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Forgot to take One Picture

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Today was partly sunny but had a lot of cloud cover, and is overcast now. I took some pictures, but it was hard because when the sun is shining and behind me, I can't see what the camera is going to capture. The Meyer lemon tree is completely covered in buds and blossoms now, and I counted 16 buds and blooms on the Eureka lemon, which I just planted. They are both everbearing, like the lime tree, so we should have all the lemons and limes we can use this summer. There is even the first blossom on the pink grapefruit tree, so I think spring is starting. The peach tree is covered with peaches again, and I'm glad I pruned it back. I also trimmed a couple of low branches off the Meyer lemon and the lime tree yesterday.

There was a broken picket on Rob's fence and the BW was worried that one of the dogs would try to dig out, so I put up another picket to keep our yards separate. That makes the fourth one, but I got smarter - I was able to pound it down into the ground about three inches so it matches the old ones in the fence. Then I pulled the screws out of the other three new ones and pounded them into the sand too before I put the screws back. Then I went along and found about 20 more pickets that were still standing up, but had nails rusted off and were very loose with no top connection to the fence, and put a primed screw in each one at the top.

After that I cut the blocks from a 2 by 4 and used poster putty to put the mirror frame up. It made the BW very happy, she loves the frame, but the mirror got five inches shorter in both length and width.

After that I used a sledge hammer to knock the broken support staff back and forth until I could get it out of the ground. It was broken off about five inches above the ground, but it was sunk in 18 inches, and I couldn't move it with my bare hands. Then I went to Ace Hardware and bought 50 feet of quarter inch rope. I drilled three eights inch holes in the four marker stakes, cut and sealed four pieces of rope, and tied a not in one end of each, threaded them through the holes, and tied them to the top wire with a tent rope knot so I could tighten them up if necessary.

I took pictures today. Here they are.

Meyer Lemon Tree Today

Eureka Lemon Tree

Meyer Lemon Tree cropped to show buds

Peach Tree today cropped to show peaches (but I counted five after I blew it up and looked. The tree is full of peaches.

And I forgot to take a picture of the mirror frame. That gives me something to do for tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYDAZE9 3/6/2011 7:12PM

    While we don't have fruit trees, we do have trees. And they were covered with snow today. Want to exchange?

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TWOTIMESS 3/6/2011 7:02PM

    Your peaches look great! I'm guarding my Eureka from the kitten - he now wants to climb everything and the tree just started budding (first season). My cucumbers have so many blooms on them - I think I spaced the two plants too closely together. I wonder if it will survive a transplant at this stage? Will give it a try tomorrow morning.

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MRDPOLING 3/6/2011 6:59PM

    It was very cold here today but after all that darn rain I and the rest of the people in the valley decided we needed to be outside! It was bonkers out there! hehe!

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MS.ELENI 3/6/2011 6:50PM

    Well if you have too much fruit i am close by and will be more than happy to help you use it emoticon

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/6/2011 6:48PM

    Your fruit trees are doing very well! Nice job.

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Good Recovery

Saturday, March 05, 2011

I groomed the dog today (gave Gracie a haircut) and skipped Ralphy because the BW didn't think he needed it. Gracie almost didn't look like a dog - more like a walking pile of fur. It was about two inches long and fluffy, so her legs looked like they were almost touching each other and her tail was a joke. After I took it down to about a half inch and skinned her feet with a trim clipper, she looked like a different dog. Ralphy has shivering fits from time to time and jumps up in my lap to get warm, and his coat is thinner and a lot shorter - maybe an inch for the guard hairs, and not so much undercoat. It's warmer, but he has shivering fits at 74 degrees, so he can go a while longer.

Then I sunk an anchor in and put a brace on the east end of the grape trellis and finally got back to the mirror frame. I had painted it again, and let it cure for a few more days. Today I laid out the placement for all the velcro strips, sanded the back of the frame with 600 grit paper to get it nice and smooth, cut up the strips, and stuck them on the frame and mirror. Because everything is laid out so the frame will overlap an eighth of an inch on the bottom and three eights of an inch on the top, the last step is to cut two blocks, one two and a half inches high and one two and three eights high, both. They have to be at least three quarters of an inch thick because when we stick it up I don't think we will be able to get it off easily, so it needs to be placed precisely, and the only way I can think of to guarantee that is to rest it on a solid surface at the right height, then slide it in, with the bottom touching first. I need to coach the BW a couple of times before we do the deed, but everything should fit. The velcro adhesive achieves full strength after 24 hours, so we are waiting one more day before the big event. It is surprising how long it takes to turn out a simple frame, but I have plenty of time.

