Monday, September 30, 2019

Daily Notes- September 30

Well, here's a first.  No picture.  I just don't have much in the way of anything to show and tell right now.  I went thru the picture file I have for the blog and put the pictures I have used into the trash- a regular job- nothing sudden-- and then looked at what was left and you've seen all of those- more than once but I keep them because I love them.

I guess "Job Number One" over here will be new pictures for the blog.

I did manage to sew a few more components yesterday while watching Football and the PBS with new Durrells and new Poldark.  I managed to lose my sewing needle twice and had to get out the vacuum as I didn't want the dog or man to get it stuck in their foot.  And then I went to get a pincushion to stick the damned things into.  I usually use the arm of the couch.

I also made the Football Pepperoni Pizza.  I am getting damned good at it. No need for any carry out pizza.

The house needs cleaning.  Really really needs cleaning.  So that will occupy my Tuesday and Wednesday and probably Thursday.  Our son arrives Thursday evening.  Staying the weekend.

G is working on sifting the soilless mix out of the Grow Boxes and into the 30 gallon garbage cans I store the stuff in over the Winter months.  Means he'll also be emptying the planters.  I don't do mums so there will be no flowers when the leggy petunias get composted.  I don't do pumpkins either. But I did bring the Halloween Quilt I had made for the Library down from the Attic and will hang it by the front door.  I don't know if we will bring the Spooky House down.  I think not.

And I have to make a plan to call the local moving company for boxes to load up all the crap I have in the two bookcases and the cupboards under them for the painter who shall arrive in November.  I think they sell boxes and the wrapping paper.  I loved doing my own packing when we moved.  I wrote specific things on the boxes which made it easy to find things.

I am reminded of moving to Germany and the movers unpacked all the dish boxes.  The entire dining room was wall to wall very short piles of dishes, glasses, cups etc. No furniture.  Not one space to walk.  I remember standing in the doorway and laughing at first and then crying.  Downstairs it was piles of books.  And no bookcases.  We just didn't go into the dining room for a couple of weeks unless we needed a glass to drink from.  But it all got put away. And added to.

When unpacking ---one, first, needs to decide where the item will go.  Where it will go and be found.

My husband puts things away where they will not be found.  And then asks me to find the items for him.  I do.  Because I look for the last place on Earth I would have put that particular item.  And it's there that I find it. Every time.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Daily Notes- September 29

My new dish towels from Trader Joe's.  They are whiter and more blue than in this picture.  I had them ready to go into the washer so the lighting in the basket- not the greatest.  Their label mentioned washing and drying TWICE before using them to make them nice and soft and absorbent.  From Tunisia. Let hope they don't shrink too much.  I looked for but didn't find flour sack towels.  I love them for everything. Including jelly and pickle making.  Hoping Santa Claus brings me some.

I was handsewing little scraps of fabric together to make little component rectangles while watching Hallmark yesterday.  And in the midst of one of my favorite mysteries with my favorite Hallmark actor- I realized I had lost my sewing needle.  Big emergency as I looked for it.  Found it but lost some of the plot. Which just means I get to watch it all over again--Bonus!!

Football today and I have all the stuff needed to make halftime pizza or after the game pizza.  It is not often that I am prepared for anything these days.

It's very sunny out today and looks like it might be pretty warm as well.  I have a hat to wear to keep sun out of my eyes.

Busier than usual days ahead.  Tomorrow a friend and I are going to see Downton Abbey at 12:15 and  I have much cleaning and clearing up of things in the guest room (I have my in progress cloth works all over the bed) and I have general house cleaning and wood floor washing.  Son arrives Thursday evening.  Monday the 7th of October my annual physical-- always an excruciating experience-- I have hoped for some weight loss to make the doctor slightly more pleasant but it's moving up after being down for months.  Football Pizza.

I have to remember to not eat breakfast that day so they can take blood for the lipid test etc.  The results of which always make my doctor just stare and say "how is this possible"?  I must be the only fat person in her practice with excellent lipid numbers.  I don't eat fatty foods.  I'm mostly a vegetarian but do eat meat once a week usually.  Sometimes more if I have pulled pork in the house. And that is on top of a very large mixed greens salad.  The Pulled Pork Salad.  Which I adore. And Chinese steamed fried pork dumplings.  And Pot Roast once a year.  Can you tell it's lunch time?

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Daily Notes- September 28

The fruits of my day yesterday.  And the fruits of my garden (the grapes vines).  My dishcloths and clothing is dotted with pale blue grape stains.  A pretty blue.  Maybe I should have wiped out the juice containers with some cloth for sewing?

I was ONLY intending to make one batch of three pints.  Then....I said to myself--- I have all that juice made and strained etc--so I washed everything and started in on group two.  I had the canning kettle of boiling water going the entire time.  First to sterilize jars and then to do the 5 minute processing of the jelly.  The recipe states to use half pint jars.  I have some but where??? so that meant finding them washing them etc.  And, really, half pint jars are so tiny.  There was extra and I filled two of my washed and recycled Bonne Marie jelly jars with grape and tucked them into the fridge.  I can give those away to the five year old twins.  Or G will start with those.

I was very happy to get on with the final wash dry and put away of all the stuff.  It takes so many items to do canning.  And everything must be clean.  And hot.  The boiling water.  OMG.

The jelly itself is deep in color. Garnet comes to mind. Dense in flavor.  Sweet. Tart.  Very good stuff.

G wants to go pick the rest of the grapes still out there.  Wants me to make more jelly in case we never get grapes again or have a bad year or locusts or any other disaster. What do you think?  I'll abide by the consensus of my Readers.  My son is visiting at the end of next week- perhaps he will want to make grape jelly with me???  We often cook together while he is here.

I have a book to read-- I got it off a list-- Mary Alice Monroe- The Summer Guests.  I don't know the author and don't know if I want to read it.   Sounds like a bunch of rich people stuck in a house during a hurricane.  But then I had no idea what I was getting into with the other books either.  Time travel and robots.

I have in front of me-- just noticed it-- an index card (how I adore them) with Meditation Notes.  I went online to get suggestions.  1. Start the day slowly  2.Walking meditation (which is why I am going on the dog walk again)  3. Short breaks to just sit in the sunshine, look at clouds etc. Counting Blessings is number 4.  Gratitude for good people, good health (sort of), good things, good grape jelly.  5. Reading  6. Community (blog readers)  7. Celebration of Small Things like my little cloth components.

I also copied a quote "You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes unless you are too busy...then sit for an hour"

Friday, September 27, 2019

Daily Notes- September 27

Returning Home From The Walk.  Looks sort of Beatrix Potter.

The trees around the house are so tall.  Way up above the house.  Which is why I can never see the horizon.  The Moon.  I am surrounded by tall trees.  This little section with the garden-- 32 trees were knocked down for that.  Grace is emitting one long eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Grace I don't know how many went down for the house to be built.  But that was years before me.

Yes, a tractor and one man from the organic grocery/pet store came and just pushed them down-they had few if any deep roots. Then he dragged the trees into the woods with the tractor.  And we made a garden over several years.  Piling up organic matter and covering it with a tarp-- to cook.   That soil is now in the raised beds. Under it all the same lifeless yellow brown acidic sand. No organic matter.

I have walked three days now.  It's getting easier.  My hip is loosening up.

