Friday, August 31, 2012

And, It Finally Rained

Lovely picture.  If this street was anywhere near me, I would make plans, each day, to be there to admire the colors.  I like how all the cars are silver or black.  It's nice when the residents "get with" the color scheme.

Today was "supposed" to be 84 and blazing hot and sunny.  Instead, it was cloudy until about 10 minutes after we closed at work and then the thunder and lightning made it all very interesting just before the sky opened and dropped buckets of water.  It's Art Walk night and the streets were lined with lots of people, wandering from site to site.  Some were buying ice cream.  I was waiting at the railroad crossing (a train was making it's way thru Town) to turn into the grocery store.  Where I parked and waited for a break in the rain.  It came and I walked inside.  The sky opened a second time.  And a third, right as I was cashing out.  My walk to the car?  Not a drop of rain falling.  Two co workers are attending a birthday party in a field with tents tonight.  Oh, dear.

Riley was happy to see me.  I fed him and we went out to get the newspaper from the box by the curb. Now, after forcing me to pat and scratch his ears while I read blogs, he is sleeping under my feet.

I had the BEST breakfast this morning.  A few tweaks with the eggs (yolks were over cooked) and I have something I can make and eat all weekend.  Bacon, 3 eggs, cheese. All on top of one slice of fried eggplant.  It's better than toast.  This is why I had to stop at the grocery.  To get bacon.

I also bought baby spinach.  Last night I went to dinner with 8 of my co workers  (a farewell dinner for A) and had the BEST dinner and a margarita.  The weekly special.  An eggplant stack.  If I remember correctly (I meant to call the restaurant for the description in the menu)  it was baby spinach, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, spinach, eggplant and mozzarella.  Spinach was in there twice.  Really good. Sort of a deconstructed vegetable lasagna with the fried eggplant starring as the "noodles".  The eggplant doesn't need to be fried but the breadcrumbs make it more substantial.  My usual cheat.  Breadcrumbs.

I am making my way through Bringing Up The Bodies.  Not as good as Wolf Hall.  Written too quickly.  The story is excellent but it needs more padding.  Reading like an outline.  I liked all the description and dialogue of Wolf Hall.  This seems, less. Diminished.  Makes me sad.

I met a member of that Art Club I had such high hopes for.  She remembered me and we talked about the 10 by 10.  Perhaps I was too quick to give up on Art Club?  It seems like this 10 by 10 has been a real eye opener for me.  Deborah, you were right.  This might be the change or chance I need. Some times the things that really change us are so offhand at first. Unplanned.

Well, it's time for a shower and then I'll make something for dinner.  Read my book.  Scratch Riley's ears.  And I'll hope it keeps raining. Softly.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

And There Are More Tomatoes

Not that I am complaining about anything other than the chipmunk who continues to eat only part of the very ripest Brandywines.   G says I should "do something" about it.  I do. I pick the nearly ripe fruit and let it ripen here in the kitchen.  It seems that this is the best way to ripen the tomatoes.  I was just trying to beat the chipmunk.  Could be the chipmunk was trying to teach this old gardener a new trick.

Today we did "not much of anything" at work.  I divided a Clivia.  I repotted an orchid that had been over watered.  A trifecta would have been an overgrown jade plant to repot.

The 2% yogurt is not as satisfying.  I get hungry.  So when this last tub is finished I will return to full fat.  In fact, I have been hungry this week.  I'm eating all the regular foods but they don't seem to have much staying power this week.  I will need to up the "fat".  So much for trying to lose the saddlebags. When I am hungry, I tend to look for things to eat.  This is why I adore low carb.  I am hardly ever hungry and don't have an occasion to go looking for food.  Low carb is actually high fat.  Sigh!!

Tonight I am joining my coworkers at a farewell dinner with Anna of the Great World Race.  Everyone will be clean and dressed in "street clothes". The girls will be wearing makeup.  It will be oddly strange, but very interesting.

I need to make G a large plate of tomatoes, cheese and basil before I leave the house.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sit Down For A Chat

Today was supposed to be cooler.  It was, sort of, but is now too warm, too buggy and I still have to go check the garden and pick things.  I may have to water.  Meaning I need to spray myself.

Riley is asleep at my feet. His day must have too much for him.

I ate all the wrong things today, or at least, in the wrong order.  I had eggplant slices and cucumbers for breakfast and a large bowl of romaine with carrots and Ranch Dressing for lunch followed by 2 spoons of peanut butter and SF Iced Tea.  I had lots of heavy work to do today.  And I tripped over a rock and fell down.  Landed on my elbow and knee.  At least I didn't smack my head on one of the table edges out there in the perennial yard.  We'd still be picking wood splinters out of my head. I was also expected to take a few trays of tiny plants and cover three 8 by 12 tables.  Hey, it turned out okay. I earned my money today.

Yesterday G and I had large plates of Brandywine tomato slices, fresh mozzarella and basil for dinner. Absolutely Delicious. G had French Baguette with his.  I didn't.  I don't have a clue what we'll be eating tonight.  I don't have leftover anything to heat up.  Perhaps burgers if the buns aren't spoiled.  And we have fresh sweet corn. Life would certainly be EASIER if I could just make some kind of pasta for dinner. It really is the perfect solution to a day that's been a bit too physical.  I'm tired.  I think I will make that zucchini dish that tastes like pizza.  G liked it.

 I realized, while showing the Russian girl my garden, that we are actually eating 80% of what is growing in the garden.  I am not wasting very much.  Things may still go bad while waiting in the fridge, but it isn't often or much.  This is amazing.  I am picking and making dishes this summer.  It helps that I am eating vegetables for breakfast.  Makes me feel good about having a garden this year.  Virtuous.

Time to get up out of the chair while these old bones still move.  Sitting down is always a big mistake when I have been lifting, carrying and pushing carts of plants over the lumpy gravel from 8 to 2:30.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I've Been Pinning

Things of interest.  And I absolutely LOVE this idea and may carry a drawing of my head with me to all events where a picture may be taken.  I have to make one for the top of the blog.  I have to make one to hold up at the start of the next class I teach.

Today was okay.  It started out cloudy and gray and I was hoping it would cool off.  Wrong.  The sun came out just as I was loading the car with my work bag and the dog.  And with the heat--the humidity.  I think it was 86 outside the greenhouse and 100 plus inside.  I had sweat running into my eyes.  And when I arrived at 11:30 the greenhouse hadn't been watered.  So.  I got to add more humidity to the party.

Breakfast was cucumbers in dilled sour cream plus a tomato and some mozzarella with EVOO and vinegar.  Coffee.   Lunch was 2% yogurt and blueberries.  I've lowered my daily yogurt fat from 10% to 2%.  Because I am Pear shaped and fat is deposited in the bottom of my Pear.  So, less fat.  We'll see if I can undeposit some of this stored fat.  Did you know that fat below the waist is hardest to get rid of? Well, now I know.  Do you think any Apple shaped people dream of being Pear shaped?  Apple shapes can wear skinny jeans, have thin legs and wear pencil skirts with stiletto heels.  I can wear small tops over wide skirts.

The key to changing my Pear shape?  Lifting weights.  Like a guy.  To build SHOULDERS.  Once my shoulders are big and muscular, my butt will seem smaller.  I may make a drawing of me with a small butt and skinny legs and hold it at my waist when pictures are taken.  LOL  I'm sure people will be eager to "pin" me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

In The End: It Was All Good

Daughter spent the day crying but now, at bedtime, she sounds tired and ready to fall asleep. The visit with the Russian girl was delightful.  We visited my garden and tried translating the names of herbs and what sort of foods we use them in etc.  She had never heard of Russian Sage.

