Thursday, October 31, 2019

Daily Notes- Happy Halloween

One of the identical  twin boys on my street is the writer and the other the adventurer.  The writer sends us letters.  And other adult families on the street also get letters.  I've lived here over 28 years and this is the most fun we have had on this street in all that Time.  Mrs. Joanne.  Mr. Gary.

Tonight they will visit and show off this year's Halloween costumes.  It's raining here in Maine- again.  It's actually rained everyday this week in various degrees.  No sunshine today.  And the twins will likely be our only trick or treaters.

Riley has had his morning walk on leash down the street (one of 4 to 5 walks a day).  He's had his pills which include a hemp treat, amoxicillin and a tranquilizer.  G was given some sort of controlled narcotic for his sciatic nerve pain and both are asleep behind my chair.  G is snoring.  The dog is not.  I wish G would stop snoring.  It's annoying.  The dog makes an occasion snuffle which I like.

I stitched a sliver of an old Goodwill lavender linen blouse to the right side of yesterday's cloth.  And I pulled the tin can out of the black walnut jar (just to see).  I had tied fabric around the rusty can with string and soaked it for four days.  Without heat.  So I wasn't expecting much as I think the black walnut needs heat to transfer pigment.  I used a strip of white cloth that was sent along with the walnuts.  I got a light grey brown with interesting ghost like lines from the string and the rusty tomato paste can.  Just one hull from one walnut.  A test run.  I'll be making a larger batch as the hulls blacken and cook that to a boil.  And I'll make some of the liquid into ink.  I might heat up the salsa jar with the cloth, walnut husk and tin can-- put it in the small enamel steamer pot I got at Goodwill.  Non reactive. Try for a darker dye.

I watched a few movies on Lifetime yesterday between dog walks.  Christmas ones.  One about some shoes a little boy wanted to buy for his dying mother.  Another about a kiss in an elevator.  Then we watched- well tried to- but everyone wanted to go to bed early-- images of the planet Earth from above-- from cameras in the sky.  Really beautiful.  I recorded it- we'll watch today.  If G ever decides to wake up.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Daily Notes-- October 30

What I worked on yesterday when not walking the dog (4 walks a day).  The lower right lavender is from the new Goodwill shirt I cut up.  That took awhile (opening seams).  In person the cloth works better than it does here in the image.  Here the pink/purple is fighting with the lavender.  And it needs a good press with the iron.  But I wanted to have something new here this dismal, wet morning.

I know I should not complain of rain.  Rain is an important provider of minerals for the Earth.  And I know Grace in California wants the rains to come again.  Soon.  But it is more the darkness that I do not like.  The Dark Times.  Winter.

Riley is getting stronger by the day.  His earlier "compliance" is gone.  He is trying to drag me off the street into the brambles in search of stinky things to eat.  He drags most forcefully near the house with a small dog.  Who poops in the yard.  Disgusting.  He is ingesting enough water to pee generously another worry of mine.  So that is good sign and it wasn't true on Sunday or Monday.  Riley is a willful dog.  He has strong ideas about "how things should be" and....we are butting heads over his dog food yet again.  The cause is the turkey I wrap his pills in- to get him to open his mouth.

I used my "new" spoon for my cereal this morning and it was a delight.  Much better than the one I had been using.  And when I was putting my washed dishes back into the dish cupboard I realized I had already switched to Petite Fleur many weeks ago.  Duh!

So- I will iron my pieced cloth- sort of made of components but not the sort of components Jude is making for class.  Just pieces I have in a container here next to my chair.  I spent more time sorting and looking and trial and error than I do sewing.  I have a favorite Christmas Movie from Lifetime to watch- I recorded it.  This one is an actual Hallmark movie.

G used my computer yesterday and things are messed up here- so I will try and press publish and be done for the day.  I argued with him enough yesterday to last the rest of the month.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Daily Notes- October 29

They have been waiting since 1981 (when they were purchased on a trip to Europe with the 9 and 11 year old children when we thought G would be in Europe for two weeks each month and then home with us for two weeks for years and years.  So we splurged and took the family for a European vacation.  A year later our entire household was on a cargo ship heading for Germany and our new home for the next 6 years.

I think this French Bistro tableware got used a bit.  Not much.  The only things showing any wear from washing are the knives.  The upper compartments hold small forks and tiny spoons.  I gave one to G for his yogurt this morning (he liked it).  The stuff we had been using was transferred to another cupboard and what was in that drawer is now banded, sorted and ready for Goodwill.

There are other pieces I would like.  I used to see them in the Sur la Table (I am spelling this wrong) catalog for years and years.  Now there aren't any catalogs. But it's enough that they will be out and about for meals for the next years.  And I am changing out the china- for the Petite Fleur.  Might as well go full out French.

Riley and I have fallen into a comfortable routine of 4 walks each day.  Out the garage, down the drive, down the street on one side and up the other side, back into the garage.  The I give him food my hand  with pills if it's time for them.  And I found the bottle of pills for his fever bacteria.  In my purse.  He's had two.  I found them when I was paying at TJ Maxx.  Sunday.  He was supposed to get his first dose Saturday evening.  He was a bit shaky the first few times we went out but now he's got "an agenda" of things to sniff so he's walking with more purpose.  He goes right to sleep after.

I took apart a grayish lavender linen shirt from Goodwill.  I needed a thin linen in a grayish tone for one of the random pieces I am sewing together into raggedy rectangles or squares.  They are squares until the are rectangles and then squares again. And then I take them apart.

It's been dark and wet here since Sunday.  Wet. Wet. Wet.  I wish I could send some to California.
I bought an assorted bag of more Halloween candy- but if it continues to rain--I doubt many kids will come to ring the doorbell.  The assorted candy is stuff G and I like to eat.  It's all good.

I baked an apple cake yesterday from a recipe card that describes the cake as an old family favorite. From my family. My childhood. The twins down the street had brought us a gift of apples.  Delicious honey crisps. And when they stopped Riley and I yesterday to show off their six year old soccer skills- they asked about the apples. Did I like them???  And I mentioned the apple cake.  So I think today I will give a few pieces to them.  They were sort of stunned when I said "apple cake" and I have no idea what they pictured in their minds.  An apple shaped cake?

A box from Grace and one sent back to her.  Apples from the twins and apple cake back to them. They also mentioned the grape jelly I sent home with them to be very good.  Lovely manners. Riley is fascinated by them. Each evening he smells all the spots where the twins stood while we chatted that one time.  Each and every spot.  As he sniffs I can see what they were doing and saying in each of the places.  Fascinating.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Daily Notes- October 28

From the sketchbook. PBS had a special on Rothko.  He certainly made really awful stuff most of his Life and then he hit gold and then died before he had a chance to enjoy fame and fortune.  I just wish we had had the opportunity on this program to just see the later works.  I had no idea they were so large. I might need to see them in person one day before I die.

Riley and I have gotten into a rhythm of walking.  We go up and down the street.  Not as slowly as I thought but never even the slightest pull of the leash.  We are naturally traveling at the same speed. No walks off leash in the woods.  He's had pills for one full day and this morning.  He still won't eat.  I wrap the pills in a pill pocket and a strip of thin sliced turkey.  He opens his mouth.  Before this he refused to open his mouth.  He also enjoys eating the treats he would get on the Walk In The Woods. I give him five.  He looks away like he is not interested and so I pick up the sketchbook and draw and then look and they are gone.  I get up and go to get 5 more.  He'll eat those and perhaps a few more. If he's done- he leaves one.  My signal to not get anymore.  I must have mentioned how intelligent he is?

