Sunday, September 30, 2018

Daily Notes-- September 30

Pluto has left the building (in my sign) and after months of investigating what I think might bring me JOY, I am going to develop (the stars say) a masterplan approach to pleasure.  I could elevate a hobby or favorite activity into expert status.  Woo Hoo.  Beaded bracelets.

Yes, Dear Readers, I have been a bit glum lately-- I blame it on watching the news.  I blame it on standing on the scale at the doctor visit.  I blame it on the contact dermatitis that comes and goes and always itches.  I blame it on the coming Fall cleanup of this house.  Dusty corners!!! Windows!!!! I blame it on my knees which threaten to give way as I walk or climb stairs.

So--Tomato season is over and IF the Patriots game goes south early--I'll blanch, peel and package the remaining tomatoes and get a start on the peppers.  If the game goes well--I'll do tomatoes tomorrow.  I can also make more soup as I ate the last bowl for lunch yesterday.

We watched the first two episodes of the Miniaturist on PBS last evening (recorded).  G gave up midway in the first episode.  I had read the book (Jessie Burton) and really enjoyed "seeing" it.  1600's Amsterdam. I was left wondering what other viewers who hadn't read the book made of it all?  It meanders.  In any event a feast for the eyes of this reader.  And I plan to re-read the book and watch it again.

I sorted out my bookcase Saturday afternoon.  Took books to Goodwill today.  No one needs 10 dictionaries.  Bartlett's Quotations never got opened.  Found about 8 blank journals.  I can STOP buying any more of them. I also found an invitation from the American Embassy in Budapest to dinner and dancing on the 4th of July in 1980 something.  McDonald's was there serving Big Macs to diplomats.  For the Holiday.  About five guys and their wives were the McDonald's staff for the cook out.  Memories.  The Special Sauce came in a diplomatic "pouch" by plane.  Which made us all laugh.  We didn't go to the dinner or dance as no one mentioned to the wives that we would need to pack evening wear.

I also packed up and moved all my cloth.  We ( G and I) are trying to figure out if my cutting table can fit in the office with the sewing machine.  I like cutting cloth in the dining room but not everyone (G) thinks it's the proper place to do cutting.

Football Time.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Daily Notes- September 29


I am looking for ways in which to balance what I want with what is possible.

I am going to have to learn how to stop bad behavior and reward good.  And tell the difference. That's the hard part--telling the difference between what I "think" is good and what I "know" is bad.

And I keep getting it wrong.

That seems to be the theme of my Life.  Keep getting it wrong.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Daily Notes- September 28

A Lovely Bowl Of Soup.

Warmer today- not a corduroy pants day.  Two loads of laundry.  No rash.  No great emotional turmoil via the television interviews.  Several plants re-potted.  Pots washed and saucers scrubbed.
A good day out of the Senate--surprisingly.

My eco dye works was SPECTACULARLY successful.  A good soak in a stronger alum solution and the addition of "iron" or "rust" water to the wrapped packages of cloth and plant material.  Then a 45 minute steam in foil packages.  Left to cool completely.  Then opened and left to dry without rinsing overnight.

The depth of color transfer was impressive.  And it didn't wash out as it has done in previous tries. But I do like those paler versions--they play well with the darker versions.  One or two cloths is very dark but I can still see the leaves and the veins.

Well, the FBI is going back in--in a limited scope (deal with issues in the scope of the hearings) for one week.  Via Trump.  At 4pm Maine Time.  Breaking News as they say.  A rare reversal.  Perhaps this will cause the Judge to back out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Daily Notes- September 27

Art Propelled- Julie Nelson

If you believe the women....raise your hand.

I will be away most of the day and will miss the hearings.  But my hand will be raised, in Spirit, for all the women out there with unspoken stories.  Afraid no one (would) will believe them.  I believe.

I witnessed young men (boys) standing outside a door waiting their turn when I was away at college.  I did nothing.  I said nothing.  Who would I tell.  Who would believe me?  I didn't even know their names.

And now---watching this came back--this long forgotten memory.  How many of us are there with the same forgotten memories?  Raise your hand.

Daily Notes- September 26

Rain.  Humidity.

I think it rained all night.  G and Riley told me.  I slept and didn't hear anything. This morning I opened the front door and walked out into 90 or 99% humidity.  Depending on which of the outdoor monitors you believe.

The windows out front were wet--so I went back in and got a towel and scrubbed them down.  I may go back out with some Simple Green and make them a bit cleaner.

I picked tomatoes while I was out with Riley.  We go out to "get the paper" and then he sniffs and wanders to see what has happened overnight.  Who came to visit.  When it's hot, I water the Grow Boxes.  And I use the plastic bag the paper comes in to hold tomatoes that I pick.  Today--well, it's the very end of summer out there.  Dead, dry tomato vines on some plants.  Some still hold a few ripening tomatoes.  Some peppers are turning from green to red.  The parsley looks good.  The fig tree has about 20 figs on it.  Remember we root pruned it early in the Summer.  I had hoped to see leaves grow--the figs are an added bonus.

Last summer I dragged the fig tree into the garage to keep it warm enough to ripen the figs so I could make fig preserves.  That didn't work too well so I just picked all the figs and had them in the kitchen with a very brown ripe banana to "gas" the figs into a ripe state.  It worked.

