Saturday, October 12, 2013

Autumnal Lovelies

These brown-eyed Susan beauties (or whatever they are) lend such a cheerfulness to the gardens. I owe my thanks to Glenice for them. They're easy keepers and launch into full bloom at a time when the rest of my flowers are either fading or long gone. They're on both sides of the walk, and despite my efforts to keep them contained within the boundaries of the concrete on one side and a picket fence on the other, some always find a way to impose themselves on the beaten path. That green, creeping blob near the bottom right is parsley. They learned their  imposition from these flower chums.

One of the things I love about an autumn sunset is the subtleties of the evening air. There's a bit of something akin to mist in it that's absent in summer's clarity. I love the rare times I'm able to catch one of the animals in it.

This was taken of my horse in the oat field just before sunset. My camera died, so I only have my cell phone for pictures, meaning I have to take them in the light. I stand by what I said about sunset in the fall, but I just can't show you what I see right now. Still a decent picture though, don't you think?

Another thing I love about this season is harvesting herbs. Parsley is a biennial, and I didn't know it the first season I planted it, but it reseeds itself aplenteous. I forgive its imposing sin in the gardens. I dry it between paper towels in the microwave so it retains its pretty green and just keep refilling this old Costco container. The brownish layer on the bottom is from last year's crop. Tastes the same, but looks so much different.

Off to enjoy the rest of this lovely autumn day. I wish you a magical one!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Coffee Quest. Well, it was really for food...

It was Visit Dad day, so I spent some time with him after having sipped on 12 lovely ounces of pumpkin spice coffee on my way. 'Tis the season. eeYUM.

I picked up Ryan at school afterward. There were three cafes that he and Jylle have told me about, so I let him choose. We went to Coeur on North Monroe, and I saw immediately upon entering that there was no "real food." What?! It was 1:00, and I needed sustenance. We decided to split a cappuccino because I've never experienced a real one, and he said they make one of the best he's ever had. We would go to one of the other shops later.

It was a thing of beauty, and I learned not only the reason for the spoon, but the best way to first taste a cappuccino for its quality. (The apple was a gift from Ryan, which he got from a prof at school who keeps giving them out, which I found ironic, given that he's going to be a doctor. Let me know if you're not with me on this.)

Fun, intelligent, thought-provoking company, my Ryan is.

We headed to Indaba on West Broadway, a place Jylle scorns for its lack of every flavor except for four, which are all made in-house. They don't have pumpkin spice. Okay, I can deal with that. But mint! I don't care if you make it yourself, you can find a way to make a mint hot chocolate! It was a really fun place, but--déjà vu--they didn't have any real food either. We decided to go to the third place, promising that we'd come back to Indaba another day at an earlier time. He said to try their lemon vanilla, a specialty drink of which they seem pretty proud.

Chairs is on West Indiana, a place neither of us had ever visited. I knew they had real food because Jylle told me the sandwich she got was deluxe. Yes! This place is modern funky, with yes, a variety of different kinds of chairs.

We split a grilled Tillamook cheese sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread with a bowl of tomato basil soup. It was a small serving and pricey at $8 for the gluten-free version, but it hit the spot, and we drank a camel's share of cucumber water whilst taking in a generous share of good conversation.

For dessert, we made a trek to Trader Joe's to pick up Amy's birthday present so it could be as fresh as possible. The flowers were all arranged and the gifts hidden by the time she got home from work. I had the unexpected opportunity to give her a hug and her gifts--score!

I had a lion's share of coffee, good company, and now, sweet memories. eeYUM!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

I Can Do Manly Man Stuff. Sorta.

It was a nice day, and I was tired of being inside. I heard the furnace come on, and that motivated me to want to bring in some wood. We are WAY behind schedule in that department, having zero amounts of wood in the shed. That means bringing it in from the forest. But hey, I'm a sturdy country girl, used to hard work and long hours. I marched right outside and started up the quad to survey the terrain and locate the whereabouts of said wood. Survey complete, I headed to the barn to hitch up the cart.

One tire was completely flat. I made a mental note to take care of that. I loaded the cart with wood and after about 50 yards, I looked back like a good farmer does to make sure everything's okay. There was a long black skid trail behind one tire. Yep, totally spaced pumping up that tire. I unloaded the wood and examined the damage. The tire had come off the rim completely on the outside.

Back to the house for tools. Back to the woods with tools. Cannot get this thing back on to save my life. What would Kev do? The only thing holding the wheel on was a cotter pin. I managed to get it off, making note of how it all went together. Back to the house to see if I could find more manly tools to maybe hammer it back on or something. Just when I had called it quits and walked back in the house, I saw the computer. Google.

First forum had quite a few suggestions. Spread some sort of slimy, goopy stuff around the rim. Use a mixture of soap and water. Get an inner tube. Buy a solid wheel. Try baby powder. Now that's what I'm talkin' about. It read:

Any handling of smaller tires and tubes goes far easier with a light application of plain ol' cheapo drugstore brand BABY POWDER. Just dust it on the tube and spread it around with your hands, takes the stickiness off the tube and the tube will expand more evenly inside the tire at low pressures.

I spread it around the tire and rim, slapped on the air compressor valve, and voila--inflated tire! Just popped it right back onto the rim. Back in business. Ended up getting two loads because the tire was starting to lose air again, and I had to get ready for a big date anyway.

It's a wee bummer that the inflation didn't last, but ah well. It's nice to know there are resources on the web for all kinds of needs. Makes a day's work a little easier for a manly man. Or his willing wife.