Friday, September 28, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I had my hair trimmed today.  My hairdresser and two other ladies in there all use a homemade laundry detergent.  One offered to bring me some and said it doesn't irritate her daughter's skin (my skin is also sensitive).  I told her I was going to try it and wrote down the recipe.
When I got home, I looked it up to see what else was out there.
One site gave a breakdown on how economical it is.  One said how to turn baking soda into washing soda if the baking soda isn't readily available.
The most challenging part for me seems to be that it makes a lot and would require storage containers.

Why Do You Keep Washing My Cheese Pan?

Larry sat down with a cookie sheet of crumbled cheese crisps.  He was pretty annoyed.  He asked, "Why do you keep washing my cheese pan?"
I said, "You leave it on the counter.  When I look to make sure the kitchen looks clean, I clean off the counters."
"But my cheese crisps stick when it's clean.  Do you want me to scrub the skillet you cook eggs in?"
"I don't leave the skillet on the counter."
When I did my visual check last night, his cheese pan wasn't on the counter:)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Getting Plants In

Larry thinks the angel wing begonias would be better if I didn't start them until maybe February.  So I'm taking the baskets into the greenhouse without breaking them off.  They are huge and heavy.  They are hard to get up onto the hooks.  But I'm almost finished.  I'm also taking all the dichondra in so I can try to get more of them started for next spring.  I am going to try to drape some of the long strands onto the starter plugs, pin them down with floral wire I've cut and bent, and just see if I can get a bunch of new ones that way.
I've also gone through my clothes...again...and gotten a bunch to give away.  I'm on my third housecoat from LLBean.  I've gone from 2X to 1X to Reg. Large:)  But my new stuff needs space and I've decided to get rid of more of the old stuff.  It's hard to get rid of stuff that is still good.  But I found somebody who wants it, so that helps.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Knitting Class

Last week was my first knitting class. She showed me how to cast on a knit.  So I knitted a good bit.  I was pretty sure it wasn't very good because it kept getting bigger.  I started with 24 stitches for the width.  Then it was 27.  Then it was 29.  When I noticed it was 29, I just knitted a couple of strands at a time until it was 27 again.
The teacher pulled all of it off, even the stitches I'd cast on.  I don't do it wrong on purpose, but I don't seem very good at it.  My standards aren't very high, either.  I thought about pulling the stitches out, but I didn't think I could get the needle back in.
This may be an inexpensive hobby...I'll just keep knitting the same skein of yarn over and over.  At least I bought brown.  It shouldn't show dirt as I knit it over and over.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nice Day

I have a cart on the porch that I've been storing plant stuff on.  I had it at school so it had interior varnish on it.  It has started to look ratty so I cleaned it, sanded it, and put exterior varnish on it.  I have found sterilite containers that fit on the shelves.  This will prevent spills from getting on the wood.  Some of the stuff is pretty corrosive.  It at through the varnish that was on it down to the bare wood.  It wouldn't wash or sand off; I had to scrape it off.  So any spills or leaks should go in the plastic containers in the future.  I was very pleased with my efforts.
Then we went to Pebble Isle Marina.  The grill is called Gray Heron Grill and I like the place.  I like the food and sitting on the deck looking at the fish, water, fishermen, and trees beginning to change colors.  I was wearing jeans and polartec.  Larry was wearing shorts and short sleeves.  I asked if he wasn't cold and he agreed it was getting chilly.
Then I dragged some branches to a pile.  We have a lot of branches because of the trees the tree removal guy worked on.  We didn't have him clean up.  Some people who use wood for fire and cooking are going to come get the chunks, but we'll just burn the branches.
Then for dinner we had healthy, delicious stuff.
And Bones was back on for the second show in the new season.
I knitted while watching Bones.  I'm not very good at it.  I think I won't be able to use the excuse, "But it's my first thing," forever.  Maybe I'll get better or find a blind person to give scarves to.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Diet Side Dish

 Larry cooked a roast.  I used the juice from the roast to make this side dish.  I put onion, bell peppers, hot peppers, mushrooms, and 1/4 t xanthum gum in the juice.  I cooked the Dreamfields elbow noodles in a different pot and then combined them when the pasta was cooked. 
I made the spinach quiche several times.  This one has frozen broccoli instead of spinach.  I cut it into eight servings and then eat a serving for whichever meal I want.  It works well for breakfast, lunch, or whatever.