My daughter brought me a tall branch from another variety of purple smoke bush.  Larger leaves and more color to transfer to cloth (I hope).  If today continues to be dark--I'll make more cloth.  Use my rust water for the first time.  I also have some things--dead flowers etc--to use for cloth.  I wrap it tight, tie it with string and then steam it for 45 minutes.  This time, went the steaming is done I will let the cloth cool for a day and then open it.  More Time to transfer color. I use alum as a mordant.

I have many more tomatoes to blanch, peel and freeze.  Enough green beans for one more pot of vegetable soup (for me).  G is on his second batch of Tomato Basil soup.  I have kale and beans for my second favorite soup. Unless I use the kale to make a frittata.  I like that, too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Daily Notes- September 25

How I see the Moon.  Thru so many tall trees.

It is COLD today here in Maine.  Rain coming.  47 degrees when I got out of bed.  Gardening season is over.  Time now to put things to rest.  I have plants that need to go into their places or into the "training bed" gardens beds out back.  Again.

My semi annual visit to the dentist this morning.  My teeth always are super sensitive after cleaning.  And then, to make me even less happy--bill paying, the news, and the need for lamps on before noon.
And wearing socks.  And corduroy pants.  And thermal long sleeved tee.

I got the crunchy vegetable salad at the deli in the grocery store (after the dentist).  Cranberries, sunflower seeds, broccoli-other things too small to identify.  Crunchy.  Perhaps some kale.  I purchased it because it looked very fresh.  Most days it looks wilted and soggy.  It was delicious.  I tried making this salad at home and....well, there must be some sort of secret ingredient.  Probably mayo.

We were watching the UN speeches on MSNBC today and Trump announced that he was "doing a very very good job...the best anyone had ever seen"----and the audience started laughing.  Members of the UN see Trump as he really is.  Why can't America?  He toasted the UN and hoped they eventually "got it right"----- there was a lack of applause when he finished speaking.  The commentator said it was "breathtaking in it's lack of respect". Bravo UN Membership!!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Daily Notes- September 24

Last Call For Summer.

Equinox.  Fall into Winter.

I went to my doctor's appointment today.  It's actually on Thursday.  So I get to "go" again. Tomorrow is my dentist appointment--would be great if they also sent me home.

I stopped in at JoAnn's and got a set of drawing pencils.  The B series.  I had plenty of H.  I got the set that came with a sharpener, eraser and rubbing sticks.  In case, I decide to draw away from home and my very own pencil sharpener.  The eraser because I have them but finding them is not easy. And I got to help someone with a supply list for a drawing class she is taking.  We couldn't find anything labeled Conte crayons.  There were some black charcoal sticks but I was remembering Conte as being a creamier type of crayon.  I used them in figure drawing class.  Back when I was very young.

I also found a few really nice fabrics at JoAnn's which doesn't happen very often.  The prints were nice but the fabric thread counts leave much to be desired.  I will wash and dry them before cutting,

That's my news for today.  Grilled cheese sandwiches with baked beans tonight.  In case you were wondering.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Daily Notes- September 23

Art Propelled Image.

Balance.  That's the word for today.  Goodwill.  I found a book for a dollar -Julie and Julia.  I have the movie saved in the TiVo files.  But sometimes you want to read the story.

I also found, for $3, about 2.5 yards of an Alexander Group fabric--Everglades.  All the colors I like. Shades of red, turquoise, green, gold, orange.  Long, graphic leaves.  Will work as a binding and as a nice stripe or square cut across the long leaves.  When we used to visit California every October--I would buy many, many yards from the Alexander Group line.  I'm sure some of them are still on the shelves in the fabric closet.  And I suspect they will co-ordinated well with this newcomer. I have always liked the same colors.  The slim lines of light turquoise light up the other colors.

Read A Likes recommended Mary Alice Monroe if I enjoyed reading Jude Deveraux and Nancy Thayer.  Close but not very good.  I won't try any more.

I haven't been reading much lately anyway.  In late August to October allergies affect my eyes.  Making them dry and sticky at the same time.  Making me very tired.  No stitch.  No reading. Just me and Hallmark which is finally getting on my nerves.  This infatuation may be close to ending--but Christmas movies start on October 29th.  Eighteen New Ones.  Plus all the old ones I liked.

I am baking granola right now--it smells wonderful.  Cinnamon, vanilla, coconut plus coconut oil, almonds, oats, maple syrup plus my additions of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.  Next time I may try subbing some honey for some of the maple syrup.

Grace has me interested in finding my drawing pencils.  Drawing myself and the Full Moon. I can draw--I just don't do it much at all.  Perhaps Grace will get me back to it.  To the Attic.  Pencils.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Daily Notes- September 22

Vincent.  No one does it better.  Looks like muscari bulbs under the trees and a few red tulips.

I am here, directly from work teaching Bulb Planting, with the odor of eucalyptus on my hands.  None grows here so I asked our floral department to order me a bunch.  Twelve dollars with my discount.  Many, many pieces of cloth will be eco printed.

My favorite soccer playing associate employee has joined the Navy.  He'll be gone before I return on October 22 for the last class I teach.  He'll do Navy training and then hopefully be able to try for the SEALS.  He has given up on the FBI.  I always call him My FBI Man.  I told him, if he comes to work--at any time in the Future--in his uniform--I want them to call me so I can come in and see him.  Of course, I didn't mention that I would cry all over him.  Best I keep that to myself.

