Thursday, May 31, 2018

Looking For Chairs

From Art Propelled

I go on this site--Art Propelled--looking.  For images that will "spark" joy.  Get me excited about "making" something, anything out of anything.  I am fully stocked with art supplies.

In the past 6 months, I have looked at Winter Paintings, Moon painting and photos and little else. So last night, walking past midnight, I looked for chairs.  Not many but this bench looked good to me. I wouldn't sit on it unless my tetanus vaccination was current.

This morning I tried three times to get Connie's chair right.  She sent me an image.  It's like the chair is giving away free hugs.  But I just could not get that feeling from my drawings.  So......drawing that chair will take up much time and paper--until I get it right or run out of ink trying.

I am also reading an unpublished (as yet) book online for a writer.  Reading on the computer screen is okay for awhile but not a couple hours.  Once I get into her book, I tend to stay.

G and I are re-thinking the watering system for the veggie garden.  He has set up a "picnic" shade thing on the back lawn.  I was just sitting there in the nice breeze and shade with Riley.  If we sit with him he'll stay in the shade.  Black, elderly dog and sunshine?  So not healthy.

Daughter sent pics of the two spider bites on her face.  Spider bites leak an amber liquid.  Sticky. I had hoped as she got past 40, that there wouldn't be boo boo pictures.  Always mom and dad, I guess no matter how old the kids get.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Not A Chair A Day--But Close

This one drawn 9 days ago.  Things in the "gardening" section of my Life are taking priority right now.  I feel like a human filing cabinet sometimes with all these different "folders" that need my attention when I want to be doing "something else" like drawing more chairs.

Yesterday, at the library, my "folders" collided again as a work customer chased me down as I was exiting the library with questions and pictures on her phone of an orchid I helped "save".  She wanted me to see the resulting flowers.  Gorgeous.  We had a nice conversation and she was sad I wouldn't be at work any more.  The grocery shopping was "collision" free.

I made the first chopped vegetable bowl for my dinner.  Celery, apple, radish, pecans and dried cranberries.  I forgot to add carrot and the red grapes I purchase specifically for the chopped salads. I forgot about the grapes.  I have yellow flesh peaches ripening under a microwave dome--with a air vent.  When they are ripe I will make the first Banana, Cashew, Peach, Blueberry Smoothie of the summer season.  The banana is frozen.  The cashews raw and untoasted.  I think there is also a 4 ounces of vanilla yogurt in the mix.  Sometimes I have it and other times I add milk.

I was checking the stats on my blog and was alarmed to see that Russia is a player in those stats. I am vaguely disturbed and wondering about that.  What could possibly interest them?  Or do they just check everything.

On that note:  I am now going to pull my plant filled wagon into the shade under the oak tree (now has leaves) and re-pot tomato seedlings and get a start on my annual flowering containers.  The heat is welcome but the sun is way too strong for little things.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Spiral Galaxy

I love this image.  Swirling in the sky.   Endlessly.

G has a telescope and I wonder if we should have it set up on nice clear evenings to look at the galaxy.  We looked at the sky once many years ago from the top of a mountain/hill where my friend's house was built.  You could see Oakland from the roof with no scope.  And the house was in Sonoma.

So, on one visit we brought the telescope as luggage and G set out late at night to look at the universe.  And we actually saw what we thought was Saturn but was most likely something else entirely.  But it was quite wonderful.

Last night was the Full Moon and I went out to say hello before going to bed.  As always, after conversing with the Moon, I slept very well.  With Peace.

Today I repotted orchids, watered orchids.

Overnight Wu Peng's lovely blossoms faded and drooped and look dead.  I was very sad and cried a bit.  I don't know why.  Well, I do know I had expected to enjoy the flowers for more than one day. I gave the plant water this morning.  But I have little hope the blossoms will revive.  They were so very beautiful yesterday afternoon.

Two more radiators are being installed today.  The Plumber is good company.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial (remembering) Day Chair

Can you see the "ghost" of the next chair in the journal?  The paper in this new journal is obviously not as thick as in previously purchased journals.  Nothing stays the same does it?  I don't strive for accuracy in the drawings.  When I have coached non-artistic people to draw--- I always start with "blind drawing".  Pen or pencil on the paper and eyes on the subject. No looking at the paper.

My own personal style of drawing is a combination.  Blind and Intentional.

My ex-friend K had a chair like this in the guest bedroom where I stayed when I would visit each March.  Her dad had re-upolstered it in a very very nice fabric.  It was a pleasure to look at and appreciate.  I didn't do much drawing at the time.  But I wish I had drawn the chair or at least taken a picture.  But that was before I had a cell phone that took pictures. And before I knew that I would never see the chair again and never visit again.

I have a similar chair in the attic (perhaps in memory of K's).  I asked my dad (on his one visit to my home) to fix the springs where they had broken and gotten lumpy (the chair was purchased at a yard sale in a retirement community nearby).  He did.  The chair is ready for the fabric.  I showed my dad the fabric I had chosen  (from my fabric closet)--- an antique show purchased bark cloth.  From the 40's.   He said it was too nice for such an ordinary chair.  Left it unfinished.

I think I will draw that chair.

And find someone to upholster it in the bark cloth.  And set it in my bedroom.  To see every day and remember K and my Dad.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

More Chair Drawings

Finally downloaded a few more chairs for the blog.  I did find about 6 more pictures of chairs in the House Beautiful magazines from the library share bins.  This one had patterns all over the surface but...well, I didn't want to make that many circles.  Enough to get the idea.  I found it strange that the builder of this chair used two different shapes of leg.

