Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yesterday's Surprise

No, it's not a new car, but it sure does look new.   It's my old car (2008) which G has CLEANED.  Vacuumed all the spilled cow manure and assorted other things out of the carpets.  Scrubbed the floor mats.  ArmorAll all over everything else.  And, yes, those are black leather seats in a Honda Fit.  My dad.  He didn't like dog hair all over the seats.  And this was his car for 6 weeks and 105 miles.  And then it came to me.

This morning I slid into the front seat, like usual, and kept going. Whoop!!! The seat of my pants is all slip and slide now as well.  But it's so shiny (the car not the seat of my pants).  Just like brand new.

I did my part and cleaned the windows and even managed to scrape the last of the pine sap (dried on there for years and years) off the windshield.  The wipers won't know what to make of it.  I don't know what to make of it.  But I am very pleased.

Yesterday I decided I need to join the rest of the world.  I decided I need a phone.  A cell phone.  G dropped me off yesterday for an appointment and then drove off.  I didn't know where but I assumed he would come back in a reasonable amount of time.  He didn't.  I was fretting and two nice ladies noticed and asked if he had a phone.  I said yes.  So one of the nice women handed me hers.  I called and he drove right up.  I never would have known where he was parked and he was reading a good book--so it could have been awhile before he remembered me.  And it was hot and I needed to hurry back into town and go to work.  I can see "calling" G when I have had enough of browsing around a store and want to go home.  He has used his phone to call me from the backyard.  Geez.  When my son, the techno whiz, finally gets a cell phone, we'll all know the world as we know it has ended.  But, he thought I would be the last one.

I was told, by the girls at the registers (at work), that my "smile" when I come up the ramp from the greenhouse to help customers is "really wonderful".  Makes them smile.  Hey, it's working!!!!  And the customers think I am really happy to see them.  Which is true.  Because the more I smile, the happier I am.  Duh!

I have slept very well for the past two nights.  First night was due to the Margaritas.  Last night due to the "big Orange Pill".  I stood in one spot for way too long yesterday holding something heavy in one arm.  I was off balance.  Not good.

I wore a new (to me) LLBEAN shirt.  It's made of something that drys quickly and it has a net lining under the back yolk which is supposed (I think) to be cooler in hot weather.  I felt very hot and sweaty when I wore it at work today. But the shirt stayed dry.  It's baby blue.  Very light in weight.  Now that I think about it, the shirt could have gotten wet when I was feeling sweaty but it dried right away.  I think it's for camping or outdoor sports.  It has lots of loops to hook things on and the pockets have that velcro tape. Now that I notice the loop up by my left shoulder--I could have hung my radio there.  I may toss the shirt in the wash and wear it again tomorrow. It will be dry by morning.  Or sooner.

This could be the only shirt I ever need.  Wash and dry every night.  I wonder what it's made of?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday, Monday

It rained overnight so, perhaps, there will be no garden watering on this odd day off.  G has a "work experience" which I must participate in.  I think I finally have time to cook a dinner later this afternoon.  We had pasta with whatever sauce was left in a jar last night.  Then G had an ice cream from the freezer and I had a bowl of ice cold cherries.  Endeavor on Masterpiece.  Then bed.  I managed to sleep until 10.

We need to do a bit of grocery shopping.  I need to select something new for my breakfasts.  No more cereal.  I do have one box left and the remains of the soy milk.  I'm not feeling the love for the cereal any more.  I don't like the way I feel after eating it.  Jumpy.  Like I have had too much sugar.  Even though the cereal is quite plain.  The wheat, I think.  The carbs.  Diane sent me a recipe for a smoothie using full fat coconut cream (TJ's which I have 6 cans of) and frozen berries.  No banana.  Might take it for a "spin" tomorrow.

The  greasy meat stains came out of the white linen shirt.  Now I have raspberry juice on my favorite old ratty grey tee shirt.  I have it doused with Shout.  Thank you for the hint regarding Dawn.  Dawn is really very all purpose.  Stains.  Washing oil off of ducks.  I scrub my garden shoes with it.

