Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Close Call

I'm a little shaken up today. I just took out the trash.

Which in itself is a crazy, crazy thing. My husband and I signed an agreement before we were married that he would take care of the trash and I would make the bed. (Yes, I got the better end of the stick)

And it's even more crazy, because my brother is in charge of the trash now that he lives with us. He has two jobs here. Trash & lawn/snow. He is usually pretty good about it too. However, he is off traveling the east coast and visiting friends and family right now.

Hubby didn't do it because he had to be out of the house before 6 this morning. Another crazy, crazy thing.

Anyway, I was sitting here happily at my little desk reading emails and such, and I noticed my neighbor go outside his house for a moment and come back in. (My little desk is perfect for watching all activity on the sidewalk....) I looked a little closer and noticed he had just put all his trash out.

Crap! I totally forgot to remind hubby last night about it! Down I run through the house to collect everything before the truck comes.

There was a bunch of stuff stashed in the garage as well as in the back hall waiting to go out. *Gross warning* As I picked up the ties, I noticed that the one in the garage had piles of maggots crawling all over. Luckily, the ties were long enough that I could easily avoid the nastiness.

Phew. I got it all out and ready to go. All is well. La dee dah. Walking back into the house and *GASP* there is a nail through my flip-flop!!! Ahh!! I stepped on a nail! The horror! The pain!

Ok. Ok. Just a gash, not straight through my foot. Ok. Breathe. Yank out the nail. Throw it away. Note bleeding. Sheesh. What would I do if it went through my foot? The neighbor would have to take me to the hospital!

Fortunately I've had my tetanus shot within the past 6 years. What's the length of time on that?

Ah well, the trash truck just came and went. I am bandaged and all will be fine. I think I'll ride my bike later.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Need for Speed

Apparently, after riding one's bike for three and a half hours, one's tushie becomes mush. I don't think my butt has ever hurt this much in my life. EV-AR.

But it was an excellent ride. It took about two hours to ride the trail we took, we broke for a nice long lunch and some ice cream and then it was only an hour and a half back and downhill much of the time, which was very welcome. We forgot the camera so there is no proof of this first most momentous ride. But it was good. It was very good.

I will, however, be spending much time in the tub. Thank you and good night.

Just to Clarify

For anyone who may have been concerned about the situation, it has been thoroughly rectified. Not conquered, by any means, but much progress has been made.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Wanna Play Catch?

The past week has been great. Busy though. And I've had a cold. What is the deal with my immune system, huh? Sheesh. Enough is enough already.

Today the plan is gardening. Of course, right? No big surprise there. I have a border to put in and some weeding/tidying of some things. Then a nice long bike ride on the trails. We are fortunate to live a couple blocks away from one of our towns longest paved bike trails. I have only been a short distance running it, so I am looking forward to seeing where it goes. Tomorrow, hubby and I are planning a long ride. Several miles, break for lunch and then ride back.

Hubby's birthday was last Sunday. After a great morning of my being able to help lead worship with my kids band and my kids singers (who were amazing, by the way), we went out to lunch with a ton of friends to the Olive Garden. Always a good time. He got some free drinks and free dessert...because his friends are awesome. We were amazingly able to squeeze in a nap before heading back to church for the evening service.

He got some pretty good presents too. Spoiled rotten, this one is. We were at Menards on Saturday looking at garden sheds (ours is coming in two weeks!!) and since it was Father's Day weekend, all the power tools were on sale. So I said, "Happy Birthday, buy a circular saw!" and we got a great deal. Then I gave him a couple new sets of pliers that he wanted, a silly kids book called, "How I Became a Pirate," for, as you may or may not know, we are planning on being pirates one day.

And then I also gave him a bike helmet. He said, "Sweet, what should I do with this?"

I said, "You can run down the street really fast and if you fall down, you won't hurt your head."

He said, "Sweet... No really."

And I said, "Ok, fine, I couldn't fit the bike in a gift bag."

Monday we went to pick up his brand spanking new bike and get it fitted perfectly to him. I had ordered it special since he is a rather tall man and there was actually only one that was his size that they even made. I don't think he has ever had a bike that really fit him well so I'm very excited for him. We have lots of biking expeditions planned and he is even at this moment looking up maps for us to explore.

I even got myself a helmet and a new seat for my bike so my head and my tushie will both be safe.

Last night we felt the need to stay up until the wee hours of the morning watching an old stoner flick and munching on popcorn. We didn't even sleep in that late this morning, surprisingly.

And tonight we are going to a play that one of the kids from my band is in. Should be a fun date night out. We might even go see a movie tomorrow night.