I just now looked at one of my chairs to see if all four legs were the same.  Yes.  And now I am thinking about drawing that chair.  A "life model".   That chair also has an ottoman.  I could draw that as well.  It's a very cloudy day.  No sun so the house is dark without turning on lights.  Which I haven't done as yet.  But I just did.  Lights on at 10:31 am.  So, no drawing of life models today.

Riley and I went out for the paper (just to end of driveway) this morning and then opened the garage and pulled the vegetable plant wagon outside.  The Tomato Seedlings seem to be growing overnight.  I often wait way too long to use the plants and flowers in the wagon.  The wagon is just such a wonder-filled thing right now.  Packed as it is with fresh new things and blossoms.  I really must get to the garden and rake up the leaves.  Too many and none composted over the Winter (which is odd).  Garden beds are a total mess. AND I over-wintered some perennials in the beds.  I need to dig them out and situate them where they belong.  Usually the garden is super clean and tidy and I can just start planting.

We haven't had ice cream in about a week.

Today is Goodwill Dollar Sunday.  I don't know what color tag will be a dollar.  Last week it was blue.

Saturday, May 26, 2018


From ArtPropelled

The bead I found in that little bag of beads at Goodwill is this shape. The ONLY bead in the bag with a symbol. The REASON I felt compelled to buy that little bag of beads. Spiral?  Infinity? Let me know.  I see it too frequently for it to be random.  It's a message. I need to know what it means.

Editing:  I Googled spiral and it all makes sense now.  I have been devoted (lately) to watching all things having to do with space (lots of spirals in the galaxies), Fibonacci (nature and plants),  Journey and Change.  Universe. Evolution. New Beginnings. Creation.  Life Unfolding.


My haircut looked too short while it was being cut--now, here at home, it looks perfect.

Yesterday Maine opened for business.  The Summer People are arriving.  The private college in Town is having graduation and the parents are arriving from various foreign countries (like New York). Later in the week Goodwill trailers will be positioned on campus to haul away all the stuff "rich" kids do not take back home with them.  It used to go into a big sale here in Town.  Not anymore.

With Summer comes Traffic.  Long lines of cars with "out of state" tags.  We will not be able to eat in local restaurants until September.  We will have to leave home 30 minutes before our usual time so we can sit in stalled traffic.  We live in a central local of "Vacationland".   A "drive-thru" city.

Yesterday we had sun and high temps.  Today we have high humidity and soft rain.  I have no complaints.  My wagon of seedlings is enjoying the soft rain.  The Rhodies are opening their blossoms.  The creeping phlox is still very pretty.  Lilies of the Valley are sweetly flowering.  My crab trees are in full flower.  The lilacs perfume the air.  This--right now-- is my favorite time of year.

Wu Peng's first ever blossom is opening.  Slowly.  Like an exotic dancer slowly revealing what she has hidden.  Each morning, a little bit more. Mesmerizing.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Watermelon Tonic

From Food 52- yesterday or the day before.

Three cups of water and quarter teaspoon of sea salt  brought to a boil.  Add one cup honey.  Stir.
Chop up 6 cups of watermelon and 1 cup of fresh mint leaves.  Add to the water in a large bowl or container.  I have restaurant tubs with lids that I use.  King Arthur sells them.

Let everything cool to room temp before adding 1 cup of cider vinegar.  Then refrigerate.
Remove the watermelon and mint (some have used it to make a salad, others just ate it cold)
There is a note on the card I wrote up to "strain" it.  My guess is to remove any bits of mint.

Serving is however you choose.  Straight up.  With very thin cucumber.  Mixed with Vodka.

Personally, as I have made the cucumber lemon mint water before, I would add the cucumber in when you add the watermelon.  I am on the fence as to the lemon--it might be better with lime.

In the Food 52 photo, above, looks like they added back some of everything to the serving. Plus ice.

The wonderful thing about these fruity water tonics is that they get you to drink WATER.  I have been drinking several glasses of plain water so far this Summer (is it summer yet?) and am feeling like some flavors would make the water more enjoyable.

Hair cut this morning.  Work is located across the road.  I didn't go.  So humid and so much traffic. I got some home dec magazines at the library magazine exchange--Chairs?  Lets hope.  Now some lunch.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Let's Just Call This An Example

The Cage--well, that would be expectations or employment or stupidity.  Notice the cage door is OPEN.  That would/could mean escape or choice.  Go in or stay out.  Or just continue to be doing wrong headed things.

I have a tendency to be wrong about things.  A very strong sense of "duty" and "work" beaten into me--literally--by my parents.  We've talked about this before.

Anyway, Wednesday I went into work.  I wasn't supposed to but my employer called and asked me to come in.  And I think I am finally not going to be doing this again. Today I am coughing and yesterday I was exhausted.  I do feel a sense of responsibility to my loyal customer fan base.  My husband says, "they were fine before you worked there and they will be fine after you stop working there."

I think this is the same thing I said to him when he retired and worried about the restaurant he had been managing.  But, they weren't fine after he left.  In fact, the restaurant closed a few years after.

Today I am vacuuming.  No matter what else happens.  Vacuuming.

My across the street neighbor has a guy over at her house washing her windows.  Making me think I should be washing my windows.