I am becoming "enchanted" with this new (new to me) way of reconstructing clothing.  The Alabama Chanin style.  I would call it "Big Stitch" as the sewer is using long, big stitches to embellish the pieced together chunks of fabric into new clothing.  I have so many pieces of 2X clothing (linen) that I don't want to take to Goodwill.  It's the fabric more than anything.  I wish I knew how to turn it into something I would want to wear.  Right now, sleeveless, v neck tank tops are something I could use. Loose.  Letting the breezes blow through. (later I could layer a knit tee under them) Alabama Chanin uses old knits like tee shirts to construct skirts and tops.  Then does a very clunky whip stitch around the edges or some stem stitch or other embroidery stitches.  But nothing even or pretty.  I haven't seen any clothing on anyone but whip thin people.  How would it look on a size 16?

If we drive past Joann's I will stop in to look at the pattern books.  A pattern always helps when trying to make necklines or shoulders.

G has gone out with Riley to do the daily walk.  Then we'll go do the Ficus repot (stopping to buy soil on the way).  Grocery on the way back (remembering Joann's today???) by then, it will be time to start cooking and the day off will be k-put.  Why do days at work go on and on and days off are gone in the blink of an eye????  I need to rearrange that.  I want days at work to speed by.  I do need to stop somewhere to purchase more storage tubs for fabric.  It would be great to empty the guest room and work on making that back into a guest room.  Just in case.  Of just give up and leave it the pit it is.  Just a walking path from the door to the cutting board on the table and the sewing machine chair.  I don't even have good lighting in there anymore.  And I can't actually use the entire cutting mat.  Or find any but one of the cutting rulers.  Sadly, I know where all the thread and fabric is.  Right where I left it.

I have the bed sheets to change, another load of wash to do, it would be nice if I was dressed when G gets back.  Right now, I have a moment to finish my coffee and check email and read the Google news. The house is so dark that I should be turning on lights (a few minutes before noon), it might rain again which would be okay with me.

Life is in flux.  I feel changes coming.  Not all of them are welcome but, then, I don't ever like change.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trying Again

Here's a picture of my yellow Clivia.  Doesn't it look nice?  All the flowers have gone by already but I have this picture to remember it.

Those of you confused by the posts.  This is Beta 3.  The other two have been deleted--not on purpose. Accidents do happen.  I said I was tired.  And now, I am under the influence of two margaritas.

Saturday.  Too short.  I really need two days in a row off in order to get anything done.  I cleared a space in the top freezer drawer and have a large tray in there with all the blueberries.  I'll let them freeze and then bag them up.  I also picked raspberries but they are going to be my lunch tomorrow at work with my regular yogurt.  Lots and lots of raspberries.  I hope I found all the worms.

I moved the yucca and planted some tiny lettuce and picked a few cucumbers and a handful of cherry tomatoes.  G finished watering while I did a few buckets of mulch in the front bed with the astilbe.  I also planted an astilbe a friend gave me.  I planted a goats beard (aruncus) and I hope it likes where I put it.  Part sun.  If not, we'll move it next year.  I also picked more blueberries (it looks like the birds helped themselves to the remainder of the ones on top of the bushes).  Lots more down at the bottom and in the center.  I have about 12 to 15 baby (tiny) figs on my fig tree.  I have been feeding it compost tea.  Seems to be helping.  G thinks it needs to be in a larger, deeper pot.  I don't want it too large--needs to overwinter on the unheated sunporch.  Needs to fit.

We went out to eat and I spattered my new white linen shirt with BBQ sauce and grease.  I went to the restroom to rinse it as best I could.  Now it's in the washer.  If it doesn't come clean, I'll just wash it again.  And again.  Until it's white.

Work tomorrow and then Monday off.  Boss needed me to switch my day off from Thursday to Monday this week.  Interesting.  I need to start taking vacation days.  I'm thinking Fridays.  then I would have Thursday, Friday and Saturday off in a row.  Unless I no longer have Thursdays off.  We'll see.  I need to be late to work on Tuesday again this week.  "Important Business".  Smile.

Hey, enjoy the weekend.  July is almost over.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Almost Like Our Porch

With a few tweaks G and I could make this work.  He has the rockers.  We have the bench he built.  We actually need a ceiling fan to blow the mosquitos off our scent.  But, I just noticed the screens.  Now that would make the front porch perfection.  I must ask the carpenter about this.  If and when he ever shows up.

I went to work yesterday.  At about 4 pm I was really wishing I hadn't.  Sweat was running into my eyes and it burned.  But I made it through.  My co-workers were (are) super supportive.  And I had a few great customers.  We even searched  on the iPhone for animal paw prints to see if the midnight marauder (who upturned a planter on a customer's deck) was a woodchuck, raccoon or skunk.  We are pretty sure it was a skunk.  Night time and didn't eat the plants.

