Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pepper and The Beast

It's no surprise that unless something gets written on the calendar, it's most likely completely off the radar for me. This last weekend, even though something was written on the calendar, I had neglected to switch pages from October to November. This is what happens.

It's not unusual for Saturdays to be filled with a plethora of activities. Even though it's not a natural skill, I really try to keep organized. So, last Saturday, when Joy wanted to go to the homecoming football game, there was a statuary and fountain shop in the general area of the stadium that I had been wanting to visit. (The idea that our kiddie wading pool might not be in keeping with the improved patio prompted the visit.) So after we dropped off Joy at the game, Reese and I went shopping for a bona fide pond. I had done some online research, and knew prices, sizes, and types...just wanted to see the product before committing to a permanent backyard fixture. Turns out that the original black plastic/fiberglass pond that I had wanted to buy (online) was ugly. So we next looked at the top of the line cement pond, and boy oh boy was it expensive!

It just so happened that next door to the fountain shop was a hardware/feed store. (That wasn't in my research.) It just so happened that they had galvanized steel cattle troughs on display in front. It also just so happens that a galvanized steel cattle trough looks an awful lot like a garden landscape pond -- only it is significantly less expensive. Guess what we bought and tied on top of the suburban? That's right, a 6' wide by 2' high galvanized steel cattle trough. It is a wonderful container and will be our new fountain pond! It's so huge that so far, it's called The Beast.

Being totally preoccupied with the beast in the back yard, I was confused and surprised to get a phone call at 9pm Saturday night. The phone call was a gentle reminder that I had agreed to feed a home cooked meal to 10-15 college students plus a few extras after church on Sunday.
"What? That's tomorrow?"
The ingredients for homemade spaghetti sauce were (thankfully) in the cupboard. Since this was being served to a crowd, I decided to double the recipe and follow it exactly, well, as exact as I ever get. The recipe calls for one and a half teaspoons of chili powder. Usually, I dump ingredients willy-nilly, but remembering that the sauce has been a little spicy the last few times it's been made, I was very careful to measure everything just so. By 10pm, it was in the crock pot to gently cook overnight. Very pleased, I went to bed confident that all was well prepared for lunch the next day.

When served, the phrase most often overheard was,
"Wow, this sauce is spicy."
In this blog, I've mentioned that I am no stranger to shopping at the 99 cent only store. Over the summer, I bought a jar of chili powder for 99 cents at the 99 cent only store. It is now my firm belief that instead of chili powder in the chili powder jar, the chili powder jar is filled with none other than cayenne pepper. Like the beast, this sauce has it's own personality!

Back to the is so large that it created a new set of problems for the design of the patio. The original plans just would not work. The next couple of days were spent playing around with the placement of the beast in relation to the patio flagstone. When I got the beast in the right place, the stones were all wrong. Finally -- an epiphany! It's not even close to being finished, but in the photo one can see the basic design taking shape. In the top left corner of the photo is the beast. I'll add a bit more to the brick work, and expand the edges a bit...but this is the basic idea. The Amazing Reese volunteered to help dig a hole in the backyard for the beast. I'm having his affidavit notarized this afternoon.


Betsy Bryan said...

Hahahahaha! First of all, this organization method has got to be a Mills thing. Even though I write things on the calendar, and even look at the calendar, I still forget things. Drives me crazy. Secondly, I love the cattle trough on the top of the car. Can't wait to see the final product. When I first looked at the picture, I didn't notice the car and thought it was a giant spring form pan. Cheesecake, anyone?

Sarah Hazel said...

It DOES look like a giant spring form pan! Yum...cheesecake.

ehaze said...

i'm excited to see it in two short weeks!

J. said...

Oh my gosh, this post is funny. I'm glad I'm not the only one to get into those kinds of pickles (though I have yet to try to lash a trough to the top of my 'Ru). The stone is *beautiful*. Did you draw it out first?

Sarah Hazel said...

For the longest time, I couldn't figure out what the design should be....then, as silly as it sounds, I dreamed about it. So, the design was in my head but not drawn out on paper.
When it came time to lifting all the stones and adding landscape sand underneath, I did print this exact photo. This giant stone puzzle mosaic wasn't fitting back together as well as it should have... until I started matching the stone shaped patterns in the photo to the actual project.