Saturday, August 31, 2019

Daily Notes- August 31

The last day of August.  I finished a book just now-- The Lost Letters of William Woolf.  Author is Helen Cullen.  Spellbinding.  I recommend it.  Just a book of people, love and letters.  The dead letter office.

I made the Southern Peach Cobbler.

A good book and good cobbler.   And another dreamless sleep.

You probably wonder that I appreciate a dreamless sleep.  My usual is a series of replayed "bad things" which I try all night to get to go away or change into normal things. It is wearing on the nerves. So no dreams at all....a very good thing.  Restful.  So very restful.

I bought a bag of Twizzlers when I went out for groceries yesterday, late in the afternoon.  G needed yogurts and bagels and I get out of the house.  That about sums up yesterday.  I needed to get away from the house.  I often think of running away.  Just packing up the car and driving away.  Which is actually Quite Hilarious.  As far as I could drive is to the next Town over.  I hardly drive at all.  I have an 11 year old car with 30K on the meter.  3.5K per year when I drove to work 5 days a week.  Now, just the grocery, bank, library parking lot.  I may never reach 40K.

Not being an adventurous driver is what happens when you learn to drive at 30 years of age.  I have never even tried to parallel park.  I have driven quite fast on a highway while G slept in the backseat. but I never had to get on or off that highway.  Just go straight.  When I got tired I pulled into a rest area.  Which woke G up.  I could never do that now.  I am too old for driving fast or finding roads or making turns.  Or the nightmare of getting LOST.  And tailgating.

The circle up top was taken in bad lighting.  It looks better.  Not much.  I was just picking and mixing paint and painting circles.  I may do it again today.  Squeeze fresh yellow onto the plastic plate I use. I couldn't make a proper lime green or lemon lime green.  No yellow.  So things got murky.

I am giving the Blue House of Dreams a second chance.

 And I am slicing a dozen or so green tomatoes on the mandoline to make  "Green Tomato Refrigerator Pickles" which sound a lot like the zucchini bread and butter pickles.  They aren't processed so only will last a few weeks.  But I think they will be good with a proper grilled cheese sandwich.  I'll make them once with the recipe and if they are good- the second time with some hot chili sliced into the mix.  And I may just process them.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Daily Notes- August 30

Weaving strips of cloth.   Not Knowing.  I have been doing things the past few days that I haven't done in years.  Re-connecting with my more impractical self.

Riley got in the car yesterday.   He and G went to get pizza.  He was panting a lot- anxiety- but he got into the car.  So, today, if we can get him in--we'll all three go to Dairy Queen.  Huge Treat!!!

Last night the top (center) of my peach tree cracked and broke.  That might be all she wrote. The tree might die.  But right now my problem is the peaches.  So I am giving everyone on my street a big bag of peaches.  I don't want to waste what my tree produced.  I guess it should have been pruned hard in the Spring.  But since it had never made a single peach--I didn't think I needed to do that.  And now the load from the peaches I allowed to crowd the tree-- I may have killed it.  Life is a series of lessons and I didn't pay enough attention to this one.  And I never, never expected to get so many peaches.

My shoulder pain from the shingles shot is now gone.  A full five days.  Just remember --if you get the booster --your shoulder is going to hurt for 5 days.  Plan accordingly.

I have to put an ankle brace on my right ankle--it's acting up and hobbling around takes too much energy.  So, now that I've had breakfast--three bananas that won't make it another day and coffee- I am going out to pick peaches.  I think I will put them in the wheelbarrow and just roll it up the street. Later in the day when people are home from work.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Daily Notes- August 29

From a long time ago or it just feels like a long time.  The squares are 2 inches.  I was making houses. I don't have a spirit animal like a cat or anything.  Just houses.  I suppose I could give them wings or legs or arms or eyes.  Animated Houses.  This one looks like it has one eye up near where the roof meets the house.   I was playing with DebL's variegated thread.  I like it better than the plain blue on the left. I have no idea why I chose the dark blue for the blocks.  It's lifeless.  And what sort of flowers bloom at night?   Nightshade.

Each piece I make is another lesson in the instruction book of Life.  What works and what does not. Most of the work made during this period-is either taken apart and used in other things or sitting in a small pile waiting to develop...... or be de-constructed along with the others.  This blue house has a section added to the top which I didn't take a picture of because it doesn't work.

Peaches are falling off the tree.  Perhaps I should have waited for that?  My neighbor wants enough to bake a pie-but not now--but when her adult children come to visit.  I don't quite know how to handle this.  The peaches won't "wait".....  G says it's not my problem to solve.

Riley is having intermittent barking.  Like a nervous tick.  He went to bark at G and now is back barking at me.  I've invited him to lay down on his bed.  And shut up.  No luck.  I am guessing he has decided he has waited long enough for his daily walk.  I am supposed to light a fire under G's butt. I told him to handle it himself.  It's difficult to get G to do anything these days.  He's very very slowly reading the morning paper.

I folded all of yesterday's laundry and put it all away.  I looked up the Maine Wild Seed Project plants growing in garden beds in the fenced garden.  I have Black Elderberry (a future 10 to 12 foot tall shrub), Virgin's Bower Clematis (12 foot vine), New York Ironwood ( 6 to 8 foot tall),  Boneset which is in bloom right now and pairs well with milkweed which I have not planted yet, and Native Blue Lobelia which I brought home from work one year.  Now it has reseeded itself all around the house via birds and shared soil.  My daughter planted milkweed and has several cocoons of future Monarchs growing.  G and Riley check the very large wild field of milkweed for Monarchs. He collects seeds heads which I share with classes I teach and with friends like Grace who have a large meadow.  I don't have a meadow as G mows everything to keep it all neat and have less rodents.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Daily Notes- August 28

Got the paint wet today and decided to go slow and just make a series of dots.  And then some small circles.  It felt good.

Started the day with a shower and 2 loads of clothes to wash and dry.  I was getting behind.  Riley and I watched some Criminal Intent and then Riley and I went out to water the tomatoes.  He refused to come in.  So I wandered around in the yard until G finally got home from his "outing" and he got the dog to go inside.  I finally got to eat my lunch-4pm and well, I'm exhausted.  Lesson learned-- don't take the dog outside unless I intend to spend the day out there with him.

The tomatoes are starting to turn.  I didn't pick any. I could have done that while Riley was being stubborn but I picked blueberries instead.  One of the plants still had berries.  I have a nice crop of dill from that day-so long ago-when I sprinkled seeds.  I also have three basil plants.  So I have a new secondary source for basil when we have enough ripe tomatoes.

This is going to be a short post.  I am exhausted mentally and emotionally.  I took about 6 pictures for the blog posts.  But right now, I just want to go back to sitting on the couch with my eyes closed.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Daily Notes- August 27

Art Supplies.  I just need a space with a good light source.  That's really the biggest problem with this house. Natural Light.  The optimum spot is the island in the kitchen. An opening in the ceiling facing south brings in lots of natural light.  A skylight.  The word often alludes me. I find myself defining words but not actually able to capture the word itself.  Skylight.

The living room area is very dark (faces North).  House lights on for any sort of activity.  Morning, noon and night. Always need lights on.  Right now the only light source is the computer screen.  I write the Morning Pages in the front left side of the "living" room part.  The part where I am now is supposed to be the formal dining room.  Had a big light fixture hanging from the center of the ceiling.  Hit our heads on it.  Now we have a ceiling fan there.  And it's where we watch tv and use the the computer.  No formal dining room.  No formal dining going on here in Maine.

