Drive-through-fast egg sandwich

I’m always rushing out the door in the morning and many times I want a hot breakfast but don’t want to spend a half hour cooking and eating it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a small meal I could have that’s relatively balanced and I could make in less than five minutes?

Well, it is nice, because it’s totally possible, and here’s how to do it!

You will need:

1 egg

1 English muffin

1 slice of cheese, or 1/2 ounce of shredded cheese

Salt/pepper to taste

Optional:  Slice of lunch meat, hot sauce, other condiments you like

A tall container to cook the egg in that’s roughly the same diameter as the muffin.  I use a cheap plastic storage container.

A microwave and a toaster.


Split and toast the English muffin.  While it’s toasting, crack the egg in the bottom of your cooking container, add salt, pepper and/or dried herbs, and mix with fork or whisk.

Microwave egg on High for one minute.

When muffin is toasted, put cheese on bottom half.  Add your egg, which should have cooked into a fluffy disk that fits perfectly on your muffin.

Add any other toppings you want and close sandwich.  You can wrap it in foil to take with you, or eat it right there.  I like to use a whole wheat English muffin so it stays with me a little longer.

There you have it- simple, easy, can be made in less than five minutes.  That’s less time than it would take to buy something at a drive-thru.  As a tip, soak your egg-cooking container for a while, as it’s much easier to clean the egg out of it if you do.  You could also spray it with cooking spray before use.



Seriously Easy Berry Jam

Who isn’t tired of paying top dollar for all-fruit jam?  It’s great to make your own, but sometimes a quick and simple recipe that you can whip up in ten minutes is nicer than standing over a hot pot of boiling fruit.  Luckily this recipe exists.

You can make this jam out of any fruit you like using nothing but a spoon, some boiling water, a refrigerator, and a blender.

You will need:

2 pints berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, or whatever you like.  You can use fresh or previously frozen.)

1/2 cup boiling water

1 4-serving packet of Jello-style gelatin dessert, any compatible flavor (I like cherry with blackberry, personally)

A blender

A spoon or whisk

A container to keep the jam in


Place your fruit into the blender and blend until relatively smooth.

Add the contents of the gelatin packet into 1/2 cup boiling water and mix well.

Mix gelatin and fruit, pour into a container.  Refrigerate for several hours.  The mixture will thicken into a nice, sturdy jam that’s perfect for toast or English Muffins.

That’s it!  This jam is so easy to make and it tastes really good.  You can get fancy and use organic gelatin, or just use packets of Sure-Jell if you want to go ultra-simple.  You can use sugar free gelatin too.  It’s also fun to try different combinations of fruit flavors with your base fruit.  If you like to reuse containers, two pints of berries makes the perfect amount of jam to fit in an old Talenti Gelato jar.  Those make great jam jars.  This jam will keep in the fridge for at least a month.



Finding your Element

I was having trouble thinking the other day.  Worries were piling up and also things were just not connecting.  It seemed like I couldn’t do the simplest things the first time.  My dear spouse gave me a modern parable that I wanted to pass along because I found a lot of truth in it.

She said, “how well does a Corsair or a P-51 Mustang run on the ground?”

Thinking about it, I recalled when I used to live next to a flight museum.  Those particular airplanes coughed and sputtered on the ground, but once they were airborne and operating at full power, their engines smoothed to a powerful roar.  I said “They run like crap.”

She said, “exactly.”  The implication being that my brain was like that, and it ran best when operating closer to full capacity.

I think that’s true for many of us.  We might have trouble in an environment we aren’t suited to, or thinking at too low a level, we might have trouble.  But when we find what element we are best in, we might find that we are fare more intelligent and capable than we thought!  How many people do we know who are amazing with their hands but useless with words?  Or who couldn’t tell a nut from a bolt but can write words that make your soul sing?  Or clean a place till it sparkles, but can’t play chess?

Moreover, the speed at which you do a thing can have a huge impact.  Some people are best when they are working fast and yet lose momentum if they try to slow down.  Some people keep making mistakes if they don’t take their time.  Like the proper operation of a vehicle, finding your “best RPM range” can be critical to your success at what you do.

Don’t just take another person’s word for it, either.  Find your own best pace.

If we all find that thing we are best at, and the rate at which we work well, those are the keys to realizing our full value as human beings.


Hot water is a MIRACLE.

Consider the miracle that happens every time you turn on the tap or take a shower.

Clean, relatively fresh water comes through the pipes to your home, past all those bends and fittings, pressurized sufficiently to get through the maze.  Or it comes up from a well, pumped by either pressure or an electric pump.

