Jabberwocky for 2005 February

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[Comments] (3) Ecological: After work today I went to Country Club Liquors and bought a roll of stamps from their little post office booth. FINALLY all the Christmas letters are going to be out of my life. And I can also return the Franchise Tax Board's invitation for amnesty on my 1996 taxes. Won't that be good to have out of my hair?

After that, I went to Green Frog, where I bought some healthy food, mostly fruit. I also bought a Green Frog canvas shopping bag so I can avoid bringing home any more plastic bags than I have to. And I picked up some things to make a pasta salad for the placement essay reading on Friday.

One thing I like to put in pasta salad is cherry tomatoes. I bought the regular ones, but at Green Frog they had a small package (a third the size of a cherry tomato basket) for $4.99. It was an assortment of all kinds of cherry tomatoes and little yellow pear tomatoes. Ouch. I passed on it. I'm going to grow some nice tomatoes this year, I hope. I keep trying but haven't been to successful in this yard. I think something is wrong with my dirt. I KNOW something is wrong with the dirt in the side yard off my bedroom deck. Nothing will grow; everything that tries to just withers. Even weeds. Except Bermuda grass.

Bermuda grass is the cockroach of the flowerbed world.

I have a daffodil that opened this morning--so early! Before the crocuses even.

[Comments] (3) Boo Hoo: Somebody stole my shovel. It has been pointed out to me by helpful people that *I* am the one who left it in the yard, and this is true. I have a very bad habit of not putting gardening tools away. I suppose I have learned my lesson now.

I had it stuck out in the side yard with a note for Juan taped to it. Somebody took the note, too.

[Comments] (2) Will She Or Won't She?: People sometimes ask if Xochitl will let them pet her. It's a complicated answer. She might, and she might not. Or she might even let you pet her while she purrs, right up to the nanosecond when she removes your hand.

I went to the stomach doctor today, Dr. Manu. He said we are starting to run out of options. I am going for another endoscopy on February 11. Outpatient. He was making hospital noises, but I told him to hush.

Notes from Jeremiah: I just finished reading The Sixth Lamentation, by William Broderick. It's a literary mystery/detective story, a genre I should read more often. The story is about the various lives and fallout of holocaust survivors as they come together about the trial of a Nazi in Londong in 1995. It's beautifully written and so well put together you couldn't call it "clever" because it's more than that.

I knew a Bill Broderick in high school, but somehow I think it's not the same one!

[Comments] (1) Green Mother Nature: I got outside today and did some planting that needed to be done. I only lasted about fifteen minutes, and now I am exhausted. The weeds are getting bigger and bigger, but I don't seem to have the strength to pull them.

[Comments] (1) Who is Alfredo?: Today is National Fettuccini Alfredo Day. After work I am going to go buy the stuff to make some.

In other news, popcorn is popping on the apricot tree.

[Comments] (3) Alfredo Update: I made the fettuccini, and it turned out tasting really good. I let it boil just a titch too long and it curdled a little but it still tasted fine.

I haven't had so much nausea on these new pills (Just Parkinson's style trembling!), so I was hoping things would go better on the stomach front. No such luck. I have to go to the hospital Friday for an endoscopy, so we shall see.

[Comments] (5) Dash It!: I got my hopes high when I saw the new BYU magazine has an article about The Face of Need--the way it started out, I thought the article was going to be about beggars and how to tell the genuine ones from the scam artists. This is something I struggle with. But no, the article is about spriritual need, dash it.

I usually give a dollar to the homeless veteran standing on the freeway ramp, and I usually turn anyone who knocks at my door away. (I don't like to be bothered at home.) But I have had people knocking who wanted money, and when I offered food, they wouldn't take it, and that bothers me. I wish I could tell the difference. Truth to tell, they are mostly scam artists. My husband was Bishop for six years in downtown Los Angeles, and we saw all kinds of people who thought they were needy, but they were just lazy. Some people want others to solve all their problems.

I realize the best way around this is to pay my fast offering and let others do the discernment, but I'd like to be able to know if the guy on the freeway ramp is for real.

