Thursday, May 30, 2013


This is a shot of the edamame. Looking good...the little plants are about 2 inches high. woohoo !


  I've been derailed. I had a plan. I had a list. I've been very disciplined this morning, getting all kinds of house work done. Vacuuming, washing and changing slipcovers. Cleaned off the table. Made the bed. Emptied a couple of things out into the compost. Rearranged some things. A couple of more things to do, and then get the tart made for the potluck and then jump into the shower. 

  And then the phone rings. And BOOM!  Everything has changed.

 Well, maybe not EVERYTHING.  But, the potluck is cancelled due to threat of heavy thunderstorms/tornado watches. The facilitator lives across the river, and she didn't want to have to risk the drive home in bad weather. I surely understand that.  And I hadn't made any food yet, anyway.  But now...I'm useless.  I don't want to finish the stuff I have started, I just want to take a nap. That could be due to the huge lunch I just ate, lol..  Suddenly, the deadline is gone and I just went limp.  lol  

 I'm pitiful.  By huge lunch: I opened a jar of my home canned okra, tomatoes and onion, heated it up with a little butter and some black pepper and ate it out of a bowl with a buttered homemade hamburger bun.  O.M.G.  If you don't like okra, or breaded tomatoes--this dish is not for you.  This is something I started canning at the end of the season when I had just little bits of okra or tomatoes coming in, and I just love it. I use the mixture in soups a lot, but when it's just me here, I eat it just like this. Yum. I only used about  1/2 to 2/3 of the pint jar. But I'm full. This batch was so sweet...from the tomatoes, I guess. And it had lots of okra in it. 


  I should go finish vacuuming the master bathroom floor and at least clean off the kitchen island. Even if I don't do anything else. I am debating whether to go ahead and make that tart, so that I'll at least have made it once and tried it, before springing it on unsuspecting folks.  lol  I didn't have anything else planned for supper anyway.  Last night I marinated chicken breasts in a lemon and honey and herb concoction, then grilled them and served them on a big bed of greens, garnished with pickled beets and hard boiled eggs (both courtesy of Honeysuckle Hill).  It was awesome. I even toasted some home made garlic and herb croutons from a chunk of leftover baguette.  Maybe I'll go ahead and make the tart. Might as well, right ?'

  The other night, at the MD bbq we went to, a lovely woman named Jean had made these little "crackers" out of Parmesan cheese. That's right. Nothing but Parmesan cheese.  She said she heaped little piles of the coarsely shredded  cheese on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and stuck 'em in the oven. She served them with a dip made of goat cheese, honey and fresh rosemary. LOTS of fresh rosemary. Of course I got the recipe.  It was stupendous !  I might make some of those too.  After all, I brought some of the dip home.  lol

  The Irishman is working OT tomorrow, so I'll have another free day to get the rest of the housework done. I didn't do anything the past few days but work outside when I could, and the heat and humidity have been atrocious. Today was that --"oops, I've passed the point of decency"  place where I HAD to vacuum up the dog hair. Of course, with the weather , the dogs are all shedding like crazy.  Ai yi yi...

  Yesterday I potted up herbs for my back deck. Rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano, sage, cilantro, lemon balm.  I might go back to the plant lady and get some ginger mint form here. I loved the smell of it. Not sure what I could use it for, but..probably anything I want, right ?  

lol   One of the sisters gave me an Anise Hyssop yesterday, and said it had gotten too big and leggy for her to sell.  I found a spot for it at one end of my hosta bed, near the steps and planted it DEEP and staked it up. I will start pinching the tops as soon as it has a chance to establish itself and get over transplant shock. I also finally got those leftover tomato plants in the dirt, and they looked very perky and happy this morning. But I'm telling was so hot and humid yesterday, I was sweating like a madman.  I kept taking little breaks and coming in for rest and water, but wow.   I did all this after I went to the doc and got my 2nd Hyalgan shot in my right knee.  I very awkwardly made sure to only use my left leg to push that spade into the ground. And the ground is still pretty wet, so it was easy digging. I also gathered up all the used plastic pots and seed starter (4 and 6 pack thingees) and got them all into a big box and in my trunk to take to the sisters for use in the plant sale they're having and for next year when they start this crazy business all over again. It cleaned things up remarkably here. lol

Okay. I'm off to finish...something. I really did get quite a lot of other stuff done today, so...we'll see how it goes. It's 3 PM already...