That water is heated by your hat water heater, usually to a good temperature, and out it comes, on demand, with the turn of a knob.

I’ve had several occasions in my life when running hot water has been a scarce luxury and so I really, truly appreciate it.

I’ve lived in a cabin where that water had to be carried in buckets or a barrel from a nearby creek and heated on a stove, I’ve lived in a tent where it had to be carefully dipped up from a river twenty feet below and heated over a fire.

At New Year, main feeder line between the street to the house decided to break, the galvanized steel pipe that had been laid deep below my yard in 1967 finally gave up the ghost.

Knowing what to do in times like this, we went to the old routine of sponge baths and bucket-flushing the toilet.  I bought some cornstarch to use as dry shampoo so I wouldn’t be coming to work with greasy hair.  I started looking for financing options, adjusting the budget, and calling plumbers.

After a few estimates and some kind explanations, I learned why it would cost so much to fix.  In order to get to this pipe, which had been working so faithfully and invisibly under my feet, the plumbers will have to cut through concrete and tunnel down deep to where those pipes are, all the way under the pad my house is built on.  The old galvanized pipe looks like a tree root by now, say the plumbers, and is certainly filled with rust.  When I think about it, it’s amazing the pipes lasted this long with our crunchy, naturally corrosive Tucson water.

Overtime and financing may cover my needs, though the lenders are being tight-fisted and I have to come up with this sooner rather than later.  A temporary line can only be in for so long.  Even so, four grand isn’t such a high price to pay for that miracle of running water…. which is currently being brought through a hose in my yard.

My showers whiff of hose water at the moment, but I know a solution will come, and I am grateful for this particular miracle!


(If anyone wants to help, I happen to have a GoFundMe campaign here, and forwarding of this link would be nice.  That’s all I ask.  If you’re in Tucson, Pete Nye is an awesome plumber and put my temp line in for a very reasonable cost.  Thanks, Pete.)

Christmas is saved…!

Last week I was looking forward to the holiday season without a care in the world.  Then I got the sad news that my grandmother passed away.  While I was still recovering from that, the very next day my car lost power just as I got to work, after deteriorating all the way there.  I work around ten miles from home so it wouldn’t have been a possibility to just turn back.

It being between pay periods, and having just bought presents for people, I was a little short on cash.  My awesome adopted work brother helped me go to a battery place at lunch and we got a used one in hopes that the alternator was still good.  Then there was a mad hunt to find a socket set so we could change out the battery… which we finally did.  My car started up and ran fine.  I was relieved.

The next morning, the car started up again and I thought everything was great.  Then, partway along the trip, I started having the same electrical problems.  I barely limped in to work, having had the engine almost quit on me several times.  It was undoubtedly the alternator.  Now, the battery had been old so that was also likely to fail, so it was good that I’d replaced it.  Yet, what in the heck was I to do without an alternator and someone to help me put it in?  They aren’t easy to reach on my car, you have to put it up on jacks and take out the oil filter.

My sweet cubemate, who has been really amazing, offered to help me get home from work.  Her husband brought a charger and extension cord so I could at least get somewhere if I had to, and we charged the battery enough for me to get home, though the trip was nerve wracking.  It was the greatest feeling to pull into my driveway!  Then they dropped the bomb.  They offered to buy the alternator and help me put it in – and I could pay them back after my next check.  Then my work brother said he’d take me to the store on Christmas Eve to pick up dinner so we didn’t have to make do with our emergency stocks.

I am very happy right now.  I intend to pay my friends back in the best of ways and continue my tradition of paying it forward.  Like my cubemate’s husband said, “This is what Americans do for each other.  Or should, anyway.”

That’s how Christmas was saved for me this year.  Miracles are what we make for each other, and I know my Grandma is watching and is happy with what they did.


A Different Kind of Cat Poetry Collection in Support of a Different Kind of Cat Charity — Katzenworld

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via A Different Kind of Cat Poetry Collection in Support of a Different Kind of Cat Charity — Katzenworld

In Memorium

You hid animal crackers

and bananas

in my pocket

when I was young…

You told me that you loved me every time

and kept a treasure-box with which I played.

You kept your house so clean and neat

your collection tidy, all in place

I wrote thank you notes on every holiday.

Fly now

Free from your tired and weary husk

Young, new-born

Possibilities before you.

See what you could not see in 97 years

that the world is such a beautiful place

and your adventure is just beginning.

Good journey, mother of my mother

I love you too.