Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just Saying

I liked Micheal Jackson better when he was alive and no one had anything to say about him. He was creative, but in the end, he wasted his life. Let it go.

This is now one of the five coldest, wettest Junes in Maine history. It has been raining or overcast since Saturday evening. And there is a slim possibility of sun next Tuesday, July 7th. I know you've had weeks of 100 degree days in Texas, which I wouldn't like either.

The perennial yard is full of black aphids (and their waste products), red lily beetles (and their waste products) and slugs. Today I picked wet, slimy leaves and flowers off plants. Can we all say ICK?

P is coming over with veggie burgers she made to take to Art Club. We (I) will be cooking them here at my house because I seem to be better equipped (?) to cook veggie burgers. I plan to fry them in butter. Yep. That's what I'm going to do.

Riley had a good day at day care and made a large deposit in the yard when we got home. I tried to park the car in a new part of the driveway today and Riley refused to get out of the car. I had to start the car and drive to the usual place and he jumped right out. Riley is right on the edge of being a "Monk" dog. I mentioned his distaste for walking through the doorway between the television viewing room and the kitchen? A span of three feet. And his "fear" of the rolling desk chair?

My back was acting up again this morning but was okay by 10am. I think we need a new mattress on our bed even though my back doesn't hurt during my sleeping time.

I dreamed I was staying in a hotel full of dead people last night. They were neatly stacked on the balcony outside our room along with their luggage. So I was up from 2 to 3 am wondering about these dead people. So weird.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rain Destroyed Peonies

I wait all year for June. Blue skies. Warm but not hot. Not too many bugs. Yet. Beautiful Peonies. Not this year. This year the mosquitoes are having a blood fest out in my yard. And it continues to rain. Days and days of dripping, pouring, cold rain. So, June 2009. A complete loss.

I'm sitting in the house, wearing socks and a sweater, and it's almost the 4th of July. I'm thinking of baking some potatoes in the oven just to heat up the kitchen. Take the chill out of the air.

Today I completed a number of tasks that have been on the dreaded "estate" list for 6 months now. I filled out and mailed the annuity documents. I wrote checks and mailed the estate tax forms. I have a contact to call regarding the Ohio home insurance. I went to the bank, the library and the grocery store. I still have a CD to renew by 12 July, my daughter's accounts and the car title to take care of when I have the nerves to face the DMV. And then it will all be DONE. The Ohio bills keep on coming: $180 to mow the grass for June, electricity and we turned on the central air (it's actually hot in Ohio) so the house wouldn't be stuffy or damp if someone wants to visit. Please!!!!

I'm reading a book. 'Serena' by Ron Rash. I've read his other books. They are dismal but the way he uses words, well, I love reading his sentences. I already flipped to the last few pages so I won't have to worry about favorite characters. I now know who lives and dies. It doesn't matter to me. I reread murder mysteries and it doesn't effect the enjoyment when I know how it ends. A good book is a good book. I do have a thriller to read next by Robotham. I really love reading his books. This is his fourth book. Can't wait. And I might skip past Serena and go directly to 'Shatter'.

Tomorrow is Art Club. I plan to bring hand sewing and sit closer and actually join into the conversations. I am going to be more social.

Only two days of work this week. Tuesday and Friday. We were pretty busy on Saturday when I subbed for a coworker. Of course, it was sunny. I spent most of the sunny time out in the perennial yard doing clean up. Got a bit of tan on my legs (I wore shorts). And I had Maine strawberries and sweetened (not) plain yogurt for my lunch. ICK!!! I added lots of honey and vanilla to the sour yogurt and it still tasted sour. I used the last of the plain stuff in my Sunday morning biscuits instead of milk. The biscuits were moist and very tender. Yummy. And I bought the high calorie vanilla yogurt today. I'll just eat less.

My back has it's good moments and it's bad moments. Today's bad event occurred half way into the 3.5 mile walk with the dog. I had a moment there when I wondered how the hell I was going to get back home. Walking is supposed to be excellent for a bad back. So I took a deep breath, extended my steps, tried to loosen up the painful tightness and made it home.

