Monday, April 28, 2014
Today is all I can control right now.
Today I noticed that G didn't cover the pansy container and now we have no pansies. The deer came in the night, pranced up onto the deck and ate all my pretty purple, blue and yellow pansies.
Today the phone woke me up. My daughter has been vomiting all night and requested applesauce and bananas from the grocery. I was up and dressed and out of the house before even having a sip of morning coffee. I drove past her house on the way home to mine. Had to turn around. Go back.
Today the grocery had really fresh, red rhubarb so I bought a bag full and used two of my last three breakfast eggs to make a Rhubarb Custard Pie. I even made butter pie crust. The pie is in the oven. It's for G though I am ambivalent about giving him pie when he cost me my pansies.
Today I am going out in the COLD & WINDY & WET day (where is Spring?) and planting my Brussels Sprout seedlings and my cabbage seedlings. I will get G to cover the bed they are going in with woven seed barrier. To keep the wind off them. I did plant all my onion seedlings yesterday. And the calendula, dill and borage seeds in the herb bed along with the Fava bean seeds and all the peas in another bed. Yesterday was a good day, as I also started seeds for 8 different tomato varieties, two kinds of zinnias, red onions, eggplant and four o'clocks.
Today I have on tons of sweaters and I am freezing.
Today I have soaked nasturtium seeds to plant. The flowers make a very pretty addition to a salad. They taste peppery. I usually get only one plant out of an entire package of seeds. Sad.
Today I weighed myself and I had gained 3 pounds. In 3 days. I don't think it's mathematically possible that I consumed 10,500 extra calories in the past three days. Just saying.....
Sunday, April 27, 2014
I am tired. My knees feel stiff. It's cold. It's raining. I want to be out in the garden planting things. And, I will have to go out there in the rain as I have presoaked my sweet peas, Fava beans and some other sort of podded pea--Arrow, I think. Once soaked, they must be planted.
I worked straight thru from Tuesday to Saturday. Even teaching two classes yesterday. Now I have the luxury of two days off in a row. Days for the garden. And I want to start my tomato seeds. Just two seeds from each variety. Not the dozens of yesteryear. I brought home four little seedlings of Early Girl Bush Tomatoes. These start producing early and taste wonderful. I don't know why I am not satisfied with just them? But I am a tomato plant glutton. "The Crazy Tomato Plant Lady" who tried giving tomato plants to everyone who passed me by at work last season. And I STILL had too many in the garden.
I also brought home a nice flat of onion seedlings--Candy. I grew them the year before last and loved them. I would like a few red onions as well. We'll see. I am only buying seedling flats with my "tips" from work. Yes!! I got two tips already this year. And I found two pennies on the ground face side up. Good luck.
I also have not had time to eat my lunch at work--I have eaten it at home, instead of dinner. On the days I didn't have time for lunch, I have been at the potting bench straight thru my shift. Making mixed containers for Secretary/Ad Min Day. And, Mother's Day is fast approaching. Swoosh!!!
G's been happy enough with the Easter Dinner leftovers and the chicken soup. He fills in with sandwiches. I noticed our grocery finally has chuck roast on sale so I am seeing a nice pot roast in our future (this week). With mashed potatoes, green peas and cole slaw. I also wanted to make onion soup but just haven't had the time or energy for making it. All that onion slicing and then the long time to slowly caramelize the onions. This is something I should have made during the unemployment part of winter.
Am I just getting old? Is my body just letting me know it is beginning to dislike all the cement floor standing and walking all day, five days a week? Have my work shoes lost their "bounce"? Have I lost my "bounce"---the ability to do this work day after day. Do I just weigh too much right now. Gravity.
When I am this tired and stiff, I begin to question the path I have decided to travel. Why am I still working full time? Why am I considering another go at the seasonal retail job? Why don't I have time to cook, plant seeds or read the newspaper? Why do I always seem to be running off to work and leaving G and Riley here at home? Do they mind?
I am also wondering when I will find the time (and more importantly) remember how to change the reading sidebar to the right on this blog. Only three of the blogs still interest me and the writers of three others have (I guess) decided to stop writing. I have new blogs that I should put in to the rotation when I remove the others. It's really getting to be more work than I want--finding something to read each day.
