Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Last Wednesday in April

Yesterday it rained. And rained. And rained. It was also very cold. I could NOT get warm. I had to call home and have more clothes brought to me at work. I've decided to tell you that I work in a greenhouse. Which will explain some of the indoors/outdoors aspects of my new job. It will also explain the rain that was falling INSIDE the building as well as outside.

G & C brought me the insulated hunting jacket I bought @ Marden's in anticipation of a cold spring in the greenhouse. Instead, we had record heat and sun which I fully appreciated. And I forgot about my insulated jacket. Which, when I finally got it on, was toasty warm. My only concern the remainder of the day was staying dry. Not easily done in a greenhouse.

My son C (and sous chef) and I made a very large amount of potstickers yesterday. I made the dough out of flour and boiling water and left it to rest while I returned to town to get ginger, green onion and ground chicken for the filling. I was going to try a mushroom and cashew filling but it was getting late and everyone was hungry. C also baked a spice bundt cake which came out very delicious. Spice cake has always been his favorite.

We have been eating very well this week. Grilled, marinated pork chops. Burritos. Yumbos with baked beans. Chicken Potstickers. Spice cake. Tonight we are having a favorite of mine: cherry tomato pasta. I know. Lots of carbs. But G & C are working hard. Cutting down trees, insulating hot water pipes in a 4 foot tall crawl space (ugh), running internet cable under the floors, working on training the dog with his invisible fence "homework", walking the dog, vacuuming, and piling brush on the burn pile. They look exhausted when I get home.

The sun is shining today and two male Mallard ducks are swimming in the vernal pool on the western edge of our property. Riley now has "livestock" to tend. Squirrels. Two ducks. Robins making a nest above the sunporch doorway. Tadpoles in the pool. Crows. Tomorrow morning Invisible Fence flags will be added to the backyard landscape and Riley will be made aware of his limits. ZAP! But, on a positive note, Riley will also have freedom to roam, at will, over a 3/4 acre area. No leash. No training lead. He will be able to RUN and not worry about being yanked backwards by the lead. Now that he knows how to retrieve a nice, fresh, new tennis ball, Riley loves running up and down the hill. Into the vernal pool and back to G for a treat.

What's Good Today: Sunshine. Sliced fresh mango. Wicked Joe's coffee. Leftover Chinese food and leftover rice for lunch today.

What's Not: Last day of C's visit. I have loved having him here and am getting teary eyed typing this. He leaves tomorrow afternoon. I think we should play some Scrabble tonight. I also need to select information for handouts for my Vegetable Gardening 101 class on Saturday. I can tell it will be popular. Recession Gardening. My nails. I get a manicure on Friday and K will freak! We are going to have to rethink the pretty nails thing for a couple of months!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday News

Saturday. Work. Yes, my first Saturday and Sunday at my new job. The young people told me that the weekends were "crazy". So I expected crowds of customers with questions. Instead, L and J and I, got a tremendous amount of work done. I did wait on customers, also. But I experienced more "crazy" at the library than I do here. And I found a sweet prezzie tucked behind my time card this morning. A paycheck!!!

Maine continues to be under the influence of the first Spring I have ever experienced in my 16 years of living here. Short sleeves, suntan lotion, sandals, convertibles, sunshine and blue skies & ice cream. Where's the April snow? The mud that gives us Mud Season. The RAIN? Each day dawns (6 am) and it is freezing or nearly freezing outside. By 10 am the sun is warming Maine up and things just get better all day until the wind changes and the breeze comes in off the ocean and things start cooling off. Nice and cold at night so the sleeping -- with the window open is sweet. Except for the peeping of the frogs or salamanders in the vernal pools.

My son has been working with his dad on a few projects like a new step for the back "stoop", insulating the hot water pipes in the basement to be more efficient with the heating, adding memory to Slambo's computer and trying to make our computers "wireless". My laptop is supposed to be wireless but when I unhook it, the computer doesn't always work.

On Monday the Invisible Fence people will be here installing the wire for Riley's fence. G wants him to be able to run around the 3/4 acre yard that we will have wired. I'm wondering what Riley will think of the "training" where he gets shocked whenever he walks near a little white flag.