I should be feeling pretty good but I'm feeling kind of down. I think it's the weather and not being able to plant anything in the garden. I still have tomatoes, peppers and beans that need to be in the ground. G is home. Bringing take out from a new place his coworker says is great. I won't be baking any potatoes.

I hope the sun is shining where you are!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Another day. More back pain. Today, at work, I couldn't pick up the hose. Sad. there were all those dry plants, waiting for a drink, a sip of fertilized water, and I was bending, but not quite enough, not close enough, to touch the hose. So I had to get down on one knee, pick up the hose and then try and get back on both feet.

My boss mentioned the annual house needed watering in the afternoon. He wondered if he should ask someone else to do it. That's the way he asks me to do things. Would that be passive-aggressive behaviour?

G had to drive to another McD's to get additional buns for the new Angus burger they are serving. His tiny McD's is selling a good number of them and they ran out of buns. His McD's is tiny because it has no drivethru. It has no neon. It has no McCafe. It has no golden arches. It's just a tiny brick and clapboard cape that once was a bank, then served ice cream and is now the ONLY fast food chain in town.

Anyway, he had to drive to another town to get buns and then drive back to the tiny restaurant before finally driving home for dinner. Since we had eaten out yesterday (beer and cheeseburgers) we ate at home tonight. Pasta with butter and cheese. G had lots of butter and cheese and I had very little.

I was not supposed to be working tomorrow, but most of our employees are attending a wedding (a co worker is getting married) so I'll be helping "cover lunches". I think I can leave whenever I feel like I've had enough fun. I also volunteered to water on the Fourth of July. We're closed but we have to come in and water all the plants. So, in spite of the decrease in scheduled hours, I am trying to make some money.

Oh. I got a nice letter from the Internal Revenue. Seems I made an even BIGGER mistake on the Federal return and they will be sending me a really BIG refund in 6 weeks. Much bigger than the one the state of Maine sent me. What the hell was I doing???? They mentioned the Qualified Dividends in the explanation part of the letter. And the Qualified Dividends Worksheet. Where the mistakes were made. And I actually thought I had gotten it right this year. Clearly delusional.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Book Sale/ State Farm Insurance

Well. It's over. My part that is. It was quite a mess without a book count, but I had plenty of help which was fortunate since my back decided to seize up and I couldn't even put my socks on Tuesday morning. It was worse on Wednesday morning.

I usually lift boxes, unpack books, move piles of boxes around etc. Could NOT do any of that. I was so frustrated. But since I was medicated by one huge orange pill (like 5 Aleeve) I didn't have the will power to even sit and have a good cry. I managed to drift through it all and by 3:30 (when the janitor surprised us with his closing now announcement) we were pretty close to finished. I was pretty strong in not wanting children helping, but they arrived anyway and did a damned fine job. Proving me wrong but I was not responsible for them and when one had a first aid emergency (blood) (and they came to ME for help) I just shouted-- who has the first aid kit, and left them to it.

We were finished with everything, even had the floor swept and the signs hung from the ceiling, by 1 pm (today, Thursday) It takes two days to do set up. My back was good enough today that I got my socks on (first try), didn't need the handicap bar when I used the bathroom, and only needed one rest period when getting into the car. Twisting is not a good thing.

I got home in time to have lunch, look at some of my new (to me) cookbooks, sit out in the SUN (yes, it didn't rain today) when the phone rang and State Farm Insurance (in Ohio) let me know they were canceling the homeowners policy on the Ohio house. It's vacant. They don't want to cover any vacant houses. Doesn't matter that I have someone checking the house, have a nosy neighbor next door and have a lawn service guy cutting the grass. The agent's assistant suggested I go on the internet and find a "high risk insurer". State Farm. They are sending me a "letter". I'm going to have to change the channel every time one of their commercials comes on, from now on. I think the whole state of Florida got canceled by State Farm this winter. So maybe they are closing down in Ohio too? A new slogan for them would be "whenever you need us, we won't be there".