Later I have an online book to continue reading and some additional sizes of fabric bits to cut for my evening past time of sewing things together into 5 by 7 inch blocks.  And we might have some ice cream later today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Not Pansies Today, But 50 Pots Of Geraniums

That was my task for the Time I gave my employer.  Potting up 50 dark red geraniums.  Adding my "touch" of moss to cover the exposed soil in the clay pots.  Mixing soil as I went.  Others were potting up red, white and blue containers for the coming Holiday.

I left at 2 pm.  Exhausted, dirty and because it was so hot at the potting bench.....not hungry but I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast.  I drank multiple cups of water.  I think most times we are thirsty when we think we are hungry.  Water was what I needed so I am thankful I made the effort to find and drink many cups.

It was very hot in the greenhouse.  I feel baked--- I know there is another meaning for that term but in my case--it just means I spent hours in the windless corner of a glass house in full sun.

I've had my shower and moisturized my face.  Now I am going to sit on the couch.  Forever.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Chair That I Haven't Drawn Yet

I keep a large plastic bag handy and cut out pictures--usually of chairs--to have when I feel the need to draw a chair.   In my journal.   This one looks interesting as the actual chair is covered in cloth.  the "bones" of the chair unknown.

So many things we see are "covered" and "unknown".

Today's Spirit Cloth post was EXACTLY what I needed to know.  Spirit Cloth Math.  A + B = C.
go there to see what I mean.  And an example of Sanity is there as well.  I now know I need more pieces.  More sizes.  More parts to sew together into wholes.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Three Little Pages

I've moved on from the just white sewn pages of white squares.  I've finishing with the chaotic pages of 35 colored squares--they said only Spring! and not much else.  These are the Moon Pages. The Moon being so interesting to me this year.  The middle page is the Moon shining on the Earth. I was teaching classes about planting with the Moon.  I'm thinking the green should be first in that Earth layer cake.  But perhaps I was thinking the green growth was still waiting under the Earth?

It's hard to know exactly what I was thinking.  The work is intuitive.

The last block is a Map page.  I found map fabric and was interested in making a block right away. I liked how the map colors went so well with this Earthy hand dyed fabric.  I'm not sure how this page fits in, other than recording my purchasing and use of new map fabric.

Jude Hill over at Spiritcloth has a series we don't see very often--the Sanity Series.  It's beginnings were, I think, in the Pages.  Pages of 35 smaller squares.  The only color in Jude's blocks was the thread and any marks were made in the cloth by Time & Wear.  The Pages became a Book.

Which was why I began the blocks when I found that very ancient and worn soft piece of white cotton in the Attic.  Found it that Time.  Never before that.  Was it even there in the Time before finding it?  So strange and unknowable.  And the 35 white square blocks had/have such power.

That white is here in the two Moon pages.  They are the Moon.  In the middle page, the left edge of the Moon is left unseen, with a ragged edge, like the Moon has some nights as clouds drift over and past the Moon.

So, going forward.....I will cut more of the white.  Explore the Moon in a few more pages.  As Spring opens and turns green.

In a Random Thing--I unsewed the pocket from one of my faded blue workshirts--not even sure WHY.  And it seems about the size of the Pages.  So I may work on a few pocket pages.  The pockets and the shirts have been with me for nearly 30 years now.  Worn soft and smooth.  They have held seed packets, Kleenex, shopping lists, dog treats, plant markers, dirt..........They have held Life. Two of them even hold dye colors from the Dyeworks of Deb Lacativa.  Those pockets stay sewn on the shirts.......for now.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nothing Like This In Maine

Spring isn't even trying anymore here in Maine.  The days have some warm spots but more likely it's cold. I have had to bring plants into the house (the entry hall) so they don't freeze or get frosted overnight.  Mostly get frosted at 45 degrees.

I get too warm when I wear corduroy and long sleeves.  I get cold wearing cotton and no socks.

Hard to know what to plan for supper as it seems like a great time to grill something but we've been more likely to want a bowl of hot soup.  I had to be reminded that Memorial Day was coming up--like next weekend.   The grocery flier had lobster, steak and fresh corn on the cob for sale.  Cooked on the grill while wearing a coat, hat and mittens.

Today is Goodwill Dollar Day so that will be the highpoint of the day.

Then the couch and the down lap coverlet and a book.  Hot tea.  And more hot tea.  I ate the last bowl of vegetable soup yesterday. I don't want to make more soup so I think I will have hot cereal instead.  Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. Or splurge and have a bowl of macaroni and cheese.  Kraft, extra soupy.  Another Random Thing. I like my Kraft Mac and Cheese really soupy with extra milk.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Random Red Chair

Spent the day with BBC America trying to watch the wedding but not live.  Finally realized I had time to run errands before the repeat performance at 2 pm.   Library.  Bookstore.  Grocery store.

Library to return a book.  Bookstore to buy a book. Grocery store for bagels, yogurt, fruit, toothpaste and on the way inside a little six pack of cherry tomato seedlings (that looked super healthy) Sun Sugar and a six pack of Yolo Bell Peppers.   The ones at work didn't look healthy.  It's very cold right now so the vegetable/flower wagon is back in the warm garage for the night.  Must look up Yolo Peppers.  New to me.

I'll transplant the little seedlings into slightly bigger pots tomorrow.  Leave well enough alone for now.  I added another chair drawing to the new journal and smudged the bead bowl with a watercolor crayon.  Those will be appearing here as soon as I remind myself to take pictures.

