Beeson Banner for May, 2013

5 May 2013

Spent Saturday morning taking a guided nature hike in the bike trails. The leader said he also planned a fall hike; I hope I see the announcement.

Saturday night: oops, I forgot to plan something for the carry-in dinner. I have all the ingredients to make crock-pot cornbread, and it goes over well, but it would be a great deal of fuss to get it done in time. And it would involve carrying a rice-cooker while trying not to tip it enough to spill the cornbread batter.

So I set a half-gallon semi-disposable container on the counter next to a can of chunk pineapple, planning to dump the pineapple into the container and top it with a bag of frozen blueberries.

But this morning, I decided to use raspberries instead of blueberries because they wouldn't bleed all over the pineapple, and put them in the bottom and dump the pineapple on top, and crushed pineapple goes with raspberries better than chunks do , but crushed pineapple doesn't have a lot of juice on it and it piles up leaving dents, which I filled with half a bag of blueberries.

So I had both the tartness of the raspberries and the all-obscuring dark color of the blueberries. But over half was taken --perhaps because I didn't stir it much and the blueberries were on top, perhaps because it was the only dessert without added sugar-- and I think I saw somebody taking a second helping.

After getting rid of my dishes so that I wouldn't eat any more, I went around the table taking a crumb of every dessert -- and sliced a tip off one of the slices of pie.

There wasn't much of any dessert left, and not a lot of anything else, at least among the dishes that hadn't been packed up and taken home. But there was still enough that a late-comer could have had a good meal.



6 May 2013

Our flowering-apple tree is spectacular, and one branch is half the view through the sewing-room window when I'm sitting at the keyboard.

I didn't notice that the redbuds were in bloom until they had little green leaves on them. I must remember to walk the road to Miller's field before the show is over. There's a pretty good show on the point seven, which Dave's new phone says is point eight. We are going to have to give these loops names. But there is no landmark that isn't on more than one loop.

Dave left his take-a-walk app running when he mowed the lawn, and got a map that looked as though a kitten had been playing with it.

Three loads today: two white and one black. I've divided the coloreds between the second white and the black. Only shirt in there is my cotton jersey. Perhaps I should frisk the closet before putting the second load in.

Must have been a long day. I began reading my funnies by reaching for the "What If" bookmark, thinking that it was Tuesday.

I pulled a lot of weeds out of the asparagus bed. The oregano --or is that marjoram-- is doing fine, and the chocolate mint is taking the place.

I got all the wash hung out and brought inside before nap time. The last load I put on the drying rack (where it still is). there wasn't much left after I'd taken out what was to be dried on hangers, so I used only part of one rack.



8 May 2013

Breakfast and playing with computers over, the first order of business today is to re-thread the Necchi, take the needle out, verify that it's a knit needle, and sew the shoulder seams of my T- shirt in progress. I must sew the bust darts before sewing the shoulder seams, to pin the darts I need a clear space on the table, if I'm moving the garbage I might as well carry it out to the compost heap, hey there's the limp shell of the missing potato set -- better put it into its appointed place and bury it in bagged topsoil just in case there's some life left, as long as I've got the cart out here, this is a good time to put duck mulch near my multipliers, but I need a knife to get the cable tie off the bag, so I go inside for my knife and my lipstick, lipstick? I haven't put sunscreen on today! While putting on the sunscreen I notice a rough spot on a fingernail and I've already torn my thumbnail today; better emory-board this one before I tear it too, somehow back to something I was doing before: egad is this knife ever dull!

I couldn't put an actual edge on the knife --what do you expect of a fifty-cent knife with a stainless blade-- but I did get it sharp enough to grunt through the cable tie, so I mulched the multipliers, the mulch at a careful distance lest it disagree with them. I put an oval around the short row; if everything I've mulched flourishes, I'll also put mulch between the multipliers in the row.

The sight of the topsoil has reminded me that I'd planned to dig a flower pot and fill it with topsoil when I planted the cinnamon basil, so I dragged the cart over to the Joe Rickets bed and planted the cinnamon basil where the parsely was last year, and mulched a couple of strawberries in the north-west corner, planning to gradually cover the entire bed, if these plants like the mulch.

Yesterday I bought four ground-cherry plants in the fond hope that the deer wouldn't recognize them as tomatoes. Those need planting too; they are already pot bound. There is plenty of space in the Joe Rickets bed, but the deer come here to eat the strawberries so there is no way they'd overlook a ground cherry. I put one in the commercial-strawberry bed, careful not to clear a space around it. The deer haven't paid much attention to that bed since we took the bird feeder down. Then I put one in the herb bed and the remaining two in the fern bed, all potted in bagged topsoil. I ringed the one closest to the lawn with duck mulch to keep it from being mistaken for a weed.

It hasn't rained since we put out the rain barrels, so I'd better change into shorts and fetch a couple of buckets of water. But on the way into the house, I noticed the bucket of rain water, so used half of that and here I am back at the sewing project. But my stomach is telling me that it's time for lunch. And after that, I think I need a nap. It's almost one o'clock.

Briefly considered pinning the darts before going to bed, but I intend to mark the stitching lines with self-removing marker, which works only if one goes straight from the marking table to the sewing machine.

I once read a very pained essay written by a woman who bought a self-removing marker and spent a whole evening very carefully marking precise and artistic locations for the sequins or whatever that she meant to sew on the next day.

