The tree in our backyard finally met its demise last week.
When I first moved into this house, the tree was a very pretty, leafy sugar maple. The only real downside was that it cast so much shade on the yard, it was tough to get any grass to grow.
Over the last four years our lawn has gotten progressively greener, as the tree got progressively more unhealthy. This year it hardly had any leaves at all, so we called an arborist. It turned out our tree was suffering from a wicked case of root girdling and was beyond the point of salvation. The tree had to be removed.
So we hired a tree service to take down the tree. Since we have a wood burning stove in our basement, I asked the guys to leave us some of the wood. And they did. They left us approximately 75% of the tree… in 8-9 foot lengths. Not exactly useful.
So yesterday I went out and bought a chainsaw, then spent three hours cutting the limbs into manageable chunks and stacking them neatly near our ‘regular’ wood pile (since this wood is somewhat greener, I didn’t want to stack it on top of all our seasoned wood). That is hot, heavy work! I was supposed to run four miles afterwards. Yeah… that didn’t happen.
2 c rolled oats 1/4 c brown sugar 1/2 t cinnamon 1/2 t salt
1/4 c honey 3 T vegetable oil 1 t vanilla
1/2 c peanuts 2/3 c raisins 1/4 c sunflower seeds 1/4 c semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together until well combined. In a separate bowl, mix the honey, oil and vanilla together until smooth. Create a well in the dry mixture and pour the wet mixture in. Combine (hands help). For clumpier granola, add a splash of water and work it in.
Spread out evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and bake again until the oats are golden brown (10-15 more minutes). Allow the oats to cool for 10-15 minutes, then break apart into pieces of the desired size. Mix in the peanuts, sunflower seeds, and raisins. Allow to cool completely (I use the freezer to speed things up) and then add chocolate chips.
Granola will keep for about a week in an airtight container at room temperature, a couple of weeks in the fridge, and for several months in the freezer.
Amanda and I were in a wedding last weekend: our friends Scott and Roxi are now officially and legally Scoxi (I’m going with Scoxi because it sounds better than Rott)! It was a beautiful ceremony and I had a great time. It was nice to be involved.
We helped clean up after the wedding on Sunday. There was half a keg of Fat Tire left over. So… I sorta had a bunch of beer at the house over the weekend. The original plan was to have a few people over to help, but Amanda wasn’t feeling great (and I wasn’t feeling social, frankly), so I did what I could to lessen the keg’s burden. I didn’t make that great of a dent.
Amanda and I had tickets to the 80/35 festival on Sunday, but it was rainy and we were tired, so we sold our tickets on Craigslist to a nice couple who drove in from Omaha for the show. I’m glad the tickets got used.
My home computer died yesterday morning. I restarted it after installing a couple of Windows updates, and it never came back on. It never got past the BIOS screen (way before loading Windows, which is a Bad Sign); it would start loading the BIOS stuff, then restart and do it all over again, over and over. I tried clearing the CMOS, and now it doesn’t even get to the BIOS screen (a Worse Sign). So it looks like I’ll be rebuilding a computer in the near future. Lame.
Amanda is taking a bus to Minneapolis this weekend - it gets her out of driving, and her mom was heading our way on Sunday anyway, so it works out well. She’s going to a bridal shower, so I’ll not be coming along. I have two bachelor parties to choose from Saturday night, though, so I’ll be plenty social.