Friday, November 6, 2015

Daily Doin's, First Week Of November, 2015

And now it's November.

We had a nice rain last Friday night (Oct. 30), it was over an inch because the bullet tank overflowed, and that's what that means....  Since then we've awakened to fog, some days more than others.  At least the wind's not blowing all the moisture away.  We have not had our first freeze yet, some nights pretty close, though, and lots of things in the garden have gone ahead and died off. 

I've been working on my seed list and I'm making progress.  Unfortunately I'm just not in a very good mood today.  Hubs rolled the clocks back an hour before we went to bed last night and I didn't sleep well at all.  I don't know if it was the anticipation of having my Circadian Rhythm all messed up again, or because my knee stiffened and was uncomfortable most of the night, or because Sam, my old female Siamese, spent most of the night trying to snuggle up to my face.  WHAT is up with that?  Was she cold, and trying to catch a warm draft from my nose, or what?  Every time I moved, she'd grunt-meow and then start purring, if I rolled over, she'd climb over me and get in front of my face again.  I've tried shutting her out of the room.  It doesn't work.  She grunt-meows and slips her paws into the space under the door and makes the door rattle.  Oh, I know, I could put her outside, but I would never forgive myself if I slid the patio door open the following morning and found that one of our many birds of prey out here had shredded her.  Normally she is a sweet girl and she is very devoted to me.  But she can sure make me feel smothered, sometimes literally. 

I guess I'm going to have to abandon my desire to buy a Nissan Altima.  This whole process is so screwed up it's just unreal.  It turns out that a 2015 that hasn't been sold yet (which they still refer to as "new") costs less than a pre-owned 2015 through 2013.  And all the pre-owneds have LOTS of mileage on them, but not enough yet for them to be off warranty.  The reason the new ones cost less than the pre-owneds is because the factory helps the dealership give the prospective buyer some "incentives", which amount to several thousand dollars, on the new ones.  It also turns out that if you intend to buy that new car out of your savings, thus avoiding a finance fee and finance charges, you have to pay so much for that car that it eats up what you would save in not borrowing.  So, they suggest a "workaround", which is that you make a nice big down-payment, have the car financed, make three payments and then pay off the loan.  You still pay the application processing charges and the interest for those three months.  But you get a markdown in the price of the car of several thousand dollars just because you had it financed.  This is all Bass Ackward if you ask me.  But I guess it's a sign of the times. 

We don't have a Nissan dealership in town.  So there's the drive to Tulsa.  And I, though embarrassed to tell you this, am absolutely petrified of driving in Tulsa.  Everybody knows where they're going, and they drive so fast and change lanes so unpredictably that you'd better know where you're going, too, or you're in danger.  You'd better watch what everyone else is doing because they'll crowd in ahead of you so that you have to make room for them.  And if you drive too slow, they give you dirty looks and the finger as they go around you.  This is all very upsetting to me and makes me, as my Grammy always used to say, "As nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs".  Hubs doesn't understand why it wouldn't just be a piece of cake for me to drive the Nissan home, following him as he drives the Silverado.  And it does sound easy, doesn't it?  Except that you have to know Hubs and my history with him.  First off, we have been married since 1966.  In all that time, he has done the driving when we go somewhere together because he is uncomfortable in a car that I am driving.  And this is SOOOO obvious.  If we're in an area that's not familiar to me, he waits till it's too late to change lanes before he tells me to.  When I drive past the turnoff, he yells, "WHY didn't you TURN OFF?????"  Then, when we are back in home territory, where I fully know my way around, he continues to tell me where to turn.  That is, where HE would turn.  It's never the only place to make the turn in order to get where we're going, and usually it's at a place where the oncoming traffic is heavier.  It's not always the shortest distance, either.  Of course, by this point, I'm so hacked off I can barely see and I'd sooner give him a good sock in the jaw and push him out on the curb before I'd turn off where HE wants to turn, anyway.  The situation only degrades from there.  And following him?  That's a WHOLE 'nother event.  I just won't do that anymore, I don't care if it means he has to pay a towtruck.  Oh, and I can tell you stories.  When we were much younger and lived in Hobart, Indiana, he had an old Chevy truck and I had a new AMC Gremlin.  One day I went to the U-Pick farm between there and Valparaiso and when I was ready to come home, the Gremlin wouldn't start.  He brought his chain and hooked the Gremlin, with me in the driver's seat, onto the back of the truck.  Before we took off he told me, "When I hang my hand out the window, that's my signal for you to put on the brakes."  We got about five miles down the road when he lit a cigarette and hung his arm out the window between every puff.  Well, HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW????  When we got home he chewed me out for driving all the way home with the brakes on and acted like I'd purposely made his job of towing me home a lot harder than it had to be, and said I probably caused extra wear on my tires and his transmission and yada, yada, yada.  I don't know.  I was so hacked off, I wasn't listening anymore by then.  Then when we moved back to Oklahoma from Indiana, he went in front in the truck and I was to follow him.  We had CB radios then, and we had them on for communication with each other.  I'll be danged if he didn't get up there in front of me, several cars got in between us because he kept changing lanes, weaving in and out of traffic.  I had NO idea where I was or where I was going.  When he would change lanes, for all I knew he was in that lane because he was going to need to be, so he could take an exit ramp.  So every time HE changed lanes I'D have to.  Finally I got so exasperated at him, I got on the CB and I said, "THE NEXT TIME YOU CHANGE LANES, YOU'D BETTER BE TURNING OFF BECAUSE I'M ABOUT READY TO PARK THIS DAMNED THING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD!!!!!!  Well, everybody that was listening on that band must've thought that was pretty funny, because immediately after Hubs acknowledged, some trucker got on the 'horn" and said, "Wal...... It sounds like we got us a Shirley Temple here......"

