Gramma's Pen

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Everything but the kitchen sink...

We do not realize how much we use our kitchen sinks until we don't have one to use. My SIL and his son, my grandson, came and ripped out all the counters in preparation for the measurer for out new Corian tops. The measuring has been done as of Tuesday. A template has been made. But, the new counter will not come for two weeks from Tuesday. Of course it is the day Kedj has a dentist appointment. It is not easy to wash dishes in the bathtub. My daughter has volunteered to do just that. We're using paper plates and styrofoam glasses. Still there are bowls and pans and pots and utensils to wash. We'll probably go to Siam Gardens tonight before meeting for supper. It's on the way, right across from the Bank of Hemet. They have healthy food, too.

Last night it went down to 27 degrees. Guess we'll lose our bouganvilla again. It always comes back in the spring.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Haiku How to for Heidi

Probably the most simple form of haiku is the common:
5-7-5. That is, the first line has five syllables, the second has seven syllables and the third line has five syllables. Usually the subject has a reference to season. Daffodils--spring. Mosquitos--summer. Falling leaves--autumn. Snow--winter. It is a Japanese form of poetry. But, it is not just is recording of an experience as well. A favorite theme is nature. If you would go to a search engine, you could find a wealth of inspiration and history. Try it, you'll like it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All the sweaters and jackets and raincoats came home safely after spending the night out. A good time was had by everyone. They enjoyed the ceremony but passed on the refreshments. If I had your address I would respond appropriately.

Home again jiggity jog

All the sweaters and jackets and raincoats came home safely after spending the night out. A good time was had by everyone. They enjoyed the ceremony but passed on the refreshments. If I had your address I would respond appropriately.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Just one red berry
Clinging to a leafless twig
Winter's coming soon

Pale sunlit morning
Nary a cloud floats by us
Quiet as we wake

Barbecue odors
Wafting into our back yard
Hunger increases

Fireplace flickering
Toasty mornings with coffee
Greet the day with joy

Breezes tinkle chimes
Seeds scattered on the back porch
Welcome little birds

Follow red tail lights
Winding swiftly through traffic
Airport here we come

But it's a wedding
Jackets we need at sundown
Our warm scarves help too

We hear traffic roar
And see cars line upon line
While smelling fumes

I feel gentle breeze
Tickle my cheek and then go
To play somewhere else

Slumber, dream away
Erase those cares from your brow
Awake soon refreshed

Now getting older
Is not very important
Enjoy each moment

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Can Spring be just around the corner?

This morning while having my second cuppa, Kedj brought me a very light green pot, not too big, not too small. "Just look, they're all kapakahi." Incidentally that is Hawaiian for all really mixed up. And they were. Some sideways, some slanted, some curled. You see, whatever bulbs they are, have started to sprout. They are smallish so they're not daffodils, they're not narcissus, probably not crocus, possibly grape hyacinths. The amazing part is they've not only started to sprout 2" green things, each bulb has done its thing and divided, forming two little bulbs. So, since they were sitting on top of the soil, I just pulled them out and broke up the planting medium with the handle end of my fork, separated the bulblets and replanted the little guys back into the pot. On another note we have some garden soil to amend the ground where we want to plant the wisteria. Mrs. Wister hasn't complained, much, just lost a few leaves during the summer. We must plant it soon. After all, this is the reason Cupcake and CC worked so hard on the trellis. Our Boston fern is swelling out of its pot, the one hanging over the kitchen counter. He came down this morning to get a good soaking in the sink. Now, he'll probably get hung over the water jug where there is ample light.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Because of Daffodils

