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Life Without a ‘Net

Well, 36 hours net free, and I have already read three books.  The first one was too easy — a children’s novel, You’re a Brave Man, Julius Zimmerman, by Claudia Mills.  I like to check out books before I add them to my classroom library.  This one has a good story.  It should.  It is the sequel to one of my students’ favorite books, Losers, Inc.

The next two books I read were a bit more emotionally taxing.  A Child Called “It”, by Dave Pilzer, reminded me too much of my own childhood abuse — which was much shorter lived then what Dave suffered, and thankfully, my father did not watch passively while it happened.  The Lost Boy, also by Dave Pilzer, described his life as a ward of the state in the foster care system.  Dave shows the system for what it is, good and bad.  And currently I am reading the final book in the series, A Man Named Dave.  When I finish these I might try a little fiction.

OC has tried to imply that I am over-feeding him because I am net free (see the comments here).  The truth is, I started over-feeding him before my hard drive vaporized.  My last couple of years in Vegas I did not have a kitchen that encouraged much cooking.  The counter space was teaspoon sized, the oven didn’t work, and I never really felt like I could get anything clean enough to suit me.  All food was prepared on cutting boards and cooked in my crockpot or the stove top.  Aside from that, I was seldom ever home!

Here, the oven runs a bit hot, but it works.  There is plenty of counter space, and I have all the time in the world.  I have made baking powder biscuits, homemade chicken noodle (with homemade noodles) soup, beef stroganoff (also with homemade noodles), and chili.  I have cooked a few other, less spectacular meals.  OC made his chicken wing Cacciatore.  We have been eating well. 

Today it is raining.  The sky is gray, and the sea is grayer. A cottony fog is sandwiched between them and after years of desert dwelling, I love this.  Outside the world smells crisp, clear, clean and green.  I think I will toddle home from the computer lab and put together OC’s lunch  – left over chili rolled into corn tortilla shells and baked.  I will sprinkle cheese to melt over the top and serve it with diced onions, cilantro and sour cream.  He will eat seconds and thirds and claim it is my falut he is gaining weight.

I wonder what he’s going to say when this evening he returns to left over cacciatore and hot, chewy, gooey, Nestle Toll House Cookies?  Probably, “more please.”

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Doug — OC complained when they were gone ….

    Actually, they weren’t dumplings — they were noodles, rolled out, vcut into strips and dried. Very different from dumplings, which are big and fluffy rather then flat and thin. Both are equally yummy.

    Polona — yep, bubble baths, long naps, reading … all useful to me!

  2. Your recipes are making me hungry. My Potatoes baked in the oven in olive oil and Mrs Dash whe a steak smothered in Mushrooms pales in what you discribed.

    Thanks for sharing, now I got a hankering for my sister’s homemade chili

  3. Complain, Dawg? I like my life. Of course, at this rate, I’m going to need one of those suspensor belts like Baron Harkonnen had in Dune

    Wonderful noodles, Quilly. And chili, and biscuits, and sausage with eggs, and … and … and …

    Bill, may your sister read this and mail you some chili. 😉

  4. Bill — ask your sister for her recipe!

    OC — too little, too late. What are you cooking for breakfast tomorrow? And lunch? And dinner?

  5. Thankfully I just had lunch and it still hurts. So I can resist the thought of chili. But oh how nice it would be to cook for another!

  6. Oh dear Quilly, you better get to work or both of you will will turn into weebles! I do that when I’m not working too, just cook and cook and cook.

  7. Oh, no, the horror of it all. I am weeping for your loss. Hope things return to their proper place in the universe soon.

    Cooking is so much fun when you don’t have to do it. Your meals sound yummy. No wonder OC can’t resist.

    I am jealous of your reading leisure.

    The pictures are beautiful.

  8. Since I haven’t eaten breakfast as yet, all this mouth watering conversation has me in distress. I’m off to the kitchen for toast and tea, nothing there to write about……. 🙂

  9. ALL — OC read this post yesterday evening and reacted with a surprised, “Did you write this before or after lunch?” “After,” I told him. Then — with a smirk on my face — asked why in my sweetest most angelic voice. I already knew why he was asking — because he did eat three helpings of the chili casserole, and he wanted to know if I had really predicted it. Yep, I did.

    Morgan — cooking for someone else is the best part.

    Kat — I am going to try some fat-free cooking and see how that goes. Really. Soon. But for tonight’s dinner I think it’s meat loaf and baked potatoes … (Changed my mind — split pea soup.)

    Nessa — I am enjoying my reading leisure. I want more books! They come at a premium price here on the island.

    Pauline — toast (made from the last of the banana bread), tea, jiuce and a banana were OC’s breakfast this morning — by his own choice.

  10. Okay, what do you have? I am fondest of mystery — but no horror and gore.. I also enjoy fantasy and scifi. I have been known to enjoy romance novels, too, but I prefer a plot to reading about sex, which to me shouldn’t be a spectator sport. I have finished all three books if you want the set.

  11. Dr. John — I, too, await the final Harry Potter book — but I am reading while I wait. I plan to teach in Hawaii. And the food is great, if I can say so without seeming immodest. Tonight we are having homemade slpit pea soup. It seemed somehow fitting in all this fog.

  12. Well, little Susie Homemaker…. eat small portions!

    I read A Child Called It and was so appalled that I could NOT bring myself to read the next book…. I guess one of these days I should. But sometimes I just prefer to seclude myself from the real world….

  13. Dear Quilly……..I find I’m thinking of you enjoying your beautiful summer location and comparing it to your last few hectic months in Las Vegas. The temperature change alone must be heavenly; then add O.C.. the scenery, the walks, time for reading, cooking for fun et al. Fantastic!

    I checked out Friday Harbor on Google Earth (I love that programme) and see that you are surrounded by lakes and islands and forests. You are very close to Victoria, on the tip of Vancouver Island. I’ve never seen a coast line that I didn’t love. Enjoy God’s earthly delights……….Judy

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