Saturday, April 30, 2011

Finally, Spring

You can tell when Spring finally arrives --- no one is updating their blogs.  Too many "other" more enticing things to be doing.  Sitting in the sun, eating ice cream, digging in the garden or riding around with the ragtop down. Watching a beautiful bride get happily ever after married.

I don't think Spring is the time when you say "gosh, I want to be working longer and harder at work".  But that is what is happening.  Yesterday wasn't a "good day".  I was so mentally and physically stressed yesterday that I actually started to cry.  I stood there in the middle of the perennial yard (blue skies and sunshine) and wanted to just punch out and go home and crawl into bed and sob.  A few hours later, after lunch (Greek yogurt with protein powder), the right side of me was soaked to the skin from dripping hoses as I watered over my head.  It's bad when (cold) water runs into your bra. Then down your leg into your socks.

G took me out to dinner and I had the double beef brisket  and a DRINK.

Today I am teaching the Vegetable class.  I have salad and tuna mixed with canola mayo for lunch. And running out the door to work.  I have tissues in my pocket in case I start crying again.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Stormy, Muggy Day

High winds, downpours, high humidity, no sun but no tornados.  Looking out, past the tomato plant and the begonia tuber sending up shoots, to the garden bed where I dug out grass and weeds yesterday afternoon.  I can feel it in my arms and shoulders today.

Work was dull.  Not much going on and too many employees.  The crew yesterday (my day off) spread new gravel, added lots of new foliage plants and moved stuff and watered etc.  Not much left for me to do but stand around and answer the phone.

Three days of exercising in a row plus an increase in the amount of protein (meat) that I have been eating.  My son pointed out that my body needs more protein if I am exercising to build muscle.  And I am exercising to build muscle.  Most of it seems to be being built in my butt right now--but it's good, I guess. So, today I mixed up some tuna with mayo and had that on my toast at work instead of the usual jam.  I still feel full.  I think I can eat tuna with a mixed salad everyday for lunch for the month of May.  This is my plan.  The days that I can't I will have yogurt with protein powder mixed into it and 1/2 cup of raspberries.  I haven't worked out the breakfast yet.  But I think it will be eggs.  I am trying to do Atkins or Protein Power for as many days as I can manage it to get some of this bulky fat off my body so I can do my exercises more effectively.  Perhaps even see some muscles.  My goal is 10 or 15 pounds.  Half of what I need to get rid of.

I got some tiny Early Girl tomato starts today.  And some green peppers.  My own seeds never got planted.  Shame on me.  I still have time for zucchini, kale and cucumbers.  G is going to plant beets, radishes and carrots for me on Sunday. When he plants the seeds, stuff comes up.  My peas are coming up.  I planted them.  Now for a shower and some Tivo.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Iris & Contemplation

The UPS man just delivered the new, pre programmed new TiVo. I did my exercises with music and it was very nice. I have had my lunch and Riley is going outside while I wash up and get dressed for the day.  I also found a low carb Texas chili recipe for my "try out" of a low carb diet.  The EXACT opposite of what I naturally eat (and gain weight eating).  Adding a portion of grilled meat to a big salad will do the trick.  I can do this for a few weeks.  It can be my diet for May.

I was up early, thinking about how to schedule the few hours before work.  And then remembered.  Today is my day off.  I am doing two loads of laundry, then ironing and finally making Easter Dinner.  I have my liter of Classic Coke for the ham and the ingredients for the Brown Sugar Crust.  Since ham is still on sale at 89 cents a pound, I may go and buy another one if this one tastes wonderful.  The ham is good until June stored in the fridge in the original wrap.

I finally returned to my Pilates yesterday and feel better.  I have been reading emails and letting Riley in and out the back door but as soon as I finish here I will go up to work out.  I will take my little CD player and have some soothing music.  Each time I go upstairs to exercise, I add something to the routine.  A few yoga stretches last week.  I need to have a timer or some music to get me through the minutes needed to do the lower back stretch.  It isn't painful but it also isn't pleasant.  But, my back feels 100% better throughout the work day and even overnight.  Hard to describe the sensation during the stretch.  And it's just where I have had trouble for years.  I am supposed to do the lower back stretch for as long as I can stand it. The stretch involves a rolled towel and my towel is very thin.  So, I am not over doing here at the beginning.

I have started doing "Downward Facing Dog".  I can't put the heels of my feet flat on the floor (yet) but just having my feet and hands on the floor with my hips up in the air is like winning the lottery.

I need to do some gardening.  I have transplants that need to go into the perennial bed, shrubs to plant, onion sets to plant and seeds to start.  It was supposed to be "sunny" today but still is wet and dark outside.  Will the sun and warmth ever come to Maine?  It has been warm.  Just not sunny.

Everything has changed at work as we switch into high gear.  The greenhouse is now full of petunias. With Mother's Day so close, I am hoping the fuschias start showing blossom color.  We haven't had enough sunshine in the greenhouse to get the blossoms open.  Last year they never grew properly.  This year they are big, healthy plants but no color.  Yet.  And my herb tables got moved outdoors.  The herbs will enjoy a nice damp, overcast day or two outdoors before the sun shines.  Everything looks so fresh and green.  New beginning.  Fresh opportunity.

