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2010-02-06birdfeeder2

The official total for the weekend's snowfall was 28.5 inches at Philadelphia International Airport.

I believe I see two more buds about to happen on the Nopalxochia, in addition to the three previously identified. Not exactly copious bloom, but I'll take what I can get.

Roy did all the shoveling yesterday, so I did all the cooking. We had bulgur-as-oatmeal plus eggs for breakfast; a homemade chicken soup with orzo and vegetables for lunch; and pork, red beans, and rice for dinner. The pork came from the Asian supermarket -- ground pork at $.99 lb. I cooked up all 2 pounds of it, as well as the five little green peppers, one huge onion, and half a bunch of celery. I divided the meat and Holy Trinity into three portions, froze two, and used the third for dinner last night. We'll get a dinner and a lunch out of it -- pretty good stretching of 9-10 oz of cooked pork.

Next time I want to have beans and rice it's going to be an easy fix. Defrost the stuff, make the roux, combine ingredients, season, and pop in the oven.
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Kitchen floor mopped -- check.
Living room wood furniture wiped down with pledge, including piano -- check.
Tablecloth and sixteen napkins dampened and ironed -- check.
Refrigerator inspected, biology experiments removed, shelves wiped -- semi-check.
Small portable buffet table cleared of big plants, ready for relocation from sitting room to dining room tonight -- check.

Today's adventures, other than the work day, will include a bit more laundering of dining room linens, ritual washing of china and crystal, the fabrication of cranberry sauce and the pulling apart of three loaves of stuffing bread.

We have eight people coming to dinner, not ten, which means that I won't be mixing and matching china, crystal, flatware, or linens. (Except for a couple of substitute dinner plates...)

One of the benefits of working at home is that I can wash goblets on my lunch hour....
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A good bit of today's over-ambitious to-do list actually got done.

  • Incredible backlog of laundered-but-not-folded sheets and pillowcases folded and ready to be stashed
  • Two loads of laundry washed, dried, and sorted
  • Thanksgiving tablecloth and sixteen Thanksgiving napkins laundered
  • Fifteen clear lightbulbs from two chandeliers unscrewed, wiped down, polished, and replaced (don't laugh! they were covered with ick)
  • Dried up dead plants removed from window boxes and replaced with fresh mystery shrub, pansies, and feverfew
  • Leaves raked from front sidewalk (Roy did this)
  • Kitschy garlands of faux autumn leaves installed at strategic locations in dining room
  • Trailing rosemary, in bloom, auditioned as Thanksgiving centerpiece. It will do!
  • Incredible quantities of silverware polished
  • Groceries and a Christmas present purchased at the Asian supermarket, including big tubs of green curry paste for cheap cheap cheap
  • New-to-us chairs for dining room wiped down with damp rag and wobbly one glued (Roy did that)
  • Refrigerator checked in a cursory way for biology experiments and other embarrassments


There is no hematoma at all on my right shin, just a big old bruise and some slight swelling. So the petits pois treatment appears to have worked.

I've frogged the entire little feather-and-fan lap robe I knat a few weeks ago. Being as I have *two* skeins of the cheap blue yarn, I can make a bigger lap robe with bigger needles so it has a slightly better drape. Not that Wal*Mart house brand yarn is ever going to have a particularly good drape.

Tomorrow starts the work-week again. I plan to work some extra hours tomorrow and Tuesday, then knock off a little earlier on Wednesday so that I can go into full maniacal Thanksgiving overdrive. Good thing I'm not baking...
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It is humiliating to have your bike fall over, and to have you fall over with it.

It's also pretty painful. The back muscle that has been unhappy for the past few months became extremely unhappy, in a crampacious fashion, and my shin made "a hematoma is coming!" sensations.

This contretemps occurred while I was in the process of dismounting at the Trader Joe's. I wobbled into the store and picked up the things that were on my list -- green beans, coffee beans, Clif bars. I forgot a couple things I'd been thinking about getting as long as I was there, but oh well.

This is perhaps divine retribution for my putting off the Trader Joe's run until today. At least I also made it to the PathMark, where the biggest free turkey I could get was 15.5 lb. Waaaahhh. I don't need my big new roasting pan for such a puny turkey. But the really big ones weren't free. Waaaaahhh. On the other hand, I was able to pick up three of those uncut loaves of stuffing bread and four boxes of Bell's Poultry Seasoning, which is hard to find at other times of the year. Other than a quick run for mushrooms on Wednesday, I think I'm set for the Big Cookathon.

While at the Trader Joe's I did pick up several bags of petits pois. (Because I felt this hematoma coming on, you see, and frozen peas make the greatest icepacks.) I came home, made my lunch, set up big pillows on the love seat so my shins would be higher than my heart, positioned the peas just so, covered the rest of me with sweaters and lap robes and The Scamp, and napped for a sinful, decadent, three hours.

One more nice thing. The young folks in the neighborhood are enjoying civic mindedness. They convinced the elementary school four blocks away that trees on their sidewalks would be a good thing, made the arrangements with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and planted eleven trees this morning. Pictures will be posted. We are hoping this will convince the rather more suspicious principal at the school right behind us that trees are A Good Thing.

P.S. -- I have a lump about the size of a pea on my shin, not much of a hematoma, thank goodness. And the back spasm pretty much gave up during the mile ride home.

FORGOT TO MENTION: I also bought two 4-packs of pansies. They'll go in my window boxes tomorrow. In Sept/Oct I forgot to water the window boxes and all the dusty miller and feverfew died, waaaaah.
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Okay, that's a metaphor because the sun has already risen (or is about to -- difficult to say when there are clouds to the east without checking the almanac).

