coleslaw. She doesn’t like fries so we took those home and ate hers the next day. Mom did great eating and it gave me hope that we can do this again sometime.
Hubby just got this for free. Corrugated metal Halloween sign.

Hubby just got this for free. Corrugated metal Halloween sign.

Communicating has been harder than ever with Mom’s hearing deficit. I find myself shouting at the top of my lungs and she still doesn’t answer me. Getting Mom onto the toilet, the dialogue goes like this: Me: “You need to go pee.” Mom: Silence and she tries to get up 10 seconds after her ass hits the seat. Me: “Put your hands together, close your eyes, relax and go pee.” Mom: Silence and tries to get up. Me: “You need to go pee while you’re on the toilet! DO YOU HEAR ME?!” Mom: “Yes, I hear you” and tries to get up. Me: “Then you need to answer.” Mom: “You need to answer.” Repeat this scenario multiple times a day about any subject you can name. When we were in the RV and left her playing games on the ipad, we’d come back and find her in the passenger seat facing the windshield! Once she was sitting in the driver’s seat!! I asked her what she was doing up there and she said she was going to drive but couldn’t find the keys. That was a scary thought since she hasn’t driven in 20 years!! The only answers I get to questions are “I don’t know”, “Answer” or silence.
Hubby's getting ready to build a pergola. We saw this at an estate sale & liked it.

Hubby’s getting ready to build a pergola. We saw this at an estate sale & liked it.

The Sunday after we came home, there was a breakthrough. I finally figured out WHY Mom picks her leg and arms. I was looking at Chibi Jeebs blog and she was talking about skin picking. It’s an OCD disorder called Dermatillomania. It is repetitive picking of one’s own skin to the extent of causing damage. Usually this is younger people and they do it to their faces or scalps. Mom has had this since her late 50’s and probably got it when she gave up smoking. It’s like a nervous condition that becomes a habit. Back then I remember her picking her arms where there were no sores or anything wrong with the skin. She would pick until they bled and they would heal and leave scars. I think back then she was able to quit for some periods of time or only limit to her forearms. From what I read, the only cure seems to be behavior modification. I don’t think that would work for Mom with her marbles loose. However, just KNOWING what it is has been a weight off my mind. I can be with her 24/7 and remind her not to pick but it doesn’t last. She keeps trying to do it and I keep her leg covered. Then I will be away from her for a few minutes and she will undue all the healing in a no time. I had no idea this was a “thing”. I find my stress level has escalated anyway and I’ve turned into someone who is coping by eating anything and everything in sight. I’ve had my moments of that in the past but now I don’t feel strong enough to resist nor do I want to. I feel bad afterwards but not long enough not to do it again the next night. It’s either eat everything in the house, drink or both.
Before we left on vacation, I cut up and froze a TON of rhubarb.

Before we left on vacation, I cut up and froze a TON of rhubarb.

So that’s where things stand here. Trying to make it through another day. We don’t have anymore vacations in the works until around Labor Day. We’re also trying to cool it on the estate sales until she get the house and yard a bit more organized. I am having a hard time posting at all to Instagram and have (for the most part) abandoned Twitter. I don’t know how to bring myself back. It’s not that I have nothing to say, it’s that I don’t feel confident to put myself out there. Someone on IG was asking about starting up a blog. A ton of people were telling her that blogging is passe and no one reads them anymore. I hope not! I think blogging should be here to stay. It’s such a reflection on society that people can’t stick with blogging for more than a few years yet can get tattoos that they’ll have to live with for the rest of their lives!! Everything in life changes. At least with a blog, you can change what you talk about and be fairly flexible with writing. But what do I know?! Not much.
Backyard from upstairs window. Nice & green but cluttered.

Backyard from upstairs window. Nice & green but cluttered.