I showed her my 12 by 12 quilts and she "got" them.  We discussed design issues and the color choices I made and how I go about the design etc.  Marianne--what a great comment you left--and it made me think "why not" and I am SO GLAD I went and set the pieces up on the dining room table (completely cleaned off).  One of them reminded her of a classic Russian fairy tale.

We had a lovely dinner and discussed how to learn to cook, politics, WW2 and immigration.  She loves America and would like to live here.  And Cooking Shows are the MOST popular shows on Russian television.

I am going to read a bit, drink some more water and then go to bed.

The nicest part of the day--is right now. The house is clean and neat and everything looks lovely.  Why can't I keep it this way all the time?  Maybe that's why people invite company over--so the house looks nice.  That empty dining room table---wow.


Passed away at the Vet's office an hour after Sam dropped him off.  He wasn't responding to the Lasix and she was going to have to "decide" what happened next.  The Vet called and she went over to see his little body.  Only 6 years old.   Such a sweet boy.

Cherry Tomatoes Organized

G lined up the tomatoes.  Sun Gold cherries.  Very sweet.  In short supply.  I only planted four plants and they are dwindling in the "fatigue" that is August here in Maine.  Spring came early and it looks like everything is a month sooner--and that will include WINTER.  So, the end of August is more like the end of September.

I am making the coconut flour  zucchini brownies one more time.  And I hope I can get the chemistry right (or better) so I don't experience that throat clogging dryness this time.  The recipe doesn't call for an egg but I am going to add one.

G worked very hard yesterday getting the house cleaned up.  Now I have to do my part.  We are having "company" this afternoon.  G is bringing home the Russian girl who has come to America to work in his McDonald's for the summer.   Last summer she worked in a McD's in Texas.  She thinks Maine is much better than Texas.  Well, so do I.  Anyway, I had been saying no to this visit all summer.  I hate being judged for my lack of housekeeping skills and the Russians are very judgmental regarding housekeeping.  She told G his McD's was "very dirty compared to a Russian McD's" and saw nothing wrong about saying this to her employer.

I decided to allow G to share his home, garden, dog and wife with this young lady--  as the comments on my housekeeping will be made in another country, on another continent and no where near me.  I decided I can live with that.  There must be any number of people saying uncomplimentary things about me, everyday, which I don't know about.

Did you know there is SCIENCE that says our self image and all our memories are illusionary.  We make it up.  None of it is actually real.  Our minds assemble a collection of memories at the start of the day, in hopes that it has chosen a nice collection suitable for a Monday.  Wonder why you are having a bad day?  Bad selection by the mind that morning.  This is also why no one in my family has any of the same memories of what I consider to be family history.  We all imagined a different history.  We are related but living entirely different, illusionary lives.

So, I will imagine the Russian girl is saying nice things about my housekeeping when she is back in Russia next week.  I just wish my memory had selected better memories of cleaning for me today.

I have to straighten up the living room and the sunporch.  Dog toys everywhere in the living room, which is just a big dog playpen.  Shoes and gardening mess in the sunroom along with grocery bags and the paper bags filling up with my Yard Sale Items.

I vacuumed my car out on Saturday, washed the car windows, and wiped all the dirt from work out of the interior. The tractor drives past the parked cars sifting dirt inside the partly opened windows. Then I breaded and fried the two eggplants I had sliced and salted last week.  I ate one third of the eggplant as soon as I was finished cooking.  Excellent.  I still haven't paid the bills and the pile is growing.

My daughter just called.  The cat is having serious heart failure problems and is now on injected Lasix. And to make things much more interesting, my daughter fell out of bed and broke her seventh rib.  She is taking pain meds and is having trouble breathing herself.  I will be needed to go get drugs.  Happy Days.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My 10 by 10 Carrots

So, so sorry about the blurry picture.  I was trying to get out of the house with the Carrots and to the drop off before they closed.  I think there will be a better picture on the official site when it is up and running.   Just stand back from the screen.  The original is really nice.  Bright and clearly, crisply focused.   I was amazed at the people there who knew ME and  remembered my work from the library displays.  That was such a surprise.  Another artist, who knows me, said that "only a Master Gardener could grow carrots this gorgeous".  Oh, My!!  Let's hope it sells.

I also decided to do a very thin turned binding with mitered corners on the Carrots.  I was gobsmacked when everything about the binding worked perfectly.  I did have problems with the sewing machine as usual.  The binding turned out so nice that I may do more of them on the 12 by 12's with raw edges.  It was a nice hand appliqué type job stitching the binding to the backside.

I also went grocery shopping and stopped at the bank to cash my paycheck.  I needed a few items for meals this week and I "needed" ten dollars to purchase a handblown vase (at the garage sale on my street) to make a terrarium.  It's tall and wide with a small mouth opening.  Perfect.

The garden is producing tomatoes now, green peppers and, pretty soon, green beans.  I will be frying my eggplant today and using the oriental thin eggplant from the garden to make a stir fry.  I was reading a wheat free blog and found an easy to remember list of acceptable foods.  Above ground vegetables only.  Makes it easy to remember.  And eliminates carrots from my diet.  I love carrots.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Exuberance Of Flowers

These very tall daisy-ish flowers were never actually planted.  They hitchhiked in with something a friend gave me.  At first I only had a few.  Now this entire bed is over run with them.  They are cousins to Jerusalem artichokes.  The tuber that can never really be removed from a garden.  In the spring I pull and pull and pull as many of the small plants and tubers as I can.  And still--there are so many that reach maturity.  About five feet tall.  Tons of dancing daisies up above the green foliage.  The deer ignore them.  In the back you see the windows of my sunporch and the "chimney that needs to come down".  The house is not this color.  This is the color I wanted, but I have a more shortbread colored house. Too yellow.  Not enough pale silvery cream-- like this photo.

The good news is that these daisies have managed to choke out the Obedient Plant.

It is hot at work.  I keep hoping the cooler mornings will translate into cooler afternoons as well.  The Thunderbirds are flying overhead.  It's another stupid airshow weekend here in my little Town.  I wish they would give it a rest.  Fireworks tonight.  Since we live 6000 feet from the end of the runway there is little peace and quiet in my yard or at work.  And it is disconcerting to be sitting in one's car at a traffic light and see 6 fighter jets scream across the road in front of you.   Our trees have grown in the 20 years we have lived in this house and I don't have the bird's eye view of the planes as I once did.  We hear the screaming engines but can't see the planes (below the tree line).  The Air Force planes aren't as loud as the Navy planes.  Yesterday G and I watched the planes go up in the starburst (from our back yard) and over the top we could see a commercial jet.  This pale ghost shape of a big 747.  Now, that was an amazing photo.  I hope someone got it.  G thought the airshow space was supposed to be "no fly".  And, I have never before seen a commercial jet look like that.  I have seen the jet trail but never the plane's body.  Startling.

I have my resume and artist statement ready.  I still need to add binding to my piece.  I don't know what I want to do.  Facing.  Pillowcase.  Mitered binding.  I don't want to detract from the Carrots.  The frame that "10 by 10" puts on the work will cover any binding I add so it's not really important.  If someone buys my work, the frame is included.   It's these picky little details I don't enjoy at all. I was visiting a blog and saw that she added facing and then stitched a square over the back to cover most of the facing.  The quilter thought it added "substance" to the small piece.  Made it less of a potholder is what she was trying to say.  It ALWAYS comes down to that.  No one tries to wipe up the counter with a small watercolor but they always think a small fiber work is a potholder (and larger works are placemats).

