Beeson Banner for April, 2013


2 April 2013

Yesterday was bright and sunny.  It was windy, but the wind sock was only half-way up so I set out to wash a load of cleaning rags and dishtowels to dry in the sun.

The first step was to strain a little rainwater, grate a bar of Dave's over-lyed soap into it, and then boil it to make sure all the soap dissolved.  It grated so neatly that I could have put it directly into the washer, but I boiled it anyway.

The six-quart kettle I'd boiled the eggs in hadn't been washed yet, so I thought I might as well use that.  A mistake; the kettle won't go into the washing machine to rinse the soap out and I had to use a saucepan to bail water over it. The saucepan just barely fits, but I don't think I have anything stainless that's smaller.

The kettle needed to be rinsed inside and out — I didn't think I needed to keep a close eye on it because a scant pint of water couldn't boil over in a tall and narrow six-quart pot.  I failed to think about the effect of putting on the lid!  The catcher around the burners was nearly full of jellied soap.

I mopped it out with some of the rags I was about to wash.  It did a good job of cleaning up the accumulation of burned-on gunk, but I don't think I'll clean the burners that way on purpose.

With the cold and the wind, I hadn't got quite all of the load up before my hands were aching so much that I had to come in for a while.  *Then* I remembered that I have wool fingerless gloves!

Still had trouble hanging the rest, as the wind had risen.  By the time the next load came out and I tried to hang out the king-size sheet, it was so windy that I had to put the pins close together to keep one from pulling out before I could put in the next.  Then when I'd managed to get about two thirds of the sheet pinned up, a gust of wind pulled it out of all the pins at the same time.  But it didn't pull it out of my hands, so I didn't have to chase it.

At that point, I decided to dry the sheet hanging over the shower rod in the bathroom.  Then I went back out and piled the other stuff into the basket any old way and sorted it onto the drying racks.  It was nearly dry, so I piled towels on top of other towels.

Despite it being April Fool's day, I spellchecked the March Banner and mailed it.  I thought I could do it between loads, but I wasn't finished until late in the evening.

At least one clump of daffodils has flower buds on it.  Hyacinths are also up, and I saw a lot of spears in the lily bed, none of them lilies. I think most are daffodils.  Should be some small bulbs in there too.  The iris leaves have been showing all winter; every spring I think that I should dig them all up and move them to a place where the lilies won't smother them.  They were well separated from the lilies when planted.  When I thinned the lilies not too many years ago, I didn't dig any out from among the iris because I'd have dug up the iris — I should have dug the iris out on purpose and moved it then.

Dave's latest camera final-strawed our network, so "Warsaw Geek" is coming tomorrow to straighten it out and install a new router.  It's much cheaper than Dave expected — pays to hire somebody who knows what needs to be replaced and what doesn't.

In preparation, Dave put a label on each camera so he'd know which was which.  I suppose I should get the laundry out of the parlor.  The parlor is still moderately neat from when we cleaned out for the piano tuner.

One of the things hauled out of the parlor was a grocery bag of books — the circulating books come to me and then have no place to go.  I intend to make a "you may take me home" bookmark for each one —personalized (bookalized?) in case somebody puts the mark in a book that should not be taken home— and take them to the emergency room two or three at a time.



4 April 2013

I'm moderately sure that somewhere in the March Banner I said "SR 30" where I meant "US 30".

Should I happen to find it, I'll change it in the file copy.

Warsaw Geek came yesterday.  Dave is still fiddling with the system.  I blundered around in the bike trails for a while, and after supper drove to Owen's for milk.

Hold the presses!!!  When clearing the table for supper, I took the garbage out to the compost heap without bothering to step into the sandals I keep by the doorway — and wasn't the least bit uncomfortable.  Spring has sprung!

Shortly before that, I learned that TIS is going to change Dave's password at intervals.  Since TIS errors out and requires yet another new password if anyone attempts to use the old password, it is very important that my FTP program be altered each time the password is changed.  So I'm glad I haven't gotten around to making new choices that go directly to my pages — changing passwords in multiple places is more trouble than ChgDir-Chgdiring down from the root.



5 April 2013

Just ate a Fiber One bar.  It was good, but not as good as something with "Peanuts" listed first on the ingredient list ought to be.

Bicycled to Aunt Millies and back this morning.  Loaf bread, "soft bagels" (hamburger buns with a hole), and steak rolls.

Since it's a glorious day, my first thought was to go out Pierceton Road to make a little ride out of it, but after mounting up I thought about grinding up Chestnut Street —which I have to do whether I'm going by Pierceton or by Wooster— and went to Roy Street by way of the Heritage Trail, then followed Packerton to Pierceton.  Still wasn't much of a ride.

I'd had thoughts of looping back to Aldi to buy a bag of frozen peas, but with my panniers clear full of bread and my windbreaker bungeed to the rack, I couldn't have bought enough stuff at Aldi to make it worth my while to cross US 30 twice, so I got on Wooster and came home.

Coming down Sunday Lane, squeezing my brakes as hard as I could just barely kept my speed down to where I wanted it, so I've just finished scrubbing my rims.  Probably should have taken my brake blocks off and scrubbed them too.

At which point I went out with an old emery board to see whether I could clean the brake blocks a little without taking them off, which caused me to discover that my front brake blocks weren't lined up with the rims as well as they should be, so I unpacked my tool kit and adjusted them.  Also found that the brake release on the front isn't attached to anything, which won't be a problem until I get a flat in the front tire.

According to the paper, nothing is going on at First Friday.  Martha said that some people from the church are doing something or the other; I'd heard something about it earlier, at which point the people doing it weren't sure what.  Yesterday I tried searching Facebook to see who was talking about First Friday, but Facebook doesn't allow that sort of thing; all it did was show me the page the First Friday people set up a few years ago and haven't touched since.