I tried stringing beads for a bracelet and tied off and it all fell apart.  Sigh.  I think 6 year olds can successfully string beads.  But not me.  That's today's Random Thing.

G came in from pulling weed trees out of the bed behind the south garage wall.  Two live ticks on him.  More in the leaf litter we assume.  It's going to be a really terrible season here in Maine regarding ticks.  And so hard to kill them.  We keep them in the "Tick Jar" with the lid shut tight. With no blood--they eventually die.  We keep them in case one of our doctors wants to test the live tick for bacterial diseases (if we were to be bitten and get sick).

We will both spend the remainder of today thinking we have a tick crawling around on us.

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Very Busy Day At Work

No matter how I try to stay "retired", I keep working.  Today, my only day this week (he wanted two days and I said no and meant it) I had some very big jobs to tackle.  Jobs that I had been doing for years and my employer felt (rightly?) that only I can handle them.  Two very large planters with trellis in them.  One very nice window box--the owner liking it to look French.  How could I say no?  One tiny window box for the mailbox of a lovely woman--I fill it in Spring and again for Winter.

And I answered questions.  So many that I lost count.

I am going back next Friday in the "run up" to Memorial Day.  When Maine opens the doors to "people from away" and everywhere is suddenly crowded.

The art up at the top--just something I tried out some years ago.  Filling the entire page-no white space.  Yesterday- in the new journal, a drawing of a bowl filled with beads.  For the book I enjoy reading and re-reading--Becoming Finola.  In fact, I need to trot into Town tomorrow--I ordered my very own copy at the independent bookstore, so I can have the book handy when I need a good story.  I am reading another book by the same author.  Earlier that the two I loved reading.  This one--harder to get into--she was still learning how to write with her own voice.  Let go and just write.

We went for ice cream (Mainers eat more ice cream per capita than any other state) before taking showers.  Later we'll search the fridge for something to eat.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Being Artful - Random Thought

The memories evoked by the old journals--the old journeys.....takes me back to the attic--looking for other things that I may have set aside...forgotten....unfinished threads of ideas.

I found this scribble pasted to a page in one journal.  The Glue Stick I use is not permanent but I didn't know that going in.  I can gently lift one image off and use it in another place.  Like ideas gently lifted from pages, stories, blogs, other artists explorations (never the work itself but the process) and then sometimes only a fragment. A whisper.

The internet is at Times quite interesting.  I see something, make a note and days later more and more of the same comes into view.  Was it always there?  Did I conjure it by noticing?  Did I  awaken something that had lain dormant.  Waiting.  Or is there a link between us so strong that, unknowingly, we all converge on something at the same moment, thinking we are alone in the discovery?

No walk today.  The muscles I used in the garden beds yesterday-to plant parsley, celery and collard greens and move mint and wild violets to beds from paths--was more than my calf muscles were used to.  They protest.  I walk with care.  And G reports the mosquitos were very hungry.

More water and a banana for potassium.  I am finding my small pages of 1 inch squares--boring.  Something has gone wrong here as I was enjoying them.  Now I am not.  Time, I think, to move on.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Great Eastern Storm-- Never Got Here

Violets from one of the old journals.

I was wanting a great, loud, wet storm yesterday.  Buckets of rain.  We got dark clouds and some drizzle.  Today the sun is shining.  Why couldn't it have rained?????

Yesterday G and Riley asked me to do the daily walk in the woods with them.  I did. And it was just fine.  So, I think I will go again today.  Yesterday I picked up lichens and some moss (nothing attached to anything-all of it was adrift).  I like to use natural items when I do repots at work--and here at home.  So, it's nice to have a little stock at hand.

The Queen Of Plums is starting to send out blossoms.  Not on all the branches which worries me.  I need to clip a branch from the largest Beach Plum to provide cross pollination.  The juvenile peach trees have a few blossoms.  I am not sure I am supposed to "allow" peaches to form.  The trees may need a year or two more to just set out good roots.  I was thinking about a sour cherry tree.  Seventy five dollars.  And so tiny.

Arugula (left over from last year) is full and green and very "spicy".   I should set the new batch of celery into the garden bed and the new parsley.  But first I have to clear out the leaf mulch and that means--possible/probable ticks.  Something else is full and green in the garden beds and walkways--leaves have a slight sour taste--sorrel?  The birds could have seeded it.  Wild violets everywhere.  G weeds them.  I transplant them to beds where I can enjoy their good looks.

We collected some rhubarb from my friend's farmette and I made some rhubarb sauce (chopped rhubarb and sugar--no water) and froze the remainder of the stalks for more sauce or a pie. The sauce will be eaten with my daily yogurt and fruit lunches.  I have one last serving of the vegetable soup and then--yogurt and fruit or chopped veg/fruit salads.  No lettuce.

I was reading my two book list notebooks and the older one has about 5 or 6 very simple recipes for crock pot "meats" on the last few pages.   One is  6 to 8 chicken legs and BBQ sauce--8 hours.  That's the recipe.  I like that sort of recipe.  Chicken legs are often on sale for 89 cents a pound and I know that when the dark meat is really browned, it gets sort of "sticky" and that is really quite delicious.

