Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday morning

 A rainy warm Saturday here on the hill. Been interesting so far. In a goofy and weird kind of way, lol.

 This bioregion of mine can't take too much more water. The rivers are flooding and levees are breaking and all the lowlanders are in trouble.  We are okay--higher ground and all. But the garden beds are squishy wet and no planting is going to be happening any time soon. Well, I take that back. Something could happen. It looks like the forecast for the next 5 days has temps up in the high 70's and 80's with no rain, thus far. It seems like everytime I look at the forecast, 15 minutes later they change it.  lol  So, we could be planting some stuff by the middle end of the week, if it does indeed stay warm and dry.

  All this rain has made the grass go crazy. It's a jungle out there. The Irishman has been spring tuning the mower, and if he doesn't hurry, we're gonna be in trouble. The grass over the past few days has grown to over 5 inches high. That's only the front yard. The back grows much slower, and has much less grass, because of all the garden beds and chicken stuff.  Some years, I have mowed the back about every 3 times I mow the front. Depending on conditions, of course. Last years drought kept things slow, which was nice. 

I was going to leave the house and go to a meeting this morning, but regardless of my best intentions, it wasn't in the cards. I started top leave and opened the door and there was a sudden deluge of water from the sky. I backed back in the door and thought--no way.  Took my jacket off and then thought--STOP IT--it's just a little rain.  Put jacket back on, got in the car and took off. About the time I got out to the highway, I realized I had forgotten my phone.  Plugged in to the charger, sitting on my desk. Considered going back for it, looked at the clock (the meeting is a 35 minute drive from my house) and was running out of time. Then thought--bad driving conditions, car with 135K miles on it, arthritis wreaking havoc with my knee this morning ,  husband 3 counties away--No. I better go get it.  

  By the time I got back here, I decided it was a sign that I was supposed to just stay home. Away from all the sickies and hand holding and hugging, with me just getting over this bug.  I had plenty of things that needed doing here...isn't there always?  And by the time I got down there, there would be about 15 minutes of meeting left. I am.


  I have swept the floors, including both bathrooms. Cleaned the toilets, mopped the big bathroom floor, and have laundry going. There's not much, maybe 2 and a half loads.   I put a pork loin roast into the crockpot and set that bad boy to cooking. I'll use it for pulled pork sandwiches, for tomorrow probably. The Irishman called from the feed store, couldn't remember what to get. lol  He said since we can't do any outside work, we should go to a matinee today.  Sounds good to me. Have to call and see what's playing, and maybe we'll go to our favorite little Japanese place and have an early supper. Our favorite waitress has to have had her baby by now, maybe we'll even get to see pictures !  I suspect she'll have the baby there and be working. She's a tiny little Asian woman with a crazy work ethic.

  I do have a couple of Netflix is Moonrise Kingdom, starring Bill Murray, which I can't wait to see. The other is a comedy called Our Idiot Brother, that looked funny to me. The Irishman doesn't seem particularly interested in seeing either one.   I might plug one in and watch some...or wait until tomorrow.  lol

Sounds like the dryer has stopped.  That's my cue----


Friday, April 26, 2013

Things to do, but here I sit...

Just be-ing.  Or not.  Sigh...

  I have a marvelous collection of all these wonderful thoughts and graphics and good advice, but none of them ever really seem to come to mind when I am drowning in the mundane. Because I think I've decided that's what's big things. No catastrophic events. Just...old, and achy and emotional. I must have cried a little about 3 different times yesterday thinking about little Roxie. I need to go to my car and clean the passenger side window, because he little prints are still all over it. I was sitting out in the back yard in the sun, looking at the garden beds, and was suddenly overcome with tears at the thought that she won't be digging this year.  Yesterday morning I called out to Caylee "Let's go get those chickens!" and immediately teared up...because it was little Roxie  I always said that to, to take her out for her morning constitutional.   Every morning, come rain or shine, for over a year.

  I keep mentally chastising myself to just stop it. Shake it off. Suck it up. Whatever it takes. Scarily, I am starting to look at puppies. Daschund puppies. I really don't want another dog. I have 3.  But I am feeling temporarily insane.  (At least, I hope it's temporary).

  And yet, here I sit.  The weather is all grey and funky again today. Yesterday was pretty nice and got up to 60. At least we are not being hurtled from spring to summer this year, like we did last year. Spring-ish weather is coming and going, and though I don't think it is supposed to get real cold again, the night temps are down in the high 40's.  I was able to open up the house yesterday for a good part of the day and let the fresh air in.  Today is supposed to be 62, so I guess I will do it again today. That always helps. I only have 2 little things on my agenda this morning, and thought I would spend the rest of the day working on some projects around here.  Maybe.  Or maybe I'll just curl up with a good book and just BE.  :)