We ate the last of the lasagna on Tuesday and had Subway sandwiches as a very late lunch on Wednesday after working all day unpacking dirty books. Today it's sunny and summery. I have no idea what to make for dinner. I would like a beer and a cheeseburger. And sugared native Maine strawberries for dessert. I stopped on the way home to buy a container. Yummy. But they are big this summer and not as densely RED. Too much rain.

I return to work (my job) tomorrow. I get to go pick up the dog now. No rest for the weary.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Morning Rain

I can't believe it took me so long to figure out how to crop my pictures. Now I download and click edit and see just how blurry most of my pictures are and delete them. sometimes there is a picture or two I can then crop for the blog. The color here isn't as deeply Sonic Purple as the actual flower. BUT, you can see the rain can't you?

We have an additional roof leak. One on the sunporch, one in the chimney (never did decide to take it down) and now one next to the skylight. I have small bowls on the floor catching the ping, ping, ping of water as it falls from the sky, runs through the shingles and into the house.

I have the house lights on this morning. So dreary. I managed to fill and plant the stoop planters, fill the large gray pedestal planter will soil and plant my Elephant Ears bulb, plant the smaller black pedestal pot with lime coleus and a Verbena bonariensis before the rain started yesterday. I also finished reading my book. Chick Lit. Okay, but it could have used some editing to make it better. They don't edit books anymore do they. Or they let the author edit the book, which is the same as not editing.

Today is my final day off before the long work week begins. I can feel myself falling into a pattern of not getting much done again. I was all fired up for a week or so there after Ohio, but now, not so eager to get things done. My daughter and I have checks to write for the estate taxes and then that can be mailed back to my dad's attorney. I still need to fill in all the blanks on the annuity paperwork. Fear of making a mistake. I got a check from the Maine Revenue Office. Guess I made a whopper of a mistake on the 2008 return. Big check. Self Doubt. My friend P suggests I get a tax person to do my returns from now on. This may be one of those "signs of aging" that I have to acknowledge.

Today: the library to return three books and pick up two; the grocery store for a few items and some fruit, hummus, carrots and lettuce for my work lunches; a walk with Riley; pay bills that are stacked in a large pile on the table and balance the checkbook. Reheated lasagna for dinner so no worries about cooking today.

Today isn't the kind of day when you want to be home. Too tempting to just curl up on the couch with a quilt and watch crappy television all afternoon. Better to be at work. Picking dead flowers and leaves off of plants. NOT.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pink Peonies

I saved these blooms from the downpour and am enjoying their beauty here in the house. Why is it that the exuberant peony bloom happens during a rainstorm? There is a red peony bud that is open enough to be added to my bouquet today and perhaps tomorrow, a Bowl of Beauty bloom or Krinkled White. Those are the two "named" varieties I purchased last year. I have a feeling the blooms above have "names" but I have long forgotten them. The pink is very, very nice and quite fragrant. Sarah Bernhardt? But it is so full and I don't think Sarah is.

The pink peonies remind me of a LONG, delightful lunch (it ran into dinner it was so long) on the Rhine River in Germany one summer. We were eating, talking and drinking a lovely rose sekt out on the grape vine covered terrace of a lovely old hotel, watching boats glide past on the river. Inside, by the front desk, was a huge vase full of pink, fragrant peonies. That day was perfection. And whenever I see and smell pink peonies, I am taken back to that perfect day.

We had a break in the rain yesterday for a few hours. The Sun. Oh, I had missed it so much.

I got most of the laundry done yesterday and the lasagna was put together and baked. G got home late and we ate our dinner even later. Today is G's day off so we'll see if the rain holds off and we get some gardening in -- or not. The floors got vacuumed yesterday, G dropped a glass on the floor right before dinner, so we got to vacuum then and not today. Riley's beach towels were nice and clean from the washer and dryer so he slept on the floor. Contrary.

I am writing in my journal this morning, finishing a book I began reading yesterday, wanting to fill my stoop planter box with soil less mix and plant my "butterfly" garden of verbena, lavender, phlox, aster, scabiosa and lobelia. I also wanted to paint the planter box with the pint of purple paint I purchased when my son was here. Can't paint wet wood.

