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

SnowIng.


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.




Monday, March 06, 2017

Spring Seeds


The kind that we start in dirt--for the garden.

The kind we start in our heart-- for the future.

The kind we start accidentally as we pass through days and days.

The days in March, so far, have been good, bad, sad, happy, exhausting and boring.  If I was ordering these kinds of days I would order "the usual".

The Pea Shoots I soaked and planted in an empty salad container are up (about 2 inches) and just about to go into leaf.  My class is on Wednesday-- so the timing is perfect.  The sprouts in the quart jar are just sending our little roots.  I have remembered to rinse them two or three times a day.  The Veggie Confetti mix of micro greens has germinated but they aren't doing much yet.

The class is about food production inside the house.  So micro greens, pea shoots and sprouts to add to winter March salads.  I also--out of just plain silliness-- have the root end of a bunch of celery growing in a short jar of water (making lovely fresh leaves) and the root end of Romaine lettuce in another short jar of water.  Nothing so far.  Old onions that sprouted in the onion basket are also enjoying water at the roots and putting out nice green shoots (to cut and use).

Who knows--this might be enough gardening/growing for someone with limited outdoor spaces.

My classes enjoyed learning about seed starting in empty recycled milk jugs.  They were all going out to find jugs at the local recycle places.  My Native Maine seeds are out on the back deck.  Freezing and thawing as the Maine weather goes from 50 degrees to minus 5.  And the Wind Chill has been fierce.  Sunday's class @ the local church was on Native Seeds-- where I had ordered mine.

We went to a Birthday Dinner with a friend and the wind cut right through our coats, scarves and sweaters.  I think the high for the day was 7.  Seven degrees.  The garage door refused to go up when I was ready to leave for work on Saturday morning.  I had to go back and wake up G to get him to push the door up.

I have the class on Wednesday at the library and then I think I will stop volunteering for things.  I should be returning to work in the next 2 weeks and I have too much left undone to get involved in anything else.  Today I am returning to the sewing room.  Hoping to get the closet empty. If I run out of energy to go up and down the stairs--I can always try and clear off the dining room table.  It is a total disaster.  You have to push things to the side just to have room to eat breakfast.

Today's Purchase:  My inhaler.  My prescription ran out and I have two puffs left.  Feeling insecure.

Today's Meals:  I have two Portobello mushrooms that need to be cooked and eaten.  Plenty of fresh salad greens.  Chicken thighs to make into soup for G.  A Cauliflower to be made into something; a creamed cheesy soup perhaps--for me.

Today's Work:  The sewing room closet.  The dining room table.  The freezer.  I think there are things in there I have forgotten about.  Things that would be good to cook.  Proteins.

Today's Serendipity:  I called my doctor to order a new prescription and asked if I had an appointment coming up.  Yes.  The 22nd of this month.  I had no idea.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Packing, Sorting & Carrying Things Up The Stairs

I am taking a break.  Eating some yogurt.  Taking deep breaths.

I carried three, four, five? large Sterilite tubs packed with fabric, yarns, etc up the stairs to the attic.  I also carried up a pile of quilts, comforters, curtains, unpainted stretched canvas, boards, papers--things that are/were stored in the closet of the room I called "the sewing room".  Many trips.

The watercolor supplies are still downstairs. I have another three or four boxes to pack up.  And the closet still looks pretty full. G carried seven packed boxes up last night.

I spent "resting time" trying to get the cassette player to play the long lost 60's tapes.  I REALLY wanted to listen to them while I worked because I was very happy to have found them.  Very frustrated.  None of the buttons are labeled.  And the machine just kept displaying (no disc) no matter what buttons I pushed. sigh.  I did not throw it into the Goodwill box.  I wanted to.

Yesterday I emptied the 2 drawer file cabinet and today G took it to a friend for her office.  I also emptied a five or six shelf bookcase that I hope my daughter will want for her house---she has lots and lots of books.  And I have almost finished emptying the chest on chest dining room dresser (50"s maple) that held all my art supplies.  Paints, glues, gesso, dyes etc.  The ink bottles are still on the bottom shelf waiting to go. I still have Ikea cabinets to empty plus the bookcases on top.

I am not just moving all that I find.  I am looking at each thing and seeing if it "sparks joy" or makes me feel burdened, sad, angry or just unhappy.  Those things are going to new homes via Goodwill.

I did find a nice collection of unused greeting cards, my Hello Kitty collection of dolls (so cute), a couple bags of wool yarn I thought I had lost,  my square 1930's pincushion I thought was gone for good,  two almost finished primitive Raggedy Anne appliqu├ęs I was working on years ago, Mardi  Gras beads in green and purple (late) along with an order form for a King cake, and a number of other things that made me say "oh, there you are" and then "did I even miss you?".

Last night while not watching "the speech", I sorted thru a bin of papers.  I tear out things that interest me and then forget about them. A large number of images will be used on my journal pages.  I had some really terrific things saved up.  I still have a pile about 30 inches tall to go thru. The recycle bin is half full already.

Teaching two sessions of Seed Starting at work on Saturday.  Found my class notes in the seed starting bin.  So that's a relief. thought I had lost them.  Probably going back to work (on the schedule) the week of the 13th.  The Winter seemed long and now that I am going back--it seems too short.

Well, recess is over--time to get back to cleaning and carrying.  I would give anything for a cheeseburger followed by ice cream.