Breakfast yesterday was fresh ripe tomatoes (Arkansas Travelers) with fresh mozzarella and basil.  This morning the remainder of that large container of sliced cucumbers, sour cream and dill.  G and I went to our regular Italian restaurant yesterday.  But I didn't have the fried cheese with marinara and I didn't have the fried eggplant Parm.  I had a large salad and the lobster in sherry cream sauce minus the puff pastry.  I had broccoli alongside.  I have been NEARLY "wheat free" for about four days now.  I am still adding Bran Buds to my yogurt at lunch.  I feel different.  I have no idea if it's good or just different.  I am VERY hungry in the morning.  I am not eating enough protein or fat during the day.  I am not craving any foods so that isn't an issue.  Not retaining water (rings are loose and ankles aren't swollen).

Watching 2002 (first season) of L&O Criminal Intent.  Watching season one of Luther on BBCA and have managed to set the TiVo to record season one of L&O UK on BBCA but haven't watched it yet.  These are very good things in my little world.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Library Called

Yes!!!  Remember I was 46th on the waiting list?    All I know is---  I'm happy

The other item in the picture is a pair of Dr Scholls wooden platform sandals.  I keep thinking, in my 65 years, that I want a pair.  And then they hurt my feet.  And then I wonder why I wanted them.  This  barely worn pair (I have bought many pairs) has been around for awhile.  I wore them on the trip from the closet to the picture taking site.  My toes hurt. The toe band is so stiff it makes my toes hurt.  Yard Sale.

Work was interesting.  I got to do Boy/Loader stuff.  We unloaded a big truck.  Lots of shrubs.  Heavy. And then the straw truck came and we unloaded that.  Just another girl and me on the straw.  I HAVE to work on my upper body strength.  I could carry the bales of straw but I couldn't lift them so K could stack them higher. She had climbed way up and then had to bend down to the piddly height I could lift the bale. Now, the only thing I haven't done is drive the tractor and scoop mulch into trucks. I think I will stop before trying any of that.  The regular boy/loaders arrived just as we were finishing up the straw.  They cleaned up.  I got the straw sweepings for my garden.

One of our co-workers is going on an 11 month adventure in missionary work.  the world if you want to check it out.  Today was her last day at work.  I have been trying to think of something to get her as a going away gift.  I guess at this point, money for any extras she may need would be what she needs most.  Eleven months with a pack on her back, a tent and that's it.  All her worldly belongings need to fit in the backpack.  She has been getting shots for every disease she could possibly get.  Yellow fever, malaria etc.

I couldn't do it. Could you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What I Found Today

This stuff is now in a nice bag on the porch awaiting the September 8th Yard Sale at my daughter's house in Town.   The funny "long spoons" were something I made for the Terrarium Class at work.  We needed a tool for digging and scooping. I also added a few metal cookie tins and a pine cone basket (very nice).  I wish I could just put a price tag on the basket and sell it at work. I am enjoying the few minutes each day, looking for things I never use.  Where did the corks come from?  Are there jars somewhere without corks?????

Work today.  I trimmed the day lilies and while holding the leaves like a ponytail and then cutting, I was reminded of last year (or the year before) when I accidentally snipped my little finger.  A paramedic in line (customer) bandaged my finger and then I had to go lay down in the break room. I get extremely light headed when I see blood.  This is why I didn't follow my childhood path to being a nurse.

I watered the garden before work.  My tomato plants are looking pretty bad.  All the leaves are turning yellow with brown dots and then falling off.  The tomatoes look okay, slowly going from green to pale pink or red.  I have more little oriental eggplant and it looks like something happened to the tops of my onions.  The tops are gone.  The little kale seeds I sprinkled in the onion bed are about 1 inch tall.  That worked so I sprinkled some carrot seeds there also.  We'll see.  Planting them did no good.  My basil seedlings grew 2 inches over night.  Amazing.  I have to think about what I want to plant when I pull up the zucchini plants.  I have late summer peas I can put in.  I like growing peas.  I packed the sliced, frozen green peppers into bags for fall and winter cooking.  I need to do something with the jalapeño.  I think I will go on line to see if there is a simple pickled pepper recipe.  As soon as a few more tomatoes are ripe I will make a bowl of fresh salsa.  I will miss eating it with warm corn chips.  If I was GF I could eat them.  Perhaps I will decide to be GF for one day next week (smile)

Monday, August 20, 2012

What I Got Rid Of Today

A new segment for this blog.   I got rid of these Austrian enameled panels last year at the yard sale, I think.  If not, I will try and get rid of them this year.

I just spent an hour reading comments about owning things or being owned by the things.  The truest words were written by people who had had to empty the homes of deceased parents. Been there.  Did that.  Don't want to ever do that again.  In fact, I helped empty the quilt room of a fellow quilter who died and then a few months later emptied my dad's house, shed and basement.  It's an emotional battlefield.  There were times when it was all mindless and then there were times when I sobbed for what seemed like hours after finding some object.  Like my dad's belt buckle collection he wore when roller skating.

So.  Every day I will get rid of something and tell you about it.  Maybe even take a picture of it to remind me of how ridiculous it was to keep it.  The panel above was difficult to get rid of.  Handpainted and really pretty, it no longer fit into my life.  A souvenir of another time and place.  Another me.

There's the three bag rule also.  Walk around the house and pick up items.  They go in the "keep it" bag or the "donate it" bag or the "toss it" bag.  After a month, empty the "keep it bag".

I made the zucchini brownies with coconut flour and high fiber Splenda.  They are crumbly and coat the back of my throat with this "dry" sensation.  I am waiting 24 hours to see if they become moist and fudgey over night as sometimes happens with these GF baked items.  I'm waiting because even with the throat closing dryness--they taste like brownies.

I walked the dog and had a big salad for dinner.  Just lettuce, carrots and ranch dressing.  Good enough.

Amazing White Marble Kitchen

When we lived in Germany, my downstairs floors were all made from white marble tiles.  The lovely Frau Loos had to be careful when washing and cleaning the marble as it stains easily.  The huge expanse of floor was bordered on the front side by a full glass block wall and front door.  The back side was a plain white wall where I hung a queen sized pieced quilt (which I didn't make as I didn't know how to quilt at that time) in the Jacob's Ladder pattern.  At the bottom was a long, hand made bench (G) in dark wood.  Later, I put a red and white wool carpet down on the center of the marble floor.  I think it was 8 by 10 feet (the carpet only covered the center area of the floor).  White wool center rectangle bordered in a faded red wool. There was no other furniture in this open space which was essentially a gigantic hallway. That being said, I like a simple, faded color scheme in my homes.  And I liked the white marble floors and window sills.

I don't think counter tops should be marble. Any acid will pit the surface and stain like crazy. Imagine the mess I would have made pitting the cherries for my breakfast today (with yogurt)?  Like a CSI crime scene.

Yesterday Riley had a lovely walk and G got to go see the Expendables.  Everyone was happy.  I didn't have to walk the dog nor see the the movie.  Dinner was a sandwich for G with two kinds of homemade pickles and chips and grilled hotdogs (no buns) and fried peppers (from garden) and onion and a side of cucumber salad for me.

G brought in tomatoes from the garden,  they were not ripe.  He also harvested cucumbers and one zucchini.  That zucchini is shredded and salted and is going to be the base for a experimental brownie recipe (#2) later this morning.  I bought two nice purple eggplant from a local farmer and I sliced them into lengthwise quarter inch planks and intend to make fried eggplant out of them.  Very few seeds.  It's not a "legal" food for me, but it's something I actually enjoy eating.  So I am making it and eating it.  More vegetarian than low carb.  As are the sweet potato burgers that I will be making this week.

