Saturday, June 30, 2018

UnHappiness Is....Not being Able to Send Pictures To The Blog

Something has happened.  G doesn't know what.  I certainly haven't a clue.  But our phones can't get or send emails.  The Mac here on the desk is still working after yesterday's marathon search for passwords.  Correct and Incorrect.

We are bewildered.  Need a teenager to come fix it all.  Don't have one.

I went to the grocery again.  More beef tip cuts to marinate for kabobs on the grill.  G liked the marinade recipe I got off the internet.  It is tasty.   I also found a large (over 4 pounds) of 80% ground beef at $2.50 off and hurried home to mix the meat into meatballs.  Baked them on a sheet pan @375 for an hour and then into the Le Creuset with two big cans of Trader's Joe's low fat marinara for 2 hours.   When they cool I'll parcel them out into freezer bags of 12.  Nice to have when the cupboard is empty.

The World Cup Soccer was good today.  Not sure if there will be any tomorrow-- it will be a surprise.

We had quite a heavy and sudden thunderstorm yesterday afternoon.  The thunder rolled in.  And then the sky opened.  Tons of water.  Then--poof---sunshine.  This morning we woke to heat and like 100% humidity.  Ick!!!

The tomato plant that looked like a goner a few days ago---the stem got bent in the wind--- and the next day the top of the plant was very wilted.  I didn't have time to pull the plant out--which turned out to have been fortunate as this morning the entire plant was standing tall and looking quite healthy. It's a #6 tomato from my friend Allie.  If I find the tomato chart she printed--I'll know what kind it is. Or I can wait and be surprised.  I think it's a Snow White because I have 2 #6's.  I also have a #5 and a #9.  One is a Cherokee Purple and the other is a Rose Something.  Allie grows amazing tomatoes. I am hired to water them if Allie goes off on adventures.

I do have the miracle recovery tomato tied securely to a nice stick now.  No more bending.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Happiness is ......Two Chairs

What do they see in each other?

I love the upholstered chair with the two eyes and the slightly pouty mouth.  Perhaps disapproval  of the underdressed, bone thin chair to the right?

We (I) had a scare today as I lost my email and my password wouldn't work.  G had blocked someone from "outside" trying to get into our system.  A play/game station of some kind.  It had been happening at odd times over a period of days.  I lost email after G blocked.   Took him most of the afternoon to sort it all out and get me back "in business".   I still haven't gotten a new email--so if you feel like it--send me something.

I woke up and realized I had slept too long and only had enough time to wash my face, brush my teeth, wet my bed hair and get dressed and run to the hairdresser for my haircut.  I had breakfast when I got back home.  Oh, and I did stop at the grocery.  They were out of everything.  I got bread, 2 apples and ice cream for G.  The Summer People are here.  Traffic, crowds everywhere and empty shelves at the grocery on just about any day of the week.

Feels wonderful to have my hair back under control.  It grows so fast in the summer.

I had a jar of Elderberry jelly in the cupboard for my toast this morning. Well, it was rather too late to be morning.  I have tried planting and growing elderberries.  No luck so far.  But I have a few new seedlings in the fingers crossed--perhaps in five years?

Well I am going back to the couch.  Riley is hyperventilating because we've heard a few thunder "rolls" rumbling outside.  There was no mention of thunder in the weather map for today.  Surprise.
We may need to ask the vet for dog tranquilizers.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Happiness Is....found In A Garden

Or a book on Gardening.

Today compost of the best quality fell from the sky.  Rain.  All day.  Soft and steady. Wetting even the driest soil.  I wasn't sad that the sun didn't shine.  I wasn't sad that I had to open the big golf umbrella to go to the box to get the morning paper (with Riley) out by the road.  Stepping around puddles the birds will use to take baths...later when the rain stops and the sun comes back.

Another mad human with a gun.

Someone, somewhere is trying to tell us something about all these guns and all these angry men--using the guns to make themselves feel better--or worse.  Who knows anymore.  I don't.  When will someone listen? Do something? When will America say---enough-- no more.

I'd rather read about a Garden.  Wild flowers. Ferns.  Trees.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Excuse me..Is That Seat Taken?

I am enjoying finding pictures of two chairs--and adding a tag line.  Looked to me like the tall dark chair was interested in the short honey blonde.

I found very fresh pickling cucumbers and a nice fat bunch of dill on my daily run to the grocery.  Also a fat head of garlic (I didn't grow any this year).   Making two quarts of homemade refrigerator pickles.  Old family recipe.  I tinker with it each summer.  Adding vinegar or sugar.  This year I added peppercorns and a bit more sugar.  Peppercorns would not have been in the original recipe.  We never had whole peppercorns in the house when I was growing up.

My mom made jars of these pickles every summer.  We ate them as fast as she made them.  I can remember eating almost everything she made or picked from the garden in the summer.  My dad would stop on the way home from work to buy grocery bags of fresh picked corn on the road by farms.  He also stopped to get my mother buckets of horse manure for her garden.  The car smelled amazing after he got the manure. Not.