Dave and I plan to have supper at the Mexican place downtown, then walk around until his phone app says we've done our point seven.  He walked point eight while I was fiddling with my brakes.  Not the point eight, but a new route that happened to be that long.  I'm taking my phone as a matter of principle, but since I'll be with the only person who has the number, I won't turn it on.



6 April 2013

The Mexican place on Buffalo is really good.  I ordered chicken with rice when I meant to order steak with rice —standard phrase just rolled off my tongue— and didn't mind a bit.  Dave had chimichangas.

I ate huge amounts of chips —we nearly killed the salsa; there was only a smear in the bowl when the busboy took it away— nearly all of my food, and a substantial part of Dave's, and was wondering why I was only pleasantly stuffed when I realized that I hadn't touched my tortillas.  Since they were rolled and neatly wrapped in foil, I put them into my pocket.

Then I ate more chips —that was when we wiped out the salsa— and wasn't as eager to walk around town as I might have been.  We took a lap around the courthouse and walked back to the library.  We met two perambulator-pushing families just arriving, and saw some other folks leaving.

Wasn't anything much going on.  I was baffled by the booth in front of the restaurant:  tables and tables of completely unrelated objects.  So I walked around to the street side to read the sign:  Sherman & Lin's Bargain Barn.  I heard the booth minder telling another visitor that he wasn't allowed to sell anything; the prices were examples of the bargains one could find at the barn.  I saw the WLFMC table, but didn't cross the street to speak to them.  Seemed to have attracted a few visitors.  [On Sunday morning, the pastor said it had been a great success.]

I was mysteriously tired in the evening, and woke this morning to a raging sore throat.  It settled down a lot after I'd coughed the night's accumulation of gunk out and had a little breakfast.  Dave has just gotten over a cold.

And he just got back from the drug store, where he re-stocked the zinc tablets.



7 April 2013

Not as sick this morning, but it would probably be polite to sit in the loft and not go near anybody.  No runny nose, but I think I'll carry a box of tissues as a signal.

Woke up at eight, had a leisurely breakfast, and was ready for church by a quarter past nine.  But my computer knew what to do with all that extra time.  When I sat down here, I found a notice that Windows had helpfully "adjusted for daylight saving time" and my clock said a quarter past ten.  It was half past before I got that straightened out.  Then I downloaded my mail, and had to re-build all my summaries before I could see any of it.  So now it's nine-fifty:  ten minutes before step off.

When it was time to turn my cell phone off, I realized that I'd forgotten to turn it on.  A split second later, I realized that that was because I'd forgotten to put it in my pocket.

Not a good way to get into the habit of carrying the thing.

Lunch was a reuben, using up almost all of the corned beef.  I put the remaining bite into the box with the left-over Spam.  I had deli rye to make it on.  My reubens improved considerably when I realized that even though salad dressing is part of the definition, I don't have to put it in.  I did butter the sandwich before browning it.  Over very slow heat so the cheese would melt.

Dave had a ham sandwich.  No rye.



9 April 2013

Locked in for the day.  Outdoor exercise is good for a cold — up to a point, and one really, really doesn't want to come to that point ten miles from home.

And anything other than biking would involve contact with people, which would be rude in my condition.

We have his and hers tissue boxes on the bed, but Dave was surprised this morning that he still needed his.  He appears to be free of symptoms now that he's up and moving around.

Yesterday, MozBackup decided to crash my computer instead of making backups — usually also disabling the start-menu reset, and once ctl-alt-delete didn't work and I had to do a hard reboot — so I defragged Drive C, which took all day.

Plus an hour or to re-sort my icons.  if I don't run defrag in Safe Mode, Windows will stop it and make it start over from the beginning every few minutes, and Safe Mode drops the resolution way, way down (why, I have no idea, unless it's to provide an un-overlookable indication that one is in Safe Mode) and low resolution forces most of my icons into new locations.  But in the process, I found four icons that didn't belong on the desktop and moved them.

MozBackup is back to normal.  Whether it had been fragged or I just gave the problem time to go away by itself, I'll never know.

Computers are NOT deterministic.

Today's What If ( concerns itself with FOOF, aka O2F2.  Kiddies, do not try this at home or anywhere else.

And always remember that a demolitions officer at a dead run outranks everybody.

Schlock Mercenary should have an installment in which Pi shouts "At ease!  I'm late for lunch!"

Which would make Sgt. Schlock run faster, since he doesn't get too upset at the thought of being splattered over a wide area.

I washed two loads of clothes yesterday, but missed Dave's jeans.



10 April 2013

Been fiddling with Google Maps.  The Chinworth Bridge loop is a shade over eighteen miles, if I zig south on the Chinworth Trail and zig back to Lake Street on Zimmer.  Staying on W 200 S until I get to S 400 W will make it a little different from going west on Crystal Lake Road.  It also makes the route look nicer on Google Maps —getting to the east end of Crystal Lake requires an untidy amount of zigging and zagging.

According to the U.S.P.S. website, my underwear is in South Bend.  I ordered two pairs of silk "leggings" last Friday.

Remember when leggings were the lower half of a snow suit?  I don't remember when I last saw a snowsuit.

I'm still snorting and sneezing.  We have only one un-opened box of tissues; I'm going to have to ride the Aldi loop as soon as it's safe.  Since we have at least six opened boxes, most of them recently opened, I'm not too fussed.

Not to mention an unopened package of 250 table napkins and an unopened eight-pack of paper towels.

The tulips in the strawberry bed are tall and vigorous, particularly when one considers that I've exterminated them twice, once by digging all the dirt out of the bed and putting it through a sieve.  If you want some tough, fast-multiplying tulips, drop in when the bulbs go dormant.  I'm not sure, though, that I can dig down far enough to find them.

It's about time to start using fresh garlic and garlic chives in my cooking.  Dave took a walk down the creek looking for mint, but it's too early.

