Friday, October 30, 2015

The Costume I Want To Wear On Halloween

Have you seen this commercial?  The cartoon figure is a BOWEL.  And during the commercial he has a "sudden urge to go" and bends his cartoon knees, draws his lower parts in and up........ well, I just about laughed myself into a coughing fit.

We saw it once.

I'm wondering if it was taken off the air????

If I was into costume wearing I would be in the sewing room right now with yards of shiny pink material and lots of poly stuffing.  What a hoot.  Can you see kids asking me what I was?  What would be the best answer?

The weather here in Maine is very strange.  Moist.  Humid.  Warm.  And I am inside the greenhouse making Christmas boxes with dry-ish evergreens.  I feel like I'm in one of those "what's wrong with this picture" cartoons.

All G's work across the street was lost in the rain; wind driven pine needles now cover everything.  We even had lots of broken tree branches on the driveway and I had to stop the car, get down on hands and knees and pull a branch out from under the car.  I must have picked it up in the street. So, even before work, I was dirty.

Monday, October 26, 2015


I especially like the tiny Persian ones.  So spicy!  I don't like the ones with seeds.  Now is the time to buy--when they are fresh and firm and not old and mushy.

I have bulbs, corms and tubers to collect, dry and store today.

I feel sort of like a squirrel.  Storing things away for winter.

My friend wants to make napkins for Christmas presents so I need to try my hand at making a napkin so I can help her with hers. (any hints?)  I don't think I've ever made a napkin but I could be wrong.  I remember making placemats to go into the basket my daughter's case manager workplace made for a family. It felt good to make them plus a few potholders.

My quilt chapter made dozens and dozens of potholders for the Elk's Christmas Baskets every year. That felt good, as well.  I think the winter holidays require some heartfelt gifting.

G  is off collecting leaves across the street. He says it will take the entire day.  Tomorrow the garage door company is coming to "check and overhaul" our doors.  Winter is hard on the equipment and it's difficult having one go "off the rails" when it's 15 below zero.

I found all the supplies for the little Santa Coat ornaments I made last Christmas. I wonder what I should make this year.  Have any of you seen anything really cute on Pinterest?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cabbage (rose)- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I was wondering what to say tonight.  The days have been long and colder than I like, the nights and mornings darker, the stars bright.  Tomorrow is a day off.  I need one.

Christmas is starting.  We have decorated trees up.  The Holiday boxes are in the annual house with the bundles of balsam.  I am told I am to "crank out" boxes on Sunday when I work.  I am actually quite pleased to be making boxes.

Today Z worked his last day with us.  He leaves in a few days for the Air Force (which will someday pay for his college education).  He is apprehensive but knows he can't just stand in one place.  He needs to move forward--to wherever forward leads him.  I am reminded of how scary that feels.  I hugged him goodbye.  He's a good boy.

My co-worker read my aura today.  Bright red, bright orange and lemon yellow.  Good things.  Positive things overall.  I do have a fear of loss.  I have lost too many people, too soon. I don't like it.
I am an enthusiastic, energetic individual with unfinished projects-- what you see is what you get.

I had cold roasted beets (so dark earthy and sweet) with fresh mozzarella, olive oil and balsamic vinegar for lunch today.  The beets stained the white cheese a lovely rose pink.  I am lucky enough to have more roasted beets in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch as well.  I read about a roasted beet hummus but don't think I will make it.

I have two books to read.  Plants to get into the ground.  G has leaves to collect.  Winter is close. I can feel it.

Monday, October 19, 2015

First Killing Frost

What we deem important, has been covered, brought in or dug up.  The Amaryllis bulbs from last Christmas were planted into the vegetable garden in June/July and pulled up about a week to 10 days ago.  They grew SO MUCH!  Now the big juicy bulbs are drying out (resting) and will be potted up for a "later than Christmas" bloom time.  Valentines???

Bulbs need a resting period.  To sort themselves out and get prepared for the "big push" to make new flowers.

