Monday, June 22, 2015

Summertime and the living ain't easy

This morning started out so well. After completing my regular chores I decided to tackle a task I've been putting off for a while. I've got a spot where summer floods have caused enough erosion to expose water line, and I've been avoiding a real fix by having a neighbor come over with a dump truck load of fill. But every summer it rains again and the valley floods again and the fill washes away. This has been going on for several years.

Some months ago I decided to get going on a permanent fix. I placed old tires in the gully, overlapping them on their sides. My plan was to anchor them with t-posts and fill them with rocks, the manual labor for which was not much fun.  After moving the tires I decided I had achieved enough for a while.

Well, now that summer is here the monsoon rains can't be too long in coming. The floods can carry stuff for miles and miles so if I don't get those t-posts in the tires will be gone. The tires aren't worth anything so they'd be no great loss to me -- there are plenty more where they came from -- but they would be litter for someone else. And besides, that would be more work for me.

Last night I woke up in the wee hours worrying about all the stuff I hadn't done that needed doing before the rains start. Top of that list was the erosion problem. I decided I'd do something about it today, and I promptly fell back to sleep.

This morning I remembered my decision and went at it. As you can see from the photo, the project is still in process.

I've just put arnica salve on my left foot where I dropped a t-post on it. I don't know why that's the foot that hurts so much because I dropped two t-posts on my right foot. But hey, the posts only fell a couple of feet - it could have been worse.

My back hurts, too. I got one post in. I guess if I was a buff young cowboy I'd have gotten them all in, but I'm practically an old lady, fer cryin' out loud. I'm proud I can lift the damn post-hole driver at all, much less pound in a post. One at a time is good enough progress for me.

The big question is: will I sleep better tonight or will I be forced to promise myself to pound in another post tomorrow, too? I hope not. I've got weeks and weeks till the rains start and finishing the job now would be so counter to the whole mañana ethic of my life.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A dream of a recipe

I should start out by saying that I am not a Johnny Cash fan.  Partly it's because I can't stand most country
Young Johnny Cash in studio
music (there are a few exceptions - but I even avoid those) and partly because with his nasal voice and his dreary stereotypical subject matter, he epitomizes everything about country music that I can't stand.

So this morning I woke from a bad dream that had Johnny Cash as the focus.  

I dreamed that I was required to transcribe a Johnny Cash music video as it was being recorded in a studio by Mr. Cash.  Although there would be no audience, the recording would be a straight run-through with no interruptions and no retakes.  I talked with the man but briefly, and only in preparation for the work.  There was a lot of pressure on me to get it right.  

And then the very first song that he did was a recipe for Chinese chicken salad.

Needless to say, I woke up before getting into that nightmare of a dream. 

Maybe not so coincidentally I came across an interesting recipe for Asian chicken salad recently that I'm eager to try.  I'll share it here.  I may omit the habanero sauce.  The jury's out as to the hot pepper sesame oil.  Plain sesame would be just fine, seems to me.

Asian Chicken Salad
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 head large cabbage, chopped into very thin strips
  • 2 tbsp  cilantro
  • 1 tbsp  sesame Seeds
  • 4 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 / 4 cup white wine Vinegar
  • 2 tsp  ginger (ground)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp  hot pepper sesame oil
  • 1 tsp habanero pepper sauce
  • 1 / 4 tsp salt blend
  • 5 whole chopped green onions, green and white parts

In a small bowl or jar with a lid, add soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, olive oil, hoisin sauce, hot pepper sesame oil, pepper sauce, salt and chopped green onions. Secure the lid and shake vigorously.

In a large plastic bag or large bowl, combine chopped cabbage, shredded carrots, cilantro, sesame seeds and shredded chicken. 

Add enough prepared dressing to coat and toss until well incorporated. Adjust amount of dressing as needed.
Makes 9 servings @ 1.5 cup.