  The boy took down the dead tree in the backyard yesterday. He and the Irishman have been talking about taking it down, and I keep resisting because the woodpeckers LOVE that tree, and I love woodpeckers.  My back yard has been full of Red headed  woodpeckers, Red bellied woodpeckers, Downey woodpeckers, Ladderback woodpeckers, and an occasional Pileated woodpecker. I kept telling the Irishman that he shouldn't do it by himself. The boy did it by himself. While I was out to lunch with my cousin. With no protective eyewear or ear plugs. Sigh...what IS it with these men ??  They both kept saying that the tree was going to come down in a big storm--did I want it to fall on and destroy my garden?  I thought it looked WAY more solid than that.  (Turns out, I was right).  Anyway, he took it down, it started to fall the wrong way, he corrected that and it fell and broke my wooden swing (he called me at lunch to tell me, and to assure me that he will repair it) and a flower pot on Roxie's grave. I told him not to worry...I got that swing and frame it is in for about 15 dollars at a yard sale.  Apparently he had moved the swing out of the way (he thought).  Sigh...when I asked him about the condition of the tree, he said it was a lot more solid than he thought. Grrrr...So, now I have a huge tree down across my backyard. He took all the branches off it, but is going to borrow his cousins big chainsaw to do the trunk, because the little one we have isn't up to the job.  And I'm trying to remember that I am not in charge of everything. That I can let this go and trust that it is down because it needed to come down (it has been shedding limbs and branches every time there's a storm. And it was dead.)  and that I don't need to obsess about it one more minute.

  It looks to be lightening up a little out there. Don't think it is supposed to rain today, but probably tomorrow. But cloudy nonetheless.  Last night's moon was over the top. Did you see it ?

  Alright. I need to go to the next town up the road (maybe 12 miles away) and cash in on another good sale at a small local market. And fill my gas tank, as gas there is about 15 cents a gallon cheaper, for some reason. That's not a lot of money in a little tank like mine, but every little bit counts.  And then come home and settle in for the duration. Work a little, rest a little (for some reason my knee was killing me last night) and put things in perspective. 

 I think the lilacs are blooming...


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rain, Rain...GO AWAY !

 Like...spring, for instance.  We went from the brown dried up hardness of winter to the lush, soft greening of everything in just a few short days, really.  From tiny hard buds forming on the peach and cherry tree branches to spectacular white and pink flowers everywhere. From tangled with dead weeds and vines fences to verdant green  with daffodills popping up along the row.  Lilies popping up through the ground, hostas starting to make their way up, and asparagus. Not much, but still--ASPARAGUS !  Chives, clematis, sage and oregano.  Miraculous.  Being mindful of creation is much easier this time of year. 

 Our chapter for this week's  discussion group is about mapping your bioregion. The course this time is called A Sense of Place, in case I haven't mentioned it.  Learning about where you live...everything from the geographic formations to the flora and fauna to your place in the neighborhood, the community, the world.  Have you ever thought about trying to map your house without using street signs or other man made landmarks ? That's what we have to do. It's daunting, but a good exercise.  It makes you pay attention to your surroundings. I'll let you know how mine goes. lol  Living in the flatlands doesn't make it particularly easy either.

  It rained all day yesterday and much of the night before. It was supposed to stop yesterday around 5, but apparently Mother Nature didn't get the memo.  It was not supposed to rain anymore for a while, which would have been a good thing, as all the creeks and rivers are flooding. It continued to rain all night, and now it's still raining (albeit not hard) this morning. I've been up about an hour (almost 8 AM now) and haven't been out to free the chickens yet.  As soon as I finish this cup of coffee though... The poor babies were looking pretty rough yesterday as they squawked around the muddy run, as they are still moulting a little and looking  bedraggled, and then wet on top of it. Bless their little hearts...they're laying again and in a short time I have almost 3 dozen eggs in the fridge. I have been trying to use up my stored eggs...I think there are still about 3 dozen back there. The are good for hardboiling and scrambling, but not for frying. (You can fry them, but the white runs all over the skillet like water). They are great for using in baking and stuff.   The only thing I can see that is a result of the long term storage is that the whites of the eggs have lost some of their viscosity and are pretty runny.  This has been a grand experiment, and I have not had to buy a single egg this winter. YAY!  I will definitely do this from now on.

  I spent a chunk of yesterday up in the county seat, shopping at a little IGA market called Carl's.  We get a shopper in the mail that carries their ads and I always look at them (even though they are 25 miles away) because every now and then they run some fantastic sales.  This week was one of them. And since I had a little extra money in my food budget, I decided to take them up on some great deals. I got chicken leg and thighs in a 10 # bag for .79 /lb.  They only had one left, or I would have gotten several.  They had beautiful whole pork loin for 1.69/lb. I brought it home and cut it into almost 36 thick boneless pork chops out of it, which I put into freezer bags and stuck out in the big freezer.  They also had whole NY strip steak  for only 3.69/lb. (Around here, those steaks go for around 9 dollars a pound, except when on sale every now and then for 7.99) We eat very little red meat, but I love those steaks and every now and then , we'll have company for dinner and I'll grill them, or we'll just have them for supper.  Once every couple of months maybe...not even that often usually.  I got a 10 pound piece (smallest one they had) and cut it into 16 one inch thick steaks.  Bagged it into serving portions and off to the freezer. So, for right around 60 bucks, I got enough meat to probably get us through the summer, as I still have some boneless skinless chicken breast packages in there too.  One of the other markets I shop now and then (15 miles away) is having a sale on pork steaks and ribs, and I might just go pick some of those up too.  I love those big western pork ribs...a cut that gives you a package that is about 80% boneless. And the price is right--1.59/lb. They're great on the grill, bbq'd in the oven, cooked with home made kraut in the crock pot. Love 'em. We eat probably 3-4 meatless meals a week. So that makes this kind of buying go a long way for us.

