Tuesday, June 24, 2008

They came!

It's here!

Supper from the freezer!
Breaded lemon/lime-thyme sole
TetraPak Roasted Red Pepper soup
Frozen peas

Tomorrow supper @ the parents house... yum!
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These ARE the after pictures.

OK, even at its most stunning, this bathtub is never going to win any beauty contests. But at least it's clean. This is AFTER me spending a whole hour yesterday afternoon scrubbing every single inch of grout between the tiles. You already saw the BEFORE shots in the kiddies' bathtime pictures I posted from Ted's camera last week. Ugh.

Two kinds of mould - pink and black. Ugly, ugly. Anyway, the slime has been scrubbed away, to reveal the inner... whatever... of this bathtub.

Here's the remains of the paint the previous owners painted the tub with to make it look like a real bathtub and not the mutant leprous bathtub it truly is.

Ew. These lines look like "lines of cleanliness" where bleach or some super-strong cleaning agent has dripped... but I have been unable to recreate the same degree of whitness elsewhere on the tub surface.

The soap dish was almost all pink with slimy pink-mould, whatever that stuff is. Now it is clean & white.

There are still a few speckles of black mould at the top corner where I was unable to reach... but it's BETTER. Way better. Speckles on the towel bar are NOT mould - just flaking paint.


The whole bathroom is nice & echoey today because I took down the curtain for a good cleaning as well. (yes, it was mouldy / mildewy also...)

Now I have to phone Sears Yorkdale because I have a hunch they are NOT going to show up between 12-6 as promised.

<3 J
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New word: Gosling!

Naomi, drawing a person at the table... "mommy, look - I made wings and it's a sibling [pronounced "sibbi-ling"]"... I almost asked "is it a brother or a sister?" when she added, "...and it's a baby goose."
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Going away again!

Well, the parentals are going away again in the fall... and I finally clued in to the fact that they're doing my dad's "bucket list" (apparently a reference to a movie I didn't see)... the "no more procrastination" list he made while he was lying in the ICU of all the places they need to see together.  So far this year, they've been to Israel, Vegas, Victoria, and Montreal (to see Abi graduate!).  And in the fall they're off on a European cruise.  I'm jealous, but hopeful that someday that will be me.
(if there's anything left of their inheritance to spend on myself)
<3 J
P.S.  Yes, the pace of it frightens the bejeepers out of me a bit, especially after the last rather sedentary 40 years I've known them.  I suspect it means what I think it means, but don't want to think about that...
P.P.S.  Smack!  So selfish, thinking about the inheritance, even after daddy sat us down at Chanukah to tell us, basically, the exact numbers of how much we were getting...
So!  Supper:
Weird tinned green-bean / frozen-corn casserole based loosely on this recipe.  Except I'm making the cream of celery soup myself.  And I don't have sliced almonds or butter-flavoured crackers, so I mixed ground pecans with corn flake crumbs to put on top.  OK, it's not at all like the recipe listed.  Maybe it'll be yummy anyway!  :-)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Just cuz

The last post had such a blah and unflattering picture, here are some decent ones - Ted took them - to make up for that awful shot of the bathtub.

Can't believe she's old enough for bead-stringing! These are super-cheap beads courtesy of the treasure box at the dentist, where Naomi sat SOooo nicely while the hygienist "counted", then polished her teeth. Now we have to floss her, every single night. Ugh.

She now wears her new necklace every day. Here she is in the carriage on the way to Bubby & Zeidy's house tonight.

And the mandatory camera-bag-chewing shot. Poor baby has NOT been himself today at all. He's having tummy problems, I think... pretty burpy and not eating normally. Not that he's usually voracious these days (as opposed to three months ago when I had hoped to exclusively breastfeed him), but he refused just about everything except straight bread.

In this shot, Ted had to take him outside from my parents' house because he would not sit calmly inside - he was doing nothing but crying and whining, in every possible position and configuration (high chair, lap, standing, sitting, nummies, food, drink). OK, he was quiet for a second while he drank water from a glass, most of which ended up in my lap.

Anyway, outside proved to have lots of distractions, including dogs, which he's totally into these days. And he went to sleep okay... let's hope they both stay that way all night long.

