Thursday, January 31, 2019
My Goodwill three dollar napkin rings. Just shy of 2.5 inches tall. Eight of them. I feel like I should be selling them on eBay.
Some good work on the painted papers yesterday. The tea bag piece now has "story" or at least a Moon and a Star and a small house and a garden (thanks to a beautiful tiny strip from Deb Lacativa). I'm going to walk away from the work for a time --when I rush I usually ruin a "good thing". The Sun ...I need one but nothing I try is working.
In fact, I think I am going to draw something on the tea bags painted papers. See how that works. I do notice that the paint has changed the surface of the tea bag--it's not as soft. Can crumble under the needle. So a positive result and a negative one as well. I may need to glue the papers instead of stitch them--which I don't really like the idea of. We'll see. I thought the watercolors would be thin enough. Too much pigment. I may have to try watery inks.
It's 9 degrees outside with a wind chill of 4. The last day of January.
I'll be removing my desktop calendar and pasting sections of it into my journal tomorrow. The right side has a 8 inch lined section for notes. It's full. Notes on the thickness of greenhouse plastic, Netflix suggestions, books, "what if Life is just a series of pages?", and plant names. I watched a UTube video on a Japanese woman ceramics professor. It was quite lovely. I loved the way she painted the surfaces and built the large pots.
I finished another Harbison book, Chose The Wrong Guy and it was the first of this author's books that I did not enjoy reading. Tons of words that said nothing. Sort of Chose The Wrong Book. I have one more on the book table. I do have Permaculture books to read and another class to teach next weekend. So prep work. That will keep me busy.
Last Winter, at this time, I was reading my way thru the history of Pages on Spirit Cloth's blog. Cutting small squares and hand sewing them into Pages. I guess I am still doing that...but by machine now. And 2.5 inch squares. Jude calls these pages "bases" onto which "story" happens. I wonder at times, if I have no stories to tell? Or if I am just moving too quickly and need to stop and work slower. Perhaps my skill is in the making of bases on which others write stories? I have thumbnail sketches in my journals. I should just add them to my cloth backgrounds. And more likely--my work is abstract and actually has no story. It just suggests...like a cloudy sky or a shadow on the pavement.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
These are the tree blocks I found in the Magic Attic last week. A bag full of trees and tree parts from 12 to 15 years ago. I looked on the internet to check out Tree Quilts and hoped to find this particular pattern. My friend K always followed the design on the pattern envelope to the letter. We had to look for black and whites. Some of these fabrics in the blacks and whites are my favorites. So, I am wondering.........I know K wanted and used the music fabric as that was in the shop sample. And the floral. The zigzag and the crossed stars--are my taste. I will never know the answer. We haven't spoken in many many years. And to make more--if needed, I will have to measure the parts. Nothing written down. I am thinking placemats or a small baby sized quilt and use just what's finished. I just wish I knew how the red triangles were used in the design. Possibly in the outer border. But there is no corresponding triangle to sew the red ones to.
That green with the little "ornament" dots" is typical Joanne. Dots. So I picked that out.
G is out snowblowing the 6 to 8 inches of snow we gathered overnight. It was raining around the time we were thinking about supper and by bedtime it was snowing. It's 40 degrees right now but the newspaper reports that big old Polar Vortex is moving in again. Spring isn't coming anytime soon.
I got out a school room box of watercolors--I couldn't find the professional set- -but I did have a good quality artist brush---and I painted (or spattered) watery colors on a handful of teabags. Just to see how that would work. At the end I mixed blue and black for a watery dirty look and placed the dry tea bags on the plate where I mixed the colors. Everything is drying in a spot of sunshine on the dining room carpet. Riley is here by the computer. Napping. Lightly. Ready to move whenever I do. Once they are dry--I will audition the painted papers. On an internet video I saw that I could draw little houses and poems on the tea bag papers (with a fine Sharpie) and then sew them to the foundation batting.
After the painted tea bags dry a bit more--I will iron them to set the colors. Tea bag fabric is very strong--dry or wet. And now that I have seen the drawings on the teabags--I think I may draw a chair on one or two and a small house on another one or two. Build a story on my tea bag surfaces. Perhaps even a few flowers--- I have a few nice flower drawings in the journal I am working in right now--- it was started before the renovations and was forgotten. So, before beginning another new one--- I will finish this last journal. I have gone over the pages detailing the trials and tribulations of the bathrooms, closets and floors--jotting down "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey always did on the radio. A future me might like to know how it all finished up.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
In progress. I sewed used, washed, dried tea bags and bits of fabric onto a natural cotton batting. And now I am adding and subtracting (trials) of fabric, additional teabags etc. The first five of these had lots of stitching. Even buttons. As much as I enjoyed the running stitches and cross stitches -- in so many pretty tea stained colors----they didn't convey any story. On the dining room table this particular piece (6 or 7 inches on a side) now has a segment cut from one of it's older brothers or sisters auditioning. I am not adding any stitches or cross stitches to this one until it has "story". Added tea bags maybe removed. Nothing here is permanent.
Nothing here is permanent.
Coffee date with my friend. She loves running her fingers over the tea bag surfaces. But agrees that the pieces aren't "working". She has collected many of these tea bags for me and today gave me some pretty pink stained, chia scented and green tea bags. Also a large bag of avocado pits. Avocados are 88 cents each right now here in Maine.
G was just finishing up with a call to Apple support to straighten out our iPhones. He is hopeful that all things are where they belong now. Any emails I send from the phone will say they come from me--not him. If you are interested in someday speaking with me on the iPhone-- we can exchange phone numbers. I will be a NEW experience for me. My First iPhone Call.
G and I went out for late lunch. It was expensive but our son wants us to spend his inheritance and not give it to him. Which is really sweet. We even had dessert. I brought half of my dinner home and will have it for today's lunch. I purchased salad green to have today, also. It was lovely having a salad yesterday at the restaurant --arugula--so I bought some of that. And some Romaine since it seems to be safe again.
The weather is supposed to shift today. It was zero to 5 degrees this morning. About 15 now. Cloudy so I am wondering if it's just going to be VERY cold or snow or sleet. Looking forward to February. And it's almost 2pm--so I am going to have another "late lunch" today.
Monday, January 28, 2019
The felt ornaments I was making in December. The trees with button ornaments and the last thing I made--the Mary Engelbreit Scottie Dog. I like the way the eye came out. The double button. I will try and use that idea in other applications of buttons. Doubles and possibly a triple if the right combo happens to be in the jar of buttons. The only thing these trees decorated was the dining table lamp.
I had a 10 am appointment for my annual eye exam. No changes. A good thing at 72. But I had those drops and my vision is still a bit wacky and I do feel sleepy. And when I returned home I got the iPhone set to take pictures. Three. I have to think back to what I was doing and making in the past what was it--months!!!! So much to share.
G and I went to the Sunday Gardening Lecture on Gardening without Aches and Pains. Some wonderful ideas. I have to try and bend from the hips. Lift from the hips. Not the back. The speaker was nimble enough to go into a squat with her back straight. Never, ever going to happen with me. I dream of that happening but.....sigh I was built to just fall over frontward onto my face. She also suggested rolling our feet and ankles a couple times a day to stretch the muscles so when we do twist one or the other--it's ready to stretch without injury. I'm doing that right now. Rolling.