There was a cartoon in today's paper--100 random things about me.  I might start that--here.  Or that might be the current theme of this blog?  (laughing)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Extra Wide Chair

This one in regular pen I guess instead of the black brush pen.  I may go back over it.  I started a new journal this morning.  More drawings and less diet.  The other journals were mostly lists of what I ate and how many calories. Boring and Depressing.

And Useless.  My body seems to be wanting to layer itself in fat.  I'm eating fruits and vegetables and whole grains (in small amounts) and I keep getting bigger.  Listing what I eat....just dumb.

Rain is coming--I hope.  The sky is getting darker.  A few drops falling as I went out to dose the rhubarb with blue fertilizer.  At some point in our history together, the rhubarb has to actually grown nice and big and tall.  It just HAS to.  I insist.

I wish the chair in the drawing was the chair I purchased years ago.  Actually I purchased two.  Mine have a T-cushion.   Makes it difficult for me to make a slipcover.  And I do enjoy covering the seats of chairs and sofas in slipcovers--usually 1930's Bark Cloth.  Making a T-cushion is above my pay grade.

I now have a bowl of beads--only one is a charm--and today I purchased the elastic cord to string the beads on.  Channeling the book Becoming Finola that I read which had charms and beads strung on cord and then labeled with a wish--Gratitude/Life/Travel--and then make a wish and repeat three times.  It's lovely to just run my fingers thru the beads in the bowl--Meditative.  I have no idea where one goes to find little beads with charm figures on them--birds, boats, hearts, suitcase, compass, lightning bolt.   The charm bead I got with my little packet of beads (Goodwill) is a swirl or a spiral.  so  Faith or Life.  Unless one of you know what it might mean.

I will wait to hear from you.

Build A Better Chicken Coop

I had to clip this--it was meant to be sent to my daughter.  She doesn't have chickens but she does know someone with chickens and she has spent time with said chickens and actually enjoys them.
We heard, on Mother's Day, that a moveable trailer is being fitted up for the chickens so they can eat worms and bugs all around the property instead of just in the run by their coop.

And the picture up top--well, that's some coop. But not a mobile coop.

I got up late today and never got "up to speed" so to speak.  I did spend quite a bit of Time looking for things.  Not finding what I looked for....but did find a nice MontBlanc pen--gold.  In a slim leather case. Needs a new ink cartridge. From the Olden Days of living in Europe.  Good stuff.  I found my pearls.  They weren't lost. I just hadn't been in that drawer in while to see them.  Put them on.

I often wonder about going to the grocery in my white tee shirt and faded blue workshirt and pearls. You know...and be "that woman" in this small Town.  G bought them when he was working in Spain.

Found a red Bakelite tag with a real four leaf clover in the drawer with the pearls.  Very old and I think I bought it at an Antique Fair.  I asked G to put one of those round wire things on it so I could put it on the thing with my keys.  Good Luck.  He did and now--well, instead of malingering in the drawer--the Bakelite with the four leaf clover will travel where I do. In the car.

I also found some money.  And thread.  And wound bobbins in five colors.

I did not find what I had actually been looking for--- elastic cord to string beads on.  I got a little bag of really cute beads at Goodwill on Sunday and I wanted to string them and wear them.

I spent the rest of the day reading on the computer.  A future best seller in progress.  I had to stop because my eyes were getting tired....and I didn't want to miss a word.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

This Was Me Helping With The Laundry

Walking toward the camera.  Always wearing a hat as I had no hair.  My grandmother rubbed my hairless head with rosemary to encourage hair growth.  Old enough to walk.  Love the coat and clothespins.

I was happy most of the time.  I spent most of my day with my grandparents who lived on the second floor of the two family house.  My grandmother had always wanted a daughter.

Reading one of my old journals today--2011.  It's a very happy journal with good pictures but not much drawing.  Good recipes, mostly French.  I think 2011 was my Love of All Things French Year.
French fiction, food and clothing.  And this year, my year of reading books with Paris in the title.

A Paris Apartment.  Paris Key.  Paris Secret.  Little Paris Bookstore.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Yet Another Drawing. Pomegranate

I found the journal with the chair drawings.  You saw them all.

If I had drawn like this in college--I might have done something with my life.  I blame it on my family having such low expectations for me.  I was the family "loser".  The "family" consists of me and my brother now--so...I'm still the "loser"- unless I outlive him.

When I was filling the pages of the 10 or 12 or more journal books, I often wondered what would happen to them when I was gone.  Would anyone ever read them? Now?  Well, I have something fascinating to read as I grow old. I picture myself in assisted living with my books.  Reading my Life.  And even if I am demented as my friend Patty often says--there is more visual content than written. Even the "demented" enjoy looking at pictures.

I am thinking as I go forward with the blank journals--more pictures, more drawings, less writing and even fabric. I can stitch the little fabric "pages" to the paper.  Something to run one's fingers over.  The stitches, the seams, the soft worn fabrics--they all have something to tell the person touching the fabric.  Yes, it will cause the bindings to pull and billow.  But I can tie it altogether with red ribbon.

So, that is the Plan as I go forward with the remaining journal books.  Two or three are half finished. The other 4 to 6 are all blank.  Miles to go.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Another Found Drawing

Which I think has been found before this on the blog.  I went searching for the journal with the chair drawings.  Not to be found.  Which makes me very sad. But glad that I have these few images on the blog.  To remind me.

When I searched the journals---so many pages in so many journals with lists of food eaten that day and calorie counts and low carb recipes etc etc etc.......  made me so very sad.  I was reminded of the "self hate" of those days.  But it was these same days, weeks and months that I made the drawings.