I have just now finished the last few pages of another weird book, The Psychology Of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas.  The story and the characters go forward and back in Time.  It takes some patience to keep going but I'm glad I did.  The book was published in New York but is very British.

G has done something to the computer and I don't even know if what I am writing will "go" anywhere.  Riley had a bad evening yesterday and is not his charming self right now either.  The constant panting and pacing and slamming the door (only to want it opened immediately) is making me want to thrown stuff in the car and drive away and not come back.  

I think I will just put on my apron and make grape jelly and then clean the kitchen.  My fear of becoming an alcoholic keeps me from having a very large gin and tonic.  Perhaps---when the jelly is in the canner kettle.  A small one.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Daily Notes- September 26th

I have a large ottoman next to the chair where I watching  Law and Order with Riley, sew and read.  A small sewing box with thread, needles, pins and my tiny stork scissors.  There was also a small pile of random pieces of cloth.  The class I am taking with Jude Hill suggested we make a collection of "components".  The two in the middle of the row to the far left is where I started.

I work on them when the Law and Order is not interesting.

I made the grapes we picked into juice last night.  I'm not feeling like making jelly today. Once I get going it goes pretty nice so--we'll see.

The walk today was nice- fewer bugs-- and I found three nice leaves to work on.  I want to attempt to paint the leaves.  Just practice so really no stress.  Just paint, water and paper.  Learning by making mistakes.

The News Programs got lots to talk about today.  It's like Nixon but so much worse. My Banker called minutes ago and wanted permission to move my IRA into safer investments.  Because things look like they will NOT be.....Stable.  Or Safe.  It's .......well,  like the tipping point, I guess.

Well, on that note-- I am going to watch Law and Order and Trust in ..........something.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Daily Notes- September 25

Our Grape Arbor. It's everything I wanted it to be.  Fruitful and a shady spot to rest under when weeding the beds.  It's starting to need serious repairs.  There are many many grapes. My big kitchen sink is full of grapes and cold water. We picked two very large bowls of them and I sent G off to deliver a paper bag of grapes to our neighbor across the street and to the twins (Noah and Isak) down the road.  Seedless grapes so nothing for either household to choke on. Perhaps a visiting spider.

I went for the walk with Riley and G.  I kept losing my direction.  I would be a complete mess if lost in the woods. It didn't help that G and the dog were going in the opposite direction (to the way I know).

The Robotic book ended okay.  I was going to go into details but would ruin it for--even one person- who might have wanted to read it themselves.  So no details.

We watched FX and The Atomic Blonde last night.  I recorded it on TiVo so I could fast forward thru the commercials.  And TiVo will keep the recording until I delete it and then permanently delete it. G will most likely want to watch it again.  We watched NCIS because-----Ziva. And we've watched all the previous many years.  So they are like family.

I haven't started a new book.  I haven't done much of anything.  It's very dark in the house and I hate turning on lights at 12:30 but I just did.  Next thing up for me is picking individual grapes off their stems to make grape juice--I wish there was a tv facing the sink area.  I purchased a ten pound bag of sugar.  Gonna make a ton of jelly.

So I went for the walk.  My hip wasn't thrilled.  The bones feel like they are rubbing.  So much padding on me and none where it would be most appreciated.

Ah!  I very nearly forgot the IMPORTANT thing I wanted to share with you!!  You remember that I was very happy not to be dreaming much anymore???  Well, I had a doozy of a dream last night.  I was washing windows with help and comments from none other than Mayor Bill DiBlazio and Rudy Guiliani.  Yep.   The two of them had all sorts of suggestions on the best way for me to wash my windows and they were arguing amongst themselves as well.  I just stood there ......speechless. I hoped I would wake up.  I didn't.  They never shut up.  Right there in my house by the window in front of Riley's dog bed.  My house.  Holy crap as my daughter likes to say.

I know people do dream interpretation but this one........I can't fathom what it could possibly have to do with me.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Daily Notes -September 24

Yesterday.  After writing the Daily Notes I went out and picked grapes off the trellis in the fenced garden.  I picked enough to fill and sort of overflow the lid from my birthday cake.  I like to reuse plastic items once or twice before recycling.  I only picked what I could reach.

Then I pulled all the ripe grapes off each little- what do they call them- bunch?  Yes. and then added a  half cup of water and boiled and then simmered and then used the jelly bag to collect the juice. I managed to collect 6 cups.  Now the juice has to sit for 24 hours and then I can strain out the tartrate crystals and move on to making grape jelly and then use the big canning kettle to seal the jars.

I think all that work and mess will result in 4 to 6 half pint jars of jelly.

I need to go buy a really big bag of sugar.  I think I need 5 cups of sugar to make 4 to 6 half pint jars.
Jelly is just flavored sugar.

I am reading the Plus One.  Geeky Tech Engineer girl needs a plus one for her sister's wedding.  Can't find one so she builds one in a weekend (at work using parts stolen from work)-- really hard to even think it's possible and he can even eat food and--ah......dispose of it with a "special unit" installed inside.  Yes, all this in one weekend.  She even painted his eyeballs a "dreamy" aqua. The robot is also connected to Google. So he can constantly update vocabulary and social skills.  The "inventor" has also given him a credit card so he can do errands for her.   Really--  I am not kidding.  I was getting sleepy but last thing that happened while reading last night.... is they went to a Mall in Silicone Valley and she bought him some snappy clothing and introduced him to someone she had gone to high school with.   I was laughing..........once you get the hang of the sloppy way this author writes-- you can start laughing.   But this robot is smart.  He seems to be modifying and upgrading himself.  She hasn't noticed yet.  Let the games begin.

I mention all this because this is so NOT the kind of book I read.  Somewhere in my local library there is a "new" person buying books for the fiction section.  A person with a really wacky sense of things.  This is not the first strange book I have selected.  And I go looking for them now.  And I am never disappointed when I find one.  I read the last one twice and look forward to reading it again.

Riley has developed a nervous "tick" of barking.  Just little yips.  He doesn't seem to have any control over it.  Each little yip startles him.  Other than that and the sundowner's anxiety at around 9 pm- things are much better with the two big blue liver pills. He's rather "spunky" and demanding. Sleeps all night.  Is eating.  Drinking water.  Going for his walk.  Just like a well rounded 87-88 year old.

I only hope G and I do as well at that age.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Daily Notes- September 23rd

This piece was started in Jude Hill's first online class this summer.  Her piece has three trees.  Mine has this plaid thing going on.  There was a black "eye" at the top but it's on the table now-- keeps trying for a comeback--- never works out.  I thought, today, I might be better off with some "white space" and this little strip was jumping up and down saying "me, me".  The "me-me" strip does make contact with the lower edges in "fortunate" spots.  But the upper edge brown/gold spots do not.

One thing we (I) have learned in this class is that nothing has to stay.  So I could actually turn under the top edge.  This whole thing got started as a sort of a "Prayer Flag for Climate Change" so the oranges and reds (carbon) would outweigh the color blues and greens (oxygen) in that context.

My husband explained something to me.  The trees ABSORB carbon and give off OXYGEN. I had it the other way round in my head.  So all the trees on my property are making oxygen.  Absorbing carbon.  And the burning of the Amazon and Indonesian forests means less oxygen. I am happy my property is making oxygen.