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another rainy day...

  The house is really quiet today. This is why.  lol  It's a rainy semi-stormy day, and all the animals are sleeping in various places around the house. Lazy, lazy critters.

 This was the view from my front porch this morning. It rained all day yesterday, in fact, it's been raining since Friday. And it's raining now too. In between raindrops, you can see how the earth is loving all this water. Everything looks so lush.

 These are the rebellious little roses at the driveway. They're tiny and take a beating every year. But they keep coming back. Yesterday they were just buds.

I am tickled to death about this. These are Siberian Irises that my friend in North Carolina gave me from her garden. I dug them up and brought them here when we moved. I planted them in a place that was all wrong for them--not enough sun--and left them there for 6 years because I kept forgetting to mess with them with so much other stuff going on. 2 years ago, I moved them out by the front gate. (Well, where there would BE a gate, if we had one.  LOL)  Last year they struggled to survive the weeds and hollyhocks. The fat roundish leaves there are young hollyhocks. This year they have bloomed for the first time, and I am delighted. I love these fragile little irises.

As you can see, there's honeysuckle blooming there at the post too...roses, honeysuckle, hollyhocks and irises.  Could it get any better ????

And finally. Peaches. The tree is loaded again this year. In spite of inclement weather and tornadic winds and freezes and heats. It perseveres. YAY!  We're going to have a good crop of them , I think.

  And that's pretty much the front yard story here on Honeysuckle Hill.  Well, wait.  We also have a cherry tree loaded with cherries, and the Irishman picked up a net at the farm store the other day to try to deter the birds from eating EVERYTHING.  We don't mind sharing, but they are not as thoughtful.  lol  The 4 little blueberry bushes are also loaded with blueberries. And when I say loaded, I mean--maybe 3 cups of blueberries, as the plants are pretty small.  They were planted in March, as soon after Valentine's Day as we could get a shovel in the ground.  The irises planted along the rock wall are flourishing in all this rain too, and I have a vase of them on the table right now..this is the 4th day, I think. And they still look this good :


  The vegetable gardens are looking great. I am very pleased to tell you that the edamame seed I saved last year has abut a 95+% germination rate. WooHoo! Almost everything except the peas and limas (and I haven't been out in the rain to look at them today) are sprouted and growing like gangbusters.  The green beans are about 3 inches tall at least.  The greens and lettuces and radishes are all above ground. I just hope the potatoes don't rot in all this rain...We have about half of them strawed, and if the weather permits, I might get out there and do some more today. The butternut squash are over in the side yard and are doing well. The big box that I filled in with compost and planted the remaining 11 sweet potatoes in is looking good too.  I still have about 10 tomato plants I'm trying to find somewhere to put. I have 18 of them in the ground and they're thriving.  Why did I buy so many ????

  Have a grand Tuesday everyone. The rain is really coming down now, so I think I'll just settle in for the duration. Finish up the laundry and do a little housekeeping...


Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday...Day 1 of a 4 day weekend.

LOL...dirty planting hands.  (And I see another project on my summer list--time to paint the metal patio chairs again...) I used to keep my hands nicely manicured. Now it's all I can do to clip the nails off short so they're not in the way.  lol

  Woke up this morning to a chilly 46 degrees. Yikes. Supposed to get up to 70 today and tomorrow...and rain tomorrow and Sunday. That means the push is on for yard work today. The grass (of course) needs mowing again. The remaining 2 garden beds need finishing digging. A bed or 2 are ready to plant.  Teepee trellises need to be put together and set in place.  4 of those.  So much to do...

  Got my foot xrayed yesterday at the little community hospital about 12 miles from here. It was a delightful experience as hospital stuff goes.  They said the doc will have the report today...I should call if I haven't heard from them by early this afternoon.  At least we'll find out if it's a stress fracture, or just calcified tendon problems. 

