Easter Eve and A Question of Bees

Easter Eve should be its own celebration, like Christmas Eve or All Hallow’s Eve.  We should, I don’t know, dress up in funny rabbit ears and eat just one Cadbury Creme Egg.  Yes.

I wasn’t going to post just yet.  I’ve been waiting for one more story component to pop up online, but there is a pressing matter at hand today.

While retrieving pictures of said pressing matter, I came across some photos that should be shared.  So first up are the View Club shots:

Construction 3-26-13

Boone Sculpture Garden 3-26-13

I didn’t take pictures of the mountains because frankly the view that day was hazy, murky, and disappointing.  This will make us all smile, though:

Smushy at 12 weeks

Smushy at 12 weeks

Smushy!

Have you ever seen my ear gauges?  Or my blond streak?  We can thank my sister Michele for the secret profile shot, and Paintshop Pro for the heavy cropping.

ear 3-13

Without jewelry, the hole is the diameter of a pencil.

What else did I find?  OH!  A couple of foreigners on the porch:

Rob and Noel, aka Dutch and Cuban.

Rob and Noel, aka Dutch and Cuban.

And buffet table decorations for tomorrow:

What a quack-up.

What a quack-up.

We no longer color hard-boiled eggs because no one really eats them.  One year, however, someone…I think it was me…thought we should let the kids color them, but then use them in dishes such as the potato salad.  It wasn’t the most practical idea, but we tried it anyway.  If the eggshells were cracked the resulting colored egg whites were quite pretty, and perfect for deviled eggs.

Marbled egg white

Marbled egg white

When we did it on purpose, though, the results weren’t consistent.  So now this happens instead:

Future deviled eggs

Future deviled eggs

The eggs are peeled and sliced, and the naked egg whites are dyed.  Our Easter deviled eggs are the prettiest around!

And now onto our more pressing matter.  Mom and I came home from last-minute Easter shopping to find everyone in a bit of a tizzy.  They said there had been a swarm of bees in the backyard.  Well, sure:  it’s Spring.  It’s sunny.  Bees are good.  Leave them alone.  Right?  All you farm types? Right?

Roses.  Beezes love roses.

Roses. Beezes love roses.

If there are that many bees, let’s go buy one of those square hive things and a spaceman suit, and put those suckers to work!  Free, fresh honey and beeswax!

But do you see what I see?

Um...

Um…

Now, I’m no expert on bees n’ things, but this doesn’t look good.  Apparently they filled up this side of the yard in a literal swarm, and then clustered themselves into this Cone of Doom in about ten minutes.  No one has been stung thankfully, but…hmm.  Thoughts?

Mellow Yellow Monday

MellowYellowBadge

Potato chip bag

Empty potato chip bag.

It is disgustingly hot today. 98°F (37°C) in the shade on the north porch that never sees sun.  I’m at my parents’ house because I thought it would be a good central location for the people who needed my help today.  Alas, everyone’s plans changed.  I remain, however, in this climate-uncontrolled remnant of the past my parents call home.  You see, If go back to my own home I will bask in the air conditioning while I play mindless PC games, check my Facebook and email every 20 minutes for counterfeit signs of human connection, and get absolutely nothing done.  So here I sit in front of my laptop, next to a box fan, under a ceiling fan, blowing around a bunch of hot sticky air and trying to convince myself that it’s not so bad today.

Friends, 98° in the shade is a bad day.  I can’t fake otherwise.

So moving on to this happy yellow potato chip bag.  Rob hands it to me after emptying it and says, “Hey, check out this contest!  You know, people actually win these things, sometimes two or three times!”  You’ll notice near the bottom right corner, the bag says I could win a million dollars.

It makes me nauseous.  Deep-fried starch on a hot day doesn’t sound appetizing in the least.  Some fresh salsa sounds good, though.  Pico de gallo, specifically: tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and salt.  No jalapeños, no black pepper, not even garlic. Yum. I could eat that with a spoon right now.  It’s just gazpacho without the cucumber, after all.  “You should enter,” Rob says.  “You’re creative.”

Gaaawwwgh! Okay.

So I enter this goofy contest. Turns out it’s an app on Facebook, which doesn’t thrill me but since I have nothing better to blog about, I click it. I invent a flavor name (“Summer Salsa”), pick 3 ingredients (tomato, onion, and cilantro), and give it a description based on my inspiration (something about being hot hot hot today, an August heat wave, and pico de gallo).  It kicks back my description for adult content. wHaT?!  After three tries I take out the “hot hot hot” part, and that does the trick.  I even don’t want to know what kind of person would blush at that.

I can’t say my new flavor is creative, but there it is.  Maybe I should come up with “Potato Salad,” but what kind of flavor ingredients would that include? Pickles? Hard-boiled eggs?  Mayonnaise?  HA!  Wouldn’t that be the most white-bred potato chip flavor ever?

