Tag Archives: where’s-the-apron?

Paint Can + Fighting Dogs / Fuzzy Slippers = Giant Mess

There are days when a cup of coffee is enough to get me going. Of course, today was not one of those days. Two cups apparently were not enough, either. This is how my day developed….

I completed the coffee ritual and began to take stock of the mess on the kitchen table. I had recently finished making some pincushions and still had the accoutrements scattered around looking like an art exhibit from the MOMA. Anyway, I took some of the stuff out to the garage, and as I was passing the hall bathroom, I noticed the little accent table I had acquired for the nook in the bathroom. It was in need of a quick sanding, so I went back to the garage and gave it a once-over, and brought it back into the kitchen, along with a quart of French Linen chalk paint. I wiped it down and let it dry as I took the rest of the crap to the garage or to the study-slash-catchall room.

(Yes, I have a lot of crap in the study and garage and hopefully it will be out of the house once the vendor spot opens in mid November *sobs quietly*)

Moving on, I get the table set up on the floor and open the can, a full quart of the loveliest dun color ever. I set it on the lowest shelf and begin to paint. Meanwhile, my dogs wander over to see what I am doing, since the scent is different from dog food and leftovers and Sonic tatertots. As they jockey for position to get as close as possible to me without having to deal with the scent, Lenny the big dog steps on Ivy the little dog, which makes Ivy irate and forces her to strike back in the only manner she can: using her itty bitty canines and jump at Lenny’s throat. Well, Lenny does NOT like that and turns to snap back at Ivy, which makes Ivy jump more at Lenny and causes Lenny to swing her body around and hit the table, knocking the paint can to the floor.


Yeah….so, I hurriedly shooed them out the backdoor and scooped up as much of the paint as I could. Thankfully is it relatively thick paint so I recovered quite a bit. And being one to not waste not, I simply used the rest of the spilled paint to finish painting the first coat. One thing about chalk paint: clean up is easy. I just wiped the floor clean with a wet rag and scrubbed the grout with a toothbrush. Once I was done, I washed the paint out of my clothes, and then went and showered again, because somehow I had paint in my hair. Aggie’s Axiom #18: no matter what I am painting, or how much I cover my hair, paint will eventually get on it and usually towards the back thus defying explanation.

So yes, that was my morning, and rest assured several lessons were learned here:

  • Never rely on one cup of coffee
  • Make sure to corral the dogs before starting to paint
  • Avoid doggie drama and paint outside

Tomorrow is a new day, and I have a new bag of coffee waiting for me 😉

A Woman and Her Dog

My Shetland Shepherd, Ivy, got sick for a few days and decided she would decorate my hardwood floors with the contents of her innards. She is fine now, but the stench emanating from her posterior required her human to do the unthinkable: give her a bath. This required a bit of preparation, since she is endowed with a very long, very sheddy coat. After about 40 minutes of combing through tangles, leaves, dead grass clippings, and *ahem* dried bowel contents matted to her backside, I began to prepare for the coming dread.

Me: Ok, time for a bath, Ivy!

Ivy: (looks at me puzzled) I’m sorry, what is this that you speak of?

Me: Time to get you clean. In the tub. With soap and water.

Ivy: (comprehension dawns) OMG OMG OMG I’M GOING TO GET WET!!!

Me: (places her in tub of warm water) Don’t be scared, sweetie.


Me: Calm down, it’s WATER!!


Me: (handles washcloth) It’s ok, don’t panic.

Ivy: Oh, ok… you got the washcloth. You may proceed.

Me: See? Just shampooing you and rinsing you alllll nice and calm.


Me: Oh for cryi— STOP THAT!!!!

Ivy: Ok, that feels bette–no, wait… MUST SHAKE AGAIN!!!


Ivy: Ok, that’s fine. You may continue.

Me: You are so damn lucky I don’t dump this water on your head.

Ivy: You are so foolish, human. Do my bidding and finish drying me.

Me: (takes blow drier out) Ok, stay.


Me: Stop moving, you crazy mutt!

Ivy: (preening) Now this side, now over here, and don’t forget my tail.

Me: My lord, but you smell even worse wet.

