Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Minor accomplishments and a recipe

I ended up having a bit more energy last night before curling up under the covers to watch Farscape, season 2. After fixing a supper of baked macaroni and cheese with cut up hot dogs on top for garnish, brussels sprouts and corn bread, I went outside to take care of the bird feeder and the compost. The bird feeder was a breeze, just re-filling the feeders. I notice a lot of rabbit pellets under the feeder. I figure they're getting the spillage. It was obvious from all the bunny tracks from all over the yard converging at the village meetin' place. It occurred to me that rabbit pellets might be good in compost. I'll need to check that out before I scoop it up.

Which brings me to the compost bin. I'm using a large plastic bin with a lid to it. The bottom has several very large holes drilled in it so it's open to the ground. I needed something to contain the compost because we have a lot of critters in the yard: squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, etc. And I don't want them getting into it. So last night I went out there and, having my arms full of 3 containers of compost, I just reached out with my toe to lift the lid off the bin. Unfortunately there was about 6 inches of hard-packed snow on it and with the frigid temps, the effort to lift it resulted in a complete shattering of the lid. Oh, bother.

As soon as I emptied the containers into the bin, I went back inside and found some wall-board that Tom had removed from the bathroom when he replaced the toilet and it was a perfect fit. But I'm sure the bin won't last beyond this winter so I'm already plotting and planning for a better structure for the compost.

I also needed to get the clothes out of the washer and onto hangars and the wooden rack but when I went downstairs, there was a small pond in front of the washer. I tiptoed over to the laundry sink, which was clogged up with lint and such, took my wire hangar and poked holes in the drain so the water would empty out. But what puzzled me was the floor because there is a huge drain in front of the washer. Sure enough, it was covered over with lint and dirt, too, so I used the trusty hangar and cleared it off. Then I had to re-spin the clothes before I could hang them up.

Fortunately most everything was dry by morning. Just a few things on the rack and they should be dry by now.

All in all it was a pretty good week considering I didn't do a lot. It's mostly what I didn't do that was important to me. I didn't jump in the car and run to the store when I ran out of things. I put them on the list and then found a way around it. I didn't run to the library when a book I was waiting for came in. I'll do all my errands tomorrow at the same time, saving gas on trips into town.

And because we didn't run to town every time I thought of something I needed, we didn't stop by for something off the dollar menu...or worse.

Yep, all in all a good week.

I knitted away on the right front of my cardigan (which looks small in spite of knitting to gauge and using the correct size) but I had forgotten to add the pocket so I had to rip back a couple of inches and fix it. The first couple of rows are fiddly, especially since I'm using a circular needle rather than a stitch holder for the front where the pocket is going, but I'm past that now and am knitting happily. I located a pair of mittens I had been working on last winter. I had needed my size 3 dpns so I pulled them out thinking I would just frog the whole thing anyway, but they look good to me again so I might work on those instead of starting another project. It will be easy to slip the needles back in again. Finding the pattern and my place in the pattern might be harder.

Last night as I was snuggling down under the covers to go to sleep, I heard some really strange noises coming from under the blanket at the foot of my bed. Further investigation revealed Hannibal meowing in his sleep. Of course, both pets snore. I can hear Hannibal in the next room sometimes.

I have a pork roast in the crock pot and will have roasted potatoes and carrots to go along with it. I might make up an apple dessert of some kind. I'll have to make up some powdered milk first. We ran out of the store-bought kind last night and because I was being a good girl and didn't run to the store for more, we've just made do.

Here is my recipe for corn bread. It's easy to use because each ingredient is in the form of one measure so there isn't the bother of half cups or quarter teaspoons.

Easy Peasy Corn Bread

1 Cup corn meal
1 Cup flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1 TBS sugar (optional)
1 TBS oil
1 egg
1 Cup milk

I mix the dry ingredients first, then add the liquids (which I mix in a large measuring cup).

I use an 9X9 inch pan, well greased, in a toaster oven (or larger one) at 400 F for about 25 minutes.

I have to admit that I cook by smell rather than by time. If it smells done, it usually is but I checked last night and it was about 25 minutes.

I found a set of curtains downstairs last night when I was cleaning up the basement pantry. It was an old pair of Zach's, black and mostly sheer, but being there are two panels will fit better on the curtain rod above the foyer opening. I've been using a single panel curtain that I had bought to cover an old bookcase that I was using for pantry storage but is now down in the basement so I don't need to cover it up. I'm going to switch them and use the single panel on the back door once I get an expansion rod to go over the door. I saw some period movies last week and they had a curtain right over the door that they pulled back whenever they went in or out.

Everything old is new again.

Well, off to get some things done. As I'm going to town tomorrow, I'm going to take one of my two weekly showers. We bought a new shower head that is more efficient than the old one, which was supposed to be an energy saver as well so I don't feel guilty about taking 2 showers a week. Plus, by leaving the water in the tub instead of letting it drain immediately, I can measure how much water I'm using. And I have a clock radio in the shower that we got for Zach's Christmas last year.

And I do hope I can get some sleep tonight. I'm in another insomnia cycle, getting only about 3-4 hours a night. But I'm so glad I don't have to travel in the car and sit in a booth all day anymore.


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