• ritasracques@gmail.com

Getting Through This With Humor


I have now been in my house with my husband Dennis since February 25th.We started earlier than most. That is 35 DAYS! We have been married for 51 years. Dennis is a writer. He has many stories. I know all of his stories. In fact, many I could recite verbatim. Previous to COVID-19 he visited his buddies daily at the local bar for about an hour-and-a-half (we refer to this as going to the hardware store). He meets lots of new people and he tells them his stories. Three weeks ago the bar closed. I have always found his hardware store time to be MY TIME. You know, sit down and read a bit or call someone or just relax by myself. The two of us have worked together for the past 20 years so I am used to him being around, but now, he is always around and HE has not had an audience for 21 DAYS!


He seems to be losing his charm and there is a limit to my patience. Not wanting to continually be saying, "Yes, dear, I have heard that one", we have implemented a new plan. He gets the entire upstairs while I work in my studio in the basement. He does have visiting privileges such as me letting him come down and play pool, but only if I beat him; he has to make the bed as he is the last one out; I cannot impinge on his office ("The Sty"); I cannot mention the ever growing pile of projects surrounding him and his desk or the dishes everywhere in his room and he stays upstairs and makes meals and writes while I remain in my studio making my own mess. There are still stories though, give me patience Lord, there are still stories.







I have been looking for laughter maybe in all the wrong places but Facebook has provided some moments of amusement. I loved this picture. Who needs Easter candy? This takes care of it.














My neighbors and I are trying to do some safe socializing. Across the street from my house is a lovely park with a decent size parking lot. Some of my neighbors and I go to the parking lot twice a day now, stand six feet apart and do some light exercise. There is a great deal of groaning as this is happening. It's been a week now but the groaning hasn't eased up much.


If you have ever been to Ireland you know that pretty much every other word for them is the "F" word. After awhile you get pretty used to this. After our exercise session this morning someone sent me this video. It has a few "F" bombs but I can totally relate to this guy.


The above picture is what we all think we look like. I am not posting what we really look like as we "stretch".


Tonight one of my neighbors is doing karaoke in her yard and we will see if we can get the neighbors to join in. I have a beautiful baby grand piano that is a player piano as well. Tomorrow we are opening all our windows and doors in our house and turning the piano on as loud as possible and giving a piano concert.


If you have some safe socializing ideas please share. I would love to hear them.

I have always enjoyed Mike Rowe of the Dirty Jobs tv show. I found this video of Mike and his mom and it is worth sharing. Her name is Peggy Rowe, I may have to purchase this woman's book. If you have a moment listen to the whole clip. It should make you laugh.

Today I realized that I have not had makeup on for over two weeks. I hardly recognize myself. Last time this happened I was maybe12. Dennis dropped by the studio and said. "Nice shirt". I think this was some type of romantic gesture. Things change as you age. I guess makeup isn't that essential.



As I mentioned in my last blog I found Guide4Quilting, a company that had interesting and simple tools we quilters can use. Let me introduce you to the Seam Guide Setter. I think this is the simplest method I have encountered for getting that perfect scant quarter inch. It comes with enough seam guides to attach to all of your machines so your stitching is uniform with every machine you own. I happen to own more than I like to admit, BUT I use them all.








This is a simple, inexpensive way to perfect a scant quarter-inch seam.









We were planning on attending the MQX quilt show in New Hampshire and I was pretty excited to show all those longarm people our camera, the Stitch Snitch. So that didn't happen, but we do have a special for the month of April on the Stitch Snitch. Receive 20% off when you use the coupon code SNITCH. That is a $60 saving!




I hope each of you are finding ways to cope. Sewing, of course, does it for me. I'm doing my part and making masks but taking some time to sew all the things that I have been putting off for ages. The pile is actually going down!


Today, I find myself at home hoping the people in my life are safe and healthy. I wish the same for each of you and that each of you find a bit of humor in your day.


I give you my Irish goodbye.


Rita



RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Shakshuska


I found this recipe last year and it is now a favorite of my family. It takes about 20 minutes to make and feeds a eight. It has a lovely bold taste but is not spicy. If you are looking for spice add cayenne pepper or more Serrano chili's at the end of the preparation.

My husband feels a meal is not a meal unless it has meat in it, so I add sausage but it is meant to be a meatless meal. Leftovers are so very good a day or two later!


3 T olive oil 2 red bell peppers chopped

3 garlic cloves 3 T. Sweet paprika

1 tsp cumin 1 tsp coriander

4 c. crushed tomatoes 2 T sugar

8 eggs 1 Serrano chili - thinly sliced

1 bunch cilantro 4 c. crushed tomatoes

1 medium onion diced Optional - 1 pound of sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)



1. If you are adding the sausage to the recipe brown the sausage first and set aside

2. Heat half of the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped bell pepper and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.

3. Add garlic and spices and cook an additional minute.

4. Pour the can of tomatoes and juice into the pan and break down the tomatoes using a large spoon. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer.

5. Add the sausage you prepared in step one and let simmer for a few minutes.

6. Use a a large spoon to make small wells in the sauce and crack the eggs into each well. Cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.

7. Garnish with chopped cilantro and Serrano pepper


I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest.

I do not judge the universe.

Dalai Lama