Monday, November 30, 2009

Can't wait!

On Saturday I put up 6 quarts of sourkraut, using a technique I hadn't seen before. No crock, no weights, just shred the cabbage, pack it into sterilized jars, add (to each jar) 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp white vinegar, then fill with boiling water. Put lids on loosely (don't tighten the rings) and let them set for 10 days to ferment. Then remove and rinse the lids in hot water, re-cover, and seal in a hot water bath canner. Sounds yummy! And it was easy -- 3 heads of cabbage made 6 quarts of kraut. Can't wait to try it! :-)

Also found a great-looking recipe for German-style warm red cabbage slaw in the new Grit Magazine. Got a head of red cabbage to try that one, but not today -- gotta set up the Christmas tree!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Got the stitches out this morning! Sore, but feels better. Now for the rubber ball routine. This one is really going to need it, I think. Still can't grip anything well. Tried to split some kindling wood with my left hand, but that doesn't work too well either. This aging stuff really sucks!
My son-in-law moved the gas range into the new (remodeled) kichen this evening, and it really begins to come together! He'll put the other stove in the old kitchen tomorrow, while I try to get the old water heater drained so we can swap that as well. One thing breaks, everything breaks!
The doc says I can go back to work on 12/21. Guess that's good ...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Recovering from surgery

Excuse the slow typing, had carpal tunnel surgery yesterday.

A friend wrote to ask how it came out -- figured I'd post it here to save time and duplication:

Got home too late to stack much wood, so just curled up in the fetal position (felt more like fecal position -- still does) and whimpered myself to sleep. Previous hand surgeries weren't too bad, but it seems that Medicare will not spring for scalpels any more. They opted for sharing a used cuisinart. Haven't seen one of those at a garage sale lately -- now I know why.

Anesthesia was a real treat! They had this cross-eyed midget with a big wooden mallet. That's why my knee is sore too (had to walk to the OR after a wheel fell off the old Giant shopping cart they were using for a gurney, and he got me just as I stumbled through the door). I asked if he had any ID, and he mumbled something about "Badges? We don' need no steenkeeng badges!"

Next thing I know, I'm sharing an IV tower with some manic depressive typewriter salesman in the recovery room, with the original Frau Bleucher offering me a cup of foofoo coffee, while two of the Andrews Sisters sang Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy, accompanied by the third sister on the same cuisinart the doc had used on my hand. Then I woke up and watched a video on roughage, while trying to remember what real coffee tasted like.

By this time Vern had fixed the wheel, so I got a ride back to the mustering-out area, got dressed, and waited for Dorie to find the car in all that construction. Had a nice chat with the nurse's aide who wheeled me out to the entrance, after we got done laughing over the sticking right front wheel on the wheelchair; watch for the scrape marks along the left side of the hallway next time you go in that way. Anyway, she's home for the holidays from welding school -- her minors are in parapsychology and raising champion tarantulas -- and she really likes her job! I just hope she gets over that rash before having to wear a helmet 8 hours a day.

Ooops! Gotta run to the john and figure out how to work this belt buckle one-handed before I wet myself again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I like these guys!

And I love their message!
Folks at the store ask me why I wear a Christmas tie so early (I wear it in July sometimes) and I tell them that without Christmas nothing else means anything at all!


Monday, November 9, 2009


The "hot" was not!
I opened a jar of the habanero pickled garlic, and, while it is delicious, it's not at all hot! So much for the hot peppers we sell at out store! I should have used a whole one in each jar, I guess. Maybe they'll increase in heat as they age.

Speaking of increasing the heat, we need to do that on our reps, to let them know that 70% of the American people do not want or appreciate that atrocious health care bill they forced on us the other night. Now for the senate! Call, write, let your senator know that his or her job is on the line!

And don't even get me started on the AARP! They claim to represent me, then they sell me down the river!

Dunno if I'll get time to get another posting in for a while, and when I do, I'll be typing slowly with one hand. Surgery is this Thursday, for carpal tunnel and trigger finger release on my right hand. Doc says 4-6 weeks before return to work, but I was back in 3 weeks last time. It hurt, but I made it. We'll see.

Had some fresh radishes and Swiss chard from my garden for dinner yesterday. Very tasty! Also the last of the garden for this year, I'm afraid, except for the winter squash, pole beans, taters, and garlic we have stored away. Already looking at seed catalogs for next year's garden -- gonna be a good year!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pickled whaaaat?

Is pickled garlic that unknown? I mentioned it at work and got a bunch of blank stares. I canned up about 5 pounds of it over the weekend -- two different recipes -- and can't wait till it's ready to try. It takes a couple of weeks to develop full flavor, so I hope I can wait.
The second batch may be a bit much, even for me. The recipe called for a hot pepper for each jar. I used habaneros, and put a half of a pepper in each jar, after cooking them with the garlic as directed. It was pretty intense in the kitchen! I can handle pickled habaneros, but just barely. This recipe used 8 cups of white vinegar, and nearly 3 cups of sugar, heated to boiling, then the garlic, sweet red peppers, and habaneros added and brought back to a boil for another 5 minutes. I also added a couple sprigs of thyme, as I like it with the garlic. We shall see. :-)

Dorie also made some cinnamon honey butter -- much cheaper than the ready-made variety available in the store -- that's great on toasted English muffins. She makes it as we need it, using a stick of butter, honey, and cinnamon. Couldn't be easier! Couldn't be better!!

Folks have been picking on me a little, about the "Christmas ties" I've been wearing to work. They don't remember that I wore them in July as well (when I wasn't wearing a company tee-shirt). I just tell them that without Christmas there's nothing else anyway, so I do Christmas any time of the year. A few people politely accede, but a surprising number are enthusiastic in their agreement! They know what I mean. One lady suggested that I should wear a "Great Pumpkin" tie in honor of Halloween. I told her that it wasn't the Great Pumpkin who died for me. She'd never thought of it that way, guessed she was stuck in the commercial part of the holiday traditions, and agreed that there was much more to it than that.

Got notified today that I'm scheduled for November 12 for Carpal Tunnel surgery on my right wrist, along with trigger finger release surgery on my right forefinger. I wasn't going to have it done so soon after having the left one done,(last July) but it's been keeping me awake at night, so I've decided to bite the bullet and have it taken care of. Besides, I might better have it done before Pelosi, Reid, and BHO totally screw up health care in this country.