Today the sun shines but here in the house it feels cold.  I have plants to tend.  Garden to clear of leaves (it wasn't wet enough  to compost them this Winter)  Too cold.  So now I collect the leaves (and ticks- we found one walking on the table, here in the house ) and take them to the compost piles.  The news here in Maine reports very high amounts of ticks.  They liked all the snow cover.

I work again tomorrow to help with the Mother's Day sales.  And I will leave as soon as I feel tired.
The new, higher dosage, meds are doing their job.  I feel good.  But not good enough (or dumb enough) to return to work on a regular basis.  The next time my employer calls will be when customers come for their custom window boxes.  Mid to late June, I think.  Then nothing.    

This Summer I intend to eat Lobster Rolls.  I didn't have even one last summer or the summer before that.  And Cote's will open for the season soon--and I am trying every flavor of ice dream this year.  Not just strawberry.  G says they have a new sign and new flavors. In fact, we now have four places to buy scoops of ice cream inner neighborhood.  Did you know Maine eats the highest proportion of ice cream per person? We do!   Now I need a cup of coffee.

It's nice to have a Plan.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Rocking Chair Drawing circa 2008

Wow.  I haven't actually seen this one in forever--look at the weaving!!!!  I can't believe that was me doing that intricate work.

I really must move furniture and then crawl into the bookcase to find this journal with the chair drawings.   I drew from pictures of chairs in the very expensive Decorator magazines.  I don't even know if they print them anymore.  Or if they do--they print full page spreads of a single chair.  I must find them just to prove to myself that I "do know how to draw".

I worked on page four in my new square drawing book.  I had made a bunch of connecting lines, creating a series of triangles.  Looked sort of like a totem of an eagle--abstracted.  I had gone looking for my colored pencils......but never did bring them back to the "big room" and our dining/drawing/everything table.  All I had was a sharp pencil.  So, I started adding patterns while watching the discussion of our President and money laundering and "pay to play".

I purchased a few flats of seedlings. Parsley (my seedlings are still mini), bush Early Girl tomatoes and then a whole tray of pink hyacinths that were in the dumpster. Yes, the flowers had "gone by" but the bulbs are still viable.  They will be trimmed, cleaned up and planted in one of the front beds.  There are way too many in the back beds.  All rescues.  I also brought home two flats (12 plants each) of white petunias for my front containers.  They were wonderful last summer--before the deer ate them all.  And a flat of basil.  The basil is always iffy.  I have germinated seeds of two kinds of cherry tomatoes I enjoyed eating last summer and the Romanian tomatoes.  And I think two germinated seeds from very nice bell peppers from 2016--I am hoping more germinate.

I have collard greens ready to go into the garden, onions, dill and other herbs still in the baby leaves time period--no real leaves as yet.  They are on the front porch in their milk jug greenhouses.

We were very warm yesterday--I had on my summer uniform of Bean cropped black knit pants and white linen shirt.  Today I am back into Bean corduroy pants and a thermal shirt under my blue work shirt from K-mart (Ohio) over 20 years old and still great condition.

Well, I have tomato seedlings to relocate into larger pots and that journal with the chairs to find. I may look at the magazine rack at the grocery to see if any decorator magazine is there with big pictures of chairs.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Dreaming In French

A small neighborhood cafe.  Rough wood table.  Good strong coffee.  Something sort of sweet to nibble on while reading my current book. Something with currants or dry cherries.  All the time in the world to sit there. Pffff.

Work today.  Special Projects Only.  22 ten inch flat containers.  One geranium each.  One herb each. One green "filler" each.  No soil ready--had to mix soil twice (take it from dry to moist).  Then the Hawthorn School planter. Large. That was fun.  Plus two regular customer re-pots because I was walking past the cash register and didn't want to say no--and have the new hires thinking I was some kind of bad tempered person.

I am filthy.  Covered in dirt dust.  Was overheard discussing whether the moist soil smelled like cat piss or person piss.  The customer asked if I knew the difference.  I said "yes, I do".  Wondering what I smell like.

I'm hitting the shower and plan on emptying the hot water tank.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Pansy Orchid

Blooms right about now--for Mother's Day.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I purchased one last year at this time and it is sending up tiny stems but wouldn't be ready to have flowers by Mother's Day.  So I put in an order for another, new one, on one of my days at work in March/April.  They sent 10.  So, we have some for sale now for the holiday at work.

The new orchid has two flower spikes and the potential for many flowers.  Two are open right now. I am thinking the other plant has different colored flowers.  We'll see. It would be nice if it was different.

I must have gotten the hang of orchid care as most, if not all, my plants (12) have flower spikes and/ or are in bloom right now.  I have a coffee table in front of a South facing window with full sized sheet trays from a restaurant on the table top (to keep any water off the wood surface).  I lift or lower the blinds to give more light (winter) and less (summer) to the orchids.  We walk past them dozens of times each day--creating enough "wind" to keep things fresh. I have them in "self watering" pots that have a plug in the bottom to drain water.  I fill the pots with water every 4 to 6 weeks, let sit for 30 minutes and then drain.  I mix a very diluted orchid food in with the water.   Then pull the plugs and drain and put the plug back in and return the plants to the window table.  I rub any dust of the leaves with a damp paper towel and once a year clean the leaves with banana peels rubbed over the surface. The banana side of the peel.  Makes the leaves shiny.

