July 25, 2013

  • Moving on…fare thee well

    I am now blogging on WordPress.  A Different Route is the name of the blog.  I’m hoping to keep up with Xanga friends but many seem to have disappeared with no forwarding blog address.  Sad.  

July 20, 2013

  • Dinner & a Movie

    “Red 2″ did not disappoint.  A great collection of characters (and their stunt doubles) use their wits and old school skills to keep evil from prevailing over good.  Good chase scenes.  Lots of action & snappy dialog.  I suspect the actors had fun making this film.

    Since we went to the matinee, we ate afterwards.  We went to the Barn & Grill, which was a Hen House Restaurant in a previous “life”.  I ordered off the seniors menu, although I am technically not quite a senior.  I had fried perch (which was done to perfection…crispy cornmeal crust and not greasy) with slaw (a little sweeter than I prefer) and green beans (seasoned with bacon and onion).  All meals are served with wonderful dinner rolls and honey butter.  Not a low fat or diet meal by any stretch of the imagination, but at they resembled “normal” portions.  

    Since we knew we were eating out after the movie, I fixed a fruit plate with cottage cheese for lunch.  We had cantaloup, kiwi, and apple.  We may also have a repeat fruit plate tomorrow for lunch.  I plan to do the bisquick “impossible” zucchini & tomato pie for supper.  Maybe with gazpacho.  

    We had a brief thunderstorm and some rain this afternoon.  There were some dark clouds about sunset, but I think it all went north of us.  The cicadas were “singing” and the lightening bugs just rising up from the grass when we got home.  

July 19, 2013

  • Hot & Humid

    It feels like July…which I suppose is appropriate.  Temperatures in the mid-90′s with high humidity. Oppressive.


    I got up and went to the farmer’s market.  In addition to tomatoes, cucumbers & peppers, I got 2 dozen fresh free range eggs.  :)   Dennis just worked til noon, so we had gazpacho with some scrambled eggs topped with salsa for lunch.  Dennis rode shotgun and we ran errands together.  I stayed up and finished James Patterson’s Kiss the Girls, so I returned it and got the next book, Jack & Jill.  Love my library.  

    We went to Aldi’s and got groceries for the next few days.  

    We rented “Red” with Bruce Willis.  I thought we should see the first movie since we plan to see “Red 2″ tomorrow. It was a pretty good movie.  It looks like Helen Mirren may have a larger role in this movie, which would be a good thing.  Left-over stir fry for supper.  

    Not a productive day, but an enjoyable one.


July 18, 2013

  • Domestic Drama

    A few days ago, I pushed the start button on the washing machine and nothing happened.  I tried a few more times and called Dennis. He pushed the button and it started.  This morning I pushed the start button and nothing.  Checked the circuit breakers.  All ok.  Unplugged and plugged the washing machine back in. Still no start.  Pounded the control panel a few times and it started.  Then, nothing I did would get it to start this afternoon.  Dennis took the control panel apart and found a loose connection.  Hopefully problem is solved.  

    Ultrasound of gall bladder revealed no stones.  My doctor still suspects gall bladder issues and a different type of test will be scheduled. All my blood work came back normal.  Yesterday I was very careful about what I ate (avoiding fat as much as possible) and how much.  No back/shoulder pain.  Ditto today.  So maybe if I eat less and avoid fat, the problem will be solved.  Except I probably can’t really live that way forever. 

    The cicadas are noisy in the evening.  Still have lots of lightening bugs. Also mosquitoes and gnats.  It isn’t cooling off much in the evening and is in the mid-nineties with lots of humidity during the day.  Typical July weather.  

    Project Runway starts tonight.  I love the  photo of Heidi & Tim Gunn–holding needles as sceptors and groveling naked models at their feet.  This is the G-rated version.  Let the drama begin


July 16, 2013

  • Much Ado

    After much debating, I decided to make a small attempt at kraut.  The 1 gallon glass container was stuffed full of cabbage, which was salted and smushed down.  I’m using a gallon ziplock bag of water to continue compressing and keeping the fermentation anaerobic.  the jar is now about 1/3 full.  In 3 weeks we should have kraut.

    Monday I babysat Jax.  On the way to Springfield, I saw a big billboard advertisement for Oasis Camel Dairy.  Really?  Of course it is located in California.   Camels seem to be popular these days.  There was the Joe Camel cigarette campaign which I hope is no longer active.  And who can resist the insurance “hump day” camel. Will Camels become the new emu?  St. James doesn’t allow a chicken in every backyard, but what would they say about a camel?

    Monday was measuring tape day.  Jax was on top of it.  He also had a bowl on top of his head.  He was in high spirits and going full throttle. We had a great afternoon together.

    On the way home I stopped at Captain D’s for some shrimp.  Monday night I had severe pain in by back right shoulder.  This pain has been going on intermittently for a while now.  This morning I was at my doctor’s office for my annual wellness exam and mentioned it. Thursday afternoon I’m having an ultrasound of my gall bladder.  I’ve got most of the 4 F’s for gall bladder disease:  female, fair, fat but I missed the 40 by a decade.  I’m not jumping to conclusions, but my symptoms are textbook.

    I finished the last book (A House Divided) of the Good Earth trilogy.  I was happy with the ending.  It is a good saga.  Now I am reading a thriller by James Patterson, Kiss the Girls.   I think it is the next book after Along Came a Spider; although there is a sequel he wrote later about the villain in Spider, called Cat & Mouse.  I read Cat & Mouse after Along came a Spider.  Now I’m going to try to read them in the order they were written…but not back to back to back.  That would be too intense.  I’ll need other books in between them.