Another employee--I have a real soft spot for these sincere, hardworking kids--joined the Air Force--as the only way to go to college.  We were eating lunch one day and he walked toward the lunchroom in his full uniform  and (I was told) my face broke out in the biggest smile and I ran to hug him. So handsome. So proud to have done this to make a Future for himself.  No mother.  Father an alcoholic.

And they told me only 4 signed up for the Bulb class.  But I had more copies made and I had a full house--all seats taken.  A good class.  And at the end--I tell them they can ask me anything--not just Bulbs. So we got into composting, brown tail moths, Japanese beetles.......... it was good.

I am tired, my voice is shredded and I need a shower.  But, it felt good to be out in public and it felt even better to go home early when I was done. I even found a few good sized boxes (in the warehouse) for sending things to people during the Holidays.

Well, I'm going to take a nice, long, hot shower.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Daily Notes- September 21

A Cloudy Day.   What is that song "clouds in my coffee"?

I am wandering.  Cleaned out a few lingering (too long) things in the refrigerator.  Scrubbed the kitchen sink.  Blanched and peeled and packed up 2 quarts of tomatoes yesterday.

Could have done more but I lost interest in the project.

I am suffering a disturbance in my digestive system.
Drinking tea.  With extra sugar.  Not watching the news.

Thinking about going back to bed.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Daily Notes- September 20

Dahlias are the flower blooming right now in many gardens.  They are sturdy stemmed so good in a vase, also.  Grown from a tuber that, here in zone 4-5,  must be dug up and stored freeze free for the winter and then planted in late spring.  My favorite was Park Princess.  But we forgot the tubers on the front porch last winter and they froze.

We are having cooler nights and sunny days this month.  But you can feel the cold creeping in, ever so slowly.  And Hallmark is offering their Christmas Countdown Movies starting October 28th.

My calendar is filling up with doctor, dentist and eye exam appointments.  Next week is one a day almost.

G and I pruned the weeping crab tree up near the house and porch.  Too many branches and too many leaves--couldn't see the weeping, curved branches.  Tree is very old and it cracked at the wide crotch early in our ownership.  We wrapped the two sides of the crack together with rope.  It held and a few years after we removed the rope.  I have been pruning it to drift out,  away from the main stem in a very old Japanese way.  This time I wanted to remove branches and leaves--yet again.  Too close to the house and too dense to see the many lovely Hosta underneath the tree.  We also pruned another shrub (I knew the name when I thought to type this but now it's gone) that was crowding my Maidenhair Ferns.  We have two new hosta to plant and some low growing pink azaleas.

Then we'll move on to the Witch Hazel Tree bed.  Adding two new creeping phlox in baby blue and some Heather I purchased in the Spring.  The two things that actually "grow" in that bed.  I have given up on everything else I planted that died either a quick or long tormented death there.

And I think that will be it, unless we transplant something out of the raised 'training" bed out back. There are still a few Bee balm and Boneset.  Thinking about where to put them is more work than planting them.

The tomato plants have just about finished.  The leaves are turning gold and brown.  Still have plenty of tomatoes out there getting ripe and lots of peppers.  And parsley.  Need to start cutting that and freezing for Winter meals.  And more green beans.  I told you all there was plenty of time.

Well, that's the garden report.  Full Moon next week so probably a freeze.  The first one. So any plants still productive will need to be covered overnight.  Bulbs also need to be planted now.  And I need to dig up the Amaryllis bulbs that have been summering in the vegetable beds.  Work. Work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Daily Notes- September Nineteen

Another day. Another Year. Another Chair.

From the Style-Files blog.  Hard to separate form from style here.  Would the fabric work so well if the chair had a different shape?  The shape of the chair is very Mid-century Modern.

I am reminded of my mother changing us from 1940's cozy to modern in one furniture purchase.  Long low modern couch in coffee brown and two sling back orange chairs.  Coffee and end tables to match.  Tall strange lamps.  I didn't have much time with these new items--they appeared as I disappeared to freshman year in college.  My mother expressing her joy at having me out of the house.  Far away.

Riley and I went out to get the paper as usual this morning.  And I used the plastic bag which held  the newspaper to hold picked tomatoes and bell peppers.  Carry them until we got inside the house.  A car was idling in front of the neighbor's house--conversation.  Riley needs to be present for these things. So I had Time while waiting for the dog to satisfy his curiosity.

Daughter came by late yesterday afternoon with birthday donuts (we prefer them to cake)--raspberry filled for me--and a light, swing bottomed cardigan for me, also. She shops thrift stores.  Something light to wear as seasons change over.  And she had me try it out to see if it "itched".  We are both sensitive to "itchy" fibers.  It didn't.  Itch.  My son had recounted not liking odors at work when people ate lunch at their desks.  I raised "sensitive" children?

I am building jars of iron (rust) water and copper (old pennies) water in the still sultry warm vestibule (for my plant based dye work).  I went thru the top few inches of the coin collection urn belonging to G.  Looking for pre 1982 pennies actually made of copper.  Easily found.  They had darkened almost to black while being stored in the jar.  Many from 1969.  A good year for pennies?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Daily Notes- September 18

It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To.  Happy Tears.  I am Seventy Two Years On This Planet.

