Comments on the day

Massage

Was pure bliss. Loved it. It’s located in a resort here, nestled among the smoky mountains. We should rent a cabin there. Oh wait, there’s this whole house in the mountains I live in. haha. Back to the massage – I left feeling so refreshed and relaxed! But I do feel like my morning shower was wasted, since I left with greasy stringy hair thanks to the massage oil. Other than that, it was great.

Garage Sales

Must have stopped at a dozen garage sales on my way to/from the spa. I swear, people must be getting desperate, selling their underwear and half-empty bottles of shampoo/lotion. Come on people! Where is your vintage Pyrex!?

Oh, here it is :)

DSCN0910 

I found this set of 4 Pyrex cups in the “Harvest Home” pattern, which was only made during 1981-1983 (older than me = vintage). They also came with the matching Corelle bread plates, and for $2 I couldn’t pass it up. Plus, the money went to a Martial Arts academy, and I have to support mountain children learning to defend themselves, right?

DSCN0908

Perfect for fall! And yes, I am using my Autumn Harvest 403 mixing bowl as a centerpiece, filled up with Harmo’s handpicked pine cones from the driveway. We’re very Martha-Stewart-like here.

College Football

Today was the infamous Georgia/Tennessee game. I have gone several years in the past, both in Athens, and in Knoxville. I always cheer for Georgia and I always wear my red and black. Today I chose a muted red shirt, so I didn’t scream “egg my car!” to the locals. Several of the garage sales I attended had the radio tuned in to the game, and when I heard the score, a smile crept on my face. Go dawgs!

Harmo’s Car Therapy

Harmo is now sporting a fancy schmancy car harness. Makes her look even more like a St. Bernard, out to search for human remains on a snowy mountain. haha.

She likes it just fine, and we took it for a 15 minute spin this afternoon. I can’t tell that the harness did anything; she wasn’t really restricted anymore than usual (can still try to force herself onto my lap while I’m driving). But I do think she’s getting better in the car. This time she just laid down,  with her head in my lap. Not bad. Can we extrapolate her behavior for a 15 minute ride to a 12 hour ride? Hmm… that’s a good question for Sheldon:

image

Today’s cooking:

Made delicious potato soup for dinner. Chatting online with The Boy during cooking has left potato starch on my keyboard. Darn.

Dessert will be a warm pumpkin scone with cinnamon glaze and a glass of pseudo 2% milk. Impressed? I found the recipe here, had all the ingredients waiting for me in the pantry (I used canned butternut, which is apparently what canned pumpkin often is anyway!), and decided to go for it. They are now resting, on my redneck cooling rack (= upside down muffin tin) while I finish this and the dogs watch the last few minutes of “Never Been Kissed”. Yes, they like Drew Barrymore. 

Time to get glazin’ — Good night!

Energizer Tomatoes

Will these tomato plants ever quit? Apparently not. It’s now October, and my plants are still producing tomatoes like a little factory. They don’t grow quite as big anymore, and tend to be holey if I let them vine ripen, so I’ve been picking them green and bringing them in the kitchen to ripen.

DSCN0897

I know have 35 green tomatoes (and a few ripe ones!) on the counter. My goodness. Every few days I bring in a bunch to work and put a smile on my coworkers faces :)

I picked a handful today in preparation of tonight’s frost warning. I cannot believe it. Just 11 days ago, we were setting record high temps, and now I’m sitting here in my fleece jacket and slippers (and some other clothes too…) hearing that we might get a frost tonight!? Crazy. Please do not let this be indicative of the winter to come. I might have to move away….

Well, actually, I might be moving away next year anyway. Yup – I finally committed to applying to grad school and spent some time this morning getting my GRE score sent to my potential grad school (for the mere cost of $23! boo) and trying to request undergrad transcripts. How exciting! I could settle back into some studying I think. My cross stitch projects would probably have to go away. And no more homegrown vegetables :(

But what about homegrown yeast? Yes, my latest exciting endeavor (other than grad school applications, of course) is to bake bread using a natural starter. (this means using the yeast naturally present in my house/food, rather than from a little grocery-store-industrially-mass-produced packet). I heard about it on NPR’s Splendid Table this weekend, and have been reading up on it. It’s quite the science. I still have more reading/research to do, but hopefully I can start feeding my starter this weekend! Any ideas on names? Apparently every home baker names their starter. They sort of become a pet, since you have to feed them on a daily basis. Maybe Roger. Or Henri. I don’t know.