July 12, 2013

  • The Beet Goes On

    Rolled out of bed, put on yesterday’s clothes–AKA “roll and go”  (TMI for sure) and headed to the farmer’s market.  Scored cucumbers, tomatoes & green peppers.  Came home and pickled 6 more pints of beets.  The rest were cooked (with orange sauce) for immediate consumption or freezer.   Made more unprocessed/refrigerator dill pickles.  Made gazpacho for tomorrow. Ditto for corn/black bean salad. Cleaned up kitchen to make garlic shrimp risotto to go with the beets in orange sauce. Chocolate zucchini cake for dessert.  Now the kitchen needs cleaning again.  sigh.


  • Beet it

    Mother nature put a big kink in my well-planned week.  Storms/rain on Tuesday night & Wednesday morning turned our garden into a muddy mess.  So no pulling beets until today.  Even then it wasn’t ideal, but I got them all pulled and washed off.  Then I had to go to the library to do my volunteer work.  It’s fun and I enjoy my time there.  I like shelving books, straightening the magazines, chatting with the patrons and checking books in and out.  While I’m there, the “real” workers can do the behind the scene work than few people know about or appreciate. 

    When I got home, I boiled the largest of the beets and then headed back to the library board meeting.  Afterwards I sliced and pickled the biggest beets.  7 pints.   Afterwards, I sorted beets again and have the big stock pot almost full of medium beets to pickle tomorrow.  And I still have a big bowl of small beets, which I’ll probably cook and eat.  With orange sauce, of course.

    Tomorrow I plan to start my day at the farmer’s market.  I hope to get cucumbers for eating and see what the tomatoes look like and how much they are.  I’d like to make some salsa while we have plenty of cilantro.  I found a cherry tomato plant hanging out with the potatoes–lots of nice green tomatoes on it.  Meanwhile the regular tomatoes are approaching golf ball size…

    A House Divided by Pearl S. Buck continues to be interesting.  It starts of in China, but almost half way through, is set in the USA because Yuan Wang and a cousin had to leave China because they were members of the revolution.  Chinese commentary/thoughts about Americans is quite interesting.  Yuan is befriended by a family who is exposing him to Christianity. At least the parents are; the daughter, not so much.  I’m glad I’m reading all 3 books of this trilogy, but The Good Earth is by far the best.




July 9, 2013

  • Vampires Beware

    In spite of 96 degree heat, I dug the garlic this afternoon.   There are 60-ish bulbs there.  Some are good size, some are smallish.  I must get some organic matter into the garlic bed before I replant this fall.  It is almost all clay and was more like breaking bricks than harvesting garlic.  The next batch of compost is definitely going on the garlic bed. 

    This morning I quilted on my mom’s quilt. Her quilt is also a “tumbler” pattern like this quilt, but hers has muted earth-tone prints instead of pastels.

    In an effort to use the cabbage, I made corned beef with cabbage, potatoes and carrots for supper tonight.  Kind of a heavy meal for summer, but it was tasty.  And there are left-overs for tomorrow night.


July 8, 2013

  • It feels like

    July in Missouri.  A perfect day to go swimming with girlfriends.  Thank you Christa, for hosting and sharing your wonderful pool with us.

    Yesterday was a productive day.  Besides the laundry and cooking and the minimal cleaning around the house, I got the strips cut for the blue quilt my mom is currently working on.  I also got Jax’s stocking out and did a bit of work on it.  The plan is to do a bit of work on it every night until it is finished.  It is not a Bucilla stocking kit, which has all the pieces printed on the felt, the sequins & beads separated into individual packages.  The pattern is printed on a big sheet of paper that has to be cut out and then traced onto the felt.  And all the beads and sequins are together in one big package.  So you have to sort thru the sequins to find the right color and also to dig out the beads.  :/   But it has lots of cats on in it, and that was the whole point of the stocking.  Jax & his cats.  Even though it is only a couple weeks til school starts, my goal is to have the stocking done by then.  

    My new flock of chickens.  Marsha gave them to me because I said the saddest thing about living inside city limits is that I cannot have chickens in my back yard.  So now I have chickens.  Unfortunately they probably won’t lay any eggs; but they are cute and make me happy.

July 7, 2013

  • Day Trips

    Friday, Dennis, my parents, and I went to Mexico (MO) to check out Home Hearth, a fantastic quilt/fabric store.  There is also an antique store next door, so Dennis & my dad spent some of the time in there.  My mom found some great deals on fabric in their clearance section, and bought fabric to make a “non-traditional” quilt out of bright pinks & greens.  The triangles are arranged to make big zig-zags across the quilt.  No photos allowed in the store (they had this quilt made & hanging on the wall, and were selling the fabric in a kit—the yardage was there, but the pieces will need to be cut).  There were a lot of beautiful quilts and fabrics to look at.  

    Afterwards we ate at the 54 Diner in Mexico.  There is at least one other 54 Diner that I know of; it’s in Osage Beach.  The food was good, reasonably priced and more than enough of it.  If we got back next year, I’d like to eat there again.  

    Saturday we went to Springfield to hang out with Jax. He’s growing and changing and is his own little person.  He and Pepe spent quite a bit of time playing with Legos.  Jax can put them together and take them apart but prefers to take apart things Pepe builds. Jax’s parents were there too but we basically treat them like chopped liver these days.  (just kidding—we had a great visit with them)

    On the way home we stopped at the VF outlet.  Dennis got some new jeans…same size and style that he always wears, just unfaded and without holes.