My son called me from California this morning and we talked so long that he was going to be late for work.  We scheduled his annual visit.  Which is the best gift of all.

G had a pile of gifts on the table this morning.  A new Orchid for my collection and a gift card so I can buy plants at "another" greenhouse --  where I don't (didn't) work.  Which will be tons of fun in the Spring.  Looking forward is always a real treat.

I had so many potential posts being written inside my head while I was sleeping.  Odd, dark and sad.  You won't be reading any of those today.  Going forward.  Letting all of that "history" fall away. Just learning to let go and move forward.

I asked my son about phones that aren't Apple.  He said no.  Androids after 36 years with Apple--just not going to be anything I would enjoy.  He knows my interests and capabilities.  He said I could get an iPhone AND an iPad and then just walk away from the desk top completely.  The desk top I am sitting in front of right now--where you are......where I talk to you.  Thinking about it.

But the phone.  Talking to people I only know from the blog.  What would that be like?  Even with the written word I can be misunderstood.  I think it could be a challenge.  And mostly I just miss taking pictures.  Not using it as an actual "phone".  Mostly I see people sending text messages to each other.  How is that different from email?  No one actually talking.

Excellent yearly horoscope this morning and my daily forecast has five stars.  Most excellent. Let's all eat cake!!!!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Daily Notes- September 17

Relaxed Slipcover.

The woman who posted this picture on her blog "Content in a Cottage" yesterday wondered if the cutting, sewing, making of this relaxed slipcover would be easy or difficult.  I learned early on--that a muslin pattern needs to be made first.  Large pieces of plain inexpensive muslin cut and pinned.  Not easy. But once you have a pattern--then it's easy.

What I like about this chair is the easy comfort it implies.  The take it off, wash, dry and put it back on-ness of it.  And the contrast of the pillow and the slipcover.  The chair looks comfortable.

Cloudy today.  Not as humid but warm.  My friend and I had coffee out back of the Bohemian.  Where they have a few tables and chairs.  Might be our last chance for outdoor coffee and talk but October could surprise us and be warm and sunny.

I was surprised by the gift my friend gave me.  A packet of Indigo seeds.  Japanese Indigo.  I can start them in late Spring for growing out in the garden once the threat of frost is over.  And instructions for gathering more seeds for future years.  She had no idea that I had wanted to try dyeing with indigo but.......well, I am over the moon delighted.  The Seed Gatherer wrote directions on germination (high viability) and later seed gathering in December or January if cut stems (with flowers) are allowed to root in water, in a warmer than outdoors space, until they produce seeds.  Which is something I can do.  I over wintered willow stems and the stems from an annual mint last Winter.  So adding Indigo stems to my Winter rooting jars will be fun.  Next winter.

I was reading up on eco printing and now need to include some rust and iron water to my methods. Also I need to let the cloth dry completely before rinsing it out if I want things to be darker.  I collected a bag of loose onion skins (red) at the grocery yesterday.  Cleaning up the onion display. and I have asked my daughter to be on the lookout for an old cast iron or copper pot for me to use. She has access to the Georgetown Mall (dump) and occasionally finds something interesting.  there are still leaves on the purple smoke bush so I can try to print cloth again but with the rust/iron water.  Also I read that using pennies minted before 1982 will provide copper to the dye water.  

I'm off the sort thru G's huge coin jar.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Daily Notes- September Sixteen

Today is the MOST frequent birthdate (not mine) as written in today's newspaper.  Isn't that interesting.  The other Fun Fact is that most people are born in the months of July, August and September.  (my son, daughter and me)

My photo is from Bon Appetite.   Spring rolls made with bits of vegetable produce from the garden. Carrots and red cabbage are visible.  More than likely a mix of fresh herb leaves.  Mint, tarragon, parsley and celery leaves.  Basil of course.   I find the spring roll wrappers quite "slimy" in mouth feel so I usually wrap everything in a nice "tenderized" collard leaf.   Not as "see thru pretty" but still tasty.  Well, I would if my collard greens hadn't been eaten by bugs.  I assume the dipping sauce is made with peanut butter.

Riley has just arrived home from what sounds (very loud panting) like a vigorous walk in the woods. We are humid.  Humid is not good for dog breathing (or human).  Yesterday, in the late afternoon the clouds came down and settled onto the lawn.  It was very weird.  We couldn't see three feet ahead of us.  Just clouds.  Very moist.  Today sunshine.  Clear.

We are now going off to Goodwill be see if there are any "treasures".  Last week there were none. Then I am having my Anniversary Hot Fudge Sunday.  One day late.

Note****  Tenderizing just means massaging leaves of kale or cabbage or collards with a bit of salt and your fingers to break up the stiff tissues and make the greens more pliable.  Doing this with kale makes for a more easily eaten salad.  with collard green leaves--easier to roll up tightly around the other veggies.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Daily Notes- September Fifteen

Today is my 50th Wedding Anniversary. Let's have a cocktail!!!! No one thought we'd make it to 50.

I celebrated by putting on my work clothes and going in to the Greenhouse to teach a class.  But first I stopped at the newly renovated McD's and got a breakfast bacon egg and cheese bagel and large coffee.  Which I took to work with me.  I finally had time to drink the coffee at the end of the class.

It was a great class. All the chairs were filled and a few people fetched more chairs to sit down and listen. I talked about dividing perennials, choosing them for season long color etc.

