Monday, July 30, 2007

Ah, Monday...

Well, it was a productive weekend! We got all the tile in but two around the door and a small row if tiles we have to cut in the corner. Our "random" pattern couldn't be as random as we wanted- the green tiles were just a little smaller than the cream ones. Oh well! It looks good now, and if we can get the grout in this week it will be fabulous (plus we'll be able to move things back in!). Dad and Suzy brought two prints for us, and I think the one with an Asian theme will look wonderful in there with all of the green on the walls and in the print. Suzy showed me a great website that I found lots of things at! We still need to get some doorknobs for the closet- Joe wants something a little whimsical and I was looking at something more antique-glass-knob-like. They have both there, along with some really neat shelf brackets I adore. I also really dig this hook system. It would be great for bathrobes or whatever! I'll post pics of the room without furniture when we get the floor grouted. We still haven't fully decided about the baseboards yet, but are leaning towards oak to match the closet doors and switch covers.
Joe and I took Sam to the 5Th Harry Potter movie last night. Man, I can't say I like what the new director has done. Hagrid isn't the oaf he always was, the scene when they speak to Sirius in the fire was done completely different than before (and it was cooler before), and there were some things cut that I really felt were extremely important for the future. Now the good points were that Umbridge was PERFECT, Bellatrix was amazingly creepy (excellent for someone in Azkaban for 14 years), and the scenes with Dumbledore's Army were fantastic (tho there were fewer than I had hoped). Oh well, I understand they couldn't include everything from the book. It just seemed they left out some very pertinent scenes. Maybe I should direct the next one!
The garden is still producing. We have had rain the past two days, so I hope the last couple cantaloupes will still be sweet since I just picked them this morning. The tomatoes are everywhere, but Dad and Suzy did take a few. They also took a cantaloupe and a huge cuke. We made BLT's with one of the bigger toms Saturday and Suzy was very pleased with the flavor of the 'German' we used. Too bad I could only get them to take four home! Joe and I also have eaten the half-pint and another pint of the salsa, I may be making more of that before I can plain toms! I will use a whole quart tomorrow in the pork roast.
I did eat a bit off this weekend, but that was expected. I still weighed in at only 190.2 this morning, and I'm sure that my only drinking 2qts of water each day had something to do with that. I even ate popcorn at the movie and bad Mexican food Saturday night. I hope to see 186 by Friday (just in time to go to Great Wolf Lodge this weekend...). I have noticed my tighter shorts feel better, so that's a plus too. And I got an amazing compliment both days this weekend- Saturday night at the (bad) play, our friend Krista said "Oh my Gosh! You look amazing!" and then Sunday at the mall some Subway regulars from way back saw Joe and I and called us the "getting skinny people". Now, Krista hasn't seen me in ages (maybe over a year?) and the other lady has always been a super-sweetie, but I'm taking them both!
Sam has his friend Blake over for the day. Blake's sister is getting something removed from her finger today so I said he could come over here and play with Sam. Maybe they'll take Sam Wednesday so I can tackle the fun payroll with the two different wages problem!
Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday at last!!!