Ivy: HURRY UP!!!

Me: Ok, done. Go to the living room.

Ivy: Are you nuts? I have to go outside so I can roll around and get this smell off of me.

Me: Not happening.


Me: (grabs comb again)

Ivy: Hm….you know, the carpet looks comfortable. I think I will go lay on it.

Me: And I get to do this with Lenny tomorrow *sobs*

Yes, my life is awesome 🙂

Lemons and Lemonade

Last week, I was in a cooking frenzy. I have no idea what overcame me, but my family was quite happy about it. As with every new endeavor, I ended up purchasing some herbs in greater quantities than I needed. Waste not, right? But there was only so much cooking I could do. Well, at least until I needed a break from it. The sage was easy to preserve, but thyme is tricky. But I found a way. Oh yes, I did!

meyer lemon and thyme sour

Lemon and Thyme Sour

  • 1½ oz. Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Meyer lemon juice, fresh
  • 1½ oz. Thyme infused simple syrup*
  • Lemon twist and thyme sprigs, for garnish

* Instead of making simple syrup from scratch, “cheat” and buy simple syrup and warm it up with the thyme sprigs until fragrant, about 2 cups of syrup and four sprigs of thyme. Rebottle what you don’t use but discard the sprigs.

For the sour, combine the bourbon, juice, and the syrup in an ice-filled shaker, and shake well. Strain over ice into a old fashioned glass, and garnish with the lemon and thyme. Mmm, mmm gooood.

If ain’t nobody got thyme for that, just fix without. 😉

This Is Super Bowl Weekend, and I Will Be Celebrating the Ads

I remember vaguely when the Super Bowl was a game, and not a soap opera. I am not the most savvy football person out there, but holy cow….cheating, on the field and on your girlfriends (you know who I’m talking about), and “I’m too good to talk to the media” (you know who I’m talking about), and now one of the big time players may miss the game due to his girlfriend giving birth to their child (you know who, and if he loves her, put a damn ring on her finger and your name on the birth certificate). Honestly, I am half-tempted to DVR the whole game so I can skip it and fast forward to the commercials. But if I did that, Hubby would be disappointed. Although….. we did just get a new TV for upstairs, so he has that going for him, which is nice. Besides, the game justifies the food.


No, I’m not making that food stadium extravaganza. I am making seven layer dip and pigs in a blanket and popcorn chicken and po boys and micheladas and snickerdoodles and fried biscuits bits rolled in cinnamon sugar. Hopefully that will be enough for the five of us.

And what will y’all be ingesting in celebration of the end of football season? 😀

The Perfect House

Everyone dreams of their perfect house. Some people want the picket fences and others want 12 foot high concrete walls. Some want the wood shingles while others want copper roofing. It’s fun to watch home renovation shows to see what finishes people pick for their ultimate dream home. Sometimes people are predictable and pick the same stuff as other families, like glass tiles, brushed nickel faucets, hardwood floors, etc. All of that sounds nice, but after a while it’s stuff you don’t notice much. Personally, I’m ok with just pretty tile. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s porcelain or stone or glass or mirror (mind out of the gutter) or steel. Flooring is there to be abused, so I would prefer something less flamboyant than flooring made from tips of koa trees harvested by monkeys fed exclusively on organic bananas. No, there’s no such thing. Well, koa wood is a real thing, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive. But for me, a dream home has to be good for the long run, and there are far more important things to get than the “oooooh…SHINY!!” things.


Yeah, not everyone can live in a Biltmore.

My perfect house would have flooring that never scratches, breaks, chips, or stains. I’m talking titanium tiles. The windows need to be made from borosilicate and made with the same stuff in Transition™ lenses. In the living area, the fireplace will be gas, and the gas will be pumped from the local fracking area. The TV will be inset into the wall so that I never have to dust it again. The sound system will be optional so that if he wishes to hear it, I can turn my side off and save my hearing. I will not have a conventional HVAC system. I want a geothermal system, and along with that, every bathroom will have its own tankless heater. And heated floors. And towel racks. The master bath will also have a big, BIG tub. Not just a soaker, but one you have to wait two hours to fill. In the kitchen I want an Aga™ with three ovens, and seven burners and two griddles. Why? Because. Moving on, the sink will have a disposer with a two quart capacity and a Saab Turbo™ motor. The counters will be made from cement and zinc. If I have to slam a cast iron pot on the counter I want any damage to look like it was done on purpose. And finally, the very last thing I need I need in my dream home is a dryer that folds clothes.

