Saturday, 28 September 2019

Sweet Potato Soup: Cure For A Cold Day

There is nothing like a hearty homemade soup on a cold day. It is still only September, but somehow the mercury found itself below the freezing mark, and with it came the first fresh blanket of that nasty seasonal white stuff … snow.

Time for a delicious homemade soup.

One of our favourites is sweet potato soup. Not sure why we don't make it more often; it is, after all, rather simple to make. On a lazy colder day, it once again seemed like the perfect dinner choice.

I'm afraid that I am not really that great at creating recipes, since I rarely measure anything. It is always some of this and some of that; whatever seems best at the time. So if you're looking for an exact step by step recipe, well I'm afraid this post may not be much help. But if you're creative, and have a sense of which end of the kitchen is up, I'm sure your homemade sweet potato soup will be equally awesome. So here's how I made mine … sort of:

I began by peeling some sweet potatoes. Though I still don't know the difference, I've substituted yams before too. They're equally good. These I cut into smaller chunks. I had about half a dozen carrots left, so I peeled and chopped them too. They went together in the same pot and boiled them until soft.

Once soft, I drained the water, added a can of low sodium mushroom soup, and two cans of milk. After mashing the mixture, I went a step further and pureed the mixture as well. You can add more or less milk, depending on the consistency that you prefer. We like it a little thicker. While all this was happening, I cut several small white potatoes into little chunks, skins on, and let them boil. Once tender, the white potatoes were drained, and folded into the sweet potato and carrot puree.

After reheating, we were ready to eat. I like to add a dollop of sour cream and a few cut green onions before serving. I have sometimes also added bacon bits. Tasty, filling, and wife approved. A perfect meal for that cold day … even if it is only September, and old-man winter gets confused and comes way too soon.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Oh Crap!

"Every time a bird poops on my car,
I eat a plate of scrambled eggs on my porch,
just to show them what I'm capable of." 
(anonymous)

😜💩😜

Pardon me for chuckling, but this story my wife shared with me was worth an extra snort.

It seems that a politician in Chicago was discussing a pigeon pooping problem with reporters at a transit station in that city known for its bird feces problems, when a pigeon promptly did its business and pooped on the politician's head. Well, crap; I guess the birds did get the last laugh after all!

Karma? Political savvy of our feathered friends? Hmm, maybe not. But perhaps the lesson is that, if you find yourself in Chicago's infamous  "Pigeon Poop Station," you might want to consider carrying an umbrella. Or at the very least, invite a politician to join you. After all, apparently they know just what to do with politicians.

😜💩😜

Story Source: Pigeon Poops on Lawmaker Discussing Pigeon Poop Problem
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Retirement: The Other Side of the "Tire?"

"Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else."
(Fred Rogers)


Well here we are, almost two months past the date in which I had planned and hoped to retire. The previous retirement goal was five years earlier. That one didn't work out so well either. Hmm, maybe it's time to rethink this retirement thing.

I guess I had hoped that retirement for me would be more than just putting on a new set of rubber on the old car, and continuing on with it, much as before, with no end in sight.

Re-tire-ment? Bad joke; sorry.

So here I am, still hard working at a high-stress job. Do I begrudge it? Am I angry or depressed because things didn't quite work out (yet) as I had planned? Not at all. Far from it, actually. In truth, I am very grateful for a number of reasons, a few of which are these:

I am blessed with a good job.

Though I am on salary and put in far more hours than I technically get paid for, and though sometimes I have joked that I am a volunteer, I certainly cannot (and dare not) complain. Someone once said, "I complained of having no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet." The wage is good, the benefits are good, working conditions are great, my immediate supervisor has been great; what more could I ask for? This year I even qualified for a fifth week of annual paid vacation, not to mention several personal days to take as I wish. Yes, I am blessed.

I am still able to do a good job.

It is one thing to consider retirement when one feels like they can no longer do the job. But I can still do the job. Yes, sometimes I pull out what's left of my hair doing so, but I can still do it. That's got to still count for something, wouldn't you say? I would think so. A few years back my job position once again changed, and the new position dictated that I successfully complete a certain level of Power Engineering education. It wasn't easy, but I did it, and thereby successfully moved into my newest role.

My employer hasn't put me out to pasture yet.

Maybe I shouldn't wish myself out to pasture yet either. Like many of us, I've seen some colleagues face those dreaded Friday afternoon Human Resources meetings in which they were no longer welcomed back to the job site Monday morning. Maybe one day it will be my turn as well, but thus far, that has not been the case. "No news is good news," someone once said. I must still be doing an acceptable level of work. Certainly I've had some positive recommendations on my LinkedIn account by colleagues and former bosses.

Retirement age?

So there you have it. Retirement age? Maybe that's a subjective thing; different for everyone of us, and based more upon a plethora of personal circumstances and abilities than physical age. Yes, I am in my sixties now (don't ask me how THAT happened); retirement age for some, but for others more a time to re-rubber the old cow and carry on for another ten years or so.

Retirement? God only knows if/when. One day, maybe. But for now, it's "one day at a time." Maybe I'll make another month, another year, or another five years. Whatever it may be, I'm at peace with it; and I guess that's the best that I can hope for.

The only question that remains is, How did that poor old cow get herself into that predicament with that tire? Did she also attempt to retire too early? Hmm.

Photo Credit: Unknown