G has gone off to the lab for some tests.  He is scheduled for some other tests early tomorrow morning at the big hospital.  His lung doctor again.  Not sure what he is looking for.  There are quite a few things wrong with G's lungs- he has only one functioning lung--  and none of them can be fixed but they just keep looking and they never seem to find anything new.  It's okay to be interested in what might be happening in G's lungs, but if you keep finding nothing then just stop.

Something the Pharmacy thought was "super exciting" happened to me yesterday.  I was one of the Lucky One Hundred who got called in for the Shingles Shot.  I wasn't prepared as I thought the phone call was about a prescription pickup.  But they convinced me to take advantage of my chance to have a shot.  So I reluctantly said yes.  I got the shot and immediately thought I was going to faint.  So I was taken back to the injection room and given water and had a lovely chat about dementia in people and dogs with the Pharmacist. Then he checked my pulse and said I was good to go.   I managed to get my shopping done and get home safely.  I didn't have any of the problems the pharmacist mentioned but when I went to bed and rolled over onto my left arm--I did experience quite a bit of pain.  He told me that was common.  So I had to figure out how to fall asleep on my right side.  It took awhile.

This morning I feel okay.  Riley is here on the dog bed next to me.  Sitting like an Egyptian Dog statue.  I think he and G had a good night's sleep- even though the phone did ring at 7:30am with a reminder of G's lab tests today.  Riley has his own schedule and WALK was on it for this time period.  And Riley is now very put out about not being on his walk.  I told the dog that not everyone gets what they want. Like he cares about "everyone".  G should be home soon.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Daily Notes- August 26th

A website had veggie sandwiches with pictures.  This one contains mashed chickpeas.  Riley and G have gone off to walk and they are thinking it's getting cool enough for me to start joining them again. I am thinking I should walk again.  But not today.

The sun is shining.  It got down to 50 degrees at bedtime last night.  Summer is finished here in Maine. I have a few visits to make: library, grocery and post office.  My triangle.  All very close to each other.  I still bring the rescue inhaler.  Walking can trigger an attack.

I started a new notebook for the Morning Pages.  As I completed the last one, I noticed I had written about the same things on the first page of the notebook and the last page.  I can see why people think the practice of morning pages becomes "circular".  Same topics but not written about in the same way.  I wrote about procrastinating in planting my tomatoes into the Grow boxes on that first page and on the last page I lamented the fact the tomatoes were all still green.  Cause and Effect.  Not really circular unless I repeat the procrastination next season as well.

I have a large bowl of peaches  (beautiful small peaches all gold and rose red) on the island in the kitchen.  They smell like peaches.  Taste really good.  I still have blueberries in the vestibule fridge.  I was going to make blueberry cake a second time. I didn't.  I wonder about the future of these peaches.  There are hundreds still on the tree.  I don't want to eat cake or cobbler.  I am trying to lose another 5 pounds.  And when that happens-another 5.  Small steps.  So, cake.  I can make it and just hope G will eat it all.  He will eat the blueberry but not the peach.

So, I am eating the peaches as they get ripe.  Uncooked, Unbaked, Unsugared.  I know my daughter's diet is okay with fruit-she will have three or four large pieces of fruit for breakfast.  Then some sort of wrap for lunch and I am not sure what she has for supper- but I know she eats no meat or dairy.

I meant to draw yesterday.  But the day got away from me.  It just slips away.  I didn't even read. I had a book ready to go but didn't read.  I sat.  I cried.  I closed my eyes.  Then I watered the tomatoes.  Watched Law and Order with Riley.  Then we ate tomatoes with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar and then sweet corn.  Summer food. And then it was Time for bed-- an hour early.  10pm.  the man and the dog reported a good night's sleep.  Me too.  With the window open and the 50 degree night air.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Daily Notes- August 25th

Bacon. Lettuce. Tomato.  I have to add Mayo.  Hellman's.

There is lots of Tomato Talk on the internet regarding tomatoes not getting ripe even though it's HOT. Seems like the internet thinks HOT keeps tomatoes from getting ripe.  What???  The larger issue here is the chipmunks biting little chunks out of the pinkest little spots on otherwise green tomatoes.  Ruining them.  So as the tomatoes start to "turn"-- I clip them--keeping part of the stem helps them ripen-- and into the house they go.  Takes days but I have plenty of those. I did add newspaper under and over to trap any tomato ripening "gasses".  It's not scientific.

I could use the microwave cover (to keep things from splattering in the micro while it cooks) to cover a  few tomatoes.  See if that works.  I use it on rock hard grocery peaches all the time.  Not in the microwave--NO!!! on the counter.  The peaches on the counter topped by the cover and with the little vent thingy open.  I write this because some Readers might get the wrong idea. (just saying)

The first two golden/red peaches on one of my trees were golden enough to eat yesterday.  So juicy and peachy.  Loved it.  I had the second-not as golden one just now, after breakfast. The first one I ate over the sink yesterday.

Riley had a busy night- panting.  This morning he is in constant yip/bark mode.  I think it's like a nervous tic.  Making G and I crazy.  But he seems happy enough doing it.  And he is now out for the walk and he's still barking.  It's always something.  Could be that there is no Law and Order on the weekends. Or he slept too much Saturday (during the day) while I read my book.

I had a seven day loaner book out- Ruth Ware's fourth book "Turn of the Key".  It was a bit of a chore to get into but it is due today so I had to get it read.  The writing on the first 40 or so pages is a bit choppy.  But from then on--don't plan on stopping.  Really.  You have to keep reading.  It's like one of the carnival rides where the cars start going faster and the turns get sharper and you hold on tight to the bar in front of you.  In the end...well, the last two pages are really really not what you expected.

That was my Saturday.  I finished up with Good Bones on HGTV.  I like the demo days best.  The stuff they find. Whew!!  I can just imagine what it all smells like on a hot day.  I like what they do to remodel the houses.  I absolutely do not like the "decorating" which borders on tacky.  Well, not borders--is tacky.

The watercolor paints-everything I own--is down and on the table.  The roll of brushes.  The mixing tray.  The paper.  All ready to use.  Ready to paint.  I am thinking of just mixing colors and making splotches.  Then when I feel less "conflicted" I will select one item from the shelf of things I love and draw it in pencil and see if I want to add paint.  Sometimes I like the pencil drawing too much to mess it up with paint.  Oh, dear Reader...can you feel my anxiety?

I finished the first of the expensive (to thrifty me) lined notebooks I purchased in June.  I read the first Morning Page after writing on the last line of the last page.  I was procrastinating about planting my tomato plants in the Grow Boxes.  It was the middle of June.  Which might be why my tomatoes are still green.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Daily Notes- August 24th

Finally Saturday.

Garden News-- one of the Grow Box purchased support systems collapsed and there were green tomatoes rolling all over the driveway.  I collected them and placed them on a flat surface in the vestibule.  A Hail Mary.  They are too green to actually ripen.

I have eaten fried green tomatoes.  I did live in Georgia for the formative years of being a wife and mother (the first 6).  The pregnant teenage wife in the apartment across the hall taught me how to make fried yellow squash and fried green tomatoes.  And fried okra-- a deep and abiding favorite of mine.  This is widely known as "the vegetable plate".  Served with a buttered wedge of cornbread.

So opportunity knocks so to speak.  I have like 50 green tomatoes.  It's been warm, hot, humid this Maine Summer and still....the tomatoes have grown but haven't gotten ripe.  We are eating them as they ripen.  I have four in the vestibule destined for our supper table tonight.  With sweet corn.

I might have to give in to G's wanting to set up the hoop house next summer.  Tomatoes will ripen in that.  But we will need to hire help to do the set up which will be intense.  Rail road ties, rebar, etc. Like a FULL ON PROJECT.  And the raised beds in the garden will need to be taken apart and emptied of soil. this might have been something I could do two years ago--but I am no longer able bodied.