Well I made it thru the week. Yes, there was doubt after the long weekend but I made it!
As I said, when we got home our garden was 'a-overflowin'. It hasn't slowed down either! I got another melon Tuesday, and two more yesterday. I used the one from Tuesday to try a new ice cream from my Ben&Jerry's book- Cantaloupe. It's ok, nothing spectacular. I think that's my fault tho- I was a bit afraid so I only used half the melon instead of all of it. The only problem with the ice cream is that it's pretty light on flavor. I bet with some strawberries it would make an excellent milkshake!
I also have an abundance of tomatoes and peppers. Our little yellow/pink toms we've been slicing and eating nearly ever night were SUPPOSED to have been 'Green Zebra' toms, and we've had another switch with some peppers. We thought we were buying 'Big Chilis' which are bigger than jalapenos and great for stuffing. Apparently what we actually got were something like a serrano- same length as a jalapeno but skinny and REALLY hot! Since the salsa I make every year tends to be on the mild side, I made hot stuff this time with a bunch of those peppers. Man, I gotta say it's the best canned salsa I have ever made! Not hot enough to make you wish you were never born, but just hot enough to remind you to grab a beer. Good stuff, especially with some goat cheese mixed in and the Veggie Chips we bought at Wild Oats! I got three and a half pints and two big quarts. Yummy!!
My slicer toms are going nutso out there. I have an entire countertop covered with them, trying to give them to everyone I know. Hope Dad and Suzy want some when they come!
They should be here tonight for dinner. They are coming to help us tile the guest floor and finish up any loose ends. If we don't wear ourselves out tomorrow, we're all going to see "Gilligan's Island: the Musical"! That's the last summer theater play, and it sounds like fun.
I have managed to get myself back down to 188.2 from the weekend's daliances. I'm sure it won't be that good on Monday, but if I can manage to drink all of my water I might be ok. Joe even got past the elusive 200 for the first time since the beginning of the year! I think when school starts things will get better, at least for me. It's very hard to exercise right now. (It doesn't help that the "Beast" is hidden amongst everything from the guest room closet!)
Well, one quart of water down, two more to go. I'm off to the liquor store for vino, beer, and tequila! I bought some of the Zilch stuff (it mixes with tequila and water to make a SF margarita) and want to try it. Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We're baaack!

We're back and settled. We only got to do about half of the things we wanted to, there just wasn't time! We got to the Art Museum and saw the mummy exhibit and the Napoleon exhibit. We happened to be there Friday night when they had free entrance to Napoleon and were staying open extra late. Convenient! There was some really amazing stuff to see, and we didn't even see everything. After that, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe at Union Station for dinner. Best burger I have ever had! We had this fabulous waiter- looked a bit like Talking Heads front man David Byrne from 20 years ago. He set us up with a free set of their collector glasses just because Joe didn't complain about the guacamole on his burger! He also brought Sam free french fries when he was disappointed with his mac and cheese. It was a great place! After dinner Joe and Sam rode the paddle boats around the pond in the Station and we walked around for a bit.
The hotel was nice, great for the price. It was very old, and needing redecorating not more covering-up. Nice people tho. And no, Joe didn't want to use the free limo service. I made him promise that we would next time we went anywhere that offered it tho!
Saturday morning we ate breakfast outside at a creperie before heading to the Zoo. We spent over four hours there. We went and had lunch at the Science Center before walking around there most of the afternoon. There was a walkway over the highway that we could use radar guns to see how fast people were driving! Very freaky! After that we went back to the hotel and swam for a little bit- the pool was on a second floor terrace! We went back to Union Station for dinner, this time to a New Orleans-style seafood place called Landry's. Great food there too! We walked around the Station for awhile, played 3-D mini golf (pretty lame actually), bought some fudge and crazy-good chocolates, did some shopping, and walked off dinner.
Sunday morning we ate breakfast at the hotel (ever had Amaretto French Toast?) and went downtown to see Busch Stadium and my grandparent's brick. Thanks to direction from Dad and my cousin Mike we found it no problem! It was a very tearful moment. They have a bust of Jack Buck doing (with full sound!) many famous broadcasts and it made me think of Grandma and Grandpa even more. They would have loved everything we saw! Then we went to the Arch. Sam had been bugging us since we hit town Friday night about going! We went under it to the museum and store, but did NOT go up in it. I don't do heights and Joe doesn't do enclosed spaces. It's funny tho, I teased Joe for hours afterwards about not taking Sam up and then later in the day we found out about the power outage they had Saturday night causing about 200 people to be stuck for several hours at the top and in the trams. I can't tease him anymore!
All in all, I ate somewhat badly, but feel I should have walked off every little bit of it! I think we probably walked about 5-7 miles everyday at least! We did see several things we'd like to go back and do, but childless. We never made it to the Botanical Gardens, the Anhueser-Busch Brewery, or any of the wineries along the way.
Joe asked me where I thought we should go next. We had both been thinking about Chicago! Gonna have to make that a longer trip tho- can't see much of Chicago in 3 days. Plus, I say next trip we take the train. I know Joe really likes having his car, but there are so many other ways to get around without all the hassle of paying EVERY TIME you want to park!!!
When we got home, there was a ripe cantaloupe and TONS of tomatoes. I picked two Germans that were 1.25 pounds EACH!!! We ate the whole cantaloupe last night- man was that good. I have tons of canning to do this week with the tomatoes and cukes I got yesterday. Got slicer toms too tho, lots of Germans and several Stripeys. Good eats!
Off to go grocery shopping then back here to try and finish Harry Potter!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Friday here I come!