I missed the Germany soccer game, I guess.  Right now I have Brazil and Serbia.  There are no listings in the paper of what games are being played when.  But the crowd seems very excited.

My Banana Pudding is good.  That makes me happy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Happiness is...this little work

Handsewn patches made while watching World Cup Soccer.   This was going to be something else (?) and then decided to be a little cow and I am quite enchanted with him or her.

The old cloth in the bordering squares is very soft and fragile--the center commercial batik.  I had started, as I said, with a different end result in mind.  Now--I wish the center was of the same fragility as the borders.  Would be a delightful baby quilt.  Perhaps just a fragment, framed for a baby?  With a blue binding?

Denmark and France are playing soccer right now--World Cup.  It just seems like summer when I have World Cup to watch.  Like "medicine" to keep me out of the deep end of being depressed.  It happens and I have to find ways to move myself out of the path.  With me depression is most often sleeping.  So not self destructive.  The preamble to depression is often reading too much.  Another way to avoid "life".  So, soccer.

My garden boxes are still in good shape.  G has built a fence around the bed with the Joe Eye Weed. Like a fence after the wold has gotten in to the chicken yard.  Joe Pye Weed is reported to be deer resistant.  They aren't supposed to like eating it.  Hilarious.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Happiness is...Everything--like the whole Universe

World Cup Soccer.......... even if it is on FOX.  I love the summers when I get to watch soccer and eat cherries.  And now that they are under $3 a pound I can eat lots of cherries.  In 35 minutes the second soccer game will begin. Iran is playing and they might win it all.

We started the day chilly with clouds.  Then full sun.  Now clouds again.  Now a Riley emergency--he had to go outside to check on something.  Now sun again.

I have made a marinade for some beef tips that were on sale at the grocery yesterday.  The marinade was very tasty so I hope the beef tips will be tasty later today.  I haven't been cooking --not since Christmas.  Well, I have made soup.  Lots of soup.  But I don't think of soup as "cooking".

I was even tempted to buy a huge package of ground beef and make a huge amount of meatballs in marinara.  I usually package them up and freeze.  When there is nothing to eat....there is always a package of meatballs.  I also have tater tots.  I don't know why.  I think I was going to make them in the waffle iron.

I know...the things we see on the internet ...not always good things.

G is out putting up yet another fence--the deer came and ate my Joe Pye Weed in the driveway bed.  Well, they ate two out of three.  I really do not like DEER.   There are 30 acres of green leafy woods behind us.  Lovely green leafy things the deer could be eating.  But they chose to hang out on our driveway and our back yard.  With very little green leafy things.  I try and plant only the items deer do not like to eat.   But.....Joe Pye Weed.   Guess they learned to like it.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Happiness Might Be Grow Boxes

Right now my grow boxes  only have little seedlings in them.  If I am optimistic-- they will look like this some day.  Pessimistic? Then the deer will eat them overnight and I will have nothing. I know deer will eat anything but will they eat Tomatoes???

All ten of the Earth boxes have soil and water and plants in them.  We are trying something new. Last year's garden--out in the backyard --in the raised beds---- didn't amount to very much of anything last Season.  No zucchini.  Hardly any peppers.  Not many tomatoes.   I did okay with berries.  Herbs were good.  But overall--it was pretty miserable.  I don't even know what went wrong.  But as an instructor I can say with some confidence--if the soil is a problem--then nothing will grow very well.
So I need to amending my soil.  With compost.  Cosmic Compost.  I need to find their phone number.

So G decided to try the box system.  See if I could grow things in them.  I am trying very hard to be optimistic.  The Deer --have already eaten all the rose buds off my roses.  And the Joe Eye Weed is now only short bare stalks.  I like living out here in the wild.  I just don't like the wildlife.

I see all the squirrels running around and I am reminded of the guys who made that tv show about duck calls--well, their momma loved squirrel stew--especially the squirrel brains.  Wonder if they might like to come visit.  Do some cooking.  That was a sort of joke--don't start sending hate mail.

Now my carpenters would be happy to take care of the deer.  And that isn't a joke.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Happiness Is Short Lived With Peonies

We wait for them and then---they blow open and look exhausted.

I have a small vase in the entrance hallway.  And I have been cutting whatever is in flower in the yard and putting a small arrangement into the vase every day or two.  Next to the painted Chinese fan and the Foo Dogs. It's still the Year of the Dog.  And G and I are Fire Dogs. Today I selected three, not quite open, buds from three different Peony varieties.  Seemly, ant free.

Riley and G are back from their walk.  Riley is reclined on the rug next to the computer desk.  Cleaning his paws.  Possibly tired from a "good" walk.  Meaning no deer flies biting him.

I have Grow Boxes to fill and plant with Early Girl tomatoes.  And I have those seedlings of squashes and pickling cucumbers to settle into some soil.  The peppers are planted. Some will be red and some a sort of mango yellow when ripe.  They all will be green when they start out.  All the seeds I tried to start in the seed trays were dug up and eaten by the chipmunks living under the deck.  We could trap them--but then what???  Riley is not a deterrent.  A cat would be.