My little plants (purple New Guinea Impatiens) in the scavenged hanging baskets are beginning to get "leggy" and starting to send out purple blooms. I will get a photo today if there is enough light. I decided to go with purple (not a color I am comfortable with) as the accent color (fourth color) for my house. I have the Martha Stewart Shortbread on the clapboards and a green that exactly matches the color of rhododendron leaves on the shutters and front door and white on the porch columns and porch trim. The purple will be used in very small doses. A few flowers (hard to find deep purple flowers), a thin stripe, a purple jar or tub full of lime leafed annuals. Just enough. Not too much.

I may buy another 4 pack of the purple impatiens (I found another hanging basket in the pile next to the compost yesterday) when I go into work today to get my check and find out what days I work this coming week. Book Sale Week. Wednesday and Thursday I will be putting in my volunteer time (16 hours) to set up the annual book sale books on the 90 plus tables. I hear we have 50,000 items this year. UGH!

So, if it doesn't rain I will plant beans and replant peppers. If it rains, I will read and make a fabric collage. There's a new Poirot on Masterpiece Theater tonight. Oh, and I will have ice cream. It's summer. Even if I am wearing a flannel shirt and wool socks.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Almost Summer

My Lupines are blooming. Blue. Anyone else notice that only the blue variety is blooming? I still have yellow, white and pink varieties at work, in bloom, but nothing in anyone's yard or gardens. My own yellow and pink lupines are still only a small bouquet of leaves this year.

G moved the empty planter boxes to the back stoop (I was too "weak" to wrestle them out from behind the shed -- but I tried). I had planned to paint them (the leaf green of the shutters and perhaps some purple), add dirt and plant them with the $24 worth of "butterfly" plants I had selected on Tuesday. Scabiosa, aster, lavender and a lovely annual which will go nameless for now--since we are having quite a downpour of more rain right now and I don't want to go outside and read the plant tag. Everything blue. I will plant lobelia and blue petunias around the edge.

The lawn is spectacular. Due to all the rain. The mosquitos are outrageous. Do to all the rain. Riley isn't interested in going out. Due to all the rain. Which is literally pounding down on the roof right now. If we go out for our walk, I will have to wear the full rain suit (pants and hooded jacket). My peonies are ready to open and the rain will destroy them. Sigh.

I slept in until 10 this morning and in the two hours I have been awake, I have read blogs, written in my journal and eaten my breakfast cereal and had two cups of coffee. I have a pile of new library books to read (some that I may actually finish), a sewing project and the possibility of making lasagna (today or tomorrow). I don't return to work until Tuesday.

The house in Ohio has had two showings. Nice, but garage too small (wanted three car). Nice, but too small for family (three bedrooms but no family room). I created a small wish for the Universe yesterday evening in my journal. For the sale of the house. When I place my hand over the image it vibrates against my palm. Lots of energy. My dad was happy in the house and when I was there taking care of him for five weeks (four years ago) I was happy there, also.

Marianne: Yes, I WAS thinking of visiting you when I wrote about my passport!!!!

I went to Art Club this week and I didn't quite connect with the ladies. I didn't sit at their table for one. It seemed too crowded and there were others working separate from the group so I felt I could sit alone. I think I need to bring some fabric collage to stitch on and then sit closer to them. It's difficult for me to work on a paper collage so close to everyone. I need elbow room. They were all painting and gluing things to chunks of wood scrap. For some reason, they are having a "show" of these collages on wood in August. I did come closer every once in awhile to see what they were doing and offer bits of stuff from my box for their blocks of wood. And, yes, it was awkward for me but I was friendly and open and they were also.

See, I thought we would be making a paper collage and THEN mounting it on wood.

One of the Art Club members brought a huge bag of beads and stuff that she had gotten at a yard sale. All the stuff in the bag (and more) had been hanging from the yard sale owner's bed canopy. I got a very nice strand of aged silver colored beads for a collage quilt and a long (several yards) strand of huge "pearls" for my mosaic (on wood).

The Art club members had a tube of glue they were using that had, unfortunately, opened at the bottom end as well as the top. The people using the glue had it all over their hands. I was amazed that their fingers weren't stuck together as the label said it (glue) would adhere "everything to anything". I was checking it out as a possible glue for my mosaic but the bits of jewelry they were adding to the wood pieces kept falling off. Perhaps they needed to wait for it to dry because during show and tell (I had none) the bits seemed to finally be stuck.

