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August 24, 2003
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Bath, Planning, and More Experiments

I got to stay home this morning. Just let John and Jet go to church without me, as I really didn't want to go and socialize and there were a lot of things I wanted to take care of for myself.

John had made some really delicious apple scones when he got up early with Jet. So I had that for breakfast. I watered the plants, went out to check the tomatoes and water and feed them lightly. I also picked the ripe ones that I could see. There's less blossom end rot since I turned down the watering mechanism and hand-watered the corner plants a bit more. They're all doing quite well. The current tomato plants, though, are really spreading out and trying to take over the smaller, big tomato plants. Next year I have to plant everything further apart. This is just ridiculous. I can't even get at the center plant to pick the tomatoes on it without squashing a few things.

On the way back to the house, I peeked into the Mosquito Magnet's trap, just to see what there was to see, and was surprised and delighted to find dozens of mosquitoes in it, all fluttering madly against the mesh bag. I wonder if the cooler weather caused more of them to hatch or something? Ever since the 18th, the weather has cooled off, gotten more overcast, a bit wetter, and has even started getting cold at night. Whatever it was, we've decimated another round/cycle of mosquito females. I really hope we can completely break the breeding cycle in this area. In any case, it certainly made me feel a lot safer about wandering around the backyard without repellent on.

I set up all my candles and bath stuff into the drawers I'd bought, yesterday and everything just fit. I was able to use the old box to hold all the items that I wanted to get rid of. I really loved how uncluttered my bathtub looked after that, so I took a bath with grapefruit bubbles and lots and lots and lots of candlelight. Yum.

I read. I just sat and read in peace and quiet and enjoyed that immensely.

I also got to listen to my Kodo Taiko drum CDs for a while. Just sit and listen and not worry about doing anything or being anywhere for anyone or chasing Jet around some more. That was so wonderful.

I also worked through a good bit of the Covey planner; just to get back into the feel of planned years, months, weeks, and days. I used to do the planner regularly before I had Jet, and afterwards I just never picked it up again. Now I'm wondering if I should pick it up again, and I got the sampler pack and the quarterly pack yesterday to see if I wanted to do it again. The hardest part about working through the long-term value statement and the projects and goals strategic bits is just not knowing what it is that I really want to do with myself. What is really important to me and why don't I make time for it?

I think the best thing about the planner is just knowing that I can put down stuff to make it so that I actually get around to doing something other than just the every day.

When the boys did get back, Jet was still awake, even after the ride home, so I nursed him, and he went right to sleep, and he napped while John and I ate lunch, I journaled a bit and John worked outside. He mowed the new lawn! Woohoo! It seems to be pretty well established. There are brown streaks through it, mostly on the edges of the sod slices, but that's to be expected. The rest of it seems to have established itself quite well with the twice a day watering.

That's cool.

Jet and I putzed through the afternoon, no problem. I made him lots of 'interesting' stuff for lunch and dinner, including sweet potato 'muffins', a potato pancake, and even cold Japanese noodles with a sweet/sour sauce. He refused to eat any of them. I told him he couldn't eat anything else, so he just didn't. He refused to eat anything having to do with any of them for a good four hours after his nap and I finally gave up when he pulled a package of ramen noodles from the cupboard for the tenth time.

I should try peanut butter sauce on the noodles, I think. Maybe a scallion pancake? Peanut butter sandwich? Sweet potato smoothie with banana (which made up most of the 'muffin' recipe anyway), ice, yogurt, and a bit of white cranberry juice was finally something he'd concede to drink. That was healthy enough for me, and he got his half a ramen block of noodles, along with dips into the soup powder. So he ended up eating quite a bit and got a scoop of ice cream because he'd fulfilled the letter of the contract.

I'm finally just trying to cook him all kinds of stuff to see what else he might eat.

John and I had a great dinner. Skirt steak rounds, grilled hot and fast. The grocery store had 'cubed' the steak against the grain, so that all the meat fibers were pretty short. I just poured a dry rub on 'em before making a chimichurri sauce in the blender (1 giant clove of garlic, one jalapeno chile, 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar. Beat them up until small. Then add 1 cup parsley leaves. Turn on and blend and then add just enough extra virgin olive oil to make it all blend smooth. Let sit for at least 15 minutes). Then I grilled them while cooking Jet's potato pancake from a cooked potato and some onions and topped with cheddar cheese. It was crisp on the edges, savory and rich in the middle. Jet refused to have anything to do with it. We ate most of it with the steak. Yum.

John and Jet spent the evening playing out on the lawn. Jet loves kicking a soccer ball on the stuff. Jet just loved running around on the stuff. We have to sharpen the mower's blades as it's just tearing the grass off instead of cutting it. Of course, in the four years we've owned the mower, we haven't sharpened the blades, and it shows. I think the new lawn is going to be a favorite place for Jet.


And I didn't have to worry about him at all while he was out there, as the Mosquito Magnet is working so well. He didn't get a single bite while being out there at twilight and I was very, very grateful for the few hundred dollars we'd spent on the thing. With all the cases of West Nile around here, and even in our neighborhood, I don't want to take even the slightest chance.

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