Friday.  Already.  Town will be swamped with vacationing tourists.  I should have driven into Town just after I woke up.  I have done one load of wash and dried another.  Folded and put away.  I am cutting the tags out of my clothes as I wear them--the tags annoy me a great deal.  I am such a Princess.  And on that note---

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Happiness Is Maine Strawberry Season

The rain we had a few weeks ago energized the berries--so our Season is early.  And the berries are sweet.  I am going to make shortcake biscuits today.  (G doesn't eat strawberries or shortcake)

The burgers last night--not so good.  I tried a new patty and we both--didn't like it.  All the toppings were good.  And our disappointing dinner made Dairy Queen mandatory.

Last night I put my $5 (on sale) pork butt in the crockpot (on high) with five cloves and 2 peeled onions and ½ cup of water--(remember I found crockpot recipes in one of the old library book notebooks).  Last time I used the crockpot I had it plugged in on the sunporch (keep smells out of the house) and the meat was not tender as I think the power fluctuated between on/off all night.  So last night I plugged it into an outlet on the kitchen counter.  Tender.  Success.  But smelled pork cooking into the night and morning hours. Perhaps next time I will use an outlet in the garage--make the cars smell like BBQ.

This morning I poured off the juices (let fat rise) and then picked the meat and used my mini cleaver to chop the pork like I had seen on television cooking shows. This is something I hadn't ever done but I think the texture of the finished product will be better. Then I added the defatted meat juices to the chopped pork and poured a bottle of BBQ sauce over and turned the crockpot back on for a few more hours.  Adding back the juices was also new and they moistened the chopped meat and the meat did absorb all the added juices.  So that was a good idea.  G is not sure he wants any. I have mentioned he is a very picky eater--making cooking a real bummer most of the time. He prefers restaurant food to home cooking.  I do not like eating in restaurants more than once a week.

I like the BBQ served on top of a mixed greens salad.  Instead of salad dressing.  I do add a bit of shredded cheese before scooping BBQ on top of the salad.  I'll be adding thin sticks of carrot to the greens, cucumber and tomato and I will be the only one eating the BBQ, I guess.

Southern BBQ places serve a BBQ salad plate.  And my favorites had waiters who all looked like Elvis impersonators.  And they served Banana Pudding.  On one road trip from South Florida to North Carolina our friend Charlie stopped at about 4 BBQ places.  And we drove way off course to an old house that served Fried Chicken.  And only Fried Chicken.  Amazing.  Charlie was also a "traveling man" like G and they got used to eating out all day/everyday.  When Leonard was traveling with us-- we would have stopped at 6 to 8 BBQ places on that same route from Florida to North Carolina.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Happiness Always...The Best Dog Ever!

My Riley.  My First Puppy.  Loving him 24/7/365.  He's over on the rug near the computer-- watching me.  Ready to jump up if I do and go where I go.  Always.

Last night we saw an amazing production of Million Dollar Quartet.  The very best part of it, for me, was the performance of a very young actor, musician who portrayed Jerry Lee Lewis--Great Balls Of Fire.   The actor: Brandyn Day.   His skill on the piano--amazing.  His enthusiasm for the production--outstanding.   I kept my eyes/ears on him throughout.  A 2015 graduate of Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio where I grew up.

Today the library finally had books.  Yippee.  And today was day two of the local strawberry table on the street on drive on.  The price went up--$5.50 per quart but the berries are super sweet.  Delicious.
I always set aside a few fives for my quarts of berries.  Have then handy in the car during strawberry season.  I should make some sweet biscuits to go with the berries.

We're grilling hamburgers for supper tonight.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Happiness is.......What Would Abe Do?

Stop watching all the news.  Can. Not. Stop. Crying. If I happen to catch any news.  Skipped the whole first section of the morning newspaper. Stock market is talks.

So, yesterday, here in Maine it was hot, muggy and sunny and was raining.  Riley had his pheromone drops cause he doesn't like "weather".  Had to turn on the lights cause it was dark at 3pm.

My ordered books were not in yet at the library so I left with a book I may not even read.  It's like the "back up" book.  And today--no library alert regarding books.  Damn.

Local Music Theater tonight.  Million Dollar Quartet.  1950's rock and roll.  The theater will be rocking' as we are all over 65 and this is music we actually are familiar with.  Music Theater is like Assisted Living.  G loves it so I buy him season's tickets for Christmas.  In August they have Singing in the Rain which I LOVE.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Happiness in about 60 days

Right now things are still in pots.  And some little animals of the night have come and feasted on my seed trays.  So.........I had to surrender and go into work to pick up 3 little pots of yellow squash,  3 zucchini and 3 pickling cukes.  Already up and ready to go.  And they looked great.

The "college girls" (how I love them) now know I have a blog and promised to come visit. Hey, Girls!!!   Work is slow and they are all bored--just like I used to be.