I realized, yesterday, when I wrote I was 72.5 that I am actually 72.11.  Less than a month from my 73rd birthday.  Getting too old for all this changing things around.  I hardly get down to the fenced garden anymore--just to pick blueberries.  And rhubarb in the Spring.  I am more of an age to go to the Farmer's Market and buy what I need.  I have enough bread and butter pickles "put up"--- how I love that old expression.

The peaches aren't ripe yet-- plums are still hard.  But in today's local paper a woman wrote of the peach kuchen that her Austrian grandmother made with any fruit that was ripe.  The author was waiting to make it with peaches.  There is a custard and a crunchy topping.  I remember that from childhood.  My grandmother was an immigrant from Austria-Hungary in the late 1800's.  So I clipped the recipe and will also be waiting for the peaches to ripen.  The author's crust is more like American pie crust and my grandmother in her many years in America- never made a pie.  Her crust was more likely yeast dough.  Apple, peach, plum.  But the custard and the crumbly crunchy topping is the same.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Daily Notes- August 23rd

All week.
Each Morning.
I think it's Saturday.
I sit here wondering what will it feel like tomorrow?

The cloth scraps above-- I sort and stack and this one- with a small piece of something I liked when I was sewing it but after not so much.  I took it apart.  Now, here in this little pile, it seems just right.

I vacuumed and washed all the floors in the large section of this house.  Today the bedroom section. Just that washing of floors seems to have re-set my inner emotional clock.  I am more peaceful.  I even seem ready to begin the LONG process of taking down, washing, drying and putting back of the little items on the shelves next to the fireplace (that has never had a fire in it).  Little items that are more altar than anything else.  Things that hold thought and memory and time.  And love.  I love each of the things- the old rubber monkey holding out his hand for a coin.  I just turned and see him on the top shelf behind the little vintage cream and sugar holders with tiny red cherries as decoration.

My Treasures.  They will be happy to have a warm soapy bath.

G and Riley are back from their walk in the woods.  Riley is very wet.  He gets hosed off by the back of the house at the end of the walk. and now he is going he is not....I thought he was going to lie down. He's back and down on his bed.

I am going up into the Attic at some point today to get the container holding my watercolor paints and brushes.  Bring it down.  I have had this "RULE" -- take something back up into the Attic for everything you bring down--but it's been awhile.  I haven't gone up for much more than a few pieces of cloth for a baby quilt.   The bed in the guest room is holding things I brought down "before" but nothing much has been worked on.  Perhaps I can find some calm to work on those things eventually. But, I can find enough calm space to mix water and pigment and fill small squares with color.  Not enough to paint anything--I am only thinking of small squares.  One at a time.'s Criminal Intent- Law and Order with Riley.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Daily Notes- August 22nd

My days.  Regimented to the pill dispenser and the couch.  Riley is calmest when I am on the couch-he doesn't care what I do here.  Eat, read, sew or watch tv-it doesn't matter.  Just me on the couch and Riley on the dog bed (my foot next to his hip) and the day drifting past.  He isn't even bothered by my tears. He just wants to listen to my heart beat.

Notice that Wednesday in the pill dispenser is still is full.  G forgot to give the dog his bedtime medications.  So now I have a new job- an additional job-the bedtime pills.  The two of them are out on their walk. Didn't have one yesterday as it rained most of the day so they are out early to get a walk in today.  Riley enjoys the daily walk very much even though he walks behind these days and not out front. In fact, if you didn't spend much time with Riley-nothing at all would seem wrong. well, his breathing would worry you. We're used to it.

I have to  central vac the floors today.  They are dirty and dog haired.  And then I must wash the floors- dog drool.  And it would be a good thing to wash all the counter surfaces. I have managed to keep up with the laundry and fold everything out of the dryer and put it away before I go to bed.  Nice having the machines right in the master bath.

I have had a tray of Sungold cherry tomatoes on the kitchen counter for days.  I keep meaning to roast them, cool and package for Winter meals.  I am the only one who likes the pasta sauce I make with the roasted tomatoes.  But, I haven't gotten around to it.  Winter seems years away, right now.

I do spend quite a few moments-long ones--crying these days.  Like now.  It just comes on like a drifting cloud and the tears run down my face.  Then I wipe myself off, blow my nose and eat my breakfast, read the paper and post my Daily Notes.  I'm not depressed.  I know what that feels like. Been there done that.  This is sadness.  This is grieving.  For what was and will never be again. For what is lost already and what is lost each passing day.  Spell check wrote  "for what is toast".  Isn't that delightful. I am grieving the loss of toast. It made me laugh.

The computer is not working as it should.  I keep getting the spinning ball.  G has clogged it up with these games he plays endlessly here.  So everything I do--even getting a picture inserted in the daily post- is a struggle and endlessly frustrating.  And spell check is a crime against people who actually know how to spell.  Would that my one joy in Life  not be contaminated.

I will persevere.  I am a survivor.  I might need to self medicate with ice cream and brownies but I'll come through at the end.  Be stronger for the struggle.  The tears are just a safety valve.  Pressure release.  I will miss that sweet dog.  But not just yet.  We still have the couch and Law and Order.
And the pill dispenser.  Quality of Dog Life is still good enough.

Being the one left behind is the hardest of all things.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Daily Notes- August 21st

Not pictures today.  The file is messed up and I just don't have anything on the camera.  I did send a photo but it didn't arrive as a photo.

I apologize for yesterday as well.  I hadn't written my morning pages in a few days--so you sort of got unloaded on.  I'm fine.  Stressed by the dog but usually he and I rub along pretty well each day.  Today we are having some rain and it was pretty noisy on the one remaining skylight.  So he panicked.  We got thru it.

We went to the second performance of the Wizard Of Oz on our regular evening, regular seats.  It was wonderful.  The audience clapped.  Standing ovation at the end.  It was a lovely evening out. Daughter didn't have fun with the dog.  But it was the last evening of Music Theater.  We won't ask her to do this again.

As it happens-- I had a delightful conversation with a guy who is 91.  He was at the theater with his college roommate also 91.  They met and have been best friends since they were 18. I often end up having conversations with the people sitting on the folding chairs outside the theater.  Usually older folks like myself.  They went to college in Maryland.  Live in Florida now and come up to Maine for the Summer.  Live on the ocean.  Told me where- asked if I knew the place-I did.  Nice up there.  Not many people around.  Just nature.

All thru school- for sure junior high, high school, college- I never spoke one word to a stranger.  I just missed so much in Life.  I keep hoping to go back in Time and have a "do over" but knowing what I know now-for just enough Time to get myself off on a new foot.  The right foot.  I sometimes imagine it.  Talking.  Yep--no magical stunts.  Just actually talking to people.  I never did it. Would like to go back and see how it changed things for me.  Magical Thinking.

The rain has stopped.  It's Wednesday and I keep thinking it's Saturday.  A few green tomatoes are picking up some color.  A tiny change.

I am thinking when the humidity lets up in the coming weeks I will try asking the neighbor at the end of the street if she'd like to walk.  Talk.  Just get out of the house.  We used to do that years ago. Before I had Riley and she had Harry.  I hope she says yes.  At least once.  Not today.  It's too humid, wet and buggy.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Daily Notes- August 20

This has been on the blog before. I was cutting strips off of large sheets to make squares.  They piled up on the table and I liked how they looked.  Still do. The light and dark.  Even though its all the same color.  Riley is finally leaving my side.  The garage door just opened.  G is back home from seeing his heart doctor.  A "hello/how are you visit".  G reports he doesn't need to come back. That's interesting.