He drinks water.  Usually out of puddles.  It's been raining a lot.  You know how much if you watched the Patriots game yesterday.  Lots of fresh water in the puddles for him to enjoy.

G and I both were born in Cleveland and that team is dismal.  Even with Beckham.  Who has said he would like to play for the Patriots.  He looked forlorn.  After the Giants and now the Browns-- it's looking bad for the guy. Life and the way things work out---some times it seems like all you get is the short end of the stick.

I went out early to the postoffice- Grace your box (yes, the box you sent me) is traveling back to you filled with good things (I hope).  Should arrive Wednesday.  I also learned how to get the "funk" out of fresh caught bass at the the post office.  And that they take passport pictures.  I also mailed a belated birthday card to someone special.  In a small town the Post Office is the place to hang out. And the line is always long and very slow.

Daughter and I went to Goodwill.  Not as delightful as I had imagined it would be.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Daily Notes- October 26

iFlowers.  Drawn and colored during last Monday's Patriots game with the Jets.  I got bored as did anyone watching.  So I started drawing and made a few flowers and added eyeballs and went from there.  I did have to get up and go searching for my colored pencils.  G has a large drawer full of so many sets of different colored pencils.  But I have only the one set of Prismacolors.  Which I love.And after seeing them on Grace's blog, I have a set of pencils like hers.  I have forgotten their name and don't want to go look for it right now.

Riley is still refusing to eat.  He has done this time and again over his 12.6 years with us.  He will eventually eat- or he will be enchanted by some stinky thing we offer him (or finds in the grass) and resume eating. I took him out last night for a pee walk.  We went out to the street and walked a few feet along the road.  He peed and then he turned himself back toward home.  Slow walking but walking.  He did eat quite a bit of food the two days before the fever.  I am more disturbed by his not drinking water.  He did drink out of a bowl filled with rainwater by the garage at some point.

He will either get hungry and eat or he won't and......... He slept almost all day yesterday.

I took a long hot shower this morning and put on fresh clothing.  I had been in dog care mode too long and needed some "self care" and more so, I need to be having regular meals at lunch and dinner. I had neither yesterday.  I have the dog to worry over and the husband who is suffering from some sort of back issue and keeps saying "I can't walk" but he walks over to tell me this.  I feel like screaming.

I have a black walnut cut open and soaking in hot water (in an old clean salsa jar) with a cloth wrapped around a rusty tin can.  I even added string.  Wrapping it in and around the can holding the cloth tight to the can's surface.  I'll see how things progress.  I have to look things up in my notebooks and the internet.  Now that I have walnuts I can go forward with my plan to make walnut ink.  I am wondering if the hulls- removed from the central nut--can be frozen.  They would certainly turn to a mush when thawed but that isn't a bad thing. Has anyone tried this?  I remember there is something about a reaction (a good thing) between a certain kind of pot and the walnuts.

My horoscope suggests I return to old pleasures.  Things that made me very happy in the past.  Perhaps Goodwill tomorrow?  For an old crock pot to cook my walnuts in.

G asked if I had left him a round white pill last night?  (He had taken it).  One of the dog's tranquilizers. I had NOT.          You just can't make this stuff up.  He said he slept really well.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Daily Notes- October 25th

EDIT:  Riley went to the Vet and he has a fever which is why he is sleeping so much and refusing food. It's what humans do when they have a fever.  He's been given fluids, antibiotics and now just needs to let those things do there jobs.  We are SO VERY RELIEVED.

Working on this small page.  It began with Jude Hill's 5 by 7 pages.  Two Winters ago.  The squares are one inch.  Jude made quite a few in all shades of white.  Sewn into a book of pages.  At the Time, she thought it would be a good travel item- she could stitch or appliqué onto the blank pages as one would in a paper journal.

The first day I made all those X stitches.  Like crossing off days on a calendar page.  Then last night I started adding things from the box of bits on the chair next to me.  The brown and red was a tied prayer cloth like the one Grace sent to me.  The square in the upper left was a print that I embroidered.  Followed the lines in the print with dark blue- made a Moon.  Later still, I made circles around a few spots in the fabric.  The base cloth is something out of a dye bath.  Very "tender cloth"- it has practically no weight to it.

I mentioned yesterday the cloth was marked with X's for regrets.  I have changed my mind.   The X's are now, remembering what has gone before.  Not forgetting. Making wishes for the Future.  The circles are seeds for Growing.  The X's at the top- Stars.

Riley and I just went on a short walk down the street to the Twins house and then back- no tension on the leash.  And he drank some water.  We are taking him to the Vet's office after their lunch break at 2. They want to do a chest X-ray. And they may do a fluids IV.  We could have gone before 12, but I didn't know how long it would have taken to get him in the car.  He is still refusing to eat or take pills. And refusing the Hemp treat which he has never refused.

I have another small colored pencil drawing for tomorrow's post.  And I may read a book or go look at more posts at "gracedandmending" blog.  Grace on Windthread mentioned this blog and I went and read thru quite a few posts.  The Fiber artist on this blog collects fabric on the streets and paths as she walks her dog in a changing urban environment.  Homeless people, aging in place people, creative people.  And her fabric works reflect all of that.  And the author sparked much joy and laughter in this Reader when she felt she needed a rusting tin can-- and found an iron cog of some sort and wrapped it in cloth and tied it and cooked it in her 4 cup crock pot and made the loveliest patterns. and she was so charmed by these printed cloths.  Simple Joy.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Daily Notes- October 24th

He's not eating and is refusing his pill pockets with his pills.  Yesterday he ate three times and pulled out all his toys and was throwing them around and chasing them.  Today- this morning- shaky on his legs and quiet.  But G is not feeling well.  His back hurts so perhaps the dog is empathizing.

Sunshine today.  After the big rain yesterday (overnight) that partially filled the low spots in the woods with water.  Perhaps now the deer will come and eat the abundant acorns?

I finished the Kinsella book.  It wasn't very good.  Her name was Fixie because she fixed things but in the plot she didn't fix anything.  She was an observer of all that was going wrong.  But did nothing.

I have two new books.  I returned two and chose two from the new book shelves and I offered to shelve a handful of books for the volunteer.  I used to do that as work.  Wondering now if I should volunteer and do shelving.  Not that it would be social experience.  It would be solitary.  I think I need something where I can speak and listen.

I need to drag out the central vac with that horrible hose.  Which kinks.  And usually causes me to swear.  My fall back position. Swearing. But the edges and corners are getting dust  bunnies.

Yesterday, while watching a Lifetime Christmas Movie about two florists (very little plot) I stitched X's on a cloth I had hand sewn and then dunked into the grape juice to stain and color everything more uniformly.  The X's were like marking on a calendar.  I thought the piece could be How Many Times Have I....  And someone who owned the cloth could fill in.  Failed to appreciate a person.  Spoken before considering my words.  Etc.  A cloth of regrets.

The next Christmas Movie on Lifetime had a bride waiting at the church for her groom and the friends had to stop at the grocery store to get flowers for a bouquet and buy a cake.  They rang the groom on his phone and the ringtone sounded from a closet at the church and the bridesmaid and groom came out of the closet and the groom was zipping his pants.  See.....a raunchy Hallmark.

The movie before the Florist Duel was about dead people at Christmas--again. Most times I tune in- it's dead people.  At Christmas.  So the Florist one was a lovely change of pace.