I think people need a resting time also.  The freezing weather took me upstairs to look for heavy corduroy pants and sweaters.  Nothing better than warm clothing, a down lap cover and a good book.

My eyes and the surrounding skin are burning up.  I look awful.  Dry cracking skin, swollen eyes, running nose, sneezing.  None of the allergy products have any effect.  Cold compresses help the eyes but dry out my skin.  Heat hurts but then feels better.

My new glasses are sliding off my nose--getting the trifocal lines all in the wrong places.  I am thinking the very fashionable-ness of them is a trade off to useful-ness. When I bend over at work-and doing repots--well, I am looking down an awful lot--the glasses swing away from my nose and just swing back and forth making me so dizzy I have nearly passed out.  Or puked.

Being Joanne this past few weeks has been a big itchy, dizzy, exhausted drudgery.  What am I allergic too????????  If it's the dog--then why not feel better at work?  I just would like to not have burning itchy eyes, a running nose and congestion in my chest.

Made two batches of fresh picked October peaches (that's Maine for you) with my friend.  She took one batch home, I kept the second.  Better canning weather in October.  Much.  Peach Jam. Still have peaches but we're both out of sugar.  (smile)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Well Worn Path

When you own a dog (or have a dog who owns you), the well worn path has great meaning.  Riley walks the same 2 mile circle through the woods every day.  With G.  With me.  Or with both of us. He knows where he is going, can go off ahead, circle back around for a treat or just walk side by side.

These days, Riley and I have another path we walk together.  Out the front door.  At bedtime.  Last call for sniffing things, peeing in the bushes and barking to scare away deer.

Me?  I take the opportunity to stand still in the dark yard and look up at the stars.  So many layers of stars.  So many thoughts of what is out there, who we Earthings are and questions of how and why we exist.

Yes, that is what I think about each evening as I gaze up into the sky and look at all the stars.  Some evenings more than others.  I look and think and then Riley goes around the corner and the lights on the garage flood the yard and---no more stars.

I typed all of that with my eyes on the screen.  I am often amazed that I can do that.

I wore my new glasses (new prescription) today at work and the trifocal lines are in different places and I made myself dizzy and very motion sick while working with the shelved bulbs.  And when I looked at the floor or into the bags I was packing with transferred bulbs---my glasses hung down off my nose.  I'm guessing I need an adjustment.  But--the lines are great for computer work.

I will be having big bowl of beets tonight--for eye health.  Deeply colored vegetables are excellent for eye health.  I've already had dark chocolate caramels for Joanne health.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Rainbow Chard

Has been growing in the garden bed with the carrots and beets.  It's time to cut some and actually attempt the chard ricotta filling for tortelloni.

Normally....... as in forever.........the beet greens and chard greens have tasted like dirt to me.  My daughter says tasting dirt in greens is specific to a small portion of the human population.  But I think if I cook them--the dirt flavor may go away.  I have been tasting them uncooked. Dirt.

The chard grows so easily and looks so pretty that I always have it in the garden but never eat it.

I think I should make a little 10 by 10 fabric piece with brightly colored chard stems against the background of garden soil (brown) and blue summer skies.

Reading "the Paris Key" right now.  I got over half way during yesterday's football game.  But stopped reading to watch  The Great Bake on PBS.

It's funny about that baking show on PBS.  It starts out slow and kind of awkward but as the weeks go by I am emotionally connected to the people.  Sad when one has to go home, devastated when their bake takes terrible turn.  Perhaps because I bake.  Perhaps because they are so disarmingly honest. It's a mystery to me.  I am saddened by the fact that I missed the first three seasons and can't find them to view other than on Amazon and I just don't like Amazon.

Anyway.  Yesterday I made a huge pot of chili (with my onion, peppers and carrot from the garden) which will be lunches for the week for me.  Another large pot of marinara with meatballs for G.

I also got all the orchids watered, trimmed and settled into new pots (where necessary) and then had a monumental cleanup job in the kitchen sink area.  Repotting etc in the kitchen is such a MESS.  After I cleaned I sorted setting out the vegetables for the chili.  So another mess.  Then laundry of the towels used to clean the mess.

