Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blue Pendant Lights

I love that shade of bird's egg blue.

Today was my doctor appointment.  There is bad news and good news.  The bad news is that my scale and the doctor's don't match up.  About a 4 pound difference.  And not my way.

The good news?  No yelling.  She was honestly pleased with my progress, said I look wonderful, wondered why I had a better tan than she did and was thrilled with my BP 122 over 62.

We discussed "mindful" eating.  Meaning not to walk around while eating the daily fruit.  I should sit or stand quietly and purposefully enjoy eat bite.  She also though an infrequent dessert was a good idea.  All in all, I left thinking life was okay.  And on the dog walk with G, he said he noticed (**) that my rear end was smaller.  What a guy.  I just looked at him and laughed.

I go back in another 3 months.  The end of January.  Well.  I knew this was going to be a long haul as they say.  I will be starting a new food diary in the Hello Kitty book someone put in my locker near my birthday.  No one is saying it was them.  I just think of it as a group effort.

I caved and turned on the furnace.  Just to 60.  I am freezing.  Which is what happens on a low fat low calorie diet.  You get cold and stay cold.

I have a pan full of brown rice cooking on the stove.  I think it takes 30 minutes to cook.  I plan to have it with steamed or roasted vegetables during the week.  Beets.  Sweet Potatoes.  Onions. Brussels Sprouts.  Carrots.  Potatoes.  Like those "abundance" bowls on all the vegan websites.
I tried quinoa and it is not good.  I have to find someone to give the remainder of it.

And I keep forgetting to make shredded sweet potato fritters (burgers) for meals.  And I want to make hummus.  So many ideas and so little time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Spooky Muppets

It took longer than ever to find this picture for the top of the blog.  I have so many in the file and G keeps "updating" things---so I can't find anything.

I did a lovely job decorating the back wall of the greenhouse for Halloween Pumpkin Carving last Saturday.  Yesterday I took it all down.  I still have a bale of hay and a stack of pumpkins for holiday flavor but nothing else. No ghosts.  No "scary" man stuffed with paper.

It's cold but not raining.  7 carts of perennials left today and another 4 tomorrow.  Once the perennials go back to the mother ship, it's a very fast slide into Christmas.  Then furlough.  Then Spring.  As I get older, I have to stop and enjoy the "moments" of a season because time is certainly speeding up.

Riley and I did go shopping and did buy the ingredients for both chili (for me) and meatloaf (for g). the chili is still hanging around.  G ate all the meatloaf, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.  I also cut up all the peaches I still had (collecting fruit flies) and made a second peach cobbler.  G is working his way thru it.

Tomorrow is my doctor's appointment.  Three months after I was instructed to eat only 1200 to 1500 calories a day and lose 2-3 pounds a week.  I have lost a total of 11.5 pounds.  My doctor isn't going to be happy.  I am ambivalent.  My pants are very loose.  My personal goal was wearing loose pants (and not buying larger pants) so I think I am okay with 11.5 pounds in three months.  My doctor will not be.  I am taking my food diary with me.  Each page has a list of what I actually ate.  Pretty dull and uninteresting things.  It bores me to read it.  Boring to eat it.

I am cold and tired.  Going to take my shower, pull on my jammies and watch television.  I may have a dumpling or two from G's Chinese takeout.  I ate my main food for the day at 2:30.  Chicken (cold, leftover) and pumpkin risotto from Whole Foods.  I also had my cucumber/lemon water yesterday and today--to get rid of excess water--if I was retaining any.  It tasted good yesterday but the batch I made this morning is Blech!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Multiple Colors On The House

I have two colors on my house right now.  A "shortbread" paint color (yellowish) from the MS collection (when she was in prison) and white.  I had the painters cover all the decorative trim with the base color--to "delete" them as I find all that trim clutter-y. I had custom paint mixed for the shutters.  A rhododendron leaf.  A nice green.  In certain light it looks almost lime.

This was a mistake. All of it.

As an artist who is rather good at mixing up lovely paint colors--I was very unhappy with what I chose for the house paint.  In a painting, one has many opportunities for a do over.  Not on an expensive house painting.  I kept hoping the yellow color would fade.  It did not.  Will probably never fade. Will last 100 years.  It's what happens when you can't stand something.  Look at weeds as an example of staying where you are not wanted.

Left to my own choices I like a white house, charcoal roof and black trim.

Left to his choices, G likes a green house.  Like it was back in 1991 when he chose this house.

