Friday, August 31, 2018
Image from Art Propelled
Circles. They could be my "spirit image". Some like squares. I like squares. Orderly. But a circle in a square. Yes, please. And in this image--a Nine.
The Moon is a Circle visible at night
No clouds to cover it's bright face
sending me dreams that are confusing
awakening things I have thought long dead.
Wants and desires not filled or found
Feeling more empty in Moon light
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Green Beans. I am thinking some of you didn't think there would be Time for those late planted seeds to grow into green beans. But there was plenty of Time. And here they are in August. I have picked just the first ones. Plenty more tiny ones and lots of flowers promising more in September.
The Tree Service Guys are circling G's old 2003 Toyota truck. They want it. We find them standing and walking around and looking. I yelled over to them yesterday as I walked to the street to collect the mail--"you looking at that old truck?" "yes, Mam and we might want to buy it"
We aren't saying anything. Using their interest to get them to do a good job. (laughing)
G went out on a delivery yesterday and on the way back his 2 year old Jeep Cherokee (10K on it) had some red lights going on the dashboard and the rpm's went flat. Lucky for us, he bought local and the Jeep is now sitting at the Dealer, waiting in line to see what went wrong. We have a loaner with 250,000 miles on it. Riley was riding shotgun and refused to get into the loaner. Wasn't "his" car.
Rained here overnight making the mosquitos happy. The Moon woke me up last night, shining into the window and lighting up the room. High above the tree line. Hot and humid again.
I decided to add another strip (or two) of squares to the top and bottom edges of my squares project. Pale yellow linen (from Goodwill pants I took apart) in the majority. There are some random squares from the same pants already in the piece. Feels right. Summer Sunshine. I'll handcut the squares. No ruler. No rotary blade. Old School. I gave up, half way, on matching seams. Some squares went in wrong side up with the quarter inch face up. I like hand piecing but I like machine seams best of all on larger things. Machine seams and spray starch. But hand cut squares. Imperfectly perfect.
I didn't have a Tomato Sandwich yesterday. Don't exactly know why not. But my supper was a bowl of hand made granola with dark chocolate chips and whipped cream mixed in to moisturize the granola. Slow food. Takes time to chew. Lots of nuts and seeds.
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Bacon. Lettuce. Tomato. That about sums it up!
Humidity here in Maine is keeping me indoors. I go out for a short periods of time to pick ripe tomatoes and give water if necessary. Nothing to strenuous. Mosquitos still attacking my ankles.
Tree Guys here early this morning before 7am. The Heat. They need to start early so they can be finished early. They are chipping branches G has cut and piled up. Then they will use the big lawn mower type machine to cut the heavy brush, weeds, grass and small saplings of junk trees. Later they will remove any White Pine they find on the property. A useless tree. I think, when managed and pruned, in the Olden Days, the White Pine was used for masts on the big ships that sailed out of Maine harbors. Later for power poles. Now they block the Sun. And are not cut and not used for anything. Pine is not a good burning wood for heating homes. Resin.
In the far back of our property, the Pines have created a dense BLACK wall. No light. We look out back and see nothing but BLACK. I have gotten so--I don't like to even sit out back and look at the blackness.
We are hoping the removal of most of the White Pines will "open" the woods in the back. Make it look less forbidding. Less Black.
Riley is suggesting I feed him his lunch a bit early. He did eat breakfast at 5:30.
Monday, August 27, 2018
Tomato Days. They are coming in now. Changing color. The Snow White Cherries are not as deeply green anymore. We had sliced ripe red tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil for supper last night. And the last of the Peach Pie for dessert.
Maine --and most of the US--will be having high humidity and high heat fro the next three days. I walked around Maine Street in my Town today with my friend. We stopped and had iced coffee and a chat and we also stopped to sit on a bench and enjoyed a nice cool breeze as we watched traffic go by. Not too many walkers. It was good for me to talk with an actual human in person.
I did some plant based dyeing yesterday. Getting mostly yellow again. So those cloths are drying and will be over dyed with something deeper. Darker. With spots and splotches. Yellow isn't my favorite color. Dirty brown and beige are more what I am looking for--with stains and veins and shadows.
I am in a reflective Mood. Wanting to be a better person. A better artist. A better friend. A better witness to my life. I am OPEN to change. OPEN to improvement. Eyes, hands, heart and mind.
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Circles and Crows and Eyes. Always with me. The Moon will be Full tomorrow. I can feel it.
