Four Ingredient Macaroni and Cheese

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Have you heard about the four ingredient macaroni and cheese?

It’s so easy!

All you do is throw elbow macaroni, shredded cheddar, cream cheese and milk into a slow cooker and turn it on low. Voila–in four hours a pot of creamy, cheesy mac with no aritificial colours, flavours or powders. Just homemade goodness!

It sounds too good to be true, right?

Sadly, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Despite following the recipe to the letter (something I rarely do), we ended up trying to choke down a thick, starchy mass that didn’t resemble macaroni and cheese in anything other than scent.

We each did our best to eat a small serving with dinner, but even the dog couldn’t muster up any enthusiasm for four-ingredient slow cooker mac and cheese.

There was a bright side to our dinner debacle, though. When I chiseled it out of the slow cooker, I found a smooth surface with the consistency of rubber. A home cook with a talent for whittling could produce an assortment of paper weights, bouncy balls and dog chew toys with the leftovers.

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His Name is Rico

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The phone rang during that busy hour when dinner is almost ready and there are three other things on the go that can’t be ignored (homework monitoring, something in your eye causing great distress and a little dog waiting patiently to be let out.)

I didn’t recognize the number.

“Hello!” I barked. I had too much to do to bother with a stranger on the phone.

“So, they said I can have one the llamas! His name is Rico and he’s really, REALLY cute! Can I? Can I get a llama???”

“Absolutely,” I said, rolling my eyes. I was far too busy for this. “You should get a llama.”

The response was a high-pitched squeal.

“Hello,” I said. “Hello?”

I shrugged, hung up and peered into the oven, hoping the chicken was done.

“What was that about?” asked my sailor.

“Wrong number. Someone asking if she could get a llama. She sounded pretty young.”

I poured us two glasses of wine and sat down next to him.

He looked at me.

“You do realize you just gave some teenage girl permission to get a pet llama.”

Oh. My. Gosh.

I’ve heard pets enrich our lives. I hope it’s true.

With This Ring…

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I don’t watch much TV (well, except for Downton Abbey) and although I enjoy movies, I rarely manage to stay awake to the end of a DVD. My time-wasting activity of choice is the internet.

I spend hours just…surfing aimlessly. It’s shocking really how much of my life I fritter away at my computer.

But the internet is literally the world at my fingertips. How can I resist its siren call?

My latest addiction is a wedding site. (Don’t ask me why as I’m neither planning a wedding nor planning to attend one.)

It’s fascinating stuff and very educational.

I’ve learned my engagement ring would be considered a “starter” diamond by many of today’s brides (if it was accepted at all.) Apparently my sailor’s proposal wasn’t quite up to snuff, either, so at least he’s consistent!

Most interesting is the current language of on-line brides.

Against my better judgement, I followed the link titled “What to do about my difficult BM?” (Whew–in bride-speak, a BM is a Brides Maid.)

Even more alarming was the plea from another bride: “Advice Needed!!! STD Challenges!”

Yikes! Absolutely NOT speaking from personal experience here, but I empathized with this bride’s panic…until I learned an STD is a Save the Date card sent out prior to the official invitation to warn guests to, you guessed it, save the date.

I’m glad I’m already married. I don’t think I’m up to the drama of twenty-first century wedding planning.

The Ingredients of Love

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I found The Ingredients of Love by Nicolas Barreau on the sale table at Munro’s. (The best $5.99 I’ve ever spent!)

It’s the charming story of Aurelie Bredin, a chef and restauranteur.

Aimlessly wandering the streets of Paris after a nasty break-up, she ends up in a quaint bookshop, where she discovers an astonishing novel.

How is it astonishing, you ask. Let me tell you: Aurelie and her restaurant are characters in the book! (I know–how cool would that be?)

Aurelie becomes slightly obsessed with the novel and its handsome, yet reclusive English author. Determined to contact him, she becomes acquainted with Andre, the book’s gruff French editor.

The rest of the novel involves her entanglement with Andre, who holds the key to contact with the mysterious author.

To say anymore would give away too much of this delightful novel.

Murphy’s Law

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True confession: over a week after New Year’s I’m finally getting all that Christmas stuff sorted out.

Way back on Boxing Day, my sailor and I enjoyed a fabulous date night. Because we had family visiting, we were able to get a room in a luxurious hotel and have a romantic staycation. (In practical terms this meant my sailor, designated driver since forever, could have a glass of wine with dinner.)

