Tuesday November 25 2014

Last night the wind increased to the point that it was throwing around the outdoor furniture out on the back porch. So I trudged out to the back porch, stacked the chairs, rolled the rug, and brought everything into the house, down the stairs, and into the basement. When things thrash around outside it tends to keep me awake.

FaceTime worked without issue this morning, so Attila and I enjoyed a long chat, before he rang off to get ready for his workday. That was at 6:30 a.m., it was still dark outside. I prepared my coffee, read a few things online, had a shower, and made myself some breakfast.

After reading Bex’s description for home baked fries, I decided to have a potato for breakfast. I pre-heated the oven to 350F, washed and peeled my potato, sliced it, spread the slices on a large plate, and microwaved it for four minutes. Then I brushed a baking pan with olive oil, sprinkled on salt and pepper, spread my potato slices, and baked it for 15 minutes. It was good!

Trying to coat the pan with olive oil this morning got me thinking about how much easier it would be to spray oil on the pan, than to try and spread it with waxed paper, or a brush. I began looking at oil misters on the internet. Well, it seems the domestic grade oil misters all have issues. I had one years ago and it did not work well; I though perhaps the technology had improved since then, apparently not.

Then on a forum for bakers I ran into this product, Electric Food Spray Gun LM25, which let me to the Kreb web site, where I discovered this product for oil spraying the Oil Spray LM2. I was enchanted! The enchantment ended when I scrolled down to the price tag! I have a weakness for appliances, which has been intensified by my anaphylaxis, and the need to prepare all food at home from scratch. The handy old oil brush is going to continue serving us well.

What I love about retirement is the freedom to think. If I am interested in cooking sprays, I can look into the subject, ask questions and find answers. What a pleasure that is!

Working numbed my mind; Attila finds the same thing. The clock was an overwhelming entity during the years that I studied, researched, and worked. As soon as I could manage it, I removed my watch and have not worn one since. Watches seem like handcuffs to me, I hate them.

For years I also juggled raising my two girls, with their respective and competing schedules for school and recreation and home. My day was prescribed for me, for all those years, almost every second of every waking hour was devoted to something or someone else, there was no “me time”. So many years of guilt over the simplest pleasure. Small things, like having a cup of coffee and looking out a window for 15 minutes of an afternoon, used to be guilt ridden, stolen moments. There always seemed to be someone who had a harsh word for me, if I dared to take any time for myself.

It has taken a long time to adjust to having “me time”. Overall, I would say it is going rather well! Attila not only encourages it, he actively facilitates it whenever he can. There are still those in my life who disapprove of “me time”, who question what I am doing with my time, frequently implying that I should be doing more, earning money, looking for work, accomplishing something tangible, feeling that I am not doing enough. I ignore them. I am glad I am not them. If they feel the need to be “productive” every minute of every day, then they can go right ahead, knock themselves out.

I like to smell the roses, sip my coffee, stare at the sky, listen to the wind blow, daydream, pet the cat, read a book, watch a video, learn new things at random…

I worked as a paid employee for over fifty years, and if I can manage to spend a little bit of my lifespan enjoying myself, well, I intend to do it. I am tipping my teacup to all those out there who enjoy the simple things, cheers!

Today was the big day, the new used vehicle was ready to be picked up. As anticipated, the dealership took care of all the little details for me, and the fellow sat with me in the vehicle to review all the features. Toyotas are all basically the same setup, a few small variations in where the dials are placed, but most previous knowledge about Toyotas is transferable to other Toyotas. So I was soon off, and driving down the road back to the little house. The dealership only put a half tank of gas in the vehicle, so I imagine it is going to be pretty pricey to fill the gas tank!

I think I need to name our vehicles, just so I can keep them straight in my own mind. The car will be Four Doors, and the new used vehicle will be Tank.

