Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fruit Fly Season - The Perfect Trap

As the fruit fly season gets underway, many people will start to see an influx in these pesky gnats.

The best treatment is prevention. They are attracted to any sort of rotting fruit or garbage as a place to lay their eggs. These eggs take only a day or two to hatch, so you can see how quickly a few flies turn into an infestation. When prevention (aka cleanliness) has been put by the wayside, this simple "fly trap" will do wonders.

Grab a Tupperware container. Place one tiny drop of soap on the bottom and then pour enough vinegar into the container to cover the bottom with about 1/8 of an inch of vinegar. Stir the soap into the vinegar. The vinegar attracts the flies while the soap traps them onto the surface of the liquid. Once you've created this solution, place seran wrap over the top and secure it with a rubberband. Poke a few tiny holes in the seran wrap. This will allow the flies to enter, but will make it difficult for any of the fruit flies that don't stick to the liquid to get out.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Life After Loss - One Year Later

It's been one year since my dad's death. I hate that this year is over, but at the same time I'm so glad I no longer have to go through what I went through in that one year. The hours and days after his death he felt so far away, yet still so touchable. His side of the bed still had the imprint of the last time he slept there. The back of his office chair where his head rested still smelled like him. His shampoo bottle was less than half-used. The magazine on his nightstand was open to the article he was still reading. There were beers in the fridge that only he liked. There was still his water bottle sitting on the passenger side seat of the car, waiting for him after he finished his run. Everything was as if he had just been here and was going to come right back. He was still alive through all of his unfinished "business".

Losing that "touchableness" provides another grieving process. When the sheets get washed and his smell disapates. When the beers are drunk by visitors who come to mourn with us and the shampoo gets used. Are you supposed to go out and buy more beer so the supply never ends or just allow yourself to enjoy the last few sips with friends that knew him best. Allowing yourself to let go of his everyday and realizing there's no need to restock his life is hard, but necessary.

While he no longer felt "touchable" in those next 11 months, at least you could still look back on "this time last year" and think about what he was doing then. He still felt nearby. Just a short hop, skip, and a moment away. Today, after 5pm, I no longer have a "this time last year". That comfort is gone.

I don't even know what I'm supposed to do with myself today. So I've decided I should spend this time trying to figure out what the next year will consist of.

One thing that I need to do better with is appreciating what I have. Yes me, who now knows the value of a person, still needs to be better at appreciating them. I spent so much time mourning over my loss, and rightfully so, that I'd forgotten to truly appreciate what I still have. It's funny, death slaps you in the face - reminding you to treasure every moment you have with people and you think you're so much more aware of what can happen now. Yet even having gone through this, I realize I sometimes overlook what I still have by obsessively mourning over what I don't. I've neglected who's left as I desperately cling to the memory of who I've lost.

This next year I want to look back on every Dad memory with a smile rather than tears. Hopefully doing that will free up the time I spent in a daze to instead appreciate everyone I'm blessed with. I know better than many how precious this time with them is and how short that time can be. So I can officially say I've finally gotten the message my dad spent the last year trying to teach me.

This is not to say I will "move on" or not think about him, or even still, not have my moments of uncontrollable tears. Because I will and I still want to. I've always been appreciative of sadness after death. After all, if I wasn't as sad as I am and for as long as I will be, then that would mean I hadn't loved him as much. The more you mourn the more they meant to you. That's how I look at it. But I truly do need to appreciate everything I have left. I need to live in the moment with memories of the past rather than living in the past and missing out on my memories of the moment.

A big thank you to everyone who has reminisced with me this past year. Every story you've told and every tear you've shed with me has meant more than I could ever tell you. I appreciate you and look forward to living life making memories with you!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Popping Corn On The Cob

What do I love doing more while driving through the countryside  than forcing the hubby to listen to Nicky Minaj's "Super Bass" repeatedly? Stopping at little road-side fruit stands to pick up fresh produce. It's grown locally and the only thing fresher would be to walk out behind their booth and pick the fruit right from the field.

One recent Sunday while driving through western New York, we did just that. We picked up the staple corn on the cob, a box of the freshest raspberries I've ever had (should have bought another one), and something that I've never tried before. Popping corn on the cob. The owner said the corner was specific for popping and all she did to prepare it was de-husk and dry it out. The pre-popped version looks just like regular corn with hardened kernels.

The owner then instructed us to put each ear of corn in their individual brown paper lunch bag, roll the end over several times and cook in the microwave under the popcorn setting for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Her instructions were perfect and the popcorn turned out great! Season with salt and butter or any other popcorn seasonings you prefer! Each ear of corn cost $0.75 and produced just as much popcorn as a bag would provide.

Aside from general snacking purposes, these popping corns would be a great accent to handmade fall gift baskets. Just add ribbon!