Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Catching up on old business

I've got to wrap up some loose ends. I've said that I've had pictures to share, a recipe request and plant updates. Here is all that you wondered about. Or, at least some of it, right?

I have failed you. I forget to take before and afters (eeek!) except with the driveway. (I'm trying to remember!) Oh, look! Okay, I admit that I should take the same shot, but I'm learning these things, people!

Secondly, I mentioned my vegetables yesterday. Here is what we have.Baby cherry tomatoes in the herb garden. The tomatoes seem to be plugging right along next to the house. The ones in the garden aren't as big. These get more sun and more warmth between being next to the house and driveway, as opposed to near grass and under trees. Little Royal Chicos. Again, next to the house seems to be the place to be. Baby green peppers. I can't wait for these to become bigger. The Pink Surprise flowers from yesterday's post? Here's one. Gorgeous, but not exactly pink-- SURPRISE! (From Baker Creek Seeds.)

The next request came from Rachael when I did the ABC about Me post. Rachael, this is what my scalloped potato recipe looks like. I'm embarrassed. In my family, we cook by looks and by tasting. I'll give you a rough run of what it should be.

Slice up some potatoes. I prefer Yukon Gold. I also leave the skins on. Put those in a pan coated with something non-stick. (Butter, Pam . . .)
Make a rue. (Melt your butter, stir flour in until pastey, thin out with milk, add pepper and salt.) Pour mixture over potatoes. You'll have to judge your sauce according to the number of potatoes you have.
Add some cheese if you'd like, though it isn't necessary. A little extra cracked pepper on top is a good thing. We're cheddar people for this one, though I'm sure others could work really well.
Bake at 350 F until fork tender. I'd give that about an hour or so.

Sorry about not being able to give exact numbers. This recipe is one that you just go by feel.

The linen closet. I have to admit that it itself didn't look that bad. I really weeded out much of the extraneous soap and candle stuff. Lots of soap products that will be in a freebie bin for the family to dig through. My sister has already claimed the Redken Solve Dandruff shampoo and the My Little Pony bubble bath (K- is allergic to it.) The Scope Whitening mouthwash will probably go off to my brother. I have a niece that will be 13 soon, so I think that she'll really enjoy the bath soap petals and fizzy foot soak. This great bag o' candles will be placed in the family White Elephant for our Christmas Eve celebration together. I bagged all of the like votives in the same cellophane bags. The citronella candles I was sure to label, so as not to be burned in the hosue. My cousin knows that I always place a bag of candles in the White Elephant, so she gets there before me and watches me leave my bag(s) o' loot. There is some really great stuff in there, I just don't burn votives that often and this was cluttering one of my linen closet shelves. Gotta let go of it, right?

And Rachael, it has been a cooler summer here. Dick Goddard, meteorologist extraordinaire (he's on the TV right now!) predicts only four 90 degree days for us all summer. We've used the air very little and definitely wore sweatshirts Friday and Saturday. I wore a spring coat to church on Sunday and K- kept her cardigan on all day at the zoo. Now last year, we had 90 degrees at the end of May (early for us) and the year previous we had a similar situation plus the giant hail storm the took out our roof, gutters and did $4300. damage to my old RAV4 that was totaled 6 months later. I much enjoy the lower temps, but my tomatoes are begging to differ. Mom talked to me tonight and said that they predict rain for the next 10 days. This is a bad thing, because that affects the beetle development for the following year. Rainy July equals big time beetle issues the following year.

Speaking of, they have skeletonized most of the plum. I stopped spraying when Hubs said that he watched them fly from one side of the tree to the other as I was spraying. We actually had a beetle bag that was over the mid-bag fill line in the time span of about a day and a half. The swarm has slowed a bit, but it was so bad that I would have to encourage K- to run through the driveway. She would cry the whole way. I've taken pictures of the swarms around the bags, but I don't think that you can really see them. Hold on. Let me see if I saved or ditched them . . . Nope. You can't see them.

Oh and Hubs? He said that I can post pictures of him. Okay, it's not a full on shot of his gorgeous dark blue eyes, but one day when I track one down, I'll post it here! :) That little girl smackin' a smooch on him? Oh, that would be K-. Of course, y'all knew that!

I think that I caught up on everything.

Smiles in my day:
- A customer thanked me for being so helpful-- several times.
- My boss was thrilled with my idea of doing Christmas tree decorating demo's. I decorate one of our buildings, so I thought that maybe we could have a limited seating event to watch me decorate a tree or two and get tips as we go. I'd have everything prepared, so all I would have to do is demo some pick construction, so some non-traditional decorating techniques and answer questions as I go along. She is excited with the idea, and that makes me feel good.
- I made another appointment to drop by Children's Orchard on Thursday with another batch of items. Grant you, I don't have a ton to drop off-- just a Rubbermaid Tote full and some toys. Still, every little bit counts.

Have a great day!


Rach said...

Oo, Hubs is a cutie! ;o)

I had to LOL at the recipe, that's mostly how I cook. It drives my m-i-l crazy because without numbers and amounts she feels inept. Me, I pretty much taste and touch to get it right. :o)

The driveway looks great and I'm terribly sorry about the beetles.

As for your comment on my blog, I'm so sorry the hospital did that to you guys. They should have respected your wishes. :sigh: People can be so well-meaning and well-intentioned and they just make things worse. :shakes head:

So, tell me more about this tree decorating. I'm intrigued as I ADORE everything to do with decorating for the Holidays! :o)

Bailey's Leaf said...

Well, I get paid an artists salary (which isn't much) to decorate one building with as many as 7 trees, 7 ceilings and a hodge podge of different cooks and nannies in between. I've hung trees upsidedown and sideways. I've had smaller half trees to hang on the wall, a full half upsidedown tree and a Charlie Brown tree that I fill with all kinds of things that I scavange the gallery grounds for. It takes me 3-4 weeks to do it all on my own, working 10-6 M-W. The big overly delicious trees that you see in specialty stores? I do those and I get paid to do it! :)

I really love decorating for Christmas. And yes, I decorate our home, too. Hubs and K- put our tree together and light it while I'm at the Day After Thanksgiving Day sales and it generally takes me 8 hours to decorate it.

Yes, I'll take pictures!

Rach said...

Oo, I'm SO excited!! I can't wait to see your handiwork! :o)