Saturday, August 17, 2013

Definitely, not a diet!

We have been working hard. Very hard. So, when I realized that what I planned for dinner didn't work, mainly, it wasn't thawed. I didn't have to go far to come up with dinner. It wasn't however, dietetic.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
If you recall, there is a garage full of boxes to go through...and if you know me at all, that is totally unacceptable. I like things where they belong and that is not what is happening. It is an important to make the progress happen, but I like our cars in the garage, and now they are not, for an indetermined amount of time.....
So, as I had promised Hubby, to celebrate we would have a "regular" morning complete with a real breakfast with bacon. So, I made crepes with bacon to start our day. It was hard for me not to jump up and go work on boxes.....
Then, when Hubby was in the shower, I "going to go explore the garage".....
Before I knew it, I was knee deep in boxes and loading the cars with discards.....
Then, Hubby said we were going to take a load to Goodwill and then go to Roger's Gardens to get the Lobster rolls from Cousins Lobster food truck.......
Fast forward hours, I had been banned from the garage to garden which I did, and then dinner loomed on the horizon....what to serve?
Homemade pizza with garden fresh veggies and a fig pie! Yeah, no diet here.....

But hey, digging through boxes requires energy and comfort food.....
Have a great weekend....

Causing quite a stir....

You want a way to create a stir? Create a buzz among your neighbors?
Have a moving van pull up into your driveway!
Yeah, they watched and talked and finally one of the brave ones asked, "Are you moving?"
Well, of course not!
We finally completed moving my Father-in-Law's stuff to our home. Well, actually most of the stuff from his little storage areas in the garage of his condo in Dana Point.
You see, there was no place to go through them down in the bottom of the garage...and not much light. So, after spending almost everyday cleaning out the actual 1,900 sq ft condo, we opted to pay movers to bring the last few pieces of furniture we were keeping and the boxes in the storage area so we could go through them slowly and more comfortably.
Although, I don't know how comfortably we can work on it though, there isn't much room. the plan is to work one box at a time and work our way through....
And the most prized piece of all, the great Hall clock (we have been calling a grandfather clock and were corrected by the clock man). It is now residing in our livingroom. The clock box that you see is minus the clock parts because the clock parts weigh in at 250 lbs by themselves! They needed cleaning so they went with the clock man to get cleaned and polished. The box by itself weighs about 200 lbs and stands at 92" tall, 24" wide and 18" deep. It was no small feat to get it here! The guys who moved it, with Best Movers, were awesome. If you live in California, they really are the best movers in the state.
Anyway, here is the place the Hall clock now resides.....
With 2 1/2" to spare, it now forms a majestic demeanor to our living room! Good thing that we have a cement slab under our wood floor!
Here is to completing a difficult task, and to taking on the boxes that remain!
Have a great weekend.....

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Assimilating the stuff

Since my Hubby's Father passed away, just a month ago, we have been working hard and at a ferocious rate to get his condo cleared out. We started taking out clothes, china, and household items that were not wanted, before our official 30 days began. Great for us....but difficult. His condo was what is known as a "life estate", a fancy name for a long term lease. Once the occupant passes, it goes back to the seller for resale.
There hasn't been much time for grief processes, only moving, moving, moving.
Now, we see a light at the end of this tunnel. Although, we are far from being done.....
We have one goal in mind, get it all done, with no storage unit included.
His Dad moved 9 years ago into this 1,900 sq ft. condo from a 4,000 sq ft. house. He never got rid of anything, so it has all been in his condo or a garage storage below his unit or in a huge storage unit off site....
At least, we are almost done with the condo....
Unfortunately, most of the furniture is not able to be assimilated into ours or our daughters homes...they have stuff, we have stuff. So, much is going to an off-site estate sale, run by a company that does much of this same kind of thing. They even get rid of bed mattresses and old TVs.
After today, our week is filled with different groups coming and going.
Tomorrow the huge Grandfather clock, from many generations ago will go with a reputable clock company to be "restored" and then afterwards delivered to our home at a later time. That clock has such presence, we actually have moved things around prior to its arrival here, because I was able to get my daughter's help. So, a decision, made by measuring, was that the dresser in the dining room would go to the livingroom and the hutch there would come to the dining room. You see, the clock will reside in the livingroom. So, when it gets here later, I will show you this impressive clock.....
In the meantime, the hutch has moved and we rather like the look....