And I want to try "baking" this new "Life Changing Loaf" which is mainly seeds and nuts. I have, by chance, managed to buy all the ingredients. I just need to mix it up and let it sit for hours (I guess) and then bake it. I'll let you know how it goes. But right now, I am looking for rainwear that is warm, and going out to the garden. A nice rubber suit would be just the thing today.
Monday, April 21, 2014
I think I can identify most of the plants (I am a professional--LOL) but I would have liked a plant list. I like the way all the dirt is covered up. Intensive Planting. I think that's what they (real professionals) call it. Grasses, Phlox, Salvia and a Doublefile Viburnum in the background. I have one of those.
I'll start my plant shopping list. Multiples always inflate the plant bill.
We ( G&I) are having Easter on Monday. I have the sweet potatoes baking and the sugary juices are making smoke. I have mixed up the green bean casserole (using mayo and sour cream instead of the canned soup). And baked ham. A good one that hasn't been pumped full of water. I also made a small pot of lentil soup which will get a portion of ham bits added to it for my lunches this week.
My lunches have failed me this past week. I have gotten hungry. And when hungry I tend to eat things I shouldn't, wouldn't or couldn't. At times, it's my breakfast that fails me and I am tempted to eat my lunch at 10 am. I haven't eaten anything I shouldn't--just because there isn't anything to eat at work. So, soup. And a big green salad full of crunchy vegetables. I have organic carrots and an organic beet. Eating a raw beet is new for me. We'll see if I like it.
G has purchased a riding lawn mower (the neighbor asked him if we were moving***). Second hand. This mower was owned by a "little old lady" and it is very, very clean--still looks like new tread on the wheels. G has already made an attachment so he can pull his heavy duty wagon around instead of pushing a wheelbarrow full of things raked out of the garden or branches trimmed off shrubs and trees. Our lot is uneven so actually using the riding mower to cut grass isn't going to happen. He'll still have to cut the grass with the walk behind.
Today he is trying to McGyver the push sweeper so he can pull it along with the mower and sweep the sand and salt off the driveway. He's made a few test runs but from my vantage point in the house, it looks like the sweeper isn't making contact with the road. I'd put something heavy in the collection basket. *** my rule was-- desire for a riding mower means we move to a smaller property.
My suggestions are not always welcome (my rules aren't either it seems). So Riley and I are staying silent and in the house. Riley because the lawn has just been sprayed by the lawn guy.
I think it's going to rain today. I hope to get into the garden to plant peas, my B sprout seedlings, some carrot and bean "tapes" and my little cabbage seedlings. Get things going when they are supposed to be gotten going. I also want to plant my pansies. G got me a whole flat of mixed pansies and I am very behind on getting them into containers. Partly because the deer come at night and eat them. So far, I am keeping them in the house for the night.
I have a book I am trying to finish reading. I have a class to prepare for Saturday. I was outside and gave G my two cents worth. Turns out I learned a few things from my father--the best McGyver-er I ever knew. My dad wouldn't buy a replacement part for his German car--so, he turned on the windshield washer with a door bell (installed on the dash). Crazy but true.
Hey, thanks for stopping by.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
G has finally gotten the webbing he ordered off of E-bay. We have two old aluminum chairs we drag out on the back porch (stoop) when the sun is warm enough. Even in Winter. The two chairs had a few shredded strips and we (mostly me) worried about falling thru whilst sitting. And, if alone, walking around with a chair firmly attached to my rear end. No rescue handy.
We have two rockers. One is the very inexpensive rocker G brought home in the early months of having our first baby. And that old wood rocker has been well and truly used in the following 44 years. We added a new dark green one a few years ago. I can imagine the two of them, the ceiling fan and the big overgrown geranium on our front porch. If only there weren't so many mosquitos.
On the back deck, in regular rotation for over 3o years (purchased from Ikea in Germany in 1983), are the high backed white wire chairs that I find very comfortable, even without cushions, and G finds too hard and painful to sit on, even with cushions. The chairs have a "springiness" when you sit in them. Bouncy. And they have this curve to fit the small of one's back.