Today's big job is dragging the trunk down and putting the nutcrackers away. BUT. Working smarter I might just carry the nutcrackers UP to the trunk instead. It'll mean more steps up and down but if I go slowly and hold onto the railing--it should be fine.
Karen in Thousand Oaks sent an envelope with a set of dye sample squares. A lovely "new" gradient of colors that I am interested in working with. I am very grateful for this gift. Each has it's ID number and letter. This is group IF 1 to 9.
So that in my Monday. Goodwill yesterday was a big haul for many shoppers but I came home with a small package of leftover origami paper, a baggy of leftovers from a dusty blue patchwork project (rather too much of the most boring of fabrics) and a set of eight napkin rings. They look like pewter and each banded ring has a small knife, fork and spoon. I have no use for them but they were so charming and only 3 dollars for all 8. I have them on the dining sideboard and they bring a smile whenever I glance their way. They look like the 1940's or so. Next photo session I will take a picture of them.
Lately at Goodwill, there have been no good old linens. No embroidered hankies. No dresser scarves. No old faded dish towels. Way too much rayon and poly. A nice threadbare white cotton flat sheet would be welcome in the weeks and months of Sundays to come. The generation of homes these items would be home to...well, I don't think there are many any more. And when my things are dropped off when I no longer need them--will anyone be interested in my old-fashioned linens?
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Whenever a fabric piece isn't working--all the time---I just stick a black felt crow on it and everything is so much better. The background is from a piece I overworked to Death and then cut into chunks. This is one of the better chunks. You can see the thread work and layering. The blue is just a piece of cloth loose on the backside. All held together the way a felt board holds things to the surface--press and hope it stays put.
This particular piece has been pinned to the wall directly across from where I eat breakfast, pay the bills, read the newspaper etc. Across from everything I do. And I find my eyes wandering to it all the Time.
On a recent trip to the Magic Attic I found a handful of more black felt crows--all with button eyes from a library project a few years back--and strange enough--never ran across them on other visits. Multiple other visits. That Magic Attic is so mysterious.
I am thinking I should just make a collection of these small - 4 by 6 inch -chunks and pieces, maybe even sew the crow to the surface.... Before Christmas I purchased more black felt for the little felt dogs------whoa! you haven't seen them have you???? Or the felt trees with buttons.
I am just going to make a list of all the things you haven't seen yet.
And Rocket Scientist that I am-- stop laughing!!--I figured out why G's new X iPhone won't do anything. My phone. which is his former phone---was never wiped. It's still thinks it is his phone and has all his stuff on it. Stuff I am slowly deleting --but we all know--delete doesn't actually mean anything is gone. You just can't SEE it.
Now--that is something to really think about. Nothing is actually deleted. You just can't see it. Or touch it. Or hear it. Could that apply to life and death as well? Let's give that some thought. Perhaps that is how the Universe actually works.
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Not the best photo but from my iPhone (hoorah!) with 20% battery and shaky hands. I had 8 people for the Fairy Garden class and two of them were little girls. Very interested in having a Fairy decide to live in the garden being put together. They did an excellent job of choosing plants, placement of the plants around the Fairy house they chose and with the actual planting of the foliage plants they had chosen for their garden. I took the photo after class and most of the cleanup (carrying things back to their place of origins). So I was tired and ready to go home.
It was exhilarating to go to work and exhausting. Exhilarating to be "among other humans" and exhausting for the same reason. I had "new ears" to hear their comments and complaints regarding each other. Nothing has changed. I found myself doing the same complaining when I worked there. I'm sure I am the subject of the same when I am absent. I have many foibles.
One of my "foibles" is pulling dead flowers out of the floral department waste can. I found some eucalyptus branches and plan to use them to steam some cloth. I wanted to take everything for my compost but the gal working said no. The boss frowns on that, she says. I was going to go find him and ask for the dead and wilted flowers but .....it's an old fight and I wasn't up to it.
I had a very busy day. Up early, in the store by 9 am and teaching at 10 am. Home around 1 pm. Lunch was the last bowl of bran buds, yogurt and red grapefruit segments. A shower, load of laundry, read the morning paper and watched some news. Looked at the internet. Read a book. Made rice and peas to go with the Trader Joe's frozen chicken G cooked in the Toaster oven. He ate chicken, rice and peas and I was happy with just the rice and peas. I haven't had a busy day like that in months. Tomorrow it's Goodwill. The local gardening lecture is Gardening With Aches and Pains so I think G and I should attend.
Friday, January 25, 2019
Much needed color today. The sun has returned. But it's a cold sun. It rained really hard for most of yesterday. So much rain that the "pond" on the western side of the yard filled with water. That hasn't happened since Riley was a puppy --ten years at least. He used to "swim" in what is known as a vernal pool or pond and, at times, a few traveling ducks would swim around there as well. I miss it. Maine has been in drought conditions for many years now. Even with 10 hours or more of steady rain--the ground is still covered in snow.
A suggestion in the opinion pages of the Portland, ME newspaper that Maine ask Canada if we can separate from the United States and become part of Canada. Our northern and western borders are with Canada. Eastern border is the ocean. So we're ¾ of the way gone already.
G collected a handful of twigs and thin sticks from around the yard for my Fairy Garden class. He felt he needed to do something as he had written a list of things to make for the class (in his workshop) and then promptly forgot until finding the note in his pocket. I told him it was fine--I had made the houses and it was enough. So, the twigs will hold up the Fairy Flags.
My coffee friend has sent an email--she checks the weather before suggesting a date so good weather must be forecast for next week. Cold but dry roads. It will be good to get out and see her. She is a good source of criticism for my tea bag projects. The good kind that points out the positive and leaves the negative unspoken but realized.
Our PBS station had a film on the Arts Program for handicapped adults here in Brunswick. I had seen it before but it was uplifting and heartwarming. Weaving with looms, pottery, painting, drawing, storytelling, book making, paper mâché animals. A good warm welcome place in my Town. On the two occasions when I had to clear spaces in homes of good friends who had died--I always collected all the "art" materials and supplies and delivered them to the program. I should add this to my Estate Planning page. That ALL my art materials in the Magic Attic be donated to this program.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
It's 50 plus degrees today. Raining. Humidity is 90%. The dog enjoyed the walk in the woods--G is exhausted from slogging thru 6 to 8 inches of water and slushy snow for 40 minutes. I have the house lights on--it's quiet gray outside. The boiler isn't running. So, that's good.
Yesterday evening I used beads (Goodwill) and red and white string (Target) and tiny scraps of the carpet (home) that got caught in the beater bar of the vacuum. I added beads to the string and then hand sewed the tiny fabric bits--in jewel like tones between the beads. Making a tiny Fairy Flag String for each person signed up for class. 8 so I made 10. Just in case. They might not actually like them--who knows. I am hoping work has some sort of thin branches to make the flag posts.
This morning I went out to the garage and pulled about a fourth of the bark pieces I have collected (a year ago or more, I think) out of their container and soaked them in hot water in the kitchen sink until I could bend them into semi circular little Fairy House Shapes. I used clothespins to hold the shapes and then wound black embroidery thread (#5) around and around to keep the shape. Saturday (during class) we can add moss to them when we put together the Fairy Gardens. I made 12. People are picky about houses. My favorite is separate. Gothic. Dark and Brooding.
I did (also) find the shredded wood packing material (used to ship bulbs) and if I was really motivated I could mix white glue into the wood threads and make nests. I decided I was not motivated. Work usually has nests and tiny birds in the garden section but not this year.
