Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Just General Crap

An early-morning picture taken of the backyard from the mudroom window.
I'm always disappointed in pictures because the perspective is so off.
That mountain is way bigger and closer than it looks here.

Pumpkin Dip

3/4 cup canned pumpkin
4 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients well. Store covered in the refrigerator. Keeps well for a couple of weeks. Great for dipping apple slices, but I've also had it on toast and Wheat Thins. YUM! 

I worked yesterday and also did some housework.

I also made some bread that turned out great. 
This is before baking.

It's really fabulous!

Cheese & Onion Bread

1 1/2 cups hot water (110 degrees F)
1 pkg of yeast
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar, divided
4 cups bread flour
3 Tbsp powdered milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp dried onion flakes
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Melted butter (about 2-3 tsp)

Combine yeast and 1 tsp of sugar in the hot water, stir and let sit 5 minutes until it starts to get foamy. Meanwhile, combine 2 cups of the bread flour, 1 Tbsp sugar, 3 Tbsp powdered milk, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp onion flakes in a large bowl. Stir with a plastic or wooden spoon for 2 minutes until well-combined. Add all of the cheese.  Add the rest of the flour a little at a time until it all holds together well and is not too sticky. Oil your hands and knead the bread for a couple of minutes. Let the dough sit in an oiled bowl covered with a towel until it has doubled in size, 1-2 hours. Punch the dough down and place into a greased loaf pan. Let rise again until doubled. Brush with melted butter and bake in a preheated 350-degree (F) oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

I also relaxed and had some of my favorite tea with honey and lots of lemon.

I've made these two squares, but neither of them really floats my boat. The popcorn one is really pretty, but it took me forever and a day to make. I don't see me making a whole bunch of them for a blanket. I just don't have it in me right now. I'm not nearly as OCD as I used to be with my crochet where I can sit for hours on end crocheting until my hands are crippled for weeks. Or maybe I just got smarter. I'm not sure which. 

Victorian Lattice Square Pattern:  HERE
Popcorn Square:  HERE

Look what I found at a yard sale...

For $3!
It's not a tablecloth. It's a blanket.
I just spread it out here so you could see it.

Today is the first sunny day in a few days and I'm thinking the F-16s might make a flyover or two later today. Maybe this is the day I'll get them on video.

Does anybody else remember when hair conditioner was called "cream rinse" instead of conditioner? When I was a kid, that's all we ever called it. Some time in the '70s that changed and it's only called conditioner now. Hmm. I have really deep thoughts, don't I?

I got a letter yesterday from my insurance company saying my premiums were going up $60 per month in 2016 AND my deductible is being raised by $500. That's like a 14 percent raise in price plus more out-of-pocket! That's crazy! I've only had it since October 1st. WTF?

I was invited to a Pampered Chef party. Maybe that's not a big deal to most people, but we just moved here and I have ZERO friends, so I want to go meet people. Of course, I'm reluctant to go because that's just the way I am. I have social phobia. I'm scared. I'm nervous. Plus, I don't want to answer the inevitable questions that come with meeting new people: "Where is your family?" "Do you have kids?" "Do you have grandkids?" And I have to lie with some of my answers if they press for more information because it's embarrassing to tell the truth and just uncomfortable for everyone. Yes, I have a family AND kids AND grandkids, but we don't communicate and I can't answer anymore questions about them because THEY ALL SUCK and so do I. But I will force myself to go and just lie my ass off, I guess. I could tell them I have no kids. Or I could just tell them my whole family is dead, because that's how I think of them just so I can survive in my head and heart. I don't know what else to do other than just not go and be a hermit forever and never have any friends. That's what I've always done though, and I refuse to be that way anymore. I really, really, really hate liars, but I'm about to become one. Oh, I don't know what I'll do. I'm just thinking out loud.

Okay, I've exhausted myself now. I need a nap.

See ya.


  1. Dorothy M.1:28 PM

    Pammy Sue, I feel your pain as it is very hard for me to make friends. But go to the party and when asked about family just say something like, "at the moment we are not on speaking terms." End of conversation. I'm sure it hurts, but you wouldn't be lying and it's nobody's business why you aren't speaking. I know you didn't ask for my advice, but I hate for anyone to be lonely. Good luck at the party!

  2. Oh Pammy Sue. I am your friend and we live close now. Well, relatively close anyway. No lying allowed with me. :-) Pampered Chef parties are always fun though. Just tell people that family is an awkward subject or something like that and don't go there with them. Just a suggestion. We have just GOT to get together soon. That bread looks absolutely yummy and the pumpkin dip sounds good too.

