Shades of gray


I recently passed the 5th module in my quest for CCP (Certified Compensation Professional) via WorldatWork’s certification program. Past the halfway mark, with the toughest ones out-of-the-way, I can focus on the fun stuff like job analysis, documentation, and evaluation. Yippee!

I am not being sarcastic. I enjoy this stuff. Really.

What I don’t enjoy is cleaning house. Which is obvious to anyone who steps in the door.

Dust is my friend, dust is my friend, dust is my friend …

Last summer—in a moment of insanity—I bought new bedroom furniture. The insane part wasn’t buying the furniture because I’d had the same stuff for about 30 years and new furniture was way overdue.

The craziness was buying mahogany furniture with a black stain. Every, and I mean every, fleck of dust shows on every surface.

This stuff starts showing dust on the end of the dresser I just dusted by the time I get to the other end. And, I always know when my cat, Emily, walked across it because she leaves a trail of paw prints.

I could have bought the same set in white but was afraid it would show dirt too easily given Emily’s penchant for walking all over furniture.

Silly me.

So, in the spirit of “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em” I’ve decided I can live with shades of gray.

I draw the line, though, when it starts looking like it’s been sprinkled with baby powder. Dirty snow is not a good look.

 

 

 

Much ado about …


Life can be overwhelming at times.

At other times, though, it’s just plain crazy.

For example, in the last few months I’ve avoided cleaning my house. Yep, I know that’s not a good idea but I hate cleaning house. I’d rather go to the dentist than clean house and even though my dentist is a pretty nice fellow, he’s not someone I want to see more than twice a year, Which, come to think of it, is about how often I clean my house.

I didn’t used to be so adverse to house cleaning. When my daughter was younger and living at home, I cleaned like a fiend on a regular basis. By regular, I mean more than once a week. But these days it’s just me and the cat and, trust me, she doesn’t care. In fact, she hates the vacuum almost as much as I do and hides whenever she hears it coming.

So, for the record, my not cleaning is doing a good deed for Emily (the cat).

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Psst, anybody know where I can find a cheap maid service?

 

Easy Peasy Beef Stew


We all have certain things that make us feel cared for, comforted. For many it’s certain foods that evoke happy memories of home and family. Which, when it comes right down to it, is what comfort food is all about isn’t it?

I know I do,  and I suspect that most of us probably do, have more than one comfort food. My comfort foods include my mom’s chicken pot pie, warm biscuits, spaghetti with meat sauce, pot roast, beef stew, and coconut pie. My mom’s coconut pie is a slice of heaven on earth, but that’s a story for another day.

I asked her once where she got her recipe for beef stew and she said she made it up. I think I was about 10 at the time and didn’t know it was even possible to make up a recipe. (I thought they had to come from a book that some kind of professional recipe-maker wrote.) I’ve learned since that most recipes are made up by moms.

Where was I? Oh, yeah …

It wasn’t until years later that I learned that, for most people, beef stew has a brown sauce. Mama’s beef stew has a red sauce. Think that sounds funny? Don’t laugh until you’ve tried it.

Here’s the recipe …

Beef_Stew_2Ingredients:

1 Pound of beef, cut into one inch chunks
2-3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
5-6 Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 Small can of early green peas
1 Small can of tomato sauce
1 Small onion, diced
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp instant granule beef bullion
1/4 Tsp garlic salt (or, salt to taste)
6 Cups water

Directions:

Pour olive oil into a dutch oven. Add beef chunks, diced onions, salt, and beef bullion granules. Brown beef and onions over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to brown evenly. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat after 5 minutes and cover.

Simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours (until beef is fully cooked, tender but not falling apart). Add carrots, potatoes, and tomato sauce. Continue to simmer until veggies are tender (usually about an hour). Add peas and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Serve with a salad and hot crusty rolls. (Apple sauce is a good side dish, too.)

Now, doesn’t that sound delicious?