  I went to the DMV yesterday as well as the county courthouse and made a loop-de-loop and got back home at a reasonable time. Accomplished some important stuff, since I couldn't do much anyway as it was a grey drizzly chilly day all day. I had to go to the courthouse to the assessors office. Every year I have to fill out a form for the Disabled Persons Homestead Act...which freezes my property taxes so they don't go up up up every year. Every time I fill it out, I make a copy so that I have a copy of it as well. This year I did it wrong (new printer) and instead of printing out a copy, I scanned a picture of my son and myself onto it. AARRGGHHHHH !!!  So, I took it up there, where the assessor had a good laugh, and I asked if I could get a blank one to re-do.  He said he would take that one...he was the guy who approved them anyway, and as long as he could read the numbers it would be okay.  Sheesh...I felt so dumb.  But I didn't remember to get a copy of it from him...and I guess it will all be okay.

  The tags for car went up this year too, but I got those and I also got an application for a handicapped parking tag...I have refused to do this...I have resisted admitting that I am THAT kind of handicapped...but the arthritis is getting worse and worse and walking far is getting harder all the I hate it.  You know I hate it.  Maybe I will do it...and maybe I won't.  

 Guess I'd better get dressed and get outside. Hoping if I waited a bit it would 1) Dry off some--heavy dew  and 2) Warm up.  lol  It is up to 53 now.  I've already made oatmeal and toast for breakfast and we ate and the Irishman is out there and hard at it. (Not) Actually he drove over to the neighbors for some more leaf mulch.  I made extra oatmeal and took it out to the chickens. They LOVE cooked oaties.

 Might have to stop and run over to my cousins today at some point--she's giving me some domestic blackberry transplants. Anywhere I plant them in my yard will take a short time for them to be bastardized by all the wild berries I have. We did lose a lot of them when the tree trimmers working for the electric company came through and tore out chunks of the little hillside in front of our house.  It'll all be fine...

 Will be getting the squash in the ground today and hopefully all the rest of the seedlings as well as a few more seeds. I am sitting for my neighbor tomorrow, so I may have to try and get my avocados done this evening/afternoon too. They are ripening quite nicely, and I'm going to puree and freeze them. Bought like 20... they're sitting on my counter right now...

In my gorgeous Bobby Flay bowl.  On my cluttered messy counter.  Oh, well.

 Hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We are going to the neighbors for a bbq on Monday, possibly (weather permitting) going to a spring fair on Sunday.  It will be a nice weekend, peppered with thoughts of our veterans and the sacrifices they have made for our freedom. My dad was a WWII veteran. 


Monday, May 20, 2013

What time is it--and where's my coffee ?

It's a glorious rainy morning out there.  A little thundery, but nothing like they threatened us with. Yet.  I always get a kick out of the graphics they use on the weather channel's alerts...looks like all hell has broken loose and it's the beginning of the end. lol

This is a picture of my chives in flower.  My irises are finally blooming too, about a week behind every one elses. That's okay. Just reiterates that I live out here in the Land that Time Forgot.  My neighbor always says she can't ever grow chives and I tell her I planted them once-5 years ago. I love that kind of gardening. I'm getting a little anxious that my anise hyssop doesn't seem to be coming back from last year (it always has, for 4 years) and am worried that I harvested too much too late of the flowers and leaves. It makes such a comforting wonderful tea...we shall see. I can always (I hope) plant a new one.

  The Shasta daises in the backyard are all looking really great...blooming patches here and there, and one gigantic patch in various stages of bloom and bud.

I adore spring.

Last night (after a weekend of serious garden work) I was so exhausted that I couldn't keep my eyes open one second longer last night around 9:30.  I zombie walked through the living room and asked the Irishman to please feed my fish, I had to go to bed.  He said--you all right ?  I mumbled something and kept going. I slept straight through until 6:30 this morning when I was awakened by not one, but 2 (one in each leg) muscle cramps in my legs. I get these every now and then, but I don't think it's ever happened in first one leg, and then the other 15 minutes later.  I wake up howling-they hurt so bad. And then the muscle is sore all day.  I put bananas and tonic water on my list for today.  Oy vey...

