Sunday, May 31, 2015


I have lived most (all) of my life putting things off until "someday" and this fever I have had has sort of caused me to think--is this, now, someday?  Or have I missed "someday" and gone directly to "too late now".

I have (will have) been home rather than at work for four full days.  It feels like weeks.  It feels good. I have forgotten about work and haven't worried or fretted about what I may have "missed".   I have rested.  While the fever was attacking--I tossed and turned. But once it passed--I rested.

Just sitting.  Letting time pass and wash over me.  No time clock to punch.  No place to be.  Not even any meals to prepare.  G and I just stopped eating it seems.  I remember making food on Monday and Tuesday.  G must be eating that.  I have existed on well spaced cheese sandwiches.  On hamburger buns.  Just two slices of cheese and the bun.  No heat, no toasting, no condiments.  Each bite taking forever to chew until I had to fall asleep from the effort.  Looks like I had 4 of them over 3 days.

The house is being painted.  There are so many decisions to make.  This color here or here?  These two side by side?  What about this?  I fear I am making all the WRONG choices and the house will look like a JOKE.  Good thing we have so many trees.

I am going out to a friend's right now--in the car.  For tea and to look at books.  Should be enough excitement to generate a nap when I get home.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Sick Days

I was slammed by a fever and headache after work on Wednesday and have been in bed since. Not eating and not drinking.  Just rolling around trying to find a "cool spot" for my head.

Today the fever is gone--as of now-- but I am dizzy and taking long rest periods on the couch.

I hear "this" is going around but what it is--don't have a clue.  I was very worried it had to do with the two ticks I found on myself earlier in the week.  Dog ticks but not the more dangerous deer ticks.

Got to go rest.  This writing was too much for me.  Sigh.

Monday, May 25, 2015


I made the newspaper cylinders but didn't use them.  Why?  I guess the correct answer is that I forgot I had made them.   Today I transplanted all my little "from seed" tomatoes to pots.  Solo rather than the group pots they had started out in.  Some liked it and others--not so much.

I also "pricked" the tiny zinnia seedlings out of their group pots and now they are in single pots. They didn't like it either (getting all droopy)  but a refreshing gulp of fish emulsion seems to have perked everyone up.  I transplanted the calendula seedlings directly into the garden.

My garden beds look like little green dot drawings.  Everything is sprouting but still very very tiny. I have planted what I actually eat, not what I think I should plant.  I eat carrots, radishes, mixed salad greens (I have two kinds of kale, mustard, arugula, escarole, spinach and mixed salad) the other bed is full of radishes, kohlrabi (I hope), carrots and beets.  Yes!!! Finally I have beets seeds that grew.

Another bed is full of garlic (planted last October), red onions and yellow onions, shallots (two varieties) and sprinkled with scallion (green onion) seeds.  I also have three very large chive clumps.

My peppers and tomatoes aren't ready to go into the garden yet.  And I have cucumber seeds planted in the hot box along with squash and zucchini.  The seedlings at work are calling to me, but I am resolute and will be growing from seed this year.  I want lots and lots of cucumbers for my cucumber water drink, my cucumbers in sour cream and for dill pickles.

I have worked very long and hard tilling amendments into the raised beds to add nutrition.  Last year's garden was a struggle.  I added coffee bean chaff to the beds to "lighten" up the soil plus fertilizer and quick acting lime.  Some of the beds got cow manure as well--the beds for squashes, tomatoes and peppers.  Heavy feeders.

My pea plants are up and trying to grab onto the supporting wires I have arranged for them.  I planted them at the correct Maine time--Fourth of July is steamed red potatoes, fresh picked peas and salmon. I don't know why but I would guess it's because this would be the first "fresh" meal after a terribly long winter of eating stored or jarred foods.

I am trying to empty the freezer.  I want to have room for blackberries, ice cream and stacks of chicken breasts pounded flat and ready to be marinaded and slapped on the grill.  I bought 6 ears of corn today at the grocery--- why do we have corn already?  I skipped the watermelon.  But did buy a branch of red tomatoes which I hope will soften up on the counter in the next few days.

I made a compote of rhubarb, frozen strawberries and orange juice to eat with yogurt.  I also have enough cucumbers to make gallons of my "drink"--because my ankles and hands are swelling--too much salt.  I didn't have any drink last week and missed it terribly.  Which reminds me--to add more cucumber slices to the half gallon of water I have in the fridge.

Back to work tomorrow and the house painters will be here later tomorrow morning to get started. Unless it's raining.  Which would be rather a good thing for my little seedlings.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The House Is Getting Painted

Not like this.  G is selecting the colors.  The house was sage green when G first saw it and purchased it.  I saw the house the day we closed.  Yep.  We bought a house I had never seen.