The Pot Roast got made.  Was browned on both sides and into the oven yesterday before the Patriots kickoff.  Was enjoyed (delicious) after the game.  I had made mashed potatoes, green peas, gravy and coleslaw.  Later, we each had birthday cake.  One piece left--for me.  Lots of pink frosting.

I am reading a fluffy romance.  I read this author years and years ago but nothing in the story is ringing any bells.   And I did two loads of wash this morning and no water spilling over onto the floor. The first time I washed a load- I watched the entire time.  Today I ran back every so often. No. I did not run.  I woke with my back all seized up.  It's loosening up as the day goes on but walking slowly is about all I can manage.  But walking is good for a bad back so I will walk back down to fold the second load after reading blogs for awhile.

Pork is on sale this week so I will be buying Southern Style Ribs and perhaps a Butt (for pulled pork). I do this thing with cayenne pepper, brown sugar and cider vinegar with the ribs.  Let them roast until browned and sticky.  Very Very Good.  Each time I make them I add less and less water as I really enjoy the spicy vinegar kick.  My mother fried pork chops and always had good rye bread handy to mop up the crispy greasy bits in the pan.

There was a good bakery four long city blocks away.  I would ride my bike there with money and a list of what she wanted.  When we lived with my grandmother there was a shop on the corner that sold delicious loaves of rye bread with a little paper stamp on the heel.  I was sent with a few coins to buy bread when I was school age but not for long as I often nibbled one of the "heels" as I walked home.  It was worth the slap I got on arrival.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Daily Notes- September 22nd

I painted this blue fabric a long time ago.  I didn't know anything about dyes or eco prints back then. But I did know how to paint and had lots of cheap acrylic paint.  So I painted fabric.  And on this one came back much later (years later) and added a few "moon" circles using a jar or glass.  The feather is real.  The Crows and the Wild Turkey leave me feathers.

A Possum is visiting the yard at night.  Near the tool shed.  Riley now has a new urgency to the Final Call at night- to go out and see if the Possum is there.  And then to pee on the spot the possum occupied.  It's nice to know the Dog still takes an interest in current affairs.

Riley is feeling much better.  He's still old.  We can't change that.  But to see him be joyfully eager to go pee on a spot the possum occupied is pretty great.  And on the walk he stirs up the crowd of wild turkey.  They rise up out of the meadow and fly away-so slow.  The same meadow where the Monarchs eat and make cocoons.  It may be cool enough for me to join the Man and the Dog on the daily walk.  It's a little over a mile round trip on narrow deer paths.  There are water features which are sometimes full enough for the dog to swim. Log bridges.  When I am along we go the long way which is almost 1.5 miles.  Later, we'll have to wear things on our boots with sharp points so we don't slip and fall on icy patches.  And later still the snow will be too deep for a walk.  Up past our knees. G will wear snowshoes.  Which is exhausting.

 In Winter and Spring, I cover my mouth with a wool scarf so I don't get cold air into my lungs. We carry two rescue inhalers.  All three of us have breathing problems.  There is no phone service back on the paths. I never walk with them in Summer.  I hardly go outside in Summer any more.

So not much else to write.  But I do want to express my deep and abiding gratitude to all who wrote long emails to me regarding my troubled post.  Your words have helped so much to lift the weight from my heart and mind. To know others have walked (are walking) the same or similar paths- well, it means I am not alone in this.  And Grace, your words have touched more than just me. Love and more love to you all.

I am quite startled to see how many "like minded women" come to this small, insignificant, unadvertised blog..... in the beginning it was just me writing to myself and somehow I have collected all of you and that is just so- and I'll use Grace's signature eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! to let you know just how exciting that is to me.  Thank you.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Daily Notes- September 21

A daily occurrence.   The Walk.  This one in the Winter.  I have this thing about having a picture up top but have not taken any new ones this week.  So, an old one.  It's the same as today only the snow is grass and the man didn't have on snow gear and boots.

I taught a class today at the greenhouse.  It was in the 80 degree zone outside and inside-- the heat took my breath away- literally.  My head was swimming.  I had to do the class sitting down and sipping cold water.  I am still a bit fuzzy in the head.  Exhausted.  I keep wondering if I made any sense? I think they were happy they had come for the class and some might return next month for the Pruning class.  I made them laugh.

One older woman was perplexed that I had given my Chinese Tree Peony a name?  Wu Peng is the variety of Tree Peony.  I was so ready to pack up and go out to the car and lay down across the seats. They were all nice people. Only one signed up and 20 showed up.

So there was that.  Riley and G were out on their walk when I got home so I turned on the ceiling fans and collapsed onto the couch.  We had taken the AC units out of the windows during the week. So, no AC.  It's okay now.  I've rested but I still have an ache in the frontal lobes.

I remember why I decided to retire.
No Law and Order today.
Antonio Brown is no longer a Patriot.
Riley knows to the second when it's Time for another set of pills.

I made homemade pizza dough and the pie just came out of the oven.  Pot roast tomorrow.  Just not enough time today.  I was going to have wine with the pizza but things are still sort of spinning inside my head.  Heat Stroke?

Friday, September 20, 2019

Daily Notes- September 20

The bobbin case (internal) in the Bernina is...well, not working correctly.  I need to be very calm and methodical when doing the work in the machine.  By feel not sight. And it takes much TIME. The inside bobbin parts are really very difficult to get back in correctly.

I'm leaving it.

The dialogue from yesterday has been enlightening.  Grace has opened me up to what is really on my mind.  A lack of trust in other people.  My childhood was not trustworthy.  I was always getting myself prepared for the next eruption of angry words, shouts, breaking of things, getting hit.  The root of it all.  I learned not to trust the people who said they loved me.  And I have carried it for 73 years.

Wow.  There it is.

I cried my way thru the last part of Where the Crawdads Sing.  What a beautiful book.  It will be an amazing movie if they get it right and I hope they do.  G and I had birthday cake.  Was delicious. No candles. I read and he watched the Hitman's Bodyguard.

Down into the high 30's last night.  Summer comes late and leaves early here in Maine.  Time to get out the corduroy pants and sweaters and put away the summer cropped pants and cotton shirts. Time to do the heavy lifting in the garden.  Empty the Grow Boxes. Sift the roots from the soil in the boxes. Get ready for the leaves to turn and fall.  The very tips and edges of the Maple trees have started to turn but 99% of the leaves are still green.  I think last night's cold will change that quickly.

Too cold for eating the ripe tomatoes.  Which is very sad indeed.

It's Time for me to get out the big aluminum kettle and my cloth and do some eco printing.  I have read that peach tree leaves print well.  My daughter will try to collect the larger deeper colored Purple Smoke bush leaves which printed very nicely last Fall.  My smoke bush has small leaves with little pigment.  My plumber has left a pile of copper pipe for me.  My jar of iron water waits.  And perhaps some black walnuts will come my way.  G has collected sumac for me.

I usually do my alchemy in the evenings.  After dark.  The kitchen is quiet and the man and dog are  sleeping in front of the tv.  This year I will leave the steamed cloth overnight and wash it out in the morning.  See if that makes a difference.  But today I will wash cloth and soak it in soy milk.  I have not used soy as a mordant yet.  This will be the first time.  Not the months or even years of soaking the Japanese do.  I have no indigo.  But have seen that avocado pits do well with soy.  I have a bag full in the freezer --gifts saved for me by my walking friend.  I hope to get good "wrinkles" this time.

