MJ Monday-Meals: Leftover Tacos/Quesadillas/Wraps

I have an unusual way of dealing with leftovers.

I turn them into tacos. Wraps. Quesadillas.  Actually I’m not sure what to call them, but my husband is always amazed at what a good idea these concoctions are.

I take a tortilla. I spoon the leftovers onto the tortilla, sprinkle with an appropriate cheese, then microwave for a minutes. Roll it all up and voila!

Example 1: my extended family served meatballs over the holidays, with plenty of leftovers for everyone to take home. We ate traditional meatball subs one night. Then I ran out of rolls. So I halved the meatballs and plopped them on a tortilla:

Then I smothered them with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Voila! Meatball quesadillas.

Example 2: With only two of us at home these days, I usually have leftover chili. So one night, I did the tortilla thing, but used shredded Mexican cheese (Mexican cheese is what my local supermarket changes calls a four-cheese blend of cheddar, Monterrey Jack, asadero, and quesadilla cheese–that’s what the package says.)

If I’m feeling particularly domestic, I’ll cook these in a cast iron frying pan to make them more quesadilla-like. My husband likes them just fine heated in the microwave. And there is no extra cookware to clean.

Various kinds of shredded cheese and a package of tortillas are “pantry” staples at my house. Cheese freezes beautifully.  Leftovers don’t get boring if you switch up how they’re served.

 

 

Office Update

I have big plans to renovate my office. Huge plans. The idea came when I saw a rug online. My soul insisted I needed this rug. So I bought it. The rest of the room will transformed around this

The first step involves getting my husband’s two bookcases out of my office. I already know where they are going to go. It’s simply a matter of making the time (and recovering from a knee injury) to unload the overloaded shelves, then moving the furniture. One is going into my son’s former bedroom. That will be the first one moved. The second one is going into the hall where I currently have our printer set up. The printer will move into my office. I’ve measured. This will work.

Paint (I have colors in mind), new blinds, new light fixture, dry-wipe calendars I can reach. A white board. An altar.

I am very excited by this project.

MJ Monday-Manuscript: Besieged by the Moon

Here’s an excerpt from the very rough draft of BESIEGED BY THE MOON, tentatively scheduled for July 2020 publication:

“Helga is a character,” Parker said as he helped Phoebe into the back seat of Dakota’s SUV. Phoebe was so tiny she could be mistaken for a child.

“I think she’s frightened.” Phoebe scooted across the seat as if to make room for Parker beside her.

He’d planned to sit in front with Dakota, but climbed in next to Phoebe.

Dakota, who usually maintained his silence, tried to get chatty with Phoebe as he fiddled with his phone. “Where in Tennessee are you from?”

“Soddy-Daisy.”

“Isn’t that where Senator Tuttle is from?” Dakota asked, as he drove out of the parking lot.

“In half a mile, turn right onto Coriander,” Dakota’s phone instructed.

Phoebe went very still. “Yes. Tuttle is from Soddy-Daisy.”

“He’s in town, you know.”

Phoebe hesitated. “Really?”

Neither an admission or a denial. Parker was getting strange vibes off her.

“Do you know why?” she asked Dakota.

“He’s here to support the local congressman’s family. A lot of issues there.” Dakota ran a yellow light.

Issues?

Parker struggled to remain neutral.

It’s Alarming

Last year I indulged in a new alarm clock. An atomic clock, which means I never have to set it again. The numbers are enormous, making it easy to read without my glasses. It not only shows me the time, but also the temperature and humidity of the room, the day, the date, and the moon phase. It also has a USB port for charging my phone. How could this be a bad thing?

The moon phases are always off a little. I should have realized this before I purchased the clock. The clock runs on a man-made calendar, while the moon phases itself on a (shocking!) lunar calendar. This is not a deal-breaker.

My phone started acting up whenever I plugged it into the clock to charge. Every day at 1:08am, 2:08am, 3:08am, 4:08am, 5:08am, 6:08am, 7:08am my phone vibrates twice. I am a light sleeper. This seriously impacted my sleep.  I checked every alarm, alert, etc. on my phone. I asked my co-workers, most of whom are much more tech savvy than I when it comes to smart phones. Nothing.

After months of frustration I finally figured out why my phone was vibrating at eight past the hour every hour. For some bizarre reason, the clock face goes completely black on the hour in the AM. It comes back on eight minutes later, which causes a power surge in my phone, making it vibrate. That mystery solved.

Now if only I could figure out what’s going on with the eight-minute blackout.

 

MJ Monday-Music: Aria 2

Many years ago, a friend gifted me with a CD called Aria 2The compilation is one of the most relaxing collections of music I’ve ever heard. Very few of the cuts are in English, which makes the songs unobtrusive. It’s difficult to be distracted by lyrics when you don’t understand them.

I love the CD. Even the synthesized percussion somehow make the music approachable. And the vocalists, particularly the females, sound relaxed.

But sometimes I’m a little slow.

Several years later, my husband and I were at the Glimmerglass Opera for La Traviata. Not being a true opera fan, I was shocked when I realized, “Hey! I know that song!” But I had no idea how I was familiar with the melody. Several hours later it came to me: it’s on my Aria 2 CD. With that insight, I also realized the CD was opera arias. Until that moment, I had no clue. Did I mention I can be a little slow?

But the performances on Aria 2 don’t sound operatic. They are … comfortable. I tend to find opera singers sound as if they are in pain while they are singing. That’s not the case on Aria 2. There is almost a folk music type of ambiance to the CD…if a CD can have an ambiance.

iTunes has a download of the CD. I’ve read where you can stream it on Spotify. Not sure about Pandora. But you should check it out.