Riley is having some difficulty with; me working (our walking schedule is kaput), our son who is visiting, no regular dinner time (when he gets cheese for the long stay), and I think they fed Riley different food at the kennel on Friday. He's having to "ring the bell" and go out frequently. Tummy Trouble. And Riley is having a hard time "settling" and to calm himself he has started to hold his toy (pup-a-saurous) in his mouth and knead his blanket. Nursing behaviour. He puts himself to sleep in 5 minutes. Riley may weigh 67 pounds and look like an adult dog, but he's still a puppy.

What's good Today: I have my Sunday lunch packed. Had my shower. And I get to sleep until 7 am tomorrow as we open at 8:30 on Sunday. My toothbrush is all charged up so my teeth will get a good brushing before bed tonight.

What's Not: I purchased a pair of Crocs. My first. In hot pink. And now my son (from California) says that Crocs are passe. Over. Been. Done. Gone. They had a whole wall of them for sale at Whole Foods on Friday. They had the Mary Janes which I adore. And ballet flat Crocs. And my friend in Florida got sandals. How could it all be over?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thoughts On Blogging

I use my blog as part journal and part entertainment. When I began blogging, lo so many years ago (it seems), I wrote to entertain and interest anyone who happened to read. I wanted to be popular. I worked hard (even though it may not have looked that way) to be amusing, charming and slightly provocative (that's the way to get comments). I wrote and rewrote my entries.

Now, I write and do a bit of spelling and content cleanup and then post. You are getting stream of thought not constructed blogging. And sometimes I write about something -- like worrying about stuff -- that gets readers thinking I need a mild anti depressant. I HAVE suffered through periods of depression. Trust me. I am not depressed now. I was not depressed about "worrying". I'm just a person who worries and I wish I wasn't. Now that I have all my worries written down, I can forget them for awhile.

Right now, life is very good. I don't want to write in every post about how happy I am but I will today. I love my new job. The weather in Maine is glorious. Sunny and 72 today. The back 3 acres are greening up, the daffs are all yellow and bobbing in the breeze. I have been driving the roadster with the top down. My bowels are regular. My oatmeal this morning was great. My son is flying in from California to visit for a week. My daughter has discovered a talent for photography. I got a great night's sleep and will be taking a lovely shower in a few moments. My weight, without dieting, has not fluctuated in 4 months. I weight the same as I did on the 365th day of my Healthy Eating Plan. That alone is worth complete happiness.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Wish

I wish I had some (all) of the money I spent (wasted) when G was earning the "Big Bucks". Sure, we saved a bunch for retirement, but I've never spent this MUCH for one bag of groceries ($78), one tank of gas ($48), one electric bill ($80 without air or heat), or one month of heating oil ($400). I'm getting used to buying clothes at Goodwill instead of nice clothing stores. I'm getting used to not eating out more than once a week. I'm getting used to buying cold cereal only when it costs less than $3 a box. (There's a fresh, new box of Total Raisin Bran in the cupboard because it was $2.97.)

I wish the huge pile of "real" Depression Era quilts I collected over the years was a pile of $20 bills. What was I thinking? None of them fit on my king size beds. I had a plan last year to cut two matching quilts up and sew them back together into a king size quilt. My plan was greeted with horror by my quilt friends. Cut up a perfectly good 1930's, hand quilted, quilt???? My friends feel I would be better off changing the guest room king into two twin beds (using the maple bunk bed set from my childhood which is in the attic) and loading the unused beds with layers of quilts. (We never have guests because Maine is located in the Arctic zone) I still wish they would change into $20 bills over night.

I wish I hadn't bought so much fabric. I could, on a good day, spend $300 to $400 on yards of fabric in a shop. Usually when I was on vacation. Usually for bright colored, dotted fabric that would NEVER be sold in Maine. I have bolts of fabric. I have so much fabric that even if I sewed 12 hours a day, every day, for 10 years -- there would still be too much fabric in the closet. AND I have given away so very much of the non-dotted stuff to new quilters and to the members of my chapter. And NOW I have bolts of plain white fabric because, NOW, I prefer to paint or discharge (with bleach) fabric. And, my own true love, using trashed fabric on small 12 inch, 14 inch or 18 inch square pieces. They take almost no fabric to make. All I ever needed was a few fat quarters and whatever I could scavenge in the donations pile at meetings.

I wish there were less trees and more sunshine in the backyard so I could have a peach tree and an apple tree back there. Maybe even a plum tree. Why not spend the rest of my life spraying trees? My grandmother had apple, pear, peach and plum trees in her little city yard. She had Concord grapes, red currents and a huge vegetable garden plus the most gorgeous poppies, iris, roses and peonies. My Gramma had survived the Great Depression (barely) and was never going to go hungry again! There are many, many days when I wish I had my Gramma here to help organize my garden. Or, at the least, help me get some beets to germinate. And some carrots!