To those of you dwelling out in the Bloggisphere,you are well aware of the fact that the trio living in this house does errands on Saturday mornings. You know, the usual, to the bank, to the fabric store, to the BBBB's to drop off coupons (sometimes), and to the supermarket. Yesterday I suggested we get some Daffodil Bulbs for it is high time to get them into the ground for bloom in the spring. Spring here is often February. Kedg thought it was a good idea for we could get new fluorescent light bulbs for the dimmed laundry. We made stops #1 #2, #3, and then landed at stop #4 : Home Depot. The light bulb was easy to find. We picked it up and tried to fit it into the magic ride around chariot. The one I got that day only went "FAST" and "STOP" and nothing else. I couldn't gently slow down going around corners, so I didn't, just whipped around full speed ahead. Some carts have levers--left to the left, right to the right. Not this one, left went straight ahead and surprise of all surprises, right went backwards, FAST. I didn't hit anyone or anything. After all when I was in Japan they told me I was a 'professional driver'. Maneuvering through the aisles toward the comfort station, we skidded by the counter top section. We paused. Kedg returned the fluorescent back to its spot in the cart. There was a special. Aha! My enterprising daughter contracted to have a new kitchen counter installed. She just happened to bring along measurements. I got to pick out a speckled white composite. We went on to pick out a new faucet arrangement. THEN we tootled over to the garden shop. I found only miniature daffodils, but that's all right. All this time Bobby has been entertained by extra tall granddaughter, who came along for the ride. Back to the service desk to check out: light bulbs, daffodil bulbs and kitchen counter. (This just happened to include a sink molded into the whole). That was the special, but there was another special. Any veteran or member of a veteran's family, or someone related to a veteran was to be granted a 10% discount because it was Veterans' Day. We learned this after the transaction was completed. "Bring back proof of relationship and we'll see what we can do." Last month, when going through some of my mother's old papers in the green file box, I found my Dad's Army Discharge Papers. I also knew where I had stored my great grandfathers' (McLaughlin and White) pension records. These I had garnered from Washington when I was active in doing family history searches. This afternoon Kedg took said documents back to the service desk at Home Depot. She spoke to another clerk who wondered why she had to come back. Without even looking at the papers, present helpful clerk automatically took the purchase papers and gave the 10% discount on the complete purchase, bulbs, bulbs and counter top.

Because of the Daffodils? I think not. I have never been in want. I've always had a home to live in, food to eat and reasonably good health. My Lord has ALWAYS provided for necessary things. But Daffodil Bulbs were a little something extra, a blessing for which I am truly grateful.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Griswolds Muffins

This morning we searched for my copy of that wonderful muffin recipe from Griswolds. Well, it wasn't in my litte card file with my other muffin recipes like Commuter Muffins, Honey Bran Muffins, Add to Muffins. So I just turned on my computer and asked for it. Here goes:


Muffin Spread:
1/4 cup butter or margarine
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon water

Muffin Batter:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup cake flour
6 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups whole bran cereal
1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk

To make muffin spread: Cream butter in electric mixer. Gradually beat in sugars. Blend in honey and water and whip until fluffy. Coat muffin tins liberally and evenly with mixture, using about 2 teaspoons per tin.

To make muffin batter: Combine flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda in a medium bowl. Stir in raisins, eggs, honey, oil and pineapple. Stir in bran and buttermilk and mix until batter is smooth. DO NOT overmix Fill coated muffin tins three fourths full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Remove muffins from tins immediately by turning tins upside down onto cooling racks. Makes 18 muffins.

This recipe may sound involved, but the effort is sure worth it. These muffins are scrumptions.

Friday, November 10, 2006

One more time

A great day today. Beautiful blue sky, only whispers of clouds. Bobby is sleeping in my chair and I'm pounding away on the keyboard. Yes, I am a bit frustrated. I had been working on the tips and recipes for KnitteryKate to put into her little family recipe book. I was in the mood and dredged old family short cuts and such. After about eight or nine such entries, I moved my curser to correct spelling on Piccata and hit that little "X" in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Alas, all went whoosh. I hope my children, grandchildren and their children will appreciate all this effort down the road.

My poetry friend came over yesterday afternoon and we shared the blog sent by her granddaughter to my granddaughter. We laughed, shed a few tears and thoroughly enjoyed visiting with our great-grandchildren pictured on screen.

Last night Ladybug gave me a leftover ham bone along with about six bags of assorted dried beans. My usual procedure is to haul out the crockpot, put the bone in the bottom, sliver an onion over top, add one bag of rinsed beans and about eight cups of water. Sometimes I add some "Vegeta" which is a powered seasoning we get at George's German Meat Market. This almost filled the pot, for I had used two bags of beans (four cups). Before going to bed I checked the pot and discovered beans swollen up to the rim of the pot. Then I put the whole conglomeration into my handy dandy stock pot and turned the gas knob to low and cooked all night. This morning I retrieved the bone and its falling off shreds of ham. I removed one cup of "lumps" and put aside. The rest I put through the blender in batches. Then I pulled off the gristle and fat and discarded along with the now clean bones. I had some soup for breakfast. With the funnel sitting in the mouth, I ladled the soup into newly acquired mayonnaise jars, divided evenly the lumps and shreds of ham into four jars. I had another bowl of soup for lunch. It needed salt. I don't cook with salt. Besides, if you put salt into beans while they cook, they immediately scrunch up and become hard as bullets. I guess I'll try the recipes again this afternoon. Now I need another cup of coffee.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bells are ringing

