Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back in June, Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness tagged me for a meme. Sorry for the delay, Cheryl, but I've been busy in the garden. Yesterday, Sarah at Gluten Free Everyday tagged me for a "fun facts about me" game. Since both games involve the same information, I've decided to combine them.

I like these games because they connect me to new bloggers, and let me feel like part of the gang with familiar blogging buddies. They're like party mixer games.

Here are Cheryl's rules:
1. i must link the tagger to my blog and list the rules;
2. i must share 7 weird bits about myself
3. 7 new bloggerites must be tagged and must be made aware with a comment in their blog.

Here are Sarah's rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. List 6 random facts about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by commenting on their blog
6. Let the tagger know the entry is posted on your blog

Here are my fun facts:

1. It's taken me 40 minutes to figure out how to link both these sites to mine. Sheesh! I am sooooo geeky in sooooo many ways. It's a shame the techno-geek gene is not in my DNA. I was a graphic artist in advertising before computers were part of our daily lives. That was 20 years ago. Then I began my food career. Now that I found out I have celiac, I need to find a career where I don't touch wheat-laden food all day every day. My graphic skills are, sadly, obsolete. Every 12-year-old on the planet is better at computer graphics than I am. But I'm learning! This blog is my classroom.

2. I bought my first house for $1. After a year of jumping through governmental hoops, my name was drawn to win a long-vacant FHA repossessed house in Indianapolis' Homesteading program. I had to make repairs to get it up to code and live in it for five years. I ended up staying 14 years. It was a cute little bungalow on a dead end street near a massive city park. Mayor Bill Hudnut played Bob Barker and drew the names from the hat. A few years later, I ran into him and told him how owning my first home had changed my life. He decided to announce his candidacy for re-election from my front porch. There was a media circus on my little street and I was on the news. I got a half day off work and wore my best suit. The reporters were really nice to me.

3. Though I haven't used them in years, I still own tap shoes. They're on a shelf in the garage next to my roller skates and ice skates. I still use the ice skates.

4. I love the Atlantic ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. I love the Florida Keys, and every island I have ever visited. When I'm on an island (any island!) I am comforted knowing I can walk in any direction and fall into the ocean. Ahhhh.

5. My favorite bands for nearly 20 years were Steely Dan, Chicago and the Doobie Brothers. These days I like Coldplay and Counting Crows. It makes me happy anywhere, at any time, in any mood to hear any song by Earth, Wind and Fire.

6. Since discovering multiple allergies, I have given up chocolate. AND I LIVED TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT! I never dreamed I could live without chocolate for a day, let alone months. I'm doing just fine with my cobbler-of-the-week.

7. The bonus tidbit! I am attempting to write my first work of fiction. I failed miserably at previous attempts. I couldn't even stand to read them. But I've done my homework, and I think I have a good beginning. I pray the right words keep on coming.

I'll edit this post later to tag some pals. All this linking and thinking has worn me out!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In Between Summer and Fall

The summer sun continues to move south, casting longer shadows in my back yard. I officially ended my pool season. My lounge chair is back in the barn. The last book of my summer reading season remains unfinished.

But the garden hasn't figured out that its season is passing. I'm still canning, freezing and pickling until the wee hours of the morning. I have plenty of pickles now - dill pickles, lime pickles, sweet pickles, pickled okra, pickled onions, pickled peppers and hot pickles.

With four days of rain on the way, I dug the last of my onions. I also pulled some of my funny carrots. Their pastel shades are interesting, but I think I'll plant the Burpee Rainbow Carrots next year. I like their vivid colors. I hope to dice those peppers for some zucchini relish. I made some last year and it was beautiful and tasty. My mother ate it with a spoon, no hot dog required. I found the recipe in the Ball Blue Book.

My ridiculous cucuzzi squash continue to THRIVE! This one decided to go wading in the pond on a hot afternoon. A friend and I are wondering if we can feed it to her dog. The large pup is now on a gluten free diet. His expensive special dog food contains vegetables. She may start cooking for him. I have lots of squash to experiment with.