At which point I went out and raked the leaves out of my herb bed:  no sign of the domestic mints either.  But the ground mint is off and running.

Wikipedia says ground mint makes a good tea.



11 April 2013

Changed the sheet and emptied the cat box today.  Mostly fiddled with the computer and watched it rain.

My new silk underwear came in the mail — or was that yesterday?  I tried it on, and thought that I didn't need to pick off the wide thick elastic and put in quarter-inch elastic after all, but I recall thinking the same of the tights that just wore out:  it isn't too bad when you first put them on, but as the day wears on that overspecced elastic gets tighter and tighter and tighter.

Next question is what does one do with a 100% reeled-silk rag?  Even the sewing thread is reeled silk.  Wash it and put it in the silk-scraps box, I suppose.  I do hate to throw out silk.

Busy day tomorrow:  Dave is going to take the door of the fridge to Smith's to have a new gasket put on.



12 April 2013

The fridge door is at Smith's, where it may be for a while because the guy who was scheduled to work on it was called to an emergency.  No hurry; some of the stuff is in the soda fridge, the crisper bins are in the garage, and the rest is outside in the little green wagon.

Brief pause to inspect the little green wagon and transfer the opened can of cat food and the jar of mayo to the beverage fridge.  It's probably colder outside, but there is still space even without re-arranging the loose pile in the lunch-meat basket.  I think we should dump everything out of the basket before putting it back into the other fridge; it has gotten very untidy.

The shelves and the inside of the fridge are all sparkly clean.  There is a pile of door bins still to wash, but I'm pooped.  Anyhow, the stuff that belongs in the bins is in the door of the soda fridge, so I can take *days* to wash the bins if I need to.

Not to mention the pile of regular dishes, including a crock-pot liner that had had a pint of beef stew in it, a saucepan that had held half a mug of bean soup, a casserole, and a mixing bowl.

When I was wondering what to have for breakfast, I saw the big casserole that Dave marinated his chicken in, which was still in the fridge because buttermilk marinade makes good gravy, and thought that I'd have biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast and get the casserole out of the fridge.  But before getting the sausage out of the freezer, I noticed that Dave had missed a few little chunks of chicken, so I made chicken gravy instead.

But first I made biscuits.  What with time out to help load the door etc., the oven had plenty of time to preheat.  (Dave said later that the kitchen got up to eighty degrees.  I didn't notice.)  It was nearly eleven by the time I finished eating it, so I think I'll skip lunch and have a left-over biscuit when I get up from my nap.


Dave just got a call to come get the door.  I told him that I'd put the stuff in the garage and the little green wagon back and then take a nap.

And at some point in the procedure, I've got to empty the crisper bins and wash them.  Probably not today.


I made half a recipe of Anette the Great Dane's oatcakes.  For "all-purpose flour" I used *my* all-purpose flour:  stone-ground hard white wheat.  The baking powder remaining in the can looked like a tad less than half a tablespoon, but I didn't want to open the other can, so I just dumped it in — seems to have worked.  And I used half a teaspoon of Lite Salt instead of half a tablespoon of coarse salt, since I was serving them with gravy instead of nibbling them for "the salty bite". 


I've been experimenting with a healthier version of scones/biscuit based on Victorian style Oat Cakes, and this turned out very well. They take 30 min to make start-to-eating, the dough can wait overnight in the fridge, and while they should be eaten the same day they are baked, they are equally good hot or cold.


4 big or 8 small

2 cups all purpose flour,
1 cup rolled oats,
3 teasp baking powder,
3 teasp coarse salt,
2 tablesp honey,
3 tablesp olive oil,
2 eggs,
milk, beer or water.

Turn on the oven at medium heat.

Mix everything except the liquid with a fork until you have a crumble mix, then add the liquid until you have a soft dough just firm enough to shape to patties with your hands. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Bake the patties in the upper part of the oven for ca. 25 min or until golden.

Splitting the cakes and serving with butter and jam or cheese does make them less healthy, but the slightly salty oat taste also makes them OK for just munching with a cup of tea.

                                    Anette, the Great Dane




13 April 2013

It's time to take everything off the vegetables, pickles, condiments, & vinegar shelf of the pantry closet.  I can't find anything, or put new stuff in its proper place.  Perhaps I should move canned milk up with the meats and soups, or file it under fruit, chocolate, and medicine.

We spent all of yesterday shifting food from the kitchen to the garage and back again.  We still haven't scrubbed the crisper trays.  And the lunch-meat basket is even more untidy, having had several items dumped on top.

I didn't want to run out and buy more food yesterday, so we were down to our last dribble of milk this morning.  Since it was raining and I had to take the car, I decided to make a major stock-up run and go to both Aldi and Owen's.

I forgot to get milk.  During my nap, Dave went to Martin's, where he can also buy buttermilk that isn't cornstarch pudding.  He plans to marinate another batch of chicken.

I also forgot kraut; everything else on the list is scratched off except for items I'll get at Zale's or Warsaw Health Food,

Lunch today was a couple of big chomps of a marzipan bar that was intended to be eaten in thin slices, several turkey-sausage snack sticks, some "granola chips" I'll never buy at full price, and assorted samples.

Since I bought four tomatoes at Aldi, we had hamburgers for supper.  The tomatoes were marked on-the-vine special, but the one I cut tasted like any other shipped-in tomato.  Won't stop us from having BLT the day after tomorrow —or tomorrow, if Dave decides to marinate his chicken two days— but I'm really, really eager for the Yoder's hothouse tomatoes.  I wonder whether they have any before the Farmer's Market opens?  (Doesn't matter, since I don't know where the greenhouse is.)

The rain has let up, and I'm still wearing socks, but I don't think I'll go for a walk.



14 April 2013

Joe and Lois are back.

