Wednesday, October 31, 2018
As close an image to the holiday as I had in my cleaned out photo files. Boo!
The sun is shining. The boy is finding it very "chilly" here in Maine. I lent him a pair of Smartwool socks and his mood warmed a bit. We are having a Wonderfilled visit. There was even a nice spice cake--his favorite--baked yesterday. And a lemoncello tart at a favorite local restaurant last evening followed by card games around the table.
Riley is getting used to the new "resident" here and enjoyed the daughter's visit last evening, as well.
A full house that we were all missing.
All set for the two Halloweener's that trick or treat on our dead end street. A big bag of candy (that I like to eat) and two Buzz Lightyear toys. The 5 year olds won't know who Buzz is--possibly-- but their father will recognize him. The Spooky House never got brought down from the attic this year. It was just that kind of season..........hopefully I recover my holiday spirits by Christmas.
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Fairy Mushrooms. Pixby image.
The only mushroom we see are the white caps that seem to grown from nothing into something--overnight. Inedible. I once upon a time, tried making felt mushrooms like this for my Christmas Tree. I may try again. My hand/sewing skills have matured and I am happy to work slowly these days. And I think (know) that there is beige felt and red felt in the Magic Attic. I'll take my son up there to help me look. And to look at his big storage box of vintage Legos. Daughter also has stored vintage Legos--castles. From 1982 to 1986.
Lots of wind and rain but mostly to our south. Where they had power outages. Downed trees.
Daughter stopped by and went on our travels with us today. Goodwill. Chinese food lunch. Grocery.
And now she has gone home and I am settling in for an evening with Hallmark and old Christmas movies. On the mysteries channel. They are "emotional" and often make me cry. I'm in the mood for that. All of them are "new" to me as I have been only watching the regular "happy" Hallmark movies.
Our son arrives tomorrow and I may not find time to post while he is here for his 5 days a year. Got to pack as much mothering as possible in this small space. Not that he allows much but we do play board or card games in the evenings. Like we did when both children were in their teens and home from college. Before iPhones and video games. Real "face time".
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Image from Garden Design
Near freezing here in Maine and raining. Soup weather. I just now finished putting together lentil soup from a recipe given to me by my best friend when I lived in Germany. Lovely German woman who I spent much of my 6 years with.
And in that vein of sweet remembrance: A recipe for German Linsensuppe.
The recipe calls for one pound of country ham pieces. I have gone without during vegetarian phases. I have added one end cut off a smoked ham from the deli section of the grocery. Costing usually less than a dollar. And I have used ham flavoring powder in little packets. Fine with. Fine without.
Here is the recipe:
One pound ham pieces simmered in 2 quarts of water for an hour (to make a ham broth), I have never done this.
Use 2 quarts plain water--it's what I usually do when I have ham ends or I don't have ham ends.
Then add one pound of dry lentils (I use the ordinary brown ones)
Carrots, diced--as many as you have or want (three today)
Celery, diced--one or two stalks (two today)
Potatoes, diced--as many as you have or want (two were left in the basket)
Onion, only one, diced
Tomato, only one, diced (still on the porch table from my garden)
red or green Pepper, diced--I had roasted some red peppers (garden) and used one in today's soup
Parsley- I had picked the leaves off my entire production of parsley before they froze and rolled it into fat cigars and into the freezer in freezer bags--I unwrap and cut off as much as needed--here it was an inch.
Add water if it gets too thick--simmer for an hour. And you can add boullion cubes if you want.
If you don't add the ham--add some salt to the soup and some pepper.
The peppers, parsley and celery if you want (I do) is added in Germany as Suppengrun flakes. I have found dried vegetable flakes in some small grocery chains but not often. So I read the label and these items were listed. So I use fresh.
This makes a very thick, filling soup. Monika served it with smoked sausage slices on top.
Friday, October 26, 2018
Image from Pixby
We have had a flock--I know that is the wrong word--of junior crows visiting the birdfeeders. They were probably born this year and are having a reunion. Crows do that. They return to the place of their birth. Very social. Family oriented.
The sun is shining today. Forty one degrees. In March, I will consider this warm. In October, I consider it cold. There are a few additional gardening chores to attend to--a few bulbs to plant. A few plants to get into the ground. A few cuttings to take to grow over the Winter in water.
Our son visits next week. We are looking forward to his annual return to the family--like the crows.
