Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chair Two- Line Project

I flipped through a magazine until I found a chair that I liked the shape of and then I drew it, straight on.  Not exact but not a contour drawing.  I may try that next.  I love the way a contour drawing morphs the subject into something "else".  Not quite what you had in mind.  Sort of like the parallel world in Fringe. I was also considering drawing the chairs in my living room.

I finished my book last night.  A bit of a poof at the end, but still good. Like the roller coaster.  All the excitement is packed into the beginning and middle and by the time you get back to the gate, you are exhausted and bewildered.  I think I will start the second book this evening.  Still nothing on television.

Work again.  Another long day.  I have a full Thermos of coffee and little else.  Can't find anything for lunch in the fridge.  We are working our way through the leftover Thanksgiving dinner (I had to make a second batch of gravy last night).  Brussels sprouts are finished and so is the cranberry sauce.  G has another serving of turkey and then that is finished also.  The stuffing, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes will run out at the same time, probably at lunch (G) or dinner (me) today.  And I can make potato cakes out of the remaining mashed potatoes.  Then I will have to COOK again.  Black Bean Bisque I think for lunches, laced with plenty of heavy cream.  We still have pie.

I mixed up a batch of Pumpkin Dip to serve with Gingersnaps.  It's a combo of cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar and spices which tastes like pumpkin pie filling.  A bit too loose, I think, and not cheesy enough.  If the crowd at work doesn't eat it, I will bring it back home and turn it into a pumpkin tiramisu.  Why even take it to work now that I have this delicious new idea?  But I promised them a treat.

We put our names in the Secret Santa box yesterday and as soon as everyone has their name in, we will pick our secret santa recipient.  As usual, the anticipation was greater than the actual final gift last year, which was a disappointment for me. But I had a great deal of fun choosing what to give my person.  And wrapping the gift so it looked fabulous. Yesterday people were talking about the things they had gotten last year and how much they loved the gifts. Do you find the wrapped gift so much more exciting than what is inside?  I can imagine all sorts of delights under the wrapping.  That's my problem, I guess.  I imagine things that couldn't possibly exist in a wrapped present.  For me.  Reality never matches up to fantasy in my head.  That is probably why I never want anyone to buy me a gift anymore.  I'm fiddling with my "new" Hello Kitty" watch as I type.  G brought it home for me.  A Happy Meal Toy.  I'm trying to like it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Am Reading A Book

Yes, indeed. And I read it for several hours and would have gone on to the end if not for the early start to my day at work today.  It is a creepy, suspenseful, wonderful first novel with the lead character a 61 year old woman with a bad back.  The author's name on the book is a pseudonym for a well known novelist and the name should have an "e" on the end of Wolfe (bad cropping).  We have already been introduced to two very intriguing detectives who will be working alongside our heroine, Hazel.  I recommend it to you!  I have her second book sitting, waiting.  But not for long.

Work was too early, too cold, too long and I am exhausted.  I made Holiday Boxes all day.  I really should snap a picture of a Holiday Box for you.  It's meant for graves, on Christmas.  But I think people use them on their front steps and other stuff like that.  We are also making State of Maine wreaths.  Everyone wants them for their front door or on all their house windows.  I did that once.  It looked very nice but I never did it again.  Perhaps, this year?  With a 30% discount.

We are going to eat, I think, (reheat our leftovers) but G is dragging his feet.  I have had my shower and enough hot water to be very warm and relaxed. I guess I could skip eating and go directly to reading.  We got catalogs in the mail.  Lovely.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Line Drawing

Here it is almost one o'clock on Sunday afternoon. I've done two loads of wash, gone for a walk in the woods with G & Riley, sung Happy Birthday to G, eaten breakfast and now have plans to go have lunch with a good friend.  G has gone to the movies with our daughter.  Riley has eaten his lunch and is falling sleep on the dog bed, in the sun.

My line drawing for today (I confess to missing quite a few days) is of a chair.  I adore big, cushy chairs. This is from an advert in a magazine and I used my favorite brush pen because of the uneven line it makes. I'm seriously thinking of buying new chairs.  Until then, I will draw them.

The ground in the woods seemed to be frozen pretty hard and the leaf litter was all frosted with crunchy white.  I think I am feeling ready to buy a Christmas Tree and get it up and decorated earlier than usual.  So I can enjoy the twinkly lights.  I am thinking of hanging my sock monkey collection on the tree this year.  With red and white ornaments and a few sock colored items.  And of course I'll fill in with all the assorted stuff I have in the ornament box.  Which is quite a large box a ham came in, one Christmas.

That's all I have for you today.  We are well, happy, warm and content on this final Sunday in November.  I have no complaints.  I thought my shoe was a bit tight at the beginning of the walk, but it worked itself out.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

First Snow & Chocolate Pie Research

Friday we had sleet covered, slick roads in the morning.  Saturday, today, the roads were clear but the parking lot at work was covered in rough ice and I worried that I would slip and fall.  By the time I left work at 5 pm, snow was falling.  Big flakes like the ones in a snow globe.  Winter is here a whole month early.  It feels cold here in the house tonight, but at work, the sun was pouring through the greenhouse windows and it was HOT.

My day was neither good nor bad.  It just was a long day of making Holiday Boxes.  I started with a back up of 7 and after working all day making boxes, I ended with a back up of 7.  And we had to set up the coffee and cake table.  Seems we weren't done with coffee and cake.  Thought we were, but we were incorrect.

I am continuing on my quest for info on the chocolate pies for Thanksgiving.  Annie isn't from Maine and has always had chocolate pie.  My friend K always has chocolate pie but not always for Thanksgiving.  I have lived in five states and believe that chocolate pie was a required holiday pie in only two.  Maine and Illinois.  Baker's Square Chocolate Pie was required at any and all events when I lived outside of Chicago.  It was always very difficult for me to choose: banana cream or chocolate pie? I am also finding that there is a divide between pudding mix chocolate and one made with cornstarch, eggs and milk.  I also discovered that whatever chocolate pie you ate first in your life, is now the "real" pie and the only one that will ever be "the" pie.  I had no idea feelings were this strong when it came to chocolate pie.  We don't have a "pie restaurant" here in Maine (that I know of) so I am going to have to continue doing pie research throughout the winter. I know.  Hard work.

Tomorrow is G's birthday and he is going to the movies with our daughter (and eating popcorn and having a big soft drink). I am not.  We will also be walking in the frozen cold woods with Riley.  Monday I begin working more hours at work.  The holiday work schedule.  Friday I have been invited to a cookie exchange party.  Driving in the dark.  Not happy about that even though I do love a party.  On Monday, December 5th, we are attending the company party for my husband's job.  Thursday of that week my husband's bank is having a cocktail party.  And then, it's all over.  No more parties.  I think I would have enjoyed it more if we had a party every week and not three in 7 days.  Not that we have ever made it to all the parties we are invited to in December because bad weather limits our attendance.  I will not risk our life and automobile just for cocktails and bacon wrapped scallops.

I also have to decide and work on the tree card I am sending this year.  And do laundry and iron shirts and change the bed sheets and water the plants upstairs.  And read my three books.  Sigh.

Friday, November 26, 2010

And Then There Was Pie

A day late, but who cares?  Dinner yesterday was delicious.  The brined turkey was tender, moist and velvet textured.  Even my daughter loved it.  And ate it.  But G didn't feel well after eating half his dinner (queasy) and so that kind of ended the celebration part of the meal.  I packed the food, washed the dishes and played some Bananagram with my daughter.  G was resting on the couch.  We never even served the pie.