Tank is much larger than any other vehicle I have ever owned. It is a very, very solid machine. My biggest concern, first off, is backing it out of the driveway. The neighbour across the street parks his vehicle right across the street from the end of our driveway, narrowing maneuvering room considerably. I had no problem backing Four Door out of the driveway, but Tank is bigger, and I am unfamiliar with it. Attila says to back Tank into the driveway. I hate backing up because I wear bifocals, which bother me no end when I am trying to do things like back up vehicles.

I guess I should practice backing into the drive during the day, when no one is around. Or maybe I should just practice backing out of the driveway. I don’t know, if it weren’t for the neighbour’s vehicle at the end of the drive, there would be no issue.

The same neighbour approached us last Sunday, as we were carrying newly purchased supplies into the house. He wanted to tell us that he has been parking his vehicle in our driveway while we are away, because they already have four vehicles in their driveway. Attila told him that this would be fine, when we are not at the little house in the city. I noticed, when I got up this morning, that he was parked in our driveway. Now that Tank is sitting in the driveway, I hope he understands that he can’t park there anymore.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

5°C
Date: 9:00 AM EST Tuesday 25 November 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 5.4°C
Dewpoint: 0.6°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: SW 42 gust 57 km/h

[Note: Today there are snow squall warnings at the country house, Attila may be shovelling again! No snow in sight at the little house in the city!]

Quote

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”
Lord Byron
1788 – 1824

11 Comments

  1. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    I’m a fan of brushing oil on items for baking. Up until recently we used pastry brushes, which aren’t all that wonderful as the bristles would often shed on the food. Then a few months ago we were strolling through a kitchen store admiring all the gadgets and came upon some silicone basting brushes. We weren’t too sure about them at first but DH needed a brush for his BBQ and our kitchen brush was all but gone, so we jumped in whole hog. Well, we actually love them and I don’t think we’ll ever need to look for anything else.

    I found your discourse on retirement interesting, Maggie. I didn’t realize you now consider yourself retired. I do agree that taking moments to look out the window or sip a steaming cup of something tasty are important.

    Congrats on picking up your new car! I hope it serves you well and is exactly what you hoped for.

  2. Glad to hear the good review on silicone brushes! I have used waxed paper, to grease pans etc., all of my life. We just got our first silicone brush, but I forgot to try it out with the potatoes. This will inspire me to have another potato breakfast!

    Thanks for the good wishes about Tank, Teri. I kept looking out the window all evening, and thinking to myself, “it’s just sitting there!” Really, what else would it be doing! 🙂

  3. NORA

    Have the winds died down?

    Potatoes for breakfast, I can do that too. I just had a baked one for a snack with applesauce and plain yogurt. I love that meal. I love soups for breakfast, warm foods to start my day off. Seem to prefer warm foods. A friend of mine sent me about 10 recipes for soups today. Was she reading my mind?

    How long have you been retired? It sounds like you started working at an early age. I am glad you are enjoying your retirement after so many years of working and working hard. It almost sounds like a doctor’s schedule.

    One of my sisters is a mover and shaker and always has a project going. Always movement perhaps just for the sake of movement. Too much chaos for me at times. I’m glad you have your ‘Me Time’ and Attila encourages this.

    I laughed that you wanted to name your vehicle. We do as well. We call our new used car Mercury. I almost always name the vehicles after goddesses but this time I chose Mercury.

    I hope Tank serves you well. I can relate to the newness of Tank and ‘his’ size. I can not see out the back window of Mercury well. Our last car I had no trouble in this dept. but I can see driving Mercury will mean parking on the out shirts and in situations that do not require backing up.

    Hubby always backs into parking spaces when we are in for the day. He likes to be able to pull out and be on his way. I like that idea too but I can never seem to get the car in the space without being on some sort of angle. He does the maneuver perfectly. I think if I could master the backing in I would do it.

  4. LOL! about Tank just sitting there, Maggie.

    Nora, my DH also backs into parking places. Me, I can’t do it properly and for that reason alone I’d rather not. I’m more than handy enough with backing out, so I do that. Sometimes we just have different skills. 😉

  5. Kate, you are in the perfect spot for a little “me time”. The pictures you share of the landscape around you, the wildlife, the flowers you grow, treasures you have collected… all these reflect the richness of your “me time”.