The cold crops are outdoors, also.  Cabbage etc. and all the wild lettuces and regular lettuces.  And we have flats of spicy Arugula.  I pinch off a few leaves every afternoon.  Peppery.  Quality control.  I have grown cabbage every year but 12 cabbages are way too many.  I would like 6.  I can manage to eat 6.

I met and chatted with an older gardener yesterday.  She is 80.  15 years older than I am and limited in what she can do.  This was a momentous thought for me.  Fifteen years.  If this is what I have left--how do I best spend the time?  I feel, in my heart, that I can actually make it to 90 and perhaps a bit farther. But how much of those years will be productive?  I don't want to spend my days sleeping as my husband does.  I think this is why I stay at work.  I want to be "doing".  G wants to vacation.  And on vacation he reads and naps.  And while he reads and naps, I am bored out of my mind.  Even going to visit people involves so much sitting around doing nothing.  Which is why I end up doing laundry, ironing and cooking while on vacation.  I also work on collages in my journal, read (without falling asleep) and do hand sewing.  On the rare occasions when I spend an entire day doing nothing I feel terrible.

The new TiVo still hasn't arrived and the old one has now slipped into Advanced TiVo Alzheimers.  It can't remember how to do anything and can't identify even the simple commands without it's connection to the router.  Poor little machine and it's damaged little router switch.  Last night it kept forgetting how to record.  I had to keep pressing the record button in order to get TiVo to record the full one hour program.  Makes me appreciate all the years of faithful service even more.  This is what I have to look forward to with G when his router connection fails. LOL

Now to exercise while Riley controls the animal population in the back yard.  The imaginary/illusive squirrels. The ducks in the wetland.  The deer (possible).  The wild turkey (likely).  He is growling softly and barking occasionally.  Not sleeping

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday, Monday

This little foliage plant is called a "Chicken Gizzard" and I have no idea why.  I bought it because when I was a very little girl (less than 2) I would climb (crawl) up the tall staircase to the second floor where my grandparents lived calling "gizzies" to my grandmother.  She would have chicken gizzards for me.  And. I seemed to have liked eating them.  This little plant reminds me of my grandmother.  I loved her so much.

Work has been good this past week.  I haven't been able to fit my exercises in to my days.  And this week I am going in to work an hour earlier on the morning shifts.  Tomorrow is an afternoon shift and I will be doing my Pilates (and a few yoga poses).  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Three days of exercise.

Easter dinner turned out to be warmed up slices of leftover pizza.  Hey, it happens.  My after work shower was way too relaxing and G had to be into work at 1 am on Monday so he went to bed very early.  I stayed up to watch Masterpiece Theater and the Killing on AMC.  I went onto one of those comment blogs and, really, we aren't watching the same program.  Obviously.  I am missing huge chunks of "clues".  But.  Still thinking the same people are the "killer" as the people with way too many clues.

Time to eat, iron five more shirts, write checks for the bills, take my shower and watch DWTS.  And read my book.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pussy Willows Rooting

My husband had these pussy willow stems (which I purchased carefully) on display at his restaurant during the weeks prior to Easter weekend.  They have made roots and leaves in the four weeks and are now ready to be potted up and then in late May, planted in the wetland around the vernal pool.  Yes, they are this tall. I am enjoying having a forest of tree branches in the kitchen.  G now has branches of cherry blossoms on display.

Happy Easter to all as I pack my lunch and get ready to leave for work.  Sigh!  No Easter Bunny.  No Easter Eggs.  No Easter Basket.   Our daughter is eating Easter Lunch with the boyfriend's family.  They are making special items to accommodate her post surgery diet.  Nice people.  G and Riley will have a quiet day together.  Resting.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Do You Have Friends?

I was reading this and I have to say it made me very sad.  So many of us are out "there" alone these days with no real people (by that I mean face to face) people to connect with.  Thank goodness for the internet.

My answer to this question.  I have three or four good friends and I can call and chat with them if I need/want to but mostly we don't.  They live in all the places I used to live.  I only have a brother in the family category.  We don't like each other, never see each other etc.  I have never understood why. No extended family of aunts, uncles or cousins either.  Sort of an orphan. Not much family history of "good times".

My own little family of husband, daughter and son isn't much better.  I see the husband all the time and we are probably best friends to each other.  The daughter is less involved with us now that she has a boyfriend which is a lovely thing.  She had been very sad and terribly lonely for 12 years and is now happy.  She lives nearby but we don't see each other often.  She walks my dog when I ask her to.  My son lives in CA and it's been 2 years since we have seen him in person.  He calls on birthdays and major holidays.  Easter isn't one.  He lives alone which makes me sad but he has a group of close friends and sees them often.  They are more than likely having Easter dinner together. I envy him that close group of friends.

Most of the "friends" I have had over the most recent years have actually been work acquaintances or related to my interest in quilting and now my Master Gardening group. I have always been lucky enough to make casual friends with people.  None that I could ever count on if I needed a friend. Perhaps.  But I haven't "tested" it and, so, don't know.  I do have two friends who I have lunch with occasionally.  I enjoy that a great deal, but never see them any other time.