It is possible that I will make a small fire outside and settle my Goodwill cast iron kettle into the coals and place some cloth into the kettle and cover with the lid.  Let it cook.

It is also possible I will cut watercolor paper into strips to fit the iron stained blackened tin cans  I have.  Roll the paper and plant material around the cans. Tie tightly with string.  Steam.  Then when the paper is dry again, use a fine black ink to draw on the printed surfaces.  I have seen it done on the internet.  I want to try it.

Thank you to all who have commented here and sent private email.  I cherish your friendship and kindness.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Daily Notes- September 19

I feel like those people in the Depression Meds commercials.  Holding up the happy face picture to cover their sad faces.  I spent some of the morning crying.  And my Morning Pages are tear stained. So it's been a hard start to the day.

My birthday cake is still in the fridge.  The candles on the counter.  Never got around to the cake or the candles.  And while writing the Morning Pages I realized I never got around to my Birthday Dinner of Pot Roast.  Something is very wrong here.  With me.  With everything. I am not happy.

I am trying to read Where The Crawdads Sing.  But keep getting interrupted. Everything I try to do gets interrupted. By someone else's needs and wants.

Thank you to all who sent birthday greetings.  They were VERY much appreciated. And many thanks to ml for the beautiful images she sent.  I love learning about new (to me) artists.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Daily Notes- September 18th

Before I got the red frame glasses.  I took a "selfie" of myself.  But since it's my birthday- a picture of myself here seemed like a good thing for today's post.  Not much has changed.  Well, there might be extra weight around the jaw and chin.  But you'd be able to pick me out of a line up.

Phone calls from the two children.  Early this morning.  I'm going to set out after posting this to pick up the birthday cake I ordered.   Chocolate cake with fudge frosting and pink lettering and flowers.  I think I will buy a container of ice cream to go along with the cake.

The Painter came to check out the living room--it was a total mess with dog toys all over the floor-- for painting.  G still has to do the baseboards.  Sigh.  And then there will just be the kitchen to remodel.  And the house will be done. Painter says "maybe?" for November 1st.  He's at a house nearby and has repainted the kitchen cabinets 5 times already.  I think the owner just likes having company.

Riley remembered him and ran to the door barking like a crazy dog.  Painter was happy to see Riley. Riley happy to see the Painter.  So....we are moving forward.

We could go back in Time-- 28 years and have a couch in the "kitchen" area.  And the tv.  It's more of a "great room" thing and when we first moved here it was the warmest room in the whole house that first Winter and so we stayed-- watched tv there and had our Christmas trees- 12 footers-- in the corner by the bookcase.  I wouldn't mind doing that again.  It was cozy.

Now that I think about it- I think I will do that.  Change things back to how they were that first few years.  Pack up everything in the huge living/dining room and-- well start over.  I would be really really happy to have another 12 foot tree in that room this Christmas.  We'll just have to figure out the TiVo connection.  But our son is coming in October-- so we'll have him help with that.

I am just EXCITED about this.  And whenever the Painter comes  November or December or January (or all of them).......the room with be completely empty-  Like the Best Birthday Present EVER.   A Fresh Start!!!!!

Now to buy moving/packing boxes and packing paper from the local moving company.  And pack everything and store it all in the Attic.  Or Goodwill.  Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Daily Notes September 17

For Grace.   The Earth and Plants.  I plant things by first digging the hole for the plant or seed with my hand.  No tool works better.  My hands always look like this when I garden.

Grace is collecting rocks. Wonderful rocks.  Maine has no rocks.  They all got moved to New Jersey when the ice age pushed things South.  We have boulders.

We have great huge rocks along the ocean's coastline.  But to walk here and find a good rock? No.  I once took Riley to the ocean. When he was brand new. He ran breaking- the leash. In the water, chasing a protected bird.  Endangered bird.  Everyone on the beach had their mouth in a big O shape as they watched in horror as the dog gained on the bird.  Even in water to his chest- that dog could run.  The bird lifted off the water- finally- and flew away.  We all, except Riley, let out a sigh of relief.

Today is a bit overcast here in Maine.  Sun comes and goes.  I have dressed for going.  I have books to return to the library and a few items needed from the grocery-- Brussels Sprouts for sure. I cooked for G yesterday after he cut the grass.  I made the sausage and mushroom ragu that he likes on pasta. The same as I made after his heart attack when "nothing tastes good".

Riley and I watched Law and Order.  Detective Green was shot. He'll live.  Detective Fontana is not my favorite.  I don't think I watched any of this season for that reason- Detective Fontana.  But, for Riley, I will watch it.

Riley surprised us yesterday.  He went out and came back inside the house with just a command -no lengthy begging and dragging.  Which was enough of a "good thing" these days.  He also went for "ride in the car" which does not happen easily.  But then came the most amazing thing....... Riley played with his toys.  All of them.  He squeaked the squeaky ones, bounced the ones that bounce and threw some up in the air to catch them on the downside.  Like old times.  It sort of brought tears to my eyes.  We'd been missing him so much.   He looks more alert. His coat is very shiny.  He's eating. For however long this lasts-- we'll enjoy it.

We are missing G's brother today.  His birthday.  He passed quite unexpectedly just after Thanksgiving last November.  A very good man.  With the kindest heart.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Daily Notes- September 16th

Here we are.  Mid September.  Oil prices were supposed to be at an all time low for this winter.  Boom! now they are surging to an all time HIGH.   I don't see this as "random, I see this as planned. The Saudis might have bombed their own fields to raise prices.  A two-fer.  Cash plus Iran gets the blame.

Today was bill paying morning.  The installation of radiators was much more that the cost of the radiators. Much. More.  But I am happy to be rid of the filthy, cheap old rads.  G was talking of installing new baseboards.  Well, I'm okay with them in the living room.  The flooring is staying and only "upgrade" needed will be paint.  Which will be expensive.   Ceiling and all the walls.

Nothing needs doing in the kitchen dining great room.  That will all be demo'd when I finally get a new kitchen.  Don't hold your breath.  I don't really see it happening.  Too few workmen.  Too many jobs.  New Money keeps arriving in the Land of Maine.  New Money likes New Everything.  It took 2.5 years to get radiators installed. Old Maine Money never gets anything new. Old Money Houses just collapse into themselves over Time.  They compost.

I think the mishap with the washing machine might have been my fault.  I was doing a test load this morning and......honestly, I stood and looked at the buttons and had no clue as to which ones to push. Total Blank.  It came back but makes me wonder if I walked away without pushing the last button? I may have to make an index card with instructions going forward.  We all worry about G--but what if I am the one who will be losing her mind FIRST?????  This morning it seemed like a distinct possibility.

Total Blank on how the washing machine works. Total Blank on my postage stamps.  Where did I put them?

So, I paid the bills, G and Riley had a very good walk. Riley was very "bouncy" this morning.  Running around on the back grass like old times.  He's eating less food but I am wondering why he would eat as much as he did when he was super active.  He wouldn't.  So we should give him less food and just be happy he eats.

G remembered the anniversary because he had the date in his iPhone calendar.  Today he is transferring his iPhone calendar to the wall calendar.  Writing everything down. There is little chance it will remind him of anything.  That's why he has me.  He declares.  To remember for him.

Well, that might not be a good plan going forward.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Daily Notes- September 15th

Anniversary is almost over.  Nothing much happening, just another day.  We just keep on keeping on.