  I made a meatloaf for supper last night with some ground chuck I had in the freezer and the boy came and had supper with us. He's not working much again, and it always gets to him.  But I fixed some comfort food: meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green was raining and cold (the temps dropped 15 degrees in about 2 hours) and when the Irishman came home, he was wet and tired and the meatloaf was a big hit all around. There's enough leftovers for sandwiches, and enough mashed potatoes to make some potato cakes or just easily round  out another meal.   Meatloaf sandwiches are one of that man's favorites. Most men, probably. lol

 I went to the physical therapy/wellness center on Monday. I have been released from PT, sent home with exercises to do.  YAY! I am still going to go for chiropractic adjustments once a week, and I am going to start the Hyalgan injections into my other knee.  Hopefully it will prevent the right knee from getting as bad as the left one did.  The arthritis in there is pretty bad too,  although the pain isn't near what the other one was.  I have a 2 o'clock appointment today for an ultrasound, and I don't know if they'll be giving me the first anti -inflammatory  shot or not. That's at 2 o'clock.  


  Well, it's 2 hours later. The chickens are out and fed and rewarded me with one perfect brown egg. The boy came over and had breakfast with me...scrambled eggs from November and toast and coffee.  We had a nice chat and then he was off again.  The doggies have been in and out a couple of times and have no interest in staying out too long, as it's still only up to 38 degrees and raining off and on. Supposed to clear up mid day, they tell me and get into the 50's. We'll see. I've got the bird fed and the dishes done and am going to figure out what's next on the list. Then I'll leave and stop by my cousins house and try to talk her into lunch or something. She likes Paneras...then it's off to PT and then home again.

Oh yeah...gotta work on that mapping thing too...wish me luck !


Sunday, April 21, 2013

...the world is LOUD...

 It is around here today, anyway. And it's mostly all my dogs. sigh... Motorcycles, dirt bikes, tractors... anytime any of these want to drive on our road, these dogs go crazy.  It's only really bothering me right now because I'm sitting at the computer, taking a break. Waiting  for a portion of the laundry room floor to dry so I can move things over and mop the other part.

  A beautiful day here at Honeysuckle Hill.  The guys have been mostly gone all day, and I am having a burst of housekeeping.  lol  Got 3 loads of laundry on the line, flapping in the breeze. Got the burnable trash all taken care of, as well as some of the smaller branches that got knocked down in the last few storms. (And yes, I did that first, just in case the wind was blowing the wrong way, lol)  I need to finish these floors--they were such a mess. It was time to vacuum again, but I kept putting off mopping because it was so muddy out. Pointless endeavors are not my forte. Even so, the dog hair was rolling like tumbleweeds across the floor and I had lots of good reason to vacuum.  This time of year it gets bad--between the muddy boots and dog feet, the seed pods that are falling everywhere,  and the people dirt and the dog hair--well, I really haven't got a chance. Yet, I carry on.  lol

  My son is down at my brothers, finishing up some tile work around their front door and fireplace. My husband is at a District Meeting.  It has been a peaceful morning. The Irishman surprised me by coming home at lunch, when I thought he would just stay down there until everything was finished.  Seems he forgot to print out the agenda for the meeting, so while he was here, I fed us and then he was off again. It was a nice little break. (Kinda like this one, lol) 

  My big windchime out front is playing it's soothing tunes in the breeze, the birds are singing, and the vacuum is quiet for a minute.  Maybe I'll go finish that and then come back. I think we are having spaghetti and salad for supper.  Himself has expressed a need for some spaghetti sometime this week, and since I don't have anything else planned for today, and I am dying for a nice salad....there ya go.  There's lots of chickweed, dandelions, onions, kale and violets out there to round out a bowl of greens. I haven't seen any wood sorrel yet, but I could look closer. I have some radishes, and will throw a handful of sun dried tomatoes in there too...maybe even some cucumbers, If I can find them. may have finished those off--they are such a great snack! I salted them before I dried them (because I LOVE cucumbers with salt!)  and they turned out pretty good. Very snackey--just like the dried tomatoes. YUM!

  Be back later, taters... 


  And here it is, almost 10:30.   Between  finishing the vacuuming and mopping all the wood floors and bathrooms...and taking in the laundry and fixing supper...and then watching a movie with my I am. Later than I had hoped. lol  I put clean slipcovers on the loveseats  after vacuuming the old ones.  I made the mistake of pulling the cushions off the couch to vacuum and the base part of the hideabed was a mess--I don't think it's been THAT long since I vacuumed there, but GOOD HEAVENS !!!!  So that turned a 10 minute vacuuming job into about 40 minutes.  But--it's clean now.  I cleaned off the dining room table [again] and put a new tablecloth on it. What is it with tables anyway ?? They're like giant magnets that catch everything that comes in the front door !  I turned off the furnace and opened the windows and turned on the ceiling fans, blowing some fresh air through here. It gets musty and stuffy from the rain with the dogs. I even burned a little incense, put on some pleasant music and  now it's all nice. For a minute. 