Shopping at a greenhouse for plants today with my daughter. Unexpected. But that's the best way isn't it. To just jump out of bed, get dressed and go--finding breakfast on the way.
I breaded my eggplant just a few minutes ago, but wanted to come talk to you before starting the frying of them. I think I might also have my daily tomato sandwich before starting the frying. It's all pretty much off schedule but who cares, huh?
I wasn't sure I would be able to see the full moon. The trees and clouds have blocked my view for three months in a row. So, I went out with my tarot cards and my letter to the Moon last night. I had a limited amount of time. When I went back an hour or more later--the Moon was behind the trees. I will try again tonight. Eight of Wands.
It must have worked--what had been troubling my sleep--did not.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
The Peach Pie is cooling on the counter. I didn't go for lattice on the top. I wanted to but....the crust dough felt a bit too "flaky" meaning I had made it with a "light" hand. But I did brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar crystals. And--let's give me applause---I followed the recipes for filling and crust to the letter. Which I can report---works much better than not following directions.
I think things would have been easier still, if I had weighed the cups of flour on my scale. King Arthur seems to weigh heavy. 4 ounces per cup. I scooped. The scale is the way to go.
Since the oven was already HOT, I shoved a tray of cherry tomatoes (sun gold) in to roast with a drizzle of olive oil. I use them for a very pectin creamy pasta. I like it--no one else does. So I make it and pack it into a container and eat it when I want it. Because I am the only one cooking around here.
I still have that eggplant releasing water in the vestibule fridge. I will get it fried. After my porch visit.
The sun is shining and we're in the 70's. A nice day. Riley finally ate his breakfast at 1pm and was finally allowed to go on his morning walk. I think older dogs lose their taste for food. Or they forget they have food. But Riley sure can locate the neighbor's compost heap---she's a doctor and thinks hot dogs go into the compost. Guess what happens after he eats them?
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
I found this image on one of the cooking blogs I read. My own set of these bowls isn't as "shiny" and never was. But they have been in use continuously since the early 1980's.
My dear friend Monika and I were on one of the frequent Women's Club of the Taunus (outside Frankfurt) bus trips in Germany. We'd get on the bus early in the morning with a packed lunch (others brought wine) and drove off in search of "bargains" or "treasures" or just wanted to get away for the day. These bus trips had/have filled my cupboards with beautiful discounted Villeroy & Boch and Heinrich china in at least three different patterns. Crystal glassware. German Christmas nutcrackers. And Monika and I each purchased a set of these bowls.
The very largest one is usually called into service at Thanksgiving to mix up the stuffing. The smallest for salad dressing. I saw this photo and had to write about my bowls. Such a simple thing but it brought back memories of a really important part of my life. I became ME in those 6 years. The person writing to you right now.
I was thrown into a foreign country with a 10 year old and a 12 year old (who cried herself to sleep each and every night for a year or more). I had very little German (most left over from 3rd and 4th grade). But I needed food, school supplies and dry cleaning for a traveling husband. I had to push past my fear (mostly) and "get it done" and learn to drive a 500 series BMW. We lived "on the economy" not like the military with their American everything. I had packed enough American food to last 6 months (I thought) and had the things my kids wanted most. American cereal, Kraft mac and cheese, Taco mix, brownie and cake mixes, chocolate chips for cookies and American books and clothing. And our American cat.
No internet. No satellite TV. No Amazon for ordering books. No newspaper (until I found the International Tribune). And I had to apologize for Ronald Reagan endlessly.
I had to leave America behind and find my way in Germany. And, well.... when I returned to the States 6 years later--I was told I was a really great German (and that was not a positive comment). I had brought my German ideas home with me. Which was really quite funny. But true. I still abide by German standards of housekeeping, ironing and recycling etc to this day. And I miss Germany most of all at Christmas.
And I have my china, crystal and nutcrackers. And my set of bowls. To remind me.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
I waited until late afternoon to write to you. I woke up late and then, well, it took awhile to get going. Going. Grace says that. Not that I managed to get up to any speed here today. I washed a few windows. Watered my plants. Ate my daily tomato sandwich over the sink. I am enjoying my sandwiches. Bread, mayo, thick slices of tomato and salt. The bread has to be the soft squishy kind.
I read another book. Florida this time. Remembering when I lived there. Three years. Snakes, bugs, toads and ringworm. Delicious tomatoes. Most of the men my husband worked with were in the midst of divorcing their wives....just like in the book..... "they just wanted to have fun". And then they married the young women.....and had wives again. Laughing.