I found the handout I made years ago--of hand drawn ideas for making things for a Fairy Garden. Up in the Magic Attic, of course. Last year I could not find it. Little swings, fences, paths, tables and chairs etc. Things Fairies like. I know--I do too much.
Last night I had a dream that was a movie. At the end, before I woke up, they even showed an ad for the sequel. I am still bewildered by this. It was in vivid color and was late 18th century I would guess. Or modern but in an 18th century house. In the coming attractions scenes the woman in the movie begins to paint, begins to be an artist. The paintings were magnificent. When I woke up I still remembered a name and wrote it down--but where???
I'm going to have one of my fruit and yogurt bowls for a late lunch--it's almost 2pm. And I think I will read. 50 degrees on January 24th in Maine. Wicked Crazy.
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
The last picture taken on my old phone before it went to live with my daughter. I don't even know where these bits and pieces ended up. I was trying to "make something". Trying too hard. Art happens, you can't make it happen. The more you push-- the less it works.
Today we went out to pay a library fine, return books and pick up two new books. Parking was non-existent. We went around the block and into a public lot behind the library. One spot. Handicapped. Good that G was with me--handicapped.
Then we ventured to the Everything Store---They did not have an iron. I will have to re-name the store. They did have birdseed.
We had to go to Target. I hate Target. sigh. But they had an iron--well, they had a wide selection from the budget Sunbeam I selected to the $90 Rowentas. G wanted me to get the Rowenta. I said the Sunbeam is fine--when it stops heating up or steaming--- I'll throw it away. I may even throw away the two Rowentas taking up floor space. One does nothing. The other heats up. No steam. These two are the last of a long line of Rowentas I have owned and loved thru the years. But they all stopped working suddenly. And no amount of shaking or banging could get them to work anymore. The shaking and banging does work if they are just being sulky. They go on for years after that.
Well, as soon as I brought the new Sunbeam iron into the house, the Rowentas started up a hollering. So I went down to the sewing room and brought them into the kitchen. The Sunbeam box had instructions for dosing a non steaming iron with a salt and hot water solution. So I gave each Rowenta a dose. And after the wait time I gave them an agitating shake, upside down, over the sink. Stuff, hard granular stuff, came out with the water. I rinsed with plain hot water, twice, each with additional hard upside down shaking. One of them now steams. No spray. The other sprays but spits instead of steams. Both now -get hot. I'm no fool--the Sunbeam is staying.
It's warm enough for the dog to have his walk. Riley is happy--and out on the walk. G not so much. He had a key to the house in his hand and then--gone. He went to the bathroom. Came back- no key.
It's like that for him. Sudden disappearances. He says he purchased this year's Turbo Tax for me. Set it on the desk. Here by the computer. No. I have looked. He has looked. No Turbo Tax Box.
I even looked with the flashlight, thinking it was hidden. No. He doesn't keep receipts either. They just disappear as well. So........
I purchased Turkish organic apricots. At the Everything Store. They are brown. Look rotten, squishy. I guess I like the bright orange springy chemically induced so very NOT organic ones. These taste okay but not what I was expecting. Happy I only purchased one bag.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Not sure, looking at it, what the focus here was. And that happens a lot with me. I get carried away with the colors and fabrics and "loose the thread" as the Brits say. That fabric with the text--was decorator fabric and I loved using it. Others wrote on the fabrics themselves. This was in French, so of course.......
We had Sunday's Football Pizza last night. It got a bit dark across the top and I wondered if it would be good--but the char seemed to do wonders for the pie. The pepperoni was quite spicy. I never know when buying it. How it is seasoned. But it's dry cured and very nice after all the years I have been making pizza with it. My Christmas gift new pizza cutter is very sharp and did a fantastic job.
I make a simple pie with the pepperoni, a sliced onion and cheese.
Yesterday was freezing cold (-20 with wind chill) but Thursday it's supposed to be 45 to 50 degrees with rain. Goodby snow and hello slush.
Reading Tyler's The Beginner's Goodbye. A man's wife is killed by a tree falling on the sunroom where she is working. And then she comes back from the dead a year later. I don't know why as yet. Neither the husband or wife seems that appealing. People can see her. I'm giving the book another hour (maybe less) and then will decide whether to continue. Tyler is spending considerable time on physical description of the characters who are not attractive. Why? Perhaps the husband should have just gone into the kitchen to find the Triscuits.
I never made it into the sewing room. I did wash the three sweaters and they are dry and "bouncy" this morning. Something about the Trader Joes Refresh Body Wash with citrus makes the cashmere clean and alive. The wash in the largest bowl I have (in the sink) made the water a very cloudy brown as usual. I rinsed twice and a third time on the one I wear most often. Then I roll each sweater into a clean bath towel and stand on the roll to remove as much water as possible. Then drape over the drying rack to dry.
I do want to venture out into the World today--I would like to purchase a new iron that will actually make steam. Not another Rowenta. I have two of those in the sewing room--one won't heat up and the other heats up but won't make steam. Last Winter both of them worked perfectly. And perhaps the store with the irons will also have vegetable broth cubes? The store is like the Everything Bagel. Anne Tyler should write a book about it. The Everything Store.
Monday, January 21, 2019
This work is titled Alien X-Ray. I disliked the dimensions we had to work with but these works are some of my best. I made them alongside (but outside) a group of very talented fiber artists years ago. One of them went on to make very original work with actual X-rays.
The football yesterday--and the snow, wind and cold--took it's toll along with events here at home. I am feeling "fragile" this morning. Things (events) (moments) are happening too quickly and they seem uncontrollable. I am finding myself on the edges of panic. It is wearing me out. At times it feels like I am vibrating with tension. The events themselves I will keep private. I will need to find a way to center myself and deal with this new reality. Change and uncertainty.
It is very cold now--like last Winter. I began the day with last Winter's breakfast. Cream of wheat cereal flattened on a dinner plate, buttered, sugared, cinnamon sprinkled over all. My grandmother made this for me. It is a breakfast that speaks of family, love, comfort and memories.
I have my sweaters to wash in the kitchen sink today. They need refreshing at midWinter. As do we all. I have sashing to cut and sew to the edges of the tiny star small scrap quilt. I haven't decided on the borders yet. I have the fifth tea bag piece on the side of the sewing machine--where the light is best. I am working very slowly. Adding, testing, removing, covering. It is unlike the others. Those first 4 were tests and failed in different percentages. And a new bag of small scraps of magic cloth has arrived. More choices. And I will test some beads from the box of bead soup. The sewing room is only 61 degrees. So, I stay only as long as I am actively working. Thinking....well, its too cold in that room for that.
I made chicken soup in my biggest stock pot yesterday. Six quarts though I think the pot itself could hold twice that. It is HUGE. G asked for soup when he went out to clear the snow from the driveway. I had the leftovers of the broccoli soup I made Saturday. It was good but I think my cheese wasn't sharp enough. It all seemed too--plain.
I have reading to do. Sewing. Reading for my lecture at the library sometime in March. Work will calm me. At least I hope it will.
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Haters gotta hate. But the Patriots Won!!!! In overtime.
G and I are having adrenaline overload and the shakes. I am going to walk around the house and try to calm down.
G said there was USA map with red states for the Chiefs and blue for the Patriots. Like three or four blue states Maine, Mass, Conn., New Hampshire.. The rest of the country--red, red, red. Too bad, so sad.