And now, there is the internet.  I share more of my day with complete (not really) strangers.  People I wouldn't know if I saw them in person.  You (reading this) know me better and in more detail than anyone else.  How odd is that? I can depend on you.  You send messages of comfort and helpful advice.  I feel that, if you lived close by, you would bring soup and kleenex if I was very sick or stop by on my birthday with a fancy cupcake.  My husband, daughter and son read my blog.  To find out about me.

Was it always this way?  Do we now have so much free time to notice we are lonely, have no one to talk to, or are we lost without someone to laugh with?  I think it's number three.  No one to laugh with.  Thank goodness everyone who comments on my blog posts can make me happy and laughing out loud at least once or twice a week.  Crack Pots and Farty Cereal.

Time to exercise.  And do household chores.  My daughter read my blog and the mention of ham and has called to invite herself over for dinner (and the boyfriend).  Oh!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pay Day and Memories of Lemon Meringue Pie

This is what the payday station at work looks like.  Time cards.  Time Clock.  Fire Extinguisher.  Up on top of the Time Clock is the rubber banded set of checks.  Today was payday.  I have my check.

I just wrote about what actually happened today (at work) and because I learn from my mistakes---- I deleted it all.  Instead, I will say that I repotted lots of gift plants for Easter.  Picked lots of dead pansy flowers off plants in flats, had my new favorite lunch- toast with jam.  The toaster at work toasts the bread I bring with me to crackly crispness.  And then I spread today's jam (Apricot) and chewed and chewed and chewed.  I think lots of chewing makes me very satisfied.  A coworker gifted me with a tangerine since he felt toast wasn't the best lunch.  I had a banana, toast and pineapple yogurt.  It was plenty of food.

I think I will try and have toast every Monday and Friday when I work the morning shift which will require planning because I like to use thinly sliced "good" bread for my toast.  Today it was Tuscan Boule.

Poor planning on my part means we are having pizza for dinner.  A very bread centered meal plan for today.  Tomorrow it will be Easter Ham Dinner since I will be working on Easter Sunday.  Au Gratin potatoes and roasted asparagus.

I wish my mother was around to make her fantastic lemon meringue pie.  And, for me to have written that--you can bank on the pie being super wonderful.  You know about me and my late mother.  I have never tried to make that pie.  Cooking the lemon filling and then hoping it doesn't "weep" and beating and topping the pie with egg whites and hoping that doesn't get all rubbery.  It's just too many "items" that can go wrong. My mother made lemon meringue pie for G every single time he was with us on a visit.  Every. Single. Time.  If he didn't come with me and the kids--no pie.  Isn't that something?  Would be nice on Easter.

Tomorrow I am planting red onion starts, separating fennel seedlings, starting seeds.  Riley and I will be outside most of the day.  No walk as his foot needs a good rest.  Then I have shirts to iron again.  When I visit the library to pick up books for G, I will stop and get French Baguettes.  The best baguettes in Maine.  From Standard Bakery in Portland.  For Sunday's ham and cheese sandwiches.

Happy Easter or Passover to all of you!  Don't eat too many chocolate eggs.


Cold last night.  25.  When is Spring coming and STAYING?  I will be outside picking frosted pansy leaves off many dozens of flats at work today.   They should have been inside last night.

In other news the huge Agapanthus plants belonging to Ned were cut into chunks with a SawsAll.  It looked like a massacre.  I wasn't involved because all the men involved thought it was too traumatic for my sensibilities.  When did I become "dainty"?  Sensible, yes.  Dainty, never.

There has been talk among the customers of another Ice Age.  It only takes an average drop in temps of 10 to 20 degrees to qualify.  We, here in Maine, think we qualify right now.  They must have forgotten about the nearly 14 or 15 months of ABOVE average temps we had been having until February 2011.

Time for work.  Pizza dough thawing for dinner tonight.

 TiVo has broken and the new, premier edition doesn't arrive until next week.  Whatever will we do without recorded programs until then?  The exciting part of the NEW TiVo is that it has the ability (if I pay for membership) to stream Netflix onto our television.  Now, if we were ever AWAKE long enough to watch any Netflix.  LOL.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slow, Meditative Start

To my Wednesday off.  I woke at 6.30 and then lay in bed dreaming until 9.30.  I have let the dog out three times now; he saw a very large wild turkey eating birdseed under the feeder.  Now, Riley must "check" the yard for turkey scent.  My breakfast was the "farty" cold cereal mix.  Muslix, wheat berries and a sugar free granola with nuts.  Since I am working at home today, I think farting all day will be acceptable.

My first load of dark work clothes from yesterday is in the washer.  So many wet pairs of socks.  Next will be the bed sheets.  Then the dog towels.  While the cereal is being digested, I will iron shirts.  Then do my Pilates and my very first try at beginner Yoga poses.  I watched a few videos on the internet and now think I can try a few of the standing poses.  Downward facing dog is going to be difficult.  But there are quite a few poses that are good for the back muscles.  Cat Cow.  I will end with Child's Pose and the Corpse. Five to fifteen breaths in each pose. A number of the poses are similar to Pilates.  I think they are fraternal twins.

