Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rally for Sanity - Boise

We have now attended our FIRST rally of any sort!  It was so much fun!!!  Wanting to get fully into the spirit of the thing, we made a big sign to carry.  Here I am with the front:
and here's Andy with the reverse side:
 We got a lot of laughs--which we hope were sign-related.  The great thing about the rally yesterday was that it was a rally ABOUT moderation and civility (aside from the f--k 'em all sign, which was only nasty sign there). Moderates, when we rally, are actually a really fun lot.
I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but the sign farthest on the left says "Anyone for Scrabble later?"  Love that one!
Some of our favorite signs at the Boise event:

"Mothers against bickering"

"I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler"

"When did peace become unpatriotic?"

"Can't we all just sing along?"

And, sported by a small child, "Don't blame me--I voted for Cookie Monster"

We had non-partisan speakers, and ended the rally with a sing-a-long of "I'm Just A Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock.  Just a great day all around, and maybe finally a wakeup call to the nation that the nonsense, hate, nastiness and "enemy" politics of the last year must stop now.

To see signs from the national rally in Washington D.C., click here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gettin' Ready

We are attending the Boise "Rally for Sanity" today.  For anyone who hasn't heard of it yet, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show started this as a counter-point to Glen Beck's rally on Martin Luther King day.  I have to admit, I don't know what the point of Glen Beck's march (or Glen Beck himself, for that matter) was really supposed to be, but the Rally for Sanity started off as sort of a fun stunt and has spread GLOBALLY.  That's right--rallies against the stupidity of the last year are being held all over the world. 

I've never been to a rally, so this is going to be a new experience, and after all the stupidity of the last year, this is a rally I can support--even if it really is mostly just for fun.

We still need signs to carry, and these are my top ideas for signs:

*  If we all get to make up our own facts now, then chocolate won't make me fat!

* Logic--I promise it's worth a try

*  If you want me to take your political party seriously, don't involve Sarah Palin

*   Your yelling doesn't scare me
     That you believe Fox News, however, does

*  George H. W. Bush - implicated in Iran-Contra arms deal
   Jeb Bush - involved in 1990s Savings & Loan scandal
   George W. Bush - lied about WMD to start an illegal war
Sorry, why exactly would we be missing you?

*  Rush Limbaugh does it for the money.  What's your excuse?

*  Sorry, I must have missed it.  Where is it exactly that Jesus promoted hatred?

*  Your leader is a guy who cries all the time?  Who exactly was your second choice?

And great sign ideas I might borrow from others:

* My other rally is a book club

*  The only thing we have to fear is Fox News itself

* Don't worry about Communism.  I don't want to share my toys with you either.

* News channels should broadcast news occasionally.  

* Be sane for Canada! (Because nobody wants a crazy neighbor)

Friday, October 29, 2010

You're Not Going To Believe This......

I got beat up by canning again.

Does this happen to other people, or is it just me?  THIS time, I was working on my second batch of roasted vegetables for a roasted vegetable sauce, and managed to get a steam burn on my hand--all of it--from just opening the darn oven door.  When I tell you it hurt too much to knit, you know how bad it was.  Luckily, many Advil and a white chocolate martini allowed me to sleep, but I've spent today walking around with a white cotton glove on my hand to keep the skin from being rubbed by anything.

The only perk to this whole episode is that since it's Halloween weekend, I can just pass off the one white glove as a really lame Michael Jackson costume.

I do admit that the roasted vegetable tomato sauce (garlic, onions, red bell pepper, and tomatoes all roasted, then mixed with oregano and balsamic vinegar) is wonderful and we ended up with 20 1-cup jars.  When my hand stops hurting, we're going to try it on pizza.  Unless, of course, the pizza beats me up too.................

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finally Some Answers

Well, I vacuumed 4 adult moths today, but the good or bad news--depending on how we want to look at it--is that they weren't in the pantry.  They were on the kitchen ceiling.  So, they're not gone.