Patriots won the game and we both enjoyed watching- Riley slept thru it.  G went into the fenced garden while Riley used the facilities outside and picked some grapes.  Very nice. Good taste. Just a few more days (weeks) and they will be ripe enough.  G wants homemade grape jelly.

I planted "seedless" Concord grapes.  So, in the jelly making, I can skip the removal of the seeds portion of the process.  Last time the vines made grapes- only a handful-they were small and not juicy.   So---I sort of thought the vines would be "ornamental" rather than edible.  Nice to know I was wrong.

We've gotten thank you notes and small thank you gifts from the neighbors who received peaches this Summer.  To rave reviews.  They were beautifully shaped and colored and they were juicy and delicious.  It will be difficult for ALL of us to go back to eating grocery store peaches.

What a Summer it turned out to be.  Late-- yes, everything is very late....but so wonderfully good to eat.  Fantastic tomatoes, peaches, the small amount of plums were very good, and now the grapes. The jury is still out on the figs.  They have weeks yet to go before we pick and make preserves.

Bountiful.  Life can be such a gift.  Unexpectedly so.  I am also thinking of yesterday's teaching experience.  How that is such a gift for me.  Being a Master Gardener and in order to fulfill my volunteer hours--teaching.  Seventeen years of teaching garden classes.

So, on the anniversary of my life changing marriage I declare that Life is a Mystery.  But one that has many surprises, twists and turns.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Daily Notes- September 14

Another line drawing from the museum.  Getting the person on paper in the fewest number of lines. Making a copy is easier than trying to do this yourself.  I would like to draw faces.  Another item for the Life List.

Today--up early (for retired people) dressed and out.  I was teaching a class of one at the Greenhouse.  Ha! All the seats were filled.  And I talked for 2 hours straight.  And in school I never would say a word. To anyone.  I amaze myself every time I stand in front of a room of expectant strangers.  And talk.  And actually do a decent enough job.

I just now finished my breakfast peanut butter sandwich.  I somehow thought to have time before the class to eat.  No.  I stopped at the library to see if it was my lucky day.  No Crawdad's book.

I made pizza for supper last night.  It came out great.  We had planned to have it for the first Patriots game but a start time of 8:45 pm precluded pizza at halftime.  The dough waited in the fridge.

I slept well.  I took my Tylenol PM and my Pepcid.

Yesterday when I walked into the master bathroom to get something.......I stepped into water.  Something occurred.  We don't know what.  We wiped up all the water and then I did a Hail Mary and set the machine to "spin" to empty it of water (still in the tub with the clothing).  It spun and and drained and then stopped just like it was supposed to and I put the nicely spun clothing into the dryer.

I will eventually need to wash another load of clothing and will stay in attendance to see what might have gone wrong.  I know there was too much water.  So that might be what happened.  Only Time and another try will TELL.  I might have to stop using the medium selection.  We are two people. Not all that much to wash.  A "disturbance in my continuum".

Well. I am going to have a good cup of coffee (work coffee was/is terrible) and then my banana and I'll be finished with my packed breakfast.

Tomorrow is our 51st Wedding Anniversary and I don't think my husband remembers.  We have not celebrated it much in all those years.  Nothing to celebrate other than us stubbornly staying married.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Daily Notes- September 13

I was clearing out the bookcase --looking for something I have misplaced.  Came across this page from a drawing journal.  Sunflowers.

Season one of Law and Order Criminal Intent.  I came late to this series on tv.  So, I have missed quite a few of the early ones.  Riley and I are enjoying them.  He's gone on his walk with G.  He used to walk way ahead of us and we had to blow the whistle to "recall" him back to us (like our children when they were small).  Now he walks behind G.  They both amble.  But at least they are both able to walk. I continue to have trouble with my right hip.  Makes walking any distance painfully slow. It hardly bothers me during my day.  Just if I have to walk purposefully.

It got down into the 40's last night.  Winter comes early to Maine.  Stays a  long time.

I have only one very thin idea for another house square.  I may do a sunflower in-between.  I made a long list of things: House Fly- House Coat- House Dress- House Keeper- On the House- House Work.
And also another list using Home.  Homeless- Homemade - Homesick-  Home run.  The trick is to make the word and the house work together.

The peaches are all gone.  The plums went soft before I could eat them all.  I am still picking tomatoes.  I have three large flat boxes of them on the floor in the vestibule.  With a sheet of newspaper covering lightly.  I think the tomatoes I put in freezer bags last September are still in the freezer.  They come too late.  They ripen when it's cold here in Maine.  I want to eat them when the weather is hot and summery.  July.

I am thinking about long pants and socks today.  Not a juicy tomato sandwich.

I did not sleep well last night.  There was something else present.  Their dreams.  Not mine.  Waking me up.  I know it sounds very strange to write these things-- but it's how it felt.  A disturbance of some sort.  I am still feeling slightly off center this morning.  I did forget to take my bedtime Benadryl so that might be all it was.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Daily Notes- September 12

If you have seen this already- sorry.   It's a cut away segment from a larger piece that failed miserably.
Deb Lacativa's cloth and thread.  She's in my sidebar under More whiffs etc.  The cloth scraps come in a stuffed full scrap bag and the thread is sold also.  You won't be disappointed if you buy some -of everything.  I am "auditioning" the little strip of green.  And then I need to make the top left area into a house.  Needs a more defined roof but it already has the look of a house.  The bottom might turn into a garden.  Just a very small one.

So, out early this morning to get my haircut (and dropped off two really full pints of Sungold cherry tomatoes for the gal who cuts my hair).  The salon is across the street from the greenhouse where I worked.  So I stopped in to say hi! and drop off the pages I want copied for the class on Saturday.  Customers were actually asking when they would be putting out their Christmas stuff.  Geez!!!

I also stopped in at the library and picked up two books and ordered a third.  Connie they have 350 people waiting on the Crawdad's book.  I may have spelled that wrong.  My library might have two copies. But it's also on the 7 day shelf- but it wasn't there when I looked.  That's just dumb luck but I will check next time I am in Town.

I am trying to write the titles and authors of books I read in a journal just for books.  So I know what I have read and can then read more of an author who is new to me.  That's the plan.  I've had this sort of "plan" before and it always goes along pretty good for awhile and then it stops.  I stop.  Not reading, but adding to the page lists.  And it really helps if I make little comments.

Yesterday we were surprised by a very heavy rain in the early evening, just after dark. It was warm and humid all day.  G had the AC on.  Today we have sunshine.  I need to go out and collect tomatoes.  The Snow White's have finally started turning yellow.  They never actually look white. But they are so MUCH larger than last year.  Certainly not the size of a cherry tomato.  And they are super delicious.  I hope September stays warm so they can ripen.

Riley is panting so we will have a Law and Order or two before going outdoors.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Daily Notes- September 11th

Reminds me for some reason...of Parcheesi.  A board game my brothers and I played when we were children.  I'm sure it has nothing at all to do with that board game but the name came to mind as I was drawing and painting this.

Law and Order is back.  It goes away on Tuesday.  Makes for a long day for Riley.  I just turned the tv on and he went right to sleep.

Read Thayer's Surfside Sisters.  A Nantucket Romance.  But not really.  More of a coming of age book.  Figuring out how to be an adult.  I found this author quite by accident when I had read thru Devereau and another author who shall remain nameless as I can't remember the name.  I know where her books are located.  She wrote the Shoe Addict books plus about 10 more.  I really liked reading them.  And after that I just walked the library stacks until I got to T.  And found Thayer.