Al E. Cat threw up in the hallway during my nap. I scraped it onto an envelope neatly, leaving little sign on the carpet, but just slipped the envelope through a cracked-open door onto the patio because I wasn't dressed to go outside, forgot about it until just now, and don't want to go out into the dark. Well, I go out through that door only on laundry day; if I forget to take care of it tomorrow, it will dry up and blow away before it gets stepped in.

Canned soup for supper. After supper, I rode to Owen's for milk and salad, and redeemed coupons for three frozen dinners and a bag of frozen peas. Also picked up a package of two smoked pork steaks, then about faced and went back to produce for a potato. One steak will be will be fried for supper tomorrow; I don't know what I'll do with the other.

Getting ready to go took a while. After going barefoot all of today and half of yesterday, not to mention all that gardening, not even the plastic pumice would take all the cottonwood gunk off my feet. I put moleskin on my corn sites even though I'd be wearing shoes for a very short time. Last time I did that, I forgot the moleskin was there, and had an interrobang moment the next time I scrubbed my feet.

Speaking of gardening, using rain water from the bucket had an unfortunate effect. Al had to lean over so far to reach the remaining water that he knocked it over and got wet. The big carpet scrap we use for a walk-off mat got wet too, and was very difficult to get out from under the broom cupboard to drape over a waste bin to dry.

I clicked on a link to the Second-Mile Adventures website, and had to close the tab without reading anything because it started playing loud music without permission.

This was something of an accomplishment: I don't have any speakers.



10 May 2013

A lot of the tulips in the strawberry bed dropped their petals in the night, so I went out and broke off all the seedpods that didn't have a full complement. Most of those remaining look rather tattered.

The flowering apple is pretty much past it too.

It rained enough during the night to fill the bucket, so Al is happy again. Dave says that he approached it rather cautiously the first time.

It appears to plan to threaten to rain all day, without actually precipitating. The water in the bucket looks dirty, so we could make use of a good rain. Don't need to water plants yet, but I'd like to have some water in the rain barrel.

The windsock isn't as twitchy as it was when I first looked out, and seldom comes close to standing out straight.

We took the Toyota in for a recall service yesterday morning, and had breakfast at the Red Apple. I wanted an omelette, but there is no way I could eat five eggs at one sitting, so I looked at the panel above: scrambled eggs. The Legal Alien looks good, and here's the waitress back, I'll have that.

Yes, there was only a reasonable patty of scrambled egg, but it was on half an inch of sausage and more than an inch of potatoes, covering more than half of a fairly-large plate. I put half of it --and one of Dave's biscuits-- into a box, had a hearty lunch and a bedtime snack out of it, and still had half a slice of toast for breakfast this morning. Dave warmed up his biscuit. He said it warmed up well because it was "almost cake". I don't think I would have liked it.

I discovered that cold, soggy toast freshens up beautifully when one sets the toaster oven for 150F and "dark toast"; the element comes on just often enough to re-crisp the toast without browning it more.

I'm planning to have the other smoked-pork steak for supper tonight. The first one turned out steamed rather than fried, but good, so I think I'll steam this one on purpose. And make more gravy even though there's gravy left from yesterday. We didn't eat all of yesterday's steak and probably won't eat all of today's, so I can chop left-over pork into left-over gravy and serve creamed ham on toast tomorrow morning.

For lunch today, I'm trying a variation on the Great Dane's Oatcakes. I reduced the salt, as before, and put in rather too much honey -- it's difficult to pour a tablespoon from the jar. When I had everything mixed up, I divided the half-recipe into four parts in the mixing bowl, and formed them into balls with the spoon. Then I plopped a ball onto a griddle set for 300F, covered it with a square of waxed paper that I'd liberally sprayed with no-sticky, and flattened it to half an inch thick with the bacon press. It came out about the size and shape of a hamburger patty. Five minutes on a side, and it's pretty good. Better if I hadn't used quite so much milk, I think. I should add the milk a few drops at a time and stop as soon as everything sticks together.

Wednesday's entry had some perhaps-puzzling references to plants I bought "yesterday". On Tuesday, Martha went to Country Garden Greenhouses and invited me to come along for the ride. Had I written this up sooner, I'd have more to say; now I can only say we both enjoyed it.

Seeing how lengthy my posts have been of late, perhaps that is just as well.



11 May 2013

Putting the carpet scrap back under the broom cupboard was surprisingly easy. Dave used the leaf blower first, so it looks a lot cleaner in the garage. I shook the strip of carpet in front of the freezer, but it never did stop giving off clouds of dust and grit. At least I got the visible dirt off it.

Yesterday, I re-heated the remains of Thursday's potato by leaving it cut-side-down on the smoked pork while it was steaming. It didn't have any warmed-over flavor.

After supper yesterday, I went for a walk out the Southtown Loop and back by Heritage Trail. I went through Miller's field to connect with the Southtown Loop, turning around every few feet along the road to the field because the redbud show is better when you are coming out. The redbuds were past their prime, but still worth looking at. I think there are more redbuds in other places than there used to be -- I wonder whether ours will ever bloom?

Dave didn't feel like ham gravy this morning, so I made Cocoa Wheats. I'm in the habit of using the serving spoons from the silverware set whenever I need to stir something. I'm usually stirring a small amount that would be lost in a cooking spoon, and a tablespoon gives me more leverage when I'm stirring bread dough, so that I can knead it without putting my hands in.

But when I want to stir something while it's boiling over high heat, I really *must* remember that there are long-handled spoons in the next drawer over. I splashed the boiling water, flinched, and scattered cocoa wheat over the stove. The scalds didn't stick, though; the only red mark on that arm is a scratch from when I got into a multiflora during my walk.