The Shrimp Creole turned out great today. I thawed both containers, got the stuff warm in the microwave, then got it boiling in a sauce pan and let it simmer for 55 minutes. I left the shrimp in while it cooked. It got soupier, and nothing was crunchy. The BW added some ketchup to hers, but she liked it, so it turned out just fine. I guess I have better luck when I just follow my nose and use common sense when it's my turn to cook. I didn't think the time for each step was long enough, but I was following the chef's directions (blindly).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 3/6/2011 9:38AM

    Shrimp Creole sounds AWESOME! Can I have some?

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    I'm no vet, but shivering fits at 74 degrees? That almost sounds like a body temp regulation problem. Does the vet think that's normal?

Ketchup on shrimp creole??? (passes out)

Comment edited on: 3/6/2011 8:05:31 AM

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/6/2011 7:43AM

    The shrimp sounds pretty tasty afterall!

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TWOTIMESS 3/6/2011 2:12AM

    I can't wait to see your framed mirror up on the wall. At least your Shrimp Creole turned out more to your taste.

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MS.ELENI 3/5/2011 9:16PM

    Looks like another busy day for you. Glad your Creole turned out ok.

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Questionable Recipe

Friday, March 04, 2011

We have been having great weather, even warmer than average for this time of year - around 80 every day and 60 at night. I took the dogs with me to the bank yesterday morning, but Ralphy was dragging when we got home. I didn't have to carry him, but walking 2.6 miles is a little far for him, so we went for a 1.75 mile walk today, and it was just about right. We started at 9:00, and it was just 60, but was up to 64 by the time we got home again. It was a great day for a walk, and I didn' have to start before the sun came up.

I did deliver the dictionaries this morning, and asked if they had a hand truck that I could borrow because John Kiker said that he had borrowed one last year. At Lake St. George they said they did, and a guy was bringing it up for me. When he got there, he wanted to come out and pick them up, I guess so he could take them to some distribution area. It was great - not only did I find a place close to the door to park, but he took them off my hands right at my trunk. Last year I had to park almost at the end of the parking area, then make three trips back and forth to get them all in. It's obvious that I didn't ask enough questions, but now I'm educated.

This afternoon I took the BW shopping at Sweetbay to redeem a coupon for $10 off if you spent $40. It wasn't any problem to spend $80, so I got the discount, and part of the stuff was some Key West pink shrimp so I could make Chef Meg's Shrimp Creole. I had never done that sort of dish before, so I followed her directions precisely, except that I wound up cooking everything three times as long as the recipe said would do, and all the vegetables were still crunchy. Afterward I looked up another Shrimp Creole recipe, and it called for boiling stuff for three times as long as Chef Meg. Not only that, the recipe was only supposed to make 5 cups of finished Creole, and after two servings (half the recipe's yield - a total of 2 and a half cups) I still have more than 7 cups left. I put it all in two containers and stuck them in the freezer. After everything freezes to break down the cell walls, I'll put it back in a pot and boil it for a good half hour.

The final problem was the recipe called for a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper, which I did put in, and the BW thought it was way too hot. I offered to wash off the shrimp and let her eat them with shrimp sauce, but she's willing to give it another try.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWOTIMESS 3/5/2011 2:11PM

    That must have been quite a disappointment to have the shrimp dish turn out like that! I hope your leftovers will taste good!

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    I love cayenne pepper. There was a stretch where I used it every day in my rice and beans. I have the same problem at my house with sensitivity to spice. I'll throw in a pinch of this and a dash of that for flavor. I can barely notice it, meanwhile, the rest of the family is calling the fire department.

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MS.ELENI 3/4/2011 10:47PM

    It was nice that you have help with dictionaries.
I have never used cayenne pepper. It is suppose to be good for you. I love the way you are always trying new recipes.

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MRDPOLING 3/4/2011 9:00PM

    Oh no... never the cayenne... never never never

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Two Lost Days

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tuesday I snarfed up a total of 1785 calories, 450 of which came from a small danish, a two ounce muffin, and a cinnamon roll. Yesterday I totaled a bit over 1800 calories, but about 1000 came from pastries of one sort or another. The class went fine, but the snacks got to me and I had a danish and three muffins, then more sweet stuff when I got home. Today I have had supper and my total is just 670. Thursdays I have to eat a little light, and I still gained a half pound since last week, but I am still well inside leeway.