None of the stores or catalogs have chair pads that fit these chairs. All too big, too long, too short, too thin, too thick.
I have always wanted to have a folding chair in the car. So, when the mood or the weather suits my fancy, I could pull out the chair, unfold it and sit right down. Enjoying the weather or the sights. I have been dragging a folding chair out of the greenhouse (the ones for classes) and eating my lunch in a spot of sunshine, if available. But the wind has been fierce. And cold.
I am worried that Spring will never come. That it will be cold all the way into July. I remember having the furnace on one Fourth of July here in Maine. It may have been in 1991. Our first July in Maine. And I was wanting to sell the house the business and everything and get as far away from Maine as possible. So very cold.
I think the next summer was so hot--like in the 104's. I didn't care for that either.
Today I have bills to pay, aprons to sew, soup to make (G is freezing) and tomato seeds to plant. Just in case things get warm enough to plant things in the garden. But right now, another cup of coffee and some breakfast and I'll fold the white stuff in the dryer.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
I have been looking for this image in all my journals. I am going to make this for the Arts Are Elementary Fund Raiser this year. I was thinking of doing one part of it using the newspaper collage that I make in my Doodles. But I couldn't find the picture and I think this pear shape is pretty awesome.
Now I need to go to the framing shop and ask to buy two pieces of smooth faced matt board--10 inches by 10 inches to use for the work. One to sell and one to keep. Or even get more pieces and make Doodles on them that I can frame.
Today--another sunny but very cold and blustery day. I left work early thinking I had a haircut appointment and a doctor's appointment. Haircut is next week. I found this out when I showed up (awkward). And the doctor's appointment was also next week---different day (questioning my sanity). But they had a cancellation so it worked out. Just took FOREVER!!! G and Riley were out in the car--getting annoyed. We then annoyed the dog even more by stopping in the health food store for green mung bean noodles and then a great grocery for an Easter ham and some sandwich meats. We also stopped to eat a very, very late lunch. French onion soup. Yum.
Now we are home. And we have missed the news, again. Last night we got caught up on Masterpiece--Selfridge's. We are still missing Fringe. Tried MI-5 and it's too dated and British. I tried a French version of the Returned. Pretty creepy and it was amazing how quickly I stopped noticing the captions but understood the dialogue. There were many moments when I actually thought they were speaking English or I understood French all of a sudden.
The American version that is airing now on television is so bland. No wonder no one is watching. Why on earth did they make it so uninteresting? People,who are dead, reappearing should be pretty weird. And the French twins. One in her early teens and the other grown up--how weird is that???? To see yourself as you were or will be. One woman is talking to the real (returned) boyfriend of her youth--- she thinks he's a ghost. I've watched two episodes but have to be "alert" in order to watch any others--so no evening viewing.
We do still have House of Cards to enjoy.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
This cute sign was sent to me from Germany. Via an old friend. Thank you!!! I wish my greenhouse had a sign outside. I think it would help bring in customers.
This morning we have Sunshine And SNOW. Yes, SNOW. All the grass is covered in white
Yesterday, in the howling wind and mud---- we started bringing the the perennials out into the yard. Setting up the tables. Not everything is here so spaces have to be set aside for the missing trays. My orders, from inside the annual house------ five spaces then this and then two spaces and this. I push the heavy cart out into the muck and recite five then two over and over. Meanwhile, in the annual house the wind is filling the plastic shell and then sucking the air out. So, big WHACKS as the shell heaves and contracts. So noisy. And rather startling. Everything is mixed up. So we are playing hide and seek, looking for the plants starting with A, then B and now C and D. I believe we got to D yesterday before the rain came pelting down and the afternoon shift moved indoors.
Today I think the cold crops will arrive. Broccoli, B. Sprouts, lettuces and cabbages. Things that don't mind a bit of a spring chill. My garden beds are pretty much ready. I was amazingly good at getting them prepped last October. Flat, clean and well amended with soils and coffee grounds from Starbucks. Ready to plant.
Some of the seeds that G planted are coming up. He has spring onions, fennel and something else coming up. Now we need to paste carrot seeds and beet seeds on toilet paper (homemade seed tapes) and get those out into the garden beds. Helps with spacing so not too much thinning needs to be done.