And--I surprised G and went and pumped my own gas.  It was a bit confusing and I may have pressed buttons I shouldn't have...but I got gas.  The other purchasers of gas were all men and then were giving me looks like "should I go over and offer assistance?"  But then we were all smiles as the gas went into the tank.  Finally.

I also went to the grocery and they actually had--pushed way back on the shelf--the chunk of Boston Butt I needed to make crock pot pulled pork.  And it was almost free.  Five dollars. I also got frozen burgers so we can have grilled burgers for supper.  It's going to be wonderful this week.  Good things to eat.

My grocery also had Persian cukes on sale and I think I will be making cucumber, lemon, mint water to drink on hot days--coming up. G got the big AC unit into the window in the dining room and that cools off the entire house, pretty much.  Kitchen, living room, dining room and hall.  We have another small one for the bedroom but it required too much work and he was already worn out.

That's it.  I am going to sit here at the desk to keep the dog from wandering around.  Would be nice if Riley took a nap.  The hot, muggy air makes it hard for him to breathe.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happiness Would Be... Owning these black shoes and those socks!!

Here from Food 52.   The shoes and the socks.  The rolled cuff jeans.  Love.  Love.  Love.

Have a wonderful Father's Day!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Happiness is....Summer Colored Squares

Yummy melon pinks and golden yellow.  Any day now the Native Strawberry Stand will be set up along the Road.  The Road I travel any time I want to go from home to anywhere else.  The two gals (and grandchildren) set up a table and chairs and the umbrella.  Selling baskets of ruby red berries that they all picked that morning.  They read, do crafts or just sit and talk. I asked and they joyfully admitted to looking forward to the lazy afternoons under the umbrella by the roadside.  Living slow.

I splurged on a bag of sweet dark cherries at the grocery.  $13.  G and I will enjoy them later in the afternoon in white bowls while sitting under the fan.  It's going to be HOT today.  Finally. And I also have a small basketball sized watermelon chilling in the fridge. Aqua Fresca.

Yesterday afternoon I made a big pot of sausage and mushroom marinara for G.  It was so chilly in the house I had a long Winter sweater on over my summer shirt.  And then this morning, hot sunshine.  Good thing I didn't make a big pot of soup also.  How quickly the weather changes.

We have stopped watching the NEWS completely.  It all makes me cry.  Actually, sob.  And then to listen to  Jeff Sessions.  What has happened to America?  What happened to "give us your tired and poor"? Immigrants built America and made it great.  Not rich white men.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Happiness Is.... A New Chair And Chopped Salad

This chair model is from a magazine layout.  So, only this view of the chair and not it's whole self. I like the legs.  Because I think I got them right.

Yesterday was a sort of chilly and rainy day.  I should have had a sweater with me for the quick visit to the grocery.  I forget how cold they keep it in the summer.  I needed supplies for my "chopped salads".   I try and have one every day or at least every other day.  I haven't begun to make smoothies yet.  Needs to be hot summer for them.   I got a yellow bell pepper (red last time), more radishes, 2 apples, a bag of carrots and two scoops of raw pecans at the bulk section. I know a real chopped salad includes cheese and meat.  But I don't really want to go that way.  I may add more seeds (pumpkin) and dried fruit (cranberries) to the mix as time goes on.  And, as much as I hate the thought--I may dice up a fresh from the garden summer squash or some cherry tomatoes as Summer heats up.  I think they will make the salad less crunchy and more mushy.  We'll find out.

The Tomato and Pepper seedling wagon is looking very good.  Covered in pollen but everything is right now and staying outside overnight for the past few days to harden off.  I started two flats of seeds for squash (three kinds), cucumbers and something else.  Can't remember what and don't want to walk out to the tent to look.

I also can't believe it's Friday.  The entire week has just whooshed past like a freight train. G has had a number of doctor's appointments.  That's about it.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happiness is.....Orchids In Bloom

My south facing window.  Just now.  Cloudy.  But almost every one of the orchids is in blossom.  It's like a small carnival.  I did something right!!!

I spent time just before starting this post, getting rid of old photos in the picture file.  House keeping. I think that might be what I do today.  I woke up tired.  Too many dreams. And now, too many thoughts.

The deer came-at some point--and chewed all the rose stems out in the garden bed.  The stems that held flower buds.  Gone.  There is so much for them to eat in the woods--which are almost 100% green with fresh leaves.  But they come up and into the landscaping and eat my carefully tended roses.  Another year with no roses.

Clouds.  We have vague promises of a light rain.   But definitely mosquitos.

G had the soaker hoses going in the vegetable garden yesterday as he weeded the paths.  Soaked the blueberry bushes and the rhubarb patch. I watered the grapes heavily when I was down there the day before.  He pulled up three cart loads of weeds and rogue raspberry canes.  The cart is pulled into the woods by the lawn tractor.  Used to haul things and only rarely to mow things.

