Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween...October's end...

  Kitties love Halloween


    Well the night shifts are over and I'm still alive. Barely.  lol   So glad I don't have to do that too often. 15 hour shifts with an Altzheimers patient are about 13 hours too many.  Got a little more sleep last night than I did on Saturday night, so that's good. I was a walking zombie yesterday.  You know--when I was young I never had a problem working doubles and OT and whatever got thrown at me. lol

  I've been piddling around on the internet this morning and around the house as well.  I need to call the furnace guy to check on my heat--it's not working.  The house is plenty warm and we aren't freezing, thanks to  our old slant Finn electric heater that we bought about 15 years ago and still runs like a champ. So it's easy for me to procrastinate. The way things have been going, we'll have to replace our furnace this year. sigh....maybe not though..Todd has magic hands when it comes to these old appliances. He lives up the road from us and is really good at what he does.

  I keep saying I'm going to buy an Edenpure heater...haven't done it yet though. Our house is a little drafty and the windows leak air. We usually put plastic up every winter and that helps a lot. I put insulated drapes up too and little things like that go a long way. I have high hopes that I will get some window quilts made this year for the bedroom windows.  Every year we price new windows, and after we've regained consciousness, say "Maybe next year".  lol   

  I'm cooking a couple of big pieces of pork butt that I got on sale last week for .99/lb.  I'll throw some bbq sauce on it and smash some potatoes and call it supper. I have some beans in the fridge that didn't get canned yet--I'll cook those too.  It will make a nice supper for the Irishman, and some for me to take with to MissB's at 3 for my supper too. If I'm not real careful I end up eating a lot of junkie fast food type stuff when I'm at her place. I need to make a more conscious effort to not do that.  I really do prefer my own cooking. lol

  I need to get off here and make some granola bars and finish up a few things. Thought maybe I'd get a nap in this morning, but it didn't happen.  Got about 6 or 7 hours of sleep last night, so it's not too bad. The night before was awful and I came out of it with about 3 hours. Not enough...even for this old insomniac.

  Have a grand day all...and remember to be kind.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

The St Louis Cardinals are the World Series Champs!! (even though the whole world doesn't get to play--we don't care)

...and believe we did.....and win they did!!!


  And thank God THAT'S over for another year. The 6th game , that was a very important one, ran into 11 innings and wasn't over til after midnight. You know those ballplayers were running on adrenaline last night, when they beat the Texas Rangers 6-2.  It was a thing of beauty. I wish my dear old dad had been around to see it--he was a diehard Cards fan.  

 We're not real big on sports in this house. We watch my husbands Packers play now and again...and we might catch something here or there, but mostly...well, NOT. I think he does secretly watch hockey when I'm not home, but if I catch him at it, he acts like it's no big deal.  But we do watch the Super Bowl, or at least some of it. This time we watched the playoffs as well as all 7 games of the series itself. 


  I'm having a bit of a domestic engineering day here. The husband and son are finishing the demolition job they started yesterday on the old 1975 pop-up camper that is made almost entirely of metal. The canvas was shot (rotted--for godssakes, it's 36 years old!!!)  and you can buy new canvas for them, but it's about 1500.00 which is ridiculous, since we paid 300 dollars for the darned thing. lol  We got a few good years of camping out of it, and I mended and patched it as much as I could until it was just beyond repair. So...bye-bye.  And of  course the male members are suited to tearing things apart and up and they're in hog heaven. lol  Yesterdays work netted them about 80 bucks at the scrap yard which they split. They were both happy as clams.

  We went out for Indian food last night and had a nice dinner of prawn masala and a chicken coconut curry and basmati rice.  Lots of garlic naan and Daal and it was wonderful, as usual.  We went b y our [sort of] local health food store, a great place called Green Earth Grocery and I picked up some baking yeast and spices and a block of tofu...then we went to Mr. Curry's for supper and home to watch the game.  Date night for old people.  lol

  Tonight and tomorrow night I will be staying the night at MissB's. Not looking forward to it particularly, but blessed with the extra money right now. Tomorrow we will go to a lunch at noon for a friends 40th surprise birthday luncheon...hope I am functioning.  I usually can sleep some at her house, but you never know what kind of night she will have. Hopefully it will all go without a hitch.

  Thanks everyone for your kind words regarding my little emotional storm the other night. I did look at obits from his local newspaper, but found nothing. Might look again today. It is what it is and I know that these connections are strong enough to withstand distance and time and situations. And Murr--you're right. They do come and go.

