Monday, June 29, 2015

Remembering Last July

When the top half of the "new" fridge stopped working.  Here we are a few days shy of the one year anniversary of 6 weeks with a loaner fridge on the porch.  And, we have another loaner fridge in the garage this time (G and daughter could not manage getting the thing up stairs and onto the porch) because the "new" fridge freezer stopped working.  The poor fan motor will probably burn out--it keeps trying to get the freezer to freeze.   Repair---- well, they'll call if they "find" someone to come out.  Sigh.  And we have a repair contract.

Lowe's comes to the rescue again but they also had a 3 to 4 day delay in delivering the loaner fridge.  So G went to get it with the trailer and S and G had to tip it off the trailer (and hope it didn't crush our daughter) and then just plug it in out there.  We don't need the freezer section as often as we needed the fridge portion last summer.  So, out in the garage is okay.

We lost a lot of things though.  The packaged berries from last summer were the first things to soften. So, they are now feeding the compost pile.  And what didn't fit into the tinier freezer--well, some is in the fridge (where we can hopefully cook and eat it) and the rest will be in tomorrow's garbage pick up.

I have to say-----I really, truly, deeply, hate this fridge and regret buying it.

I hate having to spend time (always) listening to the on and off of the motors and fans (right now it is constant) and wondering if they are on too long or starting too slow etc. etc.  I also have gotten in the habit of testing the firmness of the butter to judge whether the fridge is cooling.  Every single day.

I think we have a real LEMON here.  And from reading comments--it will never be resolved.  Our only recourse is to call it a loss and buy another refrigerator.  $2400 lost.  I just HATE the thought of that.  And what guarantee that the next fridge will be any better?  We have two more years on the extended warranty (parts and service) but the anxiety is taking a toll on my nerves.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Times Are Changing Again

When I was in college in the mid sixties I started out with curfews and bed checks.  We were in lock down mode resembling a women's prison most of the time.  We had to be wearing stockings and a skirt or dress in order to stand in the cafeteria line for the meals our parents paid for. The men's dorms were open 24/7.  But they had to worry about Viet Nam.

My senior year, I could have worn nothing at all and gotten my meal.  No questions.  There were also no curfews or bed checks.  The school and dorm administrators just didn't seem to care where we were or what we were doing. We had the Pill.  Drug use was everywhere (which is why we now have so many commercials for Hepatitis drugs).

I went from living the life of a nun in a convent to...... what would you call it?

In the early years of marriage (happened just after I finished school), we witnessed drug users in the streets (we hoped they were just sleeping and not dead) on the sidewalks in Atlanta where we lived and where our children were born (under the Confederate Flag).  Men visited the moon, Civil Rights, Medicare etc.  The Times They Were A Changing.

Who even thought that at 68.5 I would be witness to another, mind blowing, set of changes.... A Black man as President--for two terms. The Affordable Care Act being given the Supreme Court stamp of approval.  Everyone gets to see the doctor and be well ( I can tell you I am forever grateful for Medicare coverage and Social Security)). Marriage is a right for every American (wow).  The Confederate Flag is now being seen for what it really is--- the on going Civil War---which in some states never ended.  Now Walmart says it's over.

I'm left hopeful that someday a woman will be President.  In my lifetime. Right now we can celebrate a woman climbing to take down the flag in South Carolina.  And being arrested.  Right on!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Last Booksale Set-Up

There seem to be more "last time" things and fewer "first time" things this year.  I'm not sure how I feel about the "last" book sale set up.  It wasn't without it's bumps and irritations so, I'm thinking, I am glad this part of my summer plans for the past 18 years is over.

The month of June will no longer be "before" the sale and then "after" the sale.  It'll just be June.
When the garden gets filled with plants. And there were no books I actually wanted to buy.

Even though it rained yesterday, G had to water everything.  The super hot 80 degree sun got the best of all the little transplanted tomatoes, peppers and squashes.  It got the best of me as well.  And since straight up sunshine is a no-no while I am on the meds--well, it was good to not be at the greenhouse and better to be in the junior high gym, even though I worked harder, lifted too many heavy boxes and had to put up with a woman who kept saying "what a great job you're doing etc etc" to every volunteer.  Like a cheerleader.  Of course it might have been because I was doing all the heavy lifting and she didn't say it to me.  (OMG if she had--- makes me want to laugh out loud)

Since it was cold yesterday, we had roast turkey, baked sweet potatoes, Stove Top stuffing and cognac infused cranberries left over from last Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving dinner is just the best meal there is, I think, and G agrees.

Now I am taking a shower and putting on my jammies.  Stick a fork in me---I'm done.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I'm Doing Fine

Thank you for all the kind words and wishes for my continued good health.  Me, too.

The pills seem to agree with me--which is not always the case with me.  I am eating my daily yogurt with sweet cherries which are on sale right now.  What a delightful treat.

As a side bar, the pills seem to be having an affect on others things.  My ankles are no longer swollen. They are just regular sized.  My knee doesn't ache.  I have lost weight (along with my appetite). So, it's all delightfully good.  I must be a treasure trove of inflammation and infection.

I'm wondering if I could be put on a prolonged daily treatment?????

I am spraying myself with SPF 50 at work, wearing long sleeves when I can and a hat out in the perennial yard (when I remember to bring my hat) and sitting down to do plant clean up when I feel fatigued.  Yes, I am working.  I know---what an idiot.

I don't feel sick.  Just a bit dizzy now and again but that could also be dehydration from the heat.

