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The Good Life

"Summertime and the livin' is easy. . ."

So it was, at least, yesterday.

We watched a Mama turkey and her two babies amble through a hole in a fence. Not ours, though I wouldn't have minded.

A deer stood still in the middle of the country lane we traveled. 

We sipped a sappy margarita that I concocted out of tequila, triple sec, lemonade, and guava juice. It tasted like cough syrup but we drank it anyway. Next time, I'll leave out the triple sec and lemonade and maybe I'll come up with a guava margarita.

We sat outside in the late eve, the Husband, Missy Molly, and I. What pleasure! The Husband plucked a ripe apricot off the tree for us to share. Deep in flavor, the kind that makes your tummy sparkle and you sigh into a smile. 

Figs! Charlie, short for Charlotte, has borne fruit, at least six of them! That's a first for the "Little Miss Figgy" dwarf tree that friends gave us in 2018.

Bean vines are twirling their way up and along strings …

Musing x 13

1. Next month the U.S. Post Office will be selling forever stamps that celebrate Hip Hop. According to the USPS website, the sheet of stamps features rapping, break dancing, DJing, and graffiti art. I don't know what floors me more -- Hip Hop commemorative stamps or that the first kids into hip hop are now in their 40s and 50s?

2. Our local library has been closed since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic. This month, the librarians decided that we, patrons, can check out books online for pick up. The pick-up process today was easy-peasy, even though I forgot to bring my library card. Nine new books to entertain me. Yippieeee!


3. A few weeks ago, the Husband painted this headboard, full of delight and whimsy, perfect for the Banana Room, once known as the Shady Room. The banana plants look to be coming back, and the bamboo, gardenia, and wongo-wongo plants seem to relish their move there. I also replanted a camelia shrub by the headboard. Does that all sound subtr…

Another Rambling Thursday 13

1. Who remembers the days of the manual typewriters? Clack, clack, clack. And, if you were a proficient typist, clack clack clackity clickclack clickity. . . !

2. Anyone else glad he or she took typing in high school? Friends tell me we learned on electric typewriters. I remember the manual typewriters in journalism class. Yup, I felt like a real reporter when I composed my stories on a typewriter.

3. During the days of electric typewriters, a few of my friends typed 100+ words per minute and more with hardly any mistakes.  I dilly-dallied around half that speed with several mistakes. (I hated typing documents that required carbon copies.)

4. The fastest I could type was in the high 70s. I remember coming out of a job interview all psyched about that high score. I thought that I ought to insure my hands. They were, after all, necessary for my livelihood. hahahaha.


5. The other day the husband and I talked with friends over the phone for a couple of hours. That's always enjoy…

Thoughts While Cracking Walnuts

1. What words convey the sounds of walnut shells ricochetting?

2. Crack. Obviously.

3. Zing. A shell flies into the air.

4. Zingg. A shell soars far.

5. Ping. A shell ricochets on something.

6. Thump. A shell hits something.

7. Tinkkk. A shell vibrates on a surface.

8. Crack. Thump. The shell hit a chair.

9. Crack. Zing. Ping. Tinkkk.  The shell ricocheted off the glass tabletop onto the floor.

10. Crack. Ping. Zingg. Thump. Tinkkk. The shell bounced off a chair and hit the wall.

11. Too bad we didn't have goggles. Across the table, the Husband shielded his eyes while he read on his iPad.

12. Could anyone intentionally hit someone with a walnut shell?

13. "A blue ribbon walnut cracker," said the Husband.


Check out Thursday 13 for more lists of 13.

Rambling

1. Aren't those avocados gorgeous? Handsome? Ooh-la-la?

2. The middle one in the front was picked about two weeks ago. It didn't seem right to take a photo without it. They are from the same tree, after all.

3. This morning, the Husband and I went out to the avocado tree expecting to pick the last one of the season. The tree graced us with four HUGE fruits. Thank you, tree.

4. "They're as big as the ones that grow in Hawaii," said the Husband. Not really, but we can dream.

5. We saw another avocado hanging way up in the tree. Perhaps that's the last one of the season.


6. A couple days ago, our county public health officer called for a shelter-in-place until April 7. We're required to stay home unless we work for stores, companies, services, and government agencies that are necessary to stay open for the community. We can leave our houses to shop for food, see doctors, pick up prescriptions, and do other essential things. We can also go out for walks to …

Fun in the Kitchen and Other Things

I baked a lemon bundt cake this morning for my county fair entry, which I hope shall reach a mellow, not so loud, lemon tart flavor when the judges taste it this Wednesday afternoon. This cake has several firsts for me. It's the first time I've entered a cake in the fair, I tried a new recipe, and I experimented with the recipe twice (I wrote about the first attempt last month). I added a lot more lemon zest and a heaping measurement of sour cream to the recipe for more lemon flavor and less dryness. And, yes, I used a bundt pan this time.