I spent the day making a rhubarb pie.  Going to the bank, finally, to deposit five weekly paychecks. Going to the grocery to buy fruit.  I got mangos, limes, lemons and more cherries.  I skipped the peaches as they stay hard as a rock for too long and then don't have that sweet juicy peachiness that I love.  I lived in Georgia.  I ate peaches there.  And they were very, very good.  I also skipped the buy one get one free pineapples.  Over ripe, I think.

While the pie was baking, and after I made G lunch (and ate lunch myself), I decided to read the book recommended to me at the interview.  Many Lives, Many Masters.  It's about past life therapy.  Initially, it was recommended to me because I expressed a deep fear of water.  Especially, ocean water.  Deep and dark.  Our fears could be grounded in a past life experience or death.  I read the whole book before 6 pm.  And then ordered the next two books by this author.

It's not that I believe in past life regressions, (well, I sort of want to).  I was most taken with the need to learn lessons in each life, to become a better human being with each life, to suffer in one life if you have made someone suffer in a past life, even to reconnect time and time again with the same souls.  I am interested in this because 20 years ago I had my natal chart read.  I wanted to know what I was supposed to accomplish or learn in this life I am leading now.  I had the feeling I was not doing what I was destined to do.

Well, turned out, I had no destiny (besides being a mother) to fulfill.  The chart reader said I had a "free ticket" and should enjoy my life, no worries.  Well, I have worries as you all know.  Most of them self manufactured.  So this book, Many Lives, was interesting.  I could see that my life has been very good (mostly) this time around.  I try and live by the "golden rule" (do unto others etc) ---- the optimum word here is TRY --- and you all know about the smile project I started a few weeks ago.  I am already past the hurdle of being afraid of death, unless I drown.  I have no memories of past lives.

 BUT---I do dislike having anything tight around my neck.  I fear dark water.  I choke on things.  I have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.  And there are people I like or dislike on sight.  No reasons.  So there are things in my "past" lives that are still haunting me.  I have never met my soulmate and have never gone looking for him or her.  I recognized my son as someone I had known and loved in another life the very first time I looked at him.  I have a feeling my grandmother recognized me from a past life.  It's possible my mother did as well, and that's why she disliked me, even as a baby.  Wouldn't it be something if my grandmother was there to protect me?  She, my grandmother, certainly suffered in that life, but she loved me.  And I am what I am because she loved me.

Anyway, an interesting read.  Lots to think about.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Pull Of Duty Over Desire

I am scheduled to work today.  It's going to be the hottest day yet here in Maine.  I want to stay home. The internal fight between duty and desire is being waged.  I always give in to duty. It's the way I was raised.  I always had to do work before I could have any fun.  Having fun, no matter how slight the fun part ever was, feels wrong if I haven't suffered first.

As a teen, I had a long list of "work" to do on Saturday (school year) and everyday (summer) before I could join my friends in a 5 mile round trip walk to the library, a swim in the community pool or a long afternoon playing card games on someone's front porch.  My brothers had no such list. And I don't remember any friends, either.  I had bathrooms to scrub, dishes to wash, all the clothing from the outdoor line to steam iron (in the cool, dark basement), I had windows or walls to wash etc.  I was Cinderella.  Or I was made to feel like Cinderella.

My behavior was "patterned" toward WORK.  My parents would quiz me on any PAID work I was doing after I married and had children.  G and I agreed that I would stay home with the children until they were in full time school and then go to work.  Which is exactly what I did.  Which is not something my parents agreed with.  When I did go into the workforce, I was interrogated on my hours, pay and benefits. (I was also chided about my weight)  Which never was "good enough".  We will ignore the fact that my mother never worked (after marriage) until she turned 50 or that my youngest brother hardly ever worked, preferring to steal money from my mother and drink.  I was always the "disappointment".

So.  Thinking of calling out at work today (something every other employee does on a regular basis) is something I think about and then at the last possible second I pack my lunch and go to work.  Kicking myself for being so ........ what would be the descriptive word here?