The pepper plants and the tomato seedlings are in the wagon, in the back yard.  I just ran out to check to see if the deer had eaten them over night.  We have a canopy over them and sheets of shade cloth waving in any breezes.  Enough, I guess, to keep the deer away.  I tie small rocks into the corners of the cloth.  To hold it down--not much but enough.  Enough to make the deer shy away as it ripples in the breezes.  Foil pie tins on long string works to give deer second thoughts.  Flying and flashing in any breezes.  

I was reminded of driving through Pennsylvania on our way to visit my dad in Ohio.  And the deer on the highways.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Happiness Is.......Eyes

I saw this in a very old Threads magazine.  1980's  And I absolutely WANT to Paint Eyes on one of my shirts now.  The Grocery Store People will love it.  I can make the eyelids a big more red to match the frames on my glasses.  Eyes.  My own--- are a very big thing this year.  Getting my vision correctly balanced.  Being able to READ BOOKS. Sigh, I was on the verge of deep depression regarding my vision.  Seeing is everything to me.  And now things are good.

I was out and about today--earlier than usual for me.  Post office (box for you Connie), library for more brainless summer reading-- Nancy Thayer and her Nantucket books.  There is something to be said for brainless summer reading-- it's like taking a tranquilizer.  Then the grocery store.  For laundry detergent.  I am washing 2 to 3 loads a day.  Mostly shirts and tees.  Towels.  Gardening is dirty work. (G and I got very dirty yesterday afternoon root pruning the old Fig Tree). Then the bank.

I decided to take back the money I earned at the greenhouse.  It gets auto deposited in the joint account--for some reason--and it actually should have gone into my checking account.  It was only the last two deposits (15 hours work) and when the new young summer teller asked if I wanted all 20's I said--" a nice mix of 20's, 10's and 5's, please".  Which took a lonnnng time to figure out.  I mentioned this to G and he just laughed at me.  But the mix the teller gave me was very evenly balanced for which I was very thankful.

I came home from the grocery with a mini watermelon and two avocados.  I had considered the red plums but they are often pretty to look at but not to eat.   Oh, I did get two jugs of detergent. I didn't forget like last time.

It's supposed to rain today.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Happiness Is.... A Work In Progress

I "borrowed" this image and would like to make it happen in my own bedroom or at least in the guest bedroom at the end of the long hall.  To see the stacked pillows and smooth white bedcover would be very Zen in a sometimes cluttered Life. And I walk down that long hall many times in one day.

I have the perfect fabrics for the large bolster pillow and the smaller ticking and barkcloth pillow. And I could arrange a few of my fabric "pages" or drawings on the facing wall.  I'll skip the ladder. But will need to remove the last bits of wallpaper and wallpaper trim from that bedroom.  And someday the room will need to be patched and painted.  Some of the papers stuck fast to the drywall.

The sun is shining.  Yesterday I hooked up the water to the garden and, as Grace often says, "gave water" to the plants.  The soil was dry and in some beds, even repelled the water.  Meaning the water rolled off the surface of the garden.  Didn't soak in.  More organic matter is needed.  I will take the wagon down to the composted leaf pile and shovel compost into the wagon and then up the hill to the garden.  That might be all I can manage in one day.  I am feeling my Age.

The soil is and always has been very sandy. It's what I started with so many years ago.  Acidic inorganic sand.  According to my Master Gardener soil surveys--the absolute worst soil.  I add compost each year and it disappears.  I think I am "winning" but that is only wishful thinking.  I think we will have to start collecting used coffee grounds from Starbucks again.  By the bucket full. Or I will have to start sifting compost from the three filled bins.  None of it sounding like something I want to be doing.

But after any of it:  the new shower and hot water and soap.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Happiness Is...Finding A Prince

But more likely finding a frog.  This image was in my emails yesterday from  A Way To Garden.  We didn't find a frog in our garden--just a chipmunk in the French watering can.  He got in but couldn't get out.  And the can was half full of water......... sad.

G and I pulled masses of heavily rooted Lily Of The Valley out of the front bed--where it was choking out all of the other plants (Wu Peng).  We had shovels, picks and garden knives.  And when we were exhausted (but there was still more LofTV) we gave up for the day, cleared the scene of debris and went inside for showers, clean clothing and the "tick check".   Not a day goes by without finding a tick on ourselves.

I had wanted to get my pepper seedlings into the garden.  Well, the garden is ugly.  What a mess. I did what I could and then gave up and went to dig in the front bed.  I am so angry and disappointed in myself.  I usually put the garden "to bed" in such a neat, orderly fashion--ready for planting.  I didn't and the resulting disappointment is my own fault.  Getting old.  Getting tired. Getting sloppy. I'll blame it all on the asthma.  I was probably struggling with my breathing.