So trust me, I'm traumatized.  These might've made good scripts for Lucy and Desi, though.

Fast forward forty years or so.  Hubs' sister died and left a nice little inheritance to Hubs, one brother, and a sister.  That's a whole 'nother story.  Maybe I'll tell it someday, but not today.  Anyway, Hubs decided he was going to buy that Silverado that he drives around now.  So, unbeknownst to me, being at work and all, he loaded up JC, who had only recently gotten his driver's license, and off they went to Independence, Kansas, where Hubs walked in to the Chevy dealership like a rich man and paid cash.  No dickering.  Just plunked it down.  And then they take out for home, with Hubs in front in the Silverado and JC following in the little red Chevy shortbed which would eventually become his.  I got home, there's the Silverado in the driveway.  And then JC tells his story.  "I was SOOOO scared!" he exclaimed.  I said, "What.  Did Gpa drive 'way out in front and change lanes so often you couldn't tell when he was going to turn off?"  JC's mouth fell open.  "How'd you KNOW?" he asked. 

Hmph. 

At least they were in southeastern Kansas, where there are a whole lot of little towns in between Independence and the KS/OK state line.  If Hubs had taken JC to Tulsa I do believe I would've had to hurt him.

All this to say, if we buy a Nissan in Tulsa, I have no clue how we'll get it home.  I guess maybe I'll just have to pick out something else.  There aren't any Nissan dealers in Independence, either.  I mean, there are plenty of carlots that sell used ones.  But they want as much for them as what a new Nissan costs.  "That's what we have in it," they say.  This just confuses me out the door.  WHY would anyone pay that much for a used one?  Maybe THEY don't want to go to Tulsa, either, I don't know....

So I've kind of abandoned the whole thing for the moment.  When something's right, everything just falls into place, and there's been just one small thing after another, enough to make me feel like maybe this isn't the right time, or the right car, or something better will come along that'll make me glad we waited.

This is now Tuesday, 11/3.

I'm baking bread today.  It's been mixed and kneaded in two bread machines and it's sitting there now waiting to rise.  I'm spoiled by my bread machines, which I buy at garage sales for $5 apiece.  I won't pay more than that.  Seems like everybody, at one point or another, buys or gets given a bread machine.  And then a lot of them don't want them because they haven't figured out the right proportions of ingredients and they don't like how the bread turns out.  Or they think they have to buy special stuff to turn out a good loaf of bread and that's just not true.  Or, if the bread turns out well, they don't bake bread often enough for it to become commonplace in the household and everyone gobbles all the bread as it comes out of the oven and then gains weight.  So then the bread machine goes in the garage sale.  I use my standard bread recipe, which is the same that my mother used to use, except that I use about 60% freshly-ground whole-wheat flour.  I turn off the bread machines when they finish kneading because I've found they get too warm during the rising period.  The bread rises just fine in just the warmth that has been created during the kneading process.  And then I punch it down, shape it into round, flat hamburger-like buns of about 3 oz. each, cover, let rise, and bake.  We like the flat round buns because they're just like a regular bun when they're hot, but after they've cooled they slice really nice and are good sandwich buns.  They are great sliced and toasted, too.  I'm one of those persons that always has to have "the corner piece".  This way, EVERY piece is the corner piece. 