Well, we're leaving tomorrow! I've got just about everything packed, and the house is pretty much picked up. We even got a power inverter for the car so Sam can watch movies on the laptop while we drive! Of course, I bet he chooses to read more than watch movies... Smart kid!
This is what I made for dinner last night. It was just a chicken breast stuffed with a mix of spinach and mixed Italian cheeses. Then I baked it for 30 minutes @ 425 and topped it with more cheese. I broiled that until it browned nicely. I made a "bed" for it out of a pint of my canned tomatoes mixed with Italian seasoning and simmered until it reduced quite a bit. Served with broccoli and fresh tomatoes it was a great meal! These sliced tomatoes we have eaten at every dinner for the last week. I have said it before, but NOTHING beats a garden-fresh tomato! We even had some again tonight with the Thunder Thighs, green beans, and baked butternut squash!

As I said, I baked a squash tonight. It was one from our garden of course. I was surprised- Joe even ate his half! I cut it lengthwise and seeded it. Then I put on a tablespoon of olive oil spread and sprinkled the cut side with DiabetiSweet Brown and covered the dish with foil. Bake it @ 425 for an hour, then drizzle it with the melted butter in the cavity and I drizzled a little SF maple syrup on it. Bake another 10 minutes and YUMMMMMMMMMMMM! Definitely a new Thanksgiving dish!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Yummmmm, fresh tomatoes!

Man, there really is nothing like a fresh tomato! The 'German Johnson' variety is fabulous for slicing and eating with a little salt and pepper. In fact, that was half of my lunch today- most of a sliced tom and two light hot dogs w/o buns. YUMMY! I picked a 'Mr. Stripey' today, but it won't be ready for another day or so.
The kitties are growing so fast! I took these picks of them today, and compared them to when we brought them home. Max is ha-YOO-ge! He's going to be built like Tripper I think- big, stocky, and thick. Miss Charlie is growing too, and tho she's smaller than Max she isn't going to be a tiny thing. She's almost as big now as Sam's 3yo outside cat Fizzy. They are as frisky as ever too. Luckily the waking up at 6am every morning to play stopped quickly! I have also noticed that as in people, female cats mature faster than their male counterparts. Charlie already has her permanent teeth, but Max still has his baby ones. I suppose it IS possible they aren't brother and sister after all, but I doubt it.

I am canning tomatoes right now. This first batch is five pints, and I'm sure there will be plenty more after our trip! I tried some new varieties of roma-type toms this year and think the best have been 'Mamma Mia'. They are huge, thick-walled, and practically seedless. They skin so easily too! I will be on the lookout for them next season.

I cut all of my butternuts today as well. They are all orange like the ones in the store, so I figured I was safe. Counting the one I tried the other night, I had 12. There are new small ones on the vines now, so I bet I get more this fall!

Time to start packing for the weekend. Joe always thinks I'm compulsive, but he has to admit we never forget ANYTHING!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Office Pics part 2

We are in the upstairs area of the Farm and Home Real Estate officees. In the basement there are two small radio stations, on the main floor there is a temp service and also a massage therapist!! It's a guy, never seen one of those before. We have a separate entrace on the side and the stairs go straight to our door area. Down the hall from our office are two nice bathrooms and a kitchenette. There is also a "living room"-type area there with a sofa, chairs, and a stereo. It's so nice!!! No spiders or kids running around, very quiet and clean. Obviously we need some pictures on the walls! We're also told the breeze that comes in with our big windows is wonderful, so we're looking forward to fall! We even have our own thermostat!!!
This is the corner in the back office where we'll store stuff, and another small window-

This is my side of the desk, and the second big window. We have hanging planters for this room.

This is the view of the front office from the back office.

Office Pics!!!

Went there today to return my work to it's "home" and took these pics. Sam HAD to be in them! I'll make two posts for all of the pics.
This is as you walk in the front doors-

The right side of the front room, where I want to put my own desk eventually. Nice big window that does open! Facing this way the front doors would be behind you.