The herb bed that I worked on last Spring is still in good shape.  I just had to set my new basil plants in.  Weed a tiny bit.  I have dill, parsley and oregano seedlings to plant today in the little rectangles I made with pavers as edging.  I was reminded of carrying the pavers down to the garden two at a time (heavy) and then the bags of lobster compost (yes, Maine) getting the little areas fed, weeded and mixed.  Then planted.  It's nice to go down there while making dinner and clip a handful of chives or basil or mint.  This year I'll have parsley there as well.

Right now the bed of arugula (which self seeded itself) is ready for a few big salads or brusetta.  It goes by pretty quickly when it gets hot in July.

The grape vines have lots of baby grapes set.  The blueberries have tons of baby berries.  The rhubarb needs a good watering and some manure.  The Queen of Plums has bitty little plum babies.  One of the peach trees has peaches.  The other--none.  It only had one flower.  So there will be fruit.  The newly pruned and renovated blackberry bramble may or may not have berries  I haven't inspected it as yet.  The strawberry bed in the garden has many flowers.  But the chipmunks may eat the ripe berries before I get to them.

There may not be peppers or tomatoes but there will be berries and fruit.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Happiness Is--Sometimes Not Getting It Right

This view is not mine.  Mine is more weedy.  Too many Lilies of the Valley choking all the other plants.  Once there were only a few lilies.  Then there were enough.  Then there were too many.

G is constructing the Deer Fence around my hostas.  Stakes pounded in and now chicken wire stapled to it.  We are making sure the neighbor across the street can't see this chicken wire "fence" as she will begin to hyperventilate over "lowered property values" etc.  I've lived here 27 years.  Property values haven't moved much in these many years.  It's Maine.  Who in their right mind wants to live here????
Visit, yes.  Live, no.  We don't even have an Outback Steakhouse.

The "thought to be dead" citrus tree is producing leaves.  The "thought to be dead" fig tree is producing leaves, but at a much slower rate than the citrus.  The "thought to be dead (because they never got planted) Hosta" from our shopping trip to Lowes last Spring, are also alive and looking better than they did when we purchased them.  It's all a miracle.

Sometimes doing nothing--works.

I read a book yesterday. "How to Find Love in a Bookstore".  British so you might need help with the vocabulary (I gave up on some words).  Made me cry several times.  Nothing much happens and then it's Christmas.  It's just people being people and then, at the end, it works itself out,  In fact, I'd love to see this as a PBS mini series.

Gardening today.  Can't procrastinate any longer.  It's mostly the mosquitos I don't like.  And found another tick on myself last evening.  I look forward to summer all year and now with all the itchy caterpillars, ticks and mosquitos--the FUN has certainly gone out of summer.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Happiness Is......A Sunny Saturday

And a new chair drawing.  This one gave me tons of problems so I decided to do something wildly NEW --draw in pencil first so I could actually get the proportions of this chair--sort of right-- and erase lines when they didn't meet in the right places. Then go over the pencil lines with my brush pen.

The legs and the curve and perspective were a bit too much for me to match up into a good line drawing.  But I like this.  Looks like a Smile Chair.

Yesterday was "change the sheets and do laundry" day.  Time consuming.  The bed making, the clothes folding, the putting it all away.  And it all takes longer since I do the "Spark Joy" special folding of it all.   But, when all is said and done--I love how all the specially folded tee shirts, undies, dishtowels look lined up and folded in the drawers.  Virgo.

We're grilling kabobs today.  G has steak ones and I got a box of baby mushrooms, a red bell pepper, some cherry tomatoes and a red onion for my kabobs.  I should have gotten a green pepper for contrast but I didn't.  I refused to buy a zucchini.  Too early for that.  We'll have rice with the kabobs.
The grilled cherry tomatoes will be nice and squishy with the rice.

And I forgot.....AGAIN....that I need detergent for washing clothes.

But I did stop to watch the gals frosting cakes in the bakery department.  Wow did that look like a fun job.  So much frosting.  Big gigantic TUBS of it.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Happiness Is....Fugitive

That's an art reference.  Some painting pigments are fugitive.  Meaning they fade and disappear.

Friends have been fugitive.  Fading and then disappearing.  Memories.  Also fade and disappear. It's hard to remember things and then there are other memories I wish I could forget.  Forgive.

I went shopping at my former place of work. I wish I had been quick enough to take pictures of all the smiling faces that came to say hello--the college kids back at work for the summer.

I bought herbs and vegetables. Pepper plants that seemed so full of growing.  Even to having fruiting buds already promising peppers to any who stopped and looked.  And small herbal marigolds--Gems--to plant with the tomatoes.  Seven growing in one tight fiber pot.  I used a sharp knife to cut the root ball and then gently wiggled each stem free and set each into it's own pot of good soil.  Until it's time to plant in the garden.  Waiting on the Moon.

Another herb pot of borage to plant with the strawberries.  Again cutting the root ball and gently wiggling the stems apart.  Five plants. Borage tastes like cucumber.  The flowers a pretty blue.

I bought a dozen leeks.  Tall and dark green and strong.  Wondering if I want to blanch them--to have the white root as they grow all summer.