  This weekend I got a lot done, but there's still a lot more to go. I planted an entire 30 foot bed of green beans.  I planted 14 rows of Edamame and about 5 short rows of Siberian Kale. I will plant more kale in late summer for a nice fall and winter crop. I planted more sage (not sure why I bought it? I have a beautiful sage that came back up this year, and quite a bit dried in the cupboard from last year.)  I planted Jalapenos, Bronze Mignonette and Red Romaine lettuce. I planted French Breakfast Radishes.  I planted Spinach and Chard.  I planted about 12 Cucumber plants.  The Irishman finished the bed for the sweet potatoes last night, so I can plant those anytime. The tomatoes are still not in, and the seedlings are barely hanging in there.  The bed for the bell peppers isn't ready and neither is the bed for the squash, and those seedlings seem to be doing okay. Barely. Hopefully next weekend we will get everything finished up.  Late late late.  I am reminded of Alice in Wonderland. Was it the  Dormouse ?  Late late late.  lol

Well, guess I should get some breakfast and maybe get moving. Clomp around on these stubby crampy legs and work out some of the soreness. I am afraid that I have a stress fracture in my heel (right leg) and will see the dr on Wednesday and see about an xray.  One more  I'm starting to look at all this physical health stuff as quite an adventure.  Sort of.

 Have a Monday of your choice. Tornadoes in Kansas and Oklahoma. More water here. Yesterday was 90 and today, even with the rain, is supposed to be 85.  Does this mean spring is over ?


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday on Honeysuckle Hill

 Green beans planted, 5-16-2013.  May well be the latest planting in the history of  this haphazard gardener. The weather has not been cooperative this year. And it doesn't seem to be over yet. It rained again yesterday (good for the beans and taters, not so good for the rest of the beds that need digging in and planting). Sigh...All the seedlings are looking war weary because they need to get their toes in the ground.  A few have completely died.  I am getting anxious and now we have 2 possibly nice days ahead and the Irishman is going to be too busy to do much here for both of them. I don't know how much digging my back and knee will allow me to do, but I'm going to have to try, or nothing is going to get done.
  I feel frustrated and a little scared. We need this food to get us through the winter. (Of course, we can get through it like lots of people do, but I don't want to have to do that. )  I'm probably over-reacting...but I think this must have been how it felt back in the old days, when your livelihood was hinging on how much you could provide for your family.  When you are at the mercy of Mother Nature. And this is just a family garden, not fields and fields of crops or anything.  I need to take a deep breath and regroup. lol

 Yesterday I picked up my favorite sister-in-law and we took a 3 hour drive down to see my brother and my OTHER favorite sister-in-law. lol  We stopped and had breakfast and moseyed on down the road. It was a really good day. I don't get out much. lol  It's the first time I've really gotten away from here for a whole day in quite a while.  We stayed all day and came home late last night (well, around 9--late enough).  We had such a good time together and got lots of talking done on the drive.  The brain cancer ordeal she's going through is putting her through some massive shifts, as it would anyone. Good things, mostly.  But she is tired and having some cognitive issues and it scares her. As it would anyone.  And I am especially blessed to be available to love her and hold her hand through as much of this as she needs me to.

 The visit was great-as always. We had lunch and talked and laughed until our sides hurt--my baby brother is hysterically funny.  Then my niece came home from school at 3 and we started all over again. It was a grand day, and I am so blessed to be part of this family. I really needed this day. 

  So, I am dressed and trying to decide what to do first.  It's community yard sale day and I really would like to go do that.  I haven't had any breakfast yet and I am out of bread. And then there's the chicken coop that needs cleaning and the garden that needs digging and the house that needs straightening.  On a bright note, I HAVE had coffee. And the Irishman is off to Springfield and the dogs are outside and the day is mostly sunny with a little cloudiness mixed in, heading for 80 degrees (though it's only 72 right now).  So, as an exercise in living mindfully and more zen-like, I think I'll go brush my teeth and let this day take me where it will. Releasing anxiety (things will be the exact way they are supposed to be)  and trusting that my path will go where it's supposed to go today. And trying to keep myself positive and kind and hopeful.

That's about it. What else is there?  Oh yeah, love. Love.  


