Sunday, June 9, 2013

A little randomness from an off-line weekend.

On Friday I found the first ripe tomato. Just a cherry tomato, but it's a start. The first several will never make it into the house - I eat them right off the vine.

Later that night, I ate a ton of good sushi. I sure do love sushi.The person who invited me emailed to say he'd be coming directly from work and so hoped I wouldn't be offended if he was in jeans. I wrote back: "Oh all right, then I won't wear the evening gown I was planning on. Or the tiara. Sheesh."
His response: "Nama told me they have a strict policy of one smartass per table... guess I have to call and change our reservation to two separate tables."
I got some questions about my reference to moving. Yes, but not for a year. As soon as my son wraps up high school, though, I want this house on the market. I know, I know, it's beautiful and peaceful out here, I have a great yard and house, and I've put tons and tons of work into making it just what I want. But this is such a conservative little place that I feel completely isolated out here. I need to live in a bigger town where I will have the opportunity to spend more time with like-minded people. Besides, I can always fix up another house and yard.  It'll be an adventure.

Saturday morning I went out to the lake and walked five miles. When I got back home, I was sitting in my living room, looking out at the park-like view behind my house, drinking my coffee, and feeling unaccountably melancholy. I decided the best way to deal with that was to think of some things to do to make me feel productive. I set about making a list of possibilities, hoping I'd at least get a few of them done.
There were a few cooking tasks on the list so the first step was to get to the grocery store. As I was in the produce section, I passed a little girl being pushed in a cart. She pointed at me and said, "Look, Mommy, that lady's buying vegetables!" The mom looked embarrassed, but I thought it was really funny. Among other things I wanted to get an anaheim and a banana pepper to make a new batch of roasted pepper vinaigrette. I also wanted a chance to try out the immersion blender I'd bought to replace my big blender. I don't even know why I assumed I'd be happier with it, but fortunately it works like a charm.  Very easy to clean, too.
I decided to alter the recipe to make it without any sugar and also added ingredients on a whim.  This batch has the two hotter peppers, roasted (and skinned and de-seeded), plus some roasted red peppers I'd made earlier.  A clove of garlic, a handful of fresh basil and parsley, half a cup of mostly rice wine vinegar and some balsamic vinegar, a third of a cup of canola, olive and avocado oil, ground salt and pepper.  I'm telling you, it's good stuff.

I also made a small batch of a recipe called "massaged kale," just to try it out.  Basically you chop up kale leaves, drizzle them with lemon juice and olive oil and then mash it up with your hands for a few minutes.  I ended up letting it be the base of a huge salad with a little of everything in it: baby Romaine, peppers, cucumber, artichoke hearts, avocados, Greek olives, mozzarella cubes, and almonds.  I'll have it for lunches for a few days.  And made my 5 little bowls of whole grains for work breakfasts while I was at it.
By the end of the weekend, I was nearly done with the den de-cluttering, had done some accounting work I'd brought home, took care of several mending tasks that had been piling up, read, watched movies, even did a little yard work. I'd already done a two-hour whirlwind house-cleaning Wednesday after my kids left (straightened up all the rooms, vacuumed the whole house, cleaned both bathrooms, cleaned the kitchen, changed the sheets on my younger son's bed, put three loads of laundry in, folded some clothes, loaded the dishwasher, and took out the trash) so I had no real cleaning to do except in the den. When a storm suddenly blew in and knocked out the electricity about four this afternoon, I decided I was done for the weekend. I actually managed to knock off all but nine items on the list, and even got in a seven mile walk this morning.
Now I have power, but it is flickering on and off intermittently. I'll start my blog rounds, but if it goes out again, I'm planning to head to bed and fall asleep listening to the rain. 

50 comments:

  1. "one smartass per table" good one.
    Thanks for including my blog in your rounds. Power outages can be fun if short and not too untimely such the middle of big dinner prep.

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    1. Power outages are best when it's neither really hot or really cold, I find.

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  2. "Points for making me laugh."

    I agree! That text exchange between the two of you was HILARIOUS!!!

    Okay, and both those items you made sounded DELICIOUS! And funny you mentioned kale because I've been eating that a lot lately by mixing it into my salads. Yummy!

