Sunday, November 29, 2015

Get Decorated

Pick up a plain wreath (or make one) and start decorating.  It's like playing dress up.  Keep trying things out, see what makes you say "wow", then wire it onto the wreath, or hot glue it, or pick it.

I was at the fabric store that shares my name today.   Long, long line of disgruntled customers.  One cashier, as usual.  I was looking for 60% off Christmas picks for wreaths.  Not much to see.  And since I do best buying things in threes---not many things in threes.

But I am loving this wreath at the top of the post.  I would guess the ornaments have been hot glued in place.  Hard to wire them as the little hanger thing at the top can pop out.  I am also thinking of "using" the curly pipe cleaner things--sort of Dr Seuss.  We have real holly at work but it turns black in cold outside weather.  I tried to find some fake holly but--none.

Last year I glued a bunch of toys (Barbies, Hot Wheels, Lego etc) to a wreath.  It was very cute. And a co-worker made one with sock monkeys.  I love sock monkeys so would NEVER glue them to an outdoor wreath.  Barbie?  Yes.

Since the store shopping amounted to nothing--I am going attic shopping.  See what sort of stuff I have packed away.  Something up there has to be "wreath worthy".

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Almost Time For Dinner

The turkey is roasting (breast side down), the stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole (the recipe with no mushroom soup), baked acorn squash, pan fried Brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes are all  Prepped and waiting for that last 30 minutes of cooking.  Even the gravy stock is made and waiting.

I also made two recipes of cranberry sauce.  Both with brandy.  One with the vanilla the recipe asks for and the second minus the vanilla but adding orange juice and zest.  Boozy cranberries, oh, yes!!!

The Pumpkin Cream Pie is chilling on the sun porch (no sun here in Maine today) and I just have to whip up the brown sugar whipped cream and make some caramel sauce. I have never in my life made caramel sauce.  Or praline pecans.

Things went well in the kitchen.  The dining room---well, the table is still covered in clutter and I will have to clear it off and then give my daughter free use of the dish cupboard to set the table.

We finished watching Foyle's War last night and are now watching Jessica James.  Marvel comics. They said it had some resemblance to Orphan Black.  The only resemblance I see is that they both wear black and are both girls.

I made a table centerpiece at work yesterday from leftovers.  For my table.  Then a customer looked over the pieces on our counter and said "what about that one?".  So, she went home with my centerpiece and left the professional made ones behind.  I was "floral" all day.  Quite busy with deliveries.

Now it's Christmas 24/7.  And then it's furlough for the winter.  Yes, please.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Week

While most are getting prepared for Thanksgiving, here, we are getting ready for G's birthday.  He was born on Thanksgiving---in time for supper his mother always said.  And instead of birthday cake--we serve birthday pie.

I saw these delightful pictures of pie crusts and am thinking of trying one of them.  I am an artist and drawing with a knife into pastry isn't that much different from drawing with a pencil on paper.  What to put under that crust is where I am having trouble.  Deciding.  Pumpkin pie doesn't require a top crust.  Neither does pumpkin cheesecake.  Two items we have in rotation for this particular birthday.

Perhaps it will have have to wait until Christmas.

My eye itch went away and then has tried to come creeping back.  I am being to think it's fungal. The cough remains as well.

At work I serve as "floral" several days a week.  I enjoy it.  Taking care of the floral coolers (fresh water and fresh stem cuts), remaking the market bouquets as they age, filling vases for delivery orders.  It's all new and fresh for me.  Something I think I could have done as a profession I think, with proper training.  I also enjoy the morning routine of watering the big greenhouse--filled with poinsettias, cyclamen, cactus (Christmas and desert), houseplants, orchids.  I like the odor of wet potting soil.  Other times of day, I make decorated evergreen wreaths.

My least favorite activity is cashier.  Mainly because I am not very good at it. In order to be good at it, I would have to do it all the time.  And that would crush my soul.  I am happier with the plants.

Last Saturday, I made meatballs and marinara, a chicken curry (too much curry and it's way too hot to eat and I must find a way to cool it down), and chicken soup for G.  I haven't been cooking and we have been eating sandwiches and potato chips for supper.  Not a good thing.  So, I wanted to have things in the fridge to eat this week--and things that could go into the freezer if not eaten before T-Day.

Today G wants to get the new iPhone for his birthday and give me the old one.  I think it's time for me to have a phone on my person.  Just in case troubling things happen to me.  We are thinking about service plans and how much data I might need.  I travel the internet far more than he does.  But being a thrifty person, I do not want to spend too much money.  I think the really good plans are a thing of the past.  A co-worker has unlimited everything for $60 a month.  But that plan is no longer offered.
I have to go along to choose my phone number.  Something I can remember.

Sigh.  I do not go easy into that dark night.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I'm Back

The "itchy" eye thing ended, as usual, suddenly.  One night my eyes itched so much that I went to bed looking like a big red puff head.  Woke up--looking like myself.  No red.  No puff.  No itch.

What did I do different?  I took a walk in the woods with G and Riley.  Period.

The cold stopped being the rib cracking wet cough and (oh, foolish me) I thought it was gone with the itchy eyes---but it's still here--only a dry cough now that makes it impossible to speak at times. Not much works-- so, I am just hoping another week and it will have worn itself (and me) out.

Monday afternoon G and I went to see the new James Bond.  Spectre.  It was dull, long and not all that interesting (and we were the only people in the theater).  Seemed like a long farewell.  I recorded Skyfall and we'll watch it sometime and enjoy it more than the new movie.  The previews were all duds as well---but the new Star Wars is coming.  I sat through the first one in 1978, twice or three times with my son.  He was 7.  Might as well see this one but wish it was with him.  And he was 7 again.