I have to work on my people skills if I intend to continue going to Art Club.

Next week is Book Sale Week. Wednesday I tackle set up without a box count. And with 4000 books from a private collection on War & Military and Military Law. And with an enormous amount of History & Politics at nearby tables. And an equally enormous amount of Audio/Visual cassettes, tapes and discs. This may be the year that finally makes me "retire".

The only upside is that the Wednesday of book set up is ALWAYS the hottest day. Really, stinking hot and humid. I could use a really hot day after all this RAIN!!!! And, better still, we have a designated volunteer getting cookies made for the workers. I hope to have fruit skewers in my cooler. Bamboo sticks with chunks of pineapple, melon, watermelon and a big strawberry.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where Am I Going?

I have my new work schedule for next week. Three short days. I had expected two short days. When gasoline prices started going up (speculative buying of futures by the financial markets) the buying in retail stores stopped. Everyone has a short supply of money and if (and this is the fear) the financial bottom feeders push gas and oil back up to $3 and even $4 a gallon just to make money, well, the economy will certainly TANK big time. They stopped last summer when the government warned they would intervene. And gas and oil went down. FAST. It was all speculative and never based on production or supply. Just on greed. I hope the government actually does intervene this time. So people will come back and buy plants and keep me employed.

We had ONE glorious summer day yesterday. Now, today, it's cold and raining again.

G took Riley to the ocean to swim yesterday instead of cutting the grass. Riley had never been swimming before and it took him a little time to figure out what to do when the bottom disappeared. He swam and then decided he was done swimming and the two of them came back home. An adventure.

Today, I am bleaching my white towels and tee shirts, boiling the shower head in vinegar water, exchanging the winter bedding for summer bedding (optimistic), vacuuming the carpets with my Dad's vacuum and drinking coffee. I am seriously thinking of opening the door to my studio and actually spending some of the day in there. Doing something with fabric or paint. Kind of scary. I haven't done anything with fabric since February and that was only to cut out squares and circles for a travel project. I also have the last 12 by 12 project to work on. I missed the June 1st deadline.

Where am I going? I have so many things to think about. So many paths that are possible. I don't want to look back in 20 years and see the missed opportunity to change my life. I still refuse to call myself an artist. I am not a quilter. I will admit to being a gardener. And, though I love to cook, I will not call myself a cook. I also will not take the title of writer even though I think that is my true passion.

I started a new journal last week. I listed all the foreign places I have visited. My son was surprised (as I was) to remember how very many places we had been. My life, so far, has been an interesting adventure. I want to continue to be surprised and interested in what I do, where I live and who and where I visit.

I have, just now, decided to get my passport renewed.

I ordered new books from my library, on line, this morning. I am going to read again. Make time for reading, again.

I am going to try new recipes --- frequently. Lo Mein this week or even today. I enjoyed the Black Bean Bisque I made a few weeks ago. I think I should expand my culinary choices. I may make a new salad dressing for my lunch salads.

I may dye or print with dye on old tee shirts and linen shirts. Become more colorful. Less all white.

I am going to experiment with new ways of making things. I have been visiting the blog Spirit Cloth and have come away with a new way of seeing fabric art. I am always going to have some bit or piece of fabric to hand stitch or print or write on. Right next to the journal.

I'm going to try. I'm going to fail. I'm going to change. I'm going to grow. I have no one to impress but myself. I am free to reinvent myself (as I have done all my life). I think this is where I was heading when I began the 365 day Healthy Eating Plan. I wanted to lose the weight and be "ready" to begin a new life. And I am ready, now.

Friday, June 12, 2009

One Very Sad Doggie

Hard Rain. The pup does not like rain. He likes big puddles, swamps, rivers and the ocean. But not rain falling on his head from the sky (or even water from a hose). So he is rolled up in a ball over there on his bed, groaning and moaning, and every once in awhile he sits up to stare at the rain falling outside "his" window. And then he throws himself down on the bed again.