G and I are having adrenaline overload and the shakes. I am going to walk around the house and try to calm down.
G said there was USA map with red states for the Chiefs and blue for the Patriots. Like three or four blue states Maine, Mass, Conn., New Hampshire.. The rest of the country--red, red, red. Too bad, so sad.
No luck with At&T--they sent G over to Comcast/Xfinity--which was closed due to it being Saturday. (??) So I still have no email service. Six days from now, I will be teaching at the greenhouse where teenagers and a few 20 somethings work. I'll see if they can set me up.
This is when I miss having had any grandchildren. But who's to say they would have been helpful.
Snow covers all and is blowing off the roof and swirling around. The street plow has come by a few times and the homeowners with plow contracts have had their driveways cleared. I'm thinking we should have a plow contract next Winter. Five degrees right now with the wind fluctuating between 5 and 11 mph. Five degrees and 83% humidity. Weird. But snow is fertilizer so it's all good as long as the power says on.
Finished reading Anne Tyler's Spool of Blue Thread and sorry to say it was bleh! Perhaps it is the result of not having listened to a copyeditor. There was so much possible in that story line. And none of it achieved. The most interesting bits were sort of tacked onto the end pages. They might have made the book more interesting if they had occurred sooner. I may not read the others I selected. I had a suspicion there was a reason I stopped reading this author.
Snow days are always difficult. Not much to do but watch it snow. I do have a few things I could be doing in the sewing room. Cutting sashing for the small square quilt. Sewing a few tree blocks together. I found a bag of tree blocks in a box. I had brought them home with me from my friend in Georgia's house on one of the last few visits. She was wanting to make a quilt we had seen in a shop. We purchased all sorts of green prints and black and white print backgrounds. I was in charge of sewing. She was in charge of cutting and laying out the blocks. My found bag contains many sewn tree blocks- 8 inches by 5 inches and the pieces to make more. Each tree has two black and white triangles sewn to the central green tree shape. Then a base is made of two rectangles of white and one of brown for the trunk. Nicely sewn I must say. Not always cut correctly.
If this pattern sounds familiar to any of you--possibly popular 10 years ago in quilt shops--could you give me an idea of how it was put together. I have some red triangles and have no idea whatsoever of what they were for or even if they belong in the bag with the trees. And for some reason some of the trees are in two pieces. The top and bottom sections in different green print fabric and backgrounds. Now this could have been a bright idea of mine and nothing at all to do with the pattern.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Thinking ahead to less frozen times. I have two classes to prepare for. One is easy enough as I have done Fairy Gardens for years now. The other--well, I have three textbooks I am going thru. But those three involve creating healthy biodynamic dirt. So soil, dirt are on my mind. How to take a barren landscape and encourage it, revive it, feed it. I may just tell you about it here.
The oil delivery guy has been here. Another bill for over $600. So, I am guessing that heating our home to just barely 64 degrees (61 in the bedroom wing and 48 in the Magic Attic only because there is a bathroom) is going to cost $600 plus each month this Winter. I am thinking about the souls who don't have $600.
The sun is till shining. Snow is supposed to begin after midnight tonight and continue all day Sunday. Because we live on the Coast (not on the ocean but close enough-like 20 minutes drive away) we'll see sleet and freezing rain. Lovely stuff. Freezing Rain. Hard to get the doors open and last winter we watched a house burn to the ground because the water in the fire hoses froze solid. Rather it was snow.
I found a recipe on line for Panera "lookalike" Cream of Broccoli soup. And--by the chance of whatever--I happen to have all the stuff needed to make it. Carrots, Broccoli, vegetable stock and cheese. I always added more carrots to the store bought container of soup. Because I think it should have more carrots. I think everything should have more carrots. The fridge produce drawer magically contained two broccoli stalks. Still alive and well. The recipe suggests a bag of frozen broccoli. Ick. I like frozen peas and frozen corn but that's it.
G is going to AT&T to add email to my phone. My daughter reported that he specifically asked for "no email" and therein is the problem. I need email to send pictures to my computer. I think there is a way to do it from the phone...but, it's Winter and my brain is hibernating. I'll seek guidance on the 26th when I am at the greenhouse and all the young employees. Anna taught me to take pictures. You should all be thankful for that. I know I am.
Friday, January 18, 2019
Old doodle from the Early Days of the blog--second year from the bottom of the year list in sidebar. The paper bits are from the legal notices page in the newspaper--tiny type you can barely read. Best if words don't call attention to themselves. This is it unfinished.
We had a small "art group" that met on a evening every two months on the basement of the library. They would bring projects they were working on and I would bring my journal. They always wanted to see any progress made on this doodle. It actually is finished but I would have to dig out the journal it's in. I really should put dates on the spines. I managed to cover all the white paper. Not Zentangle with all it's rules. Just paper, black ink Sharpie and some paste.
Why haven't I made any more of these? Our newspaper changed the type of it's legal notices pages. There are no longer any tight dense, dark pages of text for me to use. Sigh. If anyone has any suggestions for publications with small dense type-- please let me know. And dull surface paper--no shine. I though about old dictionaries but it's very labor intensive to cut all the tiny bits-removing the margins.
I made a vegan vegetable stew for my daughter. She just messaged me (on my phone) to say it's DELICIOUS!! Potatoes, carrots, onion, a whole package of celery (she loves it) rosemary, thyme, garlic,soy sauce, brown sugar and vegetable stock and one cup of brown lentils. Lots of cubing of vegetables but I enjoy that.
I know you are all thinking about our big snow event. Right now they are saying nothing until Sunday and even then only 18 inches or so in some places and not wet and heavy (pulling power lines down). So it will blow around and decrease visibility. We have plenty of gas for the generator and/or snowblower. This is Maine and we've been here 27 years. And the Weather forecast is never right. so we'll see what actually happens. Grocery store was PACKED and most people were buying beer vodka and kitty litter. When we lived in Georgia and an ice storm was coming--they bought toilet paper and condoms (at least that what the newspaper reported--and it was the 1970's).
Thursday, January 17, 2019
You thought you'd see a real photo from me today. Nope. My iPhone isn't doing email. Not going out and not coming in. This is what my backyard sort of looks like. Frozen. Everything has been treated to repeated freeze/melt and is hard crusted. Shiny with ice.
And that's all I am saying about that. I can make a phone call--I think--haven't tried--who would I call? What would I say---"send help"?
I did a load of wash and it's now in the drier. Breakfast dishes are washed and put away. The dog is out on his daily walk in the woods. The cold sun is shining. The government is still shut down. I read in the newspaper that Postal workers aren't getting paid but still have to deliver the mail. I don't know if that's true. We are definitely going to have a proper lunch and supper today.
The spinning ice circle (big as a football field) has stopped spinning here in Maine. Counter clockwise. It was a big deal on BBC and a few other networks. A few ducks were perched on the edges and were spinning slowly along with the circle. The circle is lodged against one bank and seems to be stuck there. The thinking is that now that it is stuck, it will melt. It was like a"crop circle". Mythical. Strange and wonder-filled. And now it's stuck and can't spin.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
We have phones--passwords are messed up. Daughter says her mess is a "shitstorm" and mine--who knows. I may never get emails to the phone but the camera seems nice. I'll try for a photo tomorrow--right now--a good sniveling cry sounds about right.
And we never had any dinner (or lunch) so things relating to blood sugar are off the charts.
