Yesterday was really productive, so much so that I didn’t have the time or energy to post about it when it was over, but I want to share, so here goes!

I started my day as I usually do these days, with the (gluten-free) waffles my father insisted on buying in bulk when they were on sale for “gas points”.  For those who don’t know, gas points are a promotion grocery stores share with gas stations in which buying more groceries from one particular store gives consumers a discount on gasoline at the pump.  My father is obsessed with this for some reason (though we can afford not to be, blegh), and so he bought me more gluten-free waffles than I could possibly finish in a month without making the conscious decision to eat them.  For reference, I had previously had two boxes of waffles in the freezer, and had the intention of eating all of them over the course of one month.  Now, after having eaten waffles nearly every morning for the past three weeks, I have only eleven boxes remaining.  That’s twenty-two days’ worth of these waffle sandwiches.

Let me talk about these waffle sandwiches, actually.  I really enjoy them.  I had a few bags of stale (kosher/pescetarian) marshmallows sitting around, which tasted fine but were too crunchy, so I soaked them in water for a few minutes before adding them to the waffles to toast.  I like this recipe so much that I’ll probably post it as its own recipe at some point.

Our deck furniture has, over the years, become worn and rotten.  After having had it for two years, the paint needed to be refinished, but my mother is stubborn and decided it didn’t, so it didn’t get refinished…and now it has gotten to the point at which our table has fallen apart from all the rot.

So we made a new table.

My parents both have absolutely no experience in anything handy around the house, so my mother hired her gardener to do it, rather than learn to do it herself or ask me.  It wasn’t as if it was very difficult to take this plank of wood, round off the edges, sand it, and stain it, hm?

Well, actually, that umbrella hole was really impressive.  Not that it was round, but that the guy made it with a jig saw.

Since I was not to help with the table, I instead worked on our fig trees.  This past winter was really hard on them, and most of their branches had died off due to the unexpected cold right after the budding leaves appeared.  This was the third year in a row that the weather harmed the trees so much.

What used to be a lush tree about my height has now been reduced to a thick, leafy shrub.  Most of those remaining, taller branches are actually dead (they turn red when they stop producing chlorophyll), but the tree needs a bit of a guide to continue growing, so I left the ones that did not seem to be harming the tree.  I’m sure we’ll get some figs this year, but I’m not so certain of how many.

This other tree is actually not supposed to be here, and we suspect it started growing accidentally after the previous owners of the house dropped a fig or two here.  Notice that wood to the left in the image?  That’s the main footpath in the backyard.  Every time this tree grows, it completely obscures the footpath, making it significantly easier to climb over the bushes than to walk up the steps.  The tree was completely cut down when we moved in over a decade ago, so we didn’t know it was there for the first year.  After two or three years, we found it too, and also tried to destroy it.  It turns out that it’s really hard to kill a fig tree, so we let it grow.  Last year, it was almost as big as the one in the first picture had been, but the winter really hurt this one too, and now it, too, is just a mass of leaves growing out of the ground around a stump.  I did my best to make this tree thrive, but we really should just move the path at this point, because trying to trim the tree specifically not to run over a path right next to it is absurd.

I also restored the canopy and couch cushion to their rightful place on the couch swing.  This swing actually annoys me quite a bit, because my mother has insisted for the past five years that we must remove all of the cushions from the outdoor furniture every time it rains. The metal frame of this swing is getting rusty now, because the canopy was designed to protect it from rain.  It still felt sturdy when I stood on it to raise the canopy, but I don’t weight that much, so I really don’t know how much structural integrity has been lost.  It should be able to hold three people of any weight comfortably, provided that the three people can all fit on the swing.

I also made a salad for dinner last night for myself and my mother (though my father would never touch anything like this).  The dressing was homemade, out of a lemon, half a lime, and some olive oil:

And the salad was a cooked-from-frozen salmon fillet, mixed “power” greens (whatever that means, it was spinach, chard, and kale, the only three salad greens I will eat), tomatoes, strawberries, blackberries, dried cranberries, dried cherries, and almonds, with goat cheese on top.  I was going to sprinkle it on top, but it kind of just fell out of the package in sloppy slices, hence my chunks.