I wish, now that it's warm and I want to wear short pants and short sleeves, that the skin on my arms and legs didn't look like a deflated balloon. Yesterday I shopped for shorts. I was feeling pretty good about my body and the weight loss and all that. Then I stood in the dressing room and looked in the mirror dressed in shorts and tee. It was completely awful. Folds of crepe (crinkly and puckered) skin hanging from my bones. I was even thinking I needed to lose another 20 or 30 pounds but quickly realized that would only produce MORE puckered skin. In the end, I did buy some cargo shorts in the men's department (longer leg) but I may never wear them and then at Goodwill two pair of petite pants cause they have a nice cropped look on my height. Will I feel "summery" with just my ankles bare? I am wearing short sleeves on my dog walks and keeping my arms down at my sides. No arm waving (more like flap waving). In case you are wondering, last year at this time, I had only lost 34 pounds and my skin was still full and smooth. This is my very first, warm weather, look, at the shriveled 80 pound loss.

I wish I was a better playmate for my dog. I am good with children. And if he was a small boy, and not a big dog; we could color with crayons, or better yet, markers; build with wooden blocks; scoop frogs out of the vernal ponds and then read stories or just talk while he takes a nice bath. Riley would eat the crayons, chew on the blocks, eat the frogs, and eat the books instead of taking the bath and even though I DO spend a great deal of time "talking" to him, Riley doesn't seem to care for any of it. Are we seeing a pattern of behavior here? I don't have the knack for making a tennis ball "fun". G and Riley can play with all the dog toys and Riley has a wonderful time; squeaking, fetching, running, hiding, chewing, tugging, rolling on the floor. Riley spends most of "our" time together looking me in the eyes, in a sort of sad way. Then he sighs and goes into his crate to sigh some more. Like right now. And then I take him for a long walk-- which is the one thing I CAN do.

Most of all, I wish I could stop worrying. I worry that I will come down with some mental disorder or disease and be a burden on my family (the women in my family have all had some type of dementia). I worry that the investment money won't last for our lifetime, especially if we ever get really sick. I worry about having enough money in the account to pay the bills. I worry about my son and daughter even though they are close to being middle aged (how did that happen?). I worry about the amount of gas in my car (will the gas light go on and throw me into an panic?). I worry about my 86 year old father living alone in the midwest and refusing to live closer to one or the other of his adult children. I worry about the dog pulling me over and me falling and breaking my nose or something. I worry. About everything. And about nothing. Which Peanuts character worried all the time? I used to be Lucy. Always critical and negative.

Friday, April 18, 2008

As Good As It Gets

My Daffodils are blooming in the April sunshine. They were a gift many years ago from my brother-in law. I have divided the original 20 daffs many, many times and they are the most reliable bulb in my garden. I've planted the big, yellow daffodils but they may or may not come up.

Isn't she pretty? The green houses have lots of pansies for sale right now and if I had somewhere to plant them, I might buy some. But I don't. I am tempted by an apple tree and perhaps a peach. The blossoms on both are so amazing in the spring. I don't have enough high, sunny area for either but my daughter has a perfect yard for an apple or peach tree. But if it's planted at her house, I will miss the blossoms falling like pastel snow over the bright green spring grass.

I baked "cake mix chocolate cookies" again and, man, they are delicious! I didn't have dark chocolate chips so I used all the white chocolate chips I had. G likes white chocolate best. I packed 2 freshly baked cookies into his lunch bag. G doesn't feel good. He has a headache. And he didn't sleep well last night.

I'm enjoying my "day off" after four full days of my new job. Guess what? I miss going to work. But I have cookies to bake, laundry to do, dog to walk and lots more time in the sun working on my tan. I drove home yesterday with the top down on the car. HEAVEN. Every day this week has been pretty wonderful.

What I'm Doing Today: Suntan, shopping for shorts (ugh), buying some fried chicken to go with the fried squash I made this morning and the steamed rice I will make later today. Going up into the attic to see if I can find the porch chair cushions. Last year we couldn't find them. I'm feeling a bit lucky today, so I may find them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I believe the blurred pictures are less about me and more about the camera. I need a new camera. Anyway, my dinner. An onion sliced and carmelized in some oil, then I added leftover roasted butternut squash and a handful of raisins. On top of all this, I packed the skillet with kale which I washed and pulled off the stems. I pressed as much kale as possible into the skillet and then pressed a pot lid down on top. After a while I tossed it all. Covered again and let it steam some more. Salt and pepper. Soy sauce.