Yesterday I worked in my vegetable garden.  Covered in Deet (but my right arm still got chewed by mosquitos).  I fertilized.  I watered.  I picked and pulled (peas, bok choy and weeds) and found I had two little cucumbers already.  I ate one.  I also picked raspberries and blueberries.  I hilled up the red potatoes.  Tied the tomatoes to the stakes.  Wondered why the pepper plants aren't growing taller.  Noticed the escarole has bolted.  Counted the carrots that actually germinated (5).

I also mended the hem on my work shorts.  The tear where I snagged the shorts on a nail at work.  The rip had been stapled the past few times I worked.  So I mended the tear with a pretty green perle cotton. I tried to shop for new shorts but the stuff that is being sold this season is very short in the leg.  So I was glad I had mended the shorts as they are all I have to wear for the remainder of the summer.

I had best pack my lunch.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

All I Dream About At Work

A shower.  I just want to wash off all the sweat, grime and dust.  And I would like to stop itching.  I don't want to thrill you too much with my misadventures this week; but I have had a very crappy week so far.

While helping a landscaper on Monday morning, I slipped on some gravel and mud in the Perennial Yard and scratched up my knees (blood) and slammed my shoulder into a wooden table.  The bruise on my upper arm is incredible and would be even more awesome if I didn't have a suntan.  And it's only going to get better when it's multi colored.  You know.  Blue, yellow and green.  Sleeveless shirts. My boss sent me home after I filled out an accident report.

Then, because the universe wasn't done with me yet, while watering in an area of the perennial yard pretty darned close to Monday's accident, I was swarmed by bees or yellow jackets on Tuesday afternoon.  I got at least two bites while a customer shouted at me to "run".  And because I am super allergic to insect bites, my upper arm---right below the bruised section--is now swollen, red, hot and itching like crazy. Yes, the stings or bites are on the same arm.  I just want to scratch until my skin comes off.  I did spray with a stop itch product and took Benadryl.  My co-workers just stare and say--wow, that's really red and swollen.

My boss just walks by and asks what I have gotten into today.

Well, today everything was just ITCHING. And it's Wednesday.  I know there are lots of people who love Summer.  Not me.  I tend to enjoy "looking" at summer from inside the house.  BECAUSE, I haven't even gotten my summer full of MOSQUITO BITES YET.  And more Deer Fly bites like the one on my elbow last Friday.  Or Spider Bites.  All these bites, swell up.  Get really red.  Get really HOT.  And ITCH.  And take forever to go away.  And there is nothing so attractive as a 66 year old woman with swollen, red, body parts.  Unless that woman is twitching with the desire to scratch herself raw.

So, now that work is over for today--I am heading for the shower.  Then I am going to mend the large rip in my shorts.  A nail on a table.  As I walked past.  Tore the hem.  I have it stapled.  In fact,  the shorts with staples have been washed three times already (and re-stapled).  The shorts predate the deer fly bite so this has all been happening in a 5 or 6 day time period.

I think the Universe should move on to someone else.  I'm done.  Move on.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Smiling My WayThrough Sunday @Work

It's stinking hot here in Maine.  And it's even hotter in a glass house in the sun.  I feel like I just did five rounds in a boxing ring.

I've had my shower.  We went and had Chinese for dinner.  My right arm seems to be a normal size and doesn't feel swollen.  I have a Ronald McDonald bandaid on my bleeding whatever it is-- I guess I have to mention to my doctor that I am not clotting as one might want.  Ronald is surfing.  This will be amazingly popular with people at work tomorrow.

I forgot my watermelon chunks on the DAY someone brought in a dozen warm Frosty's donuts.  I ate a donut.  A Frosty's donut.  Heaven.

Tomorrow the first thing I do is pack up a big container of watermelon chunks.  And find something lighter to wear to work.  And spray myself with Deet.

I brought home two botanical specimen's for G to identify with his new botanical program.  That's two out of the multitude we had presented to us at work today.  And every second customer wanted something to spray on Japanese Beetles.  Half want to kill them and the other half is buying "traps" to attract them to their yards.  Yes, faithful Readers.  The traps ATTRACT the beetle TO your yard.  Is that what you really want?????

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Accept What You Can't Change

1.  Accept what you can't change.  See, this is hard for me.  I have to constantly get a real hard knock from other people.  I real gut punch.  Most of these reality checks make my eyes tear up.  I may look like a real tough gal, but I'm not.  Yesterday was a really rough day at work.  I am getting really weary of spending the work day trying not to cry.  G says it's the heat and maybe it's this way every July.