It took me awhile to learn how to keep fresh bread in the house without baking every couple of days.  Then I learned that refrigeration toughens the crumb of bread but freezing doesn't.  I don't mind tough, crumbly homemade bread, I grew up on it.  But Hubs will buy store bread rather than eat it.  The absence of chemicals to retard mold can become obvious within more than a couple of days in a warm kitchen.  So, as soon as freshly bread cools I pack away most of it in the freezer and I take out what we will be able to eat within a couple days, as we need it. 

When we were at the garage sale of one of our new neighbors a week or two ago, I noticed an exercise bike.  Later, I began to think about how it might be nice to have, at least till I have full flexibility of my new knee.  Then I don't have to trek up to the workout center with Hubs to use the stationary bikes there.  So I asked Hubs if he'd stop by and see if they still have it, and find out how much they want for it.  He came home with it in the bed of his truck.  $20. 

I hopped right on it, and ouch, ouch, OUCH!  They told me at the orthopedic surgeon's office that it was OK to use one, just have no tension on it and use it no longer than 20 minutes.  TWENTY MINUTES????  Hell, I couldn't even do FIVE.  And then I was so sore today it scared me.  Not getting on it today.  Maybe tomorrow, though.

I found a few little Pinterest board gems HERE.  Maybe you will, too.  Winter's coming on.  Those who know me know I have a little trouble with depression around the holidays, so I always start thinking about how to insulate myself from it about this time of year.  I've been "in the black hole" before and I never want to go there again.  It's too hard to get out.  So generally I start a home interior project, but I don't know if that's possible this year what with my knee still healing and all.  Although, I do need new countertops for my kitchen and I still have my eye on that new Formica that looks like granite.  The real granite that I had installed when we lived at The Ponca House was a big disappointment in that it tended to soak up any oil that happened to be spilled, which caused discoloration.  I suppose after awhile it would balance out, but the colors would be duller, much like an oil painting that gets dirty and dull over the years.

One of the things I like about Pinterest is that, if you find something you like, and click on it, and then scroll down to the bottom of the screen that comes up, there are what they call "Related Posts".  And you know, I never realized Marilyn Monroe had so much to say.  Am I one of Marilyn's fans?  Hardly.  But wisdom is sometimes found in surprising places.  If she really said all these things that are attributed to her, I guess she must've been smarter than we all thought.  But I don't know if I can ever forgive her for how she rubbed the fact that she and John Kennedy had something going on in Jackie's face so publicly at that birthday party of his.  It's one thing to be messing around with a married man.  It's adding insult to injury to flaunt it and laugh like it's funny.  You're darn tootin' it ain't funny to the wife.  But I guess really it says volumes about the man and the girlfriend, and probably whatever it says is no more than what they deserve.  Our presidents have been intimate with people other than their wives all through history.  Only when it was Bill Clinton's turn did our society find that to be an ugly thing.  Go figure.  That Bill felt the need to go on TV and LIE about it is what I objected to.  The rest was just business as usual and hardly worth the air time. 

This is now Friday, and I will try to post today.

I have one week left of my supply of Meloxicam and the prescription will have run out.  I decided to stop taking it at this point so that I would know if I could stand to do it, and so far it's been going reasonably well.  The knee is about the same, maybe a little more swelling but not much.  But my back, which felt better during these last three months than it has in years, has started to hurt again.  I have my three-month follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon (or at least his P.A.) very soon and I thought I'd ask about whether it would be worth it to pursue another round.  I'll be having my annual check-up with my family doctor in a couple of months and I think I'll talk to her about it, too, since she's the one I go to when my back goes into spasms.  I'm concerned because WebMD says it's hard on the kidneys and the liver.  But surely it can't be any worse for me than Prednisolone, which is what she prescribes for the spasms and the debilitating pain that follows. 

I have finally finished updating my Seed List. 