Zzzzzz... did I mention Ted's off work tomorrow? YM's going to the yeshiva, aiming to be there for 9-9:15 ish. So it should be a pretty mellow morning. Elisheva's the only one on any real kind of deadline, and even then, it's the last week of school - pretty much a joke. Yes, that's right: she'll be a Grade Eight in a few days.

Shhh... bought this book for Mary. The beauty of ebay is that I can just have it shipped directly to her - I don't even have to leave the house to go to the post office. The downside is I don't get to make sure it's in decent condition, but anyway... how bad could it possibly be? (otoh, it's a 1971 edition; maybe I should have inspected it here first... hmm...) Oh well!

<3 J
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Just when I think I've at least written down the whole list...

(the kvetch list, that is)
...here comes another one: we have the ugliest, dirtiest bathtub in the entire known universe. Look at that grout! Look at the mould! If it's not orange mould, it's black mould and falling-apart grout and soap scum and omg... the bathroom is so clammy and disgusting-smelling. No wonder the kid in the picture (no relation to sunny ol' me, of course!) is screeching her head off.

Anyway, resolution for tomorrow: I will clean the bathroom. This is one NOT to add to the list but just to step up to the plate and take care of it.

Let's just see if it gets done.


YM-made sloppy joes! Yay! We were in Sobey's and he said Sloppy Joes, and I said okay, bought all the stuff, and then, at home, just quietly handed over the task to him. He almost refused to put the onion in, but I said a) it was cooked, and b) if he wouldn't, I'd do it myself and he wouldn't get to eat any. Yum. Had it on kaiser buns, with Sobeys-bought shanghai noodles (perfumey-tasting & gross) and roasted veggies (also a bit perfumey, undercooked and bland).

But it was supper, and as I say every Sunday, any supper I don't have to make myself is a delicious one!

Last CD3 (Computer Discovery 3) class today - yay! We did LimeWire, downloaded some music from there and from another site, otrcat.com, that YM and I just heard about on the way to class. It was fun; I chucked my entire lesson plan out the window (I was going to do howstuffworks.com, but Iwasn't thrilled about pushing a big network dealy like that) in order to teach this other site I had never seen or heard of before! It went amazingly well, and we got some Little Orphan Annie and other old-timey stuff downloaded and then burnt to CDs, so everyone got a decent take-home from the course. All 3 students.

Ooooh... and they gave me a gift: they bought me a (digital) alarm clock as a token of their gratitude. Nice!
Ted's off work tomorrow, and I must MUST deliver this "spare" air conditioner (not really spare) to someone in cyberspace that I promised it to. Long story...

<3 J
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Last week's kvetch list

In case you're interested in more of me whining... I actually wrote a list on the fridge:
~ taps - bathroom tap leaking
~ kitchen wall - hole where Elisheva hit the wall
~ wall - not sure what I meant by this!
~ mice - self-explanatory
~moths - ditto
~ sticky floors - always
~ hot - well, at least that hasn't been a problem this week...
~ baby pee - the baby was refusing to pee for hours and hours at a time. In the heat, I thought there was a small chance that he was dehydrating, except for how jolly he was insisting on being every single minute. And that he did it on cold days, too. I think he just doesn't like to be wet - so we're sitting him on the potty now...
~ diapers - rapidly being outgrown. No luck on Freecycle. :-(
~ woollies - ditto, and the serger is broken, hence no chance of new diapers or woollies, and the next item on my list:
~ serger
~ freezer (new) - hey! this one's actually fixed... we have a new small chest freezer in the basement humming away. Yay!
~ article overdue - self-explanatory, and yes, it's still overdue
~ summer vac - vac = vacation; you don't think I'd actually vacuum, right?
~ kids, okay, kids
~ weight - that's my weight, in case you're wondering... baby weight, right?

Don't you love the sticky blood-looking smears & messy crinkles of the page? I forgot I wrote this and we wrote out shopping list this week on the other side. I love having a shopping list, btw... fairly new development in this family, like maybe 2 years. No idea what we used to do before shopping lists! Ted says "we used to buy the same sort of stuff all the time."
Oh, he just said "we used to run to Dominion a lot, I think."
Well, whatever we used to do, this way is better.