I've decided not to make a peach cobbler. Tomorrow I will bake a Peach Pie. I may even do the crust like the one in the picture. I do have pretty good pastry skills--a bit (or more) rusty but I think I can pull it off. The old wedding present cookbooks from the 1960's have really good pie recipes.
The Tree Guy has been here. He's going to cut down a few more white pine trees and brush cut the back acres (and some parts of the side yard) for a couple of days. I mentioned we should just have him on a regular schedule. He said he'd just like to have work. I'd like more open space and less woods.
When we moved here the trees were 26 years younger and shorter. Now they block the Sun and the Moon and the Stars. I wish I lived closer to the sky. Further from the forest.
Monday, August 20, 2018
Slow day yesterday. August. Goodwill was quiet. I found two pairs of vintage LLBean pants. In a woven pattern. One red and cream or green and cream. The same but different color ways. I guess someone was cleaning out the closet. One dollar each. Linen and cotton. What I liked most--they were well made. The way LLBean used to be before everything was sent off to Asia to be sewn in sweat shops.
I bought peaches. They are ripening on the counter. I also bought local farm raised eggplant. Peeled and sliced thin (I have excellent knife skills), salted and soon to be dipped in flour, egg, crumbs and fried. I eat the fried slices cold from the fridge. I also cut and peeled a very small watermelon. I have Italian prune plums in a blue and white striped bowl (from another Goodwill Sunday). My parents and grandparents always had prune plum trees. I was reminded of summer evenings on the front porch swing--eating plums. My grandmother used them to bake plum kuchen. It was good.
The chipmunks are eating my tomatoes. I pull the ruined tomatoes and toss them into the woods. They can finish eating them out there. We'll have to cover the plants with netting-- and deal with the chipmunks that get caught in it. I used to think they were cute.
I must have been feeling emotion-filled yesterday. My book kept bringing me to tears. Usually this happens when I feel overwhelmed or am overtired. The Moon. I am hoping there is no cloud cover this time. It's been three months since I've been able to see the full moon. I have thoughts to share with the Moon--another paper. It all weighs on me.
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Riley is standing here.....wanting to be a part of what I am doing. So a picture of Riley--his muzzle white with the years. 89 pounds. Down from 98 on his recent Vet visit to have his nails trimmed. He was trotting out by the tomato boxes this morning--still a handsome gait. The sweetest dog at 4 months and now at 11 years. Whatcha doin?
Reading Mary Kay Andrews. Sweet (makes my teeth ache) Southern books. Watching Hallmark summer movies (wish they'd let me proof the film before they show it-would that be a job I could apply for?). Just trying to get thru days of boredom, heat and humidity. Even making and drinking Sweet Tea. I did live and love in the South for 6 of my formative years as a wife and mother. Reading these books makes me want to go back. Live there again. Even though it's humid and oh so hot.
Instead--peaches on sale at the grocery so I will be making a Southern Peach Cobbler later this afternoon. I did eat a juicy tomato sandwich (over the sink) yesterday for lunch and plan to eat another today, tomorrow and the day after. I have pulled pork in the freezer if I want a BBQ pork salad. All these much loved foods---from those 6 years. And biscuits.
What I really am dreaming about is the soft, almost threadbare, flowered summer house dresses of the South. Like my linen camp shirts but with a skirt. Bare legs. Bare feet. Clothing that floats around your body.
Well, it's Goodwill day. If only the "boys" here would get on with it. Pokey. Slow to wake up and stay awake......G is just finishing his breakfast. At almost half past 11.
Saturday, August 18, 2018
A new chair image. I like it's "welcoming" look with arms open. There is even a smile there. Shy, perhaps. I am always on the look out for a chair that has something to say.
I'll be drawing this one in to my sketchbook. I just wish I could post drawn pictures here. But now I don't even have my phone anymore. It's with my daughter because she needed it for work--having lost her company provided phone.
Anyway. I guess it rained pretty good over night. And we are getting a bit of broken sunshine on the south side of the house. Found three "too Big" cucumbers on my plants. One ripe enough tomato. The #4 and #5 tomatoes have very large green tomatoes on them---Cherokee and Rose something. Heirloom tomatoes from my friend Allie. She tags them by number not name so she can re-use the tags from year to year. I also have several #6's--Snow White cherry tomatoes.
We just got offered two more tickets to Singing In The Rain. For Wednesday. You can't make up this stuff!!! The Universe is sending us a message. Start Singing!!