  We had a little alpha dog thing happen here tonight, and the poor little Jack Russell Terrorist, who has always been the boss...was put in her place by the baby dog, who is now bigger than everyone. It got a little ugly and the Irishman had to break it up. But now Miss Molly McGee is acting all bummed out and as a special treat, is sleeping in our bed tonight. sheesh...She's acting very put out, and doesn't want to breathe the same air as Bella dog.  She was hiding out in here for a while, and then made it to the couch to sit on her daddy's lap.  Now he is showering and she's in the bed, waiting for him.  She probably won't stay there all night, but she needs a little extra attention.

  The spaghetti was really good...made a caramelized onion and garlic sauce with all kinds of stuff in it: black olives, carrots, mushrooms.  The salad was wonderful too, I was really hungry for that.  Topped it off with a baguette fresh out of the oven and we went to town.  The Irishman was out planting potatoes for about 3 hours...planted 37 hills and still have the boxes to plant.  Kennebecs and Red Pontiacs. And 2 kinds of fingerlings: Ozette and  Ruby Crescents.

  I just turned the furnace back on because it's feeling a little chilly. Not getting too cold tonight...41 I think they said. But enough to make it pretty chilly come morning, even with all the windows  closed back up. Tomorrow is supposed to be 70, I have PT at 2 o'clock, and am going to attack that guest room. Maybe.  Might have to wait and see how I feel, because I am hurting pretty bad right now from doing a little too back and knee both. I think it was from hauling that 50 gallon garbage can down to the burn's just enough of a slope on that part of the yard that it's difficult walking.  And then there was all that vacuuming and mopping too. Anyway, I took half a muscle relaxer, so maybe that will be enough to let me sleep and feel better in the morning.

 Time for this one to turn in...


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Oh well...

     (But it helps).

Just got off the phone with someone whose opinion doesn't matter that much to me. lol Giving me hell because I have chosen to not go to the memorial service for my dear friend Dick, who died last week.  I listened to her rant and chastise  and try to shame me into going.  I have chosen to not go for a couple of reasons, which are really no one else's business.  But because I feel the need to defend my actions constantly (for some reason)  I am going to tell you why.  1) I am tired and still recovering from this bug. Because I have missed so much PT, my knee and back are hurting again and the only way to get into this church where they are holding the service is UP about 200 steps.  2)  Today is also my niece's baby shower, which has been planned since February. I am helping with it and cannot miss it. It starts at 1:30...the service runs from 11-2...I live 35 minutes away from all of it.  3) I hate these things. I really do.  I have experienced so much death in my world that the whole thing exhausts me. I didn't really know his family , met one or 2 of his boys once. I have already said my goodbyes to HIM.  And I know that he would completely understand my not going.  That's all I would care about. 4) Because today, I get to make decisions about my own life based on my own needs.

  At the end of the phone conversation,  I felt like I had been sucker punched. That made me angry, at both of us. I finally said it was none of her business what I did and please don't ever call me and do this again. Then I hung up the phone. So there.  And I can't figure out why I'm letting it affect me like it is. I am sad he is gone. I am glad he's not suffering anymore. I don't believe in the  "waiting on heavens shores" stuff that lots of people find comfort in. Neither did he.  I hope that the people who go today find solace and comfort in each others presence there.  I am reminded of the lovely poem that I read at my dad's memorial service called Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep 

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

  I guess I better get something done here because it won't be long before I have to be at a party, welcoming a new life into this crazy world.  I'm still in my pajamas (you know me too well, lol) and  have about a 2 hour window before I have to leave. 

  Have a great Saturday everyone.  This morning I sat out on the porch with my coffee and listened to the birds sing. It was glorious. If you have that opportunity, I'd certainly recommend it.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Yee Haw...I think the drought is over.

  This  is the Rose of Sharon that I planted the first year we lived here. There was a huge rotting stump in the yard, so I planted about 10 ROS twigs (of different colors) all around the stump. Over the past 8 years, the stump has composted itself and the ROS have thrived.  Every fall or early spring, I get out there with my big loppers and cut it down to about a foot tall. It grows back with a vengeance and flowers beautifully throughout the summer.  Unfortunately, the Japanese beetles also love it.  

 This is all the stuff I cut out, making it's way to the backyard. (Look how green everything is !!!)

  I also did the monster Wisteria, which in one year grew from a small plant (the year before it was a 50 cent twig I got at Aldi's)  to a monster that ate the Arbor.  LOL  I cut that bad boy to the bone. It will either grow back like crazy, or it will be stunted from my ignorant lack of horticultural skills and knowledge. I really don't care which.  lol

The irises are about a foot tall...the lilies are all magnificent, and everywhere I look there are  buds and new leaves and flowers galore. 


 Yesterday, we were under a tornado watch all day. It started out gloomy, and as the day went on it cleared up and the sun came out and the temps soared into the high 70's.  That's when I decided to drag my sluggy butt outside and try to shake off the malaise by getting busy doing something.

  It worked.

