Sunday, February 10, 2008

Things I'm thankful I could do on the first few waking hours of my first day off, this weekend, or any weekend for that matter

Duncan woke up at 4:50 a.m. The sweet little dog has no understanding of the concept of the work week and the week end. However, he can go back to sleep with the best of them. It was 7:15 a.m. before we got up for good on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008. I fed him and myself, then got busy with my day-off-chores, all for the most part of my own choosing.

By the way, Merriam-Webster has three definitions of chore. The one that pertains here says a chore is a routine task or job, that the word has been around since 1746, that it comes from chare which dates from before the 12th century and comes from Middle English char turn, piece of work, from Old English cierr; akin to Old English cierran to turn. I like that, a piece of work. That's what I ended up with four hours later, some fine pieces of work, as in piece of work remarkable products (Free Dictionary online defines a piece of work as a remarkable person, achievement, or product.) And after that four hours' work, Duncan and I visited with Mama at Mt. Tabor.

It all began with the laundry. I loaded the dirty stuff into my old rolling black bag and put my laundry necessities in my laundry purse. I turned the oven on to heat it up, and then I headed for the elevator. Duncan looked up at me from his chair beneath the living room window, snuggled in his navy blue fleece blanket.
Lynette's Laundry Purse

Peaking out of this over-the-shoulder, multi-pocket, lightweight bag you see my keys--the daisy keyring bears the discoloration of much use--and to the left of it you see the top of my very old, still functioning cell phone. Sticking up out of one of the pockets you see the pink-zippered bag; it contains a scoop and several scoops of Shaklee's Get Clean Fragrance Free Laundry Concentrate. My stash of quarters fill the bottom of the plastic bag with the little flowers on it. It costs $1.25 to wash and $1 for an hour's drying. Also in the pocket but out of sight are several sheets of Bounce Outdoor Fresh Scent dryer sheets and Shout Color-Catcher sheets--they keep colors from bleeding onto other fabrics.

If I didn't have this laundry purse filled with these necessities, how many times do you think I'd be riding the elevator back and forth to get something that I forgot? Or how many times do you think I would have locked myself out of our apartment on the 4th floor just because I was doing what I ought to be doing--heading to the first floor with the laundry? Double-digit times is my guess.
Elevator door on 4th floor

Elevator controls

First I washed a load in each of those machines. Now they're drying in the bottom two dryers.If you look closely, you can see Mama's polka dotted PJs in the window of the dryer on the right.

Once the laundry's in the washers, I head back upstairs to start cooking.

I washed, dried, and wrapped in foil three nice-sized orange-colored sweet potatoes and five firm Yukon Gold potatoes. Once I put them in this pan, I placed them in the oven and set the timer for one hour.

In the dutch oven, I browned an onion and some ground beef, sprinkled on some black pepper and paprika, then added a can of Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, two cans of no-salt-added diced tomatoes, one can of black beans, one can of kidney beans, let the entire concoction get really heated up, turned down the heat and set the lid on top, leaving a slit for the escape of heat, and headed back down to the laundry room.

Here's the clean laundry, either hanging on hangers or resting on the rolling black bag, waiting to be folded and put into the bag.

Back upstairs the place was so warm that I decided to open the kitchen window. Fresh, cool air, no rain. Wonderful.

Next I got out the asparagus to blanch. No, I'm not going to eat asparagus with chili--Leland, my 29-year-old son who can cook up a storm, just like his 32-year-old brother Lamont, wondered. I'm going to eat asparagus with sweet potato and sauteed boneless, skinless chicken tenders at some point this week. I'll saute the asparagus then and sprinkle it with Ossau-Iraty sheep's milk cheese. I'll make sauteed, thick-sliced breakfast potatoes with the Yukon Golds, along with a tomato and some eggs, I'll have a delicious scramble.


I especially like this chilled, bright green asparagus against the yellow plastic strainer. After it dripped dry, I put the asparagus in some paper towels and then inside a plastic bag, zipped shut until later on in the week.

Here's Duncan inside the shoulder-strap bag I decided he should ride in while we took the bus to see Mama. In the zipped-shut plastic bag, I have a container with some chili, a Yukon Gold wrapped in foil, and a bit of Mama's favorite margarine in a snack bag. Those are her folded clothes in the bag, and you can see Duncan's leash, too. That wad of silver duct tape on it holds it together rather efficiently--down in Mississippi he got tangled up in the legs of some deck chairs and proceeded to chew it almost in two before we could stop him!

We rode the elevator down and went through the front door, starting our walk to the bus stop at the corner of NW 21st and Burnside, to wait for the 15.
Our building's front entrance

Duncan rides in his bag, atop the black rolling bag placed on the seat beside me. That way he could look out the window as we rode east on SE Belmont.

Isn't this an interesting window display? And does that look like an arts and craft bazaar going on inside the Aalto Lounge? I wonder.

We visited with Mama in the sitting area--she was waiting for us there on the love seat because I had called her cell phone when we had 20 blocks to go. She waved at us from her window, the 6th one, not the 7th one like I previously reported, and then walkered herself right down the hall. She is getting stronger, she really is. I could only last a couple of hours in the stifling, stultifying heat coming out of the ceiling vents. Knowing full well how my sinuses and/or head react to being over-heated, I had to call it quits and head home. Thank goodness Mama understands. And she and her roomie decided to open their window for a while in their room, making me have hope that they'd be somewhat comfortable.

Duncan and I waited about 25 minutes for the 15. Here's what I could see as I sat there, waiting.
In some circles, this sign says the truth. The man can certainly play the guitar.

When not re-reading that spray-painted statement, I was looking at my cute little dog, patiently waiting in his bag. I thought for a moment or two about walking part way, but my feet had swollen so in the heat at Mt. Tabor that all I really wanted to do was sit in the cool air, circling one ankle, then circling the other, restoring my feet to normal by the time the bus arrived.

On the way home from Mt. Tabor, I've noticed this entire building covered in plastic, with signs posted here and there that no doubt name the company or companies working inside. So, I finally got a photo of sorts, for my final one in this post.
It's particularly interesting to me because it's ghost-like look matches very well it's catty-cornered neighbor--the Lone Fir Cemetery.

Duncan and I got home, ate, and settled in to watch NASCAR's Budweiser Shootout, an exhibition race that my fav driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., won!

Saturday was a good day.


smilnsigh said...

What a great entry!!!!!!! I love it!

Even though you have so much 'on your plate,' you keep up with interesting entries and photos.

Thank you, Hon. Your work is appreciated.


Jim said...

Sounds like a relaxing Saturday with nothing to do. Thats how I spend my off days.

WendyB said...

I'm really struck by that asparagus and cheese photo.

Neva said...

I love your post today!!! The pictures as you move through your day are fabulous. I know I would have locked myself out of the apartment too many times to count if it were me without a laundry purse!

Helen said...

Sounds like it was a wonderful day.

Jana said...

Glad your day was good! your doggie is too darn cute! I love how he sits in the bag when your traveling with him. What a good dog!

Pat said...

Ohhh,my! What a wonderful read today! Loved your journey through Saturday! Love your laundry purse too! What a cute dog and I love asparagus! Great looking food!


Guelph Daily Photo, My Photos.

Hyde DP said...

not sure if I'm tired or hungry after all that - the second picture of Duncan is truly stupendous - what a magical expression.

Dan said...

a day in the life kind of post. I like it. Great series.

Andrea said...

Interesting post. How do you have time to make such a long post with your busy life?

Saline County, Arkansas Photos said...

Very pretty; the yellow bowl with the asparagus!