G's credit card was used to buy a plane ticket to Kuwait yesterday. So we are getting a new card. His other credit card was used to buy software. Another new card. I am changing the passwords to this computer later today. Nothing feels secure right now.
Be careful out there!!
Thursday, October 25, 2018
The Full Moon was eagerly trying to get into my bedroom last night. Through the blinds. Lighting up the room. Lighting up the yard outside when I got up to look. Riding high in the clear night sky. Bringing the first hard frost to Maine.
We (G, Riley and I) are falling quickly into our Winter patterns. Up early, breakfast, and then wanting a nap. Eating all meals a few hours earlier than usual and in bed by 10.
I am dreaming again. Not many all summer and now they come each night. Strange, puzzling dreams. Last night I was getting married. Had lost my wedding dress--found it and then the shoes were missing. House full of bridesmaids. Odd. I had none when I actually got married. Perhaps now I would have a houseful of bridesmaids. From the internet. All of you! Well, that is a happy thought to carry with me. Perhaps what the Moon was trying to tell me.
My coffee friend gifted me with the remaining art supplies from her short adventure in drawing--a class she took but didn't enjoy. She found she enjoyed the paper more than the drawing. Folding. More pencils, Grace! And some kneaded erasers which I love. And two lovely small sketchbooks. I was very happy. Last time she gave me indigo seeds. I give her bags of vegetables from my garden. Yesterday the last red bell peppers. She roasted hers. And now I will roast mine using her method.
I think my flour tortilla today will hold roasted red peppers.
I need to go into the Ordinary Attic to find the rest of my Winter thermal shirts. Take my summer linen shirts up. Make the exchange. I am thinking I will make alterations to the wide cowl collars on two cashmere sweaters. Roll them and stitch them. Perhaps fold the wide collars over and add a button. I don't wear them as they are. Perhaps adjusted they will be......better?. I may also look for other cashmere at Goodwill. To add to the bottom edges--make the two of them longer. They were poor choices. Or perhaps on my visit to the attic I will find another sweater to cut and sew onto those two unfortunate sweaters? I am wondering if they are even warm?
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Circles. I love them.
Woke today to alternating rain and snow. Yep. SNOW. Up North here in Maine-12 inches. It rained and snowed and now has stopped. Kind of a gray day. House lights are on, heat is on. Only hot food from here on........
Went out in the wetness for the long awaited coffee date with my friend. Conversation in the little Town coffee house. Almost all the seats taken. It's a lovely welcoming spot.
By the time we had finished with our conversations, the rain had stopped. I had a few errands so I walked. Music Theater to buy next summer's seats. Then the grocery--lucky for me they had Arnica cream for my sore thumb. That meant no long walk to the Health Food Store. And no temptation to buy a good loaf of their bread.
Grace, the Arnica cream seems to be having a good effect. Perhaps I will be able to do some hand sewing in the days ahead.
I roasted some peeled and cubed sweet potato with oil and taco seasonings from a packet yesterday. Then rolled the soft spicy cubes up in a warm flour tortilla with red onion, yellow cheese and avocado. Delicious. I have enough to have another one today. Or I can mix it all into a bowl of steamed rice. Life is good when the food is good.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Image of a soap bubble. Full Moon?
So many images on the internet of cloth with a full moon. Jude from Spirit Cloth. And tonight the Moon will be 100% full. We might have cloud cover. Last night the moon was riding high over the trees with no clouds. A beautiful thing.
One visit of family past and the next arriving on Monday. Our California boy wondering how cold it's going to be here. In the time it took to type this we had sunshine streaming into the windows and now it's dark, looking like rain. Maine weather is ephemeral.
My thumb hasn't hurt-until I sat here to type replies to email. Connie mentioned the pain is sending a message--too much typing???? Connie says good thing on the way. Our boy.
Made a large pot of chicken soup for G--the first of this season. It looked amazingly delicious. I had gone out to the library and then grocery (they are very close to each other) and got fresh carrots, celery and some very nice onions for the soup. And chicken thighs. And soup noodles.
G spent the day mow/mulching the neighbor across the street's maple leaves. It took most of the day. He was cold and tired when he got back into the house. So the soup was welcome. He told the neighbor this was his last year/season to do her leaves or her lawn. She will have to find someone else. He decided it was time to retire from landscape work for anyone other than me.
He still has the daily walk with Riley. No chance of Riley letting G retire from that.
Monday, October 22, 2018
Autumn Leaves, Seeds and Birds Stocking Up
We have a very large blue jay feeding at the bird feeder attached to the kitchen window. He hangs upside down and sideways to get his seeds. Makes "racket" on the window. Perhaps so we'll look over and notice him?
