Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What's New

For tonight's dinner shredded kale and sliced leeks will be stirred into fried potatoes and sausage. That will leave the sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, spaghetti squash, baby salad greens, spinach and onions for later in the week. I really love planning meals around the weekly CSA harvest, but I suspect this may be our last season as members. I have to drive round trip 50 miles to pick up the vegetables each week and soon a year round farmer's market will be opening at about half the distance. Fortunately, I expect my favorite farmers (Curtis and Sarah Millsap) will be participating in the new market -- don't know for sure, haven't checked it out with them, but I'm jumping to that conclusion based on press coverage about the new market involving some of the Millsap kin.  

Please note the new and enhanced setting for my vegetable photo. I replaced my old kitchen table and six chairs with this smaller table and four chairs. Our dear departed pet, Cinder (AKA Chainsaw) had gnawed on the legs and seat of each of the old chairs and every time I looked at them, I got mad all over again. So, the new arrangement accommodates my notion of downsizing, extinguishes my anger, and provides a back drop for my handiwork -- the table runner, place mates and napkins which I'll use for the month leading up to St. Patrick's Day. I'm just finishing a set that will take us from March 17th through Easter. If I can keep the momentum going I'll finish up next spring with twelve different table top ensembles. We'll see.

In weather news, we came safely through last night's dramatic storm. Tornado damage occurred just 30 miles to the south (Branson) and 30 miles north (south of Buffalo). The boys spent the night sleeping on the floor of the torndado shelter while I risked sleeping in the bed in the adjoining room. (It's a basement room and the bed is below ground level, so I feel fairly safe and very comfortable.) I got out of bed about one A.M. and very unsafely watched the storm from a window. The lightning was amazing with magnificent branching seemingly over the neighbor's house and so close together you could read by it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Long Dry Spell

Winter arrived this weekend. No snow, but temperatures fell to the single digit range with wind chills below zero. Maybe snow on Monday and I'm ready for it. I've got a full larder, full Kindle, and nowhere  to go for a couple of days. Let it snow! Besides, I need something to take a picture of. The kids won't let me take pictures of them anymore and how many photos of food and quilts does anyone want to see?

As I sit here at my computer, Ben is playing marimba in the Winter Drum line competition at Kickapoo High School in Springfield. They performed a "parent preview" last night and the enthusiasm of both the kids and the instructors was palpable. This entirely extra-curricular activity calls for a high degree of commitment from both the kids and the instructors and it shows! I'm eager to hear what the judges think.  

And Logan is off debating at Glendale, a different Springfield high school. I like these semi-local events because they tend to get home at a fairly decent hour. Until we get another car, I'm still the late night bus driver, and frankly, it detracts from my enjoyment of a glass of wine in the evening. Can't have the wine and stay awake till midnight (and drive safely).

Preparations for putting my house on the market are in full swing. I will soon be faced with moving from 4,500 to around 1,500 square feet. A lot of stuff has got to go. I'm hoping my family will come and haul away what they want and then I'm going to have a mammoth garage sale. I'm ready to unload antiques, heirlooms, newish furniture, and all kinds of junk. Come and get it! I'm serious. 

Most of my health concerns/issues seem to be under control. I got a good report from the cardiologist about my echocardiogram and my blood pressure is well under control with a change in medication. The irregular heartbeats appear to be benign. I still have a sleep study in March to see if I need a C-Pap machine. It's very expensive to learn all of this, even with Medicare and a supplemental insurance. All this to make sure I'm healthy enough for a second knee surgery. My current thinking is that I'll do it sometime this fall -- after the Golden Girls Reunion.

Five of us who were high school friends plan to gather this September on the Mendocino Coast at the Little River Inn. Another of our classmates owns and is retired from operating the Inn, so we will also get to visit with him and his wife. We all live in different states and haven't seen each other in years, but I know we are going to have a great time and will have no trouble picking up where we left off. This notion has already been a year in the talking/planning stage, but we are now at the point of actually booking reservations. I do believe it's going to happen. And, I'll have something to take pictures of!