Archive for April, 2013

V-77-StinsonGullwingis flying in from Brooklyn on Wednesday for a visit!  Needless to say, I’m twelve kinds of happy.  We’re going to make a short, but I’m sure memorable, exploration of the Olympic Peninsula (Port Townsend to Kalaloch).  Nate is looking for great greasy spoon restaurants, so if any of you PNW folks that know the area have recommendations, please send them ASAP.  If the diner, bar, cafe, hole in the wall, you recommend turns out to be our favorite, you can bet your name is going to show up in my next post.  If we get food poisoning, your picture and address will show up too.

On the do nothing days, we’re going to…do nothing.   Oh, we’ll fire up the pizza stone and have a go at working with yeast again.  We’ve had two failed attempts – one was reminiscent of an old I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel were making bread; the likes of which rose so much it pushed the oven door open and pinned Lucy to the other side of the kitchen; the other, failed cinnamon rolls that refused to rise no matter how long we left them in front of the heater.   (Yes, eventually we put them in the oven.)

I know we’ll be successful at the whiskey tasting down at William’s Local Grown, and dinner at the Oystercatcher is always a home run.  Once I have plied Nate with whiskey, wine and food, I will then challenge him to a long overdue FbookLogoBananagrams match.  In the past, I have overpowered him with my lightning speed.  Of course, in the past, I have also employed the same strategy I intend to use this visit.  “Drink up, favorite of all my children!”

Gotta run.  There are tomatoes to be roasted, grape leaves to be stuffed and desert to be considered.

Wherever you are, I hope it’s exactly where you want to be.


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NateNaturally, I was excited to hear the latest news from Brooklyn, but, alas, he was calling in regard to my last post 16 Tons and What Do You Get? which caused him great mathematical consternation.

Evidently, in the world of tonnage, there is a short ton and a long ton.  My mere 1,000 pounds of rocks that I loaded and then unloaded, although adding up to 2,000 pounds, didn’t warrant the accolades I felt I deserved since this measly amount equaled only a short ton, which is shy of a long ton by 240 pounds.   Never having heard of a long ton, I turned to my research buddy, Google.  My favorite of all my children was right.

British ton is the long ton, which is 2240 pounds, and the U.S. ton is the short ton which is 2000 pounds.

Both tons are actually defined in the same way. 1 ton is equal to 20 hundredweight. It is just the definition of the hundredweight that differs between countries. In the U.S. there are 100 pounds in the hundredweight, and in Britain there are 112 pounds in the hundredweight. This causes the actual weight of the ton to differ between countries.

To distinguish between the two tons, the smaller U.S. ton is called short, while the larger British ton is called long.

This information led to a rather comical and heated debate over who had worked the hardest of late…me, at my advanced age, and with the photos to prove my hard work, or Nate, who bemoaned the fact that single-handed, he added with great emphasis, moved two long tons (for you math challenged readers, that totals 4,480 pounds) of fine cheese and cured meats last week.  And to top it off, he had to carry it down a flight of stairs.  Lacking photos as proof of his hard work, I felt I had the upper hand, but just to be sure, I once again reminded him of the difference in our ages, the fact that he was getting paid an exorbitant amount of money, then to seal the deal, turned to the damage done to my hands.  The words, “I’ve damaged my tendon in my ring finger,” hadn’t hung in the air long enough to dry, when it happened.  My favorite of all my children (who was beginning the slide from first to second place rather quickly) topped that with the effects of the  molds on all these highfalutin products on his hands.  All of a sudden we were comparing wounds, damaged hand tendons, and various mold maladies, until we sounded like Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw in Jaws comparing their shark scarred bodies.10658-2-sharks_-_4

Here are my thoughts on the subject of short ton (American) versus long ton (British):  1) We left British rule for various reasons, but here’s a good one:  They call 112 pounds a hundredweight; and 2) every woman will understand when I say, I’d rather weigh a short ton than a long ton.