[Comments] (1) Not So Fun: Tomorrow I go in for another endoscopy. Rachel is going to take me. So I guess tomorrow is useless. Another week gone by and too weak to weed. My tomatoes and cucumbers are turning into quite the little plants. The flowers I started at the same time are slow.

I made up a file folder of documents the hospital always wants: Advance Directive, list of medications, and TPN orders. I can't think of anything else to put in it. Don't want to put my blue cross card in it because it might fall out. I hope it expedites things.

[Comments] (3) Must Be Feeling Better: I must be feeling better--I woke up this morning plenty early. The bummer is church isn't until 1:00 and I'll probably be way ready for a nap by then. I am making some Spanish rice to go with the frijoles de olla I thawed out. I am thinking of making Arroz con Pollo for when John and Susie are here, and some black beans.

There And Back Again: Tonight Reid Jackman came over to put together the kitchen cabinet I bought to grow plants on (it's been a month!) but the first piece out of the box was broken. He helped me take it back to Target. We wanted to get another one but they were out of them. So I still have tomatoes on the countertop.

[Comments] (10) Ask Me If I Hate The Phone Company: My cell phone broke, so off I trucked to the store to see what I could do about it. They sent me home to call customer service on an 800 number--always such a pleasure, what with punching in a gazillion numbers in a menu, waiting forever, and then when you get transferred, punching in the same numbers AGAIN. I must have spent four hours on the phone yesterday, and the upshot was they wouldn't do anything for me unless I would transfer my AT&T contract to a Cingular one, extend it for one year, and they would give me a "discount" on a new phone. What a ripoff.

The guy (obviously an outsource guy and very hard to understand) then informed me that he couldn't do this for me and I would have to call ANOTHER 800 number and explain to him about the break. I passed on that, and went back to the store today. Mistake. The computers were down, the clerk was slow, and he kept stopping taking care of me to help every random person who wandered in. In addition, the SIM card from my old phone can't go in my new one so I will have to re-do all my phone numbers. Grrrrrr.

What I am waiting for is for them to mess up the billing. I switched from my old contract to the new one in October, and have yet to have a month when they haven't messed up the billing. The fun thing in January was the time they refunded my payment in a check and then disconnected my phone for non-payment. Sigh.

In addition, my old nemesis, Specialty Labs, has billed the most recent viral load test to Medicare, which has (surprisingly) never heard of me.

[Comments] (3) Busy Day: Today after work I went to White Forest and got 50 strawberry plants, a bunch of veggie seeds, a bell pepper, an Anaheim pepper, and whee! This year they had Japanese eggplants, which I prefer for what I use them for mostly. (Pasta sauce). It's raining so I didnt plant them. I went to the Ralph's going out of business sale, and I dont think I saved any money because their prices are so high. It was kind of sad--bare shelves everywhere. The sole, lonely thing left in the produce department was a sad little pile of almonds in the shell. And one random Brazil nut.

Then I went to Asia Market to get nori. I thought it would be fun to make sushi for one of our meals while John and Susie are here. What a place! You can hardly move in there, all kinds of exotic stuff. John would love it. I haven't been there since they moved from Brundage, and what is missing is the grandma behind the counter cooking stir fry to order. Instead, the front of the store is occupied by Teriyaki Bowl (chain.) Sheesh. I broke down and bought some rice bowls because they have horses on them. Also, I found one bowl that had PENGUINS! They didn't have any others, so I bought the lone penguin bowl, and I drank miso soup out of it this afternoon.

I made cookies and bean salad and put some black beans to soak, to get a start on cooking for my kids. Young's has tri-tip on sale, so I'll have to go get some.

[Comments] (1) Thank You, Saint Anthony: My shovel has reappeared. I guess someone just needed a shovel for a while. Florence Z. always told us that St. Anthony will help you even if you're not Catholic, and I guess it's true.

[Comments] (2) Rainy Day: I was going to work in the garden but it is raining. Gretel and I went to White Forest (Again) and bought more seeds, some walk-on bark, and some tomato cages. I bought bone meal, blood meal, cottonseed meal, and beer to try to build up the soil, which is very poor in that locale. Then I left Gretel at home and went to Lowe's.

