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 " 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?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


For pay.  I helped out a landscaper friend with mulch the past two days.  Very big and beautiful house on the water.  Wow.  It was like my very own dream come true being there.  Lots of stone steps, curved beds, boat dock-- not my dream but I like looking at them-- and such lovely surroundings.  We had lunch on the boat dock on day one and on rocks around the fire pit on day two.  I took a breather at one point and sat on on stone stairway watching the birds visit the feeder and just enjoying May in Maine--glancing down at the columbine growing so bountifully on the hillside.

We often are too busy to be still and just absorb the "good" in simple things.  Blue sky, clouds drifting across the sky, birds chirping, green grass growing.  The sun was shining.  No rain.  The black flies were biting but, hey, it's May.

I even had a nice treat after work--a peach ice cream cone.

Tomorrow the regular job.

The Painter and his helper have been here all week.  The doors were going to be sprayed but he decided to hand paint them here in the house.  Most of the windows are finished.  Ceilings next I think and then the walls.  No other subs have visited.

G ordered door knobs on Sunday and they arrived on Tuesday before noon.  Delightful service and prices from  $5 less per knob than the Loew's price.  Same product. Free shipping.  The boxes of hardwood flooring are here.  Getting climate adjusted.  Two weeks to match the climate in the house (so doesn't shrink or warp).  Then hardwood floors in the master.  Then closet and baseboards.  Then paint and hopefully a working bathroom.  What do you think? By June or mid June???  Not that it's a hardship to be using the 2nd bedroom.  It's really very comfortable in there.

We still have to order the hallway doors.  I am hoping the General Contractor ordered them!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Not The Black Door--The Two Side Containers

I can still have the door painted black.  And I might do it.  Just the outside of the door.  Not the sidelights.  Not inside. But I DO LOVE the look of those little square boxes.  My porch is the width of the house and deep so there wouldn't be any "good light" for the little boxwoods.  I was thinking of cedars in a tall cone shape.  Still no light.

The Day Before Mother's Day.  9.5 hours at work.  Walking, walking and more walking.  Repots all day long.  From the way back of the greenhouse, up the ramp into the garden center part of the store to the cash registers and then back to the potting bench to do the work and then back to give the work to the customer and then back to the potting bench.  Over and Over and Over.

My Mother's Day Reward was a large Dairy Queen hot fudge sundae.  Loved every spoonful.

I piled a large stack of items on the hall stairway to the second floor.  For tomorrow--to carry upstairs and out of the way.  Our warm Winter clothing.  More coats and jackets.  Two ironing boards.  A pile of fabric, tablecloths etc.  I found a white linen king fitted sheet with a rip I had been intending to mend for probably longer than 5 years.  I am going to mend it with Jude's Invisible Tacking Stitch. I may start tomorrow. I enjoy the stitching process.  It's not a stitch I have ever used before but I really like the way it can bind/meld layers of fabric. I made a few little four patches by hand and then tacked the 1/4 inch flat and open.  Loved running my fingers over the seams and stitches.  This tactile "feeling" is what I miss most about quilting.  running my hands and finger tips over the seams and patches.  The placement of the ripped/mended section will fit nicely under the pillows. It ripped when it was under my feet.  A thin area in the weave.  Probably why it was a "second".

I am in "one of those moods"--possibly because I am taking so much Prednisone or it could be fatigue.  Wondering if I have enough time to "wear out" the clothing I own--wondering if it makes sense to buy any more clothing--I would like a dress and more flannel pajama pants.  Wondering if I will outlive my 2008 Fit with 33,000 miles on it.  I highly doubt it (laughing).  I don't think I have 10 more years of driving in me. Never have enjoyed driving.  But I could still be driving into my 90's.  Odder things have happened and I got a VERY LATE START---getting my license at THIRTY.

G planted my Mother's Day Peach trees today. They look very nice.  We went crazy and planted them in the front yard.  Best light, soil and I can see them all the time.

The rhubarb pie needed an extra 40 minutes to bake.  The rhubarb was still crispy after an hour.  I made the best pie crust.  Butter and flour and water.  Lovely texture and after a chill in the fridge it rolled out so smooth.  I need to make more crusts.  More pies.  Lovely.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Glass Guys Installed The Shower Door & Herb Garden Plans

Finally.  The glass doors.  One is stationary on top of the cutaway that has the shower knobs etc in the tiled short wall and the little bench for shaving your legs  (really, the tile guy said that).  The short wall with the knobs is so you can turn on the water and not get wet doing it.

 And then there is the door. five feet at least but maybe six.  With chrome edges and really wonderful square hardware things that attach the door to the wall. And a handle. Looks REALLY expensive.

The Carpenter Guys did say it was the most expensive of the five bath remodels they are doing.

I think I will be taking a chair in there and just sitting and looking at it all.  Saying "this is mine--really mine".  So pleased and so happy.  And I will be thinking of the tile guy.  And saying thank you.

Next up is the Painting Guy and his Helper.  Monday morning at 8am.

Then, hopefully, the Plumber and the hook up of the shower and all the wonderful things in the hall closet from Kohler.  Shower head, hand shower, hand shower holder, lever knobs.

And someday the vanity I designed (hey, it's all custom here -and all solid wood).  The granite top and the square sinks undermounted for super easy cleaning and the single lever faucets. Only the one for each sink.  Just a chrome column with a lever on top.

G forgot to ask the glass guy if the huge mirror that was once in the master bath could be sliced into three pieces and used above the vanities in the two new bathrooms.  Sort of like walls.  Of mirror.
From the sink top to the top of the tower of drawers in the center of the vanity.  Hope he can cut it.
Its 72 inches wide and five feet more or less tall.  Covered the entire wall behind my sinks almost to the ceiling.  My old sinks.

After 26 plus years--I got used to the big mirror.   Lots and lots of reflected light.  Amazing light.

But only if he can cut it.  Otherwise I think might be too expensive to buy new.

Well, I'm getting tired.  Garden work tomorrow.  Digging out all the resident herbs, adding soil, then putting everything back in along with new tarragon, new marjoram, new dill, new parsley, new calendula.  The old thyme is doing great as are the two lavender plants.  I moved the mint to the front yard under the old crab tree.  As a minty fresh ground cover.  I yanked the pot of mint roots out of the bed and if it's sprouting--that will also be relocated to the front bed.  The buried pot of chives stays. Keeps it from getting too big.

I am thinking of getting my French Potager book with drawings of French herb gardens to see if there is a simple layout that would look good in my little garden. Perhaps a woven line?  Attached squares on point?  I could also go and buy some tiny boxwood to edge it all. I think Lowes had some a few weeks ago--but it might be all gone by now.  They go through things pretty quickly.

Something to be thinking about as I drift off to sleep tonight.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Contact Dermatitis

Yep.  Not a Food Allergy.  Just stuff getting on my hands and making "contact" with my face.

Got a LONG list of products I can use.  I asked about my super innocent goat's milk fragrance free face soap.  No.  Not on the LIST.

Lucky for me--g goes to the same dermatologist and got the LIST many years ago (it seems) and then went out and bought all the stuff and never used it.  So I have Aveeno soap, moisture cream and super 24 hour cream plus the shower body wash.  I bought little take with tubes of some thing on the LIST to take to work with me.  Wash my face every few hours to get dust and dirty off myself.  Not Aveeno.