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mid week hoo-hahs

 These are my dulcimers. hanging on a wall.  Good place for them, right? I haven't even attempted to play them in a couple of years, I don't think.  It's ridiculous. The blue one is a students dulcimer, made by  an elementary music teacher in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  She would teach her students to make their own instrument , with a cardboard box and then the wooden neck and strings. It really has an amazing sound, and was the perfect low cost investment for kids to make (which included their own artwork on the front) to learn to play this simple Appalachian instrument.  I fell in love with this one, and bought it for 35 dollars.  The wooden one next to it is a custiom made dulcimer from Black Mountain Instruments in Calistoga, California. My friend married a lovely man decades ago who builds these beauties. He walked me through choosing the design, the woods and then proceeded to build this dulcimer just for me. In fact, there is a  plate inside that reads, Built with Love for Annie Kelley, by David.  I will treasure it as long as I live.  Maybe I will even get it down and play it again. I keep thinking about taking lessons, as I'm not the musical instrument playing savant that I wish I was.  But finances and time and stuff always get in the way of that happening. Maybe this will be the year. Who knows?


 It's Wednesday. I have to go to the dr appt that I cancelled yesterday.  I just didn't feel like going, as I overdid it [again] on Monday and was limping terribly and hurting yesterday.  I couldn't sleep Monday night, so that only made Tuesday worse. I opted to stay home and take it easy most of the day.  My son graciously finished all the mowing, side yard and back yard for me. He also worked on my little electric weedeater and got it running and even used it some. I have been wanting to get a little electric weedeater because I can't handle the big gas one.  Turns out we still had the old one in the shed.  Arrghhh..I swear, the Irishman told me it didn't work anymore and I thought he had gotten rid of it. He bought a big Troy Bilt gas weed trimmer, because he said the little one isn't good for this property.  It's so damn heavy I can't use it. And he pretty much won't, until I badger the hell out of him. He hates doing yard work. And I HATE badgering him about anything. I get mad and will just do it myself.   So, I have the little trimmer back, and while it will not cut brush, it is great for cleaning up around the decks and garage and that kind of thing. (Which is mostly what I need it for anyway.)   I used it a bit this morning, until it ran out of string. I need to have the boy show me how to load it, as I probably knew once, but have forgotten.

  I am doing laundry this morning. The forecast 2 days ago was for rain today.  Then yesterday they pushed that rain to Thursday. Then this morning, they brought it back to this afternoon.  Sigh... I am not going to risk having my laundry caught outside in thunderstorms, so I'm just using the dryer. Hopefully this will be the last time this summer. I love hanging them outside, as you know, even though it's more work. They just smell and seem cleaner from the sun. O ! the glorious sun !!  lol  


  I am getting my sister-in-law on Friday and we are taking a day trip down to my brothers house in Southern Illinois.  She still can't drive, because of the brain cancer. And she's getting a little cabin-fevered.  She gets out with her husband and her daughter, but I think she needs a break from her immediate family hovering all over here too.  So we will head south at about 8 AM and stay gone until we're ready to come back. It will be a good time for us.  My youngest sister was going to go, but has decided she cannot leave her teacup Yorkie at home by itself all day. Her husband is going to be out of town, I guess. I'm not sure why I didn't say "Bring her along" but I didn't.  Maybe I just want some selfish time with my sis. At any rate I am looking forward to it and plan to have a grand time. Plus--I get to see my niece and love on her some. She's 10 now, and growing up way too fast.

 I feel a little ho-hum today. Nothing exciting going on, but I think the dryer has stopped so I can get the last load ion the washer. That'll be good. I also have to go and get some coffee today, as I finished the bag of beans and don't have any in my pantry.   EeeeeeKK  !!  (That doesn't happen very often). I usually buy 2-3 pounds at a time, because I have to drive 20 miles to get them. And you know how I

  I also need to get some seed to plant green beans.  That bed is ready. The Irishman has gotten the 4 little round beds ready that the trellises go in, for planting snow peas and lima beans. The bean harvest last year was pitiful, but the blazing temps and drought hit everything pretty hard. (Some things worse than others). It's getting so late...and the seedlings I have are looking pathetic and need to get in the dirt SOON! 

  SO--I better go get busy.  I am so good at procrastinating...



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day 2013

 A picture of my bouncing baby boy and me. This must have been about 1973.  He was  2 here.   I think it was around Mothers Day too...I was working for a photographer (I was 20)  and he took the photo so I could blow it up to a  16x 20 print and frame it for my mom for either her birthday or Mothers Day.  Her birthday was May 5th, so it could have been either one. Or both. 

