Okay, we went to Northwest Trek, and well, I'll just show you. Enjoy!
Sorry I didn't get a chance to write yesterday, I was hung up.... I was zipping around... I trekked on out of here early...
Okay, we went to Northwest Trek, and well, I'll just show you. Enjoy!
My Florida friend finally made it to town Sunday morning. Just a couple hours before my cousin's 50th birthday party I hosted. It was all good though. Shes one of those kinds of friends who is a quiet helper and willing to lend a hand. Then she quietly drifted around doing her own thing while I visited with my cousins and she cleaned up the last of the party debris.
But this morning has been full of adventure already, unfortunately having nothing to do with the fact my friend and her daughter are visiting. However, it's been made all the more crazy because they were here to witness it.
First off, I did not know where our older cat Cally was last night. I didn't spend too much time looking for her. I had let her in around eight last night and my cousins left around midnight, so I was tired. Since I couldn't find her with a quick scan of her normal hiding places, I figured she had escaped the house again and would wake me it a couple hours to come in.
My husband went off to work around four this morning, then around five thirty I heard a thump, like a cat jumping off something. I figured she'd found my friend and was somewhere in the hallway. But then she jumped on my bed. Somewhere, somehow she apparently slept in my room all night.
It made me laugh. I got up and let her out, then I couldn't really fall back to sleep after that and just dozed on and off until eight. When I got up, I decided I'd let my oldest daughter sleep a little longer, and let the neighbor's dogs out she was watching.
She let them out around one that morning before she went to bed and besides the fact that one of them is older than Methuselah (really old guy from the Bible), all was well. So when I walked into the room where the dogs' kennels are kept, my stomach sank. That old dog, who is usually standing and barking when someone enters the house, was not moving.
I let the other two out, then opened the dog's kennel and poked him. He didn't move. He wasn't breathing. He felt stiff. So I ushered his two companions outside and went to get my daughter.
My oldest has been volunteering at an wild life rescue for the past couple months, so she's used to dying animals. But this would be the second dog that's died or was actively dying while she's been dog sitting for this family.
Groan. I left the kennel open and woke my daughter. We called the family to get postmortem instructions, then went over to take care of the body.
I swear, the dog was not breathing. My daughter swears he was not breathing. She touched him and he was stiff and cool to the touch. She then noticed a slight twitch, so she gave him a good pat on the back and he jumped to life.
Really? We were more disturbed that he was resurrected than by thinking he had died. It was rather unnerving. Anyway, my daughter had to call the family back and tell them the dog was alive.
Oops, my bad.
This dog is old, old, old. Well, not really any older than our own small dog, Pip. But Pip still has a lot of life in her. She still bounds down the hall with glee, after a moment of aged-related stiffness. The neighbor's dog can barely move and stiffness is his very nature.
Though Methuselah has met his match, I think Lazarus has competition now, too.
I wrote yesterday about how I knew it was going to rain, but I didn't think it would be significant. So I watered my rock garden and backyard trees for an hour and a half.
Mother Nature scoffed at me.
I believe it rained during the night and as I stepped out for my morning walk, it was overcast and the rain had refreshed my world. I had no expectation that it would start raining again. In fact, I thought I might get a little yard work done after my walk and fill up my yard waste bin that will be picked up today.
Half way into my walk, when all I can do is turn around and go the other way, the deluge began. Not only did Mother Nature scoff at me, she showed me what insignificant rain was. I was sopping wet by the time I got home.
It's been raining ever since, though Mother Nature has worked through some of her rage and the wet had backed off. I'm blogging out on the back patio, because you know I do enjoy a good rain. Goes to show you not to expect any sort of specific outcome from things you can't control.
Speaking of things I have no control over, my Florida friend and her daughter got stuck in Nashville, taken out by a airline computer glitch that cancelled 1000 flights. The only thing they could do was to fly back home and try again on Sunday.
I'm bummed, of course, but I'm more sorry they had to waste a day of their time sitting in an airport only to end up back home. We'll recover our visit and rework the timing of our outings and things we wanted to accomplish, but they can never get that day of their lives back and they have to do it all over again in a couple days.
Their flight comes in about three hours before the party. We don't live far from the airport, it will all work out fine. Though I'm sure the last thing they'll want is to party down, but that's okay, they don't know any of the guests anyway.
As far as Good Food Friday, I do have a new recipe for you. Someone posted a video about making sliders on Facebook when we were at the ocean. Sliders are basically small, hot sandwiches. You may be more familiar with the phrase "burger slider". Coincidentally the base of the slider just happened to fall into my hands at the end of the car club's dinner. The club disperses leftover packages of food that they can't return to the store. I grabbed a couple bags of rolls. I came right home and tried it. It's a new hit with my family.