I also have 64 Prednisone10 pills to take.  A bunch of them four times a day for 4 days.  Then a smaller bunch for another 4 days.  Then a small bunch for the next 4 days etc until I take one a day until they are gone.  You do the math.  I can't think straight.  With milk.  The pills are taken with milk--not math. And the doctor recommends I take them all early in the day  or I won't be able to sleep.  Great.

So far today, pills, milk and washed my face three times.  I was gardening.  Nothing itching and this new stuff doesn't burn when I rub it on my skin.  PAT it on my skin.

Riley is taking Amoxicillin.  Four times a day.  He has something Labs get.  To do with the muscles in their throat and breathing.  His "panic attack" yesterday was because the muscles weren't flexing and he was having trouble breathing.  It's like they get stuck in closed and can't transition to open. Which must be SUPER stressful.  In fact, most of Riley's gakking, choking and gagging in the past months has been due to the throat thing.  And we were doing nothing.  So now we know.  And now he has pills.  He was super relaxed today and took several long naps.

He is also taking big blue pills for his liver.  Which is shrinking.  Expensive pills.  But who cares--he's worth every dollar.

So that's it.  The prednisone has given me acid reflux (didn't drink enough milk with pills), a low grade headache, and a cough (it affects some asthmas- which is funny because my doctor gave it to me when I had my cough--I didn't fill the prescription).   And now I am going to bed. I'm sleepy.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Washer and Dryer Hooked Up

Yes, indeed.  One.  Thing.  Done.

Now I can wash and dry clothes etc.  And since it is that time of year of digging, clearing and mowing--we get dirty.

It took some logistics to get the 32 year old stacked washer and dryer back in the small "room" that was created for the "Washing of Clothes" and a trip to the store for a new drain hose that is longer (and less brittle).  A test load of water to see if anything leaked and the Carpenters left to tear off a roof somewhere down the road while the sun shined.  (but now it looks like rain)

I think the Carpenters felt I could WAIT on all the rest if I was able to do laundry here at home.

Someday........who's counting days?  The plumber will return and hook everything up and we can take a shower in the new walk in shower but the glass man has to come with the custom doors first.  And where are the new radiators?

The vanity is on indefinite "not ready now" so that won't be coming anytime soon.  They said two weeks and it's now into the 7th or 8th week.  My guess is that no one will come to hook up anything until the vanity shows up.  And since there is nothing else ready to work on---we will just get used to  (more comfortable with) plastic taped to doorways.

Because as soon as bathroom number one is finished they will demo bathroom number two.  And how long until THAT vanity arrives?

I am going to see the Dermatologist this afternoon for my follow up visit.  And my rash is back so he can actually SEE it.  Has anyone ever been this happy to have a rash return?  See.....I didn't just "imagine" I had a rash.  G has said I should stop applying medicine and let the rash get really red and irritated before the visit.  Yeah.  Sounds good but the rash itches, the skin burns and makes me crazy.
So I apply Benadryl cream.  Makes it stop itching but doesn't make it go away.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Entrance Hallway To Be.

Not mine but the vibe is the same.  White walls.  dark floor.  This is wood and mine will be black slate tiles.  I have a table like this behind one of the sofas in the living room.  (yes, I have two sofas) And that table will go into the hallway.  With a lovely watercolor I purchased many years ago above it.  I mentioned to the artist that I had purchased it.  She replied "I never liked it".  And the conversation ended.

The painter comes on Monday.  To start painting everything white.  Extra White by Sherwin Williams.

My front door went in on Friday.  I had the two carpenters and the General Contractor working on it. They seemed to be having fun and looked happy.  So I made them brownies with extra chocolate chips and served them in bowls, warm from the oven.  My front door has many windows.  And the light is just flooding in.  So, so lovely.  Instead of the gingerbready trim--I now have simple flat board trim.  We all agreed it looked amazingly good.  And Right.

It's really like the house is happy to be having the changes made.  Like THIS is the way it should have always been.  The three guys thought the door removal and the installation would be "difficult" (they had planned for two or three days to do it) and the three of them just sort of shook their heads that it was almost effortless.  Started at 9am and completely finished by 3 pm.  Locks matched to our original old doors.  The only loose end was the doorbell.

I'm thinking two matching box planters (in black) on either side of the door with some sort of boxwood or cedar planted in them.  I may have to move the Indian (from India) Goddess of Plenty to a new spot.  But, maybe not.  She sure has been doing a fantastic job next to the doorway into the house.  Perhaps, she will also help in the back of the house with the gardens???

Anyway.  Tomorrow a day of rest.  I am making a huge pan of meatballs and marinara sauce.  My supermarket had a big sale on ground beef.  $2.69 a pound for 85%.  Almost half price.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Beautiful Kitchen

If my bathrooms, bedroom hardwood floor and doors (painted) ever get close to being done--and we still haven't finished the master bath so we can't begin tearing the hall bath apart.......I will have THIS kitchen.  To the right of that cute little pantry--I have a door into the room where some who have owned this house had a dining room.  We have a big couch and the tv instead.  And a nice desk I got from an employer I had once at the Little Traveler in Geneva, Illinois with my computer on it--where I sit right now as I type this.

We aren't "dining room" people.  The very huge and very heavy chandelier that hung from the ceiling and that I though might fall and kill someone--is in the attic (we put up a ceiling fan).  We should take that  light fixture to the local "yard sale".  We've already taken all the bifold closet doors and two of the regular "passage doors". Habitat said no but the hospital charity said "'wow, yes!!"

You learn so much when you are forced to buy the hardware.  Dummy knobs (pull), passage knobs (no locks but the knob turns/clicks) and bedroom/bath knobs (locks).  I was set on black round knobs but then read about Aging In Place and the fact that as we get older (not me!!!) our hands are less able to grip and turn knobs.  The author recommended lever knobs.  You just have to push down.  So now I am wondering about that type.  We already have levers (French) on several doors in the house: Atrium doors, French doors, Patio double doors and now--soon to be on the front door. So it could be easy to just have them on everything.   And I still have to chose bathroom light fixtures.

I went to work at 10:30 this morning and left at 6:19.  I never stopped working.  Non-stop.  I am exhausted.  Just about made it into the shower but now that I am clean--I feel just a little bit more perky.  Had to find a tick that was roaming around on G's neck.  Bad tick season this year.

My dinner has arrived.  G and Riley went out to get it.  Nice Caesar Salad for me.  Maybe a glass of red wine.  Then.......well, I will try to watch some television.  Up early tomorrow when the workers get here.  At least the guy who listens to Rush Limbaugh at top volume won't be working tomorrow.
I often wonder if I should request he not listen to it in my house?  What do you think?

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The Day After

Incredible sadness.  The young guy who did my tile work in the walk in shower decided that living was too hard to do anymore.  The story is not mine to tell.  But my heart breaks for his pain.  And I will always be reminded of him--with each shower I take.  Life is hard but this........ my shower will always be the last shower he would ever tile.  Beautifully done.  A true craftsman.

My carpenters are working in the master bedroom--installing closet doors.  I just decided to measure and see if I would be able to open the doors when the bed is in the room.  W just looked at me with his mouth open---"now, you wonder if the doors have room to open?"  Yes, I said.  G and I live life on the edge.  ........They have plenty of extra room to swing wide open.  Thank goodness!

And, did I tell you I found the roll of master bedroom wallpaper so we can do patches in a few spots?
I found it in the living room on the back cushion of one of the big chairs (almost behind the cushion).    G kept saying he's seen it somewhere but couldn't remember where.