G and Riley had the day off today.  A day that began with sleet, cold, dark weather but included sun after lunch.  And a good walk in the woods.  And a squirrel to chase.  G managed a light lunch at 3 and is now enjoying his pie and coffee and reading the newspapers I brought him from work.

Work was slow.  We have lots of large corporate sales and that is a very good thing.  I watered, cleaned, counted and did various things as the day flew by, which, I believe, is a good thing.  More of the same tomorrow and I already packed leftover vegetable dishes for my lunch.

I missed the real excitement on Wednesday as one employee had a varicose vein burst and because she has an ulcer near the vein, the blood escaped into a pool by her shoe.  The EMT's were called and compresses were pressed, leg was bandaged and blood was mopped up.  All is well.  I had no idea something like this could happen.  It was a VERY GOOD THING that I had the day off.

I think I will make a cup of tea and polish off the remainder of my piece of excellent pumpkin pie.  Question: Is chocolate pie on your Thanksgiving menu?  It's the pie mentioned first here in Maine.  Made with chocolate pudding mix and covered in Cool Whip.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Prep In Progress

I made a trip to the library and then the grocery store for last minute ingredients for The Pioneer Woman's Favorite Turkey Brine.  Brown sugar and an orange.  The sage, thyme and rosemary came from my garden.  I skipped the apple juice.  And the picture above is two turkey thighs, a turkey neck, carrots and onions all roasting to a lovely deep brown and going into the stock pot for gravy. The turkey is brining in a bag out on the porch surrounded by ice cubes. The salt and sugar is doing something molecular to the turkey and making it moist and tender.  I brined once before and the turkey was delicious but the gravy was way too salty.  So I am making a separate stock this time.

My pumpkin pie is baked.  I decided we should skip the pumpkin cheesecake since eating lots of dairy isn't a good idea just after food poisoning.  Half the sweet potatoes are baked.  I managed to find and buy 35 nice sized Brussels Sprouts and my daughter wants them roasted this year.  I still have stuffing and acorn squash to prepare and the green bean casserole to assemble.  Yes, we are heavy on vegetable side dishes. We all have a favorite and it's not the same one so I have to make them all.

Dinner is at 5 tomorrow.  Sam is bringing dinner rolls.

G's employees had a birthday cake for him today decorated with tools.  A Handy Man Cake. Because he can fix almost everything at work. Wasn't that nice of them?  He said the cake and buttercream frosting were "very sweet" so he had a very small slice. G was born on Thanksgiving Day, in time for dinner.  Sunday is the actual birthday this year but we always celebrate on Thanksgiving Day.  Never have to wonder what to serve. LOL.

I want to wish each and every one of you a very happy Thanksgiving Day.  I give thanks every day for the thoughtful, kind and generous readers who visit Wednesday's Child.  It may seem silly, but the blog and it's readers are like an extended family or neighborhood for me.  I feel connected to all of you, even the ones who haven't made themselves known to me yet.  I know you're out there reading and that's a very "good thing".  Be safe.  Be warm.  Be happy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Home Again, Safe and Sound

I worked all day, no problems and ate some of the "snack table" crackers when I felt hungry. Drank my tea and a cup of water.  Tried to eat an apple but gave up at the halfway point.  Did manage to eat my soup. No problems getting dizzy at work or in the car.  G says he was "marginal" at work today.  But he worked the entire day.  Riley was so ready to go to doggie day care this morning that he was grumbling when I stopped to put the bills in the mailbox.  "Get going", he seemed to be saying, "yesterday was REAL boring".

I decided not to have any guests for Thanksgiving Dinner with the food poisoning and all.  This way I won't have to cook and clean (bleach everything) and I don't think I can do both.  And the meal can be served casually, off the stove, family style.  Or as a friend's 4 year old said years ago, "are we eating messy?"

Anyway, G has already eaten and I'm not all that hungry.  DWTS tonight.  We'll see if the "haters" can overpower the Tea Party.  Or they will award the Dancing Trophy to the Pistol, who never even tried to learn to dance.  I can tell because she hasn't lost any weight and all of the others, who work out with the dance routines, always lose lots of weight.

Bristol has started using the words and phrases her Mama Bear uses when anyone criticizes.  Haters.  And like her mama, she thought it was enough to just want the title and trophy.  No reason to actually work hard and learn something.  Just let mom steamroller her fans into giving you the whole thing.  Like wanting to be President but not wanting to do any WORK to actually qualify for the job.  I believe any of us could be President, but I would like to think that "any of us" would take the time to become qualified for the job. You betcha.

A Lost Day

Remember I mentioned eating out on Sunday?  Or maybe I just think I did.  We had Mexican food at 3 or 4 on Sunday and by 10 pm I decided I was coming down with flu like "something".  Sweating and shivering.  It took awhile longer for G to feel the effects but when he did, he was throwing up.  Midnight on.  The only thing we ate in common was the salsa.  I had one bite and didn't like the taste, too hot.  G ate the rest.  G had paperwork and inventory on Monday, early so he was off to work at 5 am, stopping twice on the 20 minute drive to throw up.  I was up and dressed for work about an hour late, but decided I couldn't manage to go.  So back into my pajamas and into bed. G joined me at 10am.  We slept until Riley demanded his lunch.  I got up and let him outside, fed him and then climbed onto the couch and fell back to sleep.  G and I woke up around 3:30.  Next thing I knew it was 8.  Somewhere after that I had tried to eat something but couldn't.  Cream of wheat.  Couldn't swallow it.  Went back to bed at 10 and slept all night.

Here it is morning and I still feel terrible.  Can't eat.  I know it would help if I had something in my stomach.  But I can't swallow any food without getting sick to my stomach .  I'm having tea with tons of sugar.  Can't drink coffee.

Because I work till 6 this evening, I have already baked chicken and made rice for G's dinner.  I just have to cool everything down and prepare broccoli for steaming.  It's 8:30.  My back hurts.  I feel dizzy. I plan on taking a shower to see if that brightens my spirits.  I can always leave work but I worry about driving when I am dizzy and feeling faint.  I should plan ahead for safe places to pull off the road.

Anyway, I am still shivery.  And time keeps slipping away from me.  I could easily return to bed. But I still haven't paid the bills and I need to do that today.  And a load of laundry.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Post 972

No picture as it's very dark and the only bright spots are the full moon outside and the computer screen inside.  G and I just stopped at the grocery to buy the items I needed for dinner on Thursday.  No parsley or Brussels sprouts.  So, I have to run out again on Wednesday. And I bought G the wrong yogurt brand.  Duh!

I did get 2 boxes of Nabisco Gingersnaps ($3.99 each) so I can make the crust for the pumpkin cheesecake and for the Pumpkin Dip to take to work as a little treat.  I also managed to get two turkey thighs (which nearly cost more than the 14 pound on sale turkey) to roast with vegetables on Wednesday for the base of my turkey gravy.  Gravy is the very best part of Thanksgiving dinner, followed by sweet potatoes and stuffing.  And cranberry sauce.  I got the ingredients for green bean casserole also.  What I didn't get was anything specific for dinner on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.  I think I'll be shopping in the freezer and cupboard for those meals. I don't have to worry about Friday, Saturday and Sunday meals!!!!