  Mostly.  lol

  By the time I finished wrestling that wisteria to the ground, I was exhausted. So tired that I came in the house and sat down on the couch and fell instantly to sleep. I napped for about 45 minutes.  lol

  Last night it started to thunder and rained some. This morning it looks like someone left the floodgates open. Torrential downpours, mixed with thunder, lightning, and just regular hard rain. Constantly.  AND we are under a tornado watch again. It might be over by now, but it was on until at least 10, if they didn't extend it.  Life gets pretty exciting out here on the prairie.

 I managed to get outside and let the chickens out between downpours.  It gets really nasty inside that chicken run in the rain...slippery and muddy and stinky.  And the girls do NOT like all this rain. I need to get out there and get them some greens and check for eggs too.'s 63 degrees out there. But I'm still in my nightgown...


  I thought about a short shopping expedition today. Maybe a nice little meal out. I'm thinking there's leftover beans in the fridge, and wouldn't that taste good over a piece of buttered wheat bread??  With some onions on top ??  And I don't really NEED anything. So...why would I go out in this ?  I suspect that on the outer ends of our road (and especially down by the bridge that goes over Macoupin Creek) there is lots of flooding.  It's been raining pretty hard all morning. Earlier they were saying that we had about 5 inches of rain already and that was around 7 AM. It's now 11 AM and it has rained a lot since then.

  It's so easy for me to just stay home and isolate myself out here with my critters and my gardens. If I could arrange it, I'd have my groceries delivered. lol  Not that I need a lot in the way of groceries, but you know, paper goods and dog food.  The times that I do have standing appointments to be somewhere (like PT has been ) it makes me crazy.  I'm not agoraphobic or anything.  I just like being home.  And not having a schedule. lol  For years (most of my life) I had stringent schedules that had to be kept, was never without a watch, lived a lifestyle that was packed to the gills with things to do every waking minute. I haven't worn a watch in over a decade now.  I have slowed down considerably. I am rarely EVER on the run.

 I like this so much better.  

 And what better time to relish it than on a rainy rainy day, with dogs and cats curled up snoozing to the patter of rain on the roof.  With some soft jazz playing on the Bose. And beans in the fridge, calling my name.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chilly and blustery Tuesday...

  Last years peaches.  Today is one of those days calling for some comfort food.  It rained and stormed all night, and has been raining and thundering all day. It's grey and bleak and  drizzly.  It must have rained pretty good last night--there is water standing in the fields and roads. Enough already.  They say it is supposed to get up to 57 today, but so far (almost 2 PM) it's barely dragged itself to 45.

  I have beans soaking and we're having cornbread and beans for supper.  They have about another 15 minutes to go before I drain and rinse and start them cooking.  Doing a "quick soak"  where you bring them to a boil and then shut 'em off and let 'em sit for an hour.  Because I never plan ahead.'s the bane of my existence. lol   Since we finished off the coconut pie last night, I thought I'd get some peaches out of the freezer and make a peach crisp.  Because it's easy and I'm lazy.  lol  Plus, it's good. Somehow the oatmeal in the topping lets me delude myself that it's a [sort of] healthy dessert.  Win/Win.  lol

  The  bombing of Boston breaks my heart. There really is nothing you can say about this tragedy...we have been fortunate until lately...there are countries where this kind of thing is a regular occurrence...where people live in fear all the time.  Even  worse is that the dead are children.  Sending love and light to all people everywhere.

  I started seeds yesterday--what a pain in the patootie it was, stuffing those toilet paper rolls with wet straw and then filling the rest with soil. I made a huge mess.  In retrospect...I should have  gotten one of the tables out and made the mess somewhere besides my kitchen island...but in my defense, there are already seed potatoes all over the island, greening up and sprouting so we can get them planted. Since I have an open floor plan here (kitchen/dining room/ living room), and the island is right in the middle of it, it's complete chaos from spring through fall. My canning/freezing/dehydrating makes a mess,  my planting/seed starting/ cooking  makes a mess.  My world is a mess. But it's a generally good mess.  LOL  I do need to at least get my kitchen table cleaned off. That goes a long way...

  The beans are on the stove cooking, full of onions and celery and garlic and carrots. I seem to be out of bay leaves, which I LOVE to cook in my beans.  The next time I'm at the coop I'll get some more in bulk, because I refuse to pay almost 6 dollars for  a small bottle of Durkee bay leaves. In bulk, I can get 10 times that much for the same price. And they are fresher and more aromatic.  So there.  I got 2 bags of peaches out of the freezer, and they are in the sink defrosting.  And I'm eating a granola bar for my lunch.  :)

  I finished the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo original Swedish Trilogy set of movies last night. Wow.  Even the first one, which I saw at the theater, was so much better. Even though I love Daniel Craig. lol  But anyway, now I can get the set back to my cousin who loaned it to me.  Now I need to read the second and third books.  In my spare time.   LOL  I get a little reading done in the summer, but not so much.  

   I just made another trip out to the chicken coop...3 eggs so far today.  Yesterday (or was it the day before??)  I got 6.  Somebody is still breaking and eating eggs every chance they get, and I'm trying to stay on top of it.  I also had to empty my compost bucket...threw  some carrot and celery ends in to the chooks, but most of it was compost material.  So I brought it back in, washed it out good, and it's ready to fill up again.