I'm in the "honeymoon" stage with my new job. Up at 6 am. Working 8 hours. Standing all day on cement floors. Not even close to being tired. Loving every minute. Up at 6 am! Wow. Maybe the weight I lost was all "so not a morning person" weight. LOL.

I AM having trouble remembering names, so tomorrow I am making a chart with little pictures (I draw) and then add names. I used to do this when I worked at the library. I would make a map of the library for all the new hires that I trained. And I would write a physical description of the staff member, where their desk was located, their responsibilities and, of course, their name. Made the new kids feel right at home. All part of the "showing disrespect for library staff".

I won't be having much to report here since I won't be writing about the job and because I am working 6 out of 7 days this week. And my son is coming to visit next Thursday. And I have to bake some cookies for G's lunchbox. I also volunteered to give a vegetable gardening "talk" to gain Master Gardener "volunteer points". Who is this new Joanne?

Kind of scary becoming a "new" person at 61. But fun, too. I feel like dancing. Happy. Feet.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Saturday spent with a list. In the car and driving. Puppy in the backseat. Returning a pair of shorts to Goodwill. Checking bookstores for the QA Studios magazine. (no luck!) Target for a lunch bag for me--- I got a JOB! (starting Monday). Marden's for an insulated jacket to wear to my job -- I may be outdoors most of the day. Then Mexican Lunch. My new "treat" meal.
DeLuxo Nachos Grande. I just love them and had been dreaming of them. I skipped the Margarita because I had to do the taxes when I got home. Then, on the road home, a Dairy Queen dessert. Blizzard for G and a small cone for me. Riley was so sweet. He wanted ice cream too. But he didn't get any. He had water instead.

Sam gets nice refunds on her Federal and State taxes (she'll be happy). G & I get to write nice, big, fat checks to both. I hate taxes. And it took less than 2 hours to figure all of the returns. It's done. Now I can enjoy the evening and read my book. Or sew. I'll write checks tomorrow.

On one of my quilt shop visits today, the shop owner said there was little mark up on the Quilting Arts magazines and the Cloth, Paper, Scissors. No incentive for bookstores or quilt shops to carry them since they make little profit on the sale. Foolish of the publisher. I refuse to pay the standard flat shipping fee for the Studios issue. And I wanted to make the rolled, colored pencil holder.

What's Fabulous Today: My neighbor, a vegetarian, is bringing over leftovers from a big dinner party. Meatballs and Roast Turkey. We love her! She apologized for the big bus bringing the lacrosse team to dinner. Big Bus? I missed seeing that. We live on a dead end street and a bus turning around is always very interesting. The puppy BARKED! Protecting us from food bearing neighbor lady. What a day.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Raw Edge Applique

Yesterday was another "BIG" day for me. I had another job interview and I was the program presenter at my chapter quilt meeting. The topic was raw edge applique and the project was an art piece to put on the front of a Potluck Tote. A bag to hold a plate, cup, napkin and flatwear so we could stop using so much disposable paper.

My demo project was the above piece. And another one I did "live". There was a bit of grumbling, a lot of inattention, and a small amount of actual participation BUT in the end it was all worth while as two new members said "I always wanted to try this but was too afraid" and they actually made nice pieces! Another said she and her daughter wanted to try a large pictorial piece but had no idea how to proceed and "you told us everything we needed to know". So if I touched the artistic lives of 3 or 4 people last night, I'm happy.

The job interview went well and I begin my new, temporary employment on Monday. I think I will be happy in this new endeavor. It feels right.

Yesterday G installed a "pop-up" greenhouse in the vegetable garden. It's screened and has shelving inside and is just the perfect size for the garden. I can put my orchids out there this summer and harden off my seedlings in a few weeks. I have already re-potted some of my tomato seedlings into deeper pots. I usually re-pot tomatoes 3 or even 4 times (in deeper pots each time) before setting them deeper still in the garden with a handful of Epsom salts.

G straightened out the black plastic row covers on the raised beds and placed rocks around the edges to keep them down. I use heavy black plastic to heat the soil up and further compost the leaves I add in the fall. My little seedlings are getting their second leaves. Can't wait!