Our neighbor across the street is getting the back side of her house roof shingled. Lots of trucks and work people. Nailing noise.
G is going across the street to mulch mow and pick up the maple leaves on our neighbor's front lawn. I want them for my garden. G says this is his final year doing yard work for anyone but me. He says this every Fall. But this year he says there are enough maple leaves in our side yard for my garden.
I am going to the library to return books and then to the grocery to see if they have something for my aching right thumb joint. A pain cream. Something to rub into the joint. I haven't been able to hand stitch anything in a few weeks now. My working hand thumb. I can still manage to sew squares together on the sewing machine. Cutting the squares is not comfortable with the rotary cutter. Sigh!
My desk calendar is filling up with written notes. Ideas. Beauty in the unfolding of Life. John O'Donohue. I like the thought of Life unfolding as one moves through Time. Always something yet unseen, waiting for you to unfold, move into it. Perhaps the pain in my thumb leads to something new and unexpected?
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Image from Art Propelled
Sunshine. Cold yesterday but today a bit warmer. Goodwill? Not so much. A small bag of beads. Another cold chicken from the grocery to make into chicken salad. My protein for the day. I am trying to have a serving of protein each day. Something I don't really enjoy so I think of it as "medicine". My allergy to soy eliminates that as a source of protein. Not fond of eating animals.
I also got a bag of beets from the local Six Rivers Farm. I usually roast them and then have them cold with vinegar and oil. When I have some fresh mozzarella- I mix that with the beets. And I have my broccoli and cauliflower crunchy chop salad which I prepped but haven't dressed. I could always make a frittata with sautéed kale, onions and......... what? Not really excited about any of it.
Football Sunday. G wants me to "stay calm" so I don't get the dog upset.
I collected some highly pigmented leaves from plants in the greenhouse yesterday--for another eco printing day tomorrow. The leaves I took weren't fresh and had some browning on the edges. I have another group of purple smoke bush leaves from a branch my daughter collected at work last week. It takes a Village doesn't it when one wants to collect plant materials?
We're going to have pizza (football) and I think I'll roast the beets first and then the oven will be hot for the pizza. Sounds like a plan. I love a plan.
Monday I am going to try to walk to the end of our street and back. If my breathing is okay. Got to really make an effort to do some exercise. See how much I can do before needing the rescue inhaler. There is also a local gym with a beginning old people's yoga class. I have also been invited to join a Pilates beginner class. But......the walk first. Start slowly.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Image from Art Propelled
Today was One of the Best Days. I was teaching a class on putting your garden to bed for the Winter. Time is running out here in Maine to get garden chores done before the first snowfall.
Seven were signed up by my lovely, sweet co-worker had many many chairs set out. Not enough. We had 30 gardeners for the class. I had to use my rescue inhaler once. Drink water and clear my throat many times. But they heard me. So many good questions.
There were no indicators in my personality in childhood that "teaching" would be the perfect career for me. I found out only 12 years ago. It comes so naturally for me to talk about what I love. Perhaps I needed to fall in love with a subject before the teaching magic could happen? Something to think about.
I came home and took a long hot shower. The greenhouse is a dirty place with airborne particles. I caught up on the news--sadly a special needs adult guy who came in three days a week to clean the bathrooms, sweep and dust hadn't come into work for a few days so our employer asked the police to do a Wellness Check.
Sweet, kind Joe had died. He lived alone. His sister came in to collect his last check and tell us how VERY MUCH he loved his job at the greenhouse and the people he worked with. I was his "go to" person when the vacuum got clogged and we swept the greenhouse together for 10 years. Joe will be missed--
G and I are eating our way through the"visit" food I prepared. Today might be the end of it. I just finished another Hilderbrand book--- Blue Bistro. It had everything a Nantucket book wants--food, beach, money, clothes and this one had so much "heart". It will be one of the special books I reach for again and again. Summer is ending and the time for reading beach books will end soon. When it snows?
Friday, October 19, 2018
Art Propelled image
The sun shines each morning, melting the frost from overnight. Each morning more and more of the plant life has been frosted or frozen. Death is everywhere. I have carried as much as I can into the house. But I don't have enough room. The figs and the two large pots of geraniums. The large asparagus fern was talked about--but left outside. Now.......too late?