You should watch the video HERE. It shows you how to make four different kinds of sliders. I made the chicken barbecue ones. Yummy.
Barbecue Chicken Sliders
12-pack of dinner rolls or Hawaiian sweet rolls
3 cups cooked chicken
⅓ cup BBQ sauce
½ red onion, thinly sliced
6 slices pepper Jack cheese
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
2. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise.
3. Place the bottom half on a 9×13 baking tray.
4. Spread the chicken evenly on the rolls, followed by the BBQ sauce, red onion, Jack cheese, and parsley.
5. Place the remaining half of the rolls on top.
6. Brush with melted butter.
7. Bake for 20 minutes.
8. Slice, then serve!
They were very tasty, though I thought the rolls seemed doughy one they were cooked with the moisture soaking in. I may try and find a whole wheat version of the rolls next time I try them. Whole wheat seems to hold up a bit better for stuff like this, plus they're better for you.
But they were really good all the same. I would definitely make them again and I'm anxious to try some of the others.
It's pouring down rain again, I do enjoy a good rain. Okay Mother Nature, I get it - you have all the power and you do a better job at watering than I.
Now I'll work on recalibrating my week as I slide on into the rest of my summer.
I perused the weather channel on my phone this morning. I actually do it every morning, but this morning I noticed there was a chance of rain tomorrow. I wanted to know exactly what the chance was and how much rain there might be.
Although Mother Nature will probably wet the ground in the next twenty-four hours, I don't think it's a significant amount, which meant I had to put some water on my rock garden and trees I planted in the backyard.
My rock garden is awesome and the plant I chose to put right on the top is a rock star (no pun intended, but I should have). I'm not sure what it is, but more than likely it's a perennial because that's what I was looking for when choosing plants. And I think it's drought tolerant because I haven't watered anything for the past couple weeks.
Before I put some water on, I had to pull a few weeds. I was mostly pulling japanese knotweed (it doesn't deserve to be capitalized). I'm disappointed how much of it there still is; it's an aggressive weed being able to grow from even an inch of root left behind. I was going to let it grow this summer then go to a clinic through King County and borrow one of their injectors in the fall. However, I had too many parties this year and I really wanted to show off my rock garden extravaganza without the japanese knotweed stealing the show.
Today I left a few behind the rock mound, hoping they won't show themselves as much until after Sunday's party. I'm not even sure if I can leave them to grow after parties. I'm concerned they'll take over the rock garden and undo my efforts. A consultation with my Florida friend is in order. She's currently sitting in Nashville awaiting her flight to Seattle. Yay! I'm so excited to see her.
Anyway, I love my rock garden so much, it took me awhile to identify weeds. I was so enamored with how great it turned out and how well I did picking plants, that it took me awhile to see the weeds through its beauty.
I stood there, with the bird clinging to my shirt (she likes to garden), admiring each and every plant, then suddenly a weed or a spear of grass would come into focus. It wasn't a lot, but other people might notice, or I would suddenly see something as I was showing it off.
It's going to be a fun week with my friend. Not only is she visiting, but the party on Sunday is for my cousin's 50th birthday, so all my cousin's will get to see my garden, too. A couple of them love to garden and will appreciate all the work I've done.
And (wow! another one?), a couple of the plants that I stole from neighbor's yards are rallying and coming back to life. My life of crime is paying off.
Weeds be damned. Love really is blind.
It was a tiny pork roast, which I made into bbq pulled pork. Enough for four with leftovers for the week. My youngest texted me, "Can all my friends come back to the house for awhile."
"Yes, I made pulled pork, I think it will stretch (no pun intended) for eight."
I shredded the pork, boiled up some corn on the cob (it was sooooo good). My husband and I had our morsels, then the first crew arrived. Five of them. Hungry after a hard day at the mall.
The food wasn't apparent to them when they initially landed because the resident of the house wanted to dye her hair first. I came out of my room to see the aftermath and was surprised to see that there the food sat. Perhaps they filled up on junk food. I yelled, "Did everyone eat who wanted to eat?"
Then the stampede. "I didn't know there was food."
I jumped out of the way. Five of them ate. I put the food away, then I got a text from the oldest child resident, who had spent the day out with friends. "Is there enough food for the three of us?"
There was a satiated pause of the first shift, then a flurry, and they were gone. Right on the wind of their exit the second crew walked in the door. They'd been swimming in a nearby lake. They were hungry. There was exactly enough left to feed them.
It was a tiny pork roast.
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children." Matthew 14:18-21
I was just browsing information on one of the trees I planted in my backyard. I haven't really done much but weed the back forty since I had the planting blitz of April 2016 after I built my rock garden.