When I was in college, I was friends with a girl named Edie who was from a dairy farm in SW Wisconsin. She was going to become a vet and from my research on the internet, she has succeeded. She always had a saying when someone dressed a certain way or told too much personal business, “she has no shame.” It got to be a joke between us and we’d say it to each other about everything. We had great fun. Anyway, I feel like on my blog I have no shame. I write about anything I want. Consequences be damned. Things others would gloss over like shit on the wall, disgusting crusty ear discharge, skin picking and any number of other gross things, I go all out sharing with the world. The only reason I can think of for doing that is how freeing it is. That and I have no shame. Holding things in will kill you. That’s why I insist on laughing hard every day. Not like a crazy person. Ok, some days like a crazy person. Laughing keeps me sane and lets out the hurt, pain, resentment, etc. So go have a good laugh on me or at my expense. It’s the least I can do for my fellow man.

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I’ve been searching high and low for a spare moment to do some blogging. I need it for my soul. There were a few days this past week that I thought I’d be able to take a few hours to put my thoughts in order. Boy, was I wrong. I’m not even kidding. Something always comes up. So now I’ve decided to just do a quick (but lengthy) post of what’s been happening around these parts.
Garden plant shopping

Garden plant shopping

We have still been having the funniest year for weather ever. The 2 days before June it was only in the upper 40’s for a high temperature. I started wondering if someday (possibly decades from now) the seasons will be switched with the 2 hemispheres like Australia will have our seasons and we’ll have theirs? Global warming and all, you know. In any case, it would make an interesting plot for a book or movie. 😉 We have been alternating the very cold temps with a few days of mid-80’s which is hard to get used to. One day you’re wearing shorts and sandals, the next pants and a coat.
Peonies & bridal wreath in our backyard by koi pond.

Peonies & bridal wreath in our backyard by koi pond.

Due to the above weather constraints, we got our garden in late this year. We also decided to rotate the crops, planting our tomato plants where we’ve always had our peppers and vice versa. We kept the cucumbers in the same place. We also decided to do about half as many plants and spread them out more. We still do a lot–18 plants each but it’s a lot less than we used to. We always crowded our plants and that makes it hard to weed. Not like that’s one of my favorite things but they should produce more if given more room too. We got our plants on Thurs. May 21st and it took 3 days to get them all planted. I remember when we used to be able to plant everything in a day. We planted the herbs (basil, chives, dill, cilantro, thyme, curry, rosemary) the day we got them. Then planted the tomatoes the next day and the peppers on Sat. They are doing nicely. We usually get some other veggies like squash or beets but this year, we’re keeping it to a minimum. My rhubarb is doing fantastic. Possibly the best year ever. I have 3 plants and they are 3 different varieties. I picked most of the largest (oldest) plant and got 21 heaping cups which I put in freezer baggies and froze. I got 4 new recipes off the internet and the first one I made twice already. I really need to look no further since this is the best use of rhubarb I’ve ever seen. They are Rhubarb Dream Bars and have a buttery crust with a custard type filling. They are good warm or chilled. If you’ve never tried Pie Plant (rhubarb), you’re missing out!
New Weber gas grill

New Weber gas grill

Hubby got a new gas grill on May 21st also. We’ve been without one since around Nov. We normally grill all year round, no matter the weather. This time hubby wanted a Weber brand which is supposed to be superior to others. It’s a smaller grill than what we had but so much nicer! In almost 30 years that Greg & I have been together,  he’s done all the grilling. I always thought of it as a man’s thing. Now with this grill, I’ve started grilling and found out it’s not hard at all! I’ve been grilling a ton of veggies that I would normally roast in the oven: eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. I’m having a lot of fun with it. I won’t be taking all the grill duties away from hubby but it’s a good thing to know how to use it. Now we can get back to having salmon and sweet potatoes a couple times a week.
Mom at 94

