39 Days 'Til 40 (Suicidal Tendencies At Bay)

Some good stuff today.

The Solder Gun Saga
I finally opened the box to my new soldering gun. It's a Weller WLC 100 model, which (according to Amazon.com) is for crafters and hobbyists. At $40, the price was right, and I was excited when the box arrived last week. But the fear of getting burned prevented me from actually opening the box. Well, molten metal be damned! The box is open and I have a coil of solder sitting on my work table. Let the good times commence.

Now where is my bottle cap collection? I've been collecting the bottle caps from Brooklyn Brewery for a few months now, ever since my local Trader Joe's started selling beer. Between my love of all things Brooklyn (the land of my youth) and, well, beer, the mound of colorful "B" metals caps has swelled past the rim of little basket that held it. (And for the record, I would like to mention that I was not alone in drinking these numerous bottles. I do not need an intervention!)

ETSY Treasures
Another exciting bit of news: my coffee holder books on ETSY made it on two treasury lists. So despite some discouraging words from an anonymous source about listing items here, I found some unexpected positive feedback from complete strangers. Take a peak at these two lists by dustyatticantiques and Denise62863. To these generous ETSY members: thank you so much!

Victory Over Winter Colds
Every winter for the past six years, I've been felled by the worst of colds. It's never a full blown flu, just the nagging drag-it-out-for-weeks-and-weeks type of cough and congestion that slowly can drain a sane person of their will to live. But this year I am the last healthy person standing in the house--well, so far. But with the first day of Spring only a few weeks away, I can smell victory.

To help cure my brood of what ails them, I constantly made soup. The soup in the picture to the left is reminiscent of a mung bean one that my Mom used to make. It's full of garlic and ginger, with heaps of chopped spinach in a thickened broth. Instead of mung beans, I used small red beans. And where my Mom used of bits of pork, I substituted with sweet Italian sausages. Here is the recipe:

2 cups of dried small red beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 wedges of ginger cut 1/8-inch thick
4 links of sweet Italian sausage removed from the casing
2 cups chicken broth
2 cup water
1 cup chopped baby spinach

1 cup uncooked Jasmine rice

Soak the bean in water for at least 2 hours. Drain and set aside. In a large pot, heat the olive oil under medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger; saute for a few minutes. Add the sausage and brown it like ground beef. Add beans and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and then lower heat. Cover pot and let it simmer for 3 hours. Check on soup every hour and stir. Add additional water if needed.

Cook the Jasmine rice while the soup is simmering. Serve soup over cooked rice.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. But today I will celebrate these good surprises and small victories.