I have a true and abiding love for vegetables.  All of them.  And here it is August and the gardens and farms are supplying me with lovely vegetables and fruits.  And I am going to eat them and not fool around trying to make everything low carb (and disgusting).  Sorry low carb-ers and Dino chow people, your nut flour solutions to all things that need flour do not taste or look good.  I eat the food plain most of the time to stay legal, but there are moments when I just don't care as much.  My daughter's reaction to Brownie #1 was to spit it into the sink.  Where it belonged.  The comments (with the recipe) were that it was "delicious".  Not true.  Paleo recipes always come with rave review comments.  And most of these recipes, that I have tried, have gone into the disposal of my sink. There was a coconut flour pancake recipe where the author asked people to please not write a negative comment.  She was only going to delete them.  How's that for honesty?????

So.  I am not ruining my eggplant with a nut flour crust.  I am using flour and breadcrumbs.  I may use coconut flour to dust the eggplant and then dip in egg and then into breadcrumbs.  After all, the eggplant I eat every week at a local restaurant is coated in breadcrumbs.  It's not like I haven't been cheating all along.  Yes, I will finally say it out loud.  I have been cheating all along.

I have the finishing details of my 10 by 10 (back and edges) to work on today.  I will be working Tuesday to Friday at work (I called to get my schedule) and this is my last chance to get the project done before dropping it off Saturday morning.  I also want to make the bunny pillow.  Oh, and those god awful artist statement and bio papers.  My daughter suggested "I like to make stuff"  period.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Running Bunny

Off someone's blog.  It's like Pin Interest.   I just slide the pictures I like onto my desktop and then into my picture file.  This bunny looks like it was drawn on linen with a pen and cut out and appliqued to the pillow.  Some frayed fringe at the bottom.   I like it. Would look nice on my couch.  I think I have a linen dress I could cut up to make this.

Riley went out this morning and rolled in something very stinky.  He came back in the house bouncing with happiness, my first clue that something was up.  When g woke up, it's his day to sleep in, he took the dog straight outside and washed him off.  The hose in the garage is hooked up to hot and cold water, so it was a pleasant dog bath.  Riley's visits outside need to be monitored until we find the source of the wet, stinky.

I worked on my 10 by 10 most of yesterday.  From my investigation of the auction format and the small size of the art pieces, I determined my best approach would be work that was saturated in color and pretty simple and graphic.  I made another set of carrots.  Same blue, brown and oranges as the 12 by 12 I made for the orange challenge.  Just smaller.  I wanted something that would read well from across a room.  And the people in the website photographs (I recognized them from years of work at the library in Town) were always sympathetic to "gardening" and my brightly colored quilts.  Who doesn't like brightly colored hand appliqued carrots?  We'll see.  Worst case, I get my carrots back, unsold.  I will link to the display of work when they have the 2012 pieces on the website.  Drop off is next Saturday.  I have to create a bio and an artist statement.  UGH!!

G and our daughter are going to the movies this afternoon.  Which means I am left here with the dog, G's chore of vacuuming the house and the remaining laundry.  I managed to get all G's shirts ironed yesterday before ironing freezer paper patterns onto the orange fabrics.  We had steaks for dinner yesterday.  I am enjoying the steak and G grilling the dinner.

Breakfast today was a low carb "bread" with Jalsberg cheese (mayo, egg, almond meal, flax meal and gluten meal).  I thought I wanted pancakes but I lost the link to the coconut flour pancakes I looked at before going to bed last night.  The link to the recipe was from a guy who uses the cold pancakes to make sandwiches.  Which, due to the big fiber in coconut flour, are very dense and filling.  I am going to look in the History file and see if I can relocate the recipe.  Coconut flour has good results if you mix it correctly.  I think I need to weigh the stuff on my little scale.  Like I weigh my yogurt.  Did you know yogurt weighs in differently from container to container?  Another of life's mysteries.

Time to start vacuuming.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Stars In The Garden

The heirloom tomatoes, green peppers, last of the cucumbers and a few oriental, and very purple, eggplant which I think will star in a stir fry this weekend.  Tons of green peppers and jalapeño.  I wish I liked poppers.  I'm thinking I will pickle them.  I like the jalapeños with avocado, in salsa and on nachos.  Oh, how I adored nachos in my "other life".  Good nachos.  Loaded with melted, crusty cheese, topped with sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes and peppers.  I tried making a plate with all this and no chips, because all the toppings are okay for me to eat, just no chips.  It wasn't the same.

 Dinner tonight will be grilled steak, baked potato and salad.  I have a large bowl of sliced cucumbers salted, waiting for me to mix up the sour cream/yogurt/ cider vinegar/sugar to coat them.  I think this is the last big bowl (4 quart size) of cucumber salad out of my own garden.  I can truthfully declare that we (I) have eaten every single cucumber I grew this year.  LOVE them.

I am just on the edge of miserable.  I have had a rash or an itch or bug bites or something for the past few days.  My entire right arm is itchy.  I was out in the garden cutting plants back, tossing stuff in the compost, trying to support tomato plants that are tipping over from the weight of green tomatoes etc etc.  Any of these experiences could have caused me to itch.  And, no matter how often I spray myself--the mosquitos find me.  Swarming and buzzing around my head and ears.  Blood sucking monsters.  This is when I just give up on vegetable gardening.  Too much mess and bugs.  Yesterday I kept thinking I would see that huge garden snake in the leaves and stems I was hauling to the compost.  Gave me the willies.  Speaking of compost--- I asked to teach that particular class at work next month.

I just finished reading Garwood's new FBI romance.  Sweet Talk.  Not so good.  I had enjoyed Ideal Man last week and was happy to see the newest book in my pile from the library reserve list.  What a waste of reading time.  I kept Riley up long past his bedtime last night trying to finish the book.  He is still under the bed sleeping, poor dog!  Of course, it's raining and he doesn't care for rainy days.  I have two Norwegian mysteries on the book table waiting.  Bringing Up The Bodies is still far away on the list.

After I finish my coffee and read a few more news stories I will do some shirt ironing and then move into the work room and fiddle with fabric for a few hours.  There's the Maverick piece to start thinking about (someone who doesn't follow rules), the 10 by 10 and just about anything else as I have a whole pile of fabric to sort and work and play with, I could even paint more.  I should work on getting the pieces ready for some hand appliqué for the evening hours.  I just about decided to add four ovals (with pointed ends) on top of some of the circles I stitched to five inch squares.  Make things more varied and interesting.  I just need to make more freezer paper shapes and iron them to fabric scraps or extra 5 inch squares (of which I have many as I always seem to cut too much).

I was reading Art With A Needle and Katherine was explaining how she started writing her blog.  We all start out with a need to set our words and thoughts down, and then, as K observes, we become whores to the comments.  We get over that, well most of us do, and write for the few loyal readers, lurkers and family members.  BUT I still get such a thrill to find comments waiting when I open the computer, because they are so few and far between. What must it be like to have hundreds of comments each day?  And get offers to write books?  Such a wonderland for those with something to say.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rolling with The Day

The garden continues to produce but the signs of fatigue are evident.  The squash leaves are getting worn out.  The tomato plants are having more yellowed and spotted leaves (which you are free to cut off the plant and dispose of, but not in the compost).   I am "almost" ready to harvest some of the larger tomatoes.  Slowly they are turning from green to pink.  We have been thankful for the one Early Girl plant which has provided enough early tomatoes for us to have mozzarella, tomato and basil salads.  But. I want to eat my cheese and basil with the big ripe tomatoes.  The Heirloom Arkansas Travelers and the Brandywine. I potted up a new supply of  baby basil in anticipation.

