Yuletide whirlwind

Yesterday was the winter solstice— Yule— and the great convergence of Saturn and Jupiter that may have been the Christmas Star of Christian Heritage.

Sugar Cookie and Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

My neighbor Jan and I went on a Christmas season road trip to pick up a package. I wasn’t sure I could make the 90-minute drive alone.

I am grateful to live in such an old fashioned neighborhood that I know what neighbors will have adventures, which will grab me groceries, and who won’t mind grabbing me a coffee.

We stopped at Target and I got my annual bag of Candy Cane Hershey Kisses and treated myself to the new Sugar Cookie Kisses. They have real bits of cookie inside and the white chocolate kiss tastes like icing.

When I got home, the teenagers drove me over to Dollar General and Twin Rivers Music. Dollar General to get the pickle Doritos that are apparently a Dollar General exclusive and Twin Rivers Music for valve oil, a mouthpiece brush, ukulele strings and kazoos.

Teenager #2 thought her kazoo was broken, so teenager #1 had to teach her how to play it (which she did while driving the car!).

YouTube: Christmas Kazoos

YouTube: Review of Sour Pickle Doritos

In honor of Yule, and to celebrate the longest night of the year, I let the teenagers unwrap their stockings (which included some traditional stocking stuffers and some non-traditional items). A lot of make-up, gift certificates for Hyperion Salon and Lucha Bella skin care, candy and snacks, and activity books.

Teenager two got her first paint-by-water book which I bought for her because it featured Sponge Bob. I also got them coloring books of cosmic cats and uni-creatures and a robot faces sticker book.

YouTube: Dumping the stockings

Lunchables Dirt Cake

Activity Books

Teaching the Art of Paint by Water

Review of Oreo Candy Canes

We ate too many of my mother-in-law’s cookies and finished the bag of Doritos so I shouldn’t be surprised that I gained more weight.

Today is a new day and it feels like a clean start thanks to the energy of Yule and I feel a little stronger and more like myself, though still very easy to exhaust.

I got up, cleaned up after one set of cats, shoveled the path for a heating oil delivery, saw my friend Gayle, loaded the dishwasher and started a load of laundry. I tried to pick up some garbage from the house strewn with wrappings and about 5 loads of clean laundry.

Then I worked with Nan by phone. The Fluffy Norse kittens decided to join me on the sunporch and, of course, climbed the Christmas tree.

Fern-Edie in the Christmas Tree

I got the laundry out of the washer and hung it, and teenager #1 made me an egg sandwich, even though by then it was noon.

I tried to clean up the bathroom. Started the dishwasher. And came up to check on the birds.

YouTube: Do we have baby budgies?

And we have one tiny bald, baby budgie!

I am so terrified I will do something to hinder Momma Wink from taking good care of her eggs and baby. I’m especially worried everyone isn’t getting enough to eat.

So finally that brings me to Nala— she’s afraid of something and it might be the parakeets. She’s barbering badly.

Recipe: our own spicy tortilla chips

Even before these Coronavirus quarantine times and empty grocery store shelves, I have long practiced frugal living and using everything I can of my groceries— down to composting my food waste.

For example, every time my little dog friend comes to visit, she brings a rotisserie chicken for her meals. I always save the carcass in my freezer to make chicken bone broth in my crock pot.

So a couple weeks ago I was cleaning the fridge, I found a pack of flour tortilla shells that said “use by December 30, 2019.” But I didn’t throw them out. They were actually still soft, but there’s nothing worse than going to wrap a taco or make a sandwich and the shell splits in the middle because it was dry and stale.

I put the shells aside to make homemade Doritos.

I decided today was the day.

  1. First, I cut these four shells into eight triangles each.
  2. Because I am low on oil, I opted for a small pan and a big dollop of coconut oil. I heated the oil until it was bubbly but not sputtering.
  3. I dropped the triangles in, turning each after about 30 seconds as they browned very quickly.
  4. I dropped them into a small bowl where the teenager sprinkled them with spices and Parmesan I had put out for her to choose.

5. Then she moved them back to the main plate.

These were amazing. Crunchy yet fluffy. Though the teenager did overdo it on the chili powder so some were very spicy.