  3. When they quit making TAME (ye, I called it Cream Rinse too) was the worst day of my like. This poor thick head of hair has not been as smooth since :(

  4. I hope you do go to the party and perhaps meet make a couple of new friends. But if you should be asked personal questions you don't wish to answer you can give them one simple answer. And the simple answer for inquisitive people can be "I'm not comfortable talking about that part of my life." And if they're just plain thick, you can repeat it again. You'll soon find out who the people are you'd wish to knew better and the one's to keep at arms length. I found this article about answering inquisitive questions that might help. http://www.theenhancelife.com/2008/06/8-ways-to-ease-yourself-out-of-nosy.html

    That bread and Pumpkin dip look so delicious. And thank you for always including the recipes.

    LOVE the blanket and $3.00 is a steal for sure.

  5. Pammy, I have a friend that is in a situation much like yours with her family. I have heard her tell people "I have a son and a daughter and we are estranged right now." And then she immediately turns the question to them. "How about you? Do you have grandchildren?" Most people get that that is all you want to say on the subject. If they ask more questions she says very bluntly that she doesn't want to discuss it any further and changs the subject. It works for her. I also have social anxiety and get really nervous meeting new people. Talk about your work, your husbands retirement, ask questions about the area.. if they ask about family don't lie just be very brief and change the subject. I think honesty is best. Don't be ashamed about the situation...you are not alone, there are many families who are estranged for one reason or another. Go...and meet some new people, have fun.

  6. Love your pictures, and I too have a problem like youra and understand how you don't know what to say to people. I have found out lots of things and one is that you are not the only one that that has happened to. Some one told me 1 in 4 have these sorts of problems.
    take Care From Carollyn

  7. I hope you will go to the party. I am like you. I am a social phobe to the nth degree. I have to make myself go anywhere there may be more than two or three people. When it comes to answering questions about my kids (very complicated story), I simply say, "I have two daughters and three sons." and just leave it at that. Nobody needs all the specifics and the less you say, the less questions you will be asked.

    Grace & Peace.

  8. Seriously. I know you can do it. Do I need to come to a strange place like you did to meet an unknown friend and "socialize "her. Oh by the way, i need a vaca hubby break to no where. Still my favorite. Keep posted if alive

  9. I'm liking the idea of some truth but don't get into details. Answer truthfully of the kids and grands as to that you have them. Most people won't even expect any more details than that. I learned a funny way to answer questions.. the other person says, how are things? I go "Great, if I don't go into detail." :-) You can also honestly say - we have a dysfunctional family that's why I moved almost to Canada. Make a joke of it if you can. I know you have a sense of humor.. a good time to use it. But don't cut yourself off from potential friends.. life's too short to do that. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  10. First off, that bread looks fabulous and I am now, not suprisingly, craving some! Secondly, I am very shy in most situations too--I even stress out about my hubby's family reunion each and every year...but it always goes OK and this was the best year ever! I think the ladies above have given some good advice. No need to lie, just remember it's OK to have boundaries and, if you are not comfy talking about family that is OK. Go and make some friends. As for conditioner vs cream rinse---yep, you sure are right! I can't recall my fav--maybe Clairol's Herbal Essence? Mmm. Loved that fragrance. Your new blanket is amazing! Love!
    PS: Family dynamics can be hard. Blessings to you.

  11. Oh girl, you go to that Pampered Chef party and have a little bit of fun., make a new friend or two. I will give you my advice whether you want it or not, just be truthful, one lie always leads to another and as long as you tell the truth you will never have to remember the lies so you don't slip up later on. You're a mom, you're a grandma, end of story. People don't need to know anymore than that. Small towns are famous for their gossips, so no need to give people fuel. I can honestly say that most parents love their children but they don't always "like" their children. Sometimes our kids do and say things that are hurtful. I know that many times I've felt like packing up and just disappearing. I'm sure I could be gone for weeks before my kids would even know I was gone. My oldest and I have always rubbed each other the wrong way. There is a saying, "she has bite marks on her tongue from all the things she didn't say." That would be me, I don't rock the boat so to keep the peace. You and your husband found a beautiful place to move to and that would also be an honest answer to why you moved. Many people live far away from their children. I know someone who has 2 daughters, one lives on the west coast, the other on the east coast. You can be honest without going into detail.
    (((Hugs))) Susanne :)