2.  The heat.  It's back and should be in the 90's for awhile. I can't change the weather.

3.  I got bitten by a deer fly while watering the perennial yard yesterday.

4.   I can't make the deer fly bite on my elbow go away.   Can't delete it.  My right elbow is extremely swollen and red.  The elbow bones ache.  I took two Benadryl. So I am spending the day clearing up loose ends.  The dining room table clutter.  Changing the bed sheets.  Doing laundry.  Tearing up an old tee to make tomato ties. Putting books back in the bookcases.  Peeling and slicing 2 cucumbers.  Making pasta for dinner.  Perhaps making a dessert.  Some low carb flour less brownies with Splenda.

5.  The paper bag with a tomato and seven rock hard peaches is working.  The peaches are ripening.  And I put a few green tomatoes in the bag and they are turning red as well.  Everyone is "off gassing" whatever it takes to ripen stuff. The green tomatoes have to have at least a small amount of pink or red on them.  Meaning they are ready to ripen.  They came from work.  My own tomatoes are still babies.

6.   We followed a Reader recommendation and are watching The Commander on Netflix.  Neither of us likes the Commander.  A real slut.  And, it's confusing to see flashbacks to things we haven't seen, even though we started at episode one.  The new guy, an inspector from York, is smarter and more professional.  We like him.  G and I decided to watch the remaining episodes, hoping we'll like them better as time goes by.

7.  I participated in a group interview on Thursday.  There were eight of us (6 men and 2 women).  All very different.  But if it had been a dinner party, I would be raving over the most interesting dinner conversation.  I don't know how we were chosen.  But delighted to have been included.  I even got a book recommendation from one of the men.

8.  In keeping with accepting my body as it is right now, I purchased a new pair of cropped knit pants and knit pencil skirt.  Both fit nicely.  Both are a size I don't want to be, but I accept it.

9.  In the same vein, I wore a pair of black cotton slacks to the interview that I purchased in August of 2007.  I remember because we stopped at the Coldwater Creek outlet on the way to the last Quilt Show I attended in Manchester NH.  Not tight.  Fit the same as they did the day I bought them.  Buttoned. That was at the point in the 365 day diet where I  had lost 66 pounds (first time buying a size 14) and was starting to think I would never lose another pound.  Like a message.  I think.  And hope.

10.  I can't change other people.  I can't change the weather.  I can only TRY to change myself.  I have to return to the "smile" project.  And just smile more.  The customer who complained of my negativity wasn't wrong.  I have been more negative lately ( I just wasn't ready to accept it) and I need to get past that.  Be a better human.  SMILE even though my heart and mind aren't into it all the time.  Life isn't easy. July isn't easy.  I should vacuum out my car.

Be good. Stay cool.  Eat ice cream.  Thank you for reading!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Life Is Puzzling

I am often confounded by what happens in a day.  Or a pair of days.  One day you feel like crying because life doesn't seem fair.  The next, you are given a "gift" that you aren't sure you deserve, but take it, with gratitude, anyway.  And enjoy the happiness it brings.

That's the way I'm rolling.

The garden looks good.  I tied up the tomato plants (need to find another old tee shirt to tear up for ties), planted the 36 parsley plants, the 36 basil seedlings (so cute and fragrant) and moved mulch to uncover a garden snake.  That was the end of my gardening for the day.  Hate snakes.  Oh, before the snake, I picked peas and when I came inside--I ate them along with the handful of red raspberries I picked.

People ask what I make with my garden produce.  Not much.  I usually eat it, right there in the garden.

My fig tree has the "possibility" of figs.  The one at work has bigger fig nubs on it.  Some of the leaves look funny (on my tree) so I gave the tree a combination of things to boost it's health.  Like a fertilizer smoothie.  I think the difference is the tree at work gets watered every day.  G is watering every other day.

My experiment (for 2013) was planting my yellow crookneck summer squash in the old compost pile.  Yowza!!!  Those plants look fabulous.  I think squash and pumpkins need to be planted in compost or dirt with tons of manure mixed in.  And if you have problems with squash bugs--- stop mulching around your squash.  They don't need it and the bugs love it.