  We had a light frost this morning--cold when I got up. I think it's supposed to warm back up again the next few days. I was thinking since the boys are out working maybe I'd make that potato soup I never got around to yet... mostly because it's quick and easy....

*~*~*~*~Okay. The soup is on, the compost bucket emptied. The floors are as done as they're gonna get today.  Laundry in the dryer is about ready to come out and the washer has stopped. One more load of his nasty work clothes, which will probably wait until tomorrow when I have the clothes he has on now. Gonna straighten up the couches and chairs slipcovers' and call it a day.

  It's a really beautiful fall day out there, 57 degrees and sunny.  High of 61 today.  Think I'll go back out to the garden and pick some more green beans and peas.  

  BTW--Anybody ever freeze greens?? I have some beautiful turnip greens that need to come out of the ground soon and hate to not be able to use all those greens. The chickens will love some and the compost will love some...but I love some too!!!!   lol

   Have a grand day. I plan to....


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Have you ever....

...been driving the road home, and suddenly just lose it?  There was a song playing on the radio that was the song my ex-husband used to sing to me.."you are the woman that I've always dreamed of...I knew it from the start...."  and I just burst out crying.  And I cried for about 15 minutes...for lost love and for broken dreams and for all the things we would never know about each other growing old. I felt like somebody slammed their fist into my solar plexus and it took the wind out of me. And I thought "He has died."  And it opened a big hole in my heart that I thought time and new love had closed.  If he has indeed died, it would be of alcoholism, and no one will bother to ever tell me, I'm afraid. I haven't laid eyes on him in over 16 years.  I did speak to him once, about 10 years ago, and the conversation was so painful that I never did it again. We separated when I got sober, when I was 37 years old, almost 22 years ago.  And for a while there tonight, the pain was as raw as it was then. 

  Do our hearts ever heal when they break down the middle?  Does the yearning ever stop and the wistfulness subside?  

  I have made a good life for myself with a good man.  And that is beside the point.

  I have been having more and more minor psychic experiences again...small de ja vu's  and a sense of someone or something hovering at the edge of my consciousness.  Perhaps this is more of that.  Perhaps not. I am reminded of the part of the story of Daughters of Copper Woman (I think)  where the shimmering cords that connect her to everyone who has ever been part of her life manifest and oh, hell...I cannot think straight right's after 1 AM and I should be in bed. Maybe tomorrow I can finish this or wake up a little more enlightened and sure of what I'm even talking about or remembering.

Maybe. Or maybe not.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A tisket, a tasket...a green and yellow basket....

  Ah...autumn.  The harvest season winds down and ...oh, WAIT!! What's that? Green beans and pea pods and turnips and kale and squash STILL coming out of my garden ???  LOL. What a lucky girl I am.

  Oh my. It's been a hectic few days around Honeysuckle Hill. The root canal was a financial nightmare. The cost--$1000.00. Amount insurance paid-- $530.00...amount we paid--THE OTHER 50%  !!   WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

  and--when he got home, I says to him-how's it feel? And he says still really numb.  I says surely, the post they put in for the crown would require that. And he says to me-no, no, they didn't do that. I have to go back to MY dentist for that.  (Note: today is Friday. Evening).  I am , of course, incredulous.  SO, this mouth is going to heal and then they will do it all over again ? And he says, no, he told me to call IMMEDIATELY so that it doesn't heal first.  

  Naturally, I fall over in a dead faint, because A) I have never seen anything like this and B) Here comes another 500 dollar bill. If I just killed him before he could make the appointment, I could actually make a profit.


  The roof endeavor has been almost finished, he says there is one more small area that he will finish himself next weekend. In the meantime, my entire back deck is full of debris..shingles, plywood, all the stuff they ripped off the roof.  Just laying there, waiting for me to trip over. I would cry, but it will just make my face look funnier than it does now.

   This next weekend I have to do 2 overnighters with MissB, as someone is taking a trip east.  I hate it, although the extra dineros will be a blessing.  I must be getting old. I don't like sleeping away from home much anymore. lol


  Well. I don't know how that got started, but there it is. lol

  It's supposed to get up to 85 today here. Weird weather for October. But then it's seesawing down to 38 then back up to 60 and OH MY! I can't keep up.