  6. Nora, I too love soups, and so does Attila, thank goodness, because he is inspired to keep making them!

    Nora, it depends on what is meant by the term “retired”. I continue to work from time to time, but there is no actual part time, or full time, work available, otherwise I would still be “working”. I have no pension, as I withdrew it to support my two girls, using my pension funds to subsidize my own rent, making sure they lived in a safe neighbourhood, it is all gone. While at Graduate School I was only allowed to work for remuneration for a specific number of hours, I could not get ahead of things financially during my seven years at Graduate School. Retiring without a pension is not something I would recommend, but we make the most of the cards we are dealt. I do not regret the decision I made to prioritize my children.

    Mercury, what a great name for a car!! I get attached to vehicles, I think because they are such trusty steeds, taking me places I could not otherwise go. It is very much in line with my continuing adoration of my feet. As Grandpa said, if your feet are good, your all good. Well, that isn’t always true, but it seems like it if your feet are cold, or wet, or blistered, or your shoes don’t fit right!

    I am really looking forward to building a rapport with Tank.

  7. Bex

    Maggie, I don’t always “spray” the baking sheet, I usually just drizzle olive oil onto it with a little salt/pepper, plop the microwaved potatoes onto that, and just smoosh them around in the drizzled oil. If it’s a fairly new sheet, they shouldn’t stick because since you’ve microwaved them already, they don’t need to bake for very long.

    I once bought an oil sprayer. I have no memory of where it is now or why I didn’t keep using it. But I would think that a spray bottle like you use for spraying laundry before ironing (remember that?) would work fine… but of course oil is thicker than water so maybe not. I figure you don’t need to cover the whole sheet anyway.

    Another option which I’ve used is to just put a Sil-Pat sheet onto the cookie sheet and cook the potatoes on that, like in baking. I have 2 large Sil-Pat sheets and 4 small ones that I use all the time when making cookies but I’ve also found they work great for a free-standing meatloaf in the oven, too, and the potatoes. Nothing sticks to those things! They are worth the initial investment I have found.

    Our neighbor across the streets parks just opposite the end of our driveway, too. It makes it tricky when Paul is backing up his big pick-up truck, sometimes I watch him doing it and cringe, thinking he’s going to hit Bob’s car! Once he did, but there was no damage…

  8. Bex, you continue to bring new ideas into my world! Sil-pat sheets, never heard of them! They look like just the thing, now they are on my Christmas Wish list, or any wish list I can find! They take up a lot less space than an electric oil sprayer! And they store a lot more easily too.

    Tank has a beeper system I can turn on when I am backing out of spaces, it beeps if the vehicle comes near anything. Seems to me like a very handy device, I know I will use it, at least until I get used to how Tank plays with others!

  9. *chuckle* Funny you should be talking about sil-pat liners. I gave DH a link to the sil-pat website about a month ago and informed him I desperately needed some of those for Christmas. 😉

    We won’t have a pension to retire with either, Maggie. DH’s employer never created one and the RRSP (that he split with his ex when they divorced) we used to pay off another huge chunk of bills that we’d both had when we first got married.

    When I think back, I have no idea how we ever survived having as much debt as we did. Things were even worse our first years of marriage than they were last year.

  10. I see good ideas are shared by many Teri. I have my eye on the sil-pat, I think I’ll pin it where Luna can see it, just in case they want to get us something for Christmas. Attila will consider it his gift too, and he would probably use it more than I would. I am going to look for them at WallMart when I am out looking for sewing elastic today.

    I think there are quite a few of us without pensions Teri. This is a second marriage for both Attila and I, so we started off “in the hole” financially, and have barely kept our heads above water. We had two years where we both had full time, decently paid employment, but the rest of the time it has been hand to mouth.

    Funny, how happy we can be without the social trappings of financial “success”!

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