G and I walked the dog this afternoon and then G watered the plants upstairs and I ironed shirts.  The dog towels are in the drier.  I just have the household bills to pay and then I'm done for the day.  I found my pumpkin cheese cake recipe with penciled in remarks (G said I never made one, but obviously I did) so that is good and I bought eggs.  Real shell eggs for the cheesecake batter.

It's very, very cold (to me) outside.  The ground on our walk was crunchy with frost.  I am finding it hard to get warm and stay warm outside of my bed with the linen sheets and heavy down comforter.  Linen is an amazing fiber.  Within a few minutes of getting into bed, the linen sheets warm up (the room temp is around 50) and I am all cozy and asleep.  Winter is here.  Ready or not.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sometimes the Universe Speaks

I have been hating my job of late, as you all well know from the constant whining on this blog, but sometimes the Universe says something and it's nice if you pay attention and listen.  The Universe has been sending me messages, and while I listen, I haven't actually HEARD what is being said.  Today.  I got it.

Customers have been taking the time to stop and talk to me this week about the change my classes and information have made in their gardening lives.  A gentleman says he has had the best vegetable garden of his life this year.  A woman today mentions that my class in houseplants gave her the courage to try African Violets again and they are thriving and blooming.  And today I heard what the Universe was saying.  What I can actually do, actually accomplish, does matter.  Does make a difference.  The rest doesn't have anything to do with me.  I can only affect the things that are entirely under my direction.

My attitude.  The information I share.  The joy of gardening that I convey.  My hands covered in dirt, patting a plant into a new pot, sending it off to a new home.  My love of teaching.  The kindness and friendship I share with my classes and coworkers.  They all know me.  They always smile and say hello when we cross paths at the greenhouse.  I have done the right thing at this job.

I have to let go of trying to control the bad things I have no control over.  My boss doesn't spray insecticide (I don't know why as spraying is a necessary thing in a commercial greenhouse).  We have bugs.  Nothing I can do to change it ( I have mentioned the bugs to him on three occasions recently).  Just accept this. My boss throws away anything I save and store by my potting bench (this week: terra cotta pot shards and a large bag of pebbles -- I did find my scissors!).  He also put a good number of bales of straw in the dumpster.  This kind of waste of a compostable item makes me angry.  I have pulled things out of the dumpster before.  This time they were wedged in too tightly and I couldn't get even one out.  Things like this weigh heavily on me.  I can't do anything about these things.  I have to let them go.

The Universe also sent two of my dearest friends from my guilting chapter to the greenhouse today.  It was good to see them again after so long.  Three years at least.  To smile and to laugh with them.

Today (our Christmas Open House at work) was a good day.  I was happy.  I worked.  I talked. I had a Peppermint Mocha decaf, soy, low fat coffee from Starbucks.  I didn't eat any cookies. "A" saved me some white "garbage" roses to take home. N saved the coffee grounds, from all the coffee we made for the refreshment table, for me to take home.  I saved a metal cookie tin to take home for craft supplies.  I reminded the boys to empty the trash so the Sunday crew starts fresh.  I had intended to check the paper towels and toilet paper in the two bathrooms but time ran out.  G called me at work to ask me to step outside and look at the moon (at 4 pm) rising in the pink and grey sky, all fat and full.

So, I invited everyone to step outside and look at the rising full moon with me.  The Universe was speaking.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Final Four Line Experiments

Of the black gesso page.  The crow didn't come out as I had wanted so I will probably try again on a different paper.  I added paper collage to the last square with "gone".  And the light wasn't as good this time.  Isn't it odd that the sun makes it more difficult to take a photo?  The sun is shining today.  And the sun came out on Wednesday, just in time for Riley's walk.  So we walked.

This morning I have to make soup for my lunch.  I have been meaning to make soup every day this week and here it is Friday.  No soup.  So Riley and I went out into the now frozen garden and cut some kale and I am now making the Tomato Kale soup from Love Soup.  Everything is bubbling away in the big pot and the onions and garlic are "coloring" in a small frying pan.  I haven't even had breakfast yet. I now have my first cup of coffee by my right hand.

G and I went for barbeque last night.  Beale Street in Bath.  It was very good.  I had beef brisket with two sides of cole slaw and no corn bread.  I also had a Margarita.  Things are bad at work.  Mine, not his.  Though he is struggling to be a "manager" and train his staff and not just wait on customers.

G says it is hard to see that I "like my job" as I don't have much to say that is positive.  I remember, in my first year at the greenhouse, G asking me each evening at dinner to tell him about the best thing that happened that day.  I would have to think hard but  I could usually come up with a "best" thing to talk about eventually.  I don't think I could if he was asking now.  Too many straws on this camel's back.  Too many wrongs and not enough rights.  I did manage to arrange a woody Algerian Ivy around a metal topiary frame for a customer.  It took an hour.  Looked wonderful and got compliments from my coworkers.  BUT.  The customer is a nasty piece of work.  Which sort of cancels out any good vibes I got from the work.  And she blamed me for the death of that plant I repotted in the dark on Saturday evening.  She returned it soaking in water, limp and dying.   That "girl" did this, she said.  Did not.

Soup is tasting good.  Why not have soup for breakfast?  Don't the Japanese eat a soup for breakfast? Something with seaweed.  Or do they eat Egg McMuffins now.

A vegetarian friend was worried about her teenage son not growing.  He was much shorter than his friends and getting depressed about a life of being short (both parents are tall).  Almost 16.  So she encouraged him to start eating meat. He had never eaten meat and found the texture unpleasant.  And then he fell in love with McDonald's. Drives there every day.  And is now a bit taller than his 5 foot 10 mom.  The Chinese and Japanese are now taller because of more protein in a fast food diet.  Changing the world one burger at a time.  We get fat and they get taller and stronger.

I think I will fold the clothes in the dryer, put the washed clothes in the dryer and start a load of dog towels.  And have a bowl of cereal, pack my bowl of hot soup for lunch and go to work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is It Thursday Already?

The days are going by and I am having trouble keeping up.  Open House this weekend at work and so many things coming into work and orders for wreaths to be filled.  Poinsettias and wreaths for the next five weeks.  And cookies.  We set out plates of cookies for the customers and I have to be very strong and NOT eat any of them.  They aren't very good.

Up top, is the black gessoed page in my journal with some "lines" in white pencil and white Neocolor crayon.  I even attempted some "Deborah" scribbles (I love them in her work).  I need to practice as it looks like it would be easy but it isn't.  Things got a bit crazy in the middle of the square.  I have a total of four blank squares to continue experimenting with lines.  I love the smooth, mat black of the gesso.  The Neocolor crayons really show up on the surface don't they?  I should have made a page of skeletons back on Halloween.  And some crows.

I got two loads of wash done between bedtime last night and go to work time this morning.  And I baked an apple crisp yesterday evening (7 pm) and G had a big, big piece last night.  He said it was so good he could have eaten the entire pan.  Butter.  Butter and apples and sugar are just so delicious together.  I had a teaspoonful, just to taste.  Today is Day Four of the Diet.  I get very hungry about 11.30 each day and desperately want to eat lunch.  That's about it.  I reinstated the nothing after 8 pm rule and so no way to have Tootsie Rolls or anything else.  I can have a cup of tea or some water. I have sugar free Jello in the fridge (50 calories per cup).

The weather inside the greenhouse goes from chilly in the morning to very warm and sunny midday to very cold and dark at closing time.  Most of the employees are getting colds. I knocked wood before typing that I am not sick and Riley is now barking because he thinks we have company.  I think I don't get sick because I keep the house so cold.  Warmth is the breeding ground for germs.  Or, at least, I think that is true.