  We figured out how the raccoon was getting in after it killed a second chicken. This time (luckily) it was the old Rhodie that I've been expecting to leave this planet  for some time, but somehow never would die. We'd be SURE that today would be it, and then it would rally.  We named it Lazarus.  At any rate the 'coon got it, by climbing up the sides of the run, going under the tarp that acts as a rain shield, and then pulling the wire apart so it could get through.  We are now putting the hens up for the night and locking the door, as well as reinforcing the coon door.  sigh.... Guess they'll have to go back to stealing cat and dog food (which I am putting up every night as well)....and maybe they'll give up and move on.  That would be best.

   I watch the dramas unfolding around me and think that I am blessed to have a simple life. I know that I have some skills that will enable my survival for a while, and I know that no matter what happens, I am not a victim. Looking around, I know that we could downsize our life a lot more than we already have and be the better for it. We do have our ups and downs here, but nothing like it is for some folks. One reason for that is that we already know how to live poor. lol  It's much easier to have to cut out cable tv and dinners out, than it is to lose your 1200/month home.  Or to have to have your car payment on your Ford scrape the bottom of your account this month, than to lose the Mercedes you've paid a lot for but are nowhere near paying off.  I'm just saying, the simple life does make things a lot, well, simpler. And it really helps you keep everything in perspective.  I have enough food put by to feed us. We have food for the animals. We have kerosene lamps at the ready, filled with oil and another bottle of oil at hand. We have an emergency heat source (kerosene heater) for emergencies.  We have candles. We have a pond teeming with fish, a good source of food protein.  We have clothes and coats and shoes and we have an abiding love and respect for one another. I see a lot of couples who don't even seem to like each other most of the time, and I understand that, but if you don't treat each other with respect, you've got a problem. Love and respect go hand in hand...whether you're talking about the marriage or the Mother Earth or whatEVER.

   Alrighty then. . I'm off into the day, trying to remember to have faith that all will be okay, and that I will do my best to try to be kind.   I shall go out and try to pick beans and maybe make a sandwich for himself for supper. Something that travels, as he has his discussion group tonight. That means he must rush home shower frantically, grab whatever food I leave for him, and fly out the door to get to the group, which is 25 miles away.  Not my idea of a good time....

    Be well--and let's look for the light in one another today, okay?



Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday already ??

This week flew by.  Partly because I spent my Thursday driving back and forth to see my new great nephew and his folks about an hour and a half away. He's 8 weeks old now and absolutely precious. Holding his head up and smiling and just a wonderful big baby boy.  I made a tied fleece crib quilt for him and tried to get one finished for his big sister Moriah, but my hands hurt too much from doing the first one. I told her I would get it finished and mail it to her. She is probably more excited about getting mail than she is even about the blanket (which will have princesses on it).  lol  My nephew told me last night that she went around all day telling everyone that HER aunt is making HER a blankie of her very own. lol  She is 4.

  I also had to work a sleepover shift in the middle of the week. That was 15 hours, home for 7 and back for 5 more.  I was exhausted.  Anyway, I'm glad to get a chance this morning to get around and read some blogs and post a little too.

  We lost a chicken last night. One of the Buff Orpingtons was pulled through the fence and demolished. Spine, pelvis, feet were left. It was a horrible mess.  What upsets me most is that last night in the middle of the World series game, I thought I heard something out there and muted the tv and strained to listen, but thought I was hearing things.  sigh....It's not the first chicken we've lost, and probably won't be the last. Part of the heartbreak of homesteading is losing animals in one form or another..such is life.

   I'm in the middle of chores...laundry, housecleaning and need to make a grocery run for a few staples like oatmeal and butter and brown sugar. The Irishman has a dentist appointment for a root canal this afternoon, so it looks like soup for supper tonight.  Hard telling what it's going to be like, they may do everything at once or they may do it in 2 appointments. Because of our dental network, he has to drive an hour away to do it.  It's ridiculous. 

  I'm moving got down to freezing last night and is supposed to hit 37 tonight. Then it swings into a warm-up again and night temps will be up in the 50's. The Irishman is out there cleaning up more garden spots, pulled out the last of the bell peppers.  The tomatoes are still showing and flowering, but the 'maters are small and most are green, though I brought in about 5 ripe ones (smallish) the day before yesterday.  Guess I'll go check the washer and think about some lunch for him before he leaves. Another day in the life of the hapless housewife...