I don't have this golden paper or the strips any more.  It would have been fun to see how they would change with Time and with the different ways they could tangle with each other.

Only two tomatoes out of about 100 out there on the vines is changing color-from green to red.  It's 20 days into August.  Time seems to be running out for ripe tomatoes. And it's been hotter than usual here in Maine.  Seems odd.  The tomatoes on the vines are getting larger day by day.  I don't ever remember anything like this happening in any of my almost 45 years of gardening. I was going to say 50 but the years in Georgia I only had one garden and well, the tomatoes I grew were enormous and delicious.  Then I moved to Florida. No need to grow tomatoes when there was a pickup truck at the end of the road full of tomatoes (and everything else) every day.  Cash only.  Deb do they still do that?

I do have two tomatoes in the vestibule ripening.  We can probably eat them today.

I am in a strange mood these days.  Very strange.  G thinks I need to be "medicated".  He might be right.  A nice tranquilizer or two.  I've been thinking a nice gin and tonic with lots of lime would do the trick. But I come from alcoholic genetic stock.  I always worry about drinking.  Using it.  If you know what I mean.  Using it to change the way you feel or think.  That's a problem.

Our banker has lost a lot of weight this year.  I almost didn't recognize her at the cocktail party (where I didn't have my usual one drink).  She said she had lost her brother to alcoholism and realized she was using food as her drug of choice.  My family is into alcoholism.  Or drugs. My deceased younger  brother used both.  A Lot.  So it was of interest to me that I could be using food the way my brother, father and grandfather (and 100% of his cousins) used drink and/or drugs.  To make myself feel better. This is pretty heavy thinking.  So I may not just have a "tendency to be fat" I may be self medicating with food.  I have no idea where to start looking for help.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Daily Notes- August 19th

A strange patch of cloth with an odd "spot".  Not sure how it happened or if it was always this way since being made into cloth?  Like finding an ancient moon in the scrap basket.

The house lights are on.  Some dampness overnight outside.  Not rain, which would be welcome, but something.  Whatever happened out there overnight disturbed the sticks holding up the heavy peach branches.  A collapse of some sort.  G nods.  Yes.

I finished book four of the Twist in Time series.  It felt good to read an entire book in one day.  Well, two days and two books.  Now back to regular programming.  Groceries need to be re-stocked (we had grilled cheese sandwiches for supper last night with canned  baked beans) meaning we are at the bottom of our resources and pretty damned happy there was bread.

Yesterday I did quite a bit of work on the tomato plants.  Lots of yellow and brown spotted leaves which happens when you have overnight damp.  So I removed them.  And then saw more. Removed them.... and then more.  Finally, I just stopped as the mosquitos had discovered my ankles.

So a big day for me.  Getting out of the house.  Library to return books.  Grocery shopping.  When I get home--- vacuuming the floors and carpets and then mopping or getting down and cleaning by hand -all the drool spots on the hardwood floors.  No floor is unmarked.

In the next few days I also need to refill all Riley's medications.  I wasn't able to fill all seven days in his pill organizer yesterday.  Riley gets pills three times a day and he comes to stand and stare at me when it's pill time.  I'm not sure what they are doing for him but he is much less disorganized mentally than he was before all the pills. And he's eating more regularly.  Out of the bowl.  We were feeding him with handfuls of food on his bed. So--whatever is happening is good.  He still will not get in the car.  So, the thing he loved the MOST- "ride in the car" is not happening anymore.  And is limiting what we can do together.  As a family.

Such a small thing--but ripples thru the days and changes the whole of life around here.  No rides in the car together to Goodwill, Grocery or Dairy Queen.  No going out for dinner and leaving him here to sleep while we are gone.  But right now--he is sprawled out on his bed next to me--sound asleep.  Knowing that when I move away from the computer-no matter how slowly and gently I move--the chair will make enough noise to wake him up.  His alarm system- in place for 12 years now.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Daily Notes- August 18th

DebL suggested Softscrub gel with bleach for bleaching fabric.  She said it made nice moons.  She was correct.  This was just my "test" and now I am eager to make more moons.

I also have a juvenile print I dug out of the Magic Attic Bins.  Dick and Jane.  With additional fabric with text from the books.  Am I older than you Readers?  Do you remember Dick and Jane? Spot and Puff?  It took me FOREVER to learn to read.  I would cry over not being able to do the vocabulary cards.  We had to know ALL the words before we got our first book.  None of this sounding out the words.  I am reminded of my mother shuffling the cards and then holding them up for me to "read".
Later, I did the same with my daughter.  My brother and my son got it the first time thru the cards. Genetically identical.   But my daughter and I struggled.  Both of us are voracious readers.

I went out to water the Tomatoes this morning.  I had more yellowed spotted leaves to cut and remove.  Only one sort of ripe tomato and a whole bowl of Sungold cherry tomatoes.  The "sort of ripe" tomato joined the other sort of ripe tomato in the vestibule.  Another few days.  I believe they are the French Rose_______ something tomato.  A heirloom that my friend Allie starts from seed for me. She also gave me a couple Snow White cherry tomato plants.  Nothing has ripened on those plants yet. I am surprised that none of the Early Girls have ripened.  Last year I had boxes of them to give away by late July.  I have a lot of green tomatoes.  A LOT.

No Goodwill again today.  Just feel like I have enough of everything.  More fabric than any one person needs.  I am going to read book 4 today.  Read all the way through book 3 in one afternoon and early evening. It was very good.

Then watched the last quarter of the Patriots pre-season game. Games one and two have been against teams coached by former Patriots coaches who decided to leave the Patriots.  The expressions on their faces were ...... well, they might be wondering why they just didn't stay in New England and have a bunch of Super Bowl Rings.

Well, I'm going to read my book.  Riley is in panic mode.  He calms down when  I read.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Daily Notes- August 17

A batik (sort of) fabric from a box a friend sent me.  I used some bleach on it.  To knock the color back just a little.  The stars in the print remind me of how much I love the tiny story cloths that (Hazel ) makes and sells.  I never get there in Time to buy one.  So, I just go and look. I tried to make it so you can just click on the link but it won't do it.

Hazel has lots of stars and moons in her little stories.  Small boats sailing under a moon and stars. My favorites are the little globes that contain the story.  At first I though the cloths were larger than 5 inches square.  I am trying to image what sort of story I could tell in the little square of cloth above.

I have the house lights on and it's not even noon.  Riley does not go gently into the dark. So, lights on.  And since he knows it takes me awhile to type a post--he has fallen asleep on the dog bed to my right.  Has a small quilt on top.  Something quick that I made for him.  A printed patchwork of  assorted animals.  I stuffed with poly batting and machine quilted it.  He seems to like it.  Kind of puffy.  He was up early and managed to eat breakfast.  Has had his morning pills.  Now he is wanting his walk.  G isn't that interested because it might start raining.  But I think it will just be cloudy.  No sun.  Lots of mosquitos.

I planned ahead and bought some baked chicken and mixed it with honey and mayo for a salad to eat with vinegary mixed greens later on today (for me).  I like when I know I have something ready to eat. G has packaged ravioli to eat.  Yesterday we had a late supper of sliced ripe Cherokee purple tomatoes with fresh mozzarella (soft) and olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Caprese.  I like summer meals.  Not much cooking.  Winter- I don't mind having the stove on- pot roast, homemade pizza on football days, chicken soup for G and perhaps cream of carrot and leeks for me.  Heavier food.