That’s all for now. I have to go remove handfuls of sheep innards from Harmo’s mouth.

2nd half of 2010 starts now!

Who can believe it’s already July!?!

The dogs and I will be spending the 4th of July weekend in Nashville, so today’s to-do list is fairly lengthy; lots of things must be done before we can head out of town!

However, with the heat outside (even if it’s cooler than the last few weeks), all I really want to do is make a plate of spaghetti, lay on the couch, watch my latest netflix, and read the rest of my book.

Bess and I are compromising  – we started “No Impact Man” while I multitask (and blog). Then hopefully I can re-energize and take the dogs for a walk. If there’s one thing I don’t like about taking them to Nashville, it’s that I hate keeping them cooped up in The Boy’s apartment.

DSCN0630

Oh and Bess has a big announcement she’d like to share with you all – we received an application for her adoption earlier today!! Keep your fingers crossed, but it seems like a perfect situation for Miss Bess. A 66 year old, retired man in Kentucky is interested in making Bess his new companion, after losing two border collies to old age (you can tell he’s a good dog owner by the fact that his dogs lived to the ages of 17 and 19!).

Bess is very excited. And not just about the thought of finding her forever home. She’s enjoying watching “No Impact Man” and learning about how to help the environment.

Sheff apparently could care less. He’s been sleeping out in the sun ever since I got home. Perhaps he can sense that his foster sister may be leaving soon and is suffering from depression.

Or, more likely, the benedryl from his allergies is catching up with him.

The first day of the second half of the year (!) also brings us this:

 

DSCN0626

Mr. Hooter is showing you the ripening tomatoes :)

A post-novocaine afternoon to relax

Got back from yet another trip to the dentist. 3 shots of novocaine and 4 fillings later…. I am so numb it’s not funny. Well, actually it is humorous. I drove home from the dentist, attempting to sing along with Queen and Bon Jovi on the radio, but was frustrated with my lack of mouth movement, so I switched to NPR.

The dogs are happy to have me back home from work, but I think they would rather be running around outside and in the garden than relaxing. Sorry puppies, no strenuous work today. Your fur mommy needs to rest.

I think they got the message :)

DSCN0611Now, if only it weren’t in the upper 90s outside with an air quality warning, I’d be all over that hammock. Instead, I think it’ll be the couch + netbook + reading/embroidery.

Tomato Update

I finally de-forested the 3 tomato plants that had become an overgrown bush.

DSCN0534 Looks better now, no?

DSCN0610

And here’s my little “hooter” that I picked up at last weekend’s Artisan Festival in Nashville:

DSCN0609

There’s at least 50 tomatoes on these plants right now, and I keep thinking any day now that they should be turning red. In the meantime, I’m taking some in tomorrow for the staff to make fried green tomatoes

Fillings and Tendrils

Hi there!

My day at work went by pretty quickly and then it was off to the dentist for my fillings! We opted to just do one filling today, and the other 3 next week. This way I only had to leave with one side of my face drooping. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if my entire face was stroke-like. Don’t think I would’ve managed to sing along to Michael Buble very well!

Some more intense summer heat today, along with afternoon thunder showers. I went out to the garden to check on my veggies. I had intended to do some serious weeding, but the sun is back out in full force. I’ll head back out after dinner.

No new squash to pick today. I made an excellent southwestern squash casserole last night which will last me throughout the week. The first of many squash casseroles for the upcoming summer, I can predict. After reading other gardening bloggers’ stories of nonstop squash harvests, when neighbors shut their doors at the sight of you coming over with a friendly basket of squash, I started to cringe. That will be me! Only I don’t have a family to feed my squash to, nor do I have any neighbors that I know.

But I do have friends that will be visiting me during the summer, and a boyfriend who is about to love some zucchini bread. haha

While trying to take inventory of the “mystery compost” plants that grew out of scraps thrown out during last fall, I discovered a long pumpkin vine, complete with a baby green pumpkin!

At first I thought it was a watermelon. I actually would’ve been more excited about a watermelon (believe me, I have plenty of those planted as well), but I don’t remember having any seeded watermelons last fall that would’ve been thrown out there.