The house picture I shipped over here from Houzz, has G's green.  It also has lime green and purple.
 I don't think I could live with the purple.  Too Seattle.  Not Maine.  I do like the "pop" of red in the table leg and hanging light indoors.

Not much going on here.  Just work which seems relentless and we are now decorating for Christmas.  Days are cooler, darker, shorter.  Today it's raining.  And will be raining until Friday.  I took Riley along on the weekly walk with my friend (day off activity).  We did it in short order as Riley kept us moving at his speed.  Now he's resting.  When the weather shifts it's hard to decide what to wear.  Too much and one sweats.  Too little and one shivers.  I had on a lined vest and a scarf wrapped around my neck.  I find a cold neck is a terribly unhappy thing so I wear a scarf in and out of the house once we get cold weather.

I am finishing off the kale and tomato soup today and need to make another.  G is happiest with chicken soup but I am more difficult to please.  I am going to see if I have lentils.  I like a thick soup in the cold months.  If I don't have lentils, then a minestrone with barley.  I would really like chili. But that means a ride to the grocery--not a bad idea-- for meat.  I could get double the meat and make chili for lunches and meat loaf for dinner.  Okay.  Good plan.  Hey Riley!!  Want to go for a ride?
We're off.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Kitchen Cabinets

The neighbor down the street is having new cabinets installed this week and next. Everything in the kitchen remains in the same position--with a wider opening for one of the new fridges.  I asked but don't remember her answering--"did you get a new sink".  Have to wait and see.  What I liked in the picture up top was the cabinet doors and pulls.  Not the louvers.  Murder to clean.

G has "updated" my computer (yet again).

Time and time again, I tell him this computer is mine.  He should update his iPad to his hearts content and leave my stuff alone.  But he has "conjoined" his with mine--who said he could? and I have to suffer all the "updates" he thinks he needs.  Plus, he never mentions it until it's done.  When this happens I often think I will just stop using the computer--because if I don't enjoy the way things LOOK, why bother????  What things look like is all I actually care about or enjoy.

Well, I do like things to open.  But I have no use for "bells, whistles, games, videos etc."

I was hungry all day today.  I was also cold and sopping wet most of the morning.  I had to tie string around wet mums to gather their stems up into a tight head.  They were flopping from the heavy rain overnight.  By the time I finished my clothing was dripping.  I thought about going home to change into dry clothes but we only have 4 people working.  I had a dry tee shirt in my locker, I found someone's left behind dry hoodie in the Fish House and--the pants?  Well, they dried by 2 pm. Dry-Ish.

Lesson re-learned.  Extra set of clothing in the car.  Plus rain boots.  I must have taken them out of the car at some point.

My extra special customer service abilities had several customers saying "I'm really happy I stopped in here today".  Papyrus repot for an art teacher doing an Egyptian theme.  Orchid repot and care instructions.  Terrarium instructions plus bonus excursion into the yard to find mosses.  Explanation of the differences between the varieties of Hibiscus (indoor, perennial and shrub).  Pruning of a temperamental Ficus tree while the owner talked to his banker.  And I finished cutting back more of the perennials and scrubbed the front counters with Simple Green.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chalk Board Pumpkins

What a great idea.  No cutting.  No messy pulp.  No rotting.  Win. Win.

We had summer today.  Sun, heat and people wearing shorts.  No me, sadly.  I was out in the perennial yard cutting the tops off of plants.  Getting ready to send them back to the mother ship for the winter.  It's properly called "cutting back".

I roasted a butternut squash yesterday and cut a nice bowl of B. sprouts off the fat stem they were growing on.  Roasting is in their future.  And perhaps some pita chips for a "fall fatuous" like Smitten Kitchen has on her blog.  But no lemon.  She likes everything sour.  I don't.

I have not used my Vitamix in over a week.  Really can't think of anything to make.  Perhaps some oat flour or rice flour or grinding up dry corn for cornmeal.  The dry blade does all that and makes peanut butter or almond butter as well.  Well, I could do those things.

I was trolling the channels and came upon HSN's Wolfgang Puck and his "pressure oven".  I have one traveling my way.  Everyone--on the net--says the machine is too expensive, too big etc etc but they agree that the food is just delicious cooked this way.  I can't wait to make chicken in it.  With brown crispy skin and still juicy.  Just like at the deli.