Maine PBS is running another week of endless "send us money and we'll send you crappy books and CD's" and so we'll not be watching any PBS--again for the next 7 to 10 days. Amazon Prime has everything PBS shows--right now 24/7/365. It might be time for us to go there.
Friday, August 17, 2018
A Truly Wonder-Filled Day, yesterday. They come along so rarely. To be treasured.
A Bank sponsored cocktail party and then tickets to a performance of Singing In The Rain at our local (and quite famously popular) Music Theater. I love Singing in the Rain and this was really, really good. And the cocktail party (I never enjoy them) was FUN!!! Could have been the huge, strong drink I had--but if that's the route to an amazing evening and no hangover--- I'm all in.
Best part we have our own season's tickets for Singing In The Rain for next Tuesday. (!!!!!!!)
I am staying close to the dog today. He was alone from 5pm to almost 11 pm yesterday needs close comfort today. I don't mind. He usually just sleeps with his head on my feet. Waking only if I move.
The Tomato Plants have decided it's now Tomato Time. I bring in 3 to 4 each day. Still not many of the Snow White Cherry tomatoes that I love--- I have five plants our there. And the Sungold cherry tomatoes that make a great roasted tomato sauce for pasta. The next 10 days or 2 weeks should be prime Tomato Eating Time.
My green peppers are getting really large. Still haven't changed over to red or orange.
My plant based dye-ing went very well. I have an additional 8 half yards to use in my "squares". I have been considering either wall art or useable blanket. Time will tell. I know the work is good because I enjoy just looking at the work and running my fingers over it. The ones I like to touch are the good ones. And I find myself running finger tips over the pile of new plant dyed fabric also.
A good place right now. To be treasured. Remembered.
I think, someday when I am old and not able to do much of anything, I will sit with these squares and run my fingers over the cloth, the stitches, the seams. And feel good about my Life.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Tomatoes. Tomato Sandwiches. BLT's. Tomato with fresh mozzarella and basil. And eventually, Fresh Tomato Soup with homemade cheese dumplings.
I really have to find a good loaf of soft squishy bread for a nice juice-sopping sandwich. The kind where you eat it over the sink as tomato juice runs down your arms.
Phone call from the "way back times"--wow was that unexpected and FUN! I'd been thinking of Barbara as I went hunting in the Attic. She was the "giver" of that soft, tender white old fabric I have been using for my squares and my plant based dye-ing. So, she was on my mind. We still use the old landline--so she tried that number and was thrilled to get me. We've now traded email addresses.
What a lovely phone call--
I've been doing laundry most of the morning. G has been pulling weeds. For some odd but fortunate reason--he actually enjoys pulling weeds. Weed pulling is dirty work--- equals laundry.
I pulled the squash vines out of one of the Earth Boxes. There was nothing much happening and the box looked trashy. So now the greenery is in the compost pile. And since I am not making pickles this Summer--no need for zucchini. If I need any--the grocery has zucchini from a local farm. The pickling cucumbers are headed for the compost heap if they continue to only make flowers and no cucumbers. Plenty of bees -so pollination isn't the problem.
I wash and hung my plant based dye fabrics up in the guest bedroom. When I finish here I am going to iron them and see what I have. I re-dyed three very pale yellowish pieces right after opening the steamed packages yesterday-- No use for washed out yellow. The onion skins colored the cloth with deep yellows and oranges. Some pattern from the skins. Very nice. The Purple smoke leaves are again very faint but there is a ghostly shadow there that I like. I did some red cabbage--for a blue.
Anyway. The sun is shining. Humidity in the mid-70% range.
Now--squishy soft bread at the grocery store.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
My Spirit Animal, I think. Each time I walk somewhere new--a crow feather appears. Some large and some very small. I have them in a majolica cup on the front hall table. So many. And we have crows under the bird feeders--giving the squirrels some competition.
Yesterday, I was in the raised bed garden. Full of weeds as we rarely go there this summer. The summer of not being able to breathe. Reactive asthma changes your Life. Danger everywhere from the unknown. What will I react to?
Anyway, back to the garden. Native elderberry. Started from tiny seeds last Winter. Planted in the raised beds when I knew I wouldn't be able to garden down there anymore. In flower. If the plants produce berries I will be in heaven. We need to make a cloth to cover the tops and wave in the wind-"set our flag" as Grace has said. So the birds know we want the berries.
