Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday's Story

I woke up a the usual time on Saturday morning, to thunder, lightning and rain…It apparently finally got here. I skipped breakfast and just ate pills (still guilty about last night’s binge eating).

I shaved, showered and dressed and headed out the door at 8:30 AM for the Saturday morning errands.

Now, there are two back-stories you should know. One is that my key fob for the Volvo has been acting up. Sometimes, it will unlock the driver’s door, but not the other doors and the trunk. Other times it won’t even open the driver’s door, which means I have had to open it with the key, which sets off the alarm until you put the key in the ignition. Not subtle or cool (an you KNOW how much I try to be subtle and cool!). I tried the other fob I have, but it was completely dead. So, I popped it open Friday night and wrote down the battery required.

The other is that my cordless Electrolux sweeper (which I loved) is also on the fritz. The brushes stopped turning, so the cat hair just builds up and it doesn’t pick up much.

I backed out of the driveway and my tires popped a bunch of the black walnuts. If you remember, I had this all cleared off last weekend. But now, the driveway is covered again with leaves and a lot of walnuts. What’s worse is there are still a ton of them up in the tree, just waiting to fall.

Click and enlarge to see the walnuts

So, first stop was CVS for replacement batteries for the key fobs. Then I headed for Bed, Bath and Beyond. They had the lowest price on the cordless sweeper I wanted (a Shark Navigator Freestyle). I did make a quick pit stop first at Harbor Freight and bought two bench brushes. I had one for the garage, but can’t find it and I thought another one might be useful in the kitchen for bread crumbs, leftover chopped herbs, etc.

Then I went and bought my new sweeper (with my 20% off coupon). From there I went to Kroger’s and bought mostly pantry supplies, two jugs of cheap bleach, kitty litter and so on. I still managed to spend $94.00!

I stopped and filled up my gas tank ($3.41 for mid-grade) at a station I found near Kroger. Then I headed home. I treated the cats, opened the windows (the rain had stopped and it was still very warm, although that’s supposed to change) and changed into my shorts and t-shirt. I assembled the vacuum sweeper and plugged it in to charge overnight. Finally, I replaced the batteries in both key fobs and tested them. Both worked!

Then I went out and switched the front of the house from my summer decorations to fall. Down came the hanging planters and their chains, the porch rail planter and the two container gardens. I took in the hanging birdhouses and the two porch-rail bird houses/feeders. I cut down the wisteria as I always do. Then I replaced the summer wreath and the bird plaque with my Fall ones. I also took in the “Wizard” plaque (my favorite of all, LOL). Since I wanted to keep up the gargoyle sign, I moved the wooden leaves to a new spot this year. Finally, I screwed in the handmade pumpkin to the porch column. I used a little orange spray on top of the screw heads, just to keep it clean looking.

I took all the planters out back in the wheelbarrow. I put the plants on next year’s compost pile and the dirt in this year’s pile. I don’t want any volunteer plants next year when I sift this year’s compost, you see. The planters themselves went into the new shed with some pots that were still in the garage.

Next, I hit the patio. I got down the window box. That and the dill pot went out to the compost heap, too. And then, when empty, they were stored in the shed as well. Have I ever told you how much I love my shed?

Finally, I cleaned out the raised bed vegetable garden. I harvested all the remaining cherry tomatoes (or maybe they’re grape tomatoes, I can’t remember), two immature Japanese eggplants and three small green peppers. Then I pulled out everything except the peas and the tabasco peppers (they are still maturing). The garden refuse went into next year’s compost pile. The harvest went inside.

Sidebar: I never, NEVER, got so much as even one big tomato this year. They were all chewed on by the Phantom Tomato Eater. I think I will skip planting them next year and just buy them at the Farmer’s Market.

Note to self: You still need to get in the soaker hose when you finally harvest the tabasco peppers and any peas that mature.

Oh, I took a better picture of my neighbor's new carport.

I was tired and definitely hungry, but it wasn’t raining yet. So I reluctantly went back outside and started to seed the rest of the ruts. I was pretty sure I would run out of seed long before I ran out of ruts, though.

I was wrong on both counts. I ran out of straw about 15 feet from the west horseshoe stake. Since I have no intention of watering this part of the lawn, the moisture from the wet straw is really important. So, I quit there. I locked everything up and went back inside, I was surprised that it was after 5:00 p.m!

I started dinner (or breakfast/lunch/dinner if you’re keeping track). Now, I know I’m probably preaching to the choir (as they say), but I think the best dishes (stews, soups, etc.) were created by people just trying to use up leftovers. And, that was where I was headed tonight.

So, prep work: I diced up the little green peppers, peeled and cubed the Japanese eggplant and diced the other half of the red onion (from the Tuscan soup). I sautéed all that in a lot of olive oil in my 12-inch skillet, while I boiled a box of linguine. Just before the linguine was finished, I threw four minced garlic cloves in the skillet, along with some fresh oregano, basil, thyme, chopped rosemary and fresh ground black pepper.

I drained the linguine and reserved a coffee cup-full of the pasta water. The linguine and the reserved pasta water went into the skillet along with the rest of the fresh baby spinach (again leftover from the Tuscan soup). When the spinach had wilted, I added in all my grape tomatoes (that I cut in half) and about a cup of ricotta cheese. I stirred all that until the cheese had melted and then dished up a big bowl. I topped that with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

It was delicious!

I made up the bed and watched some taped TV until I got sleepy. Then I went to bed early. It had been a busy day…


  1. How many compost piles do you have? What is the purpose?

  2. I have two. No real purpose, that's just the way it worked out. I always use the two year old compost after I screen it.