Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Small change(s)

Last week's casserole was a big hit with the guys. Tom ASKED to take leftovers for his lunch the next day! When I have time, perhaps I can add it to "Cooking with the Cow Crew".
Friday saw me washing dishes at The Wooden Spoon- and I was offered (and accepted) more hours! I am now Assistant Culinary Utensil Sanitation Specialist on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10-3. That starts TODAY! Today, being Valentines Day, the Spoon is having a rare non-Friday evening opening. Normally, The Wooden Spoon is open M-F, 10:30- 2. Then on Friday evening, 5-9 pm. On these rare occasions when the Spoon has a special opening, they take reservations, such as tonight. I get to work tonight as well- so it is almost working a double. Not quite, though, as I only have five hours this morning, then perhaps five more this evening.
I like working at The Spoon. Nobody yells at me. People do not cuss, at all. People help one another in every task, if help is needed. We all have a common goal- to cook, serve, and clean up. And everyone helps. If I fall behind in dishwashing, people step in and help put away dishes, or scrub stubborn pots. If I am all caught up, I find ways to help. Last week, I got to help the salad maker prepare the carrots for the salads.
The owners of the Spoon work with people when they need time off, so I can go with Tom on his vacation weeks- something I couldn't do with most jobs.  Starting at 10 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays will give me time to do my garden chores, and take care of the chickens when we eventually get them. Getting off at 3 leaves time for canning, if I need to,  and cooking supper. Fridays I will be working 8- about 3:30 or 4.

My Dad's 80th birthday is coming up in a few more weeks. Grand Daughter Alana's is the day before Dad's- she will be an amazing 14 years old! Even closer than Dad's birthday is Nickole's. Nickole will be 8! Dad doesn't want a party- feeling his 75th birthday party was quite enough of a disaster. (They were robbed during the party, and less than a week later, Bill Joe passed away.) So, we are honoring his no- party wish. However, I want to ask everyone reading this, to PLEASE send him a birthday card! Contact me if you need his address. His birthday is March 6th, so please mail your cards by the 3rd or 4th.) Maybe his grandchildren can enclose pictures of their families- I haven't sent him any swiped pictures in a long time, and little ones grow up so fast. (He also likes dark chocolate caramels with sea salt, and loves to read- if anyone wanted to send a gift!)
For now, the time has come to prepare for work. Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Happy, Happy

It is easy to make me happy!  I was feeling quite terrible on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I plugged along at work Friday, trying not to whine TOO much. Saturday, I barely got out of bed. By Sunday, I felt quite a bit better. It was a warm, sunny day, with barely any breeze at all. Tom and the boys changed oils and cleaned vehicles, while I sat on a log and "minded" the burning brush pile. The guys had already split the larger branches and lesser trunks of the downed trees that had shaded the garden area.  Sitting in the gentle winter sun, by a nice bonfire, doing non-strenuous work was just what I needed.
Monday, Daniel was granted an unexpected day off. Once Tom and I got back from our WalMart run, Dan unloaded and put away the groceries. Tom napped; I unloaded the pantry, and explained to Daniel what I wanted to do to organize it better. I needed a couple of narrow boards to add a few shelves, which I planned to make from leftover plywood already on hand. Once Tom woke up, I dragged him into my project. (I had intended to do the laundry room cupboard, which also needs a shelf... but one project at a time is about all we had room for!) It was five thirty by the time we finally finished the pantry. I still had to put everything back into the pantry, cook supper, clean the kitchen... there was no time for the laundry room! I can probably use a couple of the makeshift racks I had in the pantry to remedy the laundry room cupboard.
Today (Tuesday!) I ran the errands we missed out on yesterday, and picked up the items we missed getting Monday. A miscommunication at the grocery store left us without tea. It was not on my list, but I thought someone had said we were out of Sleepytime. I asked Tom, who was looking for our brand of bread, if we were out of Sleepytime Tea. He said no. So I got my Constant Comment  and some Matcha tea, and we continued our shopping. Then at bedtime, someone asked if we had bought Sleepytime. I said, "No. I asked Dad if we needed it and he said no." From another room, Tom called out, "I thought you asked me if *I* had gotten the Sleepytime. That's what I said NO to!"
So, we missed tea... and peanut butter. The last tablespoon was used up this morning. I already had to go to Aldi for our cheese, chips, yogurt, and produce. What's one more stop?
I am actually quite pleased over my errands over all today. 38 mile round trip, eleven stops, and I was home by twelve-thirty. (That's not even counting that I was two miles from the house on the trip out, when I realized I had left my over-due library books on the couch. I had to turn around to get them!) Filled the car with gas, went to the library, post office, bank, Lowes... to apply for a job. (Which I couldn't, because, even though they have a banner out front that says "NOW HIRING!", they do not, in fact, have any openings.) From Lowes, to Wal Mart for the peanut butter and tea. Then to another bank. An (unplanned) quick stop at Dayspring card outlet, then Aldi, Tractor Supply, and finally, a quick drive through at Panda Express for a lunch bowl.
I had to stop at Tractor Supply to get a new "live trap". The "live traps" come in two packs- a large with a small. Our last two pack, we got at Atwoods. On about the seventh or eighth possum captured, a piece was lost from the larger trap. Tom continued to use the smaller trap. Last night, yet another "ugly kitty" was caught. Tom sat the cage behind the car so he wouldn't forget to take the ugly kitty off and release it "elsewhere". He left the trunk open to remind him of the cage behind the car, and came back inside to get ready for work.
As you have probably guessed, it would of been better to set the caged animal next to the driver's door, rather than behind the car. Tom jumped into the car and backed right over the cage! Fortunately, the possum was just fine. The cage was damaged beyond salvaging, and once the critter was released, the cage was tossed into the dumpster. This is probably the tenth or eleventh opossum caught trying to get under the house, so we really do HAVE to have live traps set pretty much all the time.
Since getting back from errands, I used my favorite purchase of the day to organize my mugs and glasses in the cupboard. An "expandable" wire mesh shelf from Aldi ($4.99) gave me two more feet of room in the cabinet where my cups and glasses live! Happy, Happy me!
Now, I suppose I'd best get off the computer and go prep supper. I am going to make enchiladas with chicken, avocado, and green sauce. Corn tortillas, to stay off the flour products as much as possible, and will likely make it as a casserole, rather than actual rolled enchiladas- just because it is easier. (Also, I've noticed the guys eat less when it is casserole, as opposed to rolled enchiladas.)
Have a blessed day, Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Still alive!

