Monday, November 12, 2012

Learning the Ukulele Update I

   I have finally managed to commit to memory the the first verse of the Hawaiian War Chant. I've also managed to pick up enough ukulele chords to play the song.  What I can't do yet is sing the song and play the ukulele at the same time.  However, I still have about 8 months before cousin camp to work out the bugs.  The other Hawaiian song I'm learning right now is Pearly Shells. I can play most of that song, but I still have three bar chords I need to master. The goal is to actually have somewhat of a Hawaiian repertoire by the time we do cousin camp.

   I enjoyed a day off today and spent a good part of the day raking leaves and spreading wet leaves and straw onto my garden beds. I was so pleased with the results of sheet composting this past year that I have sworn off roto-tillers.  I've never had such an easy time keeping up with the weeding as this past summer. I didn't have to spend all summer pulling up grass in my vegetable beds. Sheet composting involves a layer or two of heavy cardboard, covered with 3 inches or more of leaves, straw, spoiled hay, and other organic matter. Then I spread dolomite lime and or bone meal before I cover the whole thing with a few inches of well rotted horse manure. The nice thing is that I can do all of this soil prep during the fall and winter when I have more time available.  When spring rolls around all I have to do is rake the soil into raised rows and plant. The worms do a pretty good job moving the organic matter around and loosening the soil such that there is no need to roto-till. I do the raised rows so I'm not compacting the soil where the veggies are growing.

   I'm planning on progressing from "pseudo" to semi retired this coming year. If it works out well I will be working part time at the bee store and hopefully spending more time with grand children and  puttering in my garden. I hope to be able to work only one week per month except for the busy season at the bee store, namely March, April, and May.

   I baked two pies this afternoon, one apple and one heavenly hazelnut. (The recipe for Heavenly Hazelnut pie is included in my blog post dated 5/31/2010.)  Linda and I had been invited for dinner and Family Home Evening with my son's family in Monroe. We brought the pies for dessert.  My daughter-in-law fixed a wonderful dinner featuring a marmelade chicken dish that was so good that four year old Lucy dubbed it as dessert chicken.  The chicken was served with garlic mashed potatoes from the Julia Child cookbook. Two entire heads of garlic and a whole cube of butter made the potatoes much more that a mere side dish. Apparently the recipe contained a warning from Julia that if less than two heads of garlic were used it would be regretted. If the chicken hadn't be so yummy, the garlic potatoes could have qualified as the main attraction. We definitely experienced no regrets. After a lovely dinner we enjoyed a great family night with 6 year old Britton teaching the lesson. She told us the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den. A good time was had by all.

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