I took a good long walk after church.  I met Dave on the way home, and we walked up the creek to the trailhead and came back on Boys City.

Stuff you never wanted to know:  the groove separating the bashed from the unbashed part of my toenail is now mostly on the onychodermal band, as Wikipedia calls the line between the quick and the white part of the nail.  And I changed my corn plaster tonight, then realized that it was actually due tomorrow morning.  When I took my corns off last fall, one of them left a bit of its core behind & I ignored it, thinking that wearing moleskin and scrubbing with a plastic pumice stone would keep it from growing, and that did work for the other corns, but this one stayed a little bit sore.  When I noticed that it was sore enough to hurt when I was barefoot, I decided that it was time to do something, so yesterday morning I put on a corn plaster.

I find it ironic that when I'm using corn plasters, I have to keep my feet covered to keep the plasters clean — wearing shoes is how I got corns in the first place!

We had oven-fried chicken with green lima beans, zapped sweet potato, and buttermilk gravy for supper tonight.  But we won't be having BLT tomorrow night ;-)



15 April 2013

Bummer.  Stacy Page says that the fire last night was in the same building with Avila's, and says that Avila's contents were a total loss.  The laundromat was smoke-damaged, but the story leaves the impression that a good cleaning will take care of it.  Have to be a very good cleaning — the stench of smoke is hard enough to get out when it wasn't a tobacco store that was burning, and laundromat customers care a lot about stink.

I haven't looked into the laundromat in years; the last time I did, they had educational children's books on a table to amuse the little ones while their mothers are washing.  Those, if still present, would be a total loss.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.  When I learned that it was a tobacco store that burned, I wondered cynically whether it was some anti-smoking bigot who started it.  I don't suppose a bigot would mind collateral damage to Mexicans.

I set the timer, then absent-mindedly left it in the kitchen.  So I was alerted to the sound of the timer going off by the sound of the washing machine stopping.

I was planning to wash the blacks first so it would be the whites that soaked during my nap, but when I got up it was bright and sunny out, so I washed the whites first so that I could hang them before the weather changed.  But when I took the basket of whites out, a drop struck my face and the sky was overcast, so I brought them back in again.  Looks as though the blacks will be out of the washer before I take my nap anyway.  But mainly because I'm waiting for them.  According to the timer, which I brought with me, it will be only twenty minutes.

I really, really have to be up and dressed before five o'clock today.  I'm planning to wear my white suit and my summer sandals.  It's a *warm* white suit, and I'm wearing wool socks with the sandals.

It wasn't until I was undressing that I remembered that I'd meant to wear my pearls.  I hardly ever get a chance to wear them, and my plain black T-shirt would have showed them off nicely.

Yamamoto had lovely food, and really not that expensive.  We agreed that we shouldn't wait for a birthday to go again.

Skreek, scrawk.  The squeaking of this chair annoys me only late at night, when I can't do anything about it.



16 April 2013

Upended the chair — didn't find anything to oil, but tightening a loose screw helped a little.

I Culta-Ezed the garden today, and burned the trash off my cooking hearth.  Also ate some garlic chives and harvested a stray garlic plant to season my lunch.

I should plant potatoes and the multipliers tomorrow, but I think I'll go to the library's book sale instead.

Tonight, we had BLT.  I french-fried the bacon in corn oil.

After supper, I walked through Miller's field to the bike trail, followed it until it crossed the Heritage Trail, and came back on pavement.  I'd wild-guess that as a mile.



17 April 2013

I'd started thinking that Owen's was reserving my parking space beside the exit, but today it was filled with bags of something or the other.  But there was another near the entrance.

I spoke with a woman in a distinctive black float while checking out at Zale's, saw her again in the meat department at Owen's, and we spoke again while I was putting my cart away.  We were relieved that both of us were going home from there!

I got a late start, partly because I forgot until bedtime that changing corn plasters Sunday night means changing again on Tuesday night, so I had that to do before I could leave.  There was a threat of rain, so I skipped gallivanting around and lunching out, and just went to Zales, the library, CVS, the emergency room, and Owen's.

By the time I got to the library, I had forgotten that returning my book and checking out two more wasn't why I had come, but the book sale was in Room AB and I noticed it on my way out of the building.  Not near as much fun as book sales were when I was younger and more energetic — and wasn't in a hurry to get home before it rained.

Didn't see any books I liked.  I was tempted by the free three-ring binders, but I'm pretty sure I've got at least one that I'm not using around here someplace.

I saw currents in the swamp while crossing the boardwalk, so I guess we have been getting enough rain.  The lake is up a good bit, though well below where it is after they close the dam.



18 April 2013

Up enough to make me wonder whether they are inching the dam down.  The temperature is a degree or two higher every time we look.  Prediction is for a high of eighty, followed by a cold front and thunderstorms.  I'd better get the potatoes and multipliers out early in the day!

I wonder whether the name for the part of the dam that is lowered to cut off the flow is "floodgate".  Wikipedia says "yes", more specifically a "bulkhead gate" subtype "sluice gate".  Also says that those used to control flooding are sometimes called "crest gates".

A fairly violent rain started while I was eating my lunch, but now I can see it only by looking for rings in the puddles.  I'm not going out to see how the garden fared until after my nap, and maybe not then.

I did get the multipliers and potatoes out, but the potatoes aren't actually planted:  I mean to bury them in mulch, and I haven't got any.  Perhaps Dave can mow up the dead leaves when we get a dry day.  There are also two bags of top soil I can put on them.  I didn't look to see what Ace has for sale when I cut through their garden shop on my way from Zale's to the library.  I'm sure they'll have that pitiful "cow manure" again, but I hope for something better.

There were only four multiplier bulbs, but all were fat and healthy, and one could have been broken into two if I'd wanted to risk damaging it.  I put a zinc marker over each one.  If there are no disasters, I should have starts to share.  I'm feeling a little nervous about having put them all in the same row.