The actual good news is that I found this website:
It answers a lot of the questions I haven't been able to find information on, and at least gives me some hope.  A few things cleared up:

1.  The Catchmaster moth traps do work.  Unfortunately, as I had feared, it's the male moths they kill, not the females.  So, if we have a male moth who isn't seduced by the trap pheremones and finds one of the female moths and they get together for a little moth whoopee, we still have problems.  Not that we're going to stop using them, but I was really hoping it was the female moths and their worm-baby breeding ability we were bumping off.

2.  Nothing kills the pupal stage of these beasts.  Very sad news.  Especially since I vacuumed up so many of the beasts in their cocoons.  Here's hoping the Raid I've regularly sprayed into the vacuum gets them as soon as they emerge from this indestructible pupal stage.  I don't care if we've emptied the vacuum by then--I just want all of them dead.

3.  It takes time.  Not that we weren't realizing this, but "taking time" is better than "freakin' impossible."  So there is hope.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm REALLY Trying Not To Get My Hopes Up.........


Could we really be winning?????

Monday, October 25, 2010

Living a Scavenger Hunt

So...the pantry is empty, the trap has caught lots of adult moths, but I am still vacuuming up a few adult moths in the pantry every day.  I don't know what they're doing in there.  We've removed EVERYTHING--even the cardboard and coffee filters, so unless they're resorting to moth cannibalism (of which I would whole heartedly approve at this point), there is no food source in there.  I'm afraid to move anything back into  the pantry while the little beasts still exist, because if two of them start to get a special feeling and the male is a bit of a smooth-talker, then we'll have worm babies again and I just don't think I could cope.  I can't even go near the bulk-bins at the grocery store right now.  Sure, to everyone else that stuff looks like food, but after the last few weeks all I see is a big pantry moth breeding ground.

The good news is, I suppose, that we're finally starting to get used to having the pantry contents scattered around the house.  The onions have taken up residence on one of the end tables, the honey is next to the ficus, and the flour is in the living room.  I think Andy is sort of enjoying this.  You know how a man can stand in front of the pantry or refrigerator and not be able to find something, only to have the woman find it in 15 seconds and then scoff at his inability to find things?  Currently, it takes longer than that to find the dining room table.  Or the cats.  Or, frankly, each other...........

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shouldn't We Be Winning By Now?

is our kitchen pantry.  It has been emptied, soaped, bleached, caulked, and painted--with an occasional shot of Raid here & there.  The brown thing is a pantry moth trap (which does work, by the way).  And yet....I just vacuumed up two more moths a few minutes ago.  We're nervous about moving things back into the pantry until we're sure that the moths & their little worm babies are gone, but we were sort of hoping that would have been when their food supply dried up--or when their nests were vacuumed up or painted over.  Maybe they can survive a few days without food or air?

In the meantime, meals here at Chateau Sutton-Goar are a bit of a scavenger hunt.  The potatoes are in the living room, the flour is in the dining room, and the olives are over by the piano.  Isn't that where everyone keeps their olives?????

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things I Have Learned This Week

*  There are several varieties of pantry moths: Mediterranean Flour Moths, Indian Meal Moths, and Angoumois Gran Moths.  Knowing this doesn't help get rid of them in any way, but is the information that Google seems to think I want most.

*  Not all rubber gloves will stop jalapeno oil from getting onto your hands.  Interestingly, the oil has an amazing shelf life, so even if one is smart enough to wear two sets of gloves when dealing with the jalapenos, if one doesn't think about it and dons the rubber gloves to wear while cleaning the pantry shelves with bleach to get rid of moth eggs, one can get jalapeno burns from the inside of the gloves to add to the fun.

*  They sell pantry moth traps.  I ordered 24 of them last night.  If I was positive that they work, I'd have ordered 1000.

*  It is impossible to underestimate the number of places these stupid moths & their disgusting worm babies will show up.  Today I found them in the coffee filters.

*  Even if the set of cannisters was relatively expensive and sold to be used for food storage, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are airtight.  In fact, if they are blue & are sold at Target, I can promise you they aren't.  Why one would make cannisters that aren't airtight is anyone's guess.  $1 big plastic jars from the dollar store are airtight.  Go figure.