My husband continues to change passwords and then "forgets" what he changed them to. My Time here on the blog may come to an abrupt end. I am getting warnings from Ad Blocker etc that things are not right......... the car alarm is going off repeatedly because he wears the car fob on his pants pocket and it gets pressed by accident--too many times and the security system will lock him out.
Our son comes the last week of October--- he may have to teach me how to manage this computer. Today has not been a good day and it's just 10:46 in the morning.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Woke up this morning to light SNOW cover on everything. Our newspaper announced it as "the end of the growing season". I also had the "joy" of paying the first seasonal oil bill-nearly $500 and that's for 6 weeks of oil I think, now--(later the bills will come every month)--if we keep the house cool not warm. Welcome Winter. Where did I leave my sweater? the heating pad?
I carried the two large pots of geraniums into the house just before sitting down here. They are in the vestibule. Seeing how many bugs and worms might be co-habitating before coming into the house proper. The big asparagus fern is still outside and will need a good haircut before entering.
Not much to do today. The garden needs a good cleanup--- my sister in law picked the last of the raspberries, I guess. The ones ripening will be mush about now. The fig trees are already inside. And now that my rosemary plant has gotten a frost--it can come inside without fear of drying up. Nature's way of letting the plant know it needs to stop growing. Lots of branches on the rosemary so I can, perhaps, prune it into a topiary globe and a bare stem and used the cuttings for cooking and for starting new rosemary plants--perhaps for gifts.
There is never enough room inside for all the things we have outside.
My worktable in the sewing room is filled with cloth. I will need to start cutting and sewing. A new baby quilt top for Connie's group and I have a charm pack to turn into holiday potholders again this year. Or perhaps into placemats? I loved making the other charm pack into holiday potholders--adding from my fabric piles to stretch the material into ten potholders. And NOW I have remembered how to do the binding!!!! I did have to watch a few You tube videos.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Well, are they really gone?
Riley always enjoys having guests. And these guests were family.
My brother and his wife were here in Maine and we had many, many good conversations and much laughter over two days. We also shared good food. My pie--that I was so worried about--was wonderful. The crust flaky and crisp. The apples filled the entire crust--no big gaps--and the Pink Lady apples were tart and crisp. A good pie. Good visit.
We are finding that MSNBC on the television works very very well to keep Riley for having a panic attack while we are out of the house for periods of time. No destruction of woodwork or furnishings. No saliva wetness all over the floor from panting. It works, I can't explain it.
After all the cleaning and carrying of un-needed things to the Attics--my knees are hurting. For some reason the large joint in the thumb is aching. So, I am thinking today is a good day to just rest, read a book and perhaps take a few minutes (or more) to just close my eyes and rest.
A day to rest.
Monday, October 15, 2018
It seemed like such a simple thing. Bake a fruit pie.
Nothing went as planned. The crust would not "pull together" and remained dry and crumbly no matter what I did. Then when the baking time was done--no fruit juices bubbling out of the top crust. so I covered the entire pie with foil and back into the oven. A few bubbles after 25 minutes. Meaning the pie had been baking for over 2 hours.
It looks great. I have no confidence it will taste great. Or even cut nicely. It might be the sort of lovely pie that has to be served with a giant scooping spoon.
It never looked like the crust in the picture. So much more "lumpy".
The beds are made, the laundry done, all the floors mopped or vacuumed. The trash and garbage are out on the curb for morning pick-up. Bathrooms spotless. My bother is somewhere "having an easy drive" which is a wonderful thing in itself. It's getting dark and we have drizzle. Rain is coming.
We just got a call--inviting us to have dinner with brother and wife--lovely visit. And they aren't staying with us. Will come for dinner and another visit tomorrow. I guess I misunderstood.
So, it's good. My house is clean.
Sunday, October 14, 2018
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
We had a hard freeze here in Maine overnight. Like ice on the plants. Too soon.
I was thinking ahead (and feeling cold) so I upped the number on the thermostats before bed and we had heat overnight and for the morning in the bathrooms. But it's still cold and I'm not wearing sweaters--but I should be---so I set the number up two and now we are warming up.
But I am going to dig around in the closet for my sweaters. I didn't put them away in the Other Attic like usual. Or--did I go up there for warm stuff a few weeks ago?
I went out and got some new bed pillows for the guest room. Worked hard in there to get the room dusted and carpet vacuumed (one of the two rooms that still have carpet), fought with the bed (king) to get the underskirt on top of the box spring and then the sheets on etc. That's when I realized I need more pillows. The room looks "minimal" but comfortable. I may need to add another blanket. Guests staying this month are from warm states. and yesterday as I made the bed--it was still warm.
