Cooking Again – Spicy Pork Roast

Now that I am getting back to normal, and I have so much less on my plate to do for others (see Change is Inevitable), I have decided that I really need to start cooking again.  Lest you think that’s a joke, let me tell you, I have not cooked anything from scratch in a long time because of the heat, the power outages, or just plain exhaustion after working all day.

The heat and humidity around here has been unbearable most days – for the entire month of July.  That scenario drains all the energy from my old body and it makes me totally unmotivated to do anything.  And although I made sure I completed all the things I had to each day, anything and everything that could be – was put on hold.  And, I didn’t cook. 

Yesterday, I decided I needed to start cooking again.  I had a pork roast thawed, so I decided to make a medium hot and spicy pork roast.  This is out of my normal comfort zone.  I could have made something I had made 100 times before with 100% success, but there was no fun in that.  I also decided I did not want to use the oven – and considered the crock pot, but decided on the dutch oven on the stove top, which was also a first for me!

First I gathered information on the internet on which spices I needed to use, and how to combine them.  I did this by reading recipes for spicy pork roasts.  I didn’t see any that involved all the ingredients below, but many contained some of them and they gave me the inspiration to “try” what I thought would work. My main influence was from a Filipino recipe I saw and the resulting “praises” from the people who had tried that recipe. 

The picture is the ingredients I originally assembled, but as you can see I added more. Ingredients for Spicy Pork Roast

 3.5 – 4 lb. Boneless Pork Roast
4 – Yukon Gold Potatoes peeled and cubed (large cubes)
2 Tablespoons Oregano
3 Bay Leaves
1 Medium Garlic bulb – peeled and separated
Olive Oil – as needed
1 Medium Sweet Onion- sliced and chopped
½ Teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper
1 small can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce
¼ Cup of Kikkoman Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar
½ Cup of Water
Cup of Sugar

The first step for me was to make that spicy hot sauce.  I used my Cuisinart Chopper/Grinder and added the entire can of chipotle peppers, the 2 tablespoons oregano, all but 2 of the larger cloves of garlic, ¼ of the onion, ½ cup of water, ¼ cup of soy sauce, ½ tsp. of the crushed red pepper, ⅓ cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar.  I ground/chopped/combined it and then put it into a bowl and set it aside.

Next I put a little olive oil in my dutch oven over medium heat on the stove top and added the remaining garlic (which I had sliced thin) and all of the remaining onions.  I cooked them till the smell was amazing and the onions were just getting transparent.  It didn’t take long.  I put them in another bowl on my counter and proceeded to brown the pork roast on all 4 sides. 

Once the pork roast was browned,  I put ½ of the sauce I had made over the top, making sure to “paint” the roast with it.  I put the potatoes in on both sides of the roast, added the onion and garlic to the top of the roast, and put the remainder of the sauce on top.  Last I added the 3 bay leaves, and put the top on to start it cooking.

Spicy Pork Roast Pictures
Just 1 hour later on low – it was done.  I immediately removed and discarded the bay leaves. I think if I make this again, and you can bet my family is already hoping for that – I’ll try checking it a little earlier because the internal temperature of the pork was a little higher when I checked it than I needed.  It was still delicious.  My son gave me the ultimate compliment when he said it was spicy and sweet when you ate it and then gave you a punch of heat. He said I should make this my “signature” hot sauce.  That sure makes me want to try it with some chicken or shrimp!

Change is Inevitable

No matter what you do in life, change is inevitable. There are probably very few things you can point to and say, that hasn’t changed in the last 50 years.  People, places, fashion, design and ways of life all change.

And change is good.   Even if you just think about communication and how it’s changed.   Not all that long ago, if you needed information on something, you had to find someone to ask, or go to the library and look it up.  And while at the friends or the library, you were at the mercy of only understanding what someone knew, or took the time to write in a book and nothing more.   Change has given us cell phones and the internet which we use in much the same way to gather information and communicate today. 