When I got home I treated myself to an extra long shower.  The greenhouse is a very dirty place. I had forgotten how much I loved the "after work" showers.  And clean clothes.

G and I may go out and have Chinese Food later.  And cocktails. He's doing something out in his workshop.

I am very tired.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Daily Notes- Almost September 14

I really, really miss making photos.  That's all I did with my iPhone.  And I sort of took it for granted (once I figured out how to do it--thanks to the ever patient Anna at work) and now that it's gone (the phone)--a big chunk of happiness and process went with it.

I couldn't send you a picture of my soup.  But found one on Bon Appetite.  With the cream swirl.  I do that. Have done it for years and years. I swirl G's bowl of soup.  No cheese toast.  Cheese dumplings. And now I have a picture (someone else took) to have on my blog.  To show you. Soup.

And I couldn't email Connie pictures of my half square triangles.  They are so sweet.

But I do have to TELL all of you--G watched a Hallmark Movie!!!!!  I still can hardly believe it--he even wanted me to find it on the dining room tv so he could eat pizza and watch the end of the movie.  James Brolin was a cowboy slash king of one of those strange European "kingdoms" that inhabit Hallmark World.  James Brolin.  Hallmark.  Lord help us.

Pumpkin Blizzards @ DQ.

Daily Notes- September 13

I lose track of the images.  Have I used this one?  

My grandmother loved her bird Butchie.
Butchie Raz-Banni-Kafoochie.  Which has little to do with the cats.  Though they seem to be looking up...perhaps for Butchie?

I made both soups yesterday.  The sink and counter tops awash in tomato juices.  Both are delicious.
I watched some Hallmark.  A city girl inherits a farm.  Stiletto heels meet horse poop.

Today I cut, layered, marked and then stitched two 12 inch squares of fabric and ended up with 18 half square triangles and then did it again.  Thirty six half square triangles. Connie--I made quite a few mistakes.  But that's how I learn.  It was very fast.

I am reminded of half square triangles on the design wall at that "odd" quilt shop in Town.  I bet they made them this way.  So, when I am in the Attic again, I'll collect some of the Kaffe Fasset prints and the pale grey and white print (I bought that looked like what the student's had used) and make some triangles. Excuse any misspelling.  I got rid of all his books a month or so ago.  Not relevant. So can't check the spelling. I kept the fabric which I still adore.

Along with clearing out the fabric shelves--I am clearing out the quilting books.  My library doesn't want them so they go to Goodwill.  I don't think any of them are relevant to today's quilters. I'm keeping the ones dealing with hand appliqué. Baltimore Appliqué.

The sun is shining in the backyard.  Everything looks fresh and very pretty.  Tall yellow flowers are all over in the perennial beds.  I think they have tubers.  Sunchokes.  Farty-chokes.  We dug them out about 10 years ago--four or five wheelbarrows full.  Now they are back.  They seem to know we are too old now to dig them up again.

A blogger who stopped blogging suddenly a year or more ago--posted.  She's in therapy. It was good to read her words again.  I had hesitated to delete the blog from my blogroll.  I kept hoping she would return.  Many others felt the same way.  She's finding her way.  A good thing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Daily Notes- September 12

Image from Style-Files.  Elle.

I have a rolling restaurant shelving unit in my kitchen.  We tore out the "desk" unit with drawers and cabinets above.  So very 1984.  The wall is painted, not painted with holes, not patched etc.  Waiting. For when we re-do the kitchen.  Until then, rolling shelving.

I have the same assortment on the bottom shelves--- All Clad pans and lids.  Cast iron.  Frying pans. The set of all sizes mixing bowls (nested). On top are my restaurant clear plastic tubs with lids.  For when I make pickles or bread or anything that needs to rest, rise or pickle.  

My jars of utensils are on the stove top.  And tongs are hanging on the oven door handle.

I startled myself late last night with "knowing" what I should make with all this produce.  I was reminded of the pots and pots of vegetable soup I made and ate in March, April and May.  With canned tomatoes, corn etc.   And here I am with a counter filled with red ripe tomatoes.  SOUP!!!!
And the soup recipe is for Summer Soup.  Head Slap!!!!  G will get Tomato Basil with Cheesy Dumplings.  September Soup.

When I click off here, I am going straight to work on my soup.  It's still a bit chilly here in Maine. Thought it has stopped raining. No sunshine.

I washed out, dried and ironed my latest batch of plant based cloth.  I used the spent and dead red blossoms from a wonderful plant blooming right now.  I spread the wilted soft flowers onto the alum soaked cloth.  Rolled, wrapped in foil and steamed for 45 minutes.  Then left to cool outside.  I got blue.  Which I wanted.   I also tried sumac again--another grey.  Goldenrod--more awful yellow--which got splashed with blue food coloring for a pale aqua.  And I smashed acorns from last fall and a few freshly fallen ones and sprinkled them on cloth.  Got a nice flecked brown.  The purple smoke bush leaves didn't transfer as well as that first attempt where I had ghostly shadows of the rounded leaves.  I am going to start a jar of acorns-smashed--in water and see if I can brew a very dark mixture--perhaps adding a few rusty items.  Rusty things are in short supply here.  I may need to leave some things outside for the Winter.