I have floors to do today and dusting. I'll dust first. And there is still clutter. I am planning to bag up all Riley's dog toys. He doesn't play with them at all now. Usually, the toys were spread out over the entire floor surface of the house- making that a twice a day routine of picking them all up (making a big pile). He'd grab a toy and shake it to death. Then go get another one. Most of them had squeakers. I may start doing a load of small toys in the washer every week. Then donate them to a dog shelter if they allow that. Riley also has a collection of enormous toys--as big as he is. For some reason, only known to Riley--he loved carrying (dragging) these "big as he is toys" around and then climbing on top of them for a nap. A giant moose is sharing his dog bed right now.
Riley is sounding the alarm--intruders in the back yard. Squirrels or Deer.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
I like this idea. A string holding a few leaves on the door.
Very cold here. I may have to get the furnace going. The autumnal color show is nearly finished. All the leaf colors are fading, browning.
I have been carrying things up into the two Attics. The Magic One and the Ordinary One. Things that I have allowed to sit around and clutter up the spaces. Boxes of class handouts I create for the gardening classes I teach. Researched and then set down into a package for each class. I took them all up to the Magic Attic. Not ready to shred them into compostable paper goods. The ones on Composting take up so much room. I even had built a small three bin composting model to show in classes. The Boy Scouts asked if I would let them borrow it for a Scout display. I said they could have it. I would layer the browns (dry) and the greens (wet) in the miniature bins as I spoke to the class.
Biggest mistake in composting is too little of the browns (dry). You need to stockpile as much dry as you can find or scavenge. Right now I have leaves in a tall pile and a bale of straw to cover my kitchen composting for the winter months. And I have bags of shredded mail. If that isn't enough, I shred the daily newspaper as well. And no worries--the ink is soy based.
My right thumb joint is painful. I am massaging it. And my knees from going up the stairs. I know I am carrying too much weight right now for the knees. I can work on that. But the thumb. I need that hand for my stitching. From the long Winter of sewing.
Friday, October 12, 2018
Nest Cleaning. For Company.
I am halfway into the kitchen cleaning. The refrigerator is done. All the shelves and jars and bottles washed and wiped dry. The recycling container is full. The dishwasher--seldom used these days-- is loaded with the empty containers from the fridge.
I have the guest bedroom yet. Still removing my cloth and things that get piled in there. Then will clean and vacuum and make the bed up. Ready for Tuesday--which was coming slow but not is coming fast.
Riley and G have just returned from their walk. Riley isn't eating. This always worries me and then--out of nothing--he eats and asks for more. Which we give. An old dog--new habits.
My second try at eco printing in the new Aluminum Pot with Good Handles. Heats up fast. The cloth is still not what I imagined but it is good. Getting better impressions. I have to wait until after company to try a third time. Dipping the leaves in rust water and then onto the cloth. See how that goes for me. The Sumac pot still giving color. A commercial red and white floral-- very Civil War-- but too white. In the pot and (aged)-- perfect if I want to finish things begun 20 years ago. Or for a Baltimore Beauty. Many loose ends here.
Whatever I do--they will be hybrids. Open pollinated by the internet.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
The Day After The Hundred Year Hurricane.
Which angel is Michael?
Mexico Beach. Gone. How many stayed behind because they had no money to travel away to safety? We had rain all day even up here in Maine. But ours comes from up North. It's cold.
I am reading another book--G is reading also--Riley is sleeping. No more television.
I happened to catch some of Kanye in the Oval Office. And stopped watching. Came back later--I guess they had just returned to MSNBC and the two talking heads were just sitting there --eyes wide-- stunned-- speechless. I guess it got even wackier after I tuned out. Even Trump knew he had a big pile of "Oh-No" in his office. Bi-Polar. Possibly skipped his meds. Lunch with the President.
What could go wrong? So invited the press corp. On camera. Live. Get out the black vote.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Give Us Our Daily Bread
It's been a long Time since I baked bread. Like this in the cast iron pot. A good crusty boule.
It felt like religion when I baked bread - like the process was a prayer. Perhaps remembering a Time when that was what it was.
I am foggy brained. It happens in Fall when too many spores and things are in the Air making my head stuffy, my nose runny and my eyes itchy or dry. Death. Decay. Sadness. Tears. But it also seems quite beautiful.