    About two years ago, I lost power for like 12 hours and thought I was going to freak because I'm on the 21st floor and had to walk down and up TWICE.

    Great photos! And being a HUGE squirrel-lover, that last photo STELLAR!

    Glad you had a great weekend!

    X

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    1. Kale is supposed to be one of the super foods so I'm trying to find ways to eat it where I don't notice the bitterness.

      That squirrel was like a little trashcan ornament.

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    2. I had some kale at a restaurant last week and it was so tough to chew, so when you mentioned massaging kale, I laughed out lot. Yes. It could use a good massage!

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    3. Apparently, squishing it like that breaks it down and makes it less tough.

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  3. yum...that vinagrette looks wonderful...we made some fresh garden salsa this weekend...

    i hear you in wanting to move to be around like minded people...and out of conservative-ville...

    hey i like this guys sense of humor...smiles.

    sleep well to the rain...

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    1. Yeah, conservative-ville is kiiling my soul!

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  4. I feel all superior because I walk two miles a night. Ego deflated....

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    1. I don't have a chance to walk every day, so I tend to walk for a long time when I have the opportunity. And the weather is perfect. And I have no other plans. Most days, if I walk two miles I'm very happy.

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  5. You certainly accomplished a lot this weekend. Sounds like your friend is a pretty funny guy!

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    1. I do like someone with a sense of humor.

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  6. there is nothing like a vine ripe tomato...mmmm...

    and i gotta say i love my immersion blender too. it's an awesome kitchen gadget.

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    1. I know, I'm so looking forward to more tomatoes coming in. And it looks like I'll get more use out of the immersion blender just because it's not such a pain to clean up after.

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  7. Of course I blew up your list . I have lists like yours and I keep wondering , is it me? Do most people have and choose to take on so much?

    Myself, I need to stay put (more). And since I'm more immobile than not, with surgery not until July, maybe I will let myself be still(er) :-)

    I didn't know you sew. And what's with the egg in the list?

    Exciting, thoughts to move. No doubt you will fix up another place fantastically. And I imagine you will have a nice little profit from all the work you've put into this house

    Love
    kj

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    1. I don't sew, I mend. My son ripped out the seam in his jacket,, there was a button that needed re-attaching to pants, I had two summer dresses that needed a slight adjustment to make them fit. That sort of thing.

      My sister had read that you could swing an egg in a bag for ten minutes before hard-boiling it and it would scramble the egg in the shell. Everyone in my family gave it a shot. Myth busted.

      And no, I'm going to take a serious loss on this house.

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  8. 1. Points for using all right versus alright. !!!

    2. There is nothing like action to beat the blues. The results from labor, like decluttering and the peace that act brings, the satisfaction of items off a to do list... all those things take a bite out of the melancholy that comes from life marching on.

    A lovely post. Full of real life.

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    1. I remember learning as a young kid that alright wasn't really an accepted word, and struck it from my written vocabulary.

      I figured I could be sad and wallow in it, or I could get pup and force a change in mood. I'm glad I went with the latter - makes Monday feel a little better.

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  9. What the freak kind of weekend list is that??? That looks like my list for a year!
    And my two weeks tired YOU out?

    Luv ya ;)

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    1. I divide my lists into smal units of activity so things can get checked off frequently. So, say, instead, of "Do the pile of mending" I had four different items to check off. And yeah, okay, I'm a bit of a freak. :-)

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  10. WOW you really got a lot done!

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  11. A masterclass in dealing with melancholy. Thanks.

    I love those immersion blenders, they save so much cleaning up.

    And falling asleep listening to the rain, especially if one can smell it too, delicious:)

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    1. I don't know if it would work for everyone, but it sure works for me.

      And I did last night - windows open, breeze on my face.

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  12. oh i can tell it's good stuff! i just love good oils and fresh fruits and vegetables so much. i wish the husband shared the same love for such foods. hmm.

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    1. It's all good for you, so like it or not, it's what people are going to get if I cook for them.

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  13. "Look, Mommy, that lady's buying vegetables!"

    Wow, now I understand why you want to move. Because that's obviously such a radical thing to be buying at the grocery store.

