New shoes

Wearing cheap, flat shoes may have lead to my Achilles heel problem. I love shoes and have always had lots of them. When I was teaching I bought expensive, well-made shoes. In the last few years I have been buying cute flats at PayLess Shoe Source. Those cute flats may have lead to my pain.

While shopping last week I came across some shoes I had seen advertised but could not locate in town at that time. Sketchers told me the shoes weren’t being carried by any local stores. But here they were at Kohl’s. They run very small so it took awhile to find a pair that fit. Kohl’s is a self-serve store and I had to go through many boxes to find what I wanted.

I’m quite pleased with these.

20140727-200146-72106487.jpg

When your past meets the present

It is a hot Saturday evening. Our high temperature today was 107F. Although I did my grocery shopping early this morning when the thermometer read 88, and it was relatively comfortable, I had to make a trip out at the very apex of the heat to put in an appearance at a birthday party for a dear friend. It was then that I remembered why I never had a birthday party. Too. Darn. Hot. It will only be hotter in another week when the calendar turns and I have to admit to being a year older.

But, I will get to claim another year unlike the fellow with whom I went to high school way back in the 60s and whose obituary was in this morning’s paper. Sixty six is too young to have passed on. Henry was always a fun loving kid. I was saddened to see that his life had ended.

When I checked Facebook to see if Henry had a page, I found that he did and that many of his friends were those high school classmates whom I remembered. Henry and his friends were two years older than me so I had watched them from a distance, not a part of their merry-making. His class was the first to graduate from the new high school in town. They were a charmed group of kids. And now, I looked at their photos on Facebook and was shocked at the aged faces looking back at me. Just because 46 years had passed. My mind had them freeze-framed in 1968. Happy kids. Hanging out at school. Laughing. Their whole future in front of them.

But not now. The future has come and gone. The present has gotten in the way of those freeze-framed faces of the past. Henry’s funeral is Monday. I’m thinking about attending. Sitting in the back. Watching the faces.

Give me a cucumber and I’ll make pickles

Or, in this case, two cucumbers.

I had sterilized jars left over from yesterday’s chile sauce making so sliced the cucumbers, boiled the brine, packed the jars, and voila, pickles.

20140724-145420-53660191.jpg

Willing to change plans

I started out today with plans to do a little shopping at Barnes & Noble, Target, and Sephora.

A text message from a friend who has a garden with the offer of tomatoes made me switch my plans to shopping for chile sauce ingredients. Onions and garlic were easy to find but the chiles proved elusive. I wanted a green wax type that I used last year. There were none at the farmer’s market nor at Whole Foods.

I did find a different pepper that would work-a red frying pepper. I have used the green ones in pasta sauce many times but had never seen red ones until today’s stop at Whole Foods.

Five pounds of tomatoes, two pounds onions, a pound of peppers cooked with vinegar, sugar, and spices produced five jars of sauce:

20140723-192906-70146413.jpg

Tomorrow I will return to those earlier shopping plans. Let’s see how far I get

The continuing saga of California’s drought

Although Governor Brown demanded a 20 percent decrease in water usage, most of California has done very little to conserve water.

Fresno somehow managed to decrease its usage by 25 percent, but that’s still not enough to stem the diminishing of the aquifer that we rely on so heavily for our pumped water supply.

Therefore, our watering days are being cut from three to two beginning August 1. Fines and penalties will be levied against those who insist on using water in wasteful ways.

Our yard refuses to grow flowers so we have hardy shrubs and trees in the front and back yards that should be okay in the short term. The front lawn will probably not do too well. There is no lawn in the backyard to even consider.

There is still optimism that next winter will be a rainy one. I’m not so sure. The world is being turned upside-down. God is in charge and He reminds us of that fact when He withholds water or sends it in an overabundance. We have no say in the matter except to give thanks each day for His blessings. Too many have forgotten to say ‘thank you.’

20140723-083406-30846847.jpg

Sultry summer Sunday

It rained for about 30 seconds Saturday night. Not enough to really count but enough to make it even more humid.

So how did I spend a lazy, hot Sunday? By running the oven at 400 degrees. How else?! First I made eggplant ‘bacon.’

20140720-171252-61972017.jpg

Not bad. Terry, who hates eggplant, even liked it. You can find a number of recipes for the stuff on Google. I saw it used in a dish on Williams & Sonoma’s Instagram so I got curious. Just halcyon try one of those recipes.

After cleaning all the glass surfaces in this house, I decided to use the last of the summer’s apricots for another pie which again heated up the oven.

20140720-171637-62197101.jpg

Fortunately, we have doggy bags from last night’s Chinese dinner so no more cooking for me today. We will watch more taped tv programs tonight and lay out plans for the next week as we get back to our routine. I have quite a few activities already on the calendar.

The middle of summer

Here I sit, on an absolutely beautiful Saturday morning, smack-dab in the middle of a hot, dry summer in the San Joaquin Valley. The air is cool this morning. There is a slight breeze. Yet, I am indoors, on the couch in the living room to be precise, with my feet propped up, looking at a very thick layer of dust on the furniture. I should be dusting, but I am instead, recuperating.

After getting a few loads of laundry done yesterday, and a very light dinner cooked, I could feel my heel begin to twinge. When I got up this morning, the twinge was a bit more of a pain so I used the great NSAID gel the podiatrist prescribed and that my pharmacist said was the best stuff known to mankind. I’ve been fortunate this week to not need to use the stuff, but all the activity with the grandchildren has caught up with me. The gel worked its magic, just like the pharmacist said, and I was able to run errands.

Upon returning home with a carload of groceries, Terry told me to put my feet up and rest while he finished vacuuming. He had already vacuumed the garage and kitchen while I was away. The chores are nagging at me. The dust, a patio of toys, the laundry, a new recipe. Oh well, for now, in the middle of the summer, on a Saturday morning, I will sit with my feet up and live in blogland for awhile.