Tree Removal

 This tree was the one I was most worried about.  It could have fallen across the road.  It wasn't dead at the beginning of the summer...but it was almost dead.  The guy used a bucket and dropped the pieces so that nothing was hurt.  My rose strip running parallel to the road wasn't damaged at all.
 This flagstone was the only thing that was hurt.  Larry took the birdbath off of it and just left the stone. 
 This tree has been there for a while because we couldn't figure out how to get it off the little building.
 This is the truck with the bucket.  It has a holder for his chainsaw outside the bucket.  The controls for the bucket are inside the bucket.  I thought he'd need somebody inside the truck to move it, but not.
 He tied a rope around that tree and ran the rope under the tree we wanted off the little building.  As he sliced pieces off the leaning trunk, it got lighter and eventually stood itself back up in the hole the roots had made.
 This one was beside the driveway and just the top of it was dead.  So he took the top out.
I really thought he was going to be standing looking at something destroyed saying, "I didn't mean for it to do that," but he was really good!

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Blogger Interface

I can't get anything to show from my Kindle.  I'm not doing great at finding the stats on my computer.  I may not continue to do this at this site.


So far the new blogger interface hasn't made anything easier.  When I try to find my blog, I get the advertisement about the new blogger interface every time.  Can I find my blog?  Obviously.  Can I go straight to it?  Not so far.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I like the Cauliflower Bisque (low-carb).  I like Campbell's Clam Chowder.  I decided that I would make the cauliflower bisque and add oysters.  So I did.  It was OK, but not something I have to make again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thanks, ACLU

I don't usually laugh out loud before 8 A.M., but I did today.  The ACLU decided that dances for Mothers and Sons or Fathers and Daughters discriminate against those kids with the parent missing.
I'm not saying it isn't sad, but it's the fact that the parent is missing that is sad, not the name of the dance.  And the child misses the parent every day whether or not a dance is held.
So, name the dance parent and child.  No, wait.  That discriminates against those kids who live with foster parents, aunts, grandparents, etc.
What about those kids who live with their parents but said parent would rather be dipped in oil than go to a dance with anybody?  What about those kids who would rather be dipped in oil than go to a dance with a parent?
Name the dance cross-generation dance.  No, that would have a possibility of really inappropriate pairs.
What about Grandparents' Day? Are we discriminating against kids with no grandparents nearby (or alive)?  Of course.  They can't come and spend money at the book fair.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

German Rain

Yesterday we had what I call a German rain.  It was a soft gray sky from horizon to horizon with a fine mist.  We ended up with two tenths of an inch of rain, but it was really nice. 
In the south, a lot of the time when we get rain, it's big drops pelting down.  I really don't think they have phrases like "frog-strangler" or "gulley washer" to describe rain.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bananas Foster Creme Brulee

I didn't manage to let them chill for four hours.  It took two hours for them to cool off enough to go in the refrigerator.  But I waited three hours before eating one.
It was definitely good enough to do again:)

Banana Creme Brulee

Banana Creme Brulee has been on my "to do" list for a while now...pretty much since I got back from the cruise.  I found a low carb recipe on Linda's Low Carb Menus and Recipes.  I really like that site.
Anyway, I made it just now.  I have to wait until it cools and then put it in the refrigerator for four hours.
While I'm waiting, maybe I will figure out what to do with the four eggs I whipped instead of four egg yolks.  Since I had to start over with the eggs, I put the egg whites in with the four eggs.  I guess I could make scrambled eggs, but I had crustless quiche for breakfast.  I don't think I want more eggs for a while.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Amish Buggy

I was planting monkey grass this afternoon, and an Amish buggy stopped.  This surprised me because it was Sunday.  They pretty much do church all day Sunday.  I was in jeans and a t-shirt.  I was working in the yard on Sunday.
But they stopped and told me how much they enjoy my flowers.  That's always nice to hear.
Then Larry wanted to know who they are.  I don't know.  He said to describe them.  Well, not young, long white beard....I don't know.  A lot of them look like that.  He decided who he thought they were from that not-so-detailed description, though.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blood Pressure

I thought my blood pressure was low (106 over 49), but when I typed it in on fitbit, it said that is normal.  I feel fine, so maybe it is normal.

Do You Want to Go for a Ride?

