A January Overview (Happy It’s Almost February)

So far 2017 has been extremely hectic, chaotic, distressing, you get the drift. My aunt passed away without too much suffering (thanks to hospice), and my mother went home. On Mom’s flight home, she was again required to spend the night in the layover city–this time because of weather in Kalamazoo. After that, she wasn’t sure she wanted to fly again–and my son’s wedding is this spring on the beach in California. But now she feels a little better and is going to look for a dress for the wedding this week (so, yay!).

Kitties are better, although today Pear is getting an ultrasound because something is wrong with her bladder–and we need to know what. The ultrasound has been an option for months, but I’ve put it off because of the cost. I spent so much (on my credit card) in January on veterinary care that the ultrasound no longer looks as expensive because it’s a “drop in the bucket.” Ugh. I think those of us who can and will pay for good veterinary care for our animals are subsidizing the salaries of veterinarians (and clinic costs). I just wish that money went to treat more animals, but I know that not all vets are good about pro bono work.

Speaking of cats, did you see this article? They needed a study to prove that cats are as smart as dogs? I thought that the decision was made a long time ago (cats are smarter ;)).

On another note, we’re still using Home Chef. Don’t turn up your nose at that idea. I don’t know a soul who really has the time or inclination to plan and deliver on 21 meals every single week–and to have 2-3 of them taken off the list makes the other meal planning more rewarding and less onerous.

Steelhead Trout Niçoise

Mojito Lime Chicken

The trout was fabulous–and there was enough salad left for lunch the next day. I also made Mojito Lime Chicken.

And I made Chicken with Basil-Pecorino Cream Sauce. I haven’t made a single Home Chef meal that wasn’t delicious. I served the gardener the basil chicken that looked like the recipe card.

I set his chicken on a tiny bit of the cream sauce because of his lactose intolerance. But for myself I didn’t hold back, and so my plate didn’t look as “well-plated” as his did. Or as the recipe card.

Oh man, was it ever good! Tonight we’ll have a non Home Chef meal of mushroom and cheese omelet. I am an expert omelet maker. I learned from watching  The Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith, on TV decades ago. Anybody remember him? Great personality, good teaching skills, and an unfortunate (and terrifying) end to his public career (look him up!). By the way, I also learned about the “chef’s assistant” from Jeff–only he chose sherry and I choose chardonnay (or sake).

I have been revising the memoir because I want to send it to someone for a thorough read-through now that I have rethought and reorganized the structure.  I think I have reached the point that it’s ready. I don’t want to go too crazy with line-editing if it still needs a lot more “big” work.

Also, I have an offer from a publisher for my poetry/prose chapbook about family history. Stay tuned on that one.

Now that things are finally starting to settle down over here, it’s TAX SEASON for me and the business. Ick ick and ick.

Have a good one this week, friends!


Filed under #AmWriting, Cats and Other Animals, Creative Nonfiction, Family history, Food & Drink, Memoir, Nonfiction, Publishing, Writing

34 responses to “A January Overview (Happy It’s Almost February)

  1. See, the bad tide is turning. Wishing you well!

  2. Nice post, Luanne. The meals look delicious. I’m alone (lost my Robert 11 years ago), so cook only for one. I’ve been into soups lately, making a big batch and freezing pint-sized containers-full. My latest was Mom’s recipe – navy bean, lots of veggies, a bit of ham. It’s satisfying and great for winter. Congrats on the memoir progress!

    • I am a huge fan of soups. What is a little annoying is that the gardener is not only a celiac with lactose intolerance, but an intolerance for beans, as well! And I LOVE bean soups. I don’t really like a double dose of cooking or to make things that smell good that he can’t eat, but I ought to make a pot of bean soup once in a blue moon to satisfy my craving! Thanks re the memoir. You too on the new book!

  3. Glad to hear things are turning the corner. Can’t wait to hear more! xo

  4. Sorry about your aunt, Luanne. I’m hoping things are looking up for you.
    I’m feeling flustered today–got a late start, and I’m missing my spin class because of it. It was supposed to snow, but it didn’t. I think I must have imagined we’d be snowed in. I’m making a pot of soup for the thought.
    My husband and I loved watching The Frugal Gourmet.
    You can see I’ve been thinking about you. Check my blog post today.
    Congratulations on getting your revising done and your chapbook offer!

  5. You’ve had quite the time lately with deaths and illness. Always hard to lose our loved ones. Hope the kitty gets better. I used to find it so stressful when my cats had their UTI problems, but eventually they were resolved. It just took money (and more money, and more). But I loved my cats so what can you do?
    Good luck with your book. Check me out if you need a good, but reasonably priced copy editor.