  12. How about saying that the family are "distant" rather than use the 'dead' word. Most people only want to know how many rather than how is your relationship with them. They'll figure it out when they see that you don't have the family visiting.
    Go, have a nice time, talk about how beautiful the place is and how happy you are that you have moved there, they will love you for loving their home town.
    Take care,
    Susan x

  13. My very best friend sees her daughter all the time, but is totally estranged from her son. She simply answers that she has one child and doesn't go into any other details when she meets people. Good friends - when they become that such as she and I have - she eventually shares more with, but not to start with. So, if you are more comfortable, you can just casually say, no, no kids and leave it at that. Then if you become close friends with someone and you want to explain more you can. It is similar to me answering about whether or not I have kids - which we don't because of infertility - I just say no and then smile and change the subject. I don't feel that it is any of their business as to why I don't have kids. If they want to think anything else then it is up to them. Again, my good friends know, but that doesn't mean that everyone else has to! Good luck and GO TO THE PARTY!!!! Have fun!!! Hugs and big love to you!!!!! xx

  14. Hi Pammy Sue. I've been following all your wonderful posts on your new home and have enjoyed the scenery and hearing about Washington. Thank you for your comment the other day, much appreciated. :-) On the family stuff, I don't think you have to lie, just say, yes, yes and yes and then with a nice smile say "it's complicated." People will get the hint. I used to really enjoy going to Pampered Chef parties; it's been a long time, but the things I bought have stood the test of time. One of my favorites is the small cookie dough scoop. Have a great day! Heather

  15. I find that most people don't really want to hear about your family anyway. They ask, but really they ask so they can lead in to talking about their family. I think lying causes too many problems. You can always just say, yes I have children and grandchildren, but they live far away and I don't get to see them that often.

  16. I had forgotten about "cream rinse"! God, we're old! I have the same anxiety when it comes to meeting new people. Good luck with the party. Just tell people you have a family but are not communicating at this time.

  17. We called it cream rinse too. Makes me miss my Mamau. This makes my heart hurt for you, I have family that way too. You could just go to the party determined to have fun and make some friends and when asked just say I do but I don't see them as much as I'd like. That's the truth and saves you from a lie without having to give out any personal info. I've said it many times or something similar and most people usually move on to another topic. I hope you have a good time, I've never been to a Pampered Chef party, you'll have to let us know how it goes.

  18. I'm a lot like you girl. I'm no social butterfly, I don't like Q & A. Not keen on talking about myself, I'm more comfortable with others doing all the talking. I suppose if you are asked the questions you don't care to discuss a simple yes or no would suffice, you don't have to go into any details, and maybe if they are a little swift they will pick up on it. It was nice that you were invited. That bread looks fabulous, and I just bet it smelled just as wonderful.

  19. p.s. Cream Rinse, wow I haven't heard that in years and years, thank you for the throwback memory, what made you think of that? I like that term better than conditioner.

  20. I hate social situations too because I'm so shy but I would still go and just go with the flow, they might not even mention family and if they do I agree with Kathleen. I love your new blanket lovely colours. I like the two squares too but crocheting popcorns is a pain. That bread looks yummy I could just eat a slice right now. :) xx

  21. Oh, Pammy Sue. I read what you wrote about people asking questions and I literally felt like I was punched in the gut. I'm on the opposite side of your situation, as the child of people who aren't much interested in her or her family. We're in contact, but they have so many personal problems and have made so many really poor life decisions that it's very hard to be close to them. As it is, I live across the country from them for reasons of employment, but it really is for the best because they are so problematic. People ask me all the time why my parents never visit me, are they still alive, do they write/call/interact with your kids? No, not really. They can't visit unless I buy them plane tickets and they don't want to come anyway. The hardest part is seeing literally every one of my friends hosting their parents from out of town several times every year. It seems someone always has their parents visiting and they bring them to school events, ballet class, music lessons, wherever we go, there are my friends and their parents having a nice, friendly time together. It sucks, in plain English. I wish every day that I could have a normal adult relationship with them but I didn't have a normal one in childhood either so why should now be different? Sigh. It's hard. I'm sorry you're dealing with it. I hope the party is a lot of fun, people keep their nosy questions to themselves and they get to know, as Pammy Sue, a nice, funny, interesting lady new to their town, end of story.