I have always gone to Lowe's with the expectation that they will not have what I came there for, and I was not disappointed. I went to buy a 2X4 folding banquet table, which Brother Jackman said they have, and they were out. They had the 2X6 size, but that won't fit in the space. I ended up buying two "personal tables" instead. They seem useful, flexible, and the height is adjustable, so I think they will work out fine. I didn't get around to repotting my tomato plants or starting any seeds on the tables; that will be for tomorrow.

On the way home I went to Young's for groceries for our feasting this weekend. (That is where I bought the beer, and thank goodness I did because while it was $1.19 at Young's, it is $1.59 at Albertson's.

Dropped groceries off at home and went to Albertson's for shrimp, crab, and chicken breast.

I spent the day chopping, grinding, and shredding for Arroz con Pollo, sushi, and tri-tip. THey didn't have any daikon, so I grated regular radishes. The result is beautiful! I'll have to remember it for a salad. I cracked the crab leg I bought and decided it might not be enough, so I decided to go back to Albertson's. I needed to buy some bacon for John, anyhow. I also got some chopped ham for omelettes.

I made sunumono and it turned out really good, even without marinating. I cooked a bag of black beans. Susie and John won't be here until midnight, so I didn't make dinner. Just ate some bean salad (which I made yesterday.) The store brand canned garbanzos are tough, and I don't think I'll buy them anymore.

[Comments] (6) Back to Subnormal: John and Susie came and we had a wonderful weekend. We made and ate food, went to Lemony Snickett at the dollar movie, and I didn't have to sit alone in church. I didn't get as much yard work out of them because it was pouring the whole time.

I was glad I only paid a dollar to see Lemony Snickett.

Now we're back to routine; thank goodness it will be a short week at work. I sure had a lot of papers to grade.

John and Susie took Sadie away with them, and the house is unbelievably quiet. What a luxury! Gretel cried all of Monday, but she is doing better today.

[Comments] (2) Boring:: Aly says her life is boring, but it can't be as boring as mine. I check blogs all the time too. One of the blogs I follow is a lady named Wendy who is a homesteader in Vermont. She is very ill with myaesthenia gravis (did I spell that right?), but she does all sorts of things and never slows down. Recently, she was in the hospital for two weeks, and a couple of days after she got out, she drove to Florida in her rickety old van--ALONE. (Except for her service dog.) She's in Florida now, staying with her stepmom, and cooking every day, posting recipes. She used to be a chef before she got sick.

I like my life to be boring. I don't like excitement, and I don't like surprises. I like quiet contentment, and I have a lot of that nowadays. A sarcastic horoscope I read in the Seventies says, "Taurus people live in a rut and like it. It's dangerous to pry them loose."

Nothing is new around here. It's the same old. I'm hoping for a break in the rain so I can work in my new vegetable garden. I need to dig up all the sprinkler risers. When I went to buy supplies for the system, they didn't have any of the tall risers I wanted, so I bought the kind that you can adjust and cut off. Well, Juan cut them off. He didn't know, but I need the sprinklers to be on a tall riser because we're not talking about watering a lawn here. So I went to a different Home Depot and got tall risers. I don't want to ask him to put them in--I'm embarassed my instructions weren't clear, and he was so sweet to spread the bark on the pathways.

I started a dozen bean plants in peat pots and they have germinated already. Various other little tiny things have sprouted also--probably parsley and summer savory--but my bell peppers are still taking a long winters nap. I bought one of those packets of mixed color peppers. The seeds were dyed according to what color bell pepper they make--red, green, yellow, orange, natural, chocolate. Should make good submarine sandwiches in about five months.

What is funny, is there was a packet on the shelf that expired in 1998. I took it to Jere White, the owner of the nursery, and said, "I don't think you want this on your shelf. We had a good laugh. I like going to the nursery. Rachel discovered a new Nora Roberts book that is written around a nursery/garden theme. The Black Dahlia. I loved it. Only trouble is, it's the first book of a trilogy, and now I'm going to have to wait for the next one. Until June. And who knows how much longer for the third. I think Nora Roberts is becoming a better writer over time. Some of her early stuff bites.