But it's the weekend before Thanksgiving and I want to beat the Mongol Hordes. I have a "free turkey" coupon and plan to acquire one that's somewhat larger than Tiny Tim, if possible. The Wells Fargo wagon delivered my new,huge roasting pan and rack last week. I'm not quite sure how we'll wallop the bird off the rack and onto the carving platter, but I'm sure we'll think of something.

The ribbon yarn was delivered Thursday to the place where the brother-in-law of the recipient will pick it up. I like the simple pattern of the kimono-like sweater, though, and may try it in some other, less expensive, yarn to see how it makes up. [livejournal.com profile] kightp, it looks to me as though once I swatch it and figure out my gauge, I can use math to set up my rectangles and be good to go, no? (Except that I'll have to re-learn "mattress stitch," which I never really learned in the first place.)

(EDIT: Okay, sunrise was half an hour ago...)

Nor'easter

Oct. 17th, 2009 02:17 pm
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This is the third day of our rainy Nor'easter, and I'm ready for a glimpse of the sun. We almost had one a couple of hours ago --there were some weak shadows -- but it passed quickly and now it's raining again. It's a toasty 57 degrees in my office. I'm surprised I don't feel chilly, even with a fleece shawl and lap-robe.

There's almost three inches of water in a bucket I left out back. Good thing it's not fifteen degrees colder or there would be 30" of snow to be shoveled.

Today has been a Great Day of Stew Beef. This morning Roy cubed, floured, and browned more than seven pounds of beef roast that had been in the freezer for about as long as it ought to. I've turned half of it into a very rich stew that we will have over rice today, with potatoes tomorrow, and the balance frozen for lunches. The other half is becoming a rich soup/stew hybrid with hulled barley and other vegeteables. It too will become many many frozen lunches.

It's a wonderful dark damp day for a nap. Instead, I think I'll make another pot of coffee.
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I was short one egg this morning. I normally have a plain three-egg omelet cooked in olive oil and doused with Tabasco. So here's what I did instead:

Took two fairly thin slices of tofu, wrapped them with paper towel, and set a plate on top to press out some of the moisture.

Sliced one of my windowsill tomatoes as thin as I could.

Took a generous sprig of basil and cut the leaves into small bits with my kitchen shears.

Beat up the two eggs and cooked as usual, in olive oil, flipping the entire thing.

Then I put the tofu slices on one side of the omelet, the tomato slices on the other, sprinkled basil, ground a little black pepper over all, covered the pan with a lid, turned off the heat, and cleaned up the cutting board etc.

I slid onto a plate, folding one side of the omelet over, and doused with Tabasco as usual.

The tofu looked enough like mozzarella and was accompanied by enough buffalo mozzarella salad flavors that I barely noticed that it wasn't. Go me.
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Yesterday was pretty frantic with cleaning and such. And I've done something to my knees -- I suspect a combination of weight gain, water retention, and the challenge of biking home with a 19 lb turkey and accoutrement after not biking at all. So I hurt like hell.

But the table is set, the turkey is in the oven, and I am enjoying a cup of coffee while I wait for the ibuprofen to kick in so that I can take a shower and finish up the prep.

It's a simple, artery-clogging feast: roast stuffed turkey with gravy; baked macaroni; frozen french cut green beans dripping in butter. My daughter-in-law is bringing dessert. My brother-in-law is bringing a salad. And Roy's first wife's second husband is bringing homemade bread.

Snackies of the prefab and kid-friendly type have been acquired -- potato and tortilla chips, pretzels, dippy thingies. All the gifties are wrapped, and I have found things that will serve for last-minute guests -- niece's boyfriend, brother-in-law's mother, Roy's first wife's second husband's second wife. Now all I need is a slight reduction in knee pain and a trip to the shower.
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081112_16pemberton
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
All is not bright, because it's been cloudy all day and because I haven't yet lighted the 238 candles I plan to burn this evening. (It's more like 18, but you get the idea.)

I'm still negotiating with this cold, so I've been moving slowly all day. Still, I got the last of the decorations up, the living room (mostly) dusted, and such Christmas baking as I ever do (that would be snickerdoodles with red and green cherries in the middle and "You call this fruitcake????" brownies fabricated from Betty Crocker triple chunk brownie mix, walnut bits, and fruit & peel chunks from the Pathmark). My final shipment of presents for Roy is somewhere between Harrisburg and here according to the Amazon order tracker, but if they don't get here in time I have other things to give him. Now to put candles in the candleholders, finish dusting, and await Roy's return from walking the dog to start our Christmas Eve.

I love Christmas Eve, especially when we have nowhere to go, and nowhere to go tomorrow either. Roy has a choice bottle of red wine and four loin lamb chops from the megabucks butcher in the Reading Terminal, so we're ready to eat, drink, and be merry. And we have snickerdoodles for dessert!
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081126_09towerosprouts
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
Although the news has been sobering lately, and extremely upsetting during the past 24 hours, we have plenty to be thankful for at our house.

Starting with the fact that I'm not really cooking, although I will be carting this tower o' sprouts to my daughter-in-law as a Thanksgiving Vegetable With Drama.

Best to all of you.
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081031_trickortreat
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
I sat around in my witch hat and shawl for two hours waiting for the hobgoblins, who were largely no-shows. Whiskey and a crocheting project helped -- also Roy's offer to cook dinner.

I am thinking that if I make muffins this afternoon and top each newly-baked muffin with an inverted Reese's peanut butter cup they might be rather nice. Um. On second thought, I may try it with two -- one for Roy and one for me -- before wasting a dozen muffins (not to mention a dozen Reese's peanut butter cups) on an experiment that may be a miserable failure.

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