 Guess I'd better try to get a little something done around this house.  Probably won't vacuum (again) but will clean off the kitchen table and straighten slipcovers, as best I can around the sleeping dogs.  This rainy weather just makes everyone  nappy.  lol

  Happy Tuesday...


Monday, April 15, 2013

A soft rain a'fallin'...

 Just finished my late breakfast.  Omelets and salad are one of my very favorite things.  I got some beautiful mushrooms yesterday  and have been salivating at the thought of them...cut thick and sauteed in butter until just barely cooked.  I did the same with some white onion and then put it together into an omelet with a little cheese and some sun dried tomatoes thrown in. I also put some cracked black pepper and some dried rosemary into the eggs.  The salad is leftovers from Friday when I gathered a bowl of wild greens (mostly) from the yard and gardens. Some kale I found poking through the straw, some walking onions, dandelions, clover and chickweed.  A little lettuce, some sliced raw parsnips and carrots, a radish I found at the bottom of the drawer..  Yum.

It's a comforting rain coming down out there....the kind that just wets everything down nicely, but doesn't blow in the windows, so you can leave them open.  There's some slow and quiet thunder rolling every now and then, but not the violent scary kind.  It's definitely April showers.  Every now and then it comes down a little harder, but then relents, and goes back to the soft rain, as the Irish call it. Lovely.

 I'm supposed to go to PT at 2, but I'm seriously thinking about cancelling. I really don't feel like going anywhere...I know I should. I know it's not nice to cancel appointments at the last minute. But, I'm still tired. I'm still going very slow and driving down there is a major endeavor. I tentatively made the appointment last Thursday, hoping I would be all recovered.  I felt better yesterday and the weather was so nice. It got up to 78 degrees and was sunny and breezy and oh-so-beautiful !  I hung laundry on the line and ran some errands and did a few things around the was a really good day.  Then come suppertime, I made a broccoli salad, cooked some corn on the cob, made a foiled platter of potatoes, onions, and cheese to cook on the grill. BBQ'd some pork steaks, and had a wonderful supper with my two guys.  It was just lovely all the way around. I had some coconut Princess Pie in the fridge, so that was dessert.  That, btw, is a recipe I got on Facebook that someone's great, but needs a little tweaking, as the crust is welded to the pie pan and you can barely get it out. lol  It's kind of a coconut cream pie, with a shortbread type crust, a layer of cream cheese mixed with sugar and whipped cream,  then a layer of coconut pudding, then more whipped cream and toasted coconut all over the top.  Really rich, but really, really GOOD!

  Alrighty. I have time to get some more seeds started. Did I tell you?  I'm using toilet paper and paper towel rolls for little peat pots. Cut them about 2 inches high, stuff the bottom with straw and the rest with potting soil and go to town. Then when the time comes, you can just put the whole kit 'n kaboodle into the dirt. And you don't have to buy peat pots. And it's a great way to recycle the toilet paper rolls.  It's getting late for seed starting, but recent events have dictated that it is what it is.  lol  I'm never much good with timetables, it seems. Around these parts, we don't plant gardens until after Mothers Day, because Mother Nature (that sneaky old broad) cannot be trusted.  It would drive me insane to lose a whole garden of starts and stuff because of a freak freeze in May. And it has happened (not to me, because I take my time putting stuff in the ground). So that gives me about a month (if I get going right now) to nurture some seedlings and put them in the ground.  We have a really long growing season here, so it's really no problem. A lot of locals I know are already putting things in the dirt, but not me. 

  It's really so beautiful outside...the rain falls, then stops. The sun comes out for a while, then it clouds up and rains a little more. Then the sun comes out again.  And everything smells so clean and looks so green...

  My friend Dick's Memorial Service is going to be next Saturday, in the morning. Then in the afternoon, I am going to a baby shower for my niece. It's her second baby, the first one died at about 6 months into the pregnancy.  And so the circle of life continues. Birth, Death and Birth again.  

  Have a grand day, wherever you are and whatever you're doing.  Be grateful for every minute you get with those you love, and don't forget to dance in  the rain !!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday in spring...

 Sigh....I could use a miracle or two.  lol  Actually it's nothing but emotional short circuiting and that's a seemingly commonplace thing for me these days. Is it my age?  Is it my health?  Is it...the world around me?  I don't know.

   I do know that it is an absolutely gorgeous day out there already, temps are 50 degrees at 9 AM.  It's sunny and the birds are singing and the it serves to remind me that every day I get to walk this earth is another miracle and I need to remember that.  I went out back to check on my chickens and the cats are lying about here and there, the dogs are lolling in the sun,  and the chickens are scratching around and got really excited when i came out. They know I'm picking greens for them, and those girls do love their greens. This time of year it's a good way to pull things up by their roots and clear the garden beds, none of which are planted yet.  Well, except the onions and garlic, which we put in last fall.  But still, pulling grasses and chickweed up by the roots gives them a little bit of buggy dirt to peck at too, and they love that. I really wish I could free range them, but it just isn't possible here. We keep talking about building a chicken tractor, but haven't done so yet.  It will probably go the way of the bee hives, which he informed me yesterday were "too much work and I'm not doing it."  Damn.  Makes me think I should find out about local beekeeping club/classes and do it myself. I'm tired of paying for honey, when the side effects of having bees would be so beneficial to our gardens too.  We have the hive boxes and supers.  Stacked right up in the garage.