The weather the past two days has been terrible.  Cold, no sun, and lots of drizzle.  We are all wearing layers of clothing.  Shivering.  May is usually the most glorious of months here in Maine.  Spring blossoms on the trees, daffodils, tulips etc, blue skies and sunshine.  Our son was going to visit in May but had work issues.  Good thing.  He can enjoy rain and cold at home in the northwest.

Did you know Andrew Jackson was involved in the Civil War sixteen years AFTER he died and was buried? Sort of "Back To The Future" time travel. Thank you D. Trump for the history lesson.  And D Trump also figured out that Lincoln was the first Republican president.  That super private school he attended must have really been GREAT.  I don't think D Trump has ever actually read a B.O.O.K.

So sad.  But perhaps the whole Civil War "thing" was just fake news???

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Full Stop- Construction

It happens.  To us.  And I guess to our General Contractor (GC).  Too many clients.  Too many bathrooms and only the one tile guy and only the one plumber. one came to hook up the washer.  So today I carried it all plus four floor rugs and two dog blankets to the Laundromat.

I can safely say that from now on the floor rugs and dog blankets will ALL be going to the Laundromat  each and EVERY time they need washing.  Hot water, large machine.  What's not to like?  Well, the $7 to get the machine going.

The Laundromat continues in the long running saga of life to be a Continual Puzzle to me.  Human Development or the lack thereof.  And I still had unused quarters in my pocket this time.  Why hasn't some do-gooder opened a free laundromat for those in need???  Or at least make the dryers free?? Perhaps in the second 100 Days.

 I think tomorrow J & W (carpenters) will be back trying to finish installing the new closet doors in my bedroom.  No bi-fold.  Real doors.  The GC says bi-fold is only used "now" for starter homes.  His opinion was given when we tried to interest Habitat for Humanity in the bi-folds we were taking out.  They said "no".  In fact, Habitat says no to quite a lot of donations.  Didn't even want to stop by and look at what we had.  I had decided from the first to use real doors.  No hollow ones.

It's still too cold and damp for the guys to tear out the old front door, do carpentry to frame out for the new door.  The new door is in the garage and I look at it every day.  It is going to be so nice.  Lots of windows to let in light.  Also it's "thermal" so it will also keep heat in and cold out.  This wasn't the case when the old fireplace brick wall was pushed out and we had tarps up and nothing else.  That was summer.  This isn't.  And those were big French Doors we were installing.  Love those doors!!!

I am feeling so much better with the 2 week treatment of the stronger inhaler.  No need of the rescue inhaler, even on Saturday--9 hours on my feet running around at work.  And I had a lot of re-pots and that means soils etc.  So--it's all good.  I did find a SECOND tick on my clothing.  Reports are that this is going to be a heavy tick season.  The first tick was in my hair at the back of my neck. So I have to check myself.

I swept and swept and swept up the dirt, dust bunnies and debris that is all over the house.  It just sort of "drifts" from the construction zone and the garage and the yard.  Dust pans full of grit.  And the mess that fell out of the runner rugs when I shook them?  Well, no Good Housekeeping Award for me.  Mostly the floors are now plywood.  So no walking barefoot even in socks.

I finished up the tomato, lettuce, mayo, bacon and bread that I took to work yesterday for lunch.  Finished it for today's lunch.  Having coffee to warm myself up.  That's about all for now.  My days off are spent cleaning, sweeping, wiping, stacking, moving, sorting, packing into containers for the attic, and for entertainment--I am pruning rose bushes, shrubs etc. plus cutting web worm nests out of the fruit trees.  Oh--and also "looking for stuff" we already put away.

Tomorrow--work.  Where I can rest up. (laughing)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Finally Looking Like Spring

So I bought some eggs.  I think eggs and Spring go together.  I will be having them on toast with salt and pepper.  Just like this little whatever it is that came along with the photo from Food52.

The new inhaler is finally working.  I now take the second dose at 8 pm instead of bedtime.  Today--A long and tiring day at work--I didn't need to use the rescue inhaler--not even once.  Yesterday I used it once.  So--small steps.

But I am tired at work.  Standing for 7 hours.  On cement.  It's not for 70.5 year old bones, knees and feet.  I had a difficult time falling asleep last night. Twinges in the knees and calf muscles.  Tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable.  Woke up tired.  Friday I have the day off.  Resting up?  Nah. We have to empty the master bedroom closets.  Carry it all up into the attic (not the upstairs bedroom--the actual attic)  G has screwed hanging clothes poles up to the wall of the attic and we'll have our clothes up there.  It means climbing stairs but not overtime we need something.  The clothing in the second bedroom (where we are now) was selected in March.  We need May clothes now.

So once we have exchanged Winter for Spring in the second bedroom closet---what we wear will be there.  Everything else will be in the attic or at Goodwill.  I plan on filling G's Jeep with boxes and bags of donations.

The Farmer's Almanac says the Spring/Summer of 2017 is going to be cool and very wet here in Maine.  I am reminded of another summer like that.  50 degrees on 4th of July.  2001 or 2002 .  I remember both of my children were at home that summer and shivering and questioning why we had moved here.

I don't have a book to read.  I don't have any food I am planning to make.  I have one load of laundry I could do at the laundromat.  Bed sheets.  Towels.  Work clothes.  That's two loads.

I finally found my raincoat.  I looked everywhere.  We always say that when we are looking and then when the item is found--geez, it was right where I put it.  laughing.

I do have work to do--carry all those clothes upstairs.  Carpenters will be here at 8am.  No sleeping in.  I will ask one of them to paint swatches on the bathroom wall.  Then chose the white I want. And My prize for all that up the stairs climbing is to be a hot fudge sundae.  G promised me one.

If I have time, I will prune my Cameo quince.  Rake out the garden path.  Beds were cleaned in the evenings of last Fall (by the light of the security lights from the porch) --- but I lost interest with the last of the paths full of leaves and junk.  Then it snowed.  Now I have to finish before I can start.

That should be a sampler on my wall.  I have to finish before I can start.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Little House-Big Garden

Some day.   Right now it's big house and neglected garden.  The weather is getting better.  I am on a two week regimen with a higher dose inhaler.  The twice a day-12 hours apart one.  And then inhaler four times a day as needed.  I no longer have the "cough".  Now I have hyper-reactive asthma.  And I need to get it calmed back down to just regular reactive.

My doctor is sympathetic.  It IS difficult to go from being always healthy to being chronically ill. It is hard to see one's self as having an illness.  Of having to take daily meds.  And ignoring it isn't going to be the path I should be taking.

On the renovation front:  The new walk in shower is amazing.  All tiled now and caulked.  Ready for the plumbing to be attached to fixtures.  The vanity isn't here yet.  The tile floor is in--super gorgeous-- and is also caulked.  The new modern chair height toilet is still in it's box.  The plumber was on a week's vacation to somewhere warm.  And sunny.

The entrance hall now has it's new closet doors.  LOVE them.  Two doors.  Not louvered. Now to choose the black knobs for ALL the closet doors, the passage doors and the bed/bath doors with security locks.  Three kinds of knobs.  I have to walk thru the house today and count.  Want to get all of them at once.  And order the bathroom lights.

The little "room" for the washer and dryer had it's walls painted.  Well, primed.  And it has it's own little door.  It is regular sized but looks like a Hobbit Door in the very tall feeling bath.  As soon as the plumber gets it all hooked up--I can do laundry at home again.