Mom at 94

My mom turned 94 on April 23rd. It seems like things are getting harder daily. I don’t know if they’re necessarily harder for her, but they’re harder for me. It is no longer a full time job to be her caretaker, it is a 24/7 job. A lot more “babysitting” and checking on her is needed than ever before. We’ve scaled back our treasure hunting a lot so I’m not gone from her as much. We went out one day the past few weekends. Mom’s latest thing is drinking water. She hadn’t drank much water her whole life. She would avoid drinking it due to her bladder. I know she needs some to keep hydrated but don’t want to force it on her. I’ve always kept a filled water bottle next to her on the couch. She knew it was there but never reached for it. Now she drinks the whole thing and then keeps handing me the bottle. I like to fill it and put it back next to her but she doesn’t remember drinking it. I’m sure you can see where this is going long before I could. She would drink 3 or more bottles of water in row. I had to put a stop to that since the diaper only holds so much. She’s only been in diapers in the daytime for the past 2 days. After she literally “shit the bed”. It had come out of the diaper and was just smeared over the entire bed and her. So doing laundry has been keeping me busy. I finished up everything in the house that could possibly be laundered a few days ago, only to have to do several loads in a row. Her sheets and mattress pad, her thin quilt, a huge load of towels and her nightgown. A month ago or so she must’ve done the same with more solid material because when I went to wake her, she had both hands covered in it and I had to cut it out of her pubic hair. Never a dull moment! :-{
Wood for project.

Wood for project.

Hubby’s been busy too since he started a new project. It’s been awhile since he’s done any carpentry. He loves it and misses it. I know he gets a lot of pride and satisfaction by building something from scratch. Lord knows he’s got enough tools for every conceivable task. He’s now making a wooden floor on the muddy outside area along the north side of the house. It’s been fenced in there for years but we can’t use it. We’ve even tried planting in there (onions and beets) but it’s so muddy you can’t walk and it gets no sun. We’d like to use that wasted space for storage. If nothing else for our packing supplies like cardboard boxes and bubblewrap. It would free up a large portion of the garage which we can’t even walk in now since we are saving boxes we may use “someday” in there. I could joke and say that the tv show “Hoarders” wanted to come here to film our mess (I mean house) but they said it was a safety hazard…
Hubby before starting.

Hubby before starting.

We haven’t taken any vacation yet this year and are starting to get antsy. The RV is in the repair shop now for the horn (which turns out it was “unplugged”) and the cruise control which needs to be replaced. Neither one has worked in at least 2 years. Our “all inclusive” warranty lasts until Nov. so I wanted this fixed while we have it. We still have a $50 deductible but we can handle that. The RV dealership couldn’t fix those 2 items since they are part of the engine/motor and not the “coach”. So that was part of the holdup too. Taking it to a Ford dealership that works on RVs. Since we’re trying to get the most out of Greg’s limited vacation time, we are thinking of taking the 4th of July holiday week. Then he only has to use 3 days (30 hours). We’d like to take our anniversary week or my birthday but it doesn’t work out. We’ll probably go up to WI, if we’d gone any sooner, we might’ve frozen to death.
Sky, clouds and sun. This tree now is full of green growth. 2 months makes a huge difference.

Sky, clouds and sun. This tree now is full of green growth. 2 months makes a huge difference.

May 21st Greg & I went to the doctor. Yes, that was a ridiculously busy day! A trip to the doctor, one estate sale, buying plants, planting herbs, getting a new grill…No wonder I don’t have time to blog. Ha!  It’s been 2 years since I had a pap smear so I just bit the bullet and called. We go in together and it went fairly well. Greg’s blood pressure is forever high even though he’s on 3 blood pressure meds. It runs in his family. The doc added a small extra dose in the evenings of one he takes. The doctor actually said to me, “I pronounce you healthy”. Which was kind of a relief until I brought up my spinal stenosis. The past 2-3 months it has gotten A LOT worse. I used to only have pain when standing or walking. Now I have pain when laying in bed, when first sitting down, when bending over, etc. I used to only have the pain in my legs like shin splints. Now it is more like charley horses and it’s in my back too. He told me to go back to Dr. Hennessy who he sent me to 2 years ago. Then he said it wasn’t that bad but told me to lose weight. I hate to go back when I haven’t lost weight. I may be 5 lbs. down if any. Food is a comfort to me with all I have to deal with. I guess that makes me a failure. I need to find out if I can get an injection that might help. I really don’t want surgery. He scared me a lot saying that if I wait too long, I may have permanent nerve damage and the pain will never go away. Yikes. I got an order for a mammogram and finally called to make the appt. for that. It’s set for Tues. June 23rd at 10:50 am. One thing at a time, I guess.
I'm in love with these 2 dress forms. I call them my dummies.