I am going to take a shower and try not to fall asleep immediately after.  I am exhausted.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


While driving to work this morning I passed two crows.  One on the left side of the road and one on   the right.  In the middle of the road was a squirrel.  Tummy side up.  Cars coming and going.


They waited.

I think the squirrel could have made better choices this morning.

I'm thinking I should be making better choices.
How about you?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Making Jelly

Will download pictures etc when I am done.  Already made 7 half pint jars with only a quarter of the juice I made earlier in the week.  Quite a lot of crystals in the juice when I strained it this morning.  Bad for the kidneys.

G has gone out for more sugar and I have washed and boiled more jars--quart jars this time.  Not interested in fussing with more of the small jars.

Still waiting for the figs to turn brown and ripen.  Sigh.  Fingers crossed that it happens.  I have 25 figs on the tree.

Oh, and Patty wants us to go get more grape (not) and pick peaches.  I tried peach jam last time but I don't think I chopped the peaches fine enough.  May try it again.  No room in the freezer.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

It's Raining. I'm Freezing Cold

The weather is changing and I am not eating enough fats to keep myself warm.  So, loading up with sweaters and such.  Socks.  I know it's not summer any more when I need to have socks on 24/7.

I am liking this green and pink, feathery look for my gardens.  Wonder what this plant is?  I don't know.  I do still have Jewels of Opar filling the container out front.  Talinium I think.  Or something spelled that way.  A froth of tiny flowers above succulent like leaves.

I took pictures of the juice making segment of making Concord grape jelly.  Yesterday.  I ended up with 5 quarts (too much).  It's not sweet or grapey but it is purple.  I am letting it sit and then will strain again in the jelly bag to remove the crystals tomorrow.  I will download the pictures when the jelly making happens.  Such a MESS. Grape stains everywhere and I think I used every pot, pan and spoon I own.  The compost pile is full of stems, grapes and the cooked grape pulp.  I may have to buy more sugar to get this juice to taste good.  Jelly is less forgiving than jam.  Took an entire day.

I haven't used my camera much at all this year.  The batteries wore out waiting.  I had to change them.  There are a number of things I haven't had any time for this summer.  This means I am doing things--wrong.  I need to find time to do the things I enjoy and not just work, work, work.

On my walk with my Janet yesterday, we found milkweed pods.  The community garden wanted some to start a bed for the Monarchs.  Lots of potential plants in the hundreds of seeds in each pod.  I have four that G collected on the daily dog walk.  I think I will find small bags to package them in for when customers ask for them in the Spring.  Janet says the Monarch are coming back.

Speaking of work.  Time to pack my lunch and head out.  Haven't used the Vitamix in a week.  Guess it's going back.

Saturday, October 04, 2014


I have had Russian Sage in my front garden bed for two (or is it three) full years.  It was supposed to look like this by now.  It doesn't.  So, I am going to have to dig the pitiful plants up and move them to a new location.  Again.  Why does it take me so long to get plants in the right spot? In my defense I got the heather right the first time.  I'm thinking the sage needs the same sort of spot.  Dry and sunny. Pitiful soil.  Neglect.  I am being "too kind" in the spot where it lives right now.  I guess.

Anyway.  Today I worked a Saturday because of a class I was teaching.  Bulbs.  It went well.  I have tomorrow off.  I am pretty much worn to the nub.  Working Tuesday to Saturday.  About 40 hours which is not usual for me.  Tomorrow no alarm clock.  Fingers crossed that I don't just wake up at 6 am anyway.

Tomorrow I am pulling all the turnips out of the garden.  The red onions.  The last of the jalapeƱos.
I am getting the garlic bed prepped for a new crop of garlic (even though I hardly eat any) because I think I will be sending a few nice fat heads to my son.  He likes it roasted.   In four months I will be starting more onions from seed.  The next garden season begins and ends in a loop.

I plan to finish my book (W is for Wasted) this weekend and start my next book (Marco Effect). I think you use up more calories reading than you do watching television.

My rash is gone.  Zyrtec.  My knee pain is back--the kind that was from fluid on the knee.  No swelling.  Too much walking on the uneven parking lot.  I had the big (really BIG) containers in the parking lot to empty and fill with Alberta Spruces and mums.  Lots of back and forth.  Too much.

Well that's my tale of woe for the end of September into October.  It's cold and wet here in Maine. But when the sun shines the colors of the Fall Trees are absolutely STUNNING against that pure blue Maine sky.  Love it.