Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Rambly Boring Post...

The Dog Days of Summer are upon us and, to be perfectly honest, the weather has been simply delightful.  Mid- to Upper-80's - every day!  Neither too hot, nor too cold, and just-plain-pleasant for afternoon Tiki-Bar Lazing...

Work's been positively freaking insane, though, so I haven't logged nearly as much Tiki-Time as I'd like - but believe me! - I spend AS MUCH TIME out here as I can!  I definitely know that my days are numbered and I don't want to waste a MINUTE!

Nighttime is starting earlier-and-earlier.  And nighttime temps have started dipping into the 40's (!!!).  So it's actually a good thing that the pool is covered because that means we CAN uncover and use it on the weekends. Well, Hubs can, anyway!

My skin is still a f**kin' mess.  Although I think I'm breaking a new record or something b/c I'm up to, like, Day 20-something of being able to walk without a cane (FREAKING YAY!!!).  I actually have a new prescription to try - Humira - which is an immune-suppressant (Yeah, like I need that!).  Doc doesn't want me to start it 'til I come-in for an appointment to "learn how to inject."  Seriously?  I am DIABETIC (insulin-dependent even!).  The Humira comes in a pre-packaged, pre-dosed "pen" (no measuring or Dial-A-Dose or nuthin'!)  I'm almost wondering if this isn't just an excuse to charge for another Office Visit (I know, that's terrible!).  Doc is out of town this week so the soonest I can get in is NEXT week.  I'm about to say "Screw it" and just start the medication!

I am SUPER anxious for some relief from this psoriasis sh*t.  The absolute BEST I can hope for, right now, is "Barely Tolerable."  It never EVER goes away completely and - most of the time - it is "Absolutely Unbearable." (Whine-Whine-Whine!)

Yeah, I think I'm gonna go ahead and start the injections tomorrow, after hubs returns from his business trip (Just in case - Gawd-Forbid - I get some kinda nasty reaction.  I figure I oughtta have someone around if I decide to lapse into a coma or something!).

Okay, enough whining about THAT!

Garden:  Is still hanging in there.  I think I'm gonna give the Gold Medal to Indigo Rose for having the most (quantity) of fruit.  The "Volunteer" Kellogg's Breakfast takes 2nd place for "weight."  Not a lot of 'maters, but they are pretty damned BIG!  3rd place goes to (:::gasp:::) the Home Depot Early Girl!  Everything else just kinda floundered :::sigh:::

Arte the Choke "done good" this year.  As did my cabbages.  I definitely got a decent harvest from both plants.

And the peaches and plums were most plentiful!  It's a damn-shame that so many ended up on the ground!  My "Volunteer" peach-tree (in the Finny Farm Bed) turned out to be inedible (well, "not very tasty").  That Volunteer grew from a stick that I'd chopped off of the yellow peach-tree several years ago.  I'd grabbed one of the branches that I'd pruned and just stuck it in the ground near the back fence.  3-4 years later, it grew into a tree.  And, this year, it actually produced fruit!  Little apricot-sized peaches that were not flavorful at all, so I'm guessing it was a sucker from the root-stock.  Boo!

So THAT tree is destined to be chopped down, but I think I'll replace it with some kinda "dwarf" tree.  Either apricot or cherry - haven't decided yet (that's an early-spring decision).

The Booby-Prize (for Gardening):  Man, this is a multi-way tie!  Pole-beans got gobbled-up by the dogs just as quick as I could plant 'em!  Zukes did exactly NADA, as did the yellow squash from Home Depot (Srsly?  Who CAN'T grow squash?!  ME - That's who!!!).  Pumpkins: I have never EVER grown a pumpkin and this year proved to be no different!  And Eggplant (never tried that before).  I think the plant grew to about 8" tall (and, in fact, it's still out there).  I get flowers, but nothing else.  Peppers: Died.

Yeah, this was definitely NOT a banner year for the garden but - oh well!!!

Nevertheless, here are some Random Pictures:

Arte's Bed
Note: the "dead-looking stuff" in the middle is the artichoke plant!

Early Girl (in Arte's Bed) gets an "A" for Effort!

The Paste-O-Rama Bed (with a suspicious LACK of tomatoes!)

Finny Farm - Looks a little droopy, but it's getting plenty of water :::sigh:::

Now I *should* be hacking-back Arte-the-Choke and thinking about planting my cool season veggies right about now.  And, in fact, I *am* at least THINKING about it!  I actually ordered some "floating row-covers"/greenhouse doohickeys that are appx the same size as my raised beds.  I can't actually put them up 'til I hack down the 'maters (too soon for that!), but I can probably assemble the framework and start seeding the beds (prob'ly oughtta amend the beds, too).  I also think I want to rig-up my hydroponic garden in the greenhouse to grow lettuce during the winter...  Grandiose Plans - let's see if I can put 'em into Action, right?!!