The left side of the front room where the file cabinet is. The two doors are offices being used by others, and in the tiny corner there is a closet. It's still full of the previous renter's stuff, but that will be moved out soon.

Walking into the back office-

The monster desk system!

Long week...

We are moved in! The office is fabulous. We got a lot of stuff moved over Thursday, and then Friday the bossman, his brother, and his two nephews came and helped move the big stuff- like the 500 pound desk. We got it all set up by 7:30 Friday night. By then it was too late to go home and cook so I just grabbed Wheat State and brought that home. Yesterday we bought some plants to go in there since there are two big windows and two smaller ones. I will try to remember to photo it when I go in today.
Sam was fine at his appointment, tho did flip out when it came time for his shot. He cried and whined, then she gave him a coupon for a free cone at McD's. Guess that makes it all better? This marked the first time since his birth that his weight was more than his height. Not by much tho! He is now 49 3/4 inches tall and weighs 50 1/4 pounds. Like I said, not by much. Growing like a weed and twice as stubborn!
Have been getting lots of tomatoes. The roma/canners are ripening well, and I got two of the heirloom slicers this weekend. They are the 'German Johnson' variety, and man are they good! A pink tom with the sweet heirloom flavor, few seeds, and so juicy! There are several more out there, but I'm waiting for the 'Mr. Stripey' toms to ripen- those are extraordinary! Killer sliced and salted. The little orange/pink/yellow ones that I bought thinking they were 'Green Zebras' are fabulous too. Wish I knew what they were for next year! I took several over to the neighbor across the street last night. Her hubby is in Iraq... Anything I can do to make her feel welcome.
Picked a butternut the other night and grilled it along with the chicken. Would have been good too, if it had cooked all the way. Could have used another 15 minutes. I have plenty to "experiment" with! The melons are about ready too, just another couple days should do it. They are putting on several new fruits too, so it won't just be an eat-the-fruit-quickly thing. We'll have a whole other batch! The jalapenos are still growing wild. I have three quart bags full, have canned a pint already, and will stuff them tonight and tomorrow. We're even giving some to the bossman! The zuke plant is toast. Whatever was getting at it won. Luckily the eggplants that are right next to it are completely untouched. The cukes are putting on another batch too, tho it will be a couple weeks for those. I did try those pickles I made- not bad! It's wild, they are sweet, tangy, sour, and spicy all at the same time!
The guest room is looking good! The walls and ceiling are painted, we got the closet doors installed, the ledge on the wall is stained and waiting to be put in. Honestly the biggest thing now is the tiling. We bought the rest of the tile yesterday, and decided it would be cheaper to buy a tile saw than rent one. Basically, we blew a ton of money at the home store yesterday! The room has become a little more expensive than we had hoped, but not by much. It's going to look so nice! I keep telling Joe we may end up wanting to make that OUR bedroom!
Well off to take the last of my work stuff to the office and then go grocery shopping. We leave Friday for St. Louis so the list is very small. I do plan to get some good snacks to eat along the way!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ready for a little peace...

It has been so crazy with the remodel and not working in the office lately! I am so ready to get back to normal. I have work I need to do, and it's not easy doing it here when the files I need are in the file cabinet in the office! UGH! Joe hopes to start moving into the new space Friday. I can't wait!
I made a stir-fry the other night for dinner, along with egg drop soup (a fave of all of us!) and the crispy noodles. The stir-fry was some of the chicken I cooked for the wraps (really just ground chicken with seasoning), leftover asian-mix veggies, some broccoli, carrots, and onion. I also used a couple of my eggplants and made a spicy eggplant side. It was ok, nothing spectacular. The egg drop however... I love it! Even Sam adores it, snarfs it down!
I made some zucchini bread yesterday. While I was tasting it, Sam came in and wanted to try it. He loved it! Then later when I told him what it was he vowed never to eat it again (chocolate chips or not). Last night for his snack that was what he asked for! I asked him to make sure that he remembered what it was. He said he didn't care because it was really good. Wow! Joe even ate some for breakfast today.
Last night was stuffed peppers. Man those are good! I made a cuke salad to go with it from our garden haul- tomatoes, carrots, onions, and of course a cuke! Good stuff!
I finally made some pickles yesterday. I lost that recipe I wanted to try, so I made one up! These are sweet/spicy pickles with a hint of cinnamon. I don't know how spicy they'll be tho, all I did was put a half of a jalapeno in the jar before I added the cukes. Should work tho, I did some like that last year. Just gives them a little zing at the end. Hope these are good!

