About Buffy

In another life I was a grade school band director. I still think of myself as a teacher despite the fact that it's been almost three decades since I was in the classroom. I've been the office for my husband's masonry company, cared for my mother for 20 years, and think of myself now as a quilter. Retirement, what retirement??!

Expert

It is good to have an expert as a friend.  In this case, my friend is an expert at all things electronic.  Dear Husband has been trying to get things hooked up in the office and we’ve run into one problem after another.  He’s worked away, diligently, but some of the problems have seemed overwhelming.

So, yesterday, I sent a wail for help to My-Friend-The-Expert.  He called right away  and said that they had some time today, so we arranged for a mid-morning visit.  His wife is one of my quilting buddies. She came along for the ride and helped me to unpack my quilt fabric, while Dear Husband and MFTE worked in the office.  He got the sound to work on one computer, hooked another up to the internet resolved one mouse and one keyboard problem, made a printer recognize a third computer, and discovered why another printer was sending strange messages (it was damaged when it was delivered).  He also talked to two televisions to get the remotes to play nice.

Now, I told him that I wanted to HIRE him.  He was happy to be taken to lunch.  We went to Famous Dave’s.  I think there will be more dining out in the near future! lol

Thank God for those people who understand how all this STUFF works!

Boat Races

I should say, the CARDBOARD boat races!  I wish I had pictures that did the race justice.  United Way in our area hosted these races.  The competitors could use cardboard, Liquid Nails, Duct tape and paint to make their vessels.  Apparently there were no size restrictions because one, designed to look like an antique New Orleans hearse was big enough for eight people, plus one more, who was in a coffin that popped out the back of the hearse! lol

Surprisingly, very few of the boats sank.  I think there are a lot of experienced cardboard boat builders out there.  There were two pastel pink boats that looked like ballerina shoes and the girls and women who paddled them wore adorable ballerina attire complete with tutus.  Unfortunately, one of those boats turned over, but the other continued on strong for second place.

One of the boats that I thought would sink the moment the horn sounded was built in the shape of a Viking ship.  It was stronger than I thought and made it through it’s heat, although it wallowed a lot and was a bit tubby.

Another boat had very high sides and young paddlers.  The kids were using snow shovels as paddles, and lost one.  The Fire Department fished it out of the water and handed it back.  The kids were so short they couldn’t reach the water over the sides of the boat, and I don’t think they made it around the post and back.

There were three boats in the mechanical division.  Those had bicycle pedals and gears that ran propellers.  One of the boats had a malfunction three feet out of the starting gate.  That left a boat pedaled by one woman, and a boat that looked like a pencil with two guys pedaling.  Unfortunately, whoever designed the pencil boat must have been VERY TALL, and the two guys pedaling were average height.  They ended up lying on their backs and pedaling with their feet up in the air.  I’m not sure how they could see where they were going, but they made it through the course and won.

The Fire Department had a cardboard boat.  It was v-shaped and painted hot red.  Unfortunately just after it rounded the post, it dumped three rowers into the drink.  The guys showed true fireman spirit,  flipping onto their backs, grabbing the edge of the boat to bring it along, and kicking their way to the finish line.

At the end of the morning, anything which was still able to float was relaunched in the final race.  It was quite a hoot to see them all madly paddling the course, with a lot getting lower in the water by the minute.  Unfortunately, the firemen went into the drink with a repeat performance, and I think the VIkings got dunked too.

It’s safe to say that a good time was had by all, and I hope to attend next year!

Farmer’s Tomato Pie x 3

No, I didn’t make three of them.  This is just the third time I’ve felt the need to post about Farmer’s Tomato Pie.  My sister, Frankie, found this recipe and shared it with us.  It’s the perfect recipe for the heat of August, when tomatoes are at their peak.  It’s not the kind of recipe you’d make in February when all you can get is the cardboard they market as tomatoes.

You can use a store-bought pie crust for this recipe.  You can buy the bag of finely shredded Italian cheeses, if you don’t want to fill your refrigerator with cheese.  But, you need to have warm from the garden tomatoes and freshly picked basil for this to live up to its mouth-watering promise.