One of the food blogs I visit recently had a review and recipes for the Instant Pot.  Which was interesting.  I had also been wondering about the Air Fryer and today's post was about the Air Fryer. the author of the blog bought both on the same shopping trip.  She was rather disappointed with the fryer's performance and went looking at other food blogs to see if they had better results.  Found that best result was with frozen foods directly out of the freezer.  Though one blogger made crispy tofu cubes in the fryer.  Crispy and tofu are not usually used in the same sentence.

Not that I will be making crispy tofu.  My main food allergy is soy products.

Which makes a pure vegetarian diet very very difficult. I have looked at many, many vegetarian diets and SOY is the backbone of 99% of them.  Recipes for Tofu Turkey, Tofu Bacon, Tofu Pad Thai etc.
Also soy milk and soy yogurt and soy cheeses and soy mayo.  The vegetarian world is all about soy.

So--Air Fryer for frozen sweet potato fries, Tater Tots (when you aren't putting them in the waffle iron) and chicken nuggets.  Worth it?  Nope.

Time to make another big pot of vegetable soup.  But before I do that--I need to check the crisper drawer for ingredients.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Wu Peng--Black Dragon Awakens

Long ago and far away,  I purchased a Tree Peony named Wu Long Peng.  Black Dragon.  Five inch across deep magenta flowers.  Five feet tall and 5 feet wide Tree.  I like the number 5.

I waited.  Wu Peng lived but never grew.  Made a few leaves each year.  But didn't die.  I moved him two or three times, thinking he didn't like where he was but always thinking about 5 feet wide and tall.  So not that many places to put him.

Right now he is near the sidewalk by the front door.  A very nice spot. Room to grow.  He hasn't grown.  Only 18 inches tall and wide.  About 20 leaves.  Nice healthy leaves.

But this morning as I walked by and said hello to him--I noticed a flower bud.  I held my breath as I went closer to see if my eyes were deceiving me.  Not one but two buds.  I ran in the house shouting to G to "come look".   He is the resident botanist.  But he had forgotten all about Wu Peng in the passing of years. So wasn't all that amazed by the flower buds. Or that Wu Peng was (still) part of the household.

Now, these two buds being the first ever in the 10 or 15 years of Wu Peng's life with us....they may not open.  They may just be a "trial balloon".   But the timing might just be correct-- maturity is 10 years and I did start with a bare rooted stem.  Not a plant.  Not a tree.

Bloom time is correct as well.  Second week in May for zone 6 and we are zone 5. So possibly when the regular herbaceous peonies bloom in the back garden bed.  They are just breaking ground.

A very good day here at my house.  And I walked today.  For quite awhile.  Easy walking.  And absolutely NO problems.  No usage of the rescue inhaler.   So, I'm back to feeling good.  And that feels amazing.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

New, Fresh Day

Kandinsky.  A postcard I found while cleaning out a drawer.  Loved it then.  Love it now.  Perhaps where I got the ideas for my circles painted on fabric?  Need  to use brighter paint!!!

Windows open wide in the bedroom wing of the house (hall door closed).  Out with Winter air and in with Spring air---finally.  I was a bit late (week) in turning (actually rotating) the new mattress.  And new sheets. And washing the windows (the new ones open into the house so I can wash them from inside not out on a ladder).  I have a huge pile of laundry to do as well.  We were in the garage and out weeding yesterday.

Cinco de Mayo.  Tacos or Nachos????  Fajitas?

I'll be going into work Wednesday and Saturday (Mother's Day Weekend).  18 mixed planters on Wednesday.  I think I've made them up for the medical group for 5 years now.  One herb, one houseplant, one flowering plant, one trailing plant.  The Flowering plant sets the pace for the others.  Geranium usually.  But one of many color choices which then 'inform" the choices for the other items.  They always look wonderful and then we deliver them to the offices.   I agreed to "special needs" call backs and this is the first.   The Saturday before Mother's Day will be lots of long distance ordering on the phone.  Mostly sons. Like the Shoemaker's Children--I have never gotten a Mother's Day floral gift.  I get a lovely phone call visit from my son.  We talk and catch up and he always remembers and we talk as long as I want.

So, now that breakfast and the blog are done--I'll get to the laundry while G and the dog are on their morning walk.  Riley has been coming back soaking wet.  Finding deep water along the path in the woods and wading in. He chased a deer yesterday so is anxious to get going today.............

Friday, May 04, 2018

Something I Wanted To Make In Cloth

I must have been cutting paper and trying to weave the strips and then....... liked the look of it at this point or at the point after messing it up.  Who knows.

Things are unpleasant here.  G and I use the same computer.  Days go by and all is fine.  But then a day like today and my blog isn't right, the picture file is missing and I get alerts that I need to "relaunch diagnostics" something he has bought that now "knows" all our passwords etc.  He has a book of passwords.  Because he is always forgetting to write them down so has to make up new ones.

Living with someone with short term memory loss.  We were supposed to go to a lecture at noon.  He took the dog for a ride to the Vet's for pills.  Forgot to buy dog food.  Missed the lecture.

Well, I am exhausted already at one in the afternoon.  Trying not to cry.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Line Drawing No. 2

From the Way Back.  My kitchen climbing stool/ladder.  To reach things.  To try not stepping off the top step--to try remembering to use the steps.