Rained again yesterday- stormed actually. The lights flickered a bit while we were eating dinner, but we never really lost power. I was hoping the rain would skip us, the cantaloupes are ripening and they are not to get watered the last week. Oh well! I also couldn't go out and spray the bugs off in the garden. The zukes were covered in eggs the other day, and they all hatched. Hate using any chemicals, but at least what I have now is organic. Still losing the plant tho...
Today is Sam's check-up. So not looking forward to the fit he's going to throw when they go to give him his booster shot. He hates needles, and really goes into super-panic mode. Last time they had to take a little blood, he threw himself down on the floor and went into hysterics for 15 minutes! Yes, it was only last year!!! It's going to be a very long day. After that we have to go grocery shopping. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rangoon, Wraps, and Relaxation

I made those wraps Friday night- not quite the same, but pretty close! I also fried some Crab Rangoon to have with it. Yeah, I said FRIED! They were soooooo good too!

P.F. Chang'S Soothing Chicken Lettuce Wraps
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 ts arrowroot
2 ts dry sherry
2 ts water
1 ts soy sauce
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken, ground
5 tb oil
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, minced
2 sm dried chilis, (optional)
1/2 of an 8oz can bamboo shoots, minced
1/2 of an 8 oz can water chestnuts, minced
1/6 of a package cellophane chinese rice noodles, prepared according to instructions in pkg
Cooking sauce:
1 tb hoisin sauce
1 tb soy sauce
1 tb dry sherry
2 tb oyster sauce
2 tb water
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. arrowroot
Iceberg lettuce 'cups' leaves (I used butterhead leaves)
Cover mushrooms with boiling water, let stand 30 minutes then drain. Cut and discard woody stems. Mince the mushrooms. Set aside. Mix all ingredients for cooking sauce in bowl, and set aside. In medium bowl, combine arrowroot, sherry water, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and chicken. Stir to coat chicken thoroughly. Stir in 1 tsp. oil and let sit 15 minutes to marinate. Heat wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 Tbsp oil, then add chicken and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside. Add 2 Tbsp oil to pan. Add ginger, garlic, chilies(if desired), and onion; stir fry about a minute or so. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts; stir fry an additional 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan. Add mixed cooking sauce to pan. Cook until thickened and hot. Break cooked cellophane noodles into small pieces, and cover bottom of serving dish with them. Then pour chicken mixture on top of noodles. Spoon into lettuce leaf and Roll.

Crab Rangoon
3.25oz package of crab meat
8oz lite cream cheese
1 tsp sesame oil
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp each garlic and onion powder
1/2 package wonton skins
Mix everything but the skins together and chill. Wet two sides of a skin and put 1/2 a tbalespoon of filling in the middle. Fold in half to form a triangle, then bring in the two bottom tips together and seal with water. I put these on a plate with arrowroot to keep them from sticking together. When all are made, heat and inch of canola oil in a pan and fry four at a time until browned. I cooked them most of the way, then finished them in the oven.

Well Saturday we did NOTHING! We went to the movies and out to dinner last night. It was relaxing day at our house, no work was done other than watering the garden and picking more veggies. I got three more cukes (two I gave to the neighbor and she nearly fainted at the sight!), another big eggplant, four smaller ones, a zuke, and we picked all of the first-batch carrots. Here's the haul for yesterday-

Today, we WORK! After breakfast and coffee, we will go into the guest room and not come out for hours.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's open!