I am really wanting to set aside all the cleaning and get a few bundles of cloth and leaves into the dye pot. The new Goodwill dye pot. I can do chores while they steam. So after I hit publish here--it's up to the Magic Attic (perfect name, Deborah) to get blank cloth from the bolt I purchased so many years ago. After it's hand washed (scrubbed) and rinsed I can let the magic begin.
The small restaurant pot still holds the sumac drupes and cider vinegar--- I take out a cloth and add a cloth, add thread and let it go--color keeps happening. Today, a cloth with pattern. To see what happens to commercial printed cloth. It would seem to be the truth--that I wasted the other drupes. Not knowing they could continue to give color. It's all about being open to new information or knowledge. This sumac pot is small-- possible a quart size. It holds only two small cloths at once. Not meant for stove top heating. Meant for holding cut items to add to restaurant food. I have more but they have drainage holes in the bottoms. The ones with holes fit into the ones without. The things I didn't know could be used this way. I use them on the restaurant stainless table--in the garage as a potting bench.
And they can now be both. For starting plants and for using the plants as they die in Autumn.
Tuesday, October 09, 2018
Style Files Photo
The Open Door. Of a House or a Mind.
Something to consider as things get more and more angry.
I had coffee with a friend today. The weather was quite nice so we walked. Around Town. On the walk I picked up leaves that looked interesting. The shape, the color etc. My companion usually picks up litter and recycling. We are a good pair. On a walk.
G vacuumed and washed the floor under all the potted plants. I sprayed them for insects. Now I have cleaning the fridge and mopping the wood floors with my Swiffer and Bona floor cleaner on my list. And washing the windows. We have new windows so they open in -I can do both sides- from inside the house. No ladder or buckets of water--or the hose. All I need is blue window spray and a good supply of newspapers.
I found my missing drawing pencil set. Ready to perhaps draw the chairs again. Or the pepper grinder. Or a leaf.
Monday, October 08, 2018
Rust. Ink. Thread. On my "to try" list. Which is getting longer.
Changed the calendar page and added what remained important to the journal pages. I still write, but not as often. But if I were to write ...it would be how that book about the alcoholic dysfunctional family has caused me to be moody, have troubling dreams (again after so long of not dreaming at all) and return to what I consider "disturbing behavior". The book or the family visit? Both?
This why I keep to myself. A disturbance in the continuum is never good.
A Reader commented that they had not remembered me mentioning a visit from anyone to my home. Pretty much. Our son. He visits as a "wellness check" and because he is a kind man.
When we select friends (and family) there are those who come to you and there are others whom you must be the one doing the traveling. We ended up with being the ones who had to pack up and go--always. I just got tired of it.
I drew a two page "spread" of line drawings of chairs in my journal. They have personalities. If I could find the set of drawing pencils I purchased for drawing---well, the drawings might be even better. But the pencils are lost. Right now.
A large pot of garden vegetable soup is simmering--using the last of the tomatoes and green beans. I am cooking it in the pot where I steamed cloth and rust water that one time. If I poison anyone--it will just be myself. The pot itself has been scrubbed many times and I boiled water and baking soda in it for over an hour. It is either clean or it isn't. I have to move on.
That cloth at the top is so evocative of my mood. Little circles (bubbles) of anxiety. Lines of tension. The rust. The black the rust turns into when in contact with plant material. The black of depressed thoughts. .........I'm going to take a Benadryl.
Sunday, October 07, 2018
Still hung up on the dark side of cloth. But on the stove top--a small stainless restaurant pot and vinegar and the last four sumac seed heads. I read some of my notes on eco printing/cloth coloring and saw a notation "to keep the pink, use vinegar" so that's what I am trying. Otherwise I get a really beautiful silver grey or pewter but would like a piece of pink. If the vinegar doesn't work--well, another beautiful grey.
Goodwill today--earlier--Riley is getting his walk now that we are home. It's cooler now so he can come in the car with us. At home, he is having panic attacks when alone. The three of us are showing our age.
G and Riley got home from their walk in the woods and they had collected "fall leaves in pretty oranges and reds" and an interesting fern--for my cloth printing. Wasn't that thoughtful of the two of them? I may need to set a pot cooking later today. The new pot that will be the only one I use for this cooking of plants and cloth. Food Safety.