There were paintings at the library.  The last one by the exit was $395 and was a very detailed, lovely watercolor of a cabbage with the light shining behind the leaves.  Framed and matted and just the nicest thing I've seen in a long time.  I got very close and looked at the botanical details of the mottled leaves.  The painter is very very good.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Daily Notes- October 23

It's raining.  I have all the lights on as Riley is discomforted by the dark (during the day).  He's had his mood altering chewy.  I am sitting here by the computer making typing noises.  I have just raised the temp on the furnace.  G has left the building to get his haircut.  I am encouraging Riley to stop pacing and drooling.  (he is sitting and staring into space)

In Good News we purchased a roll of chicken and vegetables from Freshpet and I chopped about a 2 inch segment into Riley's prescription dry food.  He gave the bowl a look and then turned away.  Then when I was no longer obviously "looking" he scarfed the entire meal down and licked the bowl. Same with Supper later and this morning's Breakfast.  I am going to write Freshpet a lovely thank you letter.  Riley's hip bones are sticking out.  He's getting so thin.

Mostly, today, this morning, Riley is thinking- no walk today and that is making him very sad. And no Law and Order today on WE.  Criminal Minds all day--- which Riley and I both find way too scary.  We tried watching a Christmas movie on Lifetime yesterday.  It's like a slightly gamey version of Hallmark with the same sets and actors.  Kids talking to dead parents.  Imperfect mothers. Skanky sisters.  No baked cookies.  No ice skating. No curling iron curly hairdos. No hot chocolate.  None of Hallmark's standard features.  The one I watched- not even a tree. But there was hockey.  Hallmark loves hockey but I think it's because most are filmed in Canada.  Christmas hockey.  Dee will need to add that to her Hallmark Bingo.  I loved that she had a square for "mechanical failure".  Dee- I laugh out loud when it happens--thinking of you!

Daughter came by last night- dirty from a day of Fall Cleanup in the landscape world.  She brought me Purple Smoke Bush leaves for my eco printing. She was disappointed they weren't as deeply pigmented as last year's.  I said- no killing frost yet.  And she said- "that's why we're still working". I tucked all the leaves into a plastic storage bag- quart sized and will let them "ferment" until needed.

This Spring I used some (from last October) that had composted themselves in the baggie.  Lovely prints.  Today I will wash out the grape leaf bundled cloth.  I let it dry for two days to "set" whatever happened. My feeling is that the grape leaf water (boiled twice and cooled to cold each time) does act as a mordant.  I might need to double up on the leaves to water ratio next time.  And I'll see what the color is after the wash.  Right now I like the dirty grunge of it.

I have a cloth and backing to stitch on today.  And I am reading a British romance- Kinsela.  Early days but it's taking me a while to get the lingo.  Make a good Hallmark movie- already had a mechanical failure, baking cakes, cute meet and a curling iron and not even 50 pages in.  Cheerio!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Daily Notes- October 22nd

Stopping for a treat.  Riley stops often along the 45 minute daily walk, for treats.  G makes sure his pocket is stocked with enough treats.  Labs love their owners my opinion Labs love the treat pocket most of all.  I never have treats.  Riley knows this but comes over to sniff my pocket anyway.

My wrapped and tied packets of grape mordanted cloth- turned out to have some interesting color but no imprints of leaves.  I opened them this morning.  And did not wash them out- they are on the rack drying.  The string used to tie the packages made some interesting lines- they might wash out so I am not getting too excited about them.  You'll see them after wash, dry and press.

Made a Huge Effort at a supper yesterday.  And it was very good.  And then we settled into the couch to watch the Patriots and Jets.  And see the promo from the Dec 20th final Starwars movie. ( I admit to not really paying full attention to it).  I would fire the Jets coach for allowing his brand new just out of college quarterback to completely lose his confidence.  The guy will most likely relapse into mono. A few former Patriots are on the Jets team and the reasons why they are not Patriots anymore were very obvious.  And it was interesting to see defensive linemen playing offense (or the other way round).  Our coach is a very interesting man and he looked very very happy last night.

Today started out mild and sunny but as we progress toward noon-- it's looking chilly with a very strong chance of wet.  So, a good day to get lost in reading a book.  I don't feel inclined to work on the Bernina bobbin case.  And I have already written three pages in the Washing Machine Pages notebook.  While doing two loads of wash.  Small ones as that is where we are now in the likelihood of no overflowing of water lottery game I am playing.  I think I could chance it in the medium load but- why??

Riley is counting the minutes till G finishes his word search puzzle and we go on the walk.  See, too.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Daily Notes- October 21st

The large rock came from work.  Either collected by someone or retail - it was just in a box of junk under the work space.  Like we sold a rock??  The one on top I found while out getting the mail.  Just there when I looked down.  Random.  They seem to enjoy being together.  On the dining room table.  The rare empty space.

I had a fitful night.  First cold. Then too warm and then a dream/mare.  I was being stalked and I needed to get away from the building to my car without being noticed or identified as me.  Like trying to find different clothing, changing my hair, the way I walked etc.  Each time I thought I had it solved- it wasn't and I had to start over again.  I was left wondering why?????  do I need to change things about myself in real life????

The Woods Walk with the dog was good today.  He jumped over the smaller of two trees that have fallen over the path.  I have to climb over both.  I found a great big handful of lichen that had fallen in the storm last weekend.  I had read in a blog somewhere that the lichen can be made into a dye bath. The color of the cloth a very pale aqua.  I think the European blogger dyes mostly wool yarn and threads.

This morning I used the Fels Naphta soap to wash out the dried pink/purple grape juice from a third sample cloth.  A steel blue on this one-darker, moody.  Three different soaps/ three different blues. I have two more pieces and think I will try the Trader Joe's Body Wash I use on my cashmere sweaters (and my hair for awhile there) and see what happens.  The body wash has lots of herbal ingredients.  I'll also look in the closet where I might have a bar or two of "fancy" soap.  I do have a glycerin soap in the kitchen drawer as another choice.

I have plant materials (leaves mostly- colored by Autumn) wrapped and rolled and tied and ready to steam. I had boiled and cooled the grape leaf water twice with the cloth soaking in it.  Then dried without rinsing. Now wrapped.  I need to fill the last sample square with organic matter and then steam.  This is a experiment to see if the grape leaves work like a mordant (similar to alum) in the transfer process. If not then the fabric will be steamed again with blackened tin cans as the grape leaves have already made the base cloth a very pleasing yellow/tan. An old used look.

I have another batch of cloth which was boiled in soy milk and cooled twice and then hung to dry with no rinse. Those samples I want to use with Eucalyptus.  Trying for orange color.  Each sample cloth has an ID written on the edge.  I am being scientific rather than my usual "random".

And today at the grocery store I purchased dry organic black beans to make another blue dye (plus some beans to eat in my Spoon Bowl for lunch).  Yesterday it was diced apple (two), dry cranberries, almonds, and shelled pumpkin seeds with olive oil and Balsamic dressing.  Today the same but with celery added.  Because I finally remembered to buy some.  Spoon Bowl because you chop everything up so it fits on a spoon.  And you eat it out of a bowl.  Something Paul Newman always made for Thanksgiving.  Spoon Bowl Salads.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Daily Notes- October 20

Scenes From A House.  I was standing with Riley by the front door- a neighbor had come by to return some bowls I had provided for the grape picking grandchildren (the neighbor's) and when Riley and I turned to go back inside- this is what I saw.  It looked nice.  So, I took a picture for you.  The small black carpet is to help Riley transfer to the larger rug and not slip on the wood floor.  The wall of windows (where a large dark brick wall of fireplace once was) faces the backyard and the lawn and garden.  The chair on the right- is mine.  Where I sit to eat, read the newspapers and pay the bills. It is also where I was sitting when I was doing the little watercolor exercises.  Where I will be doing that again..soon. Because in Winter we are mostly inside.