The store opened yesterday. Nothing fancy, just opened the lobby. They did decent sales for not having any advertising at all and a Bobcat in the parking lot making a new spot. The practice run for the drive-thru should be this afternoon- if the guy gets there and finishes the headset work. It will open officially Monday! I goofed when I did payroll yesterday and forgot to change the delivery address. Luckily the UPS driver saw the big note on the old location and brought it down to the new store. That could have been VERY bad!
I took Sam and a friend to the pool in town yesterday. It was really perfect pool weather- 93 degrees and partly cloudy. I swam a bit, then just sat out and enjoyed the sun. The boys had fun going around the lazy river, going down the water slides, and diving for rings. There weren't too many people there, so it was not overly crowded. Too bad it costs $7 just for Sam and I...
We have two huge cukes in the fridge and two more on the vine. I have GOT to get those pickles made! The tomato plants look awful, like they are burnt, but they do that every year and still go on producing. The slicer plants are covered in fruit! The butternuts are definitely ripening since they are all a nice creamy butter color now. I am sure they will be ready by the end of the month. The cantaloupes are lightening, so those will be ready soon too!
I weighed this morning- just for the heck of it since I ate a HUGE steak last night. It said 187.6! I did it twice just to make sure and it was the same both times. I don't get it!
I am making those PF Changs wraps tonight. I wanted to make them last night, but the store didn't have any ground chicken and my stuff at home was frozen. I am thawing two chicken breasts now, so I will have to chop it up myself. I found the recipe for the wraps on the forum I used to go to, and it looks like it will be dead-on. I am very excited! I think I might make a cold soba noodle side to go with it, maybe using some of the zucchini or eggplant from the garden. We'll see!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth!

Made my veggie fajitas last night. They weren't as good as the other way. Oh well, live and learn!
We shot off the rest of our fireworks last night. Tonight we will drive into town and watch the big(ish) display, and then we'll be up all night listening to the neighbors... Since they are legal in our small town, everyone shoots them off until way past midnight. It's just once a year, but goes on for daaaaaays.
I made Joe some muffins yesterday. I was going back thru the blog and saw my Applesauce Muffins and thought he'd like those again. This time I added a cinnamon swirl to them- good stuff! They are especially good with that horrible pumpkin butter on them! ;) I will have to try to duplicate that this fall...
I have Sam working on some workbooks this morning. He has been just awful the last couple weeks acting like he's the center of the universe, so we are now going to start assigning him a couple of chores everyday and he's doing "school"work. It's hard to find a good chore for him tho. I'd love for it to be changing/scooping the catbox, but that's not a good one for a kid. I think he'll be doing the table-setting at dinner, helping put away his laundry, and I'm not sure about any others.
We got his enrollment packet yesterday! I'm going to mail it in this time, since we don't have to get accepted this year. So nice to have one less worry! He may say he doesn't miss school, but I know he misses his friends! It's also getting harder to work with him around. The sister of his friend that was supposed to be watching him during payroll weeks called and cancelled at 10:30pm the night before she was to watch him. I didn't even get the message until about 15 minutes before I was going to drop him off! Needless to say, she isn't watching him now. There are two girls here in town that will be in high school next year, and both of them could do it. I hate to pay someone to watch him when I'm here, but it does make it easier! Plus, they are both really sweet girls. They were both his "book helpers" when he was in kindergarten. With the pool being just two blocks away, they could easily take him there.
Joe and all of the employees are at the new store today cleaning up, doing food prep and learning where everything is. He is so stressed! Every time a store opens, someone from corporate comes, plus you have the health department inspection and all. I know he is so ready to get this over with. He is so concerned that it's going to be a disaster tomorrow! They got the awnings in the front and all the pole signs put up yesterday- it looks really sharp! I'm very excited about it! Now if it just stays dry so they can do the drive-thru stuff...
Well, off to do some work. I have to make about a million copies today and do payroll and such. Have a happy 4th and stay safe!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The office

