Excuses for the Things I Haven’t Done List

It’s sort of like a to-do list. I’ve accomplished a lot in getting the garden put away for the winter, but there’s still a great deal left to be done.There’s always an excuse, er, a reason, though. Let’s see.

Drain the rain barrels. But it’s still warm enough that there’s no danger of freezing. I use the rain barrel water to rinse out the litter boxes and the kitchen compost containers. Can’t I keep the rain barrels running for a little while longer? (she says plaintively)

Take out the last tomato plants.

It's a jungle out there.

It’s a jungle out there.

Cut back the flowers, such that they are. This is a low priority task. If I don’t do it, the small furry creatures will do it when winter sets in for real. 

Spread compost. This is an ongoing task. I’d rather spread it now than in the spring, but I can do this in the spring if need be. But if I don’t do it now, will there be room in the compost bins for the winter’s kitchen scraps? Well? 

Plant the walking onion bulbs I procured through foraging. It’s okay. I had permission. If I plant these now, they’ll come up in spring with little or no help. But before I put the bulbettes in where I want them, I have to weed that space. Yes, folks, it’s true. I need to weed the garden in November. Do you see why I’m procrastinating? 

Trim the lemon basil plant. This plant isn’t happy indoors. Maybe it needs a trim and a grow light. Maybe I should just cut it off and hang dry it, once and for all. 

Take a load of cast-offs to a thrift store. The pile I call the “Next Goodwill Load” is overflowing the laundry basket that holds it. But first, I really wanted to empty a couple more drawers. It’ll make room for hiding birthday and Christmas gifts.

Speaking of gift shopping, I need to get my annual spreadsheet in place. Ugh. It’s a necessary evil. Keeping track of what I’ve already bought will help prevent overspending. And since I started shopping in August – hey, don’t roll your eyes. Art in the Park (a local summer art festival) is one of my favorite shopping opportunities.

Rake leaves. It’s windy out. That’s enough, isn’t it?

But seriously, I’ve gotten a lot done recently. I cleaned out the main garden plot and the plot behind the garage. I’ve stirred both compost bins and added water to the smaller one to keep it from drying out. Rain barrel water, in fact. I’ve kept up with bunny’s litter boxes, and I add those to the garden soil, too.

Most important task of all: I voted. I voted early at City Hall. That’s a deep sigh of relief.

Readers, have you voted yet? All the other tasks can wait.

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And so it goes – by text message

Actual text conversation regarding my laptop:

Chuck: The problem is a known thing that happens to many. Major Software Company has not been forthcoming with a fix. Solutions are available, but complex enough that I don’t want to try.

Chuck again: Shall I call (local computer shop)? I’m sure they can do it, likely need unit for a few days.

Daisy (at work): If you do, ask if it’s worthwhile.  might provide a patch.

Note: at this time, we were just worried about minor problems such as the laptop running slowly and being glitchy when I wanted to access the start menu or shut it down. We had no idea. 

Chuck: At (local computer shop). On your desktop are apps called Blah Blah and Blah Blah Blah. Are they important? Do you use them?

Daisy: No. You may uninstall both.

Chuck: First one won’t let us uninstall, but got the other. Then things got worse. Lost most access to everything. These are known malware, usually comes bundled with something else. Explains all your recent complaints. It’s at (local computer shop).

Daisy: Crap. Thank you for taking care of it.

Chuck: Hoping to have it back three days from now. Sorry.

Daisy: So be it. Sob. I’ll live.

Note: I was working an extended night because of parent-teacher conferences. Add to the exhaustion of the long day the knowledge that my laptop was in the computer hospital, and I was wiped out.

If you read the last post, you know it took me a full week or more to recover access to my blog dashboard. Now that it’s back, I think we’ll have a party of some sort. Coffee, anyone? Chocolate?

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I Have My Voice Back!

It’s been a long, long week or two – so long that I’m not sure how many days I’ve been waiting. First, my laptop went into the shop to have malware removed. In the process of the malware-ectomy, Chrome was also removed, including all of my bookmarks. Most of my bookmarks are fairly easy to recover. One, however, wasn’t.

The dashboard to Compost Happens eluded me. I looked and I searched, and I searched and I looked. It wasn’t on the laptop; it wasn’t in a book. With apologies to Dr. Seuss, of course, for the loose rhyming pattern. 

I found my way into our hosting provider’s web site, then into our AMP (Account Management Panel), and from there into the cPanel.for our account. None of the links were direct, but I had enough at my fingertips to know I could get here from there. A short chat with someone in IT, and I had it.