Lunch was The Great Dane's oat cakes, with a teaspoon of cinnamon added, baked on a griddle instead of in the oven.  I'll have to try again now that I've figured out how to do it.  I ate liverwurst and mayo on the oat cakes.  I think a teaspoon of cinnamon was about right; I'd been afraid it would be too much, but it stayed in the background where it belongs.

When oatcakes are eaten cold and without liverwurst, one teaspoon is either too much cinnamon or not enough.

Supper will be chicken breast, marinated in lemon juice overnight and poached in canned-broth gravy all day.  I added one small shake of curry powder.

Suppertime:  1.11 inches of rain so far.  I can't see the sand bar in the lake.



19 April 2013

Lake was high this morning, and even higher now though I haven't noticed it raining hard enough to get wet in.  I wouldn't quite call it flooding, but it's up over part of the beach and the creek is full.  We speculated that the dam had been closed to reduce flooding downstream.

Somebody on the scanner warned somebody about a flooded street.

There are whitecaps going every which way on the lake, and a flock of coots eating grass in the park.

Somehow got to be noon without I did anything.  I did repair my pants before I put them on.  And stitch a line around the brim of my white hat, to stop the edge fraying.



20 April 2013

Completely over the beach and part of the lawn, and a pier that was well above the water is awash.  It's a little more awash than it was this morning, the water comes farther into the lawn, and some of the puddles in the park are connected to the creek.  There was a line of debris where the shore belongs, but except for two logs, that has washed away — presumably to be found all over the lawn when the water recedes.

Canned chicken soup warmed up in canned-broth gravy for supper.

I went to Martin's after supper, and saw from the driveway that the creek and the puddles in the park are all one sheet of water.  Whether that was true earlier, I don't know.

I went to Martin's for Prairie Farms milk and couldn't find any.  Settled for a jug of Martin's milk.



22 April 2013

We can see the whole deck of the neighbor's pier, and at least one puddle has separated from the creek.  (Whoever put up the pier did a good job of making it level; it was always awash to exactly the same extent for its full length.)

The coots still consider whatever they are finding in the flooded areas delicious, but they are keeping farther from the house.

Perhaps because I was outside combing my hair while I observed.  From observation while combing hair, I'm going to risk wearing only one pair of sweat pants on today's tour.  Spring has sprung!

Felt a trifle cool about the knees during the first part of the ride.  Not uncomfortable, but the age my knees are, it probably would have been wise to overdress them.

To my surprise, it didn't take much more than an hour to get to Chinworth Bridge, so when I got to the picnic area at the canoe launch, I didn't want my entire lunch.  So I put only lettuce and cheese on my mini-sub roll, and didn't open the baby-food jar of ham puree.  But my leftovers were still cold when I got home, so I might as well have.  I ate three-fourths of the sandwich and a miniature tangerine.  (I finished the sandwich —with sliced ham— when I got back.)

I didn't zig back on Zimmer.  When I saw the Chinworth Trail preparing to swerve south, I turned off onto Old 30, which gave me a good view of both roundabouts — not taken full advantage of because of the need to maintain a speed of 15 mph while near them.  Both are gussied up with fancy brickwork, and there's a "Welcome to Warsaw" sign on the newer one.

When the paper described Avila's contents as a total loss, they meant that the place had been gutted.  Looked to be in worse condition than the tobacco store, and when I walked around back, black streaks running down the wall strongly suggest that they are also going to need a new roof.

The part of the building that the laundromat is in appears to be a later addition; that must have produced a firewall effect.  What I glimpsed through the open door didn't look too bad, and it wasn't until my second breath that I noticed the stink.  I imagine the smell would have been much worse if I'd stepped inside!

But it looks as though it will be a long time before I can buy more crema.  Assuming that Avila's was healthy enough to rebuild.



23 April 2013

This morning, I can see streaks of lake shore —or some sort of ridge about there— and the puddle beside the compost heap is gone.  Not as many coots as before, and all are swimming, but in the puddles and not the lake.

Showers are likely today.

When I went to check the weather on the other computer, Malware Bytes said I needed to re-start it because two "objects" had been detected during last night's scan.

This computer doesn't get scanned in the night because no current anti-malware runs on 98.

When I told Dave I'd found two objects, he was upset because he'd recently installed Kaspersky, which should have stopped them from downloading.

When I emptied Quarantine, it said they were trojans, which puzzles me:  a trojan is supposed to be something that you download while thinking that it is something else, and I haven't downloaded anything lately.  Perhaps it applies to stuff that you download when you think you are *doing* something else.

I'm pretty sure this chair isn't supposed to be a platform rocker.  Can't find anything to tighten underneath, and I *can* find a piece of torn metal.  I'd better start looking at office chairs again — I might want one rather suddenly.  The chair I discarded when I bought this one is still in the storage locker, so I won't have to grab the first thing I see.

Rather a lot of laundry today — particularly blacks even though I'm wearing my black suit of underwear.  Most of my socks are in the washer.

Sandwich made of left-over taco meat and refritos for lunch.  Reminded me of a recipe I saw recently, and won't *ever* make, since I'm fresh out of farmhands to feed:

Taco Pie:  Line a pie plate with mashed potatoes and bake until the crust is brown and crunchy, then layer in hot taco fillings and bake fifteen minutes longer.  Serve with sour cream.



24 April 2013

That recipe would probably be good with a whole-grain biscuit or pizza crust.

Baking an open-face tamale pie in pie pans would be a good way to reduce the percentage of carbs.  It would also make it easier to form a mush envelope, if you don't want to bake exposed meat.  I was never able to make the mush coat the sides of a nine-by twelve, and finally settled for making layers.  It would be dead easy to form a thin crust in a pie pan.