Time to walk!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Missing You

I took this photograph of the chair you always sat in when I came to visit. Your cup of tea would be on the top of the cabinet and the New York Times would be on the bench. I was sitting in the "my" chair when I took this picture: on the day your children were emptying your house. You had been gone 6 weeks by then. Would have been wonderful to visit with you today. Nice spring weather. I baked an apple pie and plan to serve it with some heavy cream-- just like you always did.

I understand, now, why people always say they wish they had one more day or even one more minute to share with a loved one. One more afternoon. And then, of course, I'd want another. You were ready to go, but I wasn't ready to be left behind.

I was up early with the puppy and I will be walking him again as soon as I'm done with this post. I finished my pen and paper journal last night (the last page filled with writing) and got to write on the first page of the next, new journal. It has a red cover. I'm pretty excited about a new book. It is so hard to finish the old book. This is the second unfinished journal I have filled in 2008. Any biographer of mine will have their work cut out for them following my trail through these books. The journal I finished was begun in 2004. And others were started in 2005 and 2006. What a tangled web.

I sorted through a box of "kinda velvet" scraps and started sewing on the third section of my red piece. Nothing to show yet. I have things to do and here I sit typing, baking pies, walking the dog. Ever the procrastinator. The guy down the street has gotten himself sick--just to keep from finishing the taxes of several family members and himself. He wins.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Chocolate Fudge Sauce

I had a tablespoon of chocolate fudge sauce with some low fat ice cream (about a half cup). It was VERY GOOD. Is there anything about thick creamy chocolate that is bad? No. I didn't think so.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Bare Earth

It's brown, wet, dead and clumped up, but it's bare -- NO SNOW. I am very pleased to see the earth, uncovered, again. Even the smallest of square feet. And it's not dirty white, or some shade of gray.

I've also come to the end of the time when I can just drift. I've done that through the winter. No plans and no deadlines. I just got through each day and made no headway in any venue. Now I can see that while it was refreshing, I can't continue on that path. I finished cutting all the letters of my alphabet stamps. Some twice and three times as I continued to cut them "backward" (meaning I cut them the way they look printed but not backwards). Now they are done. I may recut one or two to make them look more stylish like the others. My z is quite pedestrian and the Q is still backward, but cute.

I have taxes to do: ours and my daughter's. I have a demo to give to my quilt chapter on Thursday and still need class samples and an outline of what to say. I also need to devise an easel and foam board for my work examples in progress.

I did get my Community pieces (both, as the first was "found" soon after the second was photographed) finished and I quite like them. Working alongside these twelve creative artists is good for me. I read their thoughts and have my own and it all feels like being part of something. And since it's just me and the puppy most of the day, I do need to feel part of something.

There are more dogs and owners out when I walk Riley and I am getting to know so many more people (and dogs). Riley is about midpoint in obedience as I see half of the dogs as not as good and half as better than my dog. Brindle has improved a great deal and was doing a lovely sit while his mistress was talking with me. Riley was doing a lovely stand/wait.

I carry a pocketful of bags on my walks and collect every bit of dog waste we find--not only that contributed by my dog. (I won't RANT ON about people who don't clean up after their dogs!) As the snow recedes, the uncollected poop is visible. I also chipped out the frozen deposits in the side yard where Riley has "gone" all winter. I think that's the second or third time this winter that I have done that sort of clean up. Riley is older and larger now and we will have him make deposits farther from the house to keep the deer away. A large dog is the best deer repellent.

What I Am Doing Today: Coffee. Shower. Laundry. Book Club. And I think I will try and find the CPS Studio Edition today at JoAnn's with my coupon. I would also like to find some of that soft, sewable metal that Judy Perez uses on her little painted pieces. And I will be making class samples today. Riley is at day care.

The sun is shining and my car has been washed (shiny) so I am pretty darned happy!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Alone - Together

This was my first attempt with the community theme. It is also a bleach discharge. This time a dark green piece which discharged to this lovely combo of moss green and violet. There were shapes in this section that looked like three houses so I added roof peaks with Prismacolor pencils and then added hand embroidery and some machine stitching.

The overall feel of the piece is that of a community of three houses. Alone. But together somehow, leaning on each other in the weather. Which looks kind of stormy. I feel that way about my little street community. A dozen houses on a very long wooded dead end street. Each house and family on it's own large acre, the houses sitting back at the end of long driveways. Helpful, kind, friendly (lending a battery so the garage door would open) but still separate, distant. Do they wish we had more contact with each other?