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!!!

What should I post first? A rabbit, of course.

A Rabbit in a Sweater

A Rabbit in a Sweater

La Petite’s bunny, Sadie, wearing the latest in rabbit fashion – a sweater made from a Muk-Luks leg warmer. Perfect.

Ah, readers, it’s good to be online again.

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Math Encore

My students had two prompts from which to choose: Peer Pressure or My Role Model. I remembered this. Try it. It won’t take long. Seriously. It’ll only take you a few minutes.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?

1) Pick your favorite number between 1-9.

2) Multiply by 3

3) Add 3

4) Multiply by 3 again (I’ll wait while you get the calculator….)

5) You’ll get a 2 digit number….

6) Add the digits together to obtain your score.
Now scroll down to find out what your score means.

I’ll go get a cup of coffee while I wait for you to interpret your results.

Keep scrolling (I had to keep the answers under the fold in case you’re one of those people: the people who will skew the math to match the result they want).

Now with that number see who your ROLE MODEL is from the list below :

1. Barack Obama
2. Michelle Obama
3. John Kerry
4. Aaron Rodgers
5. Tom Hanks
6. Simone Biles
7. Oprah Winfrey
8. Ellen DeGeneres
9. Daisy of Compost Happens
10. Meredith Viera

P.S. Stop picking different numbers.

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Back to Virtual School – Daisy Style

(almost an encore)

Back in my regular classroom days, preparing for school meant something different. Here are a few examples.

  • Then: I’d browse the school supply ads and stock up for students that I knew couldn’t afford supplies.
  • Now: I stock up on canning supplies and fresh, local foods so I can feed my family through the winter.
  • Then: I’d plan at least a week in advance, usually more, to spend time in my room setting it up for the students’ arrival. It would take several days.
  • Now: The entire staff moved to a new building with almost no advance time. We worked like crazy to get everything unpacked and into our cubicles so we can work efficiently. This is the only item that’s different this year.
  • Then: I’d get the calendar up to date, noting staff meetings and parent-teacher conferences and any other commitments outside of the regular hours.
  • Now: I’ll get the calendar up to date. This item is still necessary.
  • Then: I’d spend a few Saturdays at school preparing my room and catching up with coworkers.
  • Now: I spend Saturdays at the farmers’ market or in the kitchen working on stocking the pantry.
  • Then: We’d order pizza on my first day of school with students.
  • Now: We still order pizza on my first day of school with students!

I also make a point of spending time outside. It can be as simple as weeding or watering the garden or reading a book on the deck, but getting out is an important ingredient in self-care. Back to school means back to my cubicle and much, much more. The process may look different on the surface, but underneath the hustle and bustle it’s the same: getting ready for a new group of kids and parents.

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Family Foraging

I may have mentioned that the school in which I teach is moving to a new location. I visited the new building last Saturday, said hello to my principal as she was unloading boxes in the basement (we have a storage room!), and took a closer look at the location. A few observations:

The landscaping is overgrown. We noticed milkweed and black eyed Susans in the midst of lots (TONS) of day lilies, lilies of the valley, hostas, and more. Chuck, my chauffeur, overheard the principal saying that maintenance would be tearing out everything behind the building, including aging playground equipment. He asked if we could dig out the milkweed and black-eyed Susans before the big digging machines came in. She said yes.

On the way back to the Momvan, I noticed one of the trees alongside our new office building was an apple tree! I haven’t identified the variety yet, but we looked and tasted and decided to come back for a harvest. I’m now working on version 1.0 of apple jelly. It might end up being sauce, and that’s okay. I have plenty of apples in the garage waiting for me.

As we dug up the milkweed and the flowers, we discovered a like-new, unused compost bin. Principal will ask maintenance what’s happening to it. I have tentative permission to bring it to Habitat ReStore rather than let it go to the landfill.

The results of our foraging around the new-to-me building —

  • 2 large buckets of ripe apples
  • several Black-eyed Susan plants
  • a large bucket full of uprooted milkweed
  • a few seed pods from the aforementioned milkweed
  • the bucket I filled with milkweed (found buried in the hostas)

All things considered, I think I’m going to like the new location.

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Tying the Knot and Staying Green

Sometimes, it’s easy to be green. La Petite was maid of honor for her best friend’s wedding last weekend. I came away from the ceremony happy for the new couple and impressed by the local and eco-sensitive way they’d handled their wedding.

