Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Part 2...Because I Forgot to Finish...

 I managed to get myself to (and from) my appointment this morning with only minor up swings in my blood pressure, thank you to the jerk wad(s) that decided to cut me off without even bothering to look before they decided their big SUV needed to be exactly where I was driving at the exact time I was using that "spot"!  Not only did it happen three times on the way to the doctor's office, it happened a fourth time on the way home too!  Having avoided major catastrophe though, I made it home just in time for a late lunch (left over Mac & Cheese from our night out earlier this week and a cup of Mandarin Orange segments for nephew #3, after only minimal screaming that he did not want to go to sleep...I really hate the "food and nap" routine...).  I actually had a yummy Egg Salad Sandwich with Dill and some Hawaiian Sea Salt (which is, of course made in NY and is just "Pacific Sea Water" dehydrated with activated charcoal in it), it was pretty darn good if I do say so myself!

Then it was off to run a few errands (read as "wander around Wal-Mart for an hour") while Garrick got a little peace and quiet at home.  He worked from home today so that I didn't have to take the rambunctious 4 year old to the doctor with me, wasn't that nice?  While at Wal-Mart, I ran across their "discounted" plants, this is my favorite section!  Most of what they had was overgrown and poorly trimmed Pothos in giant hangers...they looked horrible and someone had gone through and just whacked away all the nice tendrils!  They also still wanted around $10 a piece for those...no thanks!  Then, tucked away in the middle of a bunch of dying plants (because they never bother to water the plants the sell) were four tiny little plants with bright green, waxy leaves!  Dry as a bone and in serious need of a good long soak, but in otherwise healthy condition (and only $1.37 each)!  What are they you ask?  Why, Coffee Plants!  These little guys sell for huge amounts of money in the "catalogs"...okay, maybe not huge amounts, but way more than I can ever justify spending!  From what I have read (and will now need to do more reading on these plants), if properly cared for, they will produce a fruit in four to five years (yes, I said years) that is actual, honest to goodness coffee beans!  The Scientific name for these little guys is Coffea arabica, so here's hoping for healthy, strong coffee fruits in the year 2016 (or 2017)!  In the mean time, they are a very pretty green plant that will help transform some of the carbon dioxide that we expel back into breathable Oxygen!  I did buy all four plants...and four new hanging baskets to plant them in.  I also bought four brightly colored large planters for my tomatoes this year.  What I did not buy though, was the soil to plant them in!  Next trip I suppose...

Back at home again, after watering our newest green additions, Nephew #3 and I went out in the backyard to continue the "quiet work time" in the house.  He had great fun plucking the leaves off of the abundant Dandelions in the yard and tossing them in the chicken run for the girls, who gobbled them up as fast as he could pick them!  He also got to run off a bit more steam, always a good thing.  While outside, I did manage to check on all of my Rhubarb and even take a peek at the Raspberry bushes too!  The Rhubarb that moved here with us is surviving, but staying very small...I don't think it likes the location that it is in, but I like it there, I can see it!  The new plants, that we planted last May, are doing great though!  In fact, some of the stalks, while still not gigantic, could be picked and made into Rhubarb Sauce/Cobbler/Cake/Etc... already!  The Blueberries didn't survive last summer, not really sure what happened there, but they never did very well.  However, the Raspberry bushes have taken off like rockets!  I need to get under them somehow and pull some weeds...oh how I wish I could put my chickens on leashes and let them out in the yard to do their chicken-y thing!  Sadly, my gals would take the opportunity to "fly the coop" I fear, and I really don't trust the neighbor dogs to be as afraid/respectful of them as poor Rosie is.  I believe only 2 of the original 4 starts survived, but what did live is filling in the space very nicely!

I know I said I wasn't going to "do the plant thing" this year, but I just cannot help myself it seems!  As soon as the weather turned to the warmer side of things, I was drawn like a moth to a flame...a pretty, potential ridden, good smelling...flame.  I'm already hungry for the sweet red berries (that probably still won't appear for a few more years) from the raspberries, the tart and tangy Rhubarb (a veggie in disguise as dessert), shrimp wrapped in long ribbons of Sage, and Tomatoes...oh the things I plan to do with those!  Of course, the mint gets tossed in with the shrimp sometimes too, but it's main purpose is for tea...or just rubbing it and smelling the bright minty flavor/smell wafting around the deck and on my hands!  I could live without the smell of the catnip, but the cats love it so much, I just love giving it to them!