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    1. Her mother was buying vegetables, too - I'm guessing she was just leaning about them. Actually, since this is a farming area, there is no shortage of folks eating fresh veggies.

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  14. Don't trade your country idyll for the city. You'll regret it. I did. The "like minded" people I so sought out turned out to be intellectual snobs who actually had less to offer than the old conservative country folk, and not nearly as much to offer as the joys of nature in your back yard.

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    1. No offense, but I'm pretty sure I'm a better judge of what's right for me.

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  15. You, my friend, are very productive. It's my ideal state! I love that the kid pointed you out - I know too many families who don't eat any vegetables because their kids don't like them.

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    1. My mother cooks unhealthy food because she says my youngest brother, who still lives with her, won't eat the things she wants to make. I say bullshit.

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  16. Huh, I don't associate a conservative small town with the availability of good sushi. My town is smallish, not terribly conservative (historically it's a labor-union town), and the nearest sushi is 75 miles away.

    The immersion blenders are great, my oldest daughter has one, and if I often cooked for more than one I'd get one.

    Your list made me reminisce, not the list but the paper. I remember pharma reps leaving boxes of pads, pens, etc with the nurse at the front desk. I knew a doc in Seattle who used to wrap up the pens and various trinkets they'd leave and give them to his nurses for xmas presents. Sad but true.

    Cheers.

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    1. I virtually never eat in restaurants in my town - I have to go to the nearest city.

      That's a pretty pathetic form of re-gifting! I still have lots of pens and pads of paper from my days at the mental health center and when I did my internship with the psychiatry residents. Crazy.

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  17. Your place is beautiful. I grow tomatoes, too. This year is lemon boy and early girl, along with broccoli, strawberries and canteloupe. California is good for growing your own. Loved your exchange with your date. A guy with a sense of humor like that is golden. Hope you had a fun time. Thank you for visiting injaynesworld. I look forward to more exchanges with you.

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    1. I have an early girl and some yellow one that I'm blanking on. Plus cherry tomatoes, a Mr. Stripey and something else.

      I'm glad Ron lead me to your blog. :-)

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  18. There is someting almost comforting about getting things scratched off a giant to do list. Hmm maybe that's just me?

    Now, let's hear more about this date! He made you laugh once. Was it a good night?

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    1. It is comforting to me, too.

      I almost don't like talking about first dates, until there is more to say. Too many of them, I guess.

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  19. It's been ages since I've eaten anything right off the vine. I'm trying to put in a garden this year, but it's slow going.

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    1. When I was a kid, I used to eat both tomatoes and fresh peas off the vine.

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  20. I just love how you spent your weekend clearing things of the todo list and eating tomatoes. I'm up to 7k on my walks, nowhere near your 10miler and hats off to ya!!

    Once we've made our minds up about a move, peace descends. I've felt that way more than a few times and no regrets. Ever.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. 7 miler, not 10! I'm mostly sticking between 2.5 and 5, though.

      Yes, I feel very settled in my decision to move. It feels right.

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  21. I'm glad our local restaurants don't have a policy of one smartass per table. I'd be eating on my own pretty frequently, and so would most of my friends....

    You did all that housework in two hours? My God, what are you, a whirling dervish?

    I can sympathise with your wanting to move to a less conservative area. I think we all need to have a few like-minded people around us to feel comfortable. So where to? Portland, Oregon?

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    1. Frankly, I much prefer sharing the table with another smartass.

      Yes, I vary between whirling dervish mode and utter sloth mode.

      Oh, nowhere that dar! I have a private practice to maintain.

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  22. You are one organized woman! I love your tomato, too. It has been a long time since I've had anything right from the vine. I can understand the desire to move, and I hope, when the time comes, it is successful.

    As for your date, his sense of humor sounds fab...

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    1. A sense of humor is so important to me. I need to laugh.

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  23. Reading this makes me feel extra slothful. But I accept myself by this point in life :)
    That red pepper vinegarette look delicious, as all of your food pictures and descriptions do.
    I have to admit, I'm kind of looking forward to watching you move, roll up your sleeves, and get to work on a new place!

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  24. Nothing better than tomatoes right off the vine. That's a very nice to do list you made there.

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