I think I’ll go work on that.

Noncation, Day 4

Day 4

7:00 am: Wake up against my will.  No one has called.  It’s freezing!  These mornings sure are cold for summer.  The weatherman assures me temperatures will be up in the 100’s (Fahrenheit, upper 30’s Celsius) by next week.  Yuck.  I’d rather have the cold mornings.

8:30 am:  Actually get out of bed.  I need to eat and take supplements before I get dopey again.  I remember some multicolored eggs in the fridge that I purchased at a farmer’s market last week.

Thursday eggs

Multicolored eggs.

Waffles sound good, too, but cleaning a waffle iron does not.  Thin crepe-like pancakes it is.  I use a 1/4 cup scoop because I can’t find the 1/2 cup scoop.  I open the box of pancake mix and find the 1/2 cup scoop.  Oh look!  Some small moths found it first!  Clever little turds  So much for pancakes.  Fortunately I also bought a loaf of garlic sourdough bread from the farmer’s market.  Toast it is!

9:00 am:  Check Facebook and email while I eat.  The garlic sourdough is strong.  Good thing I’m alone.

10:00 am:  Post “Noncation, Day 2” blog.  I try to fix the glaring hot spot in the picture of my parents.  It doesn’t work.  I search the internet for a picture of my laptop skin.  No luck.  I manage to take a decent one myself for the first time ever.

Thursday laptop

Laptop skin: Xmas present from Shelly.

Pictures from John’s prom and cherry picking last month distract me.  I have the prom photos edited and saved,

Jess B4 Prom

(Actually, I stole this one from someone else)

but not cherry picking.  It must be done immediately.  There is no good reason for this but I give in to my ADOS anyway and work on the pictures.

ADOS – Attention Deficit Ooo Shiny

12:20 pm: Memory card is cleared.  All pictures have been edited and saved elsewhere.  I feel better now.

Cherries

Bing and Rainier cherries

1:20 pm:  Famous Amos cookies and milk for lunch.  I find an email from Esther about a guy who needs editors for an on-line literary review he’s launching, called the museum of americana.  He’s looking for slave labor.  I’m so on it.

2:30 pm:  Sahara is sitting on the chair in front of my computer.  She meows at me when I approach.  I lift her up and put her on the floor.  She jumps on the table and walks on my laptop keys, trying to destroy my latest blog post, still meowing.  I put her on the floor again.  She jumps on my lap, still meowing.  I’ve never seen her so vocal.  I start to stand up, but she refuses to jump down.  What is wrong with this cat?  She finally jumps down, only to spring right back up onto my newly vacated chair and  start meow again.  Okay okay, I know when I’m beat.  I clean off another chair containing my purse and laptop case to pull up to the table, but no sooner is the chair clear than Sahara jumps from her chair to this one and proceeds to bathe herself, purring away, completely satisfied.  Unbelievable.  I text Shelly:  “Your crazy cat just asked me for a chair!”

3:00 pm:  Succumb to a sugar coma.

6:30 pm: Wake up from my sugar coma.  I flip on the computer and read an article about how sugar ages your skin.  I swear off sugar.

7:25 pm:  Realize I forgot to feed Shelly’s fish.  It’s the first thing on my list of morning house-sitting duties.  Fail!

7:27 pm:  Find a spelling mistake on yesterday’s blog post.  Epic fail!

7:30pm:  Talk Joe into taking me to a restaurant called The Only Place in Town for dinner.  I call Drew to ask if he’s eaten.  He says he has.  I don’t believe him.  He’ll live on popcorn and birthday cake if I let him.  He says he had popcorn (see!) and Wing Stop (chicken…okay, that’s better). Now if I would please excuse him, he’s in the middle of taking out the trash.  I think I might faint.

8:30 pm:  Shelly calls.  They are in South Lake Tahoe, which is the California side of Lake Tahoe.  (Nevada is on the other side.)  Not too long before she called, she and Mom were laying on a bed in their hotel room watching TV.  Mom was propped up on pillows at the top, Shelly was laying cross-wise at the foot.  Mom got up, and the whole matress flipped up like a backwards murphy bed:  the head of the mattress was near the ceiling and Shelly was at the bottom clinging on for dear life!  They’re both still giggling as Shelly tells me the story.

I talk to Mom and ask about the rest of their day yesterday.  She says by the time the car was done they’d had just about all they could take of Reno  They headed to Virginia City, NV, an old silver mining boom town from the 1800s.  It was hot.  Uphill.  Miserable.  They walked through town, then hightailed it back their hotel in Carson City, NV, to recover in their air-conditioned room.  They spent today at Lake Tahoe, which is much cooler and beyond beautiful.  Tomorrow they’ll head to Columbia, CA, an old gold mining boom town turned tourist trap…I mean, tourist “destination.”  Sarcasm aside, it’s really a nice place to visit.

