Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cucumbers and Tomatoes and Blueberries--Oh My

Cucumbers: Refrigerator pickles ahoy! Batch one completed last night and brining at this very moment in the refrigerator. Two more weeks and I can once again eat crisp, vinegary, garlic-tinged dill pickles. WHEEE!

Tomatoes: The first 2010 piece of toast with cream cheese, fresh tomatoes, and salt and pepper was consumed this morning. And it was GLORIOUS.

Blueberries: The MiL went blueberry picking with my sister-in-law yesterday, returning with a large bucket of blueberries that she is even now using to bake a pie.

I know. You're jealous of my pickles, tomato toast, and pie. It's okay. I'm sure you have something wonderful of your own to look forward to this Saturday.

Have a good one, duckies!

Friday, July 30, 2010

No Fear

Okay, so I know that Cubby is my first baby and all, so it's not as if I have a wealth of experience to draw on here, but surely it's not normal that the child doesn't seem to get frightened. At least, he's not at all frightened of loud noises.

So far in his short life, he's been exposed to semi trucks, yelling sheep, barking dogs, chainsaws, shotguns, airplanes, violent thunderstorms, and God knows what else. I have never, ever seen him cry because of a loud noise. He gets startled, sure, and will jump when he hears a very loud, unexpected noise. But cry? No.

I mean, the other night? When he was already asleep? We had a seriously violent thunderstorm, complete with torrents of rain, gale-force winds, and frequent flashes of lightning. I went up to Cubby's bedroom, figuring he'd be freaked out and screaming his head off shortly. When I got up there, I found that his window fan--which I had turned on to high when I put him to bed because it was so sultry and gross before the rain--was adding to the chaos of the hurricane blowing directly into his window and his room was lit up every few minutes by the lightning. The lightning struck and the thunder boomed, but Cubby slept on.

For the last week, we've had an air compressor in the dining room, plugged in there to power the nail gun for roofing. Do you know how loud an air compressor is? Especially in an enclosed space? Even I don't like the thing. And yet yesterday, when Cubby and I were playing on the dining room table, the compressor kicked on three feet away from us. He started, stared fixedly at the source of the insanely loud noise until it shut off again, and then looked at me and smiled.

The child seriously feels no fear.

I laugh in the face of danger.

This can't bode well for his teenage years.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Trickle Before the Flood

Yesterday, I made a tomato salad for lunch. This morning, I had a tomato with my egg. And before you know it, the harvesting will be in full swing and the canner won't be put away for months.

Brace yourselves. The Tomato Crazy is a'comin'.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Feeding the Crew

The roofing continues apace, with surprisingly few glitches. This may be the first time in the history of our home improvement* projects that the reality turns out to be not as bad as the expected.

Because I have a certain small person to care for all day (and all night), I have been exempt from any roofing duties. Except for food. That's all me.

Now, it was never expressed to me that I would be expected to feed the crew, but honestly--me, have people at my house all day and NOT feed them? I don't think so. Especially since the crew consists of A., his brother, and his friend who is a professional carpenter and is supplying the necessary expertise while A. and his brother supply additional labor. They start work at 6 a.m. and haven't been quitting until 4 p.m. That's a LONG, LONG day up on a roof in the full sun. So I have taken it upon myself to make sure they have a jug of cold water all day, as well as cheese and crackers around 10 a.m. and a full lunch at noon. I figure this way, the odds of someone getting weak and falling off the roof are lessened.

We REALLY don't want anyone to fall off the roof.

I have been finding it surprisingly difficult to supply a full lunch for three people every day, in addition to making breakfast and dinner for the family. I mean, it's not like I'm preparing anything elaborate for lunch, but even hot dogs and hamburgers require side dishes and dessert, right? Right. To say nothing of the additional dishes produced by this meal.

I keep thinking of the women a couple of generations ago who had to feed the threshing crews. It used to be the custom on farms for a crew to go around to all the farms in turn to help with the threshing, and it was the responsibility of the farm they were working on to feed them their mid-day meal. That is, it was the responsibility of the farmer's wife. And those crews were much bigger, as many as a dozen men, and the meals were MUCH, MUCH bigger. Meat and potatoes and bread and vegetables and pies and OH MY GOD I'm tired just thinking about it.

A.'s grandmother remembered cooking for the threshing crew. It was, apparently, a memorable event.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: You can keep your good old days. They sound like too much work to me.

* Although it's never so much "improvement" as it is "salvage," since by the time we have the money and/or time for a project, it has probably become critical that whatever it is be done immediately or we face dire consequences. Like water pouring into the attic.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Waiter, There's a Screw in My Frittata

I made a frittata for dinner last night. This is perhaps not the most hearty of meals to serve a man who has been roofing for ten hours in the hot sun, but, well, the ground beef I excavated from the chest freezer ended up being used to make hamburgers for the laborers' lunch, and I just didn't have the necessary fortitude to go freezer diving again to take out yet another hunk of meat to thaw for dinner. So! Eggs it is! In the form of a frittata, because then I could use up some of the lovely Ronde de Nice zucchinis that are producing several cute little baseball-sized zucchinis every few days that will totally take over the crisper drawers if they are not used every few days.

ANYWAY. Where was I?

Oh. Yes. Frittata. So there I was, sitting there eating my frittata, when I noticed some black in my piece. "Huh," I thought to myself. "I didn't think I had burned this." So I poked at the black spots some more and unearthed . . . a screw.

Yes. An honest-to-god screw of the sort you would use to hold together a bed frame or something. And I still, today, have absolutely NO IDEA how that screw got there. Was it hiding in the zucchini? The potatoes? Did a chicken have an iron deficiency and go foraging for hardware that then ended up in one of my eggs?

I do not know. But I will in future attempt to serve meals that are less dangerous to one's dental health.

A modest goal, I know, but a worthy one.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Seven Year Itch

Did you ever see that movie? The Seven Year Itch, I mean? The one with the guy left alone in his city apartment after his wife of seven years and their children leave for the beach for the summer and he faces the temptations of infidelity in the form of Marilyn Monroe, who oh-so-conveniently lives in his building?

Well, I suppose I should be glad that no one remotely resembling Marilyn Monroe lives within a 50-mile radius of us. Because today A. and I are celebrating seven years of marriage.

I use the term "celebrating" quite loosely. I will be celebrating by taking care of the fruit of our union.

Hey! Who you callin' a fruit, lady?

A. will be celebrating by re-roofing part of the house. He is even now climbing around on the roof over my head, tearing off shingles and flinging them into the waiting pickup truck below.

Maybe tonight, if we're feeling crazy, we'll have a gin and tonic and toast to our longevity. Or maybe we'll just collapse into bed and pass out.

If I were a betting woman, I would bet on option B.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Know What I Hate?

When I walk outside in my sandals to harvest cabbage/pull carrots/let the chickens out and the grass is really long and soaking wet and the bottoms of my feet get all wet and then start slipping and sliding around on my sandals and get all muddy and EEEEEE!!!

Yeah. That. Hate.