Pesky Cats & Tomatoes

Hullo, mes petits pois doux!  How are you today?

It’s early yet for me to eat breakfast, but the leftover tomato from last night was calling my name.  I made the most delicious tomato, lettuce, cheddar cheese sandwich.  My taste buds are happy.

Fresh from the garden tomatoes are like heaven in my mouth. The Hubs & I were talking about the taste of tomatoes when I said the above statement.  He had a raunchy retort to that & once again claimed that I popped his “bubble”.1If you must know, the conversation went like this:  Hubs: I thought I was Heaven in your mouth?! Me:  Uh, no. Hubs: There you go, popping my bubble again! (he said this in ridiculous shades of PeeWee Herman voice.) Lately, I’ve been inadvertently on a bubble popping run. But hey, he knew from the start of this relationship (over 26 years ago) that I would pop his bubble ’cause that’s how Sagittarians roll.2Case in point: The first time he told me that he loved me, my response was, “Why did you go & say a thing like that?” True story! In my defense, I was a month away from moving from OH to NH. He put a major monkey wrench into those plans, obviously since I’m still here 26 years, 2 kids, 2 dogs & 5 cats later. It’s not out of malice, it’s just that hard truth rolling out of our mouths before we can catch it & put it back to say it in a kinder, gentler way.

I decided to try Marianna’s Peace Tomato last year. It’s an extra-large beef steak sort.

Outstanding rich flavor of sweet and acid with dense creamy texture. If you love Brandywine, this one will surely put up a challenge to its recognition as the “Best tasting heirloom” tomato. This delicious heirloom tomato comes from Czechoslovakia, and is said to be passed down since the early 1900’s.The name and history comes from the story of Marianna. She was a young girl who escaped capture in WW2. After a decade of losing contact with her family, they finally reunited. Before her father died he gave her these seeds as a gift. Late season, pink beefsteak type with potato leaves. ~Pinetree Seeds Company

The Hubs & I were hooked with the first bite.

I put an apple in the picture to give something to gauge the largesse of these beautiful yummies.

This morning I got word from the boss on what’s happening for this upcoming school year, well sort of.

We have a school-wide staff meeting next Wednesday & after that, we meet with the boss to discuss our schedules & other fun bits.  My job is nonexistent now because the snack room won’t be open.  I had a feeling that would happen after I read the recommendations from the Ohio Board of Education for school cafeterias. Plus, the changes being implemented affects all of our job duties in a major way, except for maybe the Head Cook. I look at it this way:  I’m keeping with my tradition of changing job duties on average every year since I’ve worked there.3I started on the chicken patty line, halfway through that year, moved to Cashier #3. The following year I stayed there. The next year I became the Baronness of Breakfast. The following year I was in that position for 3/4 of the year & then moved to the Room of Snacks. Last year I was in the Room of Snacks & now this year, I’m who knows where! And, I’m no longer grounded in the Room of Snacks & can unleash all the hooey I’ve saved up over this extended summer vacation upon my Sisters In Lunch.  They’ve been warned!

OMGAWD, Cookie Cat is being beyond annoying!  He’s meowing at me again.  His food dish has fresh food.  The front door is wide open so he can come & go as he pleases.  I scooped him up on the desk (see below) & gave him some snuggles, scritches & cuddles.  The older he gets, the more demanding he is.  I have to cut him some slack. He is 88 in human years & adorable.  Yes, he’s got me wrapped around all four paws & his tail.  There.  I’ve admitted it.

Cookie, the Senior Statescat being pesky. Reminds me of some of our Republican senators… Oh yes, I went there!

He’s back again. Now he’s attempting to get into an empty dog food bag because I’m ignoring him. I better start adding Cookie Cuddles to the to-do list. If that gets out to everyone else, I’ll be doling out the scritches & cuddles all day long.  Then again… that might not be such a bad thing.

Stay safe, wash your hands, don’t people too much & wear your mask!