Today is day number one of my second four day weekend away from work.  But, I really WORKED at work for the three days I was there this week.  I helped with inventory of the Nursery side on Tuesday, moved perennials all day Wednesday and yesterday, in the pouring rain, we brought in the herbs and cleaned them up.  I like it when I have hard work to do.  And I got my haircut.

This morning started slowly with Riley groaning his way back under the bed after having breakfast with G.  He stayed under the bed until I got up at 9.  Now he is tucked under the desk where I am sitting.  Sweet.

My horoscope for today suggests that I dig deeper into my past to see how my life, now, is being affected by my past actions.  My usual path is to do whatever seems appropriate at the moment but by digging deeper I can change the root causes of my behavior.  Oddly enough, I behaved differently in the past few days.  I liked the way I behaved.  It felt good.  I was kinder, gentler and less competitive. I let things roll away from me without trying to chase them.  Life is much easier this way. But you already know that, right?

I got the sweetest email this week from a blog friend.  Made me feel like a million bucks.  Someday, because these things happen if we are open to them, we will meet in person and share our work.  Until then we can read each other's blogs and emails. I have never been open enough or receptive enough to have an "art friend or group" to keep me company.  I did belong to a group of three and we met once a month.  It was a meeting I looked forward to each month.  One stopped making art and the other moved far away.  So long ago.  I have been invited back to my old quilt chapter.  Perhaps there are art quilters there now?  I should open myself to possibilities.  I should try to connect with someone.  The first step will be the Arts Are Elementary 10 by 10 auction.  One 10 inch square piece of art could be the key that opens a door.

Since it rained really good yesterday, I don't have to water the garden.  I do have to walk the dog and get a few groceries.  I also have two Jacob Klein bee balm plants to plant in my daughters garden. She wants red for the hummingbirds.  Planted by the back bedroom windows so the cats can watch the hummingbirds.  As soon as the squash gets nice and brown I will be out the door.  Have a nice day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Working Pile of Fabric

I started working on the 10 by 10 for the Arts Are Elementary auction.  I need to drop it off on the 25th of this month.  I checked out the website and looked at last year's entries.  Not sure how many sold.  Or which ones.  I also visited the SAQA auction site to see what that looked like.  There is one piece I liked.  Really liked.  And oddly enough it looks sort of like what I wanted to make.  Which is probably why I liked it.  Be interested to see if it sells on the first day.

I woke up feeling sick today (my first day back to work).  I wish I could just throw up and be over it. I don't know what is causing the feeling.  At first I just thought I was really, really hungry.  I haven't been eating well while away from work.  I haven't been eating lunch.  And I am not actually interested in breakfast, as you know.  Now, I am also not interested in eating dinner, either.  Not that this disinterest leads to any weight loss on my part.  I guess it just leads to feeling nauseous.

I should be watering the garden.  Don't want to.  Didn't walk the dog yesterday, either. It's too damned hot outside. Have progressively lost interest in everything is those five days of not having the routine of going to work. I feel like a rudderless boat going around in a circle while I dip the paddle in on only one side.  And I am totally OVER summer.

I discovered my "who are you" was Russian sage about 10 minutes after writing yesterday's post.  Thank you to all who wrote to confirm my suspicion.  It was the leaves that I worried about and finding a picture of the foliage was difficult. Turns out that russian sage is a cousin of MINT and that means easy to propagate from woody stem cuttings.  Just cut and stick in the ground if you want a second or third plant.  But they need winter protection in their first two years in your garden.  After that, they grow like crazy.  The article even said the plants send out little babies around the sides of the big plants.  You can dig those up and move them.  But still protect from the cold for 2 years.  I guess they are slow to set deep roots.  I am going to work today and seeing if we still have any. We are in the middle of a big perennial sale.  Buy 10 and get 50% off all of them.   I hope the perennial yard is looking bare.

That "doing not much of anything" seems to be what perennials do in my gardens.  And then, after I have totally given up on them, they get big and go crazy.  Like the purple bee balm.  I thought it was completely dead and gone.  Bang.  It's four feet tall and covered in purple flowers.  I guess it reseeded. And the Obedient Plant is back.  I keep thinking I have pulled it all up and in a few years, it comes back, someplace where I never planted it.  Now it's in the Peony bed along with red bee balm which I hate.  My daughter wanted red bee balm and yesterday she visited and decided it wasn't "pretty".  Bee balm is never "pretty". So, she is thinking phlox might be what she wants.

Almost time to go to work.  I need to pack my bag and get the dog into the car.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Who Are You? Russian Sage

I have a specimen of the "gorgeous" plant from the landscaping in front of KFC.  Now to try and identify it.  It smells "sage" like.  Time will tell.

I am back from my job interview.  Took me longer to chose something to wear than to be interviewed. I think I was always destined for the customer service seasonal job at one of the call centers.  Portland or Lewiston.  LONG drives for either.  At night.  In the winter.  My night driving vision is terrible.  And, I did the math.  X equals the pay.  X minus extra gas, driving anxiety and the need to buy a cell phone in case of an accident equals not wanting the job so very much.  So, when I said no to driving to Portland or Lewiston the interviewer stood up and said "well, that's it and thank you for coming in".  And I was out the door and into the parking lot.  Home in time to serve Riley his lunch.

My Tarot Card reading for today suggested "karma".  I had thought seriously of just calling to cancel but decided to go, be a "big girl" and see what happened.  The 30 minute drive was easier than I thought.  I was the first to arrive and the last one to be called to be interviewed.  My interviewer didn't seem all that interested in me.  Perhaps she was also a seasonal temp.  The receptionist was. Perhaps everyone at that site is. I sincerely believe the only way to get a good regular job at this famous retail mecca is to "know" someone who can get you in.  Now I need to think about why this was karma.

It's very very hot outside.  I may need to go water the garden.  The library hasn't sent an email with books to be picked up.  I still have art to work on for the 10 by 10 art auction.  I returned to my regularly scheduled work at the greenhouse tomorrow.  My last day of "vacation".  Sigh.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Simple Design For Sam

This is what I had planned for the renovation of my daughter's kitchen.  She had other plans.  I still cut and paste pictures of what I "saw" even if it never came to be.  I don't think minimalist will ever be the key word to her design style.

G and I had a late breakfast, dropped books off at the library and made a "test drive" to the site of tomorrow's interview and then, after he walked the dog (or the dog walked him), G wanted an idea of where the remainder of the day was going.

 He wanted to know the "plan".  I don't like having a "plan".  But, since I was on the phone with our daughter she suggested that G wanted to visit a restaurant or see a movie.  She knows him better than I do sometimes.  So we had 12 minutes to get across town for the matinee of the Bourne Legacy.  Worth it.  Very nicely done.  Then, since the theater complex is right next to KFC, I suggested some of the new chicken bites for me and G could get whatever he wanted.  While he was inside, I remembered customers had wanted me to identify the plants growing out front.  So I went looking. Brought home a few samples.  It's either a sage or catmint. But none that I recognize.  I think a large (6 to 8) planting of whatever this is, would be fantastic at the edge of my driveway, out along the street.  I just need to find out what it is.

I finished all the books I had on my book shelf.  Now that's a record, even for me.  Like a whole book each day.  The last one the Innocent by Stevens was very good.  Read The Informationist first.  It sort of is like the Bourne movies & the Girl With The Dragon Tatoo.  Which reminds me that I still haven't gotten to see the American version.  I may have to succumb to Netflix.