And this was the most rambling post I think I have ever written. I hope you feel sufficiently caught up and completely confused.

Love to you all.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

There's Nothing Better

My hubby called me this morning to inform me that he was at Guitar Center. Nothing shocking there. He's a musician, after all.

The good part of the conversation came when he told me that he had found "my" guitar. That's right. The electric pink, hot chick, punk rock, girlie guitar.

Not only did he find it, but he promised to try it out and make sure it played well. Just in case. What a guy.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

How Do I Take Care of My Orchid?

We had another question this week. And it's a really tough one. N may have pushed me to the limits of my vast knowledge on this one.

"My wonderful husband bought me a beautiful orchid while I was away, but I have absolutely no idea how to care for it!

How do I keep my lovely orchid alive and strong?"

I did a bit of research on orchids. I myself have an orchid and have been wondering how I get it to flower as it is just a nice little green leafy plant at the moment. Fortunately, there is a lot of infomation available on orchids and their growth and care. Unfortunately, there are many different kinds of orchids (over 25,000 different species!) and they are each so specific and require different care accordingly.

So here is what I did for you, my dear N. I have posted some links to different discussion forums and research sites where you can ask more specific orchid questions to true orchid growers. Is this copping out? I hope not. I hope I have provided the information you require to have many years of beautiful orchid flowers.

And did you know that Vanilla is an orchid? Yes, it's true.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I Want to Come Out & Play!


Pretty Pretty Please?

It's Summer And Things Are Growing

I love my gardens. My flowers and my veggies and my planters. They aren't large by any means. In fact, my backyard vegetable garden is barely as large as my bathroom. If we had room, I would have acres of garden. Mounds of flowers. Huge plots of corn and beans and squash. I could subsist on home-grown food. I'm already longing for the days soon to come when I can walk out back and pick tomatoes or peas right off the vine and just start munching.

This year I tried a few new things. My tomatoes always do extremely well. In fact, I bought one new tomato plant this year to grow some regular sized-tomatoes. And in my garden right now there are at least 15 cherry tomato plants. I have already given some away. And I have more to transplant into pots. It just breaks my little green heart to rip them out and throw them away!

Oh yes, the new things. Well, I suppose I'll finish the "usual" things first. Tomatoes, squash, beans, peas, peppers & broccoli. They all seem to be doing just fine. As usual.

This year I put in asparagus and rhubarb roots. The package said not to harvest until next year. So far they are just growing right up to the sky. I have been told that the more feathery they are this year, the more stalks they will produce next year. Which is very exciting as I love asparagus. And did you know that Michigan is the third-largest asparagus producing state in the US? It's true. Granted, with the size of my garden, I will only be contributing about one meal's worth of asparagus, but that will be a great meal indeed. And the rhubarb already looks great. Much self-control is needed to no pick those bright pink stalks. I love perennial vegetables.

And onions. I have planted them before, but they always kind of just wilt out for some reason. So far I have nice, healthy rows. Basically, I have an excellent salsa garden. Many tomatoes, onions, peppers and herbs. I have sage and oregano, chamomile and mint for tea, rosemary and chives for cooking and lavender for...whatever you use lavender for.

I also planted spinach and carrots this year. Spinach is easy. I've done lettuce before. And I might this year, but haven't gotten it in yet, so maybe not. But carrots I have tried to grow in the past and haven't had much luck. This year they seem to be doing really well. (they are at the back of the picture. Behind where Darrell is guarding) I'm pretty excited about it. I am going to re-seed a little bit of my patch as I am learning that part of it doesn't get as much rain as the rest due to the trees that need to be cut down above them. But in order to cut down the tree, we need to replace our fence. And we need to build our garden shed before we replace our fence as the shed will be right next to the fence and they will be supporting each other. Whew. What a summer of projects we have!!

And then there are my beautiful flowers. In another month the morning glories will cover the whole front of my house and I love it! Plus I was really excited to see a poppy! I planted a bunch of random seeds into a hanging basket and I didn't know what they all were. I have wanted to grow poppies forever. They are such a cheerful flower. So, I'm going to be transplanting this out of the basket into my garden to keep growing every year!

As soon as the salsa is ready, I'll invite you all over. I'm thinking about trying to make enough to can it this year so I have it for months. And freezing the squash for many months of zucchini bread. Most everything else is a one or two-meal situation. Just wait, the call will come in soon for the dinner party!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Is Apple Pie American?

Shelly has asked a very pertinent question that I think applies to all of us in some way or another.