  Been a "tough times at money high" these past few weeks. Property taxes, roof repairs, dental work and an outrageous electric bill from October.  Sigh...still, all in all, we manage to squeak through from one month to the next and I am grateful that we do it.  This is a time in history where lots of people are in a bad way, again.  I'm reading Independence Days, and she was talking about the progression of things through the Great Depression, and how, contrary to what most of us believe, it didn't happen over night. And that worries me, since the book was written in 2008 and so far, she's been spot on. And the Republicans have killed another jobs bill. And the world sits and watches and wonders.  And Quaddafhi has been killed. Or Gadhafi. Or Kaddafi.  How DO you spell that man's name? Everywhere I look, it seems to be spelled differently. I just read an article about the 7 weirdest things about him, one was that he had a huge crush on Condi Rice, and that she went to visit him in 2008 and he gave her like 200,000 dollars worth of gifts and kept a photo album of pictures of her. Now, baby...THAT is weird.  And the GOP is pissed that the Dems want to keep the Bush tax cuts only for people making under 200K a year and none with higher incomes.  And there's a baby girl missing in Kansas City. And I am ready to hunt down and kill whichever cat keeps peeing in my laundry room on the new floor.  And the earth moves around the sun. And so it goes.

    Well, another Friday lunch over with, tuna fish sandwiches with fresh ripe sliced tomatoes on the side. O.M.G.  Were they ever good.  I will miss summer with it's bounty and fresh smelled grass smells and flowers blooming everywhere. I'm going to take a little drive today, just me and Roxie, and the way home I will stop for some groceries.  I'll take in some fall colours and I'll mourn the passing of the season of play and move into the season of hunker-down.  I'll keep my fingers crossed that we don't have to pay more than $400.oo for this root canal and  that things will continue on the way they are supposed in the thick of it, working and playing, living and loving.  Trying to keep my place in the balance...and being ever grateful for the things I have and more compassionate to those who don't have what I do. 

  To have the chance to live with a giving heart, a sunny countenance and the love of family and friends.  To be able to make my way in this mine field of a world and still see the beauty of it.  To live well,  love much and laugh often. 


Monday, October 17, 2011

A new week...ready--set--GOOooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

  Feeling a little old today, lol.  But grateful to be on this side of the dirt and still having fun.


  I've been out in the garden, pulling up the parsley plants by the roots to hang in the back pantry to dry. Also pulled 2 large brown grocery bags  of basil (2 whole plants of one type) and a lot of small branches and tons of leaves from the rest.  We have some cold weather heading our way this week and I'm trying to NOT leave everything until the last minute.  Still need to get the heat lamp connected in the henhouse, the covers for the beans and peas at the ready, and the last of the green tomatoes picked. The turnips are looking really good, as is the kale. I picked another mess of young green beans today. This cold snap is only supposed to last a couple of days, and then back up to 50 degrees at night. At least that's what they're saying...

  I've been busy in the kitchen all morning, making spaghetti sauce and Italian bread for supper.  The bread is in the pan and will go in the oven in about an hour or so. Cutting it way too close for my liking. I haven't cooked the pasta yet, but will do that in a bit.  I may go to MissB's an hour late today.  There's salad left from last night's meatloaf supper, so that will round it out and make a nice meal.  The house smells like basil and oregano and yeast...mmmmm.....(Of course, my hands smell like

   Had a nice chat with someone today who's going through some personal stuff...--aren't we all? lol  Another friend is marking the anniversary of her son's suicide, and every year, my heart goes out to her.  I cannot imagine that anguish and hope I never have to know that kind of emotional and psychic pain.  I started my morning holding her in my heart and envisioning her surrounded by love and healing light.

   I was thinking today that I have so much to be truly grateful about in my life...when I'm having a rough day, I try to make a list of 10 things in my life I am grateful. That helps to pivot the feelings of powerlessness and loss.  It changes my perspective to focus on what I do have, rather than what I don't have. Today on my Facebook page, someone posted a thing that said:  Don't dwell on those who held you down. Cherish those who lift you up.

  I like it. No reason to waste my time in the negative hallways of this life. What is--IS.  Making the best of what I have, making the most of what timeI have left.  DAMN!  If only I'd known this when I was

  Our St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series.  They won Game 5 last night against the Milwaukee Brewers and that was that. It was hard watching those guys from the losing team...the disappointment on their faces almost made me cry.  But then, I changed my mind about it.  The team, and their manager and coaches all just walked off the field to their dressing rooms. Nobody came over and congratulated the winning team and I got a little fired up.  What has happened to sportsmanship? The Irishman says he's not sure professional teams do that anymore.  I say bullsh*t.  It's inexcusable.  