  22. Oh, yeah...cream rinse. That's what we called it when I was a kid. I can still smell the L"Oreal Flex Balsam shampoo and "cream rinse" now. :)

  23. Your bread looks/smells delicious and so does the dip! I love pumpkin so much and want to try the dip.. I also LOVE cream cheese dip with some garlic salt and that is all (milk to thin it) and it's my all time fave comfort food. I'm with the other gals here.. don't lie about your family.. I like the response of yes, I have kids/grandkids and don't see them as often as I'd like.. they live far away. I usually ask that of a new person I may meet, more our of curiosity and don't expect a long answer! I have a deceased son, and when people ask me if I have kids, I say yes, I have two sons, one lives in **** and the other one is in Heaven. they usually say they're sorry and leave it at that.. it was very difficult at first, but it's my "pat" response now. YOU NEED TO GO to that party! Pampered Chef parties are fun and once there, you'll have a great time.. especially if the rep is outgoing and funny. I too just moved where I am and have no friends here and it would be so neat to be invited to a party - I would go, even though I am like you as far as meeting new people.. kind of scary, but I do want to meet them! Let us know what happens! Marilyn

  24. I hope you go to the Pampered Chef party, Pammy Sue. Your readers have all given such good advice on the subject of family. A simple "Yes, I have family, but we're not speaking at the moment" and if that isn't enough you can say it's a sensitive matter and you'd rather not discuss it. That should shut it down. And you can move on with a clear conscious. And you deserve to have friends. It will all work out.
    I love your $3 blanket - fabulous colors. And that loaf of bread looks delish!

  25. You know what...I am shy, too, Pammy Sue... One way I combat it is to ask questions of those around me. [I do a lot of talking about the weather, and appreciating the beauty I see around me, too] When I was five my family moved from MA to MO for my father's employment and we rarely got to see our East Coast family because traveling was so expensive and time consuming. Now my son and his wife and their two boys live on the East Coast and I on the West Coast. Through the years I have had relationships with others that were strained or broken through differing viewpoints and I have often felt like the odd duck out. I am still learning how to love and be loved...after over 64 years :) I hope you have a great time at the Pampered Chef Party...and like Heather typed, their cookie scoops are a favorite of mine! xx

  26. I hope you do go out and meet people. Maybe when they ask about things you don't want to talk about you can simply say 'it's complicated' and change the subject back to them. If they're worth having as friends they may take the hint and wait until you are ready.

  27. Best thing I ever bought at a Pampered chef party was the wine opener! Go have fun and don't worry, I bet you make a new friend or two.
    I have that mop (or one like it) and I love it.
    I remember cream rinse, and the smell too!
    That cheese bread looks yummy
    Good thing you got that blanket, because I hear it's getting cold there!

  28. I know I'm late ... but am I too late for a slice of that delicious looking bread? That blanket was a great pick-up for $3 and it looks like its in good nic too. Did you manage to get a video of the F-16s? I do hope you went to that party and met lots of lovely new friends. xox

  29. Great photos, as always! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  30. I just had to comment on the insurance thing. Since obamacare went into effect, our monthly premiums have went up twice. From $160 per pay check (twice a month) to $230 per pay check. My out-of-pocket expenses have gone through the roof. This lung thing I have now, since the first week in August, has cost me right at $1,000 cash out of my own pocket. Affordable healthcare? For whom? Sorry, that's my current soap box because of the health issues I'm dealing with right now. It seems, and my Rheumatologist agreed with me, the only people that healthcare is actually affordable for, are those on the "system". Ok stepping down off the box. Love love love that blanket!!!

  31. Oh my goodness... we ARE kindred spirits. I was just talking about crème rinse the other day. Why would that need to be changed, I wonder. And don't even get me started on insurance premiums. At age 56 I've decided even with the subsidy it's more than I can afford. Affordable care act, my ass! I'm opting out and praying I don't get sick. And as far as family goes... I feel your pain. Two years ago just after my husband left me for someone he met on Facebook, my daughter and her husband came to visit for Christmas. It was one of the most pleasant times I'd ever had with her. Two months later she wasn't taking or returning my phone calls, with no explanation. Finally she texted me "I'm suspending our relationship until further notice. By the way, I'm pregnant, due in October." That was the last thing I ever heard from her. Still no reason or explanation for it. The first year was unbearable. The second year I've come to realize you cannot control the hand you are dealt in life. But you can start discarding. For my own sanity, that's what I've done. All I can do is pray someday things will be different and know that it's out of my control. No point in lying about such things though. It is what is and that is NOT a reflection on you. I only share the details with close friends so don't feel obligated to talk about it new acquaintances! I enjoy your blog and check in on you from time to time. Take care...


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