thinking about pancakes (and then…)

pancakesI was thinking about pancakes recently.

We have an electric waffle iron and we make waffles for breakfast periodically. I have never really made pancakes, however. I thought that would be fun, but I didn’t want to buy an electric pancake grill when we had the electric waffle iron. I thought a stovetop grill would be a good idea so I checked with Terry. She agreed, but for a different reason. She had been looking at them and thought it would be great to grill chicken, fish, and beef inside when it was too cold, too wet, or even too hot outside.

I turned to Amazon (of course) and found an economical reversible grill thatburgers was just about the right size for our stove, and much less expensive than the ones that were a bit larger and would have probably been too big for our stove anyway. I ordered it.

I was a bit concerned about the pancake side of things (pun intended) as one of the Amazon reviews said the flat side was rough. I made pancakes the day after the grill arrived, however, and I was absolutely delighted with the result. That evening I made hamburgers on the side with ridges and they were marvelous as well.

The grill is cast iron, so with proper care it will last forever. It is a bit hard to clean, as is most cast iron, but for the cooking that we can do on the grill it is well worth the effort.

We made a great addition to our kitchen at a very reasonable price.

telling myself to get over it

grocerybagsIn the November elections of 2106 Californians did a number of good things despite the horrific result of the presidential race. One thing we did was to vote to ban single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and large drug stores like CVS. That didn’t have a direct impact on Terry and me as we were already using reusable bags. But I was delighted to see this and kept an eye on how this played out.

Despite some initial confusion most California consumers took to the new requirement and began bringing their own bags rather than paying a nickel per reusable plastic bag. I found myself playing my own private bag police, however. I watched to see if people in the store were bringing their own bags and if someone in line in front of me hadn’t I would try to discretely catch a glimpse of the cash register display to see if they were actually being charged for their bags.

Recently it hit me that’s it’s been over two years. The law is largely working well. I don’t need to be grocery bag monitor. It’s time for me to get over it.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to You and Yours!

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light in winter

After we have dinner Terry and I put our feet up on the bed and read the newspaper before going on to other reading material. We have a ceiling fan light and two floor lamps. I had long felt that the light from the ceiling fan was insufficient and finally I asked Terry for her thoughts. She agreed.

ceiling fan lightThe ceiling fan light uses bulbs with the thin candelabra-style base. I headed over to Lowe’s to find something brighter. I found GE Reveal clear 60 watt bulbs. I bought those and installed them. That really has made a huge difference.

We’re really not supposed to use more than 40 watt bulbs in that fixture, but we only use the lights for a few hours each evening and we’re right there the entire time. If need be we can replace them with 60 watt-equivalent LEDs, which I might do anyway, just to be on the safe side.

In any case, we really love the increased level of lighting.

yes, I’m misbehaving

cookiesA while back I wrote a rather self-satisfied blog entry about how I no longer craved sweets. It was true at the time, but things change.

I have been dealing with a health issue and for several weeks I had to grapple with a medical insurance coverage issue, which, finally, seems to have been resolved. Never mind what’s happening in Washington. In the midst of all that I began buying chocolate chip cookie dough and baking cookies.

It’s not terribly healthy, but it’s comforting and helps relieve the stress.

You’re right, Linda Ellerbee, “And so it goes.”

our newest garden tool

When we left Gilroy in May 2015 we left a lot of stuff behind: donated to charity or given to neighbors. Garden tools were among what we gave up, including our electric hedge trimmer. We’ve gotten by fine without it, though it’s meant a bit more manual work.

Recently, however, our neighbor expressed concern about the vines growing along our shared fence. Seems in the past she has had an unpleasant experience replacing a fence due to overgrowth. I thought about renting a hedge trimmer to handle the job, but I realized that by the time I paid all the rental fees I could buy one.

So I did.

I cut back the vines by the fence and whacked down the hedge on the other side of the house which I had previously attacked by hand.

A worthwhile purchase.


hedge trimmer

giving away razors and selling razor blades

The phrase “giving away razors and selling razor blades” came into common use when discussing inkjet printers. The printers sold for a very low price but one got sticker shock when buying the ink cartridges. I had a similar experience recently.

label makerOur long-time, trusty label maker gave up and died. It refused to spit out the labels we tried to create. Changing the batteries had no effect. I eventually decided to replace it, so I made a trip to Staples. They had quite a selection ranging in price all the way from $19.95 to $64.95. I didn’t see anything in the more expensive models that made them worth the price, so I bought the $19.95 model. It came with a white label cartridge and I bought a transparent label cartridge.

It was only when I got home that I realized that the transparent cartridge was $9.95. Really? There’s a case of (almost) giving away razors and selling razor blades.

The new label maker is quite nice, by the way. It has a whole lot more features than the old one, which we must have had for fifteen years or more. It includes an LED display, which the old one did not have. We were making labels blind and only saw our mistakes when we printed the label. We’ll get good use out of this new label maker.