They had one on Lost in Space and I need the technology to catch up, pronto.

I’m sure that my vision clashes a bit with Hubby’s, but I think he will be on board with most of these. Especially the sound system and TV part. I don’t think he knows what an Aga™ is anyway, nor does he care as long as I use it to make him dinner. Priorities 😀

Helpful Hints From Aggie

Sometimes I amaze myself. What takes most people minutes to learn usually takes me several months, maybe even years. It’s not that I am a slow learner. Ok, maybe I am a little bit. But I think it’s mostly that I am resistant to change. Hm…. that’s not really it, either.

Let’s just go with, I am not the swiftest boat out there.


Yes, I feel like this sometimes.

As y’all know, I changed out the ceiling fan in my bedroom, and will be gifting the old fan to a friend. Well, can’t have the fan just sitting in the middle of the floor, right? So I have to take it apart and box it separately. I learned that one should remove the lightbulbs before removing the light shades. As a side note, lay down some newspaper to catch any broken lightbulb pieces so they do not become embedded in your dreadful Berber carpeting.

Yesterday, I decided to start getting rid of clothes that no longer fit. If I haven’t worn it in two years, out it goes to the donation pile. It doesn’t bless anyone just hanging in my closet, right? Today I learned that tangled hangers can become weapons of mass disruption as they take down the stuff on the shelves above. For future reference, check hangers and remove clothing while standing, instead of pulling down clothes while sitting on the closet floor. That way you can avoid being the victim of an avalanche.

This morning I decided to reorganize the pantry. Turns out the kids think the pantry is the perfect place to stuff almost empty bags of chips and cookie boxes, not to mention I think it’s the perfect place to store crap that I think I *may* need at a later date. I admit I am just as guilty as the kids. The only one who doesn’t contribute to the wreckage in that bottomless pit is Hubby, mostly because he only goes in there for the jar of almonds, and maybe peanut butter. Moving on, this morning I learned that I should check the status of bags of grain before moving, specifically whether or not they are open. Using a container to store said grains or even a clip to seal bags will prevent itty bitty grains of rice and quinoa to go scattering all over the pantry shelves and floor, delighting the dogs to the unexpected treat. As an aside, you might as well take a vacuum to it because it is virtually impossible to get all of the quinoa with a broom.

I hope my little helpful hints will help y’all live your lives a bit better. I’m no Heloise, but at least you can learn from my experiences and have a laugh as well.  Welcome to my Monday! 😀


This Episode of Aggie’s Life is Badly Written

Today I had the misfortune of needing to go in for an ultrasound. The only instruction I received from the receptionist when I booked the appointment was to make sure to keep my bladder full and drink at least 20 oz. of water.

I want to take this time to thank my children for having trained my bladder so well.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It used to be long ago, back in the Iron Age when I went to high school, the ultrasound transducers were not as sensitive as they are now. This is where I cheer for technology. The technician was very light-handed and the whole procedure was rather quick and mostly discomfort-free. Mostly.

Anyway, after that I went home to take Hubby’s car to be inspected. Hilarity ensued.

Mechanic: Hi, what can I do for you?

Me: Car inspection, please.

Mechanic: *looks it over* Looking good!

Me: *blinks*

Mechanic: Just kidding, just pull it over to the side.

Me: Oh, I get it.

Mechanic: Not enough coffee this morning?

Me: Let’s go with that, ok?

Mechanic: *snort*

Once again, I am in the itty bitty wait area, the sight infamous for the previous debacle. Anyway, I proceeded to wait, whiling away the time by entertaining a little toddler who was doodling in a “My Little Pony” coloring book. Soon enough the car was ready, so I paid and went out to get the car, when the mechanic came over and let me know he was impressed that the car was in such great condition. I told him thanks, and that it’s a result of her being Hubby’s baby. Instead of laughing, the mechanic nodded sagely and said “She sure is.” I don’t get this reaction when I take in the van or the SUV.