Yes, big ripe tomatoes from my own Grow Boxes out on the driveway. All the others are still hard and green but these two tomatoes--such a delicious gift.  One of the rose tomatoes is out on the table in the vestibule finishing up the ripening process.  The taste of homegrown tomatoes is like nothing else on Earth.  When there are more, I'll buy bacon and honey oat bread and have BLT's.  Eat them over the sink so the juice doesn't collect on my clothes.

Because it's cloudy today- I'm going to read my books.  Books 3 (2018) and 4 (2019) in a series about a high tech FBI profiler who drops through a hole in Time.  And is stuck there.  And runs into many very creepy serial murders in the 1815.  She has to make do with what is available to solve crimes and investigate corpses while wearing a tight corset and long skirts. Caught in Time is number 3 by Julie McElwain.  Twist In Time is the first book.  Nicely written and plotted.  My library shelves them under mystery but some librarians might have other ideas.  My library did not purchase book 3 so I had to wait for it to arrive by interlibrary loan before I could read book 4 which my library DID buy.  I suggested they buy book 3.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Daily Notes- August 16th

Today is my daughter's birthday.  I remember when they put her in my arms and suddenly I was a mother.  I was responsible.  I was forever changed.  Thankfully, she was an easy baby. Happy to be with us.  She ate and slept and smiled.  She was very happy.  Perhaps she had flown a long way to find us?  Whatever, she was easy to take care of and love.  She rarely seems like that happy baby who was so accepting of anything we had to give (which was actually diapers, rubber pants and a few white tee shirts- period).  I truly never remember her crying.  Just smiling and laughing.  Until her brother arrived two years later.  The smiling and the laughing came to a full stop.

Anyway.  I made homemade Larabars for her instead of cake.  Thin Mint Bars and Samoa Girl Scout Cookie.  The Thin Mint needs more peppermint flavoring.  She won't like them.  And we have the big jar of salty pickles to drop off also. And a card.

She babysat the dog last night so we could go to a cocktail party and then Music Theater as guests of the Bank. I had quite a few of the bacon wrapped scallops.  I did not have a drink as last year's one drink was mighty strong.  Would have been nice to have crab claws as well.  Or some lobster.  We were given gift bags with two cookies.  One of glittery red shoes and one of the yellow brick road. I gave my bag to our daughter as she seemed interested in the cookies.

Yet again the audience sat on their hands thru most of the performance.  Not giving applause to good singing or funny lines.  Just silent.  I like it when the audience and the actors are "in it together". Perhaps the actors just weren't making a connection?   The star of the show was Dorothy's little dog.
Walking on and off stage on cue and jumping into the actor's arms then looking out at the audience.

I am reminded of the actor singing and splashing water on the front row (Singing in the Rain) (they had been given raincoats) while singing and dancing in the rain.  It was so personal and really nice and he had the audience right where he wanted them.  I think that's what Music Theater in the summer should be. Walking out of the theater humming a tune or singing.  I didn't see anyone linking arms and "going down the yellow brick road" last night as we walked to our cars.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Daily Notes- August 15th.

This selection isn't as relevant.  But "don't envy".  That one is hard.   I like throw your heart into your work and build from large shapes to small also.

I try every day to do the "time to read, paint, exercise and rest".  But I sew little scraps together these days and I never paint.  I love painting. I loved painting.  I'm not sure I even remember how to paint anymore.

When I was in my 20's I had small kids and zero money.  So I didn't paint even though I had painted in college classes.  In my 30's I had two children and lived in a foreign country- but I took a very short class in patchwork.  In my 40's, I worked.  Finally, I had jobs and money of my own and two kids in college and graduate school. But I found the Botanical Art classes at the Morton Arboretum and really loved them.  It was a totally different way of painting.  Very controlled and slow.  I learned to be patient with the paint. We moved.

In Maine, the teacher who was recommended to me by Morton Arboretum-only taught painting classes for people over 50.  I had years to wait so I started quilting.  Needle turn appliqué.  Really slow cloth.  I liked that.  By the time I was 50 plus the teacher I waited for retired.  I do have a painting she did.  I bought it at a gallery.  I mentioned it to her when I met her.  She replied "I never liked that one".  Period.

I am using drops in my eyes.  Usually the stickiness is from allergies.  But I will put the drops in more often and look for the preservative free ones recommended by two readers.

Riley is already panting.  I think he "knows" we'll be going out to Music Theater and the cocktail party tonight.  And no Law and Order today.  Our daughter will be getting here after we have been gone 90 minutes.  She has work, shower and her two cats to feed before she comes here and eats her dinner.  She is very good with Riley.  Usually, he's only alone 30 minutes but the cocktail party adds an hour.  I will try not to be on time.  It's Wizard of Oz tonight and the reviews are impressive.

Riley has fallen asleep.  I always forget he likes watching me use the computer.  He's had his morning pills and eaten breakfast.  A good start.  I'll just sit here and look at things.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Daily Notes- August 14th

If the work is hard, you are struggling to go beyond what you know how to do.  Habit is more powerful than will (or lack of will).

That's what it feels like here.  Struggling to go beyond what I know how to do with Riley.  It's hard. I dissolve into tears every day.  He is happiest in the early morning. Barking and running around.  Eyes all shiny and alert.  All that dims and fades as the day goes on.  The only bright spots--when he gets more pills.  He knows when they wear off.  Wants the next dose. Not pain meds.  Amoxicillin and a tranquilizer.  He decided to eat at 11pm so could not have his two large liver pills.  G forgot to pick up the food bowl at 9pm. Another thing for me to take over-remembering-- the 9pm bowl pickup. Or another alert to put on G's phone.  The phone remembers for him.

Anyway.  I spend large blocks of the day watching Law and Order with the dog.  He has always liked it.  Talking. Lots of talking. No sudden noises-well sometimes the judge bangs the gavel.  Yesterday no Law and Order. Not even Criminal Intent- I like that one.  So we both were out of sorts. Today I checked the tv listing in the morning paper--Law and Order.

G made wooden supports for the heavy branches on the Peach trees.  Some had bent so much the tips were on the ground.  Another week and we'll have some ripe and soft enough to eat. And then we'll have armloads of them.  None. A Few. Too Many.  The peaches are small. But very pretty.  Yellow with the softest red blushes.

I am seriously thinking of painting.  Just little sketches.  But brushes and paints and just playing around.  Mixing colors.  Filling squares with the colors I make.  Perhaps a progression of one or two colors.  Light to dark or the reverse.  Practicing holding the brush.  "There is art in all work"

Hand sewing has become difficult.  My eyes are dry/tired and it's hard to focus on the small stitches.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Daily Notes- August 13th

I wrote this into a journal many years ago.  Years before 2008.  My dad was still alive and I took this small journal with me.  With email addresses and phone numbers.  Doctors and lawyers.  My dad recovered and I returned home to my job at the library.

Paint everyday could be translated into sew everyday,  Crochet, knit, string beads etc.  I agree with buy the best you can afford.  If you make something amazing and the materials are less than you would want them to be--will you be happy?  I have good scissors, irons for pressing, and a very good sewing machine--a real splurge many years ago.  It looks like a Singer treadle up against the computerized sewing machines of today-but it gets the job done.  And it does have the tiniest of computer systems.

Find a way to support yourself.  Art isn't going to pay the bills or rent-that's what that means.

Success grows from failure.  That about sums up everything we might try.

It doesn't mention doubt.  In ourselves.  In our vision of what it is we are trying to create.

And the best:  not on the list.  Where will you be in 5, 10, 20 years if you just don't even TRY.

Sometimes just carrying on, just carrying on, is the super human achievement.