My favorite iron decided to work again.  Don't know why but it's all good.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Daily Notes- September Eleven

I remember that day.  The Girls were here cleaning my house and one got a phone call--turn on the television she yelled.  We did.  And we watched.  The second plane.  The towers falling.  It all happened so slowly and so fast.

I left for the library and my afternoon shift.  BMW with the top down.  Silence.  No birds. No sounds at all.  The library was quiet.  My elderly friend Gregor came in and stood-- tears streaming down her face--Pearl Harbor was what she kept saying.  She's lived thru that and had hoped to never see anything like it again.   And then the church bells.......... somber.  Bong. Bong. Bong.  Echoing.

We had planes stacked up on old airfields in Maine.  They had to land somewhere but not near New York.  And none were allowed to take off again.  Until we understood what was happening.

It rained most of last evening.   Cloudy with a chance of tears today.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Daily Notes- September 10

I forgot to post yesterday. I kept thinking I had already done it, but didn't check.

The photo up top is from Bon Appetite and is titled "burst tomato pasta".   They make it in a frying pan on the stove top.  I just fill a quarter sheet pan with cherry tomatoes (sun gold) olive oil and into the oven at 400 until the tops of the burst tomatoes are just getting some golden brown color.  Chill or use (with sautéed diced onion, red pepper flakes and freshly cooked pasta).  I chill and then fill a quart sized freezer bag, freeze and savor in the Winter months.

Right now I have an abundance of Snow White cherry tomatoes and will probably roast them as well.  don't want to waste them.  They won't have the pectin of the Sungolds--so the pasta sauce won't be as creamy so I will add more red pepper flakes and pasta cooking water.

I didn't read yesterday.  I didn't sew yesterday.  I did watch two Hallmark movies.  I collected ripe tomatoes.  I didn't cook.  We went to two Goodwill stores--but I didn't buy anything. The grocery didn't have any red jelly filled donuts.

My most favorite Rowenta iron did what Rowenta irons do so died suddenly.  The lights go on but no heat.  And it worked perfectly the day before.  I went to my back up Rowenta.  It did heat up but doesn't have the spray button.  But it's heavy and clunky.  And I said bad things to it as I ironed a plant based cloth that I had out in the sun with sumac flowers.  Nice deep rose pink.  Washed out to GRAY.  Now it's a nice silvery gray but it's not rose pink.  I still have more sumac drupes and will try it again.  I may use steam this time and not solar.

Cold the past few days.  Rain is coming today.  Dark.  Summer is ending. And I am going to go looking for my sweater and some socks.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Daily Notes- September 8

Image from Art Propelled  (looks like dry point on copper)

Time here is complicated.  I spend Time finding things that G has lost.  Can't remember where he put it or had it last.  I ask when the appointment is with his doctor.

Yesterday and the day before when Time stretched out and we had no Power--I kept going to the sewing room/office and looking with longing at the sewing machine and the small piles of squares waiting for me.  Today, with Power, I have loads of washing to do.  Sheets to change.  Tomatoes to process before we are over run by fruit flies.  Now I have Power and no Time.

I am also trying to get what is already cooked--eaten.  Not make more.

I went out to the back raised bed garden and picked green beans.  A lot of them.  I am trying to think of a way to eat them that isn't raw (but raw is good).  I had purchased Greek olives and Feta back in Time.  I was thinking of a Greek Salad with Tomatoes and Peppers.  Perhaps I should just make one up?  Add red onion.  I have no cucumber.

Back in the early 1980's the children and I spent 10 days in Greece.  Happy Days.

I should have packed the fried eggplant into freezer bags.  By now it's no longer safe to eat.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Daily Notes- September 7

We have been without.  Power.  Yesterday as I was leaving the library inTown with my haul of books--the sky over my left shoulder looked very dark.   I walked across the street to the grocery parking lot and put my books in the car and headed for the grocery.  Deb--- corn was 2 for a dollar today.

I was selecting corn and all hell broke loose outside.  Wind blowing sideways.  The rain--sideways. The sky black.  A Hurricane it seemed.  But they say, perhaps a tornado.

I got to the deli to order sliced ham for "Mr Picky" (the clerk and I refer to my husband's very specific wants this way) and BOOM.  The power went out and the store went to emergency lighting.  I selected the remainder of my groceries and then had time to wait out the rain while the cashiers tried ringing up customers in the dark.  By the time I got out to the car--rain had stopped.

The drive home--about 10 to 15 minutes--was quite interesting.  Trees down, branches in the street, no traffic lights.  And then as I got closer to my street (home)---flooded streets, trees in the street and very close to the house three power poles--looking exploded--in the street.  Wires everywhere.  And I made the decision to skirt around the pole--going left out of my lane  (no one coming) with my left tires in someone's yard (sloped and sliding mud) slowly but not slowly enough to get stuck--and here comes this WOMAN running full speed toward me from the opposite direction.  I am in her lane.  To my right is a downed power pole.  Towering over my car. She is coming at me. I flashed my lights and screamed STOP (not that she could hear me)--at the very last minute she slows to a stop but only long enough to drive to my left close enough for me to stare into her crazy eyes.

I was really hoping--since she was so far to my left--that she would get stuck in that slippery mud.

I flashed my headlights at all oncoming traffic as I traveled and waited to turn onto my street. Willing them to slow down and not kill anyone.