Finally, this afternoon I get to go back to the hospital to pick up Hubby, since we drove in together in one vehicle. This means I get to enjoy traffic in the rain. Then I get to cook dinner, which will be braised chicken. It will be braised in white wine, so I have that going for me.

I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food 😉

Happy Pi Day!!!

That’s right!! The second nerdiest holiday of the year!!

I’m sure I don’t have to tell y’all which is the greatest nerd holiday, right??

So in honor of π, I shall be making a pie. Yes it is Lent and I can’t have any sweets, but the rest of the family wasn’t boneheaded like me, and they sure can partake.

cherry pi

I will also be serving a fruit cooler with ice cubes made from this:

pi ice cube tray

I purchased that tray from Think Geek a while back, and is no longer available through their site. But Woot! has it for today! If you miss out, there is always Amazon. They have everything, apparently.

Anyway, I’m off to start baking. Hope y’all enjoy the day and get your geek on!! 😀

Adults Say the Darnedest Things, Too

Most of y’all know I have a Jones for cast iron. Hubby knows to stop in at the Le Creuset™ factory outlet store first whenever he is dragged along accompanies me. We seldom get anything, but I do love to go in and look at all the pretty colors and make a mental list of all the pieces missing from my collection enjoy chatting with the sales people. Sometimes we manage to get a cooking demonstration in and that’s always fun. Especially if we get to sample it. Anyway, last time I was there, the sales gal told me that the company was re-issuing one of my Holy Grails.

pepper cocotte

The darling pepper-shaped cocotte!!!

I admit, I SQUEEE’d out loud in front of people when she told me. Yes, they looked at me funny. They always do anyway. We got back home in time for me to make dinner, and as we sat around the table, I gingerly brought up the subject of the cocotte. Keep in mind, one has to be very subtle when speaking about such things, especially when there is no occasion pending for the giving of presents.

Me: So (me being subtle)…….. you heard the sales gal say the pepper cocotte is back, right?

Hubby: *deep sigh*

Me: You know I have wanted that pot since the first time they issued it decades ago, right?

Hubby: *heaves sigh again, keeps eating*

Me: It’s like a Holy Grail, right?

Hubby: Honey, this isn’t Pokemon!! YOU CAN’T CATCH THEM ALL!!

Me: ……………….

Son: That’s epic, Dad.

Me: *glares at Son*

Hubby: *grins evilly*

Me: I may not play the games but I did watch the show, and I am going to catch this one.

Hubby: *deep sigh*

It may take a bit of time to save up for it, but hopefully I will have a baker’s rack all set up to display my preciouses by the time I do get it.

And I will get it. Oh yes, I will 😀

Mmmm, Mmmm, Stew!

It has been a while since I have posted a recipe here. With the passing of our blogging friend Yabu, I lost the desire to annoy food pic haters, as he used to call them. But after yesterday’s near debacle, I felt I should share the wondrousness of the beef stew. So easy, and so good, you’ll want to make it every week. Or so my kid tells me.


It was inhaled so fast I had no time to take nice photos.

Simple Beef Stew

(Adapted from Lipton Recipe Secrets™)

  • 2 lbs. Sirloin, cut up into cubes
  • 4 medium gold potatoes, halved and quartered
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 small white onion, halved and quartered
  • 2 envelopes Lipton Recipe Secrets™ Onion Mushroom Soup mix
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 C water
  • 1 C Red wine*
  • 1 C peas (waaaaaay optional)

*You can substitute a cup of water for the wine.

If using a Dutch oven, preheat oven to 275* F.

Brown the sirloin in a large pan with a bit of cooking oil. Once browned, transfer all the sirloin and the collected juices to a Dutch oven. Add the carrots, potatoes, onion, and peas (if you must…). Add the soup mix and tomato paste to the water, and mix well. Pour over meat and vegetables. Pour wine if desired. Stir well, and close lid. Place in oven for three hours or until meat is tender.

If using a crock pot, follow the same steps but heat on low for six hours, or high for 3½ hours.

Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. Thank goodness 😀