  And that's about the extent of the news from here.  Except that I had my panties in a wad yesterday because the man who lives behind me, across the pond, was shooting shotguns for over 3 hours, terrifying me and all my animals.  I was livid.  Patrick says he thinks that he shoots clays over the pond. That was supposed to make me feel better??? That puts it even MORE in the direction of my house. I despise guns. 

  I've heated up the last of the lentil soup from last week and am having that for lunch.  Hope you have something good too.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

A slow Saturday

  I liked this, and cannot remember where it came from. The hidden mysteries of the


  I cannot believe it is mid October already.  The leaves are falling so fast suddenly that I can't keep my porch swept. And both porches come directly into the house, so that means I can't keep my floors clean either. Sigh...the trials and tribulations of the modern day house frau...

  My husband has gone Trout  Fishing in America today (sorry--couldn't help it.  :)   Ah, my misspent youth...San Francisco,  City Lights, Richard Brautigan.)  At any rate, one of the local state park lakes stocks it with trout on October 12th and then opens it for a mad day of trout fishing for the weekend.  Apparently these illegal immigrant trout cannot really live in this lake for some reason, so they bus them in and  it's an executionary free-for-all. But the men get all riled up about it, and grab their gear and go. Reminds me (again--misspent youth) of opening day of salmon season on the wild and beautiful Klamath River, where the city men come and line up, shoulder to shoulder, at the mouth of the Klamath to fish their brains out for a day or so.  It's apparently a short, white-man window.  The Klamath Indians can fish whenever : Yuroks, Pomos, Hoopas and Karoks.  It must drive them mad. All the garbage you KNOW those men leave behind, and just the matter of having to tolerate them in general. However. That said, I'm sure they make a lot of money off them while they're there, and that is probably some small solace.

  Do I sound snarky today?  I probably am. I went to the movies (the little retro Canna Theater in Gillespie, IL...where 5 dollars gets you admission, popcorn AND a drink!) and saw The Help.  It was wonderful and horrible and always always...those subjects make me gnash my teeth and bellow like a mad cow.  It reminded me of my ex-husband and his college friends making a trip from California to Jackson, Mississippi when Medgar Evers was murdered, and so (naturally) I dreamt of him all night. (the ex, not ME).  They marched with Dr. King and did all kinds of wonderfully scary stuff, registering black voters, sitting in coloreds only sections, all that stuff that we used to be wont to do when we were young  idealists.  When I first met him (he's 10 years older than I am)  I was mesmerized by his stories and his values and his sense of social justice.  I was crazy about him.  I still am.

 Anyway.  The movie made me laugh and cry and be ashamed and be proud. Can't ask for much more than that from a movie....entertaining from start to finish.  Now I have to buy the book.  lol

  It has been busy around here the past few days. My bouncing baby boy came on Thursday and ripped out the decomposing parquet floor in my laundry room, and the sub-floor as well. He replaced it all with new wood and new vinyl and is coming back Monday to cut out and replace a panel of sheet rock on the wall so I can finish painting the room. He had to move the washer and dryer out of there, which was a helluva job that he pulled off with panache. He's really something, that kid. He's going to bring new trim to put around the baseboard and door too. I found a piece of vinyl that was a cream and coffee colored medium brown with a diamond design. I went paint hunting (in my garage) to see what I had as I didn't want to spend more money on paint if I didn't have to. I found about a quarter of a bucket of a peachy tan, a third of a bucket of a Killz buttercup yellow, and almost a full bucket of my Tuscany brown that I used on the doors in my living room. So, of course, I mixed the yellow and the tan together and put the Tuscany in a ladle full at a time, until it achieved a rich caramel color that went well with the vinyl.  My husband just watched and kept shaking his head....This room is going to look great once it's all finished. 

  I'm finishing up laundry this morning. I got all my stuff and recipes sent off to the publisher of the booklet for my soup workshop. I was supposed to go to a book club this morning, but it ain't happening. maybe next time.  I've got some leftover pork roast from Thursday night that I'm going to shred and some homemade bbq sauce that I'm going to soak it in, and we're gonna have some bbq sandwiches on homemade hamburger buns for lunch. Well, I am anyway. They might be his supper. Whatever. God only knows how Trout Fishing in America is going... hopefully we'll wind up with some lovely fish for the freezer. He had to buy an extra 6 dollar trout stamp to fish this...he'd better make it pay for itself.  LOL

  Yesterday he celebrated 31 years of living a clean and sober life.  He was only 20 when he was tossed into a rehab from the Marine base. (You do the math).  He wanted Mexican for supper and a movie, so we went. We try to make Friday a kind of a date night...our hours conflict a lot and it's nice.  I love this man. I am blessed.