I did go to the paint store and chose three whites.  Pure White, Extra White and Highly Reflective White.  The last one matches the bath tile exactly.  The first is the softest.   So I expect we will end up with the middle one.  If I can find my paint brushes and or roller I will do a block of each on the bare bathroom wall------G says no.  He is positive I will spill or drip on the new tiles. He is possibly correct.

A few of the seeds I planted in the gallon milk jugs back in early March or late February (in the snow) have finally sprouted.  So happy to see the tiny dots of baby leaves.  I only got 4 onion seedlings.  Out of quite a few seeds.  Boo!

What's Cooking:  Chicken thighs were 77 cents a pound so G is getting a final pot of soup.  I made a garbanzo bean "chicken salad" with beans, celery, pecans, red grapes, poppy seeds and mayo for myself.  Next time I will add onion to it.  It is very good and I need the protein the beans provide.  No rash and no reflux so Garbanzo beans are back in the line up.  I bought organic ones.  Next I am making tuna salad.  With lots of onion and mayo.  I may add celery and petite green peas.

What I Am Reading:  The Boy In The Shadows by Vallgren.  Not an author I know but the book--once I got past the first 30 pages, is holding my interest.  The violence in the book is written matter of factly.  But since it is first person and that character is damaged--it makes sense.  Finished The Girl From Venice by Cruz-Smith.  Slow but a good read.  I see that Vallgren wrote another book and will order that as soon as I hit publish on this.

What I am Working On: and my long list of things I need to find, choose and order. I was making myself crazy with chrome, polished nickel and bronze etc. and just sat here one day and said "I just wanted everything to be black and white".  So the light fixtures and the knobs will be black.  Just plain black.  Against white walls.  I can add color with art, towels etc. Duh!  But my choice of doors?  Like I said--love them.  And they are white. Will have black knobs.

What I Will Be Wearing Soon:  Black linen pants and white linen shirts.  Red rimmed glasses. As soon as it is warm enough.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter To All

Well, here in Maine the sun is shining and it may get to 76 degrees today.  Almost all the snow and ice has melted.  I have three boxes of pansies to plant into the tall planter I carried to the front porch. Hopefully the deer won't eat them all this year.

My cough is doing much better.  Yesterday, at work, teaching the afternoon gardening class, I started coughing and really needed my rescue inhaler.  Now everyone at work knows where I keep it and if I start coughing they know to run and get it and run to me with it.  My emergency plan.

G has the cough I shared with him and is having a hard time.  He is sleeping quite a bit.  His doctor gave him a prescription for his own rescue inhaler to use 4X a day.  He keeps forgetting.  this cough really takes your energy out of you.  It's NOT whooping cough, which is also in Maine right now.
And it's not the flu.  This is something quite different.

We are having a New England Boiled Dinner today.  I purchased everything days before I got sick and it's all still in the fridge, so, I have time today to watch water boil and make the dinner.  Might as well eat it.  We all like it.

I worked Wednesday and Thursday and spent most of Friday doing our taxes and our daughter's.  Hers are very quick--ours with investments and stock sales etc takes hours for me to type it all into Turbo Tax.  But they are done.  Being sick really set me back on a lot of things.  G sent them off to the post office Saturday morning.  Today is Sunday and a Holiday so I am not carrying the many loads of wash to the Laundromat.  Tomorrow.

Now, I am going to plant my pretty pansies and go sit in the sun out back.  Happy Easter.  Enjoy the sunshine!!!

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Only Day This Week

To do all the things I haven't gotten around to since I got "the cough".  I have loads of wash to take to the laundromat.  I have the taxes to do.  I have carpets to vacuum.  Sheets on the bed to change. The hall bathroom to scrub clean .

And now that the snow has finally decided to stop coming down---I have to go upstairs to search for Spring clothing.  Which was furthest from my mind when the carpenters first arrived in March.  Now it's April and nearly May.  It's been so long that I think lifting plastic barriers to get to the different rooms in the house is "normal".

My shower tile is like the tile in the picture above.  Only my tiles are 4 by 12.  And the line where the shelf is in the picture is a thin one inch line of the black floor tile.  My vanity will echo the cabinets and granite top.

But instead of the solid bottom my vanity has a long shelf at the bottom to hold folded towels. The shelf is higher off the floor. Sinks are under mounted. My faucets are shorter but only the one for each sink.  The little column has a little lever to switch from cold to hot/ on and off. I spent too much time and effort cleaning the previous sinks (shell design lots of indents) and faucets (clear glass knobs with creases) so I don't want anything with grooves or design elements.  I think I just found a less expensive (and correct finish) light fixture.  Previously I had ceiling tube lights.  Wallpaper. Lots of wallpaper. Such an ugly bathroom.

I still have to find and order vanity knobs.  And door knobs.

The shower floor is going in today.  Adding to the neighborhood excitement--- a big oak tree is being cut down next door.  Riley is torn.  To watch and supervise the bathroom work or be outside supervising the tree work.

Have to run across the street to list my neighbor's cleaning person in to the house.  See you later!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring and Pansies

At work--the pansies are taking the second row.  Easter Lilies the first row.  Easter seems too quick this year.  I must really be getting old.  Time speeds up as we age.  I am always reminded of the way time seemed to slow and not move when I was a child.  Waiting.  Always waiting.  Now, things just seem to rush past.

Easter.  I had wanted to put up an Easter Tree with all the old German ornaments.  While packing everything into the attic room--I found the ornaments I thought were long lost to me.  Little rabbits, chicks and eggs.  So sweet.  I never did buy the tiny carrot ornaments.  Perhaps they never really existed.  Perhaps I just imagined them?  Now it's too late.

And Taxes.  I was supposed to do them and then got sick.  Doing complicated taxes while sick and woozy isn't "a good thing" so now I am behind and rushed.  Worse thing.  It will work out.  I have been in worst situations regarding the taxes.  Last, last minute.  Working and reworking with calculator and pencils.  It's about a four hour job now with the computer.  Just need to set aside the four hours.

Work--I think I am good enough to return to work tomorrow.  We'll see.  I can always decide to sit and rest if I feel fatigued.  I am teaching on Saturday.  Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces.  Mostly it will be about containers.  Small spaces usually means no ground for digging a garden.

I potted up my dahlia tubers yesterday.  Five large pots and 4 smaller ones for the small sets of tubers. I think most are Park Princess my favorite cactus dahlias.  Pink.  Petals shaped like little fireworks explosions.  I intend for some, if not all, to go into the garden beds this summer.  Not stay in pots. We had way too many pots on the front steps, ground in front of the steps etc.  Plus the indoor plants on the porch itself--out of direct sun.  And then the large containers full of annuals (petunias mostly).  It was colorful and cheerful but such a job to keep it all watered.  I often felt like I did nothing else each day but water.  Hours of hauling hose.  More work than at work.

The truth is evident.  I have chosen to create a very expensive master bathroom.  Very.  I thought, at first, when the contractors referred to my bathroom project as the largest of the five in progress right now, that they were referring to size.  But it isn't that large.  Now I realize it's "large" in cost of materials.  I have asked for, and been given, what I wanted.  Not knowing that the very simple design is also very costly.  The very large walk in shower is being tiled in white subway tiles with a thin line of the black slate flooring as a pinstripe.  Black granite bench and trim on the shower entrance.  Glass doors to come.  Well, I guess I have "good taste" or something.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

First Signs Of Spring- Crocus

Mine are not this abundant.  I should plant more bulbs.  But they are very welcome here in the back garden -over the septic out-take.  Where the ground is warmest.

