Life and Pets

Going to barbecue every damn thing …

I will explain, and you might think me rather simple-minded, or unduly fearful, or just inept.

We won a barbecue at a fundraiser in McBride six or eight years ago. That was a lucky thing, but after about two uses the automatic lighter button quit, and I have always been reluctant to light the thing. More than a year ago, I stopped trying altogether because, using the method I used, it would light with a “foom” or a whoosh which always startled and annoyed me.

Tonight, I announced that I was going to light the barbecue, and Gary said, “Wait… let me show you.”. Turns out that ALL THIS TIME, I have been using the wrong method, and I’m not being facetious here. The way I did it would fill the cavity of the barbecue with propane gas, and then adding the flame created a minor explosion.

It was an epiphany, I tell you! I ran back in the house to get the smokies wrapped in bacon, and some homemade baked beans, previously cooked, frozen and now thawed. I put them on the grill, then went back to dig out a whole pineapple that didn’t get served up at the anniversary party, and I put a dish full of cleaned garlic heads into foil (with a little olive oil and salt) to roast.

At this point I was quite sure that, with buns, we had enough on the grill for our supper. So I proceeded to lovingly baste the pineapple spears with a mixture of cognac and maple syrup, making sure to taste the cognac well to make sure it was good.

Even though this barbecue needs replacing and scorches in one spot while leaving things cold in others, I was patient and dedicated my time to watching the food and testing the quality of the cognac. Supper was delicious! Wait … is it okay if I say that?


The roast garlic is destined for tomorrow night’s barbecued dinner: we have strip loin steak and some baby potatoes that I can do something with. Perhaps we’ll have baby carrots too.


I have been selling kale by the armload. Gary and I decided two nights ago (after I tossed a handful of kale on our grilled vegetables to steam), that we do not need any more kale. He was asked why we “don’t like it”, and if he had tried it cooked a certain way. Gary replied that he had eaten it steamed, sauteed, made into spanakopita and baked into kale chips. We know that some folks have made cabbage rolls out of kale leaves, ground them and frozen in ice cube trays or added them to smoothies. We have had enough for the year. Maybe forever. But I’m glad to share with others! After all, it’s one of the healthiest foods.

This has seemed a long evening. I was waiting for Tippy and Gus to get picked up, and for Shuster to arrive.



Willy’s owners just phoned and asked if they could pick him up, as normally we close at 9. I appreciated them letting us know, but said that it was fine. Willy is now the “senior” dog in the home, and the two younger dogs went on a short holiday with the family; I think the old boy enjoyed the rest.



Today I finally made it over to my rental house to visit dear Linda and Rose, and to try to diagnose why the bathroom light fixture had water gather in it during/after the last rain storm. I took a ladder and looked around in the attic; I found a small puddle of water under batts of insulation, but it seemed nowhere near any wiring. I could not see any leak in the roof, nor any condensation. Since there was no water in the fixture, I proposed to turn it on and see what happened. It didn’t sputter or trip a breaker, and it lit up, so we pronounced the whole thing a mystery and enjoyed the rest of our visit. I still feel like I have fiberglass on my skin, so when Willy goes home… into the shower for me!

I just laughed and talked with Willy’s owners in the driveway for ten minutes. OMG they are fun and funny people. They have had their own share of trial and tribulation, but have witty and friendly spirits; I think they’d be the go-to people when one is sad!

Today I went to see about getting a permit for the demolition of Susan’s and my little old house. It’s pretty straight forward. I joked that if we just lean on one wall, the structure might fall down on its own.

The building inspector had a few ideas about a new construction for our lot. Nothing is carved in stone or even firm on paper. I’m sure that through the winter, Susan and I will both be sketching some designs and that we will agree on something by spring. The thing is, I actually suck at house design … I waffle between “anything will do” and “nothing seems right”. I came home from the hardware store with a couple of catalogues, and though I believe we know which contractor to employ (and not buy a kit), it gives me ideas. Also, I eventually returned about seven house design books to the local library, and I can borrow them again.

Guess I’m all chatted out again for the day. Thank you for reading my blog. Hope you are well.

Love, Ann

p.s. Thanks to Facebook, we have orders for more than 60 pounds of garlic already! Tomorrow I will look up some “regulars” from Jasper who have bought many pounds EACH in the past; I will find out if they are still interested or have been poached by others who grow garlic in the Valley.



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