My photo at the top is another chair.  Love chairs, as you know.  This one I liked because of the fabric. Perhaps it's a rough woven linen.  I like wing chairs with a seat that tips back at the back.  Sort of like a recliner without the leg part.  So when you sit its like having your behind cupped.

Tomorrow grocery shopping for Thanksgiving.  I need to get a turkey and start thawing it.  I want to try Food52's dry brine method this year.  And I found a recipe for a Pumpkin Cream Pie that sounds like the one G liked at the 99 restaurant.  The usual suspects will round out the menu:  mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, pan fried Brussels sprouts, and brandied cranberry sauce.  We're heavy on carbs @ Thanksgiving and the food lasts all weekend.

I have Thursday off.  But will be back at work on Friday with my stuffing sandwich and cranberry sauce.

Monday, November 16, 2015


I am holding tight to my safe (?) and secure routines.  Brutality seems to surround us.

An apple crisp in the oven baking.  The dog waiting for his daily walk (with orange vest so hunters don't shoot him).  G is vacuuming.  I am rubbing my poor itchy eyes.

Yesterday was Open House at work.  I ate four or five little round brownie bites.  They were delicious.  I spent most of the 8 hours repotting plants,  talking to customers (who are friends I only see at work) and re-arranging tables.  A long day........and no Christmas music.  It's something I appreciate during the Winter holidays.  Singing along with Bing Crosby (Let It Snow), Eartha Kit (Santa Baby) and Elvis (Blue Christmas).  Not so fond of Grandma being run over by a reindeer.

During my tending of the Christmas cactus table, I collected another pocketful of branches broken off various plants by customers rummaging looking for the best plant.  Today I need to set the branches (most quite small) into a sandy soil mix and let them make roots.  I hope one of them is the white variety.

I also need to collect pots and my amaryllis bulbs to take to work.  I usually like to repot them at work where it doesn't matter if I make a mess.  Here at home, making a potting mess in the kitchen is so "not a good thing".

A very good thing happened today.  An email from a friend I lost contact with many years ago.  We just moved off in different directions.  It was so nice to hear from her.

May something sweet and unexpected drop into your life today, also.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Back to work.  Still coughing but not enough to make me dizzy.  Eyes still flaring up --the redness and itching is driving me slightly more crazy than usual.  And red swollen eyes are SO ATTRACTIVE on older women.

Today's lunch was a ham and cheese roll up (from low carb days) and roasted beets with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I had a banana and tea for mid morning.  My cold has subdued my interest in food.
My pants are looser.  I don't really care.

I'm off to make a cup of coffee and take a Benadryl as a preventive strike against the regular evening itch fest with my eyes.  I think I am allergic to the couch.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Guess Who Has A Bad Cold

No soup for me.  Not eating much of anything.  Tea and DayQuil.  Coughing.  Coughing.  My ribs are sore.  It started on Tuesday with a running nose.  Wednesday it moved to sneezing and coughing.  And stayed there.

Lucky me.  I had a scheduled doctor's appointment on Thursday morning.  Just a cold.

I have been sleeping when I am not coughing.  Dizzy most of the time.  A nice wheezing sound when I exhale.  G says it's a wet cough which is a good thing.

Keep thinking--each morning----that I'll be going to work that day.  Then I get up.  Then I sit back down and wait for the room to stop swirling.  I did have a nice hot shower yesterday and clean clothes.  Then I took a nap.

It's just a cold.  I think it's knocked me for a loop because I am so damned tired.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Perfect Fall Colors

Yesterday the skies were a clear blue.  A perfect counterpoint to all the oranges, reds and yellows of Fall here in Maine.  Later the clouds came and the bright colors turned sullen and unhappy.

Yesterday we went for a "ride" to Portland.  Takes 30 to 40 minutes.  We started at Trader Joe's loading up on Winter Food Stuffs like cereal (for me), dog treats (for Riley) and a dozen cans of Marinara (for G).   I also purchased some of Tj"s super white flour tortillas for Christmas Burritos.  Last year the only tortillas I could find were "not very good".

Our local grocery carried Tex's Tortillas for almost as long as we have lived here in Maine.  And they were (and I bet still are) excellent.  But not being sold here anymore.  Now we have the store brand-- and it's best not to comment on them.

So, I have a supply of excellent tortillas in the freezer.  I also purchased the most excellent focaccia that Whole Foods makes and G and I will be using it to make panini sandwiches for today's lunch or dinner.

And, best news of all.  I purchased a 5# bag of the tiniest clementines at TJ's and when I got them home, peeled and ate five.  Sweet, spicy, sharp.  Everything I remembered from that bag of tiny Persian clementines so many years ago.  Sort of easy to peel and no seeds.  G got himself a bag of green grapes.  So, I have clementines at last.  Five a day until they are gone unless I eat 10 a day and then beg someone who works in Portland to buy me another bag. (hint, hint)

I peeled and sliced the last of the peaches.  8 cups.  I didn't want to make more jam so I made a sort of peach deep dish cobbler.  Now I have apples to work with but they are out on the porch and still very hard--so I can wait a bit before tackling them.  Rescued (foraged) apples off an abandoned tree near my workplace.  I hate to see them go to waste.

Next up, in the coming weeks will be fig jam.  The fig tree is indoors and the figs are still green.  So, we wait.  A few fall off each day I add them to the bag in the fridge.  I had wild hopes of boxes of fresh figs at Trader Joe's--but no such luck.  Maybe next time.