Chop suey

Today I used my pressure cooker to tenderize beef bits to use in a batch of stirfry–in reality, it turned out to be chop suey.

I had vegetables from the freezer and some from the fridge. It’s the kind of meal that doesn’t take measuring. I just throw veggies into hot oil to get them cooking, add shredded beef, soy sauce, molasses, and ginger.

I hadn’t made this in quite a while. Bob had seconds.

The trouble was that partway through cooking I had the wish that I had a can of La Choy Chop Suey vegetables. That’s what we used when I was a kid.

I haven’t used this kind of canned vegetables in many years, but just thinking about a meal made by my dad gave me warm feelings.

I doubt if I’ll buy a can of La Choy, but if I do, I’ll make it the way Dad did.

leftovers going into the fridge

The photo doesn’t do my chop suey justice. My meal was very good. I’m pretty sure, Dad would have approved.

?Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved

Invasion! … Maybe

I didn’t know that Queen Anne’s lace was considered an invasive species in Wisconsin. I’ve always liked this plant.

Some call Queen Anne’s lace Wild Carrot, Birds Nest, and Bishops Lace.

It may be thought to be invasive by some but the black swallowtail butterfly find it a good host plant.  I’ve added some to a bouquet of flowers to bring out the colors of my cultivated flowers.

I just want to say that I will continue to enjoy the blooming of Queen Anne’s Lace in our ditch where it makes the world a little prettier–at least I think so.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved


For the last two and a half months, I’ve been without a clothes dryer. Hanging hasn’t been much fun. Rain kept making life interesting.

My clothes felt and looked like they have been starched. What was worse was the towels. They were like sandpaper.

Three weeks ago a repairman came. He figured out we needed a heater coil. He went back to the shop to order it.

A week and a half later the part was in but we werent’ home the day he had time to come.

Eventually, the repairman and the part arrived. Success! Or so I thought. When I threw in wet towels the drum didn’t turn and worse yet smoke came out of the door when I opened it!!!!

The repairman couldn’t come right back. He needed a few days for minor surgery.

Today he arrived. The drive belt had slipped off and the motor turning against it caused the smoke.

He fixed it easily and was out of here in ten minutes.

Towels were ready to be dried.

The second batch was very stiff jeans.

I am so happy.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved

Sudden adoption

This multiple adoption was not in my plans. It wasn’t until we found abandoned kittens in the barn that I became a mother again.

It took some work getting to the kittens. The mother had left them behind two heavy motors in the old shed shop. Lucky for them they were old enough to pop out from behind the motor so I could grab them one at a time.

There are four in total and they have totally taken over my life.

First, they were housed on the back porch but today they are in our kitchen. This is not the ideal setup for raising kittens. I just hope I’m up for the job. They have made it through a week of bottle feeding.

Keeping them fed is hard enough. The worst part is keeping them clean. Mother cats have a tough job. I just wish their mother had raised them. Hopefully, we’ll have lively kittens to send to new homes in the future. Adopting four might be a bit much for Bob and me.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved

Picture Perfect Day

Today I joined a group of women from the Outagamie County University of Wisconsin Extension – Association for Home and Community Education at their fall Picture Perfect program.

The people there were dedicated to repurposing cards and calendars.

Some of the women were taking old cards, cutting and pasting them together to form new cards.

I worked across from Lois Schwister. We and others were taking old calendar photos, putting them into plastic sleeves, and making flipbooks. These would eventually be used by people with dimension.

The repurposed cards are given to other people to use as they wish.

It was a good day to work with industrious, talented ladies who also made a great pot luck lunch.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved