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Archive for April, 2012

Remember my post about my husband’s dumpster-diving tendencies?

I was carrying trash to the dumpster this morning and thought “Wow, Hubs would have a field day out here.” There was a big wooden hutch (which was actually quite nice, but we have no room for it), some junky furniture (no thanks), stereo speakers (we don’t even use the ones we have!), and…a bicycle?

I tossed my bag of shame cat crap in the dumpster and took a closer look (at the bike, not the dumpster). It was a faded blue men’s-style bike (the kind with the bar in the middle). The back tire was flat and the chain was rusty; but it still had two wheels, two pedals, a seat and handlebars. I pushed it a little, and it moved pretty well…a new tire and chain, and it would be a rideable bike. It seemed wrong to let it go into the trash. I thought to myself,  “Even if we can’t use this, it can still be donated or used for parts.” So I started wheeling the bike back home.

Our neighbor Dan– who had been loading stuff into a moving truck nearby this whole time– waved and started walking toward me. I waved back. “Was this your bike?”

“Yeah!” He quickly explained “We have like, four of them, and we weren’t riding that one. We don’t really have room for it.” He added “The tire needs some air, and maybe a new chain, but it’s a good bike.”

His lady friend smiled “I’m glad you can use it. I hated to see it go into the trash.”

Me too, girl. Me too.

***

I haven’t really decided what to do with it, beyond fixing the tire and chain and cleaning it up. I could ride it if I lower the seat; and I always thought it would be nice to have a bike to ride around the neighborhood in. Or maybe our friend’s son would like to ride it when he comes to visit on weekends. Or we could donate it to Workshop Houston. We’ll see.

In the meantime… “Honey, I brought home a bike!”

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Is it tacky to post about what you made for dinner? It is? Oh, well:
A spicier version of my stewed okra with homemade tortilla chips, a ham/rice dish (for the Hubs), and fresh banana bread with peanut butter and fruit for dessert.

It’s a good thing we were both super-hungry.

Gotta go sink into a food coma now.

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Where have you been?

***

My mother went in for minor surgery on Wednesday. She was supposed to be in and out on the same day, so I waited to hear from her…and waited…and waited. I knew she’d had anesthesia; I figured it was taking a long time to wear off so she hadn’t been released yet.  Finally, my aunt called me to tell me that the minor surgery had turned into something a little more major (that’s all I’ll tell you, due to Blogger-Patient confidentiality laws) and she would be the hospital for a few days.

I called the Nurse’s station, and they told me Mama was resting comfortably and doing well. I got to talk to her the next morning; and she sounded progressively better each time I called her. She went home this afternoon, and is already sounding like her cheerful self again. Best of all, she still gets to come visit me in three weeks two weeks and six days. Yay!

So, that’s been on my mind. Aside form that, nothing else happened this week. We had a few excellent thunderstorms; Hubs worked a few nights; I organized and danced– hardly deserving of a bog post. Tomorrow will be busier– going to the early church service because I have a photoshoot in the afternoon; somewhere in there, I have to do my Earth-Day cleanup. 🙂

That’s all for now, my dears. I’ve got some laundry to fold and some banana bread to bake. In the meantime, here’s a picture that always gives me a grin:

I can't remember where I found this, other than "somewhere on tumblr."

Enjoy your Saturday!

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My New Year’s resolution for 2012 was to get organized. Our home appeared quite tidy to the naked eye, but beneath the painted closet doors lay a dark, shameful secret: Our storage spaces are disoraganized as all hell. Many a time I’d reach for an object on a shelf, only to be pelted with some other object that was in its way. It was frustrating, but I only had myself to blame.

January started off strong, overhauling our closets and cabinets (and patio!), sorting and donating/tossing whatever was taking up space. The project was shelved for a few months (no pun intended) while I worked on my certificate; by the time I was done, spring had sprung and I couldn’t be bothered to stay inside. I kept telling myself I’d organize as a “rainy day project,” but there was one flaw: every time a rainy day rolled around, I’d declare it “movie weather” and spend the afternoon on my couch with a cat and a bowl of popcorn. Ooops!

***
We’re having some serious storms today, on the back of the horrific winds that caused several tornados up north. I told myself no more excuses: I finally cleaned out several cabinets that were beginning to drive me insane and got to work on the armoir in the spare room.

Speaking of which, said room is getting a HUGE re-doing this weekend or next (either way, not soon enough). We’re finally going to turn it onto a real-live guest room, instead of a pile of haphazardly-arranged Random Crap! It’s going to be a lot of grunt work (probably some mild cussing and sore muscles, too), but I don’t care. Bring it! Just bring me some coffee first.

Reason for that re-doing? Besides the fact that I was tired of the room being a place where junk goes to die? My mother is coming to visit in a few weeks!  Isn’t that exciting? Also, I think you have an idea of why I’m trying to get this place in shape. 🙂

I’m off to fix myself some lunch and take a short break before I go back to de-junking our apartment. If you don’t hear from me in a few days, there’s a good chance a Closet Avalanche got me. Send help.

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Here’s my reaction to the current “Mommy War” that broke out this week:

Yes, all mother’s “work.” That said, there’s a difference between doing the all the work that a mother does; and doing all the work that a mother does AND working 40-50 hours a week as the sole breadwinner of the family. They work outside the home not because they want to, but because they need to in order to keep their children sheltered and fed.*

I’m pretty sure that’s what Hilary Rosen meant when she said that Ann Romney never worked a day in her life. Mrs. Romney raised five boys; that’s a LOT of work! But that’s the only “job” she had– she didn’t have to punch a clock in addition to her work in her family.

*I’m referring here to mothers who have to work in order to provide for the family; not ones who choose to work on a part-time basis.

***

In other news, high-profile teen dad Levi Johnston has planted his seed in another underage Alaskan. I’m just happy it’s wasn’t a Palin this time. Good luck, Levi.

***

Anyway! All that aside, we had a nice Sunday– slept in, went to church, and did some crabbing down by the fishing hole (and I picked up a lot of trash around said fishing hole– what the hell, neighbors? ). Hubs spent an hour by the pool with his buddies, I spent an hour doing yoga; we met back up to have a little cookout.

Tornado-causing winds aside, it was a pleasant weekend.

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This morning I swiped my husband cell phone and snapped some pictures of our gardening efforts.

The view from living room

From left to right: Basil, brussels sprouts and garlic, brussels sprouts and garlic again, bell pepper (in the hanging pot), heirloom tomatoes and banana peppers, and an immature grape tomato plant.

Check out the basil plant on the left– here’s what it looked like a month ago:

We have a total of four basil plants this year, and every last one of them grew from the seeds of last year’s plants. Circle of life!

Here’s a close-up of the pepper in the hanging planter:

This little plant was my husband’s project. When our pepper seedlings first sprouted, he took one tiny, tiny seedling and made this basket for its home. He even kept a glass jar overturned on top of it for the first few days to protect the delicate baby from the wind! I call it “the little seedling that could.” Here’s what it looked like a month ago:

"I think I can, I think I can."

My favorite part of growing from seed is watching the little green shoots pop up out of the dirt.

Basil and two cucumbers-to-be.

And my favorite:

Taken *after* I'd picked off a bunch for our breakfast

Cherry tomatoes! This plant was grown from seed in the Gro-Bag that we got last year, after I tossed a mushy store-bought cherry tomato into the rich Miracale-Growy soil and was rewarded with a nice little plant. They’re tasty, they save us about $3-$4 a week at the grocery, and we have fresh tomatoes to tide us over until the Heirloom tomatoes start blooming.

Not pictured: the (nice, big) rosemary that lives in the same bag.

Our cat Steve hangs out on the patio to keep the birds off our tomatoes. This is the same cat that came to us last summer— you know, the one we were totally going to give up for adoption? He was just too fabulous to part with. Now he protects the “crop.”

***

Also not pictured: the big compost bucket that lives in the corner of our patio. Last year I said we wouldn’t start composting until we had a real yard, but…I got tired of seeing all our food scraps end up in the garbage, and I know compost is great fertilizer and, in the words of Amalah, “vegetable viagra.” Now we’ve reduced our kitchen waste and have free, natural fertilizer. As long as we keep a lid on it and keep it out of the wind, there’s no smell to stink up the place and horrify our neighbors.

Believe it or not, there’s more! Unfortunately, it’s sooooo windy right now (and we’re up high, so it’s even worse) that I can’t get a good picture. The plants are all blown around and blurry. I’ll show you the rest of my dirt-bucket kingdom on a calmer day…hopefully, the plants will have grown by then!

***

You can read about Year One here.

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Tonight’s Newsfix poll was “Kim Kardashian is…”

Option 1 was “a no-talent media whore.” I didn’t need to see options 2 and 3.

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