So my vegetable beds now are "training camp" for perennials. Sunflowers, hollyhocks, arugula gone wild, tiny seedless Concord grapes climbing and tumbling over the arbor, small evergreens, grasses, native bee balm, blueberries, rhubarb fried in the heat, raspberry bushes cut back early to provide September berries (not June) though we haven't gotten any fruit this Summer. Birds and chipmunks.
I am now settled down into thinking Nature had a reason for taking all my fruit. My store cupboard is full of jams and jellies from other years. G found jars of the Queen of Plum jam I had forgotten. What a happy surprise and so delicious. I am learning how to be content.
Reading today on plant based dyes--- I am going out to collect the goldenrod flowers. And more leaves from the purple smoke bush. And calendula flowers. And crabapple leaves and tiny apples.
I even have blackberry leaves on my list and false indigo. We know of sumac but it's always damp and I have read not to cut the flower/seed heads when damp or wet. But perhaps we will have to?
Eco Printing. I am thinking I will need to use string to pull it all very tight before heating. To get more imprint from the leaves. I am doing all this quite by the seat of my pants. Trial and error.
And I have three beautiful pieces of cloth from my last Eco Print adventure. Three out of six. Really lovely.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
What not to put in the fridge according to Bon Appetite.com I knew that eggplant didn't like the chill. But not that corn didn't like it either. The corn at my grocery is cold. And most of the produce at the local organic Farmer's Market is kept very cold. Even the tomatoes. The big green leaves are collard greens. Wishing mine looked like that.
Yesterday--ta da!!!!-- we had Delicious Home GrownTomatoes. From the garden (and warm and ripened from the Vestibule) sliced along with fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves (from grocery as mine are either not ready or really over ready) and good olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. A nice crusty baguette. Life Is Good. And even better--Riley and I picked about 6 more this morning. Early Girl Bush. The flavor is just the right mix of acid and sweet.
My green peppers are getting quite large. I'm waiting to see some "color" other than dark green before picking them. I have red and golden deep yellow, I think. I only like them green in chili so just before it gets cold at the end of the growing season I pick the green ones and dice and freeze them for Winter meals.
My surprise package of dyed squares arrived. I really am stunned. The fabric itself is so fine and wonderful. And the colors. Oh, so divine. I started right in making, cutting, sewing more squares. Using these new dyed squares and my own plant based dye experiments. Greens, purples...oh, my.
I think I am setting foot on a good path. A path that might with hard work and good thinking and planning and some serendipity------could lead me to a good artistic place.
I seem to have misplaced my can of spray starch.
An armful of recently discarded Quilting Arts magazine found on the "take what you want or need" table in the --vestibule--of my library--has given me so much reading, teaching, learning material on dyes, transfers etc onto fabric. Serendipity yet again.
I am thinking my soon to be attained 72nd birthday in September will be auspicious. Artistically.
Monday, August 13, 2018
Ice Cream Days. We are in the midst of a three or four day "cloudy with a good chance of rain" weather cycle. House lights need to be on. Humid outdoors. One tomato. No cucumbers. Two crow feathers. I have collected a jar full this summer Silky black feathers. And I see the crows quite often and hear them calling in the trees.
I have errands to run so will be getting out of the house. Escaping. The walls and ceilings.
Spent yesterday evening on Netflix watching the new season of Father Brown. Netflix was also "serving up" a nice list of things I had watched in times past. In case I wanted to watch them again. I checked the list to see if additional material had been added. New stuff. New seasons. No. I still haven't watched The Crown. I just wish they had better movies and a new season of Chef's Table. Most of their list is simply trash. To me.
I imagine Amazon Prime is buying everything good. I imagine Amazon buying everything.
So--a visit to my old workplace, the library to return a book, and then the grocery for two or three items. G and Riley are setting out for a walk. It's cool enough for our old dog (11 years) and he does enjoy it so much. I can hear him woofing out in the vestibule by the door--ready to get going. Not a bark. A soft "woof".
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Goodwill. Luscious linen shirt. Just not a good fit. I may have to stop eating in order to wear it this fall. Long sleeves.
But right now--"floods" is what I wear most--well, all days. I called the style "capris". The picture above is from FLAX. They send me advertisements. And they refer to the pictured pants as "floods".
Today's pair of capris (on me) is a coral/rose background with white design. Adventuresome for me. I am always in solids--no prints. The shirt is all white. I am not sure I like the print, but the pants are light and fit well. So, I am giving them a tryout.