I found some cute little Halloween bags with pumpkin faces--- for the twin boys who are the only ones who come to call. Also a big bag of assorted candy--some of which I like. Well, most of which I like. But the boys will bet most and a toy. From the attic. Perhaps they'll get a bag of Beanie Baby worms, spiders and bugs? I certainly have enough of those around.
I made G his favorite tomato soup yesterday and I have a chopped vegetable salad in the fridge that I made yesterday. It's very good--lots of chewing. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sunflower seeds and a coleslaw type dressing. I'm going to add pumpkin seeds. And some dry cranberries. Make it Seasonal. Ha!
Saturday, October 06, 2018
Art Propelled- Kuplenkoz
Sunshine but a chill in the air. We are now in a "no news" time. No watching. No listening. We will still read the newspaper. But it's a Maine newspaper and Mainers care only about local things that have to do with Maine. There is nothing we can do until November when we vote.
In the meantime, I am collecting leaves that have colored in the night chill and fallen to the ground (for eco printing). I am tending to my email replies. I am cleaning the house in preparation for visits in the coming weeks; my brother and his wife and at the end of the month, my son. We rarely have company so--this has me in quite a nervous state.
I have the last of the "soon to be compost" tomatoes to process into final pots of soup or packages for the freezer. I need to do it today.
I am reading what I thought was just a book of stories and recipes. It is not. The Comfort Food Diaries by Emily Nunn is heart-wrenching. Heart breaking. Yes, there are recipes but there are also stories of people lost and found. People broken and mended. A biography. I stop every so often because the tears have blurred my vision. It's not a big book but it is taking me nearly a week to read. So much of it is a shadow or echo of my own past. Emily is taking this journey of recovery through her past and perhaps I should have done the same. Instead of just turning my back on who I was then and who my friends and family were then.
But today---I have laundry to do and tomatoes to blanch and peel. And I will not watch or listen to any news.
Friday, October 05, 2018
Art Propelled, again.
This is the last of what looked like a collection of eco printed fabrics -some with running stitches- all from different sources, I think.
I could make something like this (easily) with small drops of the rust water on mordanted (alum) fabric. Circles. Planets. Moons. I like them all.
Today I went to the doctor with G. To write down and remember what he and his doctor discuss. A very nice doctor. A memory test or two. A blood test for thyroid function which can affect memory and a CAT scan. Also a flu shot. G's doctor had a large supply--- my doctor had zero of the high dosage ones for the 60 and over crowd.
The Sun is out and the maples are glorious. All the shades of gold, orange and red. Our Town's Maine Street is crowded with people and cars. Traffic was very bad, yet again. I think its reunion week at Bowdoin. Homecoming. A very long line at the Taco food truck.
I decided to examine the chopped crunchy salad I have been buying at the deli and make my own. I sorted thru the last container: chopped broccoli (mostly stems), cauliflower, sunflower seeds, shredded (very thin) carrots, raisins. And the binder which I am convinced is mayo. I will add pecans and pumpkin seeds. I have a bag of radishes in the crisper drawer so will chop or shred them and add to the mix. I also bought dried cranberries-- mostly to add to my homemade granola, but I could also add some to the Crunchy Chopped Salad.
Great Patriots game last night and then I started reading another book from the new shelf-- The Comfort Food Diaries. It wasn't what I expected. Deals with the author (and her siblings) and alcoholism. I am one third of the way in. The reading is sometimes tough on one's heart (it all seems too close to home) but the recipes "read" as amazing. And Southern, so it speaks to my beginnings as someone who learned to cook in the South. At the 30% point I am ready to pack up and move back to Georgia for a biscuit, fried apple pie and some BBQ.
Thursday, October 04, 2018
From Art Propelled.
As you may have gathered--this week I am channelling the dark side. Blacks and rust. I really am tempted to pile more fabric and rust water in the new (old Goodwill) kettle and steam away. Dark again today and 60 degrees but it feels colder. I think it's going to rain off and on. Putting the kettle on would warm up the house.
New author-- Elin Hilderbrand. I read her newest- The Identicals. It wasn't great but it wasn't awful so I plan to visit the library and see what else is on the shelves.
I am tired. Not because I am doing work but...just tired. Sleepy. Could be seasonal change. Or the early darkness which I call the Dark Times. Or the corduroy pants and sweater by association with darkness.
G and I managed -in cooperation-- to move the cutting/art table into the room where my sewing machine and ironing board are located. (we had to disassemble it and keep track of the parts) The room was (possibly still is) G's "office". He doesn't do any office stuff now that he is no longer the owner of a business. So, generally, the room is not in use except to store boxes of stuff. Since my former work space has become the guest room--------I needed a new workspace -- using the dining room has not been appreciated.