This morning, as I anticipate the arrival of my Floridian friend this week who got her master gardeners certificate here in the Northwest, I began to have doubts over my choices. My focus is the Alaskan Cedar Sparkling Arrow, or Cupressus nootkatensis is its scientific name, is described in at least one website as something out of a Dr. Seuss book. The Conifer Society describes it like this:
‘Sparkling Arrow’ is a strikingly beautiful, narrow upright, strict-weeping selection of Alaska Cedar with pendulous branches and foliage that is splashed with creamy white. Annual growth is about 12 inches producing a tree 15 ft. tall and 2.5 ft. wide after 10 years.
Talon Buchholz found ‘Sparkling Arrow’ as a variegated branch mutation on Cupressus nootkatensis ‘Green Arrow’ in 2001. It has a similar growth pattern to ‘Green Arrow,’ but grows just slightly slower due to less chlorophyll in the foliage. This plant is an outstanding vertical accent for any eclectic garden.
This description made me feel much better about my yard and my choice. I remembered it was supposed to be tall and thin, but then became worried how narrow it really would be. I mean, have you seen a cedar tree? What business did I have planting a cedar tree in my back yard? It's a big backyard, but not that big.
So it's all good. I apparently paid attention to what I was buying and planting after all. It will do fine in my yard. Here's a picture of what it will look like at about five feet tall.
Here's mine in its playpen until it gets big enough to keep from getting trod on.
It's quite a yummy little tree. And speaking of trees, here's an Italian Stone my mother gave me a few Christmases ago:
This has got to be the weirdest tree I've ever seen. It looks like a large needled tree grafted on top of a small needle tree, but the top is just the mature needles. Plus it's leaning like it's been in a gale force wind, I'm not sure what it's problem is there, maybe it's stretching to get the last bit of sun before it leaves that area.
Both trees are a bit Dr. Seussian:
Will you see them from the roof?
Will you keep from trodding hoof?
Will you spot them up or down?
Will you seek them all around?
Will you view them in a chair?
Will you view them everywhere?
Sorry, got my Dr. Seuss on.
Five days of camping is enough, especially with the whole family. Fortunately for me, my kids feel the same way. So it's not like they were ready to go another five days and I was the resistor.
When I woke to go to the bathroom last night I automatically reached for the cabinet next to my bed in the RV to lever myself up. It wasn't there. I had a moment of confusion before I remembered I wasn't camping anymore, followed by a sigh of relief that I was home for awhile now.
During the trip I got the girls to contain themselves enough that we were able to move around the main part of the RV. I had them use the driver and passenger seats to store their belongings, but even so, they still bled over into the dining area. That's not wholly their fault, though. We have a lot of extra bedding in the RV.
We've all taken to bringing our own pillows from the house because those are the ones we're most comfortable with, so whatever pillows I have stored in the RV get in the way. I'm being obsessive compulsive about those extra pillows. I feel like if I get rid of them someone is bound to forget to pack theirs and I'll wish I had kept them.
However, I've got this little routine down on the days we leave for camping. I wake up, wrap up my sleep apnea machine, put it in its case, pile it, and my husband's and my pillows on the bed. Then I pull clothes out of drawers and stack those on the bed. So when I make the rounds through the house to pack the RV, there's an obvious pile on my bed.
Of course, I'm not about to declare right now that I'll never forget my pillow again, because we all know what will happen then.
Unfortunately, the plethora of bedding is not exclusive to the RV right now. I have way too many beds and extra bedding scattered around my house. My oldest daughter bought herself a full-sized bed, so her almost new twin mattress and childhood captain's bed frame are taking up space until she can sell them. My middle daughter left her queen mattress and box spring when she moved back to her parent's house and those are sitting on the patios waiting for some sunny days until we can put them on the free pile. Then we got a new RV mattress (which I'm happy to report made my life more comfortable), so the old one is also waiting for its day in the sun on the free pile.
Then there's an extra mattress cover and a down comforter I need to put away. At least I know I can put those to use for guest bedding.
Out of the frying pan into the fire. Or would it be out of the bed into the bedding?
I hit my domestic wall yesterday. I was doing several tasks at once, just making the rounds from one to another as each level of completeness led me. Then I just got sick of being responsible.
There's really only a few options once a woman hits her limit of domestic bliss: 1) sit and pout 2) continue managing the tasks, but don't like it 3) fall apart and refuse to budge.
I chose option two only because I had a lot to do with a deadline. I was packing the RV, washing my sheets, washing the sheets in the RV because we got a new mattress (usually I leave the sheets on for the whole summer, because they are really only used a few days at a time - don't judge me), finishing the laundry, and planning the menu for the camping week, while trying to avoid having to go to the store because I was tired of going to the store (who says we need burgers every time we go camping?).