First load in the dryer and white sheets in the washer.  Fresh water and lunch for Riley.  Grinding beans for a fresh pot of coffee.  I had a leftover cup with breakfast.  It is cold and gray outside.  And damp. It may have already rained for the day, or more is coming.  Either way, a good day to be home.

Later I will go to the library for a book for G.  I pick out all his books.  It must be nice to have a wife. Then I will stop and buy the ingredients for Thanksgiving Dinner.  I also need detergent and spray starch.  I had been considering buying a few zucchini to make the chocolate chip loaf.  Better that I make chocolate chip cookies for G.  I don't like the cookies and I do love the bread.

I missed the 12 by 12 deadline for Chartreuse and the remainder of the colorplays are being done much quicker so they will all be finished in time for Houston's Quilt Show.  I fear, my joy in playing along, is diminished.  Not playing any longer.  Now it's more like working towards a deadline.  Which I don't share.  I will miss"playing along".  Perhaps someday I will be invited by a new group to play with them?  I can only hope it will happen some day.  Now, coffee and the iron.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daisy Tuesday

Almost out of pictures from my day at work (last week) so I will need to take the camera to work next Sunday and snap some more.  It's nice to have something beautiful for you at the top of the blog.  Not much of beauty here at the house, right now.

Work today was exhausting.  So much to do and by 2.30 I still hadn't had lunch or finished watering the big greenhouse.  My socks were wet so I changed into dry warm socks before eating my lunch.  In less than an hour my feet were wet again.  Ugh!  As was the lower 10 inches of each leg of my heavy corduroy pants.  I got home after 6.30, took off all the cold, wet clothes, hot shower, jammies and by then G and Riley were back from a walk in the woods.  G was trying to tire the dog because tomorrow it will be raining and cold (I don't walk the dog in the cold rain).

Riley has a bloody cut on his foot from the woods.  People throw so much trash out into the woods (along the paths) that it is surprising his foot pads aren't always bleeding.  He's licking his foot.  G can't see any injury so it must be hidden between the toes.

G remembered I wanted ice cream yesterday so we went and had Dairy Queen and looked at the burned out, demolished building from Sunday.  I should have taken my camera.  I had a banana split with just hot fudge sauce.  It was delicious.  Dairy Queen makes the best hot fudge.  Well, I make the best hot fudge but I'm not making hot fudge these days.  We're back home and eating dinner now.  Backwards.

Tomorrow, laundry, shirt ironing, some cleaning.  Perhaps a ride to Goodwill to drop off stuff, the library for books and the shops in town for bread.  Really good bread.  I may spring for a bacon egg and cheese sandwich at the deli.  Treat myself to something tasty.  Or not.  And make it here at home.  And I plan to cook a really nice dinner.  Meatballs, I think.  Or I will get a roasted turkey breast and make Thanksgiving Dinner.  That sounds nice on a cold rainy day.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Either the wiring in several multiple apartment buildings decided to ignite in a "group effort" or we have an arsonist in our charming little town.   Sunday, at 2.30 am, the 1887  Firestone building where I get my hair cut, burned so badly that it had to be torn down.  The building, the businesses and the apartments (homes) of 17 people --all gone.  I wanted to have G drive me past so I could see it.  Instead, we watched recorded television and then ate dinner @ 7.30.  Now G is watching DWTS and I am not.

What is happening on Earth?  94 tornados in one day.  70 earthquakes in a 24 hour period all over the world.  Snow on April 18 in Chicago.  Here in Maine the peepers are peeping out in the vernal pool on the side of my yard.  My peas are planted and Wednesday I plan to set my red onion bulbs in soil and plant beet seeds.  I hope the Earth keeps spinning (even if it's off kilter due to the 9.0 quake in Japan) until my garden produces.

My days at work are wearing me out.  I am exhausted.  Nearly falling asleep in the hot showers I take after work. Lifting, walking, bending, leaning over short tables.  Work for much younger people.  G visited on Sunday and brought me a coffee.  Later, at home, he mentioned that everyone I work with is "very young"--just kids is the way he put it.  Yes.  Now that 89 year old Ed has gone to live with his children in Massachusetts, I am the "old" person working here.  There is a 50 something who works on the weekends (a high school teacher) but she has quite a bit of energy.

I am going to finish my ice water with lemon and sink into the couch cushions, perchance to dream. I decided not to have my house cleaned.  The reason, the thing that bothered me the most: having to give her a key to my house.  I didn't want to.  So, I won't.  Simple.   I filled my pants pocket with notes, slips of paper and made phone calls from work.  Customer inquiries. All taken care of.  The internet.  A Wonder. Sweetgrass. Red PassionVine. Bamboo. Cardamon Seeds.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Nearly Over

Stephanotis.  Fragrant member of the milkweed family.  Found in wedding bouquets.  Now being sold along with Easter Lilies at my place of employment and at the local grocery store.

Speaking of the local grocery store:  Finally got to buy some yogurt.  I purchased 6 Chobani pineapple for myself and the last four peach Dannon yogurts for G.  I had wanted peach Chobani but there was none to be had.  They aren't on sale starting tomorrow--guess what?  Plenty on the shelves tomorrow.