With the really terrible internet connection and speed, it seems I have nearly stopped blogging. Here it is February, and this is what? my second post of 2017?
Benjamin and Paula came to visit this past weekend, and we had a great time. Jasher is very much his daddy all over again. Little Althea tried hard to keep up with Jasher, but came away with a number of  bumps and bruises.
The boys (so hard to think of all my sons as men!) helped Tom take out several trees shading the proposed garden area. The trees also leaned far over the neighbors fence, with long reaching branches. One branch broke off a few weeks back and took out a section of fence. As the trees came down, we could see it was only a matter of time before they came down on their own, being hollowed and ant filled in their hearts. Tom built me a bin for compost.
The guys (and Paula) played Frisbee- and as usual with this bunch- it became a very physical sport. All the guys were sore from tree felling, fence repairs, and Frisbee. While the trees were coming down, the fence was taken down and moved out of their gravity path. The boys took turns demonstrating mad dance moves- or as they called it - "Ninja skills"- to the neighbor's curious herd of cows. The cows stood back far enough to avoid contact with these strangely gyrating humans. Jasher and Althea got out the preschool ride-on toys that the former owners left here. Jasher had a great time being pulled way too fast around the yard by his Daddy and Uncles. When Jasher had had enough fun and tumbles, Daniel and Sam took turns pulling one another around in the little car. The next day, Jasher decided the driveway and yard were too rough to ride on. He pulled the smaller car to the top of the storm cellar, which has a sloped concrete roof and a smooth metal door. He pushed the car around for a bit- testing how it landed when pushed off the cellar roof- a drop of 10 or so inches. Then he invited Bill Joe Althea to go for the first test ride. Althea obliged. She extracted herself from the wreckage before any adults could intervene... and helped Jasher get the car set up for another run. It reminded me so much of Bill Joe's grand ideas on how something fun really OUGHT to work. Floaties on his feet to try and walk on water. A tarp duct taped to his wrists and ankles so he could glide off the roof off the barn like a flying squirrel. (Thankfully, his glide belly flop from the roof of the barn was cushioned by a manure heap.)
Today, I got the last of the bedding washed and folded. The small hand and face prints are (sadly) cleaned from the door glass. The toys are back in the cardboard box, to be carried out to storage until the next visit. The house is terribly quiet.
In other 'news'... I am working on Friday mornings as the daytime dishwasher at The Wooden Spoon. I was concerned about my ability to DO the job, but so far, I have managed. I think both my times to do it have been "slow" days. I stayed on top of the incoming dishes, and fell behind a few times on putting away, when others would help out as their tasks slowed down. I do come home completely wiped out! It is the kind of job where the day passes quickly, because you don't stop. I still have applications out in other places, but haven't heard back from any of these.
That's about all from here.