Riley and I picked three tomatoes (on the shelf in the vestibule with the others) and one cucumber this morning. G had watered in the evening and it had rained overnight so I haven't needed to give water today. Cooler here, damp, no sun. More rain coming in the next few days.
I finished The Woman In The Window. Quite a trip there at the end. But very good.
Watched a Hallmark summer movie last night with Catherine Bell. Wow. They really pulled her facial skin "tight" and filled her lips and cheeks with something, I guess. Forgot to do her neck. And the romantic lead was the guy on the Hallmark home and family talk and fashion morning show. The guy with the volume-less voice. Really awful. The tropical island scenery was nice though. Another movie had the CIA contract killer from a really good thriller type television show playing a very uptight relationship blogger. She looked old but still nice so they pulled her hair forward so mostly she had only eyes, nose and mouth showing and they covered most of that with really big glasses. That movie was great--as she is actually an actress--so, you know, could ACT..
Also watched Nigella cook. Always fascinating.
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Eggplant Parm from Bon Appetite this morning. Oddly enough, it's what we had for supper yesterday. I managed to get up off the couch (and the Hallmark movie) to pull the salted eggplant slices from the vestibule fridge and set up a flouring, egg wash, breadcrumbs station on the kitchen island. I skipped the dishes for the flour and breadcrumbs and just made piles on the countertop. It worked better.
After frying the slabs of delicious eggplant--I returned to my movie--with a handful of the smaller pieces of fried eggplant. Another Prince from some country, his mother, the advisor and the terrible person he is supposed to marry. (there is never a father--The King is always dead) And of course, our Hallmark Charming Commoner. And the ever present--lie-- that messes everything up.
But back to the eggplant. I fried it in the ceramic pan I purchased for G at Christmas. What a dream to cook in. And one wipe with a paper towel and all the crusty bits are gone. I simply topped each slice with some marinara and a pile of cheese and baked it till "golden brown and delicious". Served it with plain pasta.
I had a good sized glass of red wine with our meal.
It was nice.
Friday, August 10, 2018
Painted panel of pink squares from Pixbay.
My square is just as random but with summer colors of pale blues, yellows, pinks. Growing more saturated as I move out into the new squares. Sunshine today, so far. Riley and I have to go out to water the Tomato boxes. About 6 tomatoes out there turning from green to pale red, so far.
I have nothing new to say today. One of those days. I woke up tired.
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Woke to darkness. Cloudy. But sunshine now at 11. I think it rained overnight or early this morning.
Riley and I go out to get the paper together. He rolls in the dew covered grass. Does his 'business" and I check the vegetable Grow Boxes--water if needed. Then we come inside and begin the day.
G worked in his workshop yesterday, sanding a cabinet I got from a friend cleaning out her garage. It was dis-assembled into a pile of pieces. Had no idea of the size (big) and the charm (lots) of the two door cabinet. One pane of glass was broken. Yes, glass paned doors. I intend to paint it with mat white chalk paint. Black hinges and knobs.
Black and White everything. So the color of the fabric art is front and center, always. And the colorful rag rugs on the floors.
A"GIFT" of fabric squares is coming soon to add to my square. Unexpected and perfect. From a member of the Twelves. A group that holds a very special place in my heart, always. I did the best work of my life alongside the Twelve of them. I am forever trying to get back to that creative "place".
I am reading a book by A.J. Finn--The Woman In The Window. I worry that it will turn creepy and scare me. Something I don't really like. I'm about 25% into it..... ambivalent.
I realized the Queen Of Plums made no plums because I forgot to fertilize her. I had used those fruit tree spikes last Spring. And got plums. I had the spikes. Just forgot to insert them around the Queen's root base. Forgive me, oh, my Queen.
Last evening we went to our local Chinese restaurant. One of the old favorite waitresses. I asked for a gin and tonic and got one the size of a large coke (she made it that big on purpose). I finished it.
The food was excellent as always. G and I shared Orange Beef. I got all the small bits of orange rind.
Came home and watched a Beach Themed Summer Hallmark movie. Instead the required "snow storm" in the Christmas movies--we had the summer version of a "hurricane" which didn't disturb the rose bushes at all. Then we watched Rachael Maddow. Quite the contrast. Glad the G&T was large.
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Ninety plus degrees here in Maine. Daily rain. Never know when it's coming. Humidity so high your clothing is damp after 5 to 10 minute out watering the Grow Boxes.