This is another annoying question.  If we are in the truck, and he said we were going to WalMart, we'll end up going to a gun store, a bakery, a nursery, and WalMart.  I've learned, take a book.
If we are in the gator, it would be good to know if I need garden shoes and gloves, bug spray, garden tools, or whatever.  Yesterday we went to see where they'd cut the hay.  Then we drove through the woods for a while.  I like driving through the woods, but we needed the chainsaw and weed-whacker with the clearing blade.  That would have been more fun than driving over small trees to go around the big trees that have fallen over our paths.
Oh, well.
 Before I got in for a ride today, I asked if we were going through the woods so I could coat myself with bug spray.

Will You Help Me a Minute?

Larry says that, but he doesn't usually say what he wants me to do.  I just answer that I will, and I don't even make faces where he can see me.  The reason I say yes is because I want him to help me without whining about it.  The reason I make faces is he doesn't say doing what and I'd like to know even though I would still agree.
But yesterday I figured that if used the same words he did, maybe he would know how to answer correctly. 
So I said, "Will you help me for a minute?  I want to use the tiller and I may not be able to start it."
He said he would with no whining:)
I dug a trench with the Mantis because my to do list has "separate and plant monkey grass."  Well, I've been working on that one thing since Saturday.  I'm still not finished separating and planting the monkey grass.  The first day I tried to separate it by hand.  Larry suggested that I use my garden knife.  That was a really excellent idea.  I also cut myself that day.  Blood and mud.  So I cleaned up the cut, put a  band-aid on it and continued.
I worked off and on all day today separating and planting more.  I don't know how much longer it's going to take.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall Harvest

 We've had a lot of muscadines this year.  Most of them don't make it into the house...we eat them as we pick them.  The pecans aren't very big; I think it must be because of the drought.  The banana peppers have been spectacular, but these peppers are all hot.  I'm going to remove the seeds and veins, cut them in half and freeze them.  I am picturing casseroles this winter.
This will be another quart of tomatoes for the freezer.  If we have a lot of tomatoes, we can them.  If we just have some, we cook them down and freeze them.  If it looks as if we are going to run out of freezer space, we take some out, heat them back up and can them.
The neighbors have come to cut our hay.  They do it like we saw in Switzerland with horses and no motorized machinery.  They don't like to have their pictures taken, so no cool pictures.
We plan to eat at the marina, not bait.  They have a nice restaurant, and the weather is great for sitting out.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My To Do List

I fertilized my baskets and flower boxes.  I finished planting the irises I wanted to move. 
I still have a really long list left.  So I was looking at it wondering if there was something I wouldn't hate doing.  I thought maybe I'd make that crustless quiche again.  It was really good.  So I thawed out spinach first thing this morning.  It was on my list and I really intended to do it.  Well.  I'm out of shredded cheddar.  I have block cheddar, but it wasn't good when I shredded it myself.  That made no sense to me but it really wasn't as good.  So I thought maybe I'd use shredded mozzarella cheese.  Larry doesn't think it will be good so his recommendation is to wait until tomorrow.  I think that's what I'll do.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Great Morning!

Today my young woman who cleans my house came and I also got her younger brother.  He dug up day lilies, irises, crepe myrtles, monkey grass, and two clematis.    It rained last night enough that the soil was pretty soft.  I still have to separate the stuff and plant it, but I am so thrilled that I didn't have to dig it up.  I would have been so tired that I never would have done all three steps.  But now I only have two parts of it:) 
What a wonderful economic stimulus package I am for some of my neighbors!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Summer Kitchen - September

Every payday, Larry buys a little more to put on the summer kitchen.  I helped him yesterday, but he did more than I did.
We got the rest of the floor joists in and the plywood on it.  He said we can dance on it. Right.
It has two little pieces sticking off that don't have plywood down yet.  He has some insulation to put under the metal on the roof and some plywood for closing in the top.  We got some paint this morning, but it is the wrong color.  It's blue.  He doesn't want the ceiling blue.  He wants to paint the plywood before installing it.  I wonder if he's going to paint it blue anyway, or buy more paint.  He plans to put something else on the plywood on the floor...wood like we have on the porch.
When he said he wanted to build a place to put his grill, this is not what I was picturing.  But it is what I was picturing before we moved to Tennessee...a place to can outside.  That was before I realized how nice air conditioning would be while canning.  We hardly ever can inside though...we use a fish fryer on the porch of the shop.  This should be way nicer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

50 Miles

Well, I got an email notification from fitbit that I have walked 50 miles:)
It wants me to walk 10,000 steps a day.  Today I have walked 7,148 steps so far and that is the most.
I like it that I try to walk more so it will register.  I wondered if it would be encouraging to me.  So far it is and I've used my Wii more since I got the fitbit.
I think Larry is walking more, too.  He goes by and says things like, "14, 682" and keeps going.  I asked if he wanted to wear it one day and he didn't.  But he's walking more, too.


