Saturday, March 5, 2022

The Yard Work Is Never Done

 I slept about forty-eight hours last night and felt a little like I might be getting a cold when I got up. My eyes felt weird, my throat was a little sore, I had some congestion. But as the day has gone by, I've felt better. I even got out and did some more fence-clearing. That's a picture there of my garden cart completely hidden by mounds of trimmings from that damn vine. The cutting back is truly like my new hobby. If I have nothing else to do, I go out with my pruners and gloves and hack away. I've gotten almost to the point where with some real effort, I could finish up that part of the fence in one more go. 

And then there's another piece of a fence with at least two or three days' worth of vines on it. 
Hell Fire, Martha! as we say around here in tribute to a patient I met when I did my clinical experience at the Chattahoochee Florida State Hospital. She said that frequently and although I still don't know who Martha was or is, nor will I ever, it has become an oft-used term for Mr. Moon and me.

It's been hot. It's still very nice at night and I have finally learned, after living here a mere eighteen years, that if I keep the house shut up during the day, it remains about ten degrees cooler inside than it is outside. 
There is a noticeable difference between 82 and 72. 
I don't especially like keeping the house shut up but it saves on AC and to be honest- this is what the house was built to do. It won't work when the temperatures start hovering in the seventies and eighties at night, but for now, it's lovely. 
I only mention that because I was sweating like a beast working on the vine pruning and it surely felt nice to walk back into the cool, shady house. 

This is going to be short. I'm making shrimp etouffee tonight and I haven't even made the roux yet. We used to get etouffee on Friday nights when we went out to eat at a restaurant called Grand Finale's. I loved it. I'm not sure I've ever eaten it anywhere else. The chef at Finale's was a sort-of friend and I asked him once at a party how he made it. I can't remember a dang thing he said except that he used a "cheat" and as I recall, it consisted of some cream-of-something soup. I am not doing that but have consulted many recipes and am doing my own take on them and I probably will not like it nearly as much as I loved that etouffee that Cam made so many years ago. I've got stock simmering with shrimp shells and carrots and celery and onions and garlic and bay leaves and I've got my other vegetables chopped and ready to go in the roux when I get that made.

So it's been an all right day and here's a picture of Miss Grace.

She was giving me the eye because I had invaded the hens' private space to collect eggs. I ended up taking her picture and leaving because she really did not want me there. I hate to disturb the ladies when they're thinking about laying. I love her greenish gray legs and the dinosaur gleam of her eye. 

Oh! Here's a picture for Mr. Yorkshire Pudding who wanted to know who Kate Sullivan was. 

That was Kate and her cousin, Miss Mattie Sullivan. I do not know which is which. The picture was taken from an article written about Kate when she died in 1953. She had been a beloved teacher for forty-seven years in Tallahassee and when she retired in 1948, they named a school after her. She was described as "beloved" which is something any of us would like to be remembered as, I think. 
The article also mentioned that one of her pall-bearers was LeRoy Collins who was a very much admired governor of the state at one time. 
So there you go, Mr. P!

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Shrimp etouffee! How delicious that sounds! I have zero confidence in my ability to cook any form of seafood so I never do. Later on this month, for my birthday, I'm going to drag a friend or two out to eat shrimp and grits and maybe some fried flounder at my favorite restaurant. Gregg won't eat fish and hates the very thought of most seafood so I have to find friends to go with me for that which I'm happy to do.

    I love the dinosaur gleam in your chickens' eyes, too. Marco has that very same gleam. Of course, he considers himself far above mere chickens and will eagerly eat eggs. They're one of his favorite foods, the little cousin-cannibal. :)

  2. We eat fish and seafood regularly. We love it and I'm not too bad at cooking it but I completely understand your hesitancy.
    Hey! Marco isn't the only egg-eating bird. My chickens LOVE eggs. Especially scrambled. They eat their unborn.

  3. Wow - an impressive amount cleared from that fence! I haven't had shrimp étouffée in ages! I used to make it using a box of packaged spices and it was pretty good, but as good as from scratch. A couple of days I recreated a dish of Asian shrimp salad on cold soba noodles that turned out really well. Will definitely make it again. Enjoy your étouffée!

  4. "NOT as good as from scratch"

  5. I love fish and eat it as often as I can fit it into my budget.

    I used to have parakeets whose favorite food was hard-boiled egg yolks. Such little cannibals. They didn't seem to think it was wrong at all! Shocking.

  6. I was struck by the beauty of that hen and intended to remark on it, but you slipped in there first. I was struck by her beak matching her legs matching her eyes. Not to mention her name: Grace.

  7. I hope your experiment comes out well. Miss Grace is lovely.

  8. Waking up with congestion could indicate a reaction to the yard work on that jasmine. Could you take an antihistamine before going to bed? It might help. are you going to completely remove the plants?
    I hope your etouffee turns out well, I have no idea what that is, some kind of creamy soup? Google will tell me. Miss Grace is looking fine with her scaly dinosaur legs and giving you 'the eye'.

  9. Leroy Collins as a pall-bearer! That's definitely saying something.

    Miss Grace has a fine-looking comb, doesn't she? I'm not sure I realized hens have combs as well as roosters. I'm sure you've shown a million of them on the blog before but I just never registered that fact.

  10. Well done, Kate Sullivan! We all hope to be fondly remembered...
    Chickens look a bit fierce to me and I would be a bit afraid of one as they look like they could hurt me. Congrats on the yardwork progress!

  11. Miss Grace is a Fine looking Hen! Having a lovely Yard and Garden is indeed a Labor of Love, with the emphasis on Labor... but aren't they so worth it?

  12. I'll pass on the shrimp etoufee, I don't like seafood. But I would love to help out in the garden. We had a huge dump of snow last week but it is sunny out now. I'll have to wait for a couple of months to work much in the garden.


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