I will post sometime soon with photographic garden update :)

I read a long article about growing pumpkins, training them to grow/climb/cover however you want. Those tendrils of theirs amaze me! Super curly, they wrap their fingers themselves around anything they come in contact with, almost like a little baby! So anyway, I’m thinking maybe I should teach them to climb something cool. I may not be able to teach my dogs tricks, but maybe I can train my pumpkins?

Surprise! It’s June!

How is it already June!? I had some trouble today writing 06/01/10 on my notes today but eventually caught on.

This time last year I was just 2 weeks away from graduating from my dietetic internship, madly searching for jobs and trying to figure out what I was going to do with myself after my Nashville lease ended.

…. fast forward a year and here I am out in the mountains of east tennessee with a beautiful garden growing!

DSCN0536

Some things haven’t changed, though. Still in job search mode. No, not for myself. I’m doing fine at work, and don’t plan on leaving for a little bit (next move = grad school). The Boy has recently been thrown into the real world after learning that his research funding was disappearing and he wouldn’t be able to stay for his PhD after all. I definitely think searching for dietitian jobs is a lot more straight forward than this electrical engineering stuff. I’ve been trying to help and seek out appropriate jobs for him to apply to (I know, amazing girlfriend of the year material) but I have no idea what any of the job descriptions mean. He gave me a list of terms and keywords to look for, so that’s about all I can do. Crossing fingers that he has better luck than I did last year (very few job applications even contacted me, let alone gave me an opportunity to interview!).

So what does the month of June hold for me?

Well, my Dad is flying up this weekend for his birthday (which coincides with both National Donut Day and Knoxville’s International Biscuit Festival!) and then the long drive back to Texas with my mom and the dogs. So Sheff, Bess and I will be back to our single life on the farm. Which probably means back to my list-oriented life, getting back to some embroidery, reading, gardening, and walks on the greenway. Also hoping to make a trip to Nashville (and maybe attend the American Artisan Festival).

Oh, and blogging from my new netbook!

image

I ordered it this morning from NewEgg, so hoping to have it by the end of the week to try out. Exciting!! As much as I love my Dell Studio laptop, the 15" size is a little much to carry around with me. The baby netbook will be wonderful as a travel companion. :)

I am happy to report that:

  1. I finished off my brownies that I baked last Thursday. Yes, that means the brownies lasted a full week. Maybe the pre-portioned method of baking in muffin tins was smart after all :)
  2. I got caught up on patients today. Between a patient who reportedly can only eat 5 foods (hamburger, pork, oats, grits, rice) without throwing up from allergic reactions, and a homeless man who claims our food isn’t good enough, it was a fun day, to say the least.
  3. A coworker complimented me on my sweater today. It’s not very often when my outfits/clothing/fashion is complimented. As someone recently so-nicely put it “you dress kind of dumpy”. Whatever. Cheap and comfortable is my motto, and when you live out in the country by yourself and work with psych patients, what is the point in dressing nice?!?
  4. The power bill arrived and is a full $40 less than last month. Thank you spring weather!
  5. I received the last Flight of the Conchords DVD in the mail today, courtesy of Netflix. I’ll be sad to have them all finished! :(
  6. The thermometer is reading 75 degrees right now. Repeat: thank you again spring weather!
  7. I finished mowing the back yard this afternoon. Question: why does my border collie choose the piles of freshly mown grass to roll around in?
  8. My allergies are still in remission. Thank you Nasonex :)
  9. Sheff’s Thundershirts arrived in the mail today! As a reminder, this is our latest attempt to relieve his anxiety, which I think is mostly driven by East Tennessee’s wind and storms (he never had this back in Texas).

We ordered both a large and extra-large, to see which fit him best. Luckily, the company has free returns and a money-back guarantee if this doesn’t work to relieve his symptoms.

DSCN0295

They’re made out of really nice, soft, stretchy fabric. Really feels just like a nice t-shirt. Sheff seems to like them too :)

DSCN0296

Unfortunately, he seems right in the middle. Too big for the large, and too small for the extra-large. I know that the shirt needs to fit somewhat snug to provide the calming effect of pressure, but I can’t tell which is best. We’ll keep working on this :)

 

DSCN0299