I chose the present color--Shortbread (Martha Stewart) and everyone--including me, hates it.  The painting contractor is/was disgusted by the "cookie" color and the  bright rhododendron colored green shutters.  I thought the paint would fade.  Then I prayed the paint would fade.  But the guy who does the painting, is so good that even 10 years later--it looks like it did the day they finished painting the house.

G has chosen sage green.  He has also chosen--by the painting contractor's rule book--- the light shade which is two values removed from the sage green (the house body color) and the dark is two shades the other direction on the color stick.  He also purchased pints of the colors he was considering and I made color swatches on the front of the house.  It looks like a very odd quilt.

G wants the house to look like it did when he fell in love with it in 1991.  I just want the man to be happy.  I still love the green shutters.  I actually had the color people make the paint from an actual rhododendron leaf.

Update On G's ongoing incision.  Finally the surgeon sent G to the Wound Center nurse.  We have moved on from the daily wet/dry dressing to a "matrix" which is a sort of foam imbedded with collagen and antibiotics.  I pack it in and cover with gauze and tape.  In 7 days the opening has closed 67%.  Very fast working stuff.  Too fast.  As the outer edges cannot be allowed to close before the inner layers have healed.  The nurse may have to "re-open" things.  It's always something isn't it?

The most interesting part of this is that the company that makes this foam "matrix" is located on the repurposed Navy base in our Town.  The company is from Sweden or Finland.  They make the foam here in Brunswick and then ship it back to Europe where the healing medicals are added and then it comes back to the Wound Center and the nurse gives it to G.  Imagine, in a few years, having bandaids with this foam to put on burns or cuts and healing 67% faster than usual.  Imagine having something like this to use in Burn Units.  Right now it's being used to heal or prevent bed sores in hospitalized patients.

G's surgery and recovery have opened both our eyes to how much the medical side of life has changed while we weren't paying any attention.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Calming Path

I am invited to "turn inward" tomorrow for the Dark Moon and "see" the path I should be traveling in the coming years.  I wonder if I can "google" "turn inward".   I guess it would be like meditating.
I would love to have an idea of what my future should look like.  I tend to just blunder along without a thought.

I have tomorrow off and my intentions are to get things going in the garden.  One more bed needs work (possibly a second one) and then I can seed the one bed with kale, rocket, chard and possibly a mixed green (lettuce) mixture.  The bed was full of cabbages last year.  And cabbage worms. Since I rarely harvest more than one good cabbage---I decided to spend my space on things I actually buy and eat.  Greens.

G didn't make nearly enough carrot seed tapes so I got him to make more.  I may even make more myself.  I love carrots.  And beets.  We planted some beet seeds and I hope they come up this year.  I got one woody little beet last year, but lots of turnips.  This year it's kohlrabi.  I like eating that raw. I am trying a heirloom radish--long like a carrot and pale pink on the outside and "crisp" inside.  We'll see.

My seedlings are not thriving.  The tomatoes have purple leaves.  I looked it up and I think it might be too cold for them in the house.  But the websites say it's not a bad thing and they will "outgrow" it and be just fine.  I have quite a few of the Lowe's zinnias.  The first batch has their second leaves. Perky and all green.  No purple leaves.  No basil.  For some reason I just can't grow basil. It must be a curse or something.

We started selling cucumber seedlings today at work.  Way too chilly for little cucumbers but people are buying them.  I am making, and drinking, my cucumber and lemon water to keep myself hydrated at work.  I think the bottle holds nearly 8 cups of water which is 7 cups more than I usually drink. The water with it's light cucumber flavor goes down easy.  I have no idea why.  I also take a quart canning jar with me to work filled with cold coffee, Splenda and cream.  Then I don't need "take out" coffee during the day.

Well, I am covered in dirt and need a shower and my clothes need to be put in the washer.  I think I might finish my library book tonight.  That will be a major accomplishment.

G is doing fine (I know you all like updates).  He likes cardio rehab and they worked him hard today (treadmill on 5% incline).  He doesn't like the lectures-- today's was on fiber and if there is a food group G doesn't like--it's fiber.  No grains, lentils, beans etc for him.  He gardens most days, walks 2 miles with Riley and has cut our grass (it took 2 hours) and cut the neighbor's lawn (not on the same day).   His "zipper" wound is doing great and he is now going to the Wound Clinic and has some new "magic stuff" that I will be inserting each day to make the wound heal a bit faster.  It looks like foam pads.  All this activity has increased his appetite so he is eating better now.  I was a bit worried about too many skipped meals.  His heart is working perfectly.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Container Gardens & Mother's Day

I have been teaching quite a few classes this Spring and container gardening was most often.  I have a few tips to share with you but the most important one is---use something out of the ordinary for the container.  Like a tower of tin tubs topped with a watering can like this shop has made for their window.  I found it on pinterest.

Container Tips.