  It's Mothers day. My son and husband took me out for breakfast this morning and we had nice food and a good time. Lots of laughing and love at our table.  My son gave me a really beautiful card.  We stopped at the Farm Store on the way home, and my husband bought me 2 new lawn chairs, nice ones, that fold. I sit-tested one for about 20 minutes in the store, while we waited for a sales person to come and tell us how much they were.  I have a hard time finding chairs that are comfortable for me to sit in, with all my back and pelvic problems.  So this was a find, and the prices were reasonable. We also picked up dog food and cookies.  Now we're back home. The Irishman and I worked out the schematic for this year's garden, figured out what we need to get still, and he is now out digging in the beds. I really would rather he mowed, but he's not going to.  Maybe I will mow tomorrow and maybe I won't...have to see how I feel.


  Last nights supper was great. One person cancelled and 2 came and my son came over as well. The Irishman found his way home after being gone all day. So it turned out good,  and all of the kabobs got eaten. I made about 25 assorted kabobs...teriyaki marinated strip steak with veggies,  mustard rosemary marinated chicken breast with veggies.  Garlic and olive oil marinated shrimp with bell peppers and pineapple. 2 each of just chicken and steak.  I made a basmati rice with crimini mushrooms and ginger and scallions.  And I made a huge salad  in my Bobby Flay bowl I got for my birthday. It's a thing of beauty, made of wood and frightfully expensive. (I would never in a million years have bought know.  The Irishman was terribly proud of himself, so I swallowed my horror at the 70 dollar pricetag and never said a word [out loud].  But really.  What was he thinking ???)  lol   Anyway. I made a strawberry trifle that none of us could eat because we were too full.  After the company left, himself and I did manage to get down a serving of it each. lol  I made fresh lemonade, prettied up with violet and dandelion flowers.  They stayed for about 4 hours and we visited and laughed and had a great time.

  Well, mostly great. By the time it was all said and done, I could barely walk. My legs and back hurt so bad from being on my feet cooking all day plus all the housecleaning I did.  I had to take a half a muscle relaxer before bed because I was having back spasms pretty bad.  It's better today, but not so much better that I am going to get out there and mow. Gonna take it easy the rest of today and recuperate a little. We'll see how tomorrow looks. 

 The weather took a nose dive and last night was about 38 degrees. Today is up to 57, but it's windy and feels cool. The next few days the temps are heading back up to the 70's and so far, no rain in the forecast. Praying it stays that way.  I can finally start putting some things in the ground.  Tomorrow.

  I hope you are all having a happy day, mothers or not.  I'm thinking seriously about a nap. And a book.  Or maybe a movie...Tomorrow I have to call and see if the sweet potatoes are in at the little nursery. If not, or if they don't have Beauregards, I found some at the Farm Store this morning, and I'll just go over and buy them. They're more expensive, and I'd rather buy from the local nursery lady, but I MUST have that particular kind of sweet potato. So there you have it.  Either one, I have to drive about 30 miles to get.  It'll be what it'll be.

  Off to invest in  my relaxing day.  See ya on the flip side !


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Drowning in the Midwest

 That's right. It's raining. Again. For at least 2 days they're saying. This poor land is so saturated that you can't walk across the yard without squishing. The fields look like lakes. All the creeks and rivers are at their limits. I can't get my garden beds finished so I can plant.  The chicken run smells like a sewer. The septic is acting silly because it can barely leach. And the sun is gone.

 On the bright side, yesterday was beautiful. Sunny and blue skies almost all day. And then it started clouding up and rained last night. I spent part of the day with my baby sister and we had a nice time together and I didn't do a lick of housework. Well~~ I did put all the canning jars that have been collecting on the kitchen island away. Empty jars that we've eaten all the goodies from.  I am inundated with canning jars. I will never have to buy another canning jar for the rest of my life. I have a storeroom full of them, pantries full of full ones, and a garage full too. We, not full maybe. But certainly at least a hundred and fifty jars. I am a jar magnet. People keep giving them to me and believe me, I am not complaining. Not at all. I kept saying that I wanted to can more and dry more and rely on the freezer less. And the Universe said, well--OKAY!   


  And staying with the drowning theme...if you have never read Amy Tan's book "Saving Fish From Drowning" do it. It is a wonderful book. Amy, you might remember from her first huge bestseller, is also the author of  "The Joy Luck Club".  