This will not be a day I would ever want to re-live. Except the tea bag cloth--today I got something worthwhile. Fifth time is the charm.
And we never had any dinner (or lunch) so things relating to blood sugar are off the charts.
This will not be a day I would ever want to re-live. Except the tea bag cloth--today I got something worthwhile. Fifth time is the charm.
Update: Surprise!!! Today at the Phone Store it's buy one and get one free. So--G was buying one and now daughter gets one free. And I get G's iPhone (way fancier than I need). And the oldest phone--will get recycled. They are coming home to get passwords. ???
Men. I've always liked the way a well dressed man looks. I've been enchanted by a few men while working at the library and then the greenhouse. There is a Pinterest site of --do they call them metro-sexual?-- men in the most wonderful clothing. For awhile I was collecting pictures into my own file but-well, I don't even know how to access it anymore. It's been so long ago--and I am so forgetful regarding entry codes. But this picture from somewhere--brought it back to me.
The sun is finally coming out. Today is phone day. Daughter and husband are going together and will be gone quite awhile if past service wait times are an indication. But when they return--so will my little old iphone. With a new number. And I will be waiting in anticipation of taking a picture. I can't decide of what. So many things have been happening here. Un-pictured.
I feel like baking something. I have one pie crust left over from the holidays. I could make a pumpkin pie. Or a loaf of the orange cranberry bread. Or some cookies. G loves cookies. I almost always make him cookies and rarely to never make cookies for myself. I rarely do much of anything for myself. Even the dog comes first before me. Well, the dog comes first before anyone. He's barking right now to hurry G along for his walk. But first they have to get his little blaze orange vest on him. So G can find him out in the woods.
They're off. Sunshine today and 36 degrees.
Trump invited the House to lunch at the White House on Tuesday. Catered in from McDonalds. The photo showed a large table covered in stacks of quarter pounders (Donald's favorite) and salads and cookies. Packets of condiments in piles on the table. But, sadly, the House members refused the invitation and Donald had to eat his lunch alone--with a knife and fork--cause eating with one's hands is ......ick!!! according to Donald.
I'm sure we, the taxpayers, picked up the tab.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
When Life gives you lemons. Internet Trolls are sending me messages regarding my recent "employment applications" and their "enthusiasm" for me to click on their letter and "join the Team". I am dragging their letters straight to the Trash logo in my sidebar. un-opened.
Like I am stupid enough to put all my verifieds in an open internet document to whom????? And why the hell would I want a JOB???? I'm 72 years old.
So, okay. Moving on. I made another tea bag paper surface. Still trying to find the "sweet spot" for the hand embroidery. I have five of them now--possibly 8 to 10 inches but not squares. Wonky. And I have used a group of colors. Some work and other don't. One has beads. One has buttons. One has both. Two have none. If I had one of those computer programs I could put them all in and make X's on the parts that don't work, circles around the "good" parts etc. But right now, they are all on the wall. Pinned up. I walk past and sometimes stand. Trying to not be the kind of person that finds something good in everything. That's what got me to having five of these things and none of them what I want. And Grace.....the tea bag paper is not saying a word to me regarding what it wants.
Had to stop--Rachael from Card Holder Services wanted to talk to me about lowering interest rates. I pay the balance on the cards. Have done for 50 years. Never carried a balance.
Nevermind. It's not a policy anyone else in the Universe follows.
I'm in sort of a "crabby old woman" mood today. My daughter says a storm is coming. Lots of snow or some such. She called this morning to notify me that she has a cold. Germs. Might not want to go exchange phones tomorrow. I told her she was going. I want my phone back. I want to take pictures of those tea bag things on the wall. Show you how bad they are. Lemons.
Monday, January 14, 2019
From a website. Plant based cloth dyeing. Eucalyptus leaves.
I still have my steaming pot filled with onion skins. Using it to "deaden" bright fabric. The yellow adds a layer to cover and change bright backgrounds. And soften any bright printed details. Where once I enjoyed the sharp contrast between light and dark--I am now appreciating a lower contrast level. Perhaps I understand the comments of older quilters 20 something years ago---they said my fabrics "hurt their eyes".
I promised G a pot of chicken soup today. It warms him up when days are long and cold. Bright sunshine here in Maine. 26 degrees. I think this is the high for the day. There are reasons only 2 million people live in the entire (large) state of Maine during the cold months--like 8 months of the year. 28 degrees is the high.
I am right on the edge of setting up my empty milk bottles and filling them with soil and seeds. I also need to work on my labeling. Didn't work so good last year. I have stick on numbers for each bottle but I think I need to make a chart. A big chart. Because last year I started the same seeds two and once three times. A mistake, for sure. A Big Chart would stop that nonsense. G hates it when I clutter the kitchen cabinet doors with charts. But--I need a chart.
The Fairy Garden Class is coming up fast-- Saturday the 26th--twelve days.
I'm reading the first of three Permaculture books. And the first book gives directions for finding the one place in your yard where the sun shines most--summer and winter. That's where the greenhouse goes. Not--like we were thinking---where we have room for it. But actually--the sun does shine there (all day) in both summer and winter. Dumb luck, huh? Now we need to figure out how to add a heating barrier to the north side. Well, and get the guys over here to put the damned thing up.
The book also said a sunporch could be a little greenhouse--like the vestibule. It's 45 degrees in the vestibule right now- without any heat other than sunshine. The fig tree, the two large geraniums and the asparagus fern are happy. Oh, and my rosemary plant. The citrus is in the house. It's getting ready for the flowers to open. I am spraying with insecticidal soap to keep the bugs down. Would be nice if it actually made a piece of fruit--but the scent of the flowers will be wonderful. Last winter we lost all the leaves right after the flowers opened. Thought the plant was dead. It wasn't. I can't come up with the name of the insect but it left a sticky surface on the leaves. Scale or mites.
Well, I'm on to the soup. Great games yesterday. Patriots and Saints. On to Kansas City.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Football. All weekend. The games have been hard to watch. The Teams that are winning are brutal.
We're up next. If we win today we play one of those teams.
Yesterday I read another book by Beth Harbison. Thin Rich Pretty. The remaining books are not in my library's catalog so I will have to order them--one is intriguing--Hope In A Jar. I keep little rectangles of paper in a jar--with one word on each--today's word is "invent". The word gives me something to think about--what would I invent. What would I like someone to invent.
I made the special dinner I made for my brother and then my son. Yesterday I made it for g and myself. Southern pork ribs seasoned with cider vinegar, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. A Martha Stewart recipe if you've interested. You run the ribs with the dry and then add the vinegar. Put a lid on it and into the oven. Tastes fantastic. We're having it with potato dumplings and fried sauerkraut.
It's very cold here-- the sun is shining but without any warmth. All surfaces are covered in shiny, hard ice. A local church is offering an Indoor Gardening class today--on growing salad greens in the house. I gave seeds to my daughter to give to two of her friends. Seeds for sprouts and micro greens. They each are enjoying the fresh greens and the growing of them. I love growing pea sprouts. The little leaves, stems and curly tendrils taste just like green peas. Nice on top of salad greens or a baked sweet potato with avocado. Now on sale for 99 cents each.