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Dexa Mams, Hard Zukes, Squished Cheese & Tiny Urns

Hullo, mes petits pois doux!  How are you today?  Good & well I hope.

My morning started with a trip “out-there”. You know where there are other hoomans in order to get a Dexa scan & an early morning boob squish.1Have you ever looked at your breast under the plate after pressure has been applied? Mine looks exactly like a boneless chicken breast. Makes it kinda hard to eat chicken breast for a few days after a mammogram. Good thing we’re having 7-layer taco salad tonight.It went well except I forgot my phone or a book to read.  I managed to keep my pit stench to a minimum.2For those of you who don’t know, you can’t wear deodorant or body powder before a mammogram. The Dexa scan came first so I had a bit of a wait before the Mam so there was serious concern on my part about being a tad on the stanky side.I was shocked that the results were back within hours.  Everything came back AOK.

The nice young attendant for the Dexa scan asked, “When did you reach menopause?”

That caught me off guard as I’ve never been asked that before.  She couldn’t possibly see my chin or mustache hairs under the mask.  Were they so long that they poked out?  No, they couldn’t be.  I plucked them like a fresh chicken before a BBQ yesterday.  She saw the look on my face.  I explained about the partial hysterectomy in 2008.  That seemed to satisfy the computer system. Besides, I don’t think I’ve reached menopause yet. I haven’t had the classic symptoms.3Great. It’s gonna be late just like getting my period was on the later side. I think I was 14?  Well, at least I’m keeping to my late bloomer theme. What’s funny is I had a similar conversation with the nice woman who scheduled these appointments on Monday.

“What was the date of the last day of your last period?”

“2008.”  Of course, I explained why… after an awkward pause. hee hee hee.

What else?  I’m doing an experiment with zucchini. It’s usually ground up, placed in plastic bags & tossed into the freezer.  I can make zucchini relish, bread or chocolate cake.  I can add it to smoothies or even sneak it into homemade spaghetti sauce as I did last week.  The Fam was none the wiser.   Anyway, back to the experiment, I have finally found ways that The Fam will eat zucchini.  They love it as zoodles.  The spiralizer that came with the food processor sucks.  I made a favorite zuke dish that calls for zoodles but used diced instead.4I know.  What difference does a spiralized zucchini compared to a diced zucchini make?  None.  But with this bunch, you just never know. Step one of the experiment was a success.  I pulled out the trusty vacuum sealer, chopped up three zukes & bagged them up.

Watching the air getting sucked out of the bag & the contents becoming all squished never gets old. This sucker was harder than brick when it was done.

Being on the frugal-ish side, I buy my cheeses in bulk.  I like parmesan/romano cheese. I was buying a jar of the grated stuff at Costco.  I finally noticed5I’m frugal not always observant. the bag of parmesan/romano that was a whole lot less money.  Well, there we go!  I’ll divide the bag into two portions & freeze it!  Now, there’s something really fun & entertaining to do. Watch a vacuum sealer do its thing with cheese.

The cheese before.

The cheese after

Sure it squishes it together but only a bit.  It comes right apart into shredded bits once thawed out.

I worked on yet another illustration for Chapter 1 of The Unabridged Story of Daemons.  Nope.  You still don’t get to see any pictures. I’m in the process of importing it into Gimp & doing a little digital magic to it.  I hope.  Wouldn’t ya know it, yet another bird picture showed up that inspiring more ideas.  Damn birds!  Isn’t that photo a laugh riot?  OMGAWD.  GEEZUSS my muses really need to STOP.

What else?  Oh yes, I worked on the tiny urn for Tortie Pants.6Gah. That tortie left a big hole in my heart. I miss her terribly.  Yes, I know there are five more to love.  And, I do love them.  It’s just sometimes one will pick you to be their special hooman. There’s an inexplicable bond.  That was me & the Tort.Of course, all of her won’t fit in that tiny gourd, so the rest will be spread/scattered around the front door where she liked to lay & around the back door & yard.  She wasn’t too adventurous & didn’t go far when the door was left open.