I discovered that eating some good carbs every other day has moved the needle on the scale--to a lower number. Which is making my inner self a bit less angry and sad (and it also helps my mood to have good bread and some pasta). My body is certainly a science experiment that needs some serious study and reflection. And now that I am in the "heavy lifting" segment of my greenhouse work--long days of lifting and carrying-- that aspect of weight loss will be in place as well.
I like it when I fall asleep on the couch--by 9 pm. That's how I know that I have done some serious work. Some call it exercise. And the hot shower after work is such a "good thing". So happy!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Not exactly a book title. But that's what you have here. The snow is gone. The shed has reappeared. The fig tree is spending it's second full day outdoors with expanding leaves and more tiny fig buds. I think it is also expressing it's appreciation for the larger pot and better soil. It might also be happy with the drenching I gave it (of fertilizer).
Here are my pansies. One flat of Karma/ Rising Sun. I don't know what, exactly, the name has to do with the color. But I like the color. So far, the deer haven't eaten the pansies, which are hiding behind the fig tree pot. Yes, that is an oven shelf. G brought two home from the restaurant when they changed out ovens. They make nice raised places for the plants to sit on the deck. So wet pot bottoms don't make stains on the decking.
My grandmother grew here pansies from seed. Very difficult. And I have always loved the flower. I had a sweater when I was a child and it had embroidered pansies near the neckline. I tried to wear that sweater all the time.
Today, another day off. Some phone calls and a visit to the eye glass store. The nose pads on my new glasses are making dents in my nose but they are also creating very sore red patches that burn and hurt. Yesterday I had tape across the bridge of my nose to protect the skin under the nose pads. My co-workers tactfully ignored my appearance. So today I went to see if anything could be done to make it "all better". I have new, larger, nose pads and they are made of a different material. Cuz, I might have actually had an allergic reaction to the original pads. Time will tell.
I took a "selfie" of myself with my new glasses and my new nose pads. But I didn't like it. Too many wrinkles. Geez, I look terrible. And old. I'll wait a few years and then post it--by then it will look fantastic in comparison.
I think I always look great but---now that I think about it---I don't have my glasses on when I am looking at myself and thinking I look "great". These new glasses see so many things I have never before noticed about myself. Neck waddles. Forehead creases. Upper lip wrinkles. Uneven skin tone. I guess I might need "cosmetics".
G is out in the garden making hoops for two of the beds. So I can roll spun cloth or plastic over them to temper the cold or hot of the weather for my "crops". I can then have stuff growing (in those two beds) earlier and later. I can also protect plants from too much sun or egg laying insects. G stays very busy now that winter is behind us. There are a great many things to rake, weed and clean up before May arrives. You saw the hammock behind the fig? In May that hammock will be well used for naps.
Thursday I get my haircut. It needs it--that photo, again. Shows my hair looking a bit more shaggy than I like. I think I need some personal "spring cleaning". But right now--the laundry calls.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Today is Friday. I have tomorrow off. My knees ache. I am very, very tired. In a good way. I watered plants for 30% of the day, potted up pansies for customers 20% of the day, and can't remember how the remainder went. The sun was shining--the greenhouse was very warm.
One of the new hires--a guy --- said "this.....the greenhouse, and all....this is really nice, a good place to be. To work". I said. Yes, it is.
G invited me out for dinner tonight. It was nice. I had carrot soup, salad and half a portion of cheese manicotti. Lunch was the last two red grapefruit and Greek yogurt. Today was heavy on dairy.
I hope I fall asleep and stay asleep. I awoke before the dog pushed the hall door open (it bounces off the wall) at around 5:30 or 6 am this morning. I had dreamed I was on a train, got off, leaving my purse and suitcase on the train and then stood there watching the train leave. Wondering what I was going to do now. Then I woke up. I'm sure the dream is trying to tell me something. What?
We finished watching the five seasons of Fringe on Netflix. I am missing Olivia, Walter and Peter. I wonder how they are doing. G feels the same. It's like we got involved with really good friends and now they are gone. Poof. I don't know what we can watch next that will have the same emotional pull. Any ideas? We looked forward to tv time and bingeing on 3 or 4 episodes an evening. Now we are back to regular programming. Poo.