The effort to "assimilate" and incorporate and feel things are tidy, has been daunting. One moves stuff from one place to another, then one has to make it fit seamlessly, into one's life. So much for trying to simplify!
Before his Dad got sick, we were talking about "simplifying" our lives, cleaning out cupboards, paring things down a bit...
Well, some of that is continuing....I got the guest room, though stuffed to the gills with stuff, pared down a bit and useable.
The craft room is next. I am being hard core here, getting rid of things I know I will not use, ever. I will show you that when I am done.
And I have begun in the garden. It is that season in the garden when it looks more than, the cleaning out continues there. Digging, pulling and chopping is good therapy....
I cleaned out on the back next to the house.
; the jasmine was 15 years old and had gotten out it came as well as an ivy geranium by the back door that reached everywhere but out it came too.

I left the trellises in place as architectural interest, and potted an elderberry plant for the place where the jasmine used to be. Now, it feels a bit better. After the picture was taken, I chopped the hedge a bit to show the gardener how tall it is supposed to be. Perhaps, he will notice......
Since my back is more than mad at me right now, I am slowing down, a bit Advil type of day.....Keep tabs on my site for updates....

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Beans still coming......

Well, I am impressed!
First off, I am impressed that my Hubby, who is anti-beans, especially limas, is in love with our King Beans!
Maybe it is the fact they didn't cost much and are paying their way.
Maybe it is the fact that it is a vigorous vine that is striking.
Or maybe it is just because that  they are tasty!
But yesterday I harvested about a quart of beans, the shelled beans!

The brown pods you see were almost all dry, not completely, so those are sitting on the counter, finishing drying.
The green ones will be eaten in the near future. I shelled them into containers and put them in the fridge.
These beans are easy to shell and so pretty with their reddish streaks running through. Those streaks become dominant as they get dry. The green in the bean fades to cream, so they are red and cream when dry.
So, those months ago when we bought a little bag of "magic" beans for $5, ate most minus 5, the one that survived has paid us back....that was a great $5 spent. Now we have plenty to plant for next year, many to enjoy now.
Maybe the next batch can be frozen.....
Have a great day!
Oh, and those of you reading this blog take a look at the Etsy store, there are many items on sale, and I have been thinking about closing the store, if there is something you are interested in let me know.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

And so the King Bean Harvest begins!

Well, remember my talking about the giant bean plant? You know, "Nancy and the Beanstalk?"
Well, we have begun harvesting!
My dog pointed them out to me.....funny dog...
There were some that were already dry, and some that are ready to eat tomorrow...big and fat and they will be so yummy! Terrific big broadbeans!

And there were some that were already mostly dry, very interesting....

From the looks of it, they are similar to Christmas Limas, and one plant will give plenty of if you have four, that may be enough, unless you want lots to dry. This is an amazing plant, its name is correct, I think, it was well worth the $5 I paid for some 10-12 beans.....we got a great soup and a great plant.
So, lesson? Be willing to experiment in your garden. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you get a very happy surprise.
So, go to your farmers market and be open to new things, even if they seem a bit expensive.....afterall, one bean seed has certainly paid us back.....
Just sayin....
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Just a Note

I have been lost this last couple of months, and especially the last few weeks.
My Father-in-Law passed away, and while trying to deal with that loss, we have only a few weeks left to get everything out of his condo; I mean, belongings etc.
That is why I haven't posted much.
Besides dealing with that, I have come to see how much stuff we bring into our own lives.
We actually have been extraordinary in not bringing home lots. Much has gone to thrift stores. That sometimes makes me cry.
It makes a life seem trivial, just to bag it or box it and send it away.
However, reality is, we all have our own stuff....and seeing the grandness of this job, makes me realize that we all need to plan ahead for our own futures. Make sure all that come after us have an easier job than the one we have to do.
We want desperately to make it easier on our kids when the time comes....not so much stuff.

It is a bitter reminder that life is fragile and often short. And although my Father-in-Law was 87 years old and had a good life, there is no guarantee that ours will be so long.
The old adage of planning ahead is certainly a good one, and as we wade through the loss and overpowering job, we are taking notes. We want it easier for our kids when we have gone.
Have you planned your "exit", made wills or trusts? Made a note as to your final wishes, so there are no questions?
Sorry it is a somber reminder for all of us.....