The Simple Life
By Sheryl Simons
It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes
Simple Pot Roast
I was at the grocery store the other day, and there was a sale
on roast beef. Now who doesn't like a nice pot roast once in a
while? However, it was already late afternoon, so no time to put a
roast in the oven or crockpot, right? But then I remembered my
pressure cooker. Barely more than a half hour and there could be a
nice roast beef dinner on the table.
We peeled some potatoes and carrots while the roast was searing
on each side. Put 2 cups water in the pan, then dump in the
vegetables, and, of course lots of onions and some onion soup mix.
Put the lid on tight, and put on the pressure valve. Now, I wanted
to make sure was doing it right, and exactly how long to cook it, so
I looked around for my manual. No dice. So, turning my laptop on
within about a minute and a half, I had the recipe. I did a quick
Google search for `pot roast recipe pressure cooker'. That's why I
love the Internet. Google is like having a worldwide encyclopedia at
your fingertips. You can search points of interest in Tibet, learn
how to play a game, or find directions to build just about anything.
I'd probably go without morning coffee, but not my Internet. You can
find more than you want to know in no time!
The first recipe I found was exactly what I was looking for.
Two cups of water was the right amount, and it suggested 40 minutes.
I set the timer, and quicker than it takes to watch the evening news,
we were eating the most delicious, fall- apart pot roast you can
imagine! Now even if I hadn't had the Internet, I had guessed
right. But I think 40 minutes was too long, so next time I will try
35. Tomorrow's dinner will be stew from the leftovers.
Now, I'm not suggesting that you run out and get a pressure
cooker. That would be easy, but not so simple. Just hang on until
you are at a yard sale next spring, or visit a second-hand store.
That's where I got mine, for a couple bucks. Now when you think
after work meal, most Americans think fast food and unhealthy, or all
day in the crock-pot.
Crockpot is a great alternative, too. When you get it all in
the crock-pot the night before, (put it in the fridge!) all you have
to do in the morning is plug it in. Pull out a salad bag and you've
got a nice healthy meal. You can do a pot roast, stew, pea or any
soup, even lasagna, etc.
But don't forget about trying a pressure cooker. Chicken, beef,
pork, anything that takes a long time, can cook up in no time, even
stew in 15 minutes or less.
I'm all for decluttering, and getting rid of all you don't need,
but if you have the discipline to go to yard sales and not buy what
you don't need, you can really find some great deals. Books for a
quarter, sets of dishes for $5 (I haven't bought a new set of dishes
in 30 years, but I love changing sets), dressers for $10, and one of
my favorites, a corner hutch for $40, that is really cute. Why pay
full price? But I go to a lot of yard sales where I leave with
nothing, and that makes me happy, too. I know I didn't buy something
that I don't need. The fun is in the hunt, but only if it's useful.
(If you just have to dust it, it's not useful!)
* * *
Yes, You can be too Rich!
We stopped to see some cars for sale at a home. When we'd been
there, the house was lovely, the landscaping superb. This time, it
was all in a shambles. Oh, it was still a nice home, but there was
so much "stuff", that it seemed there was no room to put it all.
Things lay here, there, everywhere. Where once there was a lovely
estate, there was now a jumbled mess. There were several used
vehicles that she mentioned needed a part. There were boats,
snowmobiles, campers, and all sorts of toys, but nothing put away
and they were still buying more, telling us of what they were getting
It isn't that they don't have the money. They could have easily
hired a couple students to rake the leaves off the lawn, trim the
hedges, and weed the bushes around the buildings. But it hadn't been
done. Instead of having things put in their place, as it had been
last time we were there, everything was askew. Broken lawn mowers,
snow blowers, and tools seemed to set where they'd broken. There
seemed no reason, except that life had just gotten too busy. They
told of all the "clubs" they were in, and all the activities
they "had" to participate in. All I could think of was their things
controlled them. They were not in control. The indoor swimming pool
area was littered with toys, and "stuff", while the pool filter
needed repair! Pools, while nice, require a lot of maintenance.
Find out before your purchase how many hours a week it will take.
Maybe you can't afford the time. Don't let things get away from you.
Take care of them when they need taking care of, and when you spend
money, remember the time it takes to repair, and take care of
things. Things need to be winterized, and kept up. If you don't
have the time, you will have to hire someone to do it for you
unless you decide not to take care of them, and then you might as
well not buy them in the first place.
* * *
Foot Fungus Treatment: Rub your feet with hydrogen peroxide and let
it dry on there. Reported to work well - better job than tree tea
Brown Recluse Bite
Recently a lady was bitten by a brown recluse spider, and didn't
realize it for about a week. At that time it had grown too large to
use a Band-Aid on it. She started researching herbal remedies for bug
bites. Mostly Lavender or Tree Tea Oil was recommended. She decided
to use both. She put a generous amount on some gauze and put tape on
to hold it in place and changed it usually once a day. The next week
she could hardly even find the spot!! She never had to go
to the hospital.
Put the unshelled pecans in a big pan, like a Dutch oven. Cover them
with water, add a dash of salt. Bring them to a boil. Let boil 10
minutes, drain in a colander until cool. They will shell easily and
* * *
"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your
problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the
ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own
destiny." ~~ Albert Ellis
We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment
looking for victory. ~~Bern Williams
"Each today, well-lived, makes yesterday a dream of happiness and
each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look, therefore, to this one day, for
it and it alone is life."~unknown
Keeping it Simple,
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