You can’t see it well in the picture. I painted it to give the impression of tortie cat colors.

This gives you a perspective of the size.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this feline silliness. How do cats make the most uncomfortable surfaces look like they’re laying on a bed of feathers?  It’s one of their many inexplicable feline hooeyishness7Dandelion wants to know if this counts as being technically a wild outdoor cat. Uhm, nope.  However, since I caught you slinking about the cornfield yesterday from a window on the opposite side of the house, maybe.

Must resist. Must resist the urge to tussle that belly fuzz. Remember the murder mittens. Who cares! Murder mittens be damned it’s cute cat belly stuffs!!! Funny how adorable & loveable & innocent they look when sleeping.  It’s all a devious ruse.  Before you know it, you’ve become the pet hooman to yet another feline & expected to feed, worship, feed, pet & adore them. Or is that just me?

Stay safe, wash your hands, don’t people too much & wear your mask!

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Traveling Pants, Melting Cats & Peeping Birds

Hullo, mes petits pois doux!

First a warning.  This post contains 7 footnotes.  You can read them (or not) by clicking with your mouse (desktop) or using your finger with a touchscreen or mobile device.1Again, it doesn’t matter which finger. Sure, if you are that dexterous, try using your pinky toe. I do not recommend any other body parts. If you do, I don’t want to know about it.I watched the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants while snapping green beans & canning. 2It’s a movie I’ve wanted to watch for years.  Sure, it only took me 15 to finally see it. Now I want to see the sequel & read the books. There’s a quote that hit me in the bone marrow that I shared below. It’s an important bit about happiness that I need to remember while we’re in the midst of this 2020 frying pan.

Speaking of frying pans3Excellent segue, Tracy. Why thank you. I thought so too. I didn’t know cats can melt.   See exhibit A, JimJim on the sidewalk.

I’m not sure of what causes cats to melt. It wasn’t hot outside by any means.  He has since reconstituted to his normal self. I’m not sure how he managed that but as soon as I find out, I’ll let you know.

Ah, green beans!  I had enough to do 3 quarts which places the grand total to 17 quarts.4Insert picture of Kermit waving his scrawny arms in excitement. There may be one more picking left & certainly not enough to can. The Hubs & I discussed it & we’re going to plant a fall crop.  This will be our first attempt at a fall crop.  Heck, I might get feisty & plant some more lettuces too.

Hey!  There is a peeping robin outside the window. Seriously!  It’s happening right now as I’m typing.5Excuse the not so great picture. My window needs to be cleaned. Don’t judge.  It’s staring at me with those beady birdie-boo eyes.  I swear there is a birdspiracy happening under my nose. I believe the Kitty Committee is behind this uptick in people-watching by the local robins. 6Hey you! Yeah, YOU out there with the orange belly, just remember the one that rescues you from the paws of murder mittens &  fang-filled mouths of doom.  I don’t want to be part of whatever retaliatory measures you’ve got planned. Do not poop-bomb the hooman. Got it? Thank you very much.

I’m currently obsessed with this bird.

It’s called a Secretary Bird & they live in South Africa.  Why am I so obsessed?  Look at it!  Plus, it may or may not have slightly influenced the direction of my illustration for Chapter 1, of The Unabridged Story of Daemons.   That bird has some swagger, birditude & I want one.7Hubs! Did you hear me? We should raise Secretary Birds! Do they taste good? No! No! We’ll raise them to be virtual assistants! Yeah! We’ll be like a temp agency for Secretary Birds. Don’t roll your eyes at me….

Maybe happiness didn’t have to be about the big, sweeping circumstances, about having everything in your life in place. Maybe it was about stringing together a bunch of small pleasures. Wearing slippers and watching the Miss Universe contest. Eating a brownie with vanilla ice cream. Getting to level seven in Dragon Master and knowing there were twenty more levels to go.