I was in a "mood" yesterday. Wondering if I was becoming "demented" and beginning to forget things. The Lyme disease thing. Forgetting words. Not being able to find something I recently saw and touched. Almost like I am "gaslighting" myself. Enough. Just let it go and move on.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Food 52 is keeping me busy with clean up ideas. This one is for the staples panty. Containers all labeled. When my son was here for his visit in October he looked at the expiration dates on all the items in my pantry. Set aside the expired ones and then monitored my disposal of them. There--thankfully, were only a few items.
Knowing he was visiting I had checked dates and written the expiration dates in black magic marker on the tops of the canned good lids. I did miss a few things. I mentioned this to my daughter and on a quiet day at home--she went thru her cabinet and was shocked by how much had expired. She has also been too busy or too tired to do much cooking.
I just deleted the other two paragraphs I wrote. Blah. I found graphite pencils from Bohemia that I purchased somewhere and have been enjoying their smooth coverage of the paper in my journal. There are some with fine points and I may draw a few chairs. I have plenty of magazine and catalog chairs to use as "models". AFTER I vacuum up all the dog hair that has drifted along the baseboards. Everywhere. And once I notice it (takes a while) it starts bothering me. And if I vacuum near the baseboards then I have to also wipe the tops of the baseboards with a damp cloth. And finish doing the laundry. And the oven could use a cleaning.
But I have a few good books to read.
Quite a battle: Book reading or the vacuum.
Friday, January 11, 2019
Photo from a Paris apartment. A hot water radiator with a "warming shelf" and a baguette on top to warm through as well. My new radiators look like this but no door. And the ones we had in our house in Germany were like this but no door. Kept us so nice and warm. Instead of a baguette--we usually had a cat napping on top of ours. Right now I have a container with cloth and crushed walnut shells--I add water and keep hoping for some "marks" on the cloth as the radiator heats the water and cloth for hours and hours. Nothing yet.
Life slows down about now. So cold outside and strong Wind overnight. But the sun shining on the frozen snow hurts the eyes. But I am thankful for Sun. Gives the "impression" of warmth.
We made it through another 24 hours without watching anything to do with politics. I can't understand how an entire country can be held hostage by a stupid man. I'm sure the people in Venezuela are wondering the same thing. Anywhere a cruel dictator is in power.
I was up in the Attics yesterday. Found buttons, scissors, cloth and tiny metal cans with lids--from a long ago purchase. I had intended to sort tiny buttons/beads into them. I had so many intentions. I brought down the remainder of the bolt of white cotton. I use it for steaming leaves and cloth and soon it will be used up. Once it seemed like "so much" and now it hurts me to think soon it will be gone. I wish it might be "never-ending". But I know I can buy more. It won't be the same, though.
I haven't been cooking this week. We have been eating what's here but now.....I think everything has been eaten--well, everything that might be warm to eat. We still have fruit and bread. So today...I will cook. Get myself out of this MidWinter slump.
The reference librarian who asked me to give another winter gardening lecture has reserved books for me. She gives me a topic and then I read and learn and then I talk. I do have a beginners knowledge of Permaculture but this would be a talk on using the principles without a large property. I use some concepts in my own yard. I jokingly mentioned "weeds" growing on the soil surface of my potted fig tree and the Librarian suggested clover to add nitrogen. See? It is all a matter of making different choices. Beneficial Choices. Perhaps that is what we will call the lecture.
So--cooking today and a trip to the library to pick up my reference books. And lets hope the "trip" does not include another "fall". G has two now and I am still at one.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
I guess I threw something else in the Trash. Here's the pencil line drawing of the rosy tulip quilt.
I draw things in the paper version of blog--otherwise called a journal--which no one but me reads. and truth be told--in the beginning no one read the online journal either.
This morning the long awaited "we'll make it right" replacement of the Harry&David box arrived. It wasn't there when we went to bed--it was there when we woke up. "arrival by 1/10/2019" Took the full 2 weeks to arrive. And---don't hold your breath--everything is in the same condition as the original "before Christmas" box. It must have been riding/bumping around for the entire 2 weeks. Being tossed and tumbled. Pears are marked with brown bruising yet again. Truffles are stale/old. The apples look fine--but are covered in wax I'll have to scrub off with hot water. Anyway. I tried to get them to refund the neighbor's money. That's actually what I wanted to happen. They wanted to send another box. Didn't Get No Satisfaction.
Today. Overcast and looking like something might happen. All surfaces are coated in ice. Not going out. We did go out in rain/snow mix to get bowls of onion soup yesterday afternoon. It's what we both wanted. Then the other Goodwill. I found a charming old ceramic bird. Lovely colors. And a tiny three story ceramic house with staircase which will be a nice "raffle" prize for the Fairy Garden class I am teaching on the 26th. Or I'll use it for a Fairy Garden for the Floral Department to sell. If I see these little ceramic houses at Goodwill, I will buy them if they are one dollar.
When I was still working I would use the ceramic houses in a Fairy Dish Garden for display and sale. I also have a box of tree bark that I roll and tie with raffia to make a more rustic "home" for fairies in a dish garden. Moss on the roof. If I have the time I might try making a few fairies out of beads, fake flowers and pipe cleaners.
Now that I am looking at the drawing up top--I think I will try and make another bowl of tulips. See what 14 years of experience does to change the way I make it this time. Life Experience.
Oh, and the Other Goodwill had brand new (donated) fat quarters for one dollar each. I chose the three I liked the best. Browns and creamy beiges. Not colors I have in stock in the Attic. And these old fashion tiny prints will be a nice addition to some of the older fabrics I inherited. Perhaps I can finish a few things that I stopped working on when I ran out of fabric. Things Bev started.
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Here is the quilt I was talking about I seem to have made it 14 years ago--my second year with the blog. I went back intone to find it. You can see the curve at the bottom and side--I had left it that way and added the pale blue/aqua backing. Turning the edge to follow the curves. I straightened that this morning. Everything here is more "orange" than in real life. The background is more of a rosy watermelon shade. The yellow of the bowl more like heavy cream.
I took bad pictures for a while there. Just so excited to be posting anything back in those first years.
There was a line drawing--but I made the mistake of putting it in the Trash just now. Looked just like this but pencil outlines on paper. The bowl and background are made up of smaller pieces layered on top of each other--complex when it looks simple.
I am planning to use it to squeeze the orange I need when making my next loaf of the orange cranberry loaf. Which is so yummy. The recipe calls for one cup of juice and the rind of the orange.
Yesterday and today were good days. Yesterday I read a book instead of watching the man who imagines himself to be President speak. Glad I didn't waste the time since he said nothing. And I learned something about the Constitution today on Nicole Wallace's hour on MSNBC--- After the President refuses to sign a bill sent from both Houses of Congress-- the House and Senate can then veto his refusal. Why they haven't done that as yet is up to the Senator from Kentucky. Who is up for re-election in 2020. A weak President isn't going to get Mitch re-elected.
Enough of that. I also worked on removing and replacing the backing on a finished small (15 by18) art quilt. In the Time before I was enchanted by hand dyed fabric, I had used a lovely piece of mottled pale (stormy) blue on the back. In this Time and place, I wanted that blue for other things--like my squares project--I held the blue up to the already sewn squares-- and it was perfection--so off it came.
Then the hunt in the attic for another backing fabric that looked nice with the front. And then squaring up the edges of the art work. The first time I made the outline of the piece pretty wonky- only 2.5 straight edges. And then trimming and folding the backing to make the binding. I brought the backing up and over the edges. Sewn while watching Home & Family on the Hallmark Channel.
