Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekly Update

General news from the life of Jody!

I'm off work this week, no choice of mine. We're furloughed, so I'm on unemployment. I'm taking this opportunity to do what I did last year at this time: bake dozens of cookies for the holidays! I'm doing three different recipes each day (not counting Thanksgiving) which will give me a grand total of 9 different types of cookies this year, not counting the bourbon balls.

Went to Helen's funeral on Saturday, loads of family there including some people I've never met. Cousin Muff was there, she must be around 90, and her daughter (never met). A funny thing: it was fortunate that my mother warned me before we got there that Helen had a twin sister, Leah, because if I hadn't known and then looked over and saw her walking through the crowd....well, let's just say it would have been emarassing. Mom and I actually debated on whether we should tell Matt or not. Heh heh heh.

But the funeral was loooong and very very religious. I, having gone to church every sunday as a child, was prepared for the long hymns and the Apostle's Creed, which we recited every week (and I still know by heart). Matt was not prepared for all this. I was a bit amused by his reactions....

A nice touch was the choir, which sang at the service. Helen had been a member for a long time, and they had her robe laid out on one of the chairs. I thought that was really nice. They also prepared lunch for us all, which was also unexpected and very nice, and I made it a point to thank them before we left. We're talking around 100 people.

After that, family went back to the widower's house. I had a nice time looking at the pictures that one of the daughters had put together, I especially liked the ones of the twins together through the years. I was surprised to find two of my baby pictures in an album along with their kids pictures. That made me feel good. I really like Bim, (the widower) and plan on visiting him. He's only a half hour away.

Matthew is feeling better, but his voice seems to come and go.

Medical: I got a call from the doc today, they are ordering my arm stick. It's going to be a $20 copay!!!!!! Instead of the $600 I was expecting!!!!! So I should be doing that soon.

I have some christmas presents on the way. I have more to order. I haven't been working outside since the weather is cold & wet, maybe Wednesday or Thursday since it will be warmer and dryer.

I think that's about it for now....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

General Life Update

Mom called this morning, my cousin Helen passed away yesterday. She lives in Hagerstown, she was in her early 80s and had recently had complications from a hip replacement, etc etc. Funeral is on Saturday, so I’ll be going to that.

The Lasagna Garden veggie patch project is going well, I have the newspaper almost all down where I want it with a thin layer of peat moss on it. You haven't lived until you've spread wet newspaper around during 40 degree weather. Matt’n’I layered it with some hay and watered it down, then I added some dead leaves, and am in the process of adding some dead grass clippings on that. I don’t know what’s next, mushroom soil? More peat moss? I’m hesitant to use so much peat moss, it is a non-renewable resource. I’m not sure what to use instead. I’ll have to check Ashcombe’s when my mother and I head up there the beginning of December.

I also put down the cardboard (for the pathways), and hay and a couple large stepping stones on that. I found two garden snakes while moving the rocks. I collected long-needle pine and put them around the blueberry bush, they like acidic soil. Matt and I then pruned the blueberry bush. It didn’t produce nearly as well this past summer as previous summers (when we were swamped with blueberries). I’m not sure if it is the lack of rain or the lack of bees.

I spent some of the morning Sunday straining out the fruit vodka into a bottle to age. It's pretty good, this is the mixed fruit kind. It has undertones of the lemon I put in, not bad. I have another bottle started with an apple and some raspberries, to which I added yet another apple. Yesterday I infused the honey I bought with rosemary and also roasted the last of the tomatoes with some garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They're in the fridge, I need put it through a sieve and freeze it for sauce for the winter. If I don’t just eat them.

We replaced the screen door. It cut down on wind and noise noticeably, I'm impressed.

I made applesauce and froze it, it was ok. I’ll try something else next time, different seasoning, peel the apples. Blend it more.

I have some craft projects in the works. I have herbs and things drying for an herb wreath. I have some cranberry spice scent that I mixed with water and soaked some pine cones, I'm waiting for them to dry. I have some Styrofoam balls that I hot glued with attractive herb leaves from the garden (golden sage, broad-leaf sage, etc). It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, they turned black because of the heat of the glue. I’m going to have to use craft glue instead. I went and collected seed pods to add to a few grass-woven bird houses, too. I had to buy a new hot-glue gun, they don't make the sticks for the old one I had anymore. I also finished the wine cork corkboard last night, and I have a huge box of corks so I have to start several more. Anyone need a corkboard?

My Christmas shopping list is almost complete, I have some things already and some to buy. We’re not doing a big Christmas this year, mostly cookies supplemented with a few gifties. I’ve been having the most trouble with my niece-in-law Susanne in San Diego. She is 11, and if things are now as they were when we visited 3-4 years ago, I’m sure she gets everything she wants. I’ve gotten the suggestion of books (from her mother, who said she especially likes mysteries), and I’ve been making a list on Amazon of things I read at that age as well as some things that look interesting that I haven’t read. I’ll probably send her a mix of such.

I have off all next week. I’m going to be cleaning out the garage and making my seasonal cookies. I’m going to do the bourbon balls this week, but everything else next week. I made out the shopping list already. I was surprised that only one recipe called for milk, but I’ll be buying lots of unsalted butter this weekend.

Today I go to the small business class in Carlisle. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm baaaaack

After two years on Yahoo 360, I'm back here.

And boy! Do I have a story to tell!

I got home from work today at the regular time, around 5:20, let Max out, opened my Amazon package and started reading the last book in a series I've been waiting for and awaited my darling, loving husband to come home.

Tires on the driveway. Max goes berserk. There is a loud, insistent pounding at the door. Matthew does this some times, so I get up and go open the door....

...and there is a man there with a badge and a gun on his hip, holding a piece of paper.

"The fat is chewy," I say.

No, not really. He asked if it was 1314, and I said no, this is 1299. I said I didn't know where 1314 was, but it was down that way (pointing). He was a bond enforcement agent (bounty hunter). He walks off. I go look out the window, there is what looks like a white unmarked car in the driveway with a woman in it. She backs up, he starts down the driveway with a flashlight...

...just in time for Matt to get home and almost run him down. They proceed to have a conversation for about 5 minutes. He finally comes in the house. They are looking for a woman we don't know, and we discussed it and decided there is no 1314 on our road. We leave to go vote. We pass them again with the local cop, who no doubt was coming up to show them where 1314 was supposed to be.

When we get back to the house, the BEA are parked across the street at the mechanics. Matt goes over to tell them there is a woman living with the guy across the street and when he comes back home he confirms that she is the one they are looking for, and she's not home. I want to hang out and watch the ensuing chaos from the front porch over a couple MaiTais, but we go get a couple subs instead. When we get back, the car is gone.

How exciting!!!!