The Battle of the Boxes and Life Goes Forward

I went off to spend a few days with Aunt Judie as I shared with you in my last post.

I had lunches with Stacy and Valerie, and dinners with Aunt Judie and Phyllis.

I did several loads of laundry for Aunt Judie, making sure the pile was depleted before getting back in the car 8 days ago, and heading back to the extended stay hotel.  Why, hello Candlewood Suites!

I was approximately 5 minutes away from Aunt Judie’s house, when my phone rang. As I was driving a borrowed car, that would not sync my phone, I pulled off the road to answer.  SpecialK called to inform me the movers would be a day earlier than expected, and would arrive on Sunday.

I drove back to the hotel, and did our last load of free laundry.  Life became a whorlwind.  Saturday morning, I test drive a Ford Focus and then a Honda Civic.  We bought the Civic!  We then went to Costco, to load up on necessary things, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent.  Somehow $250 didn’t go nearly as far was we hoped!

After loading up on all those ‘necessaries’, we came to the rental center to collect our keys.  The rental center opens up at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday’s, the movers said they would be there at 11:00 a.m.

Sunday morning we packed our bags, all 9 of them, and arrived at our next home. (SpecialK had checked 3 bags, I checked 2, and we each carried 2 bags.  That equals our 9 bags).

At 12:20 p.m. On Sunday, the driver called to tell me they were an hour off schedule. They arrived at 1:30 p.m.

On Monday, SpecialK left for work, and ignoring one box of fragile things, I unpacked every box in our bedroom, putting away all of my clothes.  Then I attacked the boxes in the guest room.  By 11:30 a.m.  All of the boxes, except that fragile one were unpacked and flattened, Witt wrapping paper strewn about.

Monday evening SpecialK flew off for a business trip.  While he was gone, I was in an unpacking frenzy.  Every kitchen box was unwrapped, with the papers shoved inside the boxes.  When SpecialK came home from his business trip, he was greeted by a mountain of unpacked boxes.

On Wednesday, we went and received the Civic.  It is shiny and new.

I drove myself around Thursday in a car that was not rented or borrowed for the first time since I sold my Acura.

Fast forward to Saturday, today.  There was snow on the top of that Civic, but we were moving too fast to stop and take a picture.  We went out and ordered furniture, some to replace the furniture I had sold before leaving CA.

That was my past week.  That wall of boxes waiting to be unpacked?  They are waiting for another cabinet, ordered today, to be delivered.  I know better than to leave our delicate China on the floor for SpecialK and /or I to mistakenly trip over!

How was your past week?  Do anything exciting?


We made it!

We landed here early by everyone’s time zone, 5:19 am east coast which is 2:19 am on the west coast.

After a quick breakfast at the airline club, a perk from SpecialK, we collected our bags and went to our hotel.  SpecialK changed his clothes, and went to his office.  I checked my email,and Facebook, and fell asleep.

SpecialK came back before noon, and he fell promptly asleep.  He awoke, made an omelette, ate it, and was off for another business trip.

I awoke at 8:30 am, texted my husband a note that said “Good morning.  We have noisy neighbors”.  He responded, and shortly thereafter, I fell back asleep.

I don’t believe in jet lag.  I believe the problem with cross country flights is lack of sleep.  The flight was 4 hours 40 minutes from LAX.  I can’t get a full night’s sleep in 4 hours.

This is the view from our window:


Yes to my west coast friends, there is snow.

We have a estimated date for delivery of our belongings,  March 27.  Extended stay hotel is our home until then.

Tomorrow we are going to see our next apartment.  I have yet to see it, and SpecialK will measure for furniture purchases and placement of our transplanted pieces.

The LA marathon is this Sunday, while more snow is expected in the east.  What will you do this weekend?

Moving Day

Today’s the Day.  It’s “Let’s Move Across the Country, Again, Day”.

Yesterday, three guys from the moving company came and boxed up all of our fragile pieces.  Today, three different guys came and are loading our belongings into a truck.  We learned this morning that we will be the last loaded, so ours will be the first delivery for this truck.

When they came into our home, the first thing they did was roll red carpets done our hallway, to protect the carpet underneath.  We live only a few miles from Hollywood, it seems only fitting.

Tonight, we sleep on a plane, or not. Tomorrow, we exit that flying tin can, and begin the next chapter of our lives.

I often post sunset shots on Facebook, so this is what that shot looks like in day light.


So off we go, have a great rest of the week and I will be back online soon.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

All our boxes are packed and it’s time to go,

I’m standing here in our almost not home,

I hate to tell you this, but they’re talking of snow.

I have known the song Leaving On  a Jet Plane by Simon and Garfunkel since I was 9.  If the shoe fits, I will wear it.

SpecialK has been our master packer.  Today is his last day in the role, then the professionals will take over.  We packed the non fragile stuff, they will pack the fragile stuff.  On Wednesday , they load the truck, and that night we board a plane.  We wake up Thursday morning on the “right” coast.  When our belongings arrive, I will become the ‘master unpacker’.

