Independence Day

Today was, of course, our second Saturday in a row. My hardworking husband chose to do a lot of yard work, including digging and installing a new hose line in the yard so I’ll have a spigot near my garden. He really hasn’t liked me dragging the long hose all over the yard. And of course the new setup will be more convenient for me too!

I did some sewing work and mostly tried to prepare ahead for this evening’s supper. Lina arrived at lunchtime and then spent quite a while outside in the hot sun keeping Walter company while he dug the water line. When he found he was missing a couple of parts he needed, the two of them went up to buy the parts—and also to stop by the snow cone place for a treat!

Meanwhile, Jasper was gone all afternoon having an airsoft battle with his friends.

As the afternoon wore on, we “seasoned” the new grill and then I could start using it. I had been marinating the chicken for about 24 hours and that takes longest to cook, so I put that in first. Later I added sausages and corn on the cob:

Not bad for our first meal on the new grill! I also made (hot) German potato salad and cauliflower salad to go with our meal. Spencer and Jade came over to join us and we didn’t do anything special except hang out as a family and then eat watermelon for dessert. I got out some sparklers but no one wanted to go out into the heat and light them, I guess. We’re pretty low key around here.

Starting Over

How was your Independence Day? Ours felt kind of like a Saturday. Walter went to work on floors. I cut Lina’s hair, then later took Jasper to Walmart to get some work pants, since he ripped the ones he was wearing yesterday.

I also did a bunch of knitting while waiting for Jasper to get up—on the project I started last night. And just as I used up the last of the first skein of yarn, I realized I had been following instructions for the wrong size and in fact had cast on the wrong number of stitches. Grrr! I had to rip out all my hard work and start all over again. I hate it when that happens.

Lina and I watched some Netflix while I worked on re-knitting what I had already knitted, and she worked on sorting all of our playing cards. We had a drawer full of card decks left over from chai party days. She was able to put together 17 complete decks of cards! I think some of them will be going to a thrift store. I certainly can’t imagine ever needing that many again!

I made homemade ice cream and corn on the cob and cauliflower “potato” salad. I chickened out of grilling the sausages out in the heat though, especially as there were only three of us. Spencer and Jade had other plans, and Jasper was invited over to a friend’s house for the evening.

We finished up by watching a video while Lina and I knitted, and then I cut out some pattern pieces in hopes that I’ll be able to cut out fabric tomorrow. I have an idea for a dress design but I needed a pattern to base it on. Of course, I still have a jillion things to do before I start teaching again next week . . . .

Independence Day

Didn’t today feel like Saturday? It sure did to me. My thoughts were on the other side of the ocean today as people in the UK gathered to celebrate the life of Joan Hoyte. Wish I could have been there! One of those who did attend posted a video of the people there singing the Sakeji School hymn, “Come Children of Sakeji.” I cannot sing or even hear that song without crying. So many deep feelings and a host of memories go with it.

I went to Walmart first thing this morning to get the last few things I needed. Corn on the cob was ten cents an ear!

We had a few sprinkles this morning but by the time I returned from Walmart, it was just overcast and breezy so I went ahead and put in some more time weeding and trenching before I took my shower. I also beat lots of air into the ice cream I made last night so it would be ready by suppertime tonight.

After lunch, Lucy and I made a quick run up to Hobby Lobby and then to a fireworks store to get sparklers. I want to have them to celebrate our last chai party ten days from now!

Later this afternoon, I got some coals going in the grill and then attempted grilling my first whole chicken. I have one of those metal stands that are designed for putting a beer can in. Instead I used a metal cup with a little bit of wine and some freshly-snipped rosemary. It was hard fitting the chicken down over the cup, but I managed it.

I roasted it on the grill over indirect heat with the lid closed. I had looked up instructions, and they said that you should grill it for about 45 minutes at 375º. Well . . . it looked great after 45 minutes at 500º, but the interior temperature was nowhere near where it needed to be. Half an hour later I brought it inside, but it still wasn’t done inside and I had to microwave it to finish cooking it.

I admit I was skeptical about that 45 minute time estimate. My personal guess would have been two hours, and I think that is more realistic! Next time I will plan accordingly.

But anyway, we had plenty of hamburgers and hot dogs, and Greek salad made with my own cucumbers and corn on the cob and chips, etc. And later, there was watermelon and homemade ice cream, a movie and sparklers.

Sometimes things that happen in this country are very frustrating or saddening to me. But to be honest, there’s no other nation I’d rather belong to. Happy Birthday, America!


Memorial Day

Yesterday (Sunday) was Lina’s birthday, so in the afternoon we started a video chat and Flynn also joined in. In this house, we took turns talking to Lina, who was spending her last birthday in Africa. Next year we can help her celebrate in person!

Since I had done so much cooking on Saturday, there was little to do in the kitchen and I could enjoy chatting with Lina and working on my new knitting project.

Today we all slept in at least a little, since no one had to work (well, not at their paying jobs). I continued to work through my very lengthy to-do list. I’m making headway! I had to run some errands and Lucy came with me for this afternoon’s foray to two different craft stores. I took advantage of sales to buy more lights for Mercy’s wedding.

Since it is Memorial Day, I got a fire going in the grill before supper and grilled some hamburgers and hot dogs. I got fancy with the hot dogs and wrapped each sausage in bacon before putting them on the grill. They were a big hit!

I tried cooking corn on the cob in the slow cooker for the first time, and that was also successful. I was kind of sorry I didn’t get to eat any (corn being one of the many things I can’t eat).

While the family enjoyed more homemade ice cream, I went out for my walk and watched the beautiful almost-full moon as it rose. I never tire of looking at the moon.

Tomorrow I plunge back into the final four days of my class. Today was a nice little break.