I have new tires on my car. With tread. I wore the original tires to almost smooth in 22K. Took me 6 years to do it. Remember when tires lasted forever? The first thing I noticed was that braking was much more sudden now. These new tires really "stop".
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Ranunculus. We have about 10 of them at the greenhouse. None as lovely as this one. Which I photographed two Springs ago and have used here on the blog so many times. Because the image makes me so happy. It's like a happy little Spring eye.
Today. I watered everything and was a soaking wet (COLD) person for most of the day. We have three new employees. And I like all three. A miracle. You know what a fuss budget I am.
I even had help moving two tables over so the edge of the table is even with the hanging baskets overhead. To save customers and employees from cracking their craniums when they are looking at plants and then stand up under the baskets. I only have five more to line up and my "life will be worth living". IMHO. Hardly humble.
I am continuing with the diet----- even though there is not the slightest indication that anything is happening. I may even be heavier than I was. But I feel good. No food cravings. And, really, that is huge. Not craving food groups.
Today I purchased a pineapple for my yogurt and fruit lunches. The store had red grapefruit but they didn't have that rosy blush which means they are rosy inside. I "love" red grapefruit segments (supremes) with my yogurt. I "like" pineapple chunks with yogurt. So, second best. Third is peaches and raspberries. Together. Then raspberries. Then blackberries. Finally, blueberries.
I have been having big salads for lunch with carrots and edamame. Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar dressing. I had chicken salad with my salad yesterday and today I had an egg and avocado salad. I think tomorrow I will have tuna with onion and celery. My mom made it that way. With canned peas. Which I am not adding. For Easter Eve now that I am remembering. I wonder why??? We designed our eggs with wax and dyes and then had potato pancakes and tuna salad for dinner.
Wow. That was a blast from the past. My dad was in charge of heating the decorated eggs (after dinner) over the flame on the gas stove and wiping away the wax ---revealing the dyed designs. We ate the always beautiful HB eggs the next morning with my grandmother's home baked sweet bread studded with almonds and raisins. It was so, so delicious.
This Easter I will be at work all day. Really.
Sunday, April 06, 2014
Not here --- yet. But we have them at work.
I got the taxes done. It took longer than usual as Turbo Tax has updated things in a way that's makes it a bit more tedious. And, while printing copies--the printer ran out of ink. Talk about a nervous meltdown for ME!!!
It's done. Tomorrow G and I visit the bank to discuss accounts etc. I hope it will be stress free allowing me a full day off experience. Happy times with no work.
We had a very sunny day which felt lovely while G and I sat on the back deck watching Riley chew on a few tree branches. Later, I let the dog out and he made a bee line for the garden forsythia and got a bird. I called him (trying not to scream) and he dropped it and seemed confused. He finally came to me. We found G and he went and got the bird's little body and took it away.
I didn't want Riley going back to it. I know it's all the "wheel of life" but it seemed a bit too REAL for me. And, I think it was a bit too real for Riley as well. He probably wanted the bird to get up and play some more.
Breakfast was bacon and fried eggs, lunch was cashews, dinner was my homemade chili with sour cream. I have one more serving of jello for a little sweet later tonight.
Saturday, April 05, 2014
I had to choose one item in the living room and "considering" get rid of it. I considered. And I am keeping this. I don't know where or when I bought this hand painted plate. The French soap was a Christmas gift from a neighbor. But, I think, someday the plate will come in handy for a nice salad, cheese plate or olives.
I did consider and did throw away the pomander orange (stuck with cloves) that was the third in this arrangement. It was pretty desiccated. And not very attractive.
Today I taught my classes. Both had a very good amount of people. The first class took 2 hours and the second 90 minutes. I love teaching gardening. It feels like my whole life experience up to now--was leading me to these very satisfying teaching opportunities in 2014. It's a good thing. Very. It feels good to be doing something people value.
I have two days in a row off. I have my taxes to do. I procrastinated the entire 10 weeks of my furlough and now-- it's down to the wire yet again. I hate myself for doing this again. I wish I knew why I do it.