The gal who was celebrating her 75th birthday loved the "art quilt" and emailed that it is hanging near her blooming red geranium and looks right at home. Which makes me happy. The subject of the quilt was a pale yellow footed wide bowl (my own hand painted fabric) holding five triangular tulip shaped flowers on a rose, pink, red batik bubbled background. Green spiky leaves filled in between flowers and bowl. I added lime green, gold and pink buttons to the "tulips".
While working on the piece--I marveled that I had made something so lovely to look at. I'm sure the Time for that sort of artistic expression is beyond me now. But maybe not. We'll see won't we. I am wondering if an image of that bowl of tulips is in the archives of blog posts somewhere???? It would have been 15 years ago, I think.
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
It snowed overnight and G is out snowplowing the driveway prior to the expected rain. Which if there is snow on the walks and drive will become sheets of ice. Its been a strange Winter so far. Finally getting colder. But still fluctuating regularly between snow, rain, ice, snow.
I was up in the Magic Attic yesterday and discovered the batteries in the thermostat were dead. It took four trips up and down to get working batteries inserted- I needed my reading glasses and then needed a flashlight and then fresher batteries. Now there is minimal heat up there--enough to keep the bathroom pipes from freezing. While I was up there, I watered the plants in the bathtub. A few of the larger Clivia spend the Winter in the tub upstairs and along with them-a few mandavilla from the neighbor. They come down if they manage to make a flower spike. But often I miss them doing that and they flower all alone up there.
I had to take apart a few sections of the baby quilt top. Make and insert new sections. Of course I cut a few the wrong size--so had to add inches to them. The top lives up to the name -scrappy. For quite awhile it was just crappy--but only because I didn't lay it out on the floor and actually LOOK. And, truth be told, I didn't have a real plan going into it. Always have a plan.
I need to make a plan on paper before I start in with fabric. On paper, one can scribble, erase, scribble, erase etc with more ease than to unsew, re-cut and sew etc.
I sorted thru a box that had been sitting on the floor here by my computer desk. I did that last night. We couldn't find anything to watch on tv and I had finished reading my book The Cactus ...so--the box got sorted. Interesting pictures, articles etc. I think the box held things for my journal pages when I was into pasting pictures on all the pages and writing in the margins. I also found a new-blank journal. From the evidence inside, it used to sit here on the computer desk-by my left elbow--and I would write and draw interesting things found on the internet. I happen to have two such blank page books here by my left elbow as I type. One is nearly full. The second just in the beginning stages. Now I have three.
G is feeling bored and is feeling like he should be "getting things"--ie buying things he actually doesn't need, hardly uses, forgets he owns. He did try to clean off the side table on his side of the couch. But I just looked and it is just as piled up with junk as before. Mine has eye glasses cleaner, a jar of cough drops (Ricola), the house phone, a nail file and a wooden clothes pin. I do actually have more clutter on my ottoman (he has none on his) as I have a tray containing my sewing supplies.
My needs are small. His encompass everything he sees in commercials.
Monday, January 07, 2019
I liked the colors and the "fabric-ness" of these linen napkins. Linen, unironed, has a bouncy feel and look. A living fabric. I stopped ironing linen clothing when I stopped working at the library.
Cabin fever has started here at my house. Being together inside a house, endlessly, and we start getting on each other's nerves. Nowhere to hide. I try to spend time in the sewing room, but I have to come out at some point. It's only January 7th. Not good.
I guess I will have to face the quilt top I am making. The design isn't working and I have those extra blocks and some extra focus fabric to do something with. They say this kind of problem adds to creativity. ??? In order to add--I need to subtract.
We have a trip to the grocery and then to the library (on same street) on our day's agenda. We might take down and put away the wreaths and reindeer, unless they are frozen to the ground. It's 15 degrees this morning with full sunshine. Sun that is not the least bit warm. And I promised my daughter a pot of soup. Winter Vegan Lentil Stew. I read the ingredient list to her and she said--"make it and add lots of celery" Girl likes celery.
I had a feeling I wasn't done writing--we went to the library and the grocery store and--lucky me--I slipped off the curb in front of the store and fell--landing on my right knee and right palm. I think my rib muscles are also feeling it. And, because I am a 72 year old woman--I wet my pants. But I have Armicare gel on everything and a cup of tea. I had the long, heavy black coat on--took more of the hit.
Sunday, January 06, 2019
My chairs are not getting along today.
We slept late, again--even Riley who wakes up very early for the first pee of the day slept late.
Goodwill today was busy and the gal ahead of me in line bought someone's entire donated clothing collection. Wonderful wrap dresses etc. A pile 24 inches tall for $71. Some of the items still had their price tags on them. Everyone in line gave her a high five.
I managed to buy a cute sundress for one dollar. Thinking ahead to summer. And I bought someone's scrapbook card stock paper in shades of blue, cream and tan. And a book of square card stock in stripes and dots. About 6 inches square in a pad. First off, I will make some tiny flags for the Fairy Garden class with the tiniest dotted sheets and the remainder will be used to make designs in my art journal. Little dotted house shapes etc.
And I got a big bag of colorful wooden beads--the cheap and cheerful ones. Not for wearing but fun to string. I think they were the kind of beads--only smaller, my son choked on when he was 2 or 3. Lucky for me and him--the bead was stuck with the hole up and down so some air was going in and out.
Visited with my neighbor who broke her right wrist. Driving the car again is causing some anxiety and pain. She tried doing too much the first times out. Pressing the button on the gear shift is the hardest for her. It hurts. So she has to lean over and use her left hand. Awkward. I offered to drive her to the grocery--when I go--so it doesn't seem like anything special. I'm going anyway.
Now I am going to treat myself to something wonderful--- bacon, eggs and pancakes.
Saturday, January 05, 2019
Another in my constant search for interesting chairs. These two seem to be having an intense chat.
One trying to convince the other to agree with him. The chair on the right--not buying the argument.
What does that remind you of????
Well, I am tardy in writing to you today. I had been trying to sew some squares together by hand but gave up on that and have been sewing on the machine for the past few hours (seems like years). And unsewing. Because that's what happens. The larger of the two projects today was a baby quilt for Connie's group. Connie--it's not looking good so I think I may have to reorganize the borders. Plus I found more blocks. How does that happen??????
Anyway-- I stopped work on that project to start sewing a charm pack together. Connie sends me the most beautiful charm packs. Instead of making any more potholders--they just get dirty---I am making a placemat. This is something I can see for three meals a day and seven days a week. I got all the little squares sewn together into a rectangle. And found some lovely linen I bought last year--perfect color match. Borders all around to make it the size I want and then layering and quilting. This one is mine. The other charm pack placemat will be G's. Mine has more flowers and rosy red and aqua. I am using the potholders I made last year as padding between my frying pans. So the cooking surfaces don't get scratched.
G went across the street to take down and carry out the neighbor's Christmas tree. Random Act of Kindness--the only one for the week.
Tomorrow is Goodwill. Only a small box of red beads last week (love them), but before Christmas I got exercise clothing for my daughter. She wears it to CrossFit and for landscaping. The brand she likes but can't find in the stores anymore. Three sleeveless tops. "where did you find these???" Always nice when you get it right.
Weather is fluctuating between the 40's and the teens. Snow, rain, ice, snow, rain, ice, snow. Snow on top of ice is not good. But this is warmer than last year when we went into the single digits prior to the holidays and stayed there until March.