Yes, today happened to be rug cleaning day. We had a Coit salesman call to offer their services. I forward such calls to Kedg because I forget all the stipulations and ramifications and special bargains. We really wanted to have our lovely sofa cleaned...expecially the arms. Well, the doorbell rang. Bobby and I answered and invited the worker in. Bob did not seem to like him at all. Juan explained: "I have cats at home." So my protector circled and sniffed, sniffed and circled, then climbed up on the little white sofa with me and glared. Now my lovely light beige carpet is light beige again.

CC and Ladybug had breakfast with Kedg and Coyle and Me Tuesday morning. We took His Highness to Clippindale's on our way. He was excited about "ridin' in the car" until the car did not turn onto any of our usual destinations, not to the bank, not to JoAnne's, not to Home Depot or Ross's. Smarty Pants got antsie when we pulled up to a parking space in front of his Beauty Parlor. Reluctantly he got out of the car with Kedg's coaxing and watered the grass. Then he slinked, or slunked or generally dragged his feet to the door.

At breakfast we learned that my little great granddaughters have been asked to be "Bell Ringers" at Cupcake's cousin's wedding in North Dakota on the 30th of December. The wedding is supposed to be royal blue, but Ladybug suggested ice blue for the little girls and asked if their dresses could be shorter than full length so they would not trip. Don't you think the light blue will make their blue eyes sparkle?

I turned on the idiot box this evening to check on the election and switched to "Wheel of Fortune." Bells rang. Bob complained. Bells rang again with the noise of the wheel spinning. He angrily barked and complained again. I didn't want to watch it anyway so changed the channel to a cooking program.

From Tuesday night here's a tip. For a "no brainer meal" take pork chops from the freezer and plop them in your crock pot still frozen. Cover with crushed pineapple. Pour some soy sauce over this. Turn on HIGH for four hours or LOW for eight. We had rice, too. They were tender and delicious.

Then the bell rang again on the microwave when water was hot for my coffee. There it goes again! It's time to take my pills anyway.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Moving on

I often wonder how or where or when I ever had time to hold down a job. But, I'm retired and should have all the time in the world. I don't. My knitting stares at me from my big blue basket in the living room, right by the fireplace. My weaving snuggles by my recliner in my bedroom. The piles of "stuff" from my old shelves in the garage call out to me. My collection of recipes for NLG and TLG are waiting to be compiled into a family cookbook. The startings of smocking for little girl dresses are waiting on my closet floor. Most of the scraps for my fence rail quilt wait neatly in a big plastic, lidded stow-away. There are starters of red geraniums already to be put into larger pots. I have some rubber plant branches waiting to stick into small pots. I even have a new bag of potting soil. The sky looks blue so maybe I can breathe without my mask. Shades of all those preventative white gauze thingies they hoock over their ears. I am making progress. The cans and bottles and rags for shoe polishing have been moved into an appropriate sized box and labeled for the garage. So now all my notepaper and greeting cards and address books and stamps are neatly filed in the antique box. I DID FIND MY SHOEHORN right where I put it in my top middle bureau draw. Now it is safely hung on my bedroom door. Kedg found my glasses AGAIN on the floor by my bed. (I have to take them off to read). She found my hearing aids in the bathroom by my toothbrush. Logical, eh what? I don't have to think about supper for she has found some lovely Dan'l smoked kielbasa in the freezer so I'll just make some mashed potatoes and steam some broccoli. Last night we had some salmon stuffed with creamed spinach, a Henry's special. I finished up my chicken twisty noodle soup for breakfast. I'll get out the crockpot and start the soup bone and cabbage and onion. When I put it on low all day, all those lovely flavors meld nicely. Since Coit is coming today to estimate the cost of cleaning my rugs and sofa, it would be very wise to sign off and get dressed, so that's what I'm going to do.