I hope the library sends an email tomorrow with news of books for me.

I called work and I am on the schedule for three days of work and two vacation days.  Summer is coming to an end.

G brought more zucchini and more cucumbers in from the garden.  And it rained overnight the past two days, so we haven't had to water.  Sweet.  The tomatoes are beginning to change from deep green so it won't be long before the Arkansas Travelers and Brandywines are ready to eat. I can't wait.  We've been happy with the Early Girls and the first Sun Gold cherries.  We picked our sweet corn and I cut kernels from a few ears for the Garden Chowder which was fantastic.  That odd zucchini casserole was delicious and G even ate some.  We still have bing Cherries.  It's all good.  Longmire is on tonight.  Ah!!!

Now, will I actually go to the interview?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Morning Blues

Here it is Saturday morning, my regular weekend day off, and I am not feeling the sweet happiness of being home.  Instead I feel oppressed.  Hemmed in by responsibilities.  Mostly stuff in my head.  The laundry is done, the floor was mopped on Thursday (even though it could be done again today), the sheets have been washed and changed, the groceries are packed into the fridge and the dog has eaten his lunch.

My breakfast today was four crispy strips of bacon, three fried eggs with runny yolks and 3 slices of cheese.  Coffee.  My daughter suggested Nellie's cage free eggs and they actually were pretty nice but not as fresh as I thought they would be (the white spread in the pan--not a sign of freshness) but the yolks were golden and there were no weird things attached.  I covered the frypan with a lid, lowered the heat and let the steam cook the whites.  Perfect.  Now a nice crisp slice of toast would have made all the difference.  Or a blueberry pancake under all three eggs.  That's the way I like them.

I have another zucchini experiment in the oven baking.  Sort of a pizza casserole.  Only I baked it incorrectly.  I was supposed to bake the 4 cups of shredded zuke, 2 eggs and one cup mozzarella for 20 minutes at 400 and THEN add the crispy browned beef, onion, spaghetti sauce and second cup of mozzarella.  Instead, I added the meat over the uncooked zucchini.  And I used pizza sauce.  That's what happens when you "think" you remember the directions.  It's now been baking for much longer than 40 minutes and looks very, very brown.

I am also wearing socks with my LLBean ballet flats.  Trying to stretch out the toe section so it doesn't rub on my toes.  The salesperson (years ago) suggested I buy the 9 and not the 9.5 because the leather stretches and the shoes will fall off.  Well, that never happened.  I don't wear the shoes often enough because they hurt my toes.  So nothing has stretched.  Today, socks and shoes until I get tired of it.  The heel portion fits beautifully. And on days when I have had no salt--- the shoes always fit, but still rub my toes.  I'd love to be able to wear the flats all the time with my three pairs of black pants.  Alas, I can't.

I am also apprehensive about an employment interview on Monday morning.  I applied on line for a seasonal job and got invited to an in person interview.  Now I am wondering why I did this.  Why complicate my life further?  I hope I don't get Googled.  What if they read this blog????  OMG.

I think I will have another cup of coffee and make a short list of "things to do" that I might be able to work on.  I also have the 10 by 10 art piece to finish by the 25th.  Riley wants a walk.  I need a nap.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Made the Paleo Brownies

This is a comment for a reader.   I made my own almond butter, which took forever in the food processor.  Next time I will toast the nuts before trying to make almond butter.  I finally added some peanut butter and a T of oil to it to get it to cream.  There was actually "warm vapor" coming out of the processor bowl but the motor was cool to the touch.  I still was thinking about burning out the motor on a 34 year old processor (and finally buying a new one).

I added Splenda to equal the sweetness of honey, did use cinnamon but no nutmeg (my recipe didn't have allspice)  I didn't want to melt chocolate so I used 6 T of cocoa powder plus 1 T coconut oil.  I also added 2 T of SF vanilla coffee flavoring for sweetness.  I also added a teaspoon of baking powder along with the baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt  (because that was in other recipes) but now I realize there is no baking powder in my other recipe for zucchini brownies.

It's still baking and looks lovely.  this is my first try at anything Wheat Belly or Paleo.  I am not sure what the brownies will be like.  I read that they are dry and crumbly the first day and moist and fudgy the second day and more fudgy the third day etc.

The are out of the oven and look burnt but the toothpick showed some moisture.  More data tomorrow.

I CAN'T WAIT for my turn at Bringing Up The Bodies.  If it is better than the first--I will swoon with delight.

Well, the baking and cooling periods are over and the verdict is--not so much a Brownie.  More of a cakelike experience.  I thought they would be denser because of the nut butter but not so much.  I skipped the nutmeg and used cocoa powder-perhaps the melted chocolate would have added "more".  

The biggest negative is that they didn't satisfy.  I ate some sliver--wanted more, then more and then more.  Which is frightening.  I haven't had any today--but the temptation is there.  There is no other food that tempts me.  But then, the food I eat isn't all that wonderful.

Another White, Wood, Stainless Steel Kitchen

I found this kitchen on the blogs this morning.  As you well know, chairs are a weakness.  So, the chairs are what caught my eye first.   And I envy the homeowner for being able to clear the entire top of the table.  Mine is full of clutter, AGAIN.  Books, quilts, stacks of class materials for months ago when I taught classes at the greenhouse.  And G's clutter of notes, pill bottles and receipts.  G has another pile of clutter in his bathroom where he empties his pockets after work.  That had been included in table top clutter before it moved into the bathroom.  Before that it was on the desktop in the "office" where a large pile of "forgotten" clutter still sits.  Are we that unorganized?  Are we that unable to throw anything away?  Are we just messy?

I am a person who loves order and, yet, I can't seem to maintain it in my life.

In other "good news", my daughter's neighborhood has scheduled another Yard Sale event for the three streets that make a U off Maine Street.  I am already making a list of the things I found right AFTER the sale last year.  I have a large pile of empty suitcases.  Some over 30 years old.  Some newer.  And the large European coffee table and end table with smoked glass tops which we brought home after using in our German family room.  Why?  And a Singer Treadle cabinet.  Do people still like these for end tables?  And all the American Flyer sleds.  I may even part with my large collection of Raggedy Anne Dolls.  I bought the majority at flea markets for less than $5 each.  I filled a small German wagon with them.  Their little shiny black eyes made me smile every time I walked past that wagon but they have been up in the attic for more than 10 years now.  Along with my Muffy dolls and all their clothing.  So much money tied up in them.

My son always tells me to list this stuff on Ebay.  As if I knew how to do that and as if I wanted to manage that.  He should offer to do it for us. Like that would happen!!!  LOL.

I shredded all the zucchini we had on the counter this morning.  My "plan" is to bake a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread for G and a pan of almond butter zucchini brownies for myself.  I also have an interesting casserole recipe to try that uses zucchini as one of the layers.  Sort of a "pizza casserole" which appeals to me this morning.  I am about to use up all the wheat flour and sugar I own.  Now that I do not eat these two items, they last quite a long time in the cupboard.  Was it all ME????  Did I actually consume that much sugar in my coffee?  I find it hard to believe.  The flour is another product I just don't understand.  I never baked all that much when I did eat flour.  So where did it all go?  I seemed to be buying 5# bags all the time before low carb.  Now I buy the little 2# bag.  Mostly I use it for G's pizza dough.  And cookies for the kids at work who have asked for another batch of peanut butter chocolate chip.  I need more chocolate chips and another can of cocoa powder.