I get to go put our deposit down on the fabulous office today! We won't get to move in really until next week at the earliest with the other store moving and all. That and we have a huge desk that will require both of us AND another person! I may move some smaller stuff in before then tho.
The new store will open Thursday as planned. The lights they were waiting for came in yesterday (three weeks late and a day early), and the pop machine should be in today. They plan to just open the lobby for a couple days since the drive-thru won't be done until Friday at the earliest. That is if it doesn't rain today or tomorrow like it might. And of course they are also waiting on the guy who is setting up the drive-thru ordering system (who happens to be the guy we rent our current office from, so we can't seem to get ahold of him). Let's all think good thoughts, eh?
Last night I picked yet another giant cuke from our vine. This prompted me to measure both this latest one and the super giant I picked the other day. The new one is 17 inches long with a circumference of 8.25 inches. The other one was 18 inches long and a circumference of 8.75 inches!!! I think they are wild!
I also counted the squashes and found we have 11 bigguns out there. I picked two Ichiban eggplants to eat this week (Joe says "Eggplant Parm??!!") and took a few more zukes. Whatever is nibbling them is killing the plant, so I'm not sure how long I will be able to get them. One zuke has been completely dissolved by it! My tomatoes are covered, so I'm still looking for that sun we usually get relentlessly in July. I pulled most of the remaining onions too. With the ground so wet, I was afraid they'd begin to mold or rot. I have tons of jalapenos, so this week we're having "Appetizer Night" with dinner- stuffed peppers and wings! Looks like the little Fairy Tale eggplants are supposed to get about 4-5 inches long, so I will be picking them soon. They sure are cute! Pink and white streaked. Like little Easter Eggs! Here is a link to them at Mine have a bit more white on them than the ones in the picture. I did notice they grow in clusters like cherry tomatoes tho, really neat! Nothing tastes better than a homegrown eggplant...
Off to do some Subway work. Stay dry everyone!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Getting to work!

I mentioned we'd be remodeling the guest room soon. Well a flooded corner of our basement was just the motivation we needed to get moving. Actually, we were planning to start this weekend anyway, this just made it more important to get the carpet outta there! Unfortunately, they had used some wicked adhesive to hold it down, so we had to get a solvent to get the rest up (we're about 1/4 done). We also pulled off a small section of drywall as we discovered it had flooded before and it was moldy! When we pulled it off, we found an old termite home coming in from a crack, so we patched that too. It's going to be a lot of work getting this done, but I guarantee it will be done right!
We bought one box of floor tiles just to bring them in and see how it looked. We are using 12x12 tiles of a mossy-type green and brownish pattern. Hard to describe, but very nice. They are really inexpensive too! The boxes have 15 tiles and are only $12!!! We'll probably only need 10-12 boxes, so that will save us some money. We bought the paint based on the tiles too. A nice mossy green for the walls and a very very pale green for the ceiling and closet doors. We even picked out some light fixtures we liked, so that will be next.

The ceiling was terribly textured- I mean that both in how much it was and how badly it was done. There was red glitter in the texturing?? Joe got it scraped down pretty well, not fully flat but not super bumpy either. A nice happy medium. I did a lot with the solvent on the floor, it has to sit 15-30 minutes after applying. Both of us are sore, but this is going to look so great when we're done!

I ate badly this weekend, but am not beating myself up about it. I worked hard both days (as all of my backside muscles can tell you!), so I feel okay about my food. Mostly I just ate too much of it, not really eating BAD things. It's all good- this is a new week! Last night with our brat dinner, I made a salad with veggies all from our own garden. It was a ranch salad with sliced cukes, carrots (both our orange and purple ones), sweet onion, and cherry tomatoes from the patio plant. Very tasty and completely organic. Still have two cukes to eat, and more on the vine. I hate to make more pickles since I still have some from last year, but I found a new recipe for sweet&hot ones that sounds delish. One cuke will make about 2 quarts! Plus they are perfect for camping- all that vinegar keeps them well.

Garden update-
We have about 7 cantaloupes, all growing very nicely in this rain. The butternut squashes are turning more of a creamy yellow-orange color. Might be ready in a month? The tomato plants are covered in fruits, but need SUN!!! Come on, Mother Nature! Momma needs some homemade spaghetti sauce! The Ichiban eggplant is fruiting nicely, there are three more on there. The Fairy Tale eggplants are growing too, tho fruiting is slower with those. They grow in clusters a bit like cherry tomatoes, it's quite cute! The zuke plant has many small ones on there, but none big enough to cut yet. Something dissolved one of them, so I'll have to keep an eye out.

Shopping with the kiddo today and watching Pan's Labyrinth tonight... Oh, and that office is ours if our bossman approves when he sees it today! I even got the rent down some. I know, I'm GOOD!!! Here's to hoping it's a dry week!