We have had no power since 12:24 (lunchtime) yesterday.  We have a generator but it took my husband (who has difficulty remembering things these days) several hours to get the generator working.  So we had hot water, cold refrigerators, microwave last evening and until about 20 minutes ago.  We even had A/C (thankfully as moist air makes breathing difficult for us).  No internet but for some odd reason we had tv.  I would have thought tv was also on the power poles.

The team that put in the three new power poles were from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  Not Maine.  So they had to "wait" for the Pole Teams to travel.

So there you have it---I missed you all!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Daily Notes- September 6

When the sky is blue and the sunflowers are tall.

I have tomatoes and green beans to pick today.  We were supposed to have rain.  There are a few clouds but it's still very humid and "icky" outside.  We woke up to the sound of text messages coming in on my husband's phone.  Daughter about the "tree".  She can never stop worrying about something.

Read a damn fine book yesterday.  The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware.  She also wrote The Woman in Cabin 10 and the Lying Game.  I wouldn't recommend reading either of the other books.  But the new book was awesome.  I read straight through as I just "had to".  I like when a book is like that.  And it was on the seven day shelf at my library.

More books have come in.  So, another trip into Town today.

We tried not to watch the news shows this week.  But were intrigued at 11pm by news that some White House cabinet people are considering the 25th Amendment.  Overthrowing the President.  My money is on the Vice President because he's tired of waiting his turn.

I just got an "emergency" robocall from the Republican Party. Gotta hurry and save Brett. Nope.

Well, I have nothing more to add.  I have a cold chicken to shred into chicken salad.  Later!

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Daily Notes- September 5

Noodle Jars.  All prepped in the fridge and just needing hot water.  Broth paste or miso at the very bottom and then the veggies, meat or tofu, next up the cooked and chilled rice noodles and herbs. If I was till working--I would be making up a set of jars each Sunday for a week's lunches.  The water machine can do hot water.

We had some serious anxiety yesterday.  The Tree Guys were supposed to work on daughter's dying  (very old and tall) maple in her small front yard on Thursday.  But the coming storm on Thursday had the Tree Guy Owner start the work yesterday.  And the two workers made QUITE A MESS.

Daughter arrived home at 5pm and flew into a panic.  Tree branches (cut) were breaking and crushing her neighbor's lilacs.  Another branch crushing her hydrangea (still in blossoms) up against the house and another bed that needs to reseed.

Her neighbors were hanging around--everyone likes to visit a crime scene.

G and I arrived.  I directed daughter to calm down (nice try).  G started taking pictures and sending them to the Tree Guy Owner who arrived on the scene (I think he was eating dinner with his family at a restaurant) in 15 minutes (after seeing the pictures) and just stood there in complete SHOCK. One of the guys who did the damage (10 year veteran of tree work) arrived with a small chain saw and started moving and cutting the branches bending the lilacs.  He said "the other guy said it was okay to leave it "messy" when they stopped work".  It wasn't and from what the new crew said this morning.........they all got a very serious (and scary) ass chewing with continued employment being discussed.

This morning's crew included one of the two guys who worked on our property last week.  When he drove up, his eyes bugged out (my husband said) and he started right in "cleaning things up" and saying how sorry he was for what had happened. I guess no one in the company had ever left a job site looking like that in--well, EVER.

Damage is done though and our daughter will be re-living her arrival at her house for years to come.

And I will be negotiating before paying.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Daily Notes- September 4

Eggplant, cheese, grilled onion, basil "burger".

The grilled red onions always look like roses to me.  And this sandwich looks delicious.
We had sliced ripe tomatoes, cheese and basil on large plates drizzled with good olive oil and Balsamic vinegar for lunch today.  A nice baguette.  Didn't have wine.  Should have. And later Dairy Queen.

A quiet day.  Still hot and humid and supposed to have high winds and rain on Thursday. Which will most likely be the end of the tomato and pepper plants.  G and have thought about laying the plants and Grow Boxes on their backsides for the storm if it comes.  Then set them upright the day after. It won't be easy.

I'm reading a book I have vague memories of reading long ago.  A few of these books seem familiar in an odd way.  When I read them years before I had different opinions of the actions and characters. One book had made me very angry about the way a lead character was treated.  This time reading it--there wasn't anything to feel angry about.  Nothing was done to make me think the lead character was being mistreated.  Why had I felt there was that first time?  Was it something in MY life that made me feel that way?  Something to consider as I read books.

Things are feeling much easier and more gentle these first days of September.  Change is in the Air.  I'm going to have that glass of wine now.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Daily Notes- September Three

Image from Pixbay

Squares are on my mind.  Well, they have been on my mind since the white out days of last Winter. December until March it seemed.  This image reminds me of the 1.5 inch squares I cut and stitched by hand into rectangles.  Pages.  One for each month but I stopped in May. Variations in tone of the whites I used.

Gardening took over and still takes up much of my time.  That and trying to color fabric with mordant and plants.  Right now I have a quarter yard of fabric and sumac berries in a plastic bag, in a clear plastic salad container--out in direct Sun.  I check it daily and turn the plastic bag.  It gets pretty hot. The color of the cloth in the bag is a dark old fashioned rose pink.  I think--from experience-- it will rinse out much lighter. So I am leaving it out there for a few more days-or a week.

