Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Since it's fall and we recently received a side of beef from my parents, the freezers here at the Chateau are rather filled.  I blame it on the pain medication that I managed to forget this little problem when I bought these:
Fred Meyer often has "red-band" bananas, which are 10-20 cents cheaper per pound than the others, and most of the time I just peel and freeze them.  I used to always sprinkle a bit of lemon juice on them to keep them from browning, but now I've just opted to live with the browning.  It doesn't seem to make much difference in smoothies.

This year I came up with the rather brilliant idea of making and freezing smoothies to have for a fast, no-processed-food breakfast:
which worked really well while the weather was hot, though after trying one this week and shivering for several minutes thereafter, I'm thinking that will be the last batch until spring.  And it didn't use up nearly as many bananas as I had hoped, so Andy dug out the dehydrator for me.  One can dehydrate foods in an oven, but I've dehydrated food for so long that having a separate dehydrator has been a good investment for us.  Oddly, dehydrating food has been one of THE biggest challenges for the no-processed-food diet.  It isn't the preservatives--it's trying to keep the food from sticking to the trays.  You may not be aware of this, but a dried banana is a fiercely sticky object, and when it gets attached to something, it's quite determined to STAY attached.  Finally, a very helpful soul introduced us to this idea:
We keep a bag of the papers butter cubes come in, so they're ready in the refrigerator for:
 It doesn't really look like it does anything, but it works like a charm and honestly works better than nonstick cooking spray because I don't have to find a place to spray the screens where I won't mind everything getting coated with spray that goes through the holes. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Toni Flirts With Reality

I don't think I'm going to be making a habit of being reasonable or anything, but for this year I have decided to not bother with the end of the tomatoes.  

That's right--this year there was no mad-dash out to save every green tomato before frost.  No frenzied after-harvest canning, no green tomato curry, no relish, no salsa.  It helps that we still haven't used everything I canned last year, but the final straw was that I'm back in physical therapy and the therapist has stressed above all else that my back needs to rest until everything calms down.  I do still plan to make a bit more soup when I'm more certain of my back, but for now--nothing.  No fall decorations, no scurrying around for parties or events.  I am just taking it easy.  ME. 

It's an odd idea to come to terms with.......

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This is What the Market Looks Like Since the Last Election

I know that those who choose to watch Fox News are not likely to let facts or graphs get in the way of a good prejudice, but this is a 5-year graph of the market.  That free-fall?  2008, during Bush's administration. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meet Plantzilla

is a nasturtium seedling. The zinnia seedling right next to it sort of makes sense, as I can't seem to get rid of the things since I planted them in this bed.  But I've only planted nasturtiums in the BACK garden beds.  This little monster is in the FRONT flower bed.  Never mind the cosmos or the zinnias--nasturtiums can actually LEAP a two story house!

Be very afraid...........

Friday, October 19, 2012

Morning Funny

Really, if you can't even master your native language, you are going to get laughed at.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Do You Think There Are REALLY Any Undecided Voters Left?

I've been working as a political consultant (campaign coordinator on a Congressional race, then campaign manager on a state senate race), and I'm one of those weirdos who rather enjoys politics, but even I am sick of the election.  How bad is it for those who didn't find it fun in the first place?

Early voting opened this week, and I went yesterday after my physical therapy, and I am pleased to say there was a line.  The part of me that isn't sick of the whole thing was thrilled to see people eager to vote, though the thought occurred to me that we were all waiting to vote early because we're all sick and tired of the election.  I know the debates have only just started, but there isn't a thing in the world that Romney could say that would make me vote for him, and every Romney supporter I know would say the same for Obama.  So who on earth are these "undecided" voters?  I don't think the US has been so polarized since the Civil War or the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, so who are these nice, persuadable people still somewhere in the middle? 

Presumably, I guess, they are in Ohio.  Forget representational government, forget democracy--the state of Ohio seems poised to be the group that elects our next president because of our electoral college system and their number of electoral votes.  I think I might be speaking for the residents of the other 49 states when I say that this is a terrible system.  Whichever way it goes, there are a whole lot of taxpayers and voters who won't agree with Ohio.  And with the BILLIONS of dollars corporate interests are funneling into the election, what is to stop them from relocating workers into Ohio to swing the election?  The amount an INDIVIDUAL can donate to a campaign is limited--Political Action Committees (PACs) can spend all the money they want, so the chances for corruption seem unlimited to me.  With all the money, I think even fewer voters believe in our system and certainly don't believe their vote counts, and in most states (like mine), it doesn't.  

No wonder we're all so sick of the election.  


Though frankly, if my binder came with Ann Coulter, I'd just burn it.............

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Waiting For 1:00

At 1:00 PM today I have an appointment with a physical therapist, who will yank my hip back into place and I will be able to:

1. Cut back on the pain pills, which make me nauseous
2. Cut back on the muscle relaxers, which make me unconscious
3. Get back to my exercises, which will save me from going through this nightmare again.

5 hours to go!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Getting Back to "Normal"

Dad is still home and definitely improving, but he'll have a LONG way to go before he's back to his usual self, and they're still keeping an eye on several things, but when he was here in Boise for his first follow-up appointment Monday, he got to wear jeans for the first time in 6 weeks and actually got to go to a restaurant, so that was exciting. 

We all keep talking about getting back to "normal," but it turns out, I don't know what that is.  I'm seeing the back specialist today because the stress and disruption of my exercising has completely fried my back, so I'll probably be back in physical therapy next week.  That's not really "normal."  We covered our garden every night over the weekend as it dipped below freezing, but much didn't survive anyway, so I may not be doing much more canning this month.  That isn't "normal."  I'm still supposed to be the volunteer campaign manager for a state senate race (which isn't normal) though my activities have mostly been curtailed because of my back/hip problem, which isn't normal either.  I didn't bother to put up fall decorations this year, so that isn't normal.  After coming back from a walk on Tuesday almost unable to move, I'm holding off on exercise until I can see the therapist, so that isn't normal.  So, I keep looking around and wondering, "exactly what is it that I thought I would be doing right now when things got back to 'normal?'" 

And I haven't the faintest idea at all..............

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

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-...