Author Archives: Pamela

Flowers Soon

Here’s where all that grumping about back in October is going to pay off. Look at all those sproutlets bursting through the ground. Prepare for many many flower photos in a couple of months.

Or sooner? This baby looks like it’s going to pop any day now.

This is the main groundhog radish area. They are supposed to loosen and condition the soil. I just went back to read the instructions curious how I’m supposed to handle in the spring. Well, if I read it correctly, the ideal situation is that we would have had a hard freeze and they would die. The tops would wither and the radish would get squishy and I would rototil and plant as usual.

But as you can see, this hasn’t happened and the plants are growing up a storm. If I understood the directions correctly I’m supposed to harvest that 50 bushels of daikon radish. Luckily I got that pickle queen cookbook because unless we get a hard freeze very soon, I’m making pickles.

In case you don’t know what you’re looking for, I have helpfully made a red arrow pointing at the radish.

I looked up the history of my (dental) crowns. I got my first one in the early 90s and then one in 2008 and this exciting 2012 pre-vacation emergency, and I guess 2 in 2016. I didn’t have root canals for all of them. For the 2012 root canal the doctor prescribed an opioid painkiller — I don’t know how many, 10? 12? Shows you how far we’ve come, this time they gave me a few of those super-power ibuprofens. I didn’t have huge issues with pain for any of them.

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The Rules of Teeth

This is from Library of Congress free wpa posters.

Don’t be jealous but yet again, I am a queen because I am getting a crown. Well, I’ll get a crown if I’m lucky. My tooth disintegrated so thoroughly I don’t know what they’re going to do with it.

It started hurting around Christmas, as in after a sip of hot or cold you’d have to peel me off the ceiling. I was prepared to live with it until after the braces came off but the discomfort was making eating and drinking difficult. I had my braces tightened and then couldn’t chew on either side of my mouth for about 36 hours.

The dentist looked at the xray and said: I don’t even know what’s going on with this tooth. It’s like it’s imploding from the inside out.

She gave me a referral to the endontist who discussed a lot of scenarios and then told me they had a schedule change and could zap me immediately.

Hell yes! I said.

The minute he drilled into it, the inside part of the tooth flew off – which wasn’t unexpected. I guess my tooth rotted inside until it was like a tooth-shell? I don’t know. I’m not an oral health professional and am not one of those people who needs to know the life history of why my tooth failed.

He did his thing and patched it up and I can freely drink cold water without flinching which is the best part of this whole mess. I have to go back to the dentist for her thoughts on what next.

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Don’t Look Down

This is the living room of the house I grew up in circa 1980-ish. It’s hard to believe all that orange and green was a good idea. If you look at the house on Zillow they have hardwoods now.

We need to deal with our floors in our house. It makes me feel bad about myself every time I look at our dingy, horrible carpet and disintegrating flooring.

I’ve hated our carpet since the day we’ve moved in.

We’re just so bad at dealing with house projects. When Bob’s in school we don’t have time. When we have time we’d always rather be doing something else.

We talked about at least shampooing the carpet so it didn’t look like an accident scene but if we have to move all the furniture we might as well replace the floor and if we replace the floor we might as well get rid of the terrible wallpaper and paint. Now it’s a huge project.

I was determined to deal with it this summer but already the weekends are getting filled up with family or fun things. Seems like something we need to get on the calendar early if we have to hire people. I predict we will limp along with what we have a bit longer.

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Whine Flu

Last week both husband and colleague had the crud. They had different versions of it and different ways of dealing with it but mostly they wanted me to hear about how miserable it was to have the crud.

I understand and I did mete out some sympathy and said things like, “you should rest” and “here’s a lozenge.” But also I got to a point where I’d heard enough whining about the crud.

I knew my days were probably numbered. Monday when I went to bed and I had a little scratchy throat and I thought, “I hope it’s not my turn with the crud.”

I woke up Tuesday morning and I didn’t even know what was happening. I was trembling with a raging headache and ached all over so bad I groaned when I moved. I got up long enough to tell colleague I was staying home and cancel a dentist appointment and I got back in bed.