I have recently had a change in my own life and I am so glad it happened.   It wasn’t something I tried to do, it was someone who forced it on me, and well, I like it.  The last few days have eliminated so much pressure on me. I just didn’t realize that doing something I thought I really wanted to do was causing such pressure, until it was over.  It wasn’t as sudden as it seemed, nor did I understand 100% what was going on, but it’s all good!  So now to quote Ecclesiastes 3:1 (King James Version) or the Lyric from the Byrds song, Turn! Turn! Turn!

freedom change is inevitable

And to this particular event, there was.  The way God uses situations, moves you from place to place, takes the time to “sour” the grapes that were once tasty morsels to force you to move or others to push you out – in one word – Amazing!  The person (people) involved had an agenda, and were committed to it, and I respect that.  I didn’t share their viewpoints (my age could be a factor in that) on many subjects.  I didn’t agree on how they were doing things, but I went along with the flow as best I could.   I thought I would understand the path, once I got to the end of it, and so I tried hard to stick it out.  I thought I had the freedom to speak up, and the potential to initiate change, but I really didn’t.  The original idea when I signed on was more flexible, but with flexibility comes those who don’t perform, and so rules were made.   Eventually that chain of events caused universal rules to be forced on the participants.  I don’t do forced rules well.  I am the owner of a company that has been in existence for over 27 years.  It has and will, succeed or fail based on my knowing when to change the rules and when to enforce them.  In my company, there has never been a time, or a place where one’s opinion was not considered.  You just never know when someone will think of an innovative solution to a perplexing issue, and you have to be ready for it. 

The reasons I had joined the group, and the focus of the group for me had changed.  The new rules without flexibility requiring participation was not for me.  I didn’t sign up for to be ordered around and required to do anything but participate.  Certainly not to help with administration duties, or do the job of the owner of the group.  So, to those I will miss now that I am “out”.  Thank you!  Thank you for being a part of my life, sharing, caring and being “you” so that I could learn so much.  Just know that I really am happier, less stressed and feeling free being out – and that I know and believe that God worked this resolution out specifically for me,  and I am happy He did.

 ***The title of this article is from my friend, Ronda who reminded me about change and who calmed the waters with just those few words.
***These are the trees in front of my house.

Recycling Floppy Disks Shouldn’t be Annoying

 When it comes to Floppy Disks, you have a variety of recycling choices. 

The first and the best way is to reuse them.  Floppy disks can last a long time.  Information can be written, deleted, or overwritten hundreds of times before the magnetic disk surface that retains that information wears out.  They can also be reformatted to clean off all the previous data, and then re-written with new.  There is so much more I could tell you about floppy disks that likely would surprise you – but alas, this article is about recycling them.

The second way is to recycle their parts.  Floppy disks besides being older are significantly different than CD and DVD media. For one thing they are made up of parts which when you unassemble them can each individually be recycled. The recording part of a floppy disk is a flexible piece of iron oxide film rather than a hard plastic surface like a CD and DVD.  The 3½” floppy disk has some additional steel parts over the 5¼” or 8” ones but otherwise they are similar.  Individually the parts we would need to recycle would be:



  • Plastic – the outer plastic shell or housing, a plastic write protect tab and a plastic wiper tab.  These are all made of Polyvinyl Chloride and a recyclable #3  plastic.3-1Collage
  • Metal – a metal shutter, the spring and the hub are all made of stainless steel.  
  • Paper – A set of paper rings or liners (these liners are attached to the plastic housing and are used to clean the disk as it spins).  Paper, of course is recyclable.
  • Magnetic Disk – A “recording” ring which is made of pliable Mylar® – a polyester film coated with iron oxide (the same materials as cassette and videotape recording surfaces).  Mylar® is Polyethylene Terephthalate and recyclable as a #1 plastic.

The third way to recycle them is to use them in some crafty art projects.  Earlier this year, I sold over  100 – 3.5” perfectly good floppy disks to a person who used them to make unique coasters which she then sold on Esty.  In fact if you check out Esty here: Floppy Disk Crafts.  you will see some unique ideas for using them.

Here are some of the idea’s I liked for craft projects.floppy2Collage

Floppy disks stopped being produced last year and the remaining supply is limited.  So reuse, recycle or re-purpose, the choice is yours.



Reply to question below – 01/15/13

Here’s what my dis-assembled floppy looked like:


Its Annoying – Recycling CDROMS

Its Annoying – Recycling CDROMS


Recycling is usually not annoying for me.  It’s something I think we all should do on a regular basis.  There are so many useful things today that can be made out of recycled and reused materials that it just doesn’t make sense to fill a landfill instead of recycling.   But I have a dilemma – while I want to recycle the pallet of used CD/DVD media that I have in my warehouse, I cannot find someone who really wants to take the material off my hands.    After searching for a minimum of six months to find a recycler for my one  pallet of used CDROMS for recycling, I am getting annoyed.  There are a few places who will, but they aren’t local, and they will charge me several hundred dollars for the privilege.  I really want to recycle, but I don’t want to have to pay to give them away.  I understand that the process to recycle this media isn’t an easy one, and not many recycling centers even want to attempt the complex process needed to break down the media back into usable products.


