Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Plants Are Moving Out!!!!

Historically, our last frost date would be May 10, but history fails to account for the drastic increase in temperatures, so I started moving the plants out of the greenhouse and into the garden yesterday.  The cucumbers and pumpkins were most in need of transplantation,
and most likely to die if the weather forecast was wrong, so what better plants to start with? 

This year I tried starting beans in the greenhouse, and aside from them not having anything to climb, 
 they did really well.  I'm going to see if they can shade my lettuce and spinach a bit--I always see great garden designs with beans growing over things, but so much of the time they just don't grow very well for me.  I wasn't sure if they would handle transplanting, but these are the best-looking beans I've ever grown, so at least I'm doing better than I usually do. 

I am trying to be really conscious of my back, so I promised myself no more than 5-6 plants at a time. 
Which means this could take a while......................

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I Have Been Reprived!!!!!!!!

I was supposed to see the eye doctor this afternoon, but just got a call saying he was called in to emergency surgery and rescheduling my appointment.  While I am sorry for whomever is having an emergency, there is no doctor's appointment I hate more than the eye doctor--not even the gynecologist.  The gynecologist visit is unpleasant, but then it's over and you go on with the rest of your day.  But the eye doctor dilates my pupils and I can't see a blasted thing the rest of the day.  As an adult it is slightly better because I get the last appointment of the day so there are fewer hours of sunlight left and I can get whatever I need done ahead of time.  But as a kid, it had to be the very first thing we did, then I got to do all my school shopping without being able to see a damn thing, AND with the added bonus of looking like a total idiot with those cardboard shade things in my glasses..  What's more fun than that if you are the only kid in your class with glasses and your lovely little classmates call you 4-eyes--what could be better than making your glasses even MORE noticeable?  Strangers actually asked my sister if I was blind--within my hearing, so they obviously didn't think I could hear either.  Finally, she started telling them "yes," which at least made it a bit fun because then I could either negotiate my way out of the store beautifully and leave them to wonder, or flail around like the biggest melodrama ham one has ever seen.  And my eyes literally wouldn't return to normal until we were on the 2-hour drive home at night.  My mother likes to tell me how much fun those school shopping trips were, but here's the thing:  If you're having to tell people that something was fun, it wasn't.  They were long, blurry days of painful squinting and wondering why we couldn't make even one freakin' stop while I could still see.

As an adult, the first thing I actually did was to stop going to the eye doctor altogether--not a great move when one wears contacts, of course, but when you are that angry and frustrated, a break can help.  Then, when I finally had to concede that it would be best to see him at least once in a while, I could refuse the appointments that were best for the doctor and make the appointments that were best for me.  That was working, but then last year they saddled me with bifocals, taking whatever peace I had made with the eye industry and blew it to pieces.  To be fair, they didn't say I needed them THEN, but that I would need them by NOW.  And I almost do.  I don't actually need reading glasses to read yet, but the other day I was looking something up on my phone and realized that I am only months away from not being able to read my phone without assistance.  :(

As long and painful as my back/hip problems have been, they aren't age related.  But when your eyes can't read things up close, there's no pretending and there's nothing you can do about it.  And the doctor, who has to be 10 years younger than me, likes to say things like "at your age."  My gynecologist, on the other hand, tells me how young I am.  Is it any wonder that I prefer him?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Recipe Dinner Club

For over a year now, 6 of us have been enjoying monthly New Recipe Dinner gatherings.  I can't even begin to tell you how much fun it has been.  It's so easy to get into the habit of making "safe" recipes--especially when having people over--so this is a way to shake that up.  Every month, one couple hosts and picks an entree to try, then the other two couples pick recipes to go with it--dessert, side, appetizer, whatever.

On Friday, our lovely host made Spanish Paella, toned down from the usual seafood version as I really don't like anything in shells, so I got out our Spanish cookbook to find an appetizer, and decided to try the only recipe that didn't involve squid or anchovies.  (This cookbook may not be long for our shelves).

The recipe actually had 3 recipes: olives, cheese, and almonds.  Originally, I was just going to make the cheese, but when I couldn't find the correct cheese at the grocery store and had to add a substitute, I decided to try the almond one as well. 

The cheese (now using Asiago instead of Manchego), was supposed to be cut into bite-sized pieces, then marinated in olive oil, white wine vinegar, peppercorns, and fresh tarragon (which is already going crazy in the garden).  What they don't explain is that when one chills the marinating cheese as instructed,

 is that the oil will solidify and one will have cheese stuck in solid oil and does this still flavor the cheese or is it just really gross?  I ended up taking it out of the refrigerator for about 2 hours a day and stirring it once the oil had liquified again, and it ended up tasting okay if you like your cheese oily, but it may not be seen again around here. 

The day OF the party, I toasted the almonds in olive oil AND butter,
just to make sure we had all types of fat covered.  Had I remembered that I bought half the amount of almonds and reduced the butter and oil to half, this would have been a lot less disgusting.  It also called for sea salt (which probably meant finer sea salt than I had, because mine stayed a big soggy, crystallized mess at the bottom of the bowl) and cayenne pepper, which I also forgot to halve.  Oops.

Surprisingly, they both tasted fine, and the point is to try making new things--even if I'm never willing to make them again.

Monday, April 13, 2015

So, That's One Way To Put It......

Our New Recipe Dinner club is on Friday, and this month the theme is Spanish.  I even have a Spanish cookbook, but I don't think I've used it much.  I'm pretty sure I've have remembered this chapter heading:
I'm probably a bit unusual here, but I think I prefer my food not be classified by its fur.  Is it just me?

Friday, April 10, 2015

We Have a New Game

Theo, the world's least self-entertaining cat, has come up with a new game:

Now the thing about cat games is that they make just as little sense as those thought up by a 4-year-old, but children MIGHT explain the ever-shifting rules to you--though cats are far less likely to cheat.  So far the idea of this one seems to be that the cat jumps IN the laundry basket, the human pokes the stick through the holes, and the cat tries to grab it--until the cat freaks out for no reason at all, hops out of the basket, and runs away.  Or this is my understanding so far..

Friday, April 3, 2015


Like everyone, we've been following the news regarding Indiana's new law allowing religion-based discrimination and the backlash.  Some weren't surprising--the big gaming convention "Gen-Con" was pretty obvious as young people are refreshingly unbothered by whom other people choose to love.  Angie's List, Apple, Starbucks--all pretty non-surprising, but this week NASCAR condemned the law as wellNASCAR--pretty much the official sport OF homophobic rednecks.  Man, when NASCAR says your homophobic you have reached the bottom!  They can't even come out and condemn marriages between cousins because of their demographic.  Not that I'm complaining--it is a law condoning discrimination, and hats off to NASCAR--especially since I doubt there are more than 5-6 gay NASCAR fans.......

Well, go NASCAR!

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-...