G spent yesterday cutting flat old boards into stakes.  To surround the front perennial bed which contains Hosta--deer food.   G says to me  "guess who was on the front lawn this morning?"  Deer. Probably got the "last call" message and came to eat.  The chicken wire will be fastened to the stakes today--after the daily dog walk.   This is what it's like living outside the Town on acres instead of lots.

Wild animals eating your flowers, critters setting up housekeeping in your attics or the engines of your cars. Deer-always. Raccoons.  Fishers.  Porcupines.  Wild Turkeys. Sometimes. And more squirrels than I have even seen in my life.  

I am going out to check the Hostas--They might also be fugitive.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Happiness Is--Being True To Yourself

No hiding behind a "public mask".

The blog world involves lots of public/private deception.   Here, we can be who we wish we were instead of who we actually are.  I know that sentence structure is incorrect.

I am an introvert who likes people.  Go figure.  But on my own terms and not all the time. So the internet is something I like.  I was quite lonely before the internet was invented.

I have ONE more Jude Deveraux book to read.  The last of the 40 books she has written.  If I go into a depression after finishing that last book today (one a day--like vitamins), I have decided (after discussion with myself) to start over and read some of my favorite ones again.  And yes, I can read a 392 page book in one afternoon and evening.  I could also open the cupboards under the bookcases and read thru some of the many romances stored there--like emergency rations-- but when I do that I am usually depressed.  I also have a book on the computer I can read but not for as many hours.  Hard on my eyes.

I managed to stay on task yesterday and pot up my outdoor containers.  Now the plant wagon only has tomato and pepper plants in it.  Another cool and cloudy day here in Maine.  I have the lights on here in the house at noon.

I went up into the Attic a few minutes before starting this post--to look for tulle.  A gardening hint mentioned tulle being a good, light deer protection for container/edible plants.  I found the tulle and also found all the silk remnants I had though were lost.  I love how that happens.  Finding something you thought was lost by looking for something quite different.  The Attic.  One amazing/magical place.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Happiness Is--Anything dyed By Deb Lacativa

Especially today.  Another dark cold June day.  Excuse the bits of thread.  I hadn't realized they were there.  The actual bit of cloth is 5 by 3 inches.  The dye colors just glow.  I think of this small cloth as a talisman of sorts.

Yesterday was a very good day.  A visit with my Tomato Growing Guru.  Then a visit to a library friend to see what's a weed and what's not a weed in her perennial beds.  Then off to my former place of employment to buy some plants.  I ended up getting two glow in the dark geraniums that match the glowing magenta in Deb's cloth.   Going to plant them with some variegated but colorful tiny petunias and blue lobelia.

I also purchased some triple phosphate and will be dosing some malingering hydrangea.

I have squares cut.  I have been trying to do work that resembles SpiritCloth but am now realizing--it's not who I am.  Colorwise.  I need to start sewing with more colors.  Brighter.  Vibrant.  I think I may be done with the antique whites and dull beiges.

And I am going to bake a pie today.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Happiness Is--Two Chairs In Hope Of Company

From ArtPropelled

I like the composition here of the blocks of color from walls and floor and then the chairs.  This will be difficult to do in my journal but perhaps I can paste different rectangles of colored paper on the surface first and then draw?   Makes me interested in getting started on this project.

It continues to be cold, dark and wet here in Maine.  I am complaining only as far as having to dig in the closet for the Winter corduroy pants and a thermal long sleeved tee.  The socks were available in the sock basket.  I am "just" warm enough.  But I am, on the edge, of thinking that turning on the furnace heat would be nice.  I think it's in the high 50's outside.  My seedlings are safe in the garage. The door is open but they aren't in total chilling weather and the doors are closed overnight.

At 2 pm I am going out to visit two gardening friends.  One house to discuss weeds and future perennial plantings and the second to pick up a few additional tomato seedlings (orphans).  Snow White Cherry Tomatoes.  I adore them.  I may drive further, to where I used to work, and buy a few things I need for my large containers.  Tall, central plants.  I have no idea what that might be.  I will attempt to "surprise" myself with what I choose.  Or don't choose.  They might not have anything I want.  Or I might do the visits backwards and visit my former workplace first.

I watched a video this morning on printing with a gel plate.  I really MUST order one of those.  The artist did things with string and rubber bands and deli paper that had me quite on the edge of my rolling chair with excitement.  Nearly scooted myself onto the floor--- under the desk.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Happiness Is--What Might Have Been

I loved Ceramics class back in the days when I was in college.  Turning the lump of wet clay into something.  I never really tried hard enough.  What was going on in my head prevented me from actually doing much of anything.  Depression is vengeful.  I slept entire days.  Missing classes. Even forgetting what classes I was taking.

I even dream of making bowls.  It's one of my favorite dreams.

When I saw this image on ArtPropelled I stopped.......and my mind wandered to "what could have been".   If I had been treated or medicated.  But I don't think doctors did that then.  In the 60's.  I think they locked people up in the mental hospitals that were later closed by Reagan.