I'm thinking of doing some research on smoothies.  Everyone seems to be making and drinking them and I am totally clueless about the process.  I can't use the frozen bananas (carbs) but if any of you have a favorite smoothie---think about sharing.  I'm not sure about the green ones--but am willing to try.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Another Hot Day At Work

I spent some of my Saturday off working on a fiber piece.  And adding a few lines of hand stitching.  I don't know if this will amount to "anything" but ever since I watched that video at the art museum  where the painter just kept covering the canvas with paint again and again--- well, I can do that with fabric.  Almost everything  here has been painted or pressed into wet paint (mono print) so I feel like I am working toward something.  Who knows what.

I am always struck when I see my hands in a photo.  My grandmother's hands.  I loved her and she loved me.  A gardener.  A wonderful cook.  A creative woman who made the nicest aprons to keep her dresses clean.  A fresh, starched apron every day.  She used pretty calicos and bias tape around all the edges and pockets.  She did the most amazing crochet while she watched anything with Barbara Stanwick or afternoon soaps.  My grandmother came to America when she was 16.  Steerage. And she was so American.  We would take the bus to Woolworth's "down town" and have grilled cheese sandwiches.  I was 7 or 8.  She handmade a princess costume for me out of orange crepe paper when I was 4.  I need to find that photo.

Riley didn't have a walk today.  Instead G took him to the boat ramp in the river.  And for one and a half hours Riley retrieved.  Yes, he did.  He won't fetch a ball.  No, never will.  But these sticks that G has on ropes?  Yes, he will.  This guy loves to swim.  And loves to fetch sticks out of the water.

Riley was hot and bothered by flies yesterday.  Today he was one cool dog.  Love that dog!!!

G has a pan of cheese nachos ready to go in the oven.  Sigh.  A cool shower, dry clothes and nachos.  I think I am a very happy girl right now.  Masterpiece tonight.  Endeavor.  Early Morse.  Good stuff.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Way Too Hot

I made it through the past few days of very hot weather.  No sleep.  I think I am overtired or over thinking.  And then my nose is stuffed up.  Exhausted.  The heat at work is wearing me out.  I sometimes can't think.  Like sleep walking through a wet, very warm fog.

Since today is Saturday, my day off, I am cooking.  Making Carnitas with the on sale southern pork ribs.  They are slowly simmering in seasoned water right now and when that is gone they will fry and get brown and crispy on the outside, moist and tender inside.  Served with fried sauerkraut and onions. G will have potato gnocchi with his.  I may have a few.  A spin on an old favorite peasant dish my grandmother made.  Very heavy on the carbs when I made huge pots of potato dumplings.  And ate them like a starving peasant.  Never able to "fill" the hunger the carbs created.  Now I eat the pork and the kraut.  And am satisfied and Full.  It works for me.

I stopped eating yogurt for lunch.  Too hot to eat lunch and I am only working 6 hours a day.  So I bring a container of watermelon chunks.  Water and food in one chilled package.  I may have the yogurt and fruit for supper or breakfast.  But that would mean planning ahead. Hasn't happened yet.

I walked in the vegetable garden today.  Everything is up.  Small tomatoes.  Small peppers.  Corn is above my ankles. The potato plants are up to my shoulders and making flowers.  I think I should be cutting the garlic scapes.  Last season's kale has set seed pods.  No carrots.  The cucumbers and squash plants are still small.  Perhaps my tardy planting has saved me from the squash bugs.  Wouldn't that be nice. Borage has lovely blue flowers.  Peas are starting to fill out their little pods.  My Turkey Brown Fig has made so many leaves.  Looks wonderful.

I picked and squished by first Japanese beetle.  The second one got away. Right on time--4th of July. They were on the blackberry bushes.  Would be amazing if I actually get some fruit this summer.  The blackberries are still very small.  The foliage is overwhelming.  Such a huge patch.  But G forgot to pile the manure around the stems when he pruned.  I think they need food to make berries.  I allowed the raspberry bushes to make summer berries.  They don't look like they did.  I had hoped to get raspberries this year--instead of just feeding the Japanese beetles.  oh, well.

I saw an on line tute for painting a white tee with stripes.  Using painter's tape.  My sorry little pile of white tees are all stained and spotted.  I think some sort of embellishment or overall pattern.  I was also thinking of using the one sleeveless tee (that fits properly) as a pattern to make some others.  Out of old tees G has in the closet.  I could use one or two more for work.

G just phoned me from the garden.  Riley wanted to come inside.  How did we ever communicate before the cell phone???? LOL

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Fourth Of July

For the six years we lived in Germany, flying the American flag wasn't something we could do.  Or felt we couldn't do.  So the second thing we bought when we moved back to the States (a television was first) was an American flag and we have had one waving in front of our houses ever since.

