paying tribute to the yard waste gods

Some Disney movies should not be seen by young children. I mean, poor Bambi, losing his mother in the forest fire. One Disney movie that younger children should not see is Darby O’Gill and the Little People. The only part of the movie that I recall is near the end, when Darby has called the Death Coach because his wife is very ill and he doesn’t want to see her suffer. But by the time the Death Coach shows up she has gotten better. Problem is, when the Death Coach is called someone has to get in. So Darby does, allowing his wife to live. And they let six-year-olds see this stuff? Really?

This has everything to do with yard waste.

yard waste toterWe put three toters on trash day: trash, recycling, and yard waste. A couple of years ago our disposal company, CR&R, expanded the yard waste to include food waste as well. They have built a state-of-the-art facility that turns yard waste and food waste into natural gas (which helps to power CR&R’s trucks) and fertilizer.

I make sure that there is yard waste to put out each week. First of all, our yard needs that much maintenance in any case. And second, I fear the consequences of not putting out the yard waste toter. As in Darby O’Gill, the yard waste gods have their demands and must be appeased.

And besides, I am doing a Good Thing. Our yard waste and food waste are made good use of and turned into fertilizer and natural gas. I like contributing to the cause in that way.

farewell to a local institution

I believe that I am correct in stating that DJ’s Restaurant here in Hemet was the longest continuously operating locally-owned restaurant in the San Jacinto Valley. That ended at 3:00 p.m. on October 31. We almost lost DJ’s once before a couple of years ago, but they were able to work things out with the landlord. This time the landlord wanted a ten-year lease, and that was just too much for owner Grace at her age.

DJs signIt’s a shame. The family, that is, Terry and I, my brother Brian and sister-in-law Bobbie, my dad, and sometimes Bobbie and Brian’s son Eric and his daughter, get together regularly for breakfast on Saturday. If my brother calls and asks me where I’d like to go and we haven’t been to DJ’s in the past couple of weeks that is always my suggestion.

Grace, her daughter, and other crew members, many of them family members, are great hosts. The food is tasty, down home local restaurant fare and the service first-class.

DJ’s is not replaceable. We will miss it.

Tasha, the continuing story

As an Episcopalian I am very conscious of November 1st being All Saints’ Day. However, on November 1 I always write here about Tasha, our child, the beagle-terrier mix. We brought Tasha home from the shelter on November 1, 2005. She is still going strong.

TashaWe appreciate her now more than ever. Terry recently had knee replacement surgery at Kaiser Hospital in Riverside, about a fifty minute drive from here in light traffic. To be at the outpatient surgery center at the appointed time we had left here about 5:20 a.m. It turned out that Terry’s actual surgery time was much later than we expected, and then it took longer than hoped for Terry to be in good enough condition to work with the physical therapist. By the time Terry was actually released it was the middle of rush hour traffic. No fifty minute drive there. It was close to 6:00 p.m. by the time we got home.

We had never, ever, left Tasha at home for so long before. We were concerned about how she would do. There was no sign of her when we came in the front door, but Terry called her and she came trotting in to greet us. Seems she must have been quietly snoozing on the back patio while we were away.

Tasha knew at one that all was not right with Terry and immediately took up her role as protector, keeping and eye on Terry and staying close by. Tasha is our loyal, loving dog.

And Terry, she’s doing great.

more on grocery delivery

I wrote a while back about grocery delivery. I noted that it was very useful for Terry and me when we lived in Gilroy and both commuted into Silicon Valley. I said that when I started working from home delivery was no longer so important. I wrote about grocery delivery becoming available here in Hemet and stated that while it would be great for people who weren’t able to get out of the house I enjoyed doing my own shopping.

instacartI did have occasion to use the Instacart delivery service last week when I couldn’t get out of the house. Terry had just had knee replacement surgery and I needed to be home and look after her for the first few days.

The results were mixed. The Instacart system is very sophisticated. It tracks the status of your order every step of the way. And you are in real-time text message communication with your shopper for issues as they arise. My shopper was less than the most efficient. She said that the store didn’t carry my favorite cereal when in fact it does I buy it there all the time. My personal-size frozen pizza needed a substitution, but the substituted pizza was full-size, not personal.

It seems that the system is only as good as your shopper. I did get a response to the feedback I submitted about the errors, but it was not terribly satisfying.

My feeling is unchanged. I prefer going to the store and doing my own shopping.


Map My Tracks screen shotI know the importance of exercise and make a point of doing it regularly. My normal routine is to walk three days a week and to do yard work one. Sometimes, however, life interferes.

Terry had knee replacement surgery on Tuesday. I got my walk in on Monday. Tuesday was a long day, leaving the house before 5:30 a.m. and not getting home until nearly 6:00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday I needed to stay close by and take care of Terry. On Friday I was getting antsy and missing my exercise. Terry was doing well enough that I could take thirty minutes away and do my walk. That felt good.

The nice thing for me, though, was that I was missing my exercise. So I suppose I’m doing something right.

more than just food handling

I wrote a while back about changing the food handling gloves I was using to a more expensive but much better-fitting product.

food handling glovesI really love the new gloves and use them frequently. What I’ve learned is that they’re good for more than just food handling.

When I repair something with super glue I am not the most dexterous. I tend to get the glue on my fingers which is a real annoyance and a pain to get off. Using the gloves takes care of that.

I recently opened the battery compartment of our label maker to change the batteries. I saw that one battery had leaked. I put on two gloves to clean up that mess.

They’re great to have on hand.

a disappointing season

container gardenMy blog and Facebook friend who lives on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe (I am terribly envious) recently wrote about the success she and her husband had this year with their vegetable garden. I wish that I could say the same.

Terry puts a lot of work into our container garden. She plants things like tomatoes which she doesn’t even like because she knows that I enjoy them. She has planted bell peppers, Anaheim chilies,and other vegetables as well. The results this year were disappointing. We got a few small tomatoes early in the season, the occasional bell pepper, and some Anaheim chilies recently. There is, in fact, a nice tomato coming on right now, and some bell peppers on the way. And we do have an ongoing supply of green onions, which I enjoy. But that’s really been it.

I don’t know what the secret is but we certainly didn’t find it this year.