  Oh. I am in that limbo today of wanting/needing to spend the day cleaning (we have company coming on Saturday for  supper.) and wanting /needing to just be a slug.  I know that if I would just get off my derriere and get STARTED I would probably go like gangbusters. I sit.  I just finished a bacon and egg sandwich a bit ago, took some of my vitamins, and chatted with the boy. I have found a gazillion things to read on the computer. I have strolled out to the henhouse twice between showers to gather eggs.  I haven't even made my bed this morning, something I usually do as soon as I roll out.  I thought--well...sure I have company coming Saturday, but can clean all day tomorrow...and as luck would have it, I got a call to sit with my neighbors husband from afternoon until late evening. Still...I will have all day Saturday. Sigh. I am such a procrastinator. In my defense though, anything I did today would be completely UNdone by Saturday anyway, so I might as well wait. There are a few little things I can probably do...some decluttering,  some rearranging...finish that spare room (it's almost done--I swear!) Deep clean the bathrooms.  But it's hard to get motivated when the weather is so gloomy and the house is so dark. 


  We have our discussion group tonight, and I am the opener. All that means is that I am to present a short 5-10 minute ice breaker to lead into the discussion. This is all about community, and responsibilities we have as citizens of a community.  So...I have no idea what I'm doing, although I did print out some information about one of our local watersheds, and how it came into being as a result of a group of community members  volunteering to make a difference in the place they live. We also have a relatively new trail system that came about the same way. Talking about saving habitats and reclaiming heritage might be a good opener. We'll see how it goes.

  Discussion night means I have to get inventive about supper, as it has to be something mobile for the Irishman to eat while I drive.  You know that old story. He gets home less than an hour before we have to be there, 30 miles away.  He comes home filthy.  Yada, Yada, Yada.  (Remember that from Seinfeld? The only reason I know it is that one of my employers got me a sweatshirt with that on it once. Not having a tv, I'd never watched Seinfeld and had no idea what it meant. I just assumed it was something to do with yammering away.).  

  Anyway, supper. Hmmm...lots of leftovers in the fridge that I should do something with. Not all particularly mobile (chili, for instance).  I need to clean out my fridge too, now that I mention it. Arrggghh.  Well, I'm sure I'll think of something.

 I was thinking that Saturday night be a good night for kabobs. I could make some basmati rice, make up a bunch of steak, chicken and shrimp and vegetable kabobs. And a nice green salad. That would be easy and a little glamorous, I think. And maybe make a strawberry trifle for dessert.  I have 3 people coming and I think 2 of them are diabetic, so whatever dessert I make needs to be low in sugar.  I am going to make dandelion-violet lemonade...just because it's so pretty.

Alright. The thunder is getting pretty loud, so I am sure I have at least 2 dogs right inside the front door wanting in.  The other is here by me already.  I'm going to get off here and maybe even unplug it in case the storms get bad...

Hey, maybe I'll get some work done after all !!!!!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday morning soliloquy

It's still raining. 40 days and 40 nights....well, okay. 4 days and nights. But still...

  All the cups are running over here.  We have probably had 6+ inches of rain.  I told the Irishman this morning that it feels like Seattle. The ground is so saturated the septics are acting up a little (nothing bad), the ground squishes and you sink into it everywhere you step.  The chicken run, inside the fence, is a nightmare. It stinks and is slippery as snot. Luckily we didn't have any seeds planted, because they all would have washed out. I just hope the potatoes don't rot. On the other hand...everything smells and looks so clean and fresh out there. Coming home last night, we remarked on all the incredible shades of spring green everywhere.  The blueberries are loaded with flowers, and the fruit trees are loving the rain too. We've not had any storms...just constant steady rain, which is what you want.  For a while.  But it can stop anytime. 

 It's been a low key few days around Honeysuckle Hill.  I've been keeping busy, mostly, but also having a lot of downtime.  Slow and steady, like the rain. lol  More lazy on my part, but still.  Yesterday I attended the first meeting (for me--they've had 2 others, I guess, one when I was sick)  of a Citizens Climate Lobby. It was very interesting and I think I'm going to like it. We had a teleconference call (along with 71 other groups from around the country and Canada) with the Democratic Senator from Rhode Island, Sheldon Whitehouse. It was enlightening, from a government standpoint, to discuss things like Climate Change, the Bicameral Climate Change Task Force, a revenue neutral carbon fee for fossil fuel industries.  I will be mostly writing letters to the editors of newspapers and trying to make a little dent in the awareness of people regarding this.  Shouldn't be too hard for people to understand that the climate change is directly connected to the extreme weather occurrences and  droughts and blistering heat...since it is impacting their own lives.