And--none of that has anything to do with Happiness.

So, it's dark, cold and raining here in Maine even though the weather map doesn't show rain over us.  Riley and G have bundled up and gone for their walk.  I went out early to the post office and library and ....right now I think I need my sweater and some socks.  

I'm going to read--sew--read---sew.  And that's my day.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Happiness Is--Scribbling

Remember when Zentangles was "in"?  Perhaps it still is and has just escaped the blog world.  I hated the regulatory stance of Zentangles.  I liked just making it up as I went.  And that's what all this was.  Just making stuff up.  I think adult coloring books are in right now--or just on the cusp of not being "something" people do. We humans get bored.

I had a pretty boring Saturday but today was very nice.  I pulled some weeds.  Pruned something.  Planted little flowers into a planter on my back deck and hope no deer come over and eat it tonight.

The plum tree has tiny little fruits.  The blueberry bushes have buds.  The pruned blackberries look like they were happy to have the spot to themselves now.  The rhubarb could use some rain.  The grapes have pink shoots and buds which I think is a good thing. Even the very shy Beach Plums have decided to try and make some plums. Fruitful.  Now I just have to wait.

G cooked his dinner on the grill today.  I hadn't planned ahead to have any vegetables to grill for myself.  I am kind of on the fence about what I will eat now that we are grilling.  I'm thinking a good solution would be a burger.  No bun.  What do they call that in California? --Animal Style.  Wrapped in lettuce.  I have everything to make tuna salad with lots of chopped celery and onion.  We'll see. I could revert to vegetable skewers.

So--okay.  Not much to say.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Happiness is.......Sunshine and Cool Breezes

I really like this chair.  Tall and leggy.   And the design here worked.  A combo of pen and pencil.

The Botanist hauled the two figs and the ficus down the stairs and out to the asphalt in front to the garage.  Watered. Watered. Watered.  He has determined that all the trees are "green" and therefore alive (even though none of them has leaves).  He is usually correct. I remain--on the fence.

I checked my herbs and some animal has eaten half the Parsley plants.  I am not happy.

We did order pizza yesterday and it was delicious.  I even took a chance on a Caesar Salad and hoped the Romaine was safe to eat.  Portland Pie makes great Caesar dressing.

I found a "better" book list of the series I am reading and ordered the three books I didn't know about. they are coming by library loan so--perhaps by Wednesday.  I read a great one (#6) early in the week and last night finished book #2 (series of 9) and I reluctantly found it good.  Not great.

I am planting up our three large display pots today.  One for the back deck and the other two for the front walk.  The big ficus is on the front porch.  All my vintage geraniums got left out over the Winter and died.  So, only one geranium. New.  A pale pink.  I am hoping to get a pot of dahlia (Park Princess) if I am lucky.  My vintage dahlia also were left out to freeze to death.

One of the two peach trees had dozens of blossoms.  The second had ONE blossom.  Last year it had one peach.  The Queen of Plums had tons of blossoms.  The Beach Plums had tons of blossoms. The grapes are sending up shoots.  The Blueberry bushes are covered in buds.  The raspberries have sent up shoots all over the vegetable garden.  Like weeds.  No shoots where they are planted--of course.

Gardening today and then a nice cold gin and tonic in the afternoon.  Large glass.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Happiness Is..... Connie's Chair

This was my third attempt. person, the design on the chair looks great.  Here, it looks like the cat threw up.  Connie's chair has a floral print which I wanted to add.  Perhaps in light pencil and no ink?  I was watching the news and getting pretty upset at the Time.  And I intend to try and try again until I get it right.

I have about 5 to 10 photos of additional chairs for the month of June.  Happiness Month.  Everything is just so fresh and perky.  July tends to be fruitful.  And August.......ick.

Skies here in Maine are overcast and cloudy.  Rain is supposed to happen at a 39% probability in a few hours.  G and I are going to try and get the fig trees out of the Attic where they over Wintered. I think both are dead.  But G is always optimistic and says--they still need to be gotten out of the Attic.
I think they also need to be moved to larger pots or root pruned.  Time will tell.

So there's that on the agenda.  Pizza to purchase for late lunch which will back both G and I happy.  When I don't work we tend to eat the main meal of the day around 3 or 4 pm.  Or we eat ice cream at that time and then pick at leftovers in the fridge later.

I am also going to try and clean out the rubbish from the window boxes that belong to the shed out back and try and get new soil in them and some perky little petunias--also some moisture granules.  The shed boxes didn't get watered every day last Summer and suffered a great deal. Also try and get one of the large containers planted with flowers---out by the back deck I think, so the Local Deer don't eat all the flowers this Summer (as they did last Summer).

My Tomato Seedlings are growing nicely in the Garden Wagon.  About 3X as tall as they were when I purchased them in a 12 pack.  I never put my tomatoes into the ground until mid June.  And this year I think they will be planted in GrowBoxes.  Just because G bought the boxes for me and I must use them because, well......Happy Husband, Happy Life.