Stepping's something that I have done forever (perhaps in past lives). And getting hurt doing so.  I am reminded of my 16 year old self in the store room of the department store and my first job.  Up looking for something.  Not mindful.  Stepping off.  Forgetting I was up. Falling. Breaking a huge mirror.  But not getting cut on the mirror shards.  How much "bad luck" did I gain?  For how long?

Now, I have a mantra I repeat when I step up.  Reminding me to be careful.  This item has been with me a very long time.  I have a taller one. New. For the really high cabinets and for cleaning the paddles of the ceiling fans.  I remind myself to grab the top bar before going down.  I should draw my new climbing stepladder.

I found some pictures of chairs in a decorator magazine.  So, I can draw them as well.

I found some very dark blues to cut into squares.  Very dark, almost black.  For night skies with one small white square for the Moon.  My "square" moons.  I have the squares laid out ready to be stitched.  Yesterday I read a book.  Again, about Time Travel.  Something I am very interested in. Going back into the Past to change the Present.  I am so interested in changing the Present by making small changes to the Past.  Righting wrongs.

Today I started my newer, stronger meds for my reactive asthma.  My doctor says I won't see much difference for 10 days to 2 weeks.  As it builds up. .. I'll start slow on the walking.  Just to the corner of my private street and back.  Once (for a few days).  Then twice.  Then three times before trying to build up to neighborhood walks with my friend.  We've both missed our walks and talks.  I think she goes alone now.  I am also drinking one cup (exactly) of caffeinated coffee every other morning which seems to open bronchial tubes.  Easing the breathing.

Today, before it rains, I am digging tiny wild violets out of the vegetable garden paths and planting them near our cat Buzzer's stone.  Where my paper scraps from my letter to the Moon are planted as well.  The Peace and Calm I am feeling is very good.  I am sleeping soundly which is new for me. Still quite full of tears but I think of them as "cleansing" away the toxic things I wrote down on that paper. Washing the painful memories away.  It's all good.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

My Almost Daily Pile Of Work

Top row are the little 35 square "pages"  which I hand sew together.  I'm getting faster but the blocks still go together a bit wonky no matter how carefully I fold the quarter inch and stitch.  On top of the pile--the Moon Page.  I added that vertical and then a tiny scrap of "seeds".   Since I garden so much--seeds are important to me.  The bottom row from left--a larger piece that was heavily stitched but still wasn't working is now cut into two smaller pieces which will be stitched to fabric to form "pages" for my fabric book.  Far right==French fabric selvages stitched into a page.

I'm imagining all this a book form--pages that can be turned.  Nothing permanent so if I see possibilities in the Future, I can just snip some holding threads and take any of the pages and work from there.  They all look very jolly in a pile as well.

I still have a bowl full of tiny squares.  Today I might just stitch rows of the same color.  Like a rainbow.  But I do need to visit the Attic for more colors.  More blue.  And some brown for the Earth.
I'll see what I see.  I am definitely not lifting and unpacking boxes again.  Sigh. I ALWAYS say that.

The back south side garden is a RIOT of yellows, blues, pinks and whites right now.  I have tried to take pictures but I just can't get a successful shot.  All Spring blooming things.  None of my flowering fruiting trees are in flower yet.  It's sunny, 71 and leaf-less.

I am drinking plenty of water for the tick meds.  My medicine for my asthma got moved up to the next level (doctor visit this morning) --I sort of expected that.  So, it's getting worse.  But the upgrade in med levels might mean I can do a nice 1 or 2 mile walk again.  We'll see.  It would be nice not to cough so much or be so exhausted all the time.

G and Riley are going out for their walk ( a walk I used to participate in) and I will stay home.  Go look for blue hand dyed cottons.  And some browns for Earth.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

One Of The Many Chair Drawings-2008

I have a thing for drawing chairs.  It's like doing Portraits.  Like the chair is a metaphor for a person.
I think I should "return" to drawing chairs.  In my new workbook.

After yesterday's post, I did some research--and writing your worries on paper and offering the paper up to the Moon is a "thing" that people do.  So I did.  I felt a sort of ripple through my body when I first raised the paper with my worries written on it up to the Moon last night.  The Moon was a bit cloudy.  But as soon as I held up the Paper the clouds vanished (Yes, so fast) and the Moon got brighter and had a moving--I don't know- shifting light around it. An Energy.  I think I mentioned that I wanted the Moon to take these worries from me. I held the paper up to the Moon for what felt like a long time and a short time.

And then I torn the paper into very small pieces (you can also bury it or burn the paper) and went to bed.  Fell right to sleep.  No dreams.  No thinking about things that worry me.  No anxiety.  Just sleep. I woke feeling happy.  Peaceful.

I tried to think of the things I wrote on the paper.  They wouldn't come.  Like they are now "blocked". Which is a surprise and a relief.  One of the mysteries of Life.

In an hour I am off to the library to teach Container Vegetable Gardening for the third time in four weeks.  Third Time is the Charm, right?  This is the class we cancelled in March due to a snowstorm.

I used my higher dose inhaler last night and this morning.  I had been coughing.  A sign of breathing problems.  The site of my weekend tick bite is now raised, warm and red so I called and am getting a large, one time dose of doxycycline from my primary care doctor.  Just in case.

Since the library and the grocery store are next door to each other--I'll get my prescription and do my class and get some new books to read--all in one stop. Tomorrow I see my lung doctor.  So, it's all working just the way it should be.  For once.