Posted tagged ‘pine cones’

“There are mysteries buried in the recesses of every kitchen – every crumb kicked under the floorboard is a hidden memory. But some kitchens are made of more. Some kitchens are everything.”

May 25, 2018

Summer has returned. Today is already warm and sunny with a slight breeze. The pine pollen is starting. I saw a thin film of yellow on my car when I got the papers. I’ll have to keep my windows closed for a while or the pollen will cover every surface in my house. Even the deck gets a layer of pollen so I leave foot prints when I walk.

My backyard is filled with pine trees. Come to find out they have both male and female pine cones. I had no idea pine cones have genders. I never gave thought to the difference in the sizes of the cones. Now I know the smaller cones are the male cones. They produce the pollen. So, if your car is yellow, blame a male.

I did every errand yesterday. It was a triumphant day. I no longer have to skulk around at the dump.

The plumber is here. He has fixed the outside faucet leak and now has to leave to get a part for the shower. He called from his truck. His name is Doug. He saw Maddie and told me he had a cat who lived to be 20. He said he cried when it died. I like Doug.

I remember the small kitchen in the first place we lived in Stoneham. When I close my eyes, I can see the whole room. The door to the yard was on the back wall. To its left was the sink, fridge, stove and counter tops. There was a small window over the sink. To the right of the door was another window and the table and chairs were against that window wall. The kitchen was so small two was a crowd. We lived there until after my sister was born. We then moved down the street to a bigger place, one with 3 bedrooms. Until I bought my own house, that is where I lived for the longest time.

My kitchen has gadgets, things like a strawberry huller, a jalapeño corer, a corn zipper, a mandolin, three different size food processors, a panini grill and a mixer. I have actually used all but the jalapeño corer. That was just bought. It is a funky looking tool.

The only tools I remember my mother using when I was a kid were the hand potato masher, the peeler, the cookie press and her standing mixer. She seldom baked from a package. When I was older, out of college older, I loved working in the kitchen with her. I was her sous chef. My favorite time was around Christmas. We listened to music while we worked. We talked and we laughed. Those are cherished memories kept close to my heart.

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

June 10, 2017

Summer has arrived. Today is already a lovely day with lots of sun giving lots of heat. It will be in the low 70’s here. This room is still dark and cool as the sun hasn’t yet worked its way around the house. I went out earlier and needed to turn on the car’s AC as Gracie was with me. I left it on when I stopped. She threw up all of yesterday’s food so I was hoping to find something to entice her. I bought a frozen dog treat but she didn’t want it. I gave it to the dog in the next car, and he licked every bit of it. I know she is hungry as she keeps checking her dish,  but I can’t find anything she wants. The lady whose dog ate the frozen treat suggested tuna dog treats. I came home and checked the recipe on-line. I just have to go and buy the tuna. I’ll try anything.

It is a noisy Saturday. I can hear lawn mowers from all over the neighborhood, no kids though. I wonder where they are. I’m guessing baseball and t-ball.

A warm, summer Saturday is about the best of all days. It invites us outside to enjoy the weather. It is a day meant for sitting on the deck to enjoy the warmth tempered by a slight breeze. Inside the house can stay dusty, and the laundry can wait a day or two or even more. I know that from experience.

My deck is still closed. The furniture covers got soaked the other night so yesterday I emptied the water caught in the folds. The deck floor is covered with leaves and debris from that last storm. My factotum, Skip, is coming Monday. I have a long list for him to do. He has to clean out the shower as it is filled with the gnawed pieces of pinecones. I still see the spawn of Satan around that shower. He is in for a rude awakening.

The exterminator came back yesterday to plug the mouse holes around the foundation. He figured by now the mice would have moved to a more exalted place, and the cellar does have a peculiar odor. I’m thinking dead mice or decomp as they call it on TV.

I still have flowers to buy before Skip comes, at least the deck flowers. I always think flower shopping is about the best of all shopping sprees. I just can’t help myself and always load the cart. Flowers are intoxicating.

“And in this moment, like a swift intake of breath, the rain came.”

May 25, 2017

The weather is back to dark and damp and really chilly, down to the low 50’s. It is raining now and the rain isn’t going anywhere. It will stay rainy and raw through tomorrow and there may even be thunder. I really need a sweatshirt even in the house.

With all this rain, the grass seed on my lawn is sprouting. The green shoots of flowers have appeared in the front garden. Some have even bloomed into purple and white delicate flowers. I don’t know their names. I never do.

Next week I will purchase the herbs and flowers for my various gardens, pots and window boxes. I have a list of some flowers to buy, all perennials. I know which herbs as I buy the same ones each year, herbs I use in cooking. I love being able to go to the herb garden and snip what I need for dinner. Doing that always makes me feel like the consummate cook and gardener.

I just had my first sign of summer despite the cold and the rain. My guy came and turned on the irrigation and the outdoor shower. I figure it will be a long while before I’ll use the shower outside given the cold and especially because the shower area is a spawn of Satan hangout. It has a huge pile of stripped pine cones. They cover the floor and the bench. This is on my factotum’s to-do list.

Critter Control came yesterday. My cellar is inundated with mice, a few of which have made their way to this floor as well as to upstairs. One lives in a kitchen cabinet. The critter guy left food traps where the mice munch, eat their fill, leave the traps and shortly thereafter depart from this world. The cabinet mouse’s poop in the utensil drawer was the straw.

I did errands yesterday then rewarded myself with Chinese food for dinner. I got jumbo shrimp for a dual purpose. I ate some and shared pieces of the cooked batter with Gracie and some of the shrimp with the cat. I sneaked her pills into Gracie’s portion. She didn’t figure it out, and it was an easy way to give Gracie the pills. We’re having leftover Chinese for lunch today and I’ll trick Gracie again.

It was after midnight when I took Gracie out for the last time before bed. Every house was dark except mine. The house across the street had disappeared. Clouds hid the moon and the stars. I could barely see my driveway, but luckily my star and the white lights off the deck and fence still shined and lit the way to the backyard.

It’s time to finish. I’m getting hungry.