When I first started working at the library, ten years ago, one of the major benefits was getting to visit with my street neighbors. They all came to the library and we would exchange "news". Who had company, who was sick, who was selling their house, Who was buying, who was getting the house painted. Neighborhood Stuff. Nice. Now I see them as they drive past me walking the dog. We wave.

What I'm Doing Today: Laundry, dog walking, I may go out to the library and to the grocery store. I want to make breaded chicken for supper tonight. Need some vegetables to go with. May be able to finish my journal and begin a new one this weekend. Still have taxes to do but don't want to.

What I'm Thinking About: Am I still a quilter? A fabric artist? The fabric isn't as interesting to me as it has always been. I enjoy the occasional "sparkle" of a project, but it had better be short and sweet. The long slog is not for me anymore. It seems. Could just be cabin fever.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Friend of Twelve by Twelve : Community

Today is the "reveal". I had an entirely different piece in progress. Couldn't find it. And there is no such thing as "coincidence". This piece wanted to be made. It all fell together in moments, each piece directly under my hand when I wanted "something".

I used bleach discharged black cotton, a vintage map of Washington, D. C., and a magazine clipping of an old hinge. I placed the hinge on the straight edge of the map of the Capital, the largest community common to Americans. To the right (?) : rough waters, and accidentally, some skulls. The choice of black and white is racial and political. Right or wrong. Yes or No. Us or Them. Good or Evil.

In the lowest, left corner, tacked down with clumsy, painful stitches is another community: Arlington Cemetery.

Not all of the community pieces made by the Twelve are joyful. The tree with colorful leaves and the birds on a wire made me smile. The text that accompanies some of the work contains a number of vocabulary words that I hadn't expected to see: couldn't, difficult, separate, disconnected, excluded, not a part of, outside. My first piece was all about loneliness.


Walk. Just walk. No talking. No thinking. Plenty of looking. Smelling. Feeling. Sensing the weather, the barometric pressure, the mood of the day.

Riley and I walk the same path, the same way, twice a day, everyday. Riley always finds what is "new" to the walk. A stick, a puddle, fresh snow, a kleenex, another dog, people with umbrellas, boys with a basketball. The same walk is always fresh for the dog. It is sometimes harder for me to let go of "my thoughts/my worries" and just exist with the walk. I try.

I sometimes wish I had an old, dirty, rundown car. A car that I could load the dog into so we could go down to the ocean to walk or into the fields to walk or out on the clam flats to walk. And it wouldn't matter if we were muddy, wet and stinky when we finished walking. We could just climb back into the car and nevermind the mess.

Buying an old, disheveled car isn't so easy. I do want it to work properly. I do want it to be sturdy enough to get an inspection tag each year. My husband was given, free, a wonderful old Volvo station wagon with an engine that would have run for 100 years. He adored that free car and gave it a new exhaust system. The undercarriage was riddled with rust though and the inspection personnel knew of this defect in Volvos of a certain age and model and would look there first. When it finally needed a new tag, it failed inspection. And G couldn't drive it anymore. It sat. He asked mechanics to fix it. They said no, it was too expensive, too timeconsuming, not worth their effort somehow. He found another, newer Volvo with a better undercarriage and a terrible engine. He wanted to swap the engines. No again. No time. Not interested. If my dad wasn't in his 80's and ill, he would have done it for us. So in the end, both cars went to a scrap yard.

I wonder why G didn't just rig up a pulley and take the cars apart himself. He could still be working on this exchange of engines. And perhaps even be close to finishing by now, 8 years or more later, and we could be taking the dog to wet, muddy places for a nice, stinky walk.

Today's painter's key letter had this comment:
We rescued a wonderful dog about seven months ago. I walk with him in the morning for about twenty minutes and in the afternoon for about an hour on a wooded trail... every day for the past six months. I actually try not to think of anything and instead enjoy the new leaves coming out, the birds, the path, the aliveness that I feel very much a part of when I stop the incessant mind. I see people running past with headphones, and cell phones, and talking nonstop to one another... Why must we always be 'doing'? I try to use the walks almost as a quieting stillness of my mind, and I find that when I return, I am always more peaceful and alert. I also sleep much better. Walking is really a meditation for me. The dog loves it too!