G and I are going out for dinner tonight after I take a shower.  I don't know where we are going.  Not that many choices in town.  We could drive into Portland but that adds over an hour driving time to the dinner and you know we fall asleep early.  I'll let you know what we did tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dark Shoes/Dark Days

G was searching for something in the closet and found a brand new pair of black CROCS that I must have purchased and then forgotten.  Or, perhaps, I was thinking ahead to winter?  Let's pretend that I was "thinking ahead".  They are dark, a bit stiff and fit my mood this week.  The time change and the darkness. But a coworker pointed out that in five weeks the days will be getting longer.  An optimistic view.  Which I will adopt.

It's been raining all morning.  Riley has gone out to do his business and just sit and be depressed in the rain. He did enjoy being toweled off on his re-entry.  We both slept in until 10 am.  Such luxury.  I had a 210 calorie toasted baguette with blackberry jam for breakfast.  My diet is going well after 2 days.  I don't feel hungry and my will power is strong.  I think I have added up to 1200 each day but then have to add the thermos of coffee.  If I could use sugar free and fat free products that would be zero.  I am not comfortable with the chemicals in these two items.  G is less absent minded since he switched to real sugar.  And my pants are buttoning easier already.

I have been changing the email addresses on things coming in on the suscom email.  All by myself.  I think someone should give me one of those "superstar" stickers to wear on my sweatshirt all day.

I have the bedsheets in the wash, have a haircut appointment at 4.30, the next page in my paper journal has been coated in black gesso and is now dry and ready for white pencil and neocolor "lines" for the line project.  I am reading Slow Love and not really enjoying it.  Her blog is much better.  And I think that's because she covers one topic and then I can move on.  This book is all over the place.

DWTS.  OMG.  Those Tea Baggers are really screwing with the process. And the judges had to start talking about the American system of voting etc.  Politics.  I knew the Pistol wasn't going home when I saw her mom in the audience (she has a new show starting on cable this week).  But I screamed with delight when that PHONY Brandi was sent packing after getting her first 30.  I never could see what the judges saw in her dancing.  She always looked wooden and lifeless.

One of my favorite new shows was cancelled --Whole Truth.  When they do this I wish they put out a DVD of all the episodes they broadcast and all the ones we never got to see.  I think 3 or 4 million viewers were watching and some of us would like to see all the episodes.  Isn't that something when 3 or 4 million viewers isn't enough?  My friend K is trying to get me to try Netflix.  I told her that we find it difficult to watch the stuff we record without adding more stuff.  G and I don't sit and watch two or three movies in a row on a day off.  I hardly watch any movies.

Today I think I will sort the piles of unfiled paid bills and then clean out the file drawer and put the newer bills in the files and then shred.  That will take my mind of eating and the office will look neater and we'll be able to find stuff.  By then it will be time to go get my haircut.  I don't see Riley and I going for a walk in this pouring rain.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Warm & Cheerful

And smelling like fried peanuts again.  The house was warm when I returned from work and I have the heat set a bit higher for G to enjoy. Riley is pasted to the baseboard heater.

I found the last of the Turkey Search contest names.  And then, as I was filling out the name and address for our entry, I noticed it said a drawing of the entries with the most correct solutions would be held with 20 turkeys being awarded.  What do you think the odds are that everyone goes into the hopper for the drawing?  I think pretty good as who really is going to check all the entries?  Sam helped find a few and G has a new technique which seems to work very well.  We need a better way to mark the businesses we find.

Customer Connect. Melissa didn't leave an address and when I tried to follow the link backwards I got nowhere so I deleted her.  G has it all taken care of and I am using Comcast right now to read and send emails.  So, Melissa, it's all good.  Now.  Finally. You really need to speak with the customer support guy who told us to "call Apple".  If only all my problems could be handled by Apple.  Excellent Customer Service at Apple.

I got most of my chores done yesterday.  I ate a measured 50 grams of cereal (no cheating) with 2/3 cup of soy milk for breakfast and a 2 cup portion of soup and a medium (5.5 ounce) apple for lunch.  I think I have around 600 calories left for dinner.  Or not.  I stayed busy all day and that is the key to this diet.  No free time.  Day One and I feel successful.  That's a good feeling.  Gema you are correct about 1200 calories being very hard to live with especially trying to have three meals and being very active.  I think being too tired to even want to eat helps and all that peanut frying grease made me pretty sick to my tummy.

More peanuts tomorrow because we have to supply all three locations with peanuts for the Open House Weekend.  I scrubbed and sprayed every surface I could reach with Simple Green (cuts grease) around the frying station when we finished for the day and even scrubbed the stair railing which was sticky with grease from Ed's hands.  I even took all the tools up to the sink and washed them (something new) and fished all the peanuts out from under the fry baskets; they were burnt black.  Where are the Food Police when you need them???

G is home.  Happy days.

Home With The Furnace Repair Gal

Yes, the not so warm showers should have been warning enough that things were not great in the basement.  The boiler just stopped working sometime yesterday afternoon and I noticed it around bedtime when I had to wash my face with cold water.  Boiler is 24 years old.  80% efficient last time they checked. I wonder if she has the furnace's service record with her?

I went to work, called my energy company, worked for 90 minutes and now here I am blogging while the tech does what she can to get service up and running (if possible).  And Yes, the tech is a woman and isn't that great!  I hope they are paying her the same as the men.  I could have left her here alone with the garage door open all day but small animals are looking for a warm spot and I don't want any more than usual in the garage.  Riley would find them I'm sure, but why take chances?

Nothing to do at work anyway.  But once we know what is happening with the boiler, I will go back to work.  It may be time for a new unit. I wonder how long that process takes?

I can work on my lines if I can keep my hands warm.  OH, I hear it rumbling.  It's ALIVE!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Starting Over Again

Of the next section of my life.  The waistband of the "loose" pants is too tight.  I finally stood on the scale. Sad.  But I remember eating everything that added to the weight gain.  All the little bites of donuts.  Coffee cake. Chips. Bread. Ice Cream. Pasta. Larger bowls of cereal.  Fewer salads.  I have only myself to blame.

The picture at the top is from my Paper/Pen Journal.  I am joining (sort of) the "30 days of drawing a line" group activity.  I had this page already segmented with circles.  This morning I began filling the circles with lines.  I know that we are "supposed" to be drawing our lines on 6 inch squares of fabric (15 minutes maximum each day) but I don't want to mess with ruling pens and diluted acrylic paints.  I did enough of that in Lettering class in college.  And got two F's for my efforts.  I think I might try to make some lines on fabric, later, with thread.  My favorite lines are the ones made with the black brush pen.  I like the uneven-ness of the line.  My favorite brush pen is no longer available at Artist Supply.

I have laundry, ironing, plant watering and grocery shopping to do.  I also have to dig out the diet diary and calorie count book.  I am determined to lose the 30 pounds I have gained since I stopped walking 3 miles a day.  And I am going to try to eat 1200 calories a day.  Even if it means skipping lunch every day.  I will NOT buy larger pants (even though I have purchased two large pairs of pants recently just to have something comfortable to wear.  I should never have done that.  Tight pants is a constant reminder of the weight.