I was reading the NYT this morning regarding SUGAR.  Which linked to the Atkins Diet.  I bookmarked the Atkins diet and it is the EXACT opposite of what I am eating.  Fruit, Vegetables and Grains vs Meat, Fats and Salad.  All the bacon, egg and cheese that I want minus the bagels or blueberry pancakes. Salad with bacon, cheese and full fat salad dressing. There is also a Paleo Diet of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, vegetables and fruit.  No fats, dairy or grains.  Paleo.  Do they mean Caveman? I guess they would eat the animals but wouldn't milk them.  What sort of eggs would cavemen have eaten?

Have any of you "done" Atkins?  My son lost all the post college (I have a job and can buy junk food) weight one winter by eating beef chili made with the Adkins recipe.  Every meal @ home was chili.  My son likes to keep diet choices very simple.  Lunch out was fajitas without the tortillas. He lost 30 pounds in no time at all. Oh, and he switched from Classic Coke to plain water.  Men.  Really. Not. Fair.

I switched yesterday from diet coke to water with lemon.  I feel fat today but it could be the jeans I am wearing and the belt around my waist.  I feel tightly packed.

I baked a second loaf of Irish soda bread this morning and ate one small quarter  for breakfast with coffee and drove to work with the still warm larger half of the loaf for that Irish lad.  I had promised it to him on Thursday and his sad face when he asked and I had to say "no, I didn't bake yesterday" has been bothering me.  So, I baked and delivered and he was radiantly happy.  And surprised.  A good surprise is worth everything on a cold windy day when you've been outside working all morning.

I have to decide by tomorrow if I want to have my house cleaned every other Tuesday.  My house cleaner from the old days is available again.  She does a very good job.  I'm sure it's more expensive now.  My dilemma is cleaning up this mess before she comes or just limiting her to cleaning ONE room at a time.  If she comes this Tuesday, I will have her spend the entire time on the kitchen. I absolutely love a clean house.  The cleaning will cost more than I make at work on Tuesdays.  More like two Tuesdays of work.  See, this is my dilemma.  Why not just stay home and clean the damned house myself.  Why am I working?

Riley is eating his new dog food.  He has even started to remind us of his mealtimes, like he did when he was a puppy.  We are correctly measuring his portions (after checking what G was giving him) and serving him a skimpy lunch as not many dogs eat lunch.  He never gave it up while growing out of puppy food into adult.  Riley would continue to come get me at exactly 12 noon and let me know he needed "lunch" served.  Now he takes his lunch to doggie day care in a little dog lunchbox.  We just continue to divide the daily food into thirds.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  How often do you feed your dog?

I am going to put the white wash in the dryer now, change into my jammies and read my new Icelandic mystery.  I finally finished the Jo Nesbo and it was quite a ride.  About eleven endings and each time it would just start up again and go roaring off to the next conclusion.  I was exhausted, confused and finally just wanted it to end.  And Harry wasn't as delightfully flawed, drunk or suicidal.  He has decided opium is better than Jim Beam.  Harry without the death wish is not as good a read.  No more books for 24 months when the Ghost comes out in 2014.  I can wait.

Using The Wrong Finger

To hold up his jowls.  Our Governor should be using his middle finger.  Because that's what he's giving the citizens of Maine each and every time he tries to end conservation laws, cut down trees, make fun of safety issues and medical/health protections (little old ladies with mustaches).  All to help "create jobs".   Which is Tea Party speak for "give the rich some more money".

This man isn't rich and never will be.  But here he is courting the "Fat Cats" of big business.  Why?  The Governor's business, Marden's: a run down set of shopping centers selling salvage from "out of business" stores, fire sales and during the flood season, water damaged goods; doesn't meet most business codes right now.  He employs retired workers.  People that would be hard pressed to work anywhere else. No union.

Paul LePage is gaining "fame" on most comedy news shows like John Stewart, Colbert Report, and lately on MSNBC.  Mainers like me are just embarrassed.  He's only been in office 100 days.

Reminds me of when I was a teenager and the mayor of Cleveland was doing a news report out in front of the Cuyahoga River (which was on fire) and the mayor's hair caught on fire.  The river was on fire because it was so polluted.  I think he was assuring people it was "okay".  Dennis Kucinich.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Ridiculously gorgeous.  I took my camera to work with me today and snapped some "eye candy" for all of you to look at while being forced to read the puff that I write below the pictures.  Is that chartreuse in the center?

Today I am exhausted.  In mind and body.  Muscle fatigue and a tension headache which started in my neck while I was outside picking damaged blossoms from the pansies.  All the pansies.  There was some fun also as the guys are trying to find all the leaks in the irrigation system. I am thankful I don't have to help dig holes and get soaked.

G is talking me to dinner.  I may fall asleep in my food.