The furnace is running today.  Just to keep us at 64 degrees in the house. The sun is shining but it's a cold sun.  I have something  (well, the ingredients for it)  for a warm supper tonight.  G has made his way thru all his food and I ate the last of mine last night..  So time to cook. What I will make is something we both like to eat. And I want to bake my Vegan Orange Cranberry Loaf (with an added egg today).  I like it both ways.  With and without the egg.

I also need to sit with the washing machine as G has loaded the dirty clothes basket.  I have my Morning Pages notebook and pen there.  It's now the Washing Machine Pages book. Which is working out just fine.  Three pages is sometimes two washes and sometimes only one.  Depending on how much time I spend looking out the window.

Yesterday evening the phone rang and it was Grace from the Windthreads Blog.  I was so surprised to hear her voice again and she was so happy in what she had to say.  She was driving to a Master Gardener Plant Sale (a wonderful event) in California and had driven past a stand of walnut trees.  And she was using a paper map to get from her Hill to the Plant Sale.  I love paper maps.  And on her way home she had stopped to collect walnuts.  And--the sweet part...she had shouted my name when she found the walnut trees.  Because we have often written to each other about the black walnuts and how they do such good things to cloth and I had said I wanted to try making ink.  I have seen the ink and it's a warm earthy brown.  Lovely on the page.  Very old fashioned.  And on her blog you can see the trees and her bag of walnuts.  The blog is in my list over to the right.

Today is the first Sunday in a very very long Time that I have wanted to go to Goodwill.  Perhaps there is something there today for me?   But first things first.  The Daily Walk (bundled up and with my cane) because Riley is the Dog Who Must Be Obeyed.  He's on his dog bed next to me giving his feet a proper cleaning. I go with a full list of things to do today.  Hope your day is a good one.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Daily Notes- October 19th

An older picture of Riley sleeping one of his many dog beds with his toys.  He is more bone now, less bulk, but he sleeps this way and usually all four feet are together.

We just got back from the daily walk and Riley is panting and I have five Arnica beads under my tongue.  My right hip joint is protesting. G has a selection of canes (most taken on the walks to ward off any rabid animals) but I now have a nice geriatric looking aluminum cane for the walks-he adjusted it to be the correct height for me.  I have to look in my arts and crafts drawers to see if I have anything adhesive to decorate the plain aluminum with.  Make it look less "nursing home".   Perhaps some stars and Wonder Woman stickers.

Sigh, getting old.

We spent most of the breakfast time period looking for G's reading glasses.  I remembered seeing them perched on his head when I told him it was midnight and he needed to stop playing games on the iPad.  We moved all the furniture etc- full scale search.  They were found in his closet. He had set them down to pull on his wool turtleneck.  Then left them in the closet.  He's going to hand them to me before bed from now on.

I have grape leaves in a steamer with cloth.  They came to a boil yesterday and then cooled down  "naturally"  (Judy's Journal post from this week- instructions in the comment section not the blog post) and I opened up my quart of shelf stable soy milk and have more washed cloth in with the soy.  Heated to boil and then left to cool "naturally".  Am supposed to do this process twice.  Heat /cool.  Then add the natural dye materials.  If neither of these mordants work I will go back to alum powder. The grape leaves were used in place of alum to crisp pickles in the olden days.

I missed my optimum time period to collect Fall Colored Leaves.  The ones I picked up had too much moisture in them and went brown when hit with the heat of the iron and the waxed paper.  Remember doing that in the "olden days"?  So no Autumn leaves.

G wants to use the noisy gas powered blower to get the leaves off the grass.  The noise does terrifying things to the dog. I mentioned this and G is now really angry (with me).  He wants to use the loud machine. Snd he will.  He thinks the blower is "easier" than a broom or a leaf rake. And He will be outside and I will be inside with a hysterical dog.  Lucky Me.  Riley has had his morning tranquilizer and I'll give him a hemp treat before G gets started making noise.

While at the Vet the last visit a man in a Trump ball cap was paying his bill, his hunting dog at his side.  I smiled and said hello and he gave me the most vile look.  Hate filled.  And that's what it's like here in Maine.  Not just disagreement.  But hate.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Daily Notes- October 18

Image from Lacativa.  Not sure if it's Deb or Colin.  I have it titled Big Storm and Maine just had a big one go thru.  Lots of trees down and 200,000 without power.  For days and days.

We are okay.  But I think we are calling the people who install those generators in the backyard that go on the second the power company fails us.  We are too old to be without it.  And Maine is a state where regular power is not something they have a real grip on.  Too many sick, weak trees.  They topple out of the ground with the greatest of ease.  Taking the power lines with them-- Lord, CMP wouldn't even consider in ground power lines.

We are optimists here and purchased a large bag of Riley's special diet dog food. Expecting him to live long enough to eat it.  After all he did jump over one of the trees that fell over the path in the woods we walk each day.  Two days in a row.   Now he's doing nervous yipping and I don't think even he has a clue as to why.  It gets on your nerves.

I got my hair cut.  The gal who cut it this morning had to drive an extra 45 minutes out of her way to get around the trees down on her road.  So an hour in the car to do the usual 15 minute ride to work.
I stopped at work after my haircut and met a new employee at the time clock (finding my check from that last class) and she asked who I was.  I told her my name and she said-"oh, so many customers ask for you". And I smiled and thanked her for saying that and then left for home.

I have some cloth soaking in the kettle with a big handful of grape leaves.  In my recipe books for pickles it mentions that grape leaves were used in pickle making when alum wasn't available.  I have alum but- well, I am always up for a science experiment.  So, grape leaves.  I am going to let the grape leaf water and cloth cool and sit overnight and then let the cloth dry without rinsing.

I have gathered leaves that have colored nicely- leaves reddened by frost.  And I added fresh water to my iron water jar.  And tomorrow I will soak some strips of watercolor paper cut to fit around my rusty tin cans.  It's October and the Experimental Dye Works is opening for business.  I am also going to soak some cloth that I wash tomorrow in soy milk.  Then let the soy milk cloth dry for a few days or even a week.  I want to eco print some eucalyptus.  That I grew all summer on the back deck.  Fresh leaves.  Not floral department leaves.  I want orange.

I will be going to the Attic to see if I have any silk and wool up there that I can work with.

I read two books in three days.  They could have been so much better.  They just needed someone to re-write them. I wonder at the publishers that print and sell books that are simply not ready.  I now have four new books to read on the shelf.  I have to remind myself to write them in the Book Notebook so I am reminded of what I read and if it was good.  That way, when there are no books to read-- I can re-read the good ones.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Daily Notes- October 17

Grape Juice Cloth.  Was a rosy grape pink but then- to get the grape juice smell and residue off I chose the bar of Witch Hazel soap instead of my usual Dawn dish soap.  And what to my excited eyes did appear....the silvery blue I so desired.  I must have grabbed the bar of soap that other day I used grape juice.  I don't know what color the Dawn would have produced. You can see the faint grape pink on the top edges on the rack. I also added pieces of commercial print that is "too much" to the pot to tone down the commercialness of the cloth.  They are nice and dull now.