There are quite a few really bad romance authors.

I found my library List Book and I need to update it and keep lists of the books I have been reading. I had been writing on slips of paper and on index cards.  Those are in the wind as they say.  But if I find any I am tucking them into the book.   I have to get more organized. Write things down in one place and not on little scraps of paper that get lost.

Next book up is Scrubland.  Author is Chris Hammer.  No idea what it's about but something on the book jacket got me to take the book home.

It's cold and dark here in Maine this morning.  And still.  I hope the big church in Town will ring the bells today.  I remember them ringing on 9/11.  I remember crying.  I remember the total absence of any sounds that day.  I worked my shift at the library that day.

It seems like Fall is coming too soon.  I feel like it's time to wear socks again and a sweater.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Daily Notes - September 10

My latest little square painting.  I think my little house (boat) was trying to sleep but the Moon and the Stars were keeping him awake.  Enough of these might make a sweet little picture book for small children.  The Little House Books.

There has been a bit of "old times" here-- Riley "woke" up for a while last evening and the floors in the house are covered in dog toys.  He'd just eaten his dinner so we didn't express our happiness too much otherwise the floor would have been covered in his supper as well.  These are rare cracks in his - not sure what it is- liver disease or dementia-- and they are welcomed with warm smiles and a good back scratch.  Knock on wood.  I don't mention these things as I feel that will jinx it. But his eyes are bright and the lights are on inside his head.

My "out of the house" activity yesterday was the grocery store.  Our small Hannaford just completed a full store remodel.  Which made the store "less" user friendly which might be what the European owners are used to at home.  It certainly reminds me of grocery shopping in Germany.

The aisles are narrower.  The shelving taller.  Fewer employees so the shelves are often empty of things I want to buy. Two carts side by side in an aisle and you have  "a failure to be able to gain access to the products as food is on the very bottom shelf- the floor-- and up so high I have to use my toes to reach".  There are also many problems with the new card readers at the checkout.  And fewer employees.  There aren't enough "employable" people here in Maine to begin with.  An employer who starts "pissing off" the employees he/she has, soon has fewer and fewer of them.

And with a very narrow aisle, standing back to see where your Bran Buds have been relocated is nearly impossible.  They were on "floor level".  Also prices have been increased.  And they keep moving the bagged carrots.

I have been carrying a new book around with me for a few days now.  Not having the Time or Energy to open the book and begin reading.  I have straightened up my end of the dining room table so I can paint.  But first I must draw.  Any ideas of places and things my little house can go or do???

Law and Order- a few new episodes I might have seen and forgotten or perhaps they were actually new to me.  Detective Goren is young and thin in the episodes of Criminal Intent Riley and I watched yesterday.  We watched the Goldblum episodes which ended the series so we must be back to the beginning now.  A continuous loop.

Haircut on the 12th and teaching a class on the 14th.  Married Fifty One years on the 15th.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Daily Notes- September 9th

My coffee/walking friend asked me if I would like to go to an evening art workshop two summers ago.  I went and drew these apples (and a lemon?) from an early Marsden Hartley painting.  I was reminded of the folds of cloth I had arranged under my winter squash for a "botanical" watercolor.

The museum was quiet and we were supplied with folding chairs to sit on, a board, paper and pencils. Guards all around so we didn't try and use the pencils on any of the art.  No erasers.  I took advantage and drew from two different subjects.  I didn't think I would ever be able to use a pencil in that museum or any other again, but I was reminded of visiting an important museum in Madrid and seeing easels and painters copying masterpieces.  1980's.

So, I baked a peach and plum "crumble" yesterday and then made steamed rice and reheated our Orange Chicken leftovers in my favorite LeCreuset cast iron frypan.  I washed and scrubbed the counter tops and the stove top and all the dishes.  Then I stopped.  Went to sit on the couch with Riley and Law and Order.  I managed to stitch a few small pieces into a square.  Busy day for me. Unusual.

The Football was good.  Would have been better if the opposing team had come to play.  Our son texted at half time.  Not sure he's a football fan but he knows we are.  He likes open wheel auto racing. I missed the five hour long men's tennis final. Damn.

I slept well.  No dreams.  I just reached into my pants pocket and found a hankie-always a good omen.  Daughter is home from her weekend at camp with her friends. Brought us 10 ears of corn from a farm stand along a country road for feeding her cats.  We'll eat them today.  She also picked the remaining peaches from the small tree.  She said the bagful I sent along on her camping trip were a huge hit with the other campers.  Life is good.

I have a load of G's gardening clothes in the dyer and another load in the washer.  So I will be folding clothes and putting things away in the next hour or so. I enjoy folding clothes.  I am also going to clear off the piles from the dining table and reset my painting station so I can work on or tear up the house/boat painting.  Start over.  I now have three additional drawings to turn into paintings.  And I am definitely going to remove that cheap paint from the plate and start over with good paint. Better paint.  I'll keep using the brush.  It's a good one- keeps it's point.

I am also noticing all the plant materials that I should be using to print cloth.  This is the TIME for that.  If I do nothing more than tear fabric and mordant-well, that might be enough.  I have soy milk and intend to mordant cloth to use with the eucalyptus plant I have grown and tended all summer.  Fresh leaves.  I am hoping for orange printed leaves on my cloth.  I will text my daughter to collect the smoke bush leaves from the plant she got them from last fall.  They were wonderful.  I also use alum.  And the plumber has left me a stack of used copper pipes from the old radiators.  And I have that old rusted Volvo tailpipe I found in the woods and I am getting a package of black walnuts one of these days.  For dye and to make into INK.  Bountiful.  If I can just find the energy to enjoy the bounty.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Daily Notes- September 8

From my drawing journal.  Another house that I may also try rendering in watercolor.  This house has deep roots and it's interesting-- seeing it here--the house looks like an Arrow pointing up- into possibilities?  There is quite a bit of energy in this one.  I will need a rectangular piece of paper.

I think Grace might have some insight into what my subconscious had to say.

Life continues to move slowly here in Maine.  Sunshine today but I don't think it will warm us much. Dorian is gone.  We had rain which the grass appreciated.  My tomato plants are mostly bare stems with fruit.  All the leaves have curled and dried.  I carry in a few to finish ripening.  I collect containers of the Sungold cherries.  My friends and neighbors enjoy a gift of one or two.  The peaches are nearly done.

Yesterday as we drove into the driveway, a six year old jetted past on his bike and shouted "thanks for the peaches".   One of the twins.  They were almost identical in all pursuits for as long as we have known them- but now one is an outdoor adventurer and the other explores in books.  I really need to find their names and remember them.  I'm sure they will not appreciate being known as "the twins".

I have peaches from the second tree- the smaller, shorter tree.  It's peaches are twice the size of the tall tree and luscious.  The tall tree has finished it's work. All the supports and chicken wire have been removed.  They hold their own without the weight of the fruit.

Out back the tree hydrangea is showing off it's very full and very large flowers.  White. But as the evenings get colder they will blush pink first and then deepen to a darker rose color.  G is working on weeding the fenced garden.  The ten foot tall Ironwood is getting ready to flower in a brilliant sapphire blue.  In time for my birthday.  The blue up at the tips of the stems.

