Sunday, June 26, 2022

Look What Sprouted Up

Sprouts! Actual salad sprouts! And, while it's not exactly a surprise (I meant to grow them, after all), it's still a cool outcome (at least to me).

If you've never grown sprouts, it might come as a surprise how easy it is to do. You just invest in some sprout seeds...

...I got this package at my local garden center.

To grow, measure about two tablespoons into a glass jar, cover with several inches of water, and soak overnight.

In the morning, drain the seeds, using cheesecloth, or, a fine mesh sieve. I purchased a set of jars with lids that have the mesh already installed in the lids, which made the process super easy.The set I purchased also came with little stands or holding the jars upside down so any excess water could drain  out.

For the next six days or so, rinse and drain the seeds/sprouts twice a day, until the jar is full.

I stored my sprouts in the fridge in containers that have a vent in the top; this will hopefully keep them fresh until I use them up.

And, speaking of using them up; I made my kids' favorite Porch Night snack from back in the day: Malibu wraps. I hadn't had them in ages and, since I was going to the park for a picnic with Shanti (the Man-Cub was out of town at a car show, so I took the opportunity to spend some quality girl time with her), I thought it was a great way to use the sprouts.

Hugh has used them in his salads and I plan to include them in a sandwich that I'll pack for lunch tomorrow. Needless to say; I don't think it will take long for me to need to start a new batch.

Good thing it's easy.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Another Week Gone By...

...I really do suck at the blogging.

You know what also sucks? Bloglovin', which is the RSS reader that I have used for years to organize my blog reading habit. It has been down for days now, after being active for only a brief period of time following the last outage. I have no problem moving on to a new reader, in fact, I have Feedly up and running, but; I have a lot of blogs saved on Bloglovin' and I would like to be able to access it to remind myself which blogs I still need to move over (since, surprise! Other bloggers update about as infrequently as I do recently so posts only come up on occasion and I can't be expected to remember very single website). 

Anyhoodle, end of rant.

What have I been up to this week? I managed to survive the first big fundraiser of the season at Not So New Job. The fundraiser was a concert featuring Big Head Todd & the Monsters. Never heard of them? Yeah, neither had I, but, they drew a large crowd and for that, I am grateful. Of course, the event was not without it's hiccups, mainly on the part of the venue, but; my staff and volunteers were amazing. We were responsible for the general admission gate, and we ran it like a well-oiled machine (minus the parts where the app that we were supposed to use to scan tickets went tits up and we ran out of the bands that we were supposed to be using to indicate legal aged drinkers).

I was exhausted by the time I got home Friday night and the rest of the weekend was also fairly eventful, so I am dragging ass this morning. This does not bode well for the week I am about to have but I shall power through.

So, I'll wrap up thi post with a slew of pictures to illustrate my weekend. Sorry in advance for the photo overload.

My Garden is coming along nicely. I have several new gadgets in my arsenal for ensuring a productive endeavor, including a ph testing kit and a moisture probe.

Since my raised bed only offers so much real estate; I have been researching ways to make the most of every square inch. One hack I learned is that tomato cages can be used to train squash upward in order to save space and keep the plants healthier. I'm excited to see if it works.

When I wasn't in the garden, I was attacking one side of my closet, purging clothing that no longer fits. There were a lot more items than I care to admit, but, I feel better now that they have been purged.

Saturday evening, I attended a baby shower for one of the victims advocates from our local police department, then, on Sunday evening, Hugh and I met the Man-Cub and Shanti at the theater for the new Jurassic Park movie. That made for more socializing in one weekend than I have done in weeks.

No wonder I am exhausted.

Anyway, if you don't hear from me for awhile, it's because Not So New Job is poised to kill me with a full schedule of events, reports, grant writing, and everyday duties. And, did I mention that I am understaffed?


There are good reasons for my inattention to this space.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Self-Care Saturday

 This past weekend was an exercise in rest and relaxation. It kicked off with a glass of wine on the porch on Friday night. Since I hate to drink alone, I texted The Girls and an impromptu Zoom meeting was had. It was so good to see their faces; I miss them very much and, since we are all so crazy busy; Zoom might be our only option for a get-together this year.

Saturday morning, I headed to the local day spa for my first experience in the float tank. What is a float tank, you ask? It's a chamber filled with heavily salted water, which creates a buoyant surface on which to float while listening to soothing music in the dark. That might not sound like a relaxing experience for you, but, I found it quite soothing.

The rest of the day, and the weekend in general, was spent relaxing on the porch or in the garden.

I have some stressful situations going on at Not so New Job (what's new, right?), so I am taking advantage of every bit of relaxation I can get.

Friday, June 10, 2022

The Week(s) in Review

I have been such a slacker when it comes to this blog. Of course, I've also been somewhat of a slacker when it comes to life in general, if, by slacking, you include working two jobs and running a household. 

To stick with the slacker narrative however; I will complete this post with a deluge of photos, as one does when they are slacking.