I just threw out my typing chair and got the old one out of the garage; it's lucky that Dave missed it when he hauled stuff to the storage locker.  The old one doesn't fit me as well —it's intended for a taller person— but the new one was rocking enough to be dangerous.

I was saying that I had to go back to Staples, but I'm going to try all the furniture stores first.

Chair fits better when I sit up straight.  Perhaps it is good that it is going to take a while to find a replacement.

Sweets for breakfast.  I diced left-over zapped sweet potato and fried it in butter very slowly so that it would shrivel up.  And while I was waiting, I ate half a "Breakfast cookie".  It was much smaller than a cookie that's got that many calories ought to be, and though I saw a chocolate chip, I tasted only oat flour and sugar.  I don't object to eating one, but won't go out of my way to get more.

I absent-mindedly stayed up until half-past three last night, but woke at the usual time.

I think that today is the day I finally cut out my new T-shirt.

Laid the fabric out, cut one puckered selvage off, discovered that it curled so badly that there was nothing for it but to spray the edge lightly with starch, let it dry, and press with a hot iron.

But my spray bottle was malfunctioning so badly that things went considerably faster after I dropped a vital part down the garbage disposal and was obliged to switch to sandwiching the fabric between my hand and the mouth of the bottle to make overlapping spots.  (Well, they were spaced a little, but wicked into each other.)

<time out to write "spray bottle for starch" on my shopping list>

Both squirted and tipped edges were saturated, since the bottle never actually sprayed, so they aren't dry yet.  I may have to fold the fabric up instead of cutting, so that I can close the table for supper.  The two middle legs are under the microwave, so I don't want to put anything but fabric on the extended table.

There are only three pattern pieces, so cutting should proceed apace once I succeed in folding the fabric.

I think there is less of the neighbor's pier showing than yesterday, but the lake is so rough it's hard to tell.  While I was outside dumping the coffee grounds, the rain changed into snow, but it isn't doing either at the moment.


25 April 2013

GRRRRR!  We forgot to go to the Winona Lake Preservation Society meeting AGAIN!

I had it marked on the calendar, and every time I looked at the calendar, I said "The meeting is next Tuesday, we must not forget to go." But I didn't look at the calendar between Monday and Thursday.

The lake is up, nearly as high as it's been this episode.  Last time I checked, there were still some grass blades showing between the puddle beside the compost heap and the lake.  I walk on the railroad tie to reach the compost heap.

The coots have been hanging around for so long that they've stopped flying away when one of us comes outside.

Turned out I didn't need to fold the fabric — I had made the patterns on folded paper.  Except for the sleeves, and I cut those separately to nest them into the undulations left by the previous job.  I put them right-sides together afterward, so I know that I've got one right and one left!

I've still got a lot of that PFD jersey left, but I haven't cut pockets or collar yet.  Those are cut by thinking instead of by pattern, and it was getting on toward nap time.



26 April 2013

Lake is still up.  So is Pike Lake (story to follow).  The canal is level full.  Coots are still around.

Today was the first really-good day for a long time, I need exercise, and I haven't done the Walmart loop for a while.  I stopped at the emergency room to drop off some newsletters, then headed for Park Avenue by way of the boardwalk.

I used to grouse every winter because the boardwalk builders jammed the boards together instead of leaving gaps to let the snow fall through.  With the flooding, I'm grousing all spring too.  Both today and on my previous trip, I saw a vigorous stream (different streams on the two occasions) running under the boardwalk and not coming out again.  I really, really wanted cracks to peek through!

Oops!  I forgot that when Pike Lake is up, it covers Arthur Street.  And the only way out involves going all the way back to the hospital!  (Later I remembered that one can get into the graveyard by way of the maintenance yard, and the gate into the maintenance yard was open.  I like to think that if I'd turned around, I'd have remembered upon seeing the open gate.)

Motor vehicles had been going through the flood, but bikes are much more vulnerable to hitting unseen flaws in the pavement.  I studied it a while, and the water was clear enough that I could see the pavement more than halfway across, and from there it should get shallower instead of deeper.

So I plunged in, keenly aware that if I saw something that made me stop, I would get my feet wet.  And if I didn't see something, I'd get everything wet.  Slow, careful, steady steady steady ... I got out of the flood just before meeting a truck coming the other way.

It was possible to walk around the place where the swamp overflows Arthur Street.  And I believe that it was a shorter walk than the previous time I was out that way during a flood.

And off down Park Street.  I stopped at the little general store that used to be a bus station, but they were closed.

I was fully aware that Sunset Drive would be under Pike Lake, but I figured that if I couldn't get through, I wouldn't have to go back very far to get to a place where I could cross over to Detroit Street.  Then Sunset pinched up against the railroad, and I thought that if I couldn't get through on Sunset, I could walk along the right of way.  Then the area between Sunset and the railroad flooded.  Then I came to the road-closed signs — but the sidewalk was well out of the flood, so I got off and walked.

And then, just as the intersection with Anchorage came into view, a dip in the road put the sidewalk under.  By then, it was a long way from the last place where I could have crossed to Detroit or the railroad, and I'd been walking a good part of it.  I took off my shoes and rolled up my pants.

Then I came to a driveway, backed up to the dry part, and rolled my pants up a little more.  I think that I must have bumped the shoes in my pannier when I leaned the bike against a mailbox during this procedure.

Tippy toe and trying not to splash, I got across the driveway, then crossed the road to a railing-protected walkway.  The railing was rather irrelevant, since I was still inside the "road closed" signs, but there was a step at the far end where I could sit to put my shoes back on.

ARRGH! there is only one shoe in my pannier.  I left the bike and set out to wade all the way back, but as soon as I got to the end of the walkway, I saw my shoe sitting right-side up at the very edge of the flood, where the water wasn't as deep as the sole was thick, so only the dangling laces had gotten wet.  (Much to my surprise, it wasn't the least bit difficult to untie the shoe when I changed into cleats just before turning onto CR 300N.)