The movie yesterday was Yesterday.  About that beautiful Beatles music.  And a guy who gets hit by a bus and looses half his front teeth.  The perfect movie for August.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Daily Notes- August 12th

Pickle Making.  The big canning kettle full of hot boiling water and the jars (sterilizing) and the second pan full of rinsed salted vegetables and the vinegar/sugar/spices.  I keep a clean and neat work station.  Across from the stove was where I cleaned the top edges of the jars and added lids and screw tops.  then back into the canner for the allotted number of processing minutes.  And then out. and then waiting to see if all the lids "popped" thereby sealing.  One did not so I had to re-boil it and then take it out and wait to see if it would seal.  It did.

And that's it.  Until the fig crop is ripe.  Then I'll make fig preserves for G and hang up the canning apron fro the season.  Good thing as I am out of the wide mouth pint jars.  Plenty of the narrow neck ones.  But G doesn't like them.  Shaking my head.  He's very specific in what he likes and dislikes. Rather like the dog.  Who is sitting next to me. Being specific.

We were having a good day with the dog yesterday and then he went off the rails again.  I've learned to spray the pheromones that calm him down on the towel covering his dog bed.  Then we just have to wait for him to put his head down.  If he does--then he sleeps.  If he doesn't then I just start talking to him in a steady monotone voice.  I tell him things-stories of his early life here.  It takes a long time to get him to calm down.  Losing your mind is a very scary thing.  We also watch Law and Order.  He has always liked the sound of it.  I tried hand sewing but he didn't like me doing that. Reading is fine.  And sitting at the computer is also fine.  But Law and Order is best.  So I didn't post yesterday.

I am getting away from home today.  Going to a movie.  With a friend.  Only one of us can leave.  So I usually stay home.  Now that Riley refuses to get in the car-we can't go places together.  No Dairy Queen trips.  It's been a long summer.  I can leave to go grocery shopping etc. but when G leaves it's not good here.  The dog doesn't like for G to be gone but he goes anyway.  Because G likes to go.

Well, enough of that.  As I said, I tried to do some hand sewing but the light wasn't good so I stopped. I haven't been working on my components or anything.  I haven't gone to Goodwill in two weeks.

Riley looks so sweet and normal when he is asleep on his dog bed.  I love him so much.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Daily Notes- Saturday August 10

My books.  The Smiling Man must be returned unread.  I never got around to it.  I have Summer Eyes.  Meaning sticky eyes.  Allergy or what, I don't know, but sticky and smeary.  I just like closing them and resting my head on a pillow and watching tv with Riley.  Usually Law& Order.  We lucked out and got Criminal Intent.  I like those. But not able to read anything.  I will try some drops.

Riley is in panic attack mode today.  Yesterday was a good day.  Today he is walking around in circles. He can go from the TV watching place, round to the entrance hall then into the dining room and then kitchen and then back into TV room.  Around and round.  Walking and drooling.  Eyes rolling and wild.  I sprayed pheromones on the dog bed.  He has come and sat down and the scent is working.  He sleeps for 15 to 20 minutes and then walking again.  Each stop on the dog bed lasts just a bit longer.  I need to stay where I am-the couch or this chair by the computer.  Then he stays.

We had sweet corn for supper last night.  Not as good as the first two times but still-food.  G had the last tomato with mozzarella and basil.  I toasted French bread.  A good summer meal.  G had ice cream from the freezer-  I made sure there was some there.

While picking blueberries with my daughter, I noticed the zucchini plant leaves were dry and brown. So I'll go out and pull them today.  Be done with them.  Daughter is taking blueberries for her neighbor who is suffering from Lyme disease and for another friend who enjoys "clean" food.  We don't spray our berries.  So they are clean.

I picked a few more pickling cucumbers when Riley and I went out to water the tomatoes.  We also got the newspaper.  I am picking up acorns from the grass and driveway.  Not the usual big fat acorns. These are just caps with a very small flat food supply.  The squirrels are going to go hungry.  And they are falling off the trees so early.  I wish I had more knowledge of these things.  But I'm sure it's a"sign" of some future weather problem.  Or the trees are dying.  Big tall oaks.  I will do some research.

I was thinking of filling the last Grow Box and planting carrot seeds.  And when the cucumbers are finished-planting more carrots in that box.  Carrots do well in late summer and into fall.  And I like carrots.  I may plant beets in one box and carrots in the other.  I like roasted beets.

But right now, I want to finish my Morning Pages.  I had to stop in order to calm the dog.  But now I can finish them I hope.  The sun isn't shining and it's dark inside the house.  I wasn't expecting rain.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Daily Notes- August 9

Yesterday's harvest.   I managed to find another cucumber this morning.  Not as many flowers on the vines so the plants might be getting tired.  I did get about 10X as many as last year (2) so I am happy. My daughter was over  to get a can of gasoline and some lawn mower oil.  She is giving up on the battery powered mowers.  They last two years and then you have to buy a whole new mower.

Anyway, while she was here I fed her late lunch and she picked herself two large pints of blueberries and asked me to make salty pickles for her.  I need to buy a few more things but will be happy to make them.  I might just do a quart of the cucumbers for a start.  Then move on to the cauliflower and carrot ones.  The recipe is from a Smith and Hawkins recipe book.  I really miss that company and their Japanese Farmer Pants with the padded knees.

While reading the cookbook this morning I discovered why my grandmother tucked a grape leaf or two in her jars of pickles.  It takes the place of alum in pickling recipes.  Alum.  So the pickles are crisp. Fascinating.   I wonder who figured that out back in the old days?  The recipe book has a few interesting (currently) recipes for squash casseroles.  I might enjoying making one now that I have enough zucchini pickles.

I realized I hadn't posted yesterday.  It's wasn't a great day for me and the dog.  He was having a really hard time of it.  Finally ate some food and fell asleep.  He seemed to have had a good night. Wanted me to go check the tomatoes first thing this morning.  Really protective of the tomato plants.

I let go of a friend yesterday.  Just out of the blue (I thought) saying having a nice life-goodbye. But now I am seeing this loss and the first one years ago in a different perspective.  I am feeling relief.  And I am seeing that that first friend was feeling relief at letting ME go.  The wheel of Life.  It goes round.  And, it was good.  I was easy for the first time in years after that sudden break up.  I understood.  Sometimes we have to see a situation from both sides.  We outgrow people.  Things and circumstances change.  We let go. It doesn't mean you did anything wrong.

Things on the computer seem "sticky" today and some updates need to be installed. I'll hit the install button when I post this.  I haven't been very productive.  I did clean the entire house (mostly floors and shedding dog hair and drool) but I also cleaned sinks and did laundry.  I even folded it and put it away.  New content on Jude's classes.  I need to catch up.  Sew some patches.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Daily Notes- August 8

Another interesting pile of cloth.

August is a strange month.  I think I just lost a friend from 2005.  Fourteen years and she says so long in a email comment.  I just don't get it.  But then a friend reappears in a comment and I welcome her back.

I have never figured out interpersonal stuff.  I am really good at pissing people off.  Really good.  And I'm not even trying.  Perhaps it would help to have a real life conversation delete button???
Will I miss her?  We don't have much in common and seem to just irritate each other.  If I like the Music Theater show she didn't.  If I don't like it--best thing she ever saw.  It goes like that.  Perhaps I had already let her go?  I'll be okay.

G is watching August Football.  A Patriot is down with an injury.  G is worried.

G is having a big piece of the sour cream blueberry cake I made. And coffee.  He had the leftover food I made yesterday for his main meal.  Some prepackaged Orange Chicken I found in the freezer and some freshly steamed rice.  It was good yesterday.  I was happy there was some left for tonight.

