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The last few weeks...

July 21st, 2019 at 10:26 am

There's so much going on in Fern's life these days.

Let's see....

I am loving my weekly CSA veggie pickup at the farm. Thankfully we are getting away from the Swiss chard (which I don't have much use for) and getting into the good stuff, like cucumbers, broccoli and soon, I hope, tomatoes. In the meantime, I've started picking some cherry tomatoes from my own potted plants.

I get so many yellow squash and zucchini from them that I'm having trouble keeping up. I have made these bland vegetables much more interesting by learning how to use my spiralizer gadget, which turns the veggies into long, spaghetti-like strands. I soften these up in just a few minutes over the stovetop, then grate some parmesan and mix that in. I ate 2 zucchini like that today! Yum.


Spiralized zucchini with parmesan


Hullless barley with kale and sweet potato

I also made a slammin' chocolate-cherry ice cream that tastes like the real thing, so creamy, not watery, but is actually totally vegan. I think it's the tablespoon of peanut butter that ensures that. It also involves frozen cherries, one ripe (frozen) banana, some unsweetened cocoa powder and that's about it. No added sugars, either.

So yesterday I set out to a certain road where we were supposed to have our monthly litter pickup. No one from the group, including the chairman who pressed me to do the litter pickup despite the heat, showed up. And later when reading the local paper I realized the paper hadn't published my little press release, so no members of the public showed up either.

The heat was pretty bad, even at 8:30 am, but I walked the trails, there and back, for about 40 minutes. I was close to my car, sweaty and tired, when I realized my driver's license was not in the front pocket of my shorts. I had pulled it out of my purse at home so I wouldn't have to carry the purse. Oh no. Where was it? I worried that it somehow fell out of my pocket on the trail, so yep, back on the trail I went to retrace my steps, so I essentially doubled my walk time in the god-awful heat. No driver's license found, and a number of people passed me coming and going.

I searched the car inside and out, as well as my house. I mean, gosh, where did it go? I swear this kind of thing happens to me constantly. I remember putting it in my shorts pocket.

So I've downloaded and filled out a DMV form for a replacement license you can get through the mail with a $30 payment. I'll mail it tomorrow, but who know how long that will take, and of course I'm taking a risk driving without a driver's license now.

The other thing, oddly, I also discovered was missing was a very handy little litter pick-up stick I got for free at another litter pickup day in a different town earlier in the spring. I loved using it. I used it at our June litter pickup and had been storing it in the back seat of my car or the trunk, but it's not there or in the garage. GRRRRRRR. These things literally walk away from me.

I am hoping to drop off 3 of my mother's pieces at the public library this week; they are tentatively planning on putting one of them right by the front door, which is a great spot. I will be happy to get some wall space back here.

I got an early birthday present from my cousin, a very generous one. An iPhone 10 with the monthly services paid for, for as long as he lives!

This cousin has a knack for getting me gifts of things I didn't think I needed or wanted, but then once I start using them, it's like oh my gosh where have you been all my life? It was like that with a set of 3 knives he got me, which I now use every day. And I've been playing with the iPhone for the past few days, syncing it with my email, entering all my phone contacts and video chatting with him. What fun!! It's kind of like driving a Honda and thinking it was fine and did the job, but then someone gives you a BMW and then you see what a difference there is in your ride. That's kind of how I feel with the iPhone.

I love taking photos with my phone. It has really totally supplanted the little Canon PowerShot I had used for years. But my old phone had next to no storage, and even with a disk card in there, I could not take more than 25 photos or so and then I'd have to delete some to make room for more. It was very limiting. And of course, taking a video was just not possible. So I'm looking forward to putting the iPhone through its paces.

My cousin is tentatively planning on coming for 3 or 4 days next week. It's going to be more challenging this time because my dad is no longer driving at all, and cousin doesn't feel comfortable driving local roads unfamiliar to him. (My sister actually would not let him have his car keys, which, knowing her, must've been exceedingly difficult to do to stand up to dad.)

But it will be fun as it will be my birthday week; i have a favorite outdoor restaurant I want to take cousin to, and maybe the local theater.