The recent high humidity has sapped the energy of all three of us--me, G and the dog.  I didn't even check my tomatoes on Monday.  It was even too hot to get in the car and visit Dairy Queen.

I've got three classes to teach at the greenhouse for the Fall season.  Perennials, Bulbs and in October Beds To Rest.  Will be fun to visit with everyone and hear all the chit chat.

I spent yesterday and today watching the Summer Movie Countdown on Hallmark.  Well, I recorded them on TiVo first.  No titles were listed.  So the number one movie would be shocking surprise.  I recorded and deleted the ones I had watched recently and didn't want to watch again.  The only shocking surprise was how terrible most of them are.   The Pearl Movie surprised me.  It was actually pretty great.  In comparison.  I still don't know which movies were three, two and one.  I got tired of watching them.  So, tomorrow I have to fast forward thru the last three.  G was happy to take a very long nap on the couch.  Riley was happy to sleep also.  

And that was the Labor Day Holiday.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Daily Notes- September Two

From Art Propelled- by Christoph Jacob

I like this "rock" because the holes seem to correspond to the phases of the Moon.  Waxing and Waning.  Very clever of the maker.

Yesterday was another day of cooking.  I haven't done much over the Summer but was getting hungry. So, out of necessity, I started cooking.  Or making.  The chicken salad only needed a cold cooked chicken from the grocery, white meat shredded and mixed with mayo and the "secret" ingredient of honey.  A good amount of honey.  No salt or pepper.  I have a lovely jar of clover honey from a greenhouse customer saying "thank you".  I'd brought him a plant he wanted, from my garden at home.  And he gave me honey he had collected, from his home.

So, I have cold fried eggplant slices.  I have cold chicken salad.  I have cold "pasta" made with roasted Sungold cherry tomatoes (huge amounts of pectin in these golden orbs--which makes for a decadently creamy sauce) cooked to thick sauce with onion and olive oil before mixing in the cooked spaghetti.  And of course, the daily Tomato sandwich.  Before the cooking I was eating a bowl of homemade granola moistened with Ready Whip and chocolate baking chips (very bitter and dark) for supper late into the evenings.  Tomato sandwich for lunch.  Granola for late supper.

I haven't done as well feeding my husband.  He won't eat the eggplant--not even heated up and topped with marinara and melted cheese.  He won't eat the Sungold Pasta.  Too many tomato seeds. And he won't even consider tasting the chicken salad.  And the tomato sandwich?  He can't imagine why anyone would eat that.

I did make him a panful of marinaded beef cubes with mushrooms.  Leftover Chinese restaurant rice.  He has ham, turkey and cheese that he rolls up and eats with the refrigerator pickles I make him. Only one jar left.  The cucumber plants dried up.  He will eat Tomato Soup I make from the over abundance of garden tomatoes--which I just remembered.  So after Goodwill, I will make Tomato Basil soup.  With homemade cheesy dumplings.  And there are lots of packages of frozen meatballs in the vestibule freezer.  He just forgets they are there.  Even if I make a list of things to eat and post it--he forgets.

And we have been eating the sweetest most tender corn of the summer.  Butter and Sugar I think it's called.  White and yellow kernels.  10 ears for $2.  From a local farmer.  At the grocery store.

There has been no production canning this summer.  The zucchini plants didn't make an abundance of zucchini for the usual pickles.  No fruit for jam making.  No marinara making.  Last October's was lost to the power outage and a warm freezer.  We still might have grapes for jelly.  But I am not making plans for it.  The birds could still eat them all just as they get ripe.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Daily Notes- September One

Image from Art Propelled

Today is Calendar Day.   I have a big paper calendar under the desktop computer and I write notes, draw things and even jot down recipes on it's white surface.   Today.  A new page and I had to lift the heavy iMac up and tear off the sheet that was August.

But not just get rid of it.  Parts of it go into my notebooks and journal.  The parts with ideas and drawings.  Recipes go into the recipe box.

August has a drawing of Grace's broken boulder. Or very large rock.  Also a selection of beasts from Spirit Cloth.  I like them.  Also a list of all the internet addresses for blogs I read daily--they were then put into my newly refreshed blog roll on my sidebar.  See, I did some computer stuff!! Yeah!

There is also the cell phone number of a friend in Florida having knee surgery soon.  The correct spelling of Nicoise.  A note that I might want to plant Pineapple lilies next year.  A note that the Waning Moon  is good for "releasing water". A note to watch Carla make "bulk aisle granola" on Bon Appetit's  video series.  Also a note that September is when the Universe makes ME the star of the show.

In honor of the weather "turning", my eyes have gotten itchy, irritated and/or dry.  I searched the house for my new, full bottle of Blink.  Nothing.  This morning as I lifted the iMac--geez, it's heavy!!!--what should, to my wondering eyes appear?....but the bottle of Blink, rolling around back behind the iMac. Thank Heavens!!!   My eye doctor wants me NEVER to RUB my DRY EYES AGAIN!!!!!! (but I do)

The cooler weather has G and Riley ready for more walks.  They have just gone off.  Giving the newly cleared and cut path a try-out.  It was expensive.  Always is.  Three days.  But I can see sunshine thru a portion of the woods back there.  And the 4 foot high brush (tick-ville) is now 8 inches tall. I gave the boys a container of red ripe tomatoes to take home with them.

So--a great start to my month of September.