Saturday, June 23, 2007

Weeds, Bread, and Visiting....

First off, some pictures. This first is my pea-patch. Some of the plants are starting to get to the point of being ready to grab onto the lattice. Not long now and they'll be producing peas!!!! YUM!

The next pic is my 2 rhubarb plants. They're rather small, really, for having been in that spot for the last 5 years now. Probably because I haven't been very good about weeding around them and picking the rhubarb and using it. Maybe if I used it more, it'd produce more. Then again, that theory is kinda shot when I think about my next-door-neighbour's rhubarb patch that is huge. And he NEVER uses it. At least, never EATS it. It's a decorative plant as far as they're concerned. They just don't care for the flavor of rhubarb. Silly people.

And finally is my poor pathetic chive plant. I let my weeds over-take my chives for far too long, so when I finally got out and pulled the weeds & cut the wild-grasses surrounding my chives, it was just easier to cut down my chives along with everything else. I pulled all the fire-weed, which is now invisible, though I didn't get all the weeds pulled. A lot of them just got cut with hand-shears. Like the wild grasses. And the dandylions. I didn't have the energy, once all this was done, to go find my weeding-fork and dig out the dandylions.

Ok. Well that gives you a little glimpse of the yard-work I've been engaging in a lot lately. This doesn't include my flower beds, because they're quite honestly nothing worth seeing yet, though a lot of the flowers are coming up. But they're still just seedlings, and sparsely spaced ones at that. When the flower start coming up I'll try to get a picture then.

It's amazing how yard-work ALMOST becomes addicting, when you've got something you're looking forward to enjoying. Still not completely addicting. And exausting. I'm sitting here absolutely bushed, after cutting and pulling those weeds, then raking the weeds into a big ol' pile. Don't know yet what I'm going to do with that pile of weed-rubbish. Probably just pull it into the back-yard to degrade, when I get more energy. For now, I think I'll let it sit where it is..... 3 yards to the left of that pathetic chive plant.


No more pictures of the baby-afghan for now. I've gotten quite a bit more of it done. I'm approximately half way done with it. We still haven't heard from M&B whether they've had a little boy or a little girl. *shrug* So, that buys me time to keep working on the afghan. *grin*


Also making a couple of loaves of bread today. It's golden-egg-bread with a touch of rye-flour in place of some of the wheat. We'll see how it turns out. I didn't use much rye, so I'm hoping it rises well. (Actually, what rye I mixed in was only as much as it took to make it kneadable without leaving stickiness all over the table. So probably less than 1 cup of rye to the 4 cups of all-purpose flour.)

DD had a friend sleep over last night, so this morning I made waffles and bacon for breakfast. Yummy sourdough waffles, though I didn't actually have any of the waffles myself. *wry smile* I'm not a breakfast person, so I didn't even eat till about 2 pm as I was making my bread. Then I ended up having the last 4 pieces of bacon made into a bacon sandwich. There's left-over waffles, though, which is nice because they wind up in the freezer to be pulled out on weekday mornings for a quick breakfast. Much better than eggos! I did have to chuckle when DD's little friend saw I was actually MAKING waffles she was suprised and says that her mom always just buys the organic ones from the store. Evidently when I asked last night if they wanted waffles for breakfast this morning, she wasn't expecting me to actually bake my own. *grin*


And as for the visiting.... DD and I will be going over to Dad's house tomorrow for lunch. It's been a couple of weeks, so we're due for another visit. It's really working better to only go over every 2 weeks, instead of every single week. Gives DD more time between visits with the niece. The niece is still beyond whiney and quite annoying. And she doesn't really play well with others (or, at least not with DD). Doesn't make for very happy visits. But, as I said, it's better when we're only going over every 2 weeks.

We're also hoping to get over to see Great-Grandma tomorrow. It's been about 2 weeks since we've been to visit her either, and as she's not got much time on this earth left, we really do need to be making the most of it. Made even more important by the fact that she's got alzheimers and it's starting to get noticable. She still recognizes us, but she's getting a lot worse about even remembering what she's just done. Her general health is also going down-hill, and it's only a matter of time before she winds up catching a cold that she can't recover from, or some other ailment that so many elders die of. And besides, it does DD good to know the one remaining great-grandparent she's got. Gives her experience with being around people much older than her. She tries to be gentle with Great-Grandma. (Doesn't always succeed, but she tries.) And I hope that even with Grandma's failing mental capabilities, DD grasps how much wisdom lie in the minds of our elders.