I removed leaves from the tomato plants. Unnecessary leaves (now compost). So the tomatoes could get direct sun. Two zucchini this morning and one pale pink/green tomato found on the driveway. Chipmunks. But no bite marks so I brought it into the vestibule (what an old fashioned word) between the house and garage to finish ripening in the vestibule heat.
G wanted to see the new Mission Impossible movie so we went to the 4pm showing. The over 65 crowd was represented in the dozen or so people in the theater. G enjoyed the movie. I thought it was too long, too repetitive and way too many scenes on the edge of very tall things giving me vertigo. We exited into a pretty steady rain. 100% humidity. Summer traffic.
At home we sorted out dinner. I made myself some thin sliced zucchini pan fried to crispy with some dill sprinkled on at the finish. I had it with a small portion of pasta. I plan to have the exact meal again today. It was that good.
I stitched and stitched on a small cloth. At the end it was so completely awful I cut it into two and then into the compost bucket. Nothing to salvage. Wasted fabric and thread. I was heart-sick.
I can't find my way.
Today I will machine stitch more squares--or start a new square. Be content with that.
I drew two more chairs yesterday between watering plants, laundry and the movie. It was something.
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Watering. Giving Water. All of my old metal cans got leaky bottoms. Now they just look "cute" but do no actual work. An old teakettle would be fun if I lived in a very small one person place with a tiny window sill garden. Watering it with the tea kettle each morning and late afternoon.
Always water twice a day. After the sun is up and later in the afternoon when the plants want to rest and recuperate.
I have two quarts of "refrigerator pickles" cooling on the stove top. Refrigerator because you keep them there and not in the cupboard. I sliced up three locally grown eggplant and salted the slices. Later they will be patted with flour, dipped in egg and then breadcrumbs. Fried till crisp. Eaten, by me, just like that. For G, added cheese and marinara sauce. Well, for me also.
I think, in New Jersey, they make the fried slices into a fried eggplant sandwich. At least one New Jersey native I knew in Florida had fried eggplant sandwiches for lunch at work. I don't think I had ever made eggplant at home at that time in my life. 42 years ago.
Monday, August 06, 2018
All of this is available at the local grocery store right now. Not in my garden.
My green bean plants look nice and "cute" cause they are only five or 6 inches tall--but all the seeds germinated. I was thinking of green beans in September. Not August. No carrots because last year the chipmunks ate the carrot parts under ground and left the carrot tops for me. I was not amused.
I have enough pickle sized cucumbers to make another jar of refrigerator pickles tomorrow--I had to go out to the grocery for a bundle of dill--what I had planted went to seed. Another customer said her dill had "burnt up" in the daily heat---90 here in Maine today on the coast and over 100 about 20 minutes drive inland (west). Humidity is very high. I am finding I am quite open to having quick conversations with strangers these days. I smile. They respond.
I wish I had known to smile in high school and college. My entire life would have been so much better. So much different.
I was tempted to try a new bread baking recipe for a "honey oat" like the one I bought (home made) in a little Maine Country Store out in Harpswell. When I looked down at the very bottom of the When Pigs Fly Bread rack at the grocery and "what to my wondering eyes did appear"..... but a loaf of honey oat bread. And it's good. Moist. Sweet. Just what we wanted. G had it for a lunch sandwich and he never makes a sandwich. Love When Pigs Fly Bread. They bake it here in Maine. Local Bread.
G and I have taken turns watering the Earth and Grow Boxes today. Three fill ups. And the tomato plants in the boxes are at least a foot taller than I am. It is my sincere hope that they aren't just growing leaves. The orphan (and planted very late) Romanian tomatoes are in the raised bed garden out back. They went from 6 inches tall to 36 to 48 inches tall since being planted just before World Cup Soccer. That's quite a growth spurt. And there are tomatoes (green) but tomatoes all the same. I told them I was quite proud of them today when I went to check them an secure them further up on their stakes. I mentioned to the collard greens that I wasn't happy with their lack of growth. I have looked forward to spring rolls wrapped in collard leaves. Perhaps next year.
Sunday, August 05, 2018
From my past. Painted fabric plus some commercial stuff. I've shown this before (more than once or twice) but this one always makes me smile. And I need a smile today. That scribble of orange.
We've had a great deal of humidity. Evening and sometimes overnight rain. It's hard to breathe.