"I was thinking this morning, as I ate a piece of apple pie for breakfast, about how apple pie is supposed to be the quintessential hallmark of classic americana. But, is apple pie really an American invention? I mean, it, along w/ baseball, is the underpinning of our fair country but what if it's not even an American-based pastry!? Is it possible that it's a direct derivative of Apple Streudel, (which is so German, we dare not associate w/ it)?"

What I have discovered, is that apple pie is in fact an old English dessert. The recipe posted here is from 1381.

"In England, apple pie is a dessert of enduring popularity, eaten hot or cold, on its own or with ice cream, double cream or custard."

I think we have claimed it to be our own in many ways. And we have changed the recipe many times. Originally there was not sugar in apple pie and it was a more tart dessert, often served with cheddar cheese.

Plus, apple trees are not native to the United States. They were carefully brought here from Europe along with the desire for this excellent pie. The phrase, "As American as apple pie!" may have possibly been instigated by the Apple Marketing Board of New York State to increase apple sales.

Thus, we conclude that Apple Pie, as much as Americans love it, is not originally an American invention. However, I may have to make one tonight as now I have been craving apple pie for several days.

And I'll give ten points to anyone who can decipher the apple pie recipe.

Monday, June 12, 2006

It Was a Bright, Sunshiney Day

Today was my first real day with only one job. Last week didn't count as I slept through it all. Today was my first real day of "rest".

I got up at a reasonable hour this morning. About nine. Paid some bills. Ate some breakfast. We watched four hours of Alias and finally finished the first season. We played tennis and I planted some beans and peas and more spinach.

What a beautiful day. So this is what people look forward to on a weekend! Who knew!?

Rest is one of those things that you know you need to do. Sometimes your body screams at you to rest and throws you into sickness. Seems like if I can avoid that, I will do so. I didn't put away laundry today. I didn't make the bed. I did do the dishes, but only to avoid ants. I didn't even take a shower until 5 pm. I played outside. I sat on the couch.

I love Mondays. If I have a case of the Mondays, I will be glad about it from now on. Monday takes on a whole new meaning now that it is my Saturday. Hooray! Three cheers for Monday!

It's crazy because so many of my friends right now are starting new phases of their lives. First babies, the beginning of their careers after years of school and jobs they don't like. And here I am, basically taking a step back. Slowing down. Working less. I love my job. I am more thankful than I can say that I am able to work the way I do. I am blessed. And it's time we had lunch! What are you doing Wednesday? I'm free.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lunch and an Update

Ah yes, it has been awhile since I have had much to say. The reason behind that is four-fold.

First, hubby got a new laptop at work. This is great because the old one isn't very good. CD burner doesn't work, the computer must be plugged in at all times to work at all, slow processing, etc and so forth. So, he gets a new one. I am hoping that I will be granted the old, crappy one. But I had to plead my case with the powers that be and it took a few days. I am now up and running with the crappy laptop. Hurray!

Secondly, in spite of my only working a part-time job right now, I have been crazy busy. We are getting ready to start the summer curriculum at church for the kids so I am going through music to fit everything, learning the story as I am also helping with the teaching, and I had two music rehearsals yesterday. Not to mention all the sewing I have been doing for work. I am almost done making huge theatre curtains for our kids' room that is decorating (quite obviously) like a theatre. They look great and make such a difference in the room atmosphere. Anyway, all that to say, I'm busy! :)

Thirdly...ok, I only had two reasons.

And finally I leave you with a challenge. I am having a stellar salad for lunch today. Very fresh, very tasty indeed. Whoever can correctly name every item pictured in my salad will win a fabulous prize. Fabulous.

It's a Miracle!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

How to Lose More Than a Pound a Day (And Feel Horrible Doing It)

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately folks. I know you've been wondering if I'm dead or alive.

I'm only mostly dead.

But fortunately, that means I'm slightly alive.

Apparently this horrible flu has been going around town and it really knocked me out. Hard. Ugh, I don't think I've ever felt so terrible. I usually only get colds so this was a doozy for me. I'll spare you the details.

Needless to say, I haven't gotten anything done on anything. Very disappointing. I did read a bit and watch a few movies. But mostly sleeping.

Hopefully this week I'll get my strength back and feel more productive. I need to start eating though. It's weird to not be hungry for so long. I'm always hungry. I've been craving fruit lately.

I'm going for a walk this morning. I need to get out of this house for a little bit. But not too close to anyone as I don't want to contaminate them. No one deserves this.

We'll be back to our regular scheduled programming soon enough.

Anyone have any questions? I haven't plumbed the depths of my endless knowledge in a while. Anyway, it's good to see you all again.