Thank goodness that the Husband hung out in the kitchen while I was working on the cake.  He looked up things on Google: How many tablespoons equal 1/4 cup? How do I make lemon syrup? When do I douse the cake with lemon syrup? Which end of the bundt cake do I display (the Husband had it right—the bundt ridges must show)? and  How do I store the cake if I'm not serving it right away?

Sorry, no photo. The cake is nothing truly exciting …

Lots of Fruit

A whispering of leaves. . .

Plop!

Sometimes, after the sound of trembling leaves, goes a ping! against a ladder, a bench, a table, or the shed, followed by a thud.

Rustle . . . ping! . . . plop!

I wonder how many times Molly the Cat has had a near miss with a fallen lemon or apple or avocado or apricot or Asian pear.


The Husband says that Missy Girl knows precisely where to lay herself down in the backyard.

He's right, Missus Lady.  Purrrrrrrrrrrr. 

This has been a good year for Mama's fruit trees because of the winter and spring rains.  All the trees have been continually aborting themselves of immature seeds and fruits so that the fittest may live to full development. Plop! The lemon tree is a different story. We can't reach the top branches, thus when the fruit ripens, plop!


The two apricot trees had branches heavily laden with fruit that they snapped. Giving baskets and box lids full of apricots to several friends didn't make a dent to the tree. Plop, plop, plop.…

Keepers

Don't these daisies look like space aliens of some kind? That's what came to my mind when I saw them at the farmer's market last year. So, of course I had to buy a pot. For two bucks, I couldn't go wrong.

ARUGULA PESTO
Arugula is my new favorite vegetable right now. I like its kick. So far, though, I make a pesto out of the bitter greens. As with any dish, there are different kinds of arugula pesto recipe out there. Here's the one I made up yesterday: I grinded and blended a batch of arugula, a handful of parsley, 8 big garlic cloves, olive oil, a bit of water, Parmesan cheese, and salt and white pepper to taste.

I loved how green the concoction looked. A perfect Spring dish. Maybe next time I'll think about taking a photo. Also next time I'll add a lot more shredded Parmesan. (I only had 1/4 cup in the fridge.)

A Glorious First Day of Spring, One and All!


I'm linking up to two fun memes today: ABC Wednesday and Say Cheese! Come check out the other par…

Breaking the Fast with Goodness

All of a sudden I was hearing cowbells. No moooo. None at all.

It had to be one of the chimes on the other side of the backyard. I looked over to see what may be swaying in the wind.

Ha!

The Husband stood outside the patio door, clanging on the triangle. "Come and get it," he called. "Coffee and pancakes."


Whooo-hooo!


We've had some tasty breakfasts the last several mornings because, one, we finally went to the grocery store and, two, we were without peanut butter, our breakfast staple. The other day I made strawberry brie biscuits, which looked more like scones. Biscuits or scones, they were delicious. You can't go wrong with brie or strawberries.  We happened to have frozen organic strawberries from last summer. Very flavorful, they were.

My concoction began with a mixture of 2 cups of flour and about 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a couple of dashes of baking soda. (I added the latter because I ran out of the former.) To that, I cut in 1 tablespoon o…

Tuna BLT on Sourdough Bread

"I'll have a tuna BLT," said Good Friend D.

"What?" responded the waitress.

"Tuna BLT," said he again while some of us checked the menu again. It turned out D merged the tuna melt and the BLT together in his head, at which the waitress relaxed, then said they don't substitute. Oh well. D ended asking for the BLT.

The Husband and I were so enamored with the idea of a tuna BLT, I concocted sandwiches for us a week later.

Ingredients
• 2 slices of barely toasted sourdough bread
• Mustard
• 3 strips of bacon (which I cooked in the toaster oven)
• 2 tomato slices
• 2 or 3 lettuce leaves (we had red lettuce in the fridge)
• Tuna filling: one can of tuna mixed with minced celery, onion, garlic, orange bell pepper, pickle, pumpkin seeds, mayonnaise, and creamed horseradish.

Assembly
I layered the sandwich as such: A slice of bread, tuna filling, lettuce, tuna filling, tomato, bacon, and the other slice of bread spread with mustard.

The Husband and I tot…

Tomatoes!

Last Sunday we went to a tomato tasting party hosted by good friends Missus and Mister H, who planted a variety of tomatoes. I can't recall if Missus H said they put in 70 types or 70 plants.

Many of the different varieties looked huge and heavy. A couple I picked up had to be close to 12 to 16 or more ounces.


One of my favorites was a big red organic tomato called Boxcar Willie, which was named after Grand Ole Opry Singer. The Husband described its taste best—"It was sweet, and had a rich flavor."

Another favorite of mine was Barnes Mountain Yellow, a very plump heirloom yellow tomato which ancestors were grown on Barnes Mountain in Kentucky. Its flavor reminded me slightly of smoked salmon.