I have a quart of juice in the fridge to use in the next few weeks.  In case some cloth looks too new.

Today is the day after the Nor'easter and lots of trees are down on the roads.  Not where I live. But just around the corner in Harpswell.  And no haircut as my haircutter has two very large trees blocking her from getting out.  My "to do" list got shortened (but not my hair).  Just the library and grocery store.

I was going to iron my pretty Fall leaves with wax paper but overnight they all turned a very sad brown.  They must have been too far along in the process of decay.  I don't even think ironing them yesterday would have made a difference.  The trees still have plenty of leaves.  G thought the rain would knock them all off.

I have to start thinking about Halloween Candy.   I'd like Mounds Bars but I don't think children like them.  When I was a child I liked the Baby Ruths but I don't think they make them anymore and children don't like them, either. I need to buy and give out a candy bar that children like and that I like.  Because there will be leftover candy.   One year I ate my way thru two bags of Tootsie Rolls. One that I bought and handed out and one that the neighbor gave me after removing some dental thing while chewing a Tootsie roll.

When I was a child we carried pillow cases to hold all the candy we collected and when we got home, dumped it all on the carpet and then divided it up as to who liked what. We didn't like the homemade popcorn balls.  Or the Apples.  I liked when we got pencils or pocket change- nickels and pennies..  And one year we got comic books.  That was the best year ever.

I am reading the book after Agnes and the Hitman (which was great).  This one is a film director and a Green Beret who is supposed to be a stunt man in a movie she has been called to finish after the director dies.  It really really needed Beta Readers.  It's a mess.  I have put it in the return to library bag twice. The smartest two people in the book are the soldier and a 5 year old. I am still reading because I like the soldier and the five year old.

Riley is wondering if we are walking today and if we are not...why isn't the television on with Law and Order???????????  Daughter had to drive to the butt end of Georgetown to care for her employer's two goats and all the chickens and the two dogs.  Boss has a bad back today. Otherwise it was a rain day and daughter was looking forward to reading on the couch with two cats sleeping on her legs.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Daily Notes- October 16th

Found on the Daily Walk yesterday.  We went a bit later than usual as G needed a nap.  So we waited for him.  Riley was patient and took advantage of me- taking him out to walk the yard.  I call it "checking the mailbox".

There is little to nothing in the mailbox - either here on the computer, the phone or the actual mailbox.  It happens every so often- no communication with other living beings.  I think then of even older people who, likewise, get no mail.  I now know why my father was glad to bring a few advertisement flyers into the house from the mailbox and spend time looking at them.  I mentioned that to my daughter and she began sending her grandfather a letter every week.  I know she did because, when emptying his house after his death, I found two cardboard boxes filled with her letters to him. I sent him old cookbooks I would find at book sales.  I found the cookbooks next to his chair, with post it notes stuck to the recipes he found interesting.  He never had the habit of book reading.

I think that is why I began the Daily Notes.  In case someone out there had no other way of getting a Daily Letter, even if it was just my Daily Letter.

I actually made myself a meal- a hot cooked meal- yesterday.  I make sure G has hot meals but I had been neglecting myself.  Eating a peanut butter sandwich, a banana or a yogurt.  Yesterday I used one of the packages of frozen roasted cherry tomatoes to make cherry tomato pasta.  I have enough for another two meals at least in the fridge.  G is finishing up his chicken soup.  The recipe makes 4 quarts.  I believe he has one quart left.  And then I will make his sausage ragu sauce and he'll eat that for a few days.  I haven't started having Cream of Wheat for breakfast yet.

I often wondered why old people had such a lack of appetite.  Now, I'm older and I understand.  It's the eating alone that gets to you.

Riley is having a hard morning.  Restless.  Probably in pain.  He's had all his pills.

I have procrastinated with the grapes and getting them into a pot to make juice.  So, I will hit publish and then start picking the grapes off the bunches.  Get moving.  Like they say- just make one step forward.  Then make another.  Don't think further ahead than that.  I wish someone had been there to say those words when I was deep into depression the last year of college.  I wish someone had noticed.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Daily Notes- October 15th

Today would be my father's birthday- well, it still is even if he has passed. My brother's birthday is Friday.  I sent a card- I think the exact same one I sent last year and might even have written the same words inside.  I didn't realize it until the card was already on it's way.  Oh well.

The leaves are falling.  In the woods the paths are covered in colorful leaves in brown, yellow, orange and red.  The paths are also littered with many many acorns.  This morning's paper had an article about the cyclical nature of acorn production.  Nothing about the coming of a particularly bad winter. but I think it does- many acorns equal a bad Winter.  I don't see evidence of any deer eating them in the woods.  No deer poop.  Four black crows came to pick at them the other morning.  I did see the shadows of three or four deer along the property line behind G's work shed last week.  Dusk.  They were walking fast. Into the woods.  Maine is barely civilized.

My little Honda got it's annual inspection sticker this morning.  The fine for not having a current one is $100 a month.  The sticker was $18.50.  Ten years old. 34K in mileage.  I think they just check for rusted bumpers and fenders and working lights and brakes.  Mostly they want to get the old junkers like my husband's truck off the road.

I am reading a book.  I tried not to read it- tried to think it wasn't something I would read.  But it has caught at me.  Pulled me along.  Five or more families- separate but touching through time.  Regina Porter- The Travelers.  I am nearly to the end and I think I might miss these people when the last page comes and goes.  It's not that I like them or am comfortable with their troubles, but still, I will miss them.  And I think I might copy out the ancient Hungarian alphabet.  To remind me of my grandparents.  The pages of the Vietnam War- and the years after. 1971.  The unemployment, the drugs and the bodies lying in the streets of Atlanta where we were living in 1971.  It comes back to me, reading those pages.  So...a hard book to read. But it goes back and forth in Time.  So, I guess I already know the end.

I collected more acorn caps this morning when Ri and I went out to get the paper.  My walking buddy has more avocado pits for me now that they are one dollar again.  I feel like a squirrel. Tucking my bounty into sandwich bags in the freezer.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Daily Notes- October 14

Yesterday was a good day.  Productive.  G mowed the back lawn and collected the leaves and grass clippings and I piled them gently into two and a half beds in the fenced garden.  Later the twin boys and our neighbor's two granddaughters (visiting) came to pick grapes.  G and I collected a large container of grapes-- they are even more delicious than when I made jelly--and I will be using them for my cloth dyeing experiments.

I didn't bake sourdough bread- though there was a period of Time, years ago, when I did do that. I used some of the ripe bananas I have in the freezer (meant for smoothies) but used yesterday to make a loaf of banana bread for G.  I also used the last package of chicken thighs in the freezer to make the first Fall/Winter pot of Chicken Soup for G.  I had gone to the grocery to get carrots for the soup but forgot that my produce bin was out of celery.  He liked it anyway.

G needed tending as he has/had a rash of swollen bumps on his neck that was itchy and a tick on his dangly men parts.

I'm needing to do some clothes washing so I will take my Morning Pages journal and my book and read or write while I monitor the water levels in the rinse cycle.  I don't want the water to seep onto the floors.  The new floors.  I am not sure when I will get tired of the watching the washer wash clothes and call the repair man-- I think it will be pretty soon.

And I also think I need to start wearing my reading glasses when I do hand sewing.

I have a big basket of grapes out in the vestibule and when I get them picked and into the dye pot I will dye some more cloth.  I also have a quart bag of avocado pits that I need to smash up and use to make pink cloth.  And sumac flower heads to "dull" cloth that is too bright.  Later I might roll a few things around the rusty black tin cans.  But not today.