The tile is going up/down in the shower starting on Monday.  The plumber is buying the European hot water radiators.  Not the ugly American style ones that are so impossible to keep clean.  These are flat closed systems like the lovely ones we had in our German house.

There are still so many things to consider and choose and purchase.  Like door knobs.

What I Am Cooking Today:  Chicken Soup for G.  I gave him my cough.  But I don't really think Bronchitis is "catchy" so more likely we are both being affected by the drywall dust floating everywhere.

What I Finished Doing:  Watched two full seasons of the Affair on Showtime (free week of viewing) which took a lot of time. I skipped season three as the reviews said it was all about Noah and I detest his character.  So, yesterday I watched season 5 of Homeland.  Eleven episodes.  Those foxy people at Showtime got me all the way to 11 and tonight is number 12.  The ending.  And I would have to subscribe to get that.  That's okay.  I can just read the reviews after. Figure it out for myself. It was very good.  Had all the characters I enjoyed in the first few seasons with Damian Lewis.  Not so much after he left.

What I Tried To Do:  Vacuum.  I was doing okay and then I clogged the vacuum up and G had to work on unscrewing all the tiny screws to get the hose that was plugged up--open.  What a dirty mess. And then he vacuumed with his shop vac.  Too much dirt for the household one.  Especially in the construction zones (which is basically everywhere right now).

What I Still Haven't Started Doing:  Taxes.  I'm just too foggy headed right now to do it right.

What I Thought I Wanted To Do:  Go on Riley's walk in the woods with G and Riley.  G said no, it would be terrible.  Guess it's wet, icy and muddy.  Just the way Riley likes it.  It's sounds like the conditions I usually have at work in Springtime.  50 degrees.  Sunshine.  Very Nice For Sitting On The Deck, I think.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Getting Better

Well, if the computer will co-operate I will be letting you know I am getting better.  Mucinex to the rescue.  Productive coughing.  Rather than just annoying coughing.

I spent yesterday watching the two Elizabeth movies with Cate Blanchard.  Loved the Armada burning in the ocean.  Also loved the clothes.  The dresses.  They must have cost a fortune.

It's red grapefruit season and I bought 3 lovely ones and have them segmented and prepped for yogurt  lunches this weekend.  Today I am finally able to drink the smoothie I made--------days ago. The raw cashews have thickened it up a bit too much and I added too many blueberries so it's less peachy than I like.  Soothing to a throat roughened up by coughing.  My voice is deep and croak-y.  Like I have been smoking for decades.

It rained most of yesterday.  Today I got a few rays of sunshine out on the back steps.  Felt energetic enough to dig up the Ajuga that invades the back garden bed--every single year.  People actually BUY the stuff.  I dig it up.

The TiVo remote stopped controlling the on/off/mute controls yet again.  This is the new remote. I also dug the old one out of the trash to see if it wanted to try working again.  It did not.

Well, I just coughed a lot and need to return to the couch.  Close my eyes.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Still Sick -Still Coughing

My cough is strong.  "coughing up a lung" is the way the worker men describe it.  I called out from work.  Wouldn't have been able to stand upright for any period of usable time.  DayQuil.  Tea.  More Tea.  A nap.  That's about it for today. Trying to keep germs to myself.

I have a call into my doctor's office.  They say they might be able to call back in the next 2 hours to chat with me.  Wednesday.  Don't really think anyone is at work.  A bad cough and exhaustion.  Sounds like pneumonia to me but I don't have a medical degree.  And there isn't much other than rest and liquids that can be done.

Not much else to say.

What I've Been Eating:  The turmeric broth with carrots, peas, corn and rice noodles. The vegetable combo is what was in the fridge and freezer.  The rice noodles in the pantry.  Tea. Clementines.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Sunshine & Clementines

It is warm enough to sit outside on the back deck sans coat.  So that is what I will be doing.

I did my one load of wash  and it's in the dryer.  And I used my canned in juice peaches to make my favorite smoothie (frozen banana, raw cashews, peaches, blueberries and yogurt or milk).  Then I had to go up into the attic (into that weird sewing room) where I store things and find my carton of 16 ounce Crate & Barrel Working Glasses.  I use them for my smoothies.  They have lids.

I also counted my Working Glasses.  Three seem to be missing.  I usually buy them by the dozen. I went upstairs because I could only find two jars.  Which was very odd.  Now I have nine. Five were in the attic, two in the porch fridge (turmeric broth), and two in the cupboard.

That's it for today.  Still coughing. No workmen working today. Xfinity Watch-A Thon. I need to decide what to watch on Showtime or HBO.  Billions, Homeland, True Detective.  And hopefully a movie or two.  Deadpool for G and The Martian for us.  And perhaps Arrival.  I really liked it. Last year I watched True Detective one and it was wonderful.  And I watched the movie Birdman.  Weird.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Sunday, Home With A Cough

It could be the dust from construction.  It could be "new to me" germs after weeks at home with just G and the dog--and then back to work with so many new people and new germs.  Anyway, I am coughing and feeling light in the head.  Drifty and not in a pleasant way.  Like I might just tip over and hit the floor.  No fever.  No chills.  No sore throat.  No runny nose.

But that could all change as the day goes.  I called out "sick" for today's 8 hours @ work.  I called yesterday so they could replace me.  I am replaceable......

I have had tea and toast and now have three shiny clementines to eat. There was a great deal of heavy wet snow in Friday/Sat's storm.  Everything is now white again.  No ground showing.  No Spring.

I am wondering if I should have spent money on new doors?  Or should I  just use the ones that came with the house 26 years ago.  I never liked them.  They are very hard to keep clean--all sorts of little groves and indents.  I'm not even sure they are solid wood.  And then I will need new knobs.  this changing of things is like: one thing leads to another and another and another.  Seems endless.

We looked at the old master bath tub (which is being repurposed into the hall bath tub) and discovered it was made by Kohler. Like all the bath/shower things I purchased on line. To go with the Kohler valve installed before I decided what company line I wanted.  It's things like that which irritate me.  But I would have chosen the Kohler anyway.  I liked the way it looked.

I am a visual person.  Also I like the way things feel.  I have run my fingers over the drywall finish in the hall--well, at least twice a day since it was dry.  Like it so much better than the shiny wallpaper.

The second owner of this house did a great deal of work here.  New hardwood floors in living room/dining room.  Third bathroom and fourth bedroom upstairs.  The very strange  "sewing room" on the other side of the attic.  With a wall of nice floor to ceiling built in shelving.

We have done a great deal of work here.  New roof.  New furnace.  New windows.  Now new bathrooms.  New entrance hall with a new door.

I hope we live long enough to enjoy and "use it" all.

 Well, I finished book two -not as good as Boyce's first book.   My thoughts are that the book I just finished was actually the first book.  But not "good enough" so she tried again.  That new book was great.  And then she went back and quickly tried to "fix up" the original book so they could sell it also while everyone was excited about the first (good) book.  But it's still rough and weird to read--almost like an outline at times or a list of plot ideas.  I wonder how book three will turn out.

Time to lay down and "rest my eyes".