Ted's finally making the Nanaimo Bar mix he bought a few months ago. I refused to touch it because it's so potchkedik (3 steps), and besides which, it doesn't save any time or anything making nanaimo bars from a mix!!! You still have to mix the base, press the base, wait half an hour, mix the middle, spread the middle, wait half an hour, mix the chocolate, spread the chocolate, wait and wait and wait. It's not like you just mix, pour, bake and eat.

I do love the fact that you're supposed to make it in an 8 x 8" square pan... and then it says on the box in big letters "makes 40 bars!" Have they ever seen an 8 x 8 pan? You can't get 40 of anything out of those things! On the side it reveals that the so-called bars are 1x1.5"... umm, I wouldn't call those bars, I'd call them morsels! Nanaimo "morsels." "Here's your whopping inch o' Nanaimo-yumminess."

OK, end of rant. Going to either watch Good Morning Vietnam or wash the dishes - or both.

Supper tonight:
Macaroni - 4 boxes and it's all gone! :-o
Stir fry - onion, red pepper, celery... pretty basic but yummy with sesame oil, seeds & tamari. Would have been a main dish if we'd had tofu or chicken here.

<3 J
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It may not be a snazzy new Kenmore dryer, but...

Look what Ted made for me!!!
After over 3 years in this house, at last, we have backyard drying capability. There is still one pulley thing that needs a rope so the close-to-the-house end can be raised and lowered, but I am SO happy to be able to raise the serviettes up the flagpole as shown here. Dunno how sturdy the line itself is - it's the original one and cracked in many places but seems to be holding up okay so far.

Ooooh, baby awake.

<3 J
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Is it a fish supper? A pasta supper? A garden-lettuce supper?

Yes, you read that right... fresh, fresh lettuce straight from the backyard square-foot garden!!!

This was last night - Wednesday. As for tonight, I have NO CLUE... waaah!
Everybody had dentist's appointments and now I am worn out. :-(((

Dug up & divided irises today. Hopefully, I can sell 3 pots for $10 each - $30 worth of free irises - amazing. :-)
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When's a girl supposed to launder?!?

The chart at right indicates the expected forecast for the next week or so. Basically, rain, rain, RAIN every single day. I suppose the gardener in me should be happy but the struggling, dryer-less laundress (?) is appalled...
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Oy, I'm so out of it...

This article explains why I couldn't find as many outdoor "cultural" activities last summer!
Hmm... sad, but true.
So I'm planning our little doses of outdoor culture for this summer and the offerings seem nowhere near as rich as past seasons:
~ Cooking Fire (this weekend - Abi wants us to go tomorrow; Sara wants us to go on Sunday... Ted thinks Abi may win this one)
~ Dusk Dances (July)
~ Dream in High Park (all summer - and I've emailed them to see if I can volunteer)
~ Dusk Dances (August)
And that's it?!?  Maybe I'll poke around a bit more.
Elisheva's friend Shula came over, so we were all (mostly) on our best behaviour
~ Homemade pizza
~ Homemade creamy mushroom soup (deeelishus)
Wednesday (ie today):
~ Pasta with salmon, no idea yet what kind of sauce
Drove down to Riverdale with the littles this morning to catch the milking.  We actually got there on time (10:30) - yay!!!
Naomi has been crying and crying all day, so I put her to bed right away when we came home (after nummies), but now she is just lying there not sleeping, and miserable bc she hasn't had lunch yet... what am I supposed to do?
I think the big kids' screaming is really seriously undermining her healthy, positive outlook and making her even borderline depressed.  Who wouldn't be if every single day started & ended with screaming and fighting?!?
I want to send YM away; far, far away when he's like this.  These kids deserve a peaceful household.  They all do, including him, but if he's the source of disturbance, well... it's just not fair.  :-(
<3 J

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

End of the Moby Era (snif)

The Moby is gone... I sold it yesterday for $35 along with a fleece pouch I never ended up using for Gavriel Zev. SO sad... this was definitely my favourite newborn babywearing thing, although the Ergo is it for all-around sheer comfort & usefulness.

It was hard HARD parting with it because of all the cuddly memories it carried.
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Well, wouldn't ya know it?!?

The bloody dryer was about an inch too big to fit through the laundry-room door. Umm... hey, guys - next time you're moving appliances into an old house, howboutcha measure first?!?!

