Wednesday, September 28, 2011


One of these things is not like the others,

One of these things just doesn't belong.

Can you guess which one of these things is not like the others,

Before I finish this little song?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

When multitasking isn't a good idea

My last post was entitled "Multitasking" because I was doing all kinds of other things than just dig-a-hole, plant-a-plant jobs. But sometimes, multitasking isn't a very good idea.

I bet you're wondering what the picture of my feet in a bucket is all about, right? And what's with the blue ice thingies floating in there too? Well, in a very loose way, it's connected to the topic of this post. But we will get to that in a minute.

First though, I finally finished making the diaper cake for the upcoming baby shower.

It took a couple of false-starts to get what I want, but I am quite pleased with it. Thankfully, the hostess of the party, Dancing Daniette, loves it too!

I have done a little couponing (are you bored with these yet?) at Walgreens.

This week, my favorite brand of hair color (I know you're shocked!) was on sale and yes, I had coupons too! So I got this pile of stuff that has a retail value of $63.72 for a total out-of-pocket of $13.22. Plus, I still have $10 in Register Rewards to redeem, so really it cost me $3.22.

Still wondering about the bucket?

The main use of my time lately has been a series of merchandising jobs I have been doing. I work as an independent contractor for a variety of companies who's clients need someone to inventory product or reset displays to a new plan.

I usually have to take photos of the finished job to upload with my report, so these are a couple recent ones.

The pay can range from not-worth-getting-out-of-bed to sure-I'll-take-that-to-slap-a-few-stickers-on-things. I'm kinda liking this self-employment deal since I can choose which jobs I want, and if you live in a microscopic town in the middle of a ton of other microscopic towns, they often will offer a bonus for jobs that are overdue.

Apparently, there is a great need for merchandisers in my area, because I get calls almost every morning asking me to take a job. If it works for me and I'm going to be in the area anyway, I'll try to negotiate more money and take the job. And I have been taking a lot of jobs recently, which accounts for the multitasking boo boo and the bucket.

So, I get home one afternoon from doing a couple of far-flung jobs and take the dogs out for a run. I had noticed previously that the weeds around the creek crossings were really out of control and I needed to cut them down, so I dressed in gardening clothes and brought the hedge trimmer and loppers with me.


The job turned out to be a lot more than I even knew, and with each pass of the trimmers, I had to step further out on the rocks to reach the next layer of saplings. And even though I had on shoes and socks (a big concession in the heat we were having!) the dang chiggers got me! Bad!

After with tired canine helper.

If you remember, I had a run in with those invisible buggers here and swore they would never get me again. Well, never is a long time, I'm old and forgetful and they did get me again.

In my defense, we have had such a hot, dry summer (I don't think we got any rain for most of July and all of August) that I figured the chiggers had all dried up. When I went blackberry picking this spring, I dressed for bear and nearly passed out from heat strike. But that is when the chiggers are at the worst, so I did it. Every time!

So the bucket photo is of me soaking my incredibly itchy feet at about 2 AM. The blue ice is because my ice maker couldn't keep up with my demand for frozen water for the ice bag and bucket and I was beyond desperate!

There really is nothing worse that flying out of bed with your feet on fire and then plunging them into ice water at least 4 times a night. The poor dogs got snapped at if they stood between me and the bucket. And I'm sure everyone appreciated me rattling the ice bag into position under the bed covers all night long.

So, multitasking can lead to chigger bites and sleep deprivation. That in turn can cause you to bake a frozen pizza with the cardboard still underneath. I'm just guessing here. Not that I would actually do that!

But the worst of it is over and it took less than two weeks! I am now at the itchy scab state, but I assure you that is much, much better than it was.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I've been practicing my juggling lately. No, I don't toss fruit and chain saws into the air and deftly catch them. But I have added some variety to the never-ending-mulch-project. Don't worry, the planting and mulching continue. I know how much it means to you!

The garden continues to give me an abundance of veggies. Usually all at one time. In other words, I get overrun with one type and have to eat until it's coming out my ears. Not a good look on me, I gotta tell you!

Remember this bowl of cucumbers?

Yes, I know here are some peppers in there too!

Well, I picked another bowl-full and then wondered what to do with them all. So, I made pickles. Even two bowls of cucumbers isn't really enough to do a full batch of pickles, so I split them up and made two small batches of different flavors. This way, I didn't have to haul out the large canning kettle to process them.

I fully intended to take awesome pictures of the step-by-step (okay, I realize that my photos generally suck!) but I got caught up in the boiling and sterilizing and timing. So this is what I have to show you:

Slice your rapidly over-ripening cucumbers and sprinkle with salt to draw out some of the moisture. Let these sit for 24 hours, or until you forget that the camera is sitting right next to the bowls.

The bowl on the left has sliced onions in it and is destined to become curried pickles, the bowl on the right is onion-less and will be lemon flavored.

Okay, after you salt and wait on the cucumbers, you rinse, drain and repeat to get rid of all the salt. The rest of the recipes go like this:

Stolen from

After using every pot in the house...Ta Da!

Four pints of lemon pickles in the front and two quarts of curry pickles in the back. Oh! And if you really want to clear your sinuses, try boiling sugar, vinegar and curry powder together until it boils over and makes a sticky mess! Roto-Rooter you right out!!

And the yellow enamel bowl? Already filled up with red bell peppers. Wonder what I'll figure out to do with these?

What else?

The couponing has slowed down some. I'm not finding many good deals except on products that I have quite a stockpile of already. But I did get this little pile at Walgreens.

The retail value of this tiny pile is $101.95, but with sale prices, coupons and Register Rewards, I only spent $26.55 out-of-pocket. I even got 2 boxes of a supplement that might help me with the womanly power surges I have been (starting) to experience!

I am going to a baby shower for a nursing-school classmate at the end of the month. One of the hostesses asked me to make a diaper cake from some diapers she bought. So far, all I have done is roll itty-bitty nappies and place clear elastic bands around them. I can't believe my children ever wore such little pants!!

Well, I will keep you updated on my cake progress!