I finished my book.  And will begin another.  I think I destroyed the little house boat watercolor making the water too much the same intensity of color as the sky.  I will try again. A package arrived in the mail with DebLacativa thread.  I was thinking of a little bit of lettering.  "When this you see, think of me."  But when "this I see" (the lettering) I will think of Deb.

I am in a bit of a melancholy time right now.  Always, prior to my birthday.  Looking back.  Not always a good thing.  But looking forward- well, so much bounty these days.  I thank all of you who read this blog, make comments and offer friendship.  As always- know that you mean the World to me.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Daily Notes- September 7th

A sample of how I could paint-long ago.  This bud took a long time and it is actual real size.  The method is called Botanical Watercolor and is an exact (as possible) image of the living specimen.  As you can see-- I am a long ways from being able to do this right now. This type of Watercolor actually uses very little water and in some cases only glycerin mixed with pigment.

The radiators are in-- just in Time-  I am wearing socks and corduroy pants!!  G has on three layers for cutting the back grass before it rains again.  Dorian is off the coast.  Skies are a delicious watercolor in shades of grey.  It's cold, damp and windy.

We just got back from Dairy Queen!!!!! Yes!  Riley seemed good today so into the car we went for Chinese lunch and DQ.  And because there is no sun and it's cooler-- we didn't have to worry about the dog being in the car. I had the Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard.  I know you're smiling Connie!!!

We also saw the gray and white cat the neighbors have been talking about.  Wondering who it belongs to. It came up from the east side of the drive, across and then into the back yard.  G saw it race to the west side of the yard and come back up with a wiggling mouse in it's teeth.  Good job.

I was very ....I don't even know what to call it....but yesterday all I felt able to do is watch four or five hours of Law and Order Criminal Intent.  A season I had never seen.  The last one.  Riley was good with it and kept me company.  He's learned a "trick"-- his first and only one--- he is closing doors with force and they slam shut.  And I think he likes doing it because it startles G and I each and every time.  I didn't believe he was doing it but I actually have seen him and it's amazing.  Twelve years and no tricks and now at 13 he slams doors.  And quite proud of the achievement.

And in the evening we all three of us--- watched the New York tennis. Lordy, I don't like that Italian guy. But I guess the one up next--is so much worse.  He gave the finger to the crowd last time he played. And when did the Tennis Guys all get so tall and awkward looking?  Six- five, six- six and I think the one coming up might be six-seven. I think the final is tomorrow.

Well, I'm reading a Bodice Ripper Romance and I am half way in and need to get back into it and finish.  Will she have to marry the bad guy (a Rake) and is the guy they are protecting really the King of Feltland? I know-- it's trash but it's been years since I read one of these and it's sooooo bad but soooo good.  Like junk food.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Daily Notes- September 6

Here is the House finished with some added ink drawing etc.  Like quilting.

Yesterday was all day Plumber.  He is hooking the four remaining European radiators up so we can actually heat the living room and dining room this Winter with new radiators.  So we have furniture pushed forward from the walls and paths where we can walk.  He is cleaning as he goes so no huge mess. Today he will finish the radiator in the dining room.

I actually had the little house finished yesterday and had started on the background painting of number three.  But then we moved furniture and my painting set up was no longer available.  So, yesterday I drew picture number four while watching a Valentine Hallmark movie.  You know, woman chef who cooks in four inch stiletto heels.  Because....Hallmark. But I don't think I will be able to paint today.

I picked peaches for the neighborhood yesterday as the fruit is now ripe and ready to eat.  Walked up and down the street delivering them.  There is only one very tall branch with fruit left unpicked on the one tree and the peaches on the short tree aren't ready yet. I think that's why I have two trees.  Staggered fruit.   The Plumber ate peaches during his work day. And the TruGreen guy ate peaches while he sprayed my lawn.  The squirrels are also eating peaches.  My daughter got a big bowl of them and was thrilled.

My picking of peaches resulted in a very red, blotchy rash all over my arms.  Today all that's left are scratches.  I must have scratched my arms on the chicken wire around the trees and the chicken wire must have had something on it that I was allergic to.  Some pollen?  I don't know.  Very itchy.

I did go looking for any remaining art supplies in the bedroom closet and found another pad- mostly used- of the 8 by 8 inch paper.  So, looks like I might be able to paint pictures for you for the entire month of September.  I have sketches in my drawing journals- that was what I was doing yesterday- taking a drawing from the journal and penciling it in on the 8 by 8 paper.  I knew it was original. I am not sure about the others.  I do see work and like it and draw it into the journal to be reminded of it. So I would not paint those.  Not mine.  We'll see as we go forward.  I am using a different brand of paint and it is smoother and leaves less grit on the paper.

Since I can't paint today-- I will wash off my plate and start will all fresh paint.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Daily Notes- September 5

The Plumber is here to connect the Radiators to the furnace.  The noises from the basement making Riley vibrate with anxiety.  I've given him his tranquilizer.

Painted/played with this one yesterday afternoon while watching tennis.  The oh, so exhausted six foot six French player.  The snotty Italian with his coach sending hand signals from the seats.  It was very hot inside the stadium.  Finally, they closed the roof.

This is not finished.  Or it is because I over-painted.  The sky was so many different colors and I didn't like any so I painted it inky dark blue at the end.  Added little red flowers just before Riley and I moved to the living room for Law and Order.  The tennis game over. My Frenchman didn't win.

TruGreen showed up a week later than they said.  I ran out to ask that he not spray around the Peach trees.  He said he was coming to talk to me about them.  We agreed-- no spray in their section of the front lawn.  He didn't ask why I had peach trees in the front lawn in the first place.  Best sun. Warmer than the back in winter.  And I invited him to have a peach.  He ate three while we talked.  Took more with him. Lives with his girlfriend- not sure what he is allowed to eat. People tell me things like this.

G is on "cat feeding" duty while our daughter goes on the annual camping trip with her friends from Cross Fit.  Latrine. Lake. Cabin.  Off the grid.  The way they do it here in Maine.  They all power up their electronics and read in their bunks as it gets dark.  We are having sun and no rain so they will have a delightful weekend. Up early.

I had a good shower this morning.  Found Riley waiting for me on the bedroom rug.  Where he used to sleep when he wasn't afraid of the bedroom.  So long ago.  He comes down the hall more often now. To check up on me.  Has been on another ride in the car with G.  Perhaps the meds are starting to work?

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Daily Notes- September 4

My first stab at watercolor in about 20 plus years.  I drew my "signature" flower and reminded myself to paint the background first.  I went in later with a black ink pen for fine details.  The colors got a bit darker than I wanted as what I had on the plate was already quite dark and lots of colors had been mixed once or twice already.  And the quality of the pigment was not the best.  I'll be using the colors I purchased that come in ceramic dishes on the next painting.  Going thru the 40 years of paint purchases to see what fits my color perspective in 2019.

Translating what I "like" to fabric is really, really difficult.  A new to me Reader of the blog is an art quilter/painter and I am wondering if this Reader has as much trouble finding the "color" of cloth she wants as I do.  In painting, I can mix what I want.  Sorting thru fabric looking for the color or shade of a color I want is so frustrating.  It's why I started painting fabric the colors I wanted.