We told Mary (aka the laundry machine fairy) that at least one dimension must be 27 inches or smaller to pass through the door, and she says she went to the Sears store in Calgary with a tape measure, and they stood around measuring the machines until they found one that was perfect.

So I dunno what happened. She thinks maybe they "upgraded" us somehow, secretly.
Drat, drat, drat.
The guys were pretty abrupt about it, too, like "decide - NOW" whether they should leave the dryer just sitting in the basement or take it back with them. Guess they were po'd but, like I said, measure first!

I am eager to test the new washing machine BUT a) I'd have to hook it up myself and b) it looks like it could rain any second.

Darn, why does the weather.com site do this? They show you a picture of rain, tell you the forecast is "showers" ... and then, in small print, tell you the chance of those promised showers is only 40-50%. I'm not a statistician or anything, but to me, 40% likelihood means it's more likely NOT to rain. Grrr...
So maybe I will run a load through just to see what it does!

<3 J

Oh, supper!

PIZZA - homemade herby crust, double-recipe because Elisheva's friend Shula is coming. Not whole-wheet, but still hopefully yummo.
Dunno what cheese, though, because there's only half a stick of Mozza in the fridge. Lots of cheddar, but that seems like sacrilege (even though all kosher cheese tastes the same to me...).

So there.

<3 J
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Jealous of Ted's camera! (with suppers)

These swingin' action pictures were taken by Ted's slightly-better-than-mine Sony camera. I love Naomi in the action shots!

Sunday - Father's Day:
For some reason, I didn't want to BBQ... I guess the combination of Sara coming and the weather was threatening massive thunderstorms. So here's what I came up with... mm, mm, good...
~ Homemade, handmade, from scratch, FALAFEL!
~ With garden-herb (parsley & mint) Tabouli (orange Ontario tomatoes)
~ Chopped tomatoes and cukes
~ My own special Techina (tehini) blend

Note to self: Mrs ViKi wants the falafel recipe... oy, now I have to make something up! How can I break it to her that it's really just a couple of tins of chickpeas with cumin mixed in???

FWIW, though, here is the recipe I started with...
I'm thoroughly hooked on Recipezaar these days. The site is not fabulous, but the reviews are a tremendous plus - I figure 80 people who have left four-plus stars plus comments can't be utterly and completely off-base. Other recipe sites just leave you guessing and taking the author's word for it that a) there are no typos in the recipe, and b) the recipe will end up tasting great. I really like the idea of a site that lets you post and read reviews, for recipes in particular.

Anyway, to make up for last night's spectacular supper, here's tonight's:

Monday - lazy day!
Bisquick pancakes with corn & fake crab
~ Solitary Tin of mushroom barley soup
~ Leftover tabouli
~ Leftover chopped tomatoes / cucumbers
~ Umm... that's it...

Oh - except Elisheva made white-chocolate chip cookies with all butter, yum, yum, only then when they baked they all spread together and THEN, when I was trying to slide them off the parchment onto the cooling rack, well the whole sheet of cookie(s) crumpled onto each other so it's basically a pile of cookie shards. At which point she screamed at me about how I was lazy and mean and awful, and I did feel awful for wrecking her cookies, but I sent her outside for her rudeness anyway. I apologized properly when she came inside, not that she noticed.

We went to see Don't Mess with the Zohan. Dumb movie, so it figures zero-IQ me laughed and laughed and laughed the whole way through. Funny, funny, funny. What a lousy premise - Adam Sandler speaks in a bad Israeli accent for two hours while tossing clichés around like smelly boomerangs. Somehow, it aaaaalmost kinda works.

Hey - it turns out that two families we know in the neighbourhood with kids Naomi's age are going camping at Awenda the same weekend Ted's going up with my parents et famille. He said, "guess that means you'll be camping this year, right?" But he knows me better than that... Anyone who knows me well has already heard this a thousand times, but it bears repeating:

A few years ago I came to the startling realization (startling unless you've heard it a thousand times) that I NEVER NEED TO WAKE UP IN A TENT EVER AGAIN. Ever. I am 38 years old and I have been there, done that. I already know what it's like and, for me, at least, it will probably never be the wonderful, exhilerating thing it is for people who like camping. Tents are dank and sticky and sweaty and full of spiders.