I cleaned out a lot of old seed, and reduced the quantities of some of what I'm saving.  I have no need for a gallon-sized bag of gourd seed, for heaven's sake.  The Hyacinth bean vine made a lot of bean pods and there is no point in saving all of them.  Several years ago I was involved in seed trading on a gardening forum I participated in, and it was nice to have a lot of seed on hand then.  You never know what people are going to want.  But I haven't been doing so much of that lately.  Some of the extra seed, I scattered here and there in the garden or in flower beds.  If it comes up there next spring, fine.  If it doesn't, that's ok, too.  I find a lot of what I plant does self-sow so there's no need for me to save seed for those.  Some of the excess seed, I threw out onto the land in what I call "The North Fourth".  Hubs said if any of it comes up he'll just mow over it.  Earth to earth.  And all those shell beans I was saving?  I mean, seriously.  Beans have to be kept some distance from each other or they cross.  Do I really want to ruin my future harvests of Lazy Housewife snap beans by growing shell beans too close -- shell beans that were sold as culinary beans anyway, never make what I consider a good harvest, and which can be bought reasonably by the pound?  Nah!  I'll make a small batch of Hillbilly Beans as a trial, and if they're good enough for that, we'll get them eaten this winter.  If they're not, the rest of 'em'll go out on the North Fourth, too.

Hillbilly Bean Soup
When I worked in Internal Auditing at Phillips during the 1980’s, the wife of one of the supervisors gave all the secretaries and clerks a decorated quart canning jar of mixed dry beans with a little “bouquet garni” tied around the lid as a Christmas gift. This recipe was attached to the jar. I’ve made it many times. Prepare a day in advance for better flavor.

Wash 2 C mixed beans. Cover with water. Add 1T. salt and soak for 2 hours. Drain water & put beans in 2 quarts fresh water. Add herb bag (1t. oregano, 1 bay leaf, broken, large clove of garlic, chopped). Simmer 2 1/2 to 3 hours, adding water as necessary to keep beans covered. Then add the following & simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.  Remove the herb bag before serving. 

1# ham pieces
1 can tomato sauce with bits
1 large chopped onion
1 C. chopped celery
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

And HERE's also a recipe for Calico Beans that I've made several times.  It's Spike's favorite bean dish and one he even bothered to learn how to cook.  If I wanted to use dry beans I'd soak and cook them first, then put the recipe together, as it calls for three 15-oz cans of beans.  By measure, that's about, what?  Maybe 1-1/2 quarts of mixed beans, cooked?  I guess I'd start with a couple of cups of beans, measured before soaking and cooking.  If you're feeding big appetites, you might want to double the recipe as presented on Allrecipes.

We are expecting our first freeze this weekend.  I pulled up everything in the in-ground bed on the west side of the garden (left side of the picture) and Hubs tilled there on Wednesday.  Then I opened about eight bags of chopped leaves and scattered it all over the top of the bed.  The day after that, it rained.  This morning, I went to work on the in-ground bed next in line, pulling up marigold and tomato plants, stacking the folding cages, and picking anything that's left, which isn't much.  Maybe I'll be done with it in a few days and Hubs can till it on the next warm day we have. 

I'll keep going towards the east, (to the right as shown in this picture).  There are two more beds, these are "raised beds" edged in concrete block. 

I just don't think "no till gardening" is going to work for me.  I tried it this year and the grass and bindweed just took over.

Well, not much else to write about for this time....  Y'all have a good weekend.  Hugs xoxoxo

3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the picture of your garden, Ilene. It makes it easier for me to 'see' what you're talking about. (-:

    Fern

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  2. You are ahead of me cleaning the garden. Still no tilling here and may not get it done this fall!

    Sorry to hear about your back. "if it ain't one thing; it's another!" Also too bad about the car you wanted.

    DH spent a goodly amount of money once without telling me first. I think I broke him of that habit. I wouldn't do that to him. It just seems fair in a marriage that you share everything.

    We have had our freeze and another is due tonight. I still haven't hauled in the pumpkins and may not. Have a nice, relaxed weekend for your knees and your back. I would lock the cat out!!!!

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  3. Ridiculous the way car pricing works - it just goes to show that a lot of money is in the financing. I've been towed a few times and found it horrific - never doing it again, especially with a grumpy man in the car in front! I bake my bread an ovenful at a time and also freeze it (sometimes sliced and in small bags) as I can't bear to eat shop bread unless I'm really desperate. Hope the exercise bike works out ;-)

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