   Okay-the dryer stopped and I ate a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and a spoonful of peanut butter in it, and I've had some coffee and I guess it's time to get dressed.  Woke up to about 40 degrees this morning...I guess autumn is really here.. At last.  

    Have a great weekend. Choose Love.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A soft rain...

That's what I woke up to this morning.  A soaking gentle rain that is giving my yard and plants a much needed drink. I'm thinking of taking my camera outside and shooting some damp shots. lol

  Something in me has a really strong connection to the poetry of Hafiz and Rumi. It's something old and mysterious, this connection, and makes me wonder about possible incarnations. The simple joy of the Divine Love reaches out to me through them both. I need that. Every single day.

  I've been making soups all week, trying out and tweaking new recipes. It's been great fun. Yesterday I made hamburger buns too. I finally made the Indian Cabbage Soup and it is NOT for the faint of heart and palate.  The first three ingredients are 2 onions, 4 cloves of garlic and a pound of cabbage. YIKES. I liked it, but wouldn't want more than one bowl of it, ever. And that's the bottom line for I going to like it enough to be able to eat the majority of it soon enough? I am thinking about something as innocuous as a cream of potato soup, perhaps as anathema to the onions, garlic and cabbage. lol I do have some lovely Yukon Gold potatoes on the counter, beckoning...

   Just made myself a nice bowl of oatmeal...with added pecans and raisins and dried cranberries. Yum. My stomach was growling.  I worked late last night and didn't have any supper. So I stopped on my way home and got a soft taco (bad choice) and ate it in the car.  This morning I had 2 cups of coffee and suddenly, it was time to eat! lol

  Rambling about the house...sounds like the rain may have stopped. I am going out to check on my chickens in a minute...they are moulting something fierce and not laying well at all.  OR something is stealing eggs. Last night after I went around picking up the dog and cat food bowls that sit outside (we are having a visiting raccoon that is eating the food), I stepped out into the mudroom to make sure that door was closed, and I ran straight into a giant Rocky Raccoon trying to get the lid off the dog food container. He had gotten a box of suet blocks down from the shelf and torn into one of those too.  I screeched and he screeched and he went one way and I went the other.  I guess we're going to have to get a trap and catch and release him out by the reservoir or somewhere. He is HUGE. (probably all that cat and dog food he's eating).

  I don't seem to have much energy or motivation today. Thank goodness I'm off tomorrow, and have breakfast plans with a friend. I may try to go see my new great nephew in the afternoon. It's over an hour drive, but I haven't seen him yet and he's changing  every day. He's

   Already thinking about taking a nap. Must be all these negative ions. Couple of phone calls this morning, couple of  small errands and then I'm off to MissB's, where the world changes every minute and there is no memory of  of anything except childhood and the immediate present.  Probably we could all take a lesson from that.  My son thinks that Altzheimers may be a portal back to our beginnings. hmmm...perhaps it is, in the early and middle stages.

  Life is good.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cornbread, butterbeans, and you across the table...

Just lyrics to one of my favorite songs by the Carolina Chocolate drops. This trio is AWESOME. If you've never heard of them, check 'em out :   They have recently added a fourth member it looks like.  We saw them at the St Louis Art Museum last year and have 2 of their cds.

  Just having a lazy Sunday morning at home, alone. I made some chicken and dumplings and baked a couple of biscuits and had some biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Artery hardening, fattening, lovely comfort food. Ahhhh.....chicken and dumplings for supper.  Perfect.

  To let you know about the balance in my life though (snicker)  I did have a lovely vegan lentil soup yesterday for 2 meals, with homemade flax seed bread.  Just sayin'....

  The weather has been absolutely gorgeous and we're putting much of the garden to bed for the winter.  I ate 3 edible pea pods today, and saw a few green beans. I still have the odd tomato ripening here and there and quite a few green ones on the vines as well. The turnips are flourishing and the kale as well. Autumn. A nice time to garden (for some things).