The three off limit things I seemed to use ALL the time were sugar, wheat flour and Italian bread crumbs.  I know where I still use the bread crumbs.  Meatballs, meatloaf and breaded eggplant slices. OMG do I love all three of these breadcrumb things?  YES!!!  But I never use the flour and the sugar anymore unless I make something special for G.  He likes cookies.

It's overcast on this, my second day, of vacation.  The sheets are ready to go in the washer, the garden is wet from over night rain, the corn in the garden got picked last night (we waited a little too long) and I may cut some of the kernels off the cob and make Garden Chowder which I can eat.  Need more cheese, broccoli and some heavy cream for the chowder (I'm making my grocery list) and I hope the grocery still has cherries.  I know they won't be on sale.  But I do love them.

I finished my little romance (Ideal Man by Garwood) and now have the trans gender thriller on my chair.  I have no idea where I will go next.  Garwood has a new one out--Sweet Talk so I may order it. Lots of books in my Book Book but not many for me--it's all G.  I can use some suggestions.  Hint, hint!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

How The Garden Grows

We are moving away from zucchini and into the peppers, cucumbers and small tomatoes in the first week of August.  The tomato hornworm has been dispatched and now I must just WAIT for the green tomatoes to turn bright red.  I have started removing leaves so the sun can shine down on the fruit.  My pepper plants are full of green peppers.  I am waiting for them to turn red and golden yellow.  The jalapeño are very hot.  I know this because after cutting one up for my chili, I rubbed my eye.

The blueberries are past and it's not quite time for ripe blackberries.  So I am eating the "on sale" cherries.   Fresh out of a bowl and split and pitted with yogurt (OMG is that ever good).  And I have a delicious pineapple to snack on also.  The raspberries are weeks away.

Breakfast has been fresh mozzarella and tomatoes or cucumbers in yogurt with dill.  Remarkably filling. I have the muffin pan scrubbed and waiting for me to mix up some Paleo Egg Muffins.  Really just tiny egg frittatas.  I plan to use my jalapeños, some of my last container of chili for the meat and grated cheese in my egg muffins.  I think I will only make 6.  I also have a recipe for tuna patties.  I might like them.

Today is the first day of my "staycation" from work.  I have garden work plans for my time off.  But it is going to try and rain.  And G is home today so things may not go as planned.  Tomorrow will be my own.  The pizza I planned on making for G several days ago will be on the menu tonight.  I think it will be relaxing to just do "home" things and not have to think about stopping for work.  The beginning of the week was rough.  Tuesday I had to turn around and drive back home because I forgot to turn off the water to the garden hose (I had watered before work).  Wednesday I drove past doggie daycare and had to make a u-turn and go back. Two days in a row of confusing the dog.  My head was somewhere else. Yesterday I sprayed myself and was out in the garden for a few hours after work; watering, picking and then deadheading the daisies and zinnias in the deck boxes.  Mosquitos are fierce.  G needs to spray around the house for ants.

I have two books to read.  The bed sheets to change and wash.  The floor to sweep and mop.  And yesterday my daughter called to say her little "in town" street will be having another Yard Sale event on September 8th.   I am really psyched about that.  Now I can clear more stuff out of the attic.  The old suitcases, sleds and some furniture.  Her street gets lots of traffic when they have a neighborhood sale. Riley is back from barking at crows.  I think I had best have breakfast.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Whole 30

I spent considerable time today reading Whole 30 blogs.  I also made two kinds of pickles (refrigerator and Sweet Salty), shredded a pile of zucchini and eventually mixed up two zucchini pizza crusts which are in the oven having their second bake.  Then I will let them cool off and store them in the fridge.  I may even make two more.  We'll see how I feel about making more of a mess.  It's almost 7 pm.  G just got home. (I turned the oven off)

Anyway, Whole 30.  It has lots of rules and the recipes and shopping list has to be "purchased" because in real time, Whole 30 is someone's "business".  The source of income.  The list of "Yes, you can" and "No, you can't" is on the website.  This is not Paleo.  It seems like it but it isn't.

Eggs (free range/organic), beef lamb etc (grass feed, organic), fish (free range, organic) ha ha, all vegetables except white potatoes (free range and organic),  a few fruits (mostly berries and apples but I can't be sure unless I "purchase" the list), no milk products of any kind (cream, cheese) but oddly you can use clarified butter.  Fat is provided by coconut  (cream, milk, shredded), avocado and olives.  In the Whole 30 food blog I read, breakfast was two eggs from the hens out back, 2 strips of bacon and a pile of sweet potato hash browns, coffee without sugar and with coconut cream.

Yes, no sugar.  No grains ( and they mean NONE).  Just meat and vegetables for 30 days.  Cooked in clarified butter.

Too much No and not enough Yes.  And everyone mentions their daily (twice daily) workout.  So, I get the feeling the motivation here is a muscled up body.  I will most certainly be told I am wrong.

The food the young woman (whose blog I read) ate or didn't eat looked just fine.  I like the breakfast (which was always the same) and her lunch was usually a salad with chicken and dinner was grilled or roasted meat with a vegetable.  She wanted GF pretzels and a gin & tonic.  In fact, she wanted those two things more than she wanted any other foods, including yogurt.  Which I think she pretty much ate all the time before Whole 30.  Yogurt and stinky cheese.

So, aside from the yogurt, stinky cheese, gin & tonic and the GF pretzels; not much changed. Oh, she dreamed of Sunday pancakes also.

I found her Whole 30 adventure interesting.  I also found out that it's not an adventure I want to take. She didn't experience any life changing event.  No weight loss.  A bit of belly fat (her baby is 10 weeks old) gone, but that happens while breastfeeding.  She had less gas and wasn't constipated.  Cheese.

So there you have it.  My blog report on Whole 30.  I may report on Wheat Belly next time.

Looking Up

It would seem that adding water and fertilizer to my "handy plant" has increased the leaf size and color density.   I used my favorite little "tool" in iPhoto to change the color intensity.  What was once creamy white is now toasty orange.  The orange flower is made of metal and beads.  I bought it because I liked it--then had no place to put just one.  Today, it seems to be in the best possible place.

I am enjoying August.  Not the heat.  The slowness.  The moving around in a cloud of humidity. Not doing too much.  Saturday I collected Tomato Hornworms in a plastic bag.  I think I got 3 or 4 of the super large ones and about the same number of smaller ones.  G sprayed Sevin on the plants yesterday and he found one more medium sized worm.  The plastic bag was enough of a barrier to actually feeling those terribly ugly worms with my skin. I am amazed at how they blend right in to the tomato plants.  They look like curled leaves.  Evolutionary triumph.

Watched Longmire last night.  Wyoming.  Isn't the sky blue there?  Why have they filmed this series in BROWN.  I wouldn't mind all the brown, even the clothing is all brown, if I could see it all up against some crisp blue sky.

My employer misread my note and after working on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I will have the next five days off.  I think he is doing the same thing next week also.  I may have to stop him.  I only have 27 hours of vacation pay.  I work because I enjoy getting paid. Otherwise, why bother?

I spend a great deal of time observing people.  G says it's called staring.  Anyway, I have been most curious about this fashion thing people are doing, where they layer things like shirts, tees and tanks in interesting and not always correct (to me) ways.  The latest was a beautiful woman wearing very loose silk cargo pants (black) with a black cap sleeve top that was gathered under the bust.  Under this was a dark brown sport bra with a T back.  Now, from the back the T back was visible.  I am an old school, all the straps must be covered by the top layer, sort of girl.  So, I find this new fashion of all the bra straps showing sort of odd.