There was the perfectly sized space next to the sewing machine for the cutting/drawing table after I removed many boxes of electrical parts and pieces from the remodel. Even a tall lamp so I can see where I am cutting and measuring my squares during the Dark Times coming. I found my father's box of important papers. Looked through them. Also a folder of my mother's papers was in the bookcase I cleaned out. I haven't looked at them.
I found my paternal grandparent's marriage certificate with the original spelling of their names and their countries of origin. Russia and Serbia. Balthazar and Aloisia in 1914. I knew them as Joe and Louise. American names. I have their wedding picture from the day the certificate was handwritten. My grandfather seated with my grandmother to his left with her hand on his shoulder.
The past is swirling around.
Tuesday, October 02, 2018
From Art Propelled
We got all sorts of household things done yesterday. Goodwill had a different pot from the one I had not purchased Sunday ($10) for what seemed like too high a price. But after thinking about it--it seemed okay. When I arrived in that department and shelving unit--there was a very tall sturdy pot, with lid and nice handles sticking out from the sides. Easy to lift. Five dollars. Aluminum.
At the cash register I was asked if I qualified for the "special pricing" of the day? I asked what that might be. Senior Citizen Day. I said loud and clear--"why yes, I'm 72". So the pot was four dollars.
We also visited the discount store Reny's and G selected bags of bird seed for all the birds we feed all winter. And we realized at the checkout that they had no working cash registers. All by hand on paper with calculators. G read off the long series of barcode numbers on each bag. I hope the clerks got extra pay.
And last but never least......the rally in Mississippi.
From Art Propelled this image and the one from yesterday by Lotte Helleberg
More eco prints from a Swedish artist working in America. She has a website. I think the leaves she used for this are fresh pecan leaves. Clamped and steamed. I haven't tried clamping. Yet.
Another cold dark wet day. A bad start here as my husband was messing around (literally) here on the computer and I found I was locked out of my blog this morning. And, of course, he forgets what he has done. The stress here seems impossible somedays and I just grit my teeth and hope things can be straightened out. Memory issues are like walking an emotional tightrope.
We will be going out later to Goodwill to see if the kettle I didn't buy Sunday is still available and then to a store to buy a future Christmas gift while "supplies last".
The homemade Brownies are indeed "very dark" and quite delicious. I had two very thin slivers. So much dark chocolate and caffeine late in the day is not good for sleeping. The recipe asked for dark unsweetened baking chocolate and cocoa powder. Only ⅓ cup flour. The boys at the greenhouse would have cleaned the pan in less than five minutes.
I have two large bags of red peppers in the fridge--I must use them, freeze them or give them away. This is the way of the garden. Waiting so very long into the season for a red pepper and then suddenly too many. When it would have been so nice to have two or three each week in August and September. So 12 or15 in October. All at once. I think I will slice and fry a few of them with an onion and perhaps fold into a soft flour tortilla. Or look on the internet for a recipe.
Monday, October 01, 2018
From Art Propelled
Minus the running kantha stitches-- this looks like my recent eco printing cloth. The dark ones. I can see how the running stitches give it added dimension. Dark thread in the light areas and light thread in the darks.
At Goodwill I looked at a few steamer pots they had on the shelving where they put old beat up old kitchen things. Ten dollars seemed like too much. I could be mistaken. We'll see if they are still there next week.
I could always use what I already have--like the compost bucket. It was/is a newish kettle and lid combo and has never been on the stove. I just need to insert the steamer basket I already own. And perhaps a can to raise the basket above the amount of water I want to use. Well, that seems like an interesting plan. Then I don't buy anything (dual usage) and don't have to worry about whether I contaminated my Revereware soup pot with iron water. I have scrubbed it 10 times. Still worried. But it's iron and not lead. Any comments are welcome. I haven't made any soup in it since the cloth steaming so no one's been poisoned. And I have other cooking pots that I can easily use to make future soup.
It was stupid of me to use a cooking pot. But I hadn't ever used iron/rust water and didn't think it through until AFTER.
But I pinky swear not to make any soup in the kettle I steamed cloth and rusty water in.
I have an overdue book on sadness and food to read---G and Riley are both asleep as I write this. Both snoring away. We turned off the television. Trump really limited the scope of the FBI so I have no hope left regarding the new Judge for Life. So-I baked a pan of brownies.