P.S.  I found out my favorite doesn’t know everything about tonnage.  My research led me to find there is also a third type of ton called the metric ton equal to 1000 kilograms, or approximately 2204 pounds.  The metric ton is officially called tonne. The SI standard calls it tonne, but the U.S. Government recommends calling it metric ton.

Isn’t it just like a mother to want the last word?!


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AchingBackLast year I started March Mulch Madness, attempting to cover as much of the property at the entrance with the red cedar chips to help keep down the annual high grass that requires endless weed whacking.  Perhaps I was suffering brain damage from my chronic aching back, because when spring rolled around this year, I decided it would be a good idea to continue March Mulch Madness; emphasis on madness.

I will admit I have been known to get “carried away” by a project.  In this case, it started out with the thought that I’d just lay down a little mulch to make life easier, but before I could stop myself, it turned into weeks on end of pick axing mounds of dirt and rock that had been unconscionably shoved without forethought here and there, making it difficult to maintain the area; an area, by the way, that housed a snake in the high grass last  year who almost came to a dire end at the spinning line of my weed whacker.

So, what started out as weed whacking the grass turned into this:EasterLandscaping

This pile, by the way, has grown exponentially since this photo was taken.  You see, I have a tendency to meander when I’m working on the property.  What that means is that I can no longer stay on a single task, so while laying down mulch I noticed a very gnarly rhododendron that needed pruning.  Well, when I cut down one old limb, I found it was wound up in the limb of another tree that was being held up by the limb of a fallen tree that was embedded in the…oh, I think I’ll go to the quarry and buy some rocks. Pile-of-Rocks_Round-Boulders__86316-480x320 A thousand pounds of rocks later; yes, you read that correctly– one thousand pounds of rocks later, all of which I loaded and unloaded myself (equaling one full ton), now circle some of that all important mulch…and, oh, look over here, I wonder if I could hack away at that giant overturned trunk…no, best not to…the water line runs along there somewhere…wow, the birds are in high spirits today…  This is when I recognize that the aching back theory and potential brain damage isn’t so far-fetched, so I throw down my hoe, my pruning saw (yes, that pile was all cut down with a pruning saw since I’m not allowed access to my chain saws), and I go inside for a soak to see if I might ease my aching back and stop any further impending brain damage.  Here are some of the treasures I found buried underneath the overgrowth.  TiresandGunTwo steel belted radial tires (if only there had been a vehicle attached); beer cans, several strips of nails, and a plastic AK-47.  I’ve got my DIY hat on trying to come up with something to do with the tires so I don’t have to take them to the waste removal station.  I’ve thought about turning them into planters covered by, what else – stones, but I may have to open an ebay account to sell those nails and that gun.

Of course, the story doesn’t end here, although my environmental friends, who might just me even though they  haven’t maintained acres of land with a hoe and a hand saw, may want to stop reading now.  I do everything I can to limit my use of plastic, and when there’s no getting around it, I make sure to recycle it.  Well, there was no getting around the fact that there was a lot of plastic holding all that mulch together, so to help keep the weeds down and recycle the plastic, I used it all to cover the area where the weeds were getting the best of me.  I pierced it so water could get down to keep the plants and trees alive, but there was something I hadn’t considered.  Yesterday, I was out admiring my work and picking up the pesky pine cones that have fallen on the new mulch when someone, out for a stroll in the pouring rain, walked by.  As I took a step, we both heard it at the same time…another step…there it was again.  Walking on the mulch with all that plastic beneath it sounded like I was walking on an adult diaper; that undeniable sound we’ve all heard in the Metamucil aisle, that sound we fear has our name on it someday.mccain-in-depends-adult-diapers1  That’s when I realized the stranger walking down my lane, smiling at me, thought the noise was coming from beneath my jeans, not my feet.

I can only hope the story ends here.

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DaffodilsIn my little town it’s not unusual for kindness to greet you on the street, and sometimes that kindness comes to you in a bouquet.  Thank you to the ever generous Janet Burchfield for making my Wednesday all the more special.

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