I didn't fall asleep and had eggplant.  Feeling very full now and plan to change into my jammies and watch Fringe.  The title up top was spelled wrong and Dee caught my mistake.  Thank you, Dee.  Riley update: His blood work was perfect as was his urine test.  He is in excellent health (tremendous leg muscles) but needs to get rid of 8 pounds.   The vet says he's overweight.  How can a dog who isn't eating be over weight you ask?  Well, I guess he's been eating "something".   Now he has grainless and holistic foods and is gobbling them down in modest (weight control) portions.  Begging for meals to be served.  How's that for progress!  Potato and Duck.  I guess it makes sense as he is very interested in the ducks on the wetland pool.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Royal Soda Bread

I finally broke down and made this bread.  It is everything I had hoped it would be.  Buttery, sweet, heavy, rich and delightful.  I added golden raisins (soaked for a short time in hot water, not Irish whiskey) but skipped the caraway seeds this time around.  G says it looks just like the loaves sold at the only bakery in town.  I got the recipe off a website.  After much searching.  I ate one quarter yesterday.  I wrapped the other three pieces up and plan to share one with an Irish lad at work today.  I have enough buttermilk for one more loaf which I think I will freeze.  Okay, I can freeze the buttermilk or the loaf.

Today is going to be my first day back to Pilates since Thursday.  I didn't have the time or the interest in doing my exercises on the weekend (yesterday, I thought I didn't have time and in the end, I did, but too late).  I'm ready to return to my schedule today.  It is becoming obvious that I can't control my weight, but I can try and control my "fitness".  I really, really, really, do not want to return to the 1200 calories a day.  I can't take another round of negative (no, no, no) in my life right now. And it hasn't worked the last few times I have attempted it, because of that negativity.  I am more active now; longer walks with the dog, my job, and now exercise.  These are items that were not included in my routine the last time. In fact, I remember resting quite a bit while on the diet that year, mainly due to the lack of food.

I also have a personal problem in my life.  I wonder if people can attract a certain type of personality to themselves, the way a magnet attracts only certain metals.  Last night, at dinner time, I had a long and frustrating conversation with a close friend.  In the moments after I said goodbye and hung up the phone, I was screaming at the room in general.  She is making ME crazy!!  I seem to be attracting people who are, right now, having a great deal of trouble in their lives.  Problems they love to talk about but refuse to confront or correct.  I am tired of listening.  Let's refer now to the paragraph above regarding my diet.  You may be tired of listening (reading) also, and screaming, just now, at what a pain in the a** I am being lately.  Go ahead.  I'll wait.

There are three friends now with problems.  One eats (chews in my ear) the entire time we talk on the phone.  She flits from one interest to another.  I believe she smokes pot which could be the reason for the odd conversations and her memory loss.  And she knows more than I do on every topic.  We have discussed her fruit tree diseases and the pruning of her grape vines every few days for months now.  Same exact conversation.  The second friend is spending 24/7 with her newly divorced daughter.  The third has a toxic mother who she keeps visiting.  For a few weeks now I have had a daughter with a sick gall bladder.  So, I was more understanding.  Sam is better now (read all about it on her blog today- Slambo in the sidebar-  too funny) and I am tired. Ann Landers had a saying, "people can't walk all over you, if you don't lay down on the floor".  Or something like that.

This is me getting up off the floor.

Yesterday work sped by.  It was time to go home before I knew it.  This is the work routine I enjoy.  Lots to do and no clock watching.  I think we will have clock watching today.  From 4 to 6.

My citrus "trees" are out on the back deck.  They were washed clean by the big rain yesterday, electrified by lightning and fed by the sunshine.  More sun today.  Another warm spring day here in Maine.  I still have drifts of snow, but most of my 8 raised garden beds are thawed.  My peas have been planted and they got a really good soaking yesterday.

I am intrigued by the thought of "baked oatmeal" but most of the recipes include lots of sugar, eggs, milk and butter.  More of an oatmeal CAKE.  Not exactly what I had envisioned having for breakfast.  I was thinking thick, dense, chewy.  More research will be necessary.  Now exercise.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Our taxes are done.  What a relief.  And what stupidity not to have gotten it all done sooner!!!  I still have the property taxes to pay and a visit to the bank regarding my IRA but that's small beans compared to the taxes.

I got all my gardening done.  The ajuga dug out of the back bed.  A "ride along" donation from someone when I took a plant home and planted it back there.  I know I will be digging ajuga next year( and many years after) but it's nice to see the bed without it right now.

I sprinkled herb seeds (dill, parsley, cilantro) in the herb bed and planted my package of pea seeds. I also raked up the raised beds to make them look more "proper".  The kale I never picked is now sending out new leaves.  Who knew? And it tastes good.  I sprinkled some dinosaur kale seeds nearby.

We are now going to buy dogfood.  And our dinner.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Of past difficulties with my right leg.  Same thing.  I forgot about it until I was standing in the shower and I remembered.  Bursitis of the muscle that crosses over my hip bone.  The remedy?  Exercise. And those famous orange pills.  That was when I was first given the orange pills.

So, last night I took the orange pill and everything was good.

And today at work, when my right Croc stuck a bit on the floor, I felt my hip weaken just a bit.  So that's what has happened the last two times (when I wasn't paying attention).  My foot has stuck on the floor and I pulled against the hip muscle and it did what it does.  Hurts. And then as I keep moving it eases up and finally goes away.

The more I move the better it will be.  The Pilates exercise must have bothered that muscle when it rubbed against the hip bone.  Don't worry.  The remedy is exercise, not walking on uneven surfaces, and orange pills.  That's what my orthopedic doctor says.  It worked last time.  It will work this time.