I then slept for about 20 of the next 24 hours. Even reading and watching TV didn’t feel great. I listened to an audiobook while bundled up under the covers. I had an appetite but nothing sounded good.

I can’t remember the last time I missed any time off from work for being sick. I stayed home for two days. I already felt a lot better the second day and I went to work on Thursday. I felt fine until the end of the day and then I crashed hard, staggered home, and went to bed really early. I’m taking it easy today. A couple of chores but mostly sitting around reading and I’m going to watch a movie this afternoon.

I think the moral is that talking about being sick is like talking about the dream you had — it’s always more interesting to talk about than to listen to.

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This Little Figgy

This is Percy in the fall — I guess that’s frost? I can’t remember when I took the photo. (More groundhog daikon radishes in the background.)

I came *this* close to announcing that there were interesting developments next door.

Bob said he saw a moving van over there. During the holidays we had gone up to a regular 6 (six!) cars parked over there every night. But then it went down to two. Then for a couple of nights there was one and no lights on and not a sign of life.

Percy is the kind of fig tree that only has a summer crop. There’s probably some interesting reason why he produced a couple funny little figs in the fall. I don’t know what it is but I hope it’s foreshadowing for next summer.

I foolishly alerted the neighbor on the other side and asked if she’d seen or heard anything. She also complained about the six cars and was hopeful for good news.

False alarm. We’re back to 4-5 cars and they woke me up once last week at 1:30am.

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Holiday Baking

Future flowers breaking through all over the yard.

I already told this story a few times but I thought I’d put it here, too.

I took my car in on New Year’s Eve day. The dealership had the B team on the schedule that day.

The guy that checked me in seemed like he would rather be getting a tooth pulled. I don’t think it would be possible to show less interest in me and my car while checking me in to get my car serviced.

Well, except for the actual service part — they weren’t very busy so I’m guessing that had a crew going at it like a pit stop. They finished in about 40 minutes.

I was at the office so I didn’t pick it up until later in the day and when I arrived, they couldn’t find my key.

I’m fairly confident the guy who checked me out was baked. He told me to wait by my car and someone would bring me the key.

I waited and waited and waited and finally a different kid came out and asked me which car I was waiting for.

I pointed at my car and said I was waiting for the key.

Current state of the garden. Those are groundhog daikon radishes which are supposed to do wonderful things to the soil. I have them planted in a bunch of different spots. More info here.

Finally the guy who checked me out came out and said, “Hey sister. You had your key chain. Are you sure you didn’t grab the key?”

Yes, I told him: It’s a smart key. If I had the key I could get in the car and drive away.

[It’s the kind of key that just has to be close to the car, it doesn’t have to be inserted in the ignition.]

Me: You don’t know where the key is?

He said, oh, I know where it is. It’s here. Somewhere.

I wasn’t mad. I thought it was funny. I waited some more and the finally the other kid came out with my key, kind of shaking his head. “It was still hanging on the rack.”

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We All Want to Be Pickle Queen

These are the Swedish pancakes with lingonberry preserves that I got when I was in Nashville way back in May.

Oops. I forgot to post last weekend. I thought once a week was an easy goal but now I’m slipping at that. Who knows what the future holds? I’m going to make it up with three posts this week. [And then I wrote this post yesterday and didn’t hit the publish button. sigh.]

This week the NYT had an article about India’s Pickle Queen. You should go read the story but if not, this woman in India spent decades testing pickle recipes and self-published a cookbook after narrowing it down to 1000 recipes.

The last thing I need is another cookbook. I really, really tried to resist the urge but this one sounds like a fun book to read even if you never make a pickle:

There are tips in bold for, say, removing the stamens from plantain flowers (tug at them with the blunt edge of knife) and choosing the most pickle-worthy okra (look for tails that break with a snap).

A straightforward “anti-waste” chapter includes recipes for plantain skins, jackfruit seeds, ridge-gourd peels and lime leaves, which often end up in the compost heap.

And I wanted an actual book, something I could take with me next time I visit Mom so we could have fun going through it together.

