Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Back To Nature

Today we talk about all my accomplishments in the plant world. Look, I went to Home Depot and bought this myself:

These look much more impressive in real life.

I figured we needed a little color on the deck to distract from the general white trash feel we have going on back there. It worked! No one's called the HOA on us yet. That's $15 well spent, I say.

And then Larry bought basil plants at the farmers' market and I planted them right away, rather than waiting 2 weeks, as is my wont:

Incipient pesto, that's what these are...

There are SIX MORE basil plants I planted (unshown). I know! It's as if I suddenly developed a green thumb and a deep and abiding love for the natural world, right? But no, I just can't afford to keep buying premade pesto at the supermarket, is all.

Ditto for cherry tomatoes...

I'm sort of proud of this one - it's grown a lot. I've got the magic touch, all right.

And look what I picked out at Trader Joe's the day before Mother's Day:

Happy Mother's Day TO ME

Larry was with me at the time, so the tulips count as a present. Also, he had picked up flowers elsewhere that morning but hidden them, so he gets extra points for keeping mum (MUM, GET IT?) and letting me purchase even more flowers.

Because I am now so in tune with nature, I managed last night to photograph an actual rainbow:

You can sort of see it. There, in the center? Look harder.

Later on there was a colossal lightning storm, but I didn't get any pictures. Mostly because I was too busy running for my car while fearing instant death by a bolt from above. But take my word for it, the pyrotechnics were impressive. And now it's been raining for...what?...3 or 4 days straight, with 2 more days to come, so everyone's making "build an ark" jokes, which I will studiously refrain from because IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY ANYMORE, PEOPLE.

Yeah, a lot of rain. And tornadoes. And trees falling down. I don't know what happened to the lovely month of May, but I would like it back, please. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Interior Decorating, The Stupid Way

Well! I glanced at last Tuesday's post and boy, did I get a lot done that day. So now I'm mad at last week me for setting the Tuesday bar way too high. The heck with it. I'm gonna sit here and blog at you and not accomplish a darn thing.

First, I went to Target and discovered that that earring/shade pull trend - you know, the one I discovered at H&M - is a full-on epidemic at this point.

I urge you all to fight this. RESIST. Do not let curtain tie-backs hanging from your ears become the new normal.

Also, I was on a walk the other day and saw a turtle. So I snapped a photo, because - let's face it - that's not hard to do. I mean, it's not as though the creature is running out of the frame or anything. In fact, I bet they use turtles to practice on in Wildlife Photography 101.

I'm pretty sure there's a turtle in there. They don't shed their shells, do they?

Way easier to pose turtles than cheetahs, is what I'm saying...

Moving on...we had a couch in our basement family room. It was one of those huge leather (?) things that had a recliner at either end. We picked it up a number of years ago at a neighborhood yard sale to replace our broken-down sleeper sofa from IKEA (which was then picked up by ANOTHER family with a bunch of small kids). Our kids were thrilled by our new acquisition. "We have a REAL COUCH!" they told any neighbor who would listen.

You know, maybe it's no wonder people around here were always giving me their extra stuff.

Now, this couch was made for taller people than moi. I couldn't sit up on it properly, because what I guess is supposed to be the neck rest (for the non-altitudinally challenged among us) always pushed my head forward. This doesn't sound that bad, but believe me, it's incredibly uncomfortable. So I'd have to recline the seat. But then that made me fall asleep. I always felt like I was drowning in it.

I didn't like that couch, is what I'm saying.

But Larry liked it, because he is tall and he was happy to finally have a piece of furniture in the house that he could lean back on. So I suffered. The things we do for love, you know? Also, trying to find a new couch seemed too overwhelming. Harder than choosing a stove, even...

Anyway, then we did that whole basement remodel thing, after which even Larry agreed that the couch had to go. It was too big, and too dark a color, and just all wrong.

So we posted it for $100 bucks online. Didn't get so much as a nibble. FINE. We posted it for free and it still sat there for weeks. Let me note here that when we post an old, broken appliance, at least 5 people contact us within an HOUR, begging to pick it up. Apparently, there are too many couches in this world.

No one wanted this. Why? WHY?

But FINALLY, someone texted and offered to pick it up yesterday evening. "I'll be there between 6:30 and 7:00," he said. Oh, Larry was thrilled! He came home from work early, just to make sure he could get rid of that couch, which had become a sort of albatross around his neck, as it were.

At 6:15, our entire area was put under a rare tornado warning, with torrential rain pouring down on us and lightning flashing through the sky. For some reason the couch-getter decided not to risk his life just to pick up a free piece of furniture. "Tomorrow," he texted. "I'll come at 6:30 AM." Larry and the kids and I were forced to hunker down in the basement, watching the back yard flood under the downpour and looking at the couch that WILL NOT LEAVE, and I could feel Larry - who hates to give up on a plan - thinking, We could've done it, dammit...

So I'm glad the guy with the UHaul had some sense. And now the couch IS gone and we get to argue about a replacement, which discussion should go just as well as the one about the area rugs. You know, a full year ago? Do you see any rugs in that picture up there? No, you DO NOT.

Oh, well, I guess minimalist is a style. Just a hand-me-down chair from a friend and a TV and a couple of bicycles. We're good. Really.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

There's Always Room For Jell-O

Hi! Today was special, in that I actually got to stay home most of the day and get things done around here. I planted the three tomato plants that Larry bought at the Farmer's Market on Saturday (in containers on my deck, that's as close as I get to gardening), added compost to all the planters that are awaiting basil plants, and weeded the front yard because it is being taken over by these weird prickly plants that I can only assume come from Mars:

Anyone know what this thing is? 