We were going through a cold snap, so I packed my good leather gloves. I wasn’t going home with my sailor the morning after, but meeting friends for lunch and some light shopping. Dressy gloves were a must have for a chilly day wandering downtown.

Of course I couldn’t find them when I looked for them in the morning. They’d magically disappeared.

After two days of freezing hands and much whining about lost gloves, I bought a new pair at Danier’s Boxing Week event. Like my lost ones, these are lined with cosy knit fabric and the leather is as soft as the inside of a Chihuahua’s ear.

Although they’re beautiful and the weather was Arctic, I was reluctant to cut the tags off and wear them. Something told me I’d find the originals once I’d rendered the new ones un-returnable.

Planning a long walk, I finally snipped the tags. As I was getting ready to leave, my overnight bag, abandoned in the bedroom, caught my eye. In a rare moment of neatness, I decided to unpack it and store it in the basement before going out.

What did I find at the bottom of my bag, under the magazine I brought to the hotel, but didn’t read? Double points if you guessed my “lost” gloves–d’oh!

Clinique Not So Happy

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I’m fortunate enough that when my sailor asked me what I wanted for Christmas, nothing immediately sprang to mind.

Other than big-ticket items like a Mediterranean cruise or a Speedy bag, I have everything I want. As for needs? I honestly don’t NEED anything. Like I said, I’m supremely fortunate.

So the only (reasonable) thing I could think of was a little luxury I haven’t used in years–Clinique Happy Body Wash, a “refreshing gel” that leaves skin “comfortable and lightly scented in clinique happy.” It’s not cheap, but I used to buy it sometimes as a treat that, unlike wine or chocolate, didn’t come with a high calorie count.

My sailor likes to keep me happy (pun intended), so a tube of body wash appeared under the tree.

Last night, I finally cracked it open, bringing a mug of tea, a good novel and a bee’s wax candle in the bathroom with me to complete the spa experience.

Well…

Either my tolerance for fragrance has gone way down, or the chemists at Clinique have turbo-charged their shower gel because I smelled liked I’d bathed in a vat of perfume. The scent was so strong it permeated the thick, teddy-bear fur of my onesie when I went to bed and I spent the night verging on a headache.

Next time my sailor asks what I want, I’ll be honest and tell him what would really make me happy. I’ll claim it’s a health and welfare issue.

After all, no one’s ever gotten sick from a Speedy bag.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

I don’t know whether I’m more excited to learn that 53 cable cars full of people visited The Sailor’s Woman in 2014 (from 57 countries!) or that WordPress has a team of monkeys hard at work compiling these stats. (Is the SPCA monitoring the situation?)

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s caught a ride The Sailor’s Woman cable car and best wishes for a wonderful 2015.

One Last Christmas Post

This one goes out to all the people who feel Christmas has become too commercialized.

The ones who despair that the real meaning of the holidays has been lost in a shopping frenzy stretching from Black Friday to Boxing Week sales.

The people who want to take back December, ditching the glitz and glitter.

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Nothing says “Let’s get serious!” quite like equine castration.

Happy 2015!

Pig’s Ears and Pajamas

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Christmas brought a few surprises. Among them, the thing I least want to touch–a cured pig’s ear for our Chihuahua. (Who knew the elves run a pig’s ear processing plant up at the North Pole?)

The big surprise for the humans was a new onesie from my sailor. (That romantic devil!)

We had company staying with us over the holidays and when I opened his present, he explained the unusual choice of gift.

“She bought herself a onesie a few weeks ago and wears it so often it never gets washed! Now she has one to wear while the other one’s in the laundry.”

“Uh–thanks, honey!”

(For the record, this is so not true. Although I love my onesie, I do wash it regularly.)

One final Christmas gift arrived after the big day:
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Fruitcake’s not my favourite, but this one’s soaked in brandy–mmm.

There Will be Turkey

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Ho Ho Ho! Did you hear the one about the Chihuahua and the turkey?

It ends with the turkey languishing in a hot oven like an executive in a sauna and the greedy Chihuahua drooling beside the stove, hoping the bird will make a last-ditch break for freedom.

We people are merry today because our family’s together and we have a lovely turkey on our table and a wonderful dog sniffing around underneath it. The pooch is happy because my sailor can’t resist those big puppy eyes so there will be tidbits coming her way.

Wishing you everything necessary for a joyous day this Christmas.