Tuesday there were 11 people signed up, 10 of them showed up, and four walk-ins came to make a group of 14 people in the seminar. I always have a few extra books because you never know how many will actually be there. I made it through the first day in only 3 hours and 20 minutes, went straight to the surgery center, and picked up the BW at 12:40. She said they were getting pretty antsy having her sit there for about 35 minutes after they were done with her, but they always want everything their way. They could have let her sit in the waiting area, but didn't want her to walk until I was responsible.

I went through the entire second day and finished about two minutes late - 1:02, with a nice big hand from the group. Then I did the paperwork and got the stuff in the mail to California and Oldsmar. After that I had a little free time to do little chores, and then the Kiwanis meeting went two full hours before the board meeting, and it lasted another 40 minutes. I got home just before bedtime, with 116 dictionaries and 120 stickers. I drew Lake St. George Elementary for my school, so I spent this morning peeling stickers off of the page and sticking them inside the dictionaries. Tomorrow I'll call the school and deliver the dictionaries. One of the things we do is give a dictionary to every third grade student in North Pinellas County, eleven elementary schools, with a few spares for kids that transfer in. That takes 1200 dictionaries, and nearly $1,600. It was second only to Feast for donation amount, but this year it passed Feast. (Spoken like a treasurer.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXTHEHUNN 3/5/2011 8:48AM

    It's difficult to be in a closed situation with all that food and avoid having any at all.

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DIASTER 3/4/2011 1:07PM

  How nice to know that you are real, and still have an occasional slip up. Do you suppose any of us are ever free from this problem?
You sure do have a crazy busy schedule, we are so fortunate to have people like you in this community, wonder how many retired people sit at home feeling so lonely.

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MRDPOLING 3/4/2011 6:53AM

    Lot of carbs!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 3/3/2011 9:53PM

    It seems like I need my daily quota of pastries as well. Someday, I'm going to give them up. Well, maybe.

I've been in the classrooms when the dictionaries arrived and I can vouch for the kids'enthusiasm. At least for a while, they enjoy using them. Thank you and the Kiwanis for tis service project.

Comment edited on: 3/3/2011 9:53:38 PM

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MS.ELENI 3/3/2011 9:46PM

    I love that you give out dictionaries.So many kids today don't even know how to use one. I have one out here and one in living room.
Those sweets will get to you for sure. Just one won't do it.

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DJ4HEALTH 3/3/2011 9:40PM

    That's allot of pastries. emoticon

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Busy Day Tomorrow

Monday, February 28, 2011

I guess it was worth going to Ruth Eckert Hall last night - the BW was very enthusiastic afterward, and loved it to pieces. I thought it was sort of long, and didn't really have a good time until about 65 minutes into it, when they started playing with the one 15 note phrase that I associate with that music. It started quietly, and traveled to various sections of the orchestra, and finally wound up with the whole chorus (more than 100 singers) blasting it out. That did choke me up a little. The last 20 minutes made the evening, as far as I was concerned.

Tomorrow I get up at 6:00, get over to Coral Oaks, and try to get through a four hour presentation in as close to three hours as possible. The BW will drive herself to a local surgery center by 9:45, and should be ready to be picked up by 12:00. She will take a book, so I don't have to be there by 12, but I don't want to get there by 2:00 either. I got everything ready today and put the materials in my trunk, and I won't put out any pass-outs until Wednesday so I don't have to pick them up.

After I get her home I'll get a ride from our house back to the surgery center with Jack so I can pick up her car, buy him a couple of beers, and then do the certificates and get ready for Wednesday. The BW should be just fine then, and I'll spend another day with a table full of goodies in the back of the room.

Then I get to weigh in again on Thursday. The clock keeps running.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MS.ELENI 2/28/2011 7:04PM

    Glad that you had a good time at Ruth Eckerd.
Tomorrow does sound busy but you are always busy. Hope everything goes well with A.

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MRDPOLING 2/28/2011 4:09PM

    Tick Tock Tick Tock! hehe Sorry couldn't resist a lil poke.

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TWOTIMESS 2/28/2011 3:40PM

    I'm glad the symphony moved you. Your day looks terribly busy! Stay away from the snack plate, LOL!

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