I love tulips!  When we lived in Germany, we would go to Keukenhof (in Lisse, Holland) to see the tulips in bloom.  Other things were blooming, too, but the tulips were my favorite.  I bought tulips and planted them in Germany.  They bloomed year after year.
When we moved to Tennessee, I spent several hundred dollars on tulips.  They bloomed the first year and that was it.  Evidently they have to be treated as annuals here.
I'm going to try them again this year, but I'm going to plant them in fabric containers.  I've ordered 100 Flair tulips and two large containers.  I'm getting the fabric ones because they will be light, have good drainage, and I intend to try different things until I have tulips every spring.  It won't be Keukenhof, but they will remind me of the beauty I have been fortunate enough to enjoy...and create:)
These pictures are from Keukenhof.  The only annoying thing is they bloom and the weather might be absolutely awful.  So unless you get lucky, you may be there on a gray, blustery day with rain pelting down.
 These were the fields behind the gardens.
 Hyacinths and tulips are wonderful.
 These are commercial gardens and it is great to be able to walk along, see something you want, and buy them right there.  They send them when it is time to plant them.
I placed my order with Colorblends.  I'm excited:)  The place is located in Connecticut, but the tulips should be the same.  I asked if I dig them up after the greenery dies back, dip them in fungicide, and store them in a refrigerator, will they bloom the next year.  He said they wouldn't.  I think with them being in containers, it will at least be possible to try that.
When I read about it, it sounded possible, but not the way I am going to try it.  
Boy, that will be a first.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Clint Eastwood - RNC

The RNC tried to hit a number of demographics in their convention.
The conservative Latino section - well, not me, but OK.
The conservative Black section - again, not me, but good.
NRA - yes...I'm not a member but I do think the Swiss have it right about armed citizens.
Christian - I'm not against Christians.
Strong military - I used to think I was isolationist...pretty much until 911.  I think most wars are about side has something the other side wants...regardless of what they say they are upset about.  But with 911 I decided I really wasn't isolationist.  The best defense is a strong offense makes good sense.  Relying on somebody's else's sense of humanity and tolerance isn't helpful.
Schools - I agree that there are some lousy teachers.  I don't agree that the federal government has any business interfering in education.  I am under the impression that education is a states' rights issue and that the federal government wormed its way in by offering federal funds if certain conditions are met.  Sometimes those conditions are helpful and sometimes they are detrimental to the students. Tenure is a touchy subject.  The part where there are three years before a teacher becomes tenured doesn't insure a person doesn't become slack or whatever later in his/her career.  But tenure was supposed to protect a teacher from political harm...whether I agree with the politics or not...they get to have theirs.
What demographic does Clint Eastwood represent?  Well, mine.  Old, irreverent, conservative.  The whole point of his ramble was "They work for us.  If they aren't getting the job done, it's time to let them go."  I may have scrambled the order of the words, but that was the gist and I totally agree.
I'll try to watch the Democratic convention's speeches.  I wonder what they will have for my demographic. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Organizing my Small Kitchen Appliances

My tendency to decide I need a small appliance to do something in the kitchen means I have to keep organizing my stuff.  I want the little darlings, but I also want a space on the counter that is completely uncluttered.  I don't care if there was space for me to work among the appliances.  It's harder to clean up if there is more than just the counter.
 This is one of those inexpensive plastic units I've had for a long time.  It was stained, so I sponge painted it.  I've used it in various places over the years.  When I noticed that the space was just right for it, I told Larry I wanted shelves in that space for the small appliances.  He didn't hop right on making one so I dragged this one in and removed stuff from the counter.
 So I left the mixer (heavy!) and a few other things that we use frequently.  But it gave us two work spaces in case we both want to play in the kitchen at the same time.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Facebook can really put some information out there.  Reading something somebody thought was private is kind of like watching a train wreck.  I was pretty sure that wasn't intended for me, but how could I stop reading it?
Maybe people should set up separate email accounts to use for certain people because I'm pretty sure they wouldn't hit "All" for it to go to everybody in their address books.