Today its the washing machine and a book to read.  Happy Indigenous People's Day

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Daily Notes- October 13

Finished and pressed.  The top edge wants to turn under a quarter inch.  I pressed it and then finished stitching the last two star points while watching Upstart Crow (Two Gentlemen from Verona) and then Some detective show called Shakespeare and......  on PBS...and things got a bit wrinkled.

It's moist, warm and humid outside.  Ri and I went out to get the paper.  He's pretty chipper this morning and raring to go on the Daily Walk before it rains.  Feels like it will.  We all slept well and something happened to my phone overnight.  Everything I am comfortable with is now upgraded to funny symbols I do NOT understand. I stamped my feet and said bad words. Very bad words.

I found the Maine Extension Bulletin #2068 on Pruning Peaches in Maine.  One day late for the class. But now have to figure out how to send to the two classmates via email.   So the center leader has to be removed.  So the tree branches make an open bowl shape.  Kind of a scary thing to do on a tree that's a few years into growth. Cut out the central stem.

The Reader who said I shouldn't have cut the mullein.  We might be talking about two different plants. I like the small one with the pink flowers.  This one has furry gray leaves the size of your arm and yellow flowers. It's sort of prehistoric looking.  What sort of medicinal properties does it have?

I finally took the time (and while wearing my eyeglasses) to find my bed socks in the rather enormous  sock basket in the closet.  So last night I slept very well, indeed.  The bed socks are very old, loose at the top and with holes in the heels from lots of wear.  Good old friends.  Keep my feet warm. I used to wear them to work.  I really do not like socks with a very tight binding around the top- making deep grooves in my ankles.  And I really despise the line of stitches at the toe-which is why I wear ALL my socks inside out.  It rubs across my toes and makes me crazy.

I am a living representative of the Princess and the Pea.  A really irritable woman.  Able to find the flaw in any bed, sock, shirt or man.  Things that rub me the wrong way.  No member of my family wants to go shoe, sock or slipper shopping with me.  And underwear?  Another despicable adventure when something wears out.  Memory foam bras?  Why?????

I stopped at Walmart on the way home from work yesterday. It's just down the road on my way.  I hate Walmart.  But I needed Aveeno Shampoo.  I have been washing my hair with body wash from Trader Joes since I ran out of Aveeno.  I use the Trader Joe body wash to wash my sweaters.  Has nice citrus oils in it.  Smells wonderful.  But isn't doing my hair any favors.  I now have two bottles of Aveeno Shampoo.  My hair will be happy again.  Even though I think it was getting used to the body wash.

I have changed my milk to a fat free version of Fairlife.  It's a high protein lactose free milk product. Has omega 3 which is supposed to be a good thing.  This morning was my first taste of it.  Okay.  I can be okay with it.  I am proud of myself for making the change.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Daily Notes- October 12th

The first point I stitched-well, I said to myself- this takes too much Time.  But I managed to get the other's done while watching Diners and Drives.  It needs a good steam and press. I didn't want to do Jude's black and white on this one.  So I chose blue and pink.  A sweet wishing star.  The blue was all one color but the pink was variegated in shades from light to dark.  Hard to see. At the end I misplaced the needle three times and decided to stop.

I had a class to teach at the greenhouse and went to bed early and got up early.  Talked for 2 plus hours on Pruning and then answered questions.  Knee felt okay.  I had injured it while pulling up a huge mullein plant  (taller than me) with lots of seed heads I did not want growing.  So I pulled, and got most of the roots loose and then one more massive pull and the root came loose and I flew backwards and landed- of course--on the bad right hip and also must have twisted the knee.  I rested it and rubbed Arnica into the knee and hoped for the best overnight.

But the mullein is SO NOT going to dispense weed seeds.

On yesterday's daily walk in the woods with the dog, I collected seed pods for the milkweed.  The swamp variety the Monarch's like.  I took it home and let the seeds float like little fireflies over the low bush blueberry plants that are like a ground cover between the mowed grass and the the dark woods of the white pine trees. Stopping and getting caught and hopefully growing. The Winter snows will press the seeds to the Earth.

I got home too late for today's daily walk.  Riley is spread out like melting dog on the bed next to my right shoulder.  Sound asleep.  He likes that.  Sleeping while I type. He ate just a bit of his breakfast. But wanted his hemp treats.  He knows I love him more than anything in the World. Perhaps the wishing star is for him. Yes.

G is coloring in his books.  With every set of pencils spread out on the table.  Like a dozen sets of pencils.  He also has a book to read.  I have a book to read.  I also have the Wishing Star to finish. It's a rainy day so I don't know if the full moon will be visible tonight here in Maine.  For my Tarot cards.

I saw a very beautiful deck of Tarot cards in the local independent book store.  Expensive.  But I liked them. I think I will return and buy them.  The woman on the first card was dressed in a deep saturated red.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Daily Notes- October Eleven

A Wishing Star from Jude Hill's classes online.  Not sure, yet, what colors of thread to use in the star points.  Jude always uses black and white.  The blues were hand painted years ago.  With watery acrylic craft paint.  Washed.  Soft and faded looking.  The beiges are pieces from the boiling water/steam pot.  Acorns I think.  The lower left tiny square from Deb Lacativa's dye deck.  The pink is commercial.  Store cloth.  Hand sewn while Riley and I watched Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

I find myself passing over the "store cloth" these days.  Unless it's been in the sumac or acorn dye pot.  Aging.  The Sumac is the most dependable.  G has collected more for me.  I have it ready whenever I get around to starting the kettles and the processes.  I think I am waiting for black walnuts. But they might not arrive.  So- Plan B.  The Purple Smoke leaves are getting nice and dark. I like them.  Daughter has promised to collect some of the larger ones if she sees them when doing Fall Cleanup on job sites.  And there are the over ripe grapes to collect.  Make one more set of cloths in degrees of grape-ness.  Use lighter cotton.  From my bolt.  Which is dwindling.

I said I was going to dye cloth a few weeks or months ago.  I never did.

There is a dullness to me.  Deep inside.  A sadness I cannot push through.  Perhaps I am feeling the closeness of my expiration date?  Perhaps I wonder what I accomplished in this Life.  Did I waste it.
I want to "make" but everything I touch goes wrong.  Or...not wrong but not what I thought I was making.  Or perhaps I am not planning well enough.  Making good decisions.  We say that to our children.  Make good decisions.  I am not making good decisions.

G has a raw itchy blotchy rash on his neck this morning.  Didn't have it when he went to sleep last night- he says.  I have sprayed it with anti-itch and given him a Benadryl.

The dog looks forward to his hemp oil treats.  He sleeps. Deeply.  Relaxed.  Asks for them and it's only day three.

I have dirty clothing to wash.  In the breaking down washer that can discharge water all over the floors at any Time.  I could go to the laundromat with my dirty clothing, my quarters and my Wishing Star.  I didn't sleep well.  My feet were very very cold.  I had to get up and put on wool socks.  The house and bedroom were not cold.  I was cold.  Very very cold.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Daily Notes- October 10th

Well......yesterday.  The Vet visit was first up.  Liver numbers are higher than they EVER were.  No improvements even though it felt like the dog was improving.  Was easier to live with. Sleeping.  And he's lost weight.  Like almost 10 pounds the Vet says.  She asks about drinking water.  I guess when he starts drinking lots of's the end.

