Jul 21, 2011


I'm basically a four year old, so if and when you want or need me to do something, you need to either a) threaten me, or b) bribe me. With a cookie. Or meatloaf.

I don't know what it is about me and meatloaf. I love the stuff. And no matter how many times I make it, or how many times I change the recipe, I always say to myself "Now THIS is a good meatloaf".

Yesterday, for some unknown reason, I planted myself at the kitchen table and managed to do about three years worth of paperwork, bills, filing, general to-doing, and whatnot. It took all damn day, and when I finally looked up at the clock and realized that I had finally made it to the bottom of THE BASKET, I decided to reward myself with a little cooking.

Did I mention that we're having a heat wave? Did I?

Although I'm happy to report that the meal was divine and exactly what I wanted (meatloaf with Smitten Kitchen brisket onions, Ina's Sagaponak corn pudding, old fashioned broccoli salad, and a Popsicle for dessert), I forgot that running the oven all day would mean that the temps in here would go up. And up. And up.

I normally keep the house like a meat locker, which means that up until a few days ago the thermostat was set at 68 degrees. But after viewing all of the helpful tips on the evening news about how one might survive this hot spell, I moved the thermostat up to a whopping 72 degrees so that the AC unit wouldn't run itself to death.

After my cooking extravaganza, the temperature in here was 76.

I should have known something was amiss when I spotted Stewey taking off the hat, mittens, parka, and scarf that he normally sports and when I realized that the flash of heat that I was feeling had nothing to do with the fact that I seem to be standing in the vestibule to menopausal hell.

But we survived.

THANK YOU! from the bottom of my pitiful little heart for all of your lovely comments about the crewel sampler. I have to say that I'm rather proud of this one myself, especially since it involved using a hoop, learning to sloooowwww down and pay attention to where you stab the needle, and not fretting over the fact that the fabric is completely without any discernible holes to guide you. This was most definitely a reminder that this thing of ours can bring utter bliss and total satisfaction, if you just leave the obsessive compulsiveness at the door and vow to have a little fun. So may I just say once again...BRAVA, Madame Posie Your Very Self! This project was a treat from the very start to the very finish.

Deciding what was next on Ye Olde Agenda was a bit of a challenge, but I went with the one thing that I could think of that is the polar opposite of stitching with Appleton wool on cotton twill....stitching with silk on linen!

This is Shepherd's Bush BEEKEEPER'S COTTAGE, and as you can see, I've made a very tiny little bit of progress in between sweating and making meatloaf:

Today is Dad's birthday, which means he would have turned 79. That seems almost impossible to imagine, and Aunt Chrissy and I miss him terribly. I don't care how old you are....nobody should ever have to try to figure life out without a dad there to guide them. (If anybody in Phoenix finds themselves at the St. Francis Mausoleum today, please give he and mom a little pat for us and let them know that their girls are muddling their way through the best they can out here in Hoosierville.)

It's going to be beastliest of the beastliest today, so Stewey and I are hanging out in the cool confines of Chez Spinster. I've closed all of the blinds and drapes and turned the ceiling fans to maximum force, so as long as I don't get any crazy impulses to bake or clean or do laundry, we should be just fine.

That's the report. I hope that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be and that your breezes are cool, your glass is full, and your needles are flying!


  1. If you haven't tried Mandajuice's Magic Meatloaf you must. If you can't find Soy Vay Island Teriyaki sauce, LMK and I'll send you some. DELISH!

  2. The vestible of menopausel hell - haahahahaha - you are hilarious!

  3. ooo the meatloaf sounds yummm and well done for sorting out your paperwork :) love your new start toooo :) and menopausal hell is sooo funny (have yet to get there ) hope you get a little cooler . I would send you some from over here if i could figure out how to bottle it ..lol love mouse xxxx

  4. Amen to staying cool, Coni. Being just a wee bit north of you, we too are having high heat. Itis ONLY 99* on my deck at 1 p.m., in the shade. YUCK. I am a cool weather chick myself!

    I like the start on the SB bee piece.

    I baked a cake the other day, after picking the rhubarb - outside - in the heat. It was delicious but the house did heat up too much!

  5. Your new start is great! Congrats on catching up with your paperwork. I hope to do some of that this weekend.

  6. I can still remember . . as if it were today . . when Mom died I automatically said, "I'm now an orphan." And I was 45 at the time . . . I know it isn't right for a child to die before a parent . . . but no matter how old we are, our parents are still missed.

  7. Next time you decide to make a meat loaf use a crock pot. It will take a few more hours but no heating up of kitchen. I use whatever meatloaf recipe I have like you I change it up everytime.