Favorite restaurant

After feeling a funny, pea-sized lump on Luther's chest last week, I brought him to the vet. They insisted on giving him a rabies shot, even though he's an indoor cat, which I understand, for their protection. Turns out it was just, umm, some matted hair, but during the exam he looked at his teeth and said most all of them, except his 4 canines, should come out. He showed me one tooth that was cracked and the gum had grown over it.

Luther shows no signs of being in pain, but I am biting the bullet and having it done this week, before my cousin comes up. I have to bring him in the day before for bloodwork to make sure it's safe to do surgery/anesthesia on him. Then bring him back the next day, drop him off and pick up toward day's end. Poor Luther. I'm feeling a little anxious about it. The bill will be about $700. Luther says he's worth it.


This is the final day of the heat wave. It's a shame it occurred on a weekend as I can't get anything done I would normally do in the yard except copiously water all my potted plants, which barely get through the day even after being watered the previous night.



I signed up for a AAA safe driver test after deciding to join AAA. It's being held at the local police station. I hope that by the time I go the class, I have my new driver's license, just in case they ask to see your license or something to show your ID.

For the month of July, I started a 30-day challenge to see if I could walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Last year I made a little money by entering a clinical trial tracking sleep patterns, and I also got to keep the FitBit they gave me. So I know what it takes to walk 10,000 steps; basically, just walk a half-hour in the neighborhood in the morning before work, and then walk another 40 minutes or so on my lunch break. The rest of the steps (usually less than a thousand) are made up in the office and at home.

I was doing pretty well with the challenge but the heat wave means that today, for instance, I will fail miserably to meet my goal. Oh well.




10 Responses to “The last few weeks...”

  1. Carol Says:

    That head with its crown of flowers is gorgeous.
    It must be catching-- I went to pay for my groceries and no little wallet ( with license, too) in my pocket. Drive home, get it, drive back; yuck!

  2. Wink Says:

    Welcome back! It took me a minute...sounds like overall things are going well. What a generous gift of the phone. And the food pics look yummy. I hope your job stays in tact, but yeah that was pretty crappy for your co-worker. I've missed your blog, I always enjoy reading your updates!

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Your cousin sounds like a thoughtful gift giver. Yay on the phone!

    Your vegetables sound delicious!

  4. Dido Says:

    Cool gift and enjoy! My sister bought me an ipod Touch a couple of years ago and I definitely use it a lot. I still use the Tracfone "dumb" phone for my cell, though.

    Good luck to Luther on the tooth extraction. Buffy had 8 out about a year ago, healed well, and hasn't had further problems. Glad the lump was a false alarm!

    Glad you will have a visitor to spice up your birthday week!

    Enjoy all the CSA produce. Your meals look yummy!

  5. Jenn Says:

    I always enjoy your Luther pics! Is the kale with your sweet tators cooked or raw? Either way, it looks scrumptious.

  6. Fern Says:

    It's funny, Jenn, to my knowledge you can't eat raw sweet potato (or any potato). It is definitely cooked. Maybe it just looks that way?

  7. Fern Says:

    What i meant to say is, it's funny you should mention that, because someone else said the same thing, but to my knowledge, you can't eat raw sweet potato?

  8. Jenn Says:

    PS, I was asking about the kale that's with the sweet potatoes. Is the kale cooked or raw? (I've only had it raw I think.)

  9. Fern Says:

    Oh, the kale, yes, Jenn, the kale is raw. I have some bad memories of being made to eat cooked spinach from childhood, so cooked kale is a little too close to that for me. You just need to chop up the kale as finely as possible.

  10. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Hi Fern Smile
    I think you actually can eat sweet potatoes raw. I wouldn't want to ... but I don't think there's anything unhealthy about it.

    Poor Luther. Frown Hope the teeth removal goes well. Guess he'll be getting a lot more canned food now, right? Maybe not such a bad deal for him after all. Big Grin
    That is pretty cool about the iPhone. That's kind of how I ended up with an iPhone too back in 2010? My brother had gotten one and shown it to my dad and grandma. They both thought that it would be PERFECT for me! They offered to buy one for me and to pay $50/month of the cost. I resisted for months - knowing full well that as soon as I went from a flip phone to a smartphone, I'd be toast. I was correct. Smile

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