Riley now has edible cannabinoid treats.  To help him be "comfortable".  Made him sleepy and then when he woke up he wanted to play with his toys.  G said Riley was sleeping so soundly last night that G checked to see if the dog was dead. He wasn't. That...would have been more than I could deal with.

I took Riley out to get the paper with me this morning and he was as bouncy as he had been in good health.  The original Vet had wanted Riley to weigh what he does now.  Not the 90 plus pounds he carried in his middle years. So Dr H. would be happy with 77 pounds. Less weight on the bad knees.

I unsewed the stuff I sewed on a piece of cloth the day before.  It was awful.  I am stuck.  Nothing I make looks good.  I might just revert to making "class work" and make a small nine patch into a "wishing star" like the one in the class video I watched yesterday.  The stuff up top is just a pile of bleached black cloth.  I love bleached black cloth when it bleaches to this almost white  but I love the black that bleaches to a tan best of all.  I just really like bleached cloth. Even when the cloth is red or brown or green.  Moody.  Mysterious.  Organic.

I have a new (to me) Cruisie/Mayer book.  I liked that first one very much and now...well, I want to self medicate with a book and not spend time thinking about things (dog) that makes me cry. Riley is just a feet feet from my right shoulder.  Watching me type. He watched me eat breakfast and read the paper.  We spend quite a bit of the day together- just Riley and Me-- he'll watch and doze off as I read my book. I'll know right where he is and he'll know right where I am.

I took my first "Lipitor" last night at bedtime.  I read all of your thoughtful comments and decided I should try it and if it helps-- great.  I have a 90 day supply and no refills.  That's what my doctor ordered. I am thinking we'll do a lipid test at that time and then go forward.  That's all I've got today.

So a wishing star.....

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Daily Notes- October 9

I had hoped to give you a look at something I was embroidering yesterday but I took a pieced cloth and made a huge mess of it.  Now I wonder if its worth removing all the stitches or should I just let it go?  I wanted some hand work but then got carried away-- not asking-- does it need this?  It didn't.

My blood work came back with lipids very high and my doctor wants me to take Lipitor but I am really against taking any medications other than my asthma meds.  Anyone out there using Lipitor?  I have a friend down the street that had some sort of "heart thing" that was never replicated or defined by medical staff.  She always looks terribly distressed when saying she takes a statin.  She says "once you start, they never let you stop".  It's the "cover my ass" thinking of doctors.  Please share your experiences.

Riley's pill dispenser really puts me over the edge these days.  So many pills four times a day.

But I will try for a better daily diet.  More salad, more avocados, sugar free jello for sweet and more beans and brown rice.  Maybe even a can of tuna with the salad.  And the required 30 minute daily walk.  My doctor insists.

Well, we are taking Riley for his follow up Vet visit today, new blood work and perhaps other things. And then, since the dog is in the car, we will drop off my lesson materials at the greenhouse and check to see if they have any empty boxes.  Then the grocery store for salad greens and brown rice.
And bananas????

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Daily Notes- October 8th


It's a beautiful thing.

He left in the early morning to catch the red eye.  He texted from Detroit and again from San Francisco.  Home again.  So far away yet close.  G and Riley took their walk.  Riley walking slowly and behind G.  G waiting for him.  Used to be the dog waiting for G.  Perhaps both missing the company they'd had for four walks. I know I miss the company I've had in the kitchen for four days.

We had one of our spectacular  homeowner incidents on Monday- the washing machine overflowed again.  We cleaned up ALL the WATER and now the electronic sensors will only accommodate a small load for 9 minutes of washing time.  Down from a medium load and 14 minutes.  But the small load and 9 minutes was good enough to wash all the bath towels needed to sop up the spilled water (in 3 separate small loads then I called it quits).  I sat on the lid of the toilet, flashlight in hand- watching and waiting for the thing to spill water.  It never does when I watch.  I may have to let go of the washer-- a steadfast trooper of at least thirty four years.  But I am giving it one more shot to see if the electronic sensors can be repaired or replaced.  If the appliance store will ever send some one out here. If there are even parts.

It's recycling day and I managed to snag a damned fine cardboard box from a neighbor's recycling.  I need to get organized to start packing up the stuff in the two living room bookcases and the two large cupboards before November and the Painter.  My son and I asked for and got three nice boxes in the freezer aisle on one of our grocery visits.  We could have gotten more but it seemed like "imposing".

I also need to seriously get prepared to teach on Saturday.

I am still a bit knackered from my annual visit to my doctor Monday morning.  I got two shots and blood was taken for a lipid test.  I declined the" invitation for a colonoscopy" but asked if I could have the little green box one.  Doctor said yes after negotiating my agreement to the mammogram.  I also refused the prescription for Lipitor. We'll wait to see the new lipid results.  I do not take medication. Well,-- I do take my inhaler twice a day and the rescue inhaler as needed to stay alive. I would prefer a prescription to eat more leafy greens and carrots.

I have missed writing to you.  I am happy to be back but sad that it will be another year before I see my son in person again.  But that's Life.  So-- the dog is asking for attention and I need to re-heat my morning cup pf coffee and while it's heating- drink large glass of water.  Hydration.  I need it. And then tackle the 26 messages in my email file.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Daily Notes- October 6th

My son and daughter have gone off together to visit baby goats, many chickens and then have Pho together at a little place in Town.  G and Riley have bundled up to go on their walk.  I am staying home.  Football at 1pm.  My son's thin blood has forced me to turn on the heating system (and test the new rads) to warm the house up to "not even close" to what he experiences in Sunny California. He did purchase wool socks specially for the visit.

We have had Taco Casserole ( a childhood favorite) which turned out to be quite delicious 30 plus years later, baked beans with grilled cheese sandwiches (with bacon), and today pizza.  We had dessert on Taco night but not since.  Daughter and son played board games into the evening and had a really fun time of it.  G and I enjoyed listening to the two of them talk, argue over rules and laugh. Son and I walked in Town- visited the bookstore- he needed a book to read and then we had lunch together and then the grocery for a few things and we managed to get three excellent empty boxes for my packing up of the living room contents before the painter arrives in November.

My son is very kind.  He has worked patiently on the "very old" computer system we have here and made modifications and patiently let G know that certain things G wants to do to the system-- just NOT to do.  Like an old car-- just be happy it works.  A high tech computer engineer is not really happy working on something old and cranky.  But he did it.  He cautions that we install NO UPGRADES as we are no longer compatible.  Our computer is likely as senior as we are.

He also helped me straighten out my address book on my iPhone.  I need phone numbers from two of you out there- Grace and DebL.  I hope I can remember all the things he showed me how to do.

And he was doing a "wellness check"- it was very obvious as he watched us interact.  He went on every one of my shopping trips with me.  Walked with us in the woods.  Helped collect, drain and store the garden hoses under the house. Watched me write checks for our bills and get confused. Watching, asking questions, listening. Fresh eyes see things we might not be aware of in ourselves.

I'm sure he will talk of whatever he has noticed with his sister while they have lunch together. We are in good hands.

We have today and tomorrow and then very early- before dawn-- on Tuesday- he's back on a plane  and home where it's warm.  I am posting today- because I am here in the house alone and - well, I wanted to talk to all of you.  I miss our daily conversation.  And the house seems too quiet.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Daily Notes- October 3rd

Grape juice results.  The far left is the cheesecloth I used to strain the second batch of grape pulp.  Not usable for quilting but a lovely color which I had hoped to get in this dye experiment.  The next left is white soft old linen and then next a stiffer less worn linen and the last a pale blue linen.  All from Goodwill shirts.  Mostly LLBean camp shirts that have darts and skimpy sleeves.  I bought them and then figured it out.  I hate wearing them.  You can see the dart in the farthest right cloth.  But the cost was far less than for a yard of "new" linen.   I don't have these colors in my collection.  I can see some of them working nicely with Karen's dye samples.