My bed at home is warm (or cool, with the a/c running!) and soft and just the way I like it, thank you very much. I will happily hold down the fort here with the baby this year and cherish the walls around me and the roof over my head. Oh, plus there's standing up to cook... and sitting down to use the bathroom. So no Awenda.

But it's cool that they're going, and great that Naomi will have friends she knows there, particularly because Elisheva will not be going this year. I guess our team will have lots of 'splaining to do about our whole Shabbos camping thing... Tomorrow, the Washing Machine Fairy comes to visit. I am so excited. Laundry room's been cleaned out & swept in preparation - looks fabulous.

Ted just asked, "are you writing something about those photos?" No. Duh. Little does he know... why am I so secretive? Why do I feel like minimizing everything the second someone looks over my shoulder? Eek. Guess I'll never know.

<3 J
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Don't be RUDE... have some Shabbos food!

Tired potatoes! Up at last - actually, they've outgrown the first layer of tires... this picture was a few days ago already.

Shabbos Food 6/13/2008

Raisin Challah
Chicken Soup
Mini Spring Rolls from Sobeys
Broccoli on the side? of...
Roast Chicken a la Lemon Thyme stuffed w/leftover Shavuos challah
Brownie mix cookies (getting a bit tired of those, folks, but can't think of what else to make!)

Lunch - Dairy.

Tortellini salad
Grama's frying-pan FUDGE, mmm... Elisheva's out buying Jello cooked pudding mix - it's getting harder and harder to find.
Umm... what else?
Cheese, Ted's buying bagels... you know, dairy stuff.

YM's friend Elijah is coming over. He's going to camp in Israel next month... imagine having a kid with the maturity to just stick him on an airplane. :-(

I bumped into an old friend of YM's from Netivot last week at Sobey's. He was in the cheese section, looking for Ricotta. He was on the phone and aaalmost towered over me (ok, maybe around my height) with that awkward booming voice all the boys have. And I just had a pang of "oh - so this is what we're missing." But other days, I am so, so grateful for my weird but wonderful never-grows-up little boy. Ted says he'll catch up eventually, like when he's 25. Can't hardly wait.

Must go cook some of that yummy Shabbos stuff!

<3 J

P.S. I have no idea what the rhyme in the subject line is supposed to mean. Yay, Elisheva's home - hope she brought pudding mix!
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh, one more...

The laundry room door is broken - the bottom hinge is off. Guess that's a mixed blessing - it won't be so hard to take off when Ted needs to take out the dead washer and dryer. :-(
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Here's Naomi's mood today...

Probably mirrors the mood / attitude she's getting from me. But I don't know if I can help it! Aaargh.

We just never get a single step forward around here without about a million steps backward. There is not a single thing around this house - except maybe the garden! - that is even a tiny bit better than when we moved in. It's this unbelievable entropy: everything just decays until it explodes and needs a costly replacement. Is that the way it is with all houses? Or just the 70-year-old ones???

It's not just the house. Ted's work, too: like just when we think we're getting around the lousy pay, cruddy pseudo-random schedule, etc., they'll do something bizarre like ask him to come in half an hour early (and no, they don't let him leave half an hour earlier to make up the time - but thanks for thinking of it, like any SANE person would!).

Or refuse to let him take off for the Zareinu moveathon - a family event that cannot be held on any other day just because of his lousy work schedule. Or take more than one Sunday off in a row, even to have a baby or visit his family in Ottawa. Or trade days-off with anyone else there, because apparently a few people were abusing the more liberal trading-shifts policy. How? By taking a whole month off...?!?!? How is it possible to "abuse" the privilege of rearranging your work schedule to accomodate an actual life that might include vacations with your family, surgery, doctors' appointments, children's graduations, etc??

Oh! And the late shifts that they told him when he was hired would be twice a month are now sometimes happening every single week. I get SO mad every time I think about the little ways they chip a few bucks off his paycheque here and there.
Oh, also - like Shabbos. Apparently, some folks were resentful of the "early" Fridays that Ted & a few people got (never mind that this is a supposedly Jewish company with great respect for tradition - it even says so in their ads!) that they make him put in an extra half-hour each day during the week (ie Monday to Thursday) to make up the difference.

