Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Biking Adventure with Ev

Every year I try to ride my bike more.  This year I've hit a new record because I'm trying to ride to work once a week, which is about 20 km round trip.

If my mind could project it's thoughts to you as I ride, this is what yesterday's ride would have sounded like on my way home.


I'm so glad to be out in the fresh air instead of sitting in a car.  30 degrees in September!
I didn't have to find a parking spot this morning.
Gloria had to arrive at 6:30 am to find a spot today.
I left the house at 7:00.

Isn't this great?
I could lose my butt if I keep this up.
OOo, look at that guy's calves.  Maybe mine will be that muscular one day.
I don't want bigger calves.  I'll limit my riding to one day.
Then I won't lose my butt though.  I'll always be the fat lady who looks silly on a bike.
I wonder if I should have gotten a wider seat.
It's pretty cool that the bike shop has a special "sit bone" measuring tool.  Who'd want to measure ladies' butts as part of their jobs?
I'm glad he thought my butt was meant for the narrow seat, not the old lady seat.

Mmmm, apples.  Must be an apple tree nearby.
Does everything think of fall when they smell apples?
Ew, now I smell sewage.  Or worms. 
Is that how my laundry smells when it's on the line?  Nope, it's different somehow.  Not good.
I haven't killed any fish with my laundry detergeant for about 3 years.  Aren't I good?  I'm a treehugger.  Not using any gas to get to work, using soap nuts for my laundry.
But I don't hang my laundry anymore.  I won't blog about that failure.
Where do soap nuts grow anyway?

I hate it when people ruin the fresh air by smoking.  Look at that guy.
Mmm, it smells like my Opa.
Or Uncle Jim.  I love Drummond tobacco.
Uncle Jim looks just like my Dad.
It was good to see them at the reunion this summer.

If I keep squinting into the sun, I'm going to look like this by the time I'm 45.

     That's better.  

Wow, I've only ridden halfway.
124 - 106 = 20 something.  No, 18.  Is that right?
118 - 111 = 7   That's only 25 blocks so far.
I should figure out the halfway point because I do this every time.

Water.  Water would be good.  Maybe at the next red light.
Cars keep stopping to let me go.  I need to stop for water.

Aw, that's cute.  I should take a picture of Gemma's Lending Library sometime.
Michelle and I used to have a library.
No one used it.  I need to get rid of those Star Trek books.

My butt hurts.  How far do I have to go?  165 - 142.  That's a long way still.
Oh, come on!  Cross the street so I can go!  Can't you see my butt hurts?

So hot!  So hot!
Squinting again.  Relax.  Better.
I wish I were in my van with a comfy seat.
Look at those people, cruising along with air conditioning.
Why did I bike today?
If it snows tomorrow, I can stop biking to work.  That's possible.

Ow.  That pothole was pretty huge.
I remember the speed bumps when I was in labour.  Did those hurt more?
I think my lady parts are bruised.  This is not a good seat.  I want an old lady, cushy seat.

Almost home.  At least the rest is not against the wind.
I'm driving tomorrow.
I don't think my butt can take this seat two days in a row.

Yay!  Home!  Gimme a Mr. Freezie!


Wasn't that fun?  Aren't you glad you can't always see what's in my mind?  It's a big mess in there.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

It's the Pits

I have plums.  Lots and lots of plums.

I pitted lots and lots of plums.  I put them in the dehydrator and I canned some with cherries and they turned out just lovely. 

After I was done, I looked at my fruit stash and realized that I still had plums.  Lots and lots of plums.  They are unfortunately not "freestone" plums.  Do such things exist?  I did not relish the thought of pitting the rest of my plums. 

I search Google to find easy ways to pit plums.  Alas, there was no magical solution.


One side releases from the pit easily.

The other side does not.


one side goes onto trays for freezing or dehydrating, or into muffins,

  and the other side...

... goes into the pot for jam.  Pit and all.

Apparently the pits contain some arsenic.  So?  Who hasn't accidentally swallowed some apple seeds in their childhood?  When I was young, we used to think an apple tree would grow in our stomach when we did that.  Now, with lack of innocence, we are supposed to worry about arsenic getting into our jam.

It's not that I'm keeping the pits in the jam.  The pits nicely release after a few minutes of boiling and I can scoop them out. 

Hardly any wastage of plum this way, and WAY less work. I'm not worried about the arsenic and the jam turned out awesome.  

(Recipe:  Fruit and enough sugar to suit your taste.  Boil until thick enough to spread.  The peels contain enough pectin to make it gel and basically dissolves into the jam.)

Friday, September 6, 2013

September rush

It requires few words, but besides working more hours outside of the home and getting the kids settled into school again, these are some of the sights around our house right now.

Mixed veggies for the freezer

Not nearly as much garlic as last year - maybe I shouldn't have let so much of it bloom!

Plums made into jam, canned with cherries, dehydrated and frozen.  Apples - who knows yet what they will be?

Foxgloves!!  For the first time in years they have bloomed, in both white and purple.  Beautiful!

I know I should be clipping the buds and letting them go to rosehips now, but I love the late colour.

Just a few for height and interest and a meal or two.  I did not anticipate the 10 ft. sunflowers that self-seeded!

I'm always amazed that a tiny pepper plant can produce such big peppers.

I was worried about lack of tomatoes this year with less than my usual number of plants, but some as producing like crazy.

I finally remembered to add some fall colour.  I usually steer away from yellow, orange and reds and then regret it in the fall when they do so well.

Our only little brocolli floret for the year.  The slugs made a mess of my plants this year.

The other little project I've worked on was a flyer for my cousin who is running for School Board Trustee in Sherwood Park.  If you live there, check out her website and remember to vote.  She'll be great in the role with lots of experience and a good, strong foundation and interest in what's best for all levels of the education system.  Go, Sally, go!