Saturday, April 25, 2009

Self-watering Planters - Part I - Saturday 4/25/2009

I went online to look at some brand name self-watering planters that I saw at Antipasta's house, and found wonderful directions for making them at home. Many thanks to the clever and generous Josh Mandel for publishing his design on his website. I won't go into much detail here, because everything you need to know to do it yourself can be found there.

Above: the raw materials in the back of the Tahoe. It takes two 18 gallon tubs to make each one. He recommends dark colors, but I am not going to walk away from lavender.

Getting started. Yay, I love a project!

Having the right tools is so important!

As it turned out, the batteries on our multi-function drill were not fully powered up. Enough for household stuff, but not enough to run the jigsaw.

In the interim, Hydra suggested I use the 1 1/2 inch drill bit with his Old School power drill to cut out the holes in the center of the part that will support the dirt. The big opening will allow water to wick up from the reservoir below, and you won't be able to see it when it's full of dirt.

Drilling all these holes was too much fun. Yeah, they called me Stagecraft around the IPFW Theater Department when I worked in the scene shop for Work Study.

See how it fits together?

I used one of the extra lids to carry the waiting plants around to the more sheltered front porch to await placement.

Decided that it's safe to move all the succulents out of the bathtub. They seem happy to be outside again.

The Granny Smith is budding out nicely!

Reward: freshly roasted asparagus with garlic and Parmesan.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Poulet Vous? - Friday 4/24/2009

While working at home today I made chicken stock with the bones from a rotisserie chicken we had last night (along with a little onion, garlic and celery), then froze the stock for future use.

This will be great when I make the Chicken Martinis that are sweeping Los Angeles right now!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In Honor of Shakespeare's Birthday - Wednesday 4/23/2009

It seemed appropriate to replace my recently deceased laptop. It was going to cost $300 to fix the old one. Doesn't make a lot of sense to put that kind of money into a 4 1/2 year old laptop.

So I dug into my sock drawer and bought this pretty machine. It's about 2 pounds lighter than my previous laptop, and it's so much more powerful. I couldn't run Photoshop Elements on the old laptop.

Methinks tis a thing beautiful to behold!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Cure for Anything - Wednesday 4/22/2009

Antipasta (fka Tomasina) went under the knife Wednesday morning, but she rallied by the afternoon so we could have our writing group. Knee surgery. She was still a little loopy fromthe anesthetic, but what a trouper!

She ordered in Thai food, Braveheart brought appetizers from Porto's, and I stopped by Pavillions and picked up a trio of Haagen Dazs flavors.

I had Black Walnut in mind, but when I saw the Ginger, well!

The Ginger, Mango and Vanilla Bean were great together. Kind of like the three of us in the writing group. (sniffle) Even though we'll keep critiquing each other's work (the first half of my April poems and Antipasta's ongoing play.) We're all going to miss this when Braveheart moves away.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Egg Hunt - Monday 4/20/2009

I noticed this sign along Vasquez Canyon Road a few months ago. Today I took the detour from Sierra Highway in search of the farm fresh eggs that I've read not only taste better, but are also rich in good cholesterol and lower in the bad stuff.

Interesting road.

You know me. I love a new road.

Still on the trail!

Sensing the nearness of my prey, I approach with caution...

Dang! Foiled!

They're sold out. But I have learned that I'll need to bring some ones, since there's no one here to make change. It's on the honor system, which is pretty cool. It will be hard to choose which eggs to buy.

Guinea hen eggs? Really?

My trusty steed awaits at the bottom of the drive. I could really live up here. This is nice.

I talked with the woman who runs Sanchez Produce, the farm stand on Sierra Highway. She says you can call ahead and find out if they're sold out. I'll do that next time, since per my odometer, it's about a six-mile round-trip detour from my route home.

I wonder if they sell at the Newhall Farmer's Market on Thursday or the Santa Clarita Farmer's Market on Sunday. Hmm.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Machaca! - Sunday 4/19/2009

I tried something I'd never had before this morning at Mollie's Original Kountry Kitchen in Victorville : machaca con huevos. I don't think I've ever even heard of shredded mildly-spiced beef in eggs, but I would come back here for this dish any day.

No, it's not all that pretty, but it was out of this world. I wiped the plate with my tortilla, I tell you. The fresh homemade pico de gallo was a perfect complement. Mmmm. Fuel to do all the hitching and unhitching of the trailer that's ahead.

We bid the trains that pass the campground every few hours day and night a fond fairwell.

Yeah, fond. They're kind of comforting, actually.