So, though I dropped my shoe into the lake, I didn't drop it in the lake.  The back wheel would still have been in the water when the shoe fell out, but I myself must have been on dry land.

I must remember to put a clean rag into the pocket of my windbreaker.  Apparently, stuffing into my bra isn't all those rags are good for.  It made a rather small towel, but after all that trotting back and forth, all I needed to do was to dust sand off before putting my socks back on.

The stated purpose of the trip was lunch at Steak'n Shake, but it wasn't lunch time yet when I passed it.  I was hungry when I left Walmart, but got distracted from checking out their Subway when I found the restroom being cleaned, and the other one is, quite sensibly, as far as possible from the one near the snack bar.  I figured I'd stop at one of the places along Sheldon Street, but one was a buffet and I always eat way too much at a buffet, and the other was a sit-down-and-be-served place, and I don't like to wait for my meal when I have nobody to talk to.  Just as I'd resigned myself to eating the food bars in my windbreaker pocket, I saw the roof of Taco Bell.

So I toured some of the stores in the Kohl's plaza, and went to Taco Bell.  Trouble is, I'd been wanting a Taco Bell taco salad for about three years, but for this reason and that couldn't have one.  So taco salad is what I ordered, and I was still regretting having eaten that much when I got home.

Went back by Fox Farm and Lake Street — the roundabout works as well from the north as from east and west.  By then, I was too tired to keep up with traffic, but there wasn't any.  Stopped by the greenhouses behind the thrift shop and bought some onion sets.  Then I went to the thrift shop and bought a Dick Francis novel.

The place where the fire was looked exactly the same as my previous trip, except that the laundromat is open for business and its doors weren't standing open.  They hadn't even hauled off the scorched junk in the parking lot.

Also stopped at the new book store on Buffalo Street that I'd torn out an ad for, but by then I couldn't see straight, so I didn't even look around.

Walking down Buffalo Street from Fort Wayne, I noticed that even numbers were on the east side, so I crossed at the light — and discovered that on South Buffalo, even numbers are on the west side.  When I found 116B, it was the bookstore behind the gimcrack shop that I'd known about all along.  Which didn't surprise me all that much.

Thence home by the straightest route, and a three-hour nap, leaving Dave to find his own supper.  Mine was left-over lasagna about nine o'clock.



27 April 2013

After breakfast, I looked at the table where I'd laid out the pills to take with lunch, and smugly reflected that I'm seventy-two and my pills still fit into a pocket pill caddy.

The lake is down quite a lot this morning.  We're still flooded, but you can see where the water is supposed to be.  The coots are still around —apparently they have learned that we won't eat them— and I saw a pair of Canada geese.

Yesterday, I washed my hair with a sample of shampoo that came with two conditioners to be used one after the other.  I think my hair is less flyaway than it usually is after a shampoo.  And I didn't even comb olive oil through it first.

But after I was in the shower and had my hair wet, I discovered that the sample packets were too tough to open with bare hands.  (Particularly wet bare hands.)  There being no cutting implements I could reach without dripping all over, I used my teeth — and spent a substantial fraction of the rest of the shower letting water run into my mouth and out again.

There's a clean-up day going on over at Old Chicago Boy's Club Bike Trails.  I think I'll put on my older pair of jeans and wander over to see what's going on.

The National Weather Service says they will have a good day for it, but I might get rained on on my way to church.

There was an un-attended bonfire, and seven guys working on the broken bridge.  I seemed to be distracting them, so I left.  I saw a bridge that I hadn't noticed before and left the Heritage Trail to investigate:  It ran along the trunk of a fallen tree!  Then I wandered on dirt tracks until I found the trail along the creek and followed that back to the trailhead.  And backtracked to look at the overflow channel; there was water in the pothole where the culvert empties, but I saw no conclusive evidence that this flood had used the culvert.

I drew a route reasonably close to yesterday's ride on Google Maps.  It was twelve and a half miles.  Perhaps I should re-draw my "eighteen-mile" ride without the jog to see what I actually did; I didn't get nearly as tired as I did yesterday.  But I didn't wade through any floods or wander around any mega stores on that ride.



29 April 2013

The cottonwoods have begun to leaf out.  They drop their bud covers for about ten years every spring, and I spend all that time wondering why 3M isn't investigating the goo with which they are covered.  There must be a use for a glue that never lets go and stays sticky forever no matter what it is exposed to.

Tomorrow will be a good day to increase my riding distance, but I can't think of anywhere to go except Pierceton, and Google Maps says that it's only fifteen miles for a round trip, sixteen if I cross 30 twice.  Perhaps it's better to stick to holding even, when I was so tired when I got back from the Walmart loop.

Two half loads of wash today, one whites and one blacks and coloreds.  I hung them outside to dry, so everything is folded and put away.  Some of last week's wash is still on the racks in the parlor.

The lake and creek are back inside their boundaries.  Still a lot of puddles the last time I looked.

I did get rained on on the way home from church.  Not hard enough to make me put up my umbrella, but I did air my dress a while before hanging it in the closet.  Wore silk because cotton doesn't react well to getting wet, and was overdressed for the weather.



30 April 2013

There's nothing much in Pierceton, and rather less than half of that on a Tuesday morning.

I observed former Shell stations that gave no hint that they had ever been anything but Marathon.  The paper says that the deal has been in progress for a long time; they must have been poised and ready to go.  But I think that the Marathon at SR13 and Old 30 was a Marathon on my previous visits to that intersection.

The gas station where I bought a bottle of milk (I've forgotten the name; it was across US 30 from a Marathon) was painting one of its islands and a border around it beige.  It was a bright beige, but not really an improvement over concrete grey.  Perhaps it was primer?

A low blue line isn't near as good a landmark for the turn onto 250E as the tall yellow shell was!