  Last night a dear friend of mine died from cancer. He was home on hospice care since Thursday past, and he died in his sleep, thankfully.  But he got to be home, which tickled him to death.  I talked to him once in the past few weeks, and was planning to go see him as soon as I got over this bug. And now I can't. Blessings on your journey, Dick.  You are loved.

  Last night was also the benefit for my sister-in-law. Her daughters friends rallied together and put together a fund raiser to help defray some of the medical costs associated with the cancer treatments.  We drove the 45 minutes down there after I finished sitting with my neighbors husband for 10 hours, so I was a little weary.
But, I had relatives that drove up from Mt. Vernon that I wanted to see and I wanted to be part of it too, naturally, so we went.  The place was jam-packed and it looked like the donations were flowing freely.  She was looking pretty tired, but otherwise it was great. I think it was pretty overwhelming for her.   She is truly one of the best people I know, and I told her so when she expressed surprise at the turnout. I said I wasn't surprised.  Not a bit.

  My ex-motherinlaw also died this past week, and the service was on Friday.  My son was a pall bearer. I think everyone was as relieved as I know she was. She wanted to die...her quality of life lying in bed in a nursing home was nil. I'm sure my ex is relieved , even in his grief, that it is all over. Love and blessings to the family.


 I'm trying to map out my day.  I have a list, naturally, lol.  About half of the things on it are done, and I'm at a crossroads as to whether I stay put and do the few more things that need doing here, or head into town and run a few errands, and then come back and be here the rest of the day. Big decisions. lol

 The Irishman has gone and will be gone most of the day today, so I'm on my own.  I have more seeds to start and a cluttered house to straighten. I've already opened all the doors and windows and turned on the ceiling fans and turned off the furnace. It's supposed to hit 77 today and stay sunny. I have laundry too that needs doing...and if I get busy, I can hang it on the line. Probably do it all in just 2 loads...not an all day deal or anything. 

 I don't feel real motivated. I feel a little bereft, actually. Glad that the people who have passed are not suffering anymore, but sad for the hole in my life because of their absence.   That's life, I guess.  I've apparently reached that place in life where your friends start leaving this earthly plane.  I don't like it.


  Okay.  Enough wasting this beautiful day. I think I'll get out there with my hedge clippers and chop away at the wisteria and the Rose of Sharon. Neither of them have started to bud yet, though lots of things are, and so that window of opportunity is still open. I'll chop those bad boys down to about a foot and a half high. Maybe clear up a few other things too. Biggest problem is my wheelbarrow is coming apart. But I think I can still use it for this light weight stuff, before it comes completely apart.  I hope.  lol  I cannot BELIEVE how expensive wheelbarrows are these days !!!!  So, I am trying really hard to find a use one and not buy a new one.  OO-Oo...maybe I should spend the day at flea markets?  And just wait and do all the chores tomorrow....

 It is truly a miracle the way things have greened up since our Wednesday night tornadic storms. It's almost like somebody waved a magic wand over the yards and trees and POOF!  There's still a little brown hanging around, but there is so much green you barely notice.  I'm going to have to mow before long.

 Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

 When the forsythia blooms, you can pretty much bet that spring has arrived.  I got out in the yard the other day with the camera and snapped some pics of flora and fauna happenings around Honeysuckle Hill. Just so you know--this is this years picture of the forsythia. 

These are the blackberry lilies planted outside the back deck. Lilies are showing up with a vengeance all over the yard. We have a few different kind, but lots of Stella de Oros and blackberry lilies. The latter have a fragile little flower, beautiful to look at. I have a picture somewhere easy to find ?? (Of course not)..sigh...

  Anyhoo...there are beautiful delicate blossoms on the peach trees suddenly as well, and buds galore on the fruit trees (apples and cherries).  Still no sign of the asparagus, but it should be showing itself soon. 

 The potted plants are refreshing themselves-some of the ones I left out last hens and chicks nd another succulent in these pots -can't remember what it is...

All in all, it's looking good out there. Things are greening up nicely. 

We're supposed to be in the path of some severe weather today, so we'll see how that happens. They've been predicting it for 4 days, and so far it clouded up once and then dissipated, and this morning right before I woke up it rained for 5 minutes.  There is thunder rumbling in the distance, so it is possible we could get some action at some point.  We'll see...

  I'm slowly slowly recovering.  One day I feel halfway decent and the next I lay around all day.  Not desperately sick like I was...just not okay. Icky stomach, headachey. Blah.  I made a trip into town on Monday and it nearly killed me. Felt like I'd run a marathon.  lol  Yesterday and today, I'm just hanging out and laying low. 