I had a visit from my old friend, the box turtle. She likes tomatoes and cucumbers. This tomato lasted her three days. I'll put a new one in her reach today. Or maybe I'll leave her an overgrown cucumber.

This is my hardy bibiscus. The blooms are as big as saucers. I moved my plants last fall. The bushes are small, but the blooms are still big.

I'm watching The Hurricane Show on the weather channel. Ike is blowing Galveston away. Looks like he'll head for Indianapolis and arrive just in time for motorcycle races at the Indy 500 track on Sunday. Unlike the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400, motorcycle races will run in the rain. The Moto GP races will be the first motorcycle races on the track in 99 years. They reconfigured the Formula One track to add more turns.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quick note

I was off the grid last week. My indestructible mom had a heart attack and spent some time in the hospital. She's home and feeling better. I'm feeling more normal, too.

I saw an anonymous comment on someone else's gf blog about itchy arms. The comment said the upper arms itched like fleas were biting, but there were no fleas.

I have experienced the same kind of itching. It drives me crazy and even wakes me up at night. I tried every topical cream I could find. Nothing worked. Years ago, I thought I had become allergic to bleach, and stopped using it in my laundry. The result was continued itching, and dinghy whites.

Now, fifteen years after the itching started, I think it's probably related to celiac and the itching occurs when my body's pH is too acidic. I squeeze a fourth of a lemon or lime in a glass of water and drink it. The itching stops almost immediately. I drink lemon water twice a day for a week or so, and my system seems to balance itself out again.

I was relieved to hear that ONE other person experienced this baffling symptom. Anyone else? I'd like to hear about your similar experience, and your solution. Has anyone had a medical professional say this was a symptom of celiac disease? I assume it is, since celiac seems to be the cause of ALL my odd symptoms.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Sunday

The long Labor Day weekend offered perfect weather here in Indianapolis. We had spectacular fireworks, set to music, on Saturday night. Downtown was bustling with activity.

My friends, John and Sara, had their annual party at the farm on Sunday. So I headed west to Cloverdale with my fishing poles and my bathing suit. It was so wonderfully comfortable in the shade that I never felt the need to jump in the water. I enjoyed sitting in the shade and catching up on everyone's news. It was a fun day! Sara made a big clam bake (more like a shrimp boil, with mussels and clams) and everyone brought goodies to share.

I, of course, shared some things from my garden - tomatoes, beans, okra. And I took along a couple of my cucuzzi squash. They proved to be so entertaining as table decorations that we never ate them. At home, I'm still working on eating the first squash I harvested. They're HUGE!

That's the lake you can see through the trees behind me and the remarkable cucuzzi squash.

Later, that same day . . . me and my stringer of fish! They started biting right after we ate dinner. The sun was falling and the trees cast shadows on the water. I found a shady spot just off the west shore line where they were biting like crazy! So I stayed out in the little rowboat until I ran out of bait. I'm standing by the water in this shot, but darkness fell quickly, so you can't see the lake. I didn't want to clean fish in the dark, so they're on ice in my fridge.

Back at home, here are the two cucuzzi plants that have taken over the flower bed. Really, there are flowers under those big leaves and vines! That's my back door at the top of the shot. Vines continue across my sidewalk and are heading for the steps and my house. I think I hear the shark music from Jaws! Eeek!

This is an okra bloom. It reminds me of hibiscus. Like the tropical flowers, each okra bloom lasts only one day. When the bloom falls, there is a baby okra that looks line a tiny green acorn.

My pole beans don't know that school has started, and I have to spend time away from the garden. They show no signs of slowing down.

The bumble bees are happy that I have some new blooms for them to taste. This is a frilly pink sedum. Around here, we call them "live forevers."

That reminds me! At John and Sara's party, I ordered some honey. A friend's brother has added more hives to his collection and has honey to share. I'm excited to be on his customer list.

I think I'll clean my fish while I watch tv coverage of Gustav hitting the Gulf coast. I'm glad New Orleans had a good evacuation plan this time. I'm reading James Lee Burke's latest offering in the the Dave Robicheaux series. Robicheaux (and Burke) live in New Iberia, Louisiana. The Weather Channel has a reporter posted there, which is never good news.