Repurposed windows

Repurposed windows

When we tore down the old garage, La Petite salvaged the best of the windows. She repainted them in the wedding colors and set them up as introductions to the wedding party, complete with (of course) photos.

Canning Jar Candles!

Canning Jar Candles!

Behind the mason jar, you can catch a glimpse of Amigo sipping a locally brewed craft beer. Local? Heck, it was made at the brewpub across the street!

Flowers - and another candle

Flowers – and another candle

The table decor reflected the theme in the wedding bouquets. They were lovely, featured a sunflower-like center, and were tied up with raffia. In keeping with the local philosophy, the bride and groom purchased all the flowers from a farmers’ market vendor. Notice the canning jar on our table: I like jars in this shape and size for my fabulous homemade salsa, some of which (fresh from my kitchen!) they’ll find in their wedding gift.

Will the jars find their way into someone’s canning supplies? Whether they end up holding salsa or jams or end up holding candles again, it doesn’t matter. The atmosphere that night was one of earthiness and thoughtfulness. The future looks good for this young couple.

#loveyoulangetime

 

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Prepping for – What?

I have joked in the past that I prep for the Walker Apocalypse. Many teachers I know are in a Cautiously Paranoid condition; we know the future of public education in our state is shaky, at best. We’re looking to provide for our families one way or another. My method consists (in part) of filling the freezer and the pantry with decent food, mostly organic, much locally grown.

I’m still cautiously paranoid about what happens in my state capitol. Education budgets keep going down, down, down. My pantry stock keeps going up, up, up. This year’s new project is jelly. I’ve always made jam, with pieces and chunks of fruit. Jelly is clear, and it takes an extra step: draining the juices through a piece of cheesecloth or through a jelly bag. Jelly also can take a little longer to set.

strawberry-rhubarb jelly in the making

strawberry-rhubarb jelly in the making

So far, the jellies are looking good. I remade one batch that didn’t set right away; it’s on my counter now, looking much better.

cranberry - cherry jelly

cranberry – cherry jelly

Even as I work toward electing Hillary Clinton, I’m prepping in case of a Trump apocalypse. Expect the shelves in the basement to fill up and the freezer to be stuffed.

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Hot, Hot, Hot

It’s unseasonably warm here in the “Frozen Tundra.” The Green Bay Packers held their annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday with a major storm in the morning and extreme temperatures in the afternoon. Why would that matter, you might ask, for a shareholders’ meeting? This meeting takes place outdoors in the bowl of Lambeau Field. The shareholders dress in green and gold, and so on, and so on. If you’re wondering, no, I didn’t go. It’s enough to know I could. There are 360,760 people holding approximately 5 million shares of Green Bay Packers stock.

So anyway, it’s more than warm. In my Prep for Winter mentality, I made a new batch of jelly yesterday. It didn’t gel. I’m blaming the humidity and heat, and I’m monitoring the jars to see if they’re just gelling slowly.

It's pretty, though.

It’s pretty, though.

Also in my Prep for the School Year mode, I picked up a couple of new wardrobe elements on clearance at Kohl’s. I saved far more than I paid; that’s Kohl’s and my shopping savvy.

Bored yet? I don’t want to work outside because of the heat, but I set up a batch of sun tea to brew. My formula (recipe, if you insist) is this. 2 quart mason jars with lids; 3 tea bags per jar; fill each jar with filtered water; let sit in the sun until tea reaches desired strength.

It'll need sugar, but not much.

It’ll need sugar, but not much.

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That’s My (green and gold) Son.

Actual text message from Chuck a few nights ago, at Barbershop practice:
Team building exercise tonight is Packer Trivia. Each section is a team. Leads are winning. That’s YOUR son.
Indeed. When they came home, I found out Amigo had missed one question: Bart Starr’s real first name. It’s Bryan – Bryan Bartlett Starr. Amigo guessed Bartholomew.
He also wondered about Lombardi Time. Lombardi Time, for those not in the know, meant fifteen minutes earlier than scheduled. If Lombardi scheduled a meeting at 8:30, his players knew to arrive by 8:15. There was no grace period. Bart Starr remembers getting to an 8:30 meeting at 8:15 only to find out he was a half hour late; the meeting time had been changed to 8:00. Ouch.
Well, that’s my boy. Green and gold to the core. We don’t utilize Lombardi Time in our home, but we know a lot about team history.
How about you, readers? Do you have encyclopedic knowledge of sports trivia? Or other trivia? That knowledge isn’t useful very often, but it certainly is fun.

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