We will miss Kate and Devin, and Sprouts.  At least Kate and Devin will fly east to visit, but I dare you Sprouts!

The weather, although crazier than a $3 bill, has been interesting, and mostly warm.  The traffic jams, they’re a hot mess.  The facade of Hollywood is real.

In 60 hours, our time here comes to an end.  We are still Two From Natick, and we are heading back somewhere where people will understand that.

Next stop, an extended stay hotel.  See you there?

Happy New Year

The curtain is falling on 2016, and in a few more hours, it will be gone.  There were highs, lows, and all sorts of  in-between days.  Tomorrow’s sunrise will be the first of 2017

I wish for all a happy 2017, and fun times welcoming it, and ushering it out this time next year.  I wish for all healthy days in 2017, for all of us.

Happy New Year, 2017!



Solution Found?

I bought 2 ‘new for me’ cookbooks recently.  The Joy of Gluten Free Sugar Free Baking and Gluten Free Artisanal Bread in Five Minutes A Day.

I borrowed each from the library, as I usually do before buying any new gluten frecookbooks.  As I already have baked extensively with almond flour, the first book looked appealing.  The second book, with all purpose flour blends that are 75% and 100% whole grains appears to be a winner, although “the proof is in the pudding”.

I have received the first book, and now am left anxiously awaiting the second.  I know what you are thinking, ‘Patience, grasshopper, patience’.

So, while waiting for a cookbook I am greatly anticipating, I was looking at my texts with a friend from years ago, and saw that I had sent her a text about making Quinoa Crispies. This is the info I sent her, from  Watch the video, I think I watched it 3 times, to make sure I knew exactly what to do.  Then, I just did it!


I also tried popping amaranth today.  No picture, who needs to see little popped seeds, surrounded by many burnt ones?  Turns out, they didn’t pop on contact.

This was also the week that I began a new part time position, as a kitchen assistant at a newly opened Sur La Table.  Temptation around every corner!

Did you do anything different this week?

I have an idea what to do with my Quinoa Crispies.  Stay tuned!


Sunday to Saturday

Last Sunday was Father’s Day.  I am not the first wife, and we have no children together.  Yet, I felt the need to acknowledge the day.  So I gave him this T-shirt, image

and a card that read, ‘It’s a good thing you married me, or I’d be bugging someone else right now.

We got an offer for a free Father’s Day breakfast at Cafe 50’s, so that’s where we started our day.

In case you haven’t read this already, I love Sprouts Farmer Market.  We usually get our fish there, and last week, they had sea scallops.  I grew up eating Sea Scallops, and rarely have them.

I was concerned about how to cook scallops, I forgot how I cooked them years ago.  Back to my computer I went, and I found this ‘not recipe’ on  Using this not recipe, dinner was scallops, brown jasmine rice, and balsamic dressed butter lettuce.

This week was just like all other weeks, a little bit crazy, quite a bit busy.  We ordered a NutriMill Classic Grain Mill.  SpecialK bought some white rice, which you have to run through first time, to clean out manufacturing dust.  You must know by now that we only eat brown rice here.  We ordered some oat groats, as that is the only type of oats you can grind in this grain mill.  SpecialK was afraid if I used the ‘grind’ button on my blender, or used the food processor, to grind rolled oats, I would burn those machines out.  Who was I to argue?

So a few days back, I decided to run some of the oat groats through the grain mill.  Now we have oat flour, and SpecialK stated his desire for oat bread.  I found a honey oat bread recipe online, and offered that as the recipe I would use.  Days got busy, and it was now Saturday morning.  SpecialK decided to have eggs over garlic toast,  using some of the French Bread recipe I had made for him this week, the recipe can be found in Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s first book.  I decided to make waffles, and we flipped through my collection of saved recipes on Pinterest.  I found this recipe, and we decided to try it.  This recipe is a keeper!  Are you on Pinterest, and are you following any of my boards?

To end of this week, I wanted to use up some of the tzatziki sauce I had bought.  Tonight we had Greek Chicken Kabobs.  Grilled pieces of chicken breast skewered with pieces of sweet onion, and grape tomatoes.  They were marinated in extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and our favorite Greek Seasoning,  Konriko’s.

I wanted to play with our waffle iron a bit more, so I boiled up some little red potatoes.  I smashed them in the waffle maker.  I served the Greek Chicken skewers over the smashed potatoes.

That was our week that was, tomorrow we are off to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market.

What will you do now that Mother Nature returned summer to us?

Gluten Free Expo

We went to the Gluten-Free Expo today, and we were each given a full bag of goodies are registration.  In our hour 45 minutes at the Expo, I was overcarbed.

After the Expo, we shopped, Costco and Walmart.  We haven’t been to a Walmart since they closed the Neighborhood Mart on Cesar Chavez in downtown Los Angeles.