Well, I'm going to go try out my Flawless Brows Christmas gift. Wish me luck.
Friday, January 04, 2019
A Pasta Dish from Dorie Greenspan. Vegetarian.
Watching Dorie make this dish was so interesting. My internet feed on Food 52 had a video. Dorie has cute little round lens eye glasses, wears pale colored shirts with the collars up, sweaters and a nice little scarf around her neck--"smartly" knotted. She has awkward knife skills which I found charming.
Eight ounces of sliced or diced (peeled) winter squash of your choice pan fried in olive oil and 2T of cider vinegar and 1½ teaspoons of honey until the squash "colors". While this is happening boil 8 ounces of linguine or regular pasta and add ¼ cup of dry cranberries to the pasta pot--to plump up the dry fruit. Add 2 cups, packed shredded cabbage to the pan with the squash. Saute. Drain the pasta and cranberries-saving ½ cup of cooking water-- and add pasta to the pan with the squash. Add water to loosen things up. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts -about a quarter cup--and Parmesan cheese. Eat.
I love pasta but not with meat. So another vegetable sauced pasta dish makes my heart sing! And the interesting seasoning of cider vinegar and honey---Dorie says it makes the flavors "pop!" I don't happen to have a winter squash or cabbage in the house--so I won't be able to make this until I shop.
G and Riley are going out for their walk. A short one. G is "feeling" the results of the slip and fall yesterday. His shoulder is a bit stiff and his wrist aches a bit. I offered him the Arnica cream but he said no.
I read straight through Anne Tyler's Clock Dance yesterday. Starts and ends in Baltimore. Just the way I like my Tyler books. Her characters are the kind I wish lived on my street. Makes me want to read all the Baltimore books again. So, I made a list. A good book can be enjoyed more than once.
I did eat my lunch (lots of crunchy peanut butter straight from the jar and an apple) two hours after breakfast and then skipped supper all together. I was reminded of my babies-- some days they wanted food all morning and then refused anything in the late afternoon and evening. There must be a biological reason.
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Icy streets yesterday and today snowfall. G slipped and fell going out for the morning paper. If I had been the one up early--I would have fallen but the huge (long) black wool coat I wear in Winter--would have protected me as it did when a rambunctious puppy (Riley) years ago would suddenly pull me sideways on an icy patch. Going down was easy--getting up was tricky.
G's driving to Lewiston now for a doctor's appointment--(unrelated to the fall). Riley got no walk--is sad but stretched out nearby, napping. He'll do that while he hears the keyboard keys tapping. Knows where I am. And my desk chair makes a certain sound when I am leaving it. Squeaky.
I stayed up late to read- "If I Could Turn Back Time" book about a woman going back in Time to her 18th birthday (at 38) and seeking answers to why her life is unhappy. Beth Harbison. New to me. I couldn't find anything to read and two of this authors books were on the re-shelving cart--looking light and easy with cute covers. I also have Anne Tyler's newest from the 7 day shelf-- got to decide whether to read or return it. I lost interest when she stopped writing about those crazy families living in Baltimore.
Things I am thinking about: Starting seeds for leeks. They take forever to germinate and grow. Random Acts of Kindness. Are there rules? Whether walnut shells will make a colored dye bath and do the shells need to boil for a long time to release any color? Why 300 (or more) elected congressional professionals can't do something about a president who is unfit to serve. If it's okay to eat lunch two hours after eating breakfast. Why I have decided that adding buttons to a failing sewing project is my new "go to" solution.
Riley is barking and woofing--the Town has sent out a BIG dump truck of salted sand for the street out front. Riley will be serving in a voluntary supervisory capacity during the operation.
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Sunshine again, here in Maine. Melting whatever froze overnight. A pattern.
I had gathered this photo from one of the online free images websites for the holidays but it didn't get used. I think it might just have wanted to wait until January. I love the old bowl--possibly wooden- the mosses and the candles. Looks like January feels. Promise of green growth but still needing light around 4 pm. I need to remind myself to collect mosses for a garden bowl.
Christmas trees are on the end of driveways. If we had had one--ours would have had all the branches cut off (here in the house) and then had the branches piled onto the compost bins or around plant roots that need a bit of protection. Not on the roadside. I might get G to drag one back here (from the neighbor's houses) to our house and garden. Waste Not. Want Not. My Grandmother's Wisdom.
I cleared the wicker table in the vestibule this morning to make room for the asparagus fern that is still in the garage. Soon, it will be too cold there. The vestibule stays around 30 to 40 during even the coldest days. The geraniums are still blooming out there--plenty of windows for heat and sun. It's actually more like a greenhouse than a vestibule. Love that word. The three fig trees (heavily pruned) are overwintering there as well. We are getting too old to carry them into the Magic Attic (47 degrees) for the Winter. My figs are zone 6. We are zone 5 here in Maine.
I watered everything-- the citrus is full of tiny buds that will open into flowers and perfume the air with their sweet smell very soon. I am spraying with an insecticidal soap spray. The citrus gets mites so easily and then drops all it's leaves and the tiny fruit. Some leafy being is growing on the surface of the soil in the citrus pot. Time will tell if it's a flowering something or a weed. Acting as a mulch right now.
Made two kinds of sauce last night for supper. One that G likes and one the J likes. We even like different pasta. And different cheese. Total opposites.
The news gets more upsetting as this government stalemate continues. So, we will stop watching. Just keep MSNBC on low volume for Riley. Best tranquilizer ever.
Tuesday, January 01, 2019
A New Day. A New Year.
Something changed last night. I feel happier. The sun is shining after a night that began with rain, changed to snow that is now melting. It's 47 and sunny--in Maine.. Riley began his walk by chasing SIX big deer out of the yard- which is an excellent way for a dog to start the new year. Exciting.
I started the day by taking a shower, changing the bed linens, starting a wash going. Washing that old year right out of my life. I even sorted thru my sock basket--always hoping to find the second green sock. Which is missing. Still. Perhaps forever.
Yesterday I did something totally out of the ordinary (surprising myself and G). I got out the old Betty Crocker cookbook and made old fashioned sugar cookies (tree cookie cutter) and old fashioned confectioner's sugar frosting-colored orange, green and purple- and made cookies for G. They are covered in multi colored sprinkles. He is beyond happy. Took pictures of the cookies and sent them to people. And--the making and decorating of the cookies made me happy. How crazy is that!!!
I'm thinking ahead to Valentine's Day. More sugar cookies and more sprinkles.
And an email from a gardening pal this morning, got me started thinking about planting seeds (eventually) and fertilizing my fruit trees and growing more zucchini as we are getting low on pickles...... so I am starting a list of "things to do" and posting it on the kitchen cabinet door. So I'll be reminded when Spring comes.
Connie even sent me an idea for steaming eggs. How did she know I had a dozen eggs in the fridge that needed to be dealt with--????--but I am going to try steaming 6 of them.
And to my Readers. Thank you for comments, thank you for reading-- thank you for caring. This blog is a Lifeline for me. I will keep writing to you each day and soon enough will have real photos to show you again. My iPhone is coming back to me this month. Cause for great celebration! Then I can share the tea bag work, the eco print steaming successes and failures, the pieced baby quilt tops, Riley, and even the frosted, sprinkled cookies. I have missed posting my own pictures. So much!
It is with great joy and happiness that I begin this New Year with you!!!!!