G tried to change our Apple Mail page over to Comcast this morning.  Should have been simple.  Didn't happen.  This whole Comcast thing is really getting tedious.  I have to go to a separate site to read email. And I like the email page I have had for over ten years.  This is when I wish my son lived nearby and could just "fix" it.  I'm sure it's something incredibly simple.  We just can't see it.  G was on the phone with Comcast support and they gave up and said "call Apple".  Well, Apple is not our mail provider.  Comcast is.  The Apple page just has a place where you can insert your provider.  It worked perfectly with Suscom and now that Suscom has become Comcast you would think it would still work.  No.

Just one more thing to annoy me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And I Thought Today Was Sunday

And didn't get up when the alarm went off and was 90 minutes late for work.   I am even using an old photo at the top of the post rather than take a picture of anything in the dark as it's now 6 pm.  I also realized that I had left my thermos of good coffee at home while halfway to work.  So I stopped at the Dunkin Donuts and oh, my, was it seedy.  It's like all the people in town that no one else will hire, work there.  All at once.  There were so many people behind the counter.  It was like going to a cheap circus. I almost was not going to buy coffee. But I did.

I repotted more plants today than I ever have in one day.  And a few of the customers were real divas.  That is always dangerous because if you say or do something to set them off, they go running to find the boss.  To tell him just how evil we are.  Oh, it's good times at work somedays.  I had one woman, at closing today, who brought in a pothos with long leafless stems with a small poof of leaves about 20 feet from the pot.  She wanted them repotted but not trimmed.  I said that "if left to do this by myself" I would have cut them back a great deal.  And she said "and I would have been very mad and you DON'T want to make me mad".  I said, "I could see that". Oh, yes, I could see that.  She's a real fav with the employees.

G and Riley are asleep on the dog bed.  I think I am going to take a shower and put on my pajamas.  I ate red bean chili for lunch today with two little sourdough rolls and I had a few items off the snack table.  I think I have had enough to eat today.  But I can have a cup of coffee out of my Thermos.  I have a book I can read and some mail to look at, catalogs etc.  And television.  And sleep.

I plan to be be more interesting tomorrow.  I wrote it down on the "To Do" list.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Updates, Comments & General Pissiness

My breakfast.  I opened another container of Publix Rich & Creamy coffee creamer (the new "improved" version) and it clumped in the very hot coffee.  I had to stir and press the lumps around until they had dissolved.  My coffee isn't rich or creamy.  The blue lidded stuff was most excellent.  The gold lidded stuff is CRAP. Crap which I bought and had shipped to me.

G drove all the way to the take out place last night and realized as he was opening the door to the restaurant, to place the order, that he didn't have his wallet.  So he drove back home empty handed and we both stared into the refrigerator, looking for something to eat.  G had the remains of his Chicken Marsala.  I had a sandwich.  And two Tootsie Rolls.

Reading the blog of a new mom (OMG is she whiny with the new religion of motherhood) who now admits that her baby has been screaming with colic or acid reflux for 3 weeks 24/7.  Breastfeeding.  And every picture of her and baby includes a large Starbucks coffee cup.  It ain't rocket science you idiot.  Stop Drinking Coffee!!!!!!  I read this blog just to see how horrible life could be if she lived next door to me or was related to me or if I actually cared about her "biz" or "love" or "truth".  She makes her living on her blog and is always "selling" something.  She even asks for only "happy thoughts" comments.  So I couldn't send my comment directly to her.

Gema also wrote in the comments to tell me she has new RED CROCS.  I immediately went to the Crocs website to look at the Bistro shoe she recommends and I can order white, black or pink.  UGH!  I search by color and I can order the Classic in red but they last about 3 or possibly 4 months on the cement greenhouse floors and then I am a "slip and fall" accident waiting to happen.  And if I don't actually fall down, I pee my pants.

It's getting more difficult to figure out which of these paragraphs is the "general pissiness" isn't it? LOL.

Riley is putting himself to bed (actually going to our bedroom to sleep rather than sleep with us in the television watching area as usual) earlier each evening.  Last night he was trying to encourage G to go with him. It was fun to watch his silent communication techniques. I think he is now afraid of the television.  Or more likely the little DVD drawer that opens and closes when I was watching Fringe.  I'm no longer watching DVD's but he still thinks the drawer might open so he has to go somewhere else to sleep.  Same with the door to the kitchen.  Riley has to walk all the way around the house to get to the other side of that particular door.  No amount of treating or sweet talk can change his mind.  G and I miss his snoring and dream woofing / running already and it's only been two evenings.

Work again today and I think I threw away a customer's dead orchid yesterday.  I have been wondering how to deal with it.  I'll start with an apology.  I did tell her I didn't think it would live with no roots but she wanted it repotted anyway, took it home and then must have brought it back and left it, without a note, on the side work shelf.  Where any number of near dead things sit on a daily basis and which I throw away on a daily basis.  Habit.  So it's gone now.  I just have to wait and see how she handles the news.  Another customer's Passion Flower cutting all died.  I said they might.  But the divided and repotted parts (with roots) are doing very well.  She visited the greenhouse yesterday to report the death of all the cuttings and to remove a price sticker from the seat of my pants.

$32.99.  I was SKU'd as a Gardenia.

Edit:  My email address is changing to jsuley@comcast.net.  All emails will be forwarded in case you use the old address.  So no worries for the next few months.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm So Very Tired

We had a big truck delivery today from Florida and it meant unloading everything, unwrapping and then moving what I already had on the greenhouse tables and rearranging to include the new items.  New orchids.  New gardenias.  New Norfolk pines.  New Christmas cactus.  New extra large cactus. Something for everyone. And I still had to water the entire greenhouse.

We use a lot of wire this time of year also.  Wrapping evergreens and pine cones into wreaths.  My picture today is of three empty wooden wire spools.  I use them as stamps (lovely circles) and also as bases to glue other items on, and then stamp.  I wonder how many have been thrown away and not recycled by me?

G has gone out to get take out because I am already in my pajamas (5 pm) and could easily fall asleep just sitting still for 5 minutes.  So, I am not in any mood to go out to a restaurant for a meal.  G is getting a pizza and I am having a large Greek salad.  I'm in charge of filling our dinner glasses with ice and lemon wedges and going out onto the porch for two diet cokes.

The library was closed today so G couldn't pick up my reserved book.  Not that I would be able to read it.  I finished watching Season One of Fringe last night and returned it to the coworker who lent it to me  long ago.  Now someone new is watching.  I hope one of us buys Season Two the day after Thanksgiving when they have the big sales.

My friend K baked two apple pies using a new apple Arkansas Black.  A very hard, slightly bitter apple which makes up into a very good pie.  She was going to give one pie away, and then decided to keep them both.  Last night, while talking to me long distance, she was being served a warm slice of the second pie by her husband (they had already eaten the first pie).  And he had ice cream on the plate also.  A good man.  If I was there, I would have gotten a slice also.  And I wished that I was, there, because there is nothing better than a slice of warm pie.  I need to make a pie.  Or two.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Roses & Wishes

One of the perks of working late on Tuesday is the bucket of discarded roses.  Others usually get to them before I remember to look, but yesterday the roses were all mine.  Red for me and yellow for G.  No fragrance at all in these farm raised roses.  The fragrance is half the joy of having a rose in the house. I have said this before: they are discarded because the rose's center is too loose for sale to customers.  And in a day or two the petals will be raining down on my table top in a puddle of dark red and black red.  I don't mind.  Then, into the compost.

I have the Turkey Search on the kitchen island top.  G stopped, picked up the pen and found 6, 8, even 10 more names last night before reheating (for the third time this week) some BBQ pork for dinner.  Now we are left to find the last 12 business names.  I haven't looked at it this morning.  Having a slow start to the day. I have had two cups of coffee and a toasted chunk of baguette with my own grape jelly.