    • Pear is doing quite well! Thanks, Anneli. I will keep you in mind. When the time comes I probably will give my bestie the first shot at the job, but if she doesn’t want it, I might be knocking on your door!

  6. My deepest sympathies over the loss of your aunt. Here’s hoping 2017 will be a kinder year. I just put Home Chef on “pause.” We love the meals for the most part, but I wish they had more low calorie meals. Somehow I wound up being the one who cooks the meals; no problem over the weekend, but when a meal gets held over for a week night, I get testy. Too tired from work these days 😉

  7. And I hear you about the vet bills. I hope the ultrasound gives you an answer, one that can be remedied. I’ve gotten upset about our bills too but then I learned that some of the vets donate their time a local wildlife rescue, so I bite my tongue 😉

  8. So sorry about your aunt. I get your Mom. Those are the things that turn me off on traveling especially if she’s traveling alone. Poor kitty. I never blink (or ask the cost) when the vet recommends something. She’s conservative and will advise if it’s astronomical. At the end of Jake’s like, there were some test we could have run but they would only give us information that we couldn’t act on. We had no intention of putting him through any surgical treatment. He was 18 and pretty out of it (mentally) at the end.

  9. Oh, my! My head is spinning. What a lot going on with your mom and the kitties, and taxes, and more! Those meals look great. I’d like to just grab one off my computer monitor right now and eat it!

    I hope that February is much calmer.

  10. Congratulations on the offer from a publisher.😀

  11. I think the menu/grocery delivery thing is aces. Many people are pleased with them 🙂 Your meals all look good to me! (Especially since my dinner’s still cooking! haha)
    I’m sorry about your aunt. Glad you and your mother still have one another in times like those.
    Tax stuff, huh? Ew. I don’t do any of that. Can’t math. Much anxiety. Best of luck getting through the season 🙂

  12. What a hectic (and expensive!) month. Sorry to hear about your aunt. The meals look yummy! Hope you have a better February, and looking forward to news about your chapbook!

  13. I am glad you seen at peace over your Aunt Jean’s passing but sad she had to go.
    I hope your Mom won’t have any more plane trauma and am very excited about California beach wedding to come! <3 <3
    The meals look delicious and inviting. I would love to scoop up extra sauce if I had a partner who could let me have extra. 😉
    The poem + chap book for your Kalamazoo family history sounds awesome! You go, friend!
    I think it will be great to send your book off for editing and would not want you to go back line for line. . . wait on suggestions!
    So sorry, I love Pear Blossom and know the bladder issue is worrisome! I pass out fliers to my warehouse friends for Care Credit card which gives people 48 months to pay off bills with 0% interest. It is available for vets, too. Know you don't need this but letting others know. I have had my dental and eye surgeries put on this successfully paying off thousands of dollars in a timely manner. Being on a budget helps me! hugs and kisses xo I wrote on Merril's post about the dolls my Mom thought would increase in value and her composition doll, too. I still love playing dolls with my granddaughters! xo

  14. I think the delivering and getting a meal to your house is fantastic in part that it’s not too time consuming and you get a delicious meal. You have had a rough patch with loosing someone and the vet bills. It seems like sometimes things don’t happen or things happen all at once. Hopefully February goes so much better for you as well for everyone. Talking about taxes waited till almost the end to be in line for over an hour yesterday! Wish they served drinks there totally needed one when I left!

  15. Signs that February might show some improvement

  16. I was so sorry to hear about your Aunt Jean, Luanne. Aunts hold a special place in our heart. Congratulations on your publishing deal! February is looking better.

  17. I don’t blame you for wanting January to be over, not with all the stress and troubles you’ve been through recently, i’m sorry about your aunt.

  18. Glad to hear it all sounding so positive, Luanne. And I’m thinking of inviting myself over. My meals looks so dull alongside these. 🙂 Happy weekend!

  19. Hi Luanne! Thanks for such a nice message about my Mom and am grateful for your asking if you could include her in your prayers.
    On another note: my message meant to say “seem” and not how it came out as, ‘seen’ in my rather long January 30th comment on your Aunt Jean, Pear Blossom and a few other subjects. hugs xo

  20. So sorry about your Aunt, Luanne, but I’m glad that she got good care to help her pass. And I hope Pear is okay and the ultrasound doesn’t find anything serious. But you’ve definitely been getting good sustenance to help you through the month!

    • Thank you so much, Andrea. Pear is doing pretty well right now, I think. Problem is she gets these UTIs all the time, and I never know until she’s really sick. She doesn’t let me know!

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