If you have ever tried to recycle your CD’s – you may already know they are a #7 to the plastic industry ~ the  official “other”  category of the plastic family.   Anything that doesn’t fit into categories #1-#6, get by default into #7.  CD and DVD media falls into the #7 category because they are made of a combination of aluminum, polycarbonate (PC) plastic, lacquer and many times, if printed, ink.  They are not one of the easiest plastics or products to recycle.  Many recycling centers won’t even consider taking them.  Most #7 plastics are non-recyclable and some can be downright dangerous to you.

Nalgene water bottles, some Tupperware, some baby bottles, the inner lining of soft drink cans, some clear plastic containers as well as CD/DVD media are made with something called polycarbonate (PC) plastic.  This particular plastic releases a chemical called Bisphenol A or BPA as it decomposes.  BPA is a hormone, much like estrogen, and it when it leeches into our food and water supplies can cause significant health issues.  

So I thought I’d provide some “alternative” ways to recycle them into art and avoid piling them into a landfill.   Please note:  I am not a crafty person. I do this in partial desperation to encourage people to “want to have” used CD’s so that they can freely be creative!

First, I covered the CD.  I used regular CD label stock as well as using a large white adhesive label, tracing and cutting out the circle size I would need to cover the media.  If you don’t have CD label stock, you can always use adhesive sheet paper.  Alternatives to that include using paint (always fun for kids) and/or paper glued to the CD.  If you use paper, consider construction paper, or something a little more substantial in weight because the glue won’t dry super smooth and may soak into the paper.  After I affixed the circles I had cut out – I used a one sided razor blade to “shave” around the edges.  The beauty of covering the CD is that if you wanted to let the little ones color or draw on them, you’d be able to do that now and you’d be done.

CD label

These are now ready for the next step in the process. You can trace, draw, color, or even provide stickers for your artwork.   And if you plan on hanging the artwork you could do that through the middle of the CD.  If you want to use a string, or ribbon plan ahead and do it at the same time as your adhesive label material to hold it in place! 

If you have talent in the art or craft department, you probably can make some wonderful things! Sadly, I don’t.

Additional Ideas

If  you have thousands or want to use more than just a couple CD or DVD media pieces to complete your project, this next group should give you some more challenging  ideas.  These are not recommended for children.  The CD’s when broken, cut or punched can make very sharp edges and you should never let children attempt to do any of that themselves. 

Additional Ideas

 So now can I get anyone to take about 25,000 of these?


Planning for Retirement is Annoying

There is nothing I would like to do than to complete a retirement plan.  Everywhere I read they encourage you to have one.  However, the whole idea for me gets caught in a million intertwined catch-22 scenarios and so involved I can’t get it free to complete it. 

Retirement Ahead is Annoying

At first, I just wanted to guess about our planned income in retirement, and see where, and then how we would need to live to accomplish a “not running out” of money before we ran out of life scenario.  As you can see that’s 2 guesses already in the plan – one the amount of income, and two how long we might have to live.  Caught in this type of guessing game really messes with my brain.  I haven’t even considered the cost of living, and inflation in my plan yet… and I am not the type who likes to guess about that many things at once. 

Since I prefer knowing that I have all my bases covered, I’ll start by thinking I’ll live to 100.  Is that reasonable based on my personal family history? – not even close.  My parents made it to 69 years old each, my one sister died at 61 and another at 52.  Most of the people in my family were lucky to make it to a ripe, old 72 – 75 years.  And while I know life expectancies are higher and I know that I could easily make 75 (I am now 57), there is no guarantee or simple way to guess just how long.

If I really pick 100 – then I have 43 more years that I will need income. That’s a lot. I think I should pick a more reasonable number… like 80 – that should be enough, right?  But, what if it isn’t?  Shouldn’t I just worry about that if I get close?

Eighty only gives me 23 more years to live, and time is running at a breakneck speed for me.  If what’s left of my life is that short, shouldn’t I just throw caution to the wind and enjoy it?  Take that vacation, quit my job, hang out and sleep in?  Maybe I should start selling all my stuff on eBay and that might help finance my “enjoy myself” lifestyle for the next 23 years.  In a way that makes sense, because as I age I will use things less and less – and when I finally pass away they’ll be less to fight over, divide or to sell at the estate sale. 

Well, now that’s what I call turning something that could have been annoying into something enjoyable.  And seriously since the planning part isn’t working for me, I am going to just decide to go with the flow and enjoy every day and moment that I can – and consider the plan accomplished.