  I have a project in the doing..time to make the family reunion fliers and get them all mailed out. Every year that means sifting through addresses and making sure everyone who moved gets updated, anyone who got divorced , etc.  That's the hardest part to me...I still want to let the ex's know they are and will always be part of this family.  Their respective ex spouses don't always feel that way.  (ahem).   Anyway, I got the flyer made and am now addressing and stuffing envelopes. The grand event is the first weekend in June (ALWAYS), but one year I didn't send out fliers and they all went ballistic. sigh... Sometimes it's a tough thing for me to remember to do...I have to reserve the site way back at the first of the year, to make sure we get the same day use facility every time. It's nice, covered, big--right on the beach. By March, I've forgotten all about it. lol

  I send out about 55 fliers every year. It's a job. Last year I said I wasn't going to do it anymore. I've been doing it again the last 10 years.  Time for somebody else to step up...but no one does. While it's true that I am retired and don't work at a job...and most of the rest of them still do...I have a pretty busy life too.  Just sayin'...I shall put it out there again this year. Who knows? it could happen...I kinda like being the matriarch in charge of it, honestly...but it's getting old and I need a break. And maybe I'm just especially tired this year...


  Here's a picture of my big ole goofy Bella dog...enjoying the sunshine. 

Hamming it up for the camera.

  Have a grand day, y'all...I'm going to get off here and get something constructive done !! 


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Peek-a-boo !!

 Spring has arrived at Honeysuckle Hill. And actually, it's a little greener this year than this picture shows. I just used an old Forsythia photo, because I haven't made it out to the backyard with the camera yet. The peach trees are budding, the clematis is starting to show itself....yup.  SPRING !!!!!!

  The temps have been in the mid 70's and it is supposed to rain intermittently the next few days, but today was glorious. I actually got 3 loads of laundry washed and hung out to dry !  And did some vacuuming. But that was about the extent of it.

  I am not recovering very quickly from this norovirus.  Slow, slow, slow.  But I felt better today than I have in several weeks, and so I'm going to get all optimistic on you and say that I am on the Road to Wellville.  (Do you remember that movie ??  With Matthew Broderick?)  I feel like I have had my ass handed to me in a sack. I may actually break down and get a flu shot. I can't go through this again. Ever.  I should be in bed now, but I wanted to stop by and say that I am still among the living and it's looking a little better. I have actually been able to eat some regular MEALS...there may be hope for me yet. lol

  I need to go to bed and will be back sometime tomorrow. I'm pretty wiped out and feel like I need a good night's sleep...replete with fresh clean sheets hung out to dry in the sun.  I can't wait to get in there.

  Toodles, y'all.....


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Remember me ?

I spent the past week +  waiting on the banks of the River Styx for my ride.

  Or maybe I was just in my bed, too sick to go from one room to the other, again.  All I know is that I had a flu strain that carried with it a fever of about a hundred and three, such horrible coughing that it bruised my ribs, and  almost sucked the life out of me.  My joints hurt, my head hurt and my brains hurt. I couldn't function on any level. And I couldn't eat. I lost 13 pounds. Which isn't a bad thing, necessarily, but my blood sugar dropped to levels that caused me to faint in the shower.  And I was trying to eat, believe me.  It was everything I could do to choke 1/4 cups of anything down. The one thing I felt I could eat was yogurt, which is a no-no with the antibiotics. The Irishman brought me home quarts of won ton soup, which I managed. My wonderful neighbor made chicken soup with spaetzel and a baked oatmeal breakfast and a buttermilk pie (which I couldn't eat either, but the Irishman enjoyed it) and a big container of fresh chopped fruit and 2 loaves of mini-bread. Unfortunately, I couldn't eat any of it. But at least I didn't have to worry about feeding that man.

  What is happening here?  I used to be able to take a punch, as my husband affectionately tells me. And the first days I was sick, he watched Outbreak, and Contagion.  Then a cable special about the Plague. And then, on NCIS, Tony was down with the Pneumonic Plague.

  This Friday past, the fever finally broke and I was temporarily well enough to go to the doctor.  My temperature upon my arrival ? 101.4   I felt cooler, though.  lol  He gave me antibiotics for anthrax and a codeine cough syrup. Yesterday I finished the dope. Well, not the cough syrup. I can't take it much, so it will hang around a while.

  Sunday I felt much better.  Monday I felt like hell again.  Tuesday I felt better, and managed to do some housecleaning and finished up a few little jobs the Irishman started and didn't finish. It was all I could do.  Today, I feel somewhere in the middle. I did just get dressed. My stomach hurts. My head hurts. And I'm sitting on the sidelines today, for the most part. At least I can sit up at the computer and put 2 thoughts together. I had a piece of peanut butter toast and a small yogurt. And I'm having some GatorAde, which all my darling nursie friends keep telling me I need right now to get my electrolytes back in balance.  I've been drinking plenty of fluids, and this morning had the first half cup of coffee I've had in 7 days. Miraculous.  It didn't taste all that good, but it was the principle. lol

  On Monday, my son hauled me down to the PT doc to get the final shot in my knee, which was already a week late. I told them I was coming in through the back, getting the injection, and getting the hell out of Dodge. lol  It took everything I had in me to make that trip.

  OK.  I'm done, feeling like a wrung out dishrag. lol  I have high hopes that I'm on the upswing,  so keep your fingers crossed for me.  I'm laying around like a diva today. I did enough yesterday.  

TTFN, chicadees.  It's pretending to be spring out there, but I'll believe it when I see  the forsythia.