Boy, do I wish we could both just stay home today. Curled up in a warm bed.

My boy has returned to his home in California. We put him on the Logan airport bus yesterday afternoon and from there he had a flight to Los Angeles and then a short "hop" to San Jose. He was hoping to get home by 1 or 2 am today. It sure was nice having him with me for nearly 11 days. The longest visit ever. G and I both had to work so we didn't get to spend the entire day with him, but each of us tried to work less hours. I wish he lived closer but he has established good friendships out west and enjoys the Silicon Valley and all that techie stuff. We are "out of the loop" here in Maine. Not cutting edge at all. Well, we are on the edge of the continent.

I have to buy new pepper plants today. The deer ate the growth tip out of the peppers so they won't (can't) grow anymore. I need to start over. Some of the eggplant have growth tips so I will hope they can develop into full plants. If not, I get to buy eggplant at the grocery.

I am reading a detective mystery by Tana French, In The Woods. I am enjoying the style in which Tana French writes but the story is going nowhere and getting sort of boring. It's a story about something which sounded very interesting, but eventually has become not so interesting. The jacket cover says "with a story like a freight train" and they must have meant the trains that mosey across the road while you are sitting and waiting for all 6000 cars to get past so you can move on. I think she made a very clumsy plot mistake early on and I have a pretty good idea of "who did it" and why. But, actually, I don't even care.

I got two garlic olive rolls at Whole Foods yesterday, some fresh mozzarella and a container of basil pesto. That's my dinner tonight.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Cold Rain

Here it is June 9th and we are in the midst of a week of 50 degree days and all day drizzle, rain and dark skies. June. And yesterday was sunny and 70. The doors to the greenhouse were open all day and the cold wet came in and surrounded us.

I almost went to work without a warm sweatshirt (borrowed from my husband). Thank goodness I returned to the house for it and my bright yellow rain jacket. By the time I had lunch, I was wishing for hot soup instead of a cold salad. So I made a single serving of French press coffee with the hot water from the coffee machine and the coffee I had tucked in the lunchroom freezer. It was fantastically delicious as only something warming can be on a bone chilling cold day.

In case you are curious, I didn't use the coffee machine coffee because it all expired in 2003.

My customers arrived this afternoon and picked up their 16 PINK window boxes ($592) and were very pleased. I tried for a variety of pink shades and a variety of leaf and flower sizes to make it interesting.

Pizza tonight. I think I'll look and see if there is any sausage in the freezer for the guy pizza and I know I have artichoke hearts for my pizza. Sounds yummy. I like getting home early. We have shorter work days and less of them now. Less customers. Less work.

I didn't actually ASK the Universe for help, yet, but the real estate agent called to say we already have a house viewing set up for tomorrow evening in Ohio. So I will be concentrating on positive thoughts and a quick sale to a buyer with a good credit score.

The guys are fussing with the wireless line. So I will quit while I still have the power to do so.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Just Peachy

Peaches are ripe somewhere in America (I hope) since they are in the grocery and on sale right now. They taste okay but not perfectly juicy. I had one sliced into my yogurt today for lunch. I put two spoons of vanilla in with a full half cup of plain (sour) yogurt. It wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't yummy.

I worked in the garden and planted the deer chewed peppers and eggplant. Both are trying to stay alive so I am giving them a positive chance. I also watered with my new sprinkler. And I dug up the daffodil bulbs I "saved" from the dumpster at work. I wanted to plant more things but my back was hurting. On the right side by my kidney and it makes me nauseous. C said a friend had the same symptoms and had kidney stones. I had meant to say something to my doctor during my check up but we got on a different topic and I forgot. I should do what my daughter does and bring a list of questions to any doctor's visit.

It could also be the way that I sit (slouch) while watching television. And for the first time in a week, I watched television last night. I watched a bunch of TiVo.

I called the water department that supplies water/sewer to my house in Ohio. They just sent me the quarterly water bill for 28 gallons of water (I had the caretaker flush the toilets when he checked the house). $93. That's the minimum bill. So I had them turn the water off at the meter. I will still have to pay for an additional month and for storm water but for the time being, no more $93 bills.