I might not have made this recipe this year, given that we’ve been moving, but Frankie brought me all the tomatoes I needed from her own garden, and a large bouquet of basil, to boot!  It was part of an incredibly generous housewarming gift that included dried herbs from her garden, dill vinegar which she had made, and three plants, in pots that she had also made.  She hit all the things that we love in common, including a bottle of wine!  Thanks, Sis, for such a wonderful gift!

So, for those of you who may be interested, here’s the recipe:
Farmer’s Tomato Pie

30 minutes preparation
32 minutes baking
10 minutes stand time
1 piecrust
1 1/3 cups shredded Italian blend cheese (5 ? oz.)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Fine dry breadcrumbs
2 lbs. Ripe tomatoes cut into wedges
1 cup Cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup loosely packed small basil leaves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Pie crust
Roll out a prepared piecrust to a twelve-inch circle. Place in a 9″ quiche pan or a 9″ pie pan, and trim. If using a pie pan, crimp the edges. Line the unpricked pastry with TWO thicknesses of foil. Bake 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 4-5 minutes, until set and dry. Remove from the oven.
Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees.
Filling
Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese evenly over baked shell.
Sprinkle garlic over cheese.
Sprinkle 2 tsp. Breadcrumbs over garlic and cheese
Top with 1/3 of the tomato wedges and 1/3 of the cherry tomatoes
Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese
Sprinkle 2 tsp of the dry breadcrumbs
Top with 3 of the tomato wedges and 1/3 of the cherry tomatoes
Repeat last set of instructions once more and then sprinkle with salt.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and tomatoes are just beginning to brown.
Remove to wire rack
Sprinkle with basil and let stand for 10 minutes

 

Conditioning

I am a creature of conditioning.  I’ve been spending a quiet morning at my computer, sitting in the dining room where I can look out over the street.  Just a moment ago, a police car drew up to the curb, and I immediately rose and went to the window, wondering what was WRONG!!!

Actually, he had pulled over so that a larger vehicle would have room to pass.  There was nothing wrong, but that was the first thought to come to my mind.  Apparently it’s not just criminals who worry when a cop shows up.

I’m old enough that I recall being taught as a child that a policeman was my friend.  I don’t know if parents still teach that to their children.  Certainly, the younger generation has a different attitude about the police than we did way back when.

It has to be difficult for the police to do their job when it feels as though everyone dislikes them.  I have a nephew who  has just retired from a police force.  I’ll have to ask him if he felt the general public disliked having contact with cops.

I’m free to go about my business this morning.  I think I’ll go make my bed..

Pruning

Our tiny lot is being groomed, today.  A crew has been pulling weeds, pruning shrubs, adding mulch and removing one eyesore of a plant.  When they are done with the garden, i expect them to mow the lawn.

Dear Husband hopes to be able to turn the mowing over to them.  We have such a tiny lawn, that we should be able to do it, but his heart is not in lawn care.  The lawnmower should return from the repair shop today, so we’ll see what happens.

While we were between houses, I farmed out my house plants and eleven pots of iris and other outdoor garden plants.  Once the men finish the gardens, I’ll need to get out and get the iris planted.  I also have three plants that my youngest sister gave me, in pots of her own making!  There’s a blue salvia, a bellflower, and a lovely variegated hosta that need to be planted.

I’ll still have the opportunity to get my fingers dirty, but I appreciate the push to get things into shape, today.

Variety…

…is the spice of life!  Blue Witch, in a comment she left, voiced her concern that we need to take care of ourselves, and do things that are not related to moving into our new home.  Of course, she’s right.  We need to see to having a little fun now and then.

Two of the men in our exercise class are participating in a cardboard boat race.  Or, at least they have built two boats for the police to man.  I think we are going to take some time on Saturday morning to go and watch the races!  I’ve seen versions of this on TV, but never seen them in real life.

Cardboard, Liquid Nails, paint and duct tape may be the only materials they have been allowed to use.  Would you sail a boat like that?  I suspect that those of us watching will be cheering on any boat that doesn’t immediately disintegrate! lol  It should be a fun morning.