Breakfast today was chicken salad. I like it with honey mixed into the mayo. Lunch was full fat Greek yogurt with Bran buds and segments from a ruby red grapefruit. After class I had raspberry sugar free jello. Dinner was Chinese. I had the ginger green beans with chicken (left most of the sauce on the plate). No rice. And two beef teriaki sticks.
That's in case you wonder what a low carb diet looks like.
Friday, April 04, 2014
In a big basket. Riley's. And not all bones are equal. As G and I have noticed, while watching Riley look and choose which one to gnaw on. Right now we have three lined up (he lines them up) and he'll roll them over with his nose as he selects the "right" bone.
For his birthday (today) he should have gotten a fresh new bone. It's in the freezer. But I forgot. So her got his usual walk, a ride in the car and two treat balls. Puzzle balls filled with dog treats. He has to roll, drop and crush the ball in order to get the treats to fall out. The first ball was too easy. So G gave him a second one and that took long enough to make Riley sleepy.
I know a Reader mentioned that my habit of boiling the bones (I don't want raw bone stuff on my carpets--plus raw bones stink) makes them brittle. These bones in the basket are several years old. Still being gnawed--vigorously. And, as an added benefit, Riley's vet is astonished by Riley's tartar free teeth. Sparkly white.
Today was a hard day for me. I was tired, felt heavy, felt like my joints were not flexible (like they were swollen) plus all the employees were hard to stand. Complaints were common. Nerves are frayed. Should have been a happy day--it's pay day. The customers were nice as can be. One brought me a handful of pussy willow branches--the variety that twists and turns. G was very pleased. We have them in a jar of water and when they send out roots we will plant them. In the wet area of the backyard. These were fresh cuts and I think we will have good luck getting them going.
Saturday is usually my day off but I am teaching two classes tomorrow. Annuals & Perennials. How to use them in the garden. I think the other two stores are doing a power point presentation-- this would be so much easier with pictures. I have to do it with "words". At least teaching breaks up the long day. And I have Sunday off.
I was "invited" to return to the retail job as a seasonal. Time for you all to remind me why I don't want to do this!!!!! It's very tempting. Well, you know what is very tempting. Enough said. I have selective amnesia.
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Grey. With occasional sun. The snow piles are melting slowly. 45 at midday. Before and after, colder.
My dear friend has lost three pets in the last month. The third, yesterday. To age and/or disease. That is too much for any one to take. Her elderly parents, in another state, have lost their daily care givers. My friend has been driving back and forth, training new care givers.
With that foremost in my mind tonight, I have nothing to complain about.
And not much to write.
Tomorrow is Riley's seventh birthday. My "bowl" is full.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
I like the simple Zen of this bathroom. the walls of the shower -there and not there- the floating cupboard and sink--large enough to wash sweaters. I'll skip the tub. Too expensive to heat water. The large floor squares make it seem spacious. Easy to keep neat and clean.
Work the second week is a bit harder. Less cheerful. The body is saying--why are we working? And the muscles are tight. Another three weeks and the body will be fine. But not yet. I don't think I am sleeping as well as I could be.
The diet was going very well until today. I made a huge green salad with olives, Feta, a few bits of carrot and a Ranch dressing for lunch. My heart is burning. I feel like a heavy weight has filled my body. I had plenty of water, but I am probably retaining water. Too salty. I haven't decide what I can eat to balance my salad. Isn't that odd. A salad causes trouble. Aren't they supposed to be good for us? All those Spring greens. How does one balance salty? And get past this acid reflux.
To Maggie in Ohio. We removed the O ring and the flow got marginally better. This is when G admitted the shower head cost four dollars. I found the old one and soaked it in vinegar. Covered it completely in vinegar and walked away. The fake metal dissolved. I had to scrap the dried glue off. It's now back in the shower where it belongs. Looking a bit more presentable. The head itself is made of a very strong, heavy metal-- could even be stainless steel. Today's shower was a delight.
We have some new shrubs on the sun porch (won in the silent auction during Open House). They are going in and out. Out when it's mild and sunny and in for the night or on bad days. I think Friday is scheduled to be a "bad" day with sleet. My crocus, snowdrops and tete a tete daffodils are braving the snow and cold. Up about an inch. And they are very welcome!!!