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.

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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:

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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.’

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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.’

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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.

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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.

The end of week 2

The grandkids are on their way home to their parents. Our house is quiet. Terry and I are just vegging, watching taped tv programs, catching up on newspapers, checking emails and blogs. Laundry is running. Life is very calm at this point as we are too tired to do much.

The second week went quickly as we would leave our house before 9 each morning so as to be up the hill for Leeya’s swim lesson at 10. After the swim session, we would go over to Nana’s house for lunch and playtime. Our son-in-law’s mother (Nana) arranged for the swim lessons at her home association’s pool.

By the time we got back home each day, the kids were pretty tired. Cartoons and then dinner were the main activities a couple of days when the heat was so oppressive we couldn’t go outside to play.

Fortunately this morning was so cool and lovely that the kids got to play for an hour before we headed for the last swim class. Neither of them wanted to call it quits and leave our house. But leave we did, with the car packed with suitcases. Nana would be driving them home after the swim lesson. For which we are grateful.

Winning teamwork

To add another layer of crazy to this week, Delicious Living notified me yesterday that I won their contest for inspirational eating. It was Jennifer’s recipe and my photo that got first place and won a Vitamix for me.

Because Jen has wanted a Vitamix, and I know she will use if far more than I will, I’m going to give her the prize. It was definitely teamwork that won the prize.

Now, back to attending to small grandchildren. This is a wild and crazy week as we are driving 40 miles each morning for Leeya to have swim lessons. Then we play with Nana at her house after having lunch. Another 40 mile trip home in the 100 degree heat. The kids usually fall fast asleep in the car but are wide awake by the time we get home. (sigh)