It rained again last night.  This morning we have sunshine, weak, but welcome.  Later, Riley and I will go for a walk.  I have on the new (to me), very loose, grey cord pants I bought at Goodwill a few weeks back with the XL (too large) baggy grey shawl collared sweatshirt.  I feel thinner than I actually am in baggy clothes but I look larger in baggy clothes.  I am actually FAR from thin right now.  G expects a proper dinner this evening.  I haven't cooked in ever so long and could get used to this lazy housekeeping.  I intent to thaw chicken. (I am thawing chicken) and will probably make Chicken Marsala since I seem to have mushrooms in the fridge and Marsala in the cupboard. I can "smell" the chicken from way over here, even frozen.  I hate chicken.

I switched G from frozen bagels in the morning to store brand English muffins this week.  He says he is enjoying the change and having two muffins to replace the one bagel.  I tried getting him to eat breakfast cereal, but the only cereal he would eat was Frosted Flakes and I think that is more candy than cereal. I am still not eating my oatmeal and it has more to do with the bowl it is microwaved in than the oatmeal itself.  The bowls I was using (for years) got chipped and replaced by a rounder, less flat bowl.  The oatmeal isn't the same.  Too wet.  I like it sort of dense and chewy.  None of the bowls in the cupboard work and I have tried them all.  I was hoping to find one of the chipped bowls in the garage and bring it back into the house but, alas, they are gone.

I finished the evergreen wreath (10 inch frame) for the porch Goddess to wear on her head this holiday season.  I think I have some sparkly things in the attic to glam it up a bit.  And a few fake pearls to wind around her neck.  The Goddess has been good to us and I should let her know I appreciate her good work on our behalf. I had planned to paint the table she sits on with purple paint (purchased) but never had the time to get that job done which is probably a good thing.  I can at least glue the broken edge back to the top.  And give the table a good wash.  The Goddess was a dull red when I purchased her at TJ Maxx many years ago and the sun and weather outdoors has faded her to a pale terra cotta.  Lovely. My neighbors think we are Buddhists.  I have always wanted a Buddha in the back garden.  The stone ones I want the most are very heavy (to ship) and very expensive.  The smaller ones aren't attractive. A Buddha is such a peaceful, meditative thing to have.  I should ask the Universe to see if there is a Buddha for me out there, somewhere.

Other items I would love to have someday include a tilting, wood Architect's drafting table;  Dearfoam slippers that aren't made anymore; and a small printing press for intaglio prints. Of course, red CROCs would always be welcome.  And my garden Buddha.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

It's A Cow

When I mentioned Riley meeting his first cows on his walk this past Saturday, I wanted to add a picture of the applique cow I did for a much larger quilt with all the usual farm animals represented.  Finally, I had time to hunt for the quilt.  Here's my rendition of a cow.   If Riley meets a rooster, some ducks, a frog, a horse or a pig I have them also.  We're out of luck if he runs into some lambs or sheep (more likely).

As I searched through the piles of work (much less than an average quilter has I am sure) I wondered if I would ever do this sort of work again.  I was asked just yesterday, how my quilting was going.  The answer was that I make a small piece every two months and that is about it.  I don't even remember the last time I worked at the machine sewing seams in blocks for a quilt.  I think it was a group lap quilt for someone undergoing chemo.  I will volunteer to sew the blocks together for this sort of work.  Otherwise, it is a job I detest.  I volunteer to do the hardest work (for me) for someone I know going through something far more difficult.  I love the "look" of piecing but I really can't stand the work involved.  I would rather do hand applique.

But, back to the original discussion I am having with myself.  Will I ever return to quilting?  Will I ever make use of the thousands of dollars of remaining fabric in the workroom closet?  Use the big Bernina I purchased from a friend?  Was my love for quilting driven by the group shows I organized?  By the group itself?  I rarely, if ever, had anything to show for show and tell as my work didn't fit with the traditional work the majority of the group produced.  My work was "too loud" (colorful) for them.  And, having gone unused for nearly four years now, my skills are non existent.  Or just different.

The Seven Year rule applies to quilting in a BIG way.  The fabrics we had to have in the past, do not interest us now.  In my case, the scrap pile at monthly meetings (or the occasional scrap bag from Kathy) was always the big draw for me.  I would find one thing that would get me all fired up to make something, finish something or just think about making something (just as valid).  A piece of black fabric found at one of the last meetings I attended was successfully bleach discharged to creamy white and used in three of my 12 by 12 pieces (still my favorites out of all of the work for 12 by 12).  The colors I own and the patterns don't excite me as much as they did when purchased.  But, new fabric has no appeal, either.  Now, if I buy anything, it is bolts of plain white.  To paint.  I still haven't tried to dye my own because solid colors do nothing for me.  I think soy batik might be fun.  Deconstructed silk screens is definitely of interest.

What I Know About Myself And Quilting (and life):
1. Motivated by personal deadlines and projects but not contests or juried shows
2. Prefer hand painted fabric with a pattern or bleach discharged arbitrary patterning
3. Hand work over machine but don't mind invisible machine zigzag
4. More of a painterly style ( which begs the question of just painting)
5. Blown away by Velda Newman's new work (huge) Zinnias.
6. Not interested in quilting as "work" (fame, teaching, selling, books)
7. Minimalist.  Less is more.  Wabi Sabi.  Zen.
8. Bored by most of what is now winning prizes and being published (exception: Zinnias)
9. Predict most famous quilters will be painters in the next 7 years
10.  The rest will enroll in Nancy Crow workshops.

I stopped being part of the Artful Quilter's Ring as there was hardly any quilt content here.  Some but not enough to qualify as artfully quilting.

Monday, November 08, 2010

My New Job

Each November the local newspaper publishes a Turkey Search with a free 20 pound turkey as the prize.  Each November I set up shop on the dining room table with pens, ruler and sharp eyes.  I have found that the "search" moves along best when I just "casually" glance at the letters and "see" a business name.  Trying too hard doesn't work for me.  But I have been known to sit for hours searching in the jumble of letters for the last few company names.  Even though the greenhouse does lots of advertising, we aren't in the Turkey Search.  As you can see, I had a very productive first few days.

We had a wild night, weather wise, here in Maine last night.  The wind sounded like a freight train blowing past the bedroom windows after midnight.  At four this morning, G was called to hear the news that his store had no power.  A fast food place wants to have power when 20,000 people in the state are without the means for coffee and breakfast.  The power came on at 6am and they served a lot of hungry, cranky people a hot breakfast.  And the schools were all closed.

For once, our power was still on this morning.  I think all the tree cutting that the power company did this summer helped but most of the power lines and poles were taken out by huge trees measuring more than 3 feet across the trunk.  No one was crushed or killed.  A miracle and a young mother and her baby had a tree come through the roof of their trailer, falling between their bedrooms.  The mom had to crawl under the tree trunk to get to her baby.  Wow.

It rained all day and I didn't have all that much to do but what I did have, I did pretty good.  Made several customers happy which is what this job is all about.

DWTS tonight and another chance for the Palin's to get all the Tea Partiers to vote for Bristol and send a real dancer home instead of Bristol.  This specific "star" has backfired for the show's producers.  I don't think they realized this could happen.  Bristol has ranked last for two weeks now and dancers in the top three or four have been sent home instead of her.  Bristol's mom even joked on Fox during election coverage, that Bristol was "saved" and now she (Sarah) could focus on the government votes.