*  One Advil is not enough pain-killer to cope with an all-over hand burn.  I'm considering unconsciousness.

*  If we ever get rid of the pantry moths, I promise to never, ever, EVER complain about slugs in the garden again.  I may even name them and keep them as pets.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The 2011 Project

As many of you may have noticed, I like yearly projects.  Over the years there has been the one-new-recipe-a-week year, the tourism-in-my-home-state year, and most memorably the Year of No Processed Foods.  This year I didn't pick a project as the no processed foods one was SO overwhelming and we're still making changes to make it a permanent lifestyle thing.  But I decided I wanted a project for next year, and had noticed some great events coming up at our local community library.  They're doing an entire railroad series, and so far we've been to a slide presentation and a book discussion, and both have been really interesting.  And this is all free--how fabulous is that?  So, after a brief discussion with my partner-in-projects, Andy and I have committed to find one free or nearly free event to attend every week in 2011.  Festivals, lectures, plays, readings, concerts, whatever.  And we can't use the same one more than once, so going to the Boise Saturday market will only be able to count once.

I'm excited.  I think it will be fun....and it's helping take my mind off those damn grain moths.............

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Few Updates....

*  I did take the weekend off, but I am still battling those darn grain moths.  I shall never again wonder how people could randomly spray bugs without thinking of the consequences.  After a week of battling these bugs, I would cheerfully bomb the daylights out of the entire insect kingdom.

*  It is now October 11, and we usually have our first frost of the year by now, but continuing our bizarre new weather patterns, the weather forecast doesn't show frost for at least the next 15 days.  I am torn between being glad the tomatoes are getting a bit more time and wishing for a hard frost that would kill off the entire garden for the year.

*  The thing I read about Epsom salts curing blossom end rot?  TOTAL urban legend.  We're still getting it because of the uncontrollable wetness/dryness the tomatoes have gone through this year, and the suckers have been covered with Epsom salts solutions.  Hope it's good for the soil.

*  I was happy enough being married to Andy as it is, but discovering he can fix a washing machine that has started dumping water all over the laundry room floor at 8:30 the night before he's supposed to leave on a camping trip is a SERIOUS relationship perk.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Year of the Bug

So......I was complaining about the OUTSIDE bugs.  They are nothing compared to having INDOOR bugs.

Our pantry has been invaded by grain moths.  Little black moths that can chew through plastic.  Or maybe it's their little wormy offspring that can do that.  ICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not that cleaning out the pantry once in a while isn't a good idea, but I would have preferred it to be because I had the "spring cleaning bug," not real bugs.

It turns out that bay leaves will repel the little beasts, but they are EVERYWHERE.  Even in empty cardboard boxes and the boxes containing our serving dishes.  I would have thought, being grain moths, that they would really go places that contained grains.  But we have been invested by some free-thinkers, and they have taken up residence anywhere they could.

I never thought I would say this, but maybe the slugs weren't so bad after all..............

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Things I Have Learned This Week

*  It's one thing to say that it's really wrong to have to turn on the air-conditioning in October, but that doesn't really matter much when it's 90 degrees and you're dripping with sweat

*  When one arranges to have friends meet one to go to a movie, it's probably best to verify that the schedule--which one has duly checked--doesn't change on the very day that everyone has arranged to meet

*  The only person in the entire room who doesn't find it annoying when an audience member continually interrupts a lecture to throw in useless information is the jerk doing it

* Never underestimate the garden.  Just because our potato tower experiment has been a general failure, and even though I dug all around inside it and only found one potato, three new potato plants may be able to spring up from itty bitty potato molecules just out of sheer spite.

*  After all the bugs, weeks, fungus, and rodents, I might really enjoy seeing the garden get knocked off by frost this year.....

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fun With Banned Books

American Scholar has a fabulous article about the obscenity trail of Lady Chatterly's Lover:

Trial and Eros

Now I have to go dig out my Kingsley Amis books again.....not to mention my copy of Lady Chatterly's Lover.......!

Fall! Finally!

Even without extremely hot summers, I've always loved fall.  A little coolness in the air, leaves starting to turn, sweaters coming out-...