I'm thinking of making dinner in small dishes.  Some for the freezer and some for the fridge.  Not a big pan to wade through for days and days.  I am reminded of making small muffin tin lasagnas for my daughter with won ton wrappers instead of noodles.  Cute and she could heat up one or three at a time.  Perhaps that's the solution to feeding a 72 year old man with a short attention span.  Little muffin sized servings.  Or little Corning Ware servings.  With snap on lids.  I see them at Goodwill all the time.  And on Monday I am cleaning out the freezer.  Checking expiration dates.  Tuesday morning is garbage pick up day.  I won't wait for a power outage.  And I might find some good to use stuff.

I managed to get my morning pages written today.  I felt better for having done it.  Clears out the debris.  We cancelled Netflix on Tuesday and today our daughter decided to use it for the first time in all these years.  Shaking my head.

Tomorrow I am going to play some music.  And sing along.  Might even dance.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Daily Notes- August 7

A new kind of jar for "fermenting".  Making sour food.  It's a "thing" I guess. Only $50.

I am resting, breathing calmly, after vacuuming the entire house with the central vac and the diabolical new hose.  That kinks.  That drives me mad. But G had installed a fresh filter and emptied the canister out in the garage.  So the vac did pick up lots of dog hair and crumbs.  And while putting away the vac hose (another venue for foul language on my part)--I stopped to notice the Swiffer Stick.  I had been thinking about buying a new one--not being able to find the old one.  And there it was. And I had never noticed it before today???????

So I Swiffered the floor with clean and shine.  Got up all the drool marks Riley has left on the floors these past few months.  I had been getting down on all fours and wiping them up with a wet towel.

I just wrote something but decide to delete it.  Wasn't worth the grief if she reads the blog.  Someone trying to FIX me.  Why do you need to be fixed if you just don't want to do the things the person wants you to do??? Like drive down a scary road to have a few drinks and then drive back on that same awful road.  If I want a gin and tonic I can make one here at home.  No driving involved.

Another tomato box tipped over.  I think it's one that has tipped over before.

I roasted however many Sungold cherry tomatoes I had on the counter and will mix them with olive oil and pasta and grated cheese for my supper today.  Yesterday G went out for dumplings and soup at the Chinese place.  I stayed home with Riley.  He'd asked me what I wanted but kept forgetting what I said, so I got nothing.  It was okay. I'm used to it.

New content from Jude today and I am choosing a book to read after I slice my vegetables for pickles. I got red peppers yesterday.  A full day- something to eat and clean floors.  A good day.
For you to, I hope!!!  and perhaps a gin and tonic.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Daily Notes- August 6th

Riley.  Here next to me as I type.  His muzzle is graying.

I had a lovely, long over due, coffee date with a neighbor.  We live on opposite ends of a very long, wooded street.  Each house on a one acre lot.  We never see any of the others on the street.  They drive. No one walks.  She is at the beginning.  I am at the end.

We promised not to wait so long between coffee dates.  I will keep that promise.

Riley and G had a good walk and then they watered the Tomatoes.  Riley wouldn't come in until they had been watered.  The sprinkler in the back garden is running-- as is the sprinkler out front under the two peach trees.  The peaches welcome the water and grow larger.  Changing color from green to yellow.  Some have a rosy pink shadow.  Fingers crossed that they ripen.

I have homemade (by a farmer's wife) yogurt to eat with my Bran Buds and blueberries for lunch today.  I am looking forward to it.

I finally remembered to buy red bell peppers and can now slice up the zucchini (yellow and green) and the onions and garlic and salt it all and add ice cubes.  Let it soak and release water and become crispy.  Then make pickles for the 3rd time.  In two or three days.  Thursday or Friday.

G picked up pizza last night.  I picked all the sausage off my pieces.  Was too tired to make a green salad to eat with my portion.  And I love pizza and green salad.  Next time for sure.

I have been eating the pickling cucumbers as they get to a good size.  Scrub them, cut in half longwise and add sea salt.  Eat.  Repeat. Eat.  G is still working on the first quart of refrigerator pickles.  When he starts on the second I'll see if I want to save up cucumbers for another jar. But until that day-- I'll just keep eating them warm from the sun.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Daily Notes- August 5th

This looks like the gathering of garden things-minus the big tomato--that I bring in.  A few things-not enough for anything but a snack of sorts.  And I kept the picture from somewhere--because I liked the COLORS!   My gathering includes orange cherry tomatoes and cucumbers and blueberries and small yellow squash.  Someday soon a peach, I hope.

I finally got back to the morning pages.  I had missed a few days because of early appointments.  I am no longer used to getting up early.  So it feels rushed when I get up and have somewhere to be.  I usually have no where to be.  I also weighed myself.  Two days in a row. Same weight.  Looks like I have, over all these weeks and months, lost 14 pounds.  It doesn't seem like much when the amount I am over is so much.  But a little at a time.  I refuse to concede defeat.

My coffee is darker and stronger than usual.  Riley is barking in little static eruptions.  Like a nervous tick.  The new normal.  He asked for and was given his pills.  I asked him to eat his breakfast.  He walked away.  I topped it with a diced pill pocket. He watched.  I walked away.  He ate his breakfast. We understand each other.  He now waits while I type---- to go water the tomatoes.  The next item on his list of things to do.  A dog who has a to do list.  Remarkable.

I feel cold.  I woke up feeling cold.  I woke up because I heard (or thought I heard) something large bump into the side of the house by my bedroom.  Outside.  I woke up.  Went to look.  Went to see where G was. The dog.  I felt "disrupted".  Uneasy.  There was nothing.  The sun is shining. But I am still chilled.  Yesterday's news has put me on alert.  For loud noises.

I wrote about my previous house in my Morning Pages.  I woke this morning longing for that house. For the table by the patio doors.  Where we sat as a family of four around that first table from Georgia.  Playing cards, eating, talking. The room upstairs we used for the computer.  A long table in front of windows overlooking the street. Where I typed the Leaflet. The newsletter for the Friends of the Morton Arboretun.  I typed in columns.  On the computer.  In Germany I typed the newsletter on a typewriter.  In columns.  I see now that I was always meant to be working in journalism.  Writing.  Not always my own words but editing and typing the words of others.  I see that now--looking back. I wish I had seen it earlier in college.  How would Life have changed?

I read Grace's blog.  She is missing her previous home in New Mexico.  It's in the air.

Riley insists-- We are going to water the tomatoes.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Daily Notes- August 4

Now that I have a large handful of "new to me" scraps, I am enlarging what before were small pieces. this one has a new frame of the fabric with red/orange flowers.  And will be getting another border of the navy and white print.  Being the Virgo that I am-not a rule follower by any definition-- I am seriously considering changing the pale blue small squares (which do not work).  Making new ones out of the strips laying perpendicular.  Or the cloth with orange flowers.  We are learning how to appliqué stitch center blocks into a finished "frame".  I could practice here.

I am learning in this class of Jude's that nothing is ever permanent.  I like that idea in patchwork.

No Goodwill today.  What a rebel I am. The Seeds were in the warehouse bay at the greenhouse where I worked and I had only today to go select the ones I wanted and the ones for Grace.  It was hot.  But several employees stopped to talk.  One of my formerly teenaged co-workers is now studying to be a nurse. Another young man, a new employee I was meeting for the first time, was talking to me about flowers.  It's days and experiences like this that make me treasure even more the 10 years I worked there.

Grace I found so many nice things that looked California.  Peppers, chilies and Asian greens.  For the breakfast fry up. And flowers.  Some that are edible.