Maybe happiness was just a matter of the little upticks- the traffic signal that said “Walk” the second you go there- and downticks- the itch tag at the back of your collar- that happened to every person in the course of the day. Maybe everybody had the same allotted measure of happiness within each day.

Maybe it didn’t matter if you were a world-famous heartthrob or a painful geek. Maybe it didn’t matter if your friend was possibly dying.

Maybe you just got through it. Maybe that was all you could ask for.”
― Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

If you need a ray of happiness or a reminder of what that feels/looks like, I hope the quote helps you to find it.  I also hope you enjoyed a peek into today’s hooeyishness.

Stay safe, wash your hands, don’t people too much & wear your mask!

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Breadcrumbs & Tomato Haircuts

Hullo, mes petits pois doux!

How are you today?  It’s Saturday morning & still dark outside with just a slice of light stretching across the morning sky.  The crickets are singing.  There’s the rumble of the occasional vehicle making its way down the pike across the field.  The birds are still snoozing.  The cornfield is taller than me now.

The weather isn’t supposed to be as hot & humid this week so I opened up the windows to blow the stink of canned air out of the house.

This morning, for the first time in a long while I feel happy.

Yesterday was a breadcrumb sort of day.  It started with watching Beyoncé’s Black Is King on Disney+.  That was WOW.  Just stunning & WOW.  It got my brain juices squishing.

Later on in the day, I read a conversation on FB about having a calling & that everyone has one.  The take-away that I got is this: It’s not the thing or things that you do, it’s the essence of you that infuses every part of your life.  In our society, I can only speak to the U.S. of A., we are focused on the outward thing.  For example, someone may have a calling to be a healer.  That might look like a doctor or a nurse.  It could be a caretaker.  It could be someone that works with animals.  It could look like the person that everyone goes to talk to because they feel better when they do so.   The last example could be someone who’s “job” is far removed from what someone would call a healer.  The woman who started the thread used her husband as an example.  He’s a maker.  To the outside, he’s all over the place making & creating different things.  It’s in the making that he’s happiest.

That conversation made me realize that I have been neglecting the beat of my own drum.  Well.  No more of that nonsense!  You can’t keep an over the top optimistic Sag down for long, no matter how hard I try.

In other news:  The Hubs bemoans the fact that there are no red tomatoes for him to eat.  The plants are loaded with green fruit.  He did a bit of research & sent me a video.  The recommendation was a hair cut.  I don’t think that takes it far enough when you are dealing with over-confident in their greenness tomato fruits.  How does one embarrass a green tomato until it blushes red?  Well, I have a couple of ideas.

1. Give them a bad hair cut & let the pepper plants tease them.
2. Tell them groan-worthy Dad jokes in front of their friends.
3. Post pictures of their fruits hanging out all naked & green on the Interwebs.
4. Show them the salad dressing.  That was The Bun’s idea.

They look like tomato trees!

My aloe plant died, may it rest in compost.  I’m to blame for its untimely demise.  We were getting along SO well!  I, not listening nor thinking thought it would be a great idea to put them on top of the garden post in a clay pot.  Nope.  They don’t like that.  The clay pot turned into an oven, baked their roots & the leaves wilted under the blistering sun.  They like tropical climes, not desert.  I thought it was recovering until I went to repot it.  Sigh.

Now the sun has risen high enough to leave a splash of orange on the shed.  It’s time to get my butt out to the garden to harvest green beans, a couple of zukes & see how those pepper plants are doing.

I’ll leave you with a picture of my near-constant companion who likes to lay under the desk ever since she was a wee pup, Daisy Dawg.

This was taken with my phone’s camera which sucks. The regular camera’s battery had to be recharged. She’s still cute.

Stay safe, wash your hands, don’t people too much & wear your mask!

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