Veggie Quesadillas From Leftovers

A half package of tortillas has been languishing in the cupboard for a while. One of these days I’m going to learn how to make my own so that I don’t have to buy a giant package for one person. Meanwhile, I needed to do something with the leftovers.

It just so happens that I had an abundance of veggies and some vegan cheese waiting to be tried so it was veggie quesadillas for lunch! Actually, for a couple of meals because they were excellent and I had the supplies.

I just sautéed small amounts of veggies that I already had – onion, green pepper, mushrooms, squash and broccoli in one pan.

In another nonstick pan, I put down a tortilla, added the vegan cheese, and tossed in the veggies. Then I added the top tortilla and let it all warm up and brown on both sides.

Served with some lettuce, black olives, black beans, and barbecue sauce for dipping (you read the right- bbq sauce) and it was a delicious meal.

All ingredients were things I already had that would’ve been wasted and it came together in mere minutes. The green pepper had actually seen better days and was teetering on the edge of becoming compost so I was glad to give it purpose!

What’s your go-to meal for using up leftover veggies? I do a lot of stir fries and often sautée veggies to put on top of a baked potato. When I still ate eggs, omelettes were a wonderful way to use odds and ends.

Comment and share your ideas!

Bite Someone

This is not my cat and I didn’t make this graphic. It was passed around on Facebook last year, origins unknown. Nonetheless, it sums up his attitude most days.

I’m starting to think of little Scout as a tiny terrorist. His favorite thing to do right now is to walk in front of my computer. When I move him, he bites me.

It’s great.

But when he’s sleepy, he’s the sweetest little cat you’ll ever meet. If only he would stay that way!

Perfectly Normal

Working from home has presented some unique challenges. I’m actually more productive at my quiet house but I also can go for long periods of time without speaking to or seeing other humans.

I think I’m doing ok with this. My mental health seems strong. And then I realized last night that I’ve been naming all the little creatures at the bird feeder.

Meet Laverne….

…and Shirley…..

And yes, there’s a Lenny and Squiggy too but I don’t have pictures of those guys.

Then there are the chipmunks – Alvin, Simon and Theodore – that chase each other around the yard as well as a woodpecker that I can’t resist calling Woody.

Naming the wildlife…. that’s perfectly normal, right? Right???

Cutting the Cord

One of the best decisions I ever made came from a place of necessity. After my divorce, I had to find some ways to save money so one of the first things to go was my very expensive dish bill.

I don’t recall how much we were paying for tv but it was close to $100 a month. It bothered me at first that I couldn’t afford what I considered a very basic utility and right.

But you know something? I didn’t miss it for very long because it quickly became clear that I didn’t watch shows so much as I flipped channels. I had so much more free time on my hands because I wasn’t mindlessly flipping between HGTV and ALF reruns.

I live in the country where internet options aren’t great so I don’t use any streaming services but do have an antenna which gives me access to some fabulous entertainment. I’m listening to a great PBS concert while writing this and have access to a vegan cooking show, documentaries, some neat reruns and, of course all the modern stuff brought to us by the brilliant minds of network television executives today.

If the tv is on in my house, it’s to watch something specific and not to kill time. And since I’m not flipping through hundreds of channels all evening long, I have more time to read and to do other things I enjoy.

Not to mention, many tv shows (I’m looking at you Chip and Jo) and all commercials are designed to make you feel dissatisfied with yourself and your life. Plus, there’s just not much on television today that’s worth the brain cells you’re killing by staring at the thing. By minimizing my tv exposure, I have actually increased my happiness.

Thinking about cutting the cord? I say do it. If you’re on the fence, add up how much you spend on tv in a year and think about what you could do with all that money! Even if you invest some in a streaming service, you will be saving hundreds and possibly thousands a year!

It may feel weird at first but I promise you won’t regret it!

The New Normal

The conversation right now is is all about getting back to normal.

And I get it. People need to go back to work. Small businesses need their customers back. The economy has to start rolling again soon.

For me personally, I’m just inconvenienced and I feel terrible for people who are suffering financially.

There are things I can’t wait to do.

For example, grocery shopping is one of my favorite activities so I’m excited to someday walk into a store without strategizing like a general preparing for battle.

I want to browse a bookstore and see a movie. I want to visit places that I’ve never been.

But I’m trying to make the best of this time at home, cooking and doing chores. I’ve been digging in long neglected flower beds and look forward to transplanting and using plants from around the yard to make things nicer. Small changes around the house sometimes involve simply making something a little more convenient and I’ve been decluttering here and there.

The tv is off most of the time although I have gotten hooked on reruns of The Closer. Reading is the thing I do most – before work, after work and sometimes at lunch.

I’ve said this before and will say it again, life is very quiet. And while my leash is short, I’m still planning some hikes and drives to places most people don’t think to go. Social distancing is easier in rural areas.

When your world changes, you have to change with it.

I watch with interest as Facebook friends exchange Netflix recommendations and complain about spouses, kids, boredom and having to cook. They’re basically killing time while they wait to go back to normal life.

I’m not sure I want to go back to normal – at least, not everything. Some activities, some people, some obligations will get weeded out of my life just like the Honeysuckle that I cut away from roses this week.

It just seems like now is the time to find new hobbies, to eat better, breathe deeper and to build habits for greater happiness and productivity in the future.

The folks in this next picture were in a nice art gallery, a place called the Parthenon, in Nashville last spring. They were surrounded by interesting things but they chose to sit on a bench and look at their phones while others in their party explored.

They’re missing out on everything.

Is this how we want to spend our lives? Sitting on a bench or a couch, staring at a tv or phone? Or complaining because someone dragged us to a museum or some other place that we don’t want to be so we’re just going to ignore it till it’s over?

Here’s my unsolicited advice.

Turn off the tv and go for a walk or do a puzzle. Go for drives. Order some seeds and plant a small garden. You will be amazed at how therapeutic it is to dig in spring soil.

This is a great time to reflect on what you like about your life and what isn’t working. If you’re unemployed or working from home, you may find time to explore new things, expand your horizons, or map a fresh journey for the road ahead.

The photo at the top of the page is from my yard. This battered old apple tree bloomed overnight after a long night of thunderstorms this week. Once the storms moved through, the sun came out and these pretty blossoms filled the branches.

Let’s be like this tree. Weather the storm and when the time is right, we will blossom again.