Riley is refusing to eat today.  I don't know why but he did accept and chew/eat the tooth cleaning bar I gave him.  I am thinking we should buy some new things for him to chew on.  Perhaps a visit to Petco today to buy a small tryout package of a few new things.  We also need to visit the Vet's office tomorrow to replenish his pills.  I have enough for today and the morning dose.  And then I need more to fill the pill container.  Riley DOES enjoy taking his pills. Reminds me when it's Time. He's always had a very accurate inner clock.

Another tomato cage decided to tip over so today G has added more sturdy supports.  The vines are getting heavy.  I did make 7 more jars of pickles from the zucchini but then went and picked another batch out of the garden.   So tomorrow I will buy more red bell peppers and slice and salt this new batch.

I watched the new Rome Hallmark Movie last night.  I recommend it.  Not the usual fare.  We had the possibility of a storm roll thru while I was watching and there was a terrific BANG and everything  electric went off.  The TiVo.  But then the power came back on.  Very very strange.  We had to walk around resetting all the appliances.  Nothing was off for more than a minute and no rain and no more thunder.  Nothing in the paper about it.  But the paper might have already been printed.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Daily Notes- August 3rd

I didn't have a fresh photo for you and I don't think I have posted this one but I could be mistaken. this is me, old enough to walk.  Helping with the laundry.  I was in charge of the pins.  I like the way the shade and light breaks up the background.  And I like that children in the 40's had these fine tailored little coats to wear.  And a bonnet.

Today I was out early with Riley to water the tomatoes.  He (Riley) is quite a task master.  Do something with him twice and it becomes a "must do" and no slacking.  He wanted me to get to those tomatoes and he supervised the watering.  Standing next to me and monitoring the water. The hose. Me.  And then we fill the big watering can and walk around to the front of the house to water the flowering annuals in containers.  Then fill the big watering can a second time and walk around to the back to water the deck plants and observe the growth of the infant figs on the fig tree.  Every box must be ticked off before we can go back inside.

I had a coffee date with a friend from work--so I was gone from 10am.  Visiting grandchildren from across the street came to see the tomato plants and the zucchini and the blueberries (they ate a few berries while looking at the blueberries).  They were fascinated by the grape vines and the infant grape clusters.  G was the the tour guide.

G is going to the movies with our daughter.  Somehow Riley knows.  Trembling.

I have pickles to make this afternoon.  The big canning kettle to set on boil with jars sterilizing in the water.  And sugar and vinegar to mix with spices for the pickles.  It takes very little time really.  But I have procrastinated long enough.  I think I will take a picture of the process and have new material to post tomorrow and Monday.  Fresh stuff.  I like the canning process once I get started.  I generally like all the things I procrastinate about AFTER I get started.  It's the getting started.

We had more corn and tomatoes yesterday.  Same supply of corn but I purchased organic tomatoes from a local farm. Our grocery carries local produce in the summer.  I also have a quarter of a watermelon in the fridge.  I plan on eating that today.  I have been losing weight eating corn and tomatoes.  What's with that??????  I also have four small cucumbers to eat -washed, halved and

G says I have lots of zucchini out in the garden.  I would make more zucchini pizza (it was so good) but I don't want the oven on the same day as the canning kettle is boiling.  I may slice one or two thin and pan sear it and eat that for supper.  I don't know.  The zucchini I have being salted for pickles is from the garden so I guess I could go pick it after canning and get another container salted and ready for making more pickles next week.  The canned jars of pickles last a year or more and G eats 2 jars a month.  That's 24 jars right there.  That's four batches.  I've only made 2.'s canning and then next weeks's.  And that's one year.  I usually make more because when company (like family) is eating here they eat a whole jar in one meal.

So canning (with photos) and picking squash and perhaps getting out the spiralizer and making zucchini noodles.  Zoodles.  I love them instead of pasta in the summer.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Daily Notes- August 2

As summer heats up my appetite for stronger colors grows stronger.  So far, just making this little stack has been enough.  My eyes are "sticky" and I need lubricating drops and the drops make me feel the need to close my eyes and nap.  So not much is getting done.

We had sweet corn for dinner yesterday.  Very sweet and delicious.  I am going out today to buy more.  I think it's local and fresh.  Not trucked in from Florida or Georgia.  I often wonder why it's never trucked in from New Jersey.  So much closer and Jersey corn is wonderful.

I have a question for anyone Reading this blog.  Have you ever gotten one of the meals in a box that they show on tv?  Where everything you need to make a preselected (by you) meal is sent to you with cooking instruction, portion control etc.  I am not enthused by grocery shopping.  I sort of just want to get the three or four things on the list and get out.  I stand and look at the seafood and meat and just can't think of cooking any of it.  Too many decisions.

What I think I would really like making is mussels.  When we go to restaurants I always order them. In California the bowl of mussels came with a bowl of thin crispy french fries.  Which I never ate.

Well, Riley is feeling much more like "himself" this morning and is venting his displeasure --first with me and now with G.  We slept too long.  We are eating breakfast too slow.  He wants to go for his walk.  Or at least he wants me to go water the tomatoes so he can roll around on the lawn.  I am going to be done with the post right now and take him out to inspect the tomatoes and water them.  Then we'll go look at the peach trees.  And then I'll water the back deck plants.  I was working on cleaning spotted leaves off the tomatoes yesterday. Quite a few tomatoes but very dark green.  So it will be a long time before they are ready to eat.  You would think with the size of them and the heat we have had--that they would be way ahead of schedule.  You would think that.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Daily Notes- August First

The pile of two inch squares for my online class.   And some others who are clowning around thinking they are 2 inches.  Very funny, you guys!  I am liking gray.  Yes.  Liking gray.

My book is due so I will be reading most of the day.  It looks like it might want to rain today.  G has watered the garden for me (tuning the sprinkler on/off) and I checked the water in the Grow boxes when I left for my haircut at 9:45.  Every box was full.  I'll go out around two and top them off. So I just need to turn on the sprinklers for the peach trees and water the deck plants.

I BOUGHT tomatoes for Caprese Salad.  (Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, basil leaves, olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar)  Served with crusty French bread.  MY tomatoes have a LONG WAY to GO before any of them are ripe this August. I did pick 4 little Sungold cherries.  Last year at this time I was giving away bags full of them and we were eating tomato salad every other day.  And I was eating tomato sandwiches. Not this year.  And for the record books--- hottest July in Maine in forever. Not hot by standards in other states--but here in Maine--hottest July ever.

I was looking at the weather map in the paper.  I don't remember ever seeing so much red.  All over the country.  Red.  Meaning HOT.  Oddly enough Chicago was not red.  And I lived there for 3 summers and there were always 100 plus days.  Heat and humidity.  You went outside and your clothes soaked up moisture and you were wet. And not in a good way.  AC ran constantly and barely made a dent. Global Warming--Fake News.

Riley is doing better now that I have the pill dispenser thing.  And because I am doing better at the timing, Riley can start reminding me.  He was born with a timer inside him.  Knowing to the minute when meals were supposed to be served.  He refused to eat yesterday.  And then around 7 pm he ate breakfast and lunch.  I had added an extra half cup to lunch.  So for the day only short half a cup. I consider that a WIN.  Cooler today so they went for the walk.  Did not yesterday.  With the TWO big blue liver meds each night--Riley seems more like himself.  We were under dosing.  Now we have it right and I hope it's not too late to make a difference.  I don't see the tranquilizer doing much  but don't want to stop them until we have some kind of replacement.

Well, I am going to check the tomatoes.  See if they need water.  Check the back deck and give water to the Fig tree and the Citrus.  Also the 36 inch wide, covered in flowers, geranium. The one I thought was dead.  And then read.