I caved and bought it. Should be here tomorrow.

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The Christmas Eve Complication

On Christmas Eve, barely an hour before our company was expected to arrive I heard a tremendous crash. I thought something had come through our front window.

I was relieved that it was only our Christmas tree.

Then I was in a panic about how quickly I could clean it up and restore it to its original state before company arrived which was impossible because I was in the middle of cooking dinner. Bob was picking up my dad so I was the only one home.

I picked it up and propped it against the wall so there would be no repeat performance. Then I ran out to the garage and found an empty box for all the non-broken ornaments on the floor. I blotted up the water as best I could.

Meanwhile, our vacuum motor died and the vacuum is at the shop. We do have slightly functioning back-up vacuum and I found that little stair attachment and cleaned up the strewn pine needles and ornament shards as best as I could.

I wasn’t that upset about it — what can you do? But I was bummed that I haven’t even put up a tree in years and this year we would actually have company to see it. And then it looked like a disaster.

The other side doesn’t look quite as bad. I don’t know what happened. It must have gotten bumped or settled and leaned too much. It could have been a ghost.

If you want to keep track, I will add that our exhaust heater fan in the bathroom also broke this month and we had an electrician over who was super nice but also had a sharp eye and pointed out every problem with our house that is related to electricity. So lots of fixing happening with us.

Cookie fight: Yoda v. Bat Boy.

I think I finally fixed my website so that when you comment, I will get a notification in my email. This has been broken forever but yesterday I spent the afternoon trying to fix and/or modify a few things.

My plan for New Year’s Eve is to eat leftovers and watch Band of Brothers. I just started it this week and wow — it is terrifying and really good. It originally aired in 2001 so I’m finally getting caught up.

Happy New year. Hope all your wishes come true.

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The Sky Is A Hazy Shade of Winter

I forgot to post last weekend. Oops.

I haven’t been taking any photos lately. I was going to run out and get some “grim images of winter” in the yard but instead I pulled out these pretty flowers.

I learned this summer that I have been growing sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes) and didn’t know it. Here’s an article about how to grow them.

I did nothing.

They showed up in my yard on their own and I have been angrily digging them up year after year and composting them only to find they always return. By the time I found out that this was an actual food thing that I would like it was late in the season and I’d lost interest in yard projects but I should have a bumper crop next year.

I like to buy these dried mushrooms at the grocery store. Earlier in the month when I was there I searched high and low and could not find this product in any of the usual and accustomed places.

I finally found someone to ask and this woman told me that NO ONE ever bought it and they were always having to throw the old ones away. She reiterated more than once that NO ONE bought it. I told her that while I understand I am only one customer, I am not no one.

That really annoyed me.

Also, last time I was there I found the product so I don’t know what her deal is.

I was trying to be on top of it and ordered our xmas cards over Thanksgiving weekend. About 2 hours after I ordered them I received an email telling me that I could come pick them up.

I waited until my next trip to the grocery store and went to the photo section which was being manned by a very nice young man, who had to be baked. Really laid back. He handed me a packet of about 17 cards which was significantly less than I ordered.

After a lot of, Whoa. And, Hm. And, Sorry ma’am, he remembers that our order broke the printer. He showed me it on the floor packed up in a box. Did anyone call me? No, of course no one called me, otherwise I wouldn’t be there.

Whoa. Hm. Sorry ma’am. I thought they called you.

To be clear: none of this annoyed me. I thought it was hilarious. If I could, I would be hanging out talking to that kid still, eating Doritos and exchanging quotes from our favorite movies.

I had to go back and get the rest of the cards on my next visit.

We’re staying in town for Christmas. I’ve got everything wrapped and ready. I’m decorating the tree and making cookies this afternoon.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukah. Have a great week whatever you celebrate.

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Take All You Need

Check it out! Tribally branded condoms.

Auntie had a bunch on her kitchen table last time I visited.

“They have a big bowl of them at the clinic. Take all you need.”

Well, technically I don’t *need* any. But I took one because I thought they were funny.

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