I’m in love with these 2 dress forms. I call them my dummies.

The doctor told us to stop back sometime this summer to get our blood drawn. He wants to do it after fasting for at least 8 hrs. I mentioned that I heard on the news that you can tell from a blood test if you have cancer. He said that wasn’t true and then got into a long tangent about cancer really coming down to “bad luck”. I guess I should feel lucky then! I also asked about a mole on my left boob that looked suspicious to me. It was embarrassing to have to show him but I was sick of worrying about it. A friend I knew from slams died last year from skin cancer so that certainly puts things in perspective. He said it was fine but keep an eye on it. I told him I wanted to get a bunch of moles/ skin tags cut off. He’s always so brutally honest that he said that it didn’t make sense since they would most likely grow back again in 6 months! I had that happen with one already so I do believe him. After going to Dr. James for 19 years, he finally gave us his personal phone number. I doubt we’ll ever use it but it’s nice to know we can if we need to.
A terrific read.

A terrific read.

Treasure hunting has been interesting. We’ve gotten really interested in old books. Preferably over 100 years old. I used to be so fussy about the condition and I still would rather have the binding intact but now if something looks like a captivating read, I don’t pass it up (if the price is right). Which brings me to opening another Etsy shop just for vintage ephemera (books, postcards, greeting cards, stickers, letters, etc.). I call that one Ephemera Addict to compliment my DejaVu Junkie vintage shop. I am also starting a similar shop on Instagram called Ephemera Junkie. It’s not even that I’ve had so much success on there but want to have an outlet to share my love of all things paper. I just finished a swell book from 1926 called My Friend The Dog. It’s a bunch of short stories about collies. They all have fairly happy endings which I like. The world doesn’t have enough happy endings to suit me! In one of the stories, a dog gets in a fight and is injured and it’s 2 weeks before he can “resume the burden of living.” I get such a kick out of the way things were worded back then. It is a sheer delight to partake of the mindset and morals of the past.
My friend the dog. Aka Elvis.

My friend the dog. Aka Elvis.

On that note, I’m going to step away from the computer and resume the burden of living. 🙂

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I thought I’d finally achieved a schedule for blogging. Posting once a week seemed almost manageable. Then life intervened as it tends to do and I’m back to doing it whenever I can squeeze in a spare moment. Last Wed. it was too cold to walk the dogs. I usually feel guilty if I don’t do it. This time I was almost giddy with the anticipation of having an extra half hour of free time! Turning over in my mind all the things I wanted to do and I’d have to choose whether to blog or do something else. Instead the decision was made for me when the phone rang at 9:45 am.

 
It was my postal friend Doreen. My coworkers from the time when I worked at the Post Office are like family. I liken it to the comaraderie of soldiers in battle. The fact that we all survived what goes on there (untold to this point) gives us an unbroken bond that time and mileage can’t break. Doreen lives in Milwaukee so I hardly ever see her but we try to keep in touch. We have always been able to talk for hours but the last few times we chatted, I had to limit it to only an hour. Last week Doreen called unexpectedly to say she’d just gotten back from a week in Tucson, AZ and had taken the day off to recover. My extra free half hour evaporated into thin air along with more so that we were on the phone until just after noon. It was good to catch up but I always feel like something else has to suffer when I do it. We talked about many things and then she told me about making her own laundry detergent. It sounds so interesting with ingredients like Borax, Zote soap, baking soda, Oxy Clean, Purex crystals and Arm & Hammer washing powder. Yesterday I received a small envelope containing a sample of it in the mail from her. I just finished all our laundry last week but I am anxious to try it. Between her and a few others on Twitter, it sounds like it’s the best thing since sliced bread! I just can’t figure out why there’s such a trend now to going back to the olden days when everyone made their own stuff. Of course it’s cheaper but lack of time is where convenience and laziness comes into play.
 