I am totally and completely wiped out now, but I did manage a full, home-cooked meal tonight and dessert!  We aren't low-carbing while I'm pregnant, mainly because I could not stomach the thought of an egg during my first trimester and it really is just easier to follow the directions of my doctors than it is to argue with all of them (Endocrinologist, OB/GYN, Nutritionist, Dentist, etc...they all have something to say about how I should be eating and generally treating my body now, even though most of them loved the effects of the low-carbing, especially the weight loss)!  So, dinner tonight was Spaghetti (whole wheat pasta, at least it's better than plain white flour pasta...) with "fresh Mushroom" Prego (for pure irony) sauce.  I also sliced up and browned a Beef Kielbasa and tossed it in the sauce after draining the excess fat off.  Nephew #3 also helped make Garlic Butter today before we went shopping!  We melted down a stick of unsalted butter and added 4 heaping 1/2 teaspoons of Chopped Garlic to it, after blending the garlic in, we added about 1/2 teaspoon Parsley to the mix (for color), a few grinds of black pepper (he loved getting to help with the grinder), and just a bit of the "black sea salt" I mentioned earlier.  We made garlic bread using the butter mixture and "Health Nut" Bread, which happens to be my favorite of the "non-Rye" breads, Rye of any flavor is my all time favorite, but it doesn't make for very tasty peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I also got a dessert made today...sort of.  I have had a no-bake cheesecake sitting in my kitchen for about 3 weeks waiting for me to make it, today while we were out shopping, I picked up a six-pack of "single serve" graham cracker crusts and finally got the "cake" made!  I know, not a huge accomplishment...but it is for me, lol...now if I could only get the cupcakes made and frosted (those ingredients have been on the counter for a month)!

We were going to skip nap today, to see if it made bedtime any easier, but after all that running around today, I laid down with him to catch up on Eureka (I can't believe what they did to Felicia Day's character last night!) and he was out within the first 5 minutes of last week's show!  I let him sleep for about an hour, while I finished watching the show and then cooked dinner, when dinner was ready, Garrick went and got him up...which translated into a lot of whining about how he wasn't going to eat anything (including his last cup of orange slices, which he loves).  Once he had time to wake up and we had finished our meals, he was ready to eat!  He gobbled up his oranges and tried his (now cold) spaghetti noodles with nothing on them.  Then, he asked for them to be warmed up (we had already offered this "service") with a little butter (like his Uncle had)...after they got a warm up, he happily sprinkled Parmesan cheese over his 1/3 cup serving and cleaned the plate!  Of course, reminding him there was a "whole cheesecake" in the fridge with his name written on it didn't hurt either, lol.  We did go watch this week's episode of Eureka before we had dessert, but all in all, the evening was pretty pleasant, considering we have a 4 year old running amok in the house!  He's even in bed, jammies on before 10pm tonight!  We tend to keep the kids up later when they visit so that they sleep in a bit later as well (from their normal routine), this "trick" always takes a few days, but I now have the little guy getting up at 7:15am rather than 5:45am!  I still have to get up earlier than I normally do, but it isn't nearly as bad.  They all go to sleep in our room too and get moved to the spare bed when we're ready for bed...this frees up my computer for use in the evenings, lol.  Once we get everything moved downstairs (yes, I was talking about doing that last summer too, but now we need one of the rooms to be a nursery), that plan will change and they can just go to bed in "their" bed.  It is cooler in our room though, so having them shut in there makes it easier for the boys to go to sleep and also cools the room down significantly so that is is nice and cool for us when we go to bed too.

Food is so hit and miss with this nephew...he'll gobble something down and then the next day (or even between bites), he'll decide he "hates" it!  The other day we had chicken and cheese taquitos for dinner and I made Deviled Eggs to go with them (for variety).  Mind you, I was extremely happy with my (slightly over-cooked) hard-boiled eggs, really hard-steamed eggs, since my egg cooker steams them, they were the first eggs from our girls that I tried to cook in the shell!  I had read how difficult fresh eggs were to peel, so hadn't tried it before.  Honestly, these eggs aren't exactly "fresh"...we have a stockpile of around 5 dozen eggs in the fridge right now!  So, the eggs I cooked were about 4 weeks old, perfect!  Anyway, back to the Deviled ones, nephew #3 took a huge bite of the egg half I gave him after asking what I did with the "yuck" in the middle, and loved it!  However, I think he figured out that the creamy center wasn't just mayo and mustard like I had claimed, because after proclaiming how much he loved deviled eggs and that he wanted to eat all of them...he wouldn't touch it again!  He also only ate about half of a cheese taquito too.  He refused lasagna hamburger helper too...but we did finally get most of that down him with trickery and bribery (we have a half-gallon of ice cream in the freezer that he hasn't gotten any of yet because he forgets about it after he's done eating!  Other stuff he just inhales (sometimes after refusing it for hours or at least other meals)!

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