I have strong bones.  I know. I saw the x-rays.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Remains Of The Day

Today.  Is over.  My daughter is home where she can privately pass all the gas they injected into her belly during surgery.  The Linus Project volunteers have packed their car with my 4 shopping bags and five boxes.  And they liked what was in the bags and boxes and plan to "keep" most of it and not sell it.  It is fun to make pretty things.  More fun to make pretty things.  Some donations are old and tired.  My stuff is bright and cheerful.  This little pile of brown checks and plaids was removed from a box at the last minute. I don't know why.  I followed my intuition.  We'll see.

Today, just about at the time I should have been in the car driving to pick up the dog, my right leg "gave" way again.  This is the second time this week.  It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to recover and then everything is good again. Everything was perfectly fine up until the moment I realized my leg might not hold me up.  I wonder what is happening to me?  Pinched nerve?  Tired muscles?  Cement floors?  I have been walking, reaching, lifting for two full days at work.  No problems.  And the "weakness" occurred at about the same time of day, afternoon, 3 pm or so.  And by just standing quietly and waiting, it went away.  What it is, is the feeling that if I place my weight on my right leg, I will fall.  I stop myself at the very first instance of this feeling.  Standing still and waiting is okay with me.  Falling at work is not.  I don't want to be treated like an invalid.  Not yet.

Just before this happened I was walking down towards a delivery truck, uneven gravel, to pick up trays of plants, one tray on each forearm, and carry them back up into the greenhouse.  It was after carrying the tulips and Easter lily containers in that I felt unsafe.  I had decided to skip my Pilates this morning.  I just had too many things to get done and was still late to work.

My lunch, at 1.30 was wonderful.  I especially enjoyed the toast with my still hot breakfast thermos of coffee.  If Sam's boyfriend can't walk and feed Riley tomorrow, I will drive home and eat my lunch here between classes.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Editing this post.  It's 10 am and Sam is out of surgery and without a gall bladder. The surgeon did it the "easy" way but it took a long time and was the second worst gall bladder he has ever removed.  She will stay overnight just to be safe (infection).  She has obviously lived with a great deal of pain for many years so I am wondering what life will be like for her-pain free.

Yesterday I was very busy getting four large shopping bags and 5 banker's boxes filled with fabric and brought downstairs by the front door.  The Linus Project co-ordinator is picking this donation of fabric up tomorrow afternoon.  I also sent the dog food samples to the lab for testing, paid and mailed the household bills, made homemade pizza, got my hair cut and moved the plant auction plants outdoors for the day (and back inside for the night).  It's 24 degrees right now.  Frost covers the lawn.  I lucked out at the resale shop and got an LLBean anorak for Spring dog walks and a ten dollar brown cashmere sweater for now and next winter.  It's very cozy.

G was up very early.  Our daughter is having her second surgical attempt at removing her very sick gall bladder.  They admitted her for day surgery at 5.30 this morning (larger hospital about 45 minutes from home) and took her into surgery at 7 if all went as planned.  The surgeon will try to do the surgery laproscopically but if that won't work (again) then he will do an abdominal incision.  A week in the hospital for that.  I am hoping and praying to hear from G in a few hours that it was done the easy way.  And Sam will be sleeping in her bed, at home, tonight.

The Year of the Rabbit for G and S has been filled with pain, doctors and lab tests so far.  Let's hope this is the end of that.

We watched Survivor last night and I can't imagine it was chance that they had a foot challenge on the day that Matt cuts his foot on Redemption Island.  Or that he is now back on the island (the best place for him since he is a train wreck running his mouth).  G went to bed early and I turned off the TV and read my book until Riley decided it was time to go to bed.  10.30.  Right on the minute. I swear that dog has an incredibly accurate internal clock!

I can't really concentrate on anything.  I have to take the dog to daycare and go to work soon.  I may try and do my Pilates (I didn't fit it in yesterday).  Perhaps that will make me feel more peaceful.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Teaching Gardening

One Saturday at a time.  April 9th is Outdoor Gardening with Annuals and Perennials. I found out yesterday.  The past three days have been wonderful and very tiring.  Good customers with lots of questions.  Good conversations relating to life and gardening.  Still too much standing around, but each day there is more to do.  Still too much drama from a few of the younger employees.  I have resorted to covering my ears with my hands and saying "na na na" when this one young man goes on and on about the never ending breakup with his girlfriend.  Enough!!!

The Nursery is getting ready to open and the employees working with trees and shrubs are extremely happy.  Nursery is separated from everything else--they even have their own cash register out there.  How I wish I had a cash register where I work.  Not really.  A garden hose that doesn't knot up and kink?  Yes, please!!!

Tomorrow I am off.  Haircut.  Post Office.  Bank.  Target or TJ Maxx for bras. Pilates mat for floor exercises. Dog Walk. Book Reading.  Homemade pizza for dinner. Survivor.   Way too many things plus I need to pack up the fabric bags for the Linus Project.

My horoscope keeps mentioning a choice I am supposed to be making--regarding my future.  And I am so bogged down with my "To Do" list that I can't find time to even think about anything else.  I had a hard time this afternoon trying to figure out how to turn off my windshield wipers.  They just kept going faster.  Is that the message?  Slow down?  I did manage to be very nice at work and smile a lot.  That felt good.