I got a baby shower invitation today and asked what the new mom needed.  She said diapers.  Do you think she meant cloth?  She has a midwife so we could be going all retro and using cloth diapers again.  They can be expensive.  I used cloth diapers for both my babies in the late 60's, early 70's.  Pampers was just getting going and we used Pampers for "away" diapers.  Ah, the olfactory joys of the diaper pail on laundry days.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sunday Morning Biscuits

And I actually prepared them without looking at the recipe card, which is amazing.  I don't usually trust my memory for these recipes even though I make them often.  I added a few spoons of sour cream to the 3/4 cup of milk to give the baking powder something to work on.  The resulting biscuits were tender and moist.  I like them when they are crunchy crusted, also.  Higher oven temp but not today. I had blackberry jam on my biscuits along with two large cups of coffee.

The three of us are back from our walk in the woods. Riley was very well behaved in the woods.  We walked past three other families with black dogs.  Mainers seem to like black dogs. Because they are easier to find in the winter?

I have been sorting my magazine picture file and plan on adding some things to my already pasted collages. To make them more interesting and not just pasted down pictures that I like to look at, not that that is a bad thing.  I just want it to be more "interesting".

Yesterday was a L O N G day at work.  Class snack to set up in the morning.  Class (I wasn't teaching). Clean up. Water greenhouse. Quick lunch.  Drive across town and over the bridge to next town for the Go Green Expo. Stand around being friendly and giving people a $5 coupon.  Back hurting.  Drive back to work.  Stand around waiting until it was time to take down the snack table, wash the coffee pots etc. Then more waiting until 5 pm.  G picked up take out from his favorite Italian place in town.  They had a 90 minute wait for a table when he went to get our dinners.  Crazy.  Napping in front of the television until midnight.  Riley's daylight savings time changeover went smoothly this time.

G has gone to get gasoline for the mower or the leaf blower or both.  I suggested collecting the leaves and shoving them off to the sides of the lawn.  We have always collected them on a tarp and I have shredded and bagged them for the garden.  It just seems like too much work this year.  I can always pull some out of the edges and shred them in the spring with the mower or the shredder.  It doesn't matter.  I can see my afternoon will be spent in the yard with a rake.

I may make a trip into town to the grocery for a few dairy items along with some bread, vegetables and cheese for our dinner. Broccoli is on sale. I have BBQ pork leftovers from a huge chunk of meat (1.49 on sale).  This week chicken is on sale and I don't care to buy any as I have plenty in the freezer along with other things. Still have lentil soup for work lunches and I may add chard to the soup to change it up a bit for the coming week. I also want some clementines and a few apples or pears (on sale).

All the laundry is done, shirts are ironed for the coming week.  I do need to go upstairs and straighten up and water my plants.  I have orchids that need to go upstairs.  And geraniums that need a spot for the winter.  Amaryllis that need fresh soil and water so they can begin their Christmas bloom.  Indoor gardening.  Not even one o'clock.  Plenty of time before dark happens (early).

Friday, November 05, 2010


My house is large, open plan without many doors originally.  We added a glass paned door between what used to be the dining room and kitchen.  We watch television in the "dining room" now because the great room off the kitchen (cathedral ceiling) is freezing cold at night.  The only way to warm it is to add to the oil heat with the woodstove. And the smoke from the woodstove (opening to add wood) gives me breathing problems ( like having a constant chest cold). This large room and the  attached kitchen have large skylights and southern exposure so they are usually very warm while the sun is shining. This is the room I warm with additional oil heat most often as it is where the dog and I spend our days.  This is zone one. This is where G wants me to add heat this winter.  And I probably will but there is no door to close the opening to the ice cold foyer.  I have insulated drapes over the doorway which keeps out drafts but is not retaining heat.  We have never figured out what zone heats the foyer, if any.

We added another glass paned door to the bedroom hallway to close that off so it could be kept cooler for better sleeping and because we are hardly down there during the day and the southern exposure keeps the rooms warm without heat on most days.  This is zone two.

The living room, dining room (L shaped room and we bundle up and watch televison in the dining room corner) and foyer to the hallways is difficult to heat.  North facing and without doors. I also have the doorway from the living room to foyer draped to keep out drafts. Zone three. I painted the walls a warm Tuscan yellow and this seems to give the room faux warmth.  The lights and television warm up the room which is very weird.  I turn up the heat in this room only when we are watching television and turn it back to 60 when we go to bed.

The upstairs bedroom suite has it's own zone now and is kept at 55 all the time as no one goes up there. I will eventually move my studio upstairs and then heat that space (south facing) when I'm up there and the sun isn't shining.

I have access to oil heat or propane.  The oil heat just for household water (those hot showers) and heating Zone one (kitchen) to 62 costs us $250 to $350 a month.  If I actually heated the other three zones above 60 degrees, I can't imagine what the monthly bill would be.

The two large (double) doorways to the foyer from the great room (south) and living room (north east) are the major cold spots without doors and with only insulted drapes keeping cold out and warmth in.  I had a builder here 20 years ago to see if we could install double French doors in both openings.  We could but the result would be expensive as the ceilings and moldings are barrel style and the doors would have to be custom designed to match the curve at the top.  We may have to add doors and not worry about the design elements.  Trim will have to removed in any event.  This could be the winter project.

So there you have the whole story on the cold temps in my house and the reasons why it isn't warmer here after dark.  it is plenty warm in here in the winter when the sun is shining.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Season Of Discontent

The Election Results are sifting through the "people".   The weather is changing.  Cold. Wet. Rain. Dark. Never a good combination when you have heavy thoughts on your mind. I turned on the furnace, had a hot shower and made some red raspberry sugar free jello.  Trying to stay away from the remaining Tootsie Rolls.

Today I foiled large floor sized house plants, unpacked two or three pallets of merchandise in the warehouse, broke down boxes, decorated Winter Boxes, had a loader boy set up tables for the classes on Saturday, stood behind the cash registers and answered the phones. I am a "multi-tasker" now.  I was promoted, without my knowledge, from my limited role (the past 2.5 years) of greenhouse/ perennials only.  The fact that I was asked to work in the "Christmas Room" decorating the Winter Boxes was super exciting.  And in daylight.  Winter Boxes are window box containers (green plastic) filled with top soil, then filled with evergreens (balsam, pine) wired pinecones, sweet spire painted white and winterberry branches which are placed on graves here in New England and sometimes used in window boxes on the house.  They get wet and freeze solid and last quite a long time.

Tomorrow is the Go Green Expo  at a local high school and I have a new company shirt (too small) to wear when I stand in the booth and represent the company from 1 to 3.  I am supposed to be very excited about doing this.  I was more excited about the chance to collect free samples from other booths: such as Gelato.  But the Gelato people are not coming this year.  I am also concerned about my lunch as I normally eat lunch around 1:30 or 2.  Can you measure my enthusiasm by my concerns?  We will be serving snack cups of deep fried, heavily salted, peanuts at our booth.  Gives "go green" new meaning, huh?

G just arrived home and was very pleased to find the furnace running.  I may decide that the winter of 2010/11 will be a winter when I increase our usual thermostat setting from 60 degrees all the time to ?? degrees.  G would like 68.  We could celebrate our 64th birthday year with 64 degrees but then G will vote for 65 degrees next winter.  I am pretty tired of being cold all the time, also.  I could ask at work and get an idea of where people are on heating their homes.  Or I could ask you.  What is your furnace set on for the winter?