9:00 pm:  Feed Sahara.  She’s waiting for me.  She now understands that I’m here to serve her.

10:00 pm:  Joe sends me a text from home.  Drew has indeed taken out the trash AND fed the cat.  He must want something.

12:00 am:  Conduct my nightly house-sitting duties.  Leave a kitchen light on.  Go to sleep.

1:00 am:  Sahara is trying to hog the bed.  I remember a trick Rob taught me to make her go away:  pretend to sneeze.  I literally say the word, “Ah-choo!” and she bolts out of the room like a bat out of hell.  I have the room to myself for the rest of the night.

Noncation, Day 1

My parents and sister are on vacation for a few days, so I’m house-sitting.   I’m happy to do it because this is as close as I’ll get to a vacation of my own.  Sadly, I’m here 6 days a week anyway, so it’s not even close to a vacation, or even a stay-cation for that matter:  this is a “non-cation.”

If I was on vacation, I would keep a journal.  So this week, while they are out having fun, I’m documenting my Noncation.

Day 1

8:30 am:  Wake up completely against my will.  My sister, Shelly, is already texting me.  “The list is on the fridge.” My instructions for the coming week: feed the fish in the morning, feed the cat at night, feed the turtle someday.

“Ok. You guys gone?”  Of course they are.  My step-dad, Rob, insists on leaving for any vacation at the crack of dawn.

“Yeah, we are near Tuna Canyon.”  Only 20-30 minutes away.  Rob must be getting soft in his old age.

“Oh you just left. Have Fun!  Remember to be mature!”  I won’t put Shelly’s business on the Internet, but trust me, this last instruction is crucial.

“LOL”

9:30 am:  Jess stumbles out of bed.  “Mom, I’m hungry!” Me, too, so we get dressed and head to The Reyn Coffee Shop for our favorite cheap breakfast.

Monday coffee

Monday’s coffee @ The Reyn. Mugs are donated by customers or staff.

I want to take more pictures but I feel rude.  I wish I had my notebook with me, so I can take notes on what I’m thinking and observing right now.  OMG, I’m a real writer!

The new owner chats with us about recent problems he’s having with the kitchen staff.  The chef doesn’t want to make any of the changes he proposes.  He needs a new server and would like to promote the dishwasher, but she wants nothing to do with it.  I tell him Jess needs a job.  He smiles and suddenly no hablas Ingles.  Esta bien, por que no hablo Español either. I love this little coffee shop.  It’s one of my happy places.

Jess on Monday

Jess @ The Reyn

11:00 am:  Take Jess and her laundry to her boyfriend John’s house.   They are preparing for a 3-day tuna fishing trip in San Diego, a gift from John’s grandpa.  It’s an opportunity she may never get again.  I hope she doesn’t kill John.  That would be so rude.

12:00 pm:  Go home.  Jess is taking her brother, Drew, to see a movie at 6:00, so I will bide my time until she calls for my taxi services again.

5:00 pm:  No word from Jess.  I call; she’s not taking Drew to the movies.  He’s decided to go by himself at 10:30 pm.  Like hell.  I tell him so.  He’s not happy.  I don’t care.

5:30 pm:  Pick up a basket of laundry & its owner from John’s house.  I drop them off at home and make sure Jess and Drew are set for the night.

6:00 pm:  Arrive at my parents’ house.  Let the noncation begin!

7:30 pm:  Swanky dinner at Sizzler with my roommate, Joe.  Phillip the cashier compliments my strawberry toes.  Says his grandma would love them.

9:30 pm:  Start my own laundry and plop down in front of a computer.

Monday laundry

Cute undies!

I grew up in this house, and it always scared me to be alone in it at night.  It’s over 100 years old, creaky and crumbly.  When I was young my bedroom was on the 2nd floor, and when everyone else was asleep I’d imagine an axe murderer wandering around downstairs.  Even as a teenager and young adult, I always worried that someone was trying to break in somewhere.  I had to turn on every light in the house, and conduct frequent window and door checks.  I’m almost 40 now.  Every light is on.  Window and door checks are conducted frequently.

9:31 pm: Kids call to tell me they miss me.  They are 19 and 14.  Joe is home now.  I am only 15 minutes away.  They’re ridiculous.

11:00 pm:  Kids call again to tell me they miss me.

12:30 am:  Finally too sleepy to care about burglars and axe murderers.  I drag myself around for one last window and door check, perform evening house-sitting chores, and decide which lights to leave on all night.  I chose the laundry room and kitchen.

12:45 am:  Kids call again to tell me they miss me.

1:00 am:  Finally fall asleep, despite interference from Shelly’s cat, Sahara.

Sahara

Sahara