Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rain, Leaky Pipes, Renegade Plumbers and more.....

Wasn't that "What Season are You?" fun - I did a few other of their little "quizzes" - they were fun too - Like, "What Farm Animal are You?", etc.

Well, as you can tell (by my writing)I didn't drown in the rain - thought I might - I actually stooped to putting a grocery sack over my head to get to the car without getting my head drenched one day last week - We really only got 4-5 inches of rain here and the soil was so dry that it mostly just absorbed into the earth - our creek didn't even hardly come up - but so many places in the NW got 8-10 or more inches in less than three days - I think my sister said that they got 12" down in Mossyrock - could be why the river down there changed course! It was actually sunny for two days this past week - but it is raining again tonight

All summer long, I'd been noticing a "wet wood" smell in our little bathroom off the utility room - and the water heater was still running all the time - Well - I'd already spent over $2000 with a plumber last year trying to fix this problem, and it still continued, so, I was opting for the "I'll take a look at it, Honey" version that I got from John - but instead, he got the flu and then got busy with this, that and the other thing, and never got a "round tuit"- and you know, if you ignore a problem, won't it go away??? -
Well, a plumbing leak doesn't, and the end of last month, the bathroom floor started to sag...double darn - ignoring it DIDN'T make it go away after all... So, I finally got a line on someone who was supposed to be a "good guy" plumber - but I don't know - maybe it was because of all the rain - it took a WEEK and a whole lotta yellin on my part to finally get this guy to come out. I finally found out it is a "family" company and mom answers the phone for her sons - Well, "Mom" got a piece of my mind on Thursday night - I've never been treated so poorly by a service company - You can only exist on emergency service calls for so long - if they don't sharpen up their customer service soon, they're not going to have a business. Oh - and the plumbing leak? - A little crack in a little 90 degree hot water pipe under the house under the bathroom sink - $350 later, it's fixed - the jury is still out on the bathroom floor...

We were invited to a birthday party for our friend Johnny this evening - Johnny turned nine years old today and I'm just sad that I didn't take my camera for this party - This was the "family" party - His folks - Curtis & Felicity, , sister Anna (13), his Grandma Elizabeth from Kalamazoo, MI, and two other couples besides us - it was really festive with great decorations - paper chains, crepe paper & lots of helium balloons that Felicity, Elizabeth & Anna put up last night & there were party hats for the men and paper tieras for the ladies - and everyone was good humored about it and wore them - Anna had made place cards for everyone with little containers of LEGOS - which is one of Johnny's passions - you were supposed to try to make something with your LEGOS and there was a significant amount of trading going on as well - it was really fun - and a good way to keep the adults amused. Johnny picked the menu - I brought a salad (Reah's Three Step Salad - I'll put it at the end of this post - it is REALLY yummy!) - we had steak & prawns, broccoli, couscous, & this really wonderful Olive bread that Sue brought from Haggens. Of course there was one kick-ass birthday cake - chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling & whipped cream frosting - with NINE candles on it, of course. Great company and great food - and an honor to be included as family.

This is a picture of some the dozen or so pumpkins that John got out of his pumpkin patch this year. They are Amish Pie pumpkins - and I'll be spending the better part of next week "puttin up pumpkin" - I bake it in big pieces, let it cool so I can handle it to scrape the "pumpkin" into my big yellow tupperware bowl, let it cool some more and then pack it in two cup portions (just enough for one pie) in freezer bags, flattened out so they fit nicely in the deep freeze. I got 20 packages in the freezer today. Our church provides some of the pies for the Blaine Community food baskets - and we provide the pumpkin for those pies. I'll probably put up 50 or more pounds of pumpkin this year - 30 for church and 20 for us. (pumpkin pie is John's favorite) I've been working on getting a tasty recipe made with part Splenda/part sugar as part of John's campaign to get sugar out of his diet.

Well, that's what happens when you don't post for a week - you get a really LONNNNGGG post - and I still have Reah's Salad recipe to give you - (I can guarantee that if you take this to a potluck there won't be any left at the end of the dinner -it's delish.)

Reah's 3 Step Salad

1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 Tbsp. sugar
6 c. torn Romaine lettuce (I used the Fresh Express Romaine Salad - it has red cabbage & shredded carrots in it too - very pretty)
1 cup sliced celery
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
3 green onions, sliced

First Step is the Dressing:
1/2 cup veg. oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a jar so you can shake it up really well before you put it on the salad.
(BTW: if you don't normally keep dry mustard or garlic powder in your kitchen, look in the bulk foods section of your grocery store = you can generally purchase only a tablespoon or so for just a few cents rather than buying a whole can or jar of something that you'd not use in the future)

Second Step: I use a Teflon coated skillet for this part - Combine the sliced almonds and the sugar. Cook over medium heat stiring until the nuts are toasted and lightly coated with melted sugar. This takes 10 or 15 minutes - don't hurry it or your sugar will burn. Spread the coated nuts on foil to cool - break apart when cooled. (I actually doubled this part of the recipe so I'd have some extras for munching....)

Third Step: In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, celery, onions & oranges. top with the sugared almonds. Shake your dressing well again and pour over the salad - toss gently.

To take this to a party, combine your lettuce, onions & celery. Take the oranges, nuts & dressing separately & combine JUST BEFORE serving - otherwise, your lettuce will get limp an the sugar will melt off the nuts, and we wouldn't want that to happen.

Wish I had a picture of this salad - it is really pretty with the oranges & the crunchy chunks of nuts. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Kathy L. said...

I am glad to see you "escaped" and we don't have to pay ransom! ;-) I WISH I had 50 lbs. of pumpkins to put up. I went to the stores for pumpkins and they were all out as of 31 Oct. Don't they know they've still got Nov. and Turkey Day?
50 lbs.? Do they know what a gem you are?