    Loved your comment of menopausel hell!

  8. I am in Phoenix - live here, so your post really touched me. Will send prayers and thoughts their direction. I take it you used to live here? Just so you know it hit 118 degrees a couple weeks ago. My oven hasn't been on since May.

  9. Funny...I'm doing meatloaf and roasted potatoes tonight, and here in southern Hoosierland, it registered about 103* a while ago. But as you say, NOTHING beats a good meatloaf!

    Your stitching looks great...my needles are flying today on Quaker Diamonds (thanks to you).

  10. I'm with you in postmenopausal hell...2 fans are whizzing air in my direction and the AC continually runs...I don't care what the electric bill is...

  11. Ha! Aren't we all standing in some vestibule hell or another anyway? Love the reference... And I just want you to know those of you who have a pretty pink on the heat map (http://www.weather.com/maps/maptype/currentweatherusnational/uscurrenttemperatures_large.html) have been on my mind. I've thought of you as my office has been almost 90 degrees every morning for the past few weeks, until they finally fixed the air flow yesterday... something about chillers, the aquifer under the campus, and not enough of both. Wish I'd had meatloaf to go with the sauna effect though. I think I could have cooked one, if I'd have thought of it! Sounds yummy.

    LauraB in Utah

  12. Hey we had meatloaf last night ourselves and it was quite tasty - I just had leftovers for lunch today LOL. Glad you are surviving the blast of midwest heat...our southwest weather is typical for this time of year but not as bad as what you guys are having righ tnow. I use the outdoor BBQ more and try to run the inside oven less during the summer. Congrats on your recent finish...I am so very behind in blog reading! And keep the popsicles coming....ahhhh....

  13. We're meatloaf fans here too - well, the kids are. They'll eat it no matter how I fix it except the time I covered it with horseradish sauce. Didn't go over well with them, but I loved it.

  14. Happy Birthday to your dad. You're right we all need our dads.

    Congrats on the meatloaf - stay cool.

  15. I havae to agree with you hun; I love meatloaf also; esp the 2nd day meatloaf sandwich w/miracle whip and a slice of tomato...I lost my dad almost 6 years ago and was very much a "daddys girl"; I miss him everyday and sometimes still find it hard to believe he's gone; but he's still in my heart..

    Hugs, Shar

  16. Love your new start Coni! (love meatloaf too, but NO way am I turnin` on ma oven!)

    How is Stewey doing??? I get withdrawal if I don`t see a pic of him in every post!!

    Kisses to the Stewmeister and Bosco...

  17. Ooops...forgot to say...you never are too 'mature' to miss your parents. I miss my dad everyday, and he had been gone 15 years. My mom is far away from me and is old...I likely won`t see her a lot before she dies. Sometimes life sucks. ((hugs))

  18. I agree with Shar...I'm not a hot meatloaf fan but almost nothing beats a cold meatloaf sandwich with miracle whip. Methinks I might make a meatloaf this weekend - not to eat in and of itself, but for sammich material!

    BTW you've almost inspired me to try crewel. Almost. But think I may be too obsessive about stitch placement and my brain may explode without holes to guide me!

  19. Love todays blog, Coni. Thanks for taking the time to do it. I also love meatloaf too. Unfortunately my DH does not. :) Cathryn

  20. 2 possible solutions to dilemmas -

    1. hormone replacement therapy - works like a charm! no more flashes, etc.

    2. Microwave/convection oven - comes in a countertop model, cooks in a flash, browns and bakes perfectly. A 5 lb roast done perfectly in 30 min. with not much kitchen heating. Meatloafs come out juicy and crusty. Only way to stay sane and still eat hot food in this weather. Texas is on fire - literally and figuratively.

    Lovely crewel - haven't done that in years, may have to try it again!


  21. I love meatloaf, too. Putting one in the small crockpot for the EO tomorrow, since I'll be gone all day. Heat wave be durned! :) Loved the crewel piece so much I bought the pattern. Now looking for just the right fabric to put it on! You're as much of an enabler as I am! Thank you. And say "hi" to Stewie.

  22. And the actual reason I wanted to post and then forgot was to send you a hug for your dad. I agree. Mine passed away in February, two weeks before his 77th birthday. I miss him dreadfully.

  23. I love meatloaf, too. I have the most wonderful recipe which uses cous cous and you wrap the meatloaf in prosciutto. Delicious! Let me know if you would like the recipe.

    love, Kaye xoxox

  24. so, what's your recipe for meatloaf? I love it, but can't make a good one.