This weekend we ate things that have been in the fridge--waiting. Some corn I bought. The crock pot pork in nachos and on tater tots. Watermelon I peeled and cut into small bit sized wedges. Cucumbers. Leftover pasta. Leftover grilled kabobs. Leftover rice. G even found some ice cream in the freezer. We eat very little in the Summer. No appetite. Small plates.
But we are impatient for ripe tomatoes from the Grow Boxes. The green ones are getting larger, lighter but still no tinge of pink or red. Bell peppers the same. Getting larger.
We watched Star Wars movies last night. The ones with the new characters and the very old ones. Like Skywalker and Ray. One that I had recorded and one from Netflix. Last Jedi stuff. I am hoping there is another for this Christmas but so far....no news. We scrolled thru Netflix looking for a series to watch. And this is when I wonder why we have Netflix????
Goodwill today but not really excited about it. Nothing good in the past few weekends.
I added another round of squares to that pieced square I am making. Adding a few darker colors as it moves outward. I think there are 100 two inch squares now. Ten by ten. After each additional row or two, I take the cloth to the kitchen island (aka: ironing station) and spray with starch and press--and press- and press. I love ironing. I iron open all the stems first. The I run my hands over the sewn top. Looking at it, thinking what to do next. Wondering if there is any "story" in the pieces yet.
Jude Hill calls her very large work (pieced white fabric squares) Sanity. She also wonders about it's "story". When she figures it out perhaps I will be able to as well. Until then--cutting more squares. And looking for a good pink. With character. Though I will settle for a plain one as well. The blues I painted are very "stormy" or "atmospheric" and feel like summer storms. I feel like painting more fabric. Perhaps I will paint a pink.
Friday, August 03, 2018
Tower of Tuna Sandwiches (which I love). But not with the egg. I am guessing the designer of these sandwiches was building the French version. Which I can't spell. I'll stick with crackers.
I got my haircut today. One week less than usual and still a huge puffball of hair. And I don't have all that much hair. I have tiny hairs all over myself. Heading out to water the Grow Boxes and then into the shower. Everything looks healthy. I have eaten about 5 tiny orange Sungold cherry tomatoes. Some zucchini and cucumbers. There is a green bell pepper getting to a good size but I like them to ripen--turn red or orange. I am waiting for the larger white Snow White cherry tomatoes. I loved them last summer. Wonderful name isn't it? Size of a golf ball and so sweet.
I have a supermarket watermelon to cut up. Might make Aqua Fresca.
Stitched more on my little circle piece. Made some watercolor bubbles in my journal. Drifted. Watched my recorded Masterpiece Theater adaption of Little Women. My mother wanted to name me after her favorite character in Little Women. She got to her fourth choice--Jo-- and my father finally said yes. I wondered, while watched, what her first choice had been. I will never know.
Thursday, August 02, 2018
August Tummy Troubles. Why? No reason. My internal self must not like August heat and humidity. So, I keep to myself.
86% humidity when we woke at 5:30 am to feed Riley. Early riser. It feels like being wrapped in a hot wet wool blanket. Add tummy trouble and--wow, the perfect day to stay in bed. We had heavy rain overnight. I got up the second time around 10am.
I worked on a small piece of cloth yesterday. Traced circles with whatever I had that fit the cloth. Then stitched. Then went to find another circle, another jar or dish to trace. After that some X's. I like them. X marks the spot. I try and think of a way to add a crow--my spirit animal.
I, also, in the past two days--added squares to make the total 81 on the little piece of patched squares. I found another pile of orphan squares--in darker tones. I may or may not stitch them into rows and add to the composition. The 81 squares look like Summer. With dark squares all around it may turn Stormy.
I had a bargain from the store in the crock pot over night. Instead of my usual crock pot pork (onions, cloves and water) I changed it to the additions for my oven pork. Cider vinegar, cayenne, onion, cloves and brown sugar. Very tender, moist and now bathing in BBQ sauce and back into the crock pot on low. Exciting to have food for a few days for $5.
Another two cucumbers from my driveway garden boxes when I watered this morning. I've eaten most. With salt. But right now I have four and we might have them sliced thin as a side to the pork. Pickled a bit. Some thin carrot added for crunch.
We continue to wait for tomatoes to ripen-- all are still (and seemingly forever) green.
My iPhone, which I used to take pictures, is now living with our daughter. So she and her employer can communicate on different job sites. The problems I had with the iPhone had to do with "delete" not really "deleting" anything till one pushes another button. Which I never, in three years, done. Three years of email. Imagine it. Poor Phone. No wonder it refused to do anything like send a picture.