I bought bags and bags of ice pops for the kids at work--most have just graduated and are heading off to colleges and technical schools.  Very exciting days if I remember my own summer after high school.  I was 17.  I mostly remember being terrified of going away to college.

I'm off to the shower and then G and I will eat dinner.  Some chicken nuggets and red skin potato salad.  The grocery deli did the cooking.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I Have Lyme's Disease

G pulled a tick off my hip about three weeks ago.  On a Monday.  By Wednesday I had the fever which lasted three days.  And after the fever I was very tired and listless.

This is when I should have gone to the doctor.

I have had a small red spot with a black dot in the center.  A larger red rash spot. Then smaller.  Then larger.  My knee started aching but hasn't swelled.

I have gone to the doctor today, (been given hell for not coming in sooner), purchased my antibiotics and will be on them for 3 weeks.  I have yogurt with live cultures to eat while taking the pills. I have spray on sunscreen and have to be well covered and wear a hat if I go outside as the antibiotic will make me very sun sensitive.  I work in a greenhouse and out in the sunny perennial yard.

If I wear long sleeves, long pants and a hat at work (which is what the doctor has ordered me to do)---I will certainly pass out from overheating since the greenhouse potting bench is regularly in the 90's and up to 110 on hot summer days. How I will deal with this is up in the air.  I am trying to deal with the news of the Lyme disease.

Sigh.  It's always something.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Short Circuited

I am exhausted.   I wake up tired.  Go to sleep tired.  In between I stumble about getting myself breakfast, packing a lunch and working.  So many people.  So many gardening problems.

I am thinking a good "being sick" would be very welcome.  Not that I was well rested after the fever. I never actually slept.  Just kept dropping off and then would wake up searching for a cold spot to put my head.  Sigh.

I suggested to my employer that three days off a week (in a row) would be very much appreciated when we hit the slower, summer months.  I would be less likely to be "testy" on the other four days at work.  He exclaimed in surprise, "when are you testy??"  When am I not?

I finished "The Girl On The Train".  I had guessed who done it by the last fourth of the book.  I wonder why other readers were so shocked?  When I went to the library--they gave me The Secret Place AGAIN so I am going to try and read a few more chapters and then return it.  I checked out the new fiction shelves and didn't recognize any of the authors.

Now I am going to reheat my coffee, have a dark chocolate caramel and sit in front of the television until it's time to sleep.  Tomorrow is a day off and I have tons of gardening to do.  My own problems to solve.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Scarecrow Made From Burlap Coffee Bags

Now that the local coffee roaster is giving all that lovely "chaff" to the compost start up --which means finding compost additions to my bins has all but dried up--- I now can turn to using the burlap bags I did get along with the chaff.   Though with the weather we are having here in Maine-- hardly anything is growing.  So cold.  So cloudy.  So not June.

The house has been painted.  A very soft calm green trio.  So peaceful I can almost fall asleep while looking at the house.

New shutters are ordered and --after being painted--will be installed.

The new front of the house windows have been ordered (casement with full "lites") and a new back door.  The old one had so much water damage that it was an embarrassment to the painting contractor. (not us)  We had boards replaced on the house as well.  So, now the house is properly maintained and ready for the the next 10 to 15 years.

The grass is looking very green and luscious.  Not a weed in sight.  Perhaps we should sell the house now???  Not a chance.

The flowering almond--flowered.  The crab trees were rather glorious this year.  The lilac thanked us for the move to a new spot and the pruning I gave it last fall--many fragrant deep purple blooms.  Right now the rhodies are flowering.  White, pink and deep rose red.  The cameo quince and the beach plum were very well flowered.

The vegetable garden?  Not so good.  No carrots.  Five or six beets.  No kohlrabi.  Plenty of garlic, onions and shallots.  Kale, mustard and lettuces are nicely represented by tiny little green dots.  A few nasturtiums are up.  My inside (under the lights) seedlings are nice and sturdy.  French eggplants, cucumbers and zinnias.  The tomato starts are in the wagon, outside.  Going into the garage on cold nights (and days).

Riley has a new hobby.  Chipmunks have taken up residence in the blackberry thicket.  They come "prancing" out, tails up, tempting Riley to give chase.  He does and they run back into the thicket and Riley, having learned the blackberry branches can hurt his nose, runs, silent, right up to the thicket.  G and I watch as he very slowly moves, muscles trembling--wanting to go, and creeps ever closer.  The painters would stop work to watch and wait--to see if he got one.  It's only a matter of time.

The squirrels have departed after losing one to Riley and a second to a hawk.

The backyard is a dangerous hunting ground.

I returned to work after the 5 days of sick time.  I am ambivalent.  But this time, unlike other times, I am not that eager to return to work.  Perhaps this job has run it's course.

I just pulled a Georgia peach cobbler out of the oven.  Reminding me of the six years we lived there, had two children and I learned to cook.  We are having pizza today.  G has finally agreed to veggie pizza as the normal choices (sausage, pepperoni) are too fatty for his heart healthy diet.  I plan to put sauteed fennel bulbs and onion on my side.  Onions, mushrooms, a few peppers, and some olives on his side.  Perhaps some ham.  Rehab is going well.  The lectures have been well received (veggie pizza) and he seems to enjoy going to the three times a week exercise hours.

Well, it's time to start in on some housework.  I'm reading "The Girl On The Train" (well, I haven't started yet) after reading "Broken Harbor" by Tana French.  I stopped reading "Secret Place" by same author as it bored me to sleep.  Seems like every other one is worth reading.  The Likeness was also a snooze.  Any book suggestions?????