I wouldn't be so mad except this was TOTALLY not the deal when they hired him... so, of course, I get all righteously indignant, like, how can they change the terms of employment.

Hmm. Like the Jews in Mitzrayim... they didn't start out as slaves; at first, they were getting paid and working alongside the regular Egyptians. But then, by some secret agreement, the Egyptians gradually stopped showing up, and then, well, the paycheques apparently slowed down a bit, too. But you know Jews; I guess they didn't want to rock the boat... so they kept on coming, being good, loyal "Egyptian" citizens, as they started being chained up to work longer and longer days without pay, food, water, etc...

Anyway, l'havdil, because we are certainly more free than that, and a job is (marginally) better than no job, but it feels like they just keep turning that crank and making it harder and harder to earn the exact same paycheque. (ha ha ha - no, it never goes up!)

Plus now I have a cold - I hate colds! If you had had four children, maybe you would hate colds too. One reason: Bladder Leakage. I can live with the fevery woozy feeling (maybe, if I didn't have too many kids in my hair), and I can live with the runny nose, though I'm using up hankies faster than I can wash 'em these days. I've heard there are things you can do - cut back the caffeine (but I have kids!), do kegel exercises (when not chasing the kids), surgery as a last resort...oy, I don't want to think about it. And I don't want an awful, leaky, sneezy, hotty, scratchy COLD!

So here's the kvetch / most-urgent-to-do list so far today:
~ Naomi not napping (she's eavesdropping from her room)
~ YM had the cordless phone stashed in his room over Yom Tov and it died - and anyway it's holding less & less of a charge every day...
~ Gavriel Zev will probably wake up any minute
~ Washer broken
~ Dryer broken
~ Parking ticket
~ Speeding ticket
~ Tax bill (my father just called about this & the above 2 items - I was hoping it would be Ted on the phone so I could beg him to come home early)
~ Mrs ViKi shutting down for the summer (what the heck am I going to do every day?!?!)
~ I'm hot! (but not too hot today - it's 25° in here, down from 32° over Yom Tov...
~ Must pay Elisheva's camp $400 - the rest of what we owe
~ Must fill out Elisheva's school subsidy forms or owe them however-many thousands for this year & next
~ Haven't even seen a bill or started the subsidy process with YM's school
~ Must still follow up with insurance - but first, Ted must fix the eavestroughs or they'll cut us off
~ Buy camp supplies for Elisheva

Sure feels like we are never going to be any further ahead than we are right this sad, snuffly, too-hot, sickly-feeling moment...
And then I emerge from my selfish haze every few minutes to realize that Auntie Sally is having her surgery today. Refuah Sheleima... may Hashem guide the hands of her doctors and nurses and everyone who's touching her life at this moment.

<3 J
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Small Petunia Triumph (photo-documented)

Emerging as almost-microscopic seedlings on February 17th. (click the picture and maybe they'll be visible - I can see them in the full-sized version here)

Still tiny & very cold in the basement around March 11th.

And now, today, blooming and lightly candy-scented! They smell like those little powdery candy hearts... weird.

Any tips on saving seed - send them my way - I love these guys!!!

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See this knob???

<--- Looks mighty functional, doesn't it???

Well, think again. This washing machine is about to join its Brother Dryer in the Big Sky Appliance Warehouse of Dreams. This knob is basically good for turning ON each cycle if you don't care if the cycle advances or ever shuts off. Bad, bad, bad.

Mary has offered us her "special realtor" discount of up to 40% at the Brick. But even at up to 40% off, the prices of a wash/dry pair are more than we have budget for at the mo'... :-(

Meanwhile, just a couple of garden highs!

Potatoes! These lovely specimens are purple potatoes and the shoots & leaves are darker than the standard Yukon Gold ones. I planted these in the "scrap heap" area by the back door, then let Elisheva toss some cosmos seeds on top thinking it would pretty up the little patch... but I have no clue how I'm going to hill the soil up around the 'tatoes without killing the cosmos.
Very, very carefully, I guess!

And, then, of course, my pretty-as-a-picture petunias, grown from seeds in the very, very early winter. Maybe I'll try to find pics from when they sprouted to give some perspective as to how far they've come in their short little lives... Anyway, they are lovely, and like I said last night, faintly candy-scented. I wonder how I'd go about saving their seeds???

<3 J
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