Don't ever complain that a route is too short.  On the way back, I missed a turn and made 18.2 miles (as estimated by Google) out of the trip — but it involved what felt like ten miles of Old 30.  (The map suggests closer to four.)

The pavement isn't as rough as the last time I rode on Old 30, but it's still not good pavement, and the road is still narrow and shoulderless, and it still carries a lot of traffic.  While riding in a no-passing zone I saw a full-sized semi in my rear view mirror and knew that the only way he could give me even minimum clearance would be for me to get off the road entirely.  By great good fortune the mowed strip beside the road was wide and flat in that stretch, so it was comfortable to stop and wait for the truck and the cars piled up behind it to get out of my way.

At least I'm no longer unhappy that the nearest place that's farther away than Pierceton is Sydney, at a minimum, Google says, of twenty-five miles for the round trip.

Well, Google Maps says that Sydney doesn't exist at all, but I looked it up in Wikipedia, copied the co-ordinates it gave for Sydney into Google, and that worked.

I won't be going to Sydney on Saturday.  Today's paper says that there is going to be a guided hike in the bike trails that day.

Our coot collection has been supplemented by a pair of geese.  I think we have fewer coots than at the height of the flood, and they aren't venturing as close to us.



2 May 2013

Coots are gone.  The tulips in the strawberry bed burst into full bloom for Dave's birthday.  I'm low on white sugar; I'd better buy more — right after I make next year's cake.

After I put the cake in the oven, I found the salt still in the quarter-teaspoon measure.  I didn't tell Dave, he didn't notice.  Put enough chocolate on it . . .

The cake is hard to slice because I dumped in a whole package of pecans, and didn't chop them first.  But it's gooood.

Violets are still in bloom.  I first noticed them on the way back from the Walmart loop.  I also bought some onion sets that day, but keep forgetting to plant them.

Three of my four multiplier-onion sets have little green noses poking up.  I planted them in a line with a row of garlic, then discovered that there was some planted garlic that hadn't yet come up.  But there is plenty of garlic, so I have no objection to harvesting that short stretch very, very young.  I missed the row by an inch or so, so digging out the garlic won't disturb the onions.



3 May 2013

Buried the potatoes in top soil — took only part of one bag, to my surprise.  But I'll need more after every rain.  There were weeds growing in the bags, and the bottom half was pure mud that didn't want to get into the trowel and adamantly refused to come out of the trowel.  Then I Culta-Ezed the whole garden, in the process noticing two potatoes that I'd missed, so I had to drag the cart out of the garage and back to the garden.  I had left the bags in the cart so they wouldn't get rained on.

I should have done this long ago; one potato didn't look viable, and one is missing altogether.

Still only three green noses on the four multiplier bulbs.  Being slow to start is why they will keep for two years, so I need to curb my impatience.

I left the Culta-Eze out there; I intend to put the plow blade on and plant the onion sets I bought at the Lake Street nursery after I've rested a bit.

Noa-Noa wasn't open at five O'clock, so we went to the Great Wall and got overstuffed.  My blood pressure was sharply lower that night than it has been; I said we should overeat every day.

I think the fried noodles were from the day before, but aside from that, the chef outdid himself.  The hot-and-sour soup was superb, and there was something extra in the egg roll.  The sesame beef and the general chicken were both excellent.

The rice was standard; I don't think there is anything extra one can do to white rice without turning it into an entirely different dish.

Overeating again tonight:  I said that after supper I was going to go downtown for my walk, and Dave suggested going downtown for supper.  The music-theme First Friday was very loud, so we went straight back to the car after eating at the Olive Barn.

I can't remember the right name of the Mexican place on Buffalo, but it means "shed" in Spanish, and in areas where they grow olives, it's reserved for the shed in which you store your olives.

The food is very good, cheap for what you get, we like the ambiance, and service is prompt and polite.  But Dave had to stand in line to get out.  I went to the ladies room, found that I was third in line, and expected to find him orbiting outside, but he was only half-way through paying.

According to Dave's phone, blocks downtown are 0.07 miles.  Leastways the two he measured were 0.14 miles.  With slight strain to my mental arithmetic —no envelope being handy— I calculated that that is fourteen or fifteen blocks to the mile, about half the size of the blocks in Indianapolis.

While making the bed yesterday, I noticed that the top blanket was dirty and put it into the washer, along with my winter cycling gloves, a pair of black socks, and a pair of the black fleece pants I use for long underwear.

When I realized that the cycle would finish at the exact time we planned to leave for Noa Noa, I stopped it in the middle of the first rinse.  When we came back, I congratulated myself on remembering that I had a wash in, set it to finish washing, and forgot about it until bedtime.  So I hung the gloves and socks on hangers and re-filled the washer with cold water.  Then today I forgot it until after my nap, but there was enough daylight left to dry the blanket and pants.  After coming back from First Friday, I gave the blanket five minutes in a hot dryer because it had been linty — whether tumbling it helped or I can't see the lint when the blanket isn't in direct sunlight, I don't know.  Then I shook it until quite cold and put it into the cedar chest.

The blanket never stopped making the water deep red, but doesn't appear to have faded.

I got the onion sets planted in the afternoon, one full row.  The multipliers took from 18 April to 2 May, which is two weeks, so I can start getting upset if the sets aren't up by 17 May.

I'll also set that as the day I can start worried poking in the hills of dirt on the potatoes.

The mint along the creek is up.  So is the chocolate mint and the apple mint.

Dave said the best way to eat the cake was with a spoon.  Today the melted-chocolate frosting had firmed up, so I cut it into pieces, wrapped each piece in plastic wrap, put all into a zip-lock bag, and put the bag into the freezer.  There were some trimmings in the pan when I finished, but they weren't there an hour later.

And now I want to go get one of the pieces out of the freezer even though I'm still stuffed with burrito.