I also liked Lemon Boy, a true yellow of a tomato, which was your average size of a tomato. I don't remember the flavor, which tells me that I was probably more enamored with its name.

There was an heirloom tomato called Abe Lincoln that I thought its flavor tasted like the aro…

First Time Ever!

That tall tree next to the side fence is an avocado tree. It started from a seed the Mama planted. 

Until last year, it was hidden by a red shed, which has me now thinking that Mama planted the seed after the shed was built in 1989, thereabouts. That makes the tree about 29 years old.

Yesterday morning a branch grazed the top of my head, so I got the pruning shears to trim it as it would get in the Husband's way.

Lo and behold! I saw an avocado, the size of my tiny finger, hanging from beneath leaves on that low branch. I looked and looked. Yup, avocados. A whole lot of tiny avocados growing! This is the first time that avocado tree is bearing fruit. Wowza!

Although Mama is physically gone, the Spirit of Mama continues to whisper to her plants.


A Heart Full of Cherry Tomatoes

Giggle.

If only that Girl had joined us in the picture. Molly the Cat happily watched from the sidelines. She said she only works on Mondays for the blog.  Oh-oh. What can she mean? Will she not let me write or show photos of her on non Mondays?

Cosa sara. As Doris Day used to sing, "Que sera, sera."

Here's a close-up of the cherry tomatoes that I picked this morning. They are sweet as candy.


Time for Our World Tuesday. Here's the link to check out participants from around the world, and maybe to join up yourself. Thanks, Our World Tuesday hosts!



Kimchi, Yummmm.

I love how the kimchi in those jars look. I made the kimchi. That's right. Me! Call me vain, I don't care. I can't stop looking at the kimchi. It looks like real kimchi, by golly. It even smells like kimchi.

Today is the second day the kimchi has been sitting at room temperature. The lids are loosely screwed so the kimchi has breathing room. Otherwise, the kimichi will do precisely what the Husband likes to say, after I tell him the lids are barely screwed, "They'll blow their tops off!" I think he'd be pleased to see that happen.  

This is the second time I've made kimchi. The first batch was okay. It didn't start tasting like kimchi until it had been in the refrigerator for a long while. That's not good kimchi. I can eat half a jar of the fermented spiciness by myself. Feed me kimchi and rice, I'm happy. Real good kimchi, I'm delirious. Oooh.

I read several kimchi recipes to come up with my own synthesization. Here was my process.

P…

Getting Inspired

I almost decided to go back into the blog's archives today. After two weeks away, I felt rather constipated in thought. Then I heard a low hum that I eventually identified as the stove fan. Ha, that may mean...yes, indeed. I caught a hint of pancake in the air.

The Husband was making us pancakes for breakfast. Hoo-rah! Off the computer, down the stairs, and to the kitchen I went.

After eating the Husband's yummy fare, I was inspired with many thoughts that I might write about. One being the Husband made us pancakes for breakfast!

Aren't I a fortunate woman?


Today I'm linking up with All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from Jesh St.G. Click here to check out Jesh and her meme. For the participants list, click here. Thanks, Jesh!

Senior Citizenery—Here We Are!

The Husband and I went to our first true senior citizen thing this morning—an event specifically catered to old folks. It was a senior citizen brunch hosted by our local hospital's volunteer group.  We wouldn't have known about it, nor gone, if it weren't for our friends, the Mister & Missus H, for which, I believe, this was also their first exclusive senior citizen event.

For two bucks (you heard right), we got coffee, orange juice and whatever we wanted at the buffet table, which included scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, French toast, steamed veggies, chicken and artichoke in gravy (think biscuit and white gravy without the biscuit), cottage cheese, peaches, and Mandarin oranges. We ahhhh'd when the gals running the show announced that the hospital had also sent over an extra treat of coffee cake for us. 


Two bucks a person! Probably the last time we could buy a hearty breakfast for that amount was in the 1970s. These days, it's about $15 per person. …

Roast Beef Sandwich for Breakfast

I've heard the Husband say at least twice how much he enjoyed his roast beef sandwich for breakfast this morning.

I generally figure every morning that I'll be having a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. Easy-peasy, you know. Some mornings I surprise the Husband and me by making a hot breakfast. I hadn't planned on it today but I started flipping through a cookbook  because I decided to weed out the cookbook collection. After all how many cookbooks do I need when I'm not one to follow a recipe the way it's written?

I didn't know I had a Costco cookbook (I wonder if I got it for free). It has lots of cool photos illustrating short and delicious-sounding recipes from big-time chefs such as Mary Esposito and Jamie Oliver. I found a recipe towards the end of the cookbook that inspired today's breakfast. Coincidentally, the Husband walked into the kitchen as the oven light bulb lit over my head.

The poor Husband. I often, if not nearly almost, don't consi…