Home Depot has apparently given up on the self checkout, and I say ha ha to them.

[Comments] (1) Drying Out: We are supposed to have a break in the rain tomorrow and Saturday, with another storm coming in Sunday. That works for me. I can work in the garden, and then it can rain. This poor yard is such a disaster!

[Comments] (1) Working up a Sweat: It's not a very nice day today--cloudy, and the sun hasn't appeared all day, but I did go out into the new vegetable garden. I moved cinder blocks for the walls, with much huffing and puffing and a few smashed fingers. Then, I replaced the risers. I had a lot of trouble with one of them because (I think) the elbow is stripped and it's probably going to leak, but we shall see. I cultivated the bone meal, etc., in, and, hardest of all, dumped half a bag of compost in each bed. Now I need to spread it and fork it in, and then I can plant.

Some of my beans are five inches tall already. What monsters!

I took two of the tomato plants I started over to the Langleys, so that gave me a leetle bit more room on the table. The tomatoes can't go outside for another month or so, but I figured Jill would like to bond with them before she plants them.

I am absolutely done for, but I still have an appointment with Dr. Manu at 3:30, pasta salad making, and paper grading to go today.

[Comments] (3) Marigolds: I guess I'll dig up the miserable stripped elbow tomorrow, cut the pipe, replace it. Grrr.

I had an idea for the garden marigolds, which will save oodles of space and also look good. I'll fill the cells of the cinderblocks with potting soil and plant the marigold seeds in there. That way all the raised beds will have marigold borders.

I don't know if it's an old wives tale or not, that marigolds keep the bad insects out of the garden, but my grandpa always grew them, so does Richard Oman, and so have I.

I have some nasturtiums to mingle with the vegetables too. I forget what nasturiums do, but I can always feed them to my family in a salad like Aunt Jeuney used to. heh heh.

Hello, Sunshine (A Little Bit): Today was a slightly nicer day. Mary Ann Beuchler and I went to a moving sale at Emily Hurlburt's house. I was thinking I could get some of her old clothes. Emily has lost a bunch of weight and had to get all new clothes, poor thing. I didn't want any clothes that have to be ironed or dry cleaned, so that limited my options. I came away with two dresses and a half dozen blue placemats. I didn't get any books! *pats self on back*

Then when I went looking in the basket for a new elbow for the garden, there wasn't one, so I had to go to Home Depot to buy some. I also bought some lovely snail food, and then found I had half a twenty-pound bag already in the shed.

I fixed the elbow, spread the compost, and planted the peppers and eggplants. I need to plant the strawberries, but I am completely done for.

Anne is coming this evening.

[Comments] (3) The Predicted Storm....: ....has not arrived yet; just a visit from Anne. We are having a good time just gabbing. I think Gretel bothers her, though.

Today before church we worked in the new garden. She did the grunt work of digging in the compost and raking it smooth, and I planted strawberries (50 plants!) carrots, turnips, radishes, red onions, and two kinds of beets. Looking good.

The stake youth missionaries talked at church and did a fabulous job. Nice music too. It was a good meeting.

Doris Jackman brought six bags of "fruits of the spirit" to Sunday School, so we came home with some oranges. We sneakily ate one in Relief Society, but everyone knew we were being pigs because it smelled so orangey when Anne peeled it.

I made beef stroganoff for dinner. The prewash machine licked all the dinner plates and the pot absolutely clean.

[Comments] (2) Screaming: When I arrived at work this morning there was a ransom note taped to my computer monitor. The Scream blow-up doll has been kidnapped. I think it was a copycat crime in honor of the real Scream having been stolen. It has not been recovered, has it? I don't think so.

The ransom note says bring food, so I guess I'll bake brownies this evening. The only trouble is that the boy I suspect is the culprit doesn't like chocolate, so I don't know if he will release the Scream for brownies.

Jabberwocky for 2005 February

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.