Rain

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We woke to rainy skies this morning, more drizzle than rain. And after a day of promise, the rain gauge shows one-eighth inch. The lawn is still brown, the trees are losing their leaves, but we have storm clouds riding the skies.

Garden Tragedy

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We’ve had such bad luck with gardening this year. April was too cold. June was too hot. And it’s been plain too dry. We’ve gone from moderate to severe drought, although lots of folks west and north of us have had enough rain to keep going.

It was supposed to rain today. It did. At least, the south windows had a few sprinkles.

Watching our lettuces and Cole crops fail, our cucumbers flower sans fruit, our tomatoes turn black, our eggplant surrender to bugs … Need I continue?

Instead of giving everything over to weeds, we covered each garden bed with black trash bags, held down with bricks. No, we didn’t buy the bricks. We’ve been carrying these around since 2000 when we brought them with us from the Overland Park house. As you can see, they’ve come in handy.

The trash bags will keep the weeds from sprouting and, with the beds covered long enough, may even retard weed germination for the next gardening season. If the drought continues, we’ll just leave things covered.

If the drought continues … let’s hope this isn’t a sign of climate change. We could have floods as easily if the pendulum swing is wild enough. And which is worse?

Two-Ingredient Bagels

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I don’t often talk about cooking or baking. I can follow a recipe and that’s about it. But I love watching cooking shows, and every so often, I get inspired. Like seeing someone make a breakfast sandwich in 45 minutes, including scratch, two ingredient- bagels.

Two-ingredient bagels? Really?

Having grown-up on the east coast, I was used to eating ‘real’ bagels. Then I moved to Omaha, NE, ending up in Louisburg, KS. I don’t know how they make bagels out here, or whether they’ve ever tasted real one. The best tasting are huge, fluffy donut-shaped bread things. But they’re not bagels.

Real bagels are made with yeast. I tried to make a real bagel once. Lots of steps. Proofing, boiling, baking. Mine came out rubbery.

But the two-ingredient bagel? It’s simple. According to Weight Watchers, mix 1 cup of
fat-free Greek yogurt with 1 cup of self-rising flour. The recipe I ended up using called for 1 ¾ self-rising flour and 1 cup of full fat Greek yogurt.

Mix the two ingredients until a dough forms, then knead briefly. Divide into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a log-like shape, then squeeze the two ends together. I brushed the resulting four bagels with beaten egg and baked for 25 minutes in a
350 Fahrenheit oven.

I know. Mine don’t look much like bagels. In fact, they’re messy and not at all consistent. I’m no baker. But believe it or not, these had the same chewy consistency as a real, NY bagel. Go figure… Better yet, go try to make one.

Anniversary Sunday

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The photo was taken 23 years ago, the day Jim and I officially joined forces. Like it was yesterday except that cameras are much better now. And that hat. Luckily, I had those humungous glasses to keep the hat from covering my eyes. Jim looks good, though. And the handsome young man behind us is son Gordon.

Good Bugs

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WARNING

Graphic descriptions of encounters with our exoskeletal frenemies.

 

Anyone who knows me also knows I have a thing about bugs … uh … insects.

I’ve had more adventures with bugs than I care to think about.

Like when I was 12, earwigs crawled through my bedroom window and infested my nose and ears. Mom took it in stride. I did not. I slept on the living room couch for most of that summer.

My one time attending Girl Scout camp was interrupted when I came back from the lake with black fly bites that caused my legs to swell to twice normal size. I had to be hospitalized.

As a young married, my starter home had a humongous basement filled with what Nebraskans call ‘water bugs’ but are really creepy-crawly cockroaches. For seven years, I never went down to the washer/drier location. First husband had to do the laundry. Aww…

But, Omaha is where the Mother Cockroach story originated. You see, if you kill enough of her babies, Mother Cockroach—indestructible and immortal–will come seeking revenge. I may have traumatized my son Gordon by telling horrific stories about Mother Cockroach.

Anything out-of-doors—picnics, ball games, gardening, even an evening constitutional or morning coffee on the deck—results in bites. Wasps, bees, spiders, gnats, no-see-ums, mosquitoes—you name it. I’m like a bug magnet. Only a thorough spray of DEET will ward me, and only with hourly reapplications.

The worst was last year’s pantry moth infestation. Someday, I’ll get over my post traumatic stress sufficiently to tell the story …

***

This weekend, Jim and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. We are not big gift givers, but this year I bought him a miner’s hat with no fewer than three halogen lights. He got me an indoor bug zapper.

I’m still the world-champeen bug magnet. But. Flies or mosquitoes or gnats no longer startle me by landing on my Kindle at night. Insead, I count the snaps as each bug dies to become my definition of a good bug.

I know the world has good insects and nasty ones. I know we need the good ones. I just want them to stay away from me … or else.