And THEN I went inside and emptied 2 of my kitchen cabinets - you  know, the two I couldn't really use anymore because they were full, so everything else gets left on the counter beneath them. But that also happens to be the counter in front of the microwave, so we have to move all the overflow items whenever we want to use that particular appliance. In other words, ALL THE TIME.

So I dove in and found any number of things to get rid of, such as 2 containers of coconut oil, which is sort of weird they were in there, because I don't use coconut oil for anything. I organized the spices that were in there and refilled my spice jars and marveled at the fact that I have 2 boxes of tapioca pudding mix that I haven't gotten around to using.

I LOVE tapioca pudding.

This here won the prize for having the oldest expiration date:

I swear, we don't eat lime Jell-O here. I have no idea why it was in my cabinet. I have actually been trying to see if I can spot it in this picture from 2012, where I'm demonstrating my neighbors' predilection for giving me all their food when they move. The Jell-O might be hiding under that little spice box with the green lid, right there in the center, I'm thinking.

So anyway, I threw that out, too, even though I think it is debatable whether or not Jell-O can actually expire. And now I am the proud owner of kitchen cabinets that have some extra space in them, space where I can stow the flotsam and jetsam that appears on my counters with alarming regularity.

Also? I found a small bag of (unexpired) mini Oreos as I cleaned. So I'd call this day a win, all the way around.

Monday, May 07, 2018

No Veggies, No Yard Work

It was my Aldi's day, but I didn't get anything interesting to show you, not even my fave rice puddings. I also went to Costco, where you can buy a large 18" pizza for $10, because I believe in feeding my kids healthy like that.

Hey, there were veggies on it, you know.

Speaking of veggies, I am once again staring in confusion at the little "save it for the blog" notes I make for myself throughout the day. This morning, I scribbled "No veggies, no yard work." I remember feeling confident that I would know what I was talking about - later, when I would need it. AND thinking it was something funny.

Anyone want to take that and run with it? Because I have no idea what it means.

Gratuitous photo of cute doggie in a convertible. You're welcome.

In other news, Larry bought a new keyboard and mouse last night (with Brian's help, because we are now utterly dependent on that kid's tech advice) and I'm having trouble with it. I mean, I usually don't pay attention to my typing, but now I feel as if my fingers are falling into the spaces between the keys, which makes no sense, but there you are. Or there I am, anyway.

I sort of want one of those keyboards that look like an old manual typewriter, actually.

I went into Best Buy this morning during Brian's shift, so he could show me the other keyboards. I tried gazillion of them, and by the end I decided to just go back to my old one. I know! It was just overwhelming, and once I started paying attention to my typing, NOTHING felt right. I think Brian needs to sneak a new keyboard on my desk every night until we happen on the one I don't notice. If that makes any sense...

Gratuitous flower photo - it's azalea season here, in case you couldn't tell

So I'm still typing on this new thing because I don't know how to switch back to the old one and Brian is busy trying to finish up schoolwork for senior year and is probably just sick of me and my keyboard problems anyway. In fact, I suspect he's scratching tally marks on his bedroom wall, just counting the days until he can get away from us.

34, to be exact. He has 34 days. Then he gets to go on a free trip to Israel (courtesy of Birthright, given to those Hebrews among us) for 10 days, after which he'll stay and hang out over there with Anna and Theo for a while more. (Anna and Theo have been in Israel since September, teaching English to kids who speak Arabic. What with that and David's spring-semester internship in Texas, we are currently a far-flung family.)

Everyone gets back here some time in the summer, though, and chaos will reign. Chaos and potato salad, actually. Speaking of which, I made my first potato salad of the season just a few days ago, but I forgot to take a picture to share with you all.

That moment will just have to be lost to posterity, I'm afraid. But the potato salad was greeted with great rejoicing by Susie, who has a particular predilection for potato salad sandwiches. No, we don't understand the concept either. But who are we to argue? Remember, she's the grandchild.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Slam Dunk

I don't know where the days go anymore. I haven't been here since Wednesday? All I remember doing lately is messing with these things here:

Admit it - you wish you were me.

I have to place these in the drainpipes of about 50 houses, because our neighborhood is Mosquito Central in the summer months; these things, at least in theory, kill any larvae that have the temerity to hatch in those little pools of water that stay in the hosepipes extending from everyone's gutters. Once a month I get to do this, because our neighborhood split right down the middle on whether or not to pay someone to spray pesticides every 3 weeks to kill the mosquitoes and I swear, you haven't seen discord like that since the Civil War.

You know, everyone says they want to live in a close-knit community, but then reality sets in. Reality being other people, of course...

OMG, this is so boring. But then, so is my life right now, so at least I'm keeping things real, right? I do try to keep a list of interesting topics that pop into my head during the day; but when I go back and check my list (say, at a time such as this), I don't understand what the heck I wrote.

I'm sure this happened to Tolstoy a lot.

Oh, wait, there was Rachel's high school play and concession duty and the cast party last night and maybe that's why I'm so tired? I've also been knitting (WHAT A SURPRISE), but seeing as how all my projects are in various states of disrepair right now, I'm thinking I need a new hobby. You know, a hobby that isn't so disappointing all the time? I'm taking suggestions here.

Larry and I, despite being old and married and tired, actually managed to watch something TOGETHER on our TV this evening. It was that Netflix comedy special with John Mulaney, which started out mildly amusing and then became funny and then I literally fell off the couch trying not to choke on my own laughter. It had a sort of cumulative effect, is what I'm saying.

Watch it, okay? No, really, WATCH IT. And report back.