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July 19, 2015

This and That

I feel antsy. On the flip side, my enthusiasm for any damn thing is sorely lacking. Is this a summer thing?
Has the heat just sucked the life from me and the antsy is from wanting to move to some cooler clime? 

A friend from my former work out place has a glioblastoma. People do survive them, but I have not known any of them (personal experience with two people + two friend's fathers + Ted Kennedy). I'd LOVE to be absolutely wrong on this one. Two things in his favor are his age (33) and being in extremely good shape.

And dear Alice is in hospice. Sigh.

Wish this was more cheery. Well, let's try, shall we?

Recently discovered e-cloth products. They really do what they say they do - clean using just water. Windows: wet cloth cleans, dry cloth dries streak free. The mop works as well and with less hassle than the steam cleaner and again, streak free (the cats are all scared to death of this silent bringer-of-danger. Too funny). The e-cloth for eyeglasses: MUCH better than the microfiber cloths that come with your glasses - no smearing. The general cleaning cloth works fantastic on bathroom sinks, the inside of the microwave, the outside of the dishwasher and fridge, and the inside oven window. The dust cloth: I swear things stay dust free longer. So the Swiffer products are out (e-cloths are good for at least 300 washes). Also many of the cloths are multi-purpose. You don't have to get all crazy like me. The best part - all with a minimally amount of elbow grease on my part. Dudes, I am lazy.

Okay, I'm semi-enthused about something.

Less than enthusiastic about insects:
Ants! The ants have been awful this year, I can't seem to get rid of them. Usually they make an appearance for a few days, maybe a week. But this year - months of them!
One thing that kills them instantly (but sadly does not prevent a repeat performance) is Biokleen's Bac-Out Stain and Oder Remover. I mean they are dead immediately. Yesterday I bought some diatomaceous earth to sprinkle around the doors and windows. And this morning there were still ants. Ergh. (wonder if there's a connection to my being antsy...)

Also a first this year, a cockroach! I have a plastic one the cats like to scoot around (found it in my bedroom a few weeks ago - scared the shit out of me), but the other night there was a real one. Ewwwww. I do not miss that about Florida.

And I had a yellow jacket nest in the yard. Y'all know how I feel about those. Poor Wesley, the lawn guy, discovered it and got stung in the back of the head for his trouble. The next day a friend's husband came and dispatched it. I still eye the tree warily when I pull in. (it was in the base of the tree right next to my driveway)

I've been on a shrub making kick; shrubs are vinegar based drinks. I've made blackberry/raspberry, cherry lime vanilla, peach ginger, and there's a blueberry "cooking". The blackberry/raspberry was my favorite so far (it went with prosecco really well). There seem to be two schools of thought on the method: one is letting the fruit and sugar blend in the fridge (actually the counter, but ANTS!) for a week or more before straining and adding vinegar. The other is adding all the ingredients at once and letting them sit for 4-5 weeks. The second method seems to overwhelm the flavor of the fruit.
The basic recipe is 2 cups fruit to 1 cup each of sugar and vinegar. I back off the sugar some, especially with sweeter fruits like peaches and cherries. Dilute your finished product with  water (sparkling or otherwise) to taste. Alcohol works too (see above).
You can use whatever vinegar suits your fancy; I've been using apple cider (with the Mother). A strawberry lavender with balsamic vinegar sounds delicious. Hmmm, might have to try that.

Well, that's it for now. Stay cool, kids.

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