Thursday, May 25, 2017

An Examined Life- Looking Back And Forward


I had a dream or vision the other night.  Falling asleep was difficult and I was tired. I don't know where this particular "thought" came from but it was visual and memorable.

I was on the ground (at work) looking up at myself floating higher and higher in a mist of sparkling gold dust.  I kept looking down at my body--my red frame eyeglasses.  And I kept saying "I thought I had more time".

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time--you know I am continually putting off doing things I might actually enjoy doing.  I spend too much time doing things that others could do just as well.  I feel compelled to be working and earning.  I (we) have enough of nearly everything--but Time it would seem.  I may not have enough Time.  I need to "re-calculate".

At work, I have been "cleaning out my work clothes closet" and bringing in company tees and sweatshirts.  To give to other employees.  My employer gives everyone two tees per year (times 10 years equals 20 tees)  Some of us do not have access to home laundry equipment.  How very grateful the girls were to have two more, each.  Used but clean.

Perhaps this is where the "dream" came from.  Clearing out the work space.  Searching for more quality time.  Re- Calculating as the voice on the navigation system keeps saying.

Today two carpenters are here nailing in the new hardwood floor in my master bedroom.  It looks wonderful.  And--miracles happen---the master bathroom vanity has been delivered.  And it's the right height, the right size and the right color.  And nothing is broken, scratched or dented.  The floor matched up perfectly to the bathroom tile floor.  They are working from the headboard side of the room toward the double closets.  That's when work will slow down.  Flooring goes into the closets. I could have kept it carpet--but..... this is the only time I will have a house to my personal specs.

I went to Walmart today to buy Aveeno soap.  They had it so I got two bars.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Working At Home Today- Plus Vegetable Gardening Tips


Working seems to be my only activity.  How did that happen?

The front porch is starting to look like a miniature nursery operation.  Seedlings Inc.  So many things out there and all looking happy.  My dahlia tubers are coming up.  And the tuberous begonias are over a foot tall.  Tomato and peppers seedlings are getting taller by the day.  Some are still only a few inches tall--the ones I started from seeds in the milk jugs.

I would like to get the onions into the ground today.  And I really need to haul bags of compost from the storage area over into the garden area and dump them into beds if my raised beds ever hope to look like the ones in the top photo (and I might get G to go with me in the truck to buy a half yard of compost).  And I think the beds in the photo have some sort of watering device attached to the tops of the hoops.  Why did I never notice that before?????

I also bought seed potatoes and want to grow potatoes this summer.  I waited too long last year and missed out.  If you want to grow potatoes--NO cow manure in your soil profile.  NONE.  Chicken poo is what they want.

I had pruned my blueberry bushes (very hard) a few weeks or months ago and they responded with a heavy load of berry flowers.  Which is a "very good" thing.  I need to feed them with Holly Tone. I also need to put on a heavy canvas coat and go into the blackberry thicket and prune that really HARD.  I am reminded of the thorns ripping the skin on my ankles bloody last summer as I picked berries.

I top coated my rhubarb plants with a heavy coat of blue crystals of Miracle Grow and they responded with a massive growth spurt.  Rhubarb LOVES fertilizer.  Yes, I heavily sprinkle the tiny plants with crystals and then walk away.  Rain and night dew melts the stuff into the plants and they go nuts and grow big fat stems and leaves.  Now--they grow while we wait for the June strawberry season and the sale table along the road to my house.  Just a card table, umbrella and a few ladies.  It's what Maine is really all about.

I am hoping to get my beet seeds into the ground today.  I "stole" some shims from the stockpile in the construction zone--how can I actually be stealing something I paid for?-- and split them to make long thin plant markers.  I think it will make the garden look "sharp". And remind me of what I planted--where.

The Herb Bed is now empty except for two lavender plants and a bunch of sage plants (all the mint has been removed to the front bed under the crab tree as ground cover).  The thyme my friend gave me as a gift is dry.  Dry equals dead. I am not replacing it because--truth be told--I don't like the taste of thyme in my food.  Once I add some additional soils I can try and make a "design" in the bed.  Like divisions or squares.  For parsley, dill, calendula, violets, lavender, sage, marigolds (red ones), chives, and a herb I purchased--and have thriving--but have forgotten what it is exactly. (*winter savory)  It's something you add to spiced nuts.  Oh, and I am forgetting the tarragon and marjoram on the back steps.  Still in pots from overwintering.  And the rosemary and bay leaves in clay pots. I also need to plant some basil.  Six squares by two squares.