First up: the garden! I have everything planted and am doing my best to keep it all weeded, watered, and alive. I've been mostly pleased with how things are progressing, with the exception of the carrot, beet, and lettuce seeds that I planted in one section of the raised bed. For whatever reason, those seeds have not germinated and have had to be replanted. Time will tell if the new batch will fare any better.

In other news, I found a great way to use up tomatoes that are nearing their expiration date. I simply sliced them, laid them out on parchment paper, covered them with a little shredded mozzarella and a sprinkling of grated Parm, then drizzled with olive oil, tossed a few basil flakes on and baked in the oven for awhile before finishing them off under the broiler. Chef's kiss! They were delicious.

Speaking of delicious; we hosted a Memorial Day BBQ for friends and family. I started off with a charcuterie board, as usual.

We noshed on the cheese and other goodies while Hugh grilled up some steaks and chicken legs. I had finally gotten the porch cleaned and ready for entertaining, so we visited outside for the majority of the party.

On a completely new topic; I purchased this adorable bee bath on Amazon. It has a spot in the garden and I am looking forward to it providing a cool drink for the pollinators that I hope to attract with zinnias, marigolds, nasturtium, petunias, and pink sunflowers.

And, speaking of pollinators; the Swallowtail butterfly population in Hooterville has exploded. We have several that frequently circle the house at Not So New Job, and I saw these two on a Butterfly Bush while on a walk to the coffee shop a few blocks over. I always see these beauties as a sign from above. They make me smile.

Now, I am off to one of my jobs. Because that's what slackers do.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

San Antonio

 Before I get into the details of my trip to San Antonio, I have to say how deeply saddened I was by Tuesday's school shooting that happened in a small community not far from there. The evil that exists in our world right now can feel so overwhelming and my heart hurts for the families of those precious babies and the two teachers who tried to shield them. I don't know what it will take to stem the violence in our nation, but I believe it starts with a deep dive into our mental health system, which is truly broken. I know there are many who disagree, and, who wish to place the blame on gun rights, etc., but, if someone is truly bent on carnage, they will find a way to carry out their plan and laws are not going to factor into it. Healing a mind and heart would go a lot farther.

Just my opinion, no need to flame me.

So, speaking of precious babies; I made that trip to San Antonio with my first-born. It was so good to see her again and we had a blast from the moment she picked me up at the airport in Dallas to the moment she dropped me off again.

The drive from DFW to our hotel on the San Antonio Riverwalk took just over five hours. It would have taken less time if we were in a hurry, but, as it was; we were content to make frequent stops, including one at a Buc-ees. I had never been to a buc-ees before and, color me impressed. It's like World Market meets Mavericks, with every convenience store staple plus home decor, apparel, souvenirs, and more. 

By the time we got to our hotel, we were starving, so, we hit the Riverwalk for a quick dinner at an Irish pub before heading back to our room to watch true crime shows and plan our itinerary for the next day.

Saturday we slept in then headed back to the Riverwalk for brunch at River's Edge, where Queen B sampled the Bloody Marys while I indulged in a delicious mimosa before diving into a yummy omelette. The food, view, and company were all delightful.

When we were completely stuffed, we decided to walk off the calories. In addition to the Riverwalk, we took in the Alamo and the wax museum at Ripley's Believe it or Not.

It was a pretty hot day, so of course we stopped for cool drinks. You know, small ones.

When the drinks proved insufficient to cool us down, we hit the pool back at the hotel. It's been ages since I hung out by a pool so I was stoked. I managed to get a little color on my front and to scorch my backside quite nicely, but, no complaints.

Dinner that night was at a Mexican restaurant back on the Riverwalk, and, although I can't remember the name of it; that in no way detracts from how delicious the food was.

We finished up the day with a stop at Ben & Jerry's for Phish Food before going back to our room for even more true crime watching and a few mini bottles of wine.

Sunday morning, we checked out of our hotel and started the trip to Queen B's house in Stephenville. We stopped for breakfast at an IHOP and spent over an hour waiting for food that arrived cold. Spoiler: We did not order cold dishes. To say we were unimpressed would be an understatement.

We also stopped at a mall on the drive, coming up short in my search for a new purse and experiencing the worst service ever at a Jamba Juice, which, we decided, was fate because the wait for our mediocre (and wrong) drinks kept us from being caught up in the aftermath of a car accident that we encountered on our drive.

The Lord works in ways, my friends.

And, that concludes the San Antonio portion of my trip. The rest of my time in Texas was spent at Queen B and the Rodeo Princess's place. We spent my last day in Texas getting pedicures, which was nice. I asked for the Pina Colada pedi and was intrigued by the fresh fruit that they used; I actually mistook it for a snack tray when they first brought it out. I'm smart like that.

The color I chose for my toes was OPI Mod About You, which is my favorite summer shade. And, now I feel ready to put my best foot forward into summer: tanned, relaxed, and sandal-worthy.

So, thank you, Texas, and, prayers. 

So many prayers.