  The boyo came by a few days ago and cleaned out the gutters for me.  The roofing endeavor has been put on hold.  We have a lot of things that need doing and spending several thousand dollars on a roof is maybe not the highest priority right now. Boyo went up and looked and said there were a few places that needed shoring up and some flashing that needs replaced.  Himself agreed that it could probably do for now with patching it. They have to get up there and tear off some shingles and see.

  I pulled the big muscle, lattisimus dorsi, I think it's called, in my back last Tuesday, I think I said. On Thursday morning I twisted again, moving the water bath canner to the sink and nearly screamed in agony. Pulled it even worse and could barely breathe. I stopped in at our little clinic, and the good doc gave me a shot of Torodol for the pain and a scrip for anti-inflammatories and a muscle relaxer. It was really painful and today it is better. Been sleeping a lot and taking it easy. I only take the muscle relaxer at night, as it knocks me out. lol I'm such a wuss....

  It was a lovely weekend, all in all. The Irishman and I went to see Real Steel, the new Hugh Jackman movie. It was really good.  I did some laundry (in 2 days) and hung it on the line to dry and just took it down today.  Carefully. Doing things very carefully. lol

  I might go have a short nap before leaving for MissB's house today.  I'm really tired a lot, and have started taking my B complex again.  I don't know if part of it might be the residual effects of the muscle relaxer?  The doc wrote m,e an order for an MRI of the darn knee, and says I should go to a pain management place. I may have to...he also asked if I'd had a flu shot yet, and I replied "Not since 1978..." He looked at me skeptically and said we can do it here. I said No thanks, and he muttered "Chicken" at me as he walked out the door.  I'll have to remember NOT to go see him if I get the flu again this year.  lmao

  Hope everyone has a grand and peaceful Sunday. Our St. Louis Cardinals have shown their stuff and are playing again tonight. Might just be on their way to the world a wild card opportunity or something and have been doing great.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A loaf of bread, a bowl of apples and thee...

This is what I've been doing lately...making the recipe for healthy bread in 5 minutes a day, from Hertzberger and someone. lol Zoe someone. Ahhh..of course, it ISN'T 5 minutes a day, but it sure is easier than traditional and extremely good.  I think the 5 minutes refers to the original mixing up time, since it's no-knead.  

This is the loaf after rising on the cornmeal coated glazed stone. I put some wheat germ in the dough this time.  I also added rosemary and garlic to this loaf. 

  You mix the dough, let it set at room temperature from 2-20 hours and either hack off a chunk and bake a loaf, or put all of it into the fridge in a covered (but not airtight) container. It's better the longer it's in the fridge, and the shelf life of the dough itself is about 2 weeks. It's a little sourdoughy. It is REALLY good.

And here is the (ahem!) finished loaf.  The boyo was here and had to have a slice while it was still hot, with butter, of course. lol  But it's a beautiful rustic loaf, all crispy and chewy and cracked. And it tastes like heaven.

  Woke up to a cold morning...and it's about 42 now. I've been up for almost 3 hours already, and I promise, I didn't mean to be up this early. Apparently the Irishman had a bad morning and so will we all.  lol At any rate I was up, so I came out, cleaned up the mess he left and got my coffee. I need to make some, as I just reheated the last of yesterdays coffee. But now I'm thinking maybe I need a nice hot cup of tea....

  I pulled a muscle in my back yesterday and it hurts like hell. I was just hanging a shower curtain...arms up over my head for too long and twisted, I guess.  It's better this morning because I put a pain patch on last night before bed. I'm not debilitated, just annoyed. For a while last night, it hurt to breathe, as it's that long muscle in the back.

 I was given the opportunity to share my experience strength and hope last night at a meeting/potluck. It  is always good for me to remember where I came from and be grateful that I am where I am. Afterwards a guy smelling like booze came up to me and said he didn't think anybody ever was like him, but everything I said hiot home with him. He said he is in and out and in and out and just can't quite stay here....when I got out to my car, I cried. For him and for me.

 That, my friends, is HOW it works.

 I am going to make an Indian cabbage soup today I think. I have the cabbage and all the Indian spices for it. It sounds good on paper, so we shall see. I also need to clean out my fridge, as the mysteries there continue to evolve.

  There are a ton of little things to do today and I need to accomplish at least some of them. I can feel myself settling into the seasonal hibernation, which (for someone like me) means I will do different things at a different pace and still not accomplish all I hope to. lol

  And that will be alright. 