1.  Only use light soil made specifically for containers.  It has to do with "Physics" which I never studied but the heavy soils (which are NOT meant for containers) have no where to "dissipate" and the pressure goes outward toward the side of the container and then pushes back and crushes the plants roots.

2.  Use a 4 or 6 month fertilizer in the form of little beads.  Osmacote is what I have used at home and at work.

3.  Use Moisture Crystals--the smallest amount as they soak up water and enlarge and if you use too many--well, your plants will "pop" right out of the window box after a big rain.  The nice thing about the crystals is they provide "insurance" in case you forget to water or the day gets really hot between the before work watering and the after work watering.

4.  Baby Diapers.  I have learned that the new diapers contain Moisture Crystals and I noticed on Pinterest that a Master Gardener used diapers to line containers, baskets and window boxes.  Anyone tried this?  The new gal at work has a 3 year old who just outgrew diapers and she has a few extras.  So we are going to give it a try.  I love a good experiment.  I intend to poke holes in the diapers so the excess water can drain away, but this may not be possible with these new age diapers.  We'll see.

5.  Containers need something tall or striking (thriller) something to drip over the edges (spiller) and something to fill in to make the container look full (filler).  Thrillers are usually singular--as too much of them starts to look like "filler" and the shock value is lost.  I have used shrubs, rose bushes and large indoor plants for the "Thrill" of it.  Spillers are typically that old standby--sweet potato vine.  Only it gets carried away and you are left with boxes, containers and window boxes that just look like a "whole lotta sweet potato vine".  I like lobelia.  It's cloud-like and rather romantic.  Filler can be petunias or anything like that.  Stuff that has lots of flowers and color.

6.  Shade plants for shade and sun plants for sun.  Period.

7.  Odd containers.  We had some succulents planted in an old boot.  Herbs planted in an old used colander with big handles.  Houseplants in a wire basket lined with wet sheet moss.  I am trying to get G to free an old mailbox from the wood support he screwed it to and I will lay a filled container on it's side in the box with the "flap" in the open position.  What pretty mail!  My employer is giving me some cash to go shopping at Goodwill for interesting containers.  I have been hoping for a birdcage or a chandelier.  A nice old wooden wine box would be great as well.  We used to have a wine shop but it's now a "trendy" small plate restaurant.  You know--$75 for dinner and you leave hungry.

8.  Have fun.  A container is a short timer.  You aren't building a relationship with it.  If it works--great.  If not--well, you can always take it apart and start over.  I rebuilt some garden boxes three or four or five times today.  I lost track.  In the end they looked good.  In between, well, not so great.  Easy to fix.

9.  And Happy Mother's Day.  I always love taking orders from sons, daughters and daughter's in law for their moms.  It's been a good week at work.  Lots of love.

10. A special Thank You to my own daughter for lugging the five foot fig tree down from the attic to the back porch.  All by herself.  Dad and I were surprised to find it by the door when we got home from our walk with Riley.  

Monday, May 04, 2015

And Suddenly...Winter Disappeared

We are enjoying warm weather here in Maine.  70's.  Which was what the temp was last.....well, I think it was last August.  I am NOT complaining.  Warm is most excellent.

G has been to 2 Cardio Rehab classes.  He doesn't like the lectures but does enjoy the stretching and exercises and after--in the cool down segment of rehab, he has been meditating.  The RN is concerned re: his blood pressure is too low for her comfort.  100/60.  G learned to meditate when he took karate lessons.  There was stretching, action and meditation.  Now, he uses that experience in rehab.  Perhaps they should teach all the participants to meditate?

I am now working five full days.  It happened last week.  I wasn't asked and, truth be told, I hadn't noticed.  But when I did notice I was suddenly exhausted. (laughing)

I am overjoyed to have tomorrow off.  I started digging in the herb bed on Sunday (after shopping for socks) and managed to wrestle the outlaw mint plants out of the path and out from under the raised bed--where they had made their "escape".  I even have a bag of soil to re-locate them in sturdy pots.
My peas are popping up their little heads in the far right bed and all the rescued bulbs (blown flowers) are now tucked into new homes in the back yard beds.

The rhubarb has been given lobster compost in hopes of a large supply of rhubarb this year.  I think the rhubarb is having a difficult time in the very sandy soil where it is planted.  I added two full bags of compost and I think I could even add two more.  I mixed it in well and the resulting soil was looking very sandy---still.

We have three tiny "christmas trees" to plant somewhere in the back lawn.  Really tiny.  About 18 inches high.  Adorable.  I have a large bag filled with moss for future fairy gardens.  I have seeds to start in my styrofoam "hot box".  I have the carrot beds to fertilize and refresh before planting the toilet paper carrot seed tapes. It's too warm the next two days.  I need a few cloudy, cool days with light rain.

I have tomorrow off.  Lovely stuff.  A day off.