Actually, speaking of ACTION:  I actually DID accomplish something this past weekend!  I hired "Rent-A-Son-Services" to help clean out the backyard Storage Shed.  This truly WAS an Accomplishment!  I had gotten lazy (Really?!!) and developed a Very Bad Habit of shoving stuff just inside the doorway of the shed - which rendered it inaccessible! D'oh!!!  So R-A-S-S came over and helped me PURGE the entire shed.  We set-up a couple of tables on the back-lawn and started a couple-three piles: KEEP, DONATE/FREECYCLE, and DUMP-IT!

I am happy to report that the last two categories got HUGE piles.  And, when it was all said and done, after we re-boxed the KEEP stuff and hauled it back into the shed, there was FLOOR SPACE and even a few EMPTY SHELVES!!! (YAYYYY!!!).  So now I actually have SPACE to store some of the summer sh*t in there.

My Ultimate Goal is to go through my ($211/mo) Storage Locker and start moving sh*t from there, and into the (already paid-for) backyard shed!  I think I'm gonna set some kinda crazy goal like "Go to Public Storage and purge one box per week."  At that rate, I should probably be able to get rid of my locker by 2019!!!

Actually, between Goodwill and Freecycle, I'm sure I *can* get rid of a lot of stupid stuff.

Thoughts on Freecycle:  I *like* it for stuff that's still usable.  I especially like it when I've got, like, 1-2 items to get rid of.  Easy enough to post it, respond to an email or two, and say "It's on the front porch - come and get it!" But when you've got a vast assortment of stuff?  It's kind of a pain.  Freecycle doesn't like "multiple posts" so you have to post a list of "Miscellaneous" - then deal with 800-jillion people emailing you with "I want two of your Tiki Torches" and "Is your Boom-Box still available?" "What kinda vases do you have?" and on-and-on...  Turned out, I got ONE guy who said "I'll take everything!"

Normally I do it "First Come, First Served" but in this case it was "Glory Hallelujah!  PLEASE take it ALL!!!"

And so, it's ALL GONE - Yay! But I suspect there will be more Freecycle posts in my future as I begin to tackle my Storage Locker (Gawd help me!).

And while we're talking about Grandiose Plans:  I still want to put up another batch of Corn-Apple Relish (Turns out Giordano's will still be picking corn for a few more weeks).  I do have enough corn in the fridge for another batch so - depending upon how motivated I feel after the sun goes down - I may go ahead and make another batch!  I also want to make a batch of Cranberry-Apple Jam (or Cran-Apple Sauce - haven't decided yet!).  I still need to make some Onion Jam.  I'm still contemplating All-Natural (honey or agave-sweetened) Strawberry Jam (but, thus far, I haven't encountered any migrant farm-workers on street-corners!  OTOH - I haven't been out-and-about much either!).

Annnnnddddd...  I want to attempt Soap-Making! I have retired my old, beloved Crock-Pot.  I bought a new "oblong" 5 qt crock-pot @ Big Lots (I like oblong better because most of the roasts I buy are NOT round-or even square!). I intend to make "hot process" soap with my old crock pot.  But first I need a new immersion blender (I'll retire my old one for soap-making).  I went ahead and ordered one on Amazon today because it seems highly unlikely that I'll find time to go to Wal-Mart to buy one!

I think the first recipe I will try is Goat's Milk, Honey and Oatmeal soap using ALL NATURAL ingredients (well, except for the lye - but that's unavoidable b/c I *don't* intend to make my own lye from wood-ashes!!!).  If that is a successful endeavor, then I want to try to make a "Coffee Soap."  My company sponsors a "Holiday Bazaar" (scheduled for mid-November) and I think it would be cool to sell hand-made soap-dishes with hand-made soap!  I intend to keep the Goat's Milk, Honey, Oatmeal soap for myself, but the Coffee Soap should be pretty sell-able! (Can you imagine?  Taking your morning shower with soap that SMELLS like fresh-brewed coffee?! Yummm!)

I also want to make another batch of Hard Lotion Bars.  I've almost used-up my last batch (I really, really like it!).  The last batch was pretty greasy, though (which is good for ME - not necessarily for "regular folks"), so I think I'm gonna cut-back the Cocoa Butter by half and add-in Shea Butter in it's place (which is a tad "stickier").  I also think I'm gonna split-up the batch and make one-half with Chamomile Essential Oil (which is supposed to be very good/very soothing to skin), and the other half with Tea-Tree Oil (which has antiseptic properties).  Lots of experimentation, and I'll be posting recipes as I "figure it out!"

I'm kinda posting this stuff - almost - as a "Challenge" to myself to see if I will follow-through!  No guarantees, obviously (Hell, I *still* haven't finished the Bee Saga, right?!)  (And no, I haven't forgotten! LOL) (And no, it's not "done" yet!).  I did pose the "idea" of me KEEPING the hive to Hubs (Ooh!  Fresh honey and beeswax!) and was met with a resounding "Hell NO" from Hubs.  Hmph!

We shall see if I ever make good on my word to finish-up that SAGA (I'm sure I will - just not right away!).

Anyhoooo...  That's the latest from QT-Land.  Lots and lots of rambling (hence the blog-name!), but hopefully things will stabilize - at some point - and I can go back to focusing on bona-fide CONTENT!



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