Friday, March 31, 2017

Growing Things In Jars

Now my way is so much simpler but on the very same theme.  I have used the cut root ends of celery and romaine lettuces.  Set the ends in shallow water in little flat canning jars (4 ounces) and kept the water changed and fresh.  I have roots on the celery end now so I added some perlite to a jam jar and now the roots are in water and the celery end is above.

These jars offered by have a mesh basket that holds the roots in water and the leafy tops above water.  I have never been a fan of colored canning jars so haven't been tempted to buy any.  I think I would have if they had clear ones.  Especially for my classes.  I have a class coming up on Gardening in Small Spaces.  A quart jar is pretty small.

Things are moving along at a pretty brisk clip today.  Guys scraping the under flooring of the hallway to prep it for laying tile.  In the bathroom some wall board is up in the shower and the shower has the floor in--and drying so they can add tile next week.  So...... actual walls in the master bath.

At one time we had about 6 guys going in and out of the house.  Riley was going nuts.  I think one of the guys had a bakery scone in his pocket and the others all had coffee.  Riley LOVES coffee.

The Tile guy gave me the name of an on-line faucet supplier and I was able to put together my list of faucets, shower heads etc and make an order--saving me over $2000 over the regular Kohler prices. there is just one thing left to purchase .....the drain assembly for the old soaking tub........and I just has one.  So, we'll use it!  G just gave me a high five for "saving money".

Hardly--I have been spending money on this remodel like a sailor on shore leave.   I even purchased two 4 by 6 hooked rugs (re-used cotton from the Garment District)--in DayGlo colors which is just the right thing to go with wood floors and black four poster bed.  My bedroom is going to look so sharp!

Why I am doing the happy dance:  Every one of the guys is gone and not coming back until Monday and we have leftover meatballs and sauce to eat for dinner tonight.

What's Happening Tonight:  Another in the long list of snow storms.  This one will lay 4 to 12 inches of new snow on the old, vintage snow that has been here since Christmas.  Never warm enough to melt it all.

What We Are Really Upset About:  The TiVo remote has stopped signaling the television for important things like on/off, volume, mute.  Unfortunately, the volume is set at a level which is too loud for most things.  So we unplug the television from the TiVo (it continues to record things) at night (only way to turn it off) but we can still watch tv and change channels and record stuff.  That's all stuff the TiVo does.  TiVo is sending a new remote. Free of charge.  But it won't get here until Wednesday.  There are things we may not watch due to the sound levels.

When you are unable to control the volume--it's surprising how much the sound annoys you!!!

What I Am Reading:  Old Bones, the second mystery from Trudy Nan Boyce.  She must have written two books and got both published within months of each other.  Love it when that happens!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Do You Ever Wonder

What the Republicans would have done if Obama was ever as "conflicted" by the truth as the Orange Man is?

 But when faced with the things going on--Nepotism (family members taking the places reserved for highly experienced government people who actually know how governments work)-- political mistakes of significant weight for future negotiations (not shaking hands with the German Chancellor in front of cameras and press) and now evidence that the Orange Man is still getting weekly or daily status reports on his Corporate Empire even though it is totally illegal for him to be doing so.......... (his sons (Beavus and Butthead) spilled the news to reporters--thinking it was funny) and still no impeachment.

It's like a very bad dream.  And this morning I read that a petition is being circulated in New York City to try and FORCE the First Lady to move into the White House with her supposed husband.  Not that I think she will do it.  NYC wants to stop paying for security.  Millions of $$$'s a day for security.  Not unlike the 5M a weekend to fly to Florida every weekend so the Orange Man can play golf.

I am reminded of the Orange Man screaming about Obama playing golf on his infrequent vacations.  "Why isn't he working for the country?"  "Why is he fooling around on the golf course while the country goes to hell?"   We need the news people to start playing those tapes.

I won't say more.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sometimes Simple Is The Best Choice

Keeping the blog name the same.

It's raining.  And the ground is still frozen.  So, ice.  Slick. Dangerous.

Yesterday--a full 9 hours at work with just one short chance to sit down and eat--quickly--my lunch.  Otherwise, walking the full length of the greenhouse and garden center to the cashiers--over and over and over and over picking up "re-pots" and them bringing them back to the cash counters when I'd finished them.  And watering, talking, giving advice and otherwise doing my job.  Exhausted.

It was a struggle to walk out and around the place and them up the stairs to the upper yard and my car.  The only one slower than I was--the other retired person.  A Navy veteran.  Both of us looked a bit pale.

The carpenter and the tile guy have been here this morning.  G has the washer hooked up but we may experience a sudden spill of water as the cycle goes on.  The shut off doesn't work.  Could be very exciting.

Things are moving along.  We may have a working new bathroom in a week or two.  Then we'll start on the hall bath.  And then the floors.  And then the hallways.

We are living in a strange construction zone.  It doesn't help that it's cold.  Wet. Raining.  Odd after the warmth of the greenhouse all week, the sunshine and the flowers in all their splendid colors.

I have two full days off.  Time to rest up.

Today's Chores:  Cleaning.  Vacuuming.  Laundry. (washer didn't leak so far so I am going to change the bedding and wash it)  Doesn't sound much like a "take it easy day" does it?  But I do need to give all the surfaces a spray and wipe at least.

Today's Reading:  Finished the Stargazer's sister--the last bit was truly sad--I would stop reading for the tears.  How her brother could do what he did after so many years--hard to believe.  I am now moving on to a new to me mystery writer.  Trudy Nan Boyce and "Out of the Blues".

Today's Cooking:  We ordered take out pizza and a salad for me last night.  I have a nice corned beef brisket I could be cooking--perhaps tomorrow.  Or Thursday.  I will, I think, make a nice pot of spaghetti sauce instead.  Sausage, mushroom and onion for G.  Just spaghetti for me.  With cheese and butter.

Today's Would Be Nice" To Do:  Take some frozen peaches out to thaw for a smoothie.  But it's so cold.  I wouldn't want to drink the finished smoothie.

Riley really wants a walk today--even in the cold rain.  G does not.  One is very sad and the other is not.  Acupuncture at 4pm.  Then we'll stop at the grocery to pick up any items we may need.  I wish they still rotisserie roasted chicken breasts.  A nice chicken salad would be nice to take to work--or eat for breakfast (me-never G).

Friday, March 24, 2017

And It Won't Stop Snowing

Riley likes it.  I do Not.  Yes, it is Nature's compost (snow with all it's minerals) but enough is enough.  Today's snow did serve a purpose though--it was wet enough so I could use the layer of it and a towel to scrub the crusty, sticky salt off the back end of my Fit.  The car isn't clean--but it also isn't salty.

The "new" master bathroom now has electricity and plumbing.  The hallway wallpaper turned into an epic undertaking.  They must have put the stuff up with glue. Two full days.  So, we needed to refinish the drywall. Undercoat and finish coat.  Sanding.  Breathing dust.  I have my scarf wrapped around my mouth and nose whenever I am home.   I guess I could buy those masks.  Wear that.

Now we wait for the tile man to get home from his vacation.  Then perhaps walls, more drywall coats and sanding.  And the lumber for the floors.  That has to settle in and grow accustomed to the humidity of the house before it can be nailed down.  Then sanded, stained and sealed.  So many things have to happen still.  And do I want shelves built into the hall closets.  I think I do.

Three days in a row back at work.  I am exhausted.  I had to be cheerful and nice to everyone--Open House!!  It takes a lot out of me.... I am kidding.  I can be nice without much effort.  And we had really good oatmeal raisin cookies.

