Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day

Hope everyone had a good Independence Day.  Around here fireworks were lit last night, on July 3rd.  They are set over a lake and it’s supposed to be really beautiful.  Boy and Girl were really excited, that is until their friend’s mother came home and said that the parking is crazy at the lake and it was only 3 in the afternoon.  Then Boy and Girl didn’t want to go.  Today they wanted me to drive into the city to watch the fireworks.  No.  I’m not going to.  Yet, if we had gone the night before I’d have been more than willing to watch them twice.  Sometimes they forget that it’s the family experiencing things together that makes the memories.  And, there wouldn’t have been any traffic or parking or traffic issues because we would have parked and walked less than ½ mile, plus on our way out everyone else would be heading down the mountain and we would be heading up!  But instead I read a book and played cribbage.  

Today I read Boy and Girl the Declaration of Independence.  I do it every year.  Most people have no clue what that document is.  I think many confuse the Constitution with the Declaration.

Boy brought home a cribbage board from San Diego sister’s house although he didn’t know how to play.  I don’t know why I never taught them, so yesterday and today were their days to learn.  I have such fond memories of playing all kinds of games with my brothers and sisters and parents.  It was a great way to spend a rainy day.  Now I think that it would be a great way to spend time, if TSHTF or if it’s just a lousy day outside.  Boy had absolutely no interest.  Girl, on the other hand, gave it a try for a couple of games.  Then she wasn’t interested.  She was having fun but because she actually had to think when adding up the points, she decided that it wasn’t for her.  She would have had more fun if I just said you only get points for reaching 15, 31, or having the last card.  I wonder if Future Spouse likes to play cards?  Odd that I don’t know the answer to this.  I’ll find out soon enough!

Future Spouse had a surprise visit by one of our new neighbors.  Yes, blogging buddy Max came by the new house.  I wasn’t there.  I’m still in California but FS was there.  FS doesn’t quite understand how I met Max (I read his blog!) although I’ve tried to explain it.  We’ve communicated by email and blog for five years, and I’m a bit jealous that FS got to meet him in person first!  I was going to stop by last Christmas but the timing didn’t work out.  I have to wait, but not too much longer.  FS did get a picture of Max in front of my new house.  The house is looking good.  Max was too.

I have been experimenting with making my laundry detergent.  I had about 1 1/2 years worth of regular powered detergent but it’s now gone.  I have enough ingredients here to last me another year of making my own.  I’m mixing washing soda, borax, and either Fels-Naptha or Zote bar soap.  I’m also adding some new nice smelling blue pellets.  Those don’t do anything other than give it a nice smell.  The amount of smelly stuff that would normally be used in one load I’m adding to a month’s supply of homemade detergent.  The ingredients aren’t exact but it’s somewhere between 1 and 2 cups of washing soda, 1-2 cups of borax, and one bar of soap.  I have a stick blender that came with a blade/bowl attachment.  I cut the bar of soap up and then put it into the bowl.  The stick blender turns it into a fine powder.  I mix all the ingredients together and put it into a jar.  I could add this to boiling water and make gallons of liquid laundry detergent, but the powder is so fine that it dissolves just fine in cold or warm water.  I use about 1 or 2 tablespoons of powder, depending on how large of a load of clothes and how dirty they are.  But really, that’s all I’m using.  I’m not washing in a front loader, the machine here in our company housing is a 20 year old Maytag.

I’m getting excited about finally moving to Colorado.  I will know the first week of August whether I’m going to still be working or getting laid off.  The way the company lays people off is the week prior they set up a meeting with each individual in the group having the layoffs.  Even if they are keeping you, you still have your meeting.  If they are laying you off or transferring you to another location, your meeting is scheduled for about an hour but if they are keeping you, the meeting is 15 minutes.  So, one should be able to tell if they are laying you off or changing your work location if you look at the right calendar.  They want everyone to have their personal stuff out of the office the day before the meeting and all your work things brought to the office.  If they lay you off then you get walked out the door.  If you left anything at your desk (backpack, purse, lunch, it doesn’t matter) you don’t get to go back and get it.  You can call one of your coworkers and they can bring it out of the building.  It’s a brutal process if you aren’t expecting it.  But me, I hope they lay me off.  If they do, I’ll get some severance plus money for reeducation.  I’m looking forward to taking gardening and animal courses! I’d also like to get the move over with before school starts. 

I just learned about some seeds which can grow into a tree, a bush, or as a small plants that you can trim every month.  The plant is called Moringa.  It grows outdoors, and becomes a tree or bush, in areas that don't get as cold as where we are moving.  It's too bad I didn't know about this plant when we were in the Great Central Valley.  I would have grown it.  You can buy the seeds on-line with prices varying from $25 for one ounce of seed down to $10 for several ounces.  If it grows into a tree or bush then the seed pods have about 2.5 g of protein for every 3 1/2 ounces of pods.  You can cook the pods or eat them raw.  I can probably grow the bush in the greenhouse but you can also grow it like a bed of lettuce and cut the leaves and stems each month.  You can eat that raw or cook it.  That also contains protein, iron, calcium, and minerals.  It's considered a miracle food in some parts of the world.  

Best news is my wedding is coming up this Sunday afternoon.  I don’t mind planning and cooking but since we moved from our farm in the Great Central Valley I don’t really have a good place to hold the event close by that’s convenient for people.  I could have held it here in the company town in the mountains but most people are afraid of winding mountain roads and towns without shopping, hotels, or gas stations.  For some reason that’s preferred by most of FS and my relatives over blue skies, open views, trees, lakes and rivers.  So the wedding will take place in Southern California, with one of my sister’s hosting at her home.  She is also doing a lot of the planning and decorating, which she is good at.  The weather is supposed to top out at 79 that day.