Monday, August 31, 2015

Hooray! Summer's Almost Over 8/31/15

I've launched into my "Honoring the Past" phase with enthusiasm and expectancy! I don't know where I found (maybe it was a Facebook ad), but I'm "hooked"!

Today I packed up my third box of photos between sheets of air-cushioned plastic. I've assembled small packets of photos including polaroids which I removed one by one from a disassembled stinking, plastic album. There are packets of black and white photos of my parents - from their early days - through marriage and parenthood. And, there are "loose" photos - too big for sandwich baggies - which are laid flat between more layers of puffy plastic.

Then, I included at least twenty-five pages of negatives! They "go back" to the sixties when I had colored film. I'm wondering now what kind of camera I was using in "those days".

This project will be an INVESTMENT for sure!

I'll drop the box off to UPS tomorrow. Then, I will be waiting for quite awhile (maybe a month) for them to be scanned and uploaded to my account with iMemories.

The first box I sent was filled with movie cassettes of family events, dog antics, travels and parties. The second box was filled with photos - a lot of photos. And, now the third box is loaded with photos and negatives and a set of slides.

As I move forward with this project, I am feeling very good about being "The Keeper of the Key" (my self-appointed title). I have given myself "bragging rights" as I share and tell others about this amazing place:!

I can hit a button and share a film with my son (his 29th birthday party). I can hit another button and share pictures of my paintings on Facebook. I will be adding titles and other important information to each photo, too.

This is an on-going project that tops my "priority list". Now let's see if I can upload a photo to this page from Onward!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Gardening Update - June 15, 2015

Another summer already! It's hot. It's humid. It's summer already!

 The flowers are cycling - long gone are the flowers of Spring - bulbs - daffodils and tulips. I "won" this year's tulip battle. It takes quick action on my part to keep the deer away from the precious tips of new blooms. I buy bags and more bags of Deer Scram at Bloomin' Garden Place and sprinkle it "liberally" around all susceptible plants. And, I still have a half-gallon of Deer Vik - a stinky, sticky mess of stuff which is applied with the left-over plastic stakes from the Tru-Green guy who visits several times a year to give the lawn a boost. After each treatment he puts out a square sign that says "Stay off the lawn for a day".
Pink Iris
The Iris are gone, too. I follow a Facebook page for Iris people. I have at least nineteen varieties - last time I counted. They are crowded and need to be separated. I've cut back their stalks and put them in a pile for Kyle and his Kharma guys who will be here to do the summer cleanup - hopefully before July 4th.

I'm keeping a Gardening Journal of all the various plants I've purchased and planted. I enjoy having several lavender plants growing out by a vignette around a bitd bath. I like coleus, too. They seem to survive the deer, but sometimes a critter - a squirrel or chipmunk - rips out my plants and tosses the potting soil out of the pot. Peg, from Family Massage Center, told me to put plastic forks - tine side up into the pot - to keep pesky pot invaders out of my pots!

I have purchased plants from Brecks and Spring Hill Nursery. I had one oriental poppy that bloomed. I put out "name tags" to make sure that the yard guys don't mistake a poppy or daisy for a dandelion. The hardy geraniums have been a challenge, too. They have a big, bunch of roots and a stump center. Only two of them have produced green leaves - three others have been moved to a "place of their own" - pots and a planter box.

The orange lilies are in bloom - another Deer Scram success! Yellow lilies are opening, roses bushes have bloomed and will bloom again, daisies aren't out yet, succulents come back year after year and many other plants shove through for another season - the survivors - bee balm, weed daisies, thistle, lamb's ear, ivy, black-eyed Susans.

Nine window boxes are filled again with fern and small pink, magenta and orange red flowers. Wow Windowboxes change the boxes four times a year. There is a watering system connected to each box.  It's an impressive sight - worth the investment!

The new shovel I ordered from QVC is the best one I've ever used, ever. It's shaped to a V and slips right through the hard earth. It's inspired me to plant more plants. I will use it today to dig holes for four Gazania daisies.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Eggs Actly! 1/2/2015

Here's my story about boiling eggs:

I don't know when boiling eggs became a problem for me. I know that somewhere along my road to becoming a homemaker, learning how to cook which includes knowing how to boil eggs I have tried the "old fashioned" method of water in the pot - to a boil for a 3 minute egg and 12 minutes of boiling and set the pot aside and then do a cold water rinse for hard boiled eggs.

When I was married to Harry back in 1961-68 I would use the pot boil method. I don't know when the electric egg boiling gadget came into my kitchen, but when it did it changed my egg boiling habits for many years. It was a "steamer of eggs" that had a timer that could be set for soft or hard boiled eggs. The egg had to be pierced before placing it into the steamer - to allow the egg to cook "properly".

Over the years the egg cooker was part of my kitchen equipment. Then, I "reverted" to using the pot method again. Why? I guess the old egg cooker finally "bit the dust" somewhere "along the line".

Here's a favorite story my son and I heard from Harry Lasky (real estate agent for my son's home). Harry had shown us around the home - giving us the selling points and then told us about the former owner who loved birds and had several cages of them in her kitchen. He also pointed out the graveyard out behind the garage for the birds.

He said that the lady had boiled some eggs (who knows how many) to the point that all the water in the pot was gone and then the eggs exploded! Apparently the lady had told Harry about what a mess it was to clean out all those bird cages, let alone all the egg bits and pieces that hit everything in the kitchen. The screeching of the birds, the smoke, the scary situation must have "been something"!

I had visualized that egg explosion story and could empathize with "The Bird Lady" (thinking off-hand that it would make a good children's book). And so this leads to my situation with eggs exploding.

More than once I've left eggs in the egg pan to dry out and explode. I've been able to shut off the stove, get the pan off and throw out the stinking scorched eggs. Whirling around a vinegar/water soaked and wrung out towel took out some of the smoke. I turned on the exhaust and overhead fans - opened doors and windows to get the smoke and stink out. It took days to clean up the pan - soaking, using Barkeepers Friend and scrubbing with a Brillo pad. Finally one pan "gave it up" by popping off it's "bottom" protective layer.

These explosions still didn't teach me - until finally the "last time around" I burned up one of my sweet little copper pans (almost). I left the eggs on the stove and came down to the office in a separate building to check email and Facebook. I was in my nightgown. I finally decided to go up to the house and there was a fireman in my breezeway. I covered myself with something - can't remember. Then three firemen went through my entire house - I headed for the bathroom for a robe. I don't know who turned off the stove - I think I was in shock!

They set up a big exhaust fan in the kitchen - pulling out a lot of smoke. They finally left and I kept the windows and doors open for hours. It took awhile to get the smoke out. I was really upset about the pan - let alone having another serious egg episode! I sent the pan off to the metalcoating place for retinning and renewal - another $70 gone. The pan looks great but I'm not using it again for eggs.

Long story - lesson learned. Now for the update: I now have an egg cooker that I found on eBay that works in the microwave - eggs don't have to be pierced - I can do one egg for 5 minutes and 4 eggs for 6 minutes or more - just fill with water - latch - cook. Main thing - being extra careful to be sure it's "latched" and then "unlatch" with super care - to prevent steam burn.

I finally can have my daily soft-boiled egg for breakfast and can enjoy adding hard boiled eggs to my tuna salad for lunch. Problem solved! Onward!