What else has been going on? Last weekend, after a week of getting quotes and comparing, we finally switched our car, RV and homeowners insurance. We’d had Progressive for our RV insurance since June 1998 when we first started RVing. We’re on our 3rd (used) RV and have always stayed with them. We used to have a $1000 deductible (later switched to $500) which sucks since we had to put in a couple of claims. One was back when 3 punk teenagers broke into both skylights in the RV, shimmied in and vandalized, stole and partied inside. This was inside the “secure” place we used to store it at. They also broke into 29 others the same night. It happened like 2 days before we were going to leave on a trip and had to cancel and have the motorhome in for repair for 2 months! It was a nightmare going to court. One of the kids didn’t even show up, the others the judge didn’t even let or any of the victims speak. He just gave them a slap on the wrist. One used the excuse of being bipolar so he wasn’t responsible. We actually heard the lawyer tell the kid NOT to get a job or he’d have to make restitution to us. Another time we had a claim when the wind blew the sides off the RV. It’s as freaky as it sounds. Anyway, Progressive was very good about it so we decided to keep them. 2 years ago, our car insurance, Constitutional Casualty, went belly up! We got a notice from the state saying we could get part of our premium back if we showed proof of payment. Well, we’d recently switched banks and the only proof I had was the entry written in the checkbook which didn’t count. So we got screwed there. We blamed our no good insurance agent who’d recommended the company. We decided to go with Progressive for our 2 cars also. We had them rewrite the policy for the RV (minus the agent) so we would get a multi-vehicle discount. Well, every time they send us propaganda or reminder notices, it would say “you’ve been a customer for 1 year”. All the years with them previously didn’t count. ANNOYING. Both the car and RV insurance EACH went up $30 a year. We’ve had no accidents, tickets and the cars are getting older and I’m over 50 now. None of it made sense! We called Progressive to get a new quote or see if they could lower the premium before we started looking elsewhere. First when we asked WHY it went up, they said they look at EVERYONE in our neighborhood’s claims and go by that. RIDICULOUS.
 
When we mentioned about having RV insurance with them since 1998, they don’t see it in their records. It shows since 2004, according to them. So much anger just fueled us to get as many quotes as we could. Now with our homeowners’ insurance, we’ve been with State Farm since we moved here in 1995. We’ve never filed a claim and yet we pay $900 annually. It is outrageous, we’ve just been too lazy to look into a different company. We got quotes bundling the 3 vehicles and the house. Liberty Mutual looked promising. Me to hubby: “I thought they were kind of a sketchy company for old people.” Hubby: “We ARE old people.” Me: <blink>. To make a long story short, we went with AAA. With Progressive, we had been paying $410 twice a year for my ’93 Pontiac Bonneville & hubby’s ’04 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The RV was $600 a year. Now we’re paying $435.13 for 6 months for all 3. The house insurance is down to $574. This is all for identical coverage. Hopefully, we’ll feel the savings and they’ll be a fair company to deal with.
 
We hate insurance. It’s a necessity but it seems like we are always paying and never get to use it. I guess everyone feels this way. Dealing with the insurance agents was awful. For trying to get your business, some of them are downright rude! They won’t let you get a word in edgewise. At least that’s over with.
 
Sunday night I finally broke down and ordered a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) light from Amazon. I’ve been thinking of it for years and finally my Twitter friend Liza told me which one to get. I will take pictures and post all about it when it arrives. Every year the lack of sunshine really messes with my mood. I’ve been SO TIRED lately, that all I can say is how tired I am all the time. February is the worst for me and since Feb. is almost over, I thought I might just wait until the fall. Then I realized how much I’m suffering and to just give it a try. I get so down that I don’t even go on Twitter, I don’t take any pictures for Instagram, etc. I just withdraw and I know it has something to do with how dark and gloomy this time of year is. I’ve really got my hopes up that this does the trick!
 