Today I am planting garlic.   Digging perennials out of the garden and replacing them with something I actually like.  The birds plant things.  And by the time I realize they are in the garden bed--they are quite big.  Herbsonne rudbeckia.  About 5 feet tall.  And it's everywhere.  So, now I am thinking it belongs out by the street behind the fire hydrant.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Remember last summer/fall when I was so saddened by the lack of germination in my beet seeds? Well, 2015 is the year I actually grew beets.

My daughter enjoyed pulling up about 3 or 4 pounds of them last Sunday.  The beets remained in the garden carry basket all week.  Out on the sun porch. I would look at them fondly as I dragged myself off to work.  Three days in a row of being the only one with a key to open the store.

One of those days I woke up at 7:20 and had time to brush my teeth, get my hair wet, dress and walk out the door.  I managed to open the store before 7:45.

And I was in a terrible mood. No coffee.  No cereal.  No lunch.  No reason to live.

Anyway, back to the beets.

I kept looking at them, wondering when I would have time to wash them, wrap them in foil and then bake them for a couple of hours.  Well, that time wasn't until this morning.  Saturday.

I just peeled and ate one.  Not as soft as I would like it to be but dark red and sweet.  Delicious.

And best of all.......home grown.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Still Seeing Pumpkins--Everywhere

These are made of burlap and twine.  And have an actual "real" stem.  The stems fall off all the time. This year I will try and save a few.  For crafts.

I am having soup for supper.  

I have Kale super Food Salad for lunch the past two days.  Alongside a few handfuls of cookies.
the kale salad took FOREVER to eat.  My jaw hurt.

My eyes itch.  My skin is dry and cracked.  I creak around like the old lady I actually am.
Not having the best October.  In fact, I think October might be my worst month in the calendar.  Year after year.

I have stumbled more than I will admit to, but I haven't fallen.  Yet.

A co-worker stumbled in the tub and now has 4 staples holding the skin over that back of her skull together.  Oh, I don't want that for myself.  She saw stars----- when she regained consciousness.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Pumpkin Time

At work.  At the bakery.  At the coffee shops.  Even at the smoothie shops.

Even at my house.  The second time making the Pumpkin Whoopee Pies will be tomorrow.  On my first of two back to back days off (yippie), I will be baking those delicious little pumpkin cakes and then frosting them and watching G eat his way through them.  I won't be eating them.

The tree work continues.  The front yard is still littered with debris and logs.  I will feel compelled to rake up the grass if I go out there.

We missed the boat on a very cool idea.  A gardening friend visited me at work and when I mentioned the pine trees being cut---she said she had seen the most amazing thing.  A rather large chunk of tree (as tall as it is wide) was chipped away into a "ball" shape with a chain saw.  The wood must be "wet" in order for this to work.

You cut and cut and roll and cut until the chunk resembles a ball.  Roundish.  Then let it sit and dry out.  Takes awhile.  While it dries it cracks.  And turns into something she says is "magnificent".

Now our tree trunk was larger than 7 feet around, so if we had know about this "crafty idea" earlier in the day, we could have had the makings for a few giant round objects.  The neighbors would have been impressed, huh?

We do have a few smaller chunks and G can make some in 12 inch diameter.

If he uses the chain saw, I'll have the tourniquet kit at the ready.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

And Then It Stopped Raining

Temps in the low 60's but some sunshine.  The tree guys are here and the front yard looks like a tornado whipped through.  Two very fat, tall white pines are going down.  Two red pines.  And a set of oak "twins".  A few other, smaller trees were collateral "damage" to get at the two white pines safely.

The guy across the street said "I can see your house".


I think there will be enough chipped wood to mulch the woods (and the auxiliary road) on the side of the house.  I think it will be a vast improvement.  G thinks there might be "too much light".

The trees, perennials and the squirrels will just have to get used to a "new normal" as will G and I. It's been a long time in the shade of those huge trees.