Great-Grandma is my Mother-in-law's mom. MIL's dad died before I met DH. FIL's parents both died when DH was still in elementary school, and DH barely remembers them either. As for my grandparents, DD DID get to meet my Dad's mom. But DD was only 18 months at that point, and certainly doesn't recall meeting Mom-mom. Pop-pop died when DD was only about 3 months old. My grandma (Mom's mom) also died very shortly after DD was born. And Grandpa (Mom's dad) died when I was a teenager. So, again, I'm glad that DD has the chance to build memories of her Great-Grandma.

I only wish she'd had the chance to remember Grandma when Grandma was still an active, healthy woman. Only 5 years ago Grandma was making big vats of chicken-noodle soup (really almost Amish-style chicken & dumplings) that she'd portion out in containers for everybody in the family. (And this is a BIG family!) She made the BEST brownies, and an incredible "Peppermint dessert", and some of the best popcorn balls. We still make the popcorn balls every christmas (one fore each member of the family, over 2 and living in town), but now it's DH and I and DD, and DH's Aunt M. who do the honors, and Grandma presides and tries. But her hands are no longer strong enough to press the popcorn into the balls. She no longer remembers how to make her brownies (and I never DID get that recipe from her before she forgot how). And she doesn't have the strength to whip up a pan of Peppermint Dessert (and mine just doesn't taste as good as Grandma's). I was lucky enough to get Grandma's Chicken Soup recipe, though. As she doesn't write anything down (therefore her recipes are all in her head), when DD was about a year old I made a point of going over and observing her and writing down her directions for her Chicken noodle soup and peppermint dessert. DH actually says that my Chicken soup is better than Grandma's was, those last couple of years that she made it. Mainly because she'd started getting sloppy (not trying to rag on her, just stating the fact that her mind was starting to go, but nobody realized it yet, and also didn't realize that she was quickly loosing physical strength) and not straining out the chunks of fat & cartilage & bone. Though he's still admant (as well he should be!) that in her prime, NOBODY could TOUCH Grandma's cooking skill. *grin* Now to figure out how to make that danged Peppermint dessert properly!!! LOL And I DO have Grandma's Popcorn Ball recipe, as well. In fact, after writing it down a couple of years ago, I always remember to bring my cookbook with the recipe along when we make them, so that we don't have to rely on Grandma's memory.


Ok. I think that's about it for now. Thanks for the sweet comments over last week's post. I still haven't told DH how much it hurts that he never tells me I'm pretty. Not trying to sound vain our anything, but sometimes a girl just needs to hear it, ya know??? And who better to hear it from than the man she's married to. *sigh*

Have a Blessed Weekend!


Connie Peterson said...

Your chives WILL come back .. remember, when you harvest them, you cut them down. (Reminds me, I need to find mine and put them in my herb boxes.)

And foolish people who don't like rhubarb? Au contraire, my friend ... foolish those who THINK THEY DO !!!! A sour plant, a stringy plant and you can't hide the taste in anything - and don't try to argue with me .. I've had this argument with my friend Katie (with an "e") here in Minnesota and no one - NO ONE - will convince me that it's not poison!

Have a beautiful day, you beautiful person (inside AND out!) ...

Kati said...

Oh, Connie... How much you're missing out on. My best friend, growing up, had a HUGE rhubarb plot outside the front door of her house. In the summer (well, obviously!) we'd grab a cup-full of sugar and pick a rhubarb stalk each, and spend a couple of hours dipping and munching, dipping and munching. Rhubarb dipped in plain sugar.... YUM!!! Better than any candy or sucker you'll find in the stores. And a heck of a lot better for you!!!

Don't try to HIDE the taste of rhubarb, combine it with sweeter fruits (strawberries, or apples!) in a cobler or a crumble, and let the rhubarb's tartness shine.

Oh, I know my chives will come back, which is why I so ruthlessly cut them down. I knew that it'd be easier in the long run and I'll still get a good harvest off of it for drying for fall. It just looks so pathetic, right now. LOL

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I am the last person to give you gardening advice. Also, I hate rhubarb.

BTW you are not vain, your hubbie is clueless! I know it's not the same but we know you're beautiful.

Wizened Wizard said...

Can you mix some peat moss (and garden lime) in with your soil? That always seems to help things. The peat holds water and I'm guessing that your soil is on the acid side (and so is peat moss), so lime will be good for just about anything except potatoes. Manure that has been composted is also great for the garden.

My next post is going to be about something I do with rhubarb...

What is more wonderful than the smell of bread baking? Mmmmm.....! You sound like a good baker.

Even with alzheimer's setting in, Great-grandma may remember things long ago. Can you record her? Better late than never, and getting her to remember her early memories will be a nice way to pass the visits. You might be able to conceal the recorder in your purse or a cloth bag??