  Maybe.  lol

  I went on a muffin baking spree yesterday and took some to the meeting.  I made Atomic Muffins (a powerhouse of nutrition: whole wheat flour, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, molasses, sliced almonds, raisins...and  Banana Date Oat Muffins.  Both were good.  I realized that I haven't made muffins in a while. And they're so easy.  I once worked in a restaurant where I made 2-3 kinds of muffins every morning for the breakfast shift.  I developed quite a range of recipes. The Irishman was quick to point out that we would soon have blueberries for muffins, which are, indeed, his very favorite muffin.  lol

  This morning after breakfast, himself was off to his meeting and I am here doing laundry. It has really piled up, because I was out of laundry soap and just couldn't get myself motivated to make more. lol Finally I made a bucket, in between muffin batches yesterday.  I need to vacuum again, but will probably wait until tomorrow. Some of the trees are dumping a gazillion tons of those nasty lilttle seed pods that stick to every thing. I swept the front porch on Thursday (before the rain started) and within 10 minutes it was covered with them again. I am not exaggerating here. So, naturally, they get tracked in the front door every time a human or dog or cat goes out and comes back in.  Arrgghhh......

 Holey Moley--I think it's lightening up out there. Maybe the rain is done finally....I am going to attend to some things, and want to wish you all a happy Sunday.  Make the most of it !!!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring duties

 This is less than half the front yard mowed, 2 days ago.  It took me 4 hours, because A) the grass was way too high (needed a baler, not a mower!)  and B) I have to do everything in spurts, with lots of downtime throughout the project.   Oh, was a job.  My beloved finished it last night after work and then today, since he didn't go to work today.  And , I suspect, since I could barely walk last night. sigh...

  The weather has been glorious, albeit hot. Until today. Today it cooled off considerably and began to rain. Luckily though, not until about 8:30 tonight. So we had a good part of the day to get some much needed garden work done.

 This, gentle readers, is Big PoPo the cat, laying in the middle of a garden bed. In the sun.  In the background is one of 5 wheelbarrows full of chickweed that I pulled out of garden beds. OMG.  I told the Irishman that we should just start a chickweed farm !  It pulls up pretty easily, but it was still  back breaking work. I had my favorite old metal green lawn chair handy, and stopped and sat as needed. 

 This is what we did today too...hauled in 2 truckloads of composted leaf material and spread it on the beds. Probably still need one more truckload, but it will have to wait now, as it's supposed to rain all weekend. Then we will shovel manure on the beds, dig that in and then they will be ready to plant.  YAY! These are my chives, regular chives and garlic chives. They come back every year.  This is also where the anise hyssop is, but there's no sign of it yet.  Hope it's okay and planning to show itself soon.  I've been harvesting chives for salads and stuff for weeks. They are one of the first things to come back up.

 This is from one of the beds that still has some kale growing. And weeds,. LOL

 My giant hostas are finally breaking ground.  There are 4 clumps of these bad boys in front of my back deck, in the blazing sun.  Each one is about the size of a medium doghouse. That flower bed needs cleaning up too...full of yummy dandelions and chickweed and god only knows what else. At one end there is a big clump of lilies and at the other end is where the bee balm grows.  It runs along the length of the deck.

 And here's one of about 7 pots of hen and chicks on the back porch railing.  Looking good--lots of "chicks".  

 I meant to get out front and cut some lilacs to bring in the house and I never got around to it. Originally they said we were going to have severe thunderstorms today, but that didn't happen. I figured the storm would tear up the flowers, so I might as well cut most of them.  I'll have to see how they look tomorrow.  We worked right up til it was past time to eat tonight, and once I was back in the house, that was it. I forgot everything else, I was so grateful just to sit down. lol  Alright--I HAVE to go to bed.  I am sore and tired and ready for some sleep.

  There's been lots going on, but I'll save it for another post...maybe tomorrow.  Maybe.