Odds and Ends

We need to be shopping for shelving!  Every closet in this house needs shelves!  I bought three Rubbermade wooden shelves to add to the setup in our bathroom closet.  Unfortunately, they are about two inches narrower than the existing shelving, so we need to put a stopper of some kind at the back to prevent the shelf from falling off the pegs.  At least I can being organizing things to clear out some of the boxes.

Dear Husband bought a corded mouse, and managed to get the computer up and running.  On the third try, the computer recognized that there was new hardware and played nice.  I should be able to get some office work done this afternoon.

A T & T came to visit yesterday and found that a wire had been snipped, preventing us from receiving calls. Now the phone works, and we’re getting calls from businesses.  I thought there was a no-call law!

Dear Husband and My Niece The Artist got the shelves in the basement set up.  I think there are seven sets of shelving all hooked together along one wall in the basement.  My job is to cover the shelves with shelving paper, and then I can begin opening boxes of fabric!  YEA!!! For safety sake, I plan to put project boxes, which are plastic, on the bottom, and I may talk with DH about a battery operated sump pump.

Are your towels all perfectly color coordinated?  I am discovering the oddest assortment of towel colors! lol    I have three shades of green towels for my bathroom, but I also have a creamy white, navy blue, lime green, burgundy, rose, pink and CORAL!  A quarter century of towels that used to work for four different bathrooms are all coming to roost.  The only ones in bad shape are my spruce green set, and wouldn’t you know they’re my favorites?

We cooked last night.  We started the Kitchen Sink Salad, which is our personal variation on a Cobb Salad.  Usually DH uses soy, rice wine, black pepper and garlic to marinade the chicken, but he was underway and discovered that we don’t have soy yet. He, punted, using Zesty Italian salad dressing, among other things, and the chicken had a lighter, Italian taste to it than usual.  Carrots, cucumber, green onion, tomatoes, romaine, spinach, cheese and a few other odds and ends made it a meal.  It was certainly better than our first meal in this house! lol

Sneezes

Can you feel it when a sneeze is on the way?  Do they burst right out, or do they take a while to wind up?

We have a lot of fans in our new home, and plan to have more.  While the air-conditioning is out, sitting beneath a ceiling fan has saved us many an afternoon.  But, I realized that occasionally the fan makes me sneeze, especially in the dining room with the ceiling fan on a “high” setting.  What is it about air rushing past you as you eat or drink that might make you sneeze?

Out of the blue two days ago, I started sneezing.  I must have sneezed ten times before it stopped.  Usually I am one of those people who sneeze three times in a row.  I wonder why we have habits like that?  I really need to surf the subject, when I have more time.

For now, I’m going to blame cleaning supplies and the dust of a house that has not been well-cleaned for years as the cause of most of my sneezing.

Rain

It’s been terribly dry in my neck of the woods lately.  We really need a good saturating rain.    My hoses have been packed, and I don’t know whether they will arrive tomorrow, or whether we have to wait for the POD to be delivered, which might be a week later.  I know the shrubs and perennials need a drink, soon.  We’ve had beautiful clouds, but very spotty showers.

I was in the post office this week and saw a t-shirt that read:  “The rain in Spain stays mainly in Seattle.”  I posted that for my youngest sister, Frankie, who lived in Seattle for a time.

For those of you who have been getting a little too much rain, send some our way. You’d be doing both of us a favor!

Showers

Not the rainy day kind, but the kind you step under to start your morning.  We’ve been staying at a “budget motel” while waiting for our belongings to be delivered to the new house.  Tonight is our last night, and we’ve been here two weeks.

Dear Husband is a tad bit shorter than I am, so this didn’t bother him much, but our shower has apparently been designed  for those who are about 4’11″ tall.  I have to tilt my head back as far as I can to wash my hair.  The flow of water is fine.  The temperature is fine.  My only complaint is that the shower head is a bit low.

Now, I understand that I could have turned around and dropped my head forward, but I’m a bear of little brain, and I’m very much a creature of habit.  It took me until today to figure out the other options.

I was at the new house, cleaning, today, when I realized that Dear Husband is going to have the opposite problem with the shower head in our new bathroom.  It’s been hung high enough so that someone about 6’4” could wash their hair without having to bend their knees.  Again, good water flow and temperature, but the height of the fixture might be a problem.

I guess I’ll have to put a trampoline in the shower.  ;-)