Riley is enjoying the new bags of food.  Eating with renewed joy and appetite.  Bouncing around like the puppy he still is at four.  He has even returned to his hobby of chasing squirrels.  Makes me very happy.  I know you were worried, also.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Green Bananas

I did my grocery shopping for the week on Sunday after work.  Green Bananas with lots of colorful stickers, no yogurt and the cereal shelves (the ones at the top with the least expensive boxes) were empty. Today on the weekly floral trip to the hospital, I stopped and filled a container at their salad bar.  I got salad greens, beets, peas, kidney beans, olives and a scoop of tuna for protein.  I also bought more salad than I had money.  Oops!!  Tomorrow I have to go back with an extra $2.  It was like that show "What Would You Do?" in a situation like that.  I got my salad in exchange for all the money I had.  Three dollars and 94 cents.

Today is Riley's Fourth Birthday.  G bought him a Moo toy which Riley doesn't like.  First toy he has shown no interest in.  G is disappointed.  But things could change at any time.

Dinner is being cooked.  I am going to take a shower.  Not exactly dirty but cold.  Rain and sleet today. More cold rain tomorrow.  G is having pork steaks, mashed potatoes and applesauce.  I am having baked sweet potatoes and steamed kale with carmelized onions.  I hope I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

My Jo Nesbo book is excellent.  For those of you who would like to try this very violent but good author, start with Redbreast.  It reads like a thriller movie.

Riley enjoyed his new, fresh bag of food.  The manager of our Petco said that Labs can sometimes "smell" something relating to the food and decide not to eat it.  Then we can return the bag for a refund.  He pre-sniffed the bags that G bought today and they are, indeed, delicious.  Just like the old days of eating Eukanuba.  I guess we are lucky that in the four years this is the first "bad smelling" bag we have purchased.

Here's the birthday boy and his new Moo toy.  A white and purple cow.

Riley pre sniffed the bags--not the Petco manager.  ROTFL

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saturday & The Big List Of Things To Do

I realized, yesterday, that all the  big things I have been listing on To Do lists since December, are still not Done.  Except for laundry and ironing.  I can't continue to blame "working" for this discrepancy.  I have to set the blame squarely where it belongs.  The Internet.  Before blogging, I got things done eventually.  Now, I spent larger and larger amounts of time just sitting here opening things up, reading, looking etc and not doing anything but increase the size of my spreading rear end.

Today, I am going to try and get two things marked off my list.  I figured out how to manage my Pilates.  As soon as I get out of bed, I put on my exercise clothes and go directly upstairs to exercise.  I don't stop off in the kitchen to "check for comments" first.  And while upstairs, I look for something I can bring downstairs and put in the recycle box or the donation box.  My arms were full this morning and I won't miss any of those things.  I changed my desk top calendar to April and changed my bulletin board calendar from February to April.  I also removed all the old bits of paper and notes from the desktop. I still have dust bunnies to sweep up.

Yesterday I made meat sauce with the ground beef I forgot I had purchased (for a meatloaf I think) and finally breaded and fried the slices of eggplant I had, also, forgotten in the fridge.  Today, I am making marinara sauce.  G and I shoveled the snow off the driveway.  I finished reading my book.  I had guessed, correctly, who the murderer was and the motivation.  It was too easy.  Today I start my next book, The Leopard by Jo Nesbo.  Once I begin, I won't be able to stop reading.

I have committed myself to having three (and perhaps four) large shopping bags of full yards of fabric ready for pick up by the Linus Project on April 8th.  I  just need to go through the fabric once more to see if any of them is still "needed" for any project.  Each time I have resorted I have found one or two items which shouldn't have been included.  One or two out of 100 isn't too bad a percentage.  I can usually see why I added them to the bags.  It helps to sort through the unfinished project boxes to see what I have "going".  Which is stupid since I haven't worked on any of these things in over 8 years.  But that is beside the point.  Until I decide that I am no longer a "quilter", I need to keep these projects.  I'm not ready to say that yet.  Close.

I have eaten breakfast, have the white laundry ready to wash, need to vacuum the floor and clear the dining room table and make the "list" for the taxes on Turbo Tax.  I think the actual "doing" of the taxes was just shy of 2 hours last time.  Ours and the daughter's.  I could have done them in February.  Was on the list.  Anyway, I am moving forward.  Head down, nose to the grindstone.

Friday, April 01, 2011

April Fool From Mother Nature

My sunny spot on the deck.  Not so sunny this morning covered in heavy wet snow.  I am dressed for work. I even got into the car and drove on my unplowed street to the "sort of plowed" main road and then ran into a road block of fire trucks and a downed power line.  That's when I decided to turn around at the first opportunity and return home and call work and say I'm not coming in today.  I have upped the thermostat temps to get the house good and warm for the impending power failure.

The dog is depressed as he had a "hell of a good time" on his walk yesterday and now--well, he won't be walking there today.  We'll be snowblowing.  G is up and I got him to shower and toast his bagel quickly just in case.  But he's having cereal.

I found the lawn chair picture to be very amusing so I wanted to post it before the power flickers again and we go dark here in Maine.  Will winter EVER end?