Planning the menu for several days is what pushed me over the edge. It's much easier for me to figure out meals as the days roll around as I do when we're home. It's like getting dressed, I never know what I'm going to feel like wearing everyday or what the weather will be like; do I want to wear shorts and a tank top or long pants? I never know what I'll feel like cooking every day or what the weather (my mood) will be like. I may want a crockpot, I may want to grill, or maybe I just want a all-in-one casserole.
Of course, cooking in the RV is a bit more limiting, so planning has to be done, but UHGGG. Sometimes I hate being the wife. One of the aspects that calmed me a bit is that it's not like we're not near civilization and can't just pick up anything I forgot.
Everything eventually got done and today I'll whip the kids into action to finish the rest of the household tasks I don't want to do. That is my reward for powering through the pain of domesticity.
That's why we have kids, after all. Oops, now the secret is out.
The extended warranty on one of our laptops has expired. Thank the Lord above. And we didn't have to use it. I'm not big on extended warranties, but I did get one on my laptop about three years ago and I actually used it for several hundred dollars worth of repairs over those years.
However, in that case I had purchased Square Trade - it's Costco's warranty service of choice. I only bought it because Costco also backed it and it was reasonably priced. It is Costco, after all. I mean I returned an office chair that had broken down after three years and they refunded all my money.
With my daughter's laptop I purchased the very expensive store-offered (not Costco) extended warranty because I didn't know I could get Square Trade if I didn't buy the laptop at Costco. It wasn't offered by the store where we bought it. So I purchased the warranty because of the history with my own laptop, not realizing at that point that mine is just not a good quality.
My history with extended warranties, especially really expensive ones, is they are not very good. The service people don't often know what they are doing, they don't get honored, or the fine print will cover everything except the problem you are currently having.
So it was with great relief when I got the notice that the warranty was up for my daughter's computer and we never had to use it. Ultimately it was a waste of money, but I guess there was some sense that if something went wrong we would have some recourse; as convoluted as it may have been. We would have had to take it back to the store of purchase to get it fixed, where as Square Trade lets you take it to your own computer repair shop and bill them later.
I feel that way about any insurance company; car, homeowners, health. You never know how good they really are until you have to use them. I spend my subconscious moments praying I don't have to find out. Not just because I don't want any tragedies (I don't), but also because I don't want to have to deal with insurance/warranty companies. It's times like those you realize who really has all the power in the world.
For now, the warranty expiring on my daughter's laptop is one less worry I have to keep filed in the back of my head.
I realized over the weekend that I'm not particularly flexible. Sure, I can do spontaneous things, but once I have a schedule set in my mind, like spending four days away from the house, I have a difficult time getting traction if we don't end up going.
It's kind of understandable, isn't it? The difference between having plans at home and thinking you're leaving for several days is huge. I think if I was planning on staying home and plans changed it would have been easier for me to regroup.
My sister was here, but she had plans with our mother for those days. I didn't want to interfere for my mom's sake. I know she had a list as long as her arm of stuff she wanted to accomplish during my sister's visit.
If you were to ask me what I did for those four days, I'd be hard pressed to tell you. Besides the grilling conundrum of Good Food Friday, I felt like I spent most of the days hunting bad smells.
The fridge smelled and I ended up throwing a ton of stuff away. I have to remember that whatever I buy that is green or healthy, I have to take it with me when I leave. Now that my adopted, middle daughter moved out and is not cooking for my biological daughters when I'm away, vegetation does not get consumed.
Once I got rid of the fridge smell, the rest of the kitchen was smelling, too. I thought perhaps it was a huge pile of potatoes my mother gave me. It wasn't. By then I'd removed the potatoes from their bin and decided that though they didn't smell right then, they probably would soon enough and I should use them.
The skins were getting old, so baked potatoes were out. Mashed seemed my best course of action. Lots of mashed potatoes need to be on top of Shepherd's Pie. So I made a huge batch. Which took me to the only point I interrupted my sister and mom, I took them a small pan of it for their dinner one night. It was not unwelcome.
After I made the Shepherd's Pie, I took the compost out, the garbage out, washed the compost bucket, and set it all right again. The smell was gone, but so was my mission.
Yesterday I spent most of the day running around trying to find a replacement battery for my daughter's car. Once I had irritated the guy at Costco enough to figure out they just don't sell car batteries that small, no matter how many ways I try and explain it to him, I finally gave up and went to an auto parts franchise place and my daughter shelled out a bunch of money for a new battery.
When we got it home, my husband, who has spent these days trying to make our "new" Model-A road worthy, said it didn't fit. He took my daughter and found the right sized battery and, of course, one that was exponentially cheaper.
That was a waste of my time, I don't even feel like I can count it as an accomplishment. At least nothing smells.
Coffee with Gleigh
These are my morning musings. Have a cup of coffee with me and we'll solve the problems of the world, or at least laugh at them until they make sense!