ACK!!!!! So much to do--so little actual time to do it.  But ONCE it's done--I can just water, weed and pick.  Just.............laughing is better than crying.




Sunday, May 21, 2017

Friday's Shopping Adventure


South Street Linen.  They have a website.  All linen.  Very strong color and pattern (when there is a pattern) and the clothing has "style" which is never easy to find these days.  Everything looks like jogging wear.

Today I was determined to get some vegetable seeds into the ground.  Only carrots.  The beds need work and additions of more compost.  So---I wait to see how much rain will fall tomorrow.  And it will be getting cold again.  The heat and sun are going away for about 6 days.

I did manage to rip out more of the wildly unmanageable mint.  The more I remove the more that appears.  The stuff I planted under the crabapple tree is looking perky so the transplanting is working out okay.  I also planted annuals in my three large pedestal containers.  Pinks, reds and yellows.

I purchased another Concord grape plant and G will plant it in the garden next to the lone I purchased last summer.  Last year's plant made 6 very tasty grapes.  Let's hope it is more generous this year????

Back to work tomorrow.  I really NEED two days in a row off after a hectic 9 hour day on Saturdays.
One day is just not enough time to shake it off.

We drove all the way out to the last work site (second job) and where I thought I had left my work tools.  They weren't there.  And on the way home we stopped to buy on sale $4.48 a pound bone in ribeye steaks and sweet corn (5 for one dollar).  Delicious dinner.  I haven't eaten that much meat since the Atkins days.  It was very, very good.  We might do it again tomorrow.

Friday, May 19, 2017

French Greenhouse To Buy when I Win The Lottery


What's neat about this greenhouse is the wall of rocks.  To hold the sun's heat and reflect it into the room's volume all night or on long cold days.  My "greenhouse" right now is a shelf with lights for small tomato seedlings and a huge tray of Red Morpheous Marigolds I grew from seeds in one of the milk jugs.  And on that subject, all but 3 out of the 25 jugs germinated.  Big success. Everything else is in tidy rows on the north facing front porch.  Flats have been divided and repotted into bigger 4 inch pots.  Sunday I may finally have a day at home to start planting things.

Today at Whole Foods I bought 4 pounds of big fat carrots from California.  And 5 gigantic red beets to roast in the oven and eat ice cold with vinegar and oil.  Plus a small bag of French shallots to plant in my garden.  To grow into bunches of shallots.  I plan to roast a big cast iron pan of carrots in the oven with butter.  Mark Bittman recipe.  Lunches this week have been cold rice with peas and big salads with lots of sliced carrots.

Today G and I had lunch in a fine restaurant down in Portland.  While we ate and chatted, I watched almost all the others using their phones.  No talking.  What has happened to people???  When is a phone message more relevant than the person(s) sitting with you at the table?

G had Rare Seared Tuna with a salad of red bliss potatoes, French green beans, radish slices and fresh made mayo with grated hard boiled egg yolk.  I had panko chicken gyro with Greek yogurt sauce (needed more cucumber) the bread was too well crisped (difficult to bite and chew) and the homemade potato chips missed the mark. But the majority of the food was fresh and good tasting.

We had an appointment with our Trust Attorney.  He had to run off copies so we took a walk over to South Street Linen (owned by three artists who paint) and I tried on clothing I have been admiring online for years.  Then back to the law office and then over to Walter's for lunch.  Then to Trader Joe's for cans of marinara and then Whole Foods for veggies.   I asked for Aveeno soap and the clerk at Whole Foods said "Walmart....you do know how to get there don't you?"  In such a sneering voice.  I actually wished I had had my phone so I could record her and report her to the manager.  Why on Earth would a person be like that???

The regular Joe at Rite Aid walked all over the store to try and find my soap.  Polite and not the least bit of attitude.  Guess where I'll go next time I need soap?

Work tomorrow and I have a load of laundry to do.  We've had a week of heat, too much sun plus humidity.  Work was awful (for me) on Thursday--80 plus and still.  I thought I had heat stroke for awhile there.  A cooling breeze is blowing through the house right now--moving all the drywall dust and paint fumes around.  No workers for the next two days.

All of my crab apple trees are in complete flower.  Very, very pretty. Things are sending up shoots in the flower beds and I seem to be having a very good Lily of the Valley year.  Wo Peng my Tree Peony is standing taller than he has in the 10 or more years he has lived here with me.  Perhaps he'll make his first flower this year?  Wouldn't that be amazing?

So, get out there and dig in the dirt.  Okay?