We came home, and as is our usual, Special K lugs heavy items, and I carry up lighter items.  I then unload our purchases and put them away.

We then sat down for our ‘Halloween’ sorting of goodies.  One bag for us, one bag for SpecialK, one bag for me, and one bag for D.  D is a neighbor who recently gave up gluten, dairy and soy from his diet.

D’s goodie bag from our visit to the Gluten-Free Expo.

This was the bag we are giving to D.  Since this picture was taken, we added two bags of Milton’s Himalayan Salt Baked Chips.

The next picture was SpecialK’s bag, that he decided to take to work.  My bag?  I used  a bag from Walmart, and tossed in the bags of Lays Potato Chips, Fritos, and a few other goodies that my low carb self decided I could have.

Special K’s bag, to snack on at work.


We went to this expo two years ago, right after I moved to CA.  Going back today was fun, as I got to meet new companies, with new products that I could eat.  One was a quinoa and rice pasta company, Living Now gluten-free.  They had no samples to take home, and we waited several minutes for on-site samples to be ready.  Their product is good, but so is the quinoa and brown rice pasta I buy from Trader Joe’s.

Will I go ever go again to the Gluten-Free Expo?  Never say never?  We have decided to have a processed free food home.  Bringing processed food into our home feels odd.  But sugar free and low carb foods don’t just magically appear.  Bread and crackers, that I can eat don’t just magically appear, and I can’t make them as well as the factories.  So we will continue to buy those, and some sugar free jams.  I can hear you, they are processed foods!  I know, but the line is drawn in the sand.

Cheesy Cheerio’s T-Shirt.  You spin a wheel, alternating colors of black and yellow.  If you landed on a yellow stripe, you got a T-shirt, and if you landed on a black stripe, you got a T-shirt.  If you see someone walking down the street in a Cheerio’s yellow T-shirt, it might just be SpecialK or I.  Please stop us and say “Hi”.


Have you ever been to a Gluten Free Expo?

Visitors, visiting


My father-in-law came to visit.  He barely slept the night before, didn’t eat all day, and landed at LAX around 3:00 pm.  We brought him to our home, where SpecialK loaded a plate with crackers, peanut butter and grapes, and set it in front of his father.  After a few bites, Dad-In-Law decided to take a nap.  It was 5:00 pm.  He slept until 6:00 am the next morning.  After waking, he told me he wasn’t feeling well the night before.

Prior to his travel, Dad-In-Law told me he wanted to meet who we worked with, who we associated with and eat my cooking.

We met employer, coworkers and friends, and oh how we ate!  Chicken tenders, risotto, tsimmes, zucchini noodles, shredded butternut squash and our latest chicken casserole were all eaten.  Tasting my spiraled apple snack one day, he commented, “It’s cold”.  I will spare the details, but he likes his apples heated, and I like this apple snack cold, crisp, and juicy.

We returned him to the airport, said goodbye, and off he went, loaded down with all the leftover cookies.

Ginger Cookies

Later that same day, SpecialK saw a post from a hometown friend on Facebook.  The friend mentioned a dish he was eating, and SoecialK knew which restaurant he was at. Comments mans messages were exchanged, and said friend joined us for lunch.  Leftover chicken casserole left the freezer, and was served again.

This week was SpecialK and my anniversary.  I made the following cheesecake in honor of the occasion.  Would this be a good time to mention our double ovens are wonky?  Top and bottom?

Cheesecake with Strawberries

So that was my week that was.  How was your week?  Favorite Passover dishes?

Next stop, Gluten Free Expo, in Pasadena, CA.  Then, perhaps I can stop eating (high carb foods).

Appealing plates

This is my first post with my new computer.  For the last few posts, I have formatted my thoughts on my iPad.  Please don’t misunderstand, I love my iPad, truly.  But emailing myself pictures to transfer to a post, well, it got a bit cumbersome.

So, what have you been up to?  When preparing a meal for one, do you grab a handful of Cheerios, or do you set up a plate (or bowl) for yourself?  SpecialK travels frequently for work, and I am here alone.


This dish looks ugly.  But I would eat this any day, because I know how delicious it is.

Sometimes, it can elevate the eating experience, if you think about the plate you are going to eat.  I saw the following plate, and thought, “Gee, I could have used some Romaine under the  whitefish salad  on this plate’.  I thought it looked nice, and it was fun to eat as I added a slice of tomato to each cracker with whitefish salad on it.


The interesting thing about taking the time to arrange your food, is that you could get full faster.  I could only finish 1/2 of the multigrain crackers that I had on my plate.  You and I both know that if I had left the bag of crackers open, next to my plate, I would have consumed many more crackers.  I actually felt full.  That is almost mind numbing, eating healthy from a good looking plate actually made me feel full.  Another trick I should have learned when I was younger!


I could easily reach into that bowl and grab a strawberry!  I am glad I am learning more ways to satisfy my body, making new recipes I get to share with you.

Keep reading, there is a delicious chicken recipe that will make an appearance, soon.