Saturday off work and I think PBS is FINALLY done begging for money--- and I think the Saturday cooking shows will be on.  I just love them.  I am also going to be watching more episodes of Longmire or reading my last book.  G took my stack of books back to the library by accident.  Un-read.  And I don't remember what they were.  So---it is what it is.  I still have the Stargazer book.

The rash between my eyes and eyebrows hasn't come back.  Some acid reflux though.  I wish I knew what causes it.  I am pretty sure it's food.  Or coffee.  It's a puzzle.

What We Are Eating Tonight:  G has leftover Chinese food and I have a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese.

I didn't buy anything today.  Ate 3 oatmeal raisin cookies off the Open House Donut and Cookie and Potato Chip Buffet.  Drove home in snow.  Had a nice hot shower and clean clothes.  Read my blogs.

Now I am going to watch the news.  I think Ryan and the Trumpets got what they deserved.  Now I want to watch it and listen to all the politicians and just bask in the happiness of knowing that millions of good people still have health care.  Amen to that.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thinking Of Changing The Name Of This Blog

I am now officially 70.5 years old.  Half way through the year.

I think I should officially express who I am.  Not just the day on which I was born--a Wednesday. I am struggling to come up with some names to choose from.  This was the problem so many years ago when I started this blog--what to call it.

Any help for my Readers would be welcome.  You probably know me better than I know myself.

The carpenters are back--we had the weekend free of noise.  Now stud walls are being built.  The larger than life empty room will now be sectioned off and made smaller--and then when filled with the "new" seem larger than before.  It's a magical thing.

The door I wanted--the front door to the house--was too large for the opening and WAY TOO expensive.  So now I have to choose another.  Everything changes.  Nothing is set.  Now flooring. Light or dark wood.  In the closets?  The plumber comes tomorrow.  Then the electrician. We have a drawing of the vanity for master bath.  So many things to decide.  And then live with.

I am continuing to reduce, recycle and re-purpose.  Even the refrigerator.  I pulled out all the vegetables and roasted them on a sheet pan.  Carrots are so dense and delicious roasted with just salt, pepper and good olive oil.  I ate them off the pan.  Just like that. Right out of the oven. With my fingers. I also roasted a head of cauliflower.  That was good also.

What I Am Reading:  The Stargazer's Sister by Carrie Brown.  Based on the real life of Caroline Herschel, sister of the great astronomer and composer William Herschel.

Where I Am Going: To the grocery store.  For Yogurt. For Salad Greens. For Cheese to put on Riley's food.  (old dogs have trouble knowing there's food in the bowl).  For Milk for my cereal.  For Carrots.
Later today: Acupuncture.

What I Have Been Sewing:  I had to add more patches to the favorite, well worn grey cashmere pullover.  The other elbow was looking thin.  A hole in the edging of the sleeve.  A hole under the arm at the seam.  A stabilizing patch at the V in the open cowl neck.  I feel better knowing the weak areas are now better able to get through the next 10 years or more. I am hopeful.  I would like to be wearing this sweater on the day I die.

What I Have Been Thinking:  Death seems to be all around me these days. Not mine.  Others I have known and lost--without being aware of it.  Finding out long after death came for them.  Being reminded of the time spent with them and the memories of that time. Like time and memory is slowly fading and disappearing.  I am reminded of the priest saying at the untimely death of a beloved man- "he is not dead until the very last person that has known and loved him is dead".  They all live, still, in my heart.

So, on that "cheerful"note--I leave you and get myself off to the grocery store.  The workmen have gone to lunch.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St Patty's Day, Madam

Celebrate with a Bonsai dish garden?  Well, it's green.  And I love making them for customers.

Second day of master bathroom demo.  There is nothing in the room but the stacked washer/dryer. So I can do laundry over the weekend (thank you).  Found lots of mouse poop,  mouse trails in the insulation (where they traveled from their nest to the places where they pooped).  No pee.  Oddly enough.  No mice which was a very GOOD thing.

The guys helped G carry the king four poster bed into the second bedroom yesterday (where we will be for as long as it takes) and--even though I measured and thought it wouldn't fit with any space to walk --the bed fits nicely and there is plenty of room all around for all the dressers etc.  It's rather nice in there.

The transition (for me) to the hall bath is rather more difficult.  G has had (for 26 years) sole use of that vanity.  And, though I asked nicely, has not cleared any space for my stuff.  My stuff is in drawers in the office--across the hall.  Kind of NOT easy when you have two carpenters, a plumber etc wandering around---- and you have run out of toothpaste and are wearing your pajamas. A quick dash across the hall is sometimes NOT the best plan because someone might decide to use the bathroom while you were across the hall.  Just saying.........

Work tomorrow but thank goodness I am not teaching a class.  Way too distracted.

I had to "go see" several things in the new bathroom today.  Like the problems with the washer /dryer area--- needed to rebuild a dividing wall to the new code and also so the trim on the washer/dryer "room" door would have the same amount of trim space on both sides.  This made the opening to the shower a "problem" and they got to talking about "custom" doors.  I said "standard sizes" only.  No custom.

That's when J looked at me and said--slowly and with emphasis--"Everything about this bathroom is custom". OMG.  I tried SO HARD to make it all simple.  And all I did was make it all so uniquely Joanne.

Reminded me of two years ago on the day of G's heart attack when (surgery was on Friday and it was Wednesday afternoon) I asked the nurse if G could go home and come back Friday.  "Madam, your husband has had a heart attack...he is NOT going home today".  This was said slowly and with real emphasis by the Russian born nurse.  The "Madam" still ringing in my ears two years later.

Some things never change I guess.  Like me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Well, so far, it's just blowing snow.  Not the ice that New York is having.  I have work to do in the second bedroom--my goal for a very long day---an empty room.  Seems impossible.

I also have loads of laundry to do as I clean and pack.

I read about used teabags being a good thing to put into the fridge to absorb odors.  It works. I have them in a small bowl.

Watched PBS (I detest the fund raising weeks--yes, weeks of those crappy infomercial book/CD sellers-- ugh!  Each time I think bad thoughts about Public TV and pledge to NEVER send them money.  Last night--Hamilton.  So I alternated--watching and hitting mute during the long "please send money" portions.   I have watched PBS for ever.  The do sell commercial space and it's enough to pay for most programing.  The Viking River Cruises.   Ralph Lauren.  Home Insurance Commercial.  The exact same ones we see on regular network programing.

End of rant.  On to packing.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wool Dryer Balls

I picked some up at Whole Foods on one of our visits to the Estate Planning Lawyer.  Wasn't sure they were the "real deal" or just one of those "oh, so cute" fads.  I like them.  BUT they get stuck in things and are then lost.  Like into pillowcases. G found one.  He woke up to something hurting his shoulder.  A dryer ball in the pillowcase.  My three are all beige.  Would have like one of each color.

Dentist today to have my 6 month tooth cleaning.  No staining.  Yikes!!!  What a happy surprise. Now to continue on with all of that.  Good gum tissue also.  Not my usual comments--so I'm over the moon happy. Will see them again in September.

I am on the schedule at work this week.  Three days.  One of those days is in the midst of the Nor'easter coming to Maine.  Sixteen inches of snow.  And the carpenter called. They will arrive on Thursday at 8am.  To begin taking the master bath apart.  But......J says they will help move any furniture (king sized poster bed) we need help moving and move the stacked washer dryer to the garage so I can do laundry at home before they do anything else.  A busy week.

