Friday, July 30, 2010

all right then...

Trying here to rebuild a sensible life.

And how many hundred times have I begun this in 65 years? (almost 66)

Never mind. Now is now.

So: I have managed to say Morning Prayer (BCP) every morning (except Sunday) for 10 days. Second Samuel and First Corinthians. My word. That David was a piece of work, wasn't he? This morning, the fate of Ahitophel. Reminding me to go back and read Dryden again. If I can find him in the tohu-bohu downstairs.

Then a list for the day. Any old list, in any order.


So far... I have had some breakfast and some home-latte, and cleaned out the vegetable bins of the fridge (OOG) and emptied the results into the compost bin, and then cleaned the fridge under where the bins sit (double OOG), and then it was no trouble to pry the kick plate off the bottom of the fridge and give it a good scrubbing, and so it goes;

Then I rescued a couple of peaches and put the kettle on and blanched them (and dealt with a brief mutiny on the part of the microwave, which doesn't always "answer the helm" as I'd like it to)...and managed to wrestle the skins off them and cut them off the pits....thumbs very uncooperative with this task despite extra-strength Tylenol. But now I have nice peach pieces in the fridge for the yogurt-granola parfait which will be either tonight's supper or tomorrow's breakfast.

Weather threatens to be stinking hot again today, so I retrieved three nice chicken breasts from the big box of frozen ones in the downstairs the remaining contents and got that miserable awkward cardboard box out of the freezer. Gave the chicken pieces a preliminary thawing in the microwave (now docile again), and have them baking in the toaster oven -- being all green and energy efficient here folks!!! So then I'll have cold chicken "in hand" for the weekend.

Somewhere in there I made a bit of a meal plan for the next few days.

And fed the cat. Who has decided that she can eat Friskies Turkey'n'Giblets after all, just to please me.

And set out a jar of sun tea to brew. In the sun.

And looking at the not-improving yield of the vegetable bins, I decided I need to learn to make caponata. Thank you, Giada! so that's on the list for later today.

Oh yes, I cut up two large and incredibly convoluted red peppers into medium dice and put it all in the bag later, will add colour and flavour to my dinner next winter!

Also on that list -- answer a couple of emails and then SHUT DOWN the laptop for the day; spend an hour on Sunday morning's sermon (leaning hard on Walter Brueggemann); strip and remake my bed and start the laundry for next week; clean the litter box; phone two friends; move an additional box of fabric and craft materials upstairs; start a cold-brew-coffee process (trying to complete it without getting coffee grounds in my ears!!!). Find a rational place for the new wet-dry vacuum and all its "giblets" too. Find a rational place for a bag of nice clean dusters/rags. Apply water and Miracle-Gro copiously to the exterior of Tether's End.

And possibly bike decorously up to the Public Library and read for a bit, in the A/C there...

And tomorrow is also, God willing, a day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

a bulletin...

This will be brief, but I am easing back into regular blogging, I hope.

So this is a horticultural report. I DID go and invest in rose bushes...a "Cuthbert Grant," a "Hope for Humanity," an "Adelaide Hoodless," and a "Morden Fireglow" -- all of them RED. They are getting acclimatized and have made some lovely blooms but there is much about them I don't know...

Also flourishing -- a new rhubarb planting, next spring, OH BOY, I tell myself.

And I planted a small clematis, which sat perfectly immobile and unchanging for a month? six weeks? but is suddenly now putting out some new green shoots.

In the meantime the potentilla (pink!) has begun to bloom, somewhat diffidently (it is in a droughty corner of the yard).

And insdoors...a pothos and an oakleaf ivy hung up in the front window, doing well; four African violets, two finished blooming, one in bloom, one just coming on; a very small orphaned spider plant which just now seems to be really taking hold. But it won't require me to go and hunt out yet another macrame hanger for some time yet!

Also two ridiculously leggy may be the day I take a deep breath and pinch out all their tops and "start" them in water.

And the elderly amaryllis has come struggling up into view again (does this make it an EMERGENT amaryllis? no doubt)

And on the kitchen windowsill, a whole lot of basil that needs to be gently put into a more capacious planter -- I'm going to try to keep it over the winter as a houseplant.

Thistles and crabgrass all thriving too, alas. This yard still needs an awful lot of work. Some of which I hope to give it today.

Now I am going to go and roast a little beef chunk while the day is still cool and then I can have cold roast beef for sandwiches for a while. And I have sweet peppers to chop up for the freezer...and four nice really truly ripe avocadoes to make some guacamole.

And I've taken my meds and said morning prayer. Time for the 1/2 hour walk...

Friday, July 16, 2010


...AND...I'm back. Not that I've been away, but just in a personally unbloggable place for too long.

We live in a weird world, as you have probably noticed. The Rambler had to go out in search of a Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaner this afternoon (declaring a temporary truce with Major Dept. Store for the purpose)... and charging out of the store with the very large box in her arms ("it isn't heavy, it's just AWKWARD") was momentarily stopped in her tracks by a tasteful display of the very latest thing in small electric Martini Maker. Yes. Sheesh. And where is this taking our society, other than -- as Peg Bracken said, to "Fat Wrists for all"?

It struck me particularly as not that long ago I had visited the same local Retail Apotheosis (known to some as "Le Grand Mal[l]") in search of passport photos (YES! The Rambler is about to tackle the Longest Undefended Border in the World, pause for laugh)...

And in the afterglow of passport photos and a splendid conversation with the charming elderly gentleman who took them, it seemed appropriate to do a bit of a mall-crawl for the first time in years.

A new kitchen-outlet called Benix, having an intriguing sale, and browsing about the shelves I found some truly excellent martini glasses -- NOT acrylic -- very plain except for a tasteful gold something on the stem -- a bead? a bump? a lump? Aha, "knop" is the word -- and generously sized. So we bought two, not knowing when we might want to share a nice medicinal martini with a fellow martinist (thank you, Garrison Keillor).

Brought them home...and confronted the complete lack of cocktail shaker. Hmmmm. Soooo... put four big ice cubes in a Ziploc bag and beat the snot out of them with the old steak hammer, rejoicing in being a tool-using hominid -- the opposable thumbs are mostly downright hostile but by golly the frontal lobes are still snapping and crackling....

Tipped the fragments into a lovely clean glass jar, formerly containing pasta sauce, added 3 oz. premium single-estate vodka and 1/4 oz. dry vermouth (Martini's very own), put the lid on, and shook the bejeepers out of the mixture--tipped it all into one of the nice new glasses, added three olives, AAAAhhhhhh.

Must now go downstairs and play some more with the new wet-dry vac. The saleslady was most helpful: "I could put this on a dolly for you if you like?"
"No, I'll be fine, it's not that far to my car."
"Oh good, and if you walk fast and look mad, people will get out of your way, right?"

And I have some major eavestrough-tending on the Immediate present all the water on the west half of the roof is funneled directly onto the front porch (of course), whence it cascades under the concrete front stoop where the soil has subsided, and hence down the foundation to the spot where it comes in, into the storage space under the stairs (house is a bi-level) one mops and mops in a crouching posture. And for a change, one can stand up and concuss oneself on the floor joists.

Never a dull moment.