I over dyed a few pieces of an old linen robe that DebL had done some dye work on.  Too yellow for me.  And now--why I don't know- the grape has made the pieces a coral orange.  Don't like that either. I had hoped for green.  You know- yellow plus blue equals green.  No.  I'll give it a second chance after it dries.  Hopefully less orange.

This will be my last post for a few days.  Our son texted this morning (6 am his time) that he was boarding his first flight of the day and would text again from his stopover in Atlanta.  I''l be back here with news when he departs.

G vacuumed all the floors in the house and also the vestibule.  He did an amazing job of it.  I continued to wash clothing and towels and bedding.  I just have the dining room table and the kitchen to clean.  Then I will Swiffer the floors with wood cleaner.  Bona.  G is still eating breakfast and reading the newspaper.  

It's cold in the house this morning and I may need to start wearing my sweaters and turning on the radiators.  I already have transitioned to the corduroy pants and thermal long-sleeved shirt.  And socks.  The sun is shining but it's a cold Sun.  I will be taking my linen camp shirts up to the Attic and bringing down more long sleeved thermals. I hardly wore the short sleeved linen shirts this year- I hardly was outside much. But that's the way it goes with reactive asthma.  Now the cold air will be hard for me to breath.

Grace, I watched a PBS show on the fires out West last night.  They showed the Camp Fire and how it grew in a matter hours.  The entire show- I thought of you and all the others who lost homes, pets and lives in the fires. The phone camera pictures of people stuck on the road in their cars. Then I watched a show on Octopus and how smart they are.  I loved watching them figure out things.  It was nice the station lined them up like that.  One that was terrifying and then one that was gentle and even funny.  But the fire images stay with me.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Daily Notes- October 2nd

Rain again.  Not complaining since the last part of August into September was very dry here.  And it's nice to have some water going to the roots of perennial plants and trees before it gets really cold. Pictures taken with house lights on but still very dark in here.

I walked around Town yesterday- too much-- and my hip is letting me know.  After all that Town walking I went on the daily walk with the man and the dog.  That was a mistake.  No cleaning got done yesterday. I just sat and rested the hip.

Today I started as I should have yesterday- stripping beds and washing sheets.  Our son will sleep "family style" this visit.  Bottom sheet and duvet.  And a down comforter.  He complained of being cold last visit.  Has complained of being cold the last TWO visits in October.  I will go up into the Big Attic to find him a fleece jacket to wear.  In the house.  I'm on the third load of bedding.

I also had to move all my unfinished cloth works off the guest room king bed and find new storage for them.  I was happy that I had done that major job of reorganizing the closet in the sewing room.  I now have shelving to accommodate the stuff coming off the guest bed.  And a good chance of finding things after the visit. Always a concern.

G says he will vacuum.  He is not a good vacuumer as he never goes under things.  Just the middle of the room. But I can go over it all again tomorrow when he and Riley walk.  Or I can do it when he goes to the airport to pick up our son.

I picked a bowl of grapes and made juice-- not for jelly.  The cheesecloth I strained the pulp with came out a lovely silvery blue (after washing and drying) when I was making jelly.  So I now have the back section of a one dollar white linen blouse in a bowl with the very hot juice.  Hopefully turning a lovely silvery blue.  I am happier with this than I would have been making jelly.  I made sure there were lots of crumples so I get some dark lines.  And once it was completely wet-- I put a lid on it and walked away.  Just hot boiled grape juice.  Fingers crossed it works out.  I don't see the slivery cheesecloth being usable in patchwork.  If you think of a way-- let me know.

I have collected avocado pits to use to dye some other bits of cloth.  My daughter is trying to get me the large smoke bush leaves that printed so nicely last Fall with some iron water.  And I read that peach leaves make good prints.  We'll see.  Now to fold stuff in the dryer and put the washed stuff in the dryer and then find more things to wash.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Daily Notes- October Second

My little Hummels (the bird behind the boy isn't a Hummel).   Many birthdays and Christmas gifts.  What I took pictures of this morning.  Some of the things I'll need to pack before walls get painted.

On my errands this morning, I paid real estate taxes, returned a book, walked around Town trying to find Spindleworks to ask if they might want a dollhouse.  Then groceries.  Then home to help G find his phone.  Which took lots and lots of searching and finally his new iPad called the phone and I followed the little sound and there it was --in my sewing room.  Where we would never have looked. Because...why?  He doesn't remember going in there.  There was also me trying to learn how to send a picture (of dollhouse) by text to the woman at Spindleworks.  I made my daughter do it.

Then it was time for the walk with Riley.  And all that walking (around Town and looking for the phone) plus the uneven surfaces of the woods-- my hip is aching.  Riley isn't interested in Law and Order and I recorded them special for him.  I am exhausted.

I'm wondering what to have for lunch.  And it's almost 4 pm.  Where does the day go????

I think I'm going to put off the housecleaning for another day.

Daily Notes- October- the first.

A picture from our daily woods walk with Riley.  Trees falling down all by themselves.  Ferns turning brown.  You can see how thin and sparse the tree growth is here.  Nothing in the soil but acidic sand. No organic material unless you count the slowly composting trees that fall over.  In my Master Gardener studies this particular area has the worst organic rating in the topographical studies books we looked at for class homework.  Almost like gardening on an abandoned mall parking lot. My Master Gardener instructor just raised his eyebrows and said "hum, good luck???"

Went outside the borders of my house, the grocery, the library and the bank yesterday.  All the way to the movie theater to see Downton Abbey with my friend.  It was a very nice outing and we drove on the newly opened road near my house which ends directly at the corner of movie theater and Goodwill.  The other Goodwill (not my usual).  I believe developers will be building more housing out there--big suburban homes- on former navy base property.  There were a few confusing turns on the old base itself to get to the new road.  I will need to draw myself a map.

The Navy left behind a golf course, runway, base housing, old planes and what I believe is a vast underground intelligence compound.  Why can't the people living around the perimeter of the base make phone calls on their cell phones?   Yes, I feel, at times, like I should be wearing a tinfoil hat.

Today and tomorrow are HOUSE CLEANING days before the visit of our son.  I need to tackle the guest room first as I have used it as a place to store work in progress, cloth and Goodwill finds.  The bed itself is under all that.  But in order to clean that up--the stuff has to have some place to GO!!!. so....that is my first thing to do.  And then all the floors, bathrooms and the kitchen and dining room.

I think we might take the wooden dollhouse to Spindleworks- the art center for adults with developmental delays.  They might enjoy making things to go inside the house.  I will check and see if it's okay first.  My daughter thought she had a mom of two little girls who might want it. But it's too large.  All the furniture is at daughter's house.  So the house is empty.  I did enjoy it when the children were so much younger and our cat Buzzer used to sleep in the house- upstairs .  It was sweet to see his little face looking out the windows.  That was then...and now it's just a vacant house.  Needing a new set of eyes and hands to fill it.

But first-- to Town to pay the taxes on this house I do live in.  Then library to return a book and then grocery.  Then home to clean, sweep, dust and mop.  Son arrives Thursday evening.