So far, I have made meatloaf and Mexican Casserole for my son. He requests old family favorites and I'm only too happy to make whatever he wants. His sister comes over to eat with us, so it's like old times around here. I think we will be having Chicken Potstickers one night this week and spaghetti or lasagna. I know he wants tuna casserole so I may have to make something else for G on that night. It would be fun to make some pulled pork but the meat isn't on sale right now.

Only one more day of my vacation from work. I have really enjoyed not going to work. I thought I would miss it, but I haven't given it a thought. I am thinking of it right now and I'm not that enthused about going back. It's summer and my garden beds need me. And if there were less bugs outside, I would enjoy just sitting in the sun, daydreaming.

We're going for ice cream as soon as G & C are finished with whatever they are doing outside. I made them meatloaf sandwiches with zucchini bread and butter pickles and chips for lunch. I think I will find somewhere, inside the house, to stretch out and rest my back. Maybe read a bit more of my overdue book.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Off Road/Shoes & Dreams

My NEW shoes finally arrived. In the new size, which fits. Army Green. Which to me is perfect as Gardener Green or Greenhouse Green. These shoes have deeper treads on the soles which will, I hope, take longer to wear smooth. When the soles of these shoes get smooth, the water covered cement floor in the greenhouse is dangerously slippery.

I purchased a new occillating sprinkler for the garden yesterday along with a metallic purple wand for hand watering. And then I used both to water my newly planted (Sunday) plants. Was it really only Sunday? Seems like weeks ago.

And I purchased a test half pint of royal purple to use as an accent color on the half round table or a planter for the front of the house. I decided I needed a "punch" of color up there. I had always hoped to, eventually, get around to making a bead mosaic (36 inches square) for the bare space on the porch. I purchased bags of Mardi Gra beads in gold, purple and green plus Christmas tree trim at 70% off in magenta and aqua. I was thinking of a large floral pattern. My daughter and I were going to make it as a winter craft project. But it didn't happen. We were also going to renovate the Spooky House.

I deposited my inherited money into the bank here in Maine yesterday. Have you ever dreamed of what you would do if you received a large amount of unexpected money. "If I win the lottery" types of dreams. How you would use it? How it might change your life? Free you to do things you always wanted to do? Well, I'm there. Perhaps THIS is why I procrastinated about claiming the money. Now I have choices that I never, ever, had in my entire life. Let me just say, it (the money/ the possibilities) pretty much screws with your mind.

I think the first things I want are a large, old fashioned drafting table. The kind that slants almost to the floor. And a small etching press. So I can go back to one of the processes I actually LOVED in college. Intaglio print making. Craig's List? Uncle Henry's? Or do I just ask the Universe for these things and see if the Universe provides? You have to really want what you ask for in order to get a reply.

Yesterday's mail brought a sample copy of the new Maine FiberArts Map which will be going out to over 30,000 locations statewide. An image of one of my quilts is on the upper right front of the map. It's like sending out 30,000 postcards. Heady stuff.

Yesterday my son (C) and I worked on making meatloaf. He wanted to know how. Tomorrow, I think we'll make Chicken Pot Stickers or one of the other recipes he wants to test. I think C is going out with his sister tonight so I may just make a pizza or lasagna for G. I also need to tweak the Mexican Casserole recipe my dad made for the kids when they were small. I always served it plain in those days, but would add avocado, sour cream, red onion and jalapeno as "fixings" on the side when I make it now. Family memories and recipes. It's nice to have C here with us this week.

Which reminds me. The deer visited the yard Wednesday evening and ate my still boxed petunias, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, cornflowers and then went over and chewed the top several inches off every stem of my many rose bushes. Right up next to the house.