No fire works.  They are legal here in Maine now and everyone is loading up.

The sun came out yesterday afternoon.  And it seems to be staying.  My camera lens fogged up after taking three pictures out on the front porch.  It's hot.  It's muggy.  It's July.

G and I had an early dinner at the Seadog by the river.  The water was very high and churning.  Our server said it was almost as high as when Hurricane Sandy happened.  But the water wasn't coming up the steps onto the dining deck, thank goodness.  G had Summer Ale and I had a Margarita.  I also had my first lobsta roll of the season.  Delicious.  And only $18.99.  My next one will be less expensive, I hope.  Then we Cote's ice cream and filled the tank of my little Fit with gas for the month.

I really wish I had brought the camera to dinner.  But it's so large compared to an iPhone camera.  Next time I'll just look like a tourist.  Bring the camera.

The house is nice and cool.  The outside is going to be ripping hot---90's.  We need to find "inside" work to do today even though so many things need doing outside.  But nothing good will happen if we garden in such heat.  Better to wait.  Keep cool.  Happy Fourth!!!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Gardening When Someone Else Is Paid To Built and Fill

Here are the raised beds.  Notice the plumbing (copper) in the corners of each bed, the pebble divides and the copper tape over the edges to keep slugs away.   Also notice that all the vegetable and herbs were purchased in what looks to be 4 and 6 inch containers.  Larger pots of things are waiting at the back edges.

Here it is planted and growing.  Instant garden.  And from the text that came with the pictures, maintained by someone else, as well.  All the home (garden) owner needs to do is pay the bills and enjoy. This is a California garden.

The Marie Antoinette of Gardens. I saw one of these on a visit to Sonoma Wine Country.  I had the impression that before the garden owner arrived from the city for a long weekend, the paid gardener visited and planted fully ripened tomato and eggplant PLANTS into the garden so the homeowner had something to "harvest"as she walked in the garden with her coffee or wine.  The owner gifted me with all the eggplant as we walked in the garden before dinner.  Salmon with a butter sauce using a full pound of butter eaten on the patio overlooking a clear view of Oakland in the distance.  Closer to us was the infinity pool.  Yes, I have mingled with the very rich.

 I think I prefer the messy-ness of my own homemade garden even as I enjoy G doing all the heavy lifting.  Though some things will not germinate (carrots) and others have already gone to seed (bok choy and kale) I managed one head of lettuce and my usual riot of arugula.  The borage is squeezing out everyone else and the mint is still in pots waiting for me to let it loose to ravage the herb bed.  This will be quite the match.  Borage versus mint.  The thyme seems to be resting this year after taking control the past few years.  I cut the chives back very hard.  Only one sprig of tarragon lives.  Monarch caterpillars are living in the dill.  The herb bed is very lively this summer.  I even have a spittle bug.

Monday, July 01, 2013

July First

The day started out dry.  Then got humid.  Then started raining just a few minutes before I left work for the day.  We lost another hour each day and we seem to have lost a few employees.  We are now the "bare bones" work force.

This photo of my bay window with orchids is dark because it's dark in here at 4 pm when it's raining.  The garden is enjoying the daily rains.  G is enjoying not having to water the garden.  Sleeping is good.  All in all it's a good summer so far.

I was hoping that by the time I reached this part of the post, I would have thought of a subject to write about.  But I didn't.  I could talk about the blister on my left thumb,

 my "too short" haircut when I asked for it to be just a tiny bit shorter than last time,

 the fact that I am sneezing a lot this summer,

 how nice it feels to shower after work and put on my "uniform" of capri length knit pants and a blue work shirt,

that I found my slippers,

that I seem to have lost two pair of the black socks I wear to work,

how confused I was by the last episode of Mad Men but how right it all seemed,

how sad I am that we watched the last episode of "Wire In The Blood" on Netflix and now I need to find a new show for us to enjoy watching.  It feels like a good friend moved away.  We felt like that when we got to the end of "Life" and if Netflix carried "Homeland" we would feel the same after watching all of season one.  It's so hard to find something that good to watch.

I do have books to read (mostly cookbooks), my 10x10 art pieces to imagine and work on and--well, I can always fall back on"napping" as summer makes me so sleepy.  Riley and G are already asleep.