  I love the calm of autumn that follows the frenetic summer. I love hunkering down and settling in and all the coziness of the cool weather. 

Until about February, and then I am sick to death of it.  LOL

 The dogs are already starting to not want to stay out in the mornings. It's still warm in the afternoons, it was 80 yesterday.  It's supposed to be 82 today.  They do stay out once it's around 11AM though. So I guess it's all good.  They're all in this room with me right now. Roxie just kicked Jinga the cat out of her bed. Bella is sleeping with the tip of her muzzle on the top of my foot. Molly is lying in the patch of sun coming through the curtains...and Caylee the snow dog, is still outside. That little dog LOVES cool weather and especially cold cold snow. Can't hardly make her come in.

  Guess I've wasted enough time in here. Soups on!!!!!!  (Or will be in a bit).

  Have a grand Tuesday, y'all.....


Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's here....autumn has arrived

 Leaves of red and gold are showing up all over the ground, the morning temps are in the low 40's and nobody wants to go out in the chill to potty in the dog world here. You practically have to pick them up and throw them out the door. (Once you get them out from under the blankets and throws and pillows they're snuggled under).

  We slept late this morning and the Irishman went rushing out the door with a scone and an apple to try to make it to his morning meeting. I, on the other hand, have had a leisurely cup of cheerios and am on my first cup of coffee. When I finish here,  I am going to start some artisan bread dough. We are out of bread. I made one loaf on Friday and we ate the whole thing with our dinner of spaghetti carbonara. Actually, we ate  a slice earlier when it came out of the oven with butter. Then we finished it off.  In all fairness (to us)  they are small round loaves. And RIDICULOUSLY  delicious.  This time, I am going to make the Hertzberg 5 minutes a day kind, which  will give me dough in the fridge so I can bake some up on the (relatively) spur of the moment. I think it makes about 5 loaves all in all, but I'm not sure. I'll report back.  lol

  Yesterday was the canning workshop. It went from 1-5 and was a lot of fun. There were 9 registrants and we canned a quart or two of green beans each.  I spent a lot of the time talking about food preservation and why it's so important, what's happening in the world today regarding food supplies and problems, and just what I do, old country girl that I am. We talked alot about food safety. We started with the canning beans because of the time constraints and went on to freezing and dehydrating and even found time to take a 15 minute walk around the community gardens. They were a great bunch and really helped make it go well. AND--all nine said they were registering (and bringing a friend) for the Harvest Soup workshop next month.  I'll be doing that one on Nov. 5th. So it felt like a real success (to me, anyway) and no canners blew up and no one died .  LOL   I took samples of my canned goods with me, pictures that I downloaded off my kitchen blog, a recipe for salsa, both my dehydrators and a stack of my most used (and new favorite) books  on food preserving.  I took both my pressure and water bath canners, and talked a lot about the value of both. I talked about building a pantry in your home, and the importance of rotation and stock-taking inventories, and about the trial and errors of learning what things to grow that your family will actually eat and how to figure out about incorporating all your pantry ingredients into your daily meals.

  I was really tired by the time I got home.

 My big plan this morning is to get the bread dough started, get the laundry started , and clean up the living room a little. I need to strip the bed too and change the sheets. And that is probably all I will get done today before heading off to visit MissB and spend the afternoon chatting about days gone by and how different this world we live in is from when she was a girl, back in the 1930's and '40s...

 Miss Roxie DOES NOT like this seasons changing thing at all. She's all snuggled up in her little felt bed right here at my feet...wanting to know why the house is so cold. I haven't got the heart to tell her I don't want to turn the furnace on yet this year...besides, it's only 63 in here. Much warmer than outside. And once I turn the oven on it will be toasty in no time.

 Tomorrow night my meeting is having a potluck and speaker and I am the speaker. I asked my relief if she'd come in early so I can go and she said she would. So, I will be there for supper and then to share a little of what it was like, what happened, and what it's like now.  And mostly about the miracles of not dying from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. That a wretch like me could have this life, full of doxies and neighbors and canning workshops and family...a miracle indeed.

  Okay. I'd best get a move on if I'm going to accomplish anything today. Some cat threw up on the loveseat in the night, so that means I have to strip it off and wash that cover too. Sigh...the gifts just keep on comin'

  Sauntering off into a beautiful fall Sunday...maybe I'll throw a peach crisp into the oven...doesn't THAT sound good???