Snow day for dogs

Snow day for dogs

Last Wed. hubby stopped to get milk on his way home from work and Dominick’s was out of milk. They let him have 2 half gallons (the last 2 in the store!) for the price of a gallon. Every time a snowstorm is predicted, people buy up everything like they might never get fed again. Anyway, while he was there, he got me some spring flowers. Beautiful tulips in a pot that I can replant if I want in the fall. They hadn’t opened yet when he gave them to me but they’ve been opening more every single day. Today with a blizzard outside, they are fully open! I love having fresh flowers in the house. It always makes me think of Nikki Newman on The Young and The Restless who always has huge arrangements of fresh flowers in her home. Yes, I want to live my life like the GOOD parts of a soap opera! 😉
 

Spring tulips in the middle of winter

Spring tulips in the middle of winter

I’d been planning to make a pork roast in the crockpot for over a week. Doreen told me about what she put on hers: a can of mushroom soup, a packet of onion soup mix and a can of Pepsi. I’m always game for anything so I did it yesterday. We didn’t have any regular Pepsi only the XFactor Pepsi which we bought because it was $1.29 for a 12 pack. Later on we found out it is Dragonfruit flavor. I don’t even know what that is but hubby tried it and loved it. He’s been using it to make Milk & Pepsi for him and my mom. He’s been a fan since he was a kid and saw them drink it on Laverne & Shirley. I’ve tasted his and it’s ok but I can’t get past the fact that it’s soda and milk. Although I like rootbeer floats and that’s not that much of a stretch… Anyway, I put that on the pork and it turned out great. I had a HUGE roast that I’d gotten for half price because it was reduced for quick sale at Sam’s Club. I only buy those if they look perfect, not a hint of “oldness” to them. I froze it right away and it was just as good as if I’d paid an enormous amount. The roast was SO BIG it was all I could fit in my crockpot. I had bought a slew of vegetables to go with it so had to go in the basement and unpack my other crockpot. I keep it in the box and only use it in situations like this. Both have ceramic inserts, the one I had the meat in has a metal holder, the veggie one is plastic. Both are the same size but the veggie one has a divider in the middle. So I filled the other crockpot with veggies and added a can of chicken broth so it wouldn’t burn. I added several small onions, 2 parsnips, 3 turnips, 1 rutabaga, 3 tiny Linda squash, 2 decent sized yellow squash, etc. Then I made my mashed potatoes. I don’t brag unless I know for a fact but these are the best mashed potatoes in the whole world and these are! I peel and quarter about 7-8 potatoes (at least 2 meals worth), boil and when done, drain and put on low heat to dry out. Add 1 8 oz. package cream cheese cut into 8 cubes, 3 heaping teaspoons minced garlic (I use the jarred garlic in liquid), a splash of milk and a hand potato masher. NO BUTTER or SOUR CREAM is needed. Mash and stir with a spoon to get mixed well. Add quite a bit of salt and some pepper. They are to die for. They need NO gravy. This is comfort food at its best. Each potato ends up with about 1 oz. of cream cheese. I let the port roast go about 8 hours because I don’t like it sliced, I like it shredded. I take it out and tent it in aluminum foil for 20 min. or so, then shred. Sometimes I add it back into the liquid when I cook it with veggies but usually just leave it on the platter. Then I put a portion of shredded pork on a plate, ladle the veggies and broth over it and place the mashed potatoes along side. We’ll probably get 4-5 meals out of it and still have meat left to use for tacos, burritos or barbeque pork sandwiches.
 

Amber with basketball

Amber with basketball

It’s been snowing since 11 am and it’s a blizzard out there. Hubby tells me I call every time it snows a blizzard. Only if I don’t want to go out in it! 😉 Today at 4:30 pm, instead of finishing this, I decided to go outside in the backyard with the dogs. I took pictures while they played in the snow. They just have the best time and it’s contagious! It did wonders for my mood. Amber had fun playing with the basketball in the snow while Ivy & Elvis roughhoused. They are the definition of “horseplay”. They knocked over the sunroom lamp and broke the shade today but I can’t be mad at them. They are DOGS. We need to follow their example and live life in the moment and enjoy whatever comes our way.
 
Ivy & Elvis roughhousing

Ivy & Elvis roughhousing

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