 How I am feeling today: Allergies and rashes are back.  The skin above my eyes (brows etc) is red, dry, cracked and flaky.  I am using every prescribed medicine.  Nothing really makes it go away--just makes it semi-bearable. Vacuuming carpets, changing bedding.  What I really need is warmer (50 degree) days so I can open windows and air the house out again.  I did once in February.  Had hoped to do it again this month.

What I am eating today:  The turmeric/ginger broth with carrots and noodles.  Later a salad using some of my sprouted beans and a nice handful of the pea shoots.  The chicken salad is gone.  Wish there was more but don't feel like making it again.

What I am sorting: Finally the right width box for the watercolor supplies:  mixing trays, boxed paints, roll of brushes, pads of paper.  I also managed to get the little bucket and wire drainer thing G bought for me one Christmas into the box.  I think for oil painting brushes.  But the little bucket can hold rinse water just as well.  I still have six bottles of ink to put somewhere-- and remember where.

Today's Purchase:  G has gone out with Riley to purchase more Sterlite containers.  And I think he has also gone to Home Depot to take a picture of the toilet we want the plumber to buy.  Toilets.  I want the two bathrooms to be identical.  My friend in Florida built a 2M house on the water with 6 or 8 bathrooms.  All identical.  All super gorgeous.  She says why waste time making them different.

G is home and we'll be going to acupuncture in 40 minutes.  Where has the day gone.  I hope H has some needles for my rash.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Adding Another Hour Of Light To Each Day

I was asking G which "time" is the actual real one.  Daylight Savings or the Dark Days?

Daughter came and carried off several pieces of furniture from the Sewing Room. The Room is in CHAOS.  As I told daughter, it's not hard to pack stuff in boxes--the hard part is being able to find the stuff you packed away.  And it might be necessary to be able to find things like the watercolor brushes.  Or the embroidery thread.  Or the solid color cottons.  Or the bobbins. Or a replacement button.

I have discovered a pile of note pads.  Scotch tape rolls (and I bought some as I thought they were all used up), the Chinese currency and coins a Library Patron brought back from a visit to China for my Mao quilt (all of it has Mao's portrait on it).  I hadn't been able to find them for over 15 years.  Right there in the drawer under a bunch of magazine clippings I never refer to. And school photos of me in Junior High.  Terrible hair cut.

The floor in the sewing room is heaped with beads, stuffed Monkeys from the Monkey Corner at the 2002 or 2004 Maine Quilts Show and piles of unsorted stuff.  I have three very nice Monkeys with bendable arms (and bodies) so I could do "no see, hear or speak" in the Bush Era display.  I even organized a Sock Monkey display of "dressed up Monkeys".  One I still have was in cowboy gear.  Mine was Carmen Miranda with fruit on her head.  The Monkeys refuse to fit into any of the boxes I have on hand and I want all of them in one box. Yes, there are that many Monkeys.

Still cute after all these years.  Hello Kitty and Sock Monkeys---classics.  I am imagining the Trump display I would organize if I was organizing quilt displays.  Something inflatable.

It is sunny and freezing cold today.  Big storm coming our way on Wednesday.

Today's Shopping:  None.  I picked up tea bags, yogurt, milk and a bag of Cinnamon Raisin Bagels yesterday but need to re-stock whole cloves and cayenne pepper. Found rice noodles from 2014--still good? Would be nice added to my Turmeric/Ginger Broth.

Today's Cooking:  I thawed a package of pork that I had in the freezer.  It's now in the crock pot with seasonings and a big onion.  It will become pulled pork whenever it's ready.  Another protein I am able to eat.  I really don't like meat.  Pulled pork and Chicken salad and Cheeseburgers. Oh, and crispy Bacon.  Those are my proteins.  Which is why I don't have proteins in my life very often.

Today's Packing:  The Monkeys.  But mostly I need to sort things into likely boxed companions.  So the box packing makes sense.  Already I have thread in too many different boxes.

Today's Cleaning:  I have bedsheets in the washing machine.  Fingers crossed the floor isn't flooded in water when I go in there.  I have to vacuum as I am sneezing and itchy from dust.  I had a nice shower this morning.  Drops in my eyes twice a day.  Skin irritated.  Might need to start taking Benadryl every day at breakfast.  Hello Spring.

Today's Book: Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner.  I give it a C+ so far.  Annoying me more than getting me involved in the missing girl.  Tana French is so much better at this.  There wasn't much to choose from at the library this week.  A new person is selecting.  The old person retired and I liked her choice of books.  Might be time to complain or just order books on line.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The More Things Change

When did canning jars become the vessel of choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

So many articles and internet posts about breakfast in a jar.  Usually uncooked oats soaking up yogurt and then topped with fruit.  I take my smoothie to work in Crate & Barrel Working Glasses.  The 10 ounce ones with the plastic lids.  Red ones.  I never got "into" taking a canning jar to work. I also don't layer yogurt in a canning jar.  I could.  I don't.  Now lunch in a jar.

My eyes are itching today.  I had yogurt yesterday.  I had wheat yesterday.

Today I have almost 3 pounds of chicken breasts to poach in a stock which includes turmeric, ginger and one large organic onion with the skin still on it.  Lots of turmeric.  So the stock will be bright golden orange.  The chicken comes out at one hour and the bones and skin goes back into the broth for another two hours.  It's "trendy" to call this "bone broth".  I call it soup.  I don't think I am at all comfortable with the trendy hipster lifestyle.  I like the way it looks.  But I don't like the way it goes about daily life. Too self absorbed.

Anyway.  My Acupuncturist (yes, I have one) feels that the ginger turmeric broth will be wonderful for my inner health.  And, hopefully, my itchy eyes.

I did very little in the way of preparation for my 90 minute class at the library yesterday.  Amazingly. It went very well and was well received.  What can I say?  I am "alive" in front of a crowd.

I shunned attention and would go mute if called on in class all thru middle and high school.  If any fellow classmates saw me yesterday before a crowd of 45 strangers--they would swear it wasn't me. I have changed so much in 53 years.  If "this" current me was the one who went to Rhodes High in the early 60's---I would have been class president.  I might even have eventually run for mayor of Cleveland.  But I wasn't and I didn't.

Yesterday it was a balmy 50.  Today it's snowing, wind blowing and cold.  I go back to work on Monday, I think.  But I have a dentist appointment at 12:40.  Kind of messes up the day for work? I need to call my boss before the schedule is posted.  Nothing like "calling out" on the first day back.

Today's Purchase:  Perhaps some tea bags.

Today's Chores:  Most of the stuff that was in the sewing closet is now upstairs.  But some is still on the floor waiting to be sorted.  I have a large stack of printed fabric--pillow cover (upholstery) weight-- which was going to Goodwill.  But now I am wondering if some might not be used to make  very cute floral grocery tote bags. The watercolor supplies are still not packed up.  I am thinking I will be needing them.  It's something that keeps "tickling" at the back of my sub conscience.

Today's Cooking: The Turmeric/Ginger/Chicken broth.  And later the chicken in a salad. I think I should also make a second pot of chicken soup for G.  Minus the ginger and turmeric.

Today's Reading:  I have nothing to read.  Which is a very sad state of affairs.  I filled an entire recycle container with old magazines.  Mostly Quilting Arts and Paper & Cloth.  Years worth. And I got rid of Vegetarian Times or some such.  Plus Cooking Light.  I am shedding paper.