We have Wreath Making and Kissing Ball Making classes on Saturday.  I usually make a small wreath for the Goddess on the front porch.  I think I should "sparkle" it up this winter.  Glitter and meter balls.

Time to fold laundry and think about dinner.  Take out sounds good.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The New "Bead" ?

I guess the bead I sewed to the 12 by 12 wasn't the "bead".  Comments from everywhere.  When you readers don't like a bead, you certainly are vocal.  Who knew?

Even G is getting into it and brought home a new "sparkle" for my art.  I think it fell off someone's coat and got stepped on.  All the jewels are still intact.  He handed it to me and I laughed out loud, because I had just finished reading Diane N's  "I don't like that bead".  And I was thinking, "Hey, Diane, what about this?"

Oatmeal for breakfast today and I think I will make some soup.  I bought lentils when I was last in the grocery so there's that and I still have kale in the garden (frosted last night by a wave of cold temps) so it should have "sweetened" as gardeners say.  I have laundry to work on, sheets to change, duvet covers to fluff, shirts to iron and floors to sweep.  Dog wants a walk.  Quite a list for the day already.  I will probably return my reading books unread. Sigh!

G drove the truck home from work and parked it and in the morning when he tried to start it--realized he had absolutely no gas in the tank.  Nada.  The Toyota truck has no bells or whistles.  Crank windows. So no little bell and light to indicate the gas tank is nearing empty.  You have to watch the mileage to see where you are gas-wise.  He is amazed that he got home.  We are not close to any gas stations so the last of the lawn mower gas went into the truck. And then G flooded it.  I arrived home from work and the driveway smelled like a fuel leak.

We voted and I stayed up long enough to see John Boehner (pronounced Boner) get all "weepy" about his "big win" and the chance to be Speaker of The House and a Big Shot.  He must have campaigned in Ohio because he wasn't as orange skinned as usual.  Ohio doesn't have all that much sun.  Of course, he could be in Ohio all the time and just be "rusty".  Ohio is one of the rust capitals.  Anyway, I had to turn the television off at that point just in case that asshole Cantor was up next to giggle about being the "whip".  These two guys are so... can I say "gay"?  I know there are no conservative gay Republicans. Just regular guys who vacation with rent boys.  John Boehner's wife tried to kiss him last night after he spoke and it was just so delicious to watch him squirm out of her grip.  Backing his manly parts out of reach while pushing her away.  Would be a fantastic YouTube.

The Maine Governors Race is too close to call so they will have to count the absentee ballots. Did you know they don't count them unless the number of absentee ballots is large enough to change the outcome?  You vote absentee and in most cases your vote is never counted. Such an interesting government we have here in America.  The Election Board has discussed letting people vote early and letting them put their ballots into a voting machine (get counted) but they don't know whether they want to do that, either.  Like every other state, we have a Tea Party candidate.  He's the guy who plans to tell the President to "go to hell" if he ever sees him.  Nice.  Respectful.

Anyway, it's Wednesday, my favorite day of the week and it's November and I only have seven more weeks to work before being laid off for eleven weeks.   Seven weeks of work and 45 more posts to write.  And that will be the end of 2010.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Bead & A Rant (at the very end)

So much interest in the "bead".  Move it, remove it, add more etc.  I am a reluctant embellisher.  I don't have many beads.  So when I looked in the jar.  Yes, THE jar.  I found only one bead that was the right color for the job.  And I placed it in several spots and where it is is where it looked best.  And I sewed it on.  I always knew it wasn't permanent as I remove nearly every bead I sew on a quilt, in time.

I have been asked about the bound edges.  Well, they aren't bound.  I don't even have a back on the last five of these 12 by 12 challenges.  I don't finish them.  There is no reason to.  I'm not writing a book or having a traveling show.  And, by only one artist, the collection is chaotic and unpleasant.  This piece would "play well" with the other twelve rusty pieces in an exhibit, but only solo anywhere else.  Someday, I may convince Deborah to show her pieces along with mine, here in Maine. Our chairs are very nice together.  FLASH!!!  Duh!  I should have used a chair theme in all these pieces this year.  Not flowers.

Yesterday our daughter came over and had dinner with us.  I made Mexican casserole.  A recipe my dad had in his recipe box.  Last night I made it my own recipe and added stuff and changed things up.  It was delicious.  Of course, before doing any of that, I had to drive to the grocery store for menu items.  My pantry items have been depleted over the summer of "no shopping" and "use what you have in the freezer and cupboards".  Now my freezer is filled with frozen tomatoes and for some strange reason, the pantry has only canned diced tomatoes and canned corn. Our daughter hasn't been over for dinner in a long time.  And it's been two weeks since she walked Riley on Saturday afternoon so he was "beyond" happy to see her yesterday.  Bouncing up and down like Tigger, showing her his new toys.  She'll walk him this coming Saturday as G and I will both be back to work.

I have an hour to get dressed for work, vote and then drop off Riley at day care.  The  remainder of the day should be very slow and boring.  I guess the crew dusted all day Sunday.  When the political ads started running, the economy came to a grinding stop.  Fear.  Everyone I talk to is afraid of what may or may not happen.  The ads on television are very dangerous.  And the shows like 60 Minutes are showing towns where no money is changing hands, jobs are being lost and towns that once were growing are now boarded up with For Sale/ Going Out Of Business signs.  Banks refuse to lend money. Unions refuse to back down on contracts that drain the blood out of businesses and schools.  Streets are full of unrepaired potholes.  Is this the America we want?  Really?  Do we really want anarchy?

I know people are angry and afraid, but you have to work to repair what is wrong.  Not destroy everything.  Not reward someone like John Boehner who has said "no" to everything this Congress has tried to do.  Even to unemployment checks.  John says "no".  Take care of yourself.  And the Tea Party will.  With guns.  When the power goes out, no gas is available, no Social Security or Medicare checks are in the mail and we are all barricaded in our houses with loaded guns, remember  November of 2010 and say "thank you" to the Republican Party.  They have never wanted to take care of any of us. Reagan said that homeless people LIKE living in cardboard boxes.  And the Democrats need to stop trying to take care of everyone but the people who actually go to work and earn a living. Even I am tired of supporting welfare programs.  Okay, I'm done.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Friend of Twelve By Twelve- November

I enjoyed painting the fabric for this Colorplay challenge.  And that was all I enjoyed about it. I handstitched for about 3 or 4 hours on this piece to add some texture.  It still has no focal point and isn't artistically complete.  But I am finished with it for now.  I'm just showing it to be done.  Acrylic paint on bleached muslin with ribbon, floss, tulle and silk embellishments.  One bead.

Here's a detail shot of the added embellishments.  I was going to add some "flowers" along the line but no matter how much lipstick you add, a pig is still a pig.

I read on the 12 by 12 blog, that members of the group are also having trouble with just being given a set of colors and no theme or subject.  It's all too loosey/goosey for me.  When I was making a still life with a vase and flowers (and why did I stop doing that?) it was "okay, now a pink vase"  But, I think the use of my more complex painted fabrics is making my artistic life more complicated also.  I couldn't find a place for a vase or flowers in this fabric.  I have more, so I can keep trying.

A Spooky Night

I opened my pumpkin from the bottom and could then just set the carved pumpkin over the candle.  Having a pumpkin on the porch seemed to work some Halloween magic.  I had two sets of 6 to 8 Tricker Treaters. Riley barked and then just watched.  He seemed to enjoy the excitement.