I had purchased a white top.  Sleeveless.  Thin. Tunic style.  Too thin to wear in public.  I also own a few Target V neck tees in a very very thin knit which I sleep in.  Also not for public wearing (by me) so I said, to myself, why not wear them together?  And it looked amazing.  The tee was just the right cut to fill in the low cut V on the shirt.  And they were the same length (though if the tee shirt had been longer that would have been great).  The thin shirt over the thin tee was still very wispy feeling.  I wore it to the grocery on Saturday and it felt wonderful.  I don't know how it looked to other people, but it made me feel good.

I think my inability to be fashionable stems from not having suitable components in my closet or dresser drawers.  I am not a good clothing shopper.  I don't have a little two or three item list in my head of things I NEED to make fashion happen.  We have fashion magazines at work.  They have tips.  I just don't seem to be able to translate them into things which will make my wardrobe fresh.  And my practice of shopping at Thrift, Target or Goodwill doesn't give me opportunity to look at all that many things I can actually wear.

Right now I have gotten it right TWICE.  This little layered tee and shirt works.  Everything is the perfect weight and size.  Last winter it was the grey sweater, the gold knotted scarf and the dark green down vest.  Amazing.  Now if I could just manage the capri tights and knee length tunic.  I may never wear it outside the house but I do want to get it "right" just so I can stop thinking about it.

What's your favorite "fashion now" outfit?

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Today's Breakfast Resolutions

Today's breakfast was ice cold leftover cucumber salad made with sliced cucumbers, dill, apple vinegar, sour cream and Greek yogurt.  I also changed my desk top calendar to August, finally, and have developed my usual summer allergy (to something I can never identify).  Here is photographic evidence of the past hour.  All those whites made me think cool summer thoughts.

The dog let me sleep late.  I think he would still be sleeping if I was.

Yesterday, after a horribly hot (the sun was just burning down on us out there in the yard) day at work I just wanted to come home and take a shower and be CLEAN & DRY.  G wanted to take me to Wendy's to get my favorite Baja Salad.  So we went, me dirty and him direct from watering the garden.  We had to drive far and maneuver thru town traffic with jay walkers.  And then we discover that we can only buy the half size salad.  They don't have the large size salad available.  My Fast Food Service husband started asking why they couldn't use two halves to make a large and they stared at him blankly and that's when I turned to him and said "because they can't" and we left, without food.   By the time we got back home, having followed so many lost tourists trying to find parking for the Music Theater production, I was ready to scream.  Instead I made a mushroom cream sauce for G's pasta and took a shower.  Then I reheated some of the chili I made Monday in the wiped out sauté pan and ate my dinner.  It must have been 8 pm.

I have a taker for several pounds of large zucchini.  I plan on driving it over to her in a few minutes. I have to finish watering the garden.  Walk the dog.

I traveled on the internet this morning and found THREE excellent zucchini recipes.  One is sort of a lasagna, the second is more of a pizza and the third is more of a breakfast experience.  I also have a breakfast muffin to try out (thank you, Jan)  which contains no zucchini but could be the answer to my breakfast egg problem. there were more GF recipes but I am NOT going out to buy any new ingredients ever again.  If it doesn't use things I already own--then I don't make it.  Period.

And, in case anyone even cares anymore, I am back to Atkins.  The carb cravings scared the beegezus out of me.  I was actually thinking of that frozen brownie all day. I even considered having some chocolate bread at work yesterday. Like the old days.  Like a drug addict.  I do not want to live like that anymore. Ever again.  So, if Atkins keeps the devil from my doorstep--then I will eat this way even if I don't lose any more weight.  In some very important ways, I think it was good to have strayed to other types of diets for a week or more.  It gave me perspective.  Made me appreciate low carb again.  Still don't want to eat eggs.  Still want to eat cereal.  But I can deal with it.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Dietary Update

Truth be told--and what else would I tell you on this blog?-- I have been playing fast and loose with the rules of my diet.  It WAS low carb Atkins and then morphed into Eat For Your Blood Type (allowing me sweet potatoes and pineapple) and then back into the NO Flour/ NO Sugar diet.

Loose is not a play on words here.  My bowels didn't take to the change.  And that's all I am saying about that.  

The baked brown rice is going into the compost bucket. (can't eat that)  The frozen (vintage 2011) zucchini chocolate brownie is going into the garbage can ( I sliced off a 1/2 inch by 2 inch piece and from that moment to this I have been craving the remainder of the brownie-- serious carb cravings developed that fast)).  The off brand black olives--gone.

Breakfast was bacon and an EggBeater scramble of onions, peppers, cheese and kale.  To say it was disgusting is to limit the depth of my dislike.  I just cannot eat another egg.

Lunch today will be whole milk Greek yogurt with fresh Bing cherries.  G bought two huge bags at Walmart.  I need to start pitting them.  Or I will just continue having the yogurt with a bland pile of pineapple (I picked a bad one) and the last of my blueberries.

The next two weeks I will be taking two days off each.  Along with my regular two days off that will give me a nice three day run on both weekends (Saturday to Monday) and I will get to spend Thursday and Sunday with G for those two weeks.  Just like a "vacation".  The business is gearing up for the next season.  Sales on perennials.  The mums come in.  Fall classes.  Halloween.  Pumpkins.

I am not sure how things will work out.  I don't feel as sure footed at work as I usually do.  Like I have an undermining enemy.  Could be an actual person or could be me. I can be my own worst enemy.  This is the time when seasonal employees either go away or become permanent.  I never know how I will feel about this.  Customers have been asking about classes and if I will be teaching.  I am honest.  I say I don't know.  I wish I did.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

And Then There Was More Zucchini

I am seriously over supplied.  What was I thinking when I planted so many (4) hills of zucchini?  I was thinking about last summer when I had to go to the store and buy zucchini.  I also had to go to the store and buy yellow summer squash.   Last year was not my "best" effort at gardening.  This year.  Well, so far (knock on wood) things are going better.  I even got to sample three Sun Gold cherry tomatoes while in the garden mixing a 30 gallon garbage can of Cow Manure Tea.  I had to go to Home Depot to get dehydrated cow for the brew.  Everyone in the garden got a "sip".  It doesn't smell.  Let's see what happens.

I sliced up all the cucumbers I had on the counter and from the garden this afternoon.  Had to buy those at the store last year.  I ate three of them in an Israeli salad for breakfast this morning and still had plenty to slice for a cucumber salad for dinner tonight. I added black olives (an off brand) and while the salad was okay, I am not eating any more of those olives.  I like Lindsey olives best of all.  Nice and salty.

Work was very slow and very humid today.  I was soaking wet.  Wanted to do what I do in the privacy of my own home--wipe my face on the front of my tee shirt.  But I didn't think customers were interested in seeing my belly and bra while I did that.  Riley doesn't mind or he looks the other way.

The problems at work were all related to DEER EATING EVERYTHING.  And then I look out the dining room window at home and there's Bambi eating my Sweet Peas RIGHT NEXT TO THE FRICKING WINDOW.  Not a foot away from my face.  I got the dog and let him out the back door and he gave that deer what for and chased her out of the yard.  I would have gotten a picture for you--but those are my Sweet Pea Flowers!!!  Were. My. Sweet. Pea. Flowers.  I need a rifle handy to the back door.

Just finished Ron Rash's The Cove.  This man can write a book.  So sad but still so very beautiful.  Serena was a difficult read and so was his first book.  This read so smooth and the characters came to life from the very start.  I recommend it very highly.

G has just now walked into the house so I need to think about putting something together to go alongside the cucumber salad.  Extra hot sausages and some fried potatoes and onion.