I picked a big bowl of plums off the Queen of Plums tree.  All that was on the tree.  They need a bit more ripening/softening before I eat them all.  I am not make jam or anything else with them.  G brought in a bag of peaches.  I never, never thought I would be saying this about my two small trees-- but I am getting tired of peaches.  And running out of people to give them to.....perhaps the twin boys have eaten all the peaches I dropped off and could use a re-supply?

Tuesday is a sad day of the week.  No Law and Order.  None.  Just CSI Miami and all that orange and  aqua.  The other channel has the sex crimes Law and Order.  Riley does not like either of them.  So we had a rough day.  Today will be better.  Some Criminal Intent.  We watched something on FXX that had huge animal men with huge teeth.  Lots of magic mists.  Fighting.  If there was a plot in there we couldn't find it.  Something about the Princely guys in blue and sliver and the huge brown men and the green people.  Warcraft.

I have to go out and pick up my inhaler prescription refill.  And since today isn't a holiday-- see if I can get a new book.  And G has been whining about not having a "good" selection of jams and jellies in his cupboard for breakfast.  So I will pick up a few jars today.  It's easy to chose-- I just buy what I would NOT want to eat.  We are complete opposites.  He opened a jar of Damson Plum that I made the last/first time the Queen made plums.  I had strawberry rhubarb.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Daily Notes- September 3rd

A Floating House.  I drew it but never made it out of cloth.  Might be something for me to do today.  I was playing around with the idea of different kinds of houses.  Not always on the ground. This one floats around and has it's own little garden of goat leaves.  Goat leaves?  Giant leaves.  Goat Leaves....
Grace--what would a goat leaf look like?   The computer is mystical. Makes up it's own words.

Yesterday Riley went for a ride in the car with G.  They were going out to buy dog food.  But they had forgotten yesterday was a Holiday.  Riley did well.  It was cloudy and cool so breathing was easy for him.  And he was fine after the ride-- not levitating with anxiety.  We may try it again.

While they were gone I went thru the squeeze tubes of watercolors.  80% were hard as rocks (into the trash).  The rest of them got squeezed onto the plastic plate- then into the trash.  I painted my "flower".  But I have learned my lesson.  I painted the background first.  Always paint the background first.  Always.

While it dried--the flower painting background-- I went back to the circle I painted days ago and added designs in black pen.  Not because it helped-- it didn't-- a bad painting will always be a bad painting-- it just gave me something to do while paint dried.

G made supper.  He boiled pasta and we added butter, fresh ground black pepper and cheese.

While watching a series of three Law and Order I had never seen before (with Riley)--I threaded a needle and started turning edges and sewing little scraps of cloth I had stacked up.  Then added a few more small rectangles to the edges.  Whole thing is smaller than a playing card.  Narrower.  I have a tray filled with little bits and pieces, thread and needles and my tiny stork scissors.  Just in case I feel like sewing a seam or two.  The tray is on the ottoman. To the left of my seat on the couch. Near the TV.

I had a dream last night.  I went to college (1964) and fulfilled my dream of going to Catholic school.  I wore very short pleated skirts with black leggings (I think I decided they were available at a ballet store) and a white blouse and  sweater that went with the skirt.  In my dream the football team busboys in my dorm cafeteria were quite smitten with the Catholic school girl image.  Yes, the entire college football team ACTUALLY (not just in my dream) were the busboys in my college dorm.  The cutest guy was Jerry the Meat Man. (oh, he was dreamy).  Defense was on used tray cleanup. BIG.

You stood in line looking at Jerry the entire time.  Then when you got to the front of the line- Jerry would smile and ask "what would You like?".   I am laughing my head off right now. If only I could go back in Time.  But still know what I know now.  Would be a great book, Deb.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Daily Notes- September 2nd

My flower.  I have drawn this and made it into cloth for years and years. This one, from my drawing book, is fancier than usual.  Makes me happy to see it here.  Perhaps I will add yellow to the paint plate and try and paint a flower. Sort of looks like a Spirit Flower? If you see this..think of me.

I had sliced about 10 or more very hard green tomatoes and one medium onion (salted overnight) to make the green tomato pickle.  I cooked it with vinegar, sugar and mustard seeds yesterday.  Gave it a taste test.  Added more sugar.  Tasted again.  Good.  And a use for any green tomatoes in the next week.  I didn't process in hot water canner.  The recipe just made one jelly jar.   The figs are plumping up.  I will use the canner to make G's fig jam when the figs are ready.  And the grapes are getting big.  Still very green.  I will have to decide whether or not to make grape jelly.  It's been many many years since I did it.  And it was QUITE the job.  The canner in September is okay.  July and August it's really heavy going.

And I am getting ready for cloth and plants in the big steamer kettle as things turn.  I have a carton of soy milk to use as mordant for the first time and I have been watering and tending my very own eucalyptus plant out on the back deck.  It's waist high.  Soy mordant and fresh eucalyptus leaves.  Could I possibly get that gorgeous orange?  I am hoping my daughter remembers to collect the purple smoke bush leaves- big ones that gave me such good prints last Fall.  And I must remind the owner of the Black Walnut tree to send me walnuts. For dye and ink.

The kitchen will be a very busy place in the next few weeks.

Riley is here beside me-- just staring at nothing.  G thought he had found the dog whistle.  No. Riley and I went out to get the paper this morning....and the re-entry into the house was like old times.  No problems.  He's had morning pills, not eaten his breakfast, and helped me write my first Morning Pages of September.  Last time I did pages was Aug 28th.  Birthday is coming in just over two weeks time.  Raspberry Jelly Doughnut instead of cake.  But first our Fifty First Wedding Anniversary. That always makes me stop and be gobsmacked.  How the hell did we do that?  Benign Neglect.

So, its September.  Cooler at night and very overcast today.  We are expecting rain.  I checked the tomatoes for water.  They sure do look raggedy.  I might just make G a pot of homemade tomato soup with little cheese dumplings.  He hasn't had a proper supper in weeks and weeks.  But I'll use a can of tomatoes.  I don't have enough ripe ones for soup.  An excuse to drive over to the bank, library, grocery store triangle and return my books and buy canned tomatoes.  A few more onions.  A box of cereal, milk and heavy cream to drizzle over the soup.  And lettuce.  I forgot lettuce for the BLT I was planning on eating this weekend.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Daily Notes- September 1st

A year- possible a few more.  In my drawing journal.  So similar in color--using the same dish of paint--- and subject.  I was startled to see how much it looks like what I just painted a few days ago.  But I found the stacked drawer man to be very interesting.  And I had yellow that day.  A clean yellow.

I am reading.  Still.  It seems like a very slim book -The Flatshare-.  But it reads like a very thick book.  Not that I mind but it is taking me so long to find out how this strange story ends.  A love story.  I like the characters.  I feel like I would enjoy meeting them.  and I hope there is more.

We had sliced ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella with basil leaves, olive oil and Balsamic vinegar for a late dinner.  While we watched the hurricane news and then the really awful story of the woman who called 911 and was told to stop whining as she drowned in her car.  Because it was her fault for driving into the water.

This is where I want an eye for an eye.  I want that 911  officer/woman in a car pushed into the water and when she screams for help to shout out to her- stop whining.

We were just finishing our meal as we watched this news story.  I sat and cried.  Is this what our World has come to????   Nothing more to write today.  No Goodwill. No Blizzard. And G can't find the "good" dog whistle.  And I ate the last Brownie last night.