Preparations, Day 1 and 2 - The Lyorn's Den
Tue Nov. 27th, 2012
12:38 am - Preparations, Day 1 and 2
I didn't plan to do anything move-related on Saturday. Instead I went shopping for presents, had gingerbread, looked for something nice to wear for the holidays and ended up trying on fascinating and far too expensive clothes for two whole hours. One outfit made me look like the best-dressed pirate who ever sailed the seven seas, but I'd have to rob a galleon loaded with Spanish gold to pay for it. The others were not quite as remarkable, unless you count a dress that did not make me look like a drag queen as remarkable. I did not buy anything.
In the evening, I baked sage muffins: Peeled and cleaned two medium-sized pears, diced them and cooked them with about two tablespoons of water for 15 minutes. Pears do not pulp when you cook them, so I beat them with an eggbeater until they were kind-of pulpy. The result was about 180 grams of pear pulp, which I let cool.
I melted 100 grams of butter, chopped up a handful of dried sage leaves, and found 12 small fresh sage leaves still on the plant on the balcony, which I kept for later. Stirred the chopped leaves into the butter, let it cool until it was barely fluid.
Mixed 250 grams of dark wheat flour, two teaspoons of baking soda, one teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of ground black pepper in a bowl. Then, put in three eggs, added the butter and the pear pulp. Beat it into a dough quickly, filled it into my trusty silicone muffin forms, put a small fresh sage leave and some coarse salt on the top and baked them for about 25 minutes at 180°C in the pre-heated oven.
While the oven was still hot I prepared a butternut squash as per the "Rhapsody in Butter"-posting.
Snow and N___ came while the pumpkin was in the process of becoming food. We ate, and played some downtime for their characters. And that was mostly it, "it" being Saturday.
For Sunday I had, first of all, scheduled a nice breakfast. Which I had. Then I read Saturday's newspaper, practised on the guitar, met a student who was interested in the kitchen furniture -- my landlord says the kitchen has to go when I leave, and while it is 40 years old, it would be a shame to put it on the trash. It's solid beech wood, well made, and does not show its age.
After that, I went to the gym. I had given up on Stage 7 of "New Rules of Lifting for Women". I had done the six workouts, was not happy, did five of them again, was not happy, delayed doing the sixth one week after another, and finally said, "to hell with it".
I started on "New Rules of Lifting for Abs" now. Let's see what will come out of it.
Came back, did housework, ate pasta, sorted through my collection of Euro coins and put all the doubles, triples and quadruples in a bag to get them exchanged at the bank. I also sorted through a heap of books to find those that I have not read in 20 years and will never read again. I entered about one hundred titles in a book buyer's sit. They accepted 31, and while I attempted to finish the transaction, the site crashed. went to bed frustrated.
Monday I started in earnest at my to-do-list. Got up at half past eight, had breakfast (I got into the habit of having breakfast), cooked tea and set down with a list of people to call.
- Vet: She had some stuff to make the move easier on the cats. I picked it up in the afternoon.
- Health care provider: Noted my new address and was generally nice.
- Utility company: Noted the change of address and will send offers for better rates.
- Car insurance: Noted my new address and will send offers for better rates.
- Landlord: I don't need to clean or refurbish the kitchen, they will do it.
- Cat net guy: Will have a look at the new place on Thursday evening.
- Tax aid office: Got an appointment for Dec 11th.
Not that successful calls:
- Home insurance: They said they would call. Haven't heard from them yet, but at least I found the correct phone number after listening to "please hold the line" for 60 minutes
- Painter: Did not return my call.
- Owner association guy: Did not return my call
- Trash removal: Can give exactly one appointment in all of December. And of course they want everything listed beforehand, and all items taken apart and sorted into their component materials: Wood, metal, plastic, what-have-you. These guys are off their rocker.
- Phone company: Changing the phone to the new place will take four weeks. That means I won't have internet or a land line from Dec 10th to New Year's Day. Just brilliant. Exactly what I need when I'm having to organise a million things. I have to call someone higher up and find something to threaten them with.
In the afternoon I drove into town. It was grey and damp and I did not feel up to bicycling.
- Got rid of empty batteries and a broken energy saver light bulb (these things do not last as long as regular bulbs). I had been putting this off for, hm, years? Procrastination Girl, that's me.
- Exchanged more than 80 Euros worth of coins (!) at the bank. Others find spare change between the sofa cushions, I find it in my box of "interesting stuff"
- Got a small shovel and a pair of pruning shears which will come useful in getting the plants out of the pots on the balcony.
- Drove to the vet to pick up cat dope
- Left a few books in the exchange cupboard in town and took two from it ("The Book Thief" and "Smileys Leute")
- found that petrol was at 1,569 Euros per litre and filled up.
Monday is our regular RPG day, though I have to say that when we are playing at my place, it's more dinner than gaming. This time I made a simple pasta casserole. Snow had given me a 500 grams pack of conchiglioni, which are not good for cooking for one person. I had bought frozen spinach with onions, the type that comes in small, neat "bricks", and 200 grams of grated Emmental cheese. There were still two glasses (about 400 ml each) of Bolognese pasta sauce in the cupboard, and some parmesan cheese in the fridge.
I cooked the pasta very al dente, drained them, added some olive oil to the pot and let them cool off enough to touch. In the meantime, I greased the 4.5-litre casserole with a tiny bit of olive oil, and grated the parmesan. I then filled every conchiglione with a frozen spinach brick before putting it open-side-up into the form. I did not go for tidy, and it wasn't. Then I poured the sauce on, and covered it all, first with Emmental cheese, then with parmesan. Baked it at 220 degrees for about 25 minutes until the cheese started to brown.
It could have used more salt, but that was easily remedied. And despite using a very cheap pasta sauce, it was very good. I thought it would feed six, but in fact it barely fed five: Gwydion, who came late, only got half a serving.
We did not even get out the dice during play. We wrapped up one story: Introduced the envoys from a re-discovered people to a prince who owed the characters a favour, then attempted to collect the pay for their orginal task, from which they had somewhat deviated (they were hired to get a magical stone to end the drought -- they found the stone, but they had to give it to someone else to end the drought) and failed, and then left the country. Then got them into place for the next one (they are going to have to retrieve the missing grandmother of a barbarian queen -- that's what they believe, for now). We made a cut before they actually met the representative of the queen in the lazy trading post of Seisdrum (translates to "whatever"). With only four players, and this being the last session for the year, no use to start something no one will remember next time.
Tomorrow I will have to re-do a bunch of phone calls, check my work e-mail, and do some paperwork I have put off to "next week" for six months respectively one year. The moving company will send someone to estimate the amount of stuff that needs moving. I plan to tidy the balcony: Get rid of the now-dead plants and the old earth, the rotten apples and the layers of leaves. I will try again to sell some books, and maybe manage to declutter something else, too. Also, need to get a parcel to the post office, want to go to the gym, and have singing lessons in the evening. And maybe band practise afterwards.
I feel like a beaver gnawing through a particularly thick tree, but I'm making headway. The list is getting longer as more tasks come to mind, but stuff is getting done.
ETA: General edits. Shouldn't write at two in the morning, really.
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