There is definitely frost on the pumpkin this morning. When you exist in a house that has 33 windows, guaranteed your heating bill will exceed your car payment. In an effort to keep our propane costs down we bought space heaters several years ago. Surprisingly, they’ve done a stand up job, if you will. Unfortunately, as with my winter clothes, warm socks, shoes, and cuddly pj’s Susie, in her infinite blondness and believing we would be moved long before the advent of winter, packed them all in boxes at the beginning of the summer. Somewhere in the mountains of boxes stacked in the garage and in a spare bedroom are my warm feet waiting to be discovered. I suppose I will have to brave the elements and start sorting through the piles lest we be described by a local reporter after our passing as a lovely couple found seated on the couch their hands frozen to the handles of their coffee cups. Sigh.
It’s Tuesday, sort of a day stuck in between the first day of the week and the middle, with nothing much to make it stand out in the crowd. I like Sundays. Historically, they are a day of rest and reflection and for me, not one to be found seated too often, are composed of reading the paper, enjoying several cups of coffee, cooking a substantial breakfast, attending to my spiritual needs, and entertaining myself in pursuits that give me pleasure. Basically a narcissist’s day at the fair.
Outside my kitchen window three deer are grazing, all does. From the size of them I think they might be a young mother and her two teenage girls. Mom, has one game leg and comes every day for an orange or a piece of carrot. Feeling she needs more help than the average bear, I hope when we’re gone, someone will still offer her a small treat from time to time.
My other half, my biggest supporter and worst critic, informed me after reading my past two blogs I had some typos and a misspelling or two. What! Spellcheck must be suffering from a malfunction. Sometimes when I hit “Save Draft” while writing, I think WordPress doesn’t catch up and I lose the most recent corrections. Oooooooor, it could be user error. 🙂
I took typing in high school, not because I had dreamed since the age of four to type in an office for the rest of my life, but because knowing my track record even at that age, I thought it prudent to have a back up plan lest that millionaire prince didn’t show up immediately after graduation. In the end my prince showed up right on time, but in the form of a junior draftsman and college student with his net worth totalling two nickels and some student loans. Dreams of flying the friendly skies and saying “coffee, tea, or me” for myself, flew out the window when a little over a year after we were married there was an occupied crib in our second bedroom. This being the case, other than twirling an excellent baton, typing turned out to be the only marketable skill I had. Bummer.
Looking back I’m glad I chose that elective as over the years my typing, now keyboarding skills have managed to keep me and mine fed and clothes on our backs.
Back in the day, there was no Spellcheck other than whatever proofreading you performed on your work, or the bleeding your boss did on it after proofing it himself. At eighteen I accepted my first job offer, a dispatch clerk for a moving company. Three hundred big ones a month and all the bad coffee you could drink. Typing bills of lading and shipment logs on three-part NCR forms, made up the majority of my job description. What a pain in the behind NCR forms were. One mistake necessitated correcting it in triplicate. To do this you either slathered on a load of White-Out leaving it looking messy or used a straight-edged blade to shave the mistyped letter off on all three copies. Consequently, we were all fairly accurate as no one liked to stop and clean up an error.
My second job I was part of the secretarial pool in what they called “executive row” for a huge enginnering conglomerate. Basically a long complement of well appointed offices occupied by vice presidents and their senior engineering advisors. One typist in our pool was a particularly striking girl and very well put together. However, there was not much going on under her bonnet, if you get my drift. Although nicely decorating the office, she made so many typing errors the engineers awarded her a gallon jug of Liquid Paper with a spray nozzle when she moved on to another job. After she left I found several pieces of correspondence she’d produced in the files. There was so much correction fluid applied to the sheets of paper, when folded all the corrected letters and numbers cracked and sloughed off in a pile on the floor. CSI would have loved that crime scene.
For myself when reading my own writing I can often read and reread and still miss what is lying directly in front of my eyes. It is most helpful to have a second pair to catch what I do not.
Thinking back to when you had to prove yourself on the typewriter before being hired, I can recall taking five and ten minute speed typing tests. Under pressure, your hands would cramp trying to maintain speed and preserve accuracy while typing unlikely paragraphs full of symbols and odd words designed to make you do exactly the opposite. Once I took a test next to a lovely young girl with only one arm. Sitting at a long desk we struck up a conversation. One arm was lost just after she was born, she told me, but she had never let it stand in her way. Typing, as with most things in her life did not pose a problem for her. When the woman came in to set the timer and begin the test, I assumed, mistakenly I might add, I would far out type someone with one arm. Another example of how easy it is to perceive people with handicaps as handicapped when they themselves do not . Her one arm pivoted back and force across those keys so quickly I’m surprised the plastic didn’t melt and fuse together in a puddle. How humiliating. Kind of like losing a hurdle race to a runner wearing a hobble and a blindfold. The handicap in this case was only in my mind. Lesson learned.
Sooooo, I will endeavor to check and recheck, or Spellcheck and re-Spellcheck before I publish.
I love these potatoes. They are as at home tucked in next to several slices of roast beef as they are paired with fried eggs.
5 slices bacon, diced
1 Tbsp. olive
1 clove garlic, minced
2 onions, sliced thin
2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced in 1/4″ slices
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Drain all fat except 1/2 tsp. and add olive oil to pan. Heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, thyme, bay leaves, drained bacon bits, salt and garlic to pan. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally until onions caramelize and turn a lovely golden brown, about 15 mins.
Bring chicken broth to boil in small saucepan. Cover and remove from heat.
Add potatoes to pan and cook for 5 mins. stirring often. Pour hot broth over all and bring to a boil.
Place in preheated oven for 20 mins. covered. Remove from oven and remove cover. Cook an additional 40 mins. or until potatoes are golden brown. Discard bay leaves before serving.