Ripe peaches at the grocery yesterday. They even smell like peaches. Can't wait to mix up a batch of yogurt, Grape Nuts, fresh sliced peaches and raspberries. It will be difficult waiting for the Grape Nuts to get soggy and caramelly. And I purchased plain yogurt. Which I do not think I will enjoy at all. I plan to mix the plain with the vanilla so I have "some" of what I love and "some" of what I don't think I will like to eat. If it's really BAD then I'm going back to the vanilla yogurt and to hell with the added calories. Because, if it tastes bad, I just don't want to eat it.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Home Again, Jiggidy Jig

What a whirlwind trip this was! I left home at 3:30 am for the drive to the Portland airport. My plane took off at 5:47 on time and I spent 2 hours in the Detroit airport (which was VERY nice) listening to all loudspeaker announcements read in English, Chinese and Japanese. I had a delicious Bacon, Egg, Cheese Bagel at McDonald's. All the proteins and fats helped calm my jittery nerves (over excited and overtired). Before I knew it (20 minutes) my flight from Detroit to Akron was complete. And the adventure began.

I was delivered to my (Dad's) house by the caretaker's delightful wife. Then I discovered (after she drove away) that my (Dad's) car's battery had died. So I called AAA for service. Then I left the car running and charging the battery for one full hour. That's when I discovered the tires all needed air. I drove to the nearby gas station and literally begged the maintenance man to fill the tires with air. Lucky for me, he had a tire gauge in his personal vehicle. All four tires needed 7 pounds.

Then I followed the directions I had to our hotel. Checked in. Then got directions to the Akron Airport (from which I had just arrived) because my son was arriving at 3:30. It was 2. The directions had me driving on two interstate highways, making lane changes and exiting to the left. I 76 and I 77. I try to NEVER drive on a highway. I did this. Successfully. I felt empowered. Like SuperWoman. Sort of.

C arrived on time and took over the driving. We drove north and west and arrived at the great intersection of all the chain restaurants, bookstores and retail shopping. We had a nice late lunch/early dinner, bought a local map (C is a techie in the Silicon Valley (a computer engineer) and prefers paper maps to the GPS I brought along from home). Then we retired to the hotel. Both of us had left home at 3 am. We watched the news (Brazil airplane missing) and then just gave up and went to sleep.

Tuesday morning. Breakfast at McDonald's. Another Bacon Egg Cheese Bagel and the largest decaf coffee they had. We purchased light bulbs, Febreze, work gloves (I had forgotten them) and two batteries for the smoke detectors (which were beeping). The dumpster and Daniel arrived at 11 am and by 1 pm we had carried every scrap of trash out and into it. And FILLED it. Wood, garbage bags of trash, wheel barrows and buckets of trash. I swept every floor surface clean. Then the realtors arrived and we toured the "property" and decided on a price and my "as is" no improvements decision. Then I signed papers. And signed papers. And signed papers. And then C & I raced (with GPS) to find the bank branch where I could FINALLY get control of the money I inherited in October. It took almost 2 full hours, but I have my money. C kept me calm, quiet (I tend to talk too much) and pleasant.

Wednesday morning. Up at 6:30 and out the door to McDonald's for the BEC Bagel and coffee and over to the house to pack the FIT with everything we could safely carry. (It's a small engine vehicle and we didn't want to overload it since it only had 197 miles on it and was still in show room condition. This would be it's first real "drive") By 9 am we were on the road. C wanted to go to 59/8 and drive east on 271 to I 90 and then just drive on 90 to Mass. Which is what we did. And arrived home, in the driveway, at 10:30 pm. A very easy and pleasant trip. We don't get to spend much time together and so had lots of conversation. I drove for 2 hours on the New York thruway. We paid lots of tolls.

Here we are. We have had breakfast and now we will empty the FIT and put all of the useful things we brought home away. Vacuum, TV, Computer, Wall Clock, Tools, Kitchen Ladder, Paper Shredder and workshop tools from the basement. I forgot the neat broom I used to sweep piles into the dustpan. I miss it already. I don't miss that house. It may take a full year to sell, but it's in good hands, has an attractive low price and lots of potential (once the new owners paint, carpet and update). The lawn guy is doing a fantastic job on the cutting. The yard has never looked better.

Here I am at home again. Riley and G were happy to see C & I last night. We were happy to see